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Stink bug damage in soybean fields

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 PA 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. Pictured left is damage that was found by Seed Consultant’s seedsmen in a central Ohio field, 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.

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Corn yields a pleasant surprise for many in 2017

There have been pockets of lower than expected corn yields around the state where the full force of 2017’s broad challenges came to fruition, but corn has generally been a pleasant surprise for many farms, said Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist.

“Planting progress curves showed planting at about the five-year average this spring. If you just looked at that it would suggest there were not problems as far as the planting, but the National Agricultural Statistics Service doesn’t factor in replanting,” Thomison said. “Some counties had 20% or more of the corn replanted. Seed company reps said that this was the most replanting they had experienced on record in some areas. In northwest Ohio there were people I heard from that replanted three times with corn. When I hear a report about issues like this from more than two or three people, I suspect it is the tip of the iceberg and there is much more of that going on.”

The extreme variability (even in fairly uniform fields) led to variable environments for a number of yield limiting factors.

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New method analyzes corn kernel characteristics

An ear of corn averages about 800 kernels. A traditional field method to estimate the number of kernels on the ear is to manually count the number of rows and multiply by the number of kernels in one length of the ear. With the help of a new imaging machine developed at the University of Illinois breeders can learn the number of kernels per ear, plus a lot more information than can be manually observed.

“If you take that same ear of corn into a lab, you can take the same approach but use an imaging system to get a more accurate measure of the total number of kernels,” said Tony Grift, lead scientist on the project. “But you can go a lot further than that. By pinning the ear on a spike and turning it automatically, we can present each row individually to a camera. This allows us to determine up to 16 morphological characteristics of each kernel, including kernel area, circumference, and circularity, a measure for how close the kernel shape is to a circle.

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Weed Survey thoughts. Did you spray a fall burndown?

Most of us have marestail across Ohio. And pretty much all of us have resistant marestail, likely resistant to glyphosate and also likely resistant to the ALS herbicides. And if we all switch to Xtend beans then it will likely also soon be resistant to dicamba. Uh-oh, this is starting to sound bad for the future of soybean weed control.

 

Table 1. The table below shows the number of fields observed in the Ohio Fall Soybean Weed Survey by region, the percent of fields without weeds and weeds observed ranked by appearance.

Region of Ohio

Number of fields observed

% of fields without weeds

Appearance by weed; ranked in order

Northeast

296

26

Marestail; grasses; Common lambsquarters; Volunteer corn; and pigweeds

East central

71

35

Marestail; Giant ragweed; Common ragweed; and Redroot pigweed

Central

206

45

Giant ragweed; Marestail

Northwest

755

46

Marestail; Giant ragweed; Common ragweed; grasses; pigweeds

West central

716

22

Giant ragweed; Marestail; Tall waterhemp; Volunteer corn; grasses

Southwest

270

33

Marestail; Giant ragweed; Volunteer corn; common ragweed; pigweeds

 

I take this information below from an article by Mark Loux, from October 2011 regarding Fall Herbicide Treatments.

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Long 2017 crop year not yet over

It has been a very long planting season, which set the stage for a long 2017 for Zach Profit and his family on their Van Wert County farm.

“I’m 29 and in my short career, 2017 was the most challenging spring I have ever been a part of, my dad said so too. It was a year of small windows. We got a lot of 3- and 4-inch rains early. Then we got 6 to 7 inches in 24 hours when the crops were very small. It was devastating. We finally finished planting the first week of June. This was the most replanting we ever had. We had places replanted two and three times. Our insurance agent said it was the most replanting he had ever seen. Once we got the crops in and established, they were all over the place in development and the field work all ran together,” Profit said.

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New map of worldwide croplands supports food and water security

A new map was released U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet, helping to ensure global food and water security in a sustainable way.

The map establishes that there are 1.87 billion hectares of croplands in the world, which is 15 to 20% — or 250 to 350 million hectares (Mha) — higher than former assessments. The change is due to more detailed understanding of large areas that were never mapped before or were inaccurately mapped as non-croplands.

Earlier studies showed either China or the United States as having the highest net cropland area, but this study shows that India ranks first, with 179.8 Mha (9.6% of the global net cropland area). Second is the United States with 167.8 Mha (8.9%), China with 165.2 Mha (8.8%) and Russia with 155.8 Mha (8.3%). Statistics of every country in the world can be viewed in an interactive map.

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Comparing ARC-CO and PLC payments from 2014 to 2016

Here are county level comparisons for the ARC-CO and PLC program payments for 2016 for corn and wheat over the first three years of the current Farm Bill, 2014 to 2016, for corn, soybeans, and wheat.

This article compares average annual payments per base acre that have been triggered by the ARC-CO and PLC programs since 2014 differs across corn, soybeans, and wheat. For all three crops, prices have been below 86% of the ARC-CO benchmark price in all three years, but yields have been sufficiently high in some counties to reduce, partially or fully, the size of ARC-CO payment levels. Corn and wheat prices have been low enough in 2015 and 2016 to trigger payments on base acreage enrolled in the PLC program, but soybean prices have remained above the PLC reference price in all three years.

In general, the majority of corn base acres enrolled in the ARC-CO program would have received a greater level of support from that program when compared to the average payment, which would have been received through the PLC program.

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Big corn yields and narrow trading ranges

Corn harvest this month had many Ohio producers scrambling for completion. The huge amount of corn and soybean acres replanted earlier this spring pushed maturity several weeks behind normal. The time change the first weekend of November brought the stark reality that harvest conditions had dramatically changed. Gone were the long harvest hours seen during the last half of October when the weather provided nearly two weeks of excellent harvest conditions. The 70-degree or higher daily temperatures evaporated along with the many hours of sunny weather. Those days were often replaced with daily highs struggling to reach even 50 degrees. The first 10 days of November brought rain nearly every day to much of Ohio. Those rains were particularly troublesome for those struggling to finish harvesting soybeans.

Producers and grain elevators alike have been working diligently to make room for the long harvest period seen in October and November. On farm storage is being used to the maximum as producers scramble to find room for all of the corn flowing out of combines this fall.

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Motter reflects on experiences, relationships as USB chairman

In his year of service as the United Soybean Board (USB) chairman, John Motter of Hancock County has enjoyed many incredible experiences in his travels around the world representing the nation’s soybean growers.

One of his fondest memories of the year took place fairly recently. During the beautiful stretch of October weather for harvesting in the combine cab back home, Motter donned a suit and tie for the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.

The event recognized the winner of the 2017 World Food Prize and brought together international leaders, farmers, agribusiness executives, non-governmental organizations, and development experts to address the most critical issues facing global food security.

“My No. 1 favorite was the World Food Prize event. Norman Borlaug’s granddaughter was there and we had people from six continents and 55 countries and 50 different languages all working to reduce starvation and to make real differences in people’s lives,” Motter said.

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Use plot data to make sound decisions

As harvest is completed across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is critical to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring.

 

Look for replicated data

Don’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations. Replications in testing increase the reliability of the data.

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Changes made to rules on applying fertilizer

Take a whole class or just take the test, which is better? Farmers will get to decide.

Those who apply fertilizer on 50 or more acres now have the option to take an exam or attend a three-hour course to get the required certification aimed at protecting water quality.

The exam is a new option the Ohio Department of Agriculture will offer to make it easier for farmers to get certified and yet ensure that those who are applying fertilizer know the safest measures. The exam option was one of the rule changes on fertilizer certification that went into effect Oct. 1.

The other changes include the following:

  • Those renewing their fertilizer certificate, which must be done every three years, must either pass a fertilizer exam or take a one-hour class. Previously, the recertification class was two hours.
  • Two new items were added to the required records that certified fertilizer applicators must keep: Now they must record the number of acres where they applied fertilizer and the total amount of fertilizer applied.
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Consider compaction when making the decision to return to fields

One of the biggest stories of the 2017 growing season may be its duration. Early and ideal conditions got planting season started in a fairly timely way back in April, but were followed by cold, wet conditions that really strung out subsequent planting, re-planting and even re-re-planting efforts. It made for a very long planting season, which set the stage for a long harvest season.

Similarly, a great stretch of weather allowed for an incredible harvest window in October, but the window abruptly shut when persistent late October and early November rains have halted harvest progress.

“We have had some good dry windows this fall but had to deal with some small rains and this last big storm that went through will put the brakes on harvest. Right at the farm we got an inch and a half and further north they got 3 to 4 inches,” said Zach Profit who farms in Van Wert County.

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Soil Health Partnership farmers “keep the stubble” in the field

The Soil Health Partnership is joining in on some fall fashion advice for farmers: keep the stubble this fall. Stubble in the field looks great—plus it’s good for erosion control and overall soil health.

During a month-long campaign called “No-Till November,” the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service —a supporter of the Soil Health Partnership—is encouraging farmers to “keep the stubble” on their harvested crop fields.

More than half of the farms enrolled in the SHP practice some sort of no-till, including Dan Roehrborn, who farms in Sheboygan Falls, Wisc. He says he’s been practicing no-till on bean acres for about 10 years.

“We save money on fuel and equipment by leaving it alone. Our no-till ground doesn’t erode as much, and is easier to work with in the spring,” Roehrborn said. “We like how the ground behaves when it’s time to plant and it doesn’t require as much work for the next year’s crop.”

The NRCS campaign is mirrored after the national cancer awareness “No Shave November” campaign.

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Again USDA surprises, corn and soybeans bearish

Today USDA again provided a surprise as they increased the corn yield more than expected. The soybean yield was unchanged. Brazil’s soybean production was higher, a bit bearish. The soybean carryout was reduced, that was expected.

USDA estimated the U.S. corn yield at 175.4 bushels per acre, up from last month’s 171.8. Traders were looking for the corn yield and production to increase slightly compared to the October report. USDA estimated the U.S. soybean yield at 49.5 bushels per acre, that was unchanged. USDA had the corn ending stocks at 2.487 billion bushels. Last month they were 2.34 billion bushels. Soybean ending stocks were estimated at 425 million bushels. Last month they were 430 million bushels.

Minutes after the report corn was down 3 cents, soybeans down 4 cents, and wheat up 2 cents. Just before the noon report, corn was unchanged, soybeans were up 5 cents, with wheat up 3 cents.

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Hard lessons shaped farm and leadership career for Ohio’s first USB chairman

In 1979, John Motter learned some hard life lessons when he was 25 and he lost his father in a farm accident.

“I got to work with my dad for a couple of years and I learned a lot but there was so much more I needed to learn from him. From the time my dad was killed and his funeral we had 22 litters of pigs on the farm. It was the middle of farrowing season. Neighbors would come over and help, but once the funeral was over I had a lot of work to do. I had a farrow to finish operation with 95 sows and I did everything with a scoop shovel. We also had a cow calf herd and were farming around 300 acres,” Motter said. “The big life change for me then was that Dad always worked hard and he had the dream that as he got older, he could travel with Mom to Alaska.

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New study shows grain exports offered $55.5 billion in economic output

Exports of U.S. feed grains and related products provide critical support across the U.S. economy, offering billions in economic direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation as a whole.

New research commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) quantified these benefits, showing that U.S. feed grain and grain products exports were worth $18.9 billion in 2015 and supported $55.5 billion in economic output. These exports were linked directly or indirectly to nearly 262,000 jobs.

Furthermore, if exports were halted, the analysis indicated that more than 46,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in GDP would be adversely impacted at the farm, ethanol production and meat production levels before accounting for losses in linked industries.

“International markets represent demand that would not exist elsewhere,” said Deb Keller, USGC chairman and a farmer from Iowa. “This research highlights the important economic benefits of exports that our U.S.

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Disease outbreaks from fresh produce: The need for more engineering

Just recently, we had news of Meijer recalling packaged vegetables for possible contamination by Listeria monocytogenes. Further, recalls have been extended to vegetables from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and other retailers. Mann Packaging, based in Salinas, California has issued a voluntary recall.

 

Why does contamination occur?

Incidents such as these are sporadic, but we have seen many of them over the years. As consumers have demanded fresher (or minimally processed) foods, industry has responded with an ever-wider range of products. However, products may be sourced from a variety of locations, and when mixed into vegetable or salad blends, may cause cross-contamination. While the idea of mitigating such problems with locally-grown products is tempting, it should be remembered that microorganisms (including pathogens, which can cause disease if consumed) are ubiquitous, too small to be seen, and their complete absence cannot be guaranteed.

 

What is the food safety community doing about it?

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Grain marketing seminars in Greenville

Edison State Community College-Ag Department and Ohio State Universty Extension-Darke County will be hosting two commodity marketing workshops. Registration for the workshops is only $10 each and includes a great meal. The workshops will be held at Edison State College in Greenville.

Craig Shepherd, a commodity broker from Illinois will be conducting the trainings. Shepherd works with farmers across the midwest helping them design a profitable marketing strategy. These workshops are open to anyone interested in increasing their knowledge of commodity marketing.

Grain Marketing 101 will be held Nov. 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 601 Wagner Road in Greenville. Topics covered will include cash contract tools, basis, market outlook and a look at factors that drive the markets.

Advanced Grain Marketing will be held Nov. 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 601 Wagner Road in Greenville. Topics covered will include tools to maximize profits and options trading.

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Ohio CCA training seminar

The Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Exam Training program, sponsored and delivered by the OSU Agronomic Crops Team, will be offered at the Shelby County Extension Office, 810 Fair Rd, Sidney, Ohio 45365 on January 10 & 11, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the 10th and adjourn by 5:00 p.m. on the 11th. The price for the Pre-Exam preparation class is $250. Secure on-line registration via credit card, debit card or check is available at: http://www.cvent.com/d/jtqpf2. Register early; due to class interaction, we keep it small. This is an intensive two-day program somewhat directed toward the local exam – to be used as a reminder on what best to study in preparation for the CCA exams.

Course contact:

Harold Watters, CPAg, CCA
Ohio State University Extension
1100 S. Detroit St
Bellefontaine, OH 43311
Phone 937 604-2415 cell, or by email: watters.35@osu.edu for more information.

We will provide each participant with the following publications in addition to lectures:

  • The new 2017 Ohio Agronomy Guide
  • Ohio, Indiana & Illinois Weed Control Guide
  • 2014 Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Alfalfa Field Guide or equivalent
  • Tri-State Fertility Guide
  • Modern Corn & Soybean Production
  • And many handouts

Meals, snacks, coffee will also be provided at the site during the class.

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Ohio No-till Conference Dec. 6

Do you have problems or issues with weeds, slugs or planting into cover crops? Are you concerned about federal policy and the next farm bill? Do you have a question about a no-till topic not covered by the agenda below?

The goal of the Ohio No-Till Council is to answer your questions and solve your problems at the annual conference, Dec. 6, at Der Dutchman Restaurant, Route 42, Plain City.

How about planting into cover crops? You will learn how to set closing wheels for green covers and how to eliminate hairpinning (for either green or dead covers). A pusher bar is recommended for tall cover crops. For planting cover crop seed, a planter works best for a single variety. Or with individual hoppers, you can have two varieties in alternate rows, such as Austrian winter pea and oilseed radish. A drill works best for multi-species covers. Bill Lehmkuhl and Bret Margraf will lead this discussion to close the morning program.

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