Crops



Wheat's wild ride boosts fall planting intentions

Wheat farmers throughout Ohio could be planting more wheat this fall, as the demand and price per bushel has increased because of a recently announced ban on wheat exports from Russia. 


Drought and wildfires are becoming common terms in Russia, as the wheat harvest is on the line. Approximately 20% of Russia’s wheat, a combination of hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat varieties, has been destroyed because of these natural occurrences.


In 2009, Russia was the world’s third-largest exporter of wheat, only trailing the United States and the European Union.

“It’s very likely that overseas buyers will turn to the U.S. in the short term to fulfill their needs,” said Dwayne Siekman, Ohio Wheat Growers Executive Director. “It’s too early to estimate the impact that it will have on planting decisions this fall for Ohio farmers; however, Ohio farmers are up for the challenge.” 


Ohio is the nation’s leader in growing soft red winter wheat, used in pan breads, general-purpose flour, cookies and crackers.… Continue reading

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Task force nearing completion on new corn, wheat organization


By Ohio Corn Growers Association and Ohio Wheat Growers Association Executive Director Dwayne Siekman
Over six years ago, the Ohio Wheat Growers Association (OWGA) entered into a formal relationship with the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA).
The relationship began with shared staff, but grew over the years, with joint membership meetings, legislative visits, public campaigns, and policy development synergies.
As joint activities increased, the leadership of the two organizations started to ask themselves, should we be doing this a little differently?  Aren’t we really just the same person?  In Ohio, if you grow corn and beans, you probably grow wheat. Although you may be a member of one organization and may identify with that, the reality is that when you think about your operation, you are a farmer who looks at all the business opportunities from a variety of crops and decides what is best for you. You expect nothing less of an association that represents you.
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Russia Bans Grain Exports, Markets Soar

By Dow Jones Newswires

The death toll from Russia’s forest and peat fires hit 50 Thursday, as government efforts failed to stop the blazes from spreading.

Continued scorching temperatures have also extended the damage caused by Russia’s worst drought in a decade, as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for a ban on grain exports and set aside nearly $1.2 billion for stricken farmers.

The total area on fire increased to 196,000 hectares Thursday, a gain of around 7,000 hectares from the previous day, as 373 new fires appeared and 254 were extinguished, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

In all, 589 separate blazes were burning throughout Russia, 70 more than Wednesday, despite 162,000 emergency workers deployed to fight the flames. The fires have consumed over 2,000 dwellings and left around 4,000 people homeless, while causing an estimated RUB4.6 billion of damage.

Record heat persisted throughout Russia’s European territory, with temperatures in Moscow expected to hit 40 degrees Celsius Friday, nearly double the seasonal average of 23 degrees.… Continue reading

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NCGA disappointed, but hopeful on Senate energy legislation

National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Bart Schott released the following statement regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement that the Senate will not consider energy legislation before the Senate adjourns this week for its August recess:

“NCGA is disappointed that the Senate will not consider an energy package until at least September.  However, we are hopeful this will allow for future discussions on how ethanol can contribute to our nation’s energy policy and our energy security in a broader energy package.  NCGA urges Congress to include an extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit as they consider energy legislation when they return in the fall.

“The U.S. ethanol industry supports nearly 400,000 Americans across the nation. In the past year alone, ethanol added more than $50 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product and displaced the need for more than 360 million barrels of imported oil, valued at $16 billion. … Continue reading

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Crop progress report

The National Agricultural Statistics Service released its crop progress report for the week ending on Aug. 1. Nationally corn is 7% dented (2% ahead of average), and 31% is in the dough stage, which is 7% ahead of average. Soybeans are 86% blooming, up 12% on the average and 53% are setting pods, which is 5% ahead of the average. Winter wheat is 83% harvested 5% behind the average. The national corn and beans crop condition dropped from last week but they are still ahead of last year. Ohio was .9 degrees above normal last week with .26 inches of precipitation below average. Topsoil moisture is as close to average as you can get. Corn silked in Ohio is 94%. The average is 88%. Corn is 30% in the dough stage. The average is 14%. In Ohio, 87% of the soybeans are blooming and 55% are setting pods, the averages are 89% and 45%, respectively.… Continue reading

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More Wheat Varieties Resistant to Head Scab Now Available

As wheat growers prepare to plant their crop this fall, they are encouraged to choose varieties that are resistant to head scab.

Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist, said that more varieties are available with good head scab resistance and high yield potential.

“In the past, there were very few Ohio-grown winter wheat varieties with decent scab resistance, and some of those varieties yielded poorly or did not grow well under our conditions,” said Paul, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “Today, we have far more varieties with very good scab resistance in combination with very good yield potential.”

Based on results of the 2010 Ohio Wheat Performance Trials, more than 20 percent of the varieties evaluated were considered resistant and more that 38 percent moderately resistant, for a total of 58 percent of the varieties rated at least moderately resistant.… Continue reading

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Ohio Department of Agriculture Announces Farm Pesticide Disposal Collection

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a collection for farmers to dispose of pesticides on Aug. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Hardin County Fairgrounds, 14134 Fairground Road, County Road 40, Kenton, Ohio.

The pesticide collection and disposal service is free of charge, but only farm chemicals will be accepted. Paint, antifreeze, solvents, and household and non-farm pesticides will not be accepted.

Pesticide collections are sponsored by the department in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To pre-register, or for more information, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987.… Continue reading

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Wet weather causes problems with hay harvest

Rainfall and high humidity this summer have made it hard for farmers to harvest hay, said a Purdue Extension forage specialist.

“Some farmers got their hay mowed, but then they lost yield and quality when it rained,” Keith Johnson said. “Others did not get it cut in timely fashion, so the quality of their hay went down.”

The heat and humidity have caused more problems than normal, Johnson said. Because high moisture can cause mold in the hay and other bacteria and fungi can form and cause combustion, it is important to monitor hay after harvest and to store it properly.

Part of proper storage means farmers need to monitor the crop’s moisture content. Small rectangular bales should have a moisture content of less than 20 percent, while large rectangular bales and large round bales should be closer to 18 percent moisture content when baled.

Hay can be packaged at slightly higher moisture levels if farmers have the proper equipment to apply propionic acid, a preservative, at baling.… Continue reading

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Curious kernels in corn

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

In the July 23, 2010 issue of the Illinois Pest Management Bulletin, Dr. Emerson Nafziger describes an unusual phenomenon “in which corn kernels seem to start to develop after pollination but are empty of content.” Affected kernels appeared to contain only clear liquid with perhaps a small amount of white material–probably starch–that may later turn yellow.” An image of a corn ear showing the symptoms is included with the article athttp://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/article.php?id=1387. The liquid in these “bubbles” eventually dries up, leaving what are essentially seed coats without an embryo or endosperm. These may flatten as kernels on both sides press in during grainfill, if there are only a few, scattered “bubble kernels” on an ear. Dr. Nafziger notes that corn ears exhibiting “bubble kernel” symptoms were associated with late glyphosate application and observes that conditions after application this year might have favored the development of the effect.… Continue reading

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Apply Lessons Learned in 2010 to Next Season's Wheat Crop

If the 2010 growing season was any indication, disease management needs to be one of the top things on growers’ lists if they are going to have a great wheat crop, says an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist.

“We had everything this year – head scab and vomitoxin, Stagonospora leaf and glume blotch, powdery mildew, leaf rust, head smut, and cereal leaf beetle, plus a very hot late spring/early summer,” said Pierce Paul, a small grains specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “The more aggressive growers were with disease management, the better the wheat. Some folks were just lucky, but in general, those who had resistant varieties planted and applied a fungicide at the right time, saw better yields and test weights, and had lower levels of vomitoxin.”

The biggest problem this year for growers was head scab and vomitoxin contamination of grain, with incidence ranging anywhere from three percent to 60 percent head scab, and vomitoxin from less than 1 parts per million to 18 parts per million.… Continue reading

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Apply Lessons Learned in 2010 to Next Season’s Wheat Crop

If the 2010 growing season was any indication, disease management needs to be one of the top things on growers’ lists if they are going to have a great wheat crop, says an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist.

“We had everything this year – head scab and vomitoxin, Stagonospora leaf and glume blotch, powdery mildew, leaf rust, head smut, and cereal leaf beetle, plus a very hot late spring/early summer,” said Pierce Paul, a small grains specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “The more aggressive growers were with disease management, the better the wheat. Some folks were just lucky, but in general, those who had resistant varieties planted and applied a fungicide at the right time, saw better yields and test weights, and had lower levels of vomitoxin.”

The biggest problem this year for growers was head scab and vomitoxin contamination of grain, with incidence ranging anywhere from three percent to 60 percent head scab, and vomitoxin from less than 1 parts per million to 18 parts per million.… Continue reading

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Wheat researchers, millers urge growers to use all of the available science, information during planting to avoid another bad wheat harvest




The 2010 wheat harvest in Ohio has been one of the worst on record in Ohio since 1996 with many elevators reporting high toxin levels of grain. Fusarium Head Blight (FHB, also called scab) is a serious disease of wheat that affects the entire wheat industry in Ohio, from growers to millers to bakers.

“While there is no silver bullet to preventing head scab, there are tools available to avoid such a disastrous wheat harvest,” said Dr. Clay Sneller of The Ohio State University’s OARDC program in Wooster. “And it’s hard to eliminate any fungal disease with just crop rotation.”

The USDA’s US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative has invested millions of dollars to develop technology to control FHB.  That technology is available right now and consists of varieties with improved resistance, effective fungicides, prediction models, and other management practices that reduce FHB (see http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/scabsmart/).

“Control of FHB primarily consists of planting the most resistant varieties and applying fungicides if heavy disease pressure is predicted.… Continue reading

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Can the corn factory run too fast?

By John Brien, CCA,

AgriGold regional agronomist

From planting until pollination a corn grower is concerned about building their corn factory. The corn factories foundation is

corn roots, the stalks are the walls and the leaves are the machines that run the entire factory. The goal is to build the best, most

efficient factory possible and then turn it on line at pollination. The factory needs to be built to produce enough sugars to maximize

kernel development and grain fill. Currently our factories have been built and are running at full steam, the question now is can

our corn factories run too fast?

What is meant by a corn factory running too fast? At a car factory there is a pace of operation that maximizes production, too

slow and the company will eventually run out of money, too fast and the machines may breakdown or more likely the quality of

the product is sub par.… Continue reading

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Insect Observations for Late July

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel, Bruce Eisley

Currently, we are not receiving many reports of insect problems in field crops in Ohio.   People are reporting finding soybean aphids, but only at a few aphids per plant at most.  Remember that the threshold is 250 aphids per plant with a rising population (it takes 700-800 per plant to cause economic damage), and these numbers are NOT being seen.  As we get into August and the later part of the summer, the susceptibility of soybeans to aphids goes down.  However, as in other years with low numbers aphid, we do expect the numbers of aphids to begin to rise prior to the end of the summer.  These aphids then will move to buckthorn in the fall and lay eggs, and will overwinter, possibly resulting in problems in 2011.

A few people have asked about twospotted spider mites in soybean with the hot temperatures we have been experiencing. … Continue reading

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Soybean Checkoff steps up soy biodiesel promotion with new professional tractor pulling class

In an effort to continue to improve the availability and use of soy biodiesel, the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff will sponsor a professional tractor pulling division in the National Tractor Pullers Association’s (NTPA’s) 2010 season. The new Light Pro Stock Class will be made up of tractors powered by biodiesel.

USB and the soybean checkoff will use the 2010 NTPA season as a way of showcasing the diesel engine performance benefits of soy biodiesel — a homegrown, environmentally friendly and renewable biofuel — to thousands of diesel users. Soybean oil serves as the dominant feedstock used to produce biodiesel in the United States. The soybean checkoff has partnered with NTPA since 2007 to encourage biodiesel use among tractor pulling fans, many of whom work in the agricultural and trucking sectors.

Soy biodiesel is comparable to petroleum diesel in conventional diesel engines but provides higher cetane levels, better lubricity and BTU content.… Continue reading

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Gray leaf spot plaguing corn

By Denny Wickham, Pioneer agronomist

The warm, humid July weather proved to be conducive to the development of leaf diseases in corn, especially gray leaf spot (GLS). While this disease is not new (it was first noted in Illinois in 1924), increased use of no-till and reduced tillage corn production practices have likely led to higher incidence of the disease. The fungal pathogen causing GLS, Cercospora zea maydis, overwinters on corn residue from the previous crop and higher levels of residue left on the soil surface allow for greater survival of the pathogen. In response to higher temperatures and humidity that occur in late spring, conidia (spores) begin to develop on the corn residue and are blown or splashed from the corn residue onto the current year’s corn plants. Infection typically begins in June, but disease symptoms may not show up until late July or early August. Earlier infection allows for greater spore build-up and more damage to the leaves.… Continue reading

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Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Launches Agrisure Artesian Technology, First Water-Optimized Technology for Corn Hybrids

Syngenta Seeds, Inc., today unveiled its Agrisure Artesian technology, the new brand name for its range of water optimized hybrids and the newest addition to the Agrisure family of high-performance trait products. A limited quantity of hybrids with this technology, which has demonstrated the potential to deliver 15% yield preservation under drought stress, will be available through the company’s Garst, Golden Harvest and NK product brands.

Agrisure Artesian technology enables corn plants to use available moisture more efficiently, resulting in higher yields on drought-stressed acres including dryland and limited-irrigation farms in the western Corn Belt. Growers on rainfed acres in the central and eastern Corn Belt likewise can use Agrisure Artesian technology to help stabilize yields in years of inconsistent rainfall or in fields with variable soil types and moisture-holding capacity. In years of ideal rainfall, hybrids with Agrisure Artesian technology have demonstrated no yield penalty compared with hybrids without the technology.… Continue reading

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USB review reveals financial responsibility

The USDA recently conducted an 18-month review of the United Soybean Board (USB) and the soybean checkoff. The USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded that there was no basis for any of the allegations of wrong doing. The independent USDA report confirms that the United Soybean Board farmer directors are performing their duties in a financially responsible manner in accordance with the federal law that created the soybean checkoff.

“USB directors and staff are encouraged by the OIG’s report,” said Philip Bradshaw, USB chairman and soybean farmer from Griggsville, Ill. “The report confirms that, as farmer-directors, we’re doing our jobs as financially responsibly as the federal law that created the soybean checkoff set out for us to do.  USB will continue to move forward in achieving profit opportunities for every U.S. soybean farmer.”

A survey of U.S. soybean farmers conducted in February showed that 75 percent of U.S. soybean farmers support the soybean checkoff.  … Continue reading

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Weekly crop report

In Ohio, 92% of the corn was silking as of July 25, up from 75% a week earlier and well ahead of the 70% five-year average, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fifteen percent of Ohio’s corn crop had reached the dough stage compared to the 4% average. Ohio corn was 61% in good or excellent condition, compared to 72% nationally.

Nearly 80% of Ohio soybeans were in bloom and 36% were setting pods, both slightly ahead of the five-year average. Sixty percent of Ohio soybeans were in good or excellent condition.… Continue reading

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Western bean cutworm egg masses and larvae found in Ohio

For the first time since the trapping of Western bean cutworm moths in corn began in 2006, Ohio State University Extension entomologists have identified egg masses and larvae. The find reveals that populations continue to increase and that growers will really need to monitor the pest in the future.

“The infestation of egg masses and larvae was light, but this just verifies that we won’t see this pest decreasing in the coming years and growers will really have to start scouting for it each season,” said Andy Michel, an OSU Extension entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Western bean cutworm is a common pest of Western corn-producing states that is rapidly expanding eastward and finding a niche throughout the Midwest. The number of adult moths trapped in Ohio each year has been steadily increasing.

In 2006, entomologists caught three moths in the traps. In 2007, six were caught.… Continue reading

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