Crops



Fall herbicide application later than normal

Fall herbicide applications are still a good idea this year, despite a later-than-normal harvest, according to Ohio State University Extension weed specialist Mark Loux.

“This is kind of a strange year for fall treatments because harvest is so late,” Loux said. “Any time we get a later harvest, we have the potential for things to get wet because we don’t have good drying weather. So there is some concern that farmers won’t be able to get across fields because they’ll run out of weather.”

Loux said fall applications have become standard practice for many growers because the season presents an ideal application window for control of many species of weeds that are problematic in no-till production.

“We have fields that develop fall weed populations that survive the winter and then present problems in the spring,” he said. “So if we have annual weeds that emerge from late summer into fall, and some biennial weeds and some perennial species, late fall is an ideal time to control them.”… Continue reading

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Keep your eyes peeled for falling ears

By Dave Nanda, director of genetics and technology for 
Seed Consultants, Inc.

Some hybrids are more prone to drop ears than others. Now is a good time to walk your cornfields and notice if one hybrid is better than the others in this regard. This is an especially good year to make selections because of the heat and drought stress, which can also cause ear droppage.

• Check the shank attachment of each hybrid. Select those with the strong attachment with good ear retention characteristics.

• Select for hybrids which have greater tolerance to heat and drought stress. Yes, 2011 growing season was tough, but we can learn a lot from it for the future.

• Corn borers can also cause ear droppage in conventional hybrids. If you are going to use these types of hybrids for premium or other reasons, make sure to use the appropriate insecticides to control the corn borers during the first brood.… Continue reading

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ASA releases a farm bill proposal

The American Soybean Association released its proposal for the 2012 Farm Bill: “Risk Management for America’s Farmers.”

“This proposal will help farmers manage the risks they face from adverse weather, crop disease, and volatile commodity markets,” stated ASA President Alan Kemper. “ASA believes the current farm program safety net can be made more effective, efficient, and defensible by reallocating baseline funding to this revenue-based program that improves risk management and complements crop insurance.”

Because the proposal would replace current farm programs, this proposal would also result in savings that help agriculture contribute its fair share to deficit reduction.

The “Risk Management for America’s Farmers” program, (RMAF) would partially protect revenue losses by farmers of soybeans and other program commodities that result from low prices or reduced yields for their crops. The program would establish commodity-specific revenue benchmarks for individual farmers based on historical yields and prices, and compensate them for part of the difference when current-year revenue for a commodity on their farm falls below a percentage of the benchmark.… Continue reading

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ASA expresses concern with Senate action

The American Soybean Association expressed concern with the U.S. Senate’s action of taking up a cloture motion on the Brown-Schumer currency bill (S. 1619 the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Act) on Monday afternoon, October 3.

ASA feels that S. 1619 could undermine the entire U.S. commercial relationship with China, the 3rd largest export market for U.S. goods valued at $69.7 billion, and the top customer for U.S. soybeans valued at $11.2 billion. Over one half of U.S. soybean exports are destined for China.

In a statement ASA said, “S. 1619 is the wrong tool to incentivize China to move rapidly to modify its exchange policies. Rather, it would likely have the opposite effect of inviting retaliation against U.S. exports into the Chinese market, currently the fastest-growing foreign market for U.S. soybeans. Passage of S. 1619 would be counterproductive and will not get us closer to the goal of achieving a market-driven exchange rate.… Continue reading

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USDA September 30th Stocks & Small Grains Report

Old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2011 totaled 1.13 billion bushels, down 34 percent from September 1, 2010. Of the total stocks, 315 million bushels are stored on farms, down 35 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 813 million bushels, are down 33 percent from a year ago. The June – August 2011 indicated disappearance is 2.54 billion bushels, compared with 2.60 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Old crop soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2011 totaled 215 million bushels, up 42 percent from September 1, 2010. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 48.5 million bushels, up 37 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 166 million bushels, are up 44 percent from last September. Indicated disappearance for June – August 2011 totaled 405 million bushels, down 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushings, and farm program administrative data, the 2010 soybean production is revised down fractionally from the previous estimate.… Continue reading

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USDA September 30th Stocks & Small Grains Report

Old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2011 totaled 1.13 billion bushels, down 34 percent from September 1, 2010. Of the total stocks, 315 million bushels are stored on farms, down 35 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 813 million bushels, are down 33 percent from a year ago. The June – August 2011 indicated disappearance is 2.54 billion bushels, compared with 2.60 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Old crop soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2011 totaled 215 million bushels, up 42 percent from September 1, 2010. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 48.5 million bushels, up 37 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 166 million bushels, are up 44 percent from last September. Indicated disappearance for June – August 2011 totaled 405 million bushels, down 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushings, and farm program administrative data, the 2010 soybean production is revised down fractionally from the previous estimate.… Continue reading

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Managing soil compaction: Part 2

By Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State soil management specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been wet out there so far this fall and as the harvest gets later, there will be a growing temptation to get out into fields that may be a bit soggy. The push to harvest, though, could lead to soil compaction problems for years to come.

It is advised to stay off the field until conditions are fit for traffic, but sometimes we never reach those conditions. At least, try to avoid creating ruts. If you have different soil types on the farm, start harvest on the better-drained soil types first. Although this is a bit early yet, a little frost in the soil will also help to make the soil much less sensitive to compaction. I assume all of you Ohio farmers are aware of the great importance of increasing tire foot print by using flotation tires, duals and reducing tire pressure because key research in this area was done by Bob Holmes and Randall Reeder at OSU.… Continue reading

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Majority of small grain-producing states had limited head scab

The majority (but not all) of U.S. wheat- and barley-producing states enjoyed a calm year in terms of Fusarium Head Blight incidence and severity. As always, growing season weather played an important role in disease incidence and severity, or lack thereof.

Commonly referred to as “scab,” Fusarium Head Blight, caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum, can produce significant yield losses, as well as serious grain quality issues due to the presence of the mycotoxin known as “DON” (deoxynivalenol).

A recent survey of university small grains specialists by the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) found growers had very few problems with the disease this year in eastern states like New York, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. The exception was Pennsylvania, where central and southern wheat counties in particular incurred very serious levels of infection.

Southern states (Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas) reported low incidence of scab this year in their wheat crops, as growing season weather was not conducive to its development

Ohio’s wheat producers suffered high scab levels in 2010.… Continue reading

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Managing soil compaction: Part 1

By Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State soil management specialist

Farmers are eager to harvest soybeans and corn but the fields are very soggy in much of Ohio. Therefore, the danger of causing soil compaction is high.  Here are some ways to increase the resilience of the soil to compaction, to avoid compaction, and ways to alleviate compaction.

Resilience is a term used by ecologists to describe the ability of an ecosystem to resist perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering rapidly. Soil can be made to resist compaction by eliminating tillage, increasing organic matter content, and maintaining a living root system in the soil for as much time as possible. Any long-term no-till farmer will testify to the fact that tires do not sink as deep as in tilled soil. Soil that was tilled this spring or even in last year’s spring will be more susceptible to compaction than a soil that has been in no-till continuously.… Continue reading

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Drying corn could be costly this fall

In a season marked by significant precipitation prior to planting and recent rains leading into harvest, farmers in the Eastern Corn Belt might expect corn coming out of the field at a higher moisture content than usual. Higher moisture corn could lead to higher energy costs for farmers this fall, according to Ohio State University Extension Production Business Management Leader Barry Ward.

“Last year we didn’t have to dry corn much at all, and this year we’re going to be taking as much as 10 percentage points of moisture out of this corn to get it to market,” Ward said. “Depending on the region, the planting date and summer moisture levels, we’re probably looking at a dry-down of 5 or 10 percent.”

Getting that additional moisture out of the grain will mean additional energy costs if weather conditions don’t provide ample opportunities for Mother Nature to aid in dry-down.

According to Extension corn specialist Peter Thomison, in typical years with normal planting dates between mid-April and late-May, the crop follows a general pattern of dry-down of up to a percentage point of moisture each day from physiological maturity, often called black layer, through early to mid-September when conditions are usually warm and dry.… Continue reading

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Be on the lookout for stalk rots

By John Brien, AgriGold agronomist, CCA

Thanks to the ever-challenging growing environment in the Eastern Corn Belt in 2011, many fields are beginning to show symptoms of stalk rots. Pollination and grain fill puts a tremendous demand on the corn plant. Fields that have been put under a number of stresses are having a hard time keeping up with the photosynthetic demands of the ear. Plants that are unable to keep up with the demand will resort to pulling stored carbohydrates from the stalks and roots and moving it to the developing ears. The reallocation of carbohydrates is the driving factor to stalk rots moving into many corn fields.

The pathogens that cause stalk rots are weak and opportunistic pathogens. Being weak and opportunistic means that stalk rots very seldom affect healthy, non-stressed corn, but instead attack corn plants that have a weakened defense system or are under some other stress.… Continue reading

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Exports add significant value to Ohio farm revenue

Amid a visit to Ohio by a Taiwan soybean and corn delegation to sign letters of intent to purchase corn and soybeans, Ohio State University agricultural economist Ian Sheldon said the export of agricultural products adds significantly to farm revenues.

“Look at Ohio itself, we exported over $2.5 billion of agricultural products in fiscal year 2010,” Sheldon said, citing data from the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “If you look at the data, exports are quite an important part of Ohio farmers’ revenues, particularly for soybeans, feedgrains, and to a lesser extent wheat and wheat products.”

Sheldon, the Andersons Professor of International Trade, received the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Presidential Recognition Award for Special Service earlier this year for outstanding leadership as inaugural editor of the AAEA journal Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, his appointment at the University also includes research on international trade for both OSU Extension and OARDC.… Continue reading

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Harvest underway around the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday afternoon that the 2011 corn harvest is 15% complete, one percentage point below the five-year average but lower than last year’s harvest by 11 points. At the same time, the corn condition is rated at 80% fair-to-excellent.

“This is such an important and busy time for our growers,” said NCGA President Bart Schott, who farms near Kulm, N.D. “I know a lot of us are looking to make the most of what has been a very challenging year, and we’re proud to be on track to bring home what the USDA estimates to be the third-largest crop ever produced.”

Schott noted some of the many challenges growers experienced, from floods to drought. While the Southern states have nearly finished their harvests, some of them — notably, Texas — were especially hard-hit this year. At the same time, Schott himself reports one of the best crops he has had in a long time.… Continue reading

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Soybean prices sliding

Soybean prices have been trending downward in recent weeks. The November CME Group futures peaked at $14.65 a bushel on the last day of August. The same contract traded more than two dollars lower on Sept. 26.

The sharp decline, thinks University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good, reflects the continuation of poor economic performance and concerns about financial conditions in Europe and the United States. He says the financial problems raise serious concerns about commodity demand. However, the 15% decline in soybean prices over the last four weeks may be too much.

The price decline appears particularly large when compared to losses of 8 to 10% in the livestock and livestock product prices from the highs made earlier this year.

“One might expect that demand concerns would result in larger price declines in the livestock sector than in the crop sector. It may have been that crop prices were pushed too high in August on the basis of crop concerns,” Good said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress Report – September 26th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 25th 2011

The average temperature for the State was 63.0 degrees, 2.3 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, September 25, 2011. Precipitation averaged 1.30 inches, 0.57 inches above normal. There were 85 modified growing degree days, 3 days below normal. Reporters rated 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, September 23, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

Fields remain wet from continuing rains. Field activities included fall tillage, spreading manure, spraying lime, and installing field tile.

As of Sunday September 25th, corn dented was 84 percent, compared to 96 percent for the five-year average. Corn mature was 19 percent, compared to 83 percent last year and 53 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was one percent complete, compared to 22 percent last year and eight percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ears dropping in corn

By Dave Nanda, 
Director of Genetics & Technology 
Seed Consultants, Inc.

 

Recently, in a crop-scouting trip, I noticed several dropped ears in a cornfield. Ear droppage does not usually occur so early in the season. So, what could be reasons for early ear droppage?

• There are several reasons for ear droppage in corn. Ear droppage may be caused by both genetic and environmental reasons. Corn breeders try to select against the experimental hybrids with a tendency to drop ears in order to eliminate the genetic component. 


• Severe heat and drought stress, as we experienced this summer can lead to ear-droppage. Stress may affect the proper development of the shank (the small stem which attaches the ear to the stalk) attachment to the ears resulting in ear droppage. 


• European corn borer in conventional hybrids can cause ear droppage. Larvae of the second brood of borer can tunnel into the shank and weaken the attachment of the ears to the shank. 
… Continue reading

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Ramseyer Farms offers fun in the fall

By Matt Reese

Ohio has a rich history of famous people, fascinating places and interesting events that could take a lifetime to learn. Or, visitors could learn about Ohio by simply spending an autumn afternoon at Ramseyer Farms in their perennially popular Ohio Maze just outside of Wooster in Wayne County.

The maze is a map of Ohio carved into an 8-acre cornfield. Aerial photos of the maze reveal major Interstates and highways running through the state, major metropolitan areas and historical sites.

“If you know your way around Ohio, you can find your way out of this maze pretty easily,” said Karen Ramseyer, who designed the maze on her family’s farm. “The maze also has more than 250 signs highlighting Ohio facts and history.”

Maze-goers start in Kentucky just south of the Ohio River and cross into Cincinnati. From there, they travel via water or road to any destination in the state within a few minutes, learning about the history and people of Ohio along the way.… Continue reading

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Brown introduces legislation to overhaul farm subsidies

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) recognizes U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for his plan to present legislation to restructure the nation’s current agricultural-assistance structure.

“The Farm Bill has to be an energy bill, a conservation bill, a rural development bill, a food bill and provide a strong farm safety net to benefit Ohio farms and farmers,” said Brown in a statement.

Today, Brown introduced bipartisan legislation intended to overhaul federal farm subsidies that could save nearly $20 billion throughout the next decade to aid the federal deficit.

“It’s great that an Ohio representative is helping to shape and lead such a vital cause to our state and national agricultural community,” said Tadd Nicholson, OCWGA’s director of government and industry affairs and interim CEO.

Brown’s plan recommends that support will be directed to farmers when on-farm losses occur instead of support in the form of direct payments, often referred to as farm subsidies, that currently offer a fixed per-acre payment based on a farm’s historic production of eligible crops regardless of yield amount.… Continue reading

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Ruff’s Seed Farms celebrates 75 years

By Matt Reese

In the mid 1930s, hybrid seed corn had not yet changed the world of agriculture, but early innovators recognized its potential to do so. One of those innovators was Herb Ruff. Ruff was farming 110 acres just outside of Amanda in southern Fairfield County when he decided he needed to do something different to stabilize his farm income. The result was the start of Ruff’s Seed Farm  in 1936 that is celebrating its 75thAnniversary this month.

“He saw there was a future for hybridized corn and the increased income he could get from raising seed,” said Allan Reid, the current general manager for Ruff’s Seed. “He was a real innovator that was not afraid to try something new and we have tried to continue that philosophy.”

The farm has grown from 100 acres to 1,600 acres and the business remains in the family after 75 years of service to farmers.… Continue reading

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