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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – November 7th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 46.1 degrees, 1.9 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, November 6, 2011. Precipitation averaged 0.23 inches, 0.49 inches below normal. There were 34 modified growing degree days, 2 days below normal.

Reporters rated 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 4, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 41 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 6th 2011

Farmers were harvesting corn and soybeans and planting winter wheat.

As of Sunday November 6th, corn mature was rated at 95 percent, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 34 percent complete, compared to 94 percent last year and 67 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 96 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average.

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Hybrid comparison considerations

By Dave Nanda, director of genetics and technology for Seed Consultants, Inc.

As you harvest corn this fall, it is important to assess the performance of the hybrids in the field, but there are some important considerations to remember. We can’t compare the performance of hybrids of different relative maturities, especially when they are 7 to 8 days apart unless we are trying to study different maturities. Also, we should not compare the yields of hybrids planted 10 days apart unless we are trying to study the effects of planting dates on yields.

Planting is one of the most important things you do during the growing season. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of doing a good job of planting. The fields planted in a rush will be uneven in germination as well in spacing. It has been shown by studies conducted at Purdue and Ohio State Universities as well as in my own studies conducted over the years that seedlings which emerge even a couple of days later than their neighbors will have a disadvantage.

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Brown marmorated stink bug could be Ohio’s next pest

As if there were not enough challenges to face in Ohio agricultural production, a new one may be on the eastern horizon.

“The brown marmorated stink bug has been expanding westward from the east. This was first found in Pennsylvania about 10 years ago and has been expanding westward across the soybean growing regions,” said Andy Michel, assistant professor at OARDC and Ohio State University Extension with a specialty in soybean insect management. “We have found some of these populations in Ohio. We typically find them first in homes. They have a behavior similar to that of the multicolored Asian Ladybeetle where they overwinter near homes. The pictures I’ve seen from out east are pretty dramatic where people are sweeping the stinkbugs off of their front porches into five gallon buckets.”

They can explode into large populations and they have a diverse and large appetite.

“The are important pests of many agricultural commodities like fruits, field corn and soybeans,” Michel said.

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Brown marmorated stink bug could be Ohio's next pest

As if there were not enough challenges to face in Ohio agricultural production, a new one may be on the eastern horizon.

“The brown marmorated stink bug has been expanding westward from the east. This was first found in Pennsylvania about 10 years ago and has been expanding westward across the soybean growing regions,” said Andy Michel, assistant professor at OARDC and Ohio State University Extension with a specialty in soybean insect management. “We have found some of these populations in Ohio. We typically find them first in homes. They have a behavior similar to that of the multicolored Asian Ladybeetle where they overwinter near homes. The pictures I’ve seen from out east are pretty dramatic where people are sweeping the stinkbugs off of their front porches into five gallon buckets.”

They can explode into large populations and they have a diverse and large appetite.

“The are important pests of many agricultural commodities like fruits, field corn and soybeans,” Michel said.

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The mathematics (and economics) of soybean shrink

By Matt Reese

This wet soybean harvest has been challenging and has renewed concerns of farmers concerning the shrink charge that is fodder for regular coffee shop conversations.

“The quality has been very good this year with big, healthy beans. Guys have been taking beans off a little wetter, but most are in the 11% or 12% range,” Randy Broady, Director of Grain Operations for Trupointe Cooperative. “Shrink is charged at 13% and I would guess that less than 20% of the beans coming in have been over 13% moisture.”

The charge for shrink is intended to account for the amount of mass that will be lost as the soybeans are dried. While farmers do not want to face deductions in their checks from the elevator, they are actually often better off taking in wetter beans and being charged for the shrink, according to Broady.

“If I’m a farmer, I would rather deliver a wetter bean because they are actually bringing in more weight and, even after the discount, they are coming out ahead,” he said.

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India could be the next emerging major export market

India’s growth outlook “appears more subdued than last year,” but analysts still expect to see it hover around 8%, reported U.S. Grains Council Consultant Amit Sachdev.



The International Monetary Fund now pegs Indian growth at 7.8% for 2011/2012, citing challenges from high inflation and higher interest rates, which could dampen demand. The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, meanwhile, projects growth close to 8%. 



The Reserve Bank of India recently raised interest rates for the twelfth time in 18 months in an effort to slow inflation and reduce demand, but since borrowing by Indian households is low, consumers have liquidity to absorb the increase. Monthly installment payments on loans represent less than one percent of Indians’ total household income.


Even with a slowdown, India’s growth is likely to outstrip many other nations’ this year. India is now the world’s fourth-largest economy, following the United States, China and Japan, and is about to surpass the Japanese economy in size.

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Think twice before tilling

Farmers should take soil drainage, fertilizer, and planting needs and economic thresholds into consideration before making tillage decisions, says a Purdue Extension agronomist.

“The first thing to consider when looking at tillage is whether we benefited from the tillage we did last year,” Tony Vyn said. “Once again this year, there was very little yield advantage for those that did conventional tillage.”

No-till soybeans continue to perform as well as conventional tillage options, he said. No-till has also been found to be consistently successful for corn in rotation with soybeans when comparisons are based on similar planting dates for alternative tillage systems. But for farmers who intend to plant earlier, incorporate lime, or band- apply fertilizers such as phosphorous below the soil surface, strip tilling and vertical tillage are two relatively new options that still protect the soil resource.

“These new, intermediate systems can preserve surface residue while enabling successful establishment of corn,” Vyn said.

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Handle corn with care

The hot, dry summer took its toll on some of the corn crop, particularly in northwest and western Ohio. To make matters worse, corn that was planted later than normal is being harvested at higher moistures. According to a Purdue Extension grain storage and drying specialist, that means growers need to pay extra close attention to harvest methods, drying and grain storage.

In some areas, corn is more susceptible to lodging than usual, and there have been a few reports of poor kernel fill and small kernels, said Matt Roberts. Others report more cobs and stalk pieces or more fine material in their harvested corn.

“Low test weight corn can be more susceptible to kernel breakage during harvesting and handling than high test weight corn, and quite often more fine material is produced when corn is harvested at higher moistures,” Roberts said. “The presence of broken kernels, stalks and cobs in a grain bin can restrict airflow.

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Soybean aphids may be back in 2012

By Matt Reese

To date, farmers have been fortunate that entomologists had the soybean aphid pretty well figured out in Ohio.

“Soybean aphids have been a pest in Ohio since 2000 or 2001 and we seem to have outbreaks every other year. In odd numbered years we tend to have outbreaks,” said Andy Michel, assistant professor at OARDC and Ohio State University Extension with a specialty in soybean insect management. “For the past 10 years we were fairly comfortable with the every other year pattern. In Iowa and the midsection of the country, there seemed to be a couple of years where the population cycle was out of whack. But that didn’t happen in Ohio and it has gone in the every other year pattern as we had predicted.”

But, like just about everything in nature, just when it gets figured out something can change.

“This year something odd happened. We had a fair soybean aphid population in Ohio, it was scattered, but we considered it a relatively high aphid population year in 2011,” he said.

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Senate missed NPDES deadline

The National Corn Growers Association expressed disappointment in the Senate’s failure to act on legislation that would have clarified federal permits are not required when applying pesticides according to their EPA-approved label.

“NCGA is disappointed the Senate did not approve H.R. 872 prior to the October 31 deadline when the NPDES pesticide permitting program takes effect,” NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, an Illinois corn farmer, said. “Despite broad bipartisan support for the proposal, lawmakers were unable to identify a path forward for this important legislation. As a result, farmers like me are now exposed to a new set of legal liabilities and regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act, without a guarantee of any additional environmental benefits.”

For most of the past four decades, water quality concerns from pesticide applications were addressed within the registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), rather than a Clean Water Act permitting program.

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Crop prices treading water

Following wide swings in September and early October, the prices of corn, soybeans and wheat have traded in relatively narrow ranges in the last half of October. Narrow trading ranges reflect the lack of new information and, in some cases, conflicting demand indicators, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.

“Since Oct. 12, December 2011 corn futures have traded in a range of about 40 cents, with a high near $6.65. That contract is now about $1.40 below the late August high,” he said.

According to Good, basis levels remain generally strong and are at record levels for this time of year in some markets. Demand news tends to be mixed for corn, he said.

“Ethanol production since Sept. 1 has been near the level of a year ago, suggesting corn consumption in that market remains at record levels. Spot market margins for ethanol producers have increased sharply since reaching record low levels in June.

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – October 31st

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY OCTOBER 30th 2011

Rains throughout the week has delayed the corn and soybean harvest and winter wheat planting.

As of Sunday October 30th, corn mature was rated at 84 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 18 percent complete, compared to 89 percent last year and 55 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 92 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 51 percent, 45 percentage points behind last year and 35 points behind the five-year average. Winter wheat was 67 percent planted, 29 percentage points behind last year and 24 points behind the five-year average. Emerged winter wheat was rated at 25 percent, compared to 77 percent last year and 66 percent for the five-year average. The forth cutting of alfalfa hay was 84 percent complete, 13 percent behind last year and 14 percent behind the five-year average.

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – October 31st

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY OCTOBER 30th 2011

Rains throughout the week has delayed the corn and soybean harvest and winter wheat planting.

As of Sunday October 30th, corn mature was rated at 84 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 18 percent complete, compared to 89 percent last year and 55 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 92 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 51 percent, 45 percentage points behind last year and 35 points behind the five-year average. Winter wheat was 67 percent planted, 29 percentage points behind last year and 24 points behind the five-year average. Emerged winter wheat was rated at 25 percent, compared to 77 percent last year and 66 percent for the five-year average. The forth cutting of alfalfa hay was 84 percent complete, 13 percent behind last year and 14 percent behind the five-year average.

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Ear mold problems do not appear to be widespread

As the tough 2011 cropping year draws to a close, farmers can take solace in knowing that despite unfavorable weather conditions, corn molds don’t seem to be of widespread concern, says a Purdue University plant pathologist.

Summer drought often leads to Aspergillus ear rot infections in corn, which produces aflatoxin — a carcinogen and liver toxin that affects livestock. Luckily, it doesn’t look like most farmers will have to worry too much about it.

“People might have yield problems with late planting and drought stress, but it doesn’t appear that ear rot will be a widespread problem this year,” said Charles Woloshuk.

Aspergillus ear rot is common in plants with drought stress because it thrives in weak plants. Since many other diseases need cool weather to survive, Aspergillus has little competition.

Woloshuk also said many of the other grain diseases don’t seem to be a problem this harvest. One common concern is Gibberella rot, which is associated with another toxin, called vomitoxin or DON.

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Corn market attracts wheat industry attention

By Casey Chumrau, USW Market Analyst

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) nearby corn contract is currently trading higher than the CBOT wheat contract. This reversal of a historical trend has only happened once before in 1983. As a result, wheat industry stakeholders and grain market analysts around the world are paying close attention to the price spread between wheat and corn. And for good reason: the behavior of the corn market in recent months helps them understand the current wheat market.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, the CBOT December corn contract closed at $6.37 per bushel, 18 cents higher than CBOT soft red winter (SRW) wheat. Additionally, the spread between the CBOT corn contract and the Kansas City Board of Trade hard red winter (HRW) contract and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange spring wheat contract has narrowed significantly. This reversal in relationship sent ripples through the wheat market and supports higher wheat prices.

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Research addresses the safety of leafy greens

Leafy green vegetables, power-packed with nutrients, are a growing part of the average American diet. Yet in 2009, leafy greens also made the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s “Top 10 Most Dangerous Foods,” due to a surprising number of foodborne illnesses linked to the seemingly innocuous salad staple.

But a team of researchers with Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) is working on an answer.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, 82 foodborne illness outbreaks between 1996 and 2008 were linked to the consumption of fresh produce. More than one-third of them were traced to leafy greens, accounting for 949 illnesses and five deaths. One outbreak alone, the 2006 contamination of spinach with Escherichia coli O157:H7, caused 204 illnesses, including 104 hospitalizations, 31 cases of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (a serious complication), and three deaths. On top of the human cost, the economic impact of that outbreak alone was estimated at anywhere from $37 million to $75 million.

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Fields of green

This photo was shared by Howard Buffett of John and Chris Dowson’s equipment running.  Dowson’s are the largest farm operation in Illinois and based near Divernon , IL , south of Springfield .

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Anhydrous price on the rise

As the price of natural gas goes up, the cost of producing anhydrous ammonia rises as well, according to a recent report from the University of Illinois.

“The two are related because natural gas is a major input into the production of anhydrous ammonia,” said agricultural economist Gary Schnitkey. “It is the major variable cost item in the production of anhydrous ammonia.”

Schnitkey’s team looked back at the ratio of anhydrous ammonia divided by natural gas prices (anhydrous per ton and natural gas per 1,000 cubic feet).

From 2001 through 2006, anhydrous ammonia prices were 49 times higher than natural gas prices.

“Since that point in time, that ratio has been much more variable and in general much higher,” Schnitkey said. “In recent months, the prices have been over 100 times higher.  Since 2006, we’ve seen commodity price increases.

As the price of corn goes up, production of corn and wheat also go up.

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There is still time for fall herbicide applications

By Matt Reese

As problem weeds like winter annuals, dandelions and marestail have been a growing challenge, more farmers have been relying on fall herbicide applications for better control.

Morrow County farmer Anthony Bush has seen a particular problem with marestail and has found that the only way to get good control is a total herbicide program approach, which usually includes a fall application. Unfortunately, as harvest continues to drag on, there have been few, if any, opportunities to get fall herbicides applied.

“I personally like doing it in the fall, but if I have to do it in the spring I will,” Bush said. “I definitely would say that marestail is a problem in the area. When people don’t take care of it in the beginning with a burndown pass, it makes a mess that is obvious in the fall. My approach to controlling marestail is an overall approach. It is your entire chemical program across all of your crops that takes care of marestail.

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Ethanol report highlights role of DDGs

Nearly 40% of the corn used for ethanol goes directly back into the feed supply as a high-protein animal feed, according to a recently released report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. Growth Energy, the nation’s leading voice for ethanol, noted that the feed from ethanol production saves money for animal producers because it averages 25% cheaper than corn used as feed and can displace a greater amount of corn because of its nutritional value.

According to the report, “Findings demonstrate that, in aggregate (including major types of livestock/poultry), a metric ton of DDGS can replace, on average, 1.22 metric tons of feed consisting of corn and soybean meal in the United States.”

“This report reiterates what we have been saying for years: ethanol produces both fuel and food, in the form of high protein animal feed known as distillers grains. The data proves that food-versus-fuel is a myth.

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