No-Till Conference highlights

There was plenty to discuss at yesterday’s Ohio No-Till Conference. Slugs have been a long-time problem in no-till and Kelley Timon discussed strategies for controlling them, including some initial research on the role of cover crops. Bill Haddad talked about the importance of managing weeds to prevent resistance problems from developing and a panel featuring Dave Brandt, Neil Badenhop and others addressed these and other issues. Jim Hoorman covered a broad swath of reasons for cover crop use and discussed how encouraging hawks and owls on the farm can be one of the best ways to control moles and voles. Les and Jerry Siler also talked about how they are tackling problems with cyst nematodes.

Here is more from some of the presenters:

Dale Minyo speaks with Dave Brandt on No Till, cover crops, and their combined value.

Dave Brandt Covers And No Till

Dale Minyo hears from Les and Jerry Siler on their operation history and their honor as No Till Farmers of the Year

Jerry And Les Seller No Till Farmers Of The YearContinue reading

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Dicamba and soybeans: What to expect in 2017

One barrier to weed control on soybean farms has just been lifted. In early November, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a label allowing use of the herbicide dicamba in dicamba-resistant soybean, although only one commercial product received that label. Many farmers anticipate this technology will provide a much-needed method to control weeds that are resistant to multiple herbicides, as well as other difficult-to-control species.

“Without question, there are instances and scenarios in which dicamba will improve control of certain weed species, but dicamba will not bring back the ‘good ol’ days’ of POST-only weed control programs in soybean. Current expectations of what this technology can accomplish tend to be a bit more optimistic than what the technology actually will be able to deliver,” said Aaron Hager, University of Illinois weed scientist.

Hager expects the technology will work well in a handful of scenarios. For example, dicamba should be effective for glyphosate-resistant horseweed (i.e.,… Continue reading

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The quest for the next best tree

With everything from cell phones to seed corn, it is natural for many businesses to continually seek out the next best thing. On Matt Mongin’s Greene County farm, this applies to Christmas trees too.

His quest started nearly 30 years ago. Mongin worked as an accountant at a firm in Cincinnati when he and his wife, Jane, decided to move their family to a farm. They purchased the 20-acre property and started planting Christmas trees in 1986.

“I was 40 and I was tired of being in the office all the time on a computer. I wanted to be outside and using my hands more, so we took this on. At the time it was a corn field and before that it had been a cattle pasture for 100 years,” Mongin said. “We knew we had a limited amount of money and we could only afford 20 acres. That, realistically, was all we could handle anyway.”… Continue reading

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Green stemmed soybeans slowed harvest

Yields were generally fantastic for Ohio soybeans in 2016, but green stems plagued farmers this fall, slowing harvest and wearing down equipment. Early varieties, late varieties, and everything in between — they all seemed to have green stems on farms statewide.

“The green stems were hard on the wear parts on the combine this year. We went through more knives and guards and chopper knives than I have ever seen in my life,” said Jeremy Goyings, who farms in Paulding County. “And I’d say I lost a mile or two an hour in ground speed because of the green stems, even though the beans were 11% moisture. We handled it OK, but it was a little bit of a struggle and a little slower than we were used to.”

Ohio State University Extension specialists heard plenty about the problems with green stems this year. So what was the cause?

“Similar observations were made in 2012 — another dry year.… Continue reading

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National Corn Growers Association welcomes court ruling on seed protection case

In a win for farmers’ rights to use proven-safe technology, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled last week that additional regulation of treated seeds would unnecessarily duplicate the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing science-based regulatory review.

The decision protects farmers’ ability to continue using seed treatment technology and maintains the EPA’s currently regulatory approach for treated seeds.

National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas, applauded the Court’s decision.

“At NCGA, we support regulations that are reasonable and based on sound science. These crop protection tools have already undergone a thorough regulatory review as required by law and have been established as safe and effective. Creating additional regulatory hoops for agriculture to jump through is unnecessary, and only hurts farmers. We are pleased that the Court upheld farmers’ access to this technology,” Spurlock said.

In the Anderson v. EPA ruling, the Court sided with EPA and an industry coalition of intervenors that included NCGA, CropLife America, American Seed Trade Association, Agricultural Retailers Association, American Soybean Association, National Cotton Council of America and the National Association of Wheat Growers.… Continue reading

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The ExtendiMax label for Xtend Soybeans

As everyone has probably heard by now, there is finally a federal label for the use of a dicamba product, XtendiMax, on dicamba-resistant (Xtend) soybeans, such as it may be. Here are some of the highlights from the label.

• The XtendiMax is based on dicamba DGA (Clarity), and the formulation contains “Vapor Grip” (imagine a deep voice with reverb), which reduces the volatility of the dicamba spray mix. It’s a 2.9-pound per gallon liquid, so 22 ounces provides 0.5-pound of dicamba, which is equivalent to 16 ounces of Clarity and other 4-pound per gallon dicamba products.

* Minimum application rate for any use is 22 ounces per acre. The maximum rate per application prior to soybean emergence is 44 ounces per acre, which is also the total maximum allowed for all applications prior to soybean emergence. The maximum rate per application after soybean emergence is 22 ounces per acre, and the total of all POST applications cannot exceed 44 ounces per acre.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council celebrates 2016, honors Stimpert

It was fitting that for its 25th anniversary, the Ohio Soybean Council’s 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Keith Stimpert, the former OSC executive director, who helped guide the organization through it’s inception. On this milestone anniversary, there is plenty to celebrate.

At the OSC banquet earlier this week, Stimpert recalled numerous stories from the early days of the organization, including some early work with bio-based fuels and products. Those early efforts created the foundation for amazing success through the years. Since the early 1990s, OSC has engaged in public and private collaborations that encourage rapid commercialization of new commercial and industrial uses of soybeans. In one example of this success over the last 25 years, this year marked the sixth and seventh prestigious R&D 100 Awards that OSC has received since 2007.

“With the checkoff, who would have guessed that soybeans would be in the things they are in now?… Continue reading

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Commodity Classic registration opening soon

Commodity Classic registration and housing reservations will open online at 10 a.m. CST on Wednesday morning, December 7, 2016. Rooms are expected to book quickly, so those interested should register and make reservations as soon as possible once registration is open.

The 2017 Commodity Classic will be held in San Antonio, Texas March 2-4, 2017, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.  The convention center will house all Commodity Classic events, including the Welcome Reception, General Session, Evening of Entertainment, Trade Show, Learning Center Sessions and What’s New Sessions.

All registration and housing reservations should be made online at  Experient is the official registration and housing provider for Commodity Classic.  In order to stay at an official Commodity Classic hotel, reservations must be made only through Experient to ensure favorable rates, reasonable terms and confirmed hotel rooms.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show, produced by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and Association of Equipment Manufacturers.… Continue reading

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Did corn fungicides pay in 2016?

As farmers around the state scouted their withering corn fields this summer, the application of fungicides seemed like a waste of money. Some are now second-guessing that decision.

“I should have done a whole lot more fungicides,” said Jeremy Goyings, who farms in Paulding County. “We didn’t want to throw more money at what looked like a 100-bushel corn crop at the time, but it turns out we should have. There were a lot of excellent results with fungicides in this area. It was a little variety specific and those varieties that were more disease susceptible saw more benefit. It drives home the point that we need to be pushing harder on the fungicides on the corn. I think there is money to be made with more blanket applications. There may be years that it does not have that kind of yield benefit, but there are years where it does pay and you don’t want to miss out on it.… Continue reading

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EPA releases RFS final numbers

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In a required annual rulemaking, this action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and for biomass-based diesel for 2018.

“Renewable fuel volumes continue to increase across the board compared to 2016 levels,” said Janet McCabe, the agency’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “These final standards will boost production, providing for ambitious yet achievable growth of biofuels in the transportation sector. By implementing the program enacted by Congress, we are expanding the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing our reliance on imported oil.”

Some key elements of the EPA’s action:

• Non-advanced or “conventional” renewable fuel increases in 2017, meeting the 15 billion-gallon congressional target for conventional fuels.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — November 28th, 2016

The final Ohio Crop Progress Report for 2016 was released on Monday.

Harvest is essentially completed, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.4 days available for fieldwork for the week ending November 27th . Winter wheat is in good condition. Warm temperatures this fall allowed the majority of produces to finish harvest and complete some tillage and spraying work for next season. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 3 percent of the State was rated as in “moderate drought” while another 45 percent was rated “abnormally dry”.

Click here to read the entire reportContinue reading

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Ohio State scientists part of honored corn-climate change project

A major project aimed at making corn production more resilient in the face of climate change, whose partners included scientists from The Ohio State University, was recently honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Called “Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation in Corn-Based Cropping Systems,” the research, education and outreach project received NIFA’s 2016 Partnership Award for multistate efforts during the institute’s annual Day of Appreciation on Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C.

Also called the “Sustainable Corn Project,” the five-year, $20 million NIFA-funded endeavor was started in 2011; was directed by Lois Wright Morton, professor of sociology at Iowa State University; and included teams from 10 land-grant universities and two USDA Agricultural Research Service laboratories in nine Midwestern states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

More resilient, sustainable corn production

An overarching goal of the project was to make corn-based cropping systems more resilient and sustainable and to develop a suite of practices for corn-based systems that:

  • Retain and enhance soil organic matter and nutrient and carbon stocks
  • Reduce off-field nitrogen losses that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution
  • Better withstand droughts and floods
  • Ensure productivity under different climatic conditions

The project engaged more than 150 cooperator farmers, who partnered with team scientists and educators to share their knowledge and learn from project research.… Continue reading

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When is it time to till a no-till field?

Tillage is a tool for managing many things that can go wrong on a given field. It breaks compaction (if done at the right soil moisture), improves drainage (again if done at the right soil moisture), and manages inoculum loads from residue borne insects and pathogens that impact corn, soybean, and wheat. Just like pesticides and fertilizers – too much tillage also can bring another set of problems, a compacted plow layer, but more importantly, soil erosion. With any agronomic practice, including tillage, there are benefits and drawbacks.

Below is a list of potential problems associated with no-till fields.

The Pathogens

High levels of disease from pathogens that survive on and in crop residue: This year in 2016, we have had outbreaks of a number of pathogens that cause ear molds and leaf blights on corn, leaf spots and seed rots on soybean. The likes of what we have not seen for some time.… Continue reading

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What to watch for in the bins

There are many reasons why on-farm grain storage is used by producers across Ohio. It may be part of the marketing strategy, feed storage for farm use, and/or income and tax management to complete grain sales before and/or after the new calendar year. Regardless of the reason, an essential requirement is to maintain quality grain during the storage period to preserve the grain for end usage and economic value. The 2016 harvest presented some grain quality challenges, especially for corn so it will be important to manage the grain during the next several months.

Two factors to consider related directly to the stored grain condition are the grain moisture content and the grain mass temperature. The general idea is the longer the grain is stored, the lower the grain moisture content. If corn was moldy at harvest, it should be dried to 13% regardless of the length of storage. Without mold, corn should be dried down to maximum of 15% moisture content if stored from harvest to Jan.… Continue reading

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USDA makes changes to improve the Prevented Planting Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced updated factors for prevented planting coverage that will strengthen the integrity of the federal crop insurance program. The updates were made to address the recommendations of a 2013 USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, and are supported by the data from a subsequent third-party study commissioned at the urging of the OIG. These improvements will ensure that the program continues to be a well-run program that provides a strong safety net for producers.

Prevented planting coverage provides producers protection if they are unable to plant an insured crop by the final planting date.  When adverse weather prevents planting, a prevented planting payment is made to compensate for the producer’s pre-planting costs generally incurred in preparation for planting the crop. These costs can include purchase of machinery, land rent, fertilizer, actions taken to ready the field, pesticide, labor, and repairs.… Continue reading

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New research could make ethanol production more efficient and economic

New research at the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus could significantly change ethanol production by lowering operating costs and simplifying the dry grind process.

“There are currently more than 200 dry grind plants that are processing corn to produce ethanol,” said Vijay Singh, director of IBRL and a professor in agricultural and biological engineering. “The dry grind process requires two different enzymes to convert corn starch to glucose, which is further fermented to ethanol by yeast.”

Singh says that process has been simplified by combined use and optimization of three new technologies.

“A new corn developed by transgenic technology, known as amylase corn, produces one of these enzymes in the grain itself, and a newly engineered ‘superior yeast’ provides the second enzyme, as well as fermenting the glucose.

“There is a high expression level of the first enzyme, α-amylase, in the new corn, so only a small amount [15% was tested in these studies] of this corn is required to be mixed with conventional dent corn,” Singh said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council announces annual meeting

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) will hold its annual meeting on Monday, November 28, 2016 at the Columbus Marriott Northwest in Dublin, Ohio. The meeting will begin at 3:00 p.m. and all Ohio soybean farmers are invited to attend.
The meeting will include a discussion of Ohio soybean checkoff investments, audit review and acceptance of new members of the OSC Board of Trustees.
For meeting information, contact OSC at 888-769-6446.
Continue reading

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Interpreting a soil test report

Soil test reports vary from laboratory to laboratory, but they all report key results of pH, lime test index (LTI) or buffer pH, phosphorous, and potassium. These results are used to develop fertilizer recommendations. Other useful measures on the report, such as cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic matter, and base saturation, can further define soil factors related to nutrient availability and holding capacity that should be considered as nutrient plans are developed. Desirable ranges to maximize crop production for each of the tests performed in a standard soil test are listed in Table 1. This table should serve as a general guideline to help determine if your soil is within the desirable range for each of the parameters tested. Thorough guidelines are given in “Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa.”


Soil pH and buffer pH

The level of active soil acidity is measured using soil pH.… Continue reading

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Big crops in 2016 pushing need to boost demand


The USDA weekly crop progress report of Nov. 7 had the U.S. corn harvest at 86% while the soybean harvest was 93% complete. Ohio was at a very similar pace that showed corn harvest at 81% with soybeans at 95% complete. The five-year average harvest pace for Ohio had corn harvest at 67% and soybean harvest at 85%. The fantastic harvest weather since early October had Ohio’s producers experiencing very few delays due to rain events. In fact, the weather has been pretty much one of a prolonged trend of normal to above normal temperatures with below normal rainfall. It allowed those producers planting wheat to get it sowed timely during the first two weeks of October. Then for many, rains followed within seven to 10 days, pushing wheat to a fantastic early start with fields a deep green, bringing smiles to producers. Unfortunately, with world wheat stocks at record levels, wheat prices are in the tank as they continue to trade at 10-year lows.… Continue reading

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New publication listing herbicide adjuvants now available from Purdue

The 2016 “Compendium of Herbicide Adjuvants” is available from Purdue Extension through Purdue’s The Education Store.

Now in its 13th edition, the publication lists 779 products from 38 companies. Each listing contains the product name, principal functioning agents, use rates, special comments and name of the manufacturer or distributor. The first edition, published in 1992, contained 76 listings from 22 companies.

An adjuvant is any substance added to an herbicide to increase its effectiveness or make it easier to apply. A combination of factors account for the popularity of herbicide adjuvants over the past several decades, said Bryan Young, professor of weed science and editor of the publication.

“Foliar herbicide applications continue to be a critical part of weed management and growers must optimize herbicide efficacy to minimize the risk of herbicide failure that favors the selection of herbicide-resistant weeds,” he said. “In addition, significant advancements and innovations in herbicide adjuvant chemistry have evolved that allow for the combination of multiple adjuvant chemistries into a single multi-functional product.”… Continue reading

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