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NCGA testifies on EPA’s RFS

This week Michigan farmer Russell Braun provided testimony on behalf of National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) during an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on the agency’s proposed biofuel targets for 2019.

Braun encouraged EPA to maintain a strong, equitable Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and stressed the need to follow Congressional intent and level the playing field for America’s farmers by using the annual volume rule to repair the damage from extensive refinery exemptions.

“With corn prices low, EPA’s decisions have a greater impact on my livelihood and other farmers’ as well.  We believe EPA should use the Renewable Fuel Standard volume rule to remedy the harm caused by the extensive retroactive exemptions given to refineries over the past year and ensure future exemptions are accounted for,” he said. “These refinery exemptions decrease ethanol blending and reduce demand and profits for my corn crop. Every gallon of renewable fuel blending waived by EPA reduces the consumer benefits of the RFS.”

EPA’s proposal supports some growth in the RFS volumes and continues to propose an implied 15-billion-gallon volume for conventional ethanol. … Continue reading

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Soybean and corn export outlook

By Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

The escalating trade issues between the U.S. and many of our trading partners continue to affect the outlook in both corn and soybean markets. Drastic price declines since Memorial Day show the impact of trade uncertainty and yield potential. The prospect of large yields combined with trade issues set the baseline for determining export potential and price formation in both corn and soybean markets moving forward.

The USDA soybean export projection for the current marketing year totals 2.085 billion bushels, up 20 million bushels from June’s estimate. Census Bureau export estimates through May place soybean exports at 1.762 billion bushels. Census Bureau export totals came in 42 million bushels larger than cumulative marketing year export inspections over the same period. As of July 12, cumulative export inspections for the current marketing year totaled 1.873 billion bushels. If the same difference in export pace continued through the current period, soybean exports would total 1.915 billion bushels as of July 12.… Continue reading

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Frogeye leaf spot

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

Frogeye leaf spot is a disease that can impact soybean yields across this eastern Corn Belt.. Typically, more prevalent in the southern growing regions, the disease can occur farther north as a result of weather favorable to its development.

The fungus that causes Frogeye leaf spot (Cercospora sojina) survives in infected plant debris and can cause infections in growing plants when weather conditions are favorable. Frogeye leaf spot lesions produce spores that are easily transported by wind, acting as inoculum for leaf infections on other plants. The disease is promoted by warm, humid weather and will continue to develop on infected plants during patterns of favorable weather. With the warm and wet weather patterns that have existed in the eastern Corn Belt during 2017, it is expected that frogeye would be observed in some fields.

Frogeye leaf spot symptoms begin as small yellow spots that become larger lesions with gray centers and dark reddish-purple or brown borders.… Continue reading

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Project grain fill

By John Brien, AgriGold

Grain fill is a critical part of a corn plant’s life, but is often overlooked because it is kind of slow, boring and uneventful to watch. What is actually occurring soon after pollination is utterly amazing considering an acre of corn has to “build” over 11,200 pounds of dry matter to equal 200 bushel of grain yield. Therefore grain fill is anything but boring and is vital for high yields.

Grain fill is the period of corn growth and development between pollination and black layering (or physiological maturity). During grain fill the corn plant is using their leaves to capture sunlight to drive photosynthesis that in turn produces the sugars the plant needs to build yield. The corn plant also uses its roots to acquire moisture and nutrients to build the dry matter. Therefore the more sunlight a corn plant can intercept and the more nutrients and water it can aquire, equates to more optimal grain fill and therefore higher yield potential.… Continue reading

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Friendly corn, bearish soybean ending stocks but soybeans actually higher

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Corn ending stocks were less than expected. Soybean ending stocks 110 million bushels above trade expectations but soybeans not falling off. World corn ending stocks went down. Looks like the market looking at more than trade issues, weather, and a much higher soybean ending stocks than expected.

Shock, awe in recent years were words used to describe US overseas military efforts. Those same words can easily be inserted to reflect producer and trader’s mindset since late May. In that time frame corn has fallen 75 cents and soybeans have seen a huge decline of $2.10. Trade tensions and announced trade tariffs between the US/China have accounted for 80% of the price decline according to some analysts. Great weather that at the moment is non-threatening for much of the Midwest has also been a big factor in the price declines.

US corn 2018-19 ending stocks were estimated at 1.552 billion bushels.… Continue reading

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Assessing hay quality

By Mark Landefeld, Ohio State University Extension ANR Educator, Monroe County

“You gotta make hay while the sun shines”. How many times have you heard that said throughout the years? We’ve had some sunshine this spring/summer, but making first cutting “dry” hay has really been challenging for most farmers this year. Getting two or more days in a row without rain has been rare in the spring of 2018.

Making timely first cutting dry hay in Ohio always has challenges with weather it seems, but this year it definitely has been more than usual. Extremely good, high quality hay is made from young leafy forage at boot stage, not fully mature long brown stems with dried up seed heads like we have been seeing everywhere now in July. The combination of maximum yield and highly digestible dry matter is usually obtained at the late boot, to early head stage of maturity for grasses and in the mid-to-late bud stage of maturity for our legumes.… Continue reading

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Marestail control in double-crop soybeans

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

A uniform wheat crop can provide effective suppression of marestail, especially when combined with some in-crop herbicides. It is nonetheless typical for marestail plants to be evident after the wheat is harvested, and these should be controlled prior to double crop soybean emergence. There can be a couple types of marestail plants to deal with in this situation: 1) small ones that were lurking near the base of the wheat plants, which are largely not disturbed by the combine; and 2) larger ones that may have been present in areas of thin wheat stand, which get cut off by the combine and then regrow. The first of these is really the more ideal situation because the small undisturbed plants can usually be controlled by one of the following: glyphosate plus Sharpen + MSO; glufosinate (Liberty, Interline, Cheetah, etc); or possibly even Gramoxone plus metribuzin (although this is more effective when mixed with 2,4-D).… Continue reading

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Frogeye and fungicides for soybeans

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

From the scouting reports from the county educators and crop consultants, most of the soybeans in the state are very healthy with no disease symptoms.

However, as the news reports have indicated, there are a few varieties in a few locations that have higher incidence of frogeye leaf spot than we are accustomed to seeing at this growth stage — mid R2 through flowering in Ohio. Most of the reports to date are along and south of route 70, which based on the past 12 years is where frogeye is the most common. When this disease occurs this early in the season, where it can be readily observed, this is a big problem and should be addressed right away with a fungicide soon and a second application at 14 to 21 days later depending on if disease continues to develop and if environmental conditions (cool nights, fogs, heavy dews, rains) continue.… Continue reading

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Can No-till get you Fired? Learn more Aug. 29

By Randall Reeder, OSU Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

“Glover, they’re going to fire you.”

The first time Glover Triplett took his wife to see the new no-till research plots in 1962, the corn was about a foot tall, and the ground was littered with dead weeds and corn stalks from the previous year. The plot looked awful compared to a clean tilled field. She was scared he would lose his first faculty position, at OSU-OARDC in Wooster.

Well, he was not fired, and neither was his co-researcher, Dave Van Doren. But they did attract interesting questions about their innovative research, including, “How can you measure erosion if you don’t have any runoff?”

Triplett and Van Doren established identical plots in 1963 at Hoytville (Wood County) and South Charleston (Clark County). All three, at OSU-OARDC research stations, continue to give valuable results today.

No-till was known as “Farming Ugly” in the early days.… Continue reading

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Grain handler pleads guilty to stealing more than $3 million from farmers

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels announced today that a Huron County man has pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to the theft of more than $3 million in grain from 35 farmers in Ohio.

Richard J. Schwan, 79, of Monroeville, pleaded guilty today to two felony counts of aggravated theft, and one felony count each of attempted aggravated theft, falsification in a theft offense, insolvent handler, and delayed price agreement.

As part of the plea agreement, Schwan must pay $3,222,209.70 in restitution prior to his sentencing hearing in August. The money will be used to reimburse the farmers, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Grain Indemnity Fund.

“Ohio’s farmers work hard to produce their crops, and this defendant callously took the profits of their labor,” DeWine said. “Our priority in this case has always been to recover the money that rightfully belonged to these farmers, and a condition of this plea agreement requires the defendant to promptly repay the money he stole.”

Schwan operated Schwan Grain Inc., which transported and sold grain on behalf of the 35 farmers from Erie, Huron, Lorain, Richland, and Seneca counties.… Continue reading

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Growing conditions conducive to brittle snap

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

Over the past week, Seed Consultants agronomists and sales staff have observed green snap brittle snap (aka green snap) in some corn fields this week. Although typically a problem observed in the western Corn Belt, brittle snap does occasionally occur in the east. As corn plants develop quickly in vegetative stages of growth, they go through a period of rapid growth during which corn stalks are brittle. As stalks elongate they become more rigid and the cell walls of stalk tissue become fragile, increase the risk of stalk breakage. Corn plants are more prone to brittle snap between V8 and tasseling, especially the 2 weeks before tasseling.

In many areas during the later stages of vegetative growth there has been plenty of rain, heat, and storms with high wind speeds. When stalks brake below the ear, no grain will be produced. When stalks break above the ear, it is still possible for them to produce grain, however, at a significantly reduced amount.… Continue reading

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Warm, wet weather leads to busy summers for fungicide applicators

By Matt Reese

Early July’s heat and humidity set the stage for diseases, the need for crop scouting and, maybe, a helicopter.

After he lost a potato crop to a spray application mix-up Stan Sayre decided to get into the aerial application business with a helicopter of his own. That was in 1976. Now, based in Portage County, Sayre travels Ohio offering a wide array of application services, covering around 70,000 acres per year per machine. He is busy this time of year with corn fungicide applications.

Helicopters have advantages when it comes to fungicide applications in corn.

“We can get into smaller fields a lot more economically than planes can. We can wrap up the corners. They have their speed of 140 or 150 knots and we are running 50 to 60 knots. We have a little better control with that. It is a 38-foot boom and we get almost 50 feet of coverage,” Sayre said.… Continue reading

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China tariff threats are now reality for farmers in Ohio

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

A soft farm market, already-declining prices, and now China’s retaliation against President Trump’s 25% tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods have become a reality for Ohio producers. Soybean farmers, whose crop represents 41% of the value of products on China’s tariff list, will feel the full effect.

“This is about as close to a worse-case scenario as you can get,” said Bret Davis, a Delaware County soybean farmer and a member of the American Soybean Association Governing Committee. “We had hoped that cooler heads would prevail and that the tariff threats would be nothing more than that, but it sure doesn’t look that way right now.”

The value of U.S. soybean exports to China has grown 26-fold in 10 years, from $414 million in 1996 to $14 billion in 2017. Since talk of the tariffs began back in March, U.S. soy prices have dropped more than $2 per bushel.… Continue reading

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Western bean cutworm monitoring continues in Ohio

By Amy Raudenbush, John Schoenhals, CCA, Mark Badertscher, Lee Beers, CCA, Amanda Bennett, Bruce Clevenger, CCA, Sam Custer, Tom Dehass, Mike Gastier, CCA, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Ed Lentz, CCA, Rory Lewandowski, CCA, Cecilia Lokai-Minnich, David Marrison, Eric Richer, CCA, Garth Ruff, Jeff Stachler, Curtis Young, CCA, Chris Zoller, Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

Another season of Western bean cutworm (WBC) trapping has officially begun! Bucket traps placed along the edge of a corn field with a lure were set between June 17th through 23rd and our first trap count is for WBC adults captured for week ending June 30th. Last week, 18 counties monitored 66 traps across Ohio for WBC adults. Overall, 76 WBC adults were captured and average moth per trap was 1.2 (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Average Western bean cutworm adult per trap followed by total number of traps monitored in parentheses for week ending June 30, 2018.… Continue reading

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Ohio farmland rental information

By Chris Zoller, Ohio State University Extension Educator, ANR and David Marrison, Ohio State University Extension Educator, ANR

How much to charge or pay for farmland rent is a common question among landowners and farmers. Each party wants to receive or pay a “fair” rate, but questions often arise in determining a “fair” rate. There are a number of factors involved with establishing a rate with which both parties are comfortable.


What cash rental rate is fair?

Land ownership costs are summarized using the DIRTI five acronym. The ownership costs include: Depreciation, Interest, Repairs, Taxes, and Insurance. Most landowners would like to at least recover the property tax. Your annual tax statement can help determine the amount of rent needed to cover the property taxes. For instance, assume your property tax for 20 acres is $800 annually. This translates into $40 per acre for the landowner to recover just the property tax.… Continue reading

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Upcoming OSU Extension and OARDC agronomy field days

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

It has been an interesting spring. Have questions? We may have the answers; we certainly want to have the discussion. Come to one or all three of our field days in July.

  • OSU Weed Day, South Charleston — July 11
  • Western ARS Agronomy Field Day, South Charleston — July 18
  • 2018 Ohio Manure Science Review, Forest — July 25


The OSU Weed Science Field Day will be held on July 11 at OARDC Western Ag Research Station at 7721 South Charleston Pike (SR41), South Charleston Ohio. As in previous years, it’s a mostly self-directed event and a chance to look at all of our research. The day runs from 9 to noon, followed by lunch for those who preregister. Feel free to bring anyone you like and to tell others, but please send an email to Bruce Ackley to preregister — ackley.19@osu.edu — telling him how many are coming so he can plan appropriately.… Continue reading

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Green Valley Growers caters to customers

By Matt Reese

Visitors to Green Valley Growers, Inc. near Ashland are treated to row, after row (after row) of beautiful plants to peruse under two acres of greenhouse glass and additional outdoor retail space. Even more appealing to many shoppers than the almost endless blur of floral hues are the budget-friendly price tags on the plants.

“We have a different approach from other greenhouses. We let customers come in and go everywhere to see all of our plants and make their own choices. The thrust of the operation was to sell plants at a lower price to expand consumption. A lot of former competitors were selling just a few plants at a high price. They are no longer in business,” said Tom Moherman, owner of Green Valley Growers, Inc. “We try to come up with prices where we can still make money and keep customers happy. That is what differentiates us from other greenhouses.… Continue reading

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Now is the time to scout for disease in corn

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

With warm, wet weather occurring across the eastern Corn Belt, now is a critical time to begin scouting for disease and determining whether or not fungicide applications are necessary. Over the last week our agronomy and sales staff and observed Gray Leaf Spot(GLS) and Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB) developing in our sales footprint. The fungi that result in the formation of GLS and NCLB overwinter on corn residue. The development of these diseases 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.

Scouting this time of year is critical to determine what diseases are present and the severity of disease. Taking time to walk fields will allow growers to make sound management decisions based on observations. When determining where to start scouting, growers should determine which fields are most at-risk for disease development.… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress — July 2, 2018

Producers used the dry conditions last week to make headway with haymaking, straw baling, and other fieldwork, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA, NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending July 1. High temperatures were ideal for wheat maturation, however, they caused stress to livestock. Winter wheat harvest was well underway. Lingering wet soil conditions and additional scattered storms last week caused some damage in crops fields. There were some reports of ponding in fields, flood damage, and yellowing of plants. Soybean emergence was nearly complete. Crop conditions remained mostly good to excellent.

Click here to read the full reportContinue reading

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