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Lackluster soybean yields for 2019

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

The 2019 growing season will be remembered for many things, though bin-busting soybean yields will probably not be one of them.

“Soybean yields in Ohio are going to be wide ranging. This is largely due to the soil moisture during the growing season, both excess and drought. Soybean planting date across the Midwest is still the No. 1 factor in soybean yields. With the late planting this year, that is very unfortunate. This year the excessive wet, followed by the dry also had a huge impact,” said Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension soybean specialist. “It started wet, was late planted and then some areas of the state just dried out. Wet soils led to poor root conditions, then dry conditions struck some areas, which just magnified the poor root problem. The lack of moisture during pod fill is probably a bigger issue where water and rainfall is concerned for soybeans.

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Market factors to watch

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Soybean basis continues to be on fire. My local processor increased their basis bid another 10 cents this week, totaling a 20-cent increase in the last 20 days. I’m seeing end users’ basis values increase in nearly all of the soybean growing areas. However, I have noticed that commercial storage locations are lagging the processors bids by quite a bit, my local elevator has only increased basis 2 cents in the last 20 days.

 

Storing and not selling

Based upon conversations with many grain traders across the U.S., farmers have sold very little of their 2019 bean production. Usually farmers store their corn at home and deliver their beans at harvest, but many this year are instead storing their beans waiting for better values. A lot of farmers still think a trade deal will happen soon and a big rally in prices will follow.

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Figuring out the 2019 lessons learned

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Sometimes the best lessons learned are from the times things do not go as planned. Most in agriculture will agree that 2019 is a year that in many aspects did not go as we had planned. The variability of planting dates and conditions throughout the growing season left many farmers scratching their heads, especially as it related to the final yields. In some cases, the yields were what was expected as a result of the late planting and given growing conditions this year. In other cases, however, the yields were surprisingly good. The Ohio State University is undertaking a project to try to better understand the yield impacts of the planting delays created by the 2019 weather conditions. A farmer survey has been developed, and researchers are asking for help.

Normal planting dates for Ohio range from mid-April to the end of May. This season was quite different when planting for both crops was delayed until late May and stretched into June and even July across many parts of Ohio.

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Soybean research addresses some of the challenges of 2019

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

There were plenty of challenges for soybeans in 2019 and, fortunately, there are numerous research projects seeking some solutions.

Research has consistently shown the importance of planting date. In some cases in Ohio in 2019, planting date did not hurt final yields as much as would be expected due to a late frost and consistent moisture. This does not diminish the importance of planting dates for soybeans.

“Planting date is still the number one factor that influences soybean yield,” said Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension soybean specialist. “You don’t want to push it too early, because there can be issues on that end.”

Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist

Research has consistently shown a yield reduction from late planting ranging from 0.25 to 1 bushel per acre per day depending on row width, date of planting, and variety. In southern Ohio, soybeans should be planted any time after April 15 when soil conditions are suitable.

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 129 | Trade Talk and Thanksgiving Preparation

Dale, Bart, and Kolt have returned from a week in Kansas City for the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention. They meet back up with Matt for the podcast brought to you by AgriGold. Dusty and Matt talk with Ben Frobrose of Wood County, Kolt catches up with Hannah Thompson Weeman of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, and Matt has an update from the Ohio Christmas Tree Association on Operation Evergreen.

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Understanding the Brazil corn crop

Even if the mere idea of visiting Brazil has never crossed your mind, you probably have listened to a song called “The Girl From Ipanema”, maybe in Frank Sinatra’s voice. And what does that song have to do with agricultural markets?

Nothing. But one of its composers, Brazilian Tom Jobim (who sings the song with Sinatra), once said that Brazil is not for beginners. That sentence became a famous and useful way to describe how difficult it is to understand Brazil’s peculiarities. And its corn market is one of them.

As you probably know, Brazil grows two corn crops a year. Well, since last October, it is officially three, but I will write about that third crop another time. For now, let’s stick to the two traditional crops. The first one is planted from September to December and competes for area with soybeans.

Considering that Brazil is now a soybean powerhouse, it is not a surprise that the first corn crop has lost millions of acres over the last two decades.

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The top weeds for 2020

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader

After a challenging 2019, four specific weeds should be on every farmer’s radar for 2020: waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, giant ragweed, and marestail.

Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth

Palmer Amaranth is an invasive pigweed. Get tips for controlling it from Ohio Field Leader.
                Palmer amaranth seed heads

In terms of waterhemp, there was significant seed production potential in 2019.

“I have seen an increase in waterhemp in 2019, especially with all the prevent plant acres, and that is going to mean big problems for some farmers in 2020,” said Kenny Schilling, retail market manager for FMC Corporation. “If you know you are going to have waterhemp issues in the 2020 soybean crop, a farmer needs to plan on using a dicamba or Liberty soybean in that field.

“It is recommended to use a Group 14 and Group 15 Family herbicide in the pre-emerge application and follow it up with a Group 15 Family herbicide again in the post-emerge application, combined with the chemistry from the herbicide resistant soybean that was planted.

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Do you know your SCN number?

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader

What’s your number? While this question sounds like the latest campaign to monitor your cholesterol or blood pressure, it is actually talking about a different health measurement. The health and yield of future soybean crops will be impacted by the level of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) present in fields.

SCN damages soybeans by feeding on roots. This takes nutrients from the plant, and creates wounds for fungi to enter. The past few years the SCN Coalition, funded by the soybean checkoff, has been running the “What’s your number?” campaign to renew attention to the yield robbing pest. Presentations about SCN were common on the agenda of many farm programs in the mid to late 90s. The relative ease of Roundup ready soybean production increased the common practice of no-tilling soybeans back to beans, which created a wonderful environment for SCN populations to grow. In the years following, thanks in part to an increased awareness of SCN associated yield losses and the development of resistant varieties, SCN saw a decline in many Ohio fields.

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Farmers are soiling their undies and making strides with soil health

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

The tidy whities hanging outside of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts display at Ohio’s largest farm show generated plenty of attention at the 2019 Farm Science Review and the sullied unmentionables inside the confines of the building were, well, almost unmentionable. But, mentioned they were. That, after all, is the point of the clever “Soil your undies” program.

“We are encouraging farmers around the state to ‘Soil their undies’ by planting 100% cotton underwear in their fields for about four weeks to see what the level of soil health and soil activity is within their fields. When you pull them up, if they look about like they did when you buried them, you probably need to go into your local SWCD office and start some conversations. If you pull them up and there is nothing left but elastic, you probably have some pretty good soil health,” said Janelle Mead, OFSWCD chief executive officer.

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H2Ohio strategies and farm practices outlined by Gov. DeWine

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unveiled an overview of his new H2Ohio plan for water quality Thursday afternoon in Toledo. Backdropped by the National Museum of the Great Lakes, Governor DeWine presented basic details of the plan to an invited audience of over 100 farmers and legislators, as well as collaborators from farm associations, conservation groups, universities and research centers, agribusinesses, and public and government entities.

“H2Ohio is a dedicated, holistic water quality plan that has long lasting solutions,” said Governor DeWine. “It addresses the causes of the problems and not just the symptoms.”

H2Ohio will invest in targeted solutions to help reduce harmful algal blooms, ensure clean water in disadvantaged communities, and prevent lead contamination in daycare centers and schools. In July, the Ohio General Assembly invested $172 million in the plan.

“This is one of the most comprehensive data-driven planning processes in our state’s history.

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Changing weather patterns: The new “normal”

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

After enduring the spring of 2019, it will not take much convincing for many of you that precipitation extremes have become the new normal. It’s been said that if you want things to be different, just wait until next year. While this will likely be true, the trend of punishing rain events occurring more frequently is undeniable.

Impacts of extreme precipitation:

  1. Intense rains with increased atmospheric moisture = persistent risk of flooding
  2. Soil movement and topsoil degradation
  3. Decreased aggregate stability, lower soil O2 levels
  4. Sustained dry periods between rains
  5. Days to perform field work are limited.

 

Effective water use

While excessive water at any given time has many downsides, effective water utilization is critical to overall crop development and growth. Water is a fundamental component of photosynthesis. In order to maximize this critical resource, we must implement management strategies that allow our soils to both accept and retain more water to sustain us throughout the drier periods.

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The best weed control is a growing crop

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

The best weed control is a growing crop. This is one of the lessons re-learned in 2019 according to a couple of long time agricultural chemical company representatives.

“The earth was meant to be covered. If there is not a crop growing, nature is going to cover itself. Something is going to grow,” said Neil Badehnop, sales representative for Valent USA. “Overall weed control is done by the growing crop, and if the intended crop is not planted, something else will grow — in this case, it will be weeds.”

In his over 28 years monitoring the weed situation across Ohio, Badenhop has seen first hand the reality of the old saying “Weeds beget weeds.” In those fields that were left bare and weeds were not properly controlled and allowed to go to seed, there was the potential for a huge build-up in the weed seed bank.

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Selling for cash prices means leaving money on the table

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Corn yield estimates were reduced, slightly shrinking supply, while harvested acres were unchanged in USDA’s November report.

Three weeks ago, I suggested there were demand issues within the USDA’s Feed, Ethanol and Export categories. This week’s report reduced demand in every category and with the ethanol grind and export data under-pacing USDA estimates the past couple months, this was probably justified.

The feed category will be difficult to track. I’ve suggested the large wheat supply will likely replace some corn for feed if cash corn values remain strong while cash wheat prices remain at 10-year lows. However, over the last month feed ingredient prices have increased dramatically. Normally these by-products from corn, bean and wheat processing trade at values that encourage some livestock producers to replace corn and/or bean meal in the feed ration. The prices are so high now that many of these by-products should actually be replaced with corn and bean meal.

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Ohio Department of Agriculture partners with Ohio Christmas Tree Association to send Christmas trees to troops overseas

Yesterday, 100 Christmas trees were packed up and shipped off to military units overseas through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Christmas Tree Association.

State Christmas tree growers donate the trees, ODA nursery inspectors certify they are free from pests and disease. Both groups come together at ODA to wrap, load up and send the trees to military members stationed overseas. Trees will also include decorations provided by school children, churches and veterans’ groups from around Ohio.

This is the 24th year for the program that got its start in Ohio.

“This year we are sending the trees overseas to Kuwait. They leave and get to Kuwait in two weeks and then they get dispersed to the bases in the area,” said Valerie Graham with the Ohio Christmas Tree Association. “It is always great to participate in this program. They appreciate what we are doing.

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Ohio corn, soybean harvest near completion

Operators were busy in the fields last week as the State received cool temperatures that averaged 6 degrees below normal, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Reports mentioned significant amounts of tillage, baling, and strip till fertilizer placement occurring in addition to harvest activities. There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 10.

Corn jumped to 65 percent harvested, an increase of 16 percentage points from the last report, but still 14 points behind the 5-year average. The average corn moisture content was 20 percent, unchanged from the previous report. Soybeans moved to 86 percent harvested, an increase of 8 points from the previous report, but still 6 points behind the 5-year average. The average soybean moisture content was 14 percent, up one point from last week. Winter wheat was at 94 percent emerged, which was 10 points ahead of the 5- year average.

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More regular rains take Brazil’s soybean planting to 58%

Brazilian farmers had planted 58 percent of their 2019/20 soybean area by Nov 7, according to a weekly survey conducted by AgRural. That represents a progress of 12 percentage points in one week and keeps the new crop planting pace slightly ahead of the five-year average. There is still a delay, however, in comparison to last year.

Favorable weather conditions seen last week took the area already planted to 94 percent in top-producer Mato Grosso, where the soybean crop develops well so far. The only issue, for now, is that the state will not have new soybeans entering the market as early as in the 2018/19 season, when some farmers were already harvesting in late December.

Mato Grosso grows about 65% of Brazil’s second corn crop, which will be planted right after the soybean harvest, in January and February 2020. That means that a good chunk of the Brazilian corn crop will not be behind schedule or have any significant problem caused by delays in the soybean planting.

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Between the Rows farmers wrap up a challenging 2019

Nathan Brown

We are finished with soybeans and have not quite half of our corn left to shell yet. We’ve had a few breakdowns with the combine and we have a grain bin that needs to be finished and that is holding us up. In the neighborhood there are still quite a few guys trying to finish up. Some are really close and there are some with plenty of acres yet to cover.

The corn we have shelled so far has been in the 17% to 20% moisture range. We haven’t gotten into any really super high moisture corn, but it is still keeping the dryer running. Other than some coon and deer damage along the edges of the fields, the stalk quality seems to be holding in there pretty well. We did apply fungicides and that seems to have helped with plant health and standability.

It has been surprising how good the corn has been.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 128 | Water Quality and Dual Purpose Beards

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast (always brought to you by AgriGold) Aaron Heilers of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network joined Matt, Kolt, and Dusty to discuss the latest in water quality and their new video series. Also on the podcast, Matt talks to Brian and Stacie Anderson about all things turkey. Dusty will also visit with Laura Lindsey and Peter Thomison of Ohio State on some agronomic updates.

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USDA announces establishment of U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program

By Dave Russell, Ohio Ag Net

The interim final rule formalizing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program was published in the Federal Register in late October, allowing hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans. Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Greg Ibach said the interim rule includes a number of provisions for USDA to approve plans developed by states.

“This includes provisions for tracking the land where hemp is grown, procedures for testing the concentration levels of TCH, procedures for disposing of non-compliant plants, compliance provisions on how to handle violations as a result of inspections on farms, and procedures to share information with law enforcement,” Ibach said. “We are also going to make sure that states that have programs have resources available to manage those plants.”

The new hemp rule enables the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency to determine which USDA programs hemp growers are eligible, including loans and crop insurance.

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Corn neutral, soybeans bearish in today’s USDA numbers

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Today’s USDA report had corn production at 13.661 billion bushels, yield of 167.0, and ending stocks at 1.910 billion bushels. Soybean production was 3.550 billion bushels, yield was 46.9, and ending stocks of 475 million bushels.

The market has been anticipating this report for weeks. Anticipation can be highly overrated. Yet, it can also be disappointing as the amount of time and energy spent is quickly forgotten once the report is released. Don’t be surprised to just move on.

Will USDA finally get it right with corn acres and yield? However, with only 52% of the U.S. corn harvested shown on this week’s progress report, it means even less corn had been harvested when USDA compiled and field reports the beginning of November. Many anticipate the corn yield would decline in the last 20% to 40% of harvest. It could easily be the January 10, 2020 report to get a much better handle on corn yields when final 2019 production and yield are released.

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