USDA report confirms the tight corn supply

As expected, the Agriculture Department lowered the corn production forecast in its August crop report released today due to heat stress over much of the Corn Belt.
Economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation continue to stress that tight supplies mean the U.S. needs every bushel of corn that farmers can produce this year.
“Analysts were expecting to see a drop in both average yield and production compared to the July report, but the yield and production numbers actually came out lower than what market watchers were anticipating,” said Todd Davis, AFBF crops economist. “This tells us we still have a very tight supply situation in corn this year. We will need a good harvest this fall to meet market demands and add to our very tight stocks.”
USDA forecast corn production at 12.9 billion bushels in its August report, which is 4% larger than 2010 production, and if realized, will be the third largest corn crop on record.… Continue reading

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100-bushel beans?

A hungry world is waiting to be fed in coming decades and growers of every crop will need to expand productivity to meet the massive needs of the growing population. A little closer to home, bumping up per acre profitability never hurts the profit margin.
With continuing improvements in plant genetics, biotechnology and farm management, producing high-yielding soybeans is more attainable than ever, according to one Ohio State University Extension expert, but growers must first master the basics of soybean production.
“We’ve been pushing for two or three years now yield goals of 100-bushel beans and 300-bushel corn,” said Harold Watters, assistant professor and coordinator of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team.
Watters said while producing such productive soybeans is possible, producers have a tendency to look for additional, or “alternative,” management practices before having fully mastered the basic tenets of raising beans. Those basics boil down to four key management practices: planting date, row width, seeding rate and weed control.… Continue reading

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USDA August reports corn up 4% beans down 8% from 2010

National Crop Production Report

U.S. corn production is forecast at 12.9 billion bushels, up 4 percent from 2010. If realized, this will be the third largest production total on record for the United States. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 153.0 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from 2010, and the fourth highest yield on record. Acreage planted for all purposes is estimated at 92.3 million acres, unchanged from the June estimate. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 84.4 million acres, down less than 1 percent from June but up 4 percent from 2010.

U.S. soybean production is forecast at 3.06 billion bushels, down 8 percent from last year. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.4 bushels per acre, down 2.1 bushels from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 73.8 million acres, down less than 1 percent from June and down 4 percent from 2010.… Continue reading

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Pumpkins already?

Pumpkin season arrives early in South Charleston courtesy of Ohio State University’s annual Pumpkin Field Day, which this year will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the Western Agricultural Research Station.
The event is sponsored by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Ohio State University Extension, and the OSU Vegetable Team. Registration (taken at the door) costs $5 per person and includes liquid refreshments. 
The program consists of a wagon tour of research plots, including information on the station’s 16-entry variety trials, angular leaf spot trial, fungicide demonstration trial, and fungicide- and insect-management updates.
For more information, contact Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension educator, at 937-484-1526 or
Part of OARDC, the Western Agricultural Research Station is located at 7721 South Charleston Pike (SR 41), 3.5 miles northwest of South Charleston and just east of Springfield.… Continue reading

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Late corn may have dodged a bullet

By Matt Reese

Depending on the region of the state, when the corn was planted and the growing conditions since planting, the crop may still be pollinating or has just finished. As of Sunday August 7th, only 83% of Ohio’s corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 98% last year and 96% for the five-year average, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Of course, this week’s cooler temperatures and recent rains have been extremely helpful to the latest corn fields that were running well behind normal this year. The late planting actually helped some fields dodge extreme dry conditions and the extended heat wave that plagued pollination in many parts of the state and around the country.

Corn was tightly curled up through the second half of July, when it would normally be pollinating on the Defiance County farm of Roger Zeedyk, who provides regular reports for the Between the Rows feature.… Continue reading

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Insights To 300 Bushel Corn

Fred Below of the University of Illinois has spent his career researching how farmers can grow 300-bushel-per-acre corn. Below is a Plant Physiology Professor at the university and has categorized the results of his research into seven management practices – or wonders – that can result in high yielding corn. He says his study helps growers answer the question of what the latest products and practices contribute to yield.

According to Below – the most important factor is weather – followed by nitrogen/fertility, hybrid selection, previous crop, plant population, tillage and growth regulators. Each factor interacts with the others to produce an average bushel-per-acre yield. Below says when combined – all of these factors contribute to big-yield gains.

Below’s unique omission plots allowed him and his team to see the bushel impact when an individual high tech practice or input was added or subtracted – then compare it to other plots in which all high tech actions were in place in the same plot.… Continue reading

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Harvest-time yield assessments dictate insurance indemnities

Farmers with corn or other crops damaged by this summer’s thunderstorms or dry weather will have to wait until harvest to know whether they will qualify for crop insurance indemnity payments.
Multiple peril crop insurance compares final production levels to a guarantee level determined by historical yield averages. So, whether growers chose individual farm or county-based policies, Purdue Extension agricultural economist George Patrick said it’s impossible to know if an indemnity is due until this year’s yields or revenues are known.
“For multiple peril crop insurance, it is the yield or revenue actually obtained relative to the coverage level that determines whether there is a loss for insurance purposes,” he said. “There may be a complete loss on part of the insurance unit, but if the production or revenue for the entire unit is greater than the coverage level, there is no insurance indemnity.”
For example, if a farm is insured at a guaranteed level of 150 bushels of corn per acre and a disaster happens, but at harvest the yield still averages 150 bushels per acre, there would be no payment.… Continue reading

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Annual weed seed prevention in fallow fields

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

There is still time to control weeds in fields that were not planted to crops this year due to wet weather. A major goal of any control implemented at this time should be prevention of seed production by summer annual weeds. It’s not always necessary or practical to kill weeds, especially large ones, to prevent seed production. Summer annual weeds that are mowed now, or substantially affected by herbicides, should produce few seed even if they are able to still reach maturity. The choices for control are probably limited to mowing or herbicides at this point. Tillage is certainly an option, but control of the large weeds in many fields would require more than a shallow tillage pass.

As much as we would like for growers to avoid glyphosate applications in order to minimize further selection for glyphosate-resistant weeds, a glyphosate-based herbicide program may still make the most sense here.… Continue reading

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Ohio and the Canaan Fir

By Matt Reese
As the last glaciers advanced south into what is now Ohio, there is evidence that a continuous stand of beautiful fir trees extended from Canada south to North Carolina along the Appalachian Mountains. As the climate warmed, much of this unbroken forest of fir was replaced with other tree species in the lower elevations, leaving only isolated pockets of fir stands on the mountaintops and in mountain bogs.
These trees stood, unknown by mankind for thousands of years, until Jim Brown, who would later become a professor and associate chair of forestry at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) took notice in the late 1960s. Over the next two decades Brown conducted extensive research into this newly discovered type of fir tree with the hopes of finding a tree suitable for Christmas tree production. He found this unique tree that was not a balsam fir and not a Fraser fir, but with characteristics of both, in four separate and isolated areas within around 50 miles of each other in West Virginia.… Continue reading

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Corn and soybean production prospects

The 2011-12 corn and soybean marketing year officially begins on Sept. 1. The 2010-11 marketing year is ending with a slowdown in the consumption of both corn and soybeans, suggesting that year-ending stocks could be larger than projected in the USDA’s July World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.
“Those stocks will not be known until Sept. 30, and the estimates in the September Grain Stocks report often deviate from expected levels,” he said.
The USDA will release updated forecasts of 2010-11 marketing year consumption and ending stocks on Aug. 11, he added.
“The 2010-11 marketing year is also ending under a cloud of poor economic and financial news that raises concern about demand for corn and soybeans in the feed, energy and export markets during the year ahead,” he said.
The strength of demand determines the quantity of corn and soybeans that will be consumed and the price end users are willing to pay.… Continue reading

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Between the Rows-August 8, 2011

There has finally been some rain. “We got a tenth and half to six-tenths last night. Things have turned around some, but our subsoil is still extremely dry. We’ve been getting the quarter-inch, three-tenth, half-inch rains that are keeping the crops alive. An inch and nine-tenths is the least we’ve gotten on any of our farms now since planting and some of them have gotten up to 2.5 inches.

“The corn is just coming into tassel and pollination, which is great because we got these showers and cooler temperatures. Things are turning around, but we have farms that, up to this weekend, did not get more than an inch and three-tenths since planting. It somehow keeps hanging on. The recent rains will certainly be a plus for pollination.

“Last week we sprayed 280 acres for spider mites in our soybeans. We also added a little Lorsban with that for the aphids that we are seeing coming in.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 8th, 2011

As of Sunday August 7th, 83 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 98 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 15 percent, which was 45 percent behind 2010 and 24 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 1 percent, compared to 9 percent last year and 3 percent for five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of Soybeans were blooming, compared to 95 percent last year and 94 percent for the five-year average. Twenty-three percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 75 percent last year and 67 percent for the five-year average.

Here is the complete report, including crop conditions.Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – August 8th, 2011

As of Sunday August 7th, 83 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 98 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 15 percent, which was 45 percent behind 2010 and 24 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 1 percent, compared to 9 percent last year and 3 percent for five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of Soybeans were blooming, compared to 95 percent last year and 94 percent for the five-year average. Twenty-three percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 75 percent last year and 67 percent for the five-year average.

Here is the complete report, including crop conditions.Continue reading

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U.S. ag is paying the price for stalled trade agreements

Following the contentious debt-ceiling vote, the U.S. Congress left town for its August recess without finalizing action on stalled free trade agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, but Floyd Gaibler, U.S. Grains Council director of trade policy, is hopeful all three will be approved some time in September.

“A delayed vote would be unfortunate, since it would further delay getting these FTAs in place,” said Gaibler, noting that FTAs with competitors are moving forward. South Korea’s FTA with the European Union went into effect July 1 and Colombia’s FTA with Canada will take effect Aug. 15.

“The lack of these agreements diminishes our ability to be competitive and threatens further erosion in our corn exports to Colombia,” he said.

As the political and economic pressure to create more jobs becomes more apparent, he believes Congress and the President will come to an agreement on a trade jobs program that has held up the FTA votes, especially since the pacts have clear bipartisan support.… Continue reading

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Upcoming events focus on soil ecology

Ohio State University Extension, in conjunction with the Natural Resource Conversation Service and the Ohio No-till Council, has developed ECO Farming, a tillage system for farmers to consider at upcoming field days.

ECO Farming is a new concept and way of farming in the 21st century.

“ECO Farming stands for Eternal no-till, Continuous living cover, and Other best management practices,” said Jim Hoorman, assistant professor with OSU Extension. “In other words, absolutely trying to eliminate tillage as much as possible.”

Hoorman, along with Ray Archuleta of NRCS’ East National Technology Service Center, Ohio No-till Council President Dave Brandt, and Mark Scarpiti, Ohio NRCS agronomist collaboratively defined and promoted the ECO Farming concept.

“Continuous living cover means that farmers try to keep a living crop on the soil 100% of the time,” Archuleta said. “The goal is to protect the soil from soil erosion, increase water infiltration, and decrease nutrient runoff.”

Examples include grain crops followed by cover crops, pasture or hay systems, or perennial plants.… Continue reading

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Syngenta receives Japanese and Mexican import approvals for corn trait stack

Syngenta in North America announced that it has received import approval from Japanese and Mexican regulatory authorities for the Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack, which offers corn growers dual modes of action against a broad-spectrum of above-ground (lepidopteran) insects including corn borer and a 5% refuge in the Corn Belt region of the United States. These regulatory approvals allow the importation of U.S. corn grown with the Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack for food or feed use within Japan and Mexico.

“Japanese and Mexican import approvals provide U.S. growers access to a highly valuable market and is a major step toward Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack commercialization for the 2012 growing season,” said David Morgan, Syngenta region director of North America and president of Syngenta Seeds, Inc. “Soon growers will be able to reap the benefits of record commodity prices, achieving higher yield potential with an unprecedented level of corn pest control and reduced refuge requirements.”… Continue reading

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