Crops



Don’t forget the S

corn

Now that our corn is in the ground, it’s time to focus on the management and nutrition of our crop. Often times, when we consider what nutrients our corn needs between the V4 and V8 time frame, we think of nitrogen (N). Another nutrient that is essential to corn production, but is often forgotten or taken for granted is sulfur (S). When it comes to nutrition, a corn plant’s S needs rank only behind N, phosphorous (P), and potassium (K).

S is critical to ensuring balanced nutrition in our corn crop. In the plant, S helps ensure that the plants efficiently convert N into protein. While supplying an adequate amount of N alone is good, supplying it with an ample supply of S along with that N is essential for a high-performing, efficient crop that produces maximum yields. When I think about S in corn, I compare it to maintaining a balanced diet.… Continue reading

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Senate takes action on E15 fix

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is considering legislation that would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to gasoline blended with 15% ethanol (E15). The bill would allow retailers across the country to offer more biofuel choices to customers year-round.

The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act has 18 bipartisan sponsors and was introduced in March by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Thune (R-SD), and Joni Ernst (R-IA). Senate champions have sought to bring the bill to a vote in the next few weeks.

Earlier this year, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt also expressed his hope for a fix but acknowledged the need for greater certainty in the laws governing RVP.

“This is a simple and long-overdue fix that will improve air quality, lower prices at the pump, and level the playing field for homegrown biofuels,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “We’ve been working with champions in the House and Senate for three years to get this over the finish line so that local fuel retailers have the freedom to offer cleaner-burning, less expensive biofuel blends all year long.… Continue reading

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Herbicide considerations for replanted corn

Following recent and excessive precipitation, many corn producers are now scrambling to replant. While there are many agronomic considerations associated with replanting, University of Illinois weed scientist Aaron Hager said farmers should keep weed control/herbicide issues in mind.

“Herbicide-resistance traits in the replanted hybrids should be taken into account,” says Hager, an associate professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I. “For example, if you initially planted a glyphosate-resistant corn hybrid and have areas that need to be replanted, you can replant with a similar glyphosate-resistant hybrid or choose to replant with one that’s not glyphosate-resistant. If you take the second option, you will have to take special precautions to reduce drift with any postemergence glyphosate application, as these plants will be extremely sensitive to glyphosate.”

Hager said farmers should consider the interval between the last herbicide application and corn replanting.

“For soil-applied corn herbicides, replanting can proceed whenever field conditions are feasible,” he said.… Continue reading

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NCGA files comments on WOTUS review

The National Corn Growers Association filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on ethanol and the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulations, following President Trump’s executive order, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”
NCGA urged the EPA to use its authority to give drivers year-round access to higher blends of ethanol such as E15. EPA has previously issued a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for 10 percent ethanol blends. Providing E15 with the same waiver would lead to more choices at the pump and cleaner air.
NCGA also encouraged EPA to update its lifecycle analysis for corn-based ethanol. EPA last updated its lifecycle analysis in 2010, projecting that corn-based ethanol would produce 21 percent fewer GHG emissions when compared to gasoline by 2022. Other federal government agencies have issued updated GHG lifecycle analysis for ethanol based on actual corn and ethanol production experience. Most recently, USDA analysis released in 2017 shows corn-based ethanol results in 43 percent fewer GHG emissions when compared to gasoline.
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Optimum hay yields need optimum fertility

With the weather finally allowing hay harvest to get underway across Ohio, it’s also a good time to consider strategies for replacing the soil nutrients that are removed during harvest. Since hay is the basis for most Ohio winter beef cow rations, it’s common for cattlemen to occasionally pull soil samples from hay fields that don’t seem to be as productive as they once were. Often times they’re surprised to discover the fertility is low, especially in fields that have been in hay for some time.

It’s not uncommon to hear a farmer suggest they didn’t realize the mechanical harvest and removal of forages took with it a significant amount of soil nutrients. From there conversations sometime evolve into comments like, “But I always thought forages were good for the soil. Don’t we constantly hear that cover crops are good for soil health?” The response is simple — the plant material generated from a “cover crop” is seldom removed from the field, thus does not take with it the soil nutrients it utilized while growing.… Continue reading

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Marion POET to double capacity with expansion

POET Biorefining in Marion is undergoing an expansion to more than double its capacity from nearly 70 million gallons per year to 150 million gallons per year, improving the grain market for local farmers and adding new jobs to the community. With the expansion, high-protein animal feed production will also grow from 178,000 tons to approximately 360,000 tons annually.

“As more drivers choose E15 fuel across the country and biofuels demand increases, growth opportunities such as this and new technologies to lower fuel emissions will follow,” said Jeff Lautt, President of POET Biorefining. “POET is hopeful that, among other issues, summer limitations on 15% biofuel blends will be lifted so that consumers have greater access to clean, homegrown biofuels.”

With the increased production, corn purchases from area farmers will grow from the current 24 million bushels to approximately 50 million bushels annually, improving the grain market for farmers at a time when agriculture is facing challenging commodity prices, farm incomes and land values.… Continue reading

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IPM approach best for soybean aphids

About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the United States in 2017 — a record high, according to the USDA. Research published in the April 2017 issue of Pest Management Science indicates that many of these soybean growers will invest in neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments. The two-year, multi-state study revealed that, even during periods of infestation by the soybean aphid, the neonicotinoid treatment produced the same yields as using no insecticide at all.

The study was a joint effort of Purdue University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, the University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University, and the University of Wisconsin. The research was grower-funded, using soybean checkoff funds provided by the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP).

The neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam, which is applied as a coating to soybean seeds, provides a maximum of two weeks of protection against insect feeding. Aphids typically don’t reach damaging numbers until much later in the season, said Christian Krupke, an entomology professor and extension specialist at Purdue University and one of the researchers and authors of the study.… Continue reading

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Pests to watch for in 2017

One of the topics of discussion this winter at the corner table of the local coffee shop most certainly was the upcoming growing season and the expected higher than average insect populations due to the mild temperatures this winter. That topic of discussion paired with high armyworm and black cutworm moth captures from neighboring states should keep early season insect pressure at the forefront of growers’ minds this year. Insects that overwinter as adults such as bean leaf beetle, flea beetle, and stink bug will have the potential to have higher than normal populations early this spring. However, just because insect mortality was lower this winter does not mean there will be a problem this spring because populations may have been lower heading into winter. Nevertheless, lets look at some of the insects to keep an eye out for this spring.

Corn flea beetle that overwintered as adults are the vector for Stewart’s wilt that can cause seedling corn plants to tiller and yellow striping in the leaves.… Continue reading

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Emergence issues showing up after a wet start to May

The nearly ideal planting conditions followed by extensive rains statewide have led to some unusual crop emergence problems for corn and soybeans in Ohio.

Peter Thomison reported several instances of somewhat unusual corn emergence issues.

“Often the problems were associated with corn seedlings leafing out underground and it’s likely weather and seedbed conditions were responsible for the occurrence of the abnormal growth. Seedlings exhibiting abnormal emergence may have a twisted appearance because internal leaves start expanding before the seeding has elongated. ‘Corkscrewed’ mesocotyl/coleoptile development may occur when the coleoptile encounters resistance (like soil crusting or a dense soil surface) as the mesocotyl elongates. Several factors (or combination of factors) may be responsible for this abnormal growth. These factors may be characterized as environmental, chemical, or mechanical. Environmental conditions associated with underground leafing include light penetration, cold soils, or heavy rains soon after planting. When plants unfurl below the soil surface, they usually turn yellow and die,” Thomison wrote in a recent CORN Newsletter.… Continue reading

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Reminder about reporting dicamba non-performance or off target movement

One of the requirements for the registration of XtendiMAx, Engenia, and FeXapan is the investigation of any non-performance (ineffective control) by the respective companies, which then has to be reported to the U.S. EPA. The goal of this reporting is apparently to try to track the development of resistance as soon as it occurs in a few fields, which would then allow time to modify practices so that the rate of resistance in other fields is slowed.  We encourage growers and consultants to take the time to scout for non-performance, within 14 days after application according to information from labels. Problems with control can be reported to the three companies via online sites or toll-free numbers as follows, or directly to company representatives.

Monsanto (XtendiMax) – 1-844-RRXTEND

BASF (Engenia) – www.Non-Performance.BASF.US

DuPont (FeXapan) – 1-888-6-DUPONT

Problems with off-target movement from spray particle drift or vapor drift (volatility) can be reported to the three companies the same way.

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No need to switch hybrid maturities yet

In many areas of the Eastern Corn belt planting has been delayed due to wet spring weather. While some growers have been fortunate enough to plant most of their corn, others have not been able to get started or are considering the need to replant. With the continued planting delays some growers may begin to wonder if they should switch to earlier maturing hybrids.

When considering late-planted corn, it is important to keep in mind that hybrids can adjust the amount of Growing Degree Days required to reach maturity. In this C.O.R.N Newsletter Article, Ohio State’s Peter Thomison states: “In Ohio and Indiana, we’ve observed decreases in required heat units from planting to kernel black layer which average about 6.8 growing degree days (GDDs) per day of delayed planting. Therefore a hybrid rated at 2800 GDDs with normal planting dates (i.e. late April or early May) may require slightly less than 2600 GDDs when planted in late May or early June, i.e.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — May 15, 2017

Light rains hindered the drying of fields and saturated soil moisture levels were maintained from the previous week’s heavy showers. There were 1.7 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending May 14, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The spotty showers prevented producers from making significant progress on planting. Some producers were hoeing corn to help with emergence issues. Cold temperatures caused some frost damage for corn and soybeans. Some producers are concerned that replanting may be necessary. Despite the excess rain, wheat and oats are reported on average to be in good to excellent condition.

Corn planted made a 3% jump in the past week with corn emerged doubling over the last 7 days, nearly in line with the five year average.

Read the full report here.

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2017 Cab Cam: Crop Duster Edition

Though we’re used to seeing Cab Cams take place on the ground, in this edition, Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood hops in with crop duster Butch Fisher of Fisher Ag Service in Morrow County for a truly unique look at agriculture. Fisher is a legend in Ohio agricultural aviation with 30,000 logged hours as pilot. In this piece, Fisher is applying fungicide to wheat fields around the state with his Air Tractor 504 — a unique plane that can carry two passengers unlike most single-seater ag aircraft.… Continue reading

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New Ohio State leaders dedicate cutting edge ATI greenhouse

The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) officially dedicated its newest greenhouse addition this past week, noting the top-of-the-line features and opportunities it looks to offer students and researchers.

New and returning administrators, faculty, and all-around supporters of the Wooster campus turned out to welcome the long-awaited structure. Officials said it replaces hoop structures from a bygone era with features that keep ATI competitive in nursery management and other related majors.

“It’s so important for us to provide these experiences to our students because then they go into industry so they need to be working with these state-of-the-art facilities,” said newly installed ATI Director Kristina Boone. “In addition, we have a new landscape construction building as well. One of the other things we’ve launched is we have a new greenhouse engineering technologies program. We have also just recently launched a bio-based, bioenergy program that’s also a two-year program and that will be accepting students this fall.… Continue reading

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How that new hybrid came to be

Many growers see planting corn on their farm as the start of the season, but actually the seed they are about to plant has had a long and adventurous trip and planting is the end of its journey.

The latest greatest hybrid that you had to plant this year is not new but actually more than five years old and has had a long and interesting journey. All hybrids begin with an idea from a corn breeder wanting to cross two different inbred parents, male and female parents that are crossed together to make a hybrid. The inbred parents have shown some characteristics the corn breeder likes — yield, dry down, test weight, etc. — and when they are crossed the breeder believes they will make for a great hybrid.

The breeder begins with a few plants of both inbred parents planted close to one another. Then in the middle of the summer some research associate takes the pollen from the designated male plant in a paper bag and places that bag of pollen onto the ear shoot of the designated female plant, making the first cross of the new hybrid.… Continue reading

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Not bearish, neutral to friendly

Old corn ending stocks were 2.259 billion bushels, old soybean ending stocks were 435 million bushels, with old wheat ending stocks at 1.159 billion bushels. New crop corn ending stocks were 2.110 billion bushels, new crop soybean ending stocks were 480 million bushels, while new crop wheat ending stocks were 914 million bushels. The trade was somewhat surprised to see new crop soybean ending stocks at just 480 million bushels.

Overall, the trade is bearish new crop soybeans due to record production in Brazil along with 2017 US soybean acres at a record high. Evidently, two records make a bear in the traders’ mindset. 

Prior to the noon report corn was up 1 cent, soybeans were up 5 cents, with wheat down 2 cents. Shortly after the report corn was up 4 cents, soybeans up 5 cents, while wheat was up 1 cent.  Soybeans did reach 15 cents higher for the day within the first two minutes only to move off those highs.Continue reading

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Research seeking the stink bug’s natural enemies

When Celeste Welty unzips the white, nylon cage, none of the stink bugs inside move.

“They’re very tranquil,” she says.

Why wouldn’t they be?  Inside their cage, they enjoy spa-like conditions with all the sunflower seeds and nuts they can feed on, the warmth of the sunlight coming through the window beside them and a few house plants to make it feel like the outdoors, though they’re in a lab.

Young offspring clutch the walls of a separate cage inside what appears to be a refrigerator but instead is a warming chamber.

Such special treatment for the brown marmorated stink bug, which farmers despise and homeowners often flick out of the way when they discover them indoors during the cold months.

Thriving on a range of fruits and vegetables, the marmorated stink bug has damaged or destroyed enough crops in Ohio and across the United States to get the attention of entomologists nationwide.… Continue reading

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Management tips for flooded produce

Recent heavy rains across much of the state have resulted in widespread ponding and flooding in fields. This creates challenges for farmers growing produce for fresh consumption because of the potential for the introduction of contaminants into growing areas. With proper management, however, many of the risks introduced by flooding can be mitigated.

“Growers who have water-covered fields should first determine if it is the result of pooling or flooding,” said Scott Monroe, Purdue Extension food safety educator. “Pooled water, generally more common than flooding, accumulates in lower areas of the field or between rows, especially if raised beds are used. Flooding originates from an uncontrollable source such as a river or creek.”

Pooled water can cause damage to crops but generally carries less risk for microbial contamination than flood water, Monroe said. When dealing with pooled water, growers should consider whether or not the water is contacting the edible portion of the crop, how long the water was pooled, previous soil amendments, and whether or not the pooled water has resulted in increased wildlife activity in or near the affected area.… Continue reading

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Cold wet weather and seed viability concerns

The week starting April 24th saw a great deal of planting progress for both corn and soybeans. In some areas, planters were rolling up until Friday April 28th, when a period of cold, wet weather arrived. Some parts of the Eastern Corn Belt experienced 3 or more inches of rain in a short amount of time with temperatures that dropped into the 40s. Many growers have expressed concern about the viability of their seed after experiencing such adverse conditions.

In his article, Early-Planted Corn & Cold Weather, Purdue’s Bob Nielsen states “One of the risks that newly planted corn faces is that of imbibitional chilling injury due to cold soil temperatures during the initial 24 to 36 hours after seeding when the kernels imbibe water and begin the germination process. If the cell tissues of the kernel are too cold, they become less elastic and may rupture during the swelling process.… Continue reading

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