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USBCA working for a better world with biotech

The U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance held its inaugural board meeting in Washington. The culmination of years of effort, USBCA members elected a formal executive committee and adopted its Business Plan and Operating Structure during the meeting.

The original Executive Committee was expanded in the formation of the official structure to include additional representation for growers and representation for processors. The 2014-2015 Executive Committee now includes eight: Barry Bushue, American Farm Bureau Federation; Andrew LaVigne, American Seed Trade Association; Steve Censky, American Soybean Association; Cathleen Enright, Biotechnology Industry Organization; Rick Tolman, National Corn Growers Association; Tom Hammer, National Oilseed Producers Association; Gary Martin, North American Export Grain Association; and Tom Sleight, U.S. Grains Council.

Through the business plan, USBCA formalized its overarching goal: “Improve the environment for technology innovation and the market for U.S agricultural products.”

Additionally, the plan formalized the mission statement: “Successfully execute USBCA plans by coordinating and informing U.S.

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First Ohio E15 retailer open for business

American Freedom Energy is the first retailer in Ohio to offer E15 to consumers for use in 2001 and newer vehicles. The Liberty Center fueling station recently celebrated their grand opening, offering a wide array of choices for consumers to fuel their vehicles. The expanded offering of E15 will create savings at the pump for consumers. Currently, E15 is available in 14 states across the country, and more and more retailers are seeking to benefit from the competitive advantage that the higher fuel blend offers.

“Being a leader and not a follower, we believe in consumer choice,” said Glenn Badenhop, president and CEO of American Freedom Energy. “Offering higher ethanol blends like E15 sets us apart from other stations, but also helps our local economies, helps the environment, and helps reduce our addiction to foreign oil. Alternative fuels are the future.”

E15 is the most tested fuel blend and is approved for all vehicles produced for model year 2001 and beyond — encompassing approximately 80% of the vehicles on the road today. 

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Feeding Farmers Week #1 – Lee Farms, Union County

The 2014 edition of Feeding Farmers in the Fields, courtesy of AgriGold and the Ohio Ag Net, kicked off on Wednesday in Union County.

Lee Farms was this spring’s first farm to be selected. The 1,000-acre corn and soybean operation was provided lunch and joined by staff of the Ohio Ag Net and AgriGold Hybrids. Dale Minyo did his midday broadcast from the farm, which included interviews with brothers Ryan and Greg Lee, who are each heavily involved in the operation.

The brothers commented on the lengthy planting season and their efforts to get seed into the ground with June just around the corner. Like many Ohio farmers, they say weather from May 9 and 10 really set them back. They are still dealing with a mix of planting previously worked fields along with untouched ground. Cold rain combined with standing water and low soil temperatures have been the Lees’ biggest enemy this spring, stunting growth and forcing some replant.

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Cooler temperatures lead to late wheat harvest

The wheat crop is going to be harvested later than normal in almost all areas of Ohio this year due to the cooler than normal spring temperatures. This leaves farmers with some tough choices once the wheat acres are harvested. Is it too late to double-crop? Do you plant cover crops? Do you just leave the wheat ground fallow?

Wheat harvest normally begins around July 1in many parts of Ohio. With warmer than normal springs, like 2012, harvest was earlier and double-crop soybeans were a good option. Unfortunately, the spring of 2014 was cooler than normal and will cause a delay in harvest. According to The Ohio State University Fact Sheet AGF 103-01, double-crop soybeans should not be planted after July 10. There are some farmers who have had success planting after that date in southern Ohio, but the risk of not harvesting a crop is greater. The fields in northern Ohio will be too late to plant soybeans.

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Ohio grape and wine businesses contribute millions to Ohio economy

The Ohio wine and grape industry released its 2012 Economic Impact report, which finds that Ohio’s grape and wine industry has a significant impact of $786 million on the state’s economy, a 34% increase from the 2008 economic study released in 2010.

“Ohio’s wine industry is growing and represents a significant segment of the state’s $105 billion food and agriculture industry,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels. “Ohio grape growers and wine makers all over the state are creating quality, award-winning products that rival those produced in well-known wine producing areas like California and Europe. The newly released 2012 Economic Impact Study is a great illustration of their success.”

Highlights of the report include the following:

 

• The full economic impact of Ohio wine and grapes is $786 million, a 34% increase from 2008.

• Provide 5,291 full-time jobs, with nearly 1,200 additional jobs created since 2008.

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More cows means more chopping for Wayne County dairies

When asked about his Harmony Harvesting chopping business in Wayne County, Phil Neuenschwander likes to tell this story:

Two guys were walking in the woods and they spot a panther up in a tree. The first guy says, “Hey, would you like to have that panther?”

The second guy says, “Sure.”

The first guy climbs up the tree and pretty soon there is a tremendous commotion from above. The second guy calls up from the ground, “Hey do you need me to come up and help you catch that panther?”

“Nope,” the second guy says. “But could you come help me let it go?”

“That is how it is with this business, sometimes you aren’t sure if you have it or if it has you,” Neuenschwander said. “In 2000, we bought a chopper and started cutting for some neighbors around here. We kept adding to it and now we have two choppers.

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Can planting progress catch up with the nice stretch of weather?

In late April, numerous producers across Ohio jumped on the then great planting conditions. They recognized this as something to take advantage of. Still others at the same time saw those great planting conditions come with a sharp warning of uncertainty ahead. They saw “wet and cool” in the upcoming forecast as a warning sign to leave the seed in the bag for now. That made the most sense to them. So they waited until early May before planting began at the usual fast and furious pace. Mother Nature turned the tables again as the rain events quickly multiplied in only a few days, then stretched into abundant rain as producers emptied their rain gauges far too many times. Unfortunately the 3.5 to 4.5 inches of rain for many central Ohio producers saw optimum planting periods quickly dissipate. Some predicted it could be late May before planting could again take place.

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Early growth stages of corn

Farming is a very challenging profession. Every growing season presents different problems and opportunities. However, if we understand how our crops grow, we can try to do a better job of meeting the needs of our crops and improve yields. Let’s look at what happens as the young corn plants develop.

• The young stage of every organism is critical for development and productivity of the adults. It takes 110-120 Growing Degrees for corn seedling emergence.

• V1 to V2- 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.

• Roots are very small and banded fertilizer close to the roots at this stage should be very helpful in stimulating early growth.

• V3- V4 – About two weeks after emergence, third leaf starts to develop. Seedling roots stop at this stage and the secondary roots known as “Nodal Roots” start growing.

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Brad Mattix, Marion County, May 23

I am scouting a field now that got pummeled. It is possible that we could have some replant here. There are maybe 150 acres or so that really got hit hard with two and a half or three inches. It sealed in the corn because the rain beat it so hard. It is like a road it is so smooth. Most of the corn is up and you can see the places where it could not get through.

The earlier corn was looking awfully nasty and yellow. It is looking much better with some heat and some sunlight.

Were trying to find a field we can open up today or tomorrow, but there really hasn’t been anything that has gotten done in the last couple of weeks because of all the rain.

We are able to spread manure today in a couple of places. The manure application is going better than I would have expected for as wet as it has been this spring.

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Todd Hesterman, Henry County, May 23

We got the rain just like everyone else. We really haven’t turned a wheel since Mother’s Day. That is the last we have planted.

I don’t know if we’ll get at it this weekend or not. The fields for some of my custom work had maybe three tenths when we had anywhere from seven tenths to an inch late Tuesday and early Wednesday. We had a little rain before that, that was just enough to keep you out until the next rain. We may get something planted there this weekend but I doubt it.

Everything that was planted up until Mother’s Day has come up. The rains haven’t been so severe that there has been much ponding. The stands look good. The water from this last rain got away for the most part, but you can still see some ponding in the compacted areas and end rows.

We got our last shot of nitrogen on the wheat right before the rain.

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Jed Bower, Fayette County, May 23

We are wet and we really haven’t gotten much done in the last couple of weeks. We tried to plant some beans but got rained out the other night. We didn’t fare as bad as a lot of places. We probably got an inch and a quarter, but you can go a mile up the road and they got three inches that night. So, again, we are waiting, as we have been most of the spring.

We went in and post sprayed all of our corn with herbicide. The corn has a yellowish tinge to it, but we have had a lot of moisture and the temperatures have not been really warm. We are getting some warmer days now and it is coming around.

The stands look pretty good except for the wet holes. There are quite a few and unfortunately a lot of mine are pretty small so I don’t think I am going to replant.

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Tom Yuhasz, Ashtabula County, May 23

It is a little chilly and progression has come to a halt. We got slammed with rain. I can’t tell you a total but we had days where it was three inches at a time over the last couple of weeks. It rained every day until yesterday.

Guys with sandier soils have fared fairly well. Stands of corn in heavier soils are thinned out. Our beans are just now popping through. If it would have gotten hot and dry after all that rain, it would not have been good. It would have baked it. But we could sure use some heat. We have been getting up in the 70s some but it is cold today. We are probably not going to be warming up until summer gets here.

There has been very little done in the last two weeks. There have been a lot of guys already exchanging longer season corn for shorter season.

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Why do my soybeans look like they are dying?

This week we have had numerous reports throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky regarding soybeans that are not looking as healthy as we like. The majority of soybeans have the outside of the cotyledons that look brown as well as the hypocotyl, especially when in the neck stage.This appears to be happening to all varieties from all companies, so it is not product specific.So what is going on?From what  I can tell there are two things happening.First, the vast majority of fields with this issue have been sprayed with a PPO inhibitor containing the active ingredient flumioxazin.These herbicides would include Valor®, Valor® XLT, Envive®,Enlight®, and Gangster®.
The herbicide label of Valor® actually states,“Crop injury may occur from applications made to poorly drained soils under cool, wet conditions.Risk of crop injury can be minimized by not using on poorly drained soils, planting at least 1.5 inches deep and completely covering seeds with soil prior to preemergence applications.” Several areas impacted received over 3” of rain which would constitute “poorly drained”in my opinion.
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The Weekly Corn Belt Update – May 23rd, 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

Northwest Ohio is 65% planted on corn and 40% beans.  Our contributor was at a farmer meeting in Flint MI yesterday and they are “as behind as they have ever been” but the forecast has them hopeful and they should get in the fields to run wide open by tomorrow.  They will not switch any acres to beans but will plant corn a few days past the pp date if necessary.  It was noted that Ontario, however, likely has widespread issues and will make a big acreage switch to beans, due to a wet spring.

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New program targets invasive species in southeast Ohio

Several invasive plant species threaten the grasslands of southeast Ohio, degrading pastures and threatening the overall environmental health of the area. State Conservationist Terry Cosby of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) created the Southeast Ohio Noxious and Invasive Weed Treatment Program to help agricultural producers battle these invasive plants in seven southeast Ohio counties, including Belmont, Guernsey, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Washington.

Financial assistance from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is available to eligible agricultural producers to remove three invasive plants of concern, including spotted knapweed, autumn olive, and tree of heaven (ailanthus).

 

Spotted knapweed

Spotted Knapweed, a perennial forb common in the western United States, arrived from Europe in the 1800’s. Over the past 4 years, farmers in eastern Ohio started noticing it in and around their pastures. The plant has a tall, spindly appearance with purple flowers that appear in July.

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Scout wheat for disease

Wheat in Ohio was nearing the critical growth stage when heavy rainfalls and the forecast cooler temperatures set in throughout much of the state. As a result, growers should scout their fields for any indication of disease development, says a wheat expert from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The rainy weather helps to create conditions favorable for foliar disease to develop, producing spores and new infections, said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension wheat researcher.

The amount of moisture experienced recently favors significant foliar diseases that impact wheat crops near critical growing stages, said Paul, who is also a plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Foliar diseases such as Septoria blotch and powdery mildew are what growers should be on the lookout for, Paul said.

“Septoria blotch, which is typically the first disease to show up, has already been reported in some fields,” he said.

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What causes purple corn?

Cool and wet weather at early stages of corn development, as we are experiencing this year, are ideal for the appearance of purple plants. What causes the plants to become purple? Some of the reasons are given below:

• Purple leaves are caused by a pigment called anthocyanin. When sugars produced by the chlorophyll cannot be deposited in the growing stalks, leaves, and roots, they are converted to anthocyanin pigment which is red to purple in color.

• Acidic soils with pH lower than 5.5 may also cause seedling purpling.

• Wet soils can also inhibit the nutrient uptake and cause purple leaves.

• Purpling generally occurs between V2 to V5 stages of growth. By V8, purple leaf syndrome disappears and color becomes normal healthy green again.

• Any plant stresses which reduce uptake of phosphorus may result in purple leaves and stalks. Root restrictions may also cause phosphate deficiency symptoms.

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Stay safe as planting season drags on

Working fast to get crops in to beat incoming weather is just one instance in which farmers increase their risk of injury, a safety expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences says.

Knowing some simple safety precautions to take during spring planting is critical for farmers to reduce the potential for injuries, said Kent McGuire, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural health and safety professional.

Spring planting is a time when farm workers are continually moving from one piece of equipment to another and climbing on equipment to fill with seed or make repairs, McGuire said.  This is a time that farmers should take extra precautions to prevent falls when working around farm equipment, he said.

“During spring planting, there is a sense of urgency to get corn and soybeans planted,” McGuire said. “Farmers put in long hours, day after day. That’s when fatigue or complacency sets in, and a slip, trip or fall injury can happen very quickly.

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The Weekly Corn Belt Crop Report – May 16th, 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

NW Ohio received rain totals varying from .5” to 2.5”, so field work came to a halt.  Overall, corn planting is at 50-55%.

  Greenville, OH

The west central part of Ohio is 75-80% planted with corn and 30% with beans. Rainfall amounts were in the 2.5” range for the week, but the eastern and southeastern part of the state got slammed with rain.

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Mycotoxin levels may be rising in stored 2013 crop

After seven months of feeding the 2013 harvest to their herds, dairy producers may soon find their corn silage and total mixed ration (TMR) are not quite up to par, as many herds are now facing new challenges due to recent mold and mycotoxin growth in feed during storage.

“The U.S. crops varied considerably from farm to farm and even from field to field. These varied crops were all harvested at the same time and placed into storage, creating silage that is a mixture of maturity and crop stress,” said Max Hawkins, a nutritionist from Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team. “The effects of storage moisture and temperature, oxygen availability and forage management are now being discovered.”

Alltech has continued to analyze corn silage and TMR samples since the September harvest through their 37+ Program. The analysis is performed using LC/MSMS technology and considers the mycotoxin challenge in each sample as a whole, rather than looking at the individual mycotoxins present.

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