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Naked soybeans in Ohio?

At several meetings and based on a few e-mails this winter it is very clear that Ohio soybean farmers are examining their budgets and looking for ways to cut costs in 2015. Planting naked seed, with no fungicide seed treatment, is one place that some producers are contemplating. There is plenty of concern if this is really a good choice to reduce costs. It is true that soybeans do not always need a fungicide seed treatment. However, on our soils with poor drainage where replanting is relatively common, replanting costs today are much higher than our estimates of $80 per acre from 10 years ago. Basically seed treatments are an insurance policy to protect that young seed/seedling until it is out of the ground and growing.

Things to consider for seed treatments include:

1. If the farm has a history of replanting, there is no question — use fungicide seed treatments.… Continue reading

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Attendees hear from national leaders at Commodity Classic in sunny Arizona

As winter continued to pound Ohio in late February, farmers from around the country traded the snow for sunshine at the Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. The massive event attracted more visitors and attendees than ever before in its 20th year.

Commodity Classic set new records for both the trade show and attendance. The trade show featured 355 booths and attendance broke the record on the first day with 7,759 registered and more expected in the final tally of attendees.

As always, policy was a focus. Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association president Chad Kemp, from Preble County, highlighted some of the key issues from National Corn Growers Association discussions that will be facing crop producers in the coming year.

“We’ve had some ongoing discussions about trade with Cuba and some of the free trade agreements. The Renewable Fuels Standard is going to continue to be an ongoing issue for us too.… Continue reading

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New insurance option for popcorn

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced the availability of an area-based crop insurance option for popcorn. Farmers can purchase the popcorn Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) plan for the 2015 crop year in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.

ARPI is designed as a risk management tool to insure against widespread loss of production of the popcorn crop in a county. The policy is based off corn yields and assumes that when an entire county’s corn crop yield is low, most popcorn producers in that county would also have low yields. ARPI protects against events such as adverse weather, insect damage, plant disease, fire, wildlife, and failure of irrigation water supply.

“Interested producers must purchase a popcorn ARPI policy by March 15 and have a contract with a popcorn processor,” said Brian Frieden, RMA Springfield Regional Office director.

Yield Protection, Revenue Protection, and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion options are available under the popcorn ARPI policy.… Continue reading

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Farmers now have until March 31 to update yields and reallocate base acres

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that a one-time extension will be provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from Feb. 27, 2015 until March 31, 2015. The final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage also remains March 31, 2015.

“This is an important decision for producers, because these programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. Producers are working to make the best decision they can. And we’re working to ensure that they’ve got the time, the information, and the opportunities to have those final conversations, review their data, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make those decisions,” Vilsack said.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm’s current yield and base will be used.… Continue reading

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Trade show highlights from Commodity Classic

The Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’ Country Journal traveled to the 2015 Commodity Classic this week. Here are some photo and audio highlights from Phoenix.


AgroCulture Liquid Fertilizer’s Kurt Fisher talked with The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins about finding the balance of farming responsible and economically.

AgroLiquid Kurt Fisher

Drew Showalter with Syngenta shares new information about Enogen corn, specifically made for ethanol production.

Syngenta Drew Showalter

Some Ohio-based ag businesses also made the trip to Phoenix, including Seed Consultants. Stu Yensel talks about why they attend Commodity Classic.

SCI Stu Yensel

DuPont Crop Protection’s Scott Sooy chats with Ty about the importance of early weed control in Ohio.

DuPont Crop Protection Scott Sooy

Bill Johnson, President and CEO of Farm Credit, shares some trends affecting growers and the Farm Credit organization.

Farm Credit Bill Johnson

Farm Credit’s Keith Lane says although ag prices are down in 2015, it is hard to compare today to the 1980’s.… Continue reading

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Denmandale Farms wins 2014 corn silage contest

Denmandale Farms near Cortland, Ohio, was announced the winner of the 2014 Corn Silage Contest sponsored by Stoller Enterprises. Dan and Davie Denman were recognized as the winners and presented a check for $100,000 at the Commodity Classic in Phoenix this week.

“We started with an in-furrow in the crop and came back with two foliars throughout the year. The in-furrow has increased our yield and we’ll continue with that. With moisture corrected we went 39 tons per acre. When we harvested we were almost at 42,” Davie said. “Our nutrient content was right where it needed to be and the weather really cooperated during the growing season. We hardly ever see yields like that in this part of the state.”

The Denmans are milking 175 cows on their northeast Ohio farm and competed against top silage growers from the Midwest and Northeast. Contestants had to use at least four Stoller products in their silage production and work with an authorized Stoller dealer to participate.… Continue reading

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SDS research for boosting soybean yields

A team composed of a Purdue University researcher and others from several Midwest universities and Canada is studying soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) to help farmers better protect their crop from the recurring disease.

Wise and other researchers from Iowa State University, Michigan State University, the University of Illinois and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture have been looking for answers beyond typical production practices, which include crop rotation and planting disease-resistant varieties. That hasn’t been enough to stop the disease.

“We wanted to look at how a combination of various production practices affected SDS to determine a better management strategy,” she said.

Those practices include early to late planting, use of varieties resistant to both SDS and soybean cyst nematode, and fungicide seed treatments. They also examined how weed killer glyphosate and pre-emergence herbicides affected SDS severity.

Sudden death syndrome, first reported in Arkansas in the 1970s, is now in nearly every state where soybeans are grown.… Continue reading

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Ethanol leaders meet in Phoenix

Growth Energy, representing ethanol producers and supporters, kicked off its sixth annual Executive Leadership Conference at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jeff Broin, co-chair of Growth Energy’s Board of Directors, delivered a “Chairman’s Report” that outlined the current state of the renewable fuels industry and how this year is all about “moving ahead and moving faster” to bring clean, homegrown fuels to the American consumer. Broin noted how 2014 was a historic year for our industry, stating that producers have been selling a “clean, green, high octane, homegrown product at a huge discount.”

Broin continued by thanking retailers who have started offering E15, noting that, “We are proud to support you and stand with you to bring American Ethanol to our customers.”

He pointed out the challenge with the oil industry.

“This is more than a war simply between ethanol and oil; it’s a war between agriculture and oil,” Broin said.… Continue reading

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Farm bill deadlines coming fast

With deadlines set for enrollment in the 2014 farm bill’s crop programs in February and March, farmers have only a few weeks left to make decisions about key farm safety-net decisions, said a farm policy expert in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

These decisions are significant considering that enrollment in the farm bill’s crop programs will last through the life of the legislation, which will expire after the 2018 crop year, said Carl Zulauf, an agricultural economist with the college.

The farm bill’s crop-program enrollment process includes the following deadlines:

• Feb. 27 is the last day to update yield history or allocate base acres.

• Mar. 31 is the last day to enroll in one of the three new crop safety-net programs: the Agricultural Risk Coverage County program (ARC-CO), the Agricultural Risk Coverage Individual program (ARC-IC), or the Price Loss Coverage program (PLC).… Continue reading

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Getting the most out of soybeans might mean planting them sooner

On many farms, getting the corn crop in the ground will be the top priority this spring as planting season gets started. But, more research is suggesting that planting soybeans in April can offer real advantages for that crop as well.

“If you ask most guys when they plant soybeans they will tell you, ‘after corn.’ We think a change needs to be done there,” said Missy Bauer, with B&M Crop Consulting. “With better planters that get seed in the ground more uniformly, and new seed treatments with fungicides and insecticides, we think early planting dates are important. The earlier the planting date the more opportunity we have for sunlight. Sunlight is one of our biggest issues for soybeans. The more we can capture the better off we are.”

Practical Farm Research work from Beck’s Hybrids has consistently shown yield benefits from getting soybeans planted in April compared to May planting dates.… Continue reading

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Commodity Classic this week

When corn farmers from around the country gather in Phoenix this week for the 20th annual Commodity Classic convention and trade show, it’s not going to be just to enjoy much warmer weather than back on the farm – a series of important policy meetings are also taking place for members and leaders of the National Corn Growers Association.

“Commodity Classic gives us the opportunity not just to celebrate great work, meet with friends and learn about new products and services, it allows growers to get together in one place to shape policy for our organization,” said Chip Bowling, NCGA president. “This year, all eyes and ears will be focused on the importance of building profitable demand for our farmers when corn production is high and corn prices are low.”

On Wednesday, growers will meet for an issues briefing and open forum, followed by caucuses at the state level, where they will discuss proposed resolutions and organizational priorities to come before NCGA at the two Corn Congress sessions, held Thursday morning and Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

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Matching hybrids to the right soils

We discussed some of the factors that should be considered for matching hybrids to your needs in a recent newsletter. Following are some of the additional points to be considered:

• Disease Resistance — Expect Northern and Gray Leaf Spot this year because of the tremendous amount of inoculum build-up from last year, if we have weather that favors these diseases. It is lot easier and cheaper to look for hybrids with tolerance to these pathogens than using fungicides later to control them. Late season health and stay-green power extend the grain-fill period of a hybrid.

• Insect Resistance — If you know which insects are problems in your area, there are excellent hybrids available with built-in trait resistance. However, you don’t need to invest in traits for resistance to insects that are not prevalent in your area. Save your money!

• Intended Use of the Crop — Is it for Non-GMO market, silage, food grain, Ethanol market?… Continue reading

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The United Soybean Board is the organization that uses the soybean checkoff funds to benefit U.S. wide soybean growers. One concern that the Board has taken on is the rising level of resistant weeds across all soybean areas. As we went through the ALS years of Pursuit and Classic we saw the development of the large number of resistant weeds to those products. Then we entered the RoundupReady era, which at first was our savior, then our downfall. One thing researchers and savvy soybean growers learned — it’s just a matter of time until resistant weeds develop.

So the United Soybean Board has developed some very nice materials to fight resistant weeds. Mark Loux our Extension Weed Specialist was able to get 2,000 packets of this new material for Ohio and they have been very popular at our winter pesticide re-certification training programs. The new campaign to manage resistant weeds is called “Take Action” against herbicide resistant weeds.… Continue reading

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Honeybees and weed control

The answer to the problem in honeybees has not yet been found. From discussions with Reed Johnson our University bee specialist there are multiple points of concern.

One thing you can do is clean up weeds in your fields before planting. As we plant our corn in particular we essentially apply a complete layer of corn seed dust that contains the neonicotinoid insecticides to our fields. Virtually all corn seed now has an insecticide applied. Believe me, I tried last year to find some without. But it seems that corn seed is a pretty poor place to try to get the insecticide to adhere, so it falls off as it is handled. When we run air-assisted planters over the field we spread this insecticide-laden dust over the entire field. By controlling weeds, and the flowers that may attract bees, we reduce the reason for honeybees to forage and pick up the insecticide in our corn fields.… Continue reading

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N recommendations for wheat

As we have held the Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training sessions this winter, I have usually been the speaker on nitrogen management. Even though we are down on wheat acres some, we have met with many who do have a crop in and are asking when and how much nitrogen to apply.

As I write this article we are snow covered and cold, but soon wheat will be greening-up across the state. Often in Ohio we have producers and applicators applying nitrogen (N) fertilizer in February and early March because it’s convenient. But while this is convenient to the grower or applicator, this may be a hazard to the environment. As we talk about phosphorus loss across all of Ohio (not just in the Lake Erie areas) we also share that nitrogen is actually the bigger problem (in tonnage).

Ohio State University recommends applying nitrogen between green-up and Feekes Growth Stage 6 (early stem elongation), which is generally the latter part of April.… Continue reading

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SB 1 passes Senate

Late last year there was a hard push to pass House Bill 490 to address water quality in Lake Erie. The Ohio Senate resumed work on this effort right out of the gate in 2015 with Senate Bill 1, which passed the Senate unanimously on Feb. 18.

“Legislators have included agriculture in discussions from the beginning and this bill represents a science-based approach to tackling some of the challenges we face in maintaining clean waterways for all Ohioans,” said Tommie Price, Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) president. “Ohio soybean farmers share their neighbors’ concern about water quality in Ohio and are committed to doing their part to find solutions that work. As water quality has been and will continue to be a priority for the OSA, our organization appreciates the due diligence that the Ohio Senate has done in drafting substitute Senate Bill 1.”

SB 1 would prohibit the spreading of manure or fertilizer in the Lake Erie Watershed when fields are frozen, snow-covered or saturated, or if there is a greater than 50% chance for at least an inch of rain in the next 12 hours.… Continue reading

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Is there stormy winter weather ahead for the markets?

If not stormy, the next two months will certainly at least be interesting — not from a planting perspective, but one of shipping and not from the United States, but from South America. Brazil should soon begin their soybean shipping period in earnest. Will the boats arrive one by one? Or will they be in huge numbers, quickly stacking up, similar to two years ago? At that time loading delays of up to 60 days were extremely common. Talk since December would indicate it should be a vastly different shipping season for Brazil. Ideas abound that soybean shipments from the United States to China could drop from 31 million tons to 29 million tons. After all, soybean production in Brazil will set a new record this year at 94.5 million tons.

While it has been talked about for months, uncertainty abounds for this spring’s planting season. Analysts, traders, and producers all have different ideas on the corn and soybean acres mix for the United States in 2015.… Continue reading

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Changing weather trends hurting soybean yields

Researchers have determined that precipitation and temperature variations over the past 20 years have suppressed the U.S. average soybean yield gain by around 30%, contributing to an industry loss of $11 billion nationwide.

In Ohio alone, that soybean yield suppression is estimated to have cost some $2.9 billion during the past 20 years, according to a new study co-authored by a field crops expert in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Global annual temperatures have increased by 0.4 C (0.72 F) since 1980, with several regions exhibiting even greater increases, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension and a co-author of the study.

And for every 1 C (1.8 F) rise in temperature during the growing season, soybean yields fell by about 2.4%, the study found. In Ohio, that translates into a yield loss of about a third of a bushel per acre per year, Lindsey said.… Continue reading

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New weed control guide available

The Extension services of Ohio State University, Purdue University and the University of Illinois have partnered to publish an updated weed control guide to aid crop farmers in choosing an effective weed management plan.

The 2015 Ohio, Indiana and Illinois Weed Control Guide is a quick reference farmers can use in the field to identify and manage weeds. It offers specific tips for several individual crops such as corn, soybeans, popcorn, sweet corn, small greens, forages and grazing pastures.

The new guide includes expanded sections on Palmer amaranth and marestail as well as an updated index of herbicides. There is also a weed response table which Bill Johnson, a Purdue weed scientist, said will be especially helpful to farmers during preparation for planting season.

“The weed response tables are very convenient because they have herbicides listed down the side and weeds across the top, so farmers can find the weeds they have had problems with in the past and know the herbicides that should work best,” Johnson said.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s ice wines are gaining national renown

Born of Ohio’s cold winters, a boon from being below freezing, Buckeye State ice wine is hot with critics.

“They don’t call it ‘nectar of the gods’ for nothing,” said Todd Steiner, who leads Ohio State University’s enology program, the science of wine-making, part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

For two straight years now, ice wines from northeast Ohio’s Grand River Valley wine region — from Debonné Vineyards in Madison this year and from Ferrante Winery in Geneva last year — have won the top award for dessert wine in early January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

In an uncommon back-to-back win, the same Debonné ice wine also won the top award for dessert wine in last week’s Florida State Fair International Wine Competition.

With the increasing popularity of ice wine, its production is yet another option Ohio grape growers have to increase their vineyards’ revenue, experts say.… Continue reading

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