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Commodity Classic registration opening soon

Commodity Classic registration and housing reservations will open online at 10 a.m. CST on Wednesday morning, December 7, 2016. Rooms are expected to book quickly, so those interested should register and make reservations as soon as possible once registration is open.

The 2017 Commodity Classic will be held in San Antonio, Texas March 2-4, 2017, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.  The convention center will house all Commodity Classic events, including the Welcome Reception, General Session, Evening of Entertainment, Trade Show, Learning Center Sessions and What’s New Sessions.

All registration and housing reservations should be made online at www.commodityclassic.com.  Experient is the official registration and housing provider for Commodity Classic.  In order to stay at an official Commodity Classic hotel, reservations must be made only through Experient to ensure favorable rates, reasonable terms and confirmed hotel rooms.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show, produced by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

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Did corn fungicides pay in 2016?

As farmers around the state scouted their withering corn fields this summer, the application of fungicides seemed like a waste of money. Some are now second-guessing that decision.

“I should have done a whole lot more fungicides,” said Jeremy Goyings, who farms in Paulding County. “We didn’t want to throw more money at what looked like a 100-bushel corn crop at the time, but it turns out we should have. There were a lot of excellent results with fungicides in this area. It was a little variety specific and those varieties that were more disease susceptible saw more benefit. It drives home the point that we need to be pushing harder on the fungicides on the corn. I think there is money to be made with more blanket applications. There may be years that it does not have that kind of yield benefit, but there are years where it does pay and you don’t want to miss out on it.

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EPA releases RFS final numbers

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In a required annual rulemaking, this action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and for biomass-based diesel for 2018.

“Renewable fuel volumes continue to increase across the board compared to 2016 levels,” said Janet McCabe, the agency’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “These final standards will boost production, providing for ambitious yet achievable growth of biofuels in the transportation sector. By implementing the program enacted by Congress, we are expanding the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing our reliance on imported oil.”

Some key elements of the EPA’s action:

• Non-advanced or “conventional” renewable fuel increases in 2017, meeting the 15 billion-gallon congressional target for conventional fuels.

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — November 28th, 2016

The final Ohio Crop Progress Report for 2016 was released on Monday.

Harvest is essentially completed, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.4 days available for fieldwork for the week ending November 27th . Winter wheat is in good condition. Warm temperatures this fall allowed the majority of produces to finish harvest and complete some tillage and spraying work for next season. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 3 percent of the State was rated as in “moderate drought” while another 45 percent was rated “abnormally dry”.

Click here to read the entire report

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Ohio State scientists part of honored corn-climate change project

A major project aimed at making corn production more resilient in the face of climate change, whose partners included scientists from The Ohio State University, was recently honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Called “Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation in Corn-Based Cropping Systems,” the research, education and outreach project received NIFA’s 2016 Partnership Award for multistate efforts during the institute’s annual Day of Appreciation on Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C.

Also called the “Sustainable Corn Project,” the five-year, $20 million NIFA-funded endeavor was started in 2011; was directed by Lois Wright Morton, professor of sociology at Iowa State University; and included teams from 10 land-grant universities and two USDA Agricultural Research Service laboratories in nine Midwestern states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

More resilient, sustainable corn production

An overarching goal of the project was to make corn-based cropping systems more resilient and sustainable and to develop a suite of practices for corn-based systems that:

  • Retain and enhance soil organic matter and nutrient and carbon stocks
  • Reduce off-field nitrogen losses that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution
  • Better withstand droughts and floods
  • Ensure productivity under different climatic conditions

The project engaged more than 150 cooperator farmers, who partnered with team scientists and educators to share their knowledge and learn from project research.

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When is it time to till a no-till field?

Tillage is a tool for managing many things that can go wrong on a given field. It breaks compaction (if done at the right soil moisture), improves drainage (again if done at the right soil moisture), and manages inoculum loads from residue borne insects and pathogens that impact corn, soybean, and wheat. Just like pesticides and fertilizers – too much tillage also can bring another set of problems, a compacted plow layer, but more importantly, soil erosion. With any agronomic practice, including tillage, there are benefits and drawbacks.

Below is a list of potential problems associated with no-till fields.

The Pathogens

High levels of disease from pathogens that survive on and in crop residue: This year in 2016, we have had outbreaks of a number of pathogens that cause ear molds and leaf blights on corn, leaf spots and seed rots on soybean. The likes of what we have not seen for some time.

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What to watch for in the bins

There are many reasons why on-farm grain storage is used by producers across Ohio. It may be part of the marketing strategy, feed storage for farm use, and/or income and tax management to complete grain sales before and/or after the new calendar year. Regardless of the reason, an essential requirement is to maintain quality grain during the storage period to preserve the grain for end usage and economic value. The 2016 harvest presented some grain quality challenges, especially for corn so it will be important to manage the grain during the next several months.

Two factors to consider related directly to the stored grain condition are the grain moisture content and the grain mass temperature. The general idea is the longer the grain is stored, the lower the grain moisture content. If corn was moldy at harvest, it should be dried to 13% regardless of the length of storage. Without mold, corn should be dried down to maximum of 15% moisture content if stored from harvest to Jan.

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USDA makes changes to improve the Prevented Planting Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced updated factors for prevented planting coverage that will strengthen the integrity of the federal crop insurance program. The updates were made to address the recommendations of a 2013 USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, and are supported by the data from a subsequent third-party study commissioned at the urging of the OIG. These improvements will ensure that the program continues to be a well-run program that provides a strong safety net for producers.

Prevented planting coverage provides producers protection if they are unable to plant an insured crop by the final planting date.  When adverse weather prevents planting, a prevented planting payment is made to compensate for the producer’s pre-planting costs generally incurred in preparation for planting the crop. These costs can include purchase of machinery, land rent, fertilizer, actions taken to ready the field, pesticide, labor, and repairs.

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New research could make ethanol production more efficient and economic

New research at the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus could significantly change ethanol production by lowering operating costs and simplifying the dry grind process.

“There are currently more than 200 dry grind plants that are processing corn to produce ethanol,” said Vijay Singh, director of IBRL and a professor in agricultural and biological engineering. “The dry grind process requires two different enzymes to convert corn starch to glucose, which is further fermented to ethanol by yeast.”

Singh says that process has been simplified by combined use and optimization of three new technologies.

“A new corn developed by transgenic technology, known as amylase corn, produces one of these enzymes in the grain itself, and a newly engineered ‘superior yeast’ provides the second enzyme, as well as fermenting the glucose.

“There is a high expression level of the first enzyme, α-amylase, in the new corn, so only a small amount [15% was tested in these studies] of this corn is required to be mixed with conventional dent corn,” Singh said.

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Ohio Soybean Council announces annual meeting

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) will hold its annual meeting on Monday, November 28, 2016 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 of the OSC Board of Trustees.
For meeting information, contact OSC at 888-769-6446.
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Ohio’s Crop Progress — November 21st, 2016

Harvest Wrapping Up

Favorable weather conditions allowed some fieldwork for most of the week, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.1 days available for fieldwork for the week ending November 20. Temperatures remained well above average until late in the week when cold temperatures swept into the state. Drought conditions extended north of the Ohio River, covering most of Adams County and some surrounding areas. Moisture levels of corn harvested during the week is 17 percent.

Click here for the full report from USDA NASS

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Interpreting a soil test report

Soil test reports vary from laboratory to laboratory, but they all report key results of pH, lime test index (LTI) or buffer pH, phosphorous, and potassium. These results are used to develop fertilizer recommendations. Other useful measures on the report, such as cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic matter, and base saturation, can further define soil factors related to nutrient availability and holding capacity that should be considered as nutrient plans are developed. Desirable ranges to maximize crop production for each of the tests performed in a standard soil test are listed in Table 1. This table should serve as a general guideline to help determine if your soil is within the desirable range for each of the parameters tested. Thorough guidelines are given in “Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa.”


Soil pH and buffer pH

The level of active soil acidity is measured using soil pH.

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Big crops in 2016 pushing need to boost demand


The USDA weekly crop progress report of Nov. 7 had the U.S. corn harvest at 86% while the soybean harvest was 93% complete. Ohio was at a very similar pace that showed corn harvest at 81% with soybeans at 95% complete. The five-year average harvest pace for Ohio had corn harvest at 67% and soybean harvest at 85%. The fantastic harvest weather since early October had Ohio’s producers experiencing very few delays due to rain events. In fact, the weather has been pretty much one of a prolonged trend of normal to above normal temperatures with below normal rainfall. It allowed those producers planting wheat to get it sowed timely during the first two weeks of October. Then for many, rains followed within seven to 10 days, pushing wheat to a fantastic early start with fields a deep green, bringing smiles to producers. Unfortunately, with world wheat stocks at record levels, wheat prices are in the tank as they continue to trade at 10-year lows.

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New publication listing herbicide adjuvants now available from Purdue

The 2016 “Compendium of Herbicide Adjuvants” is available from Purdue Extension through Purdue’s The Education Store.

Now in its 13th edition, the publication lists 779 products from 38 companies. Each listing contains the product name, principal functioning agents, use rates, special comments and name of the manufacturer or distributor. The first edition, published in 1992, contained 76 listings from 22 companies.

An adjuvant is any substance added to an herbicide to increase its effectiveness or make it easier to apply. A combination of factors account for the popularity of herbicide adjuvants over the past several decades, said Bryan Young, professor of weed science and editor of the publication.

“Foliar herbicide applications continue to be a critical part of weed management and growers must optimize herbicide efficacy to minimize the risk of herbicide failure that favors the selection of herbicide-resistant weeds,” he said. “In addition, significant advancements and innovations in herbicide adjuvant chemistry have evolved that allow for the combination of multiple adjuvant chemistries into a single multi-functional product.”

The purpose of the Compendium is to provide a format that allows for a comparison of adjuvant products that fall within or across the different adjuvant categories, Young said.

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Testing soil solution to gain insights into the 4Rs

In terms of the Right Rate component of the 4Rs, the folks at AgroLiquid are taking a novel approach to finding it through research and unique method of monitoring the fertility in the liquid between the soil particles.

Using a series of syringes attached to tubing placed at varying depths beneath the soil, the soil solution underground can be carefully extracted. The nutrient levels in the solution can then be compared to nutrient application rates to get a handle on what the plants are using and what is being lost.

“We have developed this method of how to test nutrients in soil solutions to see how much is lost. What we are doing has the potential to change how the industry approaches fertility and the loss of nutrients,” said Nick Bancroft, vice president of AgroLiquid. “We test the nutrient solution to see what nutrients are moving in the soil and compare that to what was applied and see what amount was used and what amount was lost.

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NBB pushing for tax incentive extension

This fall the National Biodiesel Board sent a letter to House and Senate tax committee leaders urging extension of the biodiesel tax incentive before it expires on Dec. 31. The letter was sent on behalf of U.S. biodiesel producers nationwide.

“We strongly urge you to extend the biodiesel tax credit and take this opportunity to make a simple, common-sense reform by focusing the credit on U.S. production,” said Donnell Rehagen, Interim NBB CEO in the letter. “Legislation pending before Congress — S. 3188 and H.R. 5240 — would accomplish these objectives by extending the incentive through 2019 and changing it from a blender’s credit to a domestic producer’s credit. The legislation has strong support from American biodiesel producers and strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate — reflected last year when a similar proposal passed the Senate Finance Committee.”

The growth of the U.S. biodiesel industry in recent years is paying tremendous dividends in reducing emissions, strengthening our energy security, generating competition in the diesel sector and creating jobs and economic activity in every state in the nation.

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The challenges and rewards of growing buckwheat in Ohio

Like many farms in Ohio, the 2016 planting season started a little later than expected for Marion County’s Lill Farms. Planters started rolling on May 23 and wrapped up in the first part of June. Summer dealt a rough five-week period with no rain and then timely August rains helped push yield numbers to higher marks than anticipated.

As harvest time approached, Lill Farms’ David Niederhuber had to take a hiatus from the corn and soybean fields  to take off another crop that is part of the farm’s rotation — buckwheat.

“We started growing buckwheat here in the early 1990s and it certainly is a unique crop,” Niederhuber said. “It’s a double-crop with a short growing season and it goes in after wheat and this year we planted it on July 15 but it can go in as late as Aug. 1.”

With a mid-summer planting time frame and a short growing season window, the weather experienced this year was ideal for the unique crop.

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The certified crop advisor

The Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) and Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg) programs of the American Society of Agronomy are the benchmarks of professionalism. The CCA certification was established in 1992 to provide a benchmark for practicing agronomy professionals in the United States and Canada. The Ohio CCA program has been operating since 1994; a local board directs our program and is managed by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association: http://oaba.net/aws/OABA/pt/sp/cca.

Certification is the standard by which professionals are judged. The purpose of a certification program is to protect the public and the profession. It is a voluntary professional enhancement to a person’s career credentials. Farmers and employers prefer to work with Certified Crop Advisers because they have demonstrated they have the commitment, education, expertise, and experience to make a difference in a client’s business.


Who should be certified?

Any adviser/consultant that spends the majority of their time advising growers or farm managers/operators on agronomic practices and can meet the standards of the program.

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — November 14th, 2016

Tillage and fall spraying activities are underway with most grain harvest complete, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.3 days available for fieldwork for the week ending November 13. Winter Wheat and cover crops are progressing well with the benefit of above normal temperatures and adequate soil moisture. Moisture levels of corn harvested during the week decreased one percentage point to 17 percent.

See the full report here

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Developing a strategy for precision soil sampling

There are many different tools and approaches available that, if used correctly, can help to improve your nutrient management (variable rate application, precision placement, crop sensing via NDVI, late-season application, nutrient BMPs, etc). However, selecting the correct tools and using them to your advantage is not always an easy process, since the best tool and the best approach can vary by farmer and field. The key to a successful soil fertility program is to identify your goals and develop a plan to meet those goals each season. Identifying both short and long term goals make it possible to develop a strategy to use precision technologies to systematically improve your soil fertility program. Some goals you may consider are:

1.     Improve mapping of field variation that affects soil fertility

2.     Maximize the economic return of fertilizer applications

3.     Reduce off-site movement of nutrients


Selecting A Soil Sampling Approach

One of the most important decisions that you will make as part of your fertility program is how to divide (the area within a field boundary) a field into representative areas and what the area represents yield soil type etc.

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