Search Results for: No days off

May brings progress with fieldwork and planting

Typical Spring weather conditions allowed operators to work the fields, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Average temperatures were slightly above historical normals and the entire State averaged just about 1 inch of precipitation. There were 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 3.

Last week farmers applied fertilizer, repaired tiles, applied manure, and planted corn and soybeans where they could. Pasture and range condition was considered 66% good or excellent compared to 46% last year. Oats were 36% emerged compared to a five-year average of 30%. Corn planted progress was ahead of last year but behind the five-year average while soybean planted progress was ahead of last year and the five-year average.

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Good plant stand is a must for high corn yields

By Dave Nanda, Ph.D., Seed Genetics Direct director of genetics

With all the bad news about the coronavirus this year, we need a miracle. It is really a miracle of nature that a puny little seedling can grow into a big, tall corn plant within a couple of months. The most crucial time in the life of a corn plant is the seedling stage. If we understand how our crops grow, we can do a better job of meeting their needs and improve the odds for getting higher yields. Let’s look at what happens as the young corn plants develop.

Stage V1 to V2 — corn seedlings need 110 to 120 growing degrees to germinate and emerge. The seedlings emerge when coleoptile, the spear-like leaf, pierces thru the ground. First and second leaves develop six to seven days after the seedlings emerge. The first roots start to supply water and nutrients to the young seedlings.… Continue reading

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Wheat Freeze Aftermath

By Emily Unglesbee
DTN Staff Reporter

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — Wheat is a tough crop, but it’s not invincible, Kyle Krier has learned.

On the first night temperatures plunged below freezing where he farms near Claflin, Kansas, in mid-April, he winced but knew the wheat could probably make it.

“If we could have skipped that second night and third night, we would have been OK,” Krier recalled. “We still had some ground warmth left.” But the cold air settled in for several more nights. At one point, Krier calculated that the night air lingered below 29 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 hours.

Now Krier and countless other farmers in Oklahoma and Kansas are walking through fields of winter wheat — much of it off to a good start from plentiful fall moisture — and counting their dead.

Extension agents and crop scientists from Oklahoma State and Kansas State Universities conducted mini crop tours over the past week and found extensive damage.

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Managing stored grain into summer

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, Ohio State University Extension

If you are storing more grain on farm this spring than usual, you are not alone. Over the last few weeks, we have heard from more producers who are considering holding grain longer into summer months than they normally would. We have also heard a few reports of spoiled grain as producers fill April contracts. Carrying graining into summer has been done for many years successfully but requires much more intensive management than winter grain storage.

Key advice for long-term grain storage

  1. If bins were not cored in early winter, core bins now.
  2. Verify the moisture content of stored grain is at or below recommended levels.
  3. Monitor grain temperature every 3 or 4 weeks throughout storage paying special attention to insect activity and mold.
  4. Monitor the roof area for signs of condensation.
  5. Cover fans to keep the chimney effect from warming the grain.
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Corn and soybean planting getting started

Farmers planted some of the first 2020 corn and soybean fields in Ohio last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Temperatures averaged 5 degrees cooler than historical normals and the entire State averaged normal amounts of precipitation last week. There were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 26.

Fields were dry enough most of the week and farmers worked the ground, sprayed weeds, spread manure and fertilizers, and tiled fields. Corn and soybean planting began in earnest on some farms. Freezing temperatures, mainly in the north, caused damage to some orchard blossoms and alfalfa fields. Oats were 18% emerged compared to a five-year average of 16%. The winter wheat crop was rated 71% good to excellent condition compared to 29% last year.

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Out there

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

As is being experienced by many Ohio families, with a wife and a college-sophomore son working/studying from home and being underfoot with me these days, life is a bit different. During an average workday I’m used to sharing the house with no more than a part-time cat, and enjoy the solitude. In fact, I’ve realized that as a bit of a recluse I’ve have been practicing social distancing for years, so the isolation we are asked to practice during these anything-but-average times is less of a strain on me than, say, a librarian or a college student, who thrive on much more social interaction.

I won’t go into detail on how we are managing things in the Armitage household, beyond having hidden all the sharp objects. What I will share is that, like most of you interested enough to read a column about the outdoors, let alone likely enjoying a rural lifestyle, we family members agree that we are fortunate.… Continue reading

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Still Some SBA Loan Confusion

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

GLENWOOD, Iowa (DTN) — At least some farmers should be in a better position to apply for Small Business Administration emergency loans set up to help small businesses manage through the coronavirus crisis. But there are still some glitches that could affect them.

The first rule, though, is get in touch with your lender and get your application paperwork together as soon as possible. The House of Representatives voted overwhelming late Thursday afternoon to send the $484 billion aid package to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

Much like at the end of March, the spigot on $310 billion in new funds for SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will start flowing within hours after President Donald Trump signs the new aid package into law.

“It moved extremely quickly in the first round, and it’s going to move just as quickly in the second round,” said RJ Karney director of government relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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Packing Plants Need Federal Action

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

GLENWOOD, Iowa (DTN) — The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday called on the White House Coronavirus Task Force to help deal with the growing crisis facing pork producers.

Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., wrote to Vice President Mike Pence, “Because of COVID-19, many of America’s pork producers have no access to processing and have no choice but to depopulate their herds.” Peterson added that the Trump administration needs to begin a “robust federal response to address this dire situation.”

Packing plant capacity continues to erode nationally as plants remain “hotspots” across the country for large numbers of positive coronavirus cases. Tyson Foods continues announcing plant closures, with pork plants in Waterloo, Iowa, and Logansport, Indiana, suspending operations, along with a beef plant in Pasco, Washington.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union cited nationally at least 13 packing plants that employ its union workers now have experienced closures, affecting 10% of beef production and 25% of pork production.

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Crop Progress: Winter wheat jointing progresses

Cold temperatures and precipitation didn’t stop farmers from working the fields entirely, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Temperatures averaged 10 degrees cooler than historical normals and the entire State averaged slightly more precipitation last week. There were 1.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 19. Temperatures fell below freezing across most of the State and the lowest temperatures were observed in the west and north. Some northern portions of the State received 3-4 inches of snow. Freezing temperatures burned some winter wheat leaf tips as winter wheat jointing progress was 5 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Freezing temperatures caused fruit growers take preventative freeze measures and to scout for frost injury to budding trees and vines. Anhydrous Ammonia was applied to fields, top dressing of wheat continued, and manure was hauled. Chemical spraying was hampered due to high winds. Alfalfa leaf damage was reported in some hay fields, but damage was not widespread.… Continue reading

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The front lines of animal health during COVID-19

By Matt Reese

There is legitimate concern out there for those on the front lines of human health during this pandemic, but those on the front lines of animal health are also of great importance to Ohio’s livestock farms and agricultural community.

“Being a veterinarian is always complicated, but right now during the COVID-19 situation, we are challenged to balance the needs of our patients — the pets or livestock and their health —the client health and financial well being, and of

course our employee health and financial well being,” said Dr. Mark Hardesty, with the Maria Stein Animal Clinic. “Way more than half of our business is with cattle, primarily dairy cattle, and of course they are essential for food production. That work has not changed much. There is some consulting where we would normally sit in a room with several decision makers and go through records and discuss parameters and objectives, some of those have been cancelled.”… Continue reading

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COVID-19 Cited in RFS Request

By Todd Neeley
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — Though governors in five oil-producing states asked the EPA for a refiner waiver from Renewable Fuel Standard volumes on Wednesday night, officials with three ethanol industry groups say the request has no merit.

In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Greg Abbott of Texas; Gary Herbert, Utah; Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt; Mark Gordon of Wyoming; and Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards, said refiners in their states face a financial burden from oil-market disruptions caused by COVID-19 economic shutdowns.

Geoff Cooper, president and chief executive officer of the Renewable Fuels Association, said the agency has rejected similar requests and should do so now.

“Apparently toilet paper isn’t the only thing in short supply in oil states these days,” he said in a statement.

“Clearly, these governors are experiencing an acute shortage of facts and reality too. It’s clear they know absolutely nothing about how the Renewable Fuel Standard actually works.

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COVID-19 creating tensions between protecting public health versus respecting individual rights

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

Did you hear about the 53-year old Kentucky man who contracted Covid-19? He was the first coronovirus case in Nelson County, and he checked himself out of the hospital, against medical advice, to return home. Apparently, the authorities were concerned he would not properly self-isolate, so Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear ordered deputies from the local Sheriff’s Department to surround the man’s house to ensure his compliance. Gov. Beshear explained that he “can’t allow one person who we know has the virus to refuse to protect their neighbors.”

Meanwhile, up in the Maine island town of Vinalhaven, four construction workers, who had rented a home for a month for a job they had been working since September, reported that neighbors cut down a tree and dragged it to block the road to their house so that the four were unable to leave.… Continue reading

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Ag Labs Open for Business

By Emily Unglesbee
DTN Staff Reporter

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — Amid coronavirus-related lockdowns, most states and university administrations have deemed soil and plant diagnostic testing laboratories as “essential” services, able to remain open to accept samples from farmers and scientists this spring and summer.

“In the time of COVID-19, plants still get sick, and the soil that nourishes them needs care,” stated a press release from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in late March. “The health of plants and soil is critical to agriculture, an industry designated an essential service in response to the pandemic.”

Like many other laboratories, UF’s testing sites are making adjustments to try to keep employees safe and limit their contact with one another. For some labs, that has meant trimming back to a small staff, which has increased sample turn-around times. Other laboratories are limiting what samples they will accept, often banning in-person submissions and only accepting mailed samples that meet certain criteria.

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Smithfield Closes SD Plant

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

GLENWOOD, Iowa (DTN) — Smithfield Foods announced Sunday the company was closing its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facility indefinitely after state officials reported the plant accounted for nearly 40% of all COVID-19 cases in the state and South Dakota’s governor on Saturday demanded the plant close for at least two weeks.

Smithfield previously announced it would suspend operations at the pork plant for three days. South Dakota’s state Department of Health on Saturday reported that 238 of the state’s 626 coronavirus cases involved workers at the Smithfield plant, the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader reported.

Packing plants around the country now are among the most significant hotspots for COVID-19 cases in the country. Tyson, Cargill, JBS SA, National Beef and other major packers have also each faced similar shutdown scenarios. On Friday, JBS announced it would close its Greeley, Colorado, beef plant for at least three days after 36 workers there had tested positive and Colorado media reported two workers from the plant had died.

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Crop Progress: Wheat jointing, Oats being planted

Rain fell and fields remained too wet for most equipment, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Temperatures averaged 4 degrees higher than historical normals and the entire State averaged about an inch of rain. There were 2.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 12. Oats planted progress jumped to 24 percent complete last week despite the short window for fieldwork. Other field activity was limited and ranged from manure hauling, spraying weeds, to tiling fields. Top dressing of winter wheat with nitrogen continued although consistent rain threatened to wash away application effectiveness. Hay fields and pastures continued to slowly green up even as soil moisture levels remained mostly surplus.… Continue reading

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Controlling slugs

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Slug populations increase during mild winters and flourish during wet springs, especially in no-till or cover crop fields. Scouting shows that slug populations are increasing and may be an issue this year.  Slug control depends upon understanding slug biology, scouting, natural predators, and effective cultural practices.

Biology: There are over 80,000 slug species, but the main pest is the Gray Garden Slug which lays over 500 eggs in the Spring and Fall. Offspring from one gray garden slug could produce over 90,000 grand-children and 27 million descendants, so slug populations can explode quickly.   Slugs mature in 5-6 months and may live 6-18 months with juveniles causing most crop damage, eating 2.5X their body weight daily.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Slugs can survive without food for several months during hot summers, with most crop damage in the spring or fall.  Slugs are dependent upon moisture, cool conditions, and lush vegetation for food and shelter.

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Machinery Manufacturer Engines Sputter

By Dan Miller
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor

Major equipment manufacturers announced temporary factory shutdowns last week as the coronavirus pandemic found its way to manufacturing floors.

John Deere’s Dubuque, Iowa, plant closed March 30, days after discovering one case of COVID-19. On April 1, the manufacturer announced that it had resumed production with a limited number of employees at the Dubuque construction and forestry factory. Production startup will be staggered over the coming weeks.

Deere suspended production at its hydraulic-cylinder factory in Moline, Illinois, after management learned of a confirmed COVID-19 case with an employee there on April 2. During the suspension, the facility will undergo a thorough disinfection that meets or exceeds local and state health-department guidance. Those employees able to work remotely during this time will continue to do so.

AGCO Corp. is fighting this same battle. “In Europe, depending on the location, we are seeing some operations closing,” Robert Crain, senior vice president and GM, Americas, for AGCO Corp.,

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COVID-19 Hits Packing Plants

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

OMAHA (DTN) — Coronavirus cases are increasingly affecting the meatpacking industry as both a beef and pork plant in Iowa were closed this week because of positive cases.

Tyson Foods announced a pork processing plant is suspending operations at an eastern Iowa plant after 24 positive cases were tied to its workforce. National Beef also announced it was moving up a major cleaning process at the Iowa Premium Beef plant in Tama, Iowa, after a worker tested positive.

The meatpacking industry is deemed as essential by the federal government as part of the need to keep food processing going, but that also places staff and workers in constant close quarters that go against the social-distancing standards now in place around the country.

At least 13 workers at the beef packing plant for JBS SA in Grand Island, Nebraska, have tested positive. The plant employs about 3,000 people.

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Buckeye Country Creamery meeting customer demand with high quality products

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Following a downturn in milk prices, Christy Hulse and her family were looking for new, innovative ways to remain on their family’s dairy farm.

“Milk prices were low, so we knew we had to start doing something different,” Hulse said. “We thought maybe bottling milk might be an option for us, to keep things on the farm rolling.”

However, it took a visit from a fellow dairyman and his wife to truly spark the idea behind Buckeye Country Creamery. Christy, co-owner of the creamery located in Ashland, Ohio, had spent a summer in college completing an internship on a dairy farm in Australia.

“I would drink milk every single day and the wife of the dairy farmer would just watch me and say, ‘I can’t do that, I

would be so sick,’” Hulse said. “She came to America to visit while we were building the creamery and came to the farm here and said ‘Hey, have you ever heard of A2 milk?… Continue reading

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LL GT27 Beans Get a Herbicide

By Emily Unglesbee
DTN Staff Reporter

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — A limited group of soybean growers using LL GT27 soybeans will soon have access to a corresponding HPPD herbicide, BASF’s Alite 27 herbicide, which contains isoxaflutole.

The GT27 soybean trait was developed by MS Technologies to tolerate applications of glyphosate and isoxaflutole. The trait is usually stacked with the LibertyLink trait and sold as LL GT27 soybeans, which are available through several different seed companies.

On Monday, BASF received the green light from EPA to market and sell Alite 27, the only HPPD herbicide now registered for use on LL GT27 soybeans. Some small quantities of the herbicide are available for 2020, with a full commercial launch planned for 2021, BASF spokesperson Odessa Hines told DTN in an email.

“Alite 27 herbicide will be commercially available for sale to growers in registered counties during the 2021 season,” Hines wrote. “However, there will be some limited demonstration product available this year… Growers interested in receiving demonstration Alite 27 should speak to their local BASF representative.”

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