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Nov. 20 NAP crop deadline


Steve Maurer, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, would like to remind producers that they have until November 20, 2010 to sign-up for the 2011 Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP) crop coverage.  This deadline applies to the following crops: Apples, Asparagus, Blueberries, Caneberries, Cherries, Chestnuts, Forage for Hay and Pasture, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Strawberries, Honey and Maple Syrup.
NAP covers losses caused by damaging weather conditions.  Producers receive a payment when the loss is in excess of 50 percent.  Losses are generally determined by the percentage of loss compared to the producer’s actual yield history.  Eligible production losses are paid at 55 percent of the established value for the crop.
The service fee is $250 per crop per county or $750 per producer per county.  The fee cannot exceed a total of $1875 per producer with farming interest in multiple counties.  Limited resource producers may request a waiver of service fees.
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Pioneer Hi-Bred introduces 29 new soybean varieties for 2011

With the total package of improved agronomic, defensive and yield-boosting traits in mind, Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is adding 29 new soybean varieties to its 2011 lineup.

“Each year Pioneer is focused on raising the bar for its soybean products, bolstering benefits to growers,” says Don Schafer, Pioneer senior marketing manager – soybeans. “That means not only providing varieties with broad agronomic and defensive traits, but also making sure yield potential is there as well. With this year’s new products, we’ve done just that.” 


These new Pioneer® brand soybean varieties, which range from Group 00 through mid-Group V, include 20 varieties with soybean cyst nematode resistance (three of which offer the Peking source of resistance), four non-glyphosate resistant varieties and one new low linolenic product. 


Key products in this year’s lineup include the following:

900Y71 – This is a new leader product well-suited for the northern Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota, and into Manitoba, Canada.

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Study demonstrates Ohioans eating more wheat

A September study demonstrates that Ohio consumers are making a conscious effort to include more wheat and wheat products in their diets.

A notable 55% of the 200 citizens surveyed are deliberately consuming wheat on a day-to-day basis.

Wheat is America’s most consumed grain and is also the principal ingredient of flour.

“Ohio’s wheat farmers have an ample supply to meet demand,” said Mark Wachtman, president of the Ohio Wheat Growers Association (OWGA). “Ohio produced 46 million bushels this year. Wheat has already been planted this fall and we are optimistic that production will increase in 2011.”

All grains begin as whole grains. If all three parts of the original grain — the germ, bran and endosperm — remain in their original proportions after milling, the end product still qualifies as a whole grain.

Wheat contains large amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Research has shown its influence in reducing the risk of diabetes, breast cancer, gallstones, inflammation and several cardiovascular conditions.

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Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association is set to launch in 2011

Throughout the past year, grower leaders have participated in the Structure Task Force to represent the interests of Ohio producers of corn and wheat to build the identity of a new organization — the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.

The new organization is a result of an ongoing relationship between the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA) and the Ohio Wheat Growers Association (OWGA), which was formalized six years ago. The relationship began with shared staff, but grew throughout the years with joint membership meetings, legislative visits, public campaigns and policy-development synergies.

“From my perspective, the process to explore a new organization just made sense,” said OWGA President Mark Wachtman. “In Ohio, many of the issues we face are not as a grower of one crop, but as a producer of grains and oilseeds that allow us to successfully manage our farm. I grow a variety of crops on my farm, including corn, soybeans and wheat, and this is often the case in Ohio.

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Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association is set to launch in 2011

Throughout the past year, grower leaders have participated in the Structure Task Force to represent the interests of Ohio producers of corn and wheat to build the identity of a new organization — the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.

The new organization is a result of an ongoing relationship between the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA) and the Ohio Wheat Growers Association (OWGA), which was formalized six years ago. The relationship began with shared staff, but grew throughout the years with joint membership meetings, legislative visits, public campaigns and policy-development synergies.

“From my perspective, the process to explore a new organization just made sense,” said OWGA President Mark Wachtman. “In Ohio, many of the issues we face are not as a grower of one crop, but as a producer of grains and oilseeds that allow us to successfully manage our farm. I grow a variety of crops on my farm, including corn, soybeans and wheat, and this is often the case in Ohio.

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The science of pumpkin production

Ohio is one of the top producers of pumpkins in the U.S. Last year, the state’s farmers harvested 1.24 billion pounds of the fruit from 7,500 acres, with a farm value of $22.5 million.

To make sure Ohio remains a great pumpkin state, growers thrive, and consumers get a high-quality product, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) are constantly involved in research and outreach activities that cover various aspect of pumpkin production.

“I would not be anywhere where I am now without the information I get from Ohio State,” said Jon Branstrator, owner of Branstrator Farms in Clarksville, halfway between Dayton and Cincinnati. “I grow very good quality product, and that helps me sell it a lot better.”

Like many other growers around the state, Branstrator — who farms 250 acres, 60 of them dedicated to pumpkins and other specialty crops — has come to rely on the work of Ohio State experts to make important decisions that impact his operation.

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Soil testing still important in dry conditions

Farmers shouldn’t stop analyzing soil samples to determine lime and fertilizer needs despite the effects drought and low soil moisture might have on the results, a Purdue University agronomist says.

“Accurate analysis of representative soil samples to determine lime and fertilizer needs is fundamental to crop production,” said Jim Camberato. “Unfortunately, persistent, dry weather resulting in prolonged periods of low soil moisture can affect potassium and pH, resulting in somewhat misleading results.”

Soil tests can be useful in dry weather if farmers understand the way low moisture can affect potassium and pH test results.

In a dry fall, soil test potassium levels often are lower than expected because most of the potassium the crop had taken up during the growing season remained in the crop residue. There wasn’t enough rainfall to return it to the soil.

“This is a larger issue with corn than soybeans because corn stover contains much more potassium than soybean straw,” Camberato said.

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Winter wheat is off to a good start

With nearly all of Ohio’s winter wheat planted, according to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, farmers are on track for a potentially successful crop.

“This year, corn and soybeans have come off in a timely manner, so most of our wheat has been planted under decent conditions. Reports from across the state indicate that wheat so far is looking good,” said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University wheat specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Paul said that because of the early harvest of corn and soybeans, farmers got a jump on good wheat establishment. In some cases, this included planting before the Hessian fly free date, which could potentially lead to some disease problems in the spring due to fall establishment of some pathogens.

“Farmers are saying that they plant before the Hessian fly free date because they don’t recall ever seeing the Hessian fly,” said Paul. “Not only is the Hessian fly free date about the Hessian fly, it’s also about planting at a time when you can get adequate tiller development without excessive early disease development.”

The Hessian fly free date – ranging from September 22 in northern Ohio to October 5 in southern Ohio – is designed to prevent the development and spread of the Hessian fly, which can cause significant damage to wheat.

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Tips for evaluating sales information

By Robert Mullen, Ohio State University Extension

Now that crop harvest is winding down, many companies that conduct field experimentation will be getting out and sharing their success stories, so how can you weed through the information to find the truth?

The first thing I often say as it relates to fertilizer products (but this likely extends to other agronomic products/practices) is “if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.”  The first thing to look for when evaluating yield data from field trials is to look for some information regarding how field experimentation was done.  This does not require you to have a statistical background.  Simple questions like – “Was the study replicated?”, “How many locations were utilized?”, “Were there any locations that did not respond positively (environmental interactions)?”  To my knowledge, no agronomic practice (within reason) results in a yield increase every time it is evaluated.  So if someone states, “we conducted field research on 50 fields, and we saw a yield increase every time,” be suspicious.

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Ohio farms pay heavy toll for clean water violations

Last month, an Ohio pork producer received stiff fines and prison time, and a dairy owner and manure applicator also agreed to a heavy financial toll as a result of water pollution violations.

On Oct. 19, William H. Ringler, the owner and operator of Steamtown Farm, a 2,500-head pig-feeding operation in Ashley (Morrow and Delaware counties), was sentenced in U.S. District Court to three months imprisonment, three months of electronic monitoring, a fine of $51,750 and a restitution payment of $17,250 to Ohio EPA for allowing an unpermitted discharge that killed more than 36,700 fish and other small aquatic animals in June 2007.

Thousands of gallons of liquid whey, a dairy by-product used as a feed supplement for the pigs, leaked twice in eight days from a 26,000-gallon tank on Ringler’s farm, which is recognized as a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) and monitored by the state. The whey entered the farm’s drainage system and flowed into the west branch of

Alum Creek where it reduced dissolved oxygen levels.

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The competition for 2011 acres has started for corn and soybeans

There are three issues that are important for corn and soybeans as they compete for acreage in 2011, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.

“First, there’s the question of how many acres of these crops are needed to meet consumption needs at ‘reasonable’ prices. Second, how many acres are available for planting of all crops in 2011? Third, what is the likely strength of competition from other crops?” he said.

According to Good, planted acreage of corn in 2010 in the United States totaled 88.222 million acres, 1.74 million more than planted in 2009, but 5.305 million fewer than planted in 2007.  Planted acreage of soybeans in 2010 was a record 77.714 million, 263,000 more than planted in 2009.

“Acreage of all crops was about 2 million less than planted in 2009. Although the mix of crops changed from 2009 to 2010, the overall decline reflected a reduction of about 2.3 million acres of double-cropped soybeans.

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Harvest progress from “Between the Rows”

Nationally corn harvest is 83% harvested compared to only 49% for the average year.  The soybeans are 91% harvested and the average pace should be only 72% complete.  Winter wheat is 88% planted and 64% emerged.  The first crop condition for wheat is at 41% good and 6% excellent and there is 39% in the fair category, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Ohio ooybean harvest is at 89% complete, up 20% from last year and up 13% from the average pace. Winter wheat is said to be 90% planted and 59% has emerged which is 8% ahead of the average for the state.  Most if not all of Ohio could use a good rain for the wheat crop.

For corn, 77% of the corn in the state has been harvested compared to 16% last year and 36% on the average.  Most continue to talk about average yields at 160 bushels and up.

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Ohio BioPreferred Rules progressing

After nearly 15 months of hard work on the legislation, the implementing rules for S. B. 131 (Gillmor) cleared their final hurdle today and will, along with the entire bioproducts purchasing program, become law in 30 days. The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) unanimously okayed the BioPreferred rules. Proferred by the Department of Administrative Services, the rules determine how the Ohio program will operate.

Essentially, Ohio’s program is identical to the federal BioPreferred purchasing program, with few differences:

* All state agencies, plus colleges and universities MUST purchase bioproducts in lieu of traditional products when the items are available, of similar quality and within 5% of the purchase price of the traditional item.
* Ohio has a voluntary purchasing program for 1,900 units of local government including cities, townships, counties, schools, fire departments, libraries, etc. This is a major plus for Ohio.
* Ohio will maintain the approved list of biopreferred products agencies may purchase.

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The great pumpkin shortage of 2010: Reality or rumor

By Matt Reese

Rumors are flying that have bakers in a panic. Anxious homemakers are nervously flitting among grocery aisles only to have their hopes dashed. Dark tales are being told in the backrooms of bakeries. Could it be true? Is there a great pie pumpkin shortage of 2010?
Whether real or perceived, there has been a fair amount of discussion in some pumpkin-loving circles about a short crop of pie pumpkins in 2009 resulting in a limited supply of canned pumpkin for 2010. Does this mean no pumpkin doughnuts, no pumpkin rolls no (heaven forbid) pumpkin pies this fall?
Though she had heard the rumors, Linda Ballou, who is on the Baked Goods Committee for the famous Circleville Pumpkin Show this week, said there was plenty of pumpkin for her purposes this year. Entries of pumpkin baked items were off a bit at the 2010 Pumpkin Show, but not likely due to a lack of pumpkins.

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Study finds no “indirect land use change” with ethanol

A report prepared for the California Air Resources Board by a team of scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory found corn ethanol contributed “minimal to zero” impact from the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) scheme.

The report was compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge lab at the request of CARB, which has appointed several teams of expert working groups to assess the methodology and data that went into California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. That standard used a controversial ILUC formula which heavily penalized American grain farmers for carbon emissions theoretically produced by farmers overseas.

“This should put the stake into the heart of the bizarre ILUC scheme. Here are some of the best scientists in the country – scientists who have no stake in the game – who found that ethanol had little to no impact from ILUC,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “We must ask why California insists on going forward with a regulation that is based not just on controversial theory, but a theory that has been disproven.”

The report recommended that CARB update its ILUC calculations with the newest ILUC formula models and data.

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Brown marmorated stink bug making an unpleasant appearance in Ohio

A bug named for its stench and marbled, streaky appearance has made its way to Ohio, potentially becoming a serious pest — the brown marmorated stink bug. This odiferous pest is moving eastward from the Atlantic Coast into the eastern Corn Belt becoming a pest in Ohio on soybeans and other crops, but can be a more serious problem in fruit crops, ornamental plants and irritated homeowners.
“To add insult to injury, these stink bugs then tend to move into people’s homes in late fall looking for overwintering sites in numbers reaching the hundreds and even thousands. And as the name implies, the insect can release a characteristic pungent acid odor that many people find offensive; in other words, these insects can ‘stink!’” wrote Ron Hammond, Andy Michel and Bruce Eisley, Ohio State University Extension entomologists in a recent CORN Newsletter. “We received a number of reports of homes in Ohio being invaded by this insect.

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Watch stored corn for mold development

Ohio farmers are encouraged to diligently monitor their stored corn grain to prevent mold development.

Ohio State University Extension plant pathologists said that keeping an eye on stored grain in the bins early in the season can help producers avoid problems that too often go unnoticed or are discovered too late in the game to really do anything about.

“Even in years when there is little or no ear rot problems in the fields (a leading cause of mold development), mold may still develop in the grain bins if storage temperature and moisture conditions are favorable,” said Pierce Paul, an OSU Extension plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Paul said that there have been some reports of field-dried corn producing molds in storage. Moldy kernels may contain toxins harmful to livestock if ingested in large enough amounts.

“Corn is dryer than average and much dryer than last year coming out of the field.

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Corn residue management post-harvest

By Steve Butzen, Clyde Tiffany and Darren Goebel, Pioneer agronomists

Stover production by corn plants is roughly equal to the weight of grain produced. This means when corn yields exceed 200 bushels per acre, stover yields may reach 12,000 to 16,000 pounds per acre. That’s over twice the residue produced by most other crops and over twice the residue necessary to provide 100% soil cover. If residue is not managed properly, it can lead to stand and yield reductions caused by excess residue. Research suggests that corn yields may be reduced when fields have 90 percent residue cover within 2 inches of the seed furrow.

Fall tillage
Corn residue is more resistant to decomposition than that of many crops, which can compound the problem of excess residue. Residue that is not incorporated in the fall will remain largely intact in the spring because the decomposition process is slowed even more without soil contact.

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EPA decision on E15 waiver is a good start but not the answer

The EPA’s decision on a partial waiver for E15 use (blend of 15% corn ethanol and 85% unleaded gasoline) in light-duty motor vehicles was announced last week. Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association were pleased that action had finally been taken following the March 2009 petition increase the blend level, but the ethanol supporters also feel that EPA missed an opportunity to spur growth for alternative fuels by failing to recognize E12 in 2010.

The current limit of corn ethanol blended with gasoline is 10 percent (E10), as set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is an arbitrary cap. All cars manufactured after 1980 can use E10 gasoline. Because of corn ethanol’s several advantages compared to petroleum, a proposal to increase corn ethanol limits at fuel stations nationwide is being considered. However, if approved, E15 will be approved for vehicles manufactured after 2007 only. This new arbitrary cap is not a mandate, but an allowable level of ethanol blended with gasoline.

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Corn residue management during combining

By Steve Butzen, Clyde Tiffany and Darren Goebel, Pioneer agronomists

Management of corn residue should begin at harvest with uniform distribution of chaff and stalks behind the combine.

Uniform distribution has advantages for growers in no-till, minimum-till or conventional-till systems, including better erosion protection, less plugging of tillage or seeding equipment, and improved stand establishment. Success in uniformly distributing crop residue this fall also can help eliminate tillage passes next spring.

Today’s combines, with wider grain platforms and corn heads, concentrate a larger volume of plant material into the same narrow band exiting the combine. This material then must be spread back onto the wide harvest swath, making uniform distribution more challenging.

Combines with header widths of 20 to 30 feet or more may not be adequately equipped to uniformly distribute large volumes of residue. In such cases, adding manufacturer options or after-market equipment to more aggressively manage residue may be needed.

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