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Ohio Soybean Council announces Annual Meeting

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) will hold its annual meeting on Monday, November 26, 2018 at the Columbus Marriott Northwest in Dublin, Ohio. The meeting will begin at 3:00 p.m. and all Ohio soybean farmers are invited to attend.

The meeting will include a discussion of Ohio soybean checkoff investments, audit review, and acceptance of new members to the OSC Board of Trustees.

For meeting information, contact OSC at 614-476-3100.

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NCGA calls for more equitable trade relief

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp urged U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to consider changes to the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) ahead of the second round of payments.

In a letter to Perdue, Chrisp said that he continues to hear from farmers who are disappointed in USDA’s approach to calculating the first round of MFP payments because it was too narrow in scope and did not capture the real-time impacts of trade disruptions on our markets.

Chrisp asked Perdue to add ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to the calculation of damages for corn. Using USDA’s methodology, gross trade damages for ethanol and DDGS amounts to $254 million, which was not accounted for in the first MFP payments. Chrisp also asked the Secretary to allow farmers who suffer production losses from disasters to use an alternative to 2018 production for their MFP calculation. This would ensure farmers suffering from drought, hurricane-related losses or other natural disasters would not be penalized twice.

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CCA Exam Registration open through Dec. 14

By Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Exam registration for the February 1, 2019 exam date is open now through December 14th. Interested in becoming a Certified Crop Adviser or becoming certified in one of the specialty certifications (4R Nutrient Management Specialty, Resistance Management Specialist, Sustainability Specialty, and new in 2019 is the Precision Agriculture Specialty)? Find Performance Objectives, registration, and other materials for all exams on the CCA Exam website: https://www.certifiedcropadviser.org/exams.

The OSU Agronomic Crops Team offers a basic CCA exam preparation workshop on January 9 and 10 in Sidney Ohio. We provide presentations and guidance on how and what to study for the exam – our goal is to help you pass, but at the same time show you where you may be deficient and need a little more study. The price for the exam preparation class is $250. Secure on-line registration via credit card, debit card or check is available at: http://go.osu.edu/Reg2019class.

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“Living Soil” film released

By Alan Sundermeier, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The Soil Health Institute released Living Soil, a 60-minute documentary about soil health featuring innovative farmers and soil health experts from throughout the U.S. The film is freely available to download and stream at www.livingsoilfilm.com.

Living Soil captures the background of the current soil health movement and its momentum, beginning with painful images of the Dust Bowl, and then transitions to personal experiences of innovative women and men who are managing their land to enhance soil health. The film features rural and urban farmers from Maryland to California, selling everything from corn to bouquets, united by their care for the soil.

The Soil Health Institute (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) is a non-profit whose mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement.

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Lessons learned from 2018

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

The 2018 growing season was one of the most challenging for our customers in recent history. Although growers would rather move on from the frustrations and challenges thrown at us this year, there are several lessons that can be taken from 2018 to ensure success in the future.

Timely field work

Wet spring weather has shown the importance of timely field work in the spring. Saturated soils create delays and pressure to complete field work in narrower windows of time. Although heavy rains and cool weather can cause extended delays, field conditions can turn around quickly as observed this spring. Our agronomists observed soil temperatures a few inches below the soil surface go from the upper 30s (Fahrenheit) to the mid 50s in just a few days in no-till fields where soils had been saturated. Having equipment ready to go when a favorable planting window arrives is imperative.

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Notes on fall fertilization: Nitrogen

By Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences

With harvest almost complete after another year with high to very high yields, it’s time to review some basics of fall fertilization. Neither fertilizer nor grain prices are historically high, so there’s reason to be aware of costs while making sure to cover the nutrient basics.

 

Nitrogen

In a webinar on Oct. 19 organized by the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, we looked at some of the nitrogen response data that have come in so far this fall and considered what this might mean in terms of fall N management. In some of the trials, modest N rates produced high yields, much like we’ve been seeing routinely in recent years. But in a few other trials, we found that the crop needed more N than we have seen in most recent trials done on productive soils. It’s too soon to call this a phenomenon for 2018.

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Infrastructure improvements could offer common political ground

By Matt Reese and Ty Higgins

There is not much that politicians on opposing sides of the aisle agree upon these days, but improving the nation’s transportation infrastructure could be one of them.

“If there was a to-do list for the American people, I would say political acrimony and obstruction are not on it, but infrastructure is. It is encouraging to see both Republicans and Democrats have both come to the conclusion that they need to justify they deserve to be there. One of the most effective ways to do that is to actually get something done and I think infrastructure is the best opportunity to do that in a bipartisan manner,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “But you’re not just making an allocation of funding for a short period of time. It is something you invest in your long-term competitiveness. For agriculture, we really need that right now.

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There are some brights spots for corn prices, soybeans look grim

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Harvest progress continues to be disappointing for many across Ohio. For the most part it is not disappointment in the harvest to date but rather for what yet remains for corn and soybeans to be harvested across the state. The last half of October, like much of the growing season, provided bountiful rains for Ohio.

The Nov. 8 USDA Monthly Supply and Demand Report lowered corn ending stocks and increased soybean ending stocks. Those changes were expected but the ways they got there were not similar. U.S. corn ending stocks for the 2018-19 marketing year were 1.736 billion bushels, down 77 million bushels from October. The biggest change for corn came with U.S. production at 14.626 billion bushels. The October production estimate put corn at 14.778 billion bushels. Traders and producers alike were expecting the corn yield to be reduced as it was estimated at 178.9 bushels per acre, down 1.8 bushels from the October estimate.

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Ohio Crop Progress — Nov. 13, 2018

Wet Conditions Stall Progress

Continued wet conditions and cooler temperatures throughout the week kept producers out of the fields, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 2.4 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending November 11. Very little harvesting or other fieldwork were completed last week. Some corn and soybeans were harvested despite saturated soil conditions. There were reports of muddy fields and some crop distress due to excess moisture. Lack of storage availability also stalled harvest. The average moisture content of corn harvested last week was 17 percent and the average for soybeans was 15 percent. Some tillage and manure management activities were underway.

Click here to see the full report

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Input costs on the rise for 2019

The cost of producing a grain crop is expected to rise next year and farm income is unlikely to increase, an agricultural economist with The Ohio State University has projected.

On average, profits for Ohio farmers next year will be “low to negative,” said Barry Ward, an assistant professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

For the past five years, farm income nationwide has been declining, with the exception of 2017 when it increased slightly. Next year, fertilizer, seed, machinery, labor and energy costs likely will be “modestly higher,” Ward said.

“Nothing is really exploding, but we are going to see some increases,” Ward said.

Borrowing money will come at a higher cost because interest rates have gone up and will continue to increase in 2019, Ward said.

“We know farmers are borrowing more money now,” he said.

Land owners likely will see a decline in the value of their farmland as a result of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes as well as the uncertainty that has come with the future of corn and soybean crop prices, Ward said.

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Commodity leaders join forces on sustainability research

The National Pork Board (NPB), United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers. This research program will include the sharing of completed research, coordination on current and planned research and define ways to share and communicate results with each organization’s members.

Leadership from the three commodity groups agree that it is prudent to consider specific ways in which they might work together more effectively to ensure alignment and collaboration in sustainability research and how the results can and will be communicated and shared.

“Sustainability is defined by the We Care ethical principles pork producers established over 10 years ago,” said Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board President, a pig farmer from South Dakota. “Joining in the efforts of two other organizations, as a collective group, we can more effectively spend producer dollars to achieve the goals we can all believe in and support.

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Nov. 8 report negative for soybeans and wheat

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

With rains across the Midwest during the last half of October delaying harvest, a common thread of anticipation for this report suggested both U.S. corn and soybean yields would be reduced. The Nov. 8 report was negative for soybeans and wheat. Early gains in corn of 7 cents quickly evaporated.

Many traders had also expected China’s soybean imports to be reduced. Various reports in recent weeks have suggested that China would be reducing the amount of protein used in their hog rations. This potential ration change has been discussed for months, it is not new news. USDA put their soybean imports with this report at 90 million tons. Last month it was 94 million tons. The June report estimated China’s soybean imports at 103 million tons.

Soybean production was 4.60 billion bushels, the yield was 52.1 bushels per acre, and ending stocks were 955 million bushels.

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FDA releases two FSMA draft guidance documents

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, and Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate, Ohio State University

The Food and Drug Administration recently released draft guidance documents explaining how to follow rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). One document, titled “Guide to Minimize Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-cut Produce,” provides guidance on how to follow the Preventive Controls Rule under FSMA.

“Fresh-cut produce,” is defined as “any fresh fruit or vegetable or combination thereof that has been physically altered from its whole state after being harvested from the field without additional processing.” The guidance would affect manufacturers, processors, packers, and holders of fresh-cut produce. The document covers current good manufacturing practices, as well as “new requirements for hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls.” The draft guidance document, in addition to information on how to submit a comment on the guidance, is available here.

The second draft guidance document is titled “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Guidance for Industry.” This document provides guidance on how to follow FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule.

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Are modern genetics worth the money?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension field agronomist

At summer field days and then at Farm Science Review, I had the opportunity to talk with growers about crop prices and how they plan to cut back on costs for 2019. While yield will help offset the cut backs, price is still a concern. One topic that came up several times was to change their genetics to cheaper hybrids or maybe drop traits. This thought somewhat concerns me.

I have conducted a number of trials and comparisons over the years and generally have learned that new is better when it comes to choosing a hybrid or variety. One such comparison I have been making over recent years is of a modern hybrid to open pollinated corn varieties. I know this is an extreme comparison but I do actually have some folks tell me they are looking for a modern open pollinated variety so they can produce their own seed.

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Sampling for SCN: Fall is the time!

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

As we continue to wait another week for the fields to dry out, this provides some time to sample soil for the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations. The SCN Coalition theme for the next few years is “What’s your number?” Do you know where SCN is in your fields and what the current population is sitting at? If its high, then there is a second number: what is the SCN type? This addresses the bigger concern: can it reproduce on the SCN resistance source PI 88788 or Peking? All of these numbers can impact management of this root pathogen and future losses.

In Ohio, we know that the state is now “polluted” with SCN. Fortunately most of those fields are at very low levels, which is where they should be kept.

From samples received to date as part of an initial survey for Ohio of 33 counties as part of the SCN Coalition sampling, we found the following results.

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Proper winterizing and storing your sprayer now help you mitigate costly problems in the spring

By Erdal Ozkan

It is very likely that you will not be using your sprayer again until next spring. If you want to avoid potential problems and save yourself from frustration and major headaches next spring, you will be wise to give your sprayer a little bit of TLC (Tender Loving Care) this time of the year. Yes, there may be still crop to be harvested, and you may still be a busy time of the year for some of you. However, do not forget about winterizing your sprayer. Do not delay it too long, if you already have not done so. You don’t want a pump that is cracked and/or not working at its full capacity because you did not properly winterize it before the temperature falls below freezing. Here are some important things you need to do with your sprayer this time of the year.

Rinsing

It is very likely that you did the right thing when you used the sprayer the last time: you rinsed the whole system (tank, hoses, filters, nozzles) thoroughly.

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Ohio Crop Progress — Nov. 5, 2018

Rain Stalled Harvest

Wet conditions continued last week which halted most harvest progress according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 1.9 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending November 4. Rainfall kept farmers out of the field and brought remaining harvest to a standstill in many areas. Statewide, corn harvest advanced 6 percentage points while soybean harvest progress gained 7 points from last week. Excessive rains caused flooding and ponding in low lying areas. Winter wheat was reported to be in good condition. The average moisture content of corn harvested last week was 17 percent and the average for soybeans was 14 percent.

Click here to read the full report

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Grain storage tips

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

During and after harvest there are several steps growers can take to ensure the best possible conditions for on-farm grain storage. Proper storage and grain handling is necessary in maintaining the quality of the harvested crop. It is critical to start with both a clean bin and handling equipment. Any moldy grain or grain infested by insects from the previous year can contaminate grain harvested this season. Storage facilities and aeration equipment should be clean and in proper working condition.

Harvesting equipment that is adjusted and operated correctly will also preserve the condition of the crop. Combines should be set to clean grain thoroughly to eliminate foreign material/fines and handling equipment should be operated in order to minimize damage to grain. It is also important to use a spreader or distributor as grain enters the bin to evenly spread any fine materials remaining in the grain.

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October harvest progress and prices disappointing for many

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The NASS Weekly Crop Progress report of Oct. 29 put the U.S. corn harvest at 63%, ahead of the 2017 harvest progress of 52% for the same time, but matching to the tick the five-year average. The Ohio corn harvest report was 64%, running ahead of the 56% for the five-year average. At first glance, you would think, no problem. However, the reality is quite different. With the numerous rains of September and October, fields in many parts of Ohio have taken a long time to dry out. Harvest has been a long, difficult process drawn out longer than in past harvest seasons. Some producers have already suggested that corn and soybeans still in the field could need freezing temperatures to firm the ground enough for harvest.

October was a disappointing harvest month for many Ohio producers. The size of their farm program checks was also a letdown, though not unexpected.

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A long road ahead for year round E15 availability

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

For how much talk that has been made about the decline in soybean demand due to many factors, corn demand has held its own through the second half of 2018. That was one of the points made at last week’s Agriculture Policy and Outlook Conference, hosted by The Ohio State University.

“Ethanol is the biggest component of corn use and we have exported a lot of it, including 33% of our ethanol to Brazil this year,” said Ben Brown, program manager for the Farm Management Program in Ohio State’s College of Food, Ag and Environmental Sciences. “The returns for ethanol plants aren’t overly strong so we have seen a pullback from ethanol production, but use was good this year.”

Those ethanol plants, corn industry groups and corn farmers across the country are applauding a recent announcement by President Trump that he has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose the sales of E15 ethanol, or gasoline with a 15% ethanol blend, on a year round basis.

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