CORN  
Delivery Date Cash Price Basis Futures Change Futures Price
History Apr18 3.52 04/27/2018 3:06:00 AM CST -0.35
 1'0
387'0
History May18 3.54 04/27/2018 3:06:00 AM CST -0.33
 1'0
387'0
History Jun18 3.57 04/27/2018 3:21:00 AM CST -0.39
 1'0
396'2
History Jul18 3.59 04/27/2018 3:21:00 AM CST -0.37
 1'0
396'2
History Aug18 3.65 04/27/2018 3:06:00 AM CST -0.39
 1'2
403'4
History Sep18 3.67 04/27/2018 3:06:00 AM CST -0.37
 1'2
403'4
History Oct18 3.72 04/27/2018 3:06:00 AM CST -0.40
 1'0
412'2
History Nov18 3.72 04/27/2018 3:06:00 AM CST -0.40
 1'0
412'2
History Dec18 3.76 04/27/2018 3:06:00 AM CST -0.36
 1'0
412'2
History Jan19 3.78 04/27/2018 3:07:00 AM CST -0.42
 0'4
419'6
History Feb19 3.80 04/27/2018 3:07:00 AM CST -0.40
 0'4
419'6
History Mar19 3.82 04/27/2018 3:07:00 AM CST -0.38
 0'4
419'6
 
SOYBEANS  
Delivery Date Cash Price Basis Futures Change Futures Price
History Apr18 9.48 04/27/2018 3:17:00 AM CST -0.79
 -1'2
1026'6
History May18 9.50 04/27/2018 3:17:00 AM CST -0.77
 -1'2
1026'6
History Jun18 9.54 04/27/2018 3:17:00 AM CST -0.85
 -1'0
1038'4
History Jul18 9.56 04/27/2018 3:17:00 AM CST -0.83
 -1'0
1038'4
History Aug18 9.48 04/27/2018 3:19:00 AM CST -0.85
 -0'6
1032'4
History Oct18 9.48 04/27/2018 3:19:00 AM CST -0.85
 -0'6
1032'4
Local
Looking Back To See Cotton's Bright Future
Jay Mahaffey, manager of Monsanto’s Learning Center in Scott, Miss., has been on the development side of cotton innovation for over 23 years. During this year’s Southern Cotton Ginners Association annual meeting, he provided personal insight into decades of technology-development that have improved farming for generations of southern row crop growers. “I’m paid by Monsanto, but I work for our producers,” says MaHaffey, a Science Fellow (or research investigator). “What we do here at Scott applies to a broader geography and set of issues than what I’m directly assigned to do.” Research conducted on 130 acres just two years ago now encompasses over 350 acres, and that growth has occurred because of questions and issues growers have asked them to address. “I don’t talk about specific products unless I’m talking to a single grower about their individual operation or field,” adds MaHaffey. “We work to advance agronomics and improve the way products are used.” From Where We Came In the 1970s and early 1980s, growers were inundated with weed and insect control issues, varieties were short-lived and growth control problems abounded until PGRs hit the market. Defoliation was inconsistent, growers planted everything early and crop diseases were the norm. “Then pyrethroids were available that helped on some level — that era was sort of static,” says MaHaffey. In 1986 budworm resistance to pyrethroids was confirmed in Texas and by 1988 it was across Mississippi, and into western Alabama. Defoliation remained a problem and the boll weevil was such a disruptive influence to cotton production, all producers were basically in the same boat. “Boll weevils got me involved in the cotton industry,” remembers MaHaffey. “Overnight, growers were trying to manage budworms and boll weevils simultaneously.” From 1996 to 2000, boll weevil eradication was having a positive impact and bio-tech traits became available which helped varieties like Delta Pine 555 break yield records across the Mid-South and Southeast. “Bollgard III was like one of my children. I worked on Bollgard in graduate school and helped develop Flex,” says MaHaffey. “Bollgard III will have to be placed in varieties with good agronomic traits to produce fiber quality premiums because we are a seller on the world market now.” Yields have increased thanks to improved fruit retention. Longer growing seasons mean more nodes on each plant, and today, growing seasons are longer than ever before. “Think about the time when every plant had a stick growing out of the top where we just succumbed to the wrath of the boll weevil,” says MaHaffey. “Growers either ran out of money or effort!” Management While seed breeding has made significant strides in varietal improvements, MaHaffey has watched the growing system itself change. There are less determinant varieties being grown, and the fundamentals of how growers manage them has changed. “I’ll bet the earliest varieties we grow today are a lot like the mid-season varieties we grew 20 or 30 years ago,” adds MaHaffey. “This can be a net-positive as long as growers acknowledge upfront that aggressive growth management is paramount.” Cotton withstands environmental stresses that will cause larger yield decreases in other crops. In 1995, producers dedicated nearly 17 million acres to cotton. “We had so many cotton acres because many growers were putting it in on their marginal ground,” says MaHaffey. “Many of those acres were also dryland.” Growers are placing racehorse varieties on some of their best soils now, and that requires more intensive management. Fiber quality has improved dramatically. Both length and strength are setting new benchmarks for upland cotton. “Over the last 15 years, we have seen the average length for U.S. upland cotton increase by 2 staple units, and strength improve by 1.7 gram per tex,” says Vikki Martin, vice president, Fiber Competition, Cotton Incorporated. “Anything we can do to improve fiber quality, and specifically to reduce variability of quality, will help make cotton easier to process for our textile customers and potentially expand cotton’s use in critical market categories like athletic wear and womenswear.” Speaking on behalf of the Mid-South Cotton Specialist Working Group at this year’s Southern Cotton Ginners Meeting, Mississippi State University, associate Extension professor Darrin Dodds expressed surprise at how far cotton yields have come. “Three of the last six years, our state’s average yields were over 1,200 pounds. I didn’t think that was attainable 10 years ago.” It used to be producers wanted three things; yield, yield, and yield. Yield paid the bills, but today’s buyers are expecting to see impressive fiber qualities as well. “Over the last 10 to 15 years, our growers have really taken the quality of the fiber they produce to the next level,” says Frederick Barrier, vice president, North American Sales, Staplcotn. “Today’s cotton growers understand they are in a globally-competitive cotton market, and to reach their potential economic return, they are managing each year’s crop to maximize both yield and quality.” MaHaffey encourages growers to evaluate varieties for how they respond to the environment. Plant mapping is the means to interpreting the signs offered by the plant. “We monitor cotton plants in our trials to see how aggressive it is or isn’t growing by using internode elongation,” explains MaHaffey. “That’s typically something folks don’t want to do in a cotton field when it’s 90-plus degrees and dry as a bone.” Internode elongation will tell you if the plant is growing too slowly or too fast, and whether it needs moisture or an application of plant growth regulator (PGR). “If you look at the last three or four nodes, you’ll have 10 days of growth history in front of you,” says MaHaffey. “Just remember, PGRs don’t shrink plants. It’s a regulator, and once plants are too tall, that horse is out of the gate.” Cotton’s Yield Increases by Era of Production Another interesting research plot at the Scott facility was grown to illustrate just how far the yield potential of modern-day cotton varieties have come since 1934. Each four-row plot of decreasing length will yield the same amount of lint (per-acre yield average) based on the year in which it would have been produced. “The longest four rows simulate per-acre yield in 1934, the next four illustrate 1954, the next 1974, the next 1994, the next 2004, while the shortest four rows illustrate the number of cotton plants needed in 2014 to yield the same amount of fiber produced in 1934.” explains Mahaffey. The trial confirms that varieties and the management system of today are between four and five times more productive than varieties and production practices from the 1930s. Per-acre yields back in the 1930s were almost 200 pounds an acre. Per-acre yields in 2016 averaged just below 867 pounds. “When our growers are generating that amount of fiber with the improved fiber qualities I’m seeing, it reaffirms to me that the future in cotton production is bright,” concludes MaHaffey. Source: Delta Farm Press
National
Farmers Union VP says House Ag Committee farm bill needs more than a SNAP fix
The Vice President of the National Farmers Union says the SNAP program reforms are not the only problems in the House Ag Committee?s version of the farm bill.? Patty Edelburg tells Brownfield mandatory funding for many programs would be changed to discretionary funding, “so every year, they’re going to have to go back and ask for more money.? If there’s no money around, they’re not going to be able to utilize the programs.” And that, she says, is more uncertainty farmers relying on these programs don?t need. Continue reading Farmers Union VP says House Ag Committee farm bill needs more than a SNAP fix at Brownfield Ag News.      
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Yesterday afternoon the USDA reported that the nation's corn crop is ...
Yesterday afternoon the USDA reported that the nation's corn crop is 5% planted. We were 15% last year, and the 5-year average is 14%. Soybeans are 2% complete, right on pace with the 5-year average. Chicago locals are looking at a 5-day temperature forecast of cooler temps across most of the corn belt, but warms up nicely after that. This morning, the USDA reported that another round of US beans were sold to Argentina -- 60,000mt of old crop and 70,000mt of new crop. Managed money funds are estimated to be short 53k contracts of wheat, long 135k contracts of corn, and long 159k contracts of soybeans. On the open at 8:30 a.m., corn and beans are trading a penny lower, KC Wheat down 5.>
Getting after it early this morning! #plant18
Getting after it early this morning! #plant18>
Summer row crop futures are higher this morning to start the week. ...
Summer row crop futures are higher this morning to start the week. Weekend rainfall came in as expected for the Hard-Red Winter Wheat belt. Planters are rolling across the Eastern Corn Belt and planting should gain some momentum this week. Friday's Cattle on Feed report as of April 1st, showed Cattle on Feed at 107.4% vs last year. March placements came in at 90.7% and marketing?s at 96.1%. The USDA will report crop progress this afternoon and the market is expecting to 4-6% planted compared to our 13% average. On the open at 8:30 a.m., May corn +1 at 3.77-1/2, May Beans +1-3/4 at 10.30-1/2, May KC Wheat +4-1/2 at 4.87-1/4.>
We had a fun afternoon celebrating Verda today! We hope she enjoys ...
We had a fun afternoon celebrating Verda today! We hope she enjoys retirement but she will also be extremely missed here!>
Improving US weather has futures trading lower this morning. ...
Improving US weather has futures trading lower this morning. Forecasters are confident the southern plains will see some moisture this weekend. The northern plains is looking at the next two weeks of normal temps. World trade is on edge this morning as US milo that was on course to China has been rerouted since China's tax announcement on Tuesday. On the open at 8:30 a.m., Dec. corn down 2 at 4.06, Nov. beans down 5-1/2 at 10.37, July KC Wheat down 8 at 5.07.>
JOB OPPORTUNITY! Aurora Cooperative is accepting applications for a ...
JOB OPPORTUNITY! Aurora Cooperative is accepting applications for a full-time with benefits Marketing/Communications Specialist. This position will coordinate marketing strategies and plans on both regional and local levels. For more info and to apply click the link below!>
Congratulations to Aurora High School's FFA advisor Dana Anderson on ...
Congratulations to Aurora High School's FFA advisor Dana Anderson on receiving this high honor. Much deserved! #ACTougherTogether>
#chooseE15 #yourcornyourethanol
#chooseE15 #yourcornyourethanol>
We are hanging out at the State FFA Convention today! Come see us! We ...
We are hanging out at the State FFA Convention today! Come see us! We are having a drawing for some awesome t-shirts! #ACtoughertogether
EXCITING NEWS! We broke ground today for a new A-Stop 24 in Grant, ...
EXCITING NEWS! We broke ground today for a new A-Stop 24 in Grant, Nebraska! We will be able to offer multiple blends here with our blender pumps, including E15! #yourcornyourethanol #chooseE15>
>
JOB OPPORTUNITY Aurora Cooperative is accepting applications for ...
JOB OPPORTUNITY Aurora Cooperative is accepting applications for full-time Blend Plant Operator with benefits at the Bertrand location. CDL and Hazmat preferred and able to lift 50 lbs. Contact Rocky Sander at 308-472-3283, apply online at the link below, or send application/resume to PO Box 401, Bertrand, NE 68927. Aurora Cooperative is an Equal Opportunity Employer.>
Don't forget to fill out and send in your scholarship application! ...
Don't forget to fill out and send in your scholarship application! Deadline is Monday, March 26th! Complete your application online at the link below or send it by mail. If your mailing it in, be sure it's postmarked by Monday!>
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Local
Looking Back To See Cotton's Bright Future
Jay Mahaffey, manager of Monsanto’s Learning Center in Scott, Miss., has been on the development side of cotton innovation for over 23 years. During this year’s Southern Cotton Ginners Association annual meeting, he provided personal insight into decades of technology-development that have improved farming for generations of southern row crop growers. “I’m paid by Monsanto, but I work for our producers,” says MaHaffey, a Science Fellow (or research investigator). “What we do here at Scott applies to a broader geography and set of issues than what I’m directly assigned to do.” Research conducted on 130 acres just two years ago now encompasses over 350 acres, and that growth has occurred because of questions and issues growers have asked them to address. “I don’t talk about specific products unless I’m talking to a single grower about their individual operation or field,” adds MaHaffey. “We work to advance agronomics and improve the way products are used.” From Where We Came In the 1970s and early 1980s, growers were inundated with weed and insect control issues, varieties were short-lived and growth control problems abounded until PGRs hit the market. Defoliation was inconsistent, growers planted everything early and crop diseases were the norm. “Then pyrethroids were available that helped on some level — that era was sort of static,” says MaHaffey. In 1986 budworm resistance to pyrethroids was confirmed in Texas and by 1988 it was across Mississippi, and into western Alabama. Defoliation remained a problem and the boll weevil was such a disruptive influence to cotton production, all producers were basically in the same boat. “Boll weevils got me involved in the cotton industry,” remembers MaHaffey. “Overnight, growers were trying to manage budworms and boll weevils simultaneously.” From 1996 to 2000, boll weevil eradication was having a positive impact and bio-tech traits became available which helped varieties like Delta Pine 555 break yield records across the Mid-South and Southeast. “Bollgard III was like one of my children. I worked on Bollgard in graduate school and helped develop Flex,” says MaHaffey. “Bollgard III will have to be placed in varieties with good agronomic traits to produce fiber quality premiums because we are a seller on the world market now.” Yields have increased thanks to improved fruit retention. Longer growing seasons mean more nodes on each plant, and today, growing seasons are longer than ever before. “Think about the time when every plant had a stick growing out of the top where we just succumbed to the wrath of the boll weevil,” says MaHaffey. “Growers either ran out of money or effort!” Management While seed breeding has made significant strides in varietal improvements, MaHaffey has watched the growing system itself change. There are less determinant varieties being grown, and the fundamentals of how growers manage them has changed. “I’ll bet the earliest varieties we grow today are a lot like the mid-season varieties we grew 20 or 30 years ago,” adds MaHaffey. “This can be a net-positive as long as growers acknowledge upfront that aggressive growth management is paramount.” Cotton withstands environmental stresses that will cause larger yield decreases in other crops. In 1995, producers dedicated nearly 17 million acres to cotton. “We had so many cotton acres because many growers were putting it in on their marginal ground,” says MaHaffey. “Many of those acres were also dryland.” Growers are placing racehorse varieties on some of their best soils now, and that requires more intensive management. Fiber quality has improved dramatically. Both length and strength are setting new benchmarks for upland cotton. “Over the last 15 years, we have seen the average length for U.S. upland cotton increase by 2 staple units, and strength improve by 1.7 gram per tex,” says Vikki Martin, vice president, Fiber Competition, Cotton Incorporated. “Anything we can do to improve fiber quality, and specifically to reduce variability of quality, will help make cotton easier to process for our textile customers and potentially expand cotton’s use in critical market categories like athletic wear and womenswear.” Speaking on behalf of the Mid-South Cotton Specialist Working Group at this year’s Southern Cotton Ginners Meeting, Mississippi State University, associate Extension professor Darrin Dodds expressed surprise at how far cotton yields have come. “Three of the last six years, our state’s average yields were over 1,200 pounds. I didn’t think that was attainable 10 years ago.” It used to be producers wanted three things; yield, yield, and yield. Yield paid the bills, but today’s buyers are expecting to see impressive fiber qualities as well. “Over the last 10 to 15 years, our growers have really taken the quality of the fiber they produce to the next level,” says Frederick Barrier, vice president, North American Sales, Staplcotn. “Today’s cotton growers understand they are in a globally-competitive cotton market, and to reach their potential economic return, they are managing each year’s crop to maximize both yield and quality.” MaHaffey encourages growers to evaluate varieties for how they respond to the environment. Plant mapping is the means to interpreting the signs offered by the plant. “We monitor cotton plants in our trials to see how aggressive it is or isn’t growing by using internode elongation,” explains MaHaffey. “That’s typically something folks don’t want to do in a cotton field when it’s 90-plus degrees and dry as a bone.” Internode elongation will tell you if the plant is growing too slowly or too fast, and whether it needs moisture or an application of plant growth regulator (PGR). “If you look at the last three or four nodes, you’ll have 10 days of growth history in front of you,” says MaHaffey. “Just remember, PGRs don’t shrink plants. It’s a regulator, and once plants are too tall, that horse is out of the gate.” Cotton’s Yield Increases by Era of Production Another interesting research plot at the Scott facility was grown to illustrate just how far the yield potential of modern-day cotton varieties have come since 1934. Each four-row plot of decreasing length will yield the same amount of lint (per-acre yield average) based on the year in which it would have been produced. “The longest four rows simulate per-acre yield in 1934, the next four illustrate 1954, the next 1974, the next 1994, the next 2004, while the shortest four rows illustrate the number of cotton plants needed in 2014 to yield the same amount of fiber produced in 1934.” explains Mahaffey. The trial confirms that varieties and the management system of today are between four and five times more productive than varieties and production practices from the 1930s. Per-acre yields back in the 1930s were almost 200 pounds an acre. Per-acre yields in 2016 averaged just below 867 pounds. “When our growers are generating that amount of fiber with the improved fiber qualities I’m seeing, it reaffirms to me that the future in cotton production is bright,” concludes MaHaffey. Source: Delta Farm Press
Final Days for Comments On EPA Neonicotinoid Registration Review
Neonicotinoid (neonic)insecticides are currently undergoing registration review, an extensive scientific process that the Environmental Protection Agency conducts on all registered pesticides every 15 years, to ensure they meet the latest scientific standards. The multistep process typically takes five to eight years to complete. EPA plans to review all neonics in the same timeframe to ensure consistency across the class. As risk assessments are completed, the agency will pursue steps to mitigate potential risk, as appropriate. EPA is now seeking public comments on the current neonicotinoid risk assessments. The dockets will remain open through April 21, 2018. Submit your comments. ARA members are encouraged to submit comments to EPA regarding the importance of neonic pesticide products to your operation and your farmer customers. Source: AgPro  
Grain Safety Training Saves Lives
Suffocation from grain engulfment is a risk for people working in and around grain storage facilities, both in commercial grain operations, as well as on-farm situations. A new campaign aims to prevent these types of often deadly incidents. Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Awareness Week, from April 9 to 13, focuses on goals to improve worker protection, reduce injuries and prevent fatalities from grain engulfment in storage circumstances. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) is working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to raise awareness of this issue, NGFA Vice President of Safety and Regulatory Affairs Jess McCluer said in a webinar on Tuesday. The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) are also collaborating on the project, he said. "The goal of this joint agreement is communication between NGFA members, state and regional affiliates and regional and area offices," said McCluer. Bonita Winningham, deputy regional administrator for OSHA Region 7, said during the webinar that the industry needs to have a shared message of preventing more grain engulfment incidents. WATCH GRAIN CONDITION The No. 1 reason for engulfment is out-of-condition grain, according to Greg Rowe, vice president of grain operations at Perdue Agribusiness, another presenter in the webinar. Engulfment can happen in one of three ways: unloading, bridging or avalanche engulfment. According to an OSHA fact sheet on grain storage bins, flowing grain acts like quicksand and can bury a person in seconds. From the time the unloading auger starts, if you're in a bin, you only have two to three seconds to react. In another four to five seconds, you are trapped -- and after just 22 seconds, you are completely covered by grain. Another dangerous situation is bridged grain, which is formed when grain clumps together and creates an empty space beneath. As the bridged grain falls into the empty space, the person is instantly trapped. Before the grain flow can be stopped, the person is covered and suffocates within seconds. Avalanche engulfment happens when a worker stands next to an accumulated pile of grain on the side of a grain bin. The pile can collapse onto the worker unexpectedly and result in suffocation. "In most cases, you need to address the hazard without entering the bin," Rowe said. Commercial grain companies have to obey OSHA rules and regulations, whereas private farms do not, Rowe said. Despite this, safety around stored grain is important in both situations. In the question-and-answer portion of the webinar, Rowe was asked if there were still situations when a person should enter a grain bin. While he said he would like to say there is absolutely no reason to enter a bin, he acknowledges there are older grain storage facilities where workers still might have to enter them. With newer facilities being built, the industry is moving away from this and closer to zero entry, Rowe added. TRAINING IS KEY Training is key in keeping safe those who work around stored grain, Rowe said, especially since some employees may not know the dangers of flowing grain. Rowe said complacency around stored grain is a dangerous situation. The mindset of "nothing bad could happen here" needs to be changed. Production pressures in the commercial grain business can also compromise safety, he noted. For example, people might skirt around safety rules to save time as they rush to clean out and prepare particular bins for more grain. OSHA rules state when workers enter storage bins that all mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment must be turned off, locked-out and tagged, according to the OSHA fact sheet. This is particularly true for grain-moving equipment, as grain must not be moved while workers are inside the bin. Workers are prohibited from walking down grain to make it flow and are prohibited entry onto or below a bridging condition or where grain is built up on the side of the bin. Workers entering bins need to have a body harness with a lifeline, which is a sufficient length to prevent a worker from sinking further than waist-deep into grain. Source: DTN/The Progressive Farmer
Persistent Resistance: Farmers Stay On Attack With Variety Of Weed Sprays
  Poet William Cowper didn’t know it, but his 1785 poem, “The Task,” contained a line that aptly fits 21st century farming. “Variety is the spice of life,” penned Cowper, and variety certainly is key when finding herbicides to combat ever-evolving weeds. Herbicide resistant weeds have been plaguing producers since 1960 when groundsel developed a resistance to Triazine herbicides, followed by prickly lettuce in 1987 when it developed a resistance to the ALS class of weed killers. Most recently common ragweed, marestail, giant ragweed, kochia, common waterhemp, and Palmer amaranth have developed resistance to glyphosate in Nebraska. Weed specialists in Nebraska estimate more than 5 million acres of fields are infested with at least one glyphosate-resistant weed. A recent survey by Iowa State University (ISU) shows giant ragweed, common water hemp and marestail have developed glyphosate resistance in that state. The survey noted 77 percent of respondents have made changes to their herbicide program, up from 52 percent in 2013. With six species in Kansas also resistant to various herbicides including kochia, marestail, two types of mustard, Palmer amaranth, common waterhemp and redroot pigweed, management of glyphosate-resistant weeds is now the greatest challenge for many producers and land managers in the three states. In selecting an herbicide spray program, it is not enough that growers use different herbicides. They also must ensure they are using effective herbicides with different sites of action, noted Sarah Sivits, cropping systems Extension educator for Dawson, Buffalo, and Hall counties in Nebraska. This can provide the diversity needed to help slow the further development of herbicide resistance, she said, noting more than 90 percent of corn and soybean fields in Nebraska receive at least one herbicide application every year. “It is important to be able to differentiate between site of action and mode of action,” she said. “Site of Action (SOA) refers to the exact site or exact enzyme disrupted by herbicide, while Mode of Action (MOA) is what the herbicide does to the weed, such as a growth regulator or pigment inhibitor. “Resistance occurs because of repeated use of herbicides and use of herbicides belonging to the same group or MOA over time. Now we are seeing weeds with multiple herbicide resistance and those weeds are no longer controlled by two or more herbicides with different sites of action at label rate (different chemistries); over-reliance or continuous use of these chemistries over time,” Sivits said. Because of this evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds, a program called, “I Will Take Action” has been developed, encouraging growers to carefully select their herbicides, considering which herbicides belong to which site-of-action group as classified by the Weed Science Society of America. A numbering system has been developed to help growers select their herbicide program using different sites of action. Growers don’t need to remember which herbicide belongs to which site of action, but rather can reference an easy-to-use herbicide classification chart developed by Take Action Against Herbicide Resistant Weeds. Take Action is an industry-wide partnership between university weed scientists, major herbicide providers and corn, cotton, sorghum, soybean and wheat organizations to help growers manage herbicide-resistant weeds. At ISU, Meaghan Anderson, a field agronomist in East Central Iowa, and Bob Hartzler, ISU professor of agronomy and Extension weed specialist, noted in a series of articles on the problem, that the slow development of new herbicides versus the fast evolution of herbicide resistant weeds means it's important to maximize the usefulness of every herbicide application. A new herbicide site of action (or herbicide group number) for use in corn and soybean production has not been discovered since the early 1980s. According to Ian Heap with www.weedscience.org, since the 1980s, the confirmed number of unique cases of herbicide resistance globally is increasing at a rate of about 12 discoveries per year. Herbicide groups are a relatively new way of determining the site of action of the myriad herbicides on the market. Each site of action has been assigned a number, and most herbicide labels prominently display this group number on the product label. If a product includes two different sites of action, the label will have two different group numbers listed. Keeping track of the herbicide group numbers is the simplest way for farmers to keep track of the different sites of action they’re using in their herbicide program. Things to consider when determining whether an herbicide is effective against your target weed include whether the herbicide is labeled to control the weed and whether your target weed is resistant to the herbicide group. According to Anderson and Hartzler, it is equally important for producers to be sure they using an effective rate to manage weeds. To manage weed pests and delay resistance problems as long as possible, Extension educators in all three states encourage crop producers to adhere to Integrated Pest Management or IPM practices. Noted Sivits, “Number one, identify the pest, evaluate damage, determine needs for control, consider control options, select the best combination of options, and monitor selection.” Proper weed identification is key, she said, because a number of weeds look similar when small, but react very different to sites of action found in different herbicides. Weed and crop size is also important, said Sivits, as smaller is best for control and some restrictions come into play on herbicide applications for the crop depending on its’ size. Understanding emergence patterns (fall, spring or summer emergence) and field history all provide important perspectives on what type of herbicides to apply. “It used to be that one pass across the field in the spring would be enough to control weeds well into the summer,” Sivits said. “Now multiple applications are usually needed to achieve control. Producers need to think about a spring plan that includes burndown, pre-emergent, early post-emergent plus residual, and late post-emergent applications.” Rotating herbicides to avoid resistance issues over many years is also a wise option to pursue, Sivits said. Separating herbicides between corn and soybeans is also an important measure to curtail resistance possibilities, noted Extension personnel. Multiple herbicide-resistant crops (Xtend Beans for example) are useful tools in producer’s toolboxes, but weed specialists caution producers not to over-rely on these herbicides or they can end up with multiple herbicide resistance issues. Additional tips for producers to consider this spring, according to Sivits, are using weed-free seeds to plant, preventing weed seed production by scouting, using residual herbicides, selecting herbicides based on multiple MOA, being sure to apply at label rate and proper weed stage. “Because the next ‘silver bullet’ is not coming,” Anderson and Hartzler noted in their series, “we need to protect existing herbicide technologies by using other weed management tactics to prolong herbicide efficacy.” These include preventing new weed species or new resistant biotypes from getting established in crop fields. Sivits suggested cleaning equipment to prevent spread of seed and maintaining field borders. “Talk to your neighbors to help keep things clean,” she said. Cultural tactics, such as altered planting dates, narrow row spacing, increased soybean seeding rates and cover crops, provide opportunities to enhance crop competition or reduce competitiveness of weeds. In fields with intense weed pressure, delayed planting allows early emerging weeds to be controlled prior to crop planting, noted the ISU specialists. Tillage is yet another option, but does not come without a downside. It increases erosion risks, reduces soil health and requires significant time and money to implement. However, Anderson and Hartzler noted in their series that tillage moves newly produced weed seed from the soil surface deeper into the soil profile: “Waterhemp seeds germinate best when they are within the upper one-half inch of soil due to their small seed. After a failure of weed control, deep tillage is an option to bury seed produced by those weeds. An Arkansas study found that deep tillage alone resulted in an 81 percent decrease in Palmer amaranth emergence over the two following years when compared to no tillage.” For more information on weed management in Nebraska, including efficacies of various herbicide products against specific weed species, see the Nebraska Extension publication, 2018 Guide For Weed, Disease and Insect Management in Nebraska. It's available in print and in a digital format from the UNL online Marketplace. Source: Midwest Messenger
FieldWatch Launches Two Apps, Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary
  In its 10th year since being started at Purdue University, FieldWatch has grown to be in 19 states and one Canadian province with more than 17,000 users. The non-profit has created two mapping tools—DriftWatch and BeeCheck. Both are voluntary and free, and the sites are built with a Google Maps interactive interface to show pesticide applicators the locations of registered sites—sensitive crops or beehives. More than 20,000 sites representing more than 34 different specialty crops are registered with FieldWatch, and in the past year, more than 100,000 acres of crops have been added to the registry. 60% of the locations on the registry are apiaries. In April 2018, FieldWatch launched two free mobile apps (both Android and iOS), one to complement each of its sites, with the goal of making access and input easier. “As an agriculture non-profit, we are here to serve the industry,” says Stephanie Regagnon, CEO, FieldWatch. “These new apps will allow us to reach more end-users, especially grower applicators, with our specialty crop and beehive data and will allow that data to be accessed on a new, highly functional mobile platform.” According to FieldWatch, these states currently have registries: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. “FieldWatch is proud of its 10-year track record of leveraging technology to improve communication and stewardship in agriculture and we are thrilled to welcome so many new member states into the FieldWatch family,” Regagnon says. “We are thankful for the partnership state departments of agriculture provide us. They play a key role in implementing, administering and financially supporting this important stewardship collaboration tool.” Source: Farm Journal AgTech
Soil Temperatures Rising
Planting is under way, but corn progress is well behind the five-year average across most of the country due to a late spring. “There has been some concern about how cold the spring has been and how that might be a setback to the crops,” says Elwynn Taylor, Extension climatologist at Iowa State University. “I’ve seen some other seasons that started off cool, and they can go either way. It’s a little bit early to be deciding if it has caused damage to the production of the Midwest or not.” For the first time this spring in many parts of the Corn Belt, soil temperatures are reaching into a range suitable for planting this week. “We’ve gone from cooler-than-normal soil temperatures to near normal rather suddenly, just in the past couple of days,” explains Taylor. “The soil temperature at a 4-inch depth needs to be 50°F. or greater for corn to develop. And so we’re just reaching those temperatures now this last day or two. Previous to that it has been way too cold in most places. “Soybeans are more sensitive than corn to these low temperatures," Taylor says. "Some years, when the temperatures have been marginal, near 50°F. at the 4-inch depth, or maybe a little below, the soybean doesn’t do well because the seeds will swell and diseases may get in to destroy the seedling. Whereas corn can endure being too cold to grow for a bit of time, and then as soon as it warms up, do well. So, we recommend strongly if the soil temperatures are marginal, plant corn as opposed to soybeans so that you have a better chance of vigorous initial growth.” In a report published Tuesday, meteorologist Kyle Tapley of Radiant Solutions said increasing soil temperatures will come gradually over the next week. The northern Plains may struggle to reach and sustain that critical 50°F. temperature, particularly in North Dakota. Cold weather is expected to return to the area in the next week to 10 days. “Dry weather across the heart of the Corn Belt through the end of the month will favor fieldwork and allow planting to make better progress, mainly across southern portions of the Corn Belt,” the report says. “For the next 10 days, we do anticipate it will be on the warm side. That’s an encouraging thing,” Taylor agrees. The Corn Belt may see precipitation to start off the month of May. MIDWEST 31-60 DAY OUTLOOK The most recent outlook for the 2018 growing season published by Radiant Solutions says temperature expectations across the Midwest are trending slightly warmer than average over the next 31 to 60 days. “Near-normal rains in the Midwest would favor corn and soybean growth,” says the report. Slightly wetter than normal conditions are also expected for some key ag producing states over the next 60 days. The forecast shows more precipitation in the west-central and far southern Plains, southern Delta, and western Midwest. This would bring much-needed moisture to the Plains and improve soil moisture for winter wheat. SOUTH AMERICA Recently dryness has been increasing across the southern parts of Brazil’s safrinha Corn Belt, but temperatures have been near normal. Tapley says hotter weather is on the way. Temperatures as much as 8°F. above normal over the next two weeks could cause stress in the southern 30% to 40% of the crop. Conditions are expected to be drier than normal over the next month in north-central Brazil. “Below-normal rainfall will likely continue across central and northern portions of the safrinha corn belt in Brazil, which will likely result in some ongoing stress and yield reductions,” says a weather report published by Don Keeney of Radiant Solutions. However, far western parts of the South American corn belt are getting more rain, which will likely prove helpful for late corn growth.
Early soybean planting dates proven to increase yield
Research looking into the possibility of earlier soybean planting dates back to 2003 and 2004 when Jim Spect, emeritus professor of agronomy at UNL, began looking into the topic. Get the details in this week's Ag Life section. ? Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Early soybean planting dates proven to increase yield 1/5Give Early soybean planting dates proven to increase yield 2/5Give Early soybean planting dates proven to increase yield 3/5Give Early soybean planting dates proven to increase yield 4/5Give Early soybean planting dates proven to increase yield 5/5 No votes yet
Farming with Integrity
Some farmers see environmentalists as the enemy. Maryland farmer Trey Hill takes the opposite view: he is not only an environmentalist; he is a champion for the environment. That’s one reason why Bayer named Hill’s Harborview Farms its first ForwardFarming operation in North America last week. The program is intended to foster dialogue and understanding about how food can be grown in harmony with the environment. For Hill, working with environmental groups starting several years ago opened his eyes to the need for change. “Going to the environmental groups really helped me learn how other people think,” says Hill, 42, who runs the 10,000-acre operation with his father, Herman Hill, Jr.; mother, Christy; wife, Cheryl; and 14 employees. “By having those environmental conversations, a lot of that has helped transform the way I farm.” Arch enemies Hill has found the sweet spot in profitable, yet environmentally-sensitive farming, but the journey hasn’t been simple. Agriculture is the leading source of nutrient and sediment pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay – a sore spot for farmers here and a galvanizing cause for many others. A Pfiesteria outbreak in the Bay resulted in a big fish kill about 25 years ago, and the environmentalists and famers became arch enemies. “They were against us, we were against them,” recalls Hill. His father said, “We need to get these folks out here. We need to show them what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.” Maryland and other states passed restrictive measures including mandatory nutrient management plans. Hill adopted no-till, added buffer strips and stopped applying nitrogen in the fall. And, he grudgingly started planting cover crops, motivated by a $45 per acre cost-share program paid by Maryland taxpayers. “Initially we thought cover crops were a waste of time, but they were going to pay us to do them, so we went along with it,” says Hill. “We wanted to get on their team to show farmers are willing to work with others voluntarily.” Hill noticed cleaner water after a few years of cover crops. He began working with environmental advocates at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Chester River Association. He took a good hard look at the science behind the practices, and began to have a change of heart. “I began to realize they weren’t out to get me, they just want to know what’s going on,” he says. “I had to admit, yeah, maybe we do pollute a bit. The question is, how much is an acceptable level? No one has any good numbers on this. But we had to start figuring it out.” That set Hill on a journey to re-examine every farm practice, which has led to successfully planting corn and soybeans into living cover crops, a practice known as, ‘planting green’. “People would ask why not let the cover crops grow? I would say because we always plant into brown dirt,” he recalls. “But a few mistakes later, we’ve learned how to plant green and it’s working great.” He has set aside nearly 5% of total acres for wildlife habitat. He installed a 300-kilowatt solar array to power the grain system, multiple houses and other farm operations. He is now working with a company to measure and manage the carbon footprint of each farm field. Now Hill measures the success of his operation not just by how many bushels of corn, soybeans and wheat it produces, but by how effectively it helps the waters of the Chesapeake Bay that surround its fields. "Everything we do at Harborview Farms has to pass this test," he says. "I have to be able to explain it to my young children, simply and with integrity. That includes the inputs we use, how and why we use them, our treatment of wildlife and the Bay, and the amount of energy we use doing it all. If I can't do that, then it's a signal I have to re-think our practices." Elite farms Harborview is now one of 12 innovative, independent farms Bayer has designated to represent practices that are both productive and ecologically smart. Ranging in production from corn and sunflowers in France, to potatoes in Belgium and the Netherlands, to cereals and oilseed rape in Germany, to wine grapes in Italy, and corn and soybeans in Brazil and Argentina, these operations have one thing in common: a commitment to sustainable, holistic and scalable practices that are good for them and for their environments. The program’s purpose is to start a dialogue and help consumers better understand real-world, yet sustainable farming practices, says Bernd Naaf, Bayer head of business affairs and communications. “Ag has a huge challenge in front of us, to produce enough food for a growing population, but in a high quality, sustainable way,” he says. “With this program, it’s not Bayer talking, it’s the farmer talking. We need to become more open and proactive to explain sustainable agriculture. We felt it had to be done totally different, on the farm itself.” Source: Wallaces Farmer
Bulging Tires Build Profit
“You want to see a bulge, no matter how disconcerting it may seem. We were all raised to look at a tire with a bulge and think it automatically needs air,” says Tom Rodgers of Firestone. “The impact of overinflated tires is that they cost you more fuel, more time in the field, and more compaction.” Proof of that is offered by field research. The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service finds that properly inflated tires generate nearly 25% more pull than tires running at higher pressures. Properly inflated tires also reduce the depth and degree of compaction in the top foot of the soil. Such compaction slays soybean yields, in particular, by limiting root growth, reducing nodulation, inhibiting potassium and phosphorus uptake, and promoting disease. PINPOINT WEIGHT Determining the exact pressure of tractor tires depends on the tractor, how much weight it is carrying, and how it is being used, in addition to other factors. “The only way to know for sure what your tire inflation pressure should be is to take some time and do some calculations,” Rodgers urges. “Yes, it takes time. But really no more time than preparing a planter or a piece of tillage equipment so that it operates accurately or efficiently during use.” The process of determining exactly what a tractor’s tractive tire inflation starts with nailing down a tractor’s PTO hp., which is available online or from your dealer. Next, take that horsepower times these weights: For two-wheel-drive (2WD) tractors, a tractor should weigh 145 pounds for every 1 hp. it generates. For front-wheel-drive (FWD) tractors, 130 pounds is needed for every 1 hp. For four-wheel-drive (4WD) tractors, 110 pounds is needed for every 1 hp. After you have determined how much weight your tractor should be carrying, you need to split that weight between the tractor’s front and rear axle according to this guide: For 2WD tractors, 25% of total weight should be on the front axle and 75% on the rear axle. For FWD tractors carrying hitch-mounted implements, the weight split should be 35% front axle and 65% rear axle. For FWD tractors pulling an implement, the weight split should be 40% front axle and 60% rear axle. For 4WD tractors, the weight split should be 55% front axle and 45% rear axle. Rodgers provides an example using a typical row-crop vehicle, a John Deere 8530 FWD tractor. “This is a 275 PTO hp. tractor,” he explains. “So you calculate 275 hp. multiplied by 130 pounds per hp. That adds up to 35,750 total pounds, which is what that tractor should weigh after adding ballast,” Rodger points out. If this tractor is pulling a planter, you distribute added ballast on the tractors so that the front axle weighs 14,300 pounds and the rear axle weighs 21,450 pounds. “See how much weight you have to add to the front and rear axles, separately,” says Scott Sloan of Titan Goodyear. “Do this by running the tractor on scales (at your local elevator) and weighing the front and rear axles separately.” If you don’t have access to a scale, you can roughly calculate weight by looking at the front and rear axle weights supplied by the manufacturer (you can get that from your dealer). Finally, divide the calculated weight by the number of tires per axle. This gives you the amount of weight each tire is carrying. Some adjustments will be needed before adding or adjusting ballast and then determining proper inflation pressure. For example, some weight is transferred from a drawn implement onto a tractor’s drawbar. That weight needs to be added to your calculations. “Three-point hitch-mounted implements can transfer more weight to a tractor,” Rodgers points out. GO TO THE TABLES Use load and inflation tables (available from any tractor tire manufacturer website) and inflate tires to lowest recommended pressure per tire. “Always use the manufacturer’s recommendations for your tire configuration (single, dual, or triple tires) on each axle,” Rodgers says. “Adjust inflation whenever axle loads change.” When it comes to taking inflation pressure, always “use a high-quality digital gauge,” Rodgers urges. “Inflation pressures can be so low these days (approaching as low as 6 psi) that an old-fashioned stick gauge can’t give you an exact reading. Buy a gauge that gives you reading down to 1?10 psi for accuracy.” Finally, don’t be alarmed if your tractor tires seem way underinflated. “There is a certain disbelief when the manufacturer’s data book says to inflate tires as low as 7 psi, for example,” Rodgers has found. “Trust those figures. Manufacturers construct their tires with more capacity than the tractor demands. That construction allows tires to run efficiently at lower pressure without damaging the tire.” Lower pressures allow tires to deflect and, in doing so, create a longer tire footprint. That footprint distributes the weight load over more area to reduce ground pressure, thereby, reducing soil compaction. PREPLANTING CHECKLIST FOR MAXIMUM TRACTION Before heading to the field this spring, add the following to-do items to your planting checklist. Check all your tires’ sidewalls for cracks, cuts, or other damage. Check tire tread. If there is less than 20% left on the tire, consider new tires, says Scott Sloan of Titan International. Check the tread area for stubble damage and exposed cords. If any damage is detected, it’s time to replace the tires. Check tire contact area to make sure there is no space between the lugs and the ground, says Brad Harris of Firestone Farm Tire. Check tire valve stems, looking for cracks, corrosion, and dirt. Replace any missing valve caps. Check nuts and bolts on rims to ensure they are properly tightened. Write correct inflation pressures on all tires (tractor and implement) with a paint stick or use a stick you can get from most tire dealers. Check tire pressure at least weekly – if not daily. “Remember, inflation pressure can change several psi during the day as temperatures go up and down,” explains Firestone’s Tom Rodgers. Source: Successful Farming
EPA Waivers Are 'Effectively Gutting' RFS
Even as President Donald Trump floats the idea of more ethanol sales, critics say moves by his Environmental Protection Agency would undercut the support to corn farmers. On Thursday, Trump said the government probably would allow the year-round sale of gasoline containing as much as 15 percent ethanol, a blend known as E-15. But some lawmakers and ethanol producers say the change is undermined as the EPA continues its longstanding practice of issuing hardship waivers to some oil refineries. At the heart of the matter is demand for ethanol, usually made from corn. A federal mandate requires a certain amount of biofuel blending, a regulation that oil refineries have long complained is too expensive and burdensome. The EPA’s waivers allow some of them to skirt the requirements. The "EPA’s practice of giving away secret hardship waivers to the country’s biggest oil refining companies needs to stop," five Republican senators from top corn-producing states including Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa said in a joint statement late Thursday. The waivers are "effectively gutting" national biofuel quotas and are "another backdoor attempt" to destroy ethanol regulation, they said. Trump has held a series of meetings in recent months to carve out a biofuels deal that satisfies the agriculture and oil lobbies, which also happen to represent two of his most important constituencies: farmers in the rural Midwest and blue-collar workers in industrial areas. The two sides have clashed repeatedly over the Renewable Fuel Standard, a complicated policy that crosses political lines. On Thursday, farmers cheered as Trump said the government would probably allow year-round sales of E15, a change from current policy that restricts its sale during the summer in areas where smog is a problem. But in a meeting with farm-state lawmakers and governors, Trump also indicated there would be a two-year transition for the change, with "no guarantee" it would happen, and he stressed that he would be "helping the refineries" who have complained about the biofuel mandate. Trump’s EPA already is doing just that. It has encouraged some 38 eligible oil refineries to apply for waivers and granted more than two dozen of them. A federal law allows exemptions for facilities that use no more than 75,000 barrels of crude per day, and a court ruling last year made winning waivers easier. "The court basically said that, under the statute, EPA is required to give small refinery exemptions more liberally," Jeff Holmstead, the former assistant EPA administrator, said in an emailed statement Thursday. What’s more, the law "does not make a distinction between small refineries owned by small parent companies and small refineries owned by large ones." The EPA’s decision to issue the waivers undermines Trump’s “longstanding support” for the mandate, 13 U.S. senators said in an April 12 letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The agency should immediately cease issuing waivers and provide a list of companies that have received them, they said. Exxon Mobil Corp. has applied for at least one waiver, according to people familiar with the process who asked for anonymity to discuss the confidential program. Its 61,500 barrel-a-day facility in Billings, Montana, would qualify based on capacity. Suann Guthrie, an Exxon spokeswoman, declined to comment. Billionaire Carl Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc.’s Wynnewood, Oklahoma, refinery, has a capacity below the 75,000-barrel threshold and could also qualify for the exemption. Brandee Stephens, a spokeswoman for CVR, declined to comment on whether the company sought a waiver. Icahn, a former special adviser to Trump on regulations who has advocated for changes to the program, didn’t respond to several messages requesting comment. The EPA’s waiver decisions "are based on refinery-specific information" and Department of Energy analyses, EPA spokesperson Liz Bowman said by email. "We continue to work through petitions received for 2017." Source: Ohio Farmer
The Fires May Still Be Blazing, But Ranchers Are Paying It Forward
A year ago, Gate, Oklahoma, rancher Bernie Smith was on the receiving end for hay. The Starbuck fire burned across his pastures, killing dozens of cattle. Now, as flames still blaze on the Oklahoma prairie, he and other ranchers are paying it forward. “That’s what we do to help them survive,” said Smith, who has been fighting the fires as the Englewood, Kansas, fire chief, since Friday, April 13. “We help our neighbor pay it forward. “We might need help again, sooner or later,” he added. Hay and other materials are already making their way down U.S. roadways to Oklahoma. Smith sent his own load and is helping coordinate three more loads from eastern Montana ranchers affected by wildfires last year. “We took them hay, and now they are repaying the favor,” Smith said of an effort he helped lead with Ashland, Kansas, ranchers this past August. Smith is coordinating hay deliveries with Lori White, who has a Red Angus ranch near Putnam, Oklahoma, with her husband, Benji. White said they were in Montana picking up cattle when news of the fire reached them. Benji flew back to Oklahoma and White arrived with the cattle Sunday. It was tough, she said. She saw pictures of the fire nearing their home as she drove back to the ranch. Her husband and friends began creating fire guards around farmsteads in the area. The wind kept changing directions, causing what had not been scorched the first time to burn. One neighbor battled fire three separate times. Their home was saved. Friends helped move 300 of their cattle to wheat pasture. “They pulled the cattle out of the gate on the south end while the flames were on the north end a half mile away,” White said. Smith said while the acreage isn’t as large as the Starbuck fire, the conditions are just as bad. Homes and cattle have been lost, he said. Smith said for volunteer firefighters, many of them ranchers who experienced Starbuck, the emotions from last year's fires are resurfacing. “It just brings back a lot of old feelings for the firefighters,” he said. “We have people calling for houses and there are no trucks to send.” Smith said they have saved several homes. He added the canyon terrain and trees have made fighting the fire difficult. “They have a lot of (firefighters) down there, but it is going to burn a while because of the cedar trees,” he said. White said about a third of her ranch's pastures burned. Her husband and crew finally had a break Wednesday, getting home mid-afternoon from battling the Rhea fire. She is helping where she is needed, including feeding firefighters and working at the command location. Earlier in the week, she assisted in rescuing a couple of volunteer firefighters whose truck had stalled in the smoke and then burned. “Fighting fires is horrible,” she said, adding it is a good reminder that people need to support their local fire department. Donations are coming, she said. On Thursday, she was coordinating some of Smith’s hay to area ranchers who need it. Meanwhile, she remains hopeful about a 100 percent chance of rain Saturday, White said. “We are all going to be mad at the weathermen if they are wrong,” she said. There have been miracle stories, she said. One rancher who was sure he lost everything took his gun and bullets to the pasture. “He was ready to start shooting cattle, and he got there and the cattle were standing there perfectly fine. They lost all their grass, but they didn’t lose any cattle.” As she traveled home with the load of Montana cattle through Kansas Sunday, she recalled how a friend warned her about the destruction from the fires near her home. “Prepare yourself,” she told White. But as White came through Bucklin, she saw the new fences and grasses and how beautiful the area looked after being scorched from the March 2017 Starbuck fire. “To someone who hasn't seen the devastation here, they would never know what happened,” she said. “God showed me the outcome of how it will come to be before he showed me the devastation.” Source: High Plains Journal
Farmers Brace for Whirlwind Planting Season as Trade Concerns Loom
Cold, snow and rain have kept farmers out of the field across the Midwest, but once the sun starts shining, watch out. "We do have a good forecast, and when things dry out, it will break loose," said Cory Ritter, who farms in central Illinois. Ritter is among a group of producers whom DTN periodically surveys throughout the season for its Fieldwork Roundup stories. Known as DTN Agronomy Advisers, this group of farmers and ranchers report back on fieldwork, crop conditions and other issues facing agriculture. Like Ritter, most farmers in the Midwest told DTN of cold, wet soils and stalled tillage, fertilizer and weed-control plans. In addition to the stress of a late, rushed spring, the farmers also voiced concerns about low commodity prices and the possibility of a trade war with China over proposed tariffs. WAITING OUT THE COLD Unpleasant as this spring has been, it's a familiar one for many, said Gerald Gauck, who received both snow and rain in the past three weeks in southeast Indiana. "I'm not too worried yet," he said. "We didn't start planting corn until the end of May and first few days of June last year, [and we] had the best crop ever." Not everyone is remaining as calm. "Lot of guys are starting to worry about getting in the field, and I have heard some rumblings of people trading 105-to-110-day corn in for quicker-maturing corn," said Jim Cronk of northern Iowa. Patience is proving a virtue, said Illinois farmer John Werries. "There were a few farmers around here who planted some corn and even a few beans," he said. "All of the experts said the worst thing that can happen is a cold rain 24 to 48 hours after you plant, and that is exactly what happened." Producers in upper Midwestern states are facing the worst spring conditions. Two producers from Minnesota, Jeff Littrell and Justin Honebrink, faced multiple snowstorms this week alone. "Cattle are confused as they lost the winter coat," Littrell said. "We're still bedding them like January." Both he and Honebrink estimated they are at least three weeks away from any meaningful fieldwork, much less planting. "The co-op I work at has yet to apply an acre of spring fertilizer," added Jay Magnussen, who endured blizzard conditions in northwestern Iowa in mid-April. "We are looking at a very condensed spring." Southern states have seen milder conditions, but the spring has still been a rollercoaster, reported Zack Rendel, who farms in northeastern Oklahoma. He hit his usual corn-planting timeline in late March, but nothing has been normal since. "One day, it's 80 degrees, sunny and nice, the next, 40 degrees and wind blowing," he reported. "We received a half-inch snowfall here on April 7th, and night temperatures went down to 22 degrees." His canola came through the freeze in good condition, and in the meantime, Rendel has wrapped up his corn planting. WEED CONTROL The only good news from the frigid Midwest is that weeds are as miserable as the farmers, a number of producers noted. "The cold weather has slowed the growth of weeds and our regular weed program should work," said Ritter, who is trying out the Liberty Link system this year to try to rein in resistant waterhemp. In Ohio, Keith Peter's fall herbicide program and rye cover crop have so far kept winter annuals in check, but the window for pre-plant applications is small and shrinking fast. Werries, who uses cover crops for soil health, erosion control and weed suppression, hopes to start burning down his covers this week. MARKET AND TRADE CONCERNS Waiting on the weather has given growers plenty of opportunity to scrutinize news reports of the proposed tariffs on American ag products and the potential for a trade war with China. Most of the farmers surveyed voiced concerns about the effect on exports and prices. "We are in a very tough spot trying to make money farming," Magnussen said. "If exports of anything drop, we may lose money this year." Cronk is also concerned about missing out on key trade deals as well as the fiery rhetoric between the U.S. and China. "I truly believe there are economic signs to show we are starting to see an uptick in commodity prices, but if we start a trade war with China or lose out or opt out of other trade deals, I think it will [send] prices even lower," he said. "Hopefully, it's a lot of buffaloing from both sides." Source: DTN/The Progressive Farmer
House Ag Committee Advances Agriculture and Nutrition Act
The House Agriculture Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to pass the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R.2) out of committee, a new farm bill designed by Republicans to “address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making historic investments in opportunities for SNAP recipients.” All 20 Democrats on the historically-bipartisan committee voted against the legislation over their objection to requiring work-capable adults to either find employment or receive free training for 20 hours per week. “I’m disappointed that my Democrat colleagues have turned their backs on America’s heartland – that they’ve chosen partisan politics over the three years of bipartisan work in this committee,” said Chairman Mike Conaway. “I am hopeful Democrats will not hold the nation’s farmers and ranchers hostage in this process over the SNAP work and training requirements, which will provide SNAP beneficiaries not just a benefit, but a better future that only a job can provide.” Conaway held a press call this morning to discuss the legislation with Committee Vice Chair Glenn Thompson (R-PA). Listen to the conference call here. Source: AgWired
Corn Fostering Bt-Resistant Worms' Move To Cotton
Extension entomologists say some of the older commercially available Bt cotton varieties remain important tools in pest management strategies, but with identified bollworm resistance, growers should be prepared to take additional control measures. The problem begins in corn where the same Bt technology used in cotton allows worms to build resistance before they move into cotton fields. LSU Extension entomologist Dr. Sebe Brown, speaking at the February Louisiana Technology and Management Conference in Marksville, La., explained: “We’re seeing a reduction in susceptibility of bollworm to older Bt technology. Bollworm resistance is selected in corn before moths come into cotton. Bollworms are being exposed in corn, and bringing whatever reductions in susceptibility or resistance they develop. That sets us up for failure.” He says most bollworms migrate out of corn. “A few may be moving in from soybeans or grain sorghum, but most come from corn.” It’s not just a Louisiana problem, Brown says. “Entomologists across the Cotton Belt believe the Cry1 has been exhausted, and Cry2 is up in the air. We fear that we are going to lose it. An 8 percent damage level in Bollgard II cotton is alarming. “Resistance to Cry 1 and Cry 2 is becoming more widespread. We are seeing a lot of variability with Cry 2 resistance from high resistance to not as much. Cry2 resistance may be field-to-field,” Brown says. He adds that Mid-South and Texas entomologists also report resistance. Bollgard II technology may still be worth the price of technology fees. “It still provides excellent control of tobacco budworm, but farmers may have to make insecticide sprays for bollworm,” Brown says. Those applications may depend on the level of bollworm infestation. High populations, Brown says, are more likely to need an insecticide. Lower populations may not. He recommends growers give the Bt technology, especially the third generation or VIP cotton, a chance to work, “but be timely with applications if control breaks down.” Mitigation plan Cotton producers need a mitigation plan to manage the Bollgard II, WideStrike and TwinLink varieties, Brown warns. “Opt for the most robust technology possible,” he advises. That should include newer technology — Bollgard 3, WideStrike 3, or TwinLink Plus, along with aggressive scouting. If worms break through, especially in weaker technologies — Bollgard II, WideStrike or TwinLink — make an application as quickly possible with the proper rate and gallonage of Prevathon or Besiege. “Target small larvae; they are harder to control once they get into the canopy. Spraying based on egg lay may not be applicable in certain situations,” he says. “Also, we have no evidence of efficacy for spraying adult moths migrating into cotton fields, and those applications may flare other pests.” Brown says producers should consider 6 percent damage with live worms present a threshold for spray application. “If producers make it to 6 percent, that’s an indication to spray; however, if a large egg lay has occurred in weaker or second generation Bt technologies, an egg spray with Prevathon or Besiege may be justified. Brown says technology available to cotton producers for the past two years offers promise. “VIP technology is a better package than Bollgard II, WideStrike or TwinLink,” he says. “This is not new technology; VIP has been used in corn for nine years, but it has just recently been available in commercial cotton varieties. It offers much better control.” He’s seen very few worm breakthroughs in VIP technology in cotton. “It is still effective; worms are susceptible to it.” He adds a note of caution that VIP technology has been available in corn for nine years and bollworm selection on VIP corn is occurring. “None of the technology is bulletproof,” Brown said. “Producers should scout for worms and be ready to apply insecticide." Source: Delta FarmPress
Legal Action Gives Some Arkansas Farmers Access to Dicamba
Arkansas' in-season ban on dicamba does not apply to a group of nearly 200 farmers who have obtained temporary restraining orders on the ban from state judges. Three judges in Clay, Mississippi and Phillips counties have filed temporary restraining orders (TROs) of the ban in the past week, in response to last-minute complaints filed by nearly 200 farmers. In Greene County, a judge will hold a hearing on Friday on the status of an additional restraining order for 13 farmers. Clay, Mississippi and Greene counties are in extreme northeast Arkansas; Phillips is in the east central portion of the state. All are key soybean producing counties. The office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is in the process of appealing those decisions to the state Supreme Court, Nicole Ryan, communications director for the attorney general, told DTN. But for now, nearly 200 farmers can legally spray dicamba under the temporary restraining orders, Ryan confirmed. "The (Arkansas State) Plant Board will enforce the federal label requirements for the group spraying dicamba, while the Mississippi and Phillips county TROs are in place," she said. The attorney general will be seeking "expedited stays," from the Supreme Court, which would halt the judges' rulings until the appeals are decided, she added. In addition to BASF's Engenia herbicide, Monsanto's XtendiMax herbicide is currently registered in Arkansas for use on Xtend soybeans and cotton. However, Monsanto has opted not to sell it there for the time being, Monsanto spokesperson Kyel Richards said in an email to DTN. "Our goal is to make XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology available to growers in Arkansas who truly need this weed-control tool, but we need a stable and predictable political environment before we are able to do that," he said in the email. The Arkansas State Plant Board decided to ban dicamba use on Xtend crops from April 16 through Oct. 31 after receiving 997 complaints of dicamba injury to soybeans and other crops and plants in 2017. Whether the farmers with restraining orders will actually apply dicamba is uncertain, given that the state's appeal process could halt their access to it in a matter of weeks. Moreover, planting is still underway in Arkansas, with only 10% of soybeans planted as of Monday, according to USDA Crop Progress reports. Here's a summary of the current state of the many legal cases brought by farmers against the Arkansas State Plant Board regarding dicamba use: THE MISSISSIPPI, PHILLIPS, CLAY AND GREENE COUNTY CASES Eighty-five farmers filed a last-minute complaint against the plant board on April 12 in Mississippi County, Arkansas, demanding that the dicamba ban be voided immediately. Their lawyer, David Burnett, argued that the plant board itself was an unconstitutional entity that does not deserve legislative capabilities, because it contains unelected members appointed by private individuals. Just one day later, Second Judicial Circuit Court Judge Tonya Alexander viewed the complaint and issued a temporary restraining order of the ban, stating that, "the Plaintiffs face the immediate, irreparable harm to their crops." The same process played out for the farmer complaints filed in Phillips and Clay counties. The Phillips County case involved 70 farmers and resulted in a temporary restraining order from First Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher Morledge. The Clay County case involved 38 farmers and resulted in a temporary restraining order from Second Judicial Circuit Judge Randy Philhours. In Greene County, 13 farmers brought a similar complaint against the plant board, and a hearing on their request for a restraining order will be held Friday, April 20, Ryan said. The Arkansas Attorney General's office is racing to address this wave of last-minute legal action. In addition to appealing the cases to the state Supreme Court, the attorney general has issued motions to dissolve the Phillips and Mississippi County restraining orders, arguing that no immediate damage is posed to the farmers' crops. "The Plant Board rule was approved by both the Governor and the General Assembly and, as such, Attorney General Rutledge has a duty to defend against the challenges that have been brought against it," Ryan said. "THE ARKANSAS 6" Last week, the state's Supreme Court ruled that the six Arkansas farmers who filed a lawsuit against the Arkansas State Plant Board will not have access to dicamba for now. Previously, Judge Tim Fox had dismissed the farmers' lawsuit on March 30 based on an earlier Supreme Court ruling that state agencies like the Plant Board have sovereign immunity -- that, is they can't be sued. But Fox also ruled that, because the dismissal violated their due process rights, the ban did not apply to these six farmers. The state immediately appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court, which granted a stay of the judge's order. That means the farmers will not be able to use dicamba on Xtend crops until the appeal is decided, which can take up to eight months. "The Arkansas Supreme Court's stay of Judge Fox's ruling means that the Court believes the Plant Board is likely to win on appeal, which is another reason why the other two circuit courts need to vacate their temporary restraining orders," Ryan told DTN. The farmers and their attorney, Grant Ballard, have indicated that they will continue to file appeals. Source: DTN / The Progressive Farmer
National
Farmers Union VP says House Ag Committee farm bill needs more than a SNAP fix
The Vice President of the National Farmers Union says the SNAP program reforms are not the only problems in the House Ag Committee?s version of the farm bill.? Patty Edelburg tells Brownfield mandatory funding for many programs would be changed to discretionary funding, “so every year, they’re going to have to go back and ask for more money.? If there’s no money around, they’re not going to be able to utilize the programs.” And that, she says, is more uncertainty farmers relying on these programs don?t need. Continue reading Farmers Union VP says House Ag Committee farm bill needs more than a SNAP fix at Brownfield Ag News.      
USDA says most dairy products had more production in 2017
The new USDA report shows butter production rose four-tenths of a percent, and American type cheese up 6.4% Gouda cheese production was up 11.6% and Romano production was up 11.2% over 2016. The biggest drop in production was for brick cheese, which was down 14.9% over the previous year. Nearly half of the Italian type cheeses made in 2017 came from Wisconsin, which produced more than 217 million pounds. Regular hard ice cream production was down 2.4% in 2017, but low-fat ice cream production was up 5.5%. Continue reading USDA says most dairy products had more production in 2017 at Brownfield Ag News.      
Farmers watching livestock after refinery explosion
An explosion at a Superior, Wisconsin oil refinery Thursday has some farmers concerned about livestock.? Mark and Cora Liebaert raise beef southeast of Superior. Cora Liebaert tells Brownfield that as of late Thursday afternoon, the toxic cloud missed their farm, and she hopes the livestock will remain safe.? “Evidently, it’s the black cloud.? It’s dust, I guess we’ve just got to (have)?hope because I can’t load up 100 head of cattle and head south.? Continue reading Farmers watching livestock after refinery explosion at Brownfield Ag News.      
Governor, Ag Secretary, FSA Director tour Wisconsin farms damaged by blizzard
Government leaders want Wisconsin farmers impacted by the recent blizzard they will help them recover. Wisconsin Ag Secretary Sheila Harsdorf tells Brownfield, “The northeast was hit hard with this storm and we, between the federal government and the state, we want to do whatever we can to get people back?on their feet.? Harsdorf joined Governor Scott Walker and USDA Farm Service Agency Director Sandy Chalmers on a tour of storm-damaged farms Wednesday.? Continue reading Governor, Ag Secretary, FSA Director tour Wisconsin farms damaged by blizzard at Brownfield Ag News.      
MFA applicators focus on early dicamba application
Missouri-based MFA cooperative is stressing caution to its applicators when it comes to over-the-top use of newer dicamba herbicides this growing season.?Jason Weirich, MFA director of agronomy, tells Brownfield Ag News it?s important to remember that dicamba is not a silver bullet and is best used in the early growing season,??We?re really focused on using these tools in a burndown situation and then still utilizing overlapping residuals to carry our weed control home. Continue reading MFA applicators focus on early dicamba application at Brownfield Ag News.      
Missouri extends dicamba deadline for SE Missouri
Farmers in Southeast Missouri now have more time to use new formulations of dicamba.?Missouri Ag Director Chris Chinn says because of wet weather and slow planting, farmers will need that extra time.?The state use label for Xtendimax, Engenia and Fexapan has been changed to a cut-off date of June 10th, from the original June first.?It affects growers and applicators in 10 southeast Missouri counties.?Chinn says the July 15th cut-off date for the rest of the state remains the same. Continue reading Missouri extends dicamba deadline for SE Missouri at Brownfield Ag News.      
Roberts promises Senate farm bill action ?in early May?
Senate Ag Committee chair Pat Roberts says he expects committee markup of the Senate farm bill to take place in early May?and he says it could reach the Senate floor soon after that. ?I will say that, on both sides, Senator Schumer and Senator McConnell have indicated that as soon as we get that done, we will have floor time,? Roberts said. ?The last time we did it in two days. I hope that we can replicate that.? Questioned by farm broadcasters in Washington this week, Roberts wouldn?t say whether the Senate farm bill would tackle SNAP reform. Continue reading Roberts promises Senate farm bill action ‘in early May’ at Brownfield Ag News.      
MSU providing weekly field updates for farmers
  Michigan?s growing degree days are running more than 70 percent behind last year, but an ag meteorologist says that?s about to change. Jeff Andresen with Michigan State University says the next few days will remain cooler than normal, and then warmer and wetter conditions are expected for the next two weeks.? ?We will be looking at temperatures by Monday in many parts of the state at or above 70 degrees during the day time and then, just as importantly, low temperatures only falling into the 40s and the 50s.? MSU weed specialist Christy Sprague says early season weed control needs to be a priority as farmers progress toward planting.? Continue reading MSU providing weekly field updates for farmers at Brownfield Ag News.      
Corn weak, watching planting activity
  Soybeans were narrowly mixed, adjusting old crop/new crop spreads. Weekly export numbers on beans were bearish, continuing to reflect the slow demand from China. Brazil?s prices at their major ports remain well above U.S. prices. Beijing is still drawing from Brazil?s supplies, but South America won?t be able to meet all of China?s soybean import needs. Some of the concerns about domestic acreage switching are easing, with generally better corn planting weather expected over the next several days. Continue reading Corn weak, watching planting activity at Brownfield Ag News.      
Senator says rejoining TPP would send message to China
A South Dakota Senator says tariffs are NOT they only way to address China?s unfair trading practices. John Thune spoke to farm broadcasters in Washington DC on Wednesday? “If you really want to send a message to China, if you want to pressure China, get back in to TPP,” he says. The Senate Ag Committee member says programs to compensate farmers if Chinese tariffs are implemented don?t make sense. Continue reading Senator says rejoining TPP would send message to China at Brownfield Ag News.      
Ways to increase cash-flow on the farm
Farmers constrained by tight margins are examining aspects of their operations that influence profits. Matt Lange, business consultant with Compeer Financial, says understanding how cashflows affect the checkbook is important. “What bills tend to take up a greater portion of the checkbook balance, as well as the timing of when those bills are due.” He tells Brownfield it?s common for farmers to receive cash discounts when paying bills early. Continue reading Ways to increase cash-flow on the farm at Brownfield Ag News.      
Thune-Brown bill said to improve ARC
Two Senate Agriculture Committee members say a bipartisan measure introduced Wednesday will improve the safety net potential of the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) Program.? Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) says the bill he and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) unveiled Wednesday will improve ARC. Thune says the legislation, which the two are pushing to be included in the 2018 farm bill, modifies the ARC payment calculation. ?The thing about the ARC that many of our [South Dakota] growers like is it provides not just price protection, but revenue protection,? Thune told Farm Broadcasters this week in Washington, D.C., ?so if you have production losses in tough years then it also provides some safety net protection against that.? The bill changes ARC by using ten years of rolling average farm data instead of five years, said Thune. Continue reading Thune-Brown bill said to improve ARC at Brownfield Ag News.      
KDUZ Farm Forum
Brownfield Anchor/Reporter Mark Dorenkamp will co-host?Brownfield affiliate radio station?KDUZ Farm Forum on Thursday, May 24th in Hutchinson, MN. Continue reading KDUZ Farm Forum at Brownfield Ag News.      
Big farms, big consumer concerns
Terry Fleck, with the Center for Food Integrity, says skepticism about large farming operations continues to grow as the size and scale of farming grows. He says there is a perception that profit is the overriding motive on large farms.? But, Fleck says there?s a lot of good news for consumers about farming no matter what the size of the farm and that slow and steady progress is being made in educating consumers. Continue reading Big farms, big consumer concerns at Brownfield Ag News.      
Pruitt tells lawmakers RFS waivers within the law
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testified this morning that RFS waivers have not been improperly granted to oil refineries this year. Congressman Al Green is a Democrat from Texas and asked Pruitt, ?Has the agency granted any waivers to facilities that output exceeds 75,000 barrels a day?? Pruitt answered, ?We look at it on a facility-by-facility basis and the statute says it?s 75,000 barrels or less so it?s objectively determined in that regard.? Reports over the last several weeks accuse Pruitt of granting waivers to larger refineries and hiding the fact, since documentation has not been released. Continue reading Pruitt tells lawmakers RFS waivers within the law at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
Plaintiffs in the case say management of the hog farm's manure could h
Plaintiffs in the case say management of the hog farm's manure could have been negated with new technologies and processes.
Embattled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pr
Embattled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt was on Capitol Hill Thursday defending not only the administration?s work but his ethics.
AG TIME by John Walsh
In regards to beans, the feature remains meal strength relative to the complex. I would venture to say that without meal strength beans would be under pressure. Corn was very quiet all day. The market is awaiting the acreage numbers. The rest of the puzzle is in place for further gains. The numbers are mildly bullish and could become more so with the right situation.
American Plant Food, Sigma Agriscience and AM-AG Team Up Provide Complete Nutrition and Soil Health Solutions
Houston-based Sigma Agriscience, a manufacturer of granular biofertilizers and biostimulants, has announced through its subsidiary AM-AG the creation of a marketing alliance with American Plant Food Corp. The multi-company alliance provides the platform necessary to fully reach every type of grower, whether organic or conventional, with a portfolio of plant nutrition as well as soil …
If you can?t call Parmesan cheese?Parmesan cheese?then what do you cal
If you can?t call Parmesan cheese?Parmesan cheese?then what do you call it? Chip Flory learns more on today's AgriTalk.
Bayer to Sell More Crop Science Businesses to BASF
In light of the proposed acquisition of Monsanto, Bayer has signed an agreement to sell further Crop Science businesses to BASF for up to 1.7 billion euros. The businesses to be sold generated total sales of 745 million euros in 2017. “With this move, we are implementing the corresponding undertakings made to the European Commission …
Video: Corn Commentary 4/26/18
The House Farm Bill--Part II
This blog describes the portions of the House farm bill not included in last week's blog--titles covering trade, rural development, credit, agricultural research, forestry, horticulture, and miscellaneous issues.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has authorized the movement of a
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has authorized the movement of a modified, non-infectious version of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) virus from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center to the U.S. mainland.
Two major wildfires in Oklahoma have been contained after killing two
Two major wildfires in Oklahoma have been contained after killing two people and at least 1,500 cattle while?burning almost 350,000 acres. Now producers are trying to pick up the pieces and there are ways to help.
Secretary Perdue is aware farmers are concerned about RFS waivers and
Secretary Perdue is aware farmers are concerned about RFS waivers and is working to persuade EPA's Pruitt to stop issuing them.
Whoops!!
French food producers will no longer be able to use ?steak,? ?sausage,
French food producers will no longer be able to use ?steak,? ?sausage,? ?meat-like,? ?meat-free? or other similar labeling terms to describe products that are not partly or wholly composed of meat.
The best part about human capital is that the more you effectively uti
The best part about human capital is that the more you effectively utilize it, the more you have.