Slider

Are wheat acres getting harder to justify?

By Matt Reese

Wheat had another tough year in 2011, which leaves many farmers again wondering if the crop is worth keeping in the crop rotation. Corn and soybean prices remain strong, head scab and quality issues are a significant concern and yields have been lackluster — all factors stacking the cards against planting wheat again this fall.

Dan Wagner farms in Hardin and Hancock Counties and has long been a believer in the importance of including wheat in his crop rotation, but another disappointing year has him re-examining the benefits of wheat.

“The wheat was off last year and this year the disease levels seem to be better, but the yields are worse,” Wagner said. “Wheat looked great coming into May, but then we started seeing the tile lines and I knew it was too wet. The water killed it in the low areas and in other places there was a head, but there was nothing in it.… Continue reading

Read More »

No soybean harvest at the 2011 FSR

The late planting season wastoo much for the warm summer and steady rains to make up for in terms of soybean harvest at the Farm Science Review. Farm manager Nate Douridas said that there will not be soybeans harvested at this year’s event.

The soybeans are desiccated every year, but they have to already be maturing and turning yellow. Once they start yellowing they can be desiccated, and they must be desiccated 15 days before harvest.

“If we desiccate too soon we lose yield and no farmer can do that,” he said.

Jim Trotter, who heads up the Field Demonstrations during the Review, said the the crop was just not ready to dessicate in time for the show.

“Our consensus was that soybeans have not matured adequately to spray them now (label is 15 days pre-harvest interval) to have them ready for the show,” Trotter said. “There would be the potential for significant economic loss.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn residue management

By Jerron T. Schmoll, Agronomy Research Manager (Northeast Business Unit) Pioneer Hi-Bred, A DuPont Company

In recent years, some growers have observed that their hybrids retained healthier stalks at harvest and seemed to resist decomposition the following year. While this can be beneficial in terms of improved harvest standability that helps reduce losses at the combine head, it can be a challenging environment to plant into the following spring. Management of corn residue should begin at harvest with uniform distribution of chaff and stalks behind the combine. Uniform distribution has advantages for growers in no-till, minimum till or conventional till systems, including better erosion protection, less plugging of tillage or seeding equipment, and improved stand establishment.

Success in uniformly distributing crop residue this fall can also help eliminate tillage passes next spring. Today’s combines, with wider grain platforms and corn heads, concentrate a larger volume of plant material into the same narrow band exiting the combine.… Continue reading

Read More »

Wheat planting tips

As the fall wheat planting season approaches, a Purdue research agronomist says growers can increase their chances for a successful winter wheat crop by properly preparing seed beds and selecting high-quality seed.

“With the warm weather we’ve had lately the corn and soybean crops are moving along quickly, so wheat growers should prepare to be ready to plant on time,” Herb Ohm said.

Growers should plant in the two weeks following the Hessian fly-free date. For Ohio, the fly free dates range from September 22 in the northern part of the state to October 4 and 5 for the extreme south.

“Adults emerge in later summer, mate, and then oviposit in different types of grasses. Adult life span is extremely short, perhaps only a week, during which time they do not even feed. After this short time span, adults die off. The fly-free date is set at a time when it is expected that the adults have died and are no longer around the area.… Continue reading

Read More »

Soybeans faring well despite late start

Farmers may have planted soybeans much later than usual, but favorable late-season weather may have offset typical concerns about a later maturing crop, according to one Ohio State University researcher.

“Some of the fields were planted so late that the effects on overall maturity were unpredictable,” said Leah McHale, a soybean researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and an assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. “The effect of planting date didn’t have as much impact on overall maturity as we might have expected.”

In fact, the usual estimate of delay in maturity equaling one third of the delay in planting date is holding true for Ohio fields at the first of September.

“In other words, if you planted three weeks late, the soybeans are only about a week behind now,” she said.

Because weather in the critical soybean development month of August was largely favorable across Ohio, McHale sees soybeans in the region as largely well performing, particularly when compared to other regions in the country that had more significant meteorological challenges.… Continue reading

Read More »

Storage economics for corn and soybeans

With smaller grain and oilseed supplies than those of a year ago and increased storage capacity, there should be fewer crop storage issues than in recent years, said University of Illinois economist Darrel Good.

“The decision by producers to store corn and soybeans, however, should be based on expected returns rather than on capacity to store,” he said.

Total supplies (production plus beginning stocks) of the summer- and fall-harvested crops of wheat, feed grains, and soybeans is currently estimated or forecast by the USDA to be 937 million bushels, 4.3% smaller than supplies of a year ago, he said.

“The USDA estimates on-farm and off-farm grain storage capacity as of Dec. 1 each year. Total storage capacity on Dec. 1, 2010, was estimated at 22.255 billion bushels, 505 million bushels larger than capacity on December 2009,” he said.

Although storage capacity is not completely fungible over space or by type of crop, there should be ample capacity to store 2011 crops, he noted.… Continue reading

Read More »

Barren tips in 2011 corn likely

By Dave Nanda, director of genetics and technology, 
Seed Consultants, Inc.

Since we had plenty of heat units in July and August and accumulated a lot of Growing Degree Days (GDDs), I am confident that most of the corn will mature and be safe from the first killing frost. There will, however, be a lot of aborted kernels on the tips of the ears causing barren tips. The plants “intentionally” aborted the tip kernels. The question is why do the plants abort the kernels, and why on the tips?

Every species on earth, from smallest viruses and bacteria to the largest plants and animals (including humans) have one goal in life: to procreate and produce as large a progeny of offspring as possible within the limits of their genetics and environment. However, they want to produce healthy “babies” which have a chance for survival. This is important for the survival of their species.… Continue reading

Read More »

Scioto County reaches out to family in need

By Matt Reese

This summer Kile “Andy” Hayden was in a terrible car accident with his younger brothers, Jeffery and Michael. Andy was killed and his younger brothers were seriously injured. Prior to the tragedy, they were on their way to care for their 4-H hogs in preparation for the upcoming Scioto County Fair.

Andy was a promising young man who was well known in the hog barn at the county fair for helping out whenever he could and taking the time to help younger 4-Hers with their projects.

“It was the same day as the county skillathon at the fairgrounds. There were a couple hundred people there and word got around pretty quickly,” said Jo Williams, the Scioto County 4-H educator. “People were already talking about how they could help the family that day.”

While dealing with the devastating loss of one son, Carl and Susie Hayden were also facing the stress and medical expenses with two other sons in the hospital as they battled their serious injuries.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State's Dr. Bobby Moser to Retire

The longest-tenured dean at The Ohio State University announced his transition plans today.

Bobby D. Moser, vice president for Agricultural Administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), said he would step down as dean once his replacement is found.  He has agreed to stay on during a transitional period to assist a new dean and will be accepting some new assignments once the search is completed.

As vice president for agricultural administration, Moser oversees the college, Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), and the Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI). This includes 1,900 faculty and staff, 3,200 students, and an annual budget of $195 million.

Moser has served as vice president and dean at CFAES for nearly 20 years.  He is also executive dean of the university’s professional colleges and served as vice president for university outreach from 2001 to 2008.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State’s Dr. Bobby Moser to Retire

The longest-tenured dean at The Ohio State University announced his transition plans today.

Bobby D. Moser, vice president for Agricultural Administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), said he would step down as dean once his replacement is found.  He has agreed to stay on during a transitional period to assist a new dean and will be accepting some new assignments once the search is completed.

As vice president for agricultural administration, Moser oversees the college, Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), and the Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI). This includes 1,900 faculty and staff, 3,200 students, and an annual budget of $195 million.

Moser has served as vice president and dean at CFAES for nearly 20 years.  He is also executive dean of the university’s professional colleges and served as vice president for university outreach from 2001 to 2008.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cuts in feed use likely at $7 corn

With the 2011 corn crop not likely big enough to meet demand and as prices continue to rise, livestock producers soon might be facing a critical decision: whether they should reduce their use of corn for feed.

Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt said the livestock industry probably would cut back when 2012 crop prices rise above $7 per bushel – a level the market has now reached.

The USDA’s August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, or WASDE, report forecast the average U.S. farm corn price between $6.20 and $7.20 per bushel. The corn futures market prices have surpassed the $6.70 mid-point of USDA’s range and are now pricing in the low-to-mid $7 area for 2011 average cash crop prices.

For the pork industry specifically, Hurt estimates producers could pay, on average, about $6.85 per bushel for corn and still meet other operating costs.

“Corn prices will have to move to new record highs on a marketing year basis to get animal industries to reduce corn use, and they are doing that now,” Hurt said.… Continue reading

Read More »

It is time to scout for soybean diseases

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

We don’t recommend growing soybeans year-after-year in the same field. The list is endless why this is not a good thing to do, but we also know that commodity prices, planting restrictions, landlords, and other factors force this option on almost a third of our field crop production acreage.

This production practice is less than optimal primarily due to the build-up of pathogens in either the soil or on crop residues. If pathogen populations are too high, then the losses can be very substantial from soybean cyst nematode (SCN), frogeye leaf spot and Sclerotinia white mold. There are several cases in Ohio, where low levels of a particular disease were found in a field at the end of one growing season and the same variety was then planted back into the same field the following year, which resulted in an outbreak of disease and greatly reduced yields.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio No-Till Field Day Talks Cover Crop Application

The Ohio No-Till Field Day was full of talk on cover crops. David Eby of Agri Flite (above) explained aerial application of cover crops to the group. He says using an airplane is the quickest and easiest way to get the seed on the ground, but timing is the key to making it successful. Some of the advantages include: no compaction or wheel tracks, accurate application, uniform coverage, no manpower and your able to apply over corn. He is partnering with cooperatives in Western Ohio who have begun to use this method.… Continue reading

Read More »

Will prices peak early for corn and soybeans?

The 2011-12 corn and soybean marketing years will be characterized by the need to reduce consumption of both crops, but the magnitude of those needed reductions are not yet known and the prices needed to make those cuts will depend on the strength of underlying demand, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.

“Based on the most recent USDA projections and the assumption that year-ending stocks need to be maintained at or above 5% of consumption, corn use would need to be reduced by only about 30 million bushels, or 0.2%, during the year ahead. Soybean consumption would need to be reduced by 122 million bushels, or 3.7%,” Good said.

The actual reductions needed will depend on the final consumption estimates for the 2010-11 marketing year, the magnitude of old crop inventories on Sept. 1, and the size of the 2011 harvest, he said.

“Unfolding evidence suggests that the 2011 U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Morrow County Fair and the chick magnet

Apparently, when you marry a talented and beautiful Ohio Lamb and Wool Queen, occasionally judging Guys and Gals Lead Competitions is part of the deal. This is not something I recall from our marriage vows but I am told that this was indeed in there somewhere.

At any rate, my wife and I had the chance to visit the Morrow County Fair this week to serve as judges for the Guys and Gals Sheep Lead competition and had a great time visiting the fair. While the poise of the young ladies and their fine outfits were the highlight for most spectators, I have to say that Dale Morris was one of the real highlights for me. The three-year-old donned a bright yellow, feathery chicken costume complete with floppy chicken feet shoes. The sheep he led for the competition had what looked to be a giant magnet around its neck as they circled the show ring.… Continue reading

Read More »

Clean water is a priority for Poultry Environmental Steward

By Matt Reese

To do his part to prevent any sediment or nutrients from leaving the farm, Paul Dahlinghaus of Auglaize County has really stepped up the participation in EQIP on his dairy, turkey and hog farm. With his brother, he farms 600 acres and has continued his family’s tradition of dairy farming with milking 65 to 70 cows. Dahlinghaus also has added a contract hog finishing barn and a contract turkey finishing barn with Cooper Farms. Dahlinghaus is this year’s Poultry Environmental Stewardship winner, presented by the Ohio Poultry Association and Ohio Livestock Coalition.

“We put in some new waterways and one thing led to another,” he said. “We knew we had to keep improving.”

One of the first things they addressed on the farm was the milk house wastewater three years ago.

“We put in a two-step system of two septic tanks. A tile runs into a septic tank to filter solids, then it goes into a second empty tank,” Dahlinghaus said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Farm women share their message through CommonGround

Thanks to a program called CommonGround, three Ohio farm women are sharing their personal stories and experiences about farming and the food it provides.

“The lack of knowledge about America’s agricultural system has caused some confusion and distrust among people who are concerned about feeding their families safe, healthy food,” said Rachel Heimerl, CommonGround volunteer from Licking County. “As a mother myself, I understand their concerns. CommonGround is all about trying to rebuild the confidence in our food system.  To do that, we are working to show the commonalities between real farm families and consumers who benefit from all that farmers grow — to show there is, in fact, CommonGround.”

While it started as a national program, CommonGround is coordinated state-by-state. Ohio has now joined this movement and recently held a kickoff dinner August 11 at the historic Amelita Mirolo Barn in Upper Arlington.

Local business and community women leaders were invited to the dinner to have conversations about food and farming while enjoying a delicious meal of locally-produced foods.… Continue reading

Read More »

How was corn affected by the heat?

By Dave Nanda, Director of Genetics and Technology, Seed Consultants, Inc.

With the corn planted in late May and early June, at first we were all concerned about whether the corn will mature this year or not. Well that question has been answered by the streak of high temperatures we had in the Corn Belt during July and August, which produced a lot of growing degrees. Besides, you need fewer growing degrees for the late-planted corn to reach maturity. But now the question is, how yield would be affected by the heat? If you got rains with the heat, you will have decent yields with the late-planted corn. However, if you did not receive timely rains, the drought and heat could substantially reduce the yields.

Did the corn silks get well pollinated during the hot period? Pollination is rarely a problem because of the abundant pollen availability over the four- to five-day period.… Continue reading

Read More »

Farmers get up close look at Lake Erie algae issues


The Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District held the “Lake Erie Ag Tour 2011.” With all the headlines about algal blooms on Ohio lakes the past two years, and farmers getting much of the blame, the goal of the tour was to get farmers on Lake Erie and let them see things firsthand. About 40 farmers, local homeowners and government officials participated. They traveled on Ohio State University research vessels to sample the lake’s water, then to Gilbralter Island, home of OSU’s Stone Laboratory and Ohio Sea Grant Program, to analyze their samples. Read about the tour and what the group learned in the Mid-September issue of Ohio’s Country Journal.… Continue reading

Read More »