Corn consumption and tightening supplies

Corn consumption may be progressing too rapidly based on available supplies. Soybean consumption appears to have slowed enough so that further rationing was not required, according to a University of Illinois economist.

“Since that assessment, the cash price of corn in central Illinois has increased by 22 cents and soybean prices are up 25 cents. The higher soybean prices have resulted from a 3% increase in soybean oil prices. The average cash price of soybean meal in central Illinois has declined by $7.70 per ton, or about 2%,” said U of I economist Darrel Good.

Following is an update of the likely pace of consumption. For the 2010-11 marketing year, the USDA projects that 4.9 billion bushels of corn will be used for ethanol production. That is 7.3% more than used in the previous year. Ethanol production during the first five months of the 2010-11 marketing year was 15% larger than during the first five months of the previous year, he said.… Continue reading

Read More »

New requirements aim to improve Bt corn refuge compliance

In an effort to improve Bt corn refuge compliance, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  mandated new requirements as part of the Bt corn re-registration process this past fall. The Bt corn registrants are incorporating these new requirements (outlined below) into their Compliance Assurance Programs for the 2011 growing season:

•          On-farm refuge compliance assessments will be conducted by an independent third-party and will be focused on (i) areas of highest risk of insect pest resistance development and (ii) growers who did not buy sufficient refuge seed from the Bt corn registrant.

•          Growers found to be out of compliance with the refuge requirements (i) now have a higher probability of losing access to Bt corn if compliance is not established and maintained and (ii) will be checked more frequently by the Bt corn registrants.

•          Seed bag tags will better depict refuge size requirements

Under the Compliance Assurance Program, thousands of growers are surveyed about their IRM compliance practices each year through EPA mandated on-farm assessments. … Continue reading

Read More »

NASCAR season powered by ethanol is almost here

As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation’s corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage its relationship to spread the message to NASCAR fans around the country about the role American farmers play in the development of ethanol.

In December 2010, NASCAR unveiled its landmark partnership with American Ethanol just weeks after announcing a 2011 switch in its three major national series to Sunoco Green E15, a new 15% ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States. Growth Energy, a leading ethanol advocacy organization, created the American Ethanol partnership to push for broad acceptance of a renewable domestic fuel for all American motorists.

“We’re greatly excited about this opportunity to help educate NASCAR fans at the race tracks and around the country about the great work of our corn growers in feeding and fueling the world,” said Darrin Ihnen, NCGA Chairman, a family farmer from Hurley, S.D.… Continue reading

Read More »

Are you using enough residual herbicide in your herbicide-tolerant corn?

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

If you have been growing corn and soybean or advising growers for several decades, it’s possible to remember how the ease of controlling weeds has switched back and forth between the two crops.  There have been periods when control is easier in corn than soybeans (early days of atrazine) and then those when the reverse has been true (early days of Roundup Ready soybeans).  The development of glyphosate resistance issues has resulted in a trend where currently several weeds are more effectively and/or less expensively controlled in corn than in soybeans.  Or as Dickens might have said if he was a weed scientist – “It was the best of times in corn, it was the worst of times in soybeans.”  This is certainly not true for all growers, since some still have great success in Roundup Ready soybeans.  We do believe though however that for several tougher weeds that have developed glyphosate resistance – giant and common ragweed, marestail, and waterhemp – it’s essential to get effective control in corn to reduce the population that has to be managed in soybeans.  … Continue reading

Read More »

Economic injury levels and economic thresholds

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

The concept of economic injury levels (EILs) is the critical idea in integrated pest management (IPM). The general definition of the EIL is that point when economic damage that occurs from insect injury equals the cost of managing that insect population.  In a word, it is the breakeven point.  Damage that occurs below that point is not worth the cost of preventing it; the cost of the insecticide application would be greater than the damage you would be preventing.

We determine EILs by taking into effect the value of the product (such as $ per bushel), the cost of insecticide treatment (such as $ per acre), and how much crop damage is caused by a certain amount of insect injury.   While the former two values are easy to determine or predict, the latter two, insect injury and damage, comes from many years of research.  … Continue reading

Read More »

USDA announces planting transferabilty pilot project

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Planting Transferability Pilot Project (PTPP) permits Ohio producers to plant approved vegetables for processing on base acres under the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) or Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE). Eligible producers have until March 1, 2011 to sign-up for the PTPP program. USDA will not accept any late filed applications.

“PTPP offers producers the opportunity to diversify their crop production and better use their base acres. This project supports state farmers with additional sources of revenue and the production of healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Steve Maurer, Ohio FSA State Executive Director.

PTPP allows producers to plant approved fruits or vegetables for processing on a farm’s base acres. Approved plantings include cucumbers, green peas, lima beans, pumpkin, snap beans, sweet corn or tomatoes. Without the PTPP, planting these crops on base acres would be prohibited. Base acres on a farm will be temporarily reduced each year on an acre-for-acre basis, for each base acre planted with an approved fruit or vegetable on that farm.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Council proud of 2010 accomplishments

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) worked to improve profitability and awareness of the industry in 2010 and numerous successes were achieved.

OSC and the soybean checkoff focused on research, development, promotion and education initiatives, while OSA worked in areas that included producer education and policy development.  Because checkoff dollars cannot be used for legislative activities, this partnership will continue to play an important role in keeping Ohio’s 26,000 soybean farmers profitable in an increasingly competitive industry.

Below are some examples of their success in 2010:

Soy bioproducts: More than a decade ago, OSC and its partner, Battelle, began the development of a soy-based toner. In 2010, this technology made it to the campus of The Ohio State University (OSU). The toner was adopted into many of the printers on campus, making the university one of the leading users of soy-based toner in the nation.

OSC also launched a consumer-friendly, interactive website this year (www.soyinside.orgContinue reading

Read More »

Phosphorus in Lake Erie will likely mean changes for ag

By Matt Reese

Ohio is unbelievably fortunate to have Lake Erie, the richest, most productive and most biologically diverse of the Great Lakes.

“Lake Erie is one of the most important lakes in the world,” said Jeff Reutter, director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie. “Lake Erie produces more fish for human consumption than the other four Great Lakes combined.”

Lake Superior has around 50% of the water and 2% of the fish of all the Great Lakes, while Lake Erie has 2% of the water and 50% of the fish. Reutter also pointed out that Lake Erie supplies drinking water for 11 million people, has more than 20 power plants, and a $1 billion sport fishery. In addition, Lake Erie is the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes, and the watershed is dominated by cities and agriculture, so it gets more sediment, more fertilizer and sewage and more pesticides.… Continue reading

Read More »

Do higher corn populations need more N?

By Robert Mullen and Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

We wrote an article discussing this issue last May, but we thought we would provide an update based upon information from the previous cropping season. As producers consider (or continue) pushing higher seeding rates for corn, the question often asked is, “Do I need to push higher N rates to exploit the higher seeding rates for more yield?”  Intuitively, it may seem logical that a higher population would require more N, but the scientific data being collected does not necessarily support the concept. Ohio State University has been conducting field research the last five years at the Northwest Research Station near Custar to determine if higher seeding rates require a higher N rate to achieve maximum yield.  Two different cropping rotations were evaluated – corn after corn and corn after soybeans. The two seeding rates used were 30,000 and 40,000 seeds/acre (in 2006 the highest seeding rate was 36,000).… Continue reading

Read More »

Wheat resistance genes failing, new approach needed to stop flies

Many of the genes that allow wheat to ward off Hessian flies are no longer effective in the southeastern United States, and care should be taken to ensure that resistance genes that so far haven’t been utilized in commercial wheat lines are used prudently, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture and Purdue University scientists.

An analysis of wheat lines carrying resistance genes from dozens of locations throughout the Southeast showed that some give little or no resistance to the Hessian fly, a major pest of wheat that can cause millions of dollars in damage to wheat crops each year. Others, even those considered the most effective, are allowing wheat to become susceptible to the fly larvae, which feed on and kill the plants.

Wheat resistance genes recognize avirulent Hessian flies and activate a defense response that kills the fly larvae attacking the plant. However, this leads to strains of the fly that can overcome resistant wheat, much like insects becoming resistant to pesticides.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA announces decision to fully deregulate Roundup Ready Alfalfa

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its decision to grant non-regulated status for alfalfa that has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide commercially known as Roundup.

“After conducting a thorough and transparent examination of alfalfa through a multi-alternative environmental impact statement (EIS) and several public comment opportunities, APHIS has determined that Roundup Ready alfalfa is as safe as traditionally bred alfalfa,” said Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary. “All of the alfalfa production stakeholders involved in this issue have stressed their willingness to work together to find solutions. We greatly appreciate and value the work they’ve done so far and will continue to provide support to the wide variety of sectors that make American agriculture successful.”

After releasing a final EIS in December 2010, USDA took another step to ensure that this issue received the broadest examination before making its final decision. USDA brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss feasible strategies for coexistence between genetically engineered (GE), organic, and other non-GE stakeholders.… Continue reading

Read More »

Waterhemp found to be resistant to another type of herbicide

Waterhemp has done it again. University of Illinois researchers just published an article in Pest Management Science confirming that waterhemp is the first weed to evolve resistance to HPPD-inhibiting herbicides.

“A fifth example of resistance in one weed species is overwhelming evidence that resistance to virtually any herbicide used extensively on this species is possible,” said Aaron Hager, U of I Extension weed specialist.

Waterhemp is not a weed species that can be adequately managed with one or two different herbicides, Hager said. This troublesome weed requires a much more integrated approach.

“Large-scale agronomic crop production systems currently depend on herbicides for weed management,” Hager said. “A weakness in this approach lies in its strength; because herbicides are so effective, they exert tremendous selection pressures that, over time, result in resistant weed populations as natural outcomes of the evolutionary process.”

In an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Hager and Pat Tranel, a U of I professor of molecular weed science in the Department of Crop Sciences, shared the results of a survey of multiple-herbicide resistance in waterhemp.… Continue reading

Read More »

Record U.S. soybean sale to China

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement on the reported one-day sale of 2.74 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans to China.

“Today’s sale of 2.74 million tons of U.S. soybeans to China is the single largest daily soybean sale since USDA began issuing daily sales reports in 1977. This is another strong sign that China continues to look to the United States as a reliable supplier of high-quality products. This is great news not just for American soybean farmers but for the U.S. economy overall.”

The U.S.-China trade relationship continues to flourish, thanks in large part to agriculture. U.S. farm exports to China have grown nearly tenfold over the past decade, from $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2000 to $15 billion in 2010. Each $1 billion in exports supports 8,000 jobs throughout the supply chain, including rural growers, processors, shippers and others.

“China will continue to be a key trading partner as agriculture contributes to President Obama’s goal of doubling total U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Pioneer Hi-Bred establishes corn research facility in Ohio

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, has expanded its research program with a new research team and center located in Plain City, Ohio. This local presence will enable Pioneer researchers to focus their efforts on testing and product development in Ohio and the east-central corn belt.

“This new facility allows us to be closer to our customers and reaffirms our commitment to expanding Pioneer research efforts in this region,” said Randy Minton, Pioneer business director for the Northeast Business Unit (NEBU), which includes Ohio. “It also gives our researchers the opportunity to develop and test products that are specific to this area and allows us to place the right product on the right acre to maximize farmer productivity.”

The facility will initially bring together seven researchers working in three project areas. A team managing the current and expanding early-stage research locations in Ohio and two teams responsible for managing over 60 corn and over 40 soybean IMPACT™ plots (Intensively Managed Product Advancement, Characterization and Training), will ensure local testing and product development for Ohio and the eastern corn belt.… Continue reading

Read More »

U.S. edamame production takes a step forward

Edamame production just took a step forward, said Marty Williams, a weed scientist with USDA-ARS and the University of Illinois. Dual Magnum, an important herbicide, has recently been registered for use on edamame, or vegetable soybean.

“As I understand, this is one of the first herbicides receiving a federal label for use on edamame,” Williams said. “Edamame producers now have an additional, important tool to help suppress weeds that would otherwise severely limit crop yield.”

Edamame production in the United States has been in an infant stage for decades, Williams said. Federal registration of a key herbicide such as S-metolachlor (Dual Magnum) reduces one of several constraints to growth of this industry.

“Although soybean dominates the Midwest agricultural landscape, nearly all of the edamame we consume is imported from Asia,” Williams said. “One of the reasons why this occurs is because there have been few pesticides registered for use on edamame, limiting domestic, commercial production.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Attendance up at recent OPGMA Congress

More than 40 educational sessions, a 100-booth trade show, and thousands of inspirations for an improved competitive advantage were showcased under one roof when the Ohio Produce Growers & Marketers Association (OPGMA) hosted its annual OPGMA Congress in January at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio.

Vendors from across the country showcased the latest innovations in produce, equipment, products, and services in the sold-out trade show. When not on the exhibit floor, more than 700 attendees got answers to today’s most challenging business issues during three days of sessions, idea exchanges, and networking functions. Tracks of education included food safety, vegetables, tree fruit, small fruit, marketing, business management, soils, nutrition, pesticides, research updates, and more.

The 2012 OPGMA Congress will be January 16-18 at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio.… Continue reading

Read More »

Litigation, science and Roundup Ready alfalfa

The regulatory questions surrounding the fate of glyphosate resistant alfalfa have escalated into a debate surrounding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s use of sound science to make decisions.

Last Dec. 16, the USDA released its final environmental impact statement (EIS) on the potential environmental effects of granting genetically engineered glyphosate resistant alfalfa. The statement lays out two options, including a partial deregulation option known as Option 3 that could bog down the decision for years as lawyers and courtrooms argue. The other option is full deregulation.

“It is worth noting that the recently completed EIS on alfalfa is one step in a drawn out process that has taken decisions about alfalfa production largely out of the hands of the agriculture community and moved them into the courtroom, litigated by lawyers and decided by judges who have no connection to agriculture,” said Collin C. Peterson, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member. “I understand the concerns of those who think the restrictions listed under Option 3 could have negative long-term consequences for biotech product development and approval.… Continue reading

Read More »

The battle for acres heats up in the cold of winter

Over the next three months, the prices of corn and soybeans have two major objectives. First, prices must allocate remaining old crop supplies to maintain at least pipeline stocks by the end of the current marketing year. Second, prices must direct spring planting decisions, said Darrel Good, a University of Illinois agricultural economist.

“For soybeans, the USDA now projects that the combined total of domestic crush and exports during the current marketing year will reach 3.245 billion bushels. That is only 8 million bushels, or 0.25%, less than the total of last year,” he said.

At the projected level of use, year-ending stocks would total only 140 million bushels, or 4.2% of total use that includes seed, feed, and residual uses. Year-ending stocks cannot be reduced much below 140 million bushels and still maintain pipeline supplies so total use cannot exceed current projections by a substantial amount, he said.

During the first quarter of the current marketing year, soybean crush and exports totaled 1.063 billion bushels, 82 million (8.4%) more than during the first quarter last year.… Continue reading

Read More »

NCGA says deregulation for GMO alfalfa the right option

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering options for handling glyphosate tolerant alfalfa. One option is to fully deregulate glyphosate tolerant alfalfa events J101 and J163, as published in the Final Environmental Impact Statement this past December.  House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) is pressing USDA to fully deregulate Roundup Ready alfalfa in a committee forum.  Roundup Ready alfalfa was found to pose no risk to health or safety.

The U.S. regulatory system for biotechnology derived agricultural products has been the world leader for 25 years based upon a science-based decision-making process.

“Biotechnology benefits the environment and helps to provide food, feed, fiber and fuel to the world’s growing population,” said Bart Schott, president of the National Corn Growers Association that supports the option of deregulation. “A full deregulation of this important crop would allow farmers to move forward with alfalfa production this spring.”

An order issued in 2007 by the U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA launches new label to boost bioproduct demand

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred program announced that a final rule to initiate a voluntary product certification and labeling program for qualifying biobased products was published in the January 20 Federal Register. This new label will clearly identify biobased products made from renewable resources, and will promote the increased sale and use of these products in the commercial market and for consumers.

“The Ohio Soybean Association is very excited that the final rule for USDA’s BioPreferred Program is being published this week,” said Jeff Wuebker, OSA president and Darke County soybean farmer. “This program will benefit a growing biobased product industry both statewide and nationally. A significant number of biobased products are made in Ohio from soybeans, so expanding this market is a benefit to all Ohio soybean farmers and can also help create economic development and jobs for all Ohioans.”

In 2010, thanks in part to the legislative work of OSA, Ohio became the first state to launch a similar statewide biopreferred purchasing program that requires all state government entities, including universities, to purchase biobased products when they are readily available and comparable in price and performance to traditional products made from petroleum or other chemicals.… Continue reading

Read More »