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Ohio Crop Progress — August 6th, 2018

Rains Still Hit or Miss

Milder than usual temperatures and spotty rains spread across the State last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA, NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending August 5. Corn and soybeans conditions improved slightly from last week although some producers were still badly in need of rain. Pastures received some needed rain, but still moved from mostly good into mostly fair condition. Oats harvested remained ahead of the 5-year average. Tobacco began blooming last week.

Click here to read the full report

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Field day will highlight new tools for managing phosphorus

A field day on Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Dean Farms, 2480 County Road 12C Bryan, Ohio, 43506 will showcase New Leader G5 variable dry rate nutrient applicator equipment with swath width control. The NL5000 G5 allows for pinpoint application accuracy with a spinner-spreader, targeting the right product to the right place without sacrificing productivity. Field pan tests will demonstrate the technology in action. In addition, Ohio State University experts will discuss the latest research informing phosphorus application rates and the new P-risk assessment tool. Host Allen Dean will round out the presentations with cover crop learning and demonstration plots.

Speakers/demonstrations include:

  • Marty Wolske, New Leader: New Broadcast Equipment Technology – A Practical Solution for Dry Nutrient Application
  • Steve Culman, OSU: Tri-State recommendations update
  • Libby Dayton, OSU: P risk-index tool
  • John Schoenhals, Williams County Extension: Phosphorus Placement and Soil Interactions
  • Allen Dean, Cover Crop Sales & Service

For questions, to RSVP and for more event information contact Karen Chapman, kchapman@edf.org, 740-739-1809.

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ASA joins Farmers for Free Trade

The American Soybean Association (ASA) announced that it will be joining Farmers for Free Trade.
Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan campaign co-chaired by former Senators Max Baucus and Richard Lugar that is amplifying the voices of American farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses that support free trade. The American Soybean Association joins the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Pork Producers Council, and multiple other agriculture, trade and commodity groups that are partnering with Farmers for Free Trade to strengthen support for trade in rural communities.
“We need strong, likeminded allies to galvanize farmers in a collective call for solutions from the Administration and Congressional leaders on advocating for new trade agreements and expanding international markets. We have watched for some time and with appreciation the efforts of Farmers for Free Trade and the spirit of collaboration it has fostered to help ag and those industries related to agriculture and are happy to join their efforts,” said Ryan Findlay, CEO of ASA.

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Time (almost) for checking yields

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Agronomist

I am already getting comments about corn yield expectations. More than a couple of growers have told me they may have their best crop ever — but I point out that it’s still a bit early. I have others who say they haven’t seen rain in two weeks, it’s too late, and “corn is toast.” Again, it is a bit too early to say that. But by the time this column appears you should be able to get a reasonable idea on corn yield — soybeans not so much.

So how do we check crop yield?

The easy way is to wait until maturity then combine the crop and run it across the scales. That works best, and for soybeans is the most reliable way, but sometimes we want an estimate before that point.

For corn, this from the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Alfalfa Field Guide page 71, by Peter Thomison OSU’s state corn specialist is a good way to estimate yields.

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Cover crop survey

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio State University weed scientists are in the process of planning cover crop research, and could use your input. Cover crop use has been on the rise in recent years, most commonly for the preservation of soil, reduction in nutrient loss, and suppression of weeds they can provide. Feedback from this survey will allow us to perform trials that are in line with practices common in the state of Ohio and thus generate more impactful results. Thank you!

Please take our five second survey!

https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3CzwGMFUxMeW7u5

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Stress during corn reproductive stages a concern

By Roy Ulrich, Technical Agronomist for Dekalb/Asgrow

The growing season has been quite variable across the region this year so far. For some regions of Ohio, the start to the growing season may have been slightly delayed, but once it was fit the crop went in relatively fast and stress free. For other regions, the growing season was extremely late to get started and each management step has been a struggle to accomplish between all the rains. So, whether your crop started out stress free or it has been under stress since the beginning, the state’s corn crop has transitioned from the vegetative stages into the ever-critical reproductive stages.

The first of those stresses to show up in fields this year was foliar diseases. The warm, humid weather conditions of late June were the perfect environment to develop foliar diseases in corn. The development and progression of these foliar diseases leads to a direct loss in the photosynthetic ability of a plant as leaf surface area is compromised and lost for photosynthesis.

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No pigweed left behind: Late-season scouting for Palmer amaranth and waterhemp

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

If you don’t already have to deal with waterhemp or Palmer amaranth, you don’t want it. Ask anyone who does. Neither one of these weeds is easy to manage, and both can cause substantial increases in the cost of herbicide programs, which have to be constantly changed to account for the multiple resistance that will develop over time (not “can,” “will”). The trend across the country is for them to develop resistance to any new herbicide sites of action that are used in POST treatments.

Preventing new infestations of these weeds should be of high priority for Ohio growers. When not adequately controlled, Palmer amaranth can take over a field faster than any other annual weed we deal with, and waterhemp is a close second. Taking the time to remove any Palmer and waterhemp plants from fields in late-season before they produce seed will go a long way toward maintaining the profitability of Ohio farm operations.

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American Farmland Trust targets soil health through Conservation Innovation Grant

American Farmland Trust was awarded a highly competitive 2018 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill, CIG helps develop the tools, technologies and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands.

“Through programs like the Conservation Innovation Grants Program, we’re fueling the development of new and exciting tools and technologies, helping farmers improve their agricultural and conservation outcomes,” said Leonard Jordan, NRCS Acting Chief.

The grant will fund a new AFT project called “Accelerating Soil Health Adoption by Quantifying Economic and Environmental Outcomes & Overcoming Barriers on Rented Land” that is designed to give farmers and landowners the quantitative evidence they need to make better conservation decisions.

One barrier to wider use of soil health practices that improve water, save soil, protect climate, and often increase profit has been limited quantitative data proving their benefits.

AFT will work in six watersheds across five states (California, Illinois, Ohio, New York and Virginia) to quantify the benefits experienced by 24 farmers who have already implemented soil health practices like reduced tillage, cover crops, nutrient management, crop rotation and more.

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CENTURO first new N inhibitor approved in 40 years

CENTURO, a next-generation nitrification inhibitor for anhydrous ammonia and UAN from Koch Agronomic Services (Koch), has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and is now available for order in the U.S. The approval marks the first time in more than 40 years that a nitrification inhibitor has received FIFRA registration.

“Our team of agronomists, chemists and technology specialists have spent the past nine years working on a technology that could make a grower’s nitrogen investment more efficient. Today, we have CENTURO, which has been scientifically proven to reduce nitrogen loss and optimize nutrient-use efficiency,” said Justin Hoppas, executive vice president of Koch. “Farmers throughout the Corn Belt are facing growing economic and environmental pressures, and we understand fertilizer additives must perform and pay off. CENTURO is now available as one more tool in a grower’s toolbox to increase agricultural efficiencies and optimize their crop nutrition investments.”

CENTURO works to protect applied nitrogen and keep the valuable nutrient available in the root zone in its ammonium form where it’s less susceptible to loss through denitrification and leaching.

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Japanese beetle in corn and soybeans

By Kelley Tilmon, Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension

We have been hearing reports of Japanese beetles in corn and soybean. These beetles are large with a shiny copper and green color. Foliage feeding in corn is almost never economic, though economic damage from silk clipping is possible (though rare). Consider a rescue treatment when silks are clipped to less than ½ inch and, fewer than 50% of the plants have been pollinated, and the beetles are still numerous and feeding in the field.

Japanese beetles will also feed on soybean foliage. While the damage might look startling, it is very rare that this reaches economic levels from Japanese beetle. A rescue treatment is advised when defoliation levels reach 30% in pre-bloom stages, and 20% in bloom to pod fill. These defoliation levels apply to the plant as a whole, not just certain leaves, and can also be used for general defoliation from more than one kind of leaf-feeding insect in soybean.

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Keep scouting for potato leafhoppers in alfalfa

By Rory Lewandowski, CCA, Mark Sulc, Kelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

If you grow alfalfa, now is the time to scout those fields for potato leafhoppers. Integrated pest management (IPM) scouts are finding potato leafhoppers (PLH) widely distributed across a number of alfalfa fields. PLH numbers have ranged from low to well above economic treatment thresholds. In addition, alfalfa growers have been calling about yellow leaves on alfalfa, one of the classic PLH damage symptoms. Alfalfa growers should consider regular field scouting for PLH because this is one of the economically significant pests of alfalfa.

The potato leafhopper is a small bright green wedge shaped insect that arrives in our area each year on storm fronts from the Gulf Coast region. PLH is a sucking insect. PLH feeding causes stunting of alfalfa plants resulting in yield loss. Excessive stress on plants by heavy PLH feeding can result in yield reductions in the current as well as subsequent cuttings.

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Soil health, corn disorders, weeds topics of upcoming Soil and Water Field Night

Soil health, corn disorders, and weed management are topics set to headline the upcoming Soil and Water Field Night, hosted by The Ohio State University South Centers.

This free educational opportunity, presented by OSU South Centers in partnership with Pike Soil and Water Conservation District and Pike County Solid Waste Management District, will take place Thursday, Aug. 16 with registration beginning at 5 p.m. A light supper will immediately follow, then attendees will depart on a wagon tour and attend field research presentations by OSU faculty and staff.

 

Corn disorder

Ohio is among the top-10 producers of corn in the United States, having grown the crop on more than 3 million acres, and it plays a major role in the state and nation’s economy.

“With the changing climate, we are experiencing more frequent extreme weather conditions. These natural stresses and poor management can cause some physiological disorders in corn,” said Rafiq Islam, who heads the Soil, Water and Bioenergy program at the Ohio State University South Centers.

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Lessons learned in Ohio’s updated fertilizer recommendations

At the recent 4R Field Day in Hardin County, Ohio State soil fertility specialist Steve Culman presented on the updated fertilizer recommendations through 300+ on-farm strip trials since 2014.

He said some main take-home points he hoped to get across to agriculturalists were:

  • From 2014 – 2017, 300+ on-farm strip trials were conducted across Ohio evaluating corn, soybean and wheat response to N, P and K fertilizer.
  • Yield responses to P and K fertilizer in soils at or above the current maintenance range were very rare.
  • Long-term data from 3 sites show that when Ohio soils are in the current maintenance range, they can supply sufficient P and K to meet corn and soybean demand for many growing seasons without fertilization.
  • Recommended corn N rates were updated this spring and are based on maximizing farmer profitability, not maximizing yields.
  • Corn, soybean and wheat are yielding more grain with less nutrient: Grain nutrient removal per bushel of grain is lower than it was 20 years ago.
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Scouting time for western bean cutworm

By Amy Raudenbush, John Schoenhals, Mark Badertscher, Lee Beers, Amanda Bennett, JD Bethel, Bruce Clevenger, Sam Custer, Tom Dehass, Allen Gahler, Mike Gastier, Jason Hartschuh, Ed Lentz, Rory Lewandowski, Cecilia Lokai-Minnich, David Marrison, Sarah Noggle, Les Ober, Eric Richer, Garth Ruff, Jeff Stachler, Alan Sundermeier, Curtis Young, Chris Zoller, Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

Western bean cutworm (WBC) adult moth catches in our trapping network are ticking up, with a noticeable increase from the week before. For week ending July 14, 24 counties monitored 88 traps. Overall, there was an average of 14.5 moths per trap (1116 total captured). This is an increase from an average of 3.4 moths per trap (217 total captured) the previous week.

Adult moths (what we monitor in the traps) will be making their way into corn fields where females will lay eggs on the uppermost portion of the flag leaf. Eggs are laid in unevenly distributed clusters of 5 to 200, but averaging about 50 per cluster, and hatch within 5 to 7 days.

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NCGA testifies on EPA’s RFS

This week Michigan farmer Russell Braun provided testimony on behalf of National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) during an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on the agency’s proposed biofuel targets for 2019.

Braun encouraged EPA to maintain a strong, equitable Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and stressed the need to follow Congressional intent and level the playing field for America’s farmers by using the annual volume rule to repair the damage from extensive refinery exemptions.

“With corn prices low, EPA’s decisions have a greater impact on my livelihood and other farmers’ as well.  We believe EPA should use the Renewable Fuel Standard volume rule to remedy the harm caused by the extensive retroactive exemptions given to refineries over the past year and ensure future exemptions are accounted for,” he said. “These refinery exemptions decrease ethanol blending and reduce demand and profits for my corn crop. Every gallon of renewable fuel blending waived by EPA reduces the consumer benefits of the RFS.”

EPA’s proposal supports some growth in the RFS volumes and continues to propose an implied 15-billion-gallon volume for conventional ethanol. 

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Soybean and corn export outlook

By Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

The escalating trade issues between the U.S. and many of our trading partners continue to affect the outlook in both corn and soybean markets. Drastic price declines since Memorial Day show the impact of trade uncertainty and yield potential. The prospect of large yields combined with trade issues set the baseline for determining export potential and price formation in both corn and soybean markets moving forward.

The USDA soybean export projection for the current marketing year totals 2.085 billion bushels, up 20 million bushels from June’s estimate. Census Bureau export estimates through May place soybean exports at 1.762 billion bushels. Census Bureau export totals came in 42 million bushels larger than cumulative marketing year export inspections over the same period. As of July 12, cumulative export inspections for the current marketing year totaled 1.873 billion bushels. If the same difference in export pace continued through the current period, soybean exports would total 1.915 billion bushels as of July 12.

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Frogeye leaf spot

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

Frogeye leaf spot is a disease that can impact soybean yields across this eastern Corn Belt.. Typically, more prevalent in the southern growing regions, the disease can occur farther north as a result of weather favorable to its development.

The fungus that causes Frogeye leaf spot (Cercospora sojina) survives in infected plant debris and can cause infections in growing plants when weather conditions are favorable. Frogeye leaf spot lesions produce spores that are easily transported by wind, acting as inoculum for leaf infections on other plants. The disease is promoted by warm, humid weather and will continue to develop on infected plants during patterns of favorable weather. With the warm and wet weather patterns that have existed in the eastern Corn Belt during 2017, it is expected that frogeye would be observed in some fields.

Frogeye leaf spot symptoms begin as small yellow spots that become larger lesions with gray centers and dark reddish-purple or brown borders.

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Project grain fill

By John Brien, AgriGold

Grain fill is a critical part of a corn plant’s life, but is often overlooked because it is kind of slow, boring and uneventful to watch. What is actually occurring soon after pollination is utterly amazing considering an acre of corn has to “build” over 11,200 pounds of dry matter to equal 200 bushel of grain yield. Therefore grain fill is anything but boring and is vital for high yields.

Grain fill is the period of corn growth and development between pollination and black layering (or physiological maturity). During grain fill the corn plant is using their leaves to capture sunlight to drive photosynthesis that in turn produces the sugars the plant needs to build yield. The corn plant also uses its roots to acquire moisture and nutrients to build the dry matter. Therefore the more sunlight a corn plant can intercept and the more nutrients and water it can aquire, equates to more optimal grain fill and therefore higher yield potential.

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Friendly corn, bearish soybean ending stocks but soybeans actually higher

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Corn ending stocks were less than expected. Soybean ending stocks 110 million bushels above trade expectations but soybeans not falling off. World corn ending stocks went down. Looks like the market looking at more than trade issues, weather, and a much higher soybean ending stocks than expected.

Shock, awe in recent years were words used to describe US overseas military efforts. Those same words can easily be inserted to reflect producer and trader’s mindset since late May. In that time frame corn has fallen 75 cents and soybeans have seen a huge decline of $2.10. Trade tensions and announced trade tariffs between the US/China have accounted for 80% of the price decline according to some analysts. Great weather that at the moment is non-threatening for much of the Midwest has also been a big factor in the price declines.

US corn 2018-19 ending stocks were estimated at 1.552 billion bushels.

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