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Ohio’s Renewable Fuels Industry Swings Back

Ohio’s renewable fuel industry announced the formation of a new coalition, Fuels America, to defend America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which encourages the blending of Ohio-based ethanol into gasoline. Speaking out in support of the coalition are representatives of the Ohio Ethanol Producers Association, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and The Andersons Inc.

The Ohio groups are part of a large coalition of advanced and traditional renewable fuel stakeholders throughout the nation focused on demonstrating the economic, clean energy and national security benefits the RFS provides.

The launch of the coalition comes as the US Environmental Protection Agency considers a request to “waive” the RFS, a move that coalition members stressed would have serious unintended consequences for Ohio’s rural communities, clean tech innovators and energy independence.

“Our support for this coalition is based upon the truth that ethanol is vital to all of Ohio’s economy,” said Mark Borer, President of the Ohio Ethanol Producers Association.… Continue reading

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Green weeds complicate harvest

Fields with actively growing weeds from this summer’s drought and recent rains could create problems for farmers during harvest, a Purdue Extension weed scientist said.

That rain, along with early spring-planted crops and the drought have led to fields that contain green weeds along with mature corn and soybean crops.

“It’s a statewide issue,” Bill Johnson said. “Wherever we’ve gotten rain in the past few weeks we’re seeing weeds pop up.”

Late-summer droughts or killing frost usually dry out the ground so new, green weed growth isn’t a problem for farmers. But this year crops matured earlier than normal.

Johnson recommended that farmers use herbicides to get rid of weeds and dry out the ground to prevent future weed growth so they can have a timely harvest. But, he said, not many herbicides can be used soon before harvest.

“Herbicide application isn’t mandatory, but it’s good practice. If the weed growth is bad enough, it could create more wear and tear on machinery and hurt grain quality when harvesting crops,” Johnson said.… Continue reading

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DuPont Pioneer Advances New Soybean Varieties for 2013 Planting

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

New soybean varieties from DuPont Pioneer face the toughest challenge in the final year of research testing. During this research stage, soybean varieties are placed in IMPACT™ (Intensively Managed Product Advancement Characterization and Training) trials on growers’ farms to ensure product performance is up to the high standards set by Pioneer. Recently, 34 Pioneer® brand soybean varieties passed final scrutiny from the Pioneer research and development, field sales and agronomy technology service teams and will be commercially available to producers for planting in 2013. Of the 34 new varieties, 10 are specifically for Ohio producers.

“The research effort is pretty extensive”, said DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Research Manager Kirk Reese. “In Ohio, we have about 48 IMPACT locations and of those locations there are about 150 experiments. So, when we test a product at the pre-commercial stage to decide to release it for planting, we are looking at about 3000 to 4000 test plots prior to the release of a new variety.”

As you might expect with new varieties from DuPont Pioneer, there are many things that bring seed technology to a new level.… Continue reading

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Food safety meeting for fruits and vegetables Oct. 3

A program focused on food safety and Good Agricultural Practices to prevent microbial contamination on fruit and vegetable farms will take place Oct. 3 in Cleveland.

The Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Educational Course will run 6-9 p.m. at the Urban Community School, 4909 Lorain Ave. Speakers will be Ohio State University Extension educators and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Staff.

“The Food and Drug Administration should be releasing draft standards for safe production and harvest of fruits and vegetables as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act,” said Ashley Kulhanek of Ohio State University’s Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team, the program’s sponsor.

Even though those standards have been delayed in the Office of Management and Budget and might not be released until after the November election, Kulhanek said now is a good time to learn about GAPs.

Attendees won’t actually become certified in GAPs by taking the course, but will learn more about the program.… Continue reading

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Get more out of your combine by keeping more in it

By Matt Reese

With combines rolling around the state, crop producers are experiencing no shortage of aggravation resulting from the variation in the crops, particularly corn. Farmers are reporting that, even within just a few yards, corn yields can go from near zero to over 200, which makes setting up the combine to preserve as much of the crop as possible a real guessing game.

“Be patient and let the machines get filled up and make sure you have the rotors full so the rotors and cleaning system perform like they are supposed to,” said Andy Uhland, with AGCO. “With the drier conditions, it has been easier to get flotation pressure set and smoother hugging of header height control without having to fight mud and wet conditions.”

While some things do work better in the dry, low yielding conditions out there, there are some important adjustments to get more out of your combine by keeping more in it.… Continue reading

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Premature corn sprouting reported around Ohio

By Peter Thomison and Allen Geyer, Ohio State University Extension

We have received several reports of premature corn kernel sprouting across Ohio. A combination of factors, including erect ears, bird damage, ear molds, and wet weather, contribute to premature sprouting.

The problem is usually limited within fields but if it’s evident across a field, it has the potential to cause drying and storage problems. Fields showing widespread kernel sprouting should be prioritized for early harvest.

Kernel red streak is also present. With this kernel problem, red streaks form on the sides of kernels and extend over the crown; symptoms are most pronounced at the tip of the ear. Kernel red streak is caused by a toxin secreted during feeding by the wheat curl mite. Severity of symptoms varies among hybrids. The streaking develops in the pericarp but does not affect the feed or nutritional value of corn. The reddish discoloration is a cosmetic blemish, and may affect certain uses of food grade corn, and may thereby reduce premiums.… Continue reading

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Insurance for crops following a cover crop

The drought has left feed for livestock in short supply. Many producers are considering planting cover crops this fall that may also be grazed or cut for hay. Brian D. Frieden, Director of the Springfield Regional Office for USDA’s Risk Management Agency, offers an insurance update for those considering planting cover crops this fall.

Ohio producers wanting to insure a crop planted in the spring of 2013, such as corn, sweet corn, popcorn, hybrid seed corn, processing pumpkins, soybeans, processing beans and grain sorghum, following a cover crop must:

• Stop haying or grazing the cover crop by May 10, 2013; and

• Terminate all cover crop growth at least seven days before the final planting date for the spring crop you are planting.

In areas where a double-cropping practice is insurable (generally referred to as a Following A Crop practice under the terms of the Federal crop insurance program), producers may be able to insure soybeans, processing beans and grain sorghum without meeting the requirements above.… Continue reading

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Dry summer great for growing grapes and wineries

By Matt Reese

The drought and heat were tough on the endless fields of corn and soybeans and the countless livestock and poultry facilities in the heart of western Ohio farm country. But nestled in between the row crops,

pigs, cows and chickens of Darke County sits a small vineyard that was thriving in the tough conditions this year.

“Grape vines are not the typical crop around here, but they naturally handle drought conditions with their deep roots,” said Errol Threewits, the vineyard manager for the Winery at Versailles. “The grapes really like the heat and the dry conditions that reduce the diseases and the need for applications of fungicides. Normally we spray every seven to 10 days, but this year we were spraying every two or three weeks. And, dry years produce fruit that has more concentrated sugar and higher acid, which really helps fermentation.”

The heat did push the harvest earlier this year.… Continue reading

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Sept. 24 Between the Rows





Mark Dowden

Champaign and Uniion counties


“We’ve been shelling corn. Our combine broke down last week on Monday morning and we didn’t get it back until Saturday morning, so we had a whole week off. We started in some of the driest gravelly ground and we were averaging 75-bushel corn. We’re on some better ground now and we’re averaging right at 100 bushels. I still think we’re going to get closer to that 125-bushel corn or better as we get through the season.

“We had pretty strong winds that took some limbs out of trees, but so far the corn survived it. We also had an inch and a half to two inches of rain Friday night. We haven’t found any quality problems in the corn yet. We are maybe 10% done with corn. We lost a lot of ground with not being able to run last week.… Continue reading

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Mark Thomas-September 24th

“I’m cutting the third cutting of sudangrass now, it is three feet tall. I was worried about frost last night but it only got down to 36 degrees or so. The fifth cutting of hay is done and, though some of the cuttings weren’t great, overall we are OK. We may still get around to a sixth cutting. We got done with silage and that was fantastic, but we haven’t harvested any other corn or soybeans yet.

“We’re going to have to get after harvesting our corn, though, because even in the silage we saw that we could knock ears off pretty easily. I would say around 10% or 20% of the corn and beans are harvested in the area.

“Everybody so far has been pleasantly surprised with what they have found. I haven’t heard any horror stories in my immediate area. It is not going to be great, but there are still a lot of fields that are better than they thought.… Continue reading

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Jim Herring-September 24th

Harvest is just getting going in the area.

“We harvested the first soybean field on Friday before the rain. It was a gravelly field and I expected the worst with the drought conditions we had. I had to double check the yield monitor to make sure I was seeing things right. I ended up with a 50-bushel average. The lows were pretty darn low, but the highs were right up there. I thought it would be one of my worst fields and it would be nice if that were true. I was really surprised.

“So far, aflatoxin has not been an issue around here in the corn that I have heard of and things look like they are standing pretty well. We are keeping an eye on things and if they start to deteriorate I will switch from soybeans to corn. I planted all full season hybrids and most of my corn still isn’t ready.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-September 24th

“We’ve been shelling corn. Our combine broke down last week on Monday morning and we didn’t get it back until Saturday morning, so we had a whole week off. We started in some of the driest gravelly ground and we were averaging 75-bushel corn. We’re on some better ground now and we’re averaging right at 100 bushels. I still think we’re going to get closer to that 125-bushel corn or better as we get through the season.

“We had pretty strong winds that took some limbs out of trees, but so far the corn survived it. We also had an inch and a half to two inches of rain Friday night. We haven’t found any quality problems in the corn yet. We are maybe 10% done with corn. We lost a lot of ground with not being able to run last week. We’re going to finish up around Urbana and then move back home and probably switch to soybeans.… Continue reading

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Billy Pontius-September 24th

“We were getting ready to cut beans and the wind picked up the auger, threw it on the ground and totaled it. So yesterday I had to go get another auger to cut beans. Then my draper head wasn’t adjusting the way it should. There was a loose wire in the electronics and we haven’t started at all on beans. Hopefully we’re going to start beans in about an hour.

“I have about 400 or 500 acres of beans that are ready now and they should run pretty smoothly. We hit the corn pretty hard so far and we have quite a bit done. The wind didn’t hurt the corn at all.

“The corn has been better than I thought. The black dirt is OK. On some of my hill ground, there has been some corn in it where I thought there wouldn’t be anything. I haven’t figured everything out yet, but we’re between 100 and 110 bushels dry for an average.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – September 24th, 2012


Field activities for the week included tilling wheat stubble, applying fertilizer and manure, and baling hay. Corn and soybeans are being harvested throughout the state, however cool damp weather has slowed the pace of the harvesting of these grain crops. The harvest of vegetables, including fall crops, continues.

As of Sunday September 23rd, sixty-one-eight percent of corn was mature, 44 percent ahead of last year and 19 percent ahead of the five-year average. Eight percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by seven percent and the five-year average by two percent. Corn for silage was 88 percent harvested, compared to 43 percent last year and 69 percent for the five-year average. Seventy-three percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 33 percent last year and 65 percent for the five-year average. Twenty-nine percent of the soybeans were mature, 24 percent ahead of last year and two percent ahead of the five-year average.… Continue reading

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The sky is the limit for cover crops

With an aerial cover crop seeding demonstration, nearly 400 attendees learned that the sky is the limit for no-till and cover crops at the Ohio No-Till Field Day this month on the David Brandt farm in Fairfield County.

Attendees got to see Butch Fisher aerial applying cover crop seed to a soybean field at the Ohio No-Till Field Day on Sept. 13, 2012 on the David Brandt farm in Fairfield County. Photo by Randall Reeder.

Other topics at the event included: planter and drill set up and adjustment; choices, benefits, and seeding methods of cover crops; soil pit; insect issues; soil compaction and controlled traffic; and USDA cost share. Keynote speakers included 
Gabe Brown, a nationally-known no-tiller from North Dakota who uses a variety of cover crops to increase crop yields and improve soil quality and Bill Lehmkuhl, a crop consultant who speaks nationally on corn planter setup and adjustment for optimum performance.… Continue reading

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USDA to change release times of major reports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) will begin issuing several major USDA statistical reports at 12:00 p.m. EDT beginning in January 2013. The current USDA release time of 8:30 a.m. Eastern will remain in effect until January 1, 2013. USDA statistical reports affected are: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Acreage, Crop Production, Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings, and Small Grains Summary.

Between June 8 and July 9, 2012, USDA sought public comment on the release times for several major statistical reports in response to changes in market hours by major commodity exchanges.  Stakeholders submitted 147 comments through the NASS online response site and via letter and e-mail. The comments received may be viewed on the NASS website.

“USDA considered all comments and thanks everyone for their thoughtful suggestions,” said USDA Chief Economist Joseph W. Glauber. “The shift to a noon release allows for the greatest liquidity in the markets, provides the greatest access to the reports during working hours in the United States, and continues equal access to data among all parties.”

Alan Brugler with Brugler Marketing and Management says the agency claims the shift will result in more liquidity – less volatility in regards to report reaction – and the greatest access to the report among all interested parties.… Continue reading

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Purdue gets $5.2 million to develop new biofuel process

If Purdue University researchers have their way, the term “biofuel plant” will take on a whole new meaning.

A team received a $5.2 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to develop a plant that can make substances that could be used directly as a biofuel. The idea is to reroute carbon that plants currently use to make lignin — a barrier to cellulosic ethanol production – and turn it into a biofuel.

“Scientists have been focused on getting the sugars out of cell walls and using microorganisms to ferment those sugars into fuel,” said Clint Chapple, the grant’s principal investigator and a distinguished professor of biochemistry. “We want to take advantage of a plant’s metabolic pathways to make biofuel directly.”

Purdue acting President Timothy Sands said the work is an example of harnessing science to find solutions for global problems.

“Addressing our world’s energy needs will take multiple solutions, and Purdue researchers have long been a part of significant developments in this field,” Sands said.… Continue reading

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Farmers on the lookout for aflatoxin as drought continues

The season-long drought and extreme heat have created conditions prime for Aspergillus ear rot to develop in corn, so growers should scout their fields and inspect their grain, a Purdue Extension plant pathologist said.

The fungus, which infects corn ears through the silks or wounds, produces aflatoxin, a toxic carcinogen that also can cause health problems for livestock that consume contaminated corn.

“Aspergillus ear rot is out there, but it varies greatly from field to field, mostly depending on planting time and environmental conditions at pollination,” Kiersten Wise said. “There is no field without some potential for the disease.”

Fields most at risk are those in which corn was planted in late March to early April, due to the high temperatures and drought stress that occurred when that corn was pollinating. Even if corn was planted later in April, it is still at risk if it was under extreme drought stress during pollination, planted in sandy soils or experienced insect and hail damage.… Continue reading

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Marketing system ensures safe corn

The challenging growing conditions have created the potential for and concern about aflatoxin in corn. Agronomists are pushing farmers to get corn out of the fields as quickly as possible to try to void problems that, so far, have not shown up in a significant way in Ohio.

The potential for aflatoxin in corn, though, has not been lost on those who import U.S. corn. It should be noted, however, that although growing conditions may vary from year to year, U.S. grades and safety standards for grain remain stable. The U.S. grain marketing system ensures that domestic and export buyers receive safe cargoes of corn based on buyer-seller contract terms and the minimum requirements of U.S. grain grades and standards. The U.S. Grains Council closely monitors aflatoxin levels in the United States so it can appropriately address the concerns of its global customers. The Council’s annual U.S. Corn Harvest Quality Report, set to be released at the end of November, will be a key tool in releasing this information.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – September 17th, 2012

The average temperature for the State was 64.2 degrees, 1.6 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, September 16, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.07 inches, 0.77 inches below normal. There were 95 modified growing degree days, 20 days below normal.

Reporters rated 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, September 14, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 24 percent very short, 39 percent short, 36 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

Recent rains have slowed maturing of corn and soybeans. Field activities for the week included tilling wheat stubble, applying fertilizer and manure, and baling hay. Corn and soybeans are being harvested in more parts of the state.
As of Sunday September 16th, corn dented was rated at 95 percent, compared to 63 percent last year and 82 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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