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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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Climate change may not improve agriculture

Although many people have argued that rising carbon dioxide levels would benefit crop production, a recent model of the effects of increased CO2 shows that it’s not that simple and that elevated levels could have a much less positive effect on plant photosynthesis than previously predicted.

Purdue University researchers tested the effects of increased CO2 and warmer temperatures on plant water use. Although increased carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures generally improve photosynthesis, in these experiments the researchers found that pores on plant leaves, known as the stomata, were predicted to narrow in these conditions, reducing the amount of moisture plants release into the air.

Although this change may mean some plants are more efficient in their water use in some arid regions, overall this change in plant physiology will have its own climate effects, resulting in less rainfall in some regions, damaging plants and crop yields, said Qianlai Zhuang, professor of earth and atmospheric science.… Continue reading

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Get no-till corn off to a great start: Tips from CTTC

Ohio has a long history of university no-till plots, but so does Nebraska. And, while Nebraska has not been no-tilling for as long as Ohio, the state does have one man that has been there for all of the 37 years of no-till plot research — agricultural engineer Paul Jasa with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jasa brought his tremendous amount of no-till experience to the popular Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada yesterday. Today is the second day of the conference.

“We have done some dumb things with tillage in the past. Mother Nature has roots living in the soil year round, but our ancestors started tilling and have roots growing only five or six months a year,” Jasa said. “We created a plow pan five or six inches deep. Then we broke up that plow pan at five or six inches with a chisel plow and after a few years we created a chisel pan down at 12 inches.… Continue reading

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Watch for Palmer amaranth in 2017

As growers across the Eastern Corn Belt prepare for the 2017 growing season, one major issue that continues to be a challenge is weed control. Now is an appropriate time to make plans for control of weeds, especially aggressive, herbicide resistant species. Palmer amaranth is an aggressive plant that thrives in drought, can grow more than 2 inches a day, is resistant to multiple herbicide modes of action, and produces 100,000 or more seeds per plant. Many populations of this weed are resistant to multiple herbicide modes of action. Palmer amaranth has been observed to emerge from May through September. The key to keeping Palmer Amaranth from establishing itself is implementing management practices to effectively eliminate seed production and hinder its ability to spread.

Tips for controlling Palmer amaranth
1. Scout for and identify problem weeds early. Palmer Amaranth is a pigweed species and can easily be confused with other pigweeds, such as redroot pigweed, during early growth stages.… Continue reading

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Red root rot plagued Ohio corn in 2016

While there were many great results even after a tough year in 2016, there were some real disappointments too. According to Levi Runkle, a Tri-Ag Products, Inc. agronomist, some of those disappointing corn yields may have been partially the result of a rare issue in Ohio — red root rot. Runkle found the unique challenge for Ohio in a surprising number of fields last year.

“This is a rare late season destructive disease that leads to lodging. As we went into harvest we started seeing problems with hybrids that don’t usually have problems with lodging or ear drop,” he said. “As we got to looking at it, we started to see a lot of purpling or red on the roots that looked like insect damage. That is something we typically don’t see here. You see it more in the Delaware or Maryland area.”

Red root rot needs the right set of conditions to become a problem.… Continue reading

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Commodity Classic focuses on farmer profitability

More than 350 Ohioans joined nearly 10,000 farmers from around the country for the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio early this month to set policy, network and learn to improve their farms from some of the nation’s top experts.

“The theme of the conference has really been farmer profitability. The last three years we have seen decreasing net incomes because of prices and that is a big concern,” said Keith Truckor, chair of the Ohio Corn Checkoff Board and Fulton County farmer. “Fortunately we had a good run of profitability so we are coming in with pretty strong balance sheets, which is a positive. As we look forward in the next year or two there are concerns about where profitability will be. With that in mind we are looking at trade and biofuels and farm bill policy to make sure we are on the forefront of turning this cycle back to stronger profitability for farmers in the United States.… Continue reading

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Motter kicks off new national role at Commodity Classic

Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) board member John Motter was elected late last year to lead the national United Soybean Board as its 26th chair. He previously served on the USB executive committee as vice chair and treasurer and has been a board member for eight years. This is the first time since USB was created in 1991 that an Ohioan has been elected chair.

He sees an exciting year ahead.

“We are in the second year of our strategic plan and we are really hitting our stride now with the things we are trying to accomplish. We have proven we can produce a large crop of soybeans with three record crops in a row. Now we are really focused on increasing the value and the profitability back at the farm gate,” Motter said. “We are looking forward to kicking off a meal enhancement project and setting the stage for that by having conversations with industry.… Continue reading

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Non-GMO corn production and purity concerns

Many corn growers in the Eastern Corn Belt produce NON-GMO corn in an attempt 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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Input care and management crucial in a tight farm economy

The economics of the situation looking forward for commodity agriculture will require careful planning and management to maximize yields and profitability while minimizing risks and costs per bushel.

“We have to make a plan to think about how to move forward including a clear business plan that includes goals, timelines, and ‘what ifs,’” said Neil Bentley, director of marketing for BASF. “Break even is in sight. We need to think about how we make smart decisions and make sure you have a stewardship plan in place so you can be successful.”

Key inputs need to be managed with great care to balance return on investment, environmental stewardship and product longevity. BASF has developed strategies for field-to-field planning to protect plant health.

“With plant health, the key thing we are trying to understand is how to put the right plant health application on the right acre,” said Megan Andriankaja, project manager for BASF.… Continue reading

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