BTR-Mark Dowden

Mark Dowden-November 5

“We’re getting close. I don’t know if we can finish up this week yet or not. Last week was a bust until Friday. We started Friday evening but it was pretty muddy. We had over two inches of rain and a tremendous amount of snow for the last week of October. It was completely white with snow one morning. Believe it or not, our corn stood right through the wind. Most of our corn that was still out was in rows going north and south and the wind went down the rows instead of crossways. We were sweating it, but the corn seemed to take it.

“We’ve got maybe 200 acres of corn left and about that same acreage on the beans. We’re averaging 58 bushels on the soybeans right now and 120 on the corn for everything we’ve got. Some of the better fields averaged pretty well. We had a 192- and a 187-bushel average.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-October 22nd

“We’re cutting beans today. We didn’t get much rain over the weekend and things are fairly dry. We’re about three-quarters done with the corn and a third or so done on the beans, maybe close to half. We’re averaging 112 bushels on the corn and 60.5 bushels on the soybeans. I think we’ve run our worst soybeans and I know we’ve run our worst corn. I think we can still get to that 120 or 125 bushels on corn and hopefully keep it around 60 on the beans.

“The corn is standing well and we got our wheat in around the tenth. We usually are right there at the fly date putting it in. This week, with temperatures getting up into the 70s, it will really take off. Hopefully that will make up for the 10-day late planting,

“Our Vistive Gold soybeans have been yielding well for us. They are right there or better with all of our other beans.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-October 8th

“In the last two weeks we’ve had quite a bit of rain and we’ve been out of the fields. Just on Friday afternoon we got an inch.

“We’re about halfway through the corn. We’ve had field averages of 75 bushels to 180 bushels and we’ve had a wide spectrum of everything in between. I don’t think the heat hurt us as bad as the lack of water. The final average will probably be in the 115- to 120-bushel range, but we’re getting into our better ground. We’ve run all of our worst stuff so far.

“The corn looked rough and we wanted to get it out before it fell down. We have seen some ear drop. One of the neighbors was talking about problems with ear drop based on a couple of hybrids. You can pick out the refuge corn pretty easily in our fields. There are lower yields and more dropped ears.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-September 24th

“We’ve been shelling corn. Our combine broke down last week on Monday morning and we didn’t get it back until Saturday morning, so we had a whole week off. We started in some of the driest gravelly ground and we were averaging 75-bushel corn. We’re on some better ground now and we’re averaging right at 100 bushels. I still think we’re going to get closer to that 125-bushel corn or better as we get through the season.

“We had pretty strong winds that took some limbs out of trees, but so far the corn survived it. We also had an inch and a half to two inches of rain Friday night. We haven’t found any quality problems in the corn yet. We are maybe 10% done with corn. We lost a lot of ground with not being able to run last week. We’re going to finish up around Urbana and then move back home and probably switch to soybeans.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-September 10

“We’re planning on getting out and harvesting next week. It is pretty dry, so any rain this weekend will soak in pretty quickly. There really aren’t any beans ready yet, so anybody who is out next week will be in corn.

“I think it would be wise this year to keep the harvest moving before the corn falls down. I did talk to the grain buyer over at Greenville yesterday and they haven’t had any quality problems yet with toxins. Rain could start causing quality problems though.

“The corn moisture is getting down there. It is anywhere between 20% and 30% moisture and that was within 100 feet. I have a contract in early September and they are down to no drying costs and only half shrink up to 25%. If you have any concerns about toxins or standability, that is the way to go. Just get it out of there.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden- August 27, 2012

“We had a meeting last week and they are wanting to step up to 20,000 acres for Vistive low linolenic soybeans in Ohio. Ohio has the right climate and environmental conditions for the best oil and the crushing facilities that want to be on board for it. The Vistive yields look like they held up through the dry weather. Around us we were pretty fortunate and the rain has really helped all of the beans. I think there will be some surprising yields in beans. The rains really turned them on.

“The corn is going to be better than it would seem around here too. It seemed to come through it, though I don’t know how. West of Urbana there is some corn being shelled already. They started last week. The field looked dead. There wasn’t much green out there. I assume it was planted early with a short maturity.

“Our early corn is coming right along.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden- August 6, 2012

“I think we’ve had almost seven inches of rain on some of our farms in the last few weeks. It may help the corn a little and it is sure doing the beans a lot of good. The pods are really starting to swell up.

“We’re getting a lot of weeds. I am afraid we’re going to have to go back out and spray some spots. We don’t want to go back through the beans again but we have to spray our double-crops yet anyways. We’ve seen some spider mites but we keep getting rains that knock them back a little bit. We’ve found a lot of four bean pods and I think we’re really going to be surprised with some of these soybeans.

“We had really good pollination in the corn, but with the dry weather it started cutting back on the tips. I think that, with this rain, the kernels are filling out a little more.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden, July 16

“We got four tenths yesterday and we had one farm get hit with almost an inch on Thursday night. I didn’t get either rain at my house, though, and four tenths do not amount to much as dry as it has been. The high temperatures burn that moisture up really quick. We have some fields that got some rain and some that got none.

“Where we got that inch, it really perked things up. The rest is getting tough and looking worse every day. Surprisingly, I think we’ve had really good pollination. It got cool enough at night that it worked. Every day that we don’t get rain we’re going to have smaller kernels.

“We’re starting to see burnt up places over the knolls in the soybeans. There is still a lot of potential for the beans. They are podded up good but we need to get some water to fill them out.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden, Champaign County, July 9


“We got some rain out of the wind storm. We got an inch to two inches out of that. The worst wind went through south of us. A farmer down around St. Paris lost four 40,000-bushel bins and one 30,000-bushel bin. His dryer, augers and 28% tank blew over. A bunch of buildings lost roofs. The wind laid the corn over is some areas. It was bad in a few spots.

“The corn is all tasseled out and pollinating right now. At least it isn’t 100-degrees right now and we’re supposed to stay in the 80s this week. Some of it was pollinating in the 100-degree temperatures, though. Time will tell, but we’re going to have to have some more water. I don’t know how much we’ve been hurt. It is hard to tell.

“The corn was curled pretty good even just a couple of days after the last rain.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-June 25, 2012

“Last Sunday, some of our ground got a little over an inch of rain on it, but at home we got nothing. It was that cut and dry, there wasn’t much in between. Two weeks ago, we got around .4-inch.

“I would assume the crop is starting to get hurt in some areas. The corn is starting to tassel in a few areas. The soybeans look pretty decent, but they are dormant in the dry weather. They aren’t really doing much of anything.

“The wheat was really good. We got it all off and the straw is pretty much baled. We don’t have it all hauled in yet, but it looks like it will average around 90 bushels. We had one field average more than 100 bushels per acre. It was dry and had good test weight and there were good conditions to bale the straw.

“The neighbor bales up the wheat and buys it from us right out of the field.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-June 11, 2012

“We’re getting some rain. It is just what we needed. We got anywhere from .8 to 1.8 inches on our different farms in the last 2 weeks. We were pretty dry until then. The crops really responded to that, but we were due for another shot.

“I don’t think there is much corn that is behind around here. There will be some beans behind that got planted late. The corn all came up about the same time and emergence was pretty even. All of the sidedressing is done around here. The beans have been post- sprayed and are in pretty good shape, other than the last planted beans in the area that are struggling.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t try some wheat harvest in a couple of weeks. I think it is at least 10 days or two weeks ahead of normal. I am sure that most wheat acres will get double-cropped unless they need to put manure on or something.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden, Champaign County, May 28

“We’re getting pretty dry. We could sure use some rain. We finished up about a week and a half ago. The later crops took off pretty quickly. There was a little period there where some stuff got planted that really struggled. Some got replanted. We weren’t planting at that time and didn’t have to do any replanting. We got lucky. There was a lot that had to be redone after the big rains in early May. The crop looked nice, but it got covered up with water.

“Some of our early beans had bean leaf beetles on them pretty good because there weren’t many other beans around. They drove through that, though, and moved on. I guess with as dry as it is, stuff will be rooting down so we’ll be better off if we get dry weather later in the year. They are talking about hopefully some rain here.

“We put ammonia on up front and only sidedressed a few acres to fill in a few wet holes where we couldn’t get ammonia on.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden, Champaign and Logan Counties, April 23

“The first of our corn is just kind of spiking up on around 400 acres. We have our corn all planted. We’re better than half way through our soybeans. We have corn up and we have beans up. We finished planting the corn last Wednesday.  We finished in the afternoon then switched over to planting beans later that evening. We planted all day Friday, then, until it rained us out. We got a half-inch then and we had gotten a half-inch the weekend before. If it had been warm, that moisture would not have lasted us long.

“We’re probably not going to be able to get back to planting because it is so cold, it is not drying things out. The coldest I have seen is 38 degrees this morning at 5:30 a.m. I was going to see if I could spray, but it was already too windy. I just don’t think it will frost.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden- April 9, 2012

“We’re planting corn and beans. Last week, people started early and then everybody backed off a little. We planted couple hundred acres of soybeans last week and now we’re planting corn. We planted beans on Friday and Saturday and switched over and planted one field of corn on Saturday. If conditions are right, we’ll just keep planting until we’re done.

“It is going in really well. We have dry conditions and we’re putting seed down into the moisture. By the end of the week, it is supposed to warm up and hopefully it will really take off. Guys in the area were working ground last week and the majority of the burndown has been done around here. Today they are ready to go and guys are getting on it. I think some guys were a little gun-shy last week to get going because last year, the later planted crops did so well.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden, March 26

“I farm 2,000 acres with dad, mostly corn and beans, but always a little wheat. We wean to finish two groups of 2,500 contract hogs a year. We have black bottom-ground and some rolling ground from Urbana to north of West Liberty all the way out to DeGraff. We are spread out far enough that we can often go somewhere when it rained somewhere else. We breezed through our anhydrous in about 6 days in beautiful weather. It was 80 degrees and short sleeves.

“There was maybe 200 or 300 acres of corn planted last week down around Urbana west of town in the Mad River Valley on the west side of the river. That is pushing it pretty early. We thought about planting a little last Friday. We finished our anhydrous and we thought maybe we’d try a field just to see what it would do, but then it rained.… Continue reading

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