Crops



Developing a strategy for precision soil sampling

There are many different tools and approaches available that, if used correctly, can help to improve your nutrient management (variable rate application, precision placement, crop sensing via NDVI, late-season application, nutrient BMPs, etc). However, selecting the correct tools and using them to your advantage is not always an easy process, since the best tool and the best approach can vary by farmer and field. The key to a successful soil fertility program is to identify your goals and develop a plan to meet those goals each season. Identifying both short and long term goals make it possible to develop a strategy to use precision technologies to systematically improve your soil fertility program. Some goals you may consider are:

1.     Improve mapping of field variation that affects soil fertility

2.     Maximize the economic return of fertilizer applications

3.     Reduce off-site movement of nutrients

 

Selecting A Soil Sampling Approach

One of the most important decisions that you will make as part of your fertility program is how to divide (the area within a field boundary) a field into representative areas and what the area represents yield soil type etc.… Continue reading

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Late season rains thwart disaster for many Ohio crop farms in 2016

Thank God for the rains in August — farmers in Ohio who have not done this yet, should consider doing so promptly. Those incredibly valuable rains in mid- to late-August were the thin thread saving many fields from a total yield disaster.

By early August nearly all of Ohio was suffering from varying degrees of hot and dry conditions. On the week ending Aug. 7, the growing degree day accumulation was well ahead of normal for nearly every location in Ohio monitored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, with locations in eastern Ohio leading the charge. New Philadelphia was plus 574 GDDs and Cambridge had a whopping 653 GDDs more than normal. As temperatures soared, rainfall really dropped off. The Aug. 7 NASS report reflected this trend clearly with nearly every Ohio location in a rainfall deficit compared to normal. Sydney was over nine inches of rain behind and Ashtabula was at 9.99 inches below normal, according to NASS.… Continue reading

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Ohio soybean farmers celebrate winning two 2016 R&D 100 Awards

Two technologies developed through Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff collaborations have won 2016 R&D 100 Awards. Both technologies, Soy-PK Resin and Bio-YIELD bioreactor, leverage the natural properties of soybeans to increase the sustainability and improve health in modern industries. Winners were announced late last week at the R&D 100 Awards Conference in Washington, D.C.

“I can’t fully express how honored we feel as an organization to win R&D 100 Awards for our research and development efforts,” said Nathan Eckel, OSC Research Committee chair and soybean farmer from Wood County. “Research and development for soy-based products has been a priority for our organization for decades and we are proud to see our technologies recognized both nationally and internationally.”

Since the early 1990s, OSC has engaged in public and private collaborations that encourage rapid commercialization of new commercial and industrial uses of soybeans. For over 50 years, the R&D 100 Awards — dubbed the “Oscars of Invention” — is the place where the research and development community come together each year to recognize the top technology innovations around the world.… Continue reading

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Green stems still a problem in soybeans

In many areas of the eastern Corn Belt, soybean growers had difficulties this harvest due to Green stem syndrome. When green stem syndrome occurs, stems and leaves can remain green after pods have matured. As a result, while pods and seeds are mature and dry enough to be harvested, harvest operations can be slowed as combines work to “chew” though green stems and leaves. In addition to creating harvest delays, green stem syndrome can increase fuel consumption and result in shattering losses if growers delay harvest until stems have fully matured.

The occurrence of green stems varies from year-to-year and can be affected by several factors, such as:

• Viral infections

• Insect feeding

• Late planting

• Drought stress

• Application of fungicides

Successful management of green stem syndrome requires management practices that include timely planting, establishing adequate plant stands, irrigation, and controlling insects/pests. Although green stem syndrome slows down harvest, soybeans should be harvested as soon as pods are fully mature in order to minimize harvest losses due to shattering.… Continue reading

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Grower organizations encourage manufacturers to implement AgGateway’s ADAPT for precision ag

A dozen leading U.S. grower organizations are hailing the collaborative efforts that led to the new AgGateway ADAPT framework for interoperability in precision ag systems – citing the many benefits to farmers, and are calling on Farm Management Information System (FMIS) companies to formally commit to integrating the ADAPT framework into their systems in the near future.

The support was expressed in a letter this month to AgGateway Chairman David Black from the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, National Sunflower Association, U.S. Canola Association, U.S. Dry Bean Council, and USA Rice.

“Over the last decade, the most consistent concern raised by farmers using precision ag is that ‘different systems won’t work together,'” the letter states. “The farm and commodity groups are pleased that AgGateway member companies worked collectively to solve this problem by creating ADAPT….… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — November 7th, 2016

Rain slowed down some of the farming activities but warm sunny days afterwards made harvest and some tillage possible, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.7 days available for fieldwork for the week ending November 6th. Corn harvest is progressing but many fields remain with high grain moisture levels. Fields with mold and re-sprouting issues continued to be observed. Some soybean growers are looking for frosts to help with soft ground and green stems. Winter Wheat seedings are almost complete and condition is rated at 84 percent good to excellent, compared to 65 percent last year, when topsoil moisture shortages were more of a factor. Moisture levels of grain harvested over the week averaged 18 percent for corn and 12 percent for soybeans.

Click here for the full reportContinue reading

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The election and the grain markets

After 18 months of build up that included rallies, debates and excessive political advertising, Election Day is finally near. Many were eyeing the polls through all of the rhetoric, accusations and spin, but after a new President is elected, on lookers will still have something to watch — the markets.

“I’ve been doing this since 1995 and I have never seen two candidates that wanted to take such a hard look at trade policy,” said Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics. “I don’t think the dollar and currency markets are going to like that very much no matter the outcome at the polls.”

After months of not messing with interest rates, the Federal Reserve will have a decision to make under a new administration.

“Based on who wins, traders are wondering if the Federal Reserve will feel compelled and even pressured to keep quantitative easing in place and keep the dollar and deflation elevation as a result,” Zuzolo said.… Continue reading

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Process turns wheat flour into CO2-capturing micropores

Researchers have shown how a process for the “carbonization” of wheat flour creates numerous tiny pores that capture carbon dioxide, representing a potential renewable technology to reduce the industrial emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

“With increasing carbon dioxide emissions, global warming is accelerating, accompanied by abnormal climate changes,” said Vilas Pol, an associate professor in Purdue University’s School of Chemical Engineering and the School of Materials Engineering. “It is imperative to develop efficient methods for capturing carbon dioxide.”

Purdue researchers developed a process that creates carbon compartments from wheat flour. Collaborating with researchers at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, they studied carbon dioxide capture in these unique carbon compartments. The chemical compound potassium hydroxide was used to “activate” — or generate many small pores — in the wheat flour inside a furnace at 700 degrees Celsius.

The carbon dioxide is “adsorbed,” or bound to the material’s surface inside the micropores.… Continue reading

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It takes many steps to find the right rate

Galen Koepke farms in Ottawa County on the banks of the Portage River just a few miles from Lake Erie.

A television crew was at Koepke’s farm within a few hours after the news broke after the Toledo water crisis in 2014. Since then, all agriculture in the watershed has been the subject of great water quality scrutiny, but Koepke is under a microscope.

In many ways, though, Koepke welcomes the attention because he knows he is doing things right according to the 4Rs with his farming practices. This has not always been easy, however, particularly for one 34-acre field that borders the Portage River. For many years, he had farmed and carefully managed the 20-acre field and then around 20 years ago he purchased a neighboring 14-acre field and combined them.

“On that 14 acres they had two large layer operations with a total of around 100,000 chickens and they had spread all the manure on that field for many years.… Continue reading

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Agriculture still watching (and waiting for) WRDA

New research by the University of Tennessee quantifies what many in agriculture have known for years; failure of our aging river locks and dams along the Mississippi River and its tributaries would be ruinous with billions of dollars in lost jobs and reduced economic activity.

Recently, USDA released estimates of the economic implications to the agriculture sector should a disruption occur at either Lock & Dam 25 on the Upper Mississippi or La Grange Lock & Dam on the Illinois River waterway. The locations were selected because they are representative of the lock system as a whole but also because they occupy key locations on the river system.

“These are both 600 foot locks even though modern tows are 1,200 feet-long. They are also at the lower reaches of the waterways,” said Ken Hartman, chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Market Access Action Team. “The southbound traffic here already contributes to long delays because of the lock size.… Continue reading

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Ohio corn testing positive for vomitoxin

An increasing number of reports are coming in of corn testing positive for vomitoxin, with levels as high as six to 10 parts per million in some cases. Some of these numbers are taking producers by surprise.

Although the weather has been favorable for ear rot development, and consequently, grain contamination with vomitoxin, test results could be misleading in some cases, and may even be incorrect. Since there is not much that can be done about grain contaminated with mycotoxins, you should at least check to make sure that you got a fair test. Get a second opinion if needed.

There are several things about the mycotoxin testing process that could lead to inaccurate results, including how samples are drawn and handled. Remember, the number of ears infected within a field and the number of kernels infected on a given ear are highly variable. As a result, moldy grain and vomitoxin levels vary considerably within the grain lot.… Continue reading

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Soybeans, China, and the rest of the world: Changing of the guard?

Strong import demand is largely credited with soybean’s relatively high current price, especially in the face of a U.S. soybean yield that currently is a record by 3.4 bushels per acre. China remains the largest source of growth in world soybean imports measured in bushels, but its projected growth rate for the 2016 crop year is smaller than the growth rate for the rest of the world. If this projection holds, it will be the first time China has not had a higher growth rate since it became a continuous soybean importer in the mid-1990s.

This study begins with the 1995 crop year and ends with the current projections for the 2016 crop year. Since 1995, China has been a net importer of soybeans.

 

Perspective

Over the past 20 years, China’s annual imports of soybeans exploded from essentially zero to 3.2 billion bushels currently projected for the 2016 crop year.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — October 31st, 2016

Soybean Harvest Slowly Wrapping Up

Rains were relatively light but the effects of a wet fall persisted, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5 days available for fieldwork for the week ending October 30. Light showers kept harvest of corn and soybeans to a slow pace. Green stalks along with muddy fields were the main obstacles to finishing soybean harvest. Some frosts were noted, but more will be needed to firm up the ground and kill stalks. Cover crops and wheat benefited from the elevation in temperature and soil moisture. Moisture levels of grain harvested over the week averaged 19 percent for corn and 13 percent for soybeans.

Click here to read the full reportContinue reading

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Autumn observations of 2016 crops

We are just compiling the Extension fall soybean weed surveys; it is bad again with marestail and giant ragweed leading. The big news this year is that resistant marestail is statewide — the whole state now looks like the southwest has for the past 10 years. OSU Weed Specialist Mark Loux says to better manage resistant marestail:

  • Do spray a fall treatment for next years no-till soybeans.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t bother with a residual in the fall, save those dollars for the spring application.
  • Timing that generally works well is late October into early November. Although I like to wait until after we have had a rain to settle the corn stalks and spruce up the weeds a little.

Fall soybean insects

They are getting worse. Maybe it was the dry fall or the wet August, or just a shift in insects but as I was harvesting I saw more seed damage than I have ever seen before.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council Foundation announces scholarships

The Ohio Soybean Council Foundation (OSCF) is pleased to announce scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The scholarship program encourages undergraduate and graduate students at Ohio colleges and universities to pursue degrees in one of the many academic fields that support the future of the soybean industry including agriculture, business, communication, economics, education, engineering, science and technology.

“In order to ensure the future prosperity of the U.S. soybean industry, it is important that students understand the wide variety of opportunities available in agricultural careers,” said Bill Bateson, OSCF scholarship selection committee member and soybean farmer from Hancock County. “The agriculture workforce hires the best of the best and we want to support those who have an interest in starting careers in agriculture after graduation.”

The 2017-2018 academic year also marks the 10th anniversary for the OSCF scholarship program. Since 2008, the OSCF scholarship program has awarded $266,000 in scholarship funds to 65 students studying agriculture or a related field at Ohio colleges or universities.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s specialty crops had a great 2016

Ohio is home to a myriad of specialty crops, each having their own peculiarities with regard to the optimum weather and growing conditions.

Brad Bergefurd is an Extension educator specializing in agriculture and horticulture. He works with a wide array of Ohio’s specialty crops. As a result, he always has an interesting take on the growing season. Here are some of his thoughts about 2016 as the growing season comes to its conclusion.

“We’ve had some of the best yields in strawberries and asparagus. We did have a few late-season frost events in certain pockets in Ohio last spring, but even folks who got some of that damage still had pretty good strawberry yields overall both with matted and plasticulture. There was one picking of asparagus where there was damage and it had to be mowed. Then, rolling into the planting season, things were a little delayed because we were so wet early on.… Continue reading

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Fall tillage? Is it necessary?

It’s dry and we harvested early, so we have time to kill — and diesel is cheap. Sjoerd Duiker, soil management specialist at Penn State, is a graduate of OSU’s School of Environment and Natural Resources and works just next door. A year ago he supplied us with these remarks on when and why to do fall tillage, it bears repeating.

  • When compaction has been caused, remedial action may be needed. This is especially the case if ruts have been created. If no ruts are seen it is probably not needed to do tillage — instead plant a cover crop to use the living root system to alleviate compaction.
  • Ruts need to be smoothened out to be able to plant the next crop successfully, however. If ruts are uniformly distributed across the whole field, some type of tillage may need to be done on the whole field. In many cases, however, ruts are localized and only need localized repair.
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Are modern genetics worth the money?

At summer field days and then at Farm Science Review, I had the opportunity to talk with growers about crop prices and how they plan to cut back on costs for 2017. One topic that came up several times was to change their genetics to cheaper hybrids or companies. This thought somewhat concerns me.

I have conducted a number of trials and comparisons over the years and generally have learned that new is better when it comes to choosing a hybrid or variety for yield. One such comparison I have been making over recent years is of a modern hybrid to open pollinated corn varieties. I know this is an extreme comparison but I do actually have some folks tell me they are looking for a modern open pollinated variety so they can produce their own seed. For 2016, I compared a modern hybrid, a modern open pollinated variety and an older open pollinated variety.… Continue reading

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Stink bug damage in soybeans

Stink bug damage is becoming a greater concern in Eastern Corn Belt soybean fields, especially with the presence of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), a species that has moved into our sales footprint in recent years. While other stink bugs cause damage, the BMSB is of special concern because it is an invasive species from Asia that was introduced into the United States within the last 15 years.

First discovered in Pennsylvania in 2001, the BMSB has continued to move west. Over the last few years, university experts and company agronomists have heard more reports of stink bug damage to soybeans. Pictured left is damage that was found by Seed Consultant’s seedsmen. Growers scouting their soybean fields around harvest time may have seen some pods that were shriveled and/or soybean seed that was very small or appeared to be missing. This damage may have been a result of stink bug feeding.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — October 24th, 2016

The harvest of corn and soybeans, as well as the planting of wheat and cover crops progressed until rains moved in mid-week, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 4.1 days available for fieldwork for the week ending October 23rd . Temperatures remained well above average and helped with wheat emergence and the revival of hay fields and pastures. Growers switched between corn and soybean harvest to deal with variable crop and field conditions. Green soybean stems continue to be an obstacle for some. Mold and kernel sprouting in corn was observed in some areas. Ear droppage has also been noted. Moisture levels of grain harvested over the week averaged 18 percent for corn and 12 percent for soybeans.

Click here to see the entire Crop Progress ReportContinue reading

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