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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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Taking a look at the farm of the future at the Farm Science Review

To date, the trend in most of production agriculture has been “bigger is better.” But that is something that may be changing, according to some experts in new agricultural technology.

The Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering (FABE) at the Farm Science Review site is taking a look at a possible future in agriculture that’s a bit different from today, encompassing a completely new way of thinking with regard to grain farming.

“Now that we have technology, how are going to change farming?” said Scott Shearer, FABE department chair and professor.

One of the more radical changes proposed by the agricultural production system of the future involves a reversal of trends in equipment size as it becomes more automated.

“A lot of people have listened to me talk about and speculate where things might be going with automation. You know the Google Car is reality for a lot of people today and all I’m trying to suggest is how we’re going to see similar technologies deployed in agriculture,” he said.… Continue reading

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On-farm cooperation facilitating OSC research and marketing efforts

The research efforts of Ohio agriculture certainly include lab testing, university plot work and data analysis, but every farmer knows that the most dependable crop production research also includes extensive work in real, on-farm fields.

The real world of crop production simply cannot be duplicated in a lab. For this reason, farmer cooperators with various agricultural research projects are absolutely essential in developing relevant conclusions and solutions for challenges on farms. And, it just so happens, that some of those farmer cooperators are the same ones making decisions about which research projects should be funded by Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) checkoff dollars at the state and national levels.


Dan Corcoran, Pike County farmer, OSC and United Soybean Board member

With its misty mornings, rolling hills and steamy river bottoms, the Corcoran farm faces perennial disease challenges — a nightmare for farm management but a dream come true for plant pathologists like Dr.… Continue reading

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Minimizing harvest loss

The growing season has offered enough challenges for producing bushels this year that any type of excessive harvest loss is a significant concern. With that in mind, as harvest gets started this fall it will not hurt to give the combine a good once over and check to see how many bushels are not making it out of the fields.

“The industry standard from university studies have found anywhere from 1% to 3% is acceptable combine loss. We should be able to get it down to 1% with a newer machine, depending on the field conditions,” said David Booth, Case IH combine specialist. “Use a one-foot by one-foot screen, piece of floor mat, piece of rubber, or whatever you want to use as long as it is a foot by a foot. Throw it between the wheels under the combine as it goes by. Whatever grain you see on the bottom of that screen is going to be from the combine head or from pre-harvest loss that was already there.… Continue reading

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Excessive foreign farm support disrupts world wheat trade

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) unveiled the results of an econometric study showing that excessive farm support in several advanced developing countries could cost U.S. wheat farmers nearly $1 billion in revenue every year. USW recently showed that the governments of China, India, Turkey and Brazil have dramatically increased subsidies for domestic wheat production over the past ten years to levels that far exceed their World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. This study confirms that these policies have a detrimental effect on U.S. and world wheat farmers and global wheat trade.

“I believe we have shown through these studies that the old perceptions about farm support and trade are clearly wrong,” said Alan Tracy, USW President. “Today, it is the farm subsidies in a few advanced developing countries, not developed country policies, which disrupt normal trade flows and distort world wheat prices. These rapidly growing subsidies cause direct, serious and now measurable impacts on the prices that U.S.… Continue reading

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New corn disease found in Indiana

Purdue Extension plant pathologists have identified tar spot, a corn disease not previously reported in the United States, in plant samples collected from a field in north central Indiana.

The specific fungal disease found in the state has had minimal impact on yield in other areas where it is endemic, including Mexico and Central America, and experts say no action is needed to manage it this late in the growing season.

“We are still determining the impact, if any, that the disease may have in Indiana,” said Kiersten Wise and Gail Ruhl in an article published in the latest issue of Purdue’s Pest and Crop online newsletter. “However, it is important to alert Extension specialists if you observe the disease to accurately document its distribution in the state.”

The disease was diagnosed at the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed in September by a U.S. Department of Agriculture national fungal identifier located in Beltsville, Maryland.… Continue reading

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Preparation of grain storage facilities for grain harvest

Protecting grain quality and ultimately the economic value of the grain begins long before the first acre is ever harvested. This pre-harvest activity is to prepare grain harvesting, handling and storage equipment and structures for the soon to be harvested corn and soybeans.

All pieces of equipment used in harvesting the grain should be cleaned, inspected, and repaired several weeks prior to the beginning of the harvest season. Like in real estate where the mantra is “Location! Location! Location!” the mantra in grain harvesting and handling should be “Sanitation! Sanitation! Sanitation!” Starting with thorough cleaning of every piece of equipment through which or in which grain will be passed or hauled. Remove all traces of old grain from combines, combine heads, truck beds, grain carts, augers, lift buckets, grain pits, grain driers, bins and any other equipment used for harvesting, transporting, and handling grain. Even small amounts of moldy and/or insect-infested grain left in equipment can contaminate a bin of new grain.… Continue reading

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WISHH Program helping to implement major poultry development project in West Africa

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has chosen the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Program and key partners to implement a major poultry development project in the West African country of Ghana. U.S. soybean growers, as well as Ghana’s poultry and feed industry, and its protein-seeking consumers, will all benefit.

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Food for Progress Program helps developing countries and emerging democracies modernize and strengthen their agricultural sectors. As a result, it improves agricultural productivity and expands trade of agricultural products.

“ASA is pleased to partner with USDA in agricultural development that supports expanded and mutually beneficial trading relationships,” said Wade Cowan, ASA president. “Nowhere is there greater need or bigger potential return on investment in agricultural development than in Sub-Saharan Africa. WISHH is a trailblazer for trade.”

The United States is among Ghana’s principal trading partners, with two-way trade between the two countries reaching $1.45 billion in 2014, according to the U.S.… Continue reading

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Mixed report, friendly corn, bearish soybeans

Today’s report was mixed as it was bullish for corn but bearish for soybeans.  The big question for corn: Will it have enough strength to close above the critical $3.80 mark for December CBOT corn? The corn yield came in at 167.5 bushels per acre, last month it was 168.8. Corn ending stocks were 1.592 bushels verses 1.713 billion bushels in August. Corn production was pegged at 13.585 billion bushels, last month was 13.686 billion bushels. Corn had a 20 cent range in 10 minutes following the report release.  First up 6 cents, then down ten cents, and then once again moved to higher on the day. Evidently the computers saw numbers that were conflicting and kept them busy buying and selling, then buying in a very short time frame. During that same time frame soybeans had a 25 cent range. Soybean production was increased to 3.935 billion bushels, last month was 3.916 billion bushels.… Continue reading

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Harvest forms for NCGA Yield Contest now available

With harvest underway in some areas and soon to begin in others, the National Corn Growers Association announces that online harvest forms for the 2015 National Corn Yield Contest are now available. While the harvest information form deadline may seem distant, entrants are asked to report within seven business days of their final yield check or by Nov. 20, whichever comes first.

“While harvest has only begun in a few areas, we ask contest applicants to submit harvest forms within one week of their final yield check to allow NCGA staff adequate time to thoroughly review each form,” said Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn, a farmer from Alabama. “The National Corn Yield Contest plays a significant role in recognizing excellence and finding new, more productive techniques. We hope that growers continue to support the contest by seeing their entry through and submitting their completed harvest data forms.”

The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 51st year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.… Continue reading

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Harvest tips for flood damaged crops

After this year’s record rainfall and flooding across parts of the Midwest, farmers should scout their fields carefully and be aware of any conditions that could damage crops during harvest, a Purdue Extension grain storage expert advises.

“As we approach harvest, it will be important to prepare adequately so that we prevent deterioration of the portions of crops we are able to harvest,” said Klein Ileleji, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering.

Crop development has been delayed in some flooded areas. It could be necessary to adjust the speed of the combine and height of the cutter bar to account for differences in plant growth, Ileleji said.

Before harvesting, farmers should look for differences in cob size and the number of kernels per cob, as well as variability in the maturity of bean plants, he said.

“That way the operator will know in advance where equipment adjustments will be necessary during cutting,” Ileleji said.… Continue reading

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NRCS increasing focus on soil health

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is placing renewed focus on caring for the vital soils of the United States with a new Soil Health Division

“We’re getting back to our roots and our basics. NRCS was born 80 years ago, created in the wake of the Dust Bowl. Our focus then was sharing our knowledge of farming and soil conservation practices with farmers to help improve the health of their soils. We have recently come full circle and are back to the principles of soil health and looking beyond the physical and chemical properties to the biological properties,” said Jason Weller, NRCS chief. “We are looking at all of the biota that live below the surface that help support the food production for those of us who live above the surface of the soil.”

Rather than addressing the health of the nation’s soils from Washington, D.C., the NRCS is targeting resources for soil health in the field.… Continue reading

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NACHURS featured on RFD-TV

American Farmer and NACHURS are proud to announce today an episode featuring NACHURS Brand Liquid Fertilizer based in Marion, Ohio will be airing Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 8:30 am ET on RFD-TV and a re-broadcast on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 8:30 am.

In this segment, American Farmer will feature Nachurs Alpine Solutions; a specialty chemical company that formulates, markets and distributes NACHURS and ALPINE brand liquid fertilizers throughout North America. Viewers will learn about new technologies being developed and incorporated into the liquid fertilizers sold by NACHURS and ALPINE.

“We at Nachurs Alpine Solutions are extremely proud to help North American farmers achieve their production goals with our high quality liquid fertilizers, professional sales, and agronomic support. We are excited and privileged to showcase our products and people on RFD-TV’s American Farmer Series”, said Jim Krebsbach, Vice President Agriculture Division.

American Farmer is a breakthrough program on a mission to showcase the latest advancements in agriculture and farming.… Continue reading

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Tassel ears showing up in fields

While scouting fields this time of year it is common to find a few strange looking ears. Corn is a monecious plant, which means it has separate male (the tassel) and female (the ear) flowers. In some cases, both male and female structures form as a combination in the same plant structure.

“Tassel-ears” often form on the tillers or “suckers” of a corn plant. Corn experts and agronomists believe that tassel ears are the result of some kind of environmental occurrence, however, the exact event that causes their development is unknown. The number of kernels that form on the tassel ear are limited. Without a husk to protect them, these kernels are exposed to environmental conditions and are usually damaged by the time harvest occurs.

According to Bob Nielsen from Purdue University, “The male and female reproductive organs of a corn plant are contained in physically separate unisexual flowers (a flowering habit called “monoecious” for you trivia fans.) The tassel represents the male flower on a corn plant, while the ear shoots represent the female flowers.… Continue reading

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Assessing fields after a roller coaster 2015

The growing season of 2015 has turned out to be a roller coaster ride of moisture stress (both too much and too little), disease pressure, and curiosity in the mind of the grower as to what’s really out there in terms of yield.

We started 2015 with an abundance of rainfall across the state from north to south, causing late planting dates in some areas and prevented planting claims in others. Depending on which field you are standing in, yield potential seems to range from very good to very poor. Near record yields appear to be anticipated in parts of the southern Ohio area, as well as pockets of central Ohio, whereas dismal yields from drowned areas and flooding appear as you look north.

As corn plants neared reproductive stages, northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot could be found in most of the state. Growers that applied fungicides to help prevent infection are now happy that they had done so.… Continue reading

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Field days are more than a free lunch

Field days are a great chance in the late summer weeks leading up to harvest to get a free lunch, but they can also be a valuable opportunity to help make profitable decisions for 2016.

There were a number of challenges with crop production in 2015 and field days offer a glimpse into how hybrids performed under the challenging conditions. Matt Hutcheson, product manager for Seed Consultants, Inc., said that his company’s field days gives customers an important chance to assess the hybrids and varieties being offered and see how they handle the problems that are showing up in 2015.

“In many areas of the state, diseases have developed in both corn and soybean fields. Weather played a big part in the appearance and development of disease. For soybeans, sclerotinia white mold (SWM), sudden death syndrome (SDS), and frogeye leaf spot (FE) have developed late in the season. Rainy weather from May through July created an environment conducive to SWM development below the canopy.… Continue reading

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Cover crops after corn silage

A lot of corn was chopped for corn silage last week and harvest continues this week. We are about a month ahead of last year’s corn silage harvest and this year’s earlier harvest provides an opportunity to get cover crops established on those acres. Earlier planting of cover crops is good. The touted benefits of cover crops are dependent upon the crop producing forage mass above ground and developing a root system below ground.

More growth is generally equal to more benefits. In addition to protecting the soil against erosion, cover crops can improve soil quality, provide supplemental forage for grazing or mechanical harvest, can use excess nutrients in the soil, and can provide an option for manure application during late fall and winter periods. The expectation here is that we get some rain so that the cover crop can germinate and grow to take advantage of an earlier planting date.… Continue reading

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Cost-effective, soy-based solution developed for use in metal food and beverage cans

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and researchers at Battelle have developed a soy-based, BPA-free coating for use in the lining of metal food and beverage cans and other coating applications. This breakthrough will help food producers develop packaging solutions that meet increasing consumer health and safety demands while providing excellent performance and food safety.

The technology was recognized as one of the top 10 innovative coating technologies at the 2015 European Coatings Innovation event. Following its successful pilot scale demonstration, the new coating is now available for sampling and licensing through OSC and Redwood Innovations.

Dr. Bhima Vijayendran, a partner at Redwood Innovation Partners who collaborated on the development of the coating, sees great promise for applications in food and beverage packaging.

“By offering a soy-based, BPA-free alternative coating for cans, this technology offers a natural alternative to improve imperishable food distribution and eliminates consumer concern of harmful chemicals leaching into food and beverages.”

Since the 1960s, Bisphenol A (BPA), a petroleum-based chemical, has been used as a coating in many familiar products including plastic bottles and beer and beverage cans.… Continue reading

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