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Late corn may have dodged a bullet

By Matt Reese

Depending on the region of the state, when the corn was planted and the growing conditions since planting, the crop may still be pollinating or has just finished. As of Sunday August 7th, only 83% of Ohio’s corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 98% last year and 96% for the five-year average, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Of course, this week’s cooler temperatures and recent rains have been extremely helpful to the latest corn fields that were running well behind normal this year. The late planting actually helped some fields dodge extreme dry conditions and the extended heat wave that plagued pollination in many parts of the state and around the country.

Corn was tightly curled up through the second half of July, when it would normally be pollinating on the Defiance County farm of Roger Zeedyk, who provides regular reports for the Between the Rows feature.

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Insights To 300 Bushel Corn

Fred Below of the University of Illinois has spent his career researching how farmers can grow 300-bushel-per-acre corn. Below is a Plant Physiology Professor at the university and has categorized the results of his research into seven management practices – or wonders – that can result in high yielding corn. He says his study helps growers answer the question of what the latest products and practices contribute to yield.

According to Below – the most important factor is weather – followed by nitrogen/fertility, hybrid selection, previous crop, plant population, tillage and growth regulators. Each factor interacts with the others to produce an average bushel-per-acre yield. Below says when combined – all of these factors contribute to big-yield gains.

Below’s unique omission plots allowed him and his team to see the bushel impact when an individual high tech practice or input was added or subtracted – then compare it to other plots in which all high tech actions were in place in the same plot.

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Harvest-time yield assessments dictate insurance indemnities

Farmers with corn or other crops damaged by this summer’s thunderstorms or dry weather will have to wait until harvest to know whether they will qualify for crop insurance indemnity payments.
Multiple peril crop insurance compares final production levels to a guarantee level determined by historical yield averages. So, whether growers chose individual farm or county-based policies, Purdue Extension agricultural economist George Patrick said it’s impossible to know if an indemnity is due until this year’s yields or revenues are known.
“For multiple peril crop insurance, it is the yield or revenue actually obtained relative to the coverage level that determines whether there is a loss for insurance purposes,” he said. “There may be a complete loss on part of the insurance unit, but if the production or revenue for the entire unit is greater than the coverage level, there is no insurance indemnity.”
For example, if a farm is insured at a guaranteed level of 150 bushels of corn per acre and a disaster happens, but at harvest the yield still averages 150 bushels per acre, there would be no payment.

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Annual weed seed prevention in fallow fields

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

There is still time to control weeds in fields that were not planted to crops this year due to wet weather. A major goal of any control implemented at this time should be prevention of seed production by summer annual weeds. It’s not always necessary or practical to kill weeds, especially large ones, to prevent seed production. Summer annual weeds that are mowed now, or substantially affected by herbicides, should produce few seed even if they are able to still reach maturity. The choices for control are probably limited to mowing or herbicides at this point. Tillage is certainly an option, but control of the large weeds in many fields would require more than a shallow tillage pass.

As much as we would like for growers to avoid glyphosate applications in order to minimize further selection for glyphosate-resistant weeds, a glyphosate-based herbicide program may still make the most sense here.

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Ohio and the Canaan Fir

By Matt Reese
As the last glaciers advanced south into what is now Ohio, there is evidence that a continuous stand of beautiful fir trees extended from Canada south to North Carolina along the Appalachian Mountains. As the climate warmed, much of this unbroken forest of fir was replaced with other tree species in the lower elevations, leaving only isolated pockets of fir stands on the mountaintops and in mountain bogs.
These trees stood, unknown by mankind for thousands of years, until Jim Brown, who would later become a professor and associate chair of forestry at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) took notice in the late 1960s. Over the next two decades Brown conducted extensive research into this newly discovered type of fir tree with the hopes of finding a tree suitable for Christmas tree production. He found this unique tree that was not a balsam fir and not a Fraser fir, but with characteristics of both, in four separate and isolated areas within around 50 miles of each other in West Virginia.

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Corn and soybean production prospects

The 2011-12 corn and soybean marketing year officially begins on Sept. 1. The 2010-11 marketing year is ending with a slowdown in the consumption of both corn and soybeans, suggesting that year-ending stocks could be larger than projected in the USDA’s July World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.
“Those stocks will not be known until Sept. 30, and the estimates in the September Grain Stocks report often deviate from expected levels,” he said.
The USDA will release updated forecasts of 2010-11 marketing year consumption and ending stocks on Aug. 11, he added.
“The 2010-11 marketing year is also ending under a cloud of poor economic and financial news that raises concern about demand for corn and soybeans in the feed, energy and export markets during the year ahead,” he said.
The strength of demand determines the quantity of corn and soybeans that will be consumed and the price end users are willing to pay.

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Between the Rows-August 8, 2011

There has finally been some rain. “We got a tenth and half to six-tenths last night. Things have turned around some, but our subsoil is still extremely dry. We’ve been getting the quarter-inch, three-tenth, half-inch rains that are keeping the crops alive. An inch and nine-tenths is the least we’ve gotten on any of our farms now since planting and some of them have gotten up to 2.5 inches.

“The corn is just coming into tassel and pollination, which is great because we got these showers and cooler temperatures. Things are turning around, but we have farms that, up to this weekend, did not get more than an inch and three-tenths since planting. It somehow keeps hanging on. The recent rains will certainly be a plus for pollination.

“Last week we sprayed 280 acres for spider mites in our soybeans. We also added a little Lorsban with that for the aphids that we are seeing coming in.

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 8th, 2011

As of Sunday August 7th, 83 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 98 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 15 percent, which was 45 percent behind 2010 and 24 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 1 percent, compared to 9 percent last year and 3 percent for five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of Soybeans were blooming, compared to 95 percent last year and 94 percent for the five-year average. Twenty-three percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 75 percent last year and 67 percent for the five-year average.

Here is the complete report, including crop conditions.

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – August 8th, 2011

As of Sunday August 7th, 83 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 98 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 15 percent, which was 45 percent behind 2010 and 24 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 1 percent, compared to 9 percent last year and 3 percent for five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of Soybeans were blooming, compared to 95 percent last year and 94 percent for the five-year average. Twenty-three percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 75 percent last year and 67 percent for the five-year average.

Here is the complete report, including crop conditions.

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U.S. ag is paying the price for stalled trade agreements

Following the contentious debt-ceiling vote, the U.S. Congress left town for its August recess without finalizing action on stalled free trade agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, but Floyd Gaibler, U.S. Grains Council director of trade policy, is hopeful all three will be approved some time in September.

“A delayed vote would be unfortunate, since it would further delay getting these FTAs in place,” said Gaibler, noting that FTAs with competitors are moving forward. South Korea’s FTA with the European Union went into effect July 1 and Colombia’s FTA with Canada will take effect Aug. 15.

“The lack of these agreements diminishes our ability to be competitive and threatens further erosion in our corn exports to Colombia,” he said.

As the political and economic pressure to create more jobs becomes more apparent, he believes Congress and the President will come to an agreement on a trade jobs program that has held up the FTA votes, especially since the pacts have clear bipartisan support.

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Upcoming events focus on soil ecology

Ohio State University Extension, in conjunction with the Natural Resource Conversation Service and the Ohio No-till Council, has developed ECO Farming, a tillage system for farmers to consider at upcoming field days.

ECO Farming is a new concept and way of farming in the 21st century.

“ECO Farming stands for Eternal no-till, Continuous living cover, and Other best management practices,” said Jim Hoorman, assistant professor with OSU Extension. “In other words, absolutely trying to eliminate tillage as much as possible.”

Hoorman, along with Ray Archuleta of NRCS’ East National Technology Service Center, Ohio No-till Council President Dave Brandt, and Mark Scarpiti, Ohio NRCS agronomist collaboratively defined and promoted the ECO Farming concept.

“Continuous living cover means that farmers try to keep a living crop on the soil 100% of the time,” Archuleta said. “The goal is to protect the soil from soil erosion, increase water infiltration, and decrease nutrient runoff.”

Examples include grain crops followed by cover crops, pasture or hay systems, or perennial plants.

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Syngenta receives Japanese and Mexican import approvals for corn trait stack

Syngenta in North America announced that it has received import approval from Japanese and Mexican regulatory authorities for the Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack, which offers corn growers dual modes of action against a broad-spectrum of above-ground (lepidopteran) insects including corn borer and a 5% refuge in the Corn Belt region of the United States. These regulatory approvals allow the importation of U.S. corn grown with the Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack for food or feed use within Japan and Mexico.

“Japanese and Mexican import approvals provide U.S. growers access to a highly valuable market and is a major step toward Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack commercialization for the 2012 growing season,” said David Morgan, Syngenta region director of North America and president of Syngenta Seeds, Inc. “Soon growers will be able to reap the benefits of record commodity prices, achieving higher yield potential with an unprecedented level of corn pest control and reduced refuge requirements.”

In Syngenta trials in 2010, hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait delivered an average yield advantage of 7.3 bushels per acre under ear-feeding insect pressure vs.

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SCI welcomes a new area seedsman

Seed Consultants, Inc., is pleased to announce that Lance Weaver has been named an area seedsman. In his new position Lance will cover Coshocton, Holmes, Knox, Muskingum, Morrow, Marion and Tuscarawas counties in Ohio.

Raised near Coshocton, Oh., Lance has a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in business administration from Franklin University in Columbus, and recently completed the Certified Crop Advisor training. Lance has been a part of the Seed Consultants team since 2008.

“My career goal was to be in the seed business,” Lance said. “I’m looking forward to taking care of the customer.”

“Lance has a passion for serving farmers and is dedicated to meeting their needs. We’re
looking forward to him serving this area,” said Chris Jeffries, general manager at SCI.
Lance can be reached on his mobile phone at (740) 502-6622 or by e-mail at LanceWeaver@seedconsultants.com.

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Western bean cutworm risk in Northern Ohio

By Brian Essinger, Monsanto
The latest forecast for Western Bean Cutworm is moderate to high risk for northern Ohio. I recommend scouting acres that are not Genuity SmartStax traited corn.
The eggs are laid on the corn leaves, will start out in clumps of 15-50 white/pink eggs and as they mature they turn brown and then purple right before they hatch.
High Insect Risk
Insect migration probability in your area requires your immediate action. Please review the data below to assess your risk for insect damage and determine next steps.
For daily insect migration reports, information about past migratory insect conditions, insect pressure trends and related research, please visit InsectForecast.com.

ACTION: Immediately scout all fields currently at a stage susceptible to insect damage.

RISK: Over 50% probability of experiencing an insect flight resulting in increased trap counts and presence of new moths.

ISSUED WHEN: An optimal weather pattern exists (strong south/southwest winds and expected precipitation).

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Pollinating under adverse conditions

By John Brien, AgriGold Agronomist, CCA

About a third of Ohio’s corn crop is tasseled and more is tasseling every day, the temperatures and humidity continue to be high and the forecast continues to predict heat. How will all these factors affect pollination out in the corn field?

Ideal pollination conditions consist of moderate temperatures with low humidity with ample soil moisture; unfortunately some parts of the state only have ample soil moisture. So if conditions are not ideal how does a corn plant ensure the best pollination possible? To ensure a successful pollination the corn plant has many built in safety measures.

The first safety measure surrounds pollen release. A tassel will not begin releasing pollen until the entire tassel is emerged from the plant. Pollen will also not be released when conditions could be detrimental to the pollen grain. Typically pollen is released once the dew is off the corn plant in the morning and prior to the heat of the day and again in the evening as the temperatures decrease, ensuring pollen viability.

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OSU wheat trials

The purpose of the Ohio Wheat Performance Test is to evaluate wheat varieties, blends, brands, and breeding lines for yield, grain quality and other important performance characteristics. This information gives wheat producers comparative information for selecting the varieties best suited for their production system and market. Varieties differ in yield potential, winter hardiness, maturity, standability, disease and insect resistance, and other agronomic characteristics. Depending on variety and test site, yields varied between 53.1 and 107.4 bushels per acre, and test weight ranged from 54.7 to 63.3 pounds per bushel. Selection should be based on performance from multiple test sites and years. Results of the 2011 wheat performance evaluation are available at: www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~perf and http://agcrops.osu.edu and the Mid-August issue of Ohio’s Country Journal.

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Heat and corn

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist

The recent heat wave has generated many questions about the impact of high temperatures on corn yields. The “good news” is that corn originated as a tropical grass and can tolerate exposures to adverse temperatures as high as 112 degrees F for brief periods. Optimal daytime temperatures for corn typically range between 77 degrees and 91 degrees. Growth decreases when temperatures exceed 95 degrees. Fortunately, the high temperatures during the past week have been associated with some much needed rains across the state.

How high is too high for corn? Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois agronomist, notes that “afternoon temperatures in the mid-90s are not a problem for corn… if they have enough soil water available. In experiments, plant temperatures have been raised to 110 or higher without doing direct damage to photosynthetic capacity. The level required to damage leaves depends on the temperature the leaf has experienced before, but it generally takes temperatures above 100 in field-grown plants.”

According to Iowa State University agronomist Roger Elmore and climatologist Elwynn Taylor, the current heat wave may have a double impact on the Iowa corn crop (that is also applicable to Ohio’s corn although the development of the Ohio crop is well behind that of Iowa’s).

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Sustainable Farm Tour Series continues

The 2011 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series continues on Aug. 17 with a look at organic soybeans. New research on pest control is the focus, including the effects of planting date and the benefits of no-till rotations of rye and soybeans.

It’s at the John Hirzel Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Site at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, 13737 Middleton Pike, near Bowling Green. Hours are noon-3 p.m. Admission is free, lunch is included, and no pre-registration is needed.

For more information, contact Alan Sundermeier of Ohio State University Extension, 419-354-9050, sundermeier.5@osu.edu.

Six organizations, including Ohio State’s Sustainable Agriculture Team, are presenting the Farm Tour series.

Get complete details and a list of all 36 tours at http://go.osu.edu/DR3.

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