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Syngenta petitions court to protect grower access to grain outlets

Syngenta in North America today filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa against Bunge North America (“Bunge”) for having violated a number of Federal and State laws.  Syngenta alleges Bunge is attempting to block the legal merchandising of the Agrisure Viptera trait which was launched in compliance with all U.S. regulatory requirements as well as industry guidelines for commercialization.

“We are taking this action to remove the illegal impediment Bunge imposed on growers when they announced mid-season that they would not accept grain enhanced by the Agrisure Viptera trait,” said David Morgan, President, Syngenta Seeds, Inc. “When a product has been legally approved, growers should be able to use that technology without subsequently being subjected to arbitrary actions.”

“Our first priority is growers,” said Morgan.  “Growers inherently face a myriad of risks and Bunge’s decision to change grain specifications when farmers had already planted their corn is unacceptable.  … Continue reading

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Companies accepting Agrisure Viptera trait

China has increased their orders for U.S. corn this year, including the 2011 crop. While the orders are above historic levels, using U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast estimates, China will still only import approximately 1 to 2 percent of the total bushels of U.S. corn crop that goes to domestic and foreign markets.

Even with this small order size, Bunge and Consolidated Grain & Barge (CGB) indicate they will not accept grain containing the Agrisure Viptera trait from Syngenta.

Syngenta has approval of the Agrisure Viptera trait in all key import markets recommended by both the National Corn Growers Association and Biotechnology Industry Organization. The company expects Chinese approval in late March 2012.

In the past, technology providers have not delayed commercialization of new traits due to absence of Chinese approvals, nor have those traits been denied by grain companies. Needless to say, Syngenta is disappointed with the decision of some in the grain trade.… Continue reading

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Value-added food uses gain Japanese attention

The U.S. Grains Council’s ongoing efforts to promote value-added food applications in Japan gained significant Japanese media attention in July when a Japanese cable TV station featured a downtown Tokyo noodle shop that uses 10 percent corn flour in its soba noodles.

The ten-minute program showcasing the cold tomato-flavored noodle menu aired on four consecutive weekends, reaching approximately 180,000 Tokyo households.
The corn noodle menu was developed in collaboration with the Council and Japanese corn millers. It builds on the Council’s May taste tests that rolled out the corn noodle and follow-up efforts to distribute the noodle formula and recipes to 270 ramen shops in Tokyo.

Japanese manufacturers turn out 600,000 metric tons of noodles annually.

The Council’s Japan office also saw progress in sorghum promotion, as sorghum cookies with almond chips and maple syrup hit the shelves of an organic vegetable market in Tokyo’s fashionable Omotesando shopping district.

The shop’s customers are primarily health- and diet-conscious young women, according to the shop manager, who said the delicate cookies go out of stock very quickly. 
… Continue reading

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Zipper ears in corn may be more prevalent this year

By Brian Essinger, Monsanto Territory Manager, N. Ohio

Here is a phenomenon, zipper ears, that we are going to see more often this year.  It is caused by a variety of reasons, all environmental stresses during pollination, and not hybrid/germplasm related.

Most is caused by high heat or lack of moisture during pollination.  But delayed pollination, nitrogen deficiency, and defoliation after pollination (hail) can cause it as well.  Remember the bottom side of the ear is last to pollinate so that is why you find it there.

Here is a related article from Bob Nielsen, with Purdue University Extension.

The process of estimating yield potential in corn fields prior to grain harvest includes an assessment of the success of “kernel set” on the ears. Poor tip fill on ears, resulting from a combination of pollination failure and kernel abortion, is not uncommon in fields where severe crop stress has occurred during pollination or in the early weeks following pollination.… Continue reading

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History of corn featured at Farm Science Review

The history of corn, from ancient grasses to modern marvel, will be on display at Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center outside London.

Farmers across the Corn Belt produce millions of bushels of the crop from which the region derives its name, thanks in no small part to centuries of evolution in plant breeding, farming practices, and biotechnology. It’s that evolution that event organizers want to highlight.

“We’re trying to tell the story of technology in corn,” said Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension educator and coordinator of Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team. “From teosinte on through to the most modern quad stack, we’ll talk about plant breeding and technology development. “Corn is a wonderful example of a modern plant that we’ve developed from a simple grass into a major crop.”

The “antique corn display,” as Watters called it, is a key feature of the Agronomic Crops Team’s demonstration plots, located near the main entrance on the east end of the Review’s exhibit area.… Continue reading

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Be on the lookout for soybean aphids

By Ron Hammond and Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension entomologists

We received our first reports of soybean aphids being treated in northwest Ohio, with levels in most fields, while not being at threshold, are noticeable and rising.  Growers throughout the state, especially in the north, should consider scouting their fields for the remainder of the summer.   We suggest scouting throughout the state because in 2009, the last year that we had aphids, we saw large populations in southern Ohio.  While we cannot predict whether any area or field will have populations reaching threshold, the possibility exists.

Remember that the threshold for spraying is an average of 250 aphids per plant with a rising population (http://ohioline.osu.edu/ent-fact/pdf/0037.pdf ).  This is the threshold for taking action, not the economic injury levels which is in the vicinity of 700-900 aphids per plant.  So there is no need to spray prior to an average of 250 aphids per plant. … Continue reading

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Rootworms show resistance to Bt corn in Midwestern fields

Isolated findings of resistant rootworms in Iowa emphasize that planting a refuge is more critical than ever for maintaining the durability of Bt corn, a Purdue Extension entomologist says.

Bt corn does not kill all larva that feed upon it, and very slight feeding damage from corn rootworm is typical, said Christian Krupke. But after researchers at Iowa State University were alerted to high levels of feeding damage in some fields, they began to test Bt corn hybrids that expressed the Cry3B1 toxin. They found that rootworms from those fields were able to survive exposure in the lab.

“This is not a cause for alarm for Indiana producers, and it was something that we suspected would occur eventually,” Krupke said. “Producers should keep doing what they are doing for now as the vast majority of Bt continues to perform well for producers. This is more of a warning to be vigilant”

Currently, other Bt toxins appear to be effective against the pest.… Continue reading

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Preparing for the “second” calving season

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator
The fall calving season is just around the corner for several producers around the state. While a minority of Ohio’s cow-calf producers utilize fall calving as a management practice, there are several valid reasons to calve in this less traditional setting. As with just about any management practice, there are drawbacks that need to be considered as well. Producers must understand that there are unique characteristics associated with fall calving and they should be prepared for the differences when compared to a spring calving season.
I believe there are some very distinct advantages to calving in the late summer or early fall. Probably the biggest advantage for calving at this time of year is the fact that we have typically see warmer, drier conditions in the calving environment. Yes, it can be downright hot during this time, but let’s not forget the challenges of calving in the first quarter of the year.… Continue reading

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Preparing for the "second" calving season

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator
The fall calving season is just around the corner for several producers around the state. While a minority of Ohio’s cow-calf producers utilize fall calving as a management practice, there are several valid reasons to calve in this less traditional setting. As with just about any management practice, there are drawbacks that need to be considered as well. Producers must understand that there are unique characteristics associated with fall calving and they should be prepared for the differences when compared to a spring calving season.
I believe there are some very distinct advantages to calving in the late summer or early fall. Probably the biggest advantage for calving at this time of year is the fact that we have typically see warmer, drier conditions in the calving environment. Yes, it can be downright hot during this time, but let’s not forget the challenges of calving in the first quarter of the year.… Continue reading

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Nighttime in a cornfield

By John Brien, AgriGold Agronomist, CCA
While sleeping comfortably in our beds being cooled by a fan or air conditioning, we forget about our cornfields and what is happening while we sleep. The human body requires rest in order to survive, but a corn plant does not. While we sleep, corn plants continue growing and repairing themselves throughout the night. Corn growers see and witness the happenings of the corn plant during the daylight, but the cover of darkness leaves a couple questions that need answered.
To begin uncovering the dark secrets of a corn plant, understanding what happens during the daylight will help understand what occurs in the darkness. The main theme of daylight activity is photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the complex processes where the corn plant takes carbon dioxide, water and energy from the sun and makes carbohydrates (sugars and starches). The carbohydrates will then be used to grow the leaves, roots, stalks, tassels, ears, grain, etc.… Continue reading

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Learn how to reduce feeding costs at Beef and Forage Field Night Aug. 25 in Jackson

Beef producers are dealing with the rising costs of feed and inputs for making hay, not to mention the impact of this year’s weather on forage quality and seeding. To help the industry meet these challenges, Ohio State University will offer a Beef and Forage Field Night, Thursday, Aug. 25, 5-8:30 p.m., at the Jackson Agricultural Research Station in Jackson, Ohio.

Registration for the event — sponsored by OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) — costs $15 per person, includes dinner and is due by Aug. 19. To register, fill out the form available at http://go.osu.edu/forage and mail, with a check payable to Ohio State University/OARDC, to Kenny Wells, 019 Standpipe Road, Jackson, Ohio 45640.

“Producers attending our field night will not only learn the simple process of sampling hay for nutrient analysis, but they will learn how to use the results of these analyses to help meet the nutritional needs of their livestock,” said Wells, manager of the Jackson Agricultural Research Station.… Continue reading

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Obama Announces Initiative to Spur Biofuels and Enhance America’s Energy Security

President Obama today announced that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will invest up to $510 million during the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation.  The initiative responds to a directive from President Obama issued in March as part of his Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future, the Administration’s framework for reducing dependence on foreign oil. The biofuels initiative is being steered by the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and Rural Council, both of which are enabling greater cross-agency collaboration to strengthen rural America.

“Biofuels are an important part of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs here at home,” said President Obama. “But supporting biofuels cannot be the role of government alone. That’s why we’re partnering with the private sector to speed development of next-generation biofuels that will help us continue to take steps towards energy independence and strengthen communities across our country.”… Continue reading

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U.S. beef, pork exports close big first half with solid June results

If the trend established in the first six months of the year holds up, U.S. beef and pork exports are likely to set several new records in 2011 and each could eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time ever. According to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), June beef exports achieved the second-highest value ever at $461.8 million. This was 23 percent higher than June 2010, and has been surpassed only once – by the March 2011 value total of $475.2 million.

In terms of volume, June beef exports reached 111,362 metric tons – an increase of 15 percent over June 2010. This brought the cumulative 2011 total to 620,851 metric tons valued at $2.55 billion, which was 25 percent higher in volume and 40 percent higher in value than last year’s pace. For the first half of this year, beef exports equated to 13.8 percent of total production with an export value of $192.42 per head of fed slaughter.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 15th, 2011

As of Sunday August 14th, 95 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 31 percent, which was 49 percent behind 2010 and 29 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 3 percent, compared to 31 percent last year and 13 percent for five-year average. Corn for silage was 1 percent harvested, equal to the five-year average. Ninety-three percent of Soybeans were blooming, compared to 99 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Forty-six percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 81 percent last year and 84 percent for the five-year average.

The Complete Ohio Crop Progress Report for August 15th, 2011Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – August 15th, 2011

As of Sunday August 14th, 95 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 31 percent, which was 49 percent behind 2010 and 29 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 3 percent, compared to 31 percent last year and 13 percent for five-year average. Corn for silage was 1 percent harvested, equal to the five-year average. Ninety-three percent of Soybeans were blooming, compared to 99 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Forty-six percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 81 percent last year and 84 percent for the five-year average.

The Complete Ohio Crop Progress Report for August 15th, 2011Continue reading

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Pricing standing corn for silage harvest in 2011

By Dianne Shoemaker, Bill Weiss and Normand St-Peirre, Ohio State University Extension

 

How to price corn for silage as a crop standing in the field is a perennially challenging question. The optimal answer will vary depending on your point of view. Are you buying or are you selling?

This corn silage pricing discussion is based on a corn crop standing in the field. The owner’s goal is to recover the cost of producing and harvesting the crop plus a profit margin. Their base price would be the price they could receive for the crop from the grain market less harvesting/drying/storage costs. Hopefully, this would meet their goal of covering production costs and generating a profit. During price negotiations, it should also be recognized that harvest risk is also being shifted from the grower to the buyer.

To the grain farmer, the corn crop may have some value beyond the income from the sale of grain.… Continue reading

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Cattle to car parts: Beef byproducts use to make plastic

University of Alberta professor David Bressler has filed a patent on a new thermal process that can turn beef byproducts into plastics. By finding a way to convert these animal by-products into plastics for industrial use, Bressler and his team hope to divert protein waste from landfills across North America, shift to using renewable resources instead of petrochemicals to make plastics, and boost flagging profit levels in the cattle industry.

Using the throwaway parts of beef carcasses that were sidelined from the value-added production process after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) devastated the industry in 2003, Bressler, an associate professor in the U of A’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, has collaborated with industry, government and other researchers to forge cattle proteins into heavy-duty plastics that could soon be used in everything from car parts to CD cases.

The University of Alberta is the only post-secondary facility to be approved by the Canada Food Inspection Agency to conduct research involving turning high-risk proteins into safe, sustainable materials.… Continue reading

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Taste terrific tomatoes at NightCrawler Gardens

By Matt Reese

Fresh lettuce is fine, sweet peas are great, and hot peppers can add flair to summer fare, but many gardeners especially yearn for the first, ripe, delicious tomato from the garden each year.

“Whether it is a couple of plants in the garden or in a pot on the back porch, if people grow one thing, it’s a tomato,” said Jason England, who owns and operates NightCrawler Gardens in Fairfield County with his wife, Sheri. “Here we try to focus on quality and customer service and we try to be diverse and offer unique things. This year we had 85 different varieties of tomatoes. Peppers have been really big for us too. There are a lot of chili-heads out there who want hot peppers.” Word of mouth has been great, but advertising efforts have been lackluster. They send out regular e-mail updates about the farm and have an extensive Web site (managed by England’s mother), but it is often hard to keep up to date amid all of the other demands on the farm.… Continue reading

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