Crops



Causes of corn yield variation in 2011

By Dave Nanda, Seed Consultants, Inc.

Why was there such a wide variation in yields this year? There are several reasons for this:

• Rainfall was one of the main reasons for yield variations.

• Temperatures — cooler areas in the northern Corn Belt had higher yields than south. There isn’t much we can do about changing the weather but pray!

• Soil type — The darker soils with high organic matter with a greater water retention capacity gave higher yields. It was more important during this year with a very hot and dry summer.

• Drainage played an important role in planting as better drained soils dried sooner and allowed planting earlier compared to poorly drained soils. Many farmers are tiling their fields.

• Planting date — the fields which were planted earlier yielded more than later plantings. Most farmers who planted earlier could plant between 11th and 15th of May.… Continue reading

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Vineyard offers idealism and hard work

By Matt Reese

It is such an idealistic dream that Charles Schwab even has a commercial with an animated retiring guy lamenting advice about starting a winery in his golden years. While it is a dream of many to do just that, the retiring guy in the commercial does have a point – starting a winery is serious work.

“It is a lot more work than anyone imagines. It is such a romantic idea to start a winery and then reality sets in,” said Jeff Hicks, who helps manage Gervasi Vineyard in Canton. “Be sure to research it as much as possible.”

Hicks speaks from first-hand experience. His father-in-law was retired for two months before he decided to buy some property and start Gervasi Vineyards. The dream has become a spectacular reality, but the business of making wine is more challenging than most people probably imagine.

Though Gervasi is still a young winery, winemaker Andy Codispoti and vineyard manager Sandy Prentice have extensive experience to seamlessly transition from vineyard to vino.… Continue reading

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Chinese role in markets

In September, the Chinese government began releasing corn from government reserves into the market and has reportedly released approximately 3.7 million metric tons (145.7 million bushels) to date. Releases were accomplished through normal sales channels rather than a public bid process.

According to the U.S. Grain Council, this may reflect an attempt to monitor sales volumes more tightly due to concerns regarding actual stock levels. Chinese market insiders also suggest China may restrict new crop corn procurement by the main buyers in Northeast China this year.

Industrial processing companies and possibly small feed mills and livestock farms are likely to be the first sectors affected, followed by large enterprises like COFCO and the China Grains & Logistics Corporation (CGLC). Finally, large grain enterprises could see restrictions on purchase volumes, and bank lending for some large buyers could be tightened.



Meanwhile, Zhang Xiaoqian, vice director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said China is likely to use its huge foreign exchange reserves to buy staple commodities as needed.… Continue reading

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Answers to corn harvest questions

Brian Essinger, DeKalb/Asgrow Territory Manager, has been fielding questions from farmers in northwest Ohio based on what they have been seeing in fields this fall. Here are some of the most common questions and Essinger’s research-based responses.

 

Question 1: Have you seen much ear drop?

 

Ear drop can be genetic, but more than likely what you are seeing this year is caused by environmental stresses. Ear drop problems will vary by environment (i.e. planting date, soil type, and in field stresses). All of the agronomic occurrences are related to the late planting timing, high heat and drought during pollination, and the extended cool wet weather in late August and September. Combine these stresses with the uniqueness of each field and we will get anomalies or scenarios that are not ideal or sometimes unexplainable. Initial reports are they may not have impacted overall yields as much as we thought, but have caused other issues.… Continue reading

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Cutworm numbers on the rise

The number of adult moths of the western bean cutworm trapped by Ohio State University Extension professionals increased for the fifth straight year, but fortunately, larval infestations have yet to present an economic impact on Ohio farms.

“It’s definitely increasing, there’s no doubt about that,” said Extension entomologist Ron Hammond. “We caught about 1,000 more moths than we caught last year.”

Hammond said OSU researchers and Extension educators trap adult moths across the state in an effort to track the spread and growth of the cutworm population in Ohio.

Traps caught 3,751 moths this year, compared with 2,695 recorded in 2010. The northwestern and northeastern regions of the state saw the largest increases in trapped adults.

“We spend a lot of time searching for larval infestations,” Hammond said. “As with the previous years, we found very few egg masses, and very little larvae. The bottom line is we did not have the kind of populations we are expecting to see sooner or later.”… Continue reading

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Late wheat planting a growing concern

By Harold Watters, Champaign County Extension

We seem to be having another year with problems in getting soybeans harvested and then in getting our wheat planted. It wasn’t that long ago we had a similar delay and hopefully you still remember the 2009 and 2006 growing season. We know from recent experience and from OSU research that the optimum time to plant wheat is from fly free date until 14 days after. This year we have passed October 15th with much less of our wheat planted than planned. From the five-year average we expect to have 75% of our wheat planted by mid-October. My perspective in western Ohio is that either we have far less than half of our wheat acres planted or we changed plans to have fewer wheat acres.

From research that Jim Beuerlein, our retired OSU Extension soybean and small grains specialist, and others have done we can predict that if we plant our winter wheat as late as November 1st then we likely will only reach about 75% of our normal yield.… Continue reading

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Farm bill proposals analyzed

The farm bill discussions in Congress and in the agricultural community on the rise with many good (and not so good) ideas for farm policy are cropping up all over the place.

“Amidst the Super Committee’s work to create a deficit reduction plan, many organizations have proposed alternatives to the current Title I farm safety net programs,” said Jon Scholl, American Farmland Trust (AFT). “The result has been an alphabet soup of 10 proposals. The details of any one program can create confusion even for those most versed in farm policy, so we commissioned a side by side analysis to help inform the farm bill debate.”

To help people understand the proposals, AFT has engaged noted Ohio State University agricultural economist Carl Zulauf to analyze the features of these leading safety net proposals.

“Since the 1930s, the federal government has been involved in farm, food and conservation policy,” adds Scholl. “With today’s budget conditions, it’s important to consider what is the right role for the government to play in helping farmers manage risk, and what characteristics set the standard for good public policy.”… Continue reading

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Department heads agree on 4R concept for water quality

In a meeting along the shore of Lake Erie, officials from the Ohio departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced ongoing efforts towards reducing agriculture-related phosphorus from loading into the western basin, and encouraged farmers to immediately adopt updated best management practices for fertilizer application.

Based on recommendations from a diverse working group that includes research scientists, agribusiness leaders, and environmentalists, the three agencies also agreed to encourage farmers to adopt production guidelines known as 4R Nutrient Stewardship that is effective in reducing soluble forms of phosphorus from impacting waterways across the state.

The 4R concept promotes using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement. Recent studies indicate that the timing of fertilizer application, and how well it is incorporated into the soil layer, significantly reduces dissolved phosphorus runoff.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report issued on Oct.… Continue reading

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Crop production costs on the rise

Led by increases in fertilizer and seed, farmers can expect to spend as much as 20% more to produce corn and soybeans in 2012 than they did in 2011, according to Ohio State University Extension experts.

“We’re expecting to see input costs increase somewhere between 5 and 20%, depending on the crop and the level of inputs relative to the quality of land farmed,” said Barry Ward, leader of the Production Business Management program in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. “There will be increases, in some cases substantial increases, but this is not unexpected. Most growers are already seeing it showing up in planning for 2012 as farmers make pre-purchases.”

Ward said increases in the cost of fertilizer and seed are the key drivers of the expected increases, reflected in new enterprise budgets developed at Ohio State.

“We’ve seen enough significant increases in fertilizer costs that it will be a pretty big bump over last year,” he said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress Report – October 17th

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY OCTOBER 16th 2011

Fields are drying out from last week’s rain; producers are harvesting corn and soybean crops and planting winter wheat. Other field activities include manure application, light tillage, and mowing and baling hay. Producers in the West Central region report mold in corn and stock rot.

As of Sunday October 16th, corn mature was rated at 61 percent, compared to 99 percent last year and 90 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was eight percent complete, compared to 62 percent last year and 29 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 81 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Ninety-one percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Sixty percent of soybeans were mature, compared to 97 percent last year and 94 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ohio prevented planting wheat deadlines

The problems of the late planting season have been compounded by the cool damp September and the resulting harvest delays will likely result in challenges getting wheat planted on a timely basis this fall.

By Oct. 9, Ohio’s winter wheat was only 5% planted, 47 percentage points behind last year and 36 points behind the five-year average. As farmers face another round of showers on already soggy soils, it could be pushed back even further.

Farmers in Ohio who are prevented from planting wheat because of a natural disaster, must report the acreage to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) within 15 calendar days after the final planting date.  Ohio has 2 different deadline dates, either Oct. 20, 2011 or Oct. 31, 2011 depending on which county you farm in.

Producers that farm in 25 counties in Ohio, have until the final planting date of Oct. 31, 2011 to timely plant fall wheat. … Continue reading

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Use care when making hybrid decisions this fall

Though growers can use harvest data to make decisions for next year’s seed corn, a Purdue Extension corn specialist says they should look at a variety of field conditions before deciding on hybrids.

This year’s crop experienced water stress on both ends of the spectrum with flooding in the early spring and drought in late summer. Bob Nielsen said those conditions may not lead to a balanced view of hybrid performance.

“We all want to take those mental notes as we’re harvesting, but it’s important to be cautious about over-reacting,” he said. “Hybrid performance in a single field, good or bad, is only a single snapshot of its potential.”

Nielsen said the top criterion for hybrid selection always is yield potential, but consistency of yield also is important.

“Acceptable hybrids for your farm are those that exhibit high yields over a wide variety of growing conditions,” he said. “The hybrid doesn’t have to win every trial, but it should be near the top of all of them.”… Continue reading

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Don’t forget to plan fertility during harvest

By Brian Essinger, DeKalb/Asgrow Territory Manager

I know we are in the middle of harvest, but with soybeans coming off you are beginning to make fertility decisions right now.

Here are a few tips and guidelines to make sure you are not shorting yourselves and put enough fertilizer on for maximum yields in 2012. Yields are better than expected in many places throughout Ohio and that means more nutrients were removed from the soil. Your fertility decisions this fall will impact your yield in 2012. Do not short yourself.

1.   Fertilize every field every year no matter which crop you are rotating to or which crop you just harvested. I am going to give you information on the big three macro nutrients, but we are seeing more micronutrient deficiencies each year. Check with your retailer on how to cover your Macro and Micro needs.

2.   Variable rate is the most profitable, efficient, and economical method because it gets what you need where you want it.… Continue reading

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Don't forget to plan fertility during harvest

By Brian Essinger, DeKalb/Asgrow Territory Manager

I know we are in the middle of harvest, but with soybeans coming off you are beginning to make fertility decisions right now.

Here are a few tips and guidelines to make sure you are not shorting yourselves and put enough fertilizer on for maximum yields in 2012. Yields are better than expected in many places throughout Ohio and that means more nutrients were removed from the soil. Your fertility decisions this fall will impact your yield in 2012. Do not short yourself.

1.   Fertilize every field every year no matter which crop you are rotating to or which crop you just harvested. I am going to give you information on the big three macro nutrients, but we are seeing more micronutrient deficiencies each year. Check with your retailer on how to cover your Macro and Micro needs.

2.   Variable rate is the most profitable, efficient, and economical method because it gets what you need where you want it.… Continue reading

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Fall weed control can prevent cutworm problems

By Ron Hammond and Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension entomologists

We like to remind growers that fall weed control of winter annuals in corn is an excellent preventive management tactic for black cutworm the following spring.  By providing a weed-free seedbed in the spring, the likelihood of black cutworm problems in the spring will be lower.  Adult moths migrate from the south each spring and lay their eggs on weeds, with chickweed perhaps the most well-known host for eggs.  Black cutworm caterpillars then move to corn when weeds are killed.  Thus, a fall herbicide application not only rids the field of the weeds, but also removes potential sites for egg laying.  When considering the benefits of a fall herbicide application, do not forget the added benefit of black cutworm management.… Continue reading

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Prices respond to October Crop Report

On Oct.12, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast corn production at 12.4 billion bushels, down 1% from the September forecast and down slightly from the 2010 production estimate in the Crop Report.

If realized, this will be the fourth largest production total on record for the United States. Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, yields are expected to average 148.1 bushels per acre, unchanged from the September forecast but down 4.7 bushels from 2010. If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 2005. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.9 million acres, down 1% from the September forecast. Acreage updates were made in several states based on administrative data.

“The October 12 crop report yielded few surprises, ending for a short time speculation about the size of the U.S. corn and soybean crops. In recent days the trade has been lowering their ideas of the U.S.… Continue reading

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USDA Lowers Projections for 2011 Crops

The U.S. corn and soybean crops are both slightly smaller than earlier expected, according to Wednesday’s monthly USDA Crop Production report.

Corn is forecast at 12.4 billion bushels, down 1% from last month’s estimate and slightly off 2010’s production. Soybeans are seen at 3.06 billion bushels, also down 1% from last month’s guess and 8% lower than a year ago.

In Ohio, corn is projected at 495.880 million bushels, compared to 2010’s 533.01 million. Average yield = 154 bushels per acre, which was 153 a month ago and 163 a year ago.

Beans in Ohio projected at 208.84 million bushels, compared to 220.32 last year. 46 bushels per acre average yield which equals last month and is close to the 48 bushels per acre last year.

Mike Zuzolo from Global Commodity Analytics goes over the National numbers with Ty Higgins and how they may impact the markets Wednesday.

Zues 10.12.11.mp3Continue reading

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Yield Reports from Across Ohio

Soybeans

County: Union
Yield: 60
Moisture: 14%
Variety: Asgrow 3431s

County: Crawford
Yield:62
Moisture: 11%

County: Darke
Yield: in the 50’s
Moisture: 10%

County: Wayne
Yield: 62-77
Moisture: 13%-17%

Corn

County: Marion
Yield: 260/dry
Moisture: 22%
Hybrid: Agri Gold 6533VT3

 

County: Muskingum
Yield: 275
Moisture: 24%
Hybrid: Monsanto DKC 61-21

County: Crawford
Yield: 217
Hybrid: AgriGold A6389VT3   

County: Clark
Yield: 155
Moisture: 22
Hybrid: Agri Gold 6533 vt3

County: Delaware
Yield: 256
Moisture: 15%

County: Delaware
Yield: 220
Moisture: 22%

County: Wayne
Yield: 201-251
Moisture: 21%-27%

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also received a report yesterday of Asgrow 3431s averaging 60 bu/acre with moisture of 14% in Raymond(Union County)… Continue reading

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Re-examining corn stocks

Although the USDA’s estimate of the Sept. 1, 2011 inventory of old-crop corn is old news, there are ongoing questions surrounding the quarterly stocks estimates. For corn, quarterly stocks estimates have not been well anticipated since June 2010, said a University of Illinois agricultural economist.

“The June 1, 2010 estimate of stocks was surprisingly small and implied feed and residual use during the previous quarter that was too large. The Sept. 1, 2010 estimate of stocks was larger than anticipated based on the level of June 1 stocks but seemed to ‘correct’ for the small estimate in June. The implied feed and residual use for the 2010-11 marketing year based on that estimate was reasonable,” said Darrel Good.

The Dec. 1, 2010 and March 1, 2011 estimates of stocks were marginally smaller than expected and implied a high rate of feed and residual use during the first half of the marketing year, 8% above that of the previous year, he said.… Continue reading

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Between the Rows-October 10, 2011

“We got behind on GDDs in September when it was so cool, but we have caught up with the 30-year average with the warm weather and it has really moved the crop along. We just started chopping silage about an hour ago. That is the first we’ve chopped silage because the fields were wet. We should’ve been chopping silage three or four days ago, but the corn is not pulling the moisture out and the fields are staying wet. We’re a good month late on the silage.

“The rest of the corn maturity is moving along fast. There are a lot of ear molds on the tips and there are some leaf blights from all of this rain we had in the last month, but the silage looks good so far.

“The last week really moved the soybeans along, and we’re going to start harvest today. There has been quite a bit of progress over the weekend on beans in the area.… Continue reading

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