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BASF reveals new fungicide at Commodity Classic

The 2019 Commodity Classic is off and running in Orlando, with several exciting announcements to come over the next few days. One of the bigger discussions that has already happened came from BASF and its new fungicide lineup, offering a new active ingredient. OCJ’s Matt Reese and Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood hear from BASF’s Scott Kay and Paula Halabicki discuss the groundbreaking move, plus a chat with Upper Sandusky farmer Walker Gottfried on his farm’s extensive fungicide use.

What does the future of fungicides hold? What could it mean for you? Find out in this video.

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Enlist E3 soybeans now available for the Eastern Corn Belt

Seed Consultants, serving Eastern Corn Belt growers, is excited to offer Enlist E3 soybeans, available now for 2019 planting.

Enlist E3 soybeans offer one of the most advanced soybean technologies on the market. With tolerance to 2,4-D choline in Enlist herbicides, glyphosate and glufosinate, Enlist E3 soybeans provide a new standard for weed control and yield potential.

“Our growers expect performance from their fields, even if they’re constantly fighting tough weeds,” said Daniel Call, general manager of Seed Consultants. “I think they’ll be really pleased with Enlist E3 soybeans. The genetics, agronomics and weed control are outstanding.”

As part of the Enlist weed control system, Enlist E3 soybeans can be sprayed with Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides to manage tough and resistant weeds. Both herbicides feature 2,4-D choline with Colex-D technology to provide superior weed control with minimized potential for physical drift and near-zero volatility. Enlist herbicides reduce drift by as much as 90 percent compared with traditional 2,4-D and are up to 96 percent less volatile than 2,4-D ester.

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Had your auxin training yet?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I just sat through my second training of the season. Labels changed for all of the soybean dicamba products last fall; and the label says you will attend dicamba training every year. That means everyone who uses a dicamba product on soybeans must attend auxin training from the manufacturer; contact your seed dealer or herbicide supplier to see when yours is happening. If you missed it for the product you are using, that’s OK, you can attend any of the manufacturers’ training sessions to get the update.

From my one and a half hour training I learned that to use the products you must:

  • Keep records.
  • Follow buffer requirements. And they have changed since last year.
  • Use no AMS.
  • Apply with an approved nozzle, with a minimum spray volume of 15 gallons per acre.
  • At 24 inches above the canopy.
  • In winds between 3 and 10 miles per hour.
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Legislation introduced to establish industrial hemp program in Ohio

State Senators Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) and Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) today introduced legislation that would create an industrial hemp program in Ohio administered by the Department of Agriculture.

The legislation clarifies that hemp and hemp derived products, including CBD oil may be sold legally in Ohio.

“This an exciting opportunity for farmers to expand the crops they plant,” Hill said. “Farmers can rotate hemp to improve soil health while earning more profit than many traditional cover crops. I’m eager to see all the ways that Ohio will benefit from this legislation.”

With the recent passing of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, industrial hemp has been removed from the list of scheduled substances banned by the federal government and can now be grown as a commodity crop throughout the United States.

“It is important to understand that hemp is not marijuana, it is much more versatile and lacks an appreciable amount of THC to cause any psychotropic effects,” Huffman said.

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Spring nitrogen requirements for winter wheat

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

Application timing and amount are key factors in achieving high winter wheat yields. While the amount of N required in the fall is relatively small, it is critical to promoting early development and tillering. With spring weather around the corner, winter wheat producers will be gearing up for spring topdress of their wheat crop. Timing and rates are critical in the spring as to maintain the high yield potential of winter wheat varieties.

Spring applications of N should be made after the plants break dormancy. Although in some situations field conditions may be favorable, nitrogen applied in the late winter before plants have broken dormancy is more likely to be lost before plants can utilize it. Spring N applications should not be made before wheat has broken dormancy and begins to green up. The University of Kentucky publication “A Comprehensive Guide to Wheat Management in Kentucky” recommends: “When making a single N fertilizer application the best time is when the crop growth stage is Feekes 4-5, (Zadoks 30, usually mid-March) just before the first joint appears on the main stem and when wheat starts growing rapidly.” The UK publication goes on to say that “The rate of N fertilizer for a single application should be between 60 and 90 pounds N per acre for fields with a yield potential less than 70 bushels per acre and 90 to 100 lb N/acre for fields with greater yield potential.”

Wheat plants begin a period of rapid growth and stem elongation once they reach Feekes Stage 6 (first node visible).

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Updated field guide available

The newly revised Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Forages Field Guide is a compilation of the latest research by Extension specialists from The Ohio State University in partnership with Pennsylvania State University.

Designed as a guide for scouts, crop advisors, and farmers, this handy spiral-bound book contains updated information and images to aid with insect, disease, and weed identification. Major revisions to the book include the latest fertilizer recommendations, broadleaf weed ID keys, and a manure sampling and manure applicator calibration section. Tar spot, a new disease to Ohio, is now included in the Corn Disease section. The Forages section also received a major upgrade, and now includes grass crops as well.

The guide is divided into six sections: Corn Management, Soybean Management, Wheat Management, Forage Management, Weed Identification, and General Crop Management, which includes updated sampling information. The index at the back of the Bulletin 827 can be used to quickly locate page numbers for your topic of interest while in the field.

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Rotating traits preserves technology and profitability

It may be that a certain type of genetically modified corn or soybean seed works well, bringing high yields and sizeable profits.

But planted in the same field, year after year, the same seed might not be the right choice, said Curtis Young, an entomologist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

When the same genetically engineered crops are grown in the same field repeatedly — crops developed to produce toxins that kill insects, for example, or to survive weed-killing sprays — the target insects or weeds begin to adapt. They can become resistant to the toxins or weed killer.

Take, for example, soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to tolerate glyphosate, a chemical that kills weeds. A farmer might want to plant soybeans that tolerate glyphosate so he or she can later spray a weed killer containing glyphosate, not hurting the crop but killing the weeds that are sucking up the nutrients and water.

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Low price concerns looming for corn and soybeans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

It’s hard to fathom spring planting season is just around the corner, particularly when last fall’s wet weather pattern looks to continue through spring. Many had expected to see some price rally for corn, easing their decision toward more corn acres. Crop budgets remain very tight with many seeing negative profits for corn and soybeans. Troublesome to those budgets are soybeans losing more per acre than corn in spite of corn input costs exceeding those for soybeans.

Last year the United States planted 89 million acres to both corn and soybeans. This year corn acres could likely climb to at least 92 million acres. Soybean acres could decline at least 3 million acres. Therein remains a huge problem. The soybean acres decline is likely way too small, with soybean ending stocks of 925 million bushels. We will be gain much more clarity (be much smarter) with the release of the March 29 USDA Planting Intentions Report.

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Tough stretch for ethanol profitability

By Scott Irwin, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

The U.S. ethanol industry faced considerable headwinds in 2018, including the lowest prices over the last decade, policy setbacks in the implementation of the RFS, and political resistance to granting a year-round RVP waiver for E15. The impact of these headwinds on ethanol production profits is certainly of interest to those in the ethanol industry, as well as policymakers and legislators interested in the financial health of the U.S. renewable fuels industry.

A model of a representative Iowa ethanol plant was used to track the profitability of ethanol production. The model is meant to be representative of an “average” ethanol plant constructed in the last decade. There is certainly substantial variation in capacity and production efficiency across the industry and this should be kept in mind when viewing profit estimates from the model.

Ethanol prices started 2018 at historically low levels of $1.25 per gallon, rose to a peak of $1.43 in April, and then fell most of the rest of the year, reaching a low of $1.06 in late November.

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Changing nitrogen recommendations for wheat

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Do we have any wheat left in Ohio? Last numbers I saw suggested we were below 500,000 acres. I know we had a rough fall to get wheat planted, with wet conditions and harvest delays, but I would like to see more acres. It makes our other two crops better and reduces weed, insect and disease problems for them. The new Ohio Agronomy Guide has just a bit of an update on spring nitrogen (N) recommendations for wheat in Ohio.

We do rely on yield potential to make the wheat N recommendation — not for corn anymore, but we still do for wheat. Once you have set a realistic yield goal, follow rates suggested in the table. These recommendations are for mineral soils with adequate drainage and 1% to 5% organic matter.

 

Nitrogen rate for wheat by yield potential.

Yield potential Total N rate
bu/A lb/A
60 60
70 75
80 90
90 110
100 130

 

We do not give any credit for the previous soybean or cover crop, since we do not know if that organic N source will be mineralized for the wheat crop — with cool spring conditions this process is slowed down.

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Prospects for corn trade in 2018/19 and beyond

By Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University

The agricultural industry is a global economy with buyers (consumers), sellers (producers) and traders. In the United States, producers of corn have a comparative advantage- the ability to produce it cheaper per unit or at higher quality- over most other parts of the world. However, genetics, changes in weather patterns, land limitations, politics and global gross domestic product affect quantities of production and consumption.

Long-term trade projections for U.S. corn published by the Economics Research Service of the USDA look positive due to the expected rise in world GDP and population; however, increases in competition from other exporting countries continue the decreasing trend of the United States’ share of world exports. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are in the middle of a 90-day trade truce, which ends the beginning of March. It is uncertain what, if any, resolution will surface before or at the deadline.

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Addressing rutted fields from the soggy harvest

By Matt Reese

Though it always seems the rutting is a bit worse in the neighbor’s fields, the soggy fall and winter harvest conditions have left no shortage of problem areas to address in Ohio’s corn and soybean fields before spring planting.

Seed Consultants, Inc. agronomist Bill McDonald has seen plenty of rutted up fields in his travels around the state and fears there are no easy answers as long as the wet conditions persist.

“It really concerns me because the closer we get to spring, we are still wet and saturated. I’m afraid the chisel plow is going to be out — with these conditions there is going to be no chisel plowing to get those ruts turned in. It would have been nice if we could have chisel plowed last fall and let this winter freeze take care of that and help with some of the compaction we caused out there this fall, but I don’t see that as an option.

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Soil Health Partnership call for proposals

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) announced it is accepting proposals for partnerships and collaboration for 2019. SHP encourages any organization or individuals who have an interest in working together to submit ideas.

“At the SHP, we collaborate with a diverse network of partners ranging from universities to industry and government groups to non-profits,” said Shefali Mehta, executive director of the Soil Health Partnership. “These broad partnerships enable SHP to maximize the impact of our work. This year we are making this specific call for proposals to ensure that we continue to seek out diverse partners and include a fuller range of ideas.”

Applicants are required to complete the Request for Partnership form on the SHP website. The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 15, 2019.

“Whether working with soil science or agronomy experts, developing a partnership in a new state as we expand our farmer network, or fueling a graduate student’s passion for soil health, SHP knows that partnerships make our work stronger and more impactful,” Mehta said.

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Lawmakers prioritizing water quality

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) expressed their appreciation to the Ohio General Assembly for its proposal to address water quality among the priority legislation for the new session. Senate Bill 2, co-sponsored by Sen. Matt Dolan and Sen. Bob Peterson, proposes to create a statewide watershed planning structure for programs to be implemented by local soil and water conservation districts.

“Ohio lawmakers are sending a strong message that water quality is a top priority in the coming session, and Ohio grain farmers share that priority,” said Jon Miller, OCWGA president. “While the General Assembly is still working out the details of the legislation, we applaud them for their commitment to Lake Erie and other bodies of water.”

Ohio grain farmers have embraced new farming priorities and practices in order to keep nutrients on the field, have invested in scientific research and new farming equipment, and are applying less phosphorous on their fields than ever before.

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Young farmers should keep balance sheet, credit report top of mind

By Joel Penhorwood and Kolt Buchenroth

Finances are on the mind of all producers, but even more so for those just getting started. At the recent Young Ag Professional’s Winter Leadership Experience, Jessica Draganic with Heartland Bank said credit awareness should be high on the priority list.

“We really promote people making sure they are aware of their credit score and their credit situation. A good balance sheet is the most important thing in our opinion, especially doing an end of year balance sheet where you’re looking from year-to-year on your operation or even your personal financial situation. It’s so important for any banker or lender that you’re working with,” Draganic said. “Making sure that you are aware of a business plan or what you want to do with your operation — what you see now in the current situation, in five years and 10 years — and how do you get to that point.

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New or replacement drainage in 2019 and drainage education

By Larry C. Brown

Now is the time to start checking your existing agricultural drainage system for any field conditions that may need your attention after the last crop season and certainly after the excessive rainfall in 2018. Check drainage outlets for damage or blockage, and clean the animal guard; check the field for drain blowouts or soil failures where excessive runoff and sediment may enter the subsurface drains; check areas that ponded last crop season, or where crop yields were reduced because of excessive rainfall and soil wetness to assess the need for additional drainage, etc.

You may be considering new subsurface drainage or replacing parts of older systems. When considering a new system, you might want to think about an alternative system design, a Drainage Water Management System. All of the benefits that come with a traditional subsurface drainage system can be achieved with a system that is designed for drainage water management, plus at least several important extras.

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Determining the right corn plant population

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

One factor that greatly influences corn yields is plant population. Determining the correct plant population may take some effort, however, it is a critical factor that every corn grower needs to get right in order to maximize yields. Recent research performed by universities and seed companies has determined that that yields increase significantly as populations are increased up to a point of 34,000 seeds per acre. In general, yields begin to level off at planting rates around rates 36,000 seeds per acre. Recent studies have also determined that even in low yield environments planting rates of 31,000 seeds per acre maximize yield and economic return. In very productive, 250 bushels per acre yield environments, research results show that higher populations (38,000+ seeds per acre) maximize yields. Breeding and advances in genetics have improved the modern corn plant’s ability to yield at higher populations when compared to corn hybrids from the past.

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Ohio’s numbers from USDA Feb. 8 reports

We’ve heard about the national and world side of crop and livestock production from the Feb. 8 USDA reports, but what about Ohio?

Ohio Annual Crop Summary

Ohio’s 2018 average corn yield was 187 bushels per acre, a new State record, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Growers harvested 3.30 million acres for grain, up 5 percent from 2017. Total production of corn for grain was 617 million bushels, up 11 percent from the 2017. Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2018 was 58 bushels per acre, also a new State record. Growers harvested 4.98 million acres, down 2 percent from 2017. Production, at 289 million bushels, was also an all-time high.

The full report.

Winter Wheat Seedings

Ohio winter wheat seeded area for 2019 is estimated at 460,000 acres, a decrease of 6 percent from last year, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician of the USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office.

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Double-crop soybean yields after barley in Northwest Ohio

By Eric Richer, CCA, Sarah Noggle, Garth Ruff, Ohio State University Extension

Several growers across the state had the opportunity to grow winter malting barley in 2018. We had the opportunity to work with eight of those growers from Northwest Ohio, in particular, to learn more about the viability of growing this newly, re-introduced crop. As a learning cohort of sorts, these growers agreed to share their yield and quality data results while participating in a simple, field-scale research project with these two objectives:

1) Determine the field-scale, simple averages for yield (grain & straw), harvest date and quality characteristics for barley grown in Northwest Ohio.

Simply put: Can we grow barley with high yield and good quality?

2) Compare the yield and plant/harvest dates for the same variety soybean as a i) first crop system, ii) double crop after barley system and iii) double crop after wheat system.

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Big, but neutral, USDA report day

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Finally, the numbers.

It looks to be a neutral report. Corn and soybean production reduced as expected. Corn fed to livestock was reduced 125 million bushels while ethanol was cut 25 million bushels. Soybean exports are down 25 million bushels, crush up 10 million bushels.

The market and traders were thrilled with finally seeing some numbers from USDA today at noon. For weeks market participation has been reduced with daily volumes moving lower and narrow daily ranges. This past week corn has seen days with less than a two-cent range while soybeans could not muster a five-cent daily range. The market thrives on information. Today we get a massive dump of numbers.

USDA published both the January and February numbers that are found in the Supply and Demand Report. They included final 2018 corn and soybean yields and production, and quarterly grain stocks as of Dec.

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