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Ohio’s record rainfall leaving some farmers on the sidelines

During the wettest yearlong period in Ohio since 1895, the state is lagging the furthest behind in planting corn and soybeans compared to all states that plant the crops, according to experts from The Ohio State University and federal reports.

From June 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019, average rainfall across Ohio totaled 52 inches, which is about 10 inches above the mean for that period in the last decade, said Aaron Wilson, climate specialist for Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“We’ve had very wet soils for a very long time,” Wilson said.

As a result, only 50% of Ohio’s corn crop and 32% of its soybean crop was planted by June 9, a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows. By now, Ohio typically is 96% done with planting corn and 89% done with soybeans.

A brief slowdown in rainfall during the week of June 3 sent more Ohio corn and soybean growers out into their fields to plant, but that likely will prove to be only a temporary reprieve.

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Flooding and ponding in corn

By Alexander Lindsey and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

Persistent rains during May and early June have resulted in ponding and saturated soils in many Ohio corn fields and led to questions concerning what impact these conditions will have on corn performance.

The extent to which ponding injures corn is determined by several factors including (1) plant stage of development when ponding occurs, (2) duration of ponding and (3) air/soil temperatures. Corn is affected most by flooding at the early stages of growth (see https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2018-15/young-corn-wet-feet-what-can-we-expect). Under certain conditions, saturated soils can result in yield losses. Saturated soil conditions can result in losses of nitrogen through denitrification and leaching.

Additionally, root uptake of nutrients may be seriously reduced even if plants are not killed outright by the oxygen deficiency and the carbon dioxide toxicity that result from saturated soil conditions. Root growth and plant respiration slow down while root permeability to water and nutrient uptake decreases.

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Farm Bureau priorities addressed in Ohio Senate budget

Farmers, consumers and the environment will benefit from Farm Bureau supported provisions in the just announced Senate budget bill.

Among the items Farm Bureau members and staff advocated for are retention of the business income tax deduction; funding for multiple water quality initiatives; and necessary funding for Ohio State University and Central State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts and OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Farm Bureau also sought needed funding for multiple programs within the Ohio Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

Farm Bureau members called, texted and emailed Senators to express their views on the budget. The organization also offered formal testimony several times during the hearing process.

“Our members spoke and our senators listened,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp. “We’re pleased that our priorities were addressed in the Senate’s budget.”

The two-year budget, which must now be reconciled with the House version and approved by Gov.

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Wood Soil & Water Conservation District prevent plant cover crop program

The Wood Soil and Water Conservation District is announcing a prevent plant cover crop program for cost share on cover crops. Producers who were unable to plant their corn or soybeans should contact the district about adding cover crops to their fields. Kris Swartz, Wood SWCD board supervisor, thinks cover crops are the clear winner for the situation. Cover crops are a good agronomic practice; they hold the soil and nutrients that have already been applied. Cover crops support the soil health initiative as well.

Follow Wood Soil & Water Conservation District on Facebook, go to www.woodswcd.com, visit the district office at 1616 E. Wooster St. Suite 32 Bowling Green, OH, or call 419-354-5517#4 for assistance in selecting cover crops and enrolling in the program.

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June 11 brings bullish news for corn

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

“Houston we have a problem here.” This is the original transmission from Apollo 13 on their mission to the moon in 1970. The quote was later shortened when the movie was released in 1995.

The quote is highlighted today concerning U.S. corn planted acres for 2019. Since early May, numerous weekly crop progress reports indicated corn planting progress severely behind normal. Last night’s report had the U.S. corn planting progress at 83%, which is a record low for this date. Earlier in March, USDA estimated the U.S. would plant 92.8 million corn acres for 2019. Simple math indicates 15.8 million corn acres are not yet planted. The eastern Corn Belt of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan still has 7.46 million acres of corn yet to be planted. The harsh reality is, it won’t all get planted. Northwest and western Ohio have been hit hard with the rains of May and June.

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Insecticidal seed treatments in late-planted crops

By Kelley Tilmon and Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension

Many producers are planting late this year due to continued wet weather and may be wondering how insecticidal seed treatments should factor into their planting decisions. While individual situations vary, here are some rules of thumb to consider.

The most commonly available class of insecticidal seed treatments are neonicotinoids such as thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid. The conventional wisdom is that late-planted crops stand to benefit less from these products than early-planted crops. Warmer soil and air temperatures get the plant get off to a faster start and faster growth, allowing it to outpace insect pests. Another important factor to keep in mind about insecticidal seed treatments is their window of activity. The insecticide applied to the seed coat is taken up by the germinating plant and translocated through the plant in the growing tissue. The amount of product that goes on to the seed is finite – when it runs out, it runs out.

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Crop progress made, still behind average

Rain fell at a slower clip last week compared to historical records for most areas across the State, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 3.3 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending June 9. Temperatures were close to historic normals for the State which helped dry out saturated fields. Corn and soybean planting progress increased quickly as eager operators got into the fields but progress still lagged well behind the 5-year averages. Wheat headed progress moved to 81 percent and there were reports of increased wheat scab pressure. Fungicide treatments were applied aerially due to saturated fields. Pastures were in mostly fair to good condition although hay quality was reportedly lower in some areas because of extreme moisture. Oats headed progress moved to 9 percent, lagging behind the 5- year average. Nationally, corn is 83% planted and soybeans are 60% planted.

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Select appropriate hybrid maturity for June planting

By Alexander Lindsey, Rich Minyo, Allen Geyer, Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

Farmers who still anticipate planting corn for grain production should review their hybrid maturities to minimize the risk of corn not maturing safely prior to a killing fall freeze. We would encourage the use of the Corn GDD Tool to select “safe” hybrid maturities for late planting (http://www.kingcorn.org/news/timeless/HybridMaturityDelayedPlant.html).

Although they are not planted as widely as our commonly grown maturities, hybrids with relative maturities of 100-104 day maturity are likely to achieve physiological maturity if planted by mid-June throughout most of the state. There is limited information on the agronomic performance of hybrids with maturities less than 100 days. Since these “ultra-early” hybrids were not developed to be planted in Ohio, they are regarded as less adapted to growing Ohio conditions and more susceptible to disease and stalk quality problems. Because of their questionable yield potential, ultra-earlies are typically not recommended in late planting situations.

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Trump signs $19B Disaster Aid Bill

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Thursday commended President Trump’s signing of the disaster relief bill that will provide $19 billion in assistance to states and territories hit by flooding, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, including a delayed planting season.

“Congress provided much needed resources to assist farmers, ranchers and producers dealing with extensive damage to their operations caused by natural disasters,” said Secretary Perdue. “President Trump is committed to helping America’s farmers get back on their feet following recent natural disasters.”

Several questions remain on what the legislation means for farmers in Ohio, specifically the portions related to prevented plant acreage. USDA lawyers told Agri-Pulse on Wednesday that acreage included in prevented plant would not be eligible for the second round of the Market Facilitation Program, set to start coming out in July/August.

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Watch for important yield-determining factors as planted corn moves forward

By Roy A. Ulrich, DEKALB/Asgrow technical agronomist

The long fight with Mother Nature that started in the fall with harvest rolled right into spring and never really relented. As a result, the growing season of 2019 started out by challenging the plans that growers and agronomists had developed over the winter months to produce the highest yields possible while striving for the best return per acre. While most of those plans did not include a mid- to late-May and into June planting dates for corn and soybeans, that is when some growers finally found a dry period to put crops in the ground. Now is the time to reexamine those plans to see which of the yield determining factors could still have a positive influence on the corn crop in 2019.

After all, according to Dr. Bob Nielson from Purdue University only “12 to 16% of the overall yield variability is actually impacted by the delayed planting date.” There is still a very high percentage of the overall yield that we can influence.

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Decision Support Tool to select appropriate hybrid maturities for June

By Allen Geyer and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

The Corn Growing Degree Day decision support tool allows users to choose any Corn Belt county, enter the planting date and hybrid maturity, and generate a graph that shows projected GDD accumulations through the season, including the date on which you can expect that hybrid, planted on that date in that county, to mature (achieve black layer). One important adjustment missing from this tool is the fact that planting corn late usually lowers the GDD needed to get a hybrid from planting to maturity.

In an article on his website, Dr. Bob Nielsen at Purdue includes a calculator that adjusts the GDD requirement downward based on how late planting actually is. This is not a trivial adjustment: planting a hybrid on June 10 (vs. May 10) lowers the GDD requirement by more than 200 GDD. So a hybrid that needs 2,700 GDD to mature if planted on May 1 will require an estimated 2,428 GDD if planted on June 10 (Using Dr.

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The time for prevented planting decisions has arrived

By Matt Reese

It is June 5 — the much-discussed prevented planting date for corn in Ohio. Many fields are still way too wet to plant and it is decision time (and it is not an easy one to make).

What should be done?

“First you need to talk to your agent to see what your prevent plant eligibility is. Looking back at the last four crop years, the highest number of corn acres you planted will be the maximum acres that you can take prevented plant on corn. You need to find out first how many eligible acres you have,” said Keith Summers, with Leist Mercantile in Pickaway County. “Then, if you decide to take prevented planting, you need to notify your agent and file notice of loss. You can plant for 20 days into that late plant period past June 5, but if you make that determination, you need to get that claim filed.

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Prevented planting, 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments, disaster assistance, and price dynamics

By Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Ryan Batts and Jonathan Coppess with the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, with the Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics

We stand at a point of extreme price and policy uncertainty. In the Midwest, corn planting is historically late and many acres are or soon will be eligible for prevented planting payments on corn crop insurance policies. On many farms, corn prices have not increased enough to cause net returns from planting corn to exceed net returns from prevented planting. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and has currently indicated that payments will be tied to 2019 planted acres. The 2019 MFP could provide incentives to plant crops and not take prevented planting payments. Moreover, this program could bring a little used option into play this year: take 35% of the corn prevented planting payment and plant soybeans after the late planting period for corn.

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Planting Green: Is there an advantage in a wet spring?

By Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension agricultural engineer (retired)

Is there an advantage in a wet spring with planting green? Most of the Ohio no-tillers who replied to the question said, “Yes.”

Here are a few specific reasons and additional comments from 10 of our No-Till Council members as they assessed 2019 spring planting heading into June.

David Brandt in Fairfield County was closing in on finishing spring planting with 40 acres of low ground to go. Of course last fall provided poor conditions for cover crop establishment. The late harvest was followed by a rainy November, followed by wet winter with a Polar Vortex. Trying to plant green where there was very little green to plant into did not work this spring, especially in much of the very soggy northwestern portion of Ohio. Further south, there have been relatively more opportunities to plant, though Nathan Brown in Highland County has faced plenty of issues this spring.

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Making it more viable to turn agricultural waste into renewable fuel

Although the stalks and leaves of a corn plant can be turned into ethanol, the high cost of collecting, storing, and transporting the material has limited its use in producing the fuel.

Ajay Shah, an agricultural engineer with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is testing a method that could cut the cost of collecting and delivering corn plant material for making ethanol by up to 20%.

Shah just received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to test the effectiveness of a new method that harvests and transports corn plants intact, the ears together with the stalks. Shah’s strategy has the potential to spur the lagging industry of so-called cellulosic ethanol — ethanol produced from the inedible parts of plants, most commonly corn plants in the United States.

“We have an opportunity to significantly cut the cost of taking agricultural waste and turning it into a sustainable fuel,” said Shah, an assistant professor in CFAES’ Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE).

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Ohio’s farmers looking for answers on 2019 Market Facilitation Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced another round of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for 2019 to assist farmers harmed by retaliatory tariffs imposed by China. The program will be administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to farmers who grow commodities affected by the trade war, including soybeans.

While some information about the program has been announced, many details remain unknown.

The Ohio Soybean Association recommends Ohio farmers utilize USDA’s available resources to stay up-to-date as the program develops and more details are announced. Additional information, documents, and a complete list of included commodities can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp.

 

What we know

  • Payments will be based on a single county rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to specific crops in aggregate in 2019.

 

  • County payment rates will be based on USDA’s assessment of the impact of tariffs on individual counties.
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EPA approves E15 for year-round use

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday officially announced the final rule allowing retailers to sell gasoline containing 15% ethanol year-round.

The move comes just a day before the official start of the summer driving season, June 1, when due to restrictions on Reid vapor pressues, E15 could not be sold.

The Renewable Fuels Association said the action fulfills President Trump’s promise to eliminate the summertime prohibition on E15, a fuel that offers lower cost, reduced emissions, and higher octane.

“The ethanol industry thanks President Trump for personally championing this critical regulatory reform that will enhance competition, bolster the rural economy, and provide greater consumer access to cleaner, more affordable fuel options,” said Geoff Cooper, RFA President and CEO. “We have always agreed with the President’s assertion that the outdated summertime prohibition on E15 was ‘unnecessary’ and ‘ridiculous.’”

There are continued concerns from ethanol proponents, however, with regard to the small refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard requirements. 

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As rains continue, prevented planting decisions loom large

By Eric Richer, Chris Bruynis, and Sam Custer, Ohio State University Extension

Certainly, the Prevented Planting (PP) crop insurance tool has become a hot topic this year. Many of you have had the chance to attend PP meetings or speak with your crop insurance agent. If not, we will try to briefly summarize your options and strongly suggest you talk to your agent or utilize one of the calculators to determine which option best suits your farm operation.

Your first option is to plant the corn crop by June 5, the final plant date for corn (or June 20 for soybeans). Up until the final plant date, you are eligible for your full guarantee at the level you have selected. For example, 80% coverage x 170 bushels per acre APH x $4.00 = $544 per acre. If you elect to plant corn after June 5, you will incur a 1% reduction in your guarantee up through June 25, at which time your corn will crop will become uninsurable.

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Crop insurance options for farmers affected by flooding or excess moisture

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds producers who have federal crop insurance coverage and are unable to plant a crop because of flooding or excess moisture to contact their crop insurance agent to discuss available prevented planting options. Crop insurance agents can discuss available options on when and how to file a claim related to prevented planting.

Brian Frieden, director of RMA’s Springfield Regional Office, urges producers who are unable to plant their crop by the final planting date or who need to replant acreage to contact their crop insurance agent. Producers who are prevented from planting because of an insurable cause of loss must provide notice within 72 hours after the Final Planting Date if they do not intend or are unable to plant the insured crop within any applicable Late Planting Period.

Prevented Planting is a failure to plant an insured crop by the final planting date designated in the insurance policy’s actuarial documents because of an insured cause of loss that is general to the surrounding area and that prevents other producers from planting acreage with similar characteristics. 

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Assessing corn germination and emergence

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

Uniform corn emergence is one of the most important aspects of stand establishment and producing high yielding corn. Understanding germination, emergence, and how environmental factors influence these processes is the first step toward ensure uniform emergence.

Germination

Germination begins in a corn seed when it has imbibed 30% of its weight in water. While corn can germinate when soil temperatures are 50 degrees F or higher, research has determined that the optimal temperature is 86 degrees F. Visual signs that corn germination is taking place are the appearance of the radicle root, coleoptile, and seminal roots. When temperatures are cooler, the germination process is slower and seedlings are more susceptible to disease, insects, and other damaging factors.

Emergence

Uniform emergence is one of the most important yield-influencing factors that growers should work to achieve. Delayed emergence can ultimately result in diminished yield.

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