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Check out the Gwynne Conservation Area at FSR

Look for new features like wildflowers and a healthy streambank in the FSR Gwynne Conservation Area.

The nearly 70-acre facility, part of the Farm Science Review’s host site, the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, has two new projects underway — one to diversify its prairie plantings; the other, to protect the banks of Deer Creek, which flows through the grounds.

FSR Manager Zachrich said the projects offer two benefits: They improve the Gwynne itself year round. And they demonstrate practices that farmers can take home and use on their own land, too.

Asters, milkweeds, blazing stars and coneflowers are some of the many wildflowers being planted in new seed mixes in the Gwynne’s 10-plus acres of prairie.

Previously, the Gwynne’s prairie plantings were mostly just two grasses: big bluestem and Indian grass. The new seed mixes, which add wildflowers to the grasses, offer more benefits to pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and to wildlife.

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Green stem in soybeans

One issue that impacts soybean harvest in the eastern Corn Belt at some level each year is green stem syndrome. Green stem syndrome could be larger issue for the 2017 harvest because of latter planting dates in many areas. When green stem syndrome occurs, stems and leaves can remain green after pods have matured. As a result, while pods and seeds are mature and dry enough to be harvested, harvest operations can be slowed as combines have more difficulty dealing with stems and leaves that are still green. In addition to creating harvest delays, green stem syndrome can increase fuel consumption and result in shattering losses if growers delay harvest until stems have fully matured.

The occurrence of green stems varies from year-to-year and can be affected by several factors, such as:

• Viral infections
• Insect feeding
• Late planting
• Drought stress
• Application of fungicides.

Successful management of green stem syndrome requires management practices that include timely planting, establishing adequate plant stands, irrigation, and controlling insects/pests.

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South Korea trade teams tour Ohio agriculture

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said trade teams from South Korea visiting the U.S. over the last three months helped to solidify trade between the U.S. and Korea under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, known as KORUS.

The Council has been hosting trade teams this summer from South Korea, visiting U.S. farmers and grain suppliers in eight states, including Gar-Mar Farms in Delaware, Ohio.

“It’s really an honor for Ohio to be selected for a visit,” said Tadd Nicholson, Executive Director of Ohio Corn & Wheat. “I think it is because farmers and agribusinesses here are so willing, transparent, open and welcoming to our foreign corn customers. It wouldn’t be possible without the use of our checkoff dollars as well. In this case, the U.S. Grains Council is utilizing those funds to make an Ohio corn farmer part of that world market.”

Whether just across country borders here in North America or with potential trade partners on the other side of the globe, building relationships is key to success.

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Cool weather and corn dry down

The recent cooler than normal temperatures may impact corn drydown. Once corn achieves physiological maturity (when kernels have obtained maximum dry weight and black layer has formed), it will normally dry approximately 3/4 to 1% per day during favorable drying weather (sunny and breezy) during the early warmer part of the harvest season from mid‑September through late September. By early to mid‑October, dry-down rates will usually drop to ½ to 3/4% per day. By late October to early November, field dry‑down rates will usually drop to 1/4 to 1/2% per day and by mid November, probably 0 to 1/4% per day. By late November, drying rates will be negligible.

Estimating dry‑down rates can also be considered in terms of Growing Degree Days (GDDs). Generally, it takes about 30 GDDs to lower grain moisture each point from 30% down to 25%. Drying from 25 to 20 percent requires about 45 GDDs per point of moisture.

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NCGA corn yield contest harvest forms online

With harvest beginning across the country, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that online harvest forms for the 2017 National Corn Yield Contest are available online for those who entered the contest. While the harvest information form deadline may seem distant, entrants are asked to report within two weeks of their final yield check or by Nov. 17, whichever comes first.
“While harvest is only just kicking off for many, it is important to keep contest rules regarding harvest form submissions in mind. We ask contest applicants to submit harvest forms within two weeks of their final yield check to allow NCGA staff adequate time to thoroughly review each form,” said Brent Hostetler, Stewardship Action Team Chair. “The National Corn Yield Contest plays a significant role in recognizing excellence and finding new, more productive techniques. We hope that growers continue to support the contest by seeing their entry through and submitting their completed harvest data forms.”
The online harvest form is available to both farmers and seed representatives using the same login process as the initial entry form.
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Increased photosynthesis could mean big yield bumps

Political and agricultural leaders gather at the University of Illinois today to see transformative work by scientists in the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) research project, which has already demonstrated yield increases of 20%. A $45 million, five-year reinvestment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), and the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) will enable the researchers to continue their work to address the global food challenge.

“[The recent] report on world hunger and nutrition from five UN agencies reinforces our mission to work doggedly to provide new means to eradicate world hunger and malnutrition by 2030 and beyond,” said RIPE Director Stephen Long, the Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic at Illinois. “This investment is timely. Annual yield gains are stagnating and means to achieve substantial improvement must be developed now if we are to provide sufficient food for a growing and increasingly urban world population when food production must also adapt sustainably to a changing climate.”

Building on half a century of photosynthesis research at Illinois, including several landmark discoveries enabled by state and federal partnerships, RIPE researchers simulated the 170-step process of photosynthesis.

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Precision agriculture highlighted with Ohio State logo

From the ground, it looks like just another Midwestern cornfield. Nothing special.

Fly a few hundred feet above the cornfield, and a clear image comes into view: a Block O with the words “Ohio State” angled through the middle of it.

Buckeye pride? Partly. But the logo also illustrates the power of “smart planting.”

As the planter was driven across the field, its computer system knew the rate and variety of seed to sow in each area, having noted the differences in soil type, terrain, drainage and organic content within the same field.

Over the past few months, the Block O, Ohio State University’s primary athletic identity, slowly emerged in the cornfield where two different corn hybrids were planted, one with a slower growing rate. So green corn plants form the background, and the drier brown plants create the “O” and “Ohio State.”

The logo stands in a field at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio, home to the Farm Science Review.

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AgXplore Introduces Triple-Action Nitrogen Management Aid, ContaiN MAX

AgXplore launched the world’s first ever nitrogen management aid with triple-action technology. Starting in October, ContaiN MAX will be available to retailers across the nation.

“ContaiN MAX is an innovative product that will change the market,” said Misti McBride, AgXplore Director of Marketing. “It combines: NBPT, the market’s best mode of action for nitrogen volatility, NZONE, the market’s leader in nitrogen leaching and microbes to balance soil and increase nitrogen uptake.”

NZONE, AgXplore’s flagship product has been proven to reduce leaching by 47%. It was developed to help farmers protect water quality by decreasing nitrogen runoff. Research also shows NZONE holds more nitrogen in the root zone making it available for plant uptake. In fact, farmers using NZONE were able to reduce their nitrogen by 25% with more yield. Because of this, NZONE technology is leading environmental stewardship efforts.

The NBPT component has proven to reduce nitrogen volatility for 14 to 21 days after application, which gives farmers another way to keep nitrogen in the soil and available to crops.

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Is late maturing corn at risk for frost injury?

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (http://www.nass.usda.gov/) as of Sept. 10, 69%  of Ohio’s corn acreage was in the dent stage (R5) compared to 76% for the five-year average; 16% of the corn acreage was mature, slightly less than the five-year average, 18%. In some areas of the state, corn is considerably behind the five-year average because of late planting (the result of persistent rains and excessively wet soils that delayed planting in some localized areas) and cooler than normal temperatures in September. This later than normal maturation of the corn crop had led to questions concerning the potential for frost damage.

In Ohio, physiological maturity (when kernels achieve maximum dry weight and black layer forms) typically occurs about 65 days after silking. At physiological maturity (kernel moisture approximately 30-35%), frosts have little or no effect on the yield potential of the corn crop.

Bob Nielsen at Purdue University has summarized research findings from Indiana and Ohio that provide insight into both the calendar days and thermal time (growing degree days, GDDs) typically required for grain at various stages of development to achieve physiological maturity (kernel black layer, R6) and available on-line at http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/RStagePrediction.html.

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Knipp Farms preserving history and farmland as an Ohio Century Farm

If you were to ask Daryl Knipp at what age he started farming, he wouldn’t be able to tell you.

“One of my earliest memories was riding in the truck with my dad when I was a little boy, taking a load of tomatoes to the processing plant,” Knipp said. “I was his shadow and followed him around for as long as I can remember.”

Agriculture is all that Knipp has ever known. This makes sense, seeing as how the Knipp family has been in the farming business for over a century now. Knipp Farms Inc. in Sandusky County is an Ohio Century Farm, a program sponsored by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, to recognize and honor Ohio family farms’ heritage. Daryl and his wife Cate currently live on and operate the farm.

“My great-grandfather, Henry Knipp, is the one who originally purchased 134 acres here in Lindsey in 1913,” Knipp said.

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Non-GMO corn production and purity concerns

As fall approaches and growers prepare to harvest corn, it is a good time for a reminder about the challenges of producing NON-GMO corn, many of which occur during harvest, handling, and storage of grain.

Many corn growers in the Eastern Corn Belt produce NON-GMO corn attempting to capture an additional premium. Depending on the contracting elevator, standard GMO contamination allowances are typically from 0% to 1%. Producing NON-GMO corn within the acceptable tolerances of GMO contamination is possible; however, there are several challenges and potential pitfalls that make production of 100% pure NON-GMO corn a tremendous undertaking and can keep growers from capturing a premium for their corn. Planting NON-GMO seed does not necessarily mean the harvested shelled corn will be NON-GMO free. Test’s used by elevators to determine if GMO’s are present may not be 100% accurate, but they are a determining factor as to whether a load will be accepted.

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Temperature effects on soybean growth

Poling_KyleNo growing season is ever going to be perfect, but with only about 10% of the days during July and August above 86 degrees F, the daytime highs have been favorable for soybean growth in Ohio. If air temperature exceeds 85 degrees F, soybeans will experience heat stress that can impact yield potential. This is often compounded by a lack of soil moisture. Heat stress can result in a decreased number of pods set, while temperatures above 99 degrees F severely limit pod formation.

Because of their long flowering period, soybeans can often compensate for short periods of stress, but its ability to make up ground dwindles as it approaches R5. Elevated temperatures at the R5 growth stage (beginning seed fill), has the greatest negative impact on soybean yield. During seed fill, daytime temperatures greater than 85 degrees can cause decreased soybean weight while temperatures 91 to 96 degrees can result in fewer seeds per plant.

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Huge surprise bolsters bears

Today was a huge surprise with corn and soybean yields higher, not lower. The market is not taking out post report lows in the minutes following the noon release. It could indicate end users are stepping in to cover needs.

USDA put the U.S. corn production at 14.184 billion bushels with a yield of 169.9 bushels per acre. Ending stocks were pegged at 2.335 billion bushels. Last month corn ending stocks were 2.27 billion bushels. USDA put the U.S. soybean production at 4.43 billion bushels with a yield of 49.9 bushels per acre. Soybean ending stocks were estimated at 475 million bushels. Last month soybean ending stocks were 475 million bushels. Ending soybean stocks were unchanged due to higher crush and higher exports.

As the noon hour approached, corn was down 5 cents, soybeans were down 2 cents, with wheat unchanged. Shortly after the report, corn was down 8 cents, soybeans were 13 cents, with wheat down 3 cents

Going into the USDA report today, the average trade estimate for corn production was 14.03 billion bushels with a yield of 168.2 while ending stocks were estimated at 2.17 billion bushels.

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Aerial imagery aids decision-making

As the growing season has progressed, aerial imagery has been part of the world record setting data-collection efforts for Terra, a single corn plant in a Farm Science Review field. The bird’s eye view of the field through the 2017 growing season has been provided by AirScout.

“The full season package has 14 flights and they start approximately mid-April and fly every two weeks or so. In the heart of the season late June through mid-July, they fly every 10 to 14 days during peak vegetative growth. Then they widen the timeline back out to finish out the season. They will probably do two flights in September and another in October,” said Tim Berning, with Precision Agri Services in Minster, the only AirScout dealer Ohio. “They use fixed-winged airplanes for the imagery. The full year flights take priority. They get an approximate time and they fly when sky conditions are favorable for taking good images.

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Herbicide rotation ineffective against resistance in waterhemp

Farmers have been battling herbicide-resistant weeds for generations. A common practice for most of that time has been to rotate between different herbicides every season. But despite farmers’ best efforts, herbicide resistance has grown through the years, with some weed populations showing resistance to not one but four or five different herbicides. A new study from the University of Illinois explains why herbicide rotation doesn’t work.

“If you were to ask farmers what is the one thing you can do to delay resistance evolution, they’ll say rotate herbicides. This study shows that’s not true,” said Pat Tranel, Ainsworth Professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I.

Herbicide resistance results from random genetic mutations that keep weeds from being harmed by a particular herbicide. When farmers continually spray the same herbicide year after year, those with the mutation, referred to as a resistance allele, survive and reproduce. Over time, the proportion of plants with the resistance allele grows.

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Wheat variety selection is an important first step in reducing scab and vomioxin

Even though we did not have high levels of scab and vomitoxin this year, we still need to keep this disease in our minds as we select varieties to plant this fall. In the past, there were very few Ohio-grown winter wheat varieties with decent scab resistance, and some of those varieties yielded poorly or did not grew well under our conditions. Today we have far more varieties with very good scab resistance in combination with very good yield potential. So, as you prepare to plant wheat this fall, scab resistance should be a top priority on your list when selecting a variety. However, remember, no variety is completely resistant or immune to scab, so if conditions are wet and humid during flowering, even varieties considered resistant will develop scab and become contaminated with vomitoxin, but, disease and toxin levels will likely be lower in resistant varieties than in susceptible varieties.

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Wheat management for 2017

Wheat helps reduce problems associated with the continuous planting of soybean and corn and provides an ideal time to apply fertilizer in July/August after harvest. With soybean harvest around the corner, we would like to remind farmers of a few management decisions that are important for a successful crop.

1.) Optimum seeding rates are between 1.2 and 1.6 million seeds per acre. For drills with 7.5-inch row spacing this is about 18 to 24 seeds per foot of row with normal sized seed. When wheat is planted on time, actual seeding rate has little effect on yield, but high seeding rates (above 30 seeds per foot of row) increase lodging and the risk of severe powdery mildew development next spring.

2.) Select high-yielding varieties with high test weight, good straw strength, and adequate disease resistance. Do not jeopardize your investment by planting anything but the best yielding varieties that also have resistance to the important diseases in your area.

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KORUS valuable for U.S. soy growers

In response to indications that the White House is preparing a withdrawal from the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea, the American Soybean Association issued a stern warning that withdrawal from the pact, and the larger strategy of brinkmanship with regard to trade agreements by the White House, could have disastrous consequences for the nation’s soybean farmers.

“Withdrawal from KORUS would hurt us all. As soybean farmers, we benefit greatly from exports, which contribute a $2 billion annual surplus to our nation’s balance of trade. Trade makes our local businesses and our communities stronger. Yet whether it’s South Korea, Mexico and Canada, or our neighbors on the Pacific Rim, we once again find ourselves fighting to communicate the value of trade to farmers,” said Ron Moore, ASA president. “With respect to South Korea, we supply nearly half of the 1.3 million tons of soybeans that country imports, with no tariffs as a result of the KORUS agreement.

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Monitor fields as crop reach maturity

As fall approaches and growers gear up for harvest, it is important that they continue to monitor and scout fields as crops reach maturity. Although at this point in the year it is too late for management practices such as rescue treatments, fungicides, etc., there is still a great deal to learn by walking through fields.

With wet weather throughout the growing season, several diseases have developed in both corn and soybean fields across Ohio. For corn, there has been a higher incidence of common rust throughout the state. As of mid-August, southern rust has been discovered in some southwest Ohio corn fields. Gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight have also appeared in Ohio’s corn fields.

In soybeans, diseases such as frogeye leaf spot and bacterial leaf blight have developed in many fields throughout the state. As growers walk fields this fall, they should take note of what diseases are present and make plans to deal with problem diseases either through management practices this fall and spring or with varietal selection for the 2018 crop.

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Prepare to harvest and store quality silage

As fall approaches many farmers will prepare to chop silage to use as a feed in their livestock operations. There are several key factors affecting silage harvest and storage that will ensure the efficient fermentation and production of high quality feed. Taking time to correctly harvest and store corn silage will allow producers to maximize their feed value.

It is important to chop corn silage at the correct moisture content and stage of development. The corn plant should be from 65% to 70% moisture when chopped (moisture requirements vary depending on the type of silo or storage to be used) and the “milk line” should be one-third to two-thirds down the kernel. Corn silage that is harvested when it is too wet can result in loss of nutrients through seepage and ultimately poor quality feed. Corn silage that is harvested when it is too dry will not ferment correctly and can cause mold to develop.

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