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Seed Consultants Celebrates 20 Years

When Chris Jeffries and Dan Fox started Seed Consultants Inc. (SCI) in the corner of a farmer’s implement building, they never dreamed the company would become one of the largest independent seed companies in the U.S.
Fox’s and Jeffries’ backgrounds were both in production agriculture and the seed industry. In the ‘90s they were working for major seed companies but felt the western-based companies lacked adequate Eastern Corn Belt testing and strong regional products. “I was disenchanted with the way companies were treating our customers,” Jeffries recalls. “The companies we worked for were not going to add regionalized products, and we were told to basically sell whatever we were given.”
Fox and Jeffries wanted to give customers the best genetics for the region, so in 1990 Jeffries, a Purdue Universitygraduate with majors in Animal Science and Agricultural Education, and Fox, a Wilmington College graduate in Ag Business, started testing, selecting and selling genetics for the Eastern Corn Belt.

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White mold could be a problem again in 2010


By Matt Reese
Chances are looking all too good for another bout with white mold this year in Ohio soybeans.
Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist, said if the white mold producing material (Sclerotinia) is in a field, conditions may be right for it to be there again this year.
“Sclerotinia white mold, also known as Sclerotinia stem rot, has a very interesting disease cycle. The inoculum comes from very small fruiting bodies called apothecia that form from the sclerotia. They puff their spores up onto the stems and infect the old blossoms and they can kill the plants in the bottom third of the stem,” Dorrance said. “We have historic fields that have had white mold since the early 90s and late 80s. Every once in a while we get a blow up. Last year conditions were perfect and this year conditions are good again.”
The moisture this year has been favorable for the development of the disease.

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Corn closing in on maturity

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension
Ohio’s corn crop continues to develop rapidly as a result of this season’s early planting and above average temperatures. According to the NASS (www.nass.usda.gov), as of Aug. 15, 82% of corn was in dough, compared to 43% last year and 59% for the five-year average. Thirty-four percent of corn was dented, compared to 4% last year and 10% for the five-year average. In many fields, corn in full dent has achieved the half-milk line stage (also referred to as the “starch line”). Thermal time from half-milkline to physiological maturity (“black layer”) is approximately 280 GDDs (http://www.kingcorn.org/news/timeless/GrainFill.html), which corresponds to about 10 days if we accumulate at least 28 GDD daily. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, the NASS has forecast Ohio’s corn average yield at 176 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels from last year’s record yield of 174 bushels per acre. If these estimates for maturity and yield come to pass, we may be looking at a very large, early maturing crop.

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Corn Silage Harvest is Imminent

by Mark Sulc, Peter Thomison, Bill Weiss, Ohio State University Extension

Corn development has been progressing at a rapid pace with the recent warm temperatures. Early planted corn is already being harvested for silage in some parts of Ohio. So it is time to check the whole plant moisture content now, if you haven’t done so already.

Ensiling corn at the proper dry matter content provides high quality preservation resulting in good animal performance and lower feed costs. Harvesting corn too wet (low dry matter content) results in souring and seepage of the silage and reduction in animal intake. Harvesting too dry (high dry matter content) promotes mold development because the silage cannot be adequately packed to exclude oxygen. Harvesting too dry also results in lower energy concentrations and reduced protein digestibility.

Harvest Moisture Guidelines

Corn silage preserved between 30 and 38% dry matter (62 to 70% moisture) generally provides good silage fermentation and animal performance.

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Weekly Crop Progress Report, August 16th

Weekly Crop Progress Report for August 16, 2010

The average temperature for the State was 79.1 degrees, 7.5 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, August 15, 2010. Precipitation averaged 1.13 inches, 0.33 inches above normal. There were 180 modified growing degree days, 31 days above normal. Reporters rated 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, August 13, 2010. Topsoil moisture was rated 7 percent very short, 34 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

Scattered showers moved through the state and provided needed rain to some areas. Crops and livestock in areas that did not get rain were showing signs of heat stress. Farm activities included tillage, installing tile, hauling grain, spraying corn and soybeans, applying manure, and baling hay. Early tobacco harvest continued in the southern counties, however the majority of the crop was just topped this week.

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Trouble shooting late season corn problems

By Ryan McAllister, CCA
Team Sales Agronomist
Beck’s Hybrids

Root lodging
Through my travels as of late I have become concerned about the late season standability of corn hybrids in areas where soils have remained saturated for an extended period of time. It appears that in those areas, corn plants didn’t need to root down deep and therefore did not. I have already seen root lodging in areas in the central part of Ohio and East Central Indiana. The majority of this lodging was in fact “root lodging” and not stalk lodging. Upon digging roots, I am observing very small root systems in which the “money roots” (those roots that go deep for moisture) have been rotted off due to saturated soil conditions. I have received many calls from those concerned that this is rootworm feeding and their trait is not working. That is not the case. Saturated soils have caused root rot and a lack of deep root growth.

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Ohio and national yields look strong

Based on conditions as of August 1, Ohio’s average corn yield is forecast at 176 bushels per acre, up 2
bushels from last year’s yield of 174 bushels per acre. Total production is forecast at 595 million bushels.
Growers expect to harvest 3.38 million acres for grain in 2010, 240,000 acres more than in 2009.

Soybean yield is forecast at 46 bushels per acre, down 3 bushels from the 2009 state average. If this yield is
realized, Ohio’s production would total 215.3 million bushels, down 3 percent from last year. Harvested
acreage is forecast at 4.68 million acres, up 150,000 from 2009.

Winter Wheat yield is estimated at 61 bushels per acre, down 5 bushels from the previous forecast and 11
bushels below the previous year’s state average. Total production is estimated at 46 million bushels, 34
percent less than the 2009 production. Acreage for harvest is estimated at 760,000 acres, down 220,000
acres from the previous year.

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Ohio No-Till Field Day September 8

WEST MANCHESTER, Ohio – A full day of no-till technology, products and emerging trends will be the focus of the Ohio No-Till Field Day on Sept. 8.

“Farming Green Year-Round” is the theme of the event, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Keith Kemp Farm, 959 Georgetown-Verona Road, West Manchester, Ohio. Registration is $30 due by Aug. 30, or $35 on-site.

Topics being covered include success with no-till corn, emerging trends in corn and soybean-based bio-products, insect issues, manure and drainage management, grain handling systems, and plastic poly and fiberglass tank safety. Speakers include experts from Purdue University, Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center specialists, and industry representatives.

For a detailed agenda, log on to http://fabe.osu.edu/notill.

Sponsors include OSU Extension, OARDC, Ohio No-Till Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Darke and Preble counties Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Oregon Ryegrass Commission, Kale Marketing, Farmer’s Commission, Ohio’s Country Journal, Monsanto, Pioneer, AGCO, and Ohio Corn Growers Association.

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Wheat Seed Treatments in 2010

By Pierce Paul, Dennis Mills, Ohio State University Extension

Seed treatments can play an important role in achieving uniform seedling emergence under certain conditions. Seed treatments can protect seeds or seedlings from early-season diseases, and fungicides are available to provide such protection. However, seed treatments should not be considered a cure-all for the selection of poor quality seed lots. Seed treatments will not increase poor germination due to excessive mechanical damage, poor storage conditions, genetic differences in variety, or other damage.

Head scab and Stagonospora glume blotch were at high levels in many fields this year, therefore growers need to limit losses due to these and other seed-borne pathogens by treating seed. In addition, be sure to use crop rotation and plant resistant or less susceptible varieties. Be especially concerned that saved seed may be contaminated. If head scab or Stagonospora was present at high levels in your wheat field do not use that grain for seed.

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USDA forecasts record corn and soybean crops

U.S. farmers are on pace to produce the largest corn and soybean crops in history, according to the Crop Production report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Corn production is forecast at 13.4 billion bushels and soybean production at 3.43 billion bushels, both up 2% from the previous records set in 2009. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, corn yields are expected to average a record-high 165 bushels per acre, up 0.3 bushel from last year’s previous record. Soybean yields are expected to equal last year’s record of 44 bushels per acre.

The August Crop Production report contains USDA’s first survey-based estimates of yield and production for corn, soybeans and other spring-planted row crops. Between July 25 and August 6, NASS surveyed approximately 27,000 producers and also took objective field measurements in the major crop-producing states. Crop Production is published monthly and is available online at http://www.nass.usda.gov.

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Lessons learned in 2010

By Matt Reese

As Ohio’s crops work their way through another Ohio growing season, farmers should take some time to observe their fields and review the season while it is still fresh in their memory. Much can be learned from the successes and failures in the fields leading up to harvest this fall.

Wheat

Some wheat growers had disappointing 50- to 60-bushel yields and poor quality, while others had a great year. What happened?

“On our own farm we had had very good wheat yields with a number of fields in the 90s and one field that broke 100 bushels,” said Brad Haas, a Wood County farmer who sits on the Ohio Wheat Growers Association Board. “We have really stepped up wheat management. We scout and invest in treatment when needed and it has paid off for us.”

Even when time is at a premium, Haas makes wheat a priority. He adjusts his seeding rate and plant population for the soil types and yield potential of the fields.

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Ohio Weekly Crop Progress Report

The average temperature for the State was 75.2 degrees, 3.3 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, August 8, 2010. Precipitation averaged 0.84 inches, 0.13 inches below normal. There were 164 modified growing degree days, 14 days above normal.
Reporters rated 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, August 6, 2010. Topsoil moisture was rated 3 percent very short, 28 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus.


FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY AUGUST 8, 2010

Scattered showers moved through the state and provided needed rain to some areas, thus reducing heat stress for both crops and livestock. Farm activities included tillage, installing tile, spraying corn and soybeans, applying manure, and baling hay. There were isolated reports of insect pressure on soybeans including Japanese beetle and spider mites, but overall pressure was light. Early tobacco harvest began in the southern counties, however much of the crop was still behind normal.

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Precision Ag Technology A Focus of Agronomy Field Day, Aug. 25

Precision agriculture and the economics of technology will be the focus of the Ohio State University Extension East Central Ohio Agronomy Field Day on Aug. 25.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at David Miller Farm, 10750 Millersport Road, Millersport, Ohio. Registration is $10, payable by noon the day of the event.

Topics being covered throughout the day include corn and soybean disease and plant health reports, assessing fertility programs, identifying nutrient issues, yield monitor benefits, precision ag technology options, anaerobic digestion economic opportunities, and watershed management.

Certified crop advisor credits will be available.

The field day is sponsored by OSU Extension offices of Fairfield, Licking, Perry, and Pickaway counties. Additional sponsors include Farm Credit Services, Laurelville Grain, ADM Grain, Southwest Ohio Corn Growers, New Era Liquids, Agro-Chem East, Coschocton Grain, Wilmington Case IH Super Store, and Ohio Soybean Council.

For more information, log on to http://licking.osu.edu/events/east-central-ohio-agronomy-field-day.

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Wheat’s wild ride boosts fall planting intentions

Wheat farmers throughout Ohio could be planting more wheat this fall, as the demand and price per bushel has increased because of a recently announced ban on wheat exports from Russia. 


Drought and wildfires are becoming common terms in Russia, as the wheat harvest is on the line. Approximately 20% of Russia’s wheat, a combination of hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat varieties, has been destroyed because of these natural occurrences.


In 2009, Russia was the world’s third-largest exporter of wheat, only trailing the United States and the European Union.

“It’s very likely that overseas buyers will turn to the U.S. in the short term to fulfill their needs,” said Dwayne Siekman, Ohio Wheat Growers Executive Director. “It’s too early to estimate the impact that it will have on planting decisions this fall for Ohio farmers; however, Ohio farmers are up for the challenge.” 


Ohio is the nation’s leader in growing soft red winter wheat, used in pan breads, general-purpose flour, cookies and crackers.

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Wheat's wild ride boosts fall planting intentions

Wheat farmers throughout Ohio could be planting more wheat this fall, as the demand and price per bushel has increased because of a recently announced ban on wheat exports from Russia. 


Drought and wildfires are becoming common terms in Russia, as the wheat harvest is on the line. Approximately 20% of Russia’s wheat, a combination of hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat varieties, has been destroyed because of these natural occurrences.


In 2009, Russia was the world’s third-largest exporter of wheat, only trailing the United States and the European Union.

“It’s very likely that overseas buyers will turn to the U.S. in the short term to fulfill their needs,” said Dwayne Siekman, Ohio Wheat Growers Executive Director. “It’s too early to estimate the impact that it will have on planting decisions this fall for Ohio farmers; however, Ohio farmers are up for the challenge.” 


Ohio is the nation’s leader in growing soft red winter wheat, used in pan breads, general-purpose flour, cookies and crackers.

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Task force nearing completion on new corn, wheat organization


By Ohio Corn Growers Association and Ohio Wheat Growers Association Executive Director Dwayne Siekman
Over six years ago, the Ohio Wheat Growers Association (OWGA) entered into a formal relationship with the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA).
The relationship began with shared staff, but grew over the years, with joint membership meetings, legislative visits, public campaigns, and policy development synergies.
As joint activities increased, the leadership of the two organizations started to ask themselves, should we be doing this a little differently?  Aren’t we really just the same person?  In Ohio, if you grow corn and beans, you probably grow wheat. Although you may be a member of one organization and may identify with that, the reality is that when you think about your operation, you are a farmer who looks at all the business opportunities from a variety of crops and decides what is best for you. You expect nothing less of an association that represents you.
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Russia Bans Grain Exports, Markets Soar

By Dow Jones Newswires

The death toll from Russia’s forest and peat fires hit 50 Thursday, as government efforts failed to stop the blazes from spreading.

Continued scorching temperatures have also extended the damage caused by Russia’s worst drought in a decade, as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for a ban on grain exports and set aside nearly $1.2 billion for stricken farmers.

The total area on fire increased to 196,000 hectares Thursday, a gain of around 7,000 hectares from the previous day, as 373 new fires appeared and 254 were extinguished, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

In all, 589 separate blazes were burning throughout Russia, 70 more than Wednesday, despite 162,000 emergency workers deployed to fight the flames. The fires have consumed over 2,000 dwellings and left around 4,000 people homeless, while causing an estimated RUB4.6 billion of damage.

Record heat persisted throughout Russia’s European territory, with temperatures in Moscow expected to hit 40 degrees Celsius Friday, nearly double the seasonal average of 23 degrees.

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NCGA disappointed, but hopeful on Senate energy legislation

National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Bart Schott released the following statement regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement that the Senate will not consider energy legislation before the Senate adjourns this week for its August recess:

“NCGA is disappointed that the Senate will not consider an energy package until at least September.  However, we are hopeful this will allow for future discussions on how ethanol can contribute to our nation’s energy policy and our energy security in a broader energy package.  NCGA urges Congress to include an extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit as they consider energy legislation when they return in the fall.

“The U.S. ethanol industry supports nearly 400,000 Americans across the nation. In the past year alone, ethanol added more than $50 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product and displaced the need for more than 360 million barrels of imported oil, valued at $16 billion. 

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