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Stage set for more market access in Japan

The National Corn Growers Association welcomed the announcement that the United States and Japan have reached an agreement in principle that sets the stage for increased market access for American agriculture products in Japan.

“This is very encouraging news,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “Japan is the second-largest purchaser of U.S. corn and has been an important, longstanding trading partner with America’s corn farmers. We hope the next stage of negotiations are successful in enhancing rules of trade and building on this strong relationship.”

Chrisp said NCGA is continuing conversations with the Trump Administration to learn more details on what specifically this announcement will mean for America’s corn farmers.

The U.S.-Japan announcement follows recent Administrative actions that have added to growing economic concerns across rural America. Last week, the Chinese government announced it would levy an additional 10% tariff on U.S. products, including corn and ethanol, in response to President Trump’s recent increase in tariffs on Chinese products.… Continue reading

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Rains supportive as Ohio crop progress continues

Timely rains helped some corn and soybean fields last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 25. The perimeter of the State received much of the rainfall while counties across the middle of the State received fewer showers. Overall, the State received slightly higher than normal amounts of rainfall. Temperatures and base 50 growing degree days were slightly higher than normal levels as well. Topsoil moisture rated adequate and surplus saw a 2 percentage point increase from the previous week while subsoil moisture rated adequate and surplus saw a 3 point decrease. Corn, soybeans, oats, and hay all continued to lag behind the 5-year average progress in all categories listed. Rainfall was a blessing as 52 percent of corn was in dough stage and 70 percent of soybeans were setting pods. Even with the timely rains, corn rated in good to excellent condition was 31 percentage points below the 5-year average rating and soybeans rated in good to excellent condition was 29 points below the 5-year average rating.… Continue reading

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Ohio grain farmers invite Toledo mayor to visit

Recent comments by the mayor of Toledo have prompted corn, soybean and wheat farmers throughout Ohio to invite him to witness for himself their hard work and significant investments to protect water quality.

For example, last month, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz told WTOL 11 that Toledo’s water has been “polluted for us” by Ohio farmers. Realizing that the mayor has not been educated about farmers’ leadership on conservation issues, Farmers are using the hashtag #WadeIsWelcome to extend the invitation for a farm tour.

Last week, Mayor Kapszukiewicz told the Toledo Blade, “At some point, facts and research have to matter.” Ohio grain farmers couldn’t agree more. That’s why they are calling, tweeting, and emailing the mayor to invite him to their farms and see exactly how much investment and work has been done to find and implement science-based, long term solutions.

“Ohio’s agricultural community has worked very hard to address water quality,” said Jon Miller, Fairfield grain farmer and president of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.… Continue reading

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POET lowering ethanol production

POET has reduced ethanol production at half of its biorefineries, with the largest drops taking place in Iowa and Ohio. As a result, numerous jobs will be consolidated across POET’s 28 biorefineries and corn processing will drop by an additional 100 million bushels across Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Missouri.

In addition, POET will idle production at its bioprocessing facility in Cloverdale, Ind. The process to idle the plant will take several weeks, after which the plant will cease processing of over 30 million bushels of corn annually.

While there are certainly numerous market factors at play, POET blames the undermining of the Renewable Fuel Standard by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard was designed to increase the use of clean, renewable biofuels and generate grain demand for farmers. Our industry invested billions of dollars based on the belief that oil could not restrict access to the market and EPA would stand behind the intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard.… Continue reading

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Engineering a greener future

By Ajay Shah and Mary Wicks

Many people associate bridges or electrical circuits with engineering; however, the field is much broader. According to livescience.com, “engineering is the application of science and math to solve problems” and engineers are “instrument in making those innovations available to the world.” In today’s world, in which companies and consumers want greener, more sustainable processes and products, engineers are developing new ways to process organic wastes and agricultural feedstocks in order to create bio-based products.

As our understanding of the molecular structure of organic materials grows, engineers are developing technologies that use the knowledge generated. For example, a biological engineer may work to optimize biological processes to produce ethanol via fermentation or biogas via anaerobic digestion for bioenergy. Chemical engineers may focus on creating more sustainable products, such as bio-plastics from waste materials, rather than petroleum, or bio-materials that decompose after use. Other engineers may use genetic engineering methods to make crops that are more resistant to disease or environmental challenges, such as drought.… Continue reading

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Planting practices affect corn stand, yield

Corn growers attending a recent field day saw firsthand what a difference planting practices can make in a stand of corn, even in a year plagued by wet and cold weather at planting.

On a 10-acre plot on Chillicothe farmer Brian Brown’s farm, growers saw side-by-side trials where row-spacing, ear counts and root systems showed how using optimum downforce settings, planting depths and seed singulation results in more even stands, more kernels and eventually higher yields. For example, dug-up corn plants planted with an automatic downforce system consistently into the moisture layer produced a large, much fuller root system, compared to the narrow root ball resulting from seed being left too shallow in the furrow by a planter with manual, static downforce.

The Aug. 7 event, co-sponsored by Ohio Ag Equipment and Seed Consultants, Inc., with technology and equipment from AGCO, White Planters and Precision Planting, is part of the annual AGCO Crop Tour program.… Continue reading

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2019 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour summary

Since last fall, incessant wet weather plagued every sector of Ohio agriculture and made the planting season among the most difficult ever. Ohio’s staggering 1,485,919 acres of prevented planting ground sounds bad, but looked even worse when passing by on the 2019 I-75/I-71 Crop Tour sponsored by AgroLiquid. The many empty fields in the state served as a stark and sobering reminder of the challenging spring throughout Ohio, and especially in the northwest where no farm on the tour planted all of their intended corn acres. Sadly, in many cases, the fields that were planted were not much better off. Much of the corn in northern Ohio was a solid month behind developmentally, making yield estimates very difficult and not much more than educated guesses. Many planting dates north of I-70 were in June, which leaves a long road ahead for the corn crop that had not even finished pollinating.… Continue reading

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Top Ohio counties for prevented planting in 2019

In Ohio, there were 1,485,919 prevented planting acres in 2019. Of that more than 880,992 prevented planting acres were corn and over 598,981 acres were soybeans. More than 5,883 Ohio wheat acres were included on the list as well with the balance being made up of oats and sorghum, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

The top Ohio counties in prevented planting acres for 2019 were: Wood (120,480), Hardin (91,389), Defiance (84,198), Seneca (74,635), Hancock (74,169), Henry (71,083), Fulton (70,514), Paulding (62,567), Williams (60,373), and Wyandot (53,860).

Nationally agricultural producers reported they were not able to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres in 2019, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This marks the most prevented plant acres reported since USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began releasing the report in 2007 and 17.49 million acres more than reported at this time last year.… Continue reading

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Are crops catching up?

By Laura Lindsey and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

 

Corn

Crop development varies tremendously across Ohio because of planting dates that range from late April to early July. According to field agronomists in some areas of the state, it looks like late-planted crops are “ rushing through development” …Unlike soybean, corn development is directly related to temperature, i.e. heat unit accumulation. Above average July temperatures (especially nighttime temperatures) have promoted rapid corn growth and development. After corn reaches the V10 stage (and most of our June plantings are near or beyond this stage), leaf collar emergence occurs at approximately one leaf every 50 GDDs.

Late planted corn fields (especially those that have adequate soil moisture and good soil fertility and weed control) may appear to be “catching up” with neighboring fields planted earlier. The rapid growth of late planted corn is associated with greater vegetative growth and faster canopy closure, which will help optimize yields.… Continue reading

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Prevented planting acres announced for 2019

Agricultural producers reported they were not able to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres in 2019, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This marks the most prevented plant acres reported since USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began releasing the report in 2007 and 17.49 million acres more than reported at this time last year.

Of those prevented plant acres, more than 73% were in 12 Midwestern states, where heavy rainfall and flooding this year has prevented many producers from planting mostly corn, soybeans and wheat.

“Agricultural producers across the country are facing significant challenges and tough decisions on their farms and ranches,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “We know these are challenging times for farmers, and we have worked to improve flexibility of our programs to assist producers prevented from planting.”

In Ohio, there were 1,485,919 prevented planting acres in 2019.… Continue reading

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Aug. 12 reveals bearish numbers

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Finally. Suspense. Long awaited. USDA did it again. We waited this long? All describe the Aug. 12 USDA Monthly Supply and Demand Report out today at noon.

USDA estimated 90 million corn acres with a yield of 169.5 bushels per acre. Corn acres 2 million acres above trade estimates. Soybeans were 76.7 million acres with a yield of 48.5 bushels per acre. Soybeans acres were 4 million acres below expected. Trader estimates for this report had U.S. corn acres at 88 million acres compared to the July USDA number of 91.7 million acres, down nearly 4 million acres. This month they estimated 81 million soybean acres. Last month USDA had estimated 80 million acres of soybeans.

Shortly after the report corn was down 22 cents, soybeans unchanged, while wheat was down 15 cents. Huge price volatility was expected following the noon reports.

The market has been starving for news the past six weeks.… Continue reading

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Pay more attention this year to reduce spray drift

By Erdal Ozkan

Spray drift not only result in wasting expensive pesticides and pollution of the environment, it may damage non-target crops nearby, and poses a serious health risk to people living in areas where drift is occurring. Drift happens! It accounts for about half of all non-compliance cases investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. As you know, we are experiencing an unusual weather situation in Ohio and several other Corn Belt states this year. Wet fields have made planting of corn and soybeans delayed or in many cases forced farmers to abandon it altogether looking for alternatives such as planting cover crops. Either situation presents added caution when applying herbicides in terms of spray drift which is defined as movement of pesticides by wind from the application site to an off-target site during or soon after application is done. When exactly the same types of crops, such as genetically modified beans, or non-GMO beans are planted in neighboring fields, herbicide drifting from one field to another may not show injury symptoms.… Continue reading

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RFS waivers drawing ire of ag

According to a recent Reuters report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved 31 of its 38 pending small refinery exemptions (SREs) for 2018. Recipients of the exemptions are not required to comply with renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The RFS exists to drive investment in American-grown biofuels. EPA, though, allows waivers exempting small refineries from the RFS and cuts demand for biofuels.

“After more than a year of constant trade escalation, President Trump seems determined to destroy the United States’ reputation as a reliable supplier of quality agricultural products. At the same time, his EPA seems bent on destroying our domestic market for renewable fuels. Together, these actions are crippling our markets, creating enormous stress in the countryside, and forcing more and more farmers into bankruptcy,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. “Our farmers are growing weary of the news from this White House.… Continue reading

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Keep an eye on crop diseases

Late-planted corn and soybeans could be vulnerable to higher-than-normal levels of crop diseases this year. When sown one to two months later than usual, corn and soybeans stand a greater chance of succumbing, especially, to fungal diseases.

Dry weather across much of Ohio since July has helped stave off some disease spread because fungal diseases need moisture to thrive. Still, during a year when late planting has already limited the yield potential on crops, it’s critical to be watchful for other threats too, including all types of diseases, molds, and insects, advise experts with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Fungal diseases that can infect either soybeans or corn can survive through the winter on the crop residue left in a field after harvest, said Pierce Paul, a specialist in corn and small grain diseases with CFAES. Spores of the pathogens that cause the diseases form in the spring and spread.… Continue reading

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You really need a cover crop this year

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

So I made a trip to Omaha and back in mid-July. I attended the Sustainable Agronomy conference there and drove to the conference. Part of my goal was to do a windshield tour to see what the crops really looked like. Generally, nothing looks as it should. Ohio and eastern Indiana are the worst in many ways, but the total loss of crops due to floods in western Iowa and into Missouri were the most tragic — many losing not just this year’s crop but also last year’s that was still in the bin when floods hit this spring.

I drove out and back by two different routes to get a bigger picture of what’s there, on I-80 out and U.S. 36 back for the most part. I rated the crop on a 1-10 scale with 1 being just planted or mostly flooded out to a 10 being perfect — I think I only saw one 10.… Continue reading

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Low corn and soybean yields predicted for 2019

The latest AccuWeather 2019 crop production analysis predicts a significant decline from last year’s corn and soybean yield, as well as a noticeable variation from the July U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates.

AccuWeather analysts predict the 2019 corn yield will be 13.07 billion bushels, a decline of 9.3% from 2018 and 5.8% lower than the latest USDA figures. It would be the lowest yield since 2012, a year of a significant drought that saw final corn production numbers plummet to 10.76 billion bushels.

The difference between AccuWeather and USDA estimates centers on forecasts for projected corn acres harvested, with AccuWeather analysts concerned that late-planted corn either won’t yield well or could be affected more so this year by on-time frost.

AccuWeather’s projected soybean yield of 3.9 billion bushels reflects an even greater decline from 2018’s final soybean production numbers. It would be a 14.1% dropoff from the final figure of 4.544 billion bushels, and the lowest yield since 2013 (3.357 billion bushels).… Continue reading

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Tariffs, trade and the battle between supply and demand

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Supply bulls and demand bears, two terms you have heard much about the past two months. Earlier this summer it was most apparent a huge tug of war was taking place in regard to corn prices. Supply bulls felt they had the upper hand in prices due to huge unknown prevented planted corn acreage. It was most obvious corn planting had been delayed with each release of the Monday afternoon weekly crop progress report from late April into the first half of June. Prevented planting for corn acres grew with each rain event. The supply bulls were utterly disappointed with the June 28 USDA Acres Report. Corn acres were several million acres higher than expected, a bearish surprise. December CBOT corn closed that day at $4.315, down 19.5 cents.

Demand bears could see corn planting was at a record slow pace this spring. Yet, they felt they could win the day, knowing demand was falling week after week.… Continue reading

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Wheat and hay help salvage a tough 2019

By Matt Reese

Dylan Baer and his father, Dave, plant corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay and sell seed on their Wood County farm. Of all their enterprises, the lackluster wheat and struggling alfalfa hay may still be their best performing acres this year. Many acres of the farm went unplanted this spring due to incessant rains.

“We run a high management program for the wheat. In a normal year even 90 bushels is disappointing for us in our high management program. We spend some money on it to try and get as much as we can off of it. You also have to factor in that the corn following a wheat crop is typically better than corn following beans. You really have to take that into consideration when you are figuring out the expenses on wheat. We also double-crop some beans — maybe 40 acres or so — after the wheat,” Baer said.… Continue reading

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Soybean breeders improving several sources of SCN resistance

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) causes the most yield loss of any soybean pathogen in North America, with economic impact in excess of $1 billion per year. That’s why soybean breeders funded by the checkoff (United Soybean Board and North Central Soybean Research Program) are improving and adding to current genetic sources of SCN resistance and breeding them into high-yielding backgrounds.

Like herbicide resistant weeds, the SCN organism evolves and adapts to eventually overcome the same source of genetic resistance deployed in a field year after year. Consequently, constant use of a single source of resistance (such as the PI 88788 source) will eventually wear thin, if not improved upon or rotated with other unique sources.

Expanding the sources of SCN resistance hasn’t always been easy. Public soybean breeders have spent years working with SCN resistance breeding lines other than PI 88788, which is the source of resistance used in 95 percent of commercially available SCN-resistant varieties.… Continue reading

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Expect cornfields pollinating well into August

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending July 28, 2019, 32% of the state’s corn was silking compared to 75% for the 5-year average. Given the wide range in corn planting dates this year, most corn will not achieve tasselling and silking until we are well into August. The pollination period, the flowering stage in corn, is the most critical period in the development of a corn plant from the standpoint of grain yield determination. Stress conditions (such as hail damage and drought) have the greatest impact on yield potential during the reproductive stage. The following are key steps in the corn pollination process.

Most corn hybrids tassel and silk about the same time although some variability exists among hybrids and environments. On a typical midsummer day, peak pollen shed occurs in the morning between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.… Continue reading

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