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OCGA board members receive legislative support for ethanol tax credit

With the future of corn ethanol hanging in the balance in Congress, the Ohio Corn Growers Association’s (OCGA) recent grassroots lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., garnered crucial support for an ethanol-blender’s tax credit, known as VEETC (Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Extension). The legislation continues the current tax credit for entities that blend ethanol with gasoline.



This week, U.S. Representative Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), of Ohio’s 15th congressional district, signed as a co-sponsor for the Renewable Fuels Reinvestment Act (HR 4940) that would extend key ethanol tax incentives until the year 2015, including the $0.45 per gallon blenders credit for ethanol use.


“Current ethanol tax policies are working to build out the industry, expand infrastructure and provide the foundation for new technologies to thrive,” said OCGA President John Davis, a Delaware County farmer.


Davis was among a group of farmer board members in Washington, D.C., the week of July 14.

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Horticulture Field Night Features New Trials and Compost Sock Demo

 

A new trial for currants and gooseberries at Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon will be featured at the upcoming OSU South Centers Horticulture Field Night Aug. 12, along with a demonstration of compost socks that are producing encouraging results for growing crops without soil.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. with a wagon-tour program following at 6 p.m. Derma scan viewings for sun damage will be available until 6:30 p.m.  Dinner will be served at 8:30 p.m. when specialists will be available for questions. Registration is $10 per person. OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio.

The highlight of the wagon tour will be the newly established Ribes trial where currant, gooseberry and jostaberry plants are being studied as a possible new commercial crop for Ohio’s small fruit growers. Ribes were grown in the state in the early 1900s, but were banned due to the serious threat to the white pine industry from white Pine blister rust. 

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Commodity prices are cyclical, but unpredictable

What goes around comes around, even with commodity prices.

Prices climb unusually high and then drop quickly about every 30 years, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist. The price spikes often are brought on by wars and currency devaluation – unexpected events that are difficult to predict, he said.

Hurt will discuss price spike cycles during a session of Top Farmer Crop Workshop. The 43rd annual workshop, hosted by Purdue Extension and Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, will take place July 18-21 in the Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus and at Purdue’s Agronomy Center for Research and Education, located west of campus.

Annual U.S. corn prices rose from $2.08 in 2005 to $4.29 a bushel in 2007, before falling this year to $3.60, in prices adjusted to reflect 2010 dollars, Hurt said. The 2007 high price filled many in the agricultural industry with optimism that demand for crops will continue to exceed supply and farmland values can only keep rising.

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Start scouting for western bean cutworm

Purdue University entomologists predict western bean cutworm to peak in egg laying over the next couple of weeks.

The insect is relatively new to Indiana and Ohio, said Christian Krupke. The pest originates in the Great Plains states, but has been increasing in the region since 2006. So far, 2010 looks to be the worst year for infestation.

The pearl-like eggs are found in clusters of 50 to 100 and turn deep purple before hatching. Once hatched, larvae quickly enter into the corn whorl and eat until ears form. Molds often form where worms have eaten.

Krupke expects the northwest corner of the state to experience greater populations of western bean cutworm because the soils are sandy, making it easier for the insect to dig into the soils to overwinter.

“We know eggs are present in many fields in northwestern Indiana,” he said. “There will be many more deposited over the next couple of weeks, so scouting is essential in high-risk areas of the state.”

Although some Bt hybrids offer control, insecticide sprays are effective if applied at the appropriate time.

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The 2010 wheat season: A look back as we move forward

By Pierce Paul, Dennis Mills, Katelyn Willyerd, Alissa Kriss, Ohio State University Extension

The 2010 wheat harvest has finished and, as we plan for the 2010-2011 season, let us take a quick look back and learn from this past crop. We had everything this year — head scab and vomitoxin, Stagonospora leaf and glume blotch, powdery mildew, leaf rust, head smut, cereal leaf beetle, plus a very hot late-spring-early-summer. The big problem this year was head scab and vomitoxin, with incidence ranging from 3% to 60% and vomitoxin from less than 1 to 18 parts per million (ppm). Both Stagonospora and powdery mildew were also very severe, with a severity score of 7 out of 10 this year. Diseases combined with a short grain fill period resulted in low to moderate yield and grain quality, with average yield ranging from 40 to 90 bushels per acre and test weight from 45 to 60 pounds per bushel.

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Researchers Taking Three-Pronged Approach to Flooding/Disease Impacts on Soybeans

Farmers’ hands are tied when it comes to managing soybean injury related to soil flooding and water-loving root rot diseases, but after several years of research at Ohio State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, some promising solutions are on the horizon.

To combat the yield impacts associated with standing water, disease development and poor soil structure during heavy rains and flooding situations, Ohio State University plant scientists are taking a three-pronged approach to improving soybean health: molecular plant breeding, transgenics and soil management.

Over the past three years, USDA-ARS and Ohio State plant scientist Tara VanToai and her colleagues with the University Missouri—Delta Center have been analyzing 196 soybean lines that carry the genes of a flood-tolerant Asian variety and a flood-prone variety. The goal is to identify molecular markers in lines that exhibit flood tolerance to aid in developing flood-tolerant soybean varieties by molecular plant breeding.

“Out of that work, we have identified a handful of lines, less than 10, that show sufficient flood tolerance – 60 percent to 70 percent tolerance in standing water after 10 days,” said VanToai.

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Local Foods, Natural Gas Extraction Topics for Oct. 21 Land-Use Conference

Land-use implications regarding everything from the extraction of natural gas from the vast Marcellus Shale to policy decisions geared to strengthen local food systems are on tap as topics for the 2010 Ohio Land Use Conference, set for Thursday, Oct. 21.

Sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the annual land use conference typically attracts up to 150 elected officials, economic developers, local planners and community leaders, said Nancy Bowen-Ellzey, community development educator for OSU Extension and coordinator of this year’s conference.

“We always try to identify current, emerging issues so the sessions are relevant for participants,” Bowen-Ellzey said. This year’s sessions, some of which run concurrently, include:

Land Use Planning for Local Food Systems, with Holly Mattei, director of the Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission, and Katie Myers, farmland programs coordinator, Countryside Conservancy.

Regional Efforts to Mitigate Climate Change, with Matt McCauley, director for regional planning, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.

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Time to park the pickup and walk the fields

By Bill Mullen

Jr., Director of Agronomic Services for Seed Consultants Inc.

Until we park the truck and walk our fields, we will never fully know the issues affecting crop development today. Walking fields of soybeans now will give us information on how the crop is actually handling the stress. There are various disease and insect issues to be aware of while walking fields, such as soybean cyst nematode, soybean aphids, sudden death syndrome, frogeye leaf spot, and white mold.
Now is the time to be scouting for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) in your fields. SCN injures soybean roots, and leads to stunted plants. There are not good above ground symptoms to indicate the presence of SCN in a field, especially when moisture is adequate. The cyst is found on the roots are filled with eggs which penetrate the roots and develop into adults in 14 to 21 days. As they develop, the cysts rupture the root, later die and then fall off into the soil.

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USDA Receives Signed Standard Reinsurance agreements from crop insurance companies

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac announced that as of July 12, 2010, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) received signed 2011 Standard Reinsurance Agreements (SRA) from all 16 private insurance companies who participated in the federal crop insurance program during the 2010 crop year, formally ending the negotiation process which has been underway since December 2009. The new SRA negotiated by USDA is projected to achieve $6 billion in savings over the next 10 years, two-thirds of which will go toward paying down the federal deficit while the remaining third will support high-priority risk management and conservation programs.

“The new agreement that we have now finalized lays the foundation for a more sustainable federal crop insurance program, reduces the federal deficit, and improves the farm safety net for producers by providing incentives for companies to sell policies in all areas so that farmers and ranchers across the country can access these critical risk management tools,” Vilsack said.

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July Weather Outlook

By Jim Noel, CORN Newsletter
Not much change from a few months ago.

Above normal temperatures and near normal rainfall are forecast to continue for the rest of July.

As discussed in May, the trends and guidance supports near normal rainfall for the growing season after pre-growing season indicated some minor drought risk mainly in the northeast, but that quickly went away. We discussed in May that even though near normal is forecast for rainfall this growing season that the risk was to the wet side in the southwest and drier side in the northeast.

Overall, it has been wet in the western and southwest part of the state with average to slightly below average rainfall in the northeast this growing season: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ohrfc/HAS/images/latest90daydepart.jpeg

With plenty of soil moisture alone, this will continue to support rainfall chances with not much longer than a week between rains seen anytime soon.

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Weekly crop progress numbers

Nationally, wheat harvest is 63% complete, compared to 61% this time last year and five year average of 65%. Corn is 38% silking compared to 19% last week. Seventy-three percent of corn is in good to excellent condition, up 2% from last week. Forty percent of soybeans are blooming, compared to 23% a week ago. Sixty-five percent of soybeans are rated good to excellent

In Ohio 95% of winter wheat is harvested. Forty-four percent of corn tasseled, compared to 10% last year. One percent of corn is in dough. Forty-three percent of soybeans were blooming, 20% ahead of last year an 8% ahead of the five-year average. Seventy-two percent of corn is rated good to excellent and 76% of soybeans.

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Monsanto Committed to Maintain Export Market Registrations for RR trait

The American Soybean Association (ASA), the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union (NFU) are pleased that Monsanto has committed to maintain export market approvals for the first biotech soybean trait “Roundup Ready” or “RR1” through 2021. Monsanto will officially communicate this commitment to all of its licensees. With the patent on RR1 due to expire in 2014, and patents on other traits expiring in future years, ASA has been actively working to develop pathways that will facilitate the continued availability of traits to soybean farmers as single generic traits or as part of stacked traits after patent expiration.
“Agriculture is blazing a new trail as the patents on first generation of biotech-enhanced seed traits begin to expire,” said Rob Joslin, ASA President and a soybean farmer from Sidney, Ohio. “While supporting patent protection for traits as a key driver for continued soybean seed industry investment and innovation, ASA desires competition to flourish, generic traits to be available in the marketplace, and prices for seed containing generic traits to decline once trait patents expire.”
Monsanto’s commitment to maintain export approvals worldwide for RR1 through 2021 will ensure export market access for U.S.

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EPA still stalling on ethanol decision

By Matt Reese

When it comes to making the decision about increasing the non-mandated ethanol blend limit from the current 10% to 15%, the U.S. EPA continues to fumble the ball. Ethanol supporters are thinking now may be the time for Congress to pick it up.
“EPA promised in June, they promised in July and now they’re talking about late fall to announce the decision,” said Dwayne Siekman, CEO of the Ohio Corn Growers Association. “There are two pieces of legislation in DC on this issue, one in the Senate and one in the House. Right now in the Ohio Congressional Delegation, we have one co-sponsor and that is Marcy Kaptur.”
With increased support of lawmakers, the ethanol industry is poised to take the country to a future of increased renewable fuel use.
“Corn growers believe a strong commitment to domestic energy production can supply the nation’s thirst for dependable, safe and abundant energy.

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USDA: Corn, Soybean Conditions Dip Slightly

By Jeff Caldwell

Varying weather forecasts have farmers wondering whether Tuesdays’ USDA Crop Progress numbers are the start of a downward trend or just a seasonal dip in conditions.

Tuesday’s weekly report from USDA — delayed a day by the Independence Day holiday earlier this week — shows both corn and soybean conditions dipped slightly from the previous week. At 71% and 66% good to excellent respectively, the corn and soybean crops both slipped, but the corn number is just 2% lower than a week ago, and the soybean number’s just 1% below last week.

Much of the slight decline can be blamed on excess moisture, some farmers say. But, a look into the forecast beyond the next week is causing others to worry that the opposite problem — one some weather-watchers have foreshadowed for months — will become the biggest crop threat through the end of this month.

“Starting about the 14th of July, temps are showing a high of 95-97 degrees.

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What's New at This Year's Farm Science Review

Throughout its 48-year history, Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has been at the forefront of showcasing the future of agriculture.

From the first no-till demonstrations to the introduction of big farm equipment to breakthrough research on crop diseases, Farm Science Review has always been the place for visitors to see the “newest” in agriculture, as well as conservation, home improvement, health, safety, money management, gardening and education.

“Farm Science Review embraces change. It’s just amazing to look at how far we’ve come and where we’ll be going,” said Farm Science Review manager Chuck Gamble. “We are constantly looking at new technologies, and new products and services, and their representation at the show is an asset to our visitors.”

Farm Science Review, Ohio’s premiere agricultural event, will take place Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. Sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the event attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada.

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What’s New at This Year’s Farm Science Review

Throughout its 48-year history, Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has been at the forefront of showcasing the future of agriculture.

From the first no-till demonstrations to the introduction of big farm equipment to breakthrough research on crop diseases, Farm Science Review has always been the place for visitors to see the “newest” in agriculture, as well as conservation, home improvement, health, safety, money management, gardening and education.

“Farm Science Review embraces change. It’s just amazing to look at how far we’ve come and where we’ll be going,” said Farm Science Review manager Chuck Gamble. “We are constantly looking at new technologies, and new products and services, and their representation at the show is an asset to our visitors.”

Farm Science Review, Ohio’s premiere agricultural event, will take place Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. Sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the event attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada.

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Leaf diseases already in corn

By John Brien, CCA, AgriGold agronomist
A corn grower does not have to look very far to find the beginnings of leaf diseases in a corn field. The disease is beginning to appear on the lower leaves of the corn plants and will slowly move up onto the top of the canopy. Corn leaf diseases are not new and are always present at some level. The reason for concern this year is the timing and severity. Normally corn leaf diseases do not begin appearing until at least two weeks after pollination. In 2010, the leaf diseases are showing up one to two weeks BEFORE pollination. The early timing provides the diseases more opportunity to spread and cause economic damage.
Corn leaf diseases alone cause little economic damage, although their indirect problems can lead to serious issues. Generally, leaf diseases will go without notice. Few growers scout fields solely to determine the leaf disease pressure and therefore are unaware of the problems the diseases are causing.

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Research shows yield advantage of fungicide 



A recently released research summary shows that Headline fungicide effectively controls a broad spectrum of corn and soybean diseases, provides Plant Health benefits and maximizes crop yields. The Headline Fungicide Yield Research Summary demonstrates that the BASF fungicide provides corn growers approximately a 3 bu/A yield advantage over other available fungicides. 




“Growers are constantly weighing the practices and inputs they use for successfully growing a crop and maintaining their business,” said Nick Fassler, BASF Technical Market Manager. “BASF conducts this exhaustive research so growers can be assured that selecting Headline will help them meet their operational goals.”




The results of the report are based on a summary of university small plot trials, seed company hybrid evaluations and large scale, on-farm side-by-side comparisons of Headline from 2004 to 2009. Headline was applied with a 6 oz/A use rate in all tests. Compared to untreated checks, research shows a 13.5 bu/A average yield increase and 12.2, 16.9 and 19.4 bu/A yield improvements under conditions of low, moderate and high disease pressure, respectively, in corn.

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Ohio EPA Awards Nearly $200,000 for Sustainability Efforts on OSU Farm/Research Facility

 A working farm just west of The Ohio State University campus and nestled in the heart of metro Columbus is being transformed into a learning laboratory of best management practices for water quality protection and whole farm sustainability.

A $194,324 grant from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and local matching dollars totaling $132,456 will enable the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District to demonstrate several progressive projects on OSU’s Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resources Laboratory (2433 Carmack Rd.). The projects will serve as application tools for current and future farmers and showcase environmental stewardship for students, faculty and urban residents.

“The educational project will provide on-the-ground examples of how to improve operations and the sustainability of production, reduce maintenance costs and protect water resources both on the farm and downstream,” said Russ Gibson, Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water Nonpoint Source Section manager. The Franklin Soil and Water grant is one of eight federal Section 319 Clean Water Act grants awarded by Ohio EPA this year.

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New Crop Progress Statistics Released July 6

Released July 6, 2010, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service
(NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA).

Cotton Squaring – Selected States
[These 15 States planted 99% of the 2009 cotton acreage] —————————————————————–
                 :            Week ending            :          
                 :———————————–:          
      State      :  July 4,  : June 27,  :  July 4,  : 2005-2009
                 :   2009    :   2010    :   2010    :  Average 
—————————————————————–
                 :                    percent                   
                 :                                              
Alabama ………:    62          46          56          57    
Arizona ………:    57          46          55          72    
Arkansas ……..:    67          93          97          89    
California ……:    56          37          60          61    
Georgia ………:    54          54          70          62    
Kansas ……….:    26          13          38          30    
Louisiana …….:    92          80          91          90    
Mississippi …..:    74          70          93          83    
Missouri ……..:    49          59          66          67    
North Carolina ..:    75          69          85          74    
Oklahoma ……..:    33          25          35          32    
South Carolina ..:    46          35          55          47    
Tennessee …….:    65          52          77          78    
Texas ………..:    52          39          56          44    
Virginia ……..:    37          14          36          44    
                 :                                              
15 States …….:    56          48          64          55    
—————————————————————–

Cotton Setting Bolls – Selected States
[These 15 States planted 99% of the 2009 cotton acreage] —————————————————————–
                 :            Week ending            :          
                 :———————————–:          
      State      :  July 4,  : June 27,  :  July 4,  : 2005-2009
                 :   2009    :   2010    :   2010    :  Average 
—————————————————————–
                 :                    percent                   
                 :                                              
Alabama ………:     8           2          14          10    
Arizona ………:    32          13          16          32    
Arkansas ……..:     7          11          31          19    
California ……:    10           2           7          16    
Georgia ………:     9           9          21          15    
Kansas ……….:     –           –           –           –    
Louisiana …….:    36          23          53          36    
Mississippi …..:    11          11          45          23    
Missouri ……..:     –           3          16          12    
North Carolina ..:    16           4          10           3    
Oklahoma ……..:     –           –           –           1    
South Carolina ..:     –           –           7           3    
Tennessee …….:     2           –          10           8    
Texas ………..:    16           8          11          16    
Virginia ……..:     –           4          16           2    
                 :                                              
15 States …….:    13           8          15          15    
—————————————————————–
–  Represents zero.                                             

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