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March 10 WASDE offers neutral numbers

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Ahead of the report, many had expected it to be a non-bullish report for grains.

Shortly after the USDA report was released, corn was up 4 cents, soybeans up 8 cents, and wheat up 2 cents. Just before the noon report, grains were all higher with corn up 3 cents, soybeans up 9 cents, and wheat up 3 cents.

Soybean exports and crush were unchanged. Ending stocks at 425 million bushels were unchanged. Corn exports and corn for ethanol were unchanged. Ending stocks were unchanged at 1.892 billion bushels. Brazil soybean production was increased one million tons to 126 million tons. Argentina soybean production was up one million tons to 54 million tons. Wheat exports were unchanged with ending stocks unchanged at 940 million bushels. Trader estimates for ending stocks were little changed from last month for corn, soybeans, and wheat.

The media hysteria with the Coronavirus is ongoing.… Continue reading

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In Brazil, it’s time to pay attention to “safrinha” corn

With half of the soybean harvest complete in Brazil by Mar 5, it is time, again, to take a look at the second corn crop, also known as “safrinha”, which is being planted later than normal due to a delay in the soybean crop, caused by irregular rains in the last quarter of 2019.

Until last week, 80% of the projected area had been planted in south-central Brazil, in line with the five-year average, but only because top producer Mato Grosso has nearly finished sowing, according to AgRural data. In other states, the ideal window is already closed or about to end and farmers are working at full steam to avoid planting a large area during the second half of March.

Riskier crop
The late planting makes the second corn crop more susceptible to yield losses caused by dryness and/or freezing temperatures during pollination and grain filling. Despite the delay, Brazil is likely to increase its area by around 3%, thanks to very attractive prices – a result of strong demand and a weakening Brazilian real against the dollar.Continue reading

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Corn planting date considerations

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

For much of the Eastern Corn Belt it is widely understood that the optimal planting period is between April 20th and May 10th. 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. 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

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Transition to organic grains workshop

By Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Is your farming operation looking for alternatives to commodity corn and soybeans? Have you been wondering how to add value to your operation? On Tuesday, April 7th from 9 am to 2 pm at the Robert Fulton Agriculture Center, 8770 State Route 108, Wauseon, OH, OSU Extension will be hosting a discussion of the opportunities and challenges associated with growing a value-added, organic grain crop. This discussion will be open to current, transitioning, or interested organic farmers, farmland owners, venders and grain buyers. The workshop will address three primary hurdles for transitioning to organic grains: market options, weed control and organic documentation.

Speakers include Julia Barton, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, discussing the organic transition process including the required documentation and approved products for use. Then Dani Kusner, The Andersons-Organic Division, will walk through key organic agronomy principles that could possibly require a mindset change on your farm.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net| Ep. 144| The Great Black Swamp

What was the Great Black Swamp is today’s hub for the H2Ohio discussion. Matt and Dusty host this week’s podcast with Jordan Hoewischer from the Ohio Farm Bureau. Matt sat down with Jeff Duling from the Federation of Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Kris Swartz from Wood County, and Mark Wilson and talked about water quality. Dusty had a round table discussion down at the Commodity Classic in San Antonio with three farmers from Northwest Ohio about H2Ohio. And Matt and Dusty sat down with Matt Liskai from Greenfield Ag.… Continue reading

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Ohio receives malt barley endorsement

Ohio Corn & Wheat is excited to announce that efforts for Ohio to receive a Malt Barley Endorsement (MBE) have been successful. We are pleased to share that the Malt Barley Endorsement was voted on, and approved, by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to include 35 counties in the state of Ohio. Eligibility begins starting with the 2020-2021 crop.

Counties included in the Malt Barley Endorsement include: Allen, Butler, Champaign, Columbiana, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fairfield, Fayette, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Knox, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Miami, Ottawa, Pickaway, Preble, Putnum, Ross, Sandusky, Shelby, Trumbull, Union, Wayne, Wood, and Wyandot.

The Malt Barley Endorsement provides additional quality protection (based on the specifications from malting barley contracts or special provisions if insuring under a malting barley price agreement) for malting barley acreage that is insured under the Small Grains Crop Provisions. MBE incorporates projected and harvest prices based on malting barley contracts versus using projected and harvest prices from the Commodity Exchange Price Provisions. … Continue reading

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Cover crop termination

By Alyssa Essman and Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension, Weed Science Specialist

The 2019 growing season came and went and left many fields in a state of disarray heading into 2020. Many growers that were unable to plant decided to use cover crops, to reduce soil erosion and provide some weed suppression during the extended fallow period. Terminating these cover crops using the right methods at the right time will be critical to ensure timely planting and prevent the cover crops from competing with cash crops. The three main methods of cover crop termination are natural (species that winter kill), chemical, and mechanical. Cover crops may also be bailed, grazed, or harvested as silage. Most species require some sort of management decision for termination. Cover crop species, growth stage, weather, and cover cropping goals should all be considered when planning termination method and timing. These decisions require a balance between growing the cover long enough to maximize benefits and terminating in time to prevent potential penalties to the following cash crop.

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Youth Capital Challenge kicks off in Columbus

Public policy, fellowship and interaction with state representatives were all part of the opening session for 2020 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge participants.

A total of 36 students ages 14-18 and 10 mentors gathered March 3 in Columbus to discuss agricultural issues and policy as part of the annual program, which is a collaboration among Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio FFA and Ohio State University Extension. The interactive education program engages youths in the civic life of their community. The students team up in groups to identify issues and problems facing their community. After researching a specific topic, they develop a public policy plan to propose to appropriate government leaders.

Kelsey Turner, Ohio Farm Bureau program specialist, leadership development, said the initial policy proposals ranged from re-evaluating school lunch programs and requiring mental health first aid classes in high schools to using 4-H and FFA as a part of re-entry programs for troubled youths.… Continue reading

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NPPC resolutions adopted

At the National Pork Producers Council’s (NPPC) National Pork Industry Forum delegates adopted several important resolutions. The resolutions include:

• Strengthen efforts to prevent African swine fever (ASF) —an animal disease affecting only pigs and with no human health or food safety risks—and other foreign animal diseases from entering the United States. Separate resolutions were adopted directing NPPC to encourage federal regulatory agencies to investigate the risks of imported pet food and pet products containing pork from foreign animal disease-positive countries; take a position on feeding hogs from plate waste; and support and advance responsible import policies to safely introduce essential feed ingredients from high-risk countries.
• Advocate for accurate and truthful labeling of plant-based and cell-cultured products, while supporting enforcement of fair labeling by the Food and Drug Administration and USDA. NPPC supports consumer choice and competitive markets. Plant-based and cell-cultured products designed to mimic real meat must face the same stringent regulatory requirements as livestock agriculture, including truthful labeling standards.… Continue reading

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Innovative nitrogen producing microbial for corn

By Dusty Sonnenberg, Field Leader, CCA

Nitrogen loss from synthetic fertilizer is a concern for many farmers as it is a loss in potential bushels, and also can be harmful to the environment.

“Research has found in some light soils, as much as 40% to 60% of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer can be lost due to volatilization into the air,” said Mark Reisinger, vice president of commercial operations with Pivot Bio.

The timing of nitrogen (N) application can also be an issue. Having the N available to the crop in a usable form, when the plant needs it can be hit or miss. Traditionally, synthetic N fertilizer is applied multiple times throughout the growing season to feed the soil, and meet a growing crop’s needs.

A microbe was found in Missouri, and new microbial product has been developed utilizing it to capture N from the air, and deliver it to a corn crop in a form that can be utilized.… Continue reading

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Attendance record set at the 2020 Commodity Classic in San Antonio

By Matt Reese

A record number of farmers converged in San Antonio in late February for the 2020 Commodity Classic.

The total number of farmers registered was 4,678 — the highest number in the show’s 24-year history, eclipsing the previous record of 4,595 set in 2016 in New Orleans. Total registration of 9,350 was also second only to the New Orleans event.

The event was held Feb. 27, 28 and 29 and featured dozens of educational sessions, a huge trade show with nearly 400 exhibitors, a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, a concert performance by Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, policy meetings of the commodity associations, a wide variety of presentations from well-known industry leaders and top farmers, and tours of area attractions.

Ohio’s farmer leaders were on hand to set policy and the stage for what they are hoping will be a great 2020 for U.S.… Continue reading

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Heritage Cooperative to purchase Performance brand and other assets from Hanby Farms Inc.

Heritage Cooperative, Inc. announced they have exercised the option to purchase the feed, grain, trucking and agronomy assets of Hanby Farms Inc. of Nashport, Ohio. This includes the Performance Feed brand established in 1983.

“This proposed acquisition aligns with our goal of continued diversification of the business, while specifically enhancing feed production and operations throughout Ohio and in surrounding states,” said Jeff Osentoski, president and CEO of Heritage Cooperative. “The Hanby Farms management team runs a terrific business and the company’s employees operate it superbly. I am confident that the addition of the feed, grain, trucking and agronomy operations will benefit Heritage and Hanby customers immediately.”

The acquisition is expected to close on March 31, 2020.

“As a member of the Heritage Cooperative team, I am personally excited to continue to serve Hanby Farms customers and to provide additional opportunities for employees,” said David Hanby. “Our vision and values align well with Heritage and together we will provide superior customer service and efficiencies with this strategic alignment.”… Continue reading

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Challenges linger from 2019

By Alan Sundermeier, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

As farmers are preparing for the 2020 cropping season, the challenges of 2019 may still linger. There are basically three scenarios which will influence 2020 cropping practices.

Corn or soybeans were planted
Yes, there were some acres of corn planted last year in northwest Ohio. Storage of low test weight and higher moisture corn is creating mold and damaged grain. Above normal winter temperatures and humid air have interfered with proper aeration of storage bins. Farmers need to monitor grain bins and be prepared to unload before spring temperatures rise. Also, fall tillage was not done due to wet soil conditions. This may change tillage plans this spring. No-till soybeans into corn stalks are a better alternative.

Soybeans were planted later than normal in 2019. As a result, less wheat was planted last fall due to the late soybean harvest. Will more acres of 2020 soybeans be planted into those same 2019 soybean fields?… Continue reading

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March looking to be warmer, not as wet

By Jim Noel, NOAA

A warmer than normal March is now anticipated. This is a change toward the warmer side. This will speed green up conditions and start evapotranspiration early this spring. This will also help to dry out our really wet soils, a little bit at least. The bottom line is things are shaping up to not be as tough this spring.

The outlook for March calls for above normal temperatures and near to a little bit above normal rain (but not as wet as it had looked like several weeks ago) https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

The spring outlook calls for things to be warmer and slightly wetter than normal but not as wet as last year. The summer is still leaning toward warmer than normal but a swing toward drier than normal.

Hence, the planting season appears not as tough as last year but there still could be some summer challenges ahead as dryness could develop.… Continue reading

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Federal broadband legislation moving forward

On March 4, the House of Representatives passed the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act (S. 1822). The bill, approved by the Senate last year, will now go to President Trump for his signature.

“Reliable access to broadband is no longer a luxury but a necessity for farmers, ranchers and their rural communities,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “This legislation will create a more accurate National Broadband Map, which will help ensure resources are targeted to the areas that need it most. Farm Bureau thanks members of both chambers who diligently worked to pass this legislation and are committed to ensuring all Americans, including those in rural communities, have broadband in their homes, at their businesses, and on their farms.”

The DATA Act requires broadband providers to report more specific data to create a significantly more accurate and granular National Broadband Map. With more precise data, federal agencies can target funding to areas that need it most.… Continue reading

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Turning adversity into opportunity

By Matt Reese

In January, Mark Gardiner talked about genetics and a forward-look at the cattle industry at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Annual Meeting. He outlined the challenges and opportunities in the cattle business from his perspective at Gardiner Angus Ranch in Ashland, Kan.

“Our ranch in Kansas would be very similar to many ranches around the United States. My family migrated to Kansas in 1885 and homesteaded there. I’m the fourth generation and my sons represent the fifth generation. It is a family-run operation. We were commercial cattlemen forever and then we started the genetics business back in the 70s and our first production sale of Angus genetics was in April of 1980. We’re beef cattle people first, but our main business is Angus genetics at Gardiner Angus Ranch in Ashland, Kan.,” Gardiner said. “Technology and information is available to all of us and we have used data-based selection systems to select multi-trait specialists for the traits of merit since 1980.… Continue reading

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Bearish news continues for corn

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The corn market is facing a lot of bearish news right now:

  • Coronavirus
  • Remaining concerns of African Swine Fever, and a little bird flu
  • Corn movement as farmers need to generate some income
  • Potentially 94 million corn acres being planted this year
  • Lack of China purchases from a phase 1 trade deal
  • A potentially large South American corn crop
  • Weak ethanol margins
  • A strong dollar which leads to a slower export pace.

 

Despite so much negative news, the market continues to perform well with corn futures only down 15 cents since the coronavirus hit. Spreads between March and May futures have narrowed from around 8 cents last month to just under 4 cents. Considering the carryout size reported by the USDA, this seems overly tight. These tight spreads combined with the strong basis levels could indicate that corn futures may have more upside than downside potential going forward.… Continue reading

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Strip-till advantages

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Spring tillage warms the soil because each tillage pass reduces soil moisture by 0.5 to1.0-acre inch. It takes 10X more energy to warm up cold wet soil then air, so a tilled warmer, moist, well aerated corn seed may germinate faster.  Tillage create good seed-to-soil contact for even and consistent corn stands and also kills early weeds which may reduce yields 10%.  Tillage also burns up carbon and mineralizes soluble nutrients (50 PPM nitrates) for faster early corn growth. These early tillage benefits are the main reason why farmers do annual tillage.

The downside risks though are also a problem.  Tillage causes higher soil erosion, soils start to seal as the soil organic matter is mineralized (40-60% loss in SOM in last 75 years), soils become tighter, harder to farm, less water infiltration, ponding water, and higher water and nutrient runoff. Weeds and other pests (insects and diseases) thrive on tilled soils, and generally more inputs (fertilizer, fuel, equipment, pesticides) are needed to get good yields.

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USDA opens signup March 23 for added causes of loss under WHIP+

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced additional disaster assistance available to agricultural producers, including producers impacted by drought and excess moisture as well as sugar beet growers. Through WHIP+, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is helping producers recover from losses related to 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will open signup on March 23 for producers to apply for eligible losses of drought (D3 or above) and excess moisture. USDA is also entering into agreements with six sugar beet processing cooperatives to distribute $285 million to grower members of those cooperatives who experienced loss.

“It’s true that farmers and ranchers are no strangers to the impact natural disasters have on their operations, but disaster events the past two years have been atypically widespread, relentless and unforgiving,” Secretary Perdue said. “In some instances, producers have suffered multiple disaster events in one year or in several years back-to-back.… Continue reading

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