Crops



Nitrogen management and the complexities of the 4Rs

With the arrival of the 2016 growing season comes questions about how to best manage nitrogen (N). This annually vexing problem never seems to get any easier because there are so many moving parts to the complex decisions regarding the 4Rs (Right place, Right time, Right rate, Right source) and N.

“I think we sometimes overlook that this is a very complicated system. The performance objective of N management is really important to consider. Is the goal to maximize yield, maximize economic return or minimize environmental loss? Sometimes these things do not go hand in hand,” said Josh McGrath, soil extension specialist with the University of Kentucky. “Sometimes we want to put out a positive story that if we minimize environmental loss, we also maximize economic return. That is not always the case. Sometimes you have to pick one as more important than the other. When you are at the economic optimum, your N losses might be higher than if you are taking an economic loss.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers headed to Brazil

On March 11, a group of Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association members will embark on a 12-day market study mission of Brazil, a major U.S.  competitor of international agricultural sales. The purpose of this mission is to gain a better understanding of Brazil’s role in the worldwide market of agriculture.

“Our mission to Brazil is really about the piles of corn we have in the United States. We need to understand our competition in order to compete with them. We hope to dispel myths. A lot of folks feel like they are not as tech savvy as they really are in Brazil. This also provides the opportunity to get our growers to set foot on their farms and realize the obstacles they face down there,” said John Linder, an OCWGA member on the National Corn Growers Association’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “We look forward to talking with those farmers and we will get to talk to some people in the industry who make feed and other things like that.… Continue reading

Read More »

VanTilburg named 2016 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year

Matthew VanTilburg of Celina has been named the 2016 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year by the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Board, and will receive a cash award of $1,500, provided by the Ohio Association of Independent Crop Consultants. He is owner and sales manager at VanTilburg Farms, Inc.

The award recognizes individuals who are highly motivated, deliver exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production, and have contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio.

VanTilburg uses his 22 years of crop advising experience to provide services in nutrient management planning, weed management recommendations, soil sampling, scouting, seed recommendations, variable rate planning, harvest data management, cover crops and more.

He is active in his community, serving on his local 4-H advisory committee, Pheasants Forever, Wright State Lake Campus Ag Advisory Committee and the Ohio No-Till Council, among others.… Continue reading

Read More »

Crop insurance application deadline nearing

Farmers should take special note of crop insurance this year because it could provide them with a much-needed safety net at a time of low commodity prices and continuing market uncertainty, a Purdue Extension agricultural economist says.

Farmers have until March 15 to apply for federal crop insurance or to make changes to current policies.

“Choosing the right coverage is more important now than it has been in the past few years because producers simply cannot afford increased downside risk,” Michael Langemeier said. “A variety of options are available.”

The federal crop insurance program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, is intended to protect farmers from catastrophic yield or revenue losses. The program was expanded in the 2014 farm bill to replace many direct-subsidy payments.

One new coverage option is the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program, known as the WFRP. It was introduced as a pilot program in 45 states last year but will be available throughout the country for the first time in 2016.… Continue reading

Read More »

Although Vermont is small, its GMO labeling law will have a big impact

Legislation that would establish a uniform standard for labeling on GMOs for food throughout the country has made it out of the Senate Agriculture Committee with bipartisan support and is now set to be introduced to the Senate floor.

There is a bit of urgency in getting this bill through before July 1, when a state Law in Vermont to label all food products containing GMO ingredients will be put in place.

“Vermont’s law was intended to reshape the U.S. food supply, it was not targeted to just affecting one state,” said John Bode, President and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association. “It applies to the manufacturers of food and not the retailers, so food manufacturers across the country will have to relabel their products and change their sourcing.”

The result, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, is that this law will negatively impact food prices nationally. One study found that, because of the Vermont labeling law, the average American household food cost will go up in the next year by $1,050.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn planting date considerations

For much of the Eastern Corn Belt it is widely understood that the optimal planting period is between April 20 and May 10. Research has proven that corn loses yield potential daily when planted after the beginning of May. For the Central Corn Belt, the declines in yield potential due to planting delays vary from about 0.3% per day early in May to about 1% per day by the end of May, according to Bob Nielsen from Purdue University. Knowing that this is true, it can be frustrating during a wet spring or when field work is delayed for one reason or another. Planting is a critical component of a successful crop as it sets the stage for the entire growing season. However, it is important to keep in mind that early planting is just one of many factors that contribute to high yield potential. Planting early favors high yields, but it does not guarantee them and growers should not focus entirely on the calendar.… Continue reading

Read More »

OCWGA recognized for membership success

Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) won three awards at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic in New Orleans. OCWGA was awarded the inaugural NCGA “Reaching for Excellence” award, highest percentage increase award and highest numeric membership increase award.

The growth in membership is a result of the creation of a young farmer membership program called The New Crop. OCWGA recruited over 800 students and young farmers, creating a 43% growth in membership.

“After years of traditional recruitment, our membership demographics only reflected the people who are currently working on the farm,” said Brad Moffitt, OCWGA director of Membership and Market Development. “But there are many more important people in our industry that need to join us. By recruiting millennials, who we define as 15- to 35-year olds, we immediately increased our quality, quantity and diversity.”

The New Crop is a sub-group of membership focused on preparing young adults and new professionals to be a part of a professional association.… Continue reading

Read More »

Commodity Classic organizations set policy focus for 2016

No matter what meeting room, restaurant or hallway was home to conversations at the recent Commodity Classic held in New Orleans, it is certain that at some point the presidential race was being discussed.

“There is no doubt that the presidential election has been a hot topic in every meeting and hallway conversation. We all have our opinions and like to pontificate about who is going to win and what it is going to mean,” said Jack Irvin, with the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association. “We all need to do our homework and take a hard look at all of the stances that these candidates have and remain engaged. With less than 1% of the population being involved in agriculture, if we are not out there sharing our thoughts and trying to shape opinions, no one else is going to do it. There are so many federal laws and regulations that affect our farms we have to be at the table in the discussions.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Tips for conserving the soil while boosting profits at CTC

The currently grim corn and soybean economic situation, paired with increasing environmental scrutiny of farms, is putting many farms in a tight spot for maintaining profitability. The popular Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada kicked off today with the goal of providing tips for farms to bolster profitability while improving the land and water for the future.

“There’s a preponderance of evidence that shows we’re in a time of extreme weather and every scientist that looks at this says we’re going to be here awhile,” said Barry Fisher, USDA-NRCS soil scientist, keynote speaker at Wednesday morning’s general session.

Fisher defined soil health as the capacity of a soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans, and noted it as a way to challenge the change in weather situations down the road. Fisher focused on the importance of thinking of soil as a living thing outlining four major principles for soil health:

  • Minimize disturbance
  • Maximize soil cover
  • Maximize biodiversity
  • Provide continuous living roots

“You put all these things together and that’s how you’re going to begin maximizing soil health,” Fisher said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Addressing big data confusion

Big data is data with a scale, diversity, and complexity that requires new architecture, techniques, algorithms, and analytics to manage it and extract value and hidden knowledge from it.

So what exactly does that mean? This data includes large collections of farm data that is being used by farmers, companies, and government agencies to aid in decision making related to crop production and management practices as well as better predictions around nutrient and water availability. It is important to understand what value all of this farm data provides to the producer. By using farm data to drive input management and other farm decisions, producers can identify and quantify limiting productivity variables.

The big data flow starts on the farm:

  • A farmer will upload farm and personal data from ground and equipment sensors, drones, etc.
  • An agricultural Technology Provider (ATP) will aggregate farmer’s data, combines other relevant data set, and applies algorithms to analyze.
Continue reading

Read More »

Purdue looks at impact of GMO crops

Higher food prices, a significant boost in greenhouse gas emissions due to land use change and major loss of forest and pasture land would be some results if genetically modified organisms in the United States were banned, according to a Purdue University study.

Wally Tyner, James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics; Farzad Taheripour, a research associate professor of agricultural economics; and Harry Mahaffey, an agricultural economics graduate student, wanted to know the significance of crop yield loss if genetically modified crops were banned from U.S. farm fields, as well as how that decision would trickle down to other parts of the economy. They presented their findings at the International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research in Ravello, Italy, last year. The findings of the study, funded by the California Grain & Feed Association, will be published in the journal AgBioForum this spring.

“This is not an argument to keep or lose GMOs,” Tyner said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Keep the sugar for your coffee and cookies

While we are interested in improving yield of Ohio crops, we also are reluctant to recommend practices that cost time and money and are not likely to be of assistance. From several on-farm trials conducted by OSU Extension professionals over the years, we see no value in applying sugar to our Ohio row crops.

In a 2013 Crawford County trial with 3 pounds of sugar per acre to soybean, there was no yield difference from the check: http://agcrops.osu.edu/sites/agcrops/files/ofr_reports/Sugar-on-MRI-Soybeans.pdf

In two trials in Clark County in 2013:

• Two sugar sources (sucrose and dextrose) at 4 pounds per acre produced no yield difference from the check

• And for soybeans — sucrose at 4 pounds per acre — there was no yield difference from the check.

For more see: http://agcrops.osu.edu/sites/agcrops/files/ofr_reports/Sugar-Applications-for-Corn-and-Soybean.pdf

In a 2014 soybean trial conducted at two locations in Clark Country and in Wood County, Table 1 shows no yield advantage for sugar applied to soybean.… Continue reading

Read More »

Digital weed ID resources

OSU has developed several digital books that are available for multiple platforms, via iTunes or GooglePlay.  Descriptions and links follow – all are currently less than $10.  The links can also be found under the “Weed ID” tab on our website – u.osu.edu/osuweeds/.

The Ohio State University Guide to Weed Identification

This identification guide provides information on the basics of weed identification presented in a considerably updated fashion. It describes 29 families and 83 species of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants. Plant descriptions include key identification characteristics, pictures of the various species at different stages of maturity, and 360-degree movies for most species.  This book includes a number of the most common Midwestern U.S. weeds and basic intellectual tools that are necessary to successfully identify plants.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ohio-state-guide-to-weed-identification…

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Bruce_Ackley_The_Ohio_State_Univ ersity_Guide_to_We?id=3ZBqCwAAQBAJ&hl=en

Principles of Weed Ecology and Management

This book, used as a lab manual for the weed science course at OSU, provides information on the basic principles of weed science. … Continue reading

Read More »

Palmer amaranth update

Palmer amaranth has to date been found in about 11 Ohio counties.  Infestations within a county can range from one or more fields or other areas with just a few plants or patches of plants, to the presence of one or more fields with dense populations.

There isn’t any real pattern to the distribution of counties where Palmer has been found.  Palmer seed has entered the state via contaminated CREP or wildlife seed that comes from farther west, and via the cotton feed products that are shipped from the south and used in animal operations.  The latter has been the source of our most recent and most severe infestations that occurred in 2015 in northeastern Ohio.  While some animal operations are aware of this problem and have stopped using these types of feed products, it’s likely that many other operations or feed dealers have not received information about this issue or modified their practices.… Continue reading

Read More »

Food Safety Modernization Act overview

Below are excerpts from a summary of some key requirements compiled by the U.S Food and Drug Administration of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

 

1. Agricultural water

The final rule adopts the general approach to water quality proposed in the supplemental rule, with some changes. The final rule establishes two sets of criteria for microbial water quality, both of which are based on the presence of generic E. coli, which can indicate the presence of fecal contamination.

No detectable generic E. coli are allowed for certain uses of agricultural water in which it is reasonably likely that potentially dangerous microbes, if present, would be transferred to produce through direct or indirect contact. Examples include water used for washing hands during and after harvest, water used on food-contact surfaces, water used to directly contact produce (including to make ice) during or after harvest, and water used for sprout irrigation.… Continue reading

Read More »

Labeling legislation introduced

Sen. Pat Roberts introduced a bill to address the growing threat of a patchwork of state labeling laws and called for the urgent passage of this important legislation.

“The introduction of Roberts’s proposal is an important first step to restoring sanity to America’s food labeling laws,” said Chip Bowling, National Corn Growers Association President, a farmer from Maryland. “GMOs are perfectly safe and America’s farmers rely on this proven technology to protect our crops from insects, weeds and drought. Important food safety and labeling decisions should be made by the scientists and qualified policymakers at the FDA, not political activists and campaigns. Yet, despite the scientific evidence, states such as Vermont are quickly moving toward costly, confusing mandatory labeling legislation. It is imperative that the Senate takes up this issue quickly to avoid a situation in which all American consumers pay a high price and gain little actual information.”

Vermont’s mandatory law requiring on-package labels of foods containing ingredients that have been genetically modified takes effect in July, and unless Congress acts swiftly, families, farmers and food companies will face chaos in the market and higher costs.… Continue reading

Read More »

Conservation agriculture in Ohio

Many opportunities are available in Ohio for farmers, land owners, and ag business folks to learn about farming practices that seek to improve the health of soil on the farm, and the quality of water that happens to leave the farm. Three are happening in the next few weeks.

The Conservation Tillage Conference is March 2-3 at Ada (ctc.osu.edu). The All-Ohio Chapter of SWCS has a conference March 14 at the headquarters of the Ohio Dep’t of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg (fabe.osu.edu/OhioSWCS). A No-Till Field Day will be on April 6 at Dave Brandt’s farm, near Carroll in Fairfield County (OhioNotillCouncil.com).

In addition, County Extension Educators, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, and others host dozens of local events on cover crops, soil health, management of manure and chemical fertilizers and other conservation topics. Farmers who learn and follow the science-based practices shared at these events are leading the way toward a time when agriculture as a whole will be seen as a good neighbor.… Continue reading

Read More »

Produce growers making changes to comply with newly implemented Food Safety Modernization Act

No one — from the shopper in the grocery, to the diner in the restaurant, to the farmer in field — wants anyone to get sick from anything they eat. This, however, is impossible.

The best that can be done is to blend science and the realities of agriculture to come up with workable procedures that maximize food safety. This is the thought process behind the long-discussed and recently implemented Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The biggest impact for farms in Ohio is for growers of fresh farm produce and fruit.

“We put together the produce safety classes originally because the industry was pushing for it. In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act was first signed into law. The rule became final in November of 2015. FDA wants to take a more preventive approach than reactive approach to produce safety outbreaks,” said Lindsey Hoover, food safety program coordinator for the Ohio State University College of Food Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department of Horticulture and Crop Sciences.… Continue reading

Read More »

Crop insurance tools

The University of Illinois offers online tools to help with making decisions with regard to crop insurance. They are available at farmdoc.illinois.edu/cropins/index.asp.

 

iFarm Premium Calculator

This 2016 iFarm Crop insurance Premium Calculator allows users to develop highly customized estimates of their crop insurance premiums, and compare revenue and yield guarantees across all available crop insurance products and elections for their actual farm case. This on-line calculator allows a quick but detailed comparison between farm-level and area-level insurance products in terms of cost and guarantee values. Specific case details are accommodated along with a tool to calculate your TA-Adjusted APH. This tool also uses current price and volatility conditions and will track current market conditions through the final release by RMA of 2016 Projected Prices and Volatilities. This tool targets users interested in a quick means to compare insurance premiums for all possible products and election levels in a simple to interpret format.… Continue reading

Read More »

National Grain & Feed Association Safety Management/Loss Control seminar March 8

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is partnering with the Agribusiness Council of Indiana and the National Grain & Feed Association to host a NGFA Safety Management/Loss Control seminar March 8 in Columbus.

The seminar will feature several topics, including updates on emerging and evolving regulatory issues; safety and health management loss control; implementing safety and health management plans for grain handling facilities; and quality management/loss control practices for grain handling facilities.

“This workshop is designed to shed light on various components of grain and feed safety

management and loss control,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “Our partnership with the Agribusiness Council of Indiana and the National Grain & Feed Association greatly benefits our members and helps us to address issues that aren’t necessarily specific to Ohio, but also to the region and nationwide.”

OABA members and other industry professionals will hear from three leading experts during the event: Jess McCluer, vice president of safety and regulatory affairs for the National Grain and Feed Association; Paul Stevenson, risk management senior consultant with Nationwide Agribusiness; and Don Wray, eastern regional operations manager for The Andersons, Inc.… Continue reading

Read More »