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Non-GMO corn production and purity concerns

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. Tests 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.

If a grower plants NON-GMO corn, what could cause GMO contamination?
• Contaminated planting equipment and seed tenders
• Contaminated seed
• Mistakes made in record keeping where hybrids were not correctly identified at planting and/or harvest, leading to contamination
• Adventitious pollen from GMO corn fields can cause cross-pollination of NON-GMO corn
• Contaminated combines at harvest
• Contaminated grain carts, wagons, trucks, augers, grain legs, and grain bins
What steps can be taken in an attempt to produce grain that meets GMO tolerances?… Continue reading

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Get your fertilizer certification…Before planting begins

Ohio is now seeing full implementation of Ohio’s Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification regulation. The regulation was result of Senate Bill 150, which can be found at http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/905.322 and http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/905.321. The 2014 regulation required farmers to complete a fertilizer certification program if they applied fertilizer to more than 50 acres of land in agricultural production primarily for sale. Exemptions included fertilizer applied through a planter, individuals whose crops remained on the farm for their livestock and not sold, or fertilizer applied by a commercial applicator.

Farmers were given three years to complete the certification training. Training included a two-hour program if a farmer already had a Private Pesticide Applicator License, otherwise, a farmer had to complete a three-hour program. Key components of the training were to know the potential causes for algal blooms and management practices to reduce phosphorus losses from farm fields. Training was provided primarily by County Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Educators of the Ohio State University.… Continue reading

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The 2018 soybean planting season has begun in Ohio!

Some soybeans were planted in Ohio Monday! Jakob Wilson from JCW Farms Partnership in Madison County wrote on Facebook:

“Everyone keeps preaching we need to plant beans earlier and earlier! Well here’s our test trial in the ground on 3-19-18. Will be interesting to see how this 7.5 acres turns out! #plant18

This field was corn last year and stalks were hit with a Joker last fall. One pass was planted at 150k and one was variable rate (from 130 to 165k).

The beans were fully treated and also had ilevo on them. Soil temps were 40 degrees at 2 inches and 42 degrees at 4 inches.

We will follow this field throughout the season to see how things turn out!… Continue reading

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Deciphering preplant dicamba labels and tank mixtures

Dicamba can have a good fit in spring preplant burndown programs, especially for control of overwintered marestail in fields not treated the previous fall. We typically recommend a preplant burndown that includes at least two herbicides with substantial activity on marestail in this situation, such as Sharpen + 2,4-D or Gramoxone + 2,4-D + metribuzin. Dicamba is the most effective burndown herbicide on glyphosate-resistant marestail in the spring though, and in our research has usually killed or at least stopped emerged marestail in their tracks without help from other herbicides. We have occasionally observed larger marestail plants escape complete control, due partly to what appears to be antagonism from other herbicides in the mix. Low rates of dicamba added to other less than effective burndown mixtures can also improve control to adequate levels.

With regard to use of dicamba in burndown programs, there are distinctly different situations which define how it can be used and what can be mixed with it.… Continue reading

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ARC-CO and PLC payments for this fall likely to decrease

The tight economics of row crop production in 2017 will have many producers looking for some cash flow from farm bill programs when those payments are released this fall.

Higher yields in 2017, however, will likely mean smaller payments in October of 2018 compared to last fall.

“We saw yields that were pretty high for corn above trend line for some counties for the fourth year in a row in 2017. So looking forward to October of 2018,  I am expecting smaller to no payments for most counties for corn. A couple of counties in western Ohio may trigger a soybean payment but the payments are expected to be a lot less,” said Ben Brown, Ohio State University Farm Management Program
manager. “If you are counting on the money in October for cash flow, I don’t know that we will see as much. Both farmers and ag lenders need to prepare for that.… Continue reading

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Preparing for high yield soybeans

Weather permitting; planters will start rolling across the Eastern Corn Belt in a few weeks. Soybeans, just like corn, will benefit from careful planning and attention to detail. Today’s soybean varieties have the potential to achieve yields of more than 70 bushels/acre when managed intensively. As growers head to the fields this spring, they should start planning management programs to harvest top-end yields this fall.

Planting Date and Field Conditions

Planting date is an important factor determining soybean yields. Purdue research demonstrates that optimum planting dates for soybeans are from late April to mid-May. Ohio State University planting date studies show a .6 bushel per day loss in yield potential when soybeans are planted after mid-May. Just like corn, delayed soybean planting can result in significant yield losses. Earlier planting will benefit soybean fields in several ways. In a recent C.O.R.N newsletter (link: https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2015-09/soybean-planting-date-seeding-rate-and-row-width ), Ohio State University’s Laura Lindsey wrote: “The greatest benefit of planting May 1 to mid-May is canopy closure which increases light interception, improves weed control by shading out weeds, and helps retain soil moisture.” Soybeans should be planted at a depth of 1-1.5 inches when soils are at least 50 degrees F and and dry enough to perform field work.… Continue reading

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Study shows most farmers are in compliance with fertilizer recommendations in Western Lake Erie region

As farmers prepare for their 2018 crop, newly released research shows that a large majority of those whose fields drain into western Lake Erie are adhering to ag experts’ guidelines for fertilizer rates and application practices. The study concludes, however, that the recommendations themselves should be re-examined to better protect western Lake Erie from pollution resulting from agricultural runoff.

The findings are presented in a special issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation published by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS).

“Our surveys found that up to 80% of farmers are following the most up-to-date guidelines available regarding fertilizer application and general stewardship practices,” said Doug Smith, USDA soil scientist, who co-authored an article in the Journal detailing the research. “But even though the vast majority of growers are applying nutrients at or below recommended levels, the reality is that roughly 70% of the phosphorous entering Lake Erie is from streams and rivers, where agriculture is often the dominant land use.… Continue reading

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National leaders, RINs and RFS

Trump Administration officials planned to meet leaders from biofuel and oil companies today to end the current impasse over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The meeting, however, was cancelled.

One proposal being floated by oil company representatives would put a cap on prices for Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs, which are required to comply with the RFS. The proposal stands to undermine growth in the biofuels industry.

“Corn farmers have fought hard the past ten years, within Congress, with the last Administration, and in the Courts to protect the opportunity for renewable fuels to continue to grow as an option for consumers,” said Kevin Skunes, National Corn Growers Association president. “Today, the President is considering a proposal from the oil industry that could cut farm income almost $4 billion dollars per year for the next two years.  It is a deal that American farmers cannot afford.”

NCGA is opposed to an oil industry proposal that would cap the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). … Continue reading

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New herbicide resistance management tool launched

UPI, a global leader in the production of high quality crop protection products, is pleased to announce the launch of new TRIPZIN ZC herbicide in the U.S.

TRIPZIN ZC is a unique, patented pre-mix that combines the strength of two powerful active ingredients, metribuzin and pendimethalin. TRIPZIN ZC will provide pre-emergent control of a wide spectrum of broadleaf and annual grass weeds, including Palmer pigweed and other pigweed species, ragweed species, lambsquarters and velvetleaf. Crops on the TRIPZIN ZC label include soybeans, alfalfa, field corn, garbanzo beans, lentils, peas, potatoes and sugarcane. As it is applied prior to crop emergence in soybeans, it is compatible with all herbicide tolerant trait varieties as well as conventional beans.

“TRIPZIN ZC represents another example of innovation from UPI. The combination of metribuzin and pendimethalin, in one product, gives growers two modes of action and, therefore, a viable resistance management tool to help them protect their crop” said Chris Bowley, Senior Product Manager.… Continue reading

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Soybean picture complex after USDA report

US corn ending stocks were estimated at 2.127 billion bushels, a decline of 225 million bushels. Corn exports increased 175 million bushels with corn used for ethanol was up 50 million bushels. Last month corn ending stocks were 2.352 billion bushels. Corn usage was up more than expected. US soybean ending stocks were estimated at 555 million bushels, a jump of 25 million bushels. Crush was up 10 million bushels with exports cut 35 million bushels. Last month ending stocks were 530 million bushels. Wheat ending stocks were 1.034 billion bushels and last month it was 1.009 billion bushels.

Soybeans were negative as the US ending stocks increased while traders expected unchanged.

Argentina soybean production was 47 million tons. Last month it was 54 million tons. No surprise for Argentina soybeans. Brazil soybean production was 113 million tons and compares to 112 million tons last month. No surprise for Brazil soybeans.… Continue reading

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Will March move markets?

March is a huge month for USDA reports. Today’s March 8 monthly Supply and Demand Report expectations suggest corn exports could increase even more. Last month USDA pegged U.S. corn exports at 2.050 billion bushels, an increase of 125 million bushels. Conversely, private estimates suggest U.S. exports could drop even more in the months ahead. USDA estimated soybean exports in February at 2.10 billion bushels, down 60 million bushels from the previous month. That decline pushed soybean ending stocks to 530 million bushels, a jump of 60 million bushels. Yet, report day in February failed to push soybean significantly lower compared to previous years when soybean ending stocks had that much of an increase. Instead, dry weather concerns in Argentina were the feature that day, overshadowing the bearish news. A decades old analogy suggests that when bearish news does not produce bearish price results, the news event is no longer relevant.… Continue reading

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RFS tinkering would deal a substantive blow to farmers

A new economic analysis by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University backs up what corn farmers have been telling the Administration — that manipulating the RIN market mechanism would reduce ethanol blending and impact corn prices. A drop of 25 cents per bushel in corn prices, as CARD economists project from a RIN price cap, would devastate farmers and stagger rural communities.

This spring farmers will begin planting knowing they face their fifth growing season with corn prices hovering at or below the cost of production. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, we lost 12,000 farms in 2016. This decline must be stopped. The CARD analysis clearly shows an artificial cap on Renewable Identification Number (RIN) prices in exchange for an RVP waiver allowing year-round sales of E15 would be a bad deal for rural America and the nation’s consumers.

Providing regulatory parity for E15 and higher blends helps address concerns about RIN values.… Continue reading

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Cover Crop Field Day in Preble County

Preble Soil and Water Conservation District invites local farmers to an upcoming Cover Crop Field Day to be held Tuesday, March 27. The field day will be held at the site of the cover crop demonstration plot at the Leedy Farm, located at 3302 Eaton Lewisburg Rd., Eaton. The field day will begin at 9:00 a.m., conclude around 1:00 p.m., and will include a free lunch provided by La Crosse Seed, Buckeye Soil Solutions, and Peak Agronomy Solutions.

Speakers will include Hans Kok of the Soil Health Partnership, Scott Wohltman of La Crosse Seed, Eric Niemeyer of Buckeye Soil Solutions, and Matt Deaton of Deaton Soil Services. This group has a great deal of experience in working with cover crops, and they will discuss topics such as best management practices, pros and cons of different seeding methods, getting started with using covers, economics, and benefits to soil health. During the program, attendees will be able to look at the demonstration plot including seven different cover crop seed mixes and observe root growth in a soil pit.… Continue reading

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Had your auxin training yet?

With the growing now of dicamba resistant soybeans and the products to spray on them, we need a plan to avoid the problems we saw with drift and volatility in some areas last year. That means everyone who uses a dicamba product on soybeans must be a Licensed Pesticide Applicator and attend auxin training from the manufacturer; registration and locations found at these websites:




From my one and a half hour training I learned that to use the products you must:

  • Keep records.
  • Follow buffer requirements.
  • Use no AMS.
  • Apply with an approved nozzle that will deliver large droplets.
  • At 24 inches above the canopy.
  • In winds between 3 and 10 miles per hour.
  • But drive below 15 miles per hour.
  • And spray small weeds
  • Plus rinse 3 times after application.
  • And more…

The current labels for the dicamba-soybean products say we shall spray 4-inch or smaller weeds — however, READ the LABEL, the label is the law.… Continue reading

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Revised phosphorus index can help curb agricultural runoff

Ohio farmers will soon have access to a newly revised tool that can quickly and easily tell them their risk of agricultural phosphorus runoff that could potentially move into Ohio waterways such as Lake Erie.

The revised Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index is a program developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service to help farmers assess their risk of phosphorus moving off farm fields. It will soon allow farmers to input their farm-specific data to generate their risk of phosphorus in agricultural runoff through an online program.

The revised index is the result of the multiyear On-Field Ohio project led by Elizabeth (Libby) Dayton, a researcher in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University. The index has significant water quality implications statewide, considering that misapplied phosphorus has a high likelihood of degradation Ohio’s surface water and is a major contributor to harmful algal blooms.… Continue reading

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Consider Corn Challenge shines a light on corn’s growing potential in bio-economy

Six new technologies, that are poised to change the way the public perceives our country’s most abundant crop, were highlighted today in Anaheim, Calif. as winners of the inaugural Consider Corn Challenge, an open innovation contest hosted by the National Corn Growers Association. The diverse range of science unveiled shows that corn is squarely situated on the cutting-edge of technology, ready to support a wave of growth sweeping through the renewable products industry.

More than 30 scientists and start-up companies answered the global call to bring forth their best ideas focused on the conversion of corn into bio-renewable chemicals. Contest entries reinforced that corn can improve the environmental footprint of many products used by consumers, including plastic bottles, acrylics, solvents, fibers, packaging, and coolants.  Many of the submissions included bio-advantaged molecules, with the ability to deliver performance and value that exceeds petrochemicals.

The six winners of the competition are:

  • Lygos — The Berkley, CA company is producing Bio-Malonic acid (Bio-MA) from renewable sugars using cutting edge biotechnology.
Continue reading

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BASF moving forward with new pesticide technology

BASF’s insecticide portfolio is expanding with two new compounds on the horizon for release in the near future to increase the number of tools for insect control and resistance management.

The active ingredient broflanilide brings a new mode of action that has demonstrated excellent levels of control for chewing pests — the biggest insecticide market segment — for use in row and specialty crops as well as the professional pest management market. The other novel active ingredient, afidopyropen, with the trade name Inscalis, is effective against piercing-sucking insects, providing long-lasting control of aphids, whiteflies, and certain leafhoppers, psyllids and scales for use in specialty crops, soybeans and other row crops, and ornamentals. Both products will be launched soon in several markets across the globe.

At Commodity Classic, the focus from BASF was on the expected commercial release of Inscalis in the next year.

“It has fast onset of action that quickly stops the feeding of key target insects. … Continue reading

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A look at acid rain and the farm phosphorus conundrum with water quality

Farmers understand that Lake Erie turns green in the summer and that part of the blame is rightfully being directed at agriculture due to issues related to nutrient management, specifically phosphorus. What is less understood is why this is happening.

In a time period where on-farm phosphorus application levels have decreased substantially and recommended conservation practices have increased in the agricultural landscape, the troubling harmful algal blooms again started showing up in the Western Basin of Lake Erie after many thought the water quality issues had been corrected decades earlier.

Even more confusing are the smaller lakes in more remote parts of the state and country where algal blooms are showing up in lakes surrounded with little to no agriculture to blame on the issue. There are numerous theories as to why this could be happening. One of them was a topic in a study published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation last summer: “A possible trade-off between clean air and clean water.”

Douglas R.… Continue reading

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Bin run seed — some lessons from the past

With lower prices and higher input costs in today’s soybean farming operations, some farmers are looking where to shave a few dollars off their costs of farming. Based on the calls directly from farmers on which seed treatments to use, it is not too hard to figure out where some of those savings might be coming from. This used to be general practice but there are ways to do this to be sure it really is saving farmer’s money.

1. Make absolutely sure that this seed is a candidate to use again. The harsh reality of the new generation of technologies that go into the new soybean varieties is that it probably takes the total profit of the U.S. soybean crop to go from discovery, development, U.S. and European government approvals, and producing that seed. Companies are forced to protect that investment and in reality — part of how we have raised the state yield average from 30 bushels per acre to 52 bushels per acre is because of these improved varieties.… Continue reading

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