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NCGA encouraging pollinator plantings

The yearly count of the Eastern Monarch butterfly population that overwinters in Mexico was released recently, showing an increase of 144% over last year’s count.

After years of struggles with a host of challenges from bad weather to loss of habitat the large butterfly count the highest count since 2006 comes as welcome news. But not too fast, because Western Monarchs continue to struggle due to drought, wildfires, pesticides and loss of habitat.

Landowners and farmers are uniquely situated to support the Monarch and are already making a difference. Habitat plantings can fit into many niches on the agricultural landscape, including conservation lands, grazing lands, rights-of-way, field margins, field borders, pivot corners, conservation lands, ditches, buffers and other low-productive lands. Milkweed and other nectar-producing flowers planted in these areas yield multiple on-farm benefits.

In 2018, Environmental Defense Fund and National Corn Growers Association launched a first-of-its-kind partnership between an environmental organization and commodity crop association.

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Planning for high yielding soybeans

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

When planning for the upcoming growing season, it can be easy to focus more energy on corn production as it has traditionally been the more intensively managed crop. However, producers who put in the effort to manage their soybean crop have proven it is possible to attain high yields of 70+ bushels per acre. Below are some tips for planning to produce high-yielding soybeans in 2019.

  • Quality seed: Planting the right seed sets the stage for the entire growing season. Growers should plant genetics with high yield potential. Choose varieties that have been tested at several locations and across multiple years. Growers should choose varieties adapted to their soil types and management practices. As with corn, choosing varieties with strong disease packages and agronomic traits with aid in achieving higher yields.
  • Planting date: University research has proven that timely, early planting is one way to increase soybean yields.
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Gov. DeWine outlines H2Ohio water quality initiative

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine outlined his H2Ohio water quality initiative, which he is introducing as part of his proposed budget for the 2020-2021 biennium.

“Water is vital to everyone, yet communities throughout the state face real and different challenges, such as algae blooms, failing septic tanks, nutrient pollution, and threats of lead contamination,” Governor DeWine said. “We cannot continue to lurch from water crisis to water crisis. I am proposing an H2Ohio initiative that would allow us to invest in targeted, long-term solutions to ensure safe and clean water across the state of Ohio.”

During an event in Toledo, Governor DeWine announced that his proposal would create a special H2Ohio Fund that would be used to protect Ohio’s water quality over 10 years and could amount to approximately $900 million.

“Rather than borrowing to pay to fix our water problems, we want to create a special account, where we can deposit funds to be used specifically for water quality across Ohio,” Gov.

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Commodity Classic packed with highlights for attendees

The nation’s corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum farmers gathered in Orlando for the 2019 Commodity Classic that featured a massive trade show and leading agriculture experts from around the country.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience. Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event, featuring a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.

The event is presented annually by the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Here are some of the many highlights.

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March 8 neutral report leaves traders nervous

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Just ahead of the report, grains were mixed with corn down 1 cent, soybeans down 6 cents, with wheat up 4 cents. Following the report, corn was unchanged, soybeans down 3 cents, and wheat up 2 cents.

China’s soybean imports were 88 million tons, unchanged from last month. Brazil’s soybean production was 116.5 million tons, down just one-half million tons from last month. Corn ending stocks were 1.835 billion bushels, up 100 million bushels. Exports were cut 75 million bushels and ethanol was down 25 million bushels. Soybean ending stocks were down 10 million bushels to 900 million bushels. Wheat ending stocks up 45 million bushels to 1.055 billion bushels.

We often witness the grain markets reacting to what is currently happening — the headlines. Continuing the dominant theme seen in recent weeks, grains are reacting to what we are NOT seeing. The lack of U.S./China trade news is affecting volume and volatility.

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Update: What’s legal to apply to the LL-GT27 soybean?

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension weed control specialist

We recently ran an article that covered the legality of POST glyphosate and glufosinate applications to the LL-GT27 soybean, which is resistant to both herbicides. The issue at that time was the legality of applying a mix of both herbicides, based on questions we had received. Cutting to the quick, our conclusion was that because it was legal to apply the mixture since both herbicides could legally be applied and labels did not prohibit mixing. We were naïve apparently, because that article caused the issue over whether it was actually legal to apply glyphosate to the LL-GT27 soybean to be raised.

Since then, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the companies who are the involved registrants have been working to come to a solution that clarifies this issue and keeps us all moving forward toward a resolution.

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China deal up in the air and soggy soils underfoot

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Bloomberg News reported on Feb. 28 that the U.S. and China are in the final stages of negotiating a 150-page executive order, which may be ready to be signed by President Trump and President Xi yet this month. Final details are still being hammered out. The pact will include six “memorandum of understanding” points agreed to last month. Those six points are: forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, non-tariff barriers to trade, and agriculture.

Late last month, White House Economic Adviser Kudlow indicated the U.S. is on the verge of an historic pact with China. The weariness is readily apparent for all in the ag industry in regard to the months long U.S./China trade issues. Producers have paid with the decimating hit they took to their bottom line with the sharp decline in soybean prices since last June. With the huge amount of selling pressure in recent weeks, it appears traders are looking for specific things to occur, a date to be announced for the trade signing by the presidents, and the actual signing to happen.

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Don Boehm named CCA of the Year

By Matt Reese

Don Boehm of Findlay was named the 2019 CCA of the Year by the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Program at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada yesterday.

Boehm now serves as the crop protection manager at Legacy Farmers Cooperative with more than 30 years of crop advising experience and service in the Hancock County area. He is currently responsible for weed management recommendations, soil sampling and scouting, and implementation strategies for the 4R principles at Legacy, which was among the first facilities certified in the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program. Throughout his career he has been involved with sales, management and direct work with farmers in his role as a CCA. Boehm has also worked to implement new technology for farmer customers and on his own farm.

“The thing that has been the most rewarding to me is that God has blessed us with the opportunity to farm.

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Corn at the halfway point

By Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois

The midpoint of the 2018-19 marketing year for corn arrived on Friday, March 1. Typically, the market begins to focus on new crop acreage and production prospects. Uncertainty regarding trade negotiations and lower use in domestic consumption categories may keep old crop consumption closer to the forefront than usual.

Corn consumption slowed in ethanol production and other domestic uses during the first half of the marketing year. Exports slowed a bit from the strong start to the marketing year, but remain on pace to hit the current USDA forecast of 2.45 billion bushels. While changes in trade policy may impact corn exports significantly over the next year, the following analysis assumes a continuation of the current trade environment. Through February 21, total commitments of corn total 1.557 billion bushels. Total commitments sit 11 million bushels above last year’s total through week 25.

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Managing foliar diseases in corn

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

As spring of 2019 growing season approaches, producers across the Eastern Corn Belt will begin 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 sveral 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 generally recommend that fungicides are not required for hybrids with strong disease resistance.

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Statewide Soil Health Symposium sheds light for farmers on how to make healthy soils pay-off

Farmers, Certified Crop Advisors, conservation professionals and other members of the agriculture industry can gain insight into making soil health profitable during the Third Annual Ohio Soil Health Symposium on March 26 at the Kehoe Center-North Central State University, 19 E State Street, Shelby, Ohio 44875.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature presentations by farmers, conservation folks, researchers and other agriculture industry experts. Discussion Rooms will provide space for small groups to discuss solutions “For Farmers”, “For Advisors,” and “From Industry” relating to herbicides, nutrient management, manure, on-farm research, small grains, planting equipment and weather events. Attendees can choose throughout the day which sessions will be most valuable.

The symposium will feature Special Guests, Sarah Carlson, Paul Hepperly and Dave Brandt.

  • Sarah works for Practical Farmers of Iowa. She is an agronomist that focuses on transferring research about cover crops and small grains to the supply chain and farmers for more environmental and economic returns.
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Keeping phosphorus out of waterways

In a pit about 3 feet underground lies one possible solution to reducing a large amount of the phosphorus draining from some of Ohio’s agricultural fields.

At two locations in the state, researchers with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) are testing phosphorus filters that have removed up to 75% of the phosphorus running through them. Phosphorus can be found in commercial fertilizers and animal manure.

On a typical agricultural field, rainfall percolates through layers of soil and eventually into an underground plastic pipe system that carries the rain to a drainage pipe, then to a ditch or nearby waterway. With a phosphorus filter, the water flows through an underground tank before it reaches the ditch or nearby waterway. The tank contains a chemical composite that acts like adhesive tape, causing the phosphorus to stick to it as the water then flows out to the ditch or nearby creek, stream or lake.

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BASF reveals new fungicide at Commodity Classic

The 2019 Commodity Classic is off and running in Orlando, with several exciting announcements to come over the next few days. One of the bigger discussions that has already happened came from BASF and its new fungicide lineup, offering a new active ingredient. OCJ’s Matt Reese and Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood hear from BASF’s Scott Kay and Paula Halabicki discuss the groundbreaking move, plus a chat with Upper Sandusky farmer Walker Gottfried on his farm’s extensive fungicide use.

What does the future of fungicides hold? What could it mean for you? Find out in this video.

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Enlist E3 soybeans now available for the Eastern Corn Belt

Seed Consultants, serving Eastern Corn Belt growers, is excited to offer Enlist E3 soybeans, available now for 2019 planting.

Enlist E3 soybeans offer one of the most advanced soybean technologies on the market. With tolerance to 2,4-D choline in Enlist herbicides, glyphosate and glufosinate, Enlist E3 soybeans provide a new standard for weed control and yield potential.

“Our growers expect performance from their fields, even if they’re constantly fighting tough weeds,” said Daniel Call, general manager of Seed Consultants. “I think they’ll be really pleased with Enlist E3 soybeans. The genetics, agronomics and weed control are outstanding.”

As part of the Enlist weed control system, Enlist E3 soybeans can be sprayed with Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides to manage tough and resistant weeds. Both herbicides feature 2,4-D choline with Colex-D technology to provide superior weed control with minimized potential for physical drift and near-zero volatility. Enlist herbicides reduce drift by as much as 90 percent compared with traditional 2,4-D and are up to 96 percent less volatile than 2,4-D ester.

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Had your auxin training yet?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I just sat through my second training of the season. Labels changed for all of the soybean dicamba products last fall; and the label says you will attend dicamba training every year. That means everyone who uses a dicamba product on soybeans must attend auxin training from the manufacturer; contact your seed dealer or herbicide supplier to see when yours is happening. If you missed it for the product you are using, that’s OK, you can attend any of the manufacturers’ training sessions to get the update.

From my one and a half hour training I learned that to use the products you must:

  • Keep records.
  • Follow buffer requirements. And they have changed since last year.
  • Use no AMS.
  • Apply with an approved nozzle, with a minimum spray volume of 15 gallons per acre.
  • At 24 inches above the canopy.
  • In winds between 3 and 10 miles per hour.
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Legislation introduced to establish industrial hemp program in Ohio

State Senators Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) and Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) today introduced legislation that would create an industrial hemp program in Ohio administered by the Department of Agriculture.

The legislation clarifies that hemp and hemp derived products, including CBD oil may be sold legally in Ohio.

“This an exciting opportunity for farmers to expand the crops they plant,” Hill said. “Farmers can rotate hemp to improve soil health while earning more profit than many traditional cover crops. I’m eager to see all the ways that Ohio will benefit from this legislation.”

With the recent passing of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, industrial hemp has been removed from the list of scheduled substances banned by the federal government and can now be grown as a commodity crop throughout the United States.

“It is important to understand that hemp is not marijuana, it is much more versatile and lacks an appreciable amount of THC to cause any psychotropic effects,” Huffman said.

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Spring nitrogen requirements for winter wheat

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

Application timing and amount are key factors in achieving high winter wheat yields. While the amount of N required in the fall is relatively small, it is critical to promoting early development and tillering. With spring weather around the corner, winter wheat producers will be gearing up for spring topdress of their wheat crop. Timing and rates are critical in the spring as to maintain the high yield potential of winter wheat varieties.

Spring applications of N should be made after the plants break dormancy. Although in some situations field conditions may be favorable, nitrogen applied in the late winter before plants have broken dormancy is more likely to be lost before plants can utilize it. Spring N applications should not be made before wheat has broken dormancy and begins to green up. The University of Kentucky publication “A Comprehensive Guide to Wheat Management in Kentucky” recommends: “When making a single N fertilizer application the best time is when the crop growth stage is Feekes 4-5, (Zadoks 30, usually mid-March) just before the first joint appears on the main stem and when wheat starts growing rapidly.” The UK publication goes on to say that “The rate of N fertilizer for a single application should be between 60 and 90 pounds N per acre for fields with a yield potential less than 70 bushels per acre and 90 to 100 lb N/acre for fields with greater yield potential.”

Wheat plants begin a period of rapid growth and stem elongation once they reach Feekes Stage 6 (first node visible).

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Updated field guide available

The newly revised Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Forages Field Guide is a compilation of the latest research by Extension specialists from The Ohio State University in partnership with Pennsylvania State University.

Designed as a guide for scouts, crop advisors, and farmers, this handy spiral-bound book contains updated information and images to aid with insect, disease, and weed identification. Major revisions to the book include the latest fertilizer recommendations, broadleaf weed ID keys, and a manure sampling and manure applicator calibration section. Tar spot, a new disease to Ohio, is now included in the Corn Disease section. The Forages section also received a major upgrade, and now includes grass crops as well.

The guide is divided into six sections: Corn Management, Soybean Management, Wheat Management, Forage Management, Weed Identification, and General Crop Management, which includes updated sampling information. The index at the back of the Bulletin 827 can be used to quickly locate page numbers for your topic of interest while in the field.

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Rotating traits preserves technology and profitability

It may be that a certain type of genetically modified corn or soybean seed works well, bringing high yields and sizeable profits.

But planted in the same field, year after year, the same seed might not be the right choice, said Curtis Young, an entomologist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

When the same genetically engineered crops are grown in the same field repeatedly — crops developed to produce toxins that kill insects, for example, or to survive weed-killing sprays — the target insects or weeds begin to adapt. They can become resistant to the toxins or weed killer.

Take, for example, soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to tolerate glyphosate, a chemical that kills weeds. A farmer might want to plant soybeans that tolerate glyphosate so he or she can later spray a weed killer containing glyphosate, not hurting the crop but killing the weeds that are sucking up the nutrients and water.

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