ASA encourages comments on new technologies

The American Soybean Association is encouraging farmers, dealers and all stakeholders to comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Monsanto’s next generation dicamba-tolerant weed management technologies, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex™ cotton.

ASA says it is important that the USDA follow through on its commitment to U.S. farmers to conduct timely, science-based reviews of new technologies. The group says positive comments will help support the USDA’s determination to provide soybean and cotton farmers the choice to plant new technologies.

The public comment period ends September 25th.  For more information on how to submit a comment, click here.

How a hybrid becomes a hybrid

Seed corn take a long and winding road to becoming a hybrid that farmers can plant in the field.  Magen Eller, commercial corn breeder for Monsanto says it is a two-step process.  “The first is to create an inbred,” she says.  “The second step is to combine two inbreds into a hybrid.”

Eller tells Brownfield the first step is about selecting the best traits possible.  “It’s eliminating things that are going to be bad for yield,” she says.  “We try to make sure our inbreds don’t have things like Green Snap, stalk lodging, or root lodging.  We try to make sure they’re healthy so they are resistant to things like northern leaf blight and grey leaf spot and they aren’t susceptible to ear rots.”

She says the hybrid development stage is about putting together two inbreds that complement each other.  “If one inbred seems to be a little bit lacking in a particular trait – it’s finding another inbred on the other side of the pedigree that complements that,” she says.  “If one is a susceptible to foliar diseases – we can help it out a little with the other side of the pedigree.”

From there the hybrid goes through rigorous testing before entering the commercial pipeline.

AUDIO: Magen Eller, Monsanto (2:00mp3)

Ohio crops little changed

Compared to a week ago, the weekly crop and weather report from the Ohio field office of the National Ag Statistics Service has crop condition ratings in Ohio holding steady.

As of Sunday, September 14, 74 percent of the Ohio corn crop and 79 percent of soybeans were rated fair to good.

76 percent of the corn crop is dented, three points behind the 5-year average, 13 percent of the crop is mature.

Silage harvest is 31 percent complete.

28 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves, 11 points behind the 5-year average.

Topsoil moisture in Ohio is 81 percent adequate to surplus.

Below-normal temps slow Iowa’s crops

Iowa’s corn and soybean crops, overall, are still in very good shape, but last week’s below normal temperatures slowed crop development.

As of Sunday, 19 percent of the corn acreage was mature, 11 days behind normal.  Leaves were changing color on 51 percent of the soybean crop, four days behind average.  Corn rated 76 percent, and soybeans 74 percent, good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 71 percent complete, just over two weeks behind the five-year average.  Reports indicated hay conditions were wet with concerns that, in some cases, a third cutting may not be completed.

Pasture condition rated 66 percent good to excellent.

South Dakota corn 10 percent mature, lags behind

Cool, wet weather dominated South Dakota conditions this past week, bringing topsoil moisture to 85 percent adequate to surplus. Winter wheat is 14 percent planted, which is the same as last year, but a little behind the five-year average.  Spring wheat harvest is also behind.  It’s 94 percent done.  It’s normally finished by now.

The state’s corn crop 74 percent good to excellent, and 10 percent mature, behind the 16 percent last year and 26 percent average.

Soybeans are 76 percent good to excellent and 28 percent of the crop is dropping leaves, which is behind 44 percent last year and 56 percent average.

Sorghum 85 percent good to excellent and 7 percent mature, behind 22 percent average.

The third cutting of alfalfa is behind average at 58 complete.  The average by not is 78 percent done.

South Dakota’s pasture and range are 70 percent good to excellent.

Stock water supplies 88 percent adequate to surplus.

Missouri’s corn harvest is 12 percent done

Rain and cool temperatures through Missouri last week hampered the corn harvest especially in the northern districts where most of the rain fell. The state averaged an inch and two-thirds last week. Topsoil moisture is 81 percent adequate to surplus. Corn is 58 percent mature, which is 22 percentage points more than last week. Statewide, 12 percent of the corn is out, 6 percentage points more than last week but 14 percentage points behind the 5-year average. The crop is 85 percent good to excellent. About 32 percent of the soybeans are turning color and 16 percent are dropping leaves. Soybeans are 72 percent good to excellent. Cotton bolls are 32 percent open. About 13 percent of the rice is harvested. Pastures are 76 percent fair to good, 8 percent excellent.


Rain, cool weather hamper corn harvest in Illinois

Rain and very cool temperatures this past week hampered corn harvest in Illinois. Statewide, precipitation averaged 2.30 inches.  About 37 percent of the state’s corn is mature.  That’s 20 percentage points more than last week. Corn harvest is 2 percent complete, a point ahead of last year but 11 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Corn is rated 82 percent good to excellent. About 20 percent of the soybeans are dropping leaves, up 13 percentage points from last week. The soybean crop is 76 percent good to excellent. Sorghum maturity is 36 percent. Pastures are  70 percent good to excellent and topsoil moisture is 93 percent adequate to surplus.

Nebraska crops maturing on schedule

Row crops in Nebraska are maturing right on schedule, according to the latest crop progress report.

Corn, at 29 percent mature, and sorghum, at 10 percent mature, are both very near their five-year averages.  Soybeans dropping leaves reached 25 percent, also near normal, while 15 percent of dry beans have been harvested, slightly behind average.

Crop condition ratings continue very strong, with corn and soybeans both rated 73 percent good to excellent.

The fourth cutting of alfalfa hay was 40 percent complete and the crop rated 64 percent good to excellent.  Pasture and range conditions rated 54 percent good to excellent and 33 percent fair.

Winter wheat 26 percent planted compared to the five-year average of 27 percent.

Rabobank issues Q3 fertilizer outlook

Rabobank releasing their third-quarter fertilizer report predicting prices will move a little higher but not much.  The analysis says seasonal demand from China, India and the U.S. is “unlikely to cause any prolonged rise in prices.”  Rabobank says the bearish commodity prices will have limited impact on input use in the short-term but in the mid-term we may see farmers reduce fertilizer applications.

The report cautions China may reduce exports of DAP and urea due to increased domestic demand.  Record-low monsoons may reduce demand in India, Brazil has good stocks but increasing soybean acreage should increase fertilizer demand.  European demand may be influenced by the weakening Euro and resistance to higher prices.

Logistics remains the big challenge in the United States as the demand for rail and barge service is increasing.  Fertilizer suppliers may look to put in as much inventory as they can this fall although there is the risk that low commodity prices will prompt farmers to cut back on fertilizer next spring.  However, Rabobank notes total farm equity has risen significantly putting growers in a position to get the money they need for inputs.

More information can be found here:


A little frost in Wisconsin last weekend

Frosty conditions across the northern half of Wisconsin on Saturday morning.  Reporters tell the National Ag Statistics Service Wisconsin Field Office it was not a killing frost so crops will continue to develop.  But warmer temperatures sure would be nice.

As of Sunday, 87 percent of the Wisconsin corn crop is at least in dough stage with 59 percent dented and 8 percent mature.  It should be 69 percent dented and 20 percent mature by now.  10 percent of corn silage has been chopped, should be 31 percent in the silo by this date.  The crop is rated 72 percent good to excellent condition.

The Wisconsin soybean crops is 72 percent good to excellent condition as well.  A number of reporters say white mold is showing up.  45 percent of the beans are turning color and 11 percent are dropping leaves.  The five year average for this date has 59 percent turning color and 22 percent dropping leaves.

85 percent of the oats-for-grain is combined, should be 100 percent by now.  40 percent of the state’s potatoes are harvested.

It is wet across the Badger State with water standing in fields: topsoil moisture is 75 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus, about the same as a week ago.