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Pipeline holdups boosting soybeans

Harvest across the Midwest and Ohio continues to drag on. For many Ohio producers harvest progress in October was a mixed blessing. Yields are above expectations for some, especially corn yields that in numerous cases are record breaking. Frequent rains in October slowed soybean harvest to a crawl. Many days were lacking in sunshine and prevented soybeans from drying sufficiently when it was not raining.

Numerous grain facilities found themselves without rail cars when expected. As a result, bushels were not moving to town as trucks sat full of grain. With the USDA harvest progress report of Oct. 27, the Ohio soybean harvest had reached 50%, with the average at 73% at this time. As a result of the slow soybean harvest pace, a number of Ohio’s producers did not plant all of the winter wheat acres they had intended to plant. Don’t be surprised to see Ohio’s winter wheat acres down 3% to 5% from previous years.… Continue reading

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Corn drying tips

We are looking at a bumper corn crop but a lot of it is going to be pretty wet and will need drying before storage. Ken Hellevang, NDSU Ag Engineer, has offered some excellent tips below:

• If the corn moisture is more than 21%, do not use natural air or low-temperature drying.

• Limit the grain depth to about 20 feet in bins to obtain proper airflow rate for drying. You need airflow of 1 to 1.25 cubic feet per minute per bushel, in order to dry corn before deterioration occurs.

• During extended periods of rain, or snow, turn fans off to minimize the amount of moisture the fans pull into the bin.

• Use the maximum drying temperature that will not damage corn if you are going to use high temperature drying. This should increase the dryer’s capacity and reduce energy use.

• Limit dryer temperature to prevent scorching.… Continue reading

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Cover crop seeding dates extended

Due to the delayed crop harvest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) extended the date to plant certain types of cover crops in Ohio.

Producers with Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) contracts that include planting cover crops can plant winter wheat and triticale until Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, and cereal rye until Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. If not applied properly, fertilizers containing nutrients, like phosphorus applied on cropland, can run-off into drainage ditches or leach into tile lines and empty into the streams and rivers leading to Lake Erie or the Gulf of Mexico.

These nutrients feed algae, causing blooms that peak in the warmer summer and early fall. The blooms may affect boating, swimming, and fishing and may cause health problems if the algae produces toxins. Planting cover crops on fields that grow after harvesting row crops help hold nutrients in place during the fallow months, reducing soil erosion and water run-off.… Continue reading

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Lessons from Ohio’s 2014 Fall Soybean Weed Survey

The good news in the results of the 2014 Fall Soybean Weed Survey is that we have several areas of the state where growers are managing their resistant weed problems. I make the assumption that most of Ohio soybeans are RoundupReady, and that if weeds are still in the soybean field at the end of the season, then there must have been a failure of the system. This is not always correct, but then we are making assumptions that may not be too far off.

So who does the Fall Soybean Weed Survey by driving 80 miles on the road in each county? In Table 1, is a listing of the counties in the survey, the Extension educator, the number of fields and acres they checked.

Table 1. County, educator, acres and field number by county in the 2014 Fall Soybean Weed Survey.

CountyOSU Extension AgNR educator

Acres surveyed

Total number fields

ChampaignAmanda Douridas



DarkeSam Custer



DefianceBruce Clevenger



FayetteAdam Shepard



FultonEric Richer



Geauga, Ashtabula, TrumbullLes Ober



GreeneMary Griffith



HardinMark Badertscher



MarionSteve Prochaska



MercerDennis Riethman



MontgomerySuzanne Mills-Wasniak



PauldingSarah Noggle



ShelbyDebbie Brown



UnionAmanda Douridas



WilliamsFlo Chirra




That is some 1,300 soybean fields and 67,000 acres they sampled to make the observations.… Continue reading

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The Weekly Corn Belt Update – October 31st, 2014


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 made significant progress this week.  85% of the beans are run, with yields averaging in the mid 60’s.  Corn harvest is at least 50% complete, with yields averaging around 200+.  The Michigan locations are starting to see some white mold, so they will need to keep an eye out for any possible developments, but otherwise yields have been great.

  Greenville, OH

This has been one of the best weeks for bean harvest – finally!  Beans are likely at least 90-95% complete in our area, and corn is at least 50%.  Yields for beans are running in the mid 50’s to mid-60’s. … Continue reading

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Midwest Cover Crop Guide can help improve soil health

Soil researchers and educators from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences have collaborated on a newly updated Midwest Cover Crops Guide that can help growers learn how to improve the state’s water quality while improving soil health, increasing yields, lowering input costs and earning higher farm income.

Adding cover crops to field crops production can not only improve soil health, it can also benefit the environment, increase water quality and lower production costs, said Jim Hoorman, an Ohio State University Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops, soil health and water quality issues.

Hoorman, along with OSU Extension Educators Rafiq Islam, Alan Sundermeier, Curtis Young, Sarah Noggle and Randall Reeder and researchers from the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, assisted agronomists and researchers with the Midwest Cover Crops Council in revising the cover crops guide. The Midwest Cover Crops Council also includes members from several universities, including Ohio State, Hoorman said.… Continue reading

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Late fall weed control in winter wheat

There are effective late-fall post-emergence options for management of dandelion and winter annual weeds in wheat for use mostly in those fields that were not treated with burndown herbicides prior to emergence.  For late-planted fields where wheat has not emerged, it’s still possible to use the full range of burndown herbicides discussed in a previous article (http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2014/2014-32/#5). A couple of questions we received lately about burndown include:

1. Is it possible for pre-emergence applications of glyphosate to reduce the yield of wheat?  Not that we know of, as long as the wheat shoot is still underground.

2. What about a burndown of glyphosate plus Sharpen at two ounces per acre?  It’s not possible to use 2,4-D as a burndown in fields that have been planted.  The combination of glyphosate and Sharpen is an effective alternative to make sure that emerged marestail plants are controlled. The one ounce per acre rate of Sharpen should be adequate this late in the season. … Continue reading

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New web tool allows users to visualize agriculture data

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) now offers the Ag Census Web Maps application, a dynamic online tool that gives users rapid access to Census of Agriculture maps and data about crops and plants, livestock and animals, economics, farms, and operators in more than 3,000 counties across the United States.

“The Ag Census Web Maps give farmers, ranchers, researchers, planners, non-profits, and industry easy access to important data that impact nearly every aspect of agriculture,” said NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly.

The Ag Census Web Maps application is interactive. Users can navigate to an area of interest, print the map, display and extract a county’s data, download maps and accompanying data for use with common software programs, and integrate the web map services with other mapping applications to visualize and analyze 2012 Census of Agriculture data in a geospatial context. NASS developed the application in collaboration with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).… Continue reading

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Harvest delays may be reducing corn yield

Persistent rains have delayed corn harvest across the state and are not helping with field drying. Many growers are delaying harvest until grain moisture drops further. However, leaving corn to dry in the field exposes a crop to unfavorable weather conditions, as well as wildlife damage. A crop with weak plant integrity is more vulnerable to yield losses from stalk lodging and ear drop when weathering conditions occur. The widespread root lodging that occurred as a result of wind storms in July is contributing to this problem. Additional losses may occur when ear rots reduce grain quality and can lead to significant dockage when the grain is marketed. Some ear rots produce mycotoxins, which may cause major health problems if fed to livestock.

Several years ago we conducted a study that evaluated effects of four plant populations (24,000, 30,000, 36,000, and 42,000 plants per acre) and three harvest dates (early-mid Oct., Nov.… Continue reading

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Options with options

I noticed big changes along I-80 and I-35 during my drive back to MN from the farm this week.  Nearly all of the beans had been harvested, with most combines picking corn.  I didn’t see any elevators with piles of corn, but in most areas farmers are behind with their harvest.

Fundamentally the trade is bearish, but farmers have built a lot of storage in the past few years.  So, many can “sit tight” on their harvest during drops in the market.  End users, on the other hand, may have to work harder to get farmers to sell.  It is uncertain if this will lead to upside potential in the future.  There are so many questions:

  • Will the market carry disappear?
  • Will basis rally?
  • Will futures rally?
  • Will farmers get $4 cash corn and $10 beans?


Beans continue to surprise the grain trade.  Fundamentally beans should be bearish, but this isn’t the case.  … Continue reading

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Brad Mattix, Oct. 27

We have made some pretty decent progress. We still have 500 acres of beans and quite a bit of corn to go. There is only one person in the area I know of who is done. Beans are probably 70% done and corn is maybe at 35% or 40% around here.

The bean yields have been pretty decent. I have heard a range from 45 to a field that averaged 80 bushels. They are better than what I was anticipating.

The later planted corn is still running 30% moisture. There are some fields doing well and some not so good. I have heard of fields running from 125 bushels up to 270 bushels.

We have some corn fields where we are losing the tops and it looks like it could go down. We are not going to get to that corn before this rain. We are behind. I wish we were done with our beans.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower, Oct. 27

Earlier this morning we thought we would be done today, but now I don’t know that we’ll be done before the rain. We have 100 acres to go. We ran 20 feet and we are done for the day.

We fought beans for a couple days on moisture but yesterday they came down really nicely and were running much better than they had been. Yields have been average to good. Yields around here have been in the upper 50s and we have been seeing some pretty consistent 60s and some 70s, but when you hit the holes, yield drops off pretty quickly.

We finished corn a couple of weeks ago. It ended up doing very well. There were spots this year that did worse than last year but there were places that did better. There were some varieties that normally do really well that didn’t do well this year. Things will probably end up around 190 or 200 bushels around here and I think most everyone is pretty happy with the corn.… Continue reading

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Todd Hesterman, Oct. 27

Finally, the push is on. We have really only been harvesting soybeans for about two days, but they were huge days. We ran until 1 in the morning Saturday night and as long as conditions would allow us last night.

The wind has really brought the moisture down on the beans. When we started we were taking off 15.5% moisture beans and last night they were down to around 12.5% moisture.

We actually started corn on Monday last week. Beans were still at 18% or 19% because of the rain we had gotten. We switched over to soybeans mid-day on Thursday, then we got some heavy dews and we only had short windows of harvest until Saturday.

Soybeans are yielding anywhere from the mid-50s on up to the mid-60s with some reports around here in the 70s. Field averages are 62 or 63 and in the tougher fields they are in the mid-50s.… Continue reading

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Tom Yuhasz, Oct. 27

The bean harvest is probably 50% or 60% done. Some of the fields that got white mold are not doing so well, but the good fields that did not get it are in the 60s or maybe bumping 70 bushels.

Our food grades are yielding well too, but we had one field almost completely wiped out. We are down to the last third of our harvest, but it has been slow up until the last three or four days. We have had bean moistures from 27% on down to 11%.

The fields with white mold will drop down to 15 or 20 bushels. The stems are rotten and if the dust is blowing the wrong way you can’t see the machines out in the fields. There is something you can spray to neutralize that spores and we are going to try that. I think the problem is more about planting dates and when the flower was in bloom and conditions were right.… Continue reading

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Herbicide applications should be made before December

Now is a good time for growers to apply herbicide treatments to their fields to control weeds and help ensure a good start for spring planting.

In fact, anytime between now and the week of Thanksgiving is a good time for fall herbicide applications, according to a researcher from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Although growers may be busy with harvest, now is the time to start thinking about next spring and how to control the weeds that can have a negative impact on planting, said Mark Loux, an Ohio State University Extension weed specialist. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college.

While some growers have applied herbicide treatments into late December, herbicide application is discouraged during periods of very cold weather or on snow-covered ground, Loux said.

“We have applied herbicides into late December and still eventually controlled the weeds present at time of application,” he said.… Continue reading

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Hawaii at the center of biotech battle

The hard-working farmers and ranchers of Hawaii have been targeted by activist organizations that have waged a heated campaign against biotechnology and pesticide use.

Thanks to our extended growing seasons, Hawaii is home to several seed-producing companies that have helped us transition from the once dominant sugar and pineapple plantations to now include high-tech agricultural production and research facilities.

Anti-pesticide and anti-GMO activist organizations with nationwide stature have recognized that if they are able to shut these farms down, they will affect agricultural biotechnology in the rest of the United States. Misguided laws are being enacted in Hawaii through a campaign of fear, charged emotional appeals and deliberate misinformation. These aggressive tactics are dividing local communities and dragging farmers into battles with national, if not global, implications.

Kauai County, Ordinance 960

A new law in Kauai County imposes onerous disclosure and notification requirements and sets arbitrary buffer zones on farms that use restricted-use pesticides or produce GMO crops.… Continue reading

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The Weekly Corn Belt Update – October 24th, 2014


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 progress has been slow but the weather finally looks like producers will run wide open til at least Tuesday.  By Monday a good majority of the beans could be off.  Best guess is 30% for both corn and beans, with early yields exceptional.  Most are finding they can ‘price a little bit more than they thought’.

  Greenville, OH

Harvest this week amounted to producers slowly chipping away at corn.  Today finally looks like everyone will put the bean header back on and be ready to run through Tuesday.  By Monday I expect the majority of the beans will be finished.… Continue reading

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New field guide available for Ohio crops

With wet weather continuing to create harvest and planting delays, a new guide developed by agronomists from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is available to help growers check their crops’ development.

The 2014 Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Alfalfa Field Guide is now available for $12.50 and can be purchased through the Ohio State University Extension eStore or ordered from OSU Extension county offices.

The guide is an excellent tool in a new, larger, easier-to-read format that can be used by scouts, crop advisors and farmers when they’re scouting their fields, said Harold Watters, an OSU Extension agronomy field specialist and coordinator of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team.

The publication offers farmers key production tips from agronomy experts from OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

“The guide reflects current recommendations applicable to Ohio farming operations, including information on insect, disease and weed identification as well as agronomic information that should be valuable when checking fields,” Watters said.… Continue reading

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Suburban corn field yielding more than bushels

There are many parts of Ohio that are seeing acres and acres of housing developments and commerce pop up where corn and soybeans once grew. Urban sprawl is just a part of life in today’s society. But, set between Dublin Jerome High School and more land being developed for a new community, things are headed in the opposite direction in a 30 foot by 20 foot corn field. This small plot of land in the middle of suburbia is a test lab that was created earlier this year by teacher Chuck Crawford, who caught the bug for teaching agriculture in his classroom from attending the Agriculture Biotechnology Academy, hosted by The Ohio Soybean Council and DuPont Pioneer.

“That program taught me and other teachers across the state more about the ag industry and I knew I had to get my kids involved,” said Crawford, who’s is also a network leader for The Ohio Soybean Council’s Grow Next Gen program.… Continue reading

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Fall is a great time to sample for SCN

There is still much to learn about the evolution and management of soybean cyst nematode (SCN). For now, though, one of the best on farm approaches for addressing this potentially costly problem is to sample fields. Here are some things to know.

1.  Yield losses can be huge when SCN populations are high and susceptible varieties are planted.

2.  SCN tends to sit in pockets, especially in no-till production systems — so knowing where to sample is important. From our North Central Soybean Research Program funded project we have been able to grid sample numerous fields. From this exercise we have also been able to show how variable SCN is in fields.  Within a 25-foot span we can go from undetectable levels to over 2,000 eggs per cup of soil. This level is where we begin to see measurable yield losses. Monitoring a field and noting where yields are low is key and those are the places to target soil samples to begin with. … Continue reading

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