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Use caution when handling grain this fall

With grain harvest well underway statewide thanks to favorable weather conditions throughout the region, growers are reminded that taking extra precautions when handling grain can lessen the potential for injury.

When working around grain storage facilities, incidents such as slips, trips, falls, severe trauma injuries, entanglement or engulfment can happen in a fraction of a second, said Kent McGuire, agriculture safety and health coordinator for Ohio State University Extension.

“Throughout Ohio, on-farm grain storage facilities are being upgraded, and newly constructed on-farm storage facilities are getting larger and larger,” McGuire said. “Harvest season is in full swing and there is a lot of activity filling these facilities with corn and soybeans.

“With that in mind, it’s important for people to think about the safety issues involved when handing grain throughout the fall and winter months. A lot of farmers recognize the hazards associated with handling grain, but during a busy harvest season, safety may not always be at the forefront of their work process.”

A farmer working alone at an on-farm grain storage facility is a common safety shortcut, he said.… Continue reading

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Early harvest should provide weed control opportunities

With the grain harvest progressing on or ahead of schedule, no-till producers should start thinking now about their fall herbicide applications, a Purdue Extension weed specialist said.

The focus this year should be on managing marestail, dandelion and poison hemlock in corn and soybean fields, said Bill Johnson, professor of weed science.

“With all the rain we had earlier in the year, we didn’t really get a good crop canopy, and a crop canopy helps to suppress weeds later in the season,” Johnson said. “In many areas, poor canopy development resulted in a lot of late season weeds.”

The timing of the fall herbicide application is important as is the choice of product.

“Most of the weeds farmers are likely to encounter in the fall respond better to a fall application,” Johnson said. “In most cases, a properly timed application of foliar herbicides such as glyphosate, 2,4-D and/or dicamba from mid-October to mid-November will control weeds that emerged this fall.… Continue reading

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Soybeans slightly friendly, corn and wheat neutral

Overall the report was not a huge shocker. No big price movement took place at noon. 

USDA estimated corn production at 13.555 billion bushels, last month it was 13.585 billion bushels. The corn yield came in at 168 bushels, compared to 167.5 last month. That is a bit bearish. Traders were expecting the corn yield to be reduced. Corn ending stocks were 1.561 billion bushels, last month they were 1.592 billion bushels. Corn acres were down as expected.

Soybean production was pegged at 3.888 billion bushels while at 3.935 billion bushels last month. The soybean yield was 47.2 bushels per acre, last month it was 47.1 bushels per acre. Soybean ending stocks were 425 million bushels, down 25 million bushels from last last month. Soybean acres were cut 1.1 million acres. No surprises there. Traders the last several months have paid strong attention to soybean ending stocks. Two months ago they had expected ending stocks to drop below 370 million bushels.  Continue reading

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Farmer cooperators needed to document effects of pipelines on soil

Numerous natural gas pipelines have been approved across the state with installation to begin this winter and continue over the next several years. These installations are statewide projects that will collectively result in a large amount of soil disturbance. The effect of this disturbance on crop productivity, and how long it may persist is largely unknown.

Ohio State Extension will be starting a pilot study to document the effects of pipeline installations on crop productivity over the next several years. We are looking for interested farmers who will have a pipeline installed through their farm to participate.

Our approach will be to use paired-comparisons of 1) area disturbed by pipeline installation versus 2) adjacent area that was not disturbed. We will compare soil properties and yield maps between installation area and adjacent area over the next several years. We will need numerous sites to have scientifically robust information.

Interested farmer cooperators wanting to document the effects on their farm will need to:

1.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn Marketing Program seeks election to board for five districts

Pursuant to Section 924.07 of the Ohio Revised Code, David T. Daniels, Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture will conduct an election of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program Board on December 15, 2015.

The Ohio Corn Marketing Program is designed to increase the market of corn and the profitability to Ohio Corn producers. The purpose of this program is to provide funds of corn utilization research and to permit corn producers to develop, implement, and participate in programs in research, promotion, market development and education.

The election to the Board will include these five districts.

District 3: Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Summit, Trumbull

District 5: Crawford, Hancock, Hardin, Wyandot

District 9: Champaign, Delaware, Logan, Union

District 12: Clark, Greene, Madison

District 15: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Scioto, Vinton, Washington

The Nomination Procedure is as follows:

  • Nominating petitions may be obtained from

David T.… Continue reading

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Fall soil sampling

Simply put, the goal of soil sampling is to make a fertilizer recommendation for crop production.

  • To provide that recommendation, calibration studies are done to measure crop response.
  • For Ohio, the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provide the calibration study history for recommendation development.
  • While there are other “recommendations” discussed and widely used in Ohio, no one else has done the comprehensive work to truly provide these valuable recommendations.

•    While the “Tri-State” has not been updated since 1995, the testing has continued. Results show little need to make drastic changes. We anticipate an update within the next three years.

It’s about statistics — we want to take a representative sample. Be sure to consider:

  • Field area choice
  • Number of samples
  • Depth of sampling.

Choose sample areas in the field that have similar crop yields, crop rotation histories, fertilizer application methods and sources of applied nutrient.… Continue reading

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Trade associations urge Ohio congressional delegation to support federal “Safe Trucking Act”

Nine state trade associations in Ohio delivered a joint letter to Ohio’s

Congressional delegation today urging the state’s representatives in Washington to approve the Safe Trucking Act.

The nine associations urging Congressional support for the proposed federal legislation include:

• Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Materials Association

• Ohio AgriBusiness Association

• Ohio Cattlemen’s Association

• Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association

• Ohio Farm Bureau

• Ohio Forestry Association

• Ohio Manufacturers’ Association

• Ohio Pork Council

• Ohio Soybean Association.

Collectively, the associations issued this joint statement:

“The Safe Trucking Act is a commonsense solution to outdated weight limits for trucks that are forcing shippers to put more vehicles on the road and wasting fuel with partial loads. By giving states the authority to allow heavier trucks equipped with six axles, rather than the typical five, to access designated interstate highways, the proposed legislation will safely boost the efficiency and productivity of our nation’s transportation network while driving economic growth.… Continue reading

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Fall decorations add diversity at Neeley’s Pumpkins

Decorative agriculture is big business and can yield big results for farmers. Brian “Dude” Neeley, of Fairfield County, knows this well. In addition to a small cattle operation and growing field corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and sweet corn on 600 acres, Neeley also plants approximately 25 acres of pumpkins and gourds each year to meet the growing consumer demand for autumn-themed decorations and entertainment.

“We started growing pumpkins in 1998,” Neeley said. “It was a different niche market. We were selling sweet corn out of the front yard and already had consumer traffic. The pumpkins just added another attraction. When we started growing pumpkins, people bought pumpkins at the grocery store, but in the past 10 years, fall agri-tourism exploded and we expanded. One of the reasons that it has exploded like it has is that everyone likes to have family fun outdoors and school is back in session. This is one of the last things to do outside before wintry weather hits.… Continue reading

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Be aware of fire risks in dry harvest conditions

This season farmers are at high risk of having a field fire during corn harvest.

The conditions present during harvest season include dry plant material and grain dust that are highly combustible. Hot equipment or engine sparks are great ignition sources. It is not uncommon for exhaust pipes or catalytic converters to exceed 1,000 degree F. Add a little wind and there is a perfect opportunity for a field fire.

Being prepared to handle field fires is important for all workers and transport drivers. Combines, tractors, grain trucks, and pick-ups should all be equipped with a trustworthy fire extinguisher as the first lines of defense.

Combines should carry an ABC 10-pound fire extinguisher in the cab and a larger 20-pound unit at the ground level. Tractors and trucks are recommended to have a five-pound minimum extinguisher available. These extinguishers should be in each vehicle in the field. Nothing is worse than watching the combine go up in flames while you’re running to the end of the field to retrieve the fire extinguisher on the grain cart.… Continue reading

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USDA grant awarded for Ohio specialty crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded more than $113 million in program grants to support farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops, also known as “specialty crops,” through research, agricultural extension activities, and programs to increase demand and address the needs of America’s specialty crop industry. This includes a grant to Ohio State University for $46,253.

These grants are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Increasing market opportunities for local food producers is a sound investment in America’s rural economies, while also increasing access to healthy food for our nation’s families,” Vilsack said. “These investments will support local and regional markets, and improve access to healthy food for millions of children and supply thousands of farmers markets, restaurants and other businesses with fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables. The grants also help growers solve technology needs or make better informed decisions on profitability and sustainability, leading to stronger rural American communities and businesses.”

The grant for OSU program seeks to increase specialty crop competitiveness by helping Ohio growers with organic production and food safety grant.… Continue reading

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Weed answers for 2016?

We heard recently that there is as yet no approval or plans to sell the new soybean herbicide technologies for 2016. Some of you have been waiting for this miracle of science to bail you out of your weed resistance problems. Sale of dicamba or 2,4-D resistant soybeans will probably not happen until 2017 on a large scale. What we do have is the possibility of better management from you — the person who sets the weed control program on your farm. Many of your neighbors have found the solution to managing resistant weeds. You need to ask them for tips, all of which likely came originally from OSU’s Mark Loux.

Marestail has two primary periods of emergence — from late summer into fall, and from late March through June. But we learned this year that marestail can germinate almost any time. We tend to think that spring-emerging marestail was the most problematic to manage.… Continue reading

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Use plot data to make good decisions

As harvest continues across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is critical to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring.

Look for replicated data

Don’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations. Replications in testing increase the reliability of the data.

For strip plot data, was a “tester” used?… Continue reading

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Corn neutral, soybeans neutral, wheat slightly friendly

USDA pegged the Sept. 1 soybean stocks at 191 million bushels. Traders had estimated soybean stocks at 205 million bushels. Last year soybean stocks were 92 million bushels. USDA estimated corn stocks as of Sept. 1 at 1.731 billion bushels. Trader estimates for corn stocks were 1.739 billion bushels, considerably above those of last year at 1.232 billion bushels. USDA put wheat stocks at 2.089 billion bushels. Trader estimates were 2.149 billion bushels.

Soybean production for 2014 was lowered to 3.927 billion bushels, down from the January estimate of 3.969 billion bushels. The trade was looking for production to be reduced, no surprises there.

Wheat production for 2015 was estimated at 2.052 billion bushels, down from the previous estimate of 2.136 billion bushels. Both the hard red winter wheat (Kansas) and the soft red winter (Ohio and the eastern cornbelt) wheat production were reduced from previous estimates in August.

Prior to the report corn was up 4 cents, soybeans up 10 cents, wheat down 2 cents.… Continue reading

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Variety decisions for 2016

Each year things seem to be coming earlier, choices need to be made even before we have this current crop in the grain bin, much less have it sold.  Here are a couple of suggestions as you prepare for the 2016 crop.

  1. Focus variety selection on the HISTORIC problems for any given field.

Diseases do not occur in every field, every year.  Environment plays a very big role in if and when diseases do develop.  Those fields that have a long history of Sclerotinia stem rot, Phytophthora root and stem rot, soybean cyst nematode, brown stem rot, and sudden death syndrome.  The inoculum may decline a bit, but it is always there, in wait for the highly susceptible variety and the perfect environment to strike again.  As you meet with your seed rep this week at Farm Science Review or in the coming weeks – focus on the varieties that have the best disease resistance package for your farm or particular field. … Continue reading

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The race is over

Driving down the road it is impossible not to notice how fast the corn crop is maturing (technically dying). The corn crop went from having some green left in it to all brown in a matter of days. While fast maturing corn is a good thing for providing growers with dry corn at harvest, it also adds to the last chapter of a very interesting growing season. The fast maturation did not begin in September, but rather it actually started in June.

Most growers will spend years talking about the amount of rain they received in June. Depending where the rain gauge was located it could have seen anywhere from 5 to 18 inches during the month of June. The rain definitely set the tone for yield expectations. The rain also set the tone for root health, nitrogen longevity and the corn plant’s overall resilience — all of which a corn grower can see firsthand in their corn fields.… Continue reading

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National Agricultural Genotyping Center highlighted

The National Agricultural Genotyping Center held its first open house with representatives from government and industry on hand to tour the new facility and discuss the possibilities it will offer. With the board of directors in attendance, they established priorities and assigned responsibilities for the coming year.

“This facility is the first of its kind for a farmer-led association, giving growers more influence on research agendas,” said Richard Vierling, director of research at NCGA. “NAGC will help growers increase production and lower costs. With so many stakeholders on hand and actively expressing interest, it was apparent to all present that the exciting potential for innovation is enormous and will lead to concrete results that can strengthen the bottom line for U.S. farmers.”

The National Agricultural Genotyping Center will translate scientific discoveries, such as the information from the maize genome project, into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.… Continue reading

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Purdue exploring mint compounds

Purdue University biochemistry professor has received a $1.4 million National Science Foundation grant to conduct mint research.

Natalia Dudareva, distinguished professor of biochemistry, is part of a research team led by Michigan State University that received a $5.1 million NSF grant.

Mints, or Lamiaceae, are the world’s sixth-largest family of flowering plants.

Dudareva’s research will focus on identifying chemical compounds and their formation in 14 species of mint family. That will allow researchers to produce the compounds and increase their levels in plants. The research could lead to exploring new uses for plants of the mint family, such as for medicinal purposes.

“This research is not only important for the mint industry, but also for agriculture and medicine as plant species in this family produce a wide range of metabolites used as food additives, medicinal compounds and other industrial purposes,” Dudareva said.

Robin Buell, MSU plant biologist and leader of the grant, said mint belongs to one of the most fascinating families of plants.… Continue reading

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Fall herbicide applications and new technology

The C.O.R.N. archive has a plethora of previous articles about fall herbicide treatments, including the importance of these for management of marestail.  Nothing has really changed that would merit rehashing all of this again – don’t spend a lot of money, save the residual herbicide for spring, etc.  However, some discussion relative to the Enlist and Xtend technology might be useful, especially for anyone who has already decided that fall treatments will no longer necessary based on the coming ability to use 2,4-D or dicamba in spring burndown and postemergence treatments.  This is some truth to this with regard to marestail control at least, but before you wash your hands of fall treatments consider the following:

– fall herbicide treatments initially caught on to remedy the problem of having a lot of weed cover in no-till fields in spring, which caused problems with tillage and planting and harbored insects and soybean cyst nematode. … Continue reading

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USDA NASS begins gathering food safety data about fruit and vegetable operations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is now surveying produce packers and other post-harvest businesses to help fruit and vegetables operations as they prepare to implement new federal food safety requirements.

The 2015 Produce Post-Harvest Microbial Food Safety Practices Survey marks the first time since 1998 that such a survey has been conducted. NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly encouraged operators to participate in the survey, noting that implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act  might affect post-harvest businesses.

FSMA was signed into law in 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Under FSMA, the FDA may issue rules for produce safety.

“Better data lead to better decisions,” Reilly said.  “This survey will provide a wealth of new information with respect to where the industry is on the eve of FSMA implementation.”

The survey looks at food safety practices, some costs, information about the sizes and types of operations, and any food safety requirements for produce coming into the post-harvest operation.… Continue reading

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Precision technology showcased at 2015 Farm Science Review

Anyone doubting the accuracy, potential, and future of precision technology in agriculture has probably not seen the aerial photos of a corn field with an unmistakable Block O pattern at the Farm Science Review (FSR) south of I-70.

The demonstration plot’s design was created with new dual-hybrid planting technology in Field 5 at the FSR. The two hybrids for the Block O in the field were chosen for effect — most of the corn in the field has a traditional golden-colored tassel while the hybrid used for the Block O has a purple tassel.

“It definitely has a cool factor to it,” said John Fulton, precision agriculture specialist for Ohio State University Extension. “But basically, it’s a good opportunity to demonstrate the capability of new technology and start engaging growers and educating them about aspects they need to consider when adopting new technology. And, from our perspective, we want to understand its functionality and, when requested, help companies improve the technology.”

The design in Field 5 was implemented with a Case IH planter fitted with Precision Planting multi-hybrid seed meters used to plant the field.… Continue reading

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