Crops



International soybean export success, record crops and record exports

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

In 2021, soybean exports from the United States set new records.

“It is wonderful to see people around the world recognizing the value and reliability of U.S. Soy,” said Jim Sutter, U.S. Soybean Export Council CEO. “We experienced very good global demand, and we had a record year last year for both soybean production and soy exports. This is exciting because we had a wide range of countries purchasing our soybeans. They did not all go to just one or two countries.”

Geographically, export growth is widely distributed around the globe, but China does play a large role.

“The distribution is spread out around the globe,” Sutter said. “China is a significant part of our exports, but people need to remember that China is a huge factor in the global soybean market. Of all the soybeans that leave one country and go to another, so of international trade, 60% end up in China.

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Set-up soybeans for success in 2022

By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-09

For soybean, pre-planting decisions are extremely important to set-up the crop for success. Soybean Extension Specialists from across the U.S. have been working together on the Science for Success initiative (funded by United Soybean Board) focused on leveraging local expertise to provide national soybean best management practices. Recently, we’ve focused on soybean planting date, row spacing, and seeding rate.

Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean Specialist

Soybean planting date

Soybean planting date has a large effect on yield. In Ohio, yield reduction as a result of late planting ranges from 0.25 to 1.0 bushel per acre per day. In our small plot research in Clark County, Ohio, soybean yield reduction in 2013 and 2014 was approximately 0.6 bushel per acre per day for each day planted after early to mid-May. Although early planting is important to maximize soybean yield, deciding on when to plant should be based on field suitability and soil temperatures at the time of, and following, planting as well as frost forecast.

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Policy highlights from Commodity Classic

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

Corn, soybean, wheat, and sorghum farmers from around the nation were excited to gather again for the Commodity Classic, held in New Orleans this year. Nearly 8,000 attendees — farmers as well as exhibitors, industry stakeholders and members of the media — met in March for the return to an in-person Commodity Classic for 2022.

“The biggest part of what we are doing down there is trying to set policy for the next year that we want the American Soybean Association to lobby for in D.C.,” said Pat Knouff, the Ohio Soybean Association president from Minster. “We are getting closer to a new farm bill so we talked quite a bit about Title I farm safety net programs. We’d like to see better staffing at these county offices. There are a lot of open positions right now. We are trying to push forward with that to help with signups with farm programs in the future.… Continue reading

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Biden announces plan for E15 summer sales

By Dusty Sonnenberg and Matt Reese

President Joe Biden announced that the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to allow E15 gasoline to be sold this summer as part of a broader plan to address soaring fuel costs. 

The measures announced include:

  • To make E15 available in the summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to issue a national, emergency waiver. Without this action, E15 cannot be used in most of the country from June 1 to Sept. 15, and the EPA plans to take final action to issue the emergency waiver closer to June 1. E15 is currently offered at 2,300 gas stations in the country.
  • An emergency waiver can help increase fuel supplies, give consumers more choice to get lower prices, and provide savings to many families. At current prices, E15 can save a family 10 cents per gallon of gas on average, and many stores sell E15 at an even greater discount.
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Status of herbicide resistance in Ohio waterhemp populations

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

We have been screening waterhemp populations over the past few years for their response to various herbicide sites of action. Our overall goal is to get a sense of the types of resistance that have developed or may be developing, so that growers and agronomists know what they should be looking for. We summarized some of this in a fairly lengthy C.O.R.N. article last year. We recommend that readers also view the Take action video, “Why care about metabolic herbicide resistance” by Pat Tranel, University of Illinois. One of the discussion points in this video is that metabolic resistance is likely to be extremely variable, resulting in waterhemp with resistance to anywhere from one to 5 sites of action, and any combination of these. This is in addition to the target-site based resistance to glyphosate, group 2, and group 14 that already exists in most populations.… Continue reading

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Cool wet weather keeps planters in the shed

Cold temperatures and wet conditions limited pasture growth and hindered fieldwork, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 57 percent adequate and 43 percent surplus. Temperatures for the week ending April 10 averaged 0.6 degrees below historical normals and the state received 0.84 inches of precipitation. There were 1.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 10.

Limited field activities included installing drainage tile and applying fertilizer as conditions allowed. While lambing and calving reports indicated no major issues, some livestock challenges were reported due to the variable weather conditions. Oats were 11 percent planted compared to 36 percent last year. Winter wheat jointing was 6 percent while the winter wheat crop was rated 62 percent good to excellent condition.

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Spring field day on the Brandt farm

By Randall Reeder, Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

The David Brandt Farm in Fairfield County hosted a field day on Friday covering the details of the broad topic of soil health. As usual, Brandt lined up an outstanding program, including Ray Archuleta and Rick Clark.   

The program started with Archuleta discussing “How to Start Regenerative Ag and Improve Soil Health.” This included demonstrations of the Slake Test and two other tests that show how good soils, without tillage, have substantial macropores and resist breaking up. 

Archuleta is retired from NRCS as a soil health specialist and world-renowned soil scientist. He has many presentations on YouTube. He starts with the basics, “Plants need two things: sun and water. The water has to infiltrate. It should infiltrate where it lands to be of value and not run off. Cover crops are essential to capture sunlight more than just the 4 months the cash crop is growing.… Continue reading

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Planter tech update ahead of planting

A conversation with…

John Fulton, with Ohio State University Extension and Bill Lehmkuhl of Precision Agri Services, Inc. about planter technology

OCJ: What parts are going to be an issue this spring for planting equipment?

Bill: The supply chain issues are there. You need to be aware and keep spare parts on the shelf for sure. Unfortunately, those who have waited to the last minute to drag their planter out and update technology planter wide, they’re going to have to wait until next year. Even the little stuff, the wear parts, they are going to need some iron in the shelf as a backup. We have seen some issues with things like seed disk openers. With all of our technology, we can easily defeat it all with a poorly maintained planter.

John: It seems like most everyone is ready to go. It has been an interesting winter with the supply chain challenges we’ve seen.… Continue reading

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New herbicides

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Glyphosate has been the top herbicide used in the USA since the 1990s when glyphosate resistant genes (genetically modified) were inserted into crops. Each year, farmers lose about $33 billion dollars in crop losses due to weeds. Over time, 514 unique weeds have developed resistance to 167 different herbicides in 94 crops in 71 countries. Conventional synthetic herbicides is a $27 billion dollar market in the USA. However, 41 countries and 25 states have either banned or restricted the use of glyphosate products.

The introduction of safer, new bio-herbicides using natural plant extracts is a distinct advantage for farmers, for consumers, and for the environment. These biocide herbicides offer new sites and modes of action to reduce weed resistance and can be used in organic and conventional agricultural fields. The worldwide bio-pesticide market is expected to reach $10.63 billion dollars by 2027. Government regulations, environmental risks to pollution, and consumer demand for organic produce are pushing manufacturers to invest in bio-research for these new products.… Continue reading

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EPA removes Ohio’s Enlist herbicide prohibitions

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

When the U.S. EPA approved the seven-year renewal registration for Corteva’s Enlist One and Enlist Duo on January 12, 2022, it also prohibited use of the herbicide in 217 counties across the country. Twelve Ohio counties were on that list, preventing farmers in Athens, Butler, Fairfield, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hocking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Vinton, and Washington counties from using the herbicides. Welcome news for those farmers came on Tuesday, when the EPA announced that it is removing the restricted use for all Ohio counties.

The prohibition against using Enlist Duo’s use was because Corteva did not propose its use in all U.S. counties in the reregistration, many of which had endangered species and critical habitat that could be impacted by the herbicides. The 12 Ohio counties that were not submitted for use by Corteva are home to the American Burying Beetle, which is on the Endangered Species list.… Continue reading

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New sprayer Extension factsheets for orchards and vineyards

By Erdal Ozkan

A new factsheet series from Ohio State University Extension is now available online. The series includes seven factsheets each covering a specific topic associated with effective and efficient spraying in orchards and vineyards. The topics include best practices for effective spraying, selecting the right type and size of nozzles, strategies to minimize spray drift, strategies to maximize pesticide deposit and coverage on target, calibration and adjustment of sprayers, new developments in spraying equipment, and overall best practices for effective and efficient spraying in orchards and vineyards. A list of all seven factsheets with links to find them online is provided below.

This series of Fact Sheets is the most complete collection of all the essential aspects of spraying in vineyards and orchards. For example, Sprayers for Effective Pesticide Application in Orchards and Vineyards (FABE-533) provides details, with 41 photographs, about a variety of sprayers that are used to spray fruit crops.… Continue reading

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Temperatures below average as Ohio Crop Progress reports begin

The 2022 growing season began with slightly cooler and drier conditions than the start of last year’s growing season, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent very short, 1 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and 37 percent surplus. Temperatures for the week ending April 3 averaged 7.8 degrees below historical normals and the State received 0.25 inches of precipitation. There were 1.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 3.

To start the season, producers top dressed wheat and spread lime. Cattle were doing well while some goats and sheep were being kept off pastures due to weather conditions and temperatures. Oats were 3 percent planted compared to 8 percent last year. Winter wheat jointing was 2 percent while the winter wheat crop was rated 54 percent good to excellent condition.

This is the first weekly crop and weather report for the 2022 season.… Continue reading

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Five generations strong

By Matt Reese

Several years ago an unusual, foreign looking mail crate showed up at Jon Everett’s Shelby County home. He wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. 

“I said, ‘What the heck is this?’”

A package like this obviously seemed a bit suspicious, unsettling even. Jon was pretty sure, though, it had something to do with his son, Joe, who was travelling the world in the Navy at the time. As it turned out, Jon was correct.

“I was in Dubai, Bahrain, Singapore, and other places. While I was in the Navy we would get off the ship every 30 to 45 days to decompress. We could go out in the cities and experience their culture,” Joe said. “I was the ship’s sailor of the year and earned extra liberty time, so I went on a desert safari and thought, ‘This guy from Ohio is never going to get the chance to ride a camel,’ so I did.… Continue reading

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Advocates pushing biofuels with the White House

America’s top biofuel and farm advocates urged President Biden to swiftly expand access to plentiful, lower-cost biofuels after the White House announced a far more narrow set of proposalsto address skyrocketing fuel costs. Specifically, renewable energy advocates reiterated their call for the White House to swiftly allow for the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15), a lower-cost fuel option that could vanish from many markets on June 1 under seasonal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) restrictions.

The following joint statement was issued by the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association: “The White House is actively considering an E15 fix to deliver relief at the pump, but today’s announcement made no mention of homegrown fuels. It was just another stop-gap release of oil reserves and a promise of more mineral extraction down the road. The clock is ticking, and failure to protect E15 from summer fuel restrictions threatens to take away a popular, money-saving option at the pump in 30 states.… Continue reading

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Wheat stand evaluation

By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

Between planting in the fall and Feekes 4 growth stage (beginning of erect growth) in the spring, winter wheat is vulnerable to environmental stress such as saturated soils and freeze-thaw cycles that cause soil heaving. All of which may lead to substantial stand reduction, and consequently, low grain yield. This year, many areas of Ohio have been wet and wheat plants look poor. However, a stand that looks thin in the spring does not always correspond to low grain yield. Rather than relying on a visual assessment only, we suggest counting the number of wheat stems to help estimate wheat grain yield.

Wheat stem count method 

Wheat stems (main stem plus tillers) should be counted at Feekes 5 growth stage (leaf sheaths strongly erect) from one linear foot of row from several areas within a field. In Ohio, Feekes 5 growth stage is generally early to mid-April, depending on the weather and location within the state.… Continue reading

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USB adding value to soybeans

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Farmer-leaders of the United Soybean Board (USB) announced a new strategic plan earlier this year that prioritizes sustainable soy solutions for global and domestic customers while ensuring value and profitability for U.S. soybean farmers. 

The seating of the new Chair and Executive Committee at its December meeting included appointments of the Supply and Demand Action Team leads, Priority Area coordinators and Communication & Education Committee chair, among other key roles within the organization.

“We take checkoff dollars to create value for the U.S. soybean and we invest that in research, education and, of course, promotion,” said Steve Reinhard, United Soybean Board treasurer and board member who farms in Crawford County. “Every dollar invested is returning $12.34 back according to a Cornell study. We are trying to be very targeted and strategic in the investments we make.” 

The USB Strategic Plan will guide checkoff investments in research, education and promotion across three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology.… Continue reading

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Time to assess forge stands

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

With the onset of recent warm temperatures, forage stands are beginning to green up. Wet soil conditions and widely fluctuating temperatures have presented tough conditions for forage stands this winter. This is especially true of taprooted legumes like alfalfa and red clover. Many forage stands suffered significant fall armyworm feeding damage late last summer and into the fall, so those stands should be carefully evaluated this spring as they greenup. It is time to start walking forage stands (especially in southern and central Ohio) to assess their condition so decisions and adjustments for the 2022 growing season can be planned if necessary.

Forage stand evaluation can be performed when 3 to 4 inches of new shoot growth is present. Select random sites throughout the field and count the plants in a one-foot square area.  Check at least 4 to 5 random sites in each 20- to 25-acre area.… Continue reading

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EPA allows Enlist products in 134 previously banned counties for the 2022 growing season

Following the thorough review of a proposed label amendment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of Enlist One and Enlist Duo in 134 additional counties, providing growers with additional weed management options for the 2022 growing season. 

Enlist One and Enlist Duo, two herbicides used to control weeds in conventional and genetically-modified corn, cotton, and soybean crops, can now be used in all counties of Ohio, including the 12 counties in which previously banned. Other states with previous county bans are Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. In Texas, Enlist products can now be used in Bowie, Cooke, Fannin, Grayson, Lamar, and Red River counties. Read page 16 of the new Enlist One label and page 16 of the new Enlist Duo label to see which counties remain prohibited.

In January 2022, EPA issued seven-year registrations for these Enlist products. At that time, Enlist One and Enlist Duo were not approved for use in all counties of the United States.… Continue reading

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Managing for a high yielding 2022

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

With spring planting right around the corner, it is a good time to discuss key management practices and the impact they have on the growing season. You may have heard that the crop starts the season in the bag with its highest yield potential. That yield potential can be lost due to several factors throughout the season. While many factors leading to yield loss are out of our control (drought, disease development, insect pressure, etc.), it is important to properly manage the factors that can be controlled.  

Matt Hutcheson, product manager for Seed Consultants, Inc., talks to customers at a field day.

With the presence of herbicide-resistance weeds and the growing number of herbicide trait options, it is increasingly important for farmers to be well informed and meticulous in their weed control decisions. Knowing what weeds are present and which herbicides most effectively control them is a must.… Continue reading

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Reducing off-target pesticide movement

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

Simply put, one of the primary goals of a spray applicator is to get the product on the target. While this sounds relatively straight forward, there are a number of factors that come into play. According to Erdal Ozkan, Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University, factors that significantly influence the off-target movement of pesticides include wind velocity and direction, spray droplet size and density, and the distance between the spray tip and the target. Other factors include the velocity and direction of the spray droplet, volatility of the product being sprayed, air temperature, relative humidity, and turbulence. At the end of the day, if the product does not reach the target, the pesticide application will not be effective, and there may even be a situation of off-target pesticide movement that can injure adjacent crops or landscape plants.

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