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Energy debate must include ethanol

As Congress prepares for an Independence Day Recess to be followed by vigorous discussion of a new energy bill, the National Corn Growers Association has stepped up its campaign to ensure that corn-based ethanol is part of the formula that brings our country to energy security and independence.

“With nearly two-thirds of our oil imported, we need to focus on a broad range of domestic fuel solutions,” said Darrin Ihnen, NCGA President, a South Dakota farmer. “Legislation is before Congress to continue much needed incentives and there is a new energy bill on the horizon, making it an important and critical time to talk about ethanol’s many environmental and economic benefits to our country.”

Front and center in the NCGA campaign is a new television ad using powerful images and common sense to stress the importance of ethanol. It will air starting Monday, June 28, on local news programs in Washington and on major cable channels such as Fox, CNN and MSNBC.

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Crop Insurance and Vomitoxin In Wheat: What are Farmers Options?

By Chris Bruynis, Assistant Professor/Extension Educator, OSU Extension

Producers that carry multi-peril crop insurance policies subsidized and reinsured by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (as overseen by the Risk Management Agency (RMA)) may be eligible for quality loss adjustments if the reason for the loss in value is due to a covered event such as the excessive precipitation received this spring. Reports coming from the elevators on harvested wheat indicate that not only are wheat yields lower than expected, but vomitoxin levels are high, ranging from 5 to 10 parts per million (ppm) in Northwest Ohio.

In order for producers to protect their rights, it is imperative to report any damage in the required time frame and seek advice from the insurance company before proceeding with harvest or destruction of the damaged crop. Failure to do so may jeopardize the claim. Crop insurance policies require that farmers notify their company within 72 hours of noticing a loss.

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Legalities of Vomitoxin in wheat for buyers and sellers

By Robert Moore, Wright Law Co. LPA

Head scab is causing legal headaches for buyers and sellers of Ohio wheat.The unusually wet spring has predictably caused disease problems in Ohio’s wheat crop. In addition to head scab and other more common diseases, vomitoxin is being found in this year’s crop. Vomitoxin is a mycotoxin that causes suppressed appetite in livestock and can be harmful to people as well.

Producers with a contract

Producers who have a contract with a buyer must look to the contract to determine their rights. All provisions, including any small print on the back of the contract, must be read entirely before assessing legal rights. The language of the contract is what matters; any verbal agreements made outside the contract have very little effect in enforcing legal rights. Even if the producer and buyer agree to certain terms, if the terms do not find their way onto the contract then the parties are probably not bound by the terms.

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Wet fields still foiling farmers

Farmers who can’t get into their cropfields to work because of excessive June rainfall shouldn’t surrender to Mother Nature, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service specialists say.

There was no shortage of  in the month’s first 23 days, leaving thousands of acres of corn, soybeans and hay either in standing water or in drenched soils, and producers desperate to tend to their crops.

There’s still time for growers to work their fields if weather conditions improve and soils dry, said Tony Vyn, cropping systems specialist.

On the positive side, the rain, heat and humidity has accelerated corn crop development — so much so that many crops have outgrown the ability of some insects to feed on them, Vyn said. That rapid growth, however, is quickly making weed control more difficult and delaying necessary nitrogen fertilizer applications.

“I would encourage farmers not to give up on those applications and to keep trying,” Vyn said.

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OSU Research Points to Benefits of Drainage on Field Crops

 

For every $1 spent on drainage technology, producers get $3 to $4 back in corn and soybean profits, according to long-term Ohio State University research.

Twenty-five years of field studies (from 1984 to 2009) at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Hoyvtille showed that subsurface drainage significantly improved corn and soybean yields on poorly drained soils. Add crop rotation and some sort of conservation tillage practice and production just keeps getting better.

“Overall, a farming system that includes subsurface drainage, crop rotation, and no-till, or other conservation tillage system, provides the best long-term economic and environmental benefits for the farmer,” said Randall Reeder, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer.

Reeder said that the long-term research was designed to evaluate the effects of drainage, tillage systems and rotation on corn and soybean yields to provide a better understanding of how to increase yields while maintaining sound conservation practices.

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Soybeans find their way into OSU printers

Ohio State University kicked off a new “Soy Toner Alliance” to celebrate its use of soy-based toner in many of the university’s laser printers.

The effort has been spearheaded by the university’s printing facility, UniPrint, which maintains about half of the estimated 7,000 printers on the Columbus campus. UniPrint will be using soy-based toner in any printer it maintains for which cartridges are available, currently totaling about 700. Those printers print about 800,000 pages per month.

“It is not simply about using a new product,” said E. Gordon Gee, university President. “It’s about staking our claim that this university and its leadership role in this state is making sustainability a very important part of who we are.”

The event was held at the university’s first LEED-certified “green” building on campus, the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. The 4-H Youth Development program is part of Ohio State University Extension, housed in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

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Soybeans find their way into OSU printers

Ohio State University kicked off a new “Soy Toner Alliance” to celebrate its use of soy-based toner in many of the university’s laser printers. The effort has been spearheaded by the university’s printing facility, UniPrint, which maintains about half of the estimated 7,000 printers on the Columbus campus. UniPrint will be using soy-based toner in any printer it maintains for which cartridges are available, currently totaling about 700. Those printers print about 800,000 pages peOhio State University kicked off a new “Soy Toner Alliance” to celebrate its use of soy-based toner in many of the university’s laser printers. The effort has been spearheaded by the university’s printing facility, UniPrint, which maintains about half of the estimated 7,000 printers on the Columbus campus. UniPrint will be using soy-based toner in any printer it maintains for which cartridges are available, currently totaling about 700. Those printers print about 800,000 pages per month. “It is not simply about using a new product,” said E.

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Sustainability research results shows progress in the U.S.

New research shows nearly 70% of U.S. consumers consider sustainability when choosing food products at the grocery store. What’s more, 78% of consumers consider the sustainability of farm-produced ingredients when buying products on the supermarket shelf.

To measure U.S. consumers’ perceptions of sustainable farming, the United Soybean Board (USB) fielded an independent quantitative study in early 2010. When American consumers think about sustainable farming, they most often refer to a way of raising food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers, provides a fair wage to the farmer and supports and enhances rural communities. They highly rate the nation’s soybean crop, which produces soyfoods like tofu as well as soybean oil for fried foods, baked goods, salad dressing and cooking oil (where it’s often labeled “vegetable oil”).

In the USB study, 72% of consumer participants agree U.S. soybean farming is sustainable. Asked what country leads in sustainable farming, respondents rate the U.S.

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Properly Harvesting and Testing Scabby Wheat Important to Minimize Vomitoxins

 

With wheat harvest now under way in Ohio, sampling and testing for vomitoxin in head scab-infected wheat is vital to prevent further losses and avoid potential health problems in humans and livestock.

Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist and small grains specialist, said that grain elevators will likely be testing every lot to ensure that any vomitoxin in infected grain stays below the acceptable limit of 2 parts per million.

“It’s important that the testing be conducted correctly to avoid overestimating or underestimating vomitoxin in the grain,” Paul said.

Wheat in some portions of Ohio is experiencing upwards of 60 percent incidence of head scab — a disease that attacks the wheat during flowering under wet, humid conditions. The disease can impact yields. In addition, the fungal pathogen that causes head scab produces several mycotoxins, including vomitoxin, that affect grain quality. Feeding infected grain to livestock can be harmful, and using infected grain for bran, flour and germ can be unhealthy for human consumption.

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Soybean Growers: Keep an Eye Out for White Mold

Ohio soybean growers may not have to worry about soybean rust, but they should be keeping their eyes out for potential white mold developments.

“The weather conditions over the past few weeks are very similar to last year. If it stays cool and wet, then white mold will be the next issue to monitor,” said Anne Dorrance, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Last year, rainy weather and cooler-than-normal summer temperatures resulted in the first major white mold outbreak in Ohio in nearly a decade.

White mold, also known as Sclerotinia stem rot, is a common fungal disease that spreads by infecting old, decaying soybean stem tissue or blossoms prior to flowering (R1 stage) and during flowering (R2 stage). The fungus invades the plant by producing a compound called oxalic acid, which kills plant tissue and allows the fungus to take hold.

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June 21 Crop Progress Statistics are Out

Released June 21, 2010, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service
(NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA).

Special Note

NASS is in the process of modifying report layouts in order to improve
readability. This issue is produced using the new layout. This report will be
published weekly using both layouts through June 28, 2010. Beginning July 6,
2010, Crop Progress will only be produced using this layout. The previous
layout is available on the NASS website: http://www.nass.usda.gov.

Corn Condition – Selected States: Week Ending June 20, 2010
[National crop conditions for selected States are weighted based on 2009
planted acreage] —————————————————————————–
      State      : Very poor :   Poor    :   Fair    :   Good    : Excellent
—————————————————————————–
                 :                          percent                         
                 :                                                          
Colorado ……..:     –           2          12          67          19    
Illinois ……..:     3           7          21          52          17    
Indiana ………:     2           8          22          49          19    
Iowa …………:     2           5          18          52          23    
Kansas ……….:     1           3          24          61          11    
Kentucky ……..:     –           5          18          57          20    
Michigan ……..:     1           5          19          51          24    
Minnesota …….:     –           –           7          61          32    
Missouri ……..:     6          14          31          39          10    
Nebraska ……..:     1           3          18          62          16    
North Carolina ..:     3           9          25          53          10    
North Dakota ….:     –           2          10          75          13    
Ohio …………:     2           8          27          49          14    
Pennsylvania ….:     –           3          13          59          25    
South Dakota ….:     2           4          20          59          15    
Tennessee …….:     1           4          21          55          19    
Texas ………..:     2           5          18          56          19    
Wisconsin …….:     –           2          12          63          23    
                 :                                                          
18 States …….:     2           5          18          56          19    
                 :                                                          
Previous week …:     1           4          18          58          19    
Previous year …:     2           5          23          54          16    
—————————————————————————–
– Represents zero.                                                          

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Supreme Court overturns judge in major win for biotech crops

The Supreme Court over-turned a lower federal judge’s ruling that farmers could not plant a biotech alfalfa variety while the U.S. Department of Agriculture prepared a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment on the crop. In a major win for biotech crop breeders, the Supreme Court held by a 7 to 1 majority in Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms that the federal district court judge abused his discretion by refusing to permit any planting at all, despite the USDA’s 2005 approval of the variety.

The news was welcomed by a coalition of agricultural organizations who had filed a joint friend-of-the-court brief to the Supreme Court in support of the petitioners in the case. The brief was submitted by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association (ASA), National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance (NAFA), National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), National Cotton Council and National Potato Council.

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USDA reports to provide key information for corn and soybean markets

Three upcoming USDA reports will provide important information for the corn and soybean markets, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good. The quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report will be released on June 25, and the quarterly Grain Stocks and annual Acreage reports will be released on June 30.
“The quarterly Hogs and Pigs report will reveal the inventory of market hogs as of June 1 as well as producers’ production intentions for the last half of the year,” Good said. “Last week’s Cattle on Feed report showed a large year-over-year increase of placements into feedlots during May. The information in the hog report will provide further insight into potential feed demand for the last quarter of the 2009-10 marketing year and for the 2010-11 marketing year.”

The quarterly Grain Stocks report will reveal the level of inventories as of June 1. “For context, it is useful to estimate the magnitude of June 1 stocks based on known use during the previous quarter and on USDA projections for the year for use that is not yet known,” Good said.

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Between the Rows kicks off summer

It is June 21, the Summer Solstice and the official start of summer. Most farmers are probably glad that spring is behind them after a soggy stretch that dampened many high hopes after a great early start to the planting season. Now we can only hope the rains continue now that most of Ohio’s crops have finally been planted for the first (and sometimes second) time. Here is today’s report from the “Between the Rows” farmers from around Ohio.

– Matt Reese

Jeff Roehm

Highland County

The crops have responded well to the high temperatures and plentiful moisture, but the rains have made field work challenging. “I think everybody has done the sidedressing they can do. Everybody was running late because of the wet weather. I know I was leaving ruts when I finished the sidedressing.”

Overall, through, the crops are in nice condition. “We’re getting a little dry, but things are still looking great.

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State lawmakers educated about corn’s economic impact

On the heels of planting season, the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA) hosted an education and awareness event about the economic significance of the corn industry for agricultural committee members of the Ohio Statehouse.

“We addressed real issues at a real farm,” said Tadd Nicholson, OCGA director of government and industry affairs.

On June 16, OCGA welcomed Senate Chair Kirk Schuring-R, 29th District; Senate member Karen Gillmor-R, 26th District; House Chair Rep. John Domenick-D, 95th District; House Ranking Minority Member Rep. James Zehringer-R, 77th District and several legislative aides to Delaware County corn farmer John Davis’ family farm.

Several issues such as technology, sustainability, corn-ethanol development and agricultural assistance were discussed. Corn supply was also addressed.

“There’s no truth to the food versus fuel debate,” said OCGA Executive Director Dwayne Siekman. “Corn farmers are producing an abundance of corn, using less land to meet national and international food, feed and fuel demand.”

Corn Production in Ohio

  • Supports an estimated nearly 34,000 jobs
  • Generates $358,045,696 in labor income
  • Contributes $1,457,184,768 to GDP (value-added)
  • Generates $2.1 billion in crop value

“Corn directly impacts Ohio,” said Nicholson.

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Western Bean Cutworm Among Insects to Monitor in 2010

Insects are always a problem in fields during the summer, but the best way to control them is by simply watching for them.

One, the western bean cutworm, fairly new the region, said Christian Krupke, a Purdue University entomologist. In addition to monitoring fields for western bean cutworm larvae, farmers can set pheromone traps to tell if female moths are in the area. Field scouting helps as well. Scouting should include at least 20 plants throughout the field, and if 5 percent of the plants scouted have been infected by the insect, Krupke advises spraying.

Farmers also should look for corn rootworm, the larvae of which can damage the roots of corn plants. The corn rootworm can harm cornfields if not controlled by using insecticides or Bt hybrids labeled for rootworm control.

The soybean aphid is the most likely pest to be in soybean fields this summer. The largest populations fly in from Wisconsin and Minnesota to colonize in Indiana and move into Ohio.

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Soybean Rust Confirmed in Southern U.S.

Soybean rust has been reported on soybeans in the southern United States for the first time this year, but it’s unlikely that Ohio soybean growers will have to worry about the disease this growing season.

“The first find of soybean rust was reported in Texas on June 10, on the border with Mexico. Current predictions for other southern states is that they won’t begin to detect it for another 4 weeks at the earliest because of unfavorable weather conditions for the disease to spread,” said Anne Dorrance, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “As a result, for Ohio, we are at a very low risk for soybean rust to develop this season.”

Soybean rust has not yet been reported in Ohio. Last year was the closest it came to the state, with detections in Kentucky in early September, followed a month later on late-planted soybeans in southern Indiana.

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Ducks, cattails and corn: June in Ohio's farm fields

By John Brien, CCA, AgriGold Hybrids, Eastern Regional Agronomist

Unevenness is the best description for all corn fields in the Eastern Corn Belt. Driving up and down the road uneven corn fields can easily be spotted. Some corn fields are yellow, stunted and uneven, while other corn fields are green, knee high and still uneven.

The unevenness in all the corn fields has been caused by the difference in rooting environments. The current corn crops rooting environment has been affected by planting date, planting conditions, soil types and most severely the amount of rainfall since planting started. The difference between rooting environments can easily be seen by plant height and plant color. Good rooting environments produce green, fast growing corn plants, while poor rooting environments produce stunted, yellow and slow growing corn plants.

What is the difference in the rooting environment that has caused the huge unevenness in corn fields? The difference between rooting environments is the amount of oxygen present in the root zone.

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Ducks, cattails and corn: June in Ohio’s farm fields

By John Brien, CCA, AgriGold Hybrids, Eastern Regional Agronomist

Unevenness is the best description for all corn fields in the Eastern Corn Belt. Driving up and down the road uneven corn fields can easily be spotted. Some corn fields are yellow, stunted and uneven, while other corn fields are green, knee high and still uneven.

The unevenness in all the corn fields has been caused by the difference in rooting environments. The current corn crops rooting environment has been affected by planting date, planting conditions, soil types and most severely the amount of rainfall since planting started. The difference between rooting environments can easily be seen by plant height and plant color. Good rooting environments produce green, fast growing corn plants, while poor rooting environments produce stunted, yellow and slow growing corn plants.

What is the difference in the rooting environment that has caused the huge unevenness in corn fields? The difference between rooting environments is the amount of oxygen present in the root zone.

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Head Scab Hits Ohio's Wheat


WOOSTER, Ohio – Hot, humid weather coupled with rain during a critical development stage of Ohio’s wheat has caused an outbreak of head scab in some areas of the state – the first major outbreak of the disease in the state in about a decade.

A statewide survey of Ohio wheat fields, which began two weeks ago, has found the incidence of head scab to be moderate to high in 70 percent of the73 fields surveyed in 16 counties.

“Incidence of head scab ranges from 3 percent to 61 percent, meaning that between 3 and 61 heads out of every 100 heads has some level of head scab,” said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist and small grains specialist.

Head scab (Fusarium graminearum), also known as head blight, is a disease that attacks wheat during the crop’s flowering stage when environmental conditions are just right. The disease not only affects yields, but the fungal pathogen that causes the disease produces several mycotoxins, the most common of which is known as vomitoxin, that is harmful the humans and animals if ingested.

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