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Is late planting a reason to switch to Bt corn?

By Dave Nanda, Ph.D., Director of Genetics and Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc.

One of my customers producing non-GMO corn for premium recently expressed some concerns that later planted corn will get more corn borers. Should he switch to a Bt hybrid?

It is known that late plantings of corn are more subject to corn borer infestation than earlier plantings. However, those fields are more vulnerable when everything else around them is planted earlier. Then the moths are attracted to the later-planted fields because they prefer that stage for laying eggs.

One should also consider how often the corn borer is an economic factor. While it’s a factor almost every year in Iowa and the western Corn Belt, it’s a major factor only two to three years out of 15 in Indiana and Ohio. The risk of corn borer pressure would be higher this year due to later planting of all corn, but risk is relative and difficult to quantify.… Continue reading

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Crop insurance questions?

The incessant rain is putting Ohio corn and soybean producers in a tight spot this spring. As more soggy fields sit idle, the only things emerging are questions about how to handle the exasperating situation.

The potential for profits this year is still there, but at what point does delayed corn planting tip the scales in favor of preventative planting crop insurance options? What are those options? What about getting crops in the ground to feed a nearly unprecedented world demand? What could lower yields from late planting this year do to the farm in future years with regard to government farm programs and crop insurance coverage? How will farmers meet the feed demands of on-farm livestock or fill contracts that have been sold for strong prices?

These are just a few of the many quandaries facing Ohio agriculture as May (and the optimal corn planting dates) pass by. What are your top questions regarding crop insurance and Ohio’s record-breaking wet spring? Continue reading

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Mechanicsburg FFA Wins National Syngenta Video Contest

Mechanicsburg FFA in will be honored with a $3,000 prize for winning the Grand Champion first-place award in the Weeding out Hunger with Halex® GT FFA Video Challenge, sponsored by Syngenta. Mechanicsburg FFA competed against FFA chapters nationwide to become a finalist in the competition.

South Central High School FFA in Greenwich, Ohio, received a $500 prize for most original entry.

This is the first year Syngenta has hosted the Weeding out Hunger FFA Video Challenge. In January, National FFA chapters were invited to upload a short video through the Weeding out Hunger Facebook page describing the importance of FFA and agriculture in their community, and in providing for the food, fiber, fuel and feed needs of the nation.

After online voting and judging from a select panel including Syngenta, FFA and agricultural media representatives, Mechanicsburg FFA was chosen to receive the top prize. Students who participated in the video challenge will be rewarded with a pizza party on May 26 where Luke Lathan, local Syngenta sales representative, and Carroll Moseley, Syngenta herbicide brand manager will present the check.… Continue reading

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White-nose fungus infected bats and impact on agronomic crop pests

By Ron Hammond and Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension entomologists

Recently, white-nose fungus was detected among bat populations in Ohio. White-nose fungus is a new disease of bats that is expanding westward across the country. It is a very serious pathogen that tends to awake bats during hibernation. Infected bats are then unable to hibernate and cannot survive the winter, causing massive mortality in bat populations. It is feared that white nose fungus will lead to local extinctions. Losing native bat populations is serious in of itself, but many species provide a valuable service — devouring insects. Most of what these bats eat includes mosquitoes, flies, and even some agronomic crop pests such as European corn borer and various corn rootworm species. Bats are an important part of a group of general predators that include both insects and vertebrates. For example, birds have been known to remove corn ear worm or western bean cutworm from infected ears.… Continue reading

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Late corn planting does not necessarily mean lower yields

Rainy weather is resulting in major delays in corn planting throughout Ohio. But farmers can still hold a sliver of hope that late planting won’t put a big dent in yields at harvest time.

Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist and scientist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and research associate Allen Geyer, examined trends related to planting dates and yields stretching back three decades. They reported their findings this week in the Crop Observation and Recommendation Network (CORN) newsletter, available online at http://corn.osu.edu.

As of May 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that only 7% of Ohio’s corn crop had been planted. That’s 76% behind last year, and 63% behind the five-year average. Indiana farmers were faring a bit better, with 29% of the corn crop planted — but that’s still 56% behind last year and 37% behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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A Tragic Loss for Ohio Agriculture

Statement from Ohio Agriculture Director James Zehringer

“The World needs more great communicators like Lindsay Hill, Dale Minyo, and Gary Jackson.  The loss today of Lindsay’s passionate and articulate voice is a loss for agriculture and all Ohioans.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Lindsay and her family.”

By Ty Higgins

It seems that the Agriculture industry here in Ohio and around the Country is constantly trying to find a voice to combat naysayers and activist groups that want nothing more than to put Ag out of business. Thursday the Agriculture community’s voice became quite a bit quieter as Lindsay Hill, formerly of The ABN and current National Association of Farm Broadcasting President, was tragically killed in an auto accident.

I had the privilege, and I do mean privilege to work with Lindsay at the ABN.

She took her job as a Farm Broadcaster very seriously, almost as seriously as Buckeye Basketball.… Continue reading

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Will pricing 2011 corn now reduce downside revenue risk?

The bottom line is that 2011 is likely to be a profitable year for farmers. Determining just how profitable involves a complicated equation that includes number of bushels per acre, price per bushel, level of Revenue Protection (RP) and hedging. An issue of University of Illinois Farm Economics Facts and Opinions looked at some of the possible scenarios to help farmers juggle the numbers and the risk.

“Most people are buying Revenue Protection insurance products,” said U of I agricultural economist and farm management specialist Gary Schnitkey. “We wanted to know if you had to hedge grain now, what its impacts would be at several levels of RP and at no insurance just to get a feel for how much risk is mitigated by different amounts hedged.”

Schnitkey compared the RP at 85% coverage level, 75% coverage level and 65% coverage level and no insurance for a central Illinois farm with a 184-bushel average yield.… Continue reading

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Despite the rain, corn is still king

By Brian Essinger, Monsanto Territory Manager, Northern Ohio

As I sit in my office overlooking the yard and the wheat field across the road, I hear that all too familiar sound of raindrops hitting my window. The calendar says May 17 and once again we are in wait mode. Now I am a positive guy and I learned a long time ago do not curse the weather. In fact, if you ask my kids they will tell you daddy says, “Never buck the rain.” But it takes every fiber in my being not to get down, anxious, and downright frustrated.

With that being said, I believe my job is to give you the facts, help you build a successful production plan, and above all be your optimistic point of view. So hear are some tips to think about, focus on, and overall stay positive.

Don’t give up on corn. It is still king.… Continue reading

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Livestock and streams

By Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

A stream crossing will control animal and vehicles crossing the stream. It can also be used to control access point for livestock watering. Pastures with streams have areas where the animals have chosen spots to cross the stream. These areas are usually the best locations to construct the stream crossing. The animals choose these areas because of stable footing and ease of crossing. Improving the existing crossing with the livestock’s needs in mind will encourage the livestock use. Livestock avoid soft, muddy, and rocky streambeds. They prefer a firm gravel bottom to walk on. They need to be able to see the bottom in order to use the area as a water source.

The primary component of a stream crossing is a heavy layer of gravel thick enough to support the animals. The size of the gravel affects how long the cattle spend in the crossing.… Continue reading

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Ohio Sheep Day to be held July 16, 2011 at Blue Heron Farm

By Roger A. High, State Sheep Extension Associate and Ohio State University, Executive Director, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program

The 2011 Ohio Sheep Day is scheduled for Saturday, July 16, 2011.  It will be held at Blue Heron Farm, home farm of Cynthia Koonce, located outside of Lisbon, Ohio in beautiful Columbiana County. Blue Heron Farm, under the direction of shepherdess, Cynthia Koonce, is a commercial oriented sheep operation, concentrating on marketing a variety of types and sizes of commercial lambs.  Blue Heron Farms is located in the upper part of the Ohio Appalachian region where the terrain is rolling and hilly, making it an ideal location for sheep production.

The 2011 Ohio Sheep Day at the Blue Heron Farm operation will focus on programming that will increase and improve the profitability of sheep operations, Richard Ehrhardt, Small Ruminant Specialist at Michigan State University, will be the keynote speaker. … Continue reading

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Fuel prices impacting farms

This year’s unexpected rise in fuel prices is certain to impact farmers in Ohio and across the nation, but the extent of the impact will vary across agricultural sectors and will depend on other variables, such as the weather and the fate of already record-high grain prices.

Barry Ward, production business management leader with Ohio State University Extension, said that the effect of fuel and energy costs on grain farmers — while significant — will be softened this year by the high profit potential expected for row crops in Ohio and the Midwest.

“Projected corn budgets for this year show the highest net profit outlook I have ever done in six years, and safely you could say this is the highest net profit potential in recent history,” said Ward, who is also an assistant professor in Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE). “Because of that, the high fuel prices we are seeing now are not going to significantly impact the bottom line of grain farmers this year.… Continue reading

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Flying on fungicides now will not prevent vomitoxin

By Pierce Paul and Dennis Mills, Ohio State University Extension


2 – The head scab fungus infects when the wheat crop is flowering i.e., when anthers are seen sticking out of the heads, causing scab to develop and producing vomitoxin.

3 – Therefore, fungicides need to be applied to protect the flowering head to reduce infection, scab development, and vomitoxin production.

4 – Between flag leaf emergence and boot, the head is in the leaf sheath of the flag leaf where it is protected from the head scab fungus, so scab will not cause a problem while the head is hidden, even during these constant rains.

5 – Between flag leaf emergence and boot, the head is in the leaf sheath of the flag leaf where the fungicide will not reach it.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Council Announces Inductees to Hall of Fame


Four Ohioans who committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community will be honored Friday, August 5, 2011, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted to the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) will induct the late Edwin J. Carey of Marion, Lester Lynd of Pataskala, Dr. Thomas B. Turner of Somerset and Fred Yoder of Plain City, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame during a special breakfast ceremony held during the Ohio State Fair, Friday, August 5, in the Rhodes Youth Center at the Ohio Expo Center. The 46th annual event will attract 500 guests to honor these four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“Our Board is extraordinarily pleased to be honoring such a diverse group of inductees into this year’s class,” said Tom Schlenker, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council. … Continue reading

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Watch wheat closely for disease

By Ryan McAllister, CCA, Team Sales Agronomist, Beck’s Hybrids

Do you remember playing Capture the Flag when you were a kid? Well, diseases in your wheat field still like to play that game. They never grew up. Your job is to protect the flag — flag leaf that is. Most wheat fields in our eastern marketing area are in the boot stage and quickly on their way to heading. Once heading occurs, it generally takes 3 to 5 days before flowering begins. There are two considerations that you have when deciding to spray a fungicide on your wheat.

1.    Protect the flag leaf from leaf disease.

2.    Reduce the risk of head scab infection, which can lead to vomitoxin.

Fungicides with good control of head scab must be applied during flowering to be effective! With most of the wheat in our eastern marketing area as close to flowering as it is, it is wise to hold any fungicide application off until then to determine the risk for head scab rather than spraying now for leaf disease and possibly having to spray again shortly to control scab.… Continue reading

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The Weekly Crop Progress Report – May 16th

As of Sunday May 15, corn was 7 percent planted, which was 76 percent behind last year and 63 percent behind the five-year average. Corn emerged was 1 percent, compared to 57 percent last year and 39 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans planted were 3 percent, compared to 44 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Winter wheat was 88 percent jointed, which was 3 percent behind last year and 4 percent behind the five-year average. One percent of winter wheat was headed, 15 percent behind last year and 10 percent behind the five-year average. Thirty-five percent of the oats were planted, compared to 95 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Oats emerged were 13 percent, 71 percent behind last year and 68 percent behind the five-year average. Two percent of alfalfa hay 1st cutting was complete, compared to 9 percent last year and 2 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Crop Insurance Flood Claim Reminders

Heavy rainfall and flood conditions across the Midwest have caused crop damage and slowed planting this spring. Brian Frieden, Director of the Springfield Regional Office of the Risk Management Agency, reminds producers faced with questions on prevented planting, replant or crop losses this spring, to contact their agent for more information.

Producers who are unable to plant an insured crop by the final planting date due to an insurable cause, such as excess moisture and flooding have a number of options. Producers may plant the insured crop during the 25 day late planting period with a reduction in the production guarantee of 1 percent a day for each day planting is delayed after the final planting date. Producers may leave the acreage idle and receive a full prevented planting payment or the insured may be able to plant the acreage to another crop after the late planting period and receive a reduced prevented planting payment.… Continue reading

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Planting updates from around Ohio

With drier weather at the end of last week, Ohio farmers took advantage of the sunshine and heat and worked for hours on end spraying fields and planting corn. Typically most farmers would like to be done planting or nearly done planting by now, but they’ve adapted to changing weather patterns.

The wheat crop in Ohio seems to have suffered a little damaged in waterlogged areas. Some farmers are spraying fungicide in case the weather, which is now cold and wet, becomes hot and wet as the wheat is flowering, making it susceptible to diseases such as head scab and vomitoxin. Here are some updates from around the state.

Northeast Ohio: John Wallbrown, Deerfield, Ohio (Portage County)

We’re have planted about 20% corn and 20% beans. We don’t know if that 20% will make it or not. The weekend was very wet; we’re fully saturated since it rained all weekend. The wheat looks much worse than average — we’re waiting to put a nitrogen fertilizer on it — it’s very soggy.… Continue reading

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Conditions may favor wheat disease

Cool, wet weather in the past few weeks and warmer weather expected in the next few days may spell trouble for wheat growers in some parts of Ohio, as conditions become favorable for head scab and vomitoxin as well as a host of foliar diseases such as powdery mildew, Ohio State agronomic crops experts reported.

Pierce Paul, wheat disease specialist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), said that despite a relatively slow start due to cool, wet conditions, the wheat crop in Ohio has developed well and is now between the jointing (in the north) and boot (in the south) growth stages.

“At this rate of development, and with warmer weather in the forecast, flowering should begin within the next 10 to 20 days,” Paul reported in this week’s issue of Ohio State’s C.O.R.N. Newsletter (http://corn.osu.edu). “More rain is also forecasted for later this week and early next week (May 13-18).… Continue reading

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Scarlet and Gray Ag Day 2011

The 2011 Scarlet & Gray Ag Day was held on Friday on the campus of The Ohio State University – specifically, The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.
The Scarlet & Gray Ag Day Committee is a student organization of The Ohio State University that plans an annual agricultural education outreach event for central Ohio 4th and 5th graders. The theme: Ag = Food x Fiber x Fuel.

Ty Higgins covered Scarlet and Gray Ag Day for The Ohio Ag Net and he talked to the namesake of the event, Micki Zartman.

Hannah Thompson is one of the ag students that put together this year’s Scarlet and Gray Ag Day.

One of the Scarlet and Ag Day Advisors is Leslie Risch.Continue reading

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