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Use plot data to make sound decisions

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

As harvest is completed across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is important to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring.

Look for replicated data

Don’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations.… Continue reading

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Ohio corn shy of half harvested, soybeans nearing completion

Combines kept harvesting despite the 1.7 inches of rain the State received last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 3.

Corn was 49 percent harvested, an increase of 12 percentage points from the last report. The average corn moisture content was 20 percent, a decrease of 1 point from last week. Soybeans were 78 percent harvested, an increase of 8 points over last week. The average soybean moisture content was 13 percent, the same as last week. Fewer growing degree days and cooler temperatures have slowed maturation down for both corn and soybeans, keeping progress behind the 5-year average for all reported categories. High corn moisture content slowed harvest progress across the State, particularly in the northern districts.

Winter wheat planted was just about finished as it reached 96 percent complete. Winter wheat was at 86 percent emerged, which was 13 points ahead of the 5-year average.… Continue reading

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The (not so spooky) tale of Halloween pumpkins

On a day with no shortage of haunting pumpkins around the corner, many people may be wondering just how the largest, most terrifying of these autumn staples come to be. The answer is not nearly as spooky as the end product. A bit of late night investigation will reveal there is a fair amount of agricultural expertise behind those giant Halloween pumpkins.

Even first-time growers are capable of growing pumpkins in excess of 400 pounds if the seeds are the Atlantic Giant variety, which are available at numerous garden centers and catalogs, according to Mike Estadt, educator, Ohio State University Extension.

“To grow pumpkins in excess of half a ton, it all begins with superior genetics,” Estadt wrote in Growing Giant Pumpkins in the Home Garden, a new Ohioline fact sheet.

Ohioline is OSU Extension’s free online information resource and can be found at ohioline.osu.edu. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.… Continue reading

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Soy demand getting a boost through Airable Research Lab

By Matt Reese

With an increasing number of consumers looking for environmentally friendly products, there is growing demand for plant-based chemical feedstocks in a wide range of uses (for example, as alternatives to petroleum-based plastics). More companies are finding ways to better serve their customers with bioproducts that can lower costs, provide functional benefits, and reduce the environmental impacts.

One example is Roof Maxx, a soy-based emulsion that can extend the life of roof shingles. The product was developed through a collaborative effort between Roof Maxx Technologies, LLC, the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC), and Battelle in Columbus. Brothers Mike and Todd Feazel sold a successful roofing business to start Roof Maxx Technologies and develop this cost-effective, earth-friendly roofing treatment.

The Feazels have been in the roof replacement business for many years and saw the great need for extending the life of traditional roofing to add value for customers. Roof Maxx restores the flexibility of aging shingles and their ability to repel water, extending the useful life of an existing roof for 10 to 15 years — and at a fraction of the cost of roof replacement.Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council Foundation offering $44,000 in scholarships

The Ohio Soybean Council Foundation (OSCF) is pleased to announce scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The scholarship program encourages undergraduate and graduate students at Ohio colleges and universities to pursue degrees in one of the many academic fields that support the future of the soybean industry including agriculture, business, communication, economics, education, engineering, science and technology.

“The OSCF scholarship program helps eliminate some of the financial burden for students who are committed to strengthening Ohio’s soybean industry,” said Bill Bateson, an Ohio soybean farmer from Hancock County who serves on the OSCF selection committee. “Our scholarships help students studying careers across the value chain, from agronomists to food scientists to ag educators.”

The OSCF scholarship program has awarded over $340,000 in scholarships since 2008.

 

2020-2021 undergraduate scholarships

Seven undergraduate scholarships of up to $3,000 each will be awarded. Also available to one undergraduate student is a $3,000 Robinson W.… Continue reading

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Non-GMO corn production and purity concerns

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

Many corn growers in the Eastern Corn Belt produce non-GMO corn attempting to capture an additional premium. Depending on the contracting elevator, standard GMO contamination allowances are typically from 0% to 1%. Producing non-GMO corn within the acceptable tolerances of GMO contamination is possible; however, there are several challenges and potential pitfalls that make production of 100% pure non-GMO corn a tremendous undertaking and can keep growers from capturing a premium for their corn. Planting non-GMO seed does not necessarily mean the harvested shelled corn will be GMO free. Tests used by elevators to determine if GMOs are present may not be 100% accurate, but they are a determining factor as to whether a load will be accepted.

If a grower plants non-GMO corn, what could cause GMO contamination?

• Contaminated planting equipment and seed tenders
• Contaminated seed
• Mistakes made in record keeping where hybrids were not correctly identified at planting and/or harvest, leading to contamination
• Adventitious pollen from GMO corn fields can cause cross-pollination of non-GMO corn
• Contaminated combines at harvest
• Contaminated grain carts, wagons, trucks, augers, grain legs, and grain bins.… Continue reading

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Wheat benefits highlighted in new program for Ohio

Heritage Cooperative, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and Campbell Soup Company are teaming up to help Ohio wheat farmers benchmark their stewardship work and strive to continue safeguarding the air, land and water. Together, the companies will seek to enroll 60,000 Ohio wheat acres in the program, which was previously piloted in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“As a trusted advisor to Ohio farm families and a leader in delivering innovation to the farm gate, Heritage Cooperative is excited to work alongside Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and Campbell Soup Company to support Ohio farmers’ stewardship efforts,” said Greg Spears, COO, Heritage Cooperative. “Working together, we can have a real impact, helping to safeguard the environment while also helping farmers focus on profit potential and the economic health of their farm.”

With help from their Heritage Cooperative advisor, farmers in Ohio will now be able to use the Truterra Insights Engine from Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN to gather data on their stewardship practices.… Continue reading

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EPA starting rule making process on application exclusion zones

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding application exclusion zones (AEZ) on Oct. 24.

The EPA proposal would make two major changes for crop producers. Modifying the AEZ so it is only enforceable on a farmer’s property would replace the current regulation requiring farmers to ensure individuals are outside of the pesticide AEZ not only on their property, but off their property as well. The proposal would also exempt farm owners and their immediate family members from the requirement that they leave their home during certain pesticide applications.… Continue reading

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Markets watching harvest and trade war

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Corn and soybean harvest has been in full swing since early October. Yields continue to be extremely varied across the state. Both corn and soybeans have been pleasantly surprising with moisture levels as mid-October saw many soybeans running 9% to 11% moisture. Corn moisture quickly moved below 18% for many producers. Others could not believe their eyes when corn moistures dipped below 15%. Winter wheat acres were quickly planted as they followed soybean harvest in rapid fashion. The first frost of the season for many areas of Ohio took place the morning of October 13. It brought an abrupt halt to the growing season for late-planted corn and soybeans as well as double-crop soybeans.

The U.S./China trade talks continue, seemingly similar to soap operas, which are years in the running. I am quickly reminded of words from last late spring when some analysts announced, “A trade war can easily last far longer anyone could ever expect.” This current trade war between China and the U.S.Continue reading

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Nitrogen management continues to be a water quality issue

A revolution in Midwestern agriculture has to happen to minimize the Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic zone, according to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

In September, iSEE Directors and Affiliates published a commentary piece in Nature Sustainability, produced as a result of the iSEE Critical Conversation 2018: The Nitrogen Reduction Challenge, a collaborative forum that united scientists and scholars to generate innovative solutions.

According to a team of Illinois researchers, each annual harvest removes just 60% to 70% of nitrogen from fields.

“Ultimately, via the Mississippi River, the remaining nitrogen will flow into the Gulf, facilitating hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) and endangering marine life,” said Madhu Khanna, iSEE Associate Director for Research and principal author.

Based on discussions at the critical conversation and existing research, Khanna and her co-authors suggest a two-pronged strategy to address the issue. Nitrogen requirements typically differ from site to site, even in a single field.… Continue reading

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Are modern genetics worth the money?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I have conducted a number of trials and comparisons over the years and generally have concluded that new is better when it comes to choosing a hybrid or variety. One such comparison I have been making over several years now is of a modern hybrid to open pollinated corn varieties. This may be used as a comparison for those who grow open pollinated corn for sale as organic, although I used herbicides here for weed control. For 2019, I compared a modern traited hybrid, an early modern traited hybrid, a modern open pollinated variety and several older open pollinated varieties.

Reid’s yellow dent has a history with Ohio and has played a significant role in modern corn breeding. Green Field and Krug are selections from Reid yellow dent. They were all tall, and had some leaning problems, so looked like Reid across the board.… Continue reading

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Do you have a favorite CCA?

By Harold Watters, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The Ohio CCA Board is looking for the best CCA in Ohio, if she or he works with you then please nominate them. The program is sponsoring one state award titled “Ohio Certified Crop Adviser of the Year“. The award program is designed to recognize an individual who is highly motivated, delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio. Don Boehm of Legacy Cooperative was the 2019 winner.

The purpose of this award is to increase the awareness that both farmers and their service people strive to do their best in making cropping decisions that are economically and environmentally sound. A CCA must meet the standards set by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and maintain the certification through continuing education.… Continue reading

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How much do you value your data?

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Ask an expert in the industry about the importance of calibrating yield monitors to collect harvest data and they will most likely tell you, “It’s about how much you value your data.” That was the response from Matt Liskai, owner of Green Field Ag in Gibsonburg, Ohio. Matt has been working with yield monitors and other precision agriculture equipment since they first came on the scene in the early 2000s.

“Everyone has a different philosophy when it comes to calibrating their yield monitor for harvest data,” Liskai said. “Some calibrate their yield monitors once a season, and some will calibrate for every field or variety. It’s about the value you place on the data you are collecting and the decisions you will make with it. You need to ask yourself how important is it that the data you collect is accurate?”

According to John Fulton, OSU Extension Specialist for Precision Ag, and Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Extension Agronomic Systems Field Specialist, geo-referenced yield data (i.e.

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Fall herbicide application is part of the plan for managing tough weeds

By Harold Watters, CCA, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

We are just compiling the Extension fall soybean weed surveys; it is bad again with waterhemp, giant ragweed, and marestail leading — this is the first year that we have a pigweed species in the number one spot in several counties. The number of clean fields has gone down, likely due to late planting and then missing the timing on weed size.

I spoke with Mark Loux last week and shared preliminary results of the survey. His response was that we have good technology for dealing with all of these weeds —RRXtend, LibertyLink and now Enlist. But timing was critical this year and we just couldn’t hit it with the weather. So speak now with your seed supplier, and your herbicide supplier. Plan to use a different program than you used last year. Add pre-emergent herbicides at planting or with that burndown the week before planting.… Continue reading

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Communicating the topic of gene-editing in a Nov. 2 workshop

The Ohio Soybean Council and Center for Food Integrity is hosting a free training session for Ohio college and university students on Saturday, Nov. 2 at The Ohio State University on communicating the topic of gene-editing to the general public. The tips and tools you will learn during this 3-hour, interactive program can be applied to many other science-based and/or agriculture topics. All Ohio college and university students are welcome.

Registration is limited, sign up by Friday, Oct. 25 to reserve your spot. Students that complete this program will receive a certificate of completion and have the opportunity to network with industry experts and other students with similar interests. See the attached flyer for more information. To sign up, visit https://forms.gle/PSzk25WN8DF2YZmc6.

During this training, you will:
• Gain an understanding of current U.S. consumer attitudes about food and technology;
• Develop comfort in engaging through shared values and listen-ask-share as an approach to earn trust;
• Practice crafting messages, or talking points, about gene editing that are relatable and resonate with the general public;
• Practice engagement approaches to leverage the trust and credibility that consumers crave from the scientific community about gene editing in food production.… Continue reading

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Remember grain bin safety this fall

The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers of the importance of proper grain bin safety procedures. To help review both the importance of and procedures for grain bin safety, NCGA is again offering an informative video.

To view the video, click here.

The video, shot on location in several states, provides a wide range of information from prevention tips and background data on grain bin accidents. The project also involved interviews with professionals in the fields of grain bin safety research and rescue to provide as much information to viewers as possible.… Continue reading

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Ohio farm income forecasted to rise

Even during a growing season when 1.5 million fewer acres of soybeans and corn were planted in Ohio, average farm incomes in the state are likely to increase compared to last year, according to an agricultural economist with The Ohio State University.

That’s primarily because of higher government payments made to farmers nationwide in 2019, said Ani Katchova, an associate professor and chair of the farm income enhancement program at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Across the country, government funds paid to farmers through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) more than doubled this year to $10.7 billion. That money is intended to help compensate farmers for a decline in demand for crops and livestock sold abroad because of recent hikes in international tariffs on those goods.

On average, government payments for farmers nationally this year are expected to make up 17% of farmers’ net cash income, which is the highest in recent years, Katchova said.… Continue reading

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To till or not to till

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

For the last several years, many farmers have been adopting practices to improve the “soil health” of their fields. Often this includes no-till or reduced tillage, and the introduction of cover crops. While the basic soil health concept is relatively uniform, the way the practices are implemented is often very different from operation to operation.

Every farm and field is unique, and so is the management approach taken by each farmer. Systems that manage no-till combined with cover crops have been found to have the greatest benefit to overall soil health.

“It takes commitment and a systems approach,” said Jim Hoorman, owner of Hoorman Soil Health Services in Jenera, Ohio.

Unfortunately, the wet harvest last fall and continued saturated soil conditions this past spring in many parts of the state created a scenario that left many farmers scratching their heads: “To till or not to till…that is the question.” Last year’s harvest caused obvious compaction issues from equipment traffic.… Continue reading

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Over half of Ohio soybeans harvested

Most of the State received cooler than normal temperatures and less than normal rainfall last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 20.

Conditions were ideal for harvest across much of the State, although corn maturity and percent harvested continued to lag behind normal levels. This resulted in an average harvested corn moisture content of 21 percent, compared to 18 percent last year. Soybeans continued to come off the field very quickly as percent harvested, at 55 percent, was one percentage point behind last year. Average soybean moisture content was 13 percent compared to 14 percent last year.

Winter wheat planters worked quickly amidst the favorable weather, staying ahead of the 5-year average pace. The crop continued to emerge ahead of the 5-year average as well. Pastures rated in good to excellent condition increased by 6 percentage points as fields dried out, although regrowth had slowed considerably.… Continue reading

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A heavy handful of soil: Considerations for fallow fields

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader

It is hard to imagine that a single handful of soil can contain more living organisms than there are people on the Earth. Kathy Merrifield, who is a retired nematologist from Oregon State University, said a single teaspoon of rich soil can hold up to one billion bacteria, several yards of fungal filaments, several thousand protozoa, and scores of nematodes, not to mention other archaea, algae, protozoa, and larger soil fauna. Healthy soil is full of life, and those organisms living in it often have a close symbiotic relationship in which the survival of one is dependent on the survival of many others. Under normal weather conditions, the organisms thrive in their environment, and the crops that are grown in these healthy soils also have their needs met.

Mycorrhizae are a type of fungi found in the soil that grow in close association with roots of a plant in a symbiotic relationship.… Continue reading

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