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Prices could make significant moves following today’s report

After the March 31 Planting Intentions report and Grain Stocks Report are published today the markets could be making significant price moves. Grain producers don’t want to see grain prices drift even more to the downside, away from highs seen in January and February. Following the March 9 monthly USDA Supply and Demand Report, corn and soybeans moved out of their sideways pattern as they reached levels not seen for several months. From March 9 to March 24, corn prices dropped 11 cents, soybeans fell 35 cents, while wheat was down 19 cents.

Following the March 9 Supply and Demand Report, the market seemed to be in a void of news headlines that changed, bringing fresh news to the forefront. In the weeks following that report markets seemed to focus almost exclusively on grain supply and production. Demand mattered very little. Weekly grain export loadings and export sales with numbers above the high end of trade expectations provided zero price bounces higher as the numbers were quickly dismissed.… Continue reading

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What is next for precision ag?

Yield monitors, variable rate applications and auto-steer have changed row-crop agriculture in many positive ways. What’s next?

“There are two big categories,” said John Jansen, North America commercial lead for The Climate Corporation. “One is scripting and the other is managing crop health in the season by getting insights in real time.”

On-farm prescriptions for seeding rates, nutrient application and other inputs are making rapid progress and can now be calculated with a few clicks on an IPad.

“We have some new tools where, with a click, farmers can create seeding scripts in corn. There are over 59 seed brands and over 3,000 corn hybrids that farmers can choose from. They can create zones in a field automatically and assign seeding rates in those zones based on their yield targets,” Jansen said. “We have really simplified the steps to create variable rate seeding prescriptions. We will also be working with some fertility scripting tools focused on corn that will allow farmers to create scripts for nitrogen and well as P and K.… Continue reading

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Cover crop dos and don’ts

I have had several questions through the winter on cover crop removal. I have experience with Austrian winter pea and annual ryegrass in some of my cover crop work. I like Austrian pea, it is easy — just apply your normal burndown of glyphosate, atrazine and favorite pre-emergent grass product for corn. Annual ryegrass on the other hand was difficult to manage. In reading the literature on control, it seems others have difficulty, too.

A new publication on Cover Crop Do’s and Don’ts (WS-53-W) from Purdue Extension came out last year in June too late for 2016, but plenty early for this year. Their suggestions fit with my concerns too. So what are some of their do’s and don’ts?

 

Weed management

• Do terminate cover crops before planting.

• Don’t use annual ryegrass.

• Don’t reduce herbicide use.

• Don’t rely on cover crops for universal weed suppression.

 

Insect Management

• Do be committed to scouting.… Continue reading

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Beware: Tick numbers could be on the rise this spring

The warm winter weather has many concerned that ticks will be early and plentiful this spring. Those working outdoors need to be on the lookout.

Aside from just providing a serious case of the heebie-jeebies, ticks are a real, and growing threat to human and animal health because they carry diseases. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, blacklegged ticks are active throughout the year in Ohio with the adults active in the spring, fall and winter. The nymphs are active in the spring and summer and the larvae are active in late summer. The onset of human Lyme disease cases occurs all year in Ohio, but incidents peak in summer following the emergence of the nymphs.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans — the “bull’s-eye” rash.… Continue reading

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U2U makes data more accessible to farmers

Researchers at nine universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are celebrating the completion of a six-year, $5 million program that reinvented the way climate scientists connect with farmers.

The Useful to Usable (U2U) project aimed to mold existing climate data into relevant products for the agricultural community. Project participants first learned about the type of climate data that farmers employ when making growing decisions on their farms and how they employ that data. The team used those insights to develop products that would help farmers determine what, when and where to plant, as well as how to manage crops to maximize yields with eyes on limiting negative effects on the environment.

Purdue University’s Linda Prokopy, a professor of natural resource social science and U2U lead project director, and Melissa Widhalm, U2U project manager, led a team of nearly four dozen faculty, staff and students from partnering universities. Many of the team’s findings were published early online in a special issue of the journal Climate Risk Management slated for March release.… Continue reading

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Ohio soil amendment and foliar application trials summary

In 2016, the Soil Fertility Lab at Ohio State offered a third party evaluation of proprietary soil amendments and foliar applications aimed at improving the mineral nutrition and productivity of crops. This service intends to provide timely and unbiased information on these products for farmers. In 2015, we tested submitted products from the following companies:

  1. AgZyme® by Ag Concepts
  2. BAM-FX by Zero Gravity Solutions

Methods: Corn and soybean trials were planted at three sites on Ohio State University Research Farms: 1) Clark County at the Western Agricultural Research Station in S. Charleston, 2) Wayne County at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, 3) Wood County at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Custar.

Data collected include: 1) Complete soil sample analysis prior to planting, 2) Emergence counts at V5 for corn and soybean, 3) Whole plant sampling at V5 for total biomass and complete nutrient analysis, 4) Leaf sampling at R1 for corn and soybean for complete nutrient analysis, 5) Final stand counts at maturity for corn, and 6) Harvest grain yield with complete grain nutrient analysis.… Continue reading

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Hay making workshop

The Hardin County OSU Extension office is having a workshop ‘Making Hay: From Seeding to Harvesting’ on April 3 from 6:30-9:00 pm. The location of the Extension office is 1021 W Lima Street, Suite 103 in Kenton. Topics taught during this program will include seed selection, soil preparation, planting, monitoring, growth stages, harvest steps, dry-down, bale sizes, storage tips, quality hay, nutritional content and market value.

The instructor for the workshop will be Jason Hartschuh, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator from Crawford County. Each person who attends the Hay Making Workshop will receive a Forage Field Guide to use as a reference for producing hay and other forages on their farm. Producers who would benefit from attending this program include those who raise beef, dairy, sheep, goats and those who raise or keep horses. Also, those who produce and sell hay as a business will gain knowledge about practices to increase their profitability through production and marketing best practices.… Continue reading

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Fertilizer applications for spring ‘17

This has been a year of making decisions to improve farm practices and being as efficient as possible. Technology sales remained stable through the winter months along with the generation of variable-rate fertilizer prescriptions. Regardless of implementing fixed-rate or variable-rate applications of fertilizers, an important factor to efficient and effective fertilizer use is proper maintenance, setup and calibration of spreaders. Annual calibration is always a necessity but when did you last take the time to properly setup and calibrate?

Spreader settings need to change accordingly for each fertilizer product being applied.

Additionally, the settings may need to be adjusted based on different application rates and field conditions. While technology on spreaders, especially VRT spreaders, has significantly increased in the last 10 years, the technology being adopted does not directly correlate to accurate field performance. Crop yield could be compromised if incorrect rates are applied or non-uniform application occurs. Calibration should be part of a regular maintenance schedule for all application equipment.… Continue reading

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U.S. biodiesel industry calls out illegal trading

The National Biodiesel Board filed an antidumping and countervailing duty petition, making the case that Argentine and Indonesian companies are violating trade laws by flooding the U.S. market with dumped and subsidized biodiesel. The petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, which is made up of the National Biodiesel Board and U.S. biodiesel producers.

“The National Biodiesel Board and U.S. biodiesel industry is committed to fair trade, and we support the right of producers and workers to compete on a level playing field,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board CEO. “This is a simple case where companies in Argentina and Indonesia are getting advantages that cheat U.S. trade laws and are counter to fair competition. NBB is involved because U.S. biodiesel production, which currently support more than 50,000 American jobs, is being put at risk by unfair market practices.”

Because of illegal trade activities, biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464% from 2014 to 2016.… Continue reading

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A look at weed control in 2017: Corn

While having more weed control options than ever before can be an exciting opportunity for farms to tackle problem weeds, it can also be confusing, which can lead to expensive problems down the road.

For now Dean Petry and grandson Brandon Monebrake in Preble County are planning to continue what has already been working for their corn herbicide program.

“We are sticking with what we are doing. We don’t really have an issue with marestail. Giant ragweed is the big issue for us,” Petry said. “We use Lexar. Then we use HERBIMAX crop oil with Roundup for spot spraying in the corn. Sometimes Johnsongrass can be a problem in the corn, but Lexar holds it down pretty good.”

The farm has been in no-till for 25 years and the corn burndown is done shortly after planting.

“We do a burndown for corn in the spring after we plant,” Monebrake said. “We spray when we put 28% on when the corn is six inches or a foot tall.”

The warm winter is the source of some concern as planting season draws near.… Continue reading

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Tips to make (and save) money with soybeans

So the economists say we will lose money on every acre of corn in 2017, and maybe make $1 on soybeans. So what are we to do?

Here are some things I heard at the Soybean School at the Conservation Tillage Conference on ways to save money. Take these as suggestions, not requirements.

  1. No sugar. This got a big hit last year, but I heard it again – adding a little sugar to a system that makes a bunch of sugar doesn’t really help.
  2. While we are capable today of making variable rate applications for seeding rate, it doesn’t really pay to buy equipment that makes the rate changes. I heard this from both the corn and soybean presenters. The adaptability of current corn hybrids is very broad, same with soybeans.
  3. Spend no money on nitrogen for soybeans. At best you break even, at worst it costs you money. Also the soybean plant takes up nitrogen right up until the end of its life — amazing!
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Cold temperatures and damage to wheat

In the last few weeks temperatures dropped significantly below freezing for many areas within the Seed Consultants’ sales footprint. Temps reached as low as the low 20s Fahrenheit in Kentucky and even down into the teens for more northern growing areas, causing concerns about damage to winter wheat. Extreme cold temp are especially a concern for wheat that has reached the jointing stage of growth (Feekes stage 6). In a recent article published by the University of Kentucky, Carrie Knott wrote: “For winter wheat that has reached the jointing (Feekes 6) growth stage, damage can occur to the developing wheat head, which is above the soil surface at jointing, when temperatures are 24 degrees F or below for at least two hours. For wheat that has not reached jointing, temperatures of 12 degrees F or below for two or more hours can cause damage. For wheat that is at the jointing growth stage in areas that temperatures dipped to or below 24 degrees F for at least two hours damage is likely.”
Below are the University of Kentucky recommendations for assessing winter wheat damage according to Knott’s article:

1.… Continue reading

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Will soybean acres exceed corn?

Producers across Ohio and the Midwest will be in the fields planting corn in the weeks ahead. Soybeans will soon follow. Producers and traders will be comparing the March 30 planting intentions report for corn and soybeans in the U.S. to the numbers from the February USDA Outlook Conference when corn acres were estimated at 90 million acres and soybeans at 88 million acres. Corn acres are down from last year when the U.S. planted 94.4 million acres. U.S. soybean acres in 2016 were 83.4 million acres. No one is surprised that corn acres are down this year and soybean acres are up. Many producers are quick to note that with prices as of early March they will see more profits with soybeans compared to corn. Weather this spring will go a long way to finalize the months of long debate concerning corn and soybean acres for 2017. Great early planting weather suggests corn acres will creep above 90 million acres.… Continue reading

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Tips on capturing the premium for non-GMO corn

With lower commodity prices, many corn growers in the Eastern Corn Belt are producing non-genetically modified (GMO) corn to lower input costs while 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. Several factors throughout the growing season can result in contamination and result in a loss of premiums. Planting non-GMO seed does not necessarily mean the harvested shelled corn will be GMO free.

Contaminated seed or seed that does not meet allowances can cause purity issues from the start. Seed handling and planting equipment that is not thoroughly cleaned prior to planting can be a source of contamination as well. Adventitious pollen from nearby GMO corn fields can cross-pollinate with non-GMO corn, affecting purity.… Continue reading

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Winter wheat progress and management

Last year, wheat winter progressed quicker than usual due to warm temperatures. In our Pickaway County trials in 2016, wheat reached Feekes growth stage 6.0 by April 6. This year, with unusually warm temperatures, we may see something similar. Don’t rely on calendar date. Check your fields for growth stage.

Freezes can be a concern when wheat progresses earlier in the spring. Last year, we evaluated winter wheat freeze damage at several growth stages. At Feekes growth stage 5.0, very little to no injury was observed at temperatures as low as 14°F. At Feekes 6.0 (jointing), wheat plants were sensitive to temperatures of 24°F and lower. We are continuing our wheat freeze work this spring.

Feekes 5.0: Leaf sheaths are strongly erect. Plants will have an upright appearance, but the growing point is still below the soil surface.

Feekes 6.0: Prior to Feekes 6.0, the nodes are all formed but sandwiched together so that they are not readily distinguishable.… Continue reading

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Consulate General of the Republic of Poland visits The Andersons

Marciej Golubiewski, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, was a welcomed guest at The Andersons Maumee Ohio Headquarters this week. Co-hosting this visit was The Ohio Corn Marketing Program and Chairman Keith Truckor, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Assocation Board member Fred Yoder, and Ohio Corn & Wheat Director of Market Development Director Brad Moffitt. Also joining the Consulate General on the visit was Sabina Klimek, who serves as counselor for trade and investment to the Consulate General.

Paul Mathews, The Andersons Grain Division, introduced the international visitors to The Andersons business operation and divisions. The Poland representatives discussed trade with The Andersons regarding corn, ethanol, DDGS, wheat, and other grain co-products. This goal of this mission, and any trade mission sponsored by Ohio Corn & Wheat, is to discover how the countries can work together for robust trade and commerce.

In addition to agriculture, the Consulate General and Trade Commissioner visited the Marion Whirlpool for discussions on manufactured goods. … Continue reading

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Crop insurance company returns declining

Private crop insurance company returns have decreased significantly since the 2010 renegotiation of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) between the insurance companies and the federal government, and are in line with benchmarks established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, according to a new study released today by the National Corn Growers Association.

“The federal crop insurance program is the cornerstone of farm bill risk management programs, and it is more important than ever given the state of the farm economy,” said Steve Ebke, chairman of the NCGA Risk Management Action Team and a farmer from Daykin, Nebraska. “We commissioned an independent analysis of the crop insurance industry’s performanceto determine whether criticisms against the insurers’ returns have merit. What we discovered is that the returns private crop insurance companies receive are much smaller than opponents claim, and they are well within the standards set by RMA.”

According to the findings, from 1998 to 2010, crop insurance companies had an average net return on retained premium of 14.1%.… Continue reading

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What is the proper plant population?

One factor that greatly influences corn yields is plant population. Determining the correct plant population may take some effort, however, it is a critical factor that every corn grower needs to get right in order to maximize yields.

Recent research performed by universities and seed companies has determined that that yields increase significantly as populations are increased up to a point of 34,000 seeds per acre. In general, yields begin to level off at planting rates around rates 36,000 seeds per acre. Recent studies have also determined that even in low yield environments planting rates of 31,000 seeds per acre maximize yield and economic return. In very productive, 250 bushel per acre yield environments, research results show that higher populations (38,000+ seeds per acre) maximize yields. Breeding and advances in genetics have improved the modern corn plant’s ability to yield at higher populations when compared to corn hybrids from the past.… Continue reading

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Highlights from the Commodity Classic trade show

It would be physically impossible to catch up with every interesting exhibitor at the massive Commodity Classic trade show, but Dale Minyo and Matt Reese tried. Here are a few highlights from the trade show.

Brett Ochs Climate Field View

Brett Ochs Climate Field View

Bruce Vester Advanced Biological Marketing

Bruce Vester Advanced Biological Marketing

Dale Jefferson CropZilla

Dale Jefferson CropZilla

Dekalb Jessica Simmons

Dekalb Jessica Simmons

Dr Ken Smith FMCcrop.com

Dr Ken Smith FMCcrop.com

Dr. Michael Swanson Chief Ag Economist Wells Fargo

Dr. Michael Swanson Chief Ag Economist Wells Fargo

EndoPrime From Valent Dawn Resell

EndoPrime From Valent Dawn Resell

Farm Credit Tara Durbin

Farm Credit Tara Durbin

Greg Ginisty Bayer Product Manager

Greg Ginisty Bayer Product Manager

Ilevo From Bayer Jennifer Riggs

Ilevo From Bayer Jennifer Riggs

JD Rossouw North American Breeding Lead for Monsanto

JD Rossouw North American Breeding Lead

Joe Pflum NACHURS

Joe Pflum NACHURS

John Kermicle AgriGold

John Kermicle AgriGold

John Larkin 360 Yield Center

John Larkin 360 Yield Center

Kubota David Palmer

Kubota David Palmer

Mark Stock Big Iron Auctions

Mark Stock Big Iron Auctions

Syngenta Eric Redford Trivapro

Syngenta Eric Redford Trivapro

The Andersons Rick Hollister

The Andersons Rick Hollister

Troy Bancroft, Agroliquid

Troy Bancroft

Agroliquid

 

AgroLiquid, The Andersons, Inc.Continue reading

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Negative for corn and soybeans

The report was negative with soybean and corn production in Brazil higher than last month. Soybean production was above the average trade estimate. Corn production was right at the high end of trade estimates.

U.S. corn ending stocks were 2.32 billion bushels, unchanged from last month. U.S. soybean ending stocks were 435 million bushels, up 15 million bushels. U.S. corn exports were unchanged, corn used for ethanol was up 50 million bushels. US soybean exports were down 25 million bushels, crush was up 10 million bushels.

Brazil soybean production was estimated at 108 million tons, up 4 million tons. Argentina soybean production was pegged at 55.5 million tons, unchanged from last month. Brazil corn production was estimated at 91.5 million tons, up 5 million tons from last month. Argentina corn production was 37.5 million tons, up 1 million ton.

Just before the report corn was down 1 cent, soybeans were down 2 cents, and wheat was down 1 cent.… Continue reading

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