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Farmers impacted by biotech access

From decreasing input costs to increasing on-farm sustainability, biotechnology is an important part of many farming operations across the country. Biotechnology provides another tool in the toolbox to help farmers meet the needs of the future sustainably.

There is no question biotechnology gives farmers additional profit opportunities, but any delays in the biotech approval process will also have an economic impact, according to the United Soybean Board (USB).

“Biotechnology allows U.S. farmers to evolve to meet changing end-user needs sustainably and these new technologies require a rigorous approval process to insure they are safe,” said Keith Kemp, USB farmer-leader from West Manchester, Ohio. “As both a farmer and consumer, I am dedicated to making our food more sustainable and with the regulatory process taking eight to 10 years to get an approval of new technology, it is a very lengthy and costly process for the American farmer.”

One of the most frustrating approval processes as of late has been for high-oleic soybean varieties.

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Yield monitor calibrations

Across Ohio, combines are busy collecting more than just grain. Yield monitors are also busy collecting data with the hope that this information will lead to more profit in the future.

The yield monitor does not directly measure the number of bushels per acre of grain produced; instead, these estimates are calculated based on a combination of data collected by sensors in the combine and information provided by the grower. Because of this, the accuracy of the yield estimate is dependent on the accuracy of all the information that is being used to calculate it and care needs to be taken to ensure all of the data being collected is correct.

The grain flow estimate is an important piece of the yield estimate calculation. Many combines today are equipped with an impact sensor that is used to collect this information. We’ve all heard that proper calibration of the impact sensor is essential to obtain accurate yield estimates, but why?

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Growing apples is a family effort at Springhill Fruit Farm

Like the core of an apple is at the center of the fruit, family is the core of Springhill Fruit Farm owned by Jeff and Laura Burrer of Shiloh. Named for the fresh water river that feeds the 24-acre Richland County orchard, Springhill Fruit Farm was originally acquired by the Burrer family in 1968.

“My dad and mom, Kenneth and Mary Jane Burrer, purchased the orchard from a man named Ray Weaver,” Jeff said. “Ray stayed here for a year and helped my dad learn the ins and outs of an orchard. Prior to that, my dad was a small grain farmer.”

Kenneth and Mary Jane raised their five children on the orchard. Out of all the children, it was Jeff that showed the most interest in the orchard. He began running the orchard in 1998 and in 2004, Jeff and his wife Laura purchased Springhill Fruit Farm. Since then, it has really been a family effort to grow and maintain the operation.

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Reduce the risk of combine fires this fall

I have already seen several photos and even some video clips of harvest 2017 combine fires come across my twitter feed. On our recent CORN newsletter conference call, several Extension Educators mentioned seeing or hearing about combine fires this fall. Crop residue accumulation near a direct heat source such as the engine or exhaust system, or on and around bearings, belts and chains where heat can be generated, accounts for the majority of combine fires. I recently read an article from a Michigan State University Extension web page as well as an article from Dick Nicolai, a South Dakota Extension specialist that both provided advice regarding how to prevent and how to be prepared for combine fires. Some of their safety recommendations include:

 

  • Keep the combine as clean as possible. During harvest, frequently blow dry chaff, leaves and other crop materials off the machine. Remove any materials that have wrapped around bearings, belts and other moving parts.
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Stink bug damage in soybeans

Stink bug damage is becoming a greater concern in Eastern Corn Belt soybean fields, especially with the presence of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), a species that has moved into our sales footprint in recent years. While other stink bugs cause damage, the BMSB is of special concern because it is an invasive species from Asia that was introduced into the United States within the last 15 years. First discovered in Allentown, Penn. in 2001, the BMSB has continued to move west.

Over the last few years, university experts and company agronomists have heard more reports of stink bug damage to soybeans. Growers scouting their soybean fields around harvest time may have seen some pods that were shriveled and/or soybean seed that was very small or appeared to be missing. This damage may have been a result of stink bug feeding. Stink bugs prefer to feed on reproductive tissues, they have piercing mouthparts that allow them to feed on soybean seed in the pods of plants.

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Ohio Corn Marketing Program seeks election to board for five districts

Pursuant to Section 924.07 of the Ohio Revised Code, David T. Daniels, Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture will conduct an election of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program Board on December 15, 2017.

The Ohio Corn Marketing Program is designed to increase the market for corn and enhancing opportunities for Ohio corn producers. The program provides funds for corn research, education, and market development and promotion.

The election to the Board will include these five districts:

District 2 — Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood

District 6 — Ashland, Knox, Marion, Morrow, Richland

District 8 — Auglaize, Mercer, Miami, Shelby

District 11 — Darke, Preble, Montgomery

District 14 — Fayette, Highland, Pike, Ross.

The Nomination Procedure is as follows:

  • Nominating petitions may be obtained from

David T. Daniels, Director

Ohio Department of Agriculture

Legal Section

8995 East Main Street

Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-3399

Telephone 1-800-282-1955 or 614-728-6390

  • Petitions require at least twenty-five (25) valid signatures from Ohio corn producers who reside within the district in which the candidate seeks election.
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Weed answers for 2018 start this fall

So this year I am getting even more calls and comments on run-away marestail. “Last year I killed it,” is often the remark I hear, too. And following is my response regarding horseweed (Conyza canadensis), or marestail as it is known in Ohio

This may be a new weed to you but the western side of the Ohio and particularly the southwest have been fighting it since about 2002. It takes a comprehensive effort, but it can be managed.

Depending on severity and tillage in your system:

For no-till soybeans — RoundupReady technology

1. Spray a combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate in the fall after corn harvest (the biggest problem with horseweed is from late summer and fall germinating seed), or you can spray a combination of 2,4-D and dicamba in the fall.

2. Spray a second burndown (this may be the glyphosate and 2,4-D as above or glyphosate plus Sharpen) in April and add your residual soybean herbicide — e.g.

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Fall soil sampling?

The goal of a soil sample is to make a fertilizer recommendation for crop production.

  • To provide that recommendation, calibration studies are done to measure crop response.
  • For Ohio, the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provide the calibration study history for recommendation development.
  • While there are other “recommendations” used in Ohio, few have done the comprehensive work to truly provide this information.
  • For more information on the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations or on developing a soil sampling strategy several references are provided at http://agcrops.osu.edu/specialists/fertility/fertility-fact-sheets-and-bulletins.

Sample areas in the field that have similar crop yields, crop rotation histories, fertilizer application methods and sources of applied nutrient. Fields or field areas with a history of livestock production (a former pasture, had manure applications or produced hay) or other unique characteristics may require a different sampling strategy. Field areas represented by any single sample should be less than 25 acres. Use of a yield monitor or grid sampling can lead to development of crop management zones, easing the burden of future sampling.

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Bill boosts funding for MAP, FMD programs

The bipartisan CREAATE Act — a bill to increase investment in two federal programs with a proven track record of building global demand for U.S. agricultural products — was recently introduced by Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), and Susan Collins (R-Maine). The passage of the bill would increase investment in the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development program (FMD). A companion bill was introduced in the House earlier this year.

MAP and FMD are public-private partnerships that promote U.S. agriculture. Together, they are responsible for 15% of U.S. agricultural export revenue-$309 billion since 1977.

“MAP and FMD are critical programs for building and expanding global markets for American agricultural exports. We must increase investment in these programs,” said Wesley Spurlock, a Texas farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association. “These programs deliver a strong return on investment. Every $1 invested in MAP and FMD generates $28 in exports-that means more American jobs, and more money coming into our communities.

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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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