Since last fall, incessant wet weather plagued every sector of Ohio agriculture and made the planting season among the most difficult ever. Ohio’s staggering 1,485,919 acres of prevented planting ground sounds bad, but looked even worse when passing by on the 2019 I-75/I-71 Crop Tour sponsored by AgroLiquid. The many empty fields in the state served as a stark and sobering reminder of the challenging spring throughout Ohio, and especially in the northwest where no farm on the tour planted all of their intended corn acres. Sadly, in many cases, the fields that were planted were not much better off. Much of the corn in northern Ohio was a solid month behind developmentally, making yield estimates very difficult and not much more than educated guesses. Many planting dates north of I-70 were in June, which leaves a long road ahead for the corn crop that had not even finished pollinating.
In Ohio, there were 1,485,919 prevented planting acres in 2019. Of that more than 880,992 prevented planting acres were corn and over 598,981 acres were soybeans. More than 5,883 Ohio wheat acres were included on the list as well with the balance being made up of oats and sorghum, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.
The top Ohio counties in prevented planting acres for 2019 were: Wood (120,480), Hardin (91,389), Defiance (84,198), Seneca (74,635), Hancock (74,169), Henry (71,083), Fulton (70,514), Paulding (62,567), Williams (60,373), and Wyandot (53,860).
Nationally agricultural producers reported they were not able to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres in 2019, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This marks the most prevented plant acres reported since USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began releasing the report in 2007 and 17.49 million acres more than reported at this time last year.
Crop development varies tremendously across Ohio because of planting dates that range from late April to early July. According to field agronomists in some areas of the state, it looks like late-planted crops are “ rushing through development” …Unlike soybean, corn development is directly related to temperature, i.e. heat unit accumulation. Above average July temperatures (especially nighttime temperatures) have promoted rapid corn growth and development. After corn reaches the V10 stage (and most of our June plantings are near or beyond this stage), leaf collar emergence occurs at approximately one leaf every 50 GDDs.
Late planted corn fields (especially those that have adequate soil moisture and good soil fertility and weed control) may appear to be “catching up” with neighboring fields planted earlier. The rapid growth of late planted corn is associated with greater vegetative growth and faster canopy closure, which will help optimize yields.
Agricultural producers reported they were not able to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres in 2019, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This marks the most prevented plant acres reported since USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began releasing the report in 2007 and 17.49 million acres more than reported at this time last year.
Of those prevented plant acres, more than 73% were in 12 Midwestern states, where heavy rainfall and flooding this year has prevented many producers from planting mostly corn, soybeans and wheat.
“Agricultural producers across the country are facing significant challenges and tough decisions on their farms and ranches,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “We know these are challenging times for farmers, and we have worked to improve flexibility of our programs to assist producers prevented from planting.”
In Ohio, there were 1,485,919 prevented planting acres in 2019.
By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile
Finally. Suspense. Long awaited. USDA did it again. We waited this long? All describe the Aug. 12 USDA Monthly Supply and Demand Report out today at noon.
USDA estimated 90 million corn acres with a yield of 169.5 bushels per acre. Corn acres 2 million acres above trade estimates. Soybeans were 76.7 million acres with a yield of 48.5 bushels per acre. Soybeans acres were 4 million acres below expected. Trader estimates for this report had U.S. corn acres at 88 million acres compared to the July USDA number of 91.7 million acres, down nearly 4 million acres. This month they estimated 81 million soybean acres. Last month USDA had estimated 80 million acres of soybeans.
Shortly after the report corn was down 22 cents, soybeans unchanged, while wheat was down 15 cents. Huge price volatility was expected following the noon reports.
The market has been starving for news the past six weeks.
By Erdal Ozkan
Spray drift not only result in wasting expensive pesticides and pollution of the environment, it may damage non-target crops nearby, and poses a serious health risk to people living in areas where drift is occurring. Drift happens! It accounts for about half of all non-compliance cases investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. As you know, we are experiencing an unusual weather situation in Ohio and several other Corn Belt states this year. Wet fields have made planting of corn and soybeans delayed or in many cases forced farmers to abandon it altogether looking for alternatives such as planting cover crops. Either situation presents added caution when applying herbicides in terms of spray drift which is defined as movement of pesticides by wind from the application site to an off-target site during or soon after application is done. When exactly the same types of crops, such as genetically modified beans, or non-GMO beans are planted in neighboring fields, herbicide drifting from one field to another may not show injury symptoms.
According to a recent Reuters report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved 31 of its 38 pending small refinery exemptions (SREs) for 2018. Recipients of the exemptions are not required to comply with renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The RFS exists to drive investment in American-grown biofuels. EPA, though, allows waivers exempting small refineries from the RFS and cuts demand for biofuels.
“After more than a year of constant trade escalation, President Trump seems determined to destroy the United States’ reputation as a reliable supplier of quality agricultural products. At the same time, his EPA seems bent on destroying our domestic market for renewable fuels. Together, these actions are crippling our markets, creating enormous stress in the countryside, and forcing more and more farmers into bankruptcy,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. “Our farmers are growing weary of the news from this White House.
Late-planted corn and soybeans could be vulnerable to higher-than-normal levels of crop diseases this year. When sown one to two months later than usual, corn and soybeans stand a greater chance of succumbing, especially, to fungal diseases.
Dry weather across much of Ohio since July has helped stave off some disease spread because fungal diseases need moisture to thrive. Still, during a year when late planting has already limited the yield potential on crops, it’s critical to be watchful for other threats too, including all types of diseases, molds, and insects, advise experts with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
Fungal diseases that can infect either soybeans or corn can survive through the winter on the crop residue left in a field after harvest, said Pierce Paul, a specialist in corn and small grain diseases with CFAES. Spores of the pathogens that cause the diseases form in the spring and spread.
By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist
So I made a trip to Omaha and back in mid-July. I attended the Sustainable Agronomy conference there and drove to the conference. Part of my goal was to do a windshield tour to see what the crops really looked like. Generally, nothing looks as it should. Ohio and eastern Indiana are the worst in many ways, but the total loss of crops due to floods in western Iowa and into Missouri were the most tragic — many losing not just this year’s crop but also last year’s that was still in the bin when floods hit this spring.
I drove out and back by two different routes to get a bigger picture of what’s there, on I-80 out and U.S. 36 back for the most part. I rated the crop on a 1-10 scale with 1 being just planted or mostly flooded out to a 10 being perfect — I think I only saw one 10.
The latest AccuWeather 2019 crop production analysis predicts a significant decline from last year’s corn and soybean yield, as well as a noticeable variation from the July U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates.
AccuWeather analysts predict the 2019 corn yield will be 13.07 billion bushels, a decline of 9.3% from 2018 and 5.8% lower than the latest USDA figures. It would be the lowest yield since 2012, a year of a significant drought that saw final corn production numbers plummet to 10.76 billion bushels.
The difference between AccuWeather and USDA estimates centers on forecasts for projected corn acres harvested, with AccuWeather analysts concerned that late-planted corn either won’t yield well or could be affected more so this year by on-time frost.
AccuWeather’s projected soybean yield of 3.9 billion bushels reflects an even greater decline from 2018’s final soybean production numbers. It would be a 14.1% dropoff from the final figure of 4.544 billion bushels, and the lowest yield since 2013 (3.357 billion bushels).
By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile
Supply bulls and demand bears, two terms you have heard much about the past two months. Earlier this summer it was most apparent a huge tug of war was taking place in regard to corn prices. Supply bulls felt they had the upper hand in prices due to huge unknown prevented planted corn acreage. It was most obvious corn planting had been delayed with each release of the Monday afternoon weekly crop progress report from late April into the first half of June. Prevented planting for corn acres grew with each rain event. The supply bulls were utterly disappointed with the June 28 USDA Acres Report. Corn acres were several million acres higher than expected, a bearish surprise. December CBOT corn closed that day at $4.315, down 19.5 cents.
Demand bears could see corn planting was at a record slow pace this spring. Yet, they felt they could win the day, knowing demand was falling week after week.
By Matt Reese
Dylan Baer and his father, Dave, plant corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay and sell seed on their Wood County farm. Of all their enterprises, the lackluster wheat and struggling alfalfa hay may still be their best performing acres this year. Many acres of the farm went unplanted this spring due to incessant rains.
“We run a high management program for the wheat. In a normal year even 90 bushels is disappointing for us in our high management program. We spend some money on it to try and get as much as we can off of it. You also have to factor in that the corn following a wheat crop is typically better than corn following beans. You really have to take that into consideration when you are figuring out the expenses on wheat. We also double-crop some beans — maybe 40 acres or so — after the wheat,” Baer said.
Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) causes the most yield loss of any soybean pathogen in North America, with economic impact in excess of $1 billion per year. That’s why soybean breeders funded by the checkoff (United Soybean Board and North Central Soybean Research Program) are improving and adding to current genetic sources of SCN resistance and breeding them into high-yielding backgrounds.
Like herbicide resistant weeds, the SCN organism evolves and adapts to eventually overcome the same source of genetic resistance deployed in a field year after year. Consequently, constant use of a single source of resistance (such as the PI 88788 source) will eventually wear thin, if not improved upon or rotated with other unique sources.
Expanding the sources of SCN resistance hasn’t always been easy. Public soybean breeders have spent years working with SCN resistance breeding lines other than PI 88788, which is the source of resistance used in 95 percent of commercially available SCN-resistant varieties.
By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending July 28, 2019, 32% of the state’s corn was silking compared to 75% for the 5-year average. Given the wide range in corn planting dates this year, most corn will not achieve tasselling and silking until we are well into August. The pollination period, the flowering stage in corn, is the most critical period in the development of a corn plant from the standpoint of grain yield determination. Stress conditions (such as hail damage and drought) have the greatest impact on yield potential during the reproductive stage. The following are key steps in the corn pollination process.
Most corn hybrids tassel and silk about the same time although some variability exists among hybrids and environments. On a typical midsummer day, peak pollen shed occurs in the morning between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law, decriminalizing hemp and paving the way for the development of a new hemp industry in our state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will administer the newly-created hemp program.
Hemp is a cannabis plant that does not produce intoxicating effects, grown for its many industrial uses. Hemp contains a fiber, a grain, and oil that can be extracted for CBD, which is now being used in food and dietary supplements.
The hemp program sets up a licensing structure for farmers who are interested in growing the crop and those interested in processing it. It also allows for universities to grow and cultivate the crop for research purposes. ODA will also be testing CBD and hemp products for safety and accurate labeling to protect Ohio consumers.
“Industrial hemp will give Ohio farmers another crop option to help them diversify their farms and possibly find another stream of revenue to offset years of declining commodity prices,” said Adam Sharp, Executive Vice President, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
As fall approaches, Seed Consultants will put on kickoff meetings and field days. SCI has added 3 new corn hybrids and 15 new soybean varieties to its outstanding product lineup. With changing seed treatment options, trait offerings, and new corn and soybean varieties there is a great deal of information growers need keep up with. These kickoff meetings and field days are designed to keep you up to date on what is going on at Seed Consultants. The schedule is available here.
Be sure to mark your calendar for the Washington Court House Field day at the Seed Consultants seed plant on August 22th. Lunch will be at noon followed by tours of the research plot, discussions of new Enlist E3 Soybean varieties, and the Enlist E3 herbicide system. Seedsman and agronomists will be available for discussion and to answer questions.
By Andy Westhoven, AgriGold Regional Agronomist
The 2019 growing season has certainly been one for the ages (and the record books). It has been both memorable and forgettable. I know many growers who have said this year they had to throw out the rule book. I can empathize with any grower, as I too did some things that made me embarrassed. However, this was, and still is, a year of audibles. We’ve had Plan A, B, C, D, etc. We had to be quick on our feet whenever the slightest window opened for fieldwork. Sure, many times it was questionable at best, but it’s what had to be done. Now if you’re fortunate to have a crop planted and still actively growing, I believe you have to fight to the finish line.
There are many factors now out of our control. Many crop roots are average at best, which is a major challenge.
By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension
Recent heavy rains have caused widespread flooding and ponding, especially in river bottoms and along streams. In some localized areas, this may have resulted in partial and complete immersion of corn in nearby fields, especially in low spots. When water drains off these fields, plants may be covered to varying degrees with a layer of mud. Will corn plants covered by a layer of mud survive and can it perform normally? The layers of silty mud covering plants will limit or prevent leaf photosynthesis. Bacteria deposited in leaf whorls by flooding can result in disease and kill plants.
On the positive side, most corn in Ohio was at a stage of growth less vulnerable to flood damage when it occurred. Most corn is well beyond V6 (the six leaf collar stage) when the growing point is at or above the soil surface and less sensitive to flooding and associated anaerobic soil conditions.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details of the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments announced by the Trump Administration in May. MPF will provide up to $14.5 billion to producers in up to three tranches starting with a first round of payments this August.
Payment rates vary by county from $15 to $150 per acre based on USDA’s calculated damages from tariffs in each individual county affected — most in the $50 to $75 range per acre, according to USDA. That single-county rate will be multiplied by a farm’s total planted acreage for all MFP-eligible crops in aggregate for 2019, not to exceed total 2018 plantings. The county rates for Ohio can be found here.
In addition, dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a 20-cent per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive an $11 per head payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.