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Reminders about dicamba

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

This is the time of year when we received our first call about dicamba problems in soybeans in 2017. We can probably expect any problems to become evident soon, based on the timing of postemergence applications and timeline for development of symptoms.

Off-target issues have already developed in states farther west and south, and we would expect at least some to occur here, unless we’re really lucky. The symptoms of dicamba injury show in new soybean growth within approximately 7 to 21 days after exposure, and most of our soybeans receive postemergence applications from early June on.

It’s been a challenging year to properly steward postemergence applications. We still face some challenges in finding appropriate weather to catch weeds before they become too large, and before soybeans are too advanced in growth stage. There are a number of weather, application and adjacent crop factors to consider when applying dicamba, and applicators should review labels as frequently as needed to ensure legal application.… Continue reading

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Will northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot plague 2018 corn?

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

In the past several growing seasons Gray Leaf Spot (GLS) and Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB) developed in many corn fields, affecting both yield and stalk quality. You might ask; “Will these diseases be a problem next year?” The answer to this question depends on several factors. The fungi that cause the development of these diseases overwinter on crop residue. If GLS and/or NCLB developed in 2017, the disease fungi will be present on residue in 2018.

The development of these diseases also depends on environmental factors. Warm, humid weather favors growth of GLS and NCLB. Periods of heavy due, fog, or light rain will provide the needed conditions for these leaf diseases to develop. For either GLS or NCLB to become a problem in 2015, the fungi need to be present in the field in addition to favorable weather conditions. Fortunately, producers can make some management decisions to hinder the growth of GLS and NCLB and lessen their impact should they develop:


  1. Crop rotation: Research shows crop rotation is one of the most efficient ways to mitigate disease.
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It’s almost July and we are all done with our herbicide applications. Right?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension Field Agronomist

Got weeds? Did you use a burndown, and apply a pre-emergent herbicide at the same time? Then you had some luck on your side and you had patience. What a spring.

As I drive around today however, I find corn and soybean fields that have weeds taller than the crop. That means we missed something. And yes I know we now have dicamba soybeans. But we still need a good burndown and those pre-emergent herbicides. Part of our goal is to slow down weed emergence so they are shorter when we do spray our post application. Oh, and yes, to get high yields.



You know the drill so I won’t go into that again. But it continues to be our number one weed in soybeans, and yet it is manageable — even in conventional soybeans.


Giant ragweed

The other big problem in soybeans and occasionally in corn is giant ragweed.… Continue reading

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Proposed tariffs could have a huge impact on Ohio’s corn and soybean producers

Another round of talks in the ongoing trade war with China has led to another set of concerns for agriculture due to the potentially huge ramifications for the nation’s exports and commodity process.

Ohio’s crop producers are holding out hope that, in the end, things will work out for the good of U.S. trade, but the stakes are very high for Ohio’s top agricultural crops. The political rhetoric and potential for massive demand impacts for corn, soybeans and wheat change by the hour on this ongoing one-upping of tariff roulette. At press time, U.S. Customs and Border Protection was set to begin collecting additional duties on designated Chinese goods July 6.

“We should address our trade challenges by increasing our competitiveness, not creating new barriers,” said Allen Armstrong, Ohio Soybean Association president and Clark County soybean farmer. “Exports have been one of the few bright spots for farmers in recent years, and we can’t afford another hit to the bottom line.”

The Ohio Soybean Association denounced the White House’s decision to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion in Chinese products, which China has said it will answer with a retaliatory 25% tariff on imported U.S.… Continue reading

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Brown spot and frogeye: Know the difference

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist.

As farmers and consultants have been out checking their soybean stands, they are finding spots on the leaves. The most common spotting on the unifoliates and first leaves is caused by Septoria glycines. This is a fungus that overwinters on the previous soybean crop residue and in modern cultivars it is limited to the lower canopy.

We’ve done extensive studies on this disease over the past decade and I have yet to attribute an economic value in managing this. We did this one experiment where put chlorothalonil on every week (not a legal application but for research purposes only) and could only measure a three- to four-bushel increase when the soybean plants were totally clean of this disease. Secondly, applications of herbicide plus fungicide did not manage this disease throughout the season nor do the R3 applications. At todays’ fungicide application costs and soybean prices, this is makes it hard break even.… Continue reading

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Market volatility likely to continue

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The “word for the day” certainly became multi-faceted last month. Words such as, trade, tariffs, retaliatory, deadlines, rhetoric, and US/China all combined for lower prices for soybeans, corn, and wheat, and developed into just one word: volatility. US/China trade relations for a brief moment in May seemed to be resolved erasing many weeks of uncertainty during March and April. However, that optimism quickly faded as grain prices collapsed during the first two weeks of June. Tougher talk from both the U.S. and China expanded into further trade retaliations on more and more goods and products in both countries. At one point, the U.S. wanted China to accept an additional $50 billion of U.S. goods. That number grew to $80 billion as discussions continued. The real sticking point continues to be intellectual property rights. The U.S. feels that China has stolen its technology. China does not even want to talk about intellectual property rights. Continue reading

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Agriculture associations appeal to Congress: We need #TradeNotTariffs

After weeks of engaging with the Trump Administration to gain insight into the future of trade tariffs, agriculture producers and related industries dependent on exports to China are turning to Congress for help.

The White House has declared that by June 15 it would announce its final list of $50 billion in Chinese products that would be subject to 25% tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. In response, China’s Commerce Department announced several months ago that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on 106 U.S. goods amounting to roughly $50 billion in imports.

In the announcement, China specifically stated that it will impose a 25% tariff on imports of U.S. soybeans, a tax that could be devastating to growers of the number one U.S. agricultural export, with sales to China last year totaling $14 billion.

Davie Stephens, a Kentucky soybean grower and Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA), is among growers distraught over the prospect of tariffs on trade.… Continue reading

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Federal judge rules against California’s attorney general in Prop 65 Case

In another win for U.S. agriculture and the national agriculture coalition fighting California’s false and misleading Prop 65 labeling requirement for glyphosate, U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb, for the Eastern District of California, upheld the preliminary injunction prohibiting California from enforcing the requirement until a final ruling on the matter is issued by the court.

California Attorney General Xavier Beccera had filed a motion to lift a preliminary injunction issued by the court in February prohibiting the state from enforcing its labeling requirement. That motion was denied by Judge Shubb, who upheld the preliminary injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing its Prop 65 labeling requirement for glyphosate until all of the facts are considered by the court.

“California is attempting to implement a policy that would cause damage to American farmers,” said Chandler Goule, Chief Executive Officer for the National Association of Wheat Growers. “The facts and science are on our side which show that glyphosate is safe for use. … Continue reading

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Double-crop soybeans off to a strong start in southern Ohio

By Matt Reese

It is the time of year where combines are rolling in wheat fields and being closely followed by planters and drills for double-crop soybeans. The heat really pushed the wheat crop in mid-June and provided an earlier than expected start to wheat harvest and a good head start on getting double-crop soybeans in the ground in southern Ohio.

The plentiful rains (that led to some later than desired planting and sidedressing and a even a few prevented planting acres) set the stage for potential wheat diseases, but also for a good start for double-crop soybeans, said Keith Summers, an insurance agent with Leist Mercantile in Pickaway County.

“There is some wheat coming off now. It turned quick. There is a little down from some of the winds, but it looks pretty good and I think the wheat quality is in pretty good shape,” Summers said. “I think most of the guys who are still planting wheat are double-cropping.… Continue reading

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Watch for SCN

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

Typically, this is the time of year when soybeans may begin to show symptoms of Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) damage. SCN is a parasitic roundworm that feeds on the soybean root system. The cyst stage of the nematode’s life cycle is when the female nematode is filled with eggs. Cysts are visible throughout the summer on soybean roots and will appear as small, white, and lemon-shaped. After the female matures, these cysts are hard to see. When trying to identify SCN presence on soybean roots, it is important not to confuse cysts with Rhizobium nodules (where N fixation takes place). How can you determine if SCN is causing damage and yield loss to your soybeans? Injury symptoms include yellowing and stunting of plants. These symptoms may appear in patches of a field. These patches may grow from year to year; especially in the direction a field is tilled.… Continue reading

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Hay production fills barns and roles on the farm

By Matt Reese

In the heavy lakebed soils just off the shores of Lake Erie, hay is an important part of the Gahler farm, though not necessarily an easy fit. Hay compliments the cattle and row crops for the farm and capitalizes on the unique soils.

“My Grandpa and his brother had a dairy and sold out in the late 60s. Dad and his three brothers began taking over after that and in addition to the grain crops they grew several specialty crops over the years. My uncle Ed started the hay operation, making small bales for primarily horse markets in the late 70s,” said Al Gahler, who is now involved in the hay operation with his uncle. “It is a completely alfalfa-based program. In relation to other crops we have a higher percentage of hay in this area. With our lakebed clay soils the alfalfa does really well in the crop rotation.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Farmers Denounce Tariffs

The Ohio Soybean Association denounced the White House’s decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese products, which China has said it will answer with a retaliatory 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. soybeans. China purchases 61 percent of total U.S. soybean exports and more than 30 percent of overall U.S. soybean production. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting additional duties on designated Chinese goods July 6.

“We should address our trade challenges by increasing our competitiveness, not creating new barriers,” said Allen Armstrong, OSA president and Clark County soybean farmer. “Exports have been one of the few bright spots for farmers in recent years, and we can’t afford another hit to the bottom line.”

A study by The Ohio State University found the proposed tariffs could decrease a farm’s net worth by an estimated 6 percent and annual net income by 59 percent over a six-year period.… Continue reading

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Mexico unveils tariffs on U.S. ag

In response to the Trump Administration’s trade actions, Mexico has decided to impose tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. agricultural products. As farmers across the U.S. prepare what is ahead, many fear these tariffs will be detrimental to the agricultural industry. Larry Kudlow, White House Chief Economic Adviser, has shared that the President Trump is now preferring to work out separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico.

In a related noted, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) have introduced legislation to require congressional approval of tariffs designated under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.… Continue reading

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Watch fields for early season issues

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

As we begin another growing season in Ohio, growers have already begun

to deal with the challenges of 2018. Although it is early in the growing season, Ohio’s farmers have already dealt with several issues in their corn fields.

Patterns of wet weather and large rainfall events have caused planting delays, slow emergence, and saturated soils in many areas. Due to large rain events this spring, many fields were flooded. While corn can survive flooding/ponding for a period of time, several factors determine the length of time plants can survive. Young corn plants can usually survive two to four days in flooded conditions. Death of corn plants is more likely prior to the V6 stage of development because the growing point is still below the soil surface. Although ponding/flooding has the potential to impact stands, crops can survive under the right conditions.… Continue reading

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Senate Farm Bill passes committee — Lake Erie, dairy programs included

By Joel Penhorwood

he Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry passed their version of the 2018 Farm Bill on Wednesday, 20-1.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Committee, said it’s an important bipartisan effort during a crucial time for Ohio agriculture and natural resources.

“This bipartisan bill is good for farmers, good for families, good for taxpayers, good for jobs, and good for Lake Erie,” Brown said. “This bill is a big win for Ohio, and it’s the product of a long, bipartisan process, working with farmers and stakeholders over the past year.”

Listen to Sen. Brown’s comments following the vote.

Sen. Brown spoke with reporters in a conference call immediately after the vote. He was joined by Dr. Cathann Kress, Dean of the Ohio State College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. She commented on the positive movement forward for Ohio agriculture.

Known formally as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the legislation can be read in its entirety here.Continue reading

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Soybean price will rely on demand

By Ben Brown, Program Manager for the Ohio State University Farm Management Program

For the last few years, soybeans have provided a per acre return to producers greater than corn. Thus, acreage shifts to soybeans have ensued across the Midwest. The ratio of new crop soybean to corn prices from November 2017 to April 2018 traded at 2.5:1. Historically a ratio of 2.5:1 or greater signaled that acres would continue to move from corn to soybeans and that the expectation was for more soybean acres in 2018. However, in March producer signaled that they intended to plant 1 million fewer acres than 2017. With a trend yield of 48.5 bushels per acre, the expected soybean crop would be the third largest crop on record behind the record set in 2017 and the third straight year over 4 billion bushels. Weather will be the largest factor over the summer months to the final production value, but expectations are for another large crop.… Continue reading

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Highly systemic fungicide key for protecting new growth

Affiance Fungicide, offered by Gowan, is “highly systemic”. As Account Manager Jon Sherwin explains, a fungicide with systemic movement has the ability of a pesticide to translocate or move within a plant into new growth. This provides better protection for new growth that emerges after application than non-systemic products that only protect plant tissue that comes in contact with the spray mixture.… Continue reading

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Friendly report for corn and wheat, neutral for soybeans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

hortly before the report corn was up four cents, soybeans and wheat were both up two cents. After the report, corn was up 8 cents, soybeans were up 6 cents, with wheat up 15 cents.

This USDA report was expected to see US wheat production increase while world wheat production was expected to decline. Brazil’s corn production was also expected to decline. The report today had US wheat production at 1.827, billion bushels, increased by six million bushels. This was a small surprise but not price breaking. World wheat production was 242.37 million tons, up almost two million tons. Corn production in Brazil was 85 million tons, down 2 million tons. Russia wheat production was cut 3.5 million tons, a bullish push for wheat.

Some of the numbers today include, US old corn ending stocks 2.102 billion bushels, US old soybeans ending stocks 415 million bushels, US wheat ending stocks 1.080 billion bushels.… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress for June 11, 2018

Planting progress moved closer to five year averages for most crops, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending June 10. Fields and pastures had begun to dry out early in the week followed by rain showers later in the week. Producers who finished planting or who finished applying fertilizers and herbicides to fields during the first part of the week welcomed the rain. Corn planting wrapped up for most producers and soybean planting moved closer to completion as well. Oats were nearly all emerged and the crop reported to be in good to excellent condition increased over the previous week. Winter wheat condition remained similar to the previous week while intermittent wet weather proves challenging for those cutting Hay.

Click here for the full report.Continue reading

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Ohio corn acreage continues to decline

By Ben Brown, Program Manager for the Ohio State University Farm Management Program

Three supply shocks have increased corn prices and brightened the outlook for corn producers. A drought in South America, reducing both the Argentina and Brazilian corn crop, gave corn prices their first positive outlook. Then in March, U.S. producers indicated that they were going to plant 2 million fewer acres in 2018 than in 2017. Even with the reduction in acres, a trend corn yield would make the 2018 crop the fourth largest crop recorded. Frequent rains throughout the central and eastern regions of the Corn Belt have delayed spring plantings and increased prices.

With three supply side adjustment to annual production, the corn market has been bullish with December 2018 futures contracts trading well above $4. Dealing with large supplies will continue to be a focus for grain merchandisers. Total supply in 2018 is expected to be 4% lower in 2018 than 2017.… Continue reading

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