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Crops



Todd Hesterman, Sept. 22

There have been a few fields of beans taken off around here. Even our late beans are just starting to change colors. I think we are finally in the drying down phase.

We had a little warmer weather into the 80s. That was very nice and really pushed things along. We got a little rain over the weekend, but nothing heavy or severe. Things are definitely starting to look different. Even the corn in the area is starting to mature and dry down. I think there could be some corn harvest starting pretty soon. I think we are still two or three weeks for us to get started with harvest on our farm.

We didn’t get our beans planted as early as we’d like so we are behind and the cool weather held us back a bit. I am still planning on putting in 53 acres of wheat this fall. The seed is ordered.

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Tom Yuhasz, Sept. 22

People are up in arms over this CAUV issue around here. I have landowners that I rent from wanting to sell their farms because they can’t afford the taxes. On some farms the CAUV value is higher than the real value of the land.

I don’t see the bean harvest going strong until maybe late October. These beans are a ways off. We just have not had the heat. It has been a cold year. It has been on the cold side. I have never seen the rain like we have had it this year. We were able to plant 50 acres of wheat after wheat.

The only thing that has been done around here with harvest is chopping some corn and that started last week. We have seen some SDS, some brown stem rot and some white mold. We also saw a late infestation of aphids and we will have to watch closely for them early next year.

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Brad Mattix, Sept. 22

There are a few guys around here that had some early varieties that were planted early. They have started cutting beans. I have heard yields of anywhere from 45 bushels to 60 bushels. I would say we’ll get started with harvesting beans before the end of the week.

I noticed that there are some tops out of this corn already. I am afraid this corn is not going to stand too well as we go through harvest. If we get wind with rain it could be really bad.

We’ll start in with beans. Our corn moisture is still in the mid-30s. And I have heard that storage could be an issue this fall. It sounds like it will be first come first serve at the elevators. Some of the elevators are not completely empty because they can’t get trains to haul out the old crop.

We have not had much rain.

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Jed Bower, Sept. 22

My neighbor is opening up field across the road and they said it is running 19% to 20% moisture. I have heard yields in the area all over the board from 250 bushels on down to 165 bushels.

We are finishing up a few things and hopefully this afternoon we’ll give it a shot with the corn. We have been hand-shelling ears and we have moisture anywhere from 38% to 22%. I might have a few acres of beans ready by the end of the week.

The first harvest around here was a couple of weeks ago but that was for high moisture corn for some dairies. Most of the people who are started got started last week. Some are doing corn and some are cutting beans.

We had some winds that made for a really nice drying day. It was a little overcast yesterday but fairly warm and 10 to 15 mile per hour winds.

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Weekly Corn Belt Update – September 19th, 2014

WEEKLY CORN BELT CROP REPORT

Host:  Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities “Snapshot Tour”

The Snapshot Tour is hosted by Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities. This is a daily update on crop and weather conditions across locations in the Corn Belt.  Listen to the audio report in full by visiting www.colgancommodities.com and clicking on the audio tab.

Maumee, Ohio

Harvest is still a few weeks out for “full swing”.  Some beans have been run, but according to chatter from the just-finished Farm Science Review.  There will be reports of outstanding yields, but there are areas that ran out of much-needed moisture.  Beans looks great.

  Greenville, OH

The local ethanol plant has been offering a drying premium, and a few producers have been able to participate.  The yields on those fields have been 190 dry, and the farmer is very happy.  It’s not his best dirt so it should only get better.  Very, very few early beans in our area. 

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NCGA gets Conservation Innovation Grant

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the National Corn Growers Association was among the recipients of the Conservation Innovation Grants. The National Corn Growers Association CIG award will be utilized to support the Soil Health Partnership. The Soil Health Partnership represents a cooperative effort among several organizations working together with farmers to demonstrate and communicate the benefits of soil health to agricultural production.

“The Soil Health Partnership is identifying, testing and measuring management practices that improve soil health and benefit farmers’ operations,” said Martin Barbre, NCGA president. “NCGA believes projects that share information from farmers to farmers provide platforms that create greater understanding and facilitate broader implement agricultural best practices. This grant will allow the Soil Health Partnership to reach more growers in a shorter period of time than we could do otherwise.”

NCGA will receive almost $1 million to evaluate the linkages between soil health and on-farm management practices over the next three years.

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Increasing corn yields requires improving nutrient balance

Ensuring that corn absorbs the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is crucial to increasing global yields, a Purdue and Kansas State University study finds.

A review of data from more than 150 studies from the U.S. and other regions showed that high yields were linked to production systems in which corn plants took up key nutrients at specific ratios — nitrogen and phosphorus at a ratio of 5-to-1 and nitrogen and potassium at a ratio of 1-to-1. These nutrient uptake ratios were associated with high yields regardless of the region where the corn was grown.

“The agricultural community has put a lot of emphasis on nitrogen as a means of increasing yields, but this study highlights the greater importance of nutrient balance,” said Tony Vyn, Purdue professor of agronomy. “We will not be able to continually boost global corn yields and achieve food security without providing adequate and balanced nutrients.”

While corn producers in the U.S.

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Crop insurance sales closing date for fall crops in Ohio

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Ohio producers of wheat and winter barley that they have until sales closing on Sept. 30 to purchase crop insurance or make a change to their existing policy.

Crop insurance protects against yield and revenue losses. Producers have a number of coverage choices, including yield coverage, revenue protection and area risk policies.

RMA also recently announced the availability of the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) in select counties for winter and spring wheat for the 2015 crop year. SCO is a county-level policy endorsement that can be added to an underlying crop insurance policy, and covers a portion of losses not covered by the same crop’s underlying policy. Producers electing to participate in the Farm Service Agency’s Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) for a crop on a farm cannot buy SCO for the same crop on the farm.

Producers applying for SCO for the 2015 winter wheat crop may withdraw coverage on any farm where they have elected, or where they intend to elect, ARC for winter wheat by the earlier of their acreage reporting date or December 15 without penalty.

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Long awaited ENLIST system deregulated by USDA

The National Corn Growers Association applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s approval of Dow AgroSciences 2,4-D and glyphosate-resistant corn, a part of the ENLIST system. This approval, which will still require U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval of the accompanying pesticide before the system comes to market, represents the first time in which USDA approved a crop modified to be resistant to more than one herbicide.

“Gaining approval for this important technology has been a long, hard fought battle,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman, a farmer from Rosendale, Wis. “It is important that farmers continue to gain access to the tools that they need in the field through a science-based, timely regulatory system. We look forward to similar results for other herbicide systems in the future.”

The decision, which posted to the regulatory docket, states that USDA finds no issues with the release of the crop.

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Silver lining to the 2014 harvest

Agronomists have a strong tendency to only discuss the doom and gloom events happening in corn fields. Very seldom do we discuss the positive and exciting events, but now is the time to start. The highlight in corn fields this year is high kernel counts. Why are high kernel counts exciting?

Farmers are always working towards are high yields, and high yields are only accomplished with high kernel counts. The more kernels produced per acre the more yield is achieved. A grower can increase their kernel counts by increasing the number of ears per acre, by having more kernels on every ear or by doing both. The work done by growers through weed management, hybrid selection, nitrogen timing and amounts, overall fertility, tillage and planter operation all go into determining how many kernels are in every acre.

Kernel counts are ultimately determined by a combination between the weather and by the management of the corn field.

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What are the laws about drones on the farm?

While the appeal of using unmanned aerial systems by farmers and growers to aid in farm operations is growing in popularity, before launching a drone over crops to gauge field conditions, farmers need to be aware that doing so could result in a hefty fine from the Federal Aviation Administration.

While the technology is available for farmers and growers to utilize drones for their farm operations, the rules of who can use it and how aren’t as clear, according to Peggy Hall, assistant professor and Ohio State University Extension field specialist in agricultural and resource law.

“In this case, the technology is clearly ahead of the law,” she said. “While there are unmanned aerial systems available for purchase by consumers, the regulatory system on their usage is still developing.

“While landowners, farmers and growers need to know if it is legal to use UASs on their own land to monitor crops or for other uses on their farm, at this point it’s still a gray area in the law.”

Hall will talk about UASs during a workshop at this year’s Farm Science Review.

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Farm Bill decision hot topic at Farm Science Review

As growers consider their options under the new provisions of the 2014 farm bill, economists and policy experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences were discussing what the changes mean for farmers at the Farm Science Review today.

The panel discussion, “Farm Program Choices for the 2014 Farm Bill,” was moderated by Matthew Roberts, an Ohio State University Extension economist. The panelists in the discussion were Zulauf, an economist in the college’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, and Barry Ward, production business management leader for OSU Extension.

The passage of the farm bill authorizes U.S. nutrition and agricultural programs through 2018 and includes major changes to the safety net programs that crop producers across the country rely on for support, Zulauf said.

“This is an opportunity for producers to think strategically about the farm, its cash flow, its exposure to risk, and the means available to manage the risk,” he said.

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New grain storage setup at this year’s Farm Science Review

As always, the field demonstrations will certainly be a popular attraction at the Farm Science Review but this year, the demos will quite literally be overshadowed by an impressive new grain storage setup towering over the crop fields.

The construction project kicked off May 19 at the storage site, located in the middle of the Molly Caren Agricultural Center. The project will add 90% to the existing storage capacity, said Chuck Gamble, manager of the Farm Science Review.

“We’ve had the need for additional storage capacity for many, many years,” Gamble said. “We’re updating the facilities with the latest technology and infrastructure in grain handling and storage, which our attendees will take great interest in at this year’s show.”

The renovation project is being headed up by MRC Sales and Service, of London — a longtime exhibitor and supporter of the Farm Science Review.

“Mike Miller and his staff have done a phenomenal job working on this project,” Gamble said.

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Coalition forming to end embargo with Cuba

Prominent members of the U.S. food and agriculture community, including the American Soybean Association, agreed to officially form a national coalition to address liberalizing trade between the United States and Cuba. The members of the coalition believe that it is time to end the embargo and allow open trade and investment to happen.

Under current sanctions, U.S. food and agriculture companies can legally export to Cuba under provisions providing for humanitarian exemptions. However, financing restrictions limit the ability of the U.S. industry to competitively serve the market. Foreign competitors such as Brazil and Argentina are increasingly taking market share from U.S. industry because those countries do not face the same restrictions on financing.

ASA will be actively involved in working towards the end of the embargo against Cuba and normalizing trade relations between the two countries that are only 90 miles apart and are natural trading partners. The coalition plans to actively engage in constructive dialogue with stakeholders through lobbying efforts, strategic communications, and a variety of other efforts to build momentum and drive historical change.

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The Weekly Corn Belt Update – September 12th, 2014

WEEKLY CORN BELT CROP REPORT

Host:  Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities “Snapshot Tour”

The Snapshot Tour is hosted by Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities. This is a daily update on crop and weather conditions across locations in the Corn Belt.  Listen to the audio report in full by visiting www.colgancommodities.com and clicking on the audio tab.

Maumee, Ohio

Harvest is still at least a good two weeks away.  A few fields of beans have been run, but likely more to “satisfy” the coffee shop talk and to get a first look at potential yields.  Areas in the north central part of the state could run next week, but they came up short on rain the final stretch. 

  Greenville, OH

Most everyone had nice rains from the most recent event on Wednesday night.  Amounts ranged from just under an inch to 3+ inches. These last two rains have been extremely beneficial for late beans and to add test weight. 

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Wheat is getting another look

Ohio wheat getting more consideration for planting on some farms this fall due to the challenging markets for corn,  though wheat is a mainstay of the rotation for Ron Foor, of Fayette County, who grows seed wheat for Seed Consultants, Inc. Foor turned in a yield of more than 123 bushels in the Seed Consultants, Inc. 2014 Project 150 Wheat Yield Contest with SC 1324.

“One of the biggest things that I feel helps us is that we always work our ground. We don’t no-till it in. We have a 30-foot head and we get a lot of chaff in the windrow and it is hard to get good seed to soil contact. We disk it and plant it and we always get good emergence with that. We have had strips in the field where it didn’t grow right when we no-tilled,” Foor said. “We have a heavy Landoll disk and it’ll go in pretty deep and mix the trash up pretty well.

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Railway woes growing for farm crop transportation

Railway issues, including shortage of cars, delays and the possible impact on farmers as a new crop harvest begins this season have been high priorities in Washington, D.C. agricultural discussions this fall.

As the backlog of rail cars in the upper Midwest continues, and elevators are still full of 2013-crop grain ahead a record 2014 harvest, both farmers and lawmakers worry the backlog will create a grain storage crisis as a new crop harvest begins.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in September and discussed the railway issues. Vilsack said he is “deeply concerned with the record harvest underway,” and described the problem to the president, telling him while BNSF Railway is taking steps in the right direction, the Canadian Pacific still has a ways to go. Vilsack also said Agriculture Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Services Ed Avalos wrote a letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) underscoring USDA’s concerns.

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Cover crop planting may need to wait due to late crops

While cover crops have tremendous potential to improve soil and water quality, they do need to be carefully managed to have a viable role in the crop rotation. With a late planting season, and a cool growing season, cover crop veteran Dave Brandt, of Fairfield County, said that changes might need to be made with regard to establishing cover crops this year.

“We need to look at when we are going to apply these cover crops, especially with the late planting this spring. It is really going to be tough to do aerial seeding with the beans still as green as they are. There is a lot being applied right now and I don’t think they should be, mainly because the cover crop will grow too much and it will be hard to cut the beans,” Brandt said. “Guys that haven’t thought of that will be disgusted because when the dew sets in at 4:30 or 5:00 in the evening, they’ll be done cutting beans for the day.

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Sept. 11 report continues bearish trends for crop prices

Let us not forget what happened on this date in 2001. All of us remember where we were and what what we were doing.

The report today was bearish for corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Shortly before the report came out corn was down 4 cents, soybeans were down 5 cents, and wheat was down 8 cents. Shortly after the report corn was down 8 cents, soybeans down 20 cents, and wheat was down 14 cents.

The trade was anticipating much with this report. Higher production, higher yields, and higher ending stocks were expected across the board ahead of todays reports. In addition all of us have been hearing for weeks that big crops get bigger. The trade has been looking for each report to be larger compared to the previous month. The final production numbers will be out in January 2015.

U.S. corn production was estimated at 14.395 billion bushels with a yield of 171.7 bushels per acre.

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Markets watching, farmers bracing, for big yield numbers in Sept. 11 USDA reports

The downward slide for grain prices continued into the first week of September. Corn, soybeans, and wheat made new contract lows at that time. Bear in mind there is a tremendous amount of bearish sentiment as corn and soybeans head into fall harvest. Traders are looking for both corn and soybean production and yields to climb with this week’s report. FC Stone came out with their estimate of corn production at 14.455 billion bushels and a nationwide yield of 174.1 bushels per acre. Soybean production was estimated near 4 billion bushels and a yield of 47.6 bushels per acre. Ending stocks for soybeans could easily climb to almost 600 million bushels if yield estimates continue to climb.

Several columns back, I commented that a four billion bushel soybean crop was not out of the realm of possibility. It looks like that is more than just a remote possibility for 2014 soybeans.

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