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Be prepared for soybean diseases

Soybean frogeye leaf spot, which has traditionally been more of a problem in the southern states, is progressing further north every year and is now being found in several Ohio fields. White mold will try to hamper soybean yields this year as well. Jon Sherwin, an Account Manager with Gowan, talks about the advantages of Domark fungicide and how it is more cost effective to apply this year.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers announces support for Thune/Brown ARC-II Bill

Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) announced their support of the efforts by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to improve the lives of America’s farmers.

The Senators have proposed a series of changes to commodity programs aimed at making the Agriculture Risk Coverage program better for American farmers.

“The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association applauds the bi-partisan effort from Senators John Thune and Sherrod Brown to find ways to improve upon the farm safety net for farm families across the country,” said Jed Bower, President of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and a farmer from Washington Court House. “The Agriculture Risk Coverage Improvement and Innovation (ARC-II) Act is a step in the right direction to make the farm safety net more responsive to both the needs of farmers and real market conditions. We look forward to a productive discussion on the future of the next Farm Bill in the Senate, and the eventual renewal of a Farm Bill for our country before its expiration on Sept.… Continue reading

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Transitions of no-till


By Randall Reeder, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

When is no-till not really no-till? If a field has not been tilled the previous two seasons, is the third year truly no-till?

Jerry Grigar, State Agronomist for NRCS in Michigan, has pondered those questions, especially related to no-till research. If a new faculty member plans to do a 3-year no-till research project, can she start with ground that’s been tilled for years? Would the results in the third year be different if it was on long-term continuous no-till ground?

No-till is not really no-till until the soil achieves a physical, biological and chemical balance after several years of continuous no-till. Cover crops, manure, and crop rotations can reduce the time to as little as 3 years, but it often requires 6 to 9 years.

Grigar, who is also a successful no-till farmer, believes any no-till research begun on tilled ground should be called transitional no-till.… Continue reading

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Current cattle situation and outlook for Ohio

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

The U.S. cattle herd on Jan. 1, 2018 was larger than the count a year earlier, making 2017 the fifth consecutive year of herd expansion. Expansions in beef typically last four to six years. The U.S. appears poised for the possibility of at least one more expansion year in 2018 that would push beef production increases into the early part of the next decade. With constant demand for beef products, increases in beef production put downward pressure on the price received by producers. A cow that would have brought $2,000 in January 2015 brought about $1,200 in April 2018. As beef becomes cheaper, it starts to compete with other goods like pork for market share.

The inventory for all cattle including calves in the U.S. on January 1, 2018 was at 94.4 million head, up 0.7% from the previous year.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council announces Board of Trustees election

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) Board of Trustees has five district seats up for election this year. All eligible candidates interested in running for the OSC Board must obtain at least 15 valid signatures on the petition available at www.soyohio.org.

OSC is the Qualified State Soybean Board for Ohio and manages state soybean checkoff dollars. The OSC Board is made up of farmer volunteers who direct the investments of checkoff dollars to improve the profitability of Ohio soybean farmers.

Districts up for election are:

  • District 1: Fulton, Henry, Lucas, and Williams Counties incumbent Todd Hesterman is eligible to run for another term
  • District 2: Erie, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Wood Counties incumbent Nathan Eckel is eligible to run for another term
  • District 5: Allen, Hancock, and Putnam Counties incumbent Bill Bateson is eligible to run for another term
  • District 9: Delaware, Marion, Morrow, and Union Counties incumbent Bret Davis is term-limited
  • District 13: Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Highland, and Warren Counties incumbent Amy Sigg Davis is term-limited

All petitions must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) by mail, and must be postmarked no later than July 6, and received by ODA no later than July 13, 2018.… Continue reading

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Markets have plenty to watch as summer heats up

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

USDA with its weekly crop progress report on May 29 put the U.S. corn planting at 92%. Huge amounts of corn were planted during the first three weeks of May, though northwest Ohio struggled severely to plant corn and soybeans timely this spring. Heavy rains fell throughout much of May causing significant delay in planting until the last few days of May. The May 29 report revealed Ohio had just 82% of its corn planted, leaving 621,000 acres yet to be done.

It is interesting to note that comments on the stock market at the end of May suggest that stock traders were growing weary, paying less attention to trade developments with China and other U.S. trading partners. Meanwhile, the opposite is taking place for grains, as traders seem to hang onto any and all news of China and its trade posture with the U.S. Producers want to be optimistic, yet aware the big price decline could be just moments away.… Continue reading

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Rapid growth syndrome in corn

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

While scouting corn fields this spring, some farmers in the eastern Corn Belt may have noticed strange looking corn plants with new growth that was yellow and leaves that were wrinkled randomly spread throughout their field. This a phenomenon is referred to as “Rapid Growth Syndrome.” In many areas of our sales footprint weather conditions were such that our agronomists and sales staff observed plants affected by Rapid Growth Syndrome. Corn plants are usually affected by this issue is in the V5 to V6 stages of growth. This phenomenon is usually associated with an abrupt change in weather. Twisted whorls can appear when corn plants shift from a period of slow growth (in cool, cloudy weather) to more rapid growth (warm, sunny weather).

Symptoms of Rapid Growth Syndrome include bent-over plants and tightly wrapped whorls that keep younger leaves from emerging. Once younger leaves emerge, they are often yellow but turn green after a few days.… Continue reading

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Farmers drop organic labels over certification process, access to markets, study says

Midwestern fruit and vegetable farmers are more likely than their counterparts in other regions to give up federal organic certification, according to a Purdue University study. Access to organic markets and consumers as well as the demands of obtaining and retaining certification seem to be the most significant drivers of their decisions.

Obtaining U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification can be an expensive, year-long process that requires changing management practices and working with certifiers who determine if farms meet the government’s extensive requirements. But that’s worth it for many farmers who can command higher prices for organic products since demand has been rising quickly over the last decade.

In 2017, organic food sales topped $45 billion — up 6.4% from 2016, according to the Organic Trade Association. Sales have more than doubled since 2010. Fruits and vegetables are the top-selling category, making up nearly 37% of organic food sales.

“Consumers are demanding more organic fruits and vegetables, so there is a push to certify more farmers,” said Ariana Torres, a Purdue assistant professor of agricultural economics and horticulture & landscape architecture and co-author of the study.… Continue reading

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Tariffs could decrease Ohio farm income by an estimated 59%

With new research demonstrating the harmful impact of a trade war, the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) today expressed renewed concern over the potential result of the U.S. Administration’s plan to apply a 25% tariff on select Chinese imports. China has stated previously that if the tariffs on nearly $50 billion in Chinese goods go into effect, it will impose a retaliatory 25% tariff on U.S. goods, including soybeans.

A study by The Ohio State University found the proposed tariffs could decrease a farm’s net worth by an estimated 6% and annual net income by 59% over a six-year period. According to a separate study conducted by Purdue University, total U.S. soybean production could decline by 15%.

“These studies illustrate the massive harm that these tariffs could impose on rural America,” said Allen Armstrong, OSA president and Clark County soybean farmer. “While there are legitimate trade issues with China, we cannot resolve them at the expense of our largest agricultural export, soybeans.… Continue reading

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Fungicide considerations in corn

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

While it may seem far off, soon it will be time to make crop evaluations to determine whether or not to apply a fungicide application to your tasseling corn crop. As of today, several major yield determining growth stages have already passed. Emergence and potential ear size have been determined and pollination (actual kernel number) will take place very soon. The primary function of the corn plant post-pollination is to minimize kernel abortion and maximize kernel depth and weight. Many things can impact these three outcomes but nutrient availability, moisture, and sunlight capture are the most significant.

Many of the fungicide products available today consist of a class of fungicides known as strobilurins. These “strobi” class of fungicides provides multiple benefits. For many farmers, fungicides are considered mainly for their role in mitigating disease. While strobis do provide systemic activity on disease, they also help reduce respiration.… Continue reading

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Wheat head scab potential

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

More rain is in the forecast for later this week as wheat fields in the northern half of the state go through the flowering growth stage. Fields flowering today (May 30) are at low risk for scab in the northwestern corner of the state, but the risk will increase progressively later in the week as tropical storm Alberto comes through. Fields in the southern third of the state are now at much less susceptible growth stages for infection by the scab fungus.

Treating fields with an effective triazole fungicide (also called DMI) such as Caramba or Prosaro at flowering will reduce scab and vomitoxin by about 50%. On the other hand, treating fields with a strobilurin fungicide (also called QoIs) such as pyraclostrobin, azoxystrobin, fluoxastrobin, of trifloxystrobin when conditions are favorable for head scab will increase vomitoxin in the grain. On average, strobilurin fungicides increase vomitoxin by about 15% when applied at boot and about 17% when applied at heading.… Continue reading

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Ethanol advocates file suit against EPA over small refinery exemptions

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and National Farmers Union (NFU), with support of Farmers Union Enterprises, filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to challenge several waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted in secret to profitable refining companies.

The petitioners are challenging three EPA decisions, made under unusually clandestine proceedings, to exempt refineries in Wynnewood, Oklahoma; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Woods Cross, Utah from the RFS requirements of the Clean Air Act. The Wynnewood refinery is owned by Wynnewood Refining Company, a subsidiary of CVR Energy, and the Cheyenne and Woods Cross refineries are owned by Holly Frontier Corporation. The companies have since estimated in financial disclosures that the exemptions have saved them a collective $170 million in compliance costs.

When Congress enacted the RFS program a decade ago, it sought to protect certain small refineries from the law’s impacts temporarily by providing an exemption for refineries with no more than 75,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil throughput. … Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress — May 29, 2018

Planting Progress Continues

Despite spotty rain events, warmer temperatures allowed for some field activities to be completed, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending May 27. Some rains stalled planting, but the week was mostly dry. High temperatures allowed producers to get out into the fields. Corn and soybean planting continued to go strong. Winter wheat is also maturing rapidly. Hay first cutting is starting to pick up in most areas. Crop conditions are good to excellent. Hay and pasture are also in good condition. Other activities this week included spraying, tillage, hauling manure, nitrogen application, and corn side dressing.

Click here to see the full reportContinue reading

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Weeds have been slow to start off

By Harold Watters

With high winds, frequent rains and late snows we missed proper burndown timing, pre-emergent herbicide application and now are working on missing the proper timing for post applications. Consider adding a second component to that glyphosate application when you do post your corn or soybeans. The idea is to have a second method of attack on those weeds that may be resistant, have grown a little larger than planned or you have had problems with in the past. Yes, I know dicamba beans are now available, but that product works best in a pre-emergent situation for Ohio.

The Ohio, Indiana & Illinois Weed Control Guide is a great resource for getting management tips on how best to apply glyphosate. Also see the corn tables and the soybean tables to choose potential partners for post applications. The Guide is available free on-line from Mark Loux on his Weed Management website: https://u.osu.edu/osuweeds/.… Continue reading

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Some low to negative returns predicted for corn, soybeans and wheat in Ohio for 2018

By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management — Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE)

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be largely unchanged from last year with slightly higher fuel, fertilizer and interest expenses that will increase total costs for some growers. Variable costs for corn in Ohio for 2018 are projected to range from $359 to $452 per acre depending on land productivity.

Variable costs for 2018 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $210 to $231 per acre. Wheat variable expenses for 2018 are projected to range from $179 to $219 per acre.

Returns will again be low to negative for many producers. Projected returns above variable costs (contribution margin) range from $175 to $348 per acre for corn and $192 to $371 per acre for soybeans. (This is assuming fall cash prices of $4 per bushel for corn and $10 per bushel for soybeans.) Projected returns above variable costs for wheat range from $135 to $249 per acre (assuming $5.20 per bushel summer cash price).… Continue reading

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It’s just $5 an acre…

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

It seems everyone has a “package” that gives an extra yield bump. Many of these packages contain micronutrients. In Ohio, because we generally have clay in our soil and reasonable levels of organic matter, we don’t usually see a yield impact from applying micronutrients. But should we be concerned about micronutrients?

Our soil tests are most reliable for pH, phosphorus and potassium and can work reasonably well for zinc, too. We usually use a combination of soil and tissue tests to determine micronutrient deficiencies. Soil pH can also help us know where to look for deficiencies. See your copy of the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Alfalfa Field Guide for descriptions and pictures of nutrient deficiencies by crop.

Typically we will see deficiencies occur in small isolated areas of a field first. When these are noted, pull both a soil and a tissue sample out of the “good” area and out of the “poor” area and compare the results.… Continue reading

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Tax or subsidy? How to reduce Lake Erie phosphorus sources

It may not be a popular solution, but a recent study from The Ohio State University shows the least costly way to cut nearly half the phosphorus seeping into Lake Erie is taxing farmers on phosphorous purchases or paying farmers to avoid applying it to their fields.

Doctoral student Shaohui Tang and Brent Sohngen, a professor of agricultural economics, conducted the study in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

At a projected price tag of up to $20 million annually, a phosphorus subsidy to Ohio farmers or a phosphorus tax would be far cheaper than many of the proposed measures being recommended to reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie, Sohngen said. These proposals are estimated to cost anywhere from $40 million per year to $290 million per year, in addition to the $32 million spent on current conservation practices.

Phosphorus spurs the growth of harmful algal blooms, which poisoned Toledo’s drinking water in 2014 and impact the lake’s recreation, tourism and real-estate values.… Continue reading

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