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Ryegrass termination tips

A new Purdue Extension publication offers producers practical, in-depth information on how to use herbicides to terminate annual ryegrass, an effective but potentially troublesome fall-seeded cover crop.

Cover crops are used to maintain soil health in grain fields between growing seasons, primarily by controlling erosion and holding nutrients in the soil. But some cover crops, including annual ryegrass, can quickly grow out of control, said Travis Legleiter, an Extension weed specialist and one of the authors of Successful Annual Ryegrass Termination with Herbicides.

“The aggressive growth habit and adaptability of annual ryegrass that make it a good cover crop also make it a potential weed if producers do not manage it properly and allow the plant to escape or produce seed,” he said. “While annual ryegrass has shown to be a good cover crop, it is also the most difficult grass cover crop to terminate.”

The publication provides information on selecting the right ryegrass seed, herbicide application timing, herbicide rates and combinations, and the use of adjuvants.

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2016 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference

The 2016 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference will be held Feb. 15-16 in Dublin, Ohio, featuring a number of experts from around the country who will cover key topics for the industry – including fruit quality, winemaking and product branding practices, and spring frost protection.

The conference is being jointly organized by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, the Ohio Grape Industries Committee, and the Ohio Wine Producers Association.

It will be held at the Embassy Suites Columbus-Dublin, 5100 Upper Metro Place, Dublin. Full conference registration costs $225. There are additional options for partial registration. For complete registration information, visit go.osu.edu/BKps.

“This year’s conference consists of both general and concurrent sessions covering a wide range of interesting topics for grape growers and winemakers,” said Imed Dami, associate professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science and Ohio State University Extension viticulturist. Both the department and OSU Extension are part of the college.

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Seeking water quality cooperators

Ohio State University Extension is seeking additional farmers in the Maumee River Basin to help with a water monitoring research project looking at Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus losses from fields. Increases in DRP in the watershed have been tied to increased occurrences of Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie. The data collect will help better quantify actual losses from an economic and environmental standpoint, lead to tools that can target high risk fields so cost effective Best Management practices can be designed that maintain crop productivity while reducing phosphorus losses.

This project gives a farmer the chance to find out how much Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP) in pounds per acre is leaving their field site, based on their crop production system. Farmers will be provided their individual data plus summary data for all sites in the project. The data will be used to understand what conditions lead to DRP loss and what recommend Best Management Practices (BMP’s) can be used to reduce nutrient loss.

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AgriGold adding soybeans

At the Farm Machinery Show in Louisville today, AgriGold announced that the formerly corn only company will be soon adding soybeans to their line up.

“We have been corn only for the past 80 years, but with new genetics, traits and seed treatments, it has made the soybean industry very confusing. Our model is largely based on a one-on-one relationship with the grower. We feel that this is the perfect opportunity to provide value with our growers not only in their difficult decisions in corn but now also soybeans,” said Nathan Louiso, regional sales manager for AgriGold. “We have been asked to provide a bean line for years, and we feel like it is time to support our growers with their soybeans like we have with corn. We are starting with a very limited release for spring of 2017 that will target some of our current growers. We are going to take this slow to do this the right way — the AgriGold way.

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How do wheat tillers contribute to yield?

In the coming months as the weather warms up, winter wheat will break dormancy and will begin to green up. After a period of about two weeks following green up producers should evaluate their stand in order to make management decisions for their wheat crop. Part of this evaluation includes counting tillers to determine if there is an adequate stand for achieving high yields. According an article in a 2014 C.O.R.N. Newsletter written by Laura Lindsey, Ed Lentz, Pierce Paul, “Yield potential is reduced if tiller numbers fall below 25 per square foot after green up.”

So, what is a tiller? And how should they be counted? Tillers are additional stems that develop off of the main shoot of the plant. Primary tillers form in the axils of the first four or more true leaves of the main stem. Secondary tillers may develop from the base of primary tillers if conditions favor tiller development.

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Updated guide for Midwest vegetable growers now available from OSU Extension

An updated vegetable production guide for commercial growers in several Midwestern states is now available.

The 2016 Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers is available for $10 plus tax and shipping and can be purchased at Ohio State University Extension’s eStore, estore.osu-extension.orgat go.osu.edu/BKYx.  The guide includes management tips from nationally known horticulture experts, including from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The guide is for commercial growers in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri and focuses on vegetable varieties, seeding rates, fertilizer rates, weed control, insect control and disease control measures. New this year, the guide also contains information on how to sequence cover crops with vegetable crops, and includes a revised table of post-harvest handling and storage life of fresh vegetables.

The publication includes information from Gary Gao, an OSU Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at Ohio State’s South Centers in Piketon; Brad Bergefurd, an OSU Extension horticulture specialist; Matthew Kleinhenz, a professor in the college’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science; Luis Cañas, an Ohio State entomologist and expert on greenhouse ornamentals; Casey Hoy, head of the Agroecosystems Management Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center; Jim Jasinski, an OSU Extension educator and integrated pest management specialist; and David Francis, a researcher at OARDC’s Wooster campus and professor of horticulture and crop science.

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Panama Canal expansion boosting opportunity for U.S. ag

A violent lightening streak tore across the sky on a recent trip for a group of U.S. farmers to visit the Panama Canal.

“When we were at one of the locks it was just clouding up and a crack of lighting came from nowhere. It is a much more intense lightening than we have here in Ohio and it startled a lot of people. The tour guide said that the lightening is a blessing because without that lightening there is no rain, and if there is no rain water, there is no canal,” said Jeff Magyar, a northeast Ohio soybean grower who was on the trip. “The canal is a giant freshwater lake. They lift you up 40 feet and they drop you down 40 feet on the coasts and you go through a giant lake in the middle. When they open the gates at either end, all of that freshwater runs out into the ocean.

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Conservation Tillage Conference coming soon

High input costs coupled with low grain prices anticipated in 2016 means that growers have to make smarter, calculated choices to grow profitable crops this year.

Also important is the need to build and maintain healthy soils to help ensure good water quality, said Randall Reeder, a retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer. Reeder is an organizer of the annual Conservation Tillage Conference offered March 2-3 by The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

As farmers prepare for spring planting, much of their planning will focus on where and how to cut costs for 2016 without reducing net income, Reeder said.

‘Corn University’

“Many growers are tightening their belts because of tight budgets, low prices and not much money in the bank,” he said. “For a few years, grain farmers were making good money. But in 2015 grain prices fell sharply, with 2016 prices looking to stay low.”

CTC will offer numerous presentations designed to help growers learn where to cut back while ensuring they have healthy soils, healthy water and hopefully a healthy bank account, Reeder said.

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Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey for 2016

A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Ohio State University Extension collects surveys and publishes survey results from the Ohio Farm Custom Survey every other year and we need your assistance in securing up-to-date information about farm custom work rates, machinery and building rental rates and hired labor costs in Ohio.

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Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans commercially approved for 2016

Monsanto Company  announced its commercial launch plans for its Roundup Ready2 Xtend soybeans after it received import approval in China. This technology has been highly anticipated by farmers and is now available in the United States and Canada in time for the 2016 season.

“We are pleased to bring Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans to the market,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto President and Chief Operating Officer. “After a decade of development, the new and elite germplasm in Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans can provide growers with outstanding performance in their efforts to produce the best crop possible.”

Monsanto’s Asgrow®, Channel® and regional brands, along with Corn States licensees, expect to introduce more than 70 soybean products across eight maturity groups with agronomic traits including resistance to nematodes and phytophthora root rot. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans are broadly licensed to more than 100 seed brands.

Although Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans are tolerant to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides, the use of dicamba herbicide over the top of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans remains in late stage of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review and is not currently approved by the EPA.

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Lack of completed surveys could affect farm program payments

In a four state area that is covered by Farm Credit Mid-America, including Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, the performance of farm programs were all over the board in 2015. In this part of the country, 97% of farms were entered into the ARC-County option. Some areas received maximum payments and some did not receive a penny. One of the reasons that some farms were knocked out from receiving payments was because of a lack of yield data due to a shortfall of completed National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) surveys.

“We are stressing to all of our customers to use their voice,” said Jason Alexander, vice president of crop insurance with Farm Credit Mid-America. “In the past those surveys were ignored laying there on the kitchen table, but today it is so much more important to your operation to get those surveys filled out.”

Alexander said that with the variety of ways that surveys are being delivered and the numerous ways they can be completed makes the process easier than it ever has been.

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ChemChina to acquire Syngenta

Syngenta has announced that ChemChina has offered to acquire the company for $43 Billion.

“This offer, which is recommended unanimously by our Board of Directors, fully values the quality of Syngenta’s business portfolio, our people and our market positions around the world,” said Syngenta’s COO Davor Pisk. “It also underpins our current strategy and allows Syngenta to continue as a standalone company with very clear commitments to research and innovation.”

Syngenta’s existing management will continue to run the company. After closing, a ten member Board of Directors will be chaired by Ren Jianxin, Chairman of ChemChina, and will include four of the existing Syngenta Board members.

“One of the most important elements of this offer is that Syngenta remains Syngenta,” Pisk said. “Syngenta will maintain its identity, its strategy and its capabilities and we will continue to look to serve interests of agriculture around the world.”

The transaction will enable further expansion of Syngenta’s presence in emerging markets and notably in China.

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EU biotech approvals still delayed

The American Soybean Association (ASA) urged the European Commission to continue its work in addressing delays in the approvals timeline for crops grown with new biotechnology traits, saying the delays create a barrier to entry into the market for American soybeans and risk the supply of high quality feed for Europe’s livestock industry.

ASA noted the improvements the current Commission has made, and urged the Commission to give final authorization to new biotech events after they have passed through the EU’s long review process. The statement followed a report released in January from European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly highlighting delays in the previous Commission’s decisions on approving the import of new biotech crops that she said amounted to “maladministration.” ASA President Richard Wilkins noted that while the current Commission is making progress, it must continue to do so.

“While Ombudsman O’Reilly’s report is a reaffirmation of what we have known to be true for some time, it is still a good acknowledgement of the work that is ahead with regard to Europe.

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Leaf disease: Management and consideration for 2016

As spring of 2016 approaches, producers across the Eastern Corn Belt will begin to put more thought towards their production plans and management decisions for the upcoming season. One challenge that has affected corn yields in our sales territory over the past few years is foliar disease, especially Northern Corn Leaf Blight. Anyone who attended one of our Winter Agronomy Meetings heard a discussion of what conditions promote diseases (Northern Corn Leaf Blight and Gray Leaf Spot) and possible management options. You might ask, “What are the important management options that will protect yield from leaf diseases?” Below are the answers to that question:

• Select Resistant Hybrids: One very effective way to protect yield potential is to plant varieties that have resistance to leaf disease. Many university publications, including this MSU fact sheet, generally recommend that fungicides are not required for hybrids with strong disease resistance.

• Crop Rotation: It is widely understood that crop rotation is one of the best management practices for mitigating problem diseases.

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Biodiesel industry well positioned for 2016

The 2016 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo took place this week, bringing together industry leaders and innovators from around the world.

“It has been a very interesting three days here. We ran into people from Israel, Canada, Australia, Austria — there are a lot of new people, new thoughts and new technology here this year to benefit and contribute to biodiesel,” said Jerry Bambauer, with the Ohio Soybean Association. “We have got to be proud of the National Biodiesel Board and the contributions they have made to agriculture and to our country. There are so many things we discovered here that will be good to take back to the state of Ohio.”

The NBB has plenty to celebrate moving into 2016.

“The industry feels like we are really positioned well for a great 2016. We had some major policy achievements at the end of 2015, including the extension of the biodiesel tax incentive and higher levels in the RFS volumes.

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Will lenders shape 2016 acres?

As farm budgets get tighter, bankers are growing more anxious. Some farmers are taking some unique steps to help secure credit, even bringing in back-up expertise to help them plead their case for securing operating loans.

Steve Gauck, a field agronomist for Beck’s Hybrids in southeastern Indiana has gone with farmers to meet eight to 10 lenders since harvest.

“Some of my customers have invited me in to the meetings to show the banker what it takes to grow corn and why it is important,” Gauck said. “I just try to explain things and help the banker understand why corn may cost more to put out but also why it can be a better return on the investment. I show them the benefits of the right seed and proper fertility and talk about how some guys are putting their nutrients down for both corn and soybean before corn. That can look like a lot of money up front, but when you break things down for them it can make it easier to understand and they can see the potential.

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On-farm grain storage and handling operators needed to complete survey

Agricultural safety professionals with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are seeking Ohio farmers to participate in a statewide survey regarding their on-farm grain bin storage facilities.

It doesn’t matter if the bins are “owned” or “managed” by the producer; hazards exist on all types of bin systems regardless of ownership status, said Dee Jepsen, state safety leader for Ohio State University Extension.

“This study is to help us better understand the types of grain storage facilities in the state in relation to the safety and health practices at those facilities,” she said. “The survey does not collect personal identifying information, making the answers anonymous.”

Hazards associated with grain facilities can include out-of-condition grain, organic dust, grain entrapment, equipment entanglement, fire and explosion. These hazards are a contributing factor to the safety and health of the operator.

“Understanding the types of bins, types of drying systems, target moisture content of the grain and personal protection factors will help us understand contributing safety hazards at the bin,” Jepsen said.

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Seed treatments important for Ohio’s poorly drained soils

Much of Ohio’s soybean production ground is on soils with poor to fair drainage, high clay content, and reduced tillage systems.  Any one of these factors alone or in combination contributes to the environmental conditions that favor infection of seeds and seedlings by watermolds.  Reduced tillage systems favor pathogen build-up in the very place that the seed is planted each year.  Both soybean and corn are attacked by a great diversity of Pythium spp.; some of which are favored by cool, wet soil conditions and others by warmer but also wet soil conditions.  Of course for soybean, Phytophthora sojae can be recovered from all of Ohio soils and this is favored by warmer temperatures and wet soils.  True fungi, Fusarium spp. and Rhizoctonia solani, are also pathogens of soybean and corn, but for these the amount of inoculum that is present in the field and adequate moisture for pathogen growth is all that is needed to favor infection of both corn and soybean.

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Harvest issues in Brazil

It seems that all the rain that central and northeastern Brazil lacked between October and December is falling now in January.  In some areas, it has rained every single day since Jan. 1 and the precipitation anomaly approaches 100%. But for some areas in Mato Grosso, the top Brazilian soybean-growing state, those rains have arrived too late. That’s why AgRural cut its yield estimate again in early January, from 46 to 43.8 bushels per acre. If realized, this average yield will be the lowest for Mato Grosso in 10 years. In some irrigated areas of Bahia and Minas Gerais, where the first areas are already mature for harvest, there are some cases of pod sprouting.

Bad for harvest and some mature fields…

Those rains have delayed the harvest progress in Mato Grosso. Last Friday, 3.6% of its soybean area was harvested, compared to 7.4% a year ago and 5% on the five-year average.

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What you need to know about water quality regulations

Who needs to be certified?

By the law and regulations created with the passage of Senate Bill 150 in 2014 anyone in Ohio who applies fertilizer to 50 acres or more must be certified. This law applies to fertilizer (material having an analysis). If it’s manure, lime or other farm residue, you do not need to be certified by this law.

If all of your crop goes through an animal before it leaves the farm, you don’t need to be certified, but I think it’s a good idea if you do go to the class and get certified anyway.

 

How do you get certified?

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will certify applicators in Ohio. If you are a Licensed Pesticide Applicator in Ohio, you attend a two-hour meeting and fill in and sign the attendance form. Ohio State University personnel supply the education for this class. We hope you pay attention and actually learn something.

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