Battle for the Belt – Chilling Injury

Dr. Alex Lindsey, Associate Professor of Crop Ecophysiology & Agronomy, walks us through his current research project on how cold temperatures and water can affect early planted soybeans within the first 24 hours of planting.

How does cold temperature and water affect germination and emergence?

We have been studying how cold temperatures and water affect soybeans under ultra-early planting conditions using some lab experiments. We planted soybeans into field soil (starting at 20% or 60% available water content) at 1” (shallow) or 1.5” (normal) planting depths, and exposed them to different combinations of cold temperatures and water treatments during the first 24 hours after planting (Table 1). After the first 24 hours, we raised the temperature in the chamber to 70°F and measured emergence.

Table 1. Temperature and water treatments evaluated during the first 24 hrs after planting.

Preliminary results suggest that no water application (even if temperature dropped to 35°F) resulted in the greatest emergence (75%) after 11 days. Water application immediately after planting, regardless of whether it was 50°F or 35°F, cut the emergence totals in half. Application of ice after planting was less damaging to emergence but still reduced germination compared to where water wasn’t applied. This suggests that avoiding precipitation within the first 24 hours of planting is key to ensuring good emergence.

Does planting depth matter? Continue reading

Weekly Commodity Market Update

Brownfield’s Weekly Commodity update featuring former OSU Extension Ag Economist Ben Brown.  This week Will and Ben look at Brazil’s progress in the sustainable aviation fuel sector.

This Week’s Topics:

  • Market recap
  • Wheat rally
  • Weekend Russian attacks
  • U.S. weather impacts
  • Planting progress
  • Brazil’s delivery of SAFs to U.S.
  • Reports to watch

Market recap (Changes on week as of Monday’s close):

  • May 2024 corn up $.08 at $4.39
  • December 2024 corn up $.03 at $4.72
  • May 2024 soybeans up $.03 at $11.61
  • November 2024 soybeans up $.04 at $11.71
  • May soybean oil up 0.19 cents at 45.66 cents/lb
  • May soybean meal up $5.80 at $344.30/short ton
  • May 2024 wheat up $.19 at $5.70
  • July 2024 wheat up $.20 at $5.87
  • May WTI Crude Oil down $2.87 at $82.01/barrel

Weekly Highlights

  • Consumer retail sales rose 0.7% in March and outlays in February were also stronger than previously reported, indicating the economy got a boost from consumer spending in the first quarter.
  • US crude oil stocks excluding the strategic petroleum reserve were up another 115 million gallons from the week prior. Crude oil stocks have increased 628 gallons over the past month.  Conversely, US gasoline and distillate stocks were down 48 and 116 million gallons respectively. On the lower gasoline stocks- the average regular gasoline price was up 4 cents week over week.
  • Ethanol production pulled back sharply to 289 million gallons- down 21 million from the week prior as several plants took scheduled maintenance. Ethanol stocks levels decreased 5 million gallons but remain at relatively large levels.
  • Open interest of Chicago grains and oilseeds was down for wheats (-1.9%), corn (-1.7%), soybean meal (-0.4%), cotton (-19.6%) and rice (-77%) while being up slightly for soybeans (+5.8%) and soybean oil (+3.8%).
  • Managed money traders continued to expand their short positions of corn (16,016 contracts) soybeans (28,565 contracts) and Chicago wheat (14,455 contracts). Corn and soybean managed money contracts pulled back from their record short positions but are rebuilding them again.
  • USDA’s Cattle on Feed Report showed all cattle on feed as of April 1 at 11.821 head or 101.5% of last year but below the 102.1% trade estimate. March cattle placements at 87.7% of last year were well below the 93.0% trade estimate with marketings of 86.3% year over year- down from a 88.1% expectation.
  • Export sales for the most recent week were neutral to bearish with corn sales of 19.7 million bushels only slightly better than the marketing year low set the week prior of 12.8 million. Soybean sales made a counter seasonal move of 17.8 million bushels. There were net cancelations of 0.1 and 3.4 million bushels of grain sorghum and wheat respectively.
  • Export inspections were supportive to corn and grain sorghum while neutral to soybeans and wheat. Reported corn inspections of 63.9 million bushels were the largest of the marketing year and highest weekly volume in nearly 2 years.
  • National corn planting progress doubled again this week to 12% complete- ahead of 10% on average. Soybean planting rose from 3% to 8%- double the five-year average. Of states reporting plantings- most states are ahead of average.
  • The winter wheat conditions rating dropped a surprising 10 points to 336 (a perfect score is 500). However, this remains well ahead of 270 this time last year.

Will (is) climate change affect (ing) our farming operations?

Many conversations that I have been apart of over the past few years have centered around our warmer/milder winters and the perceived fewer days that are suitable for field work each year.  Well, data indicates that our weather patterns are changing.  Will these changes affect the way we manage our farming operations?

Dr Aaron Wilson, State Climatologist of Ohio, Assistant Professor, Ag Weather and Climate Field Specialist, OSU Extension, shared the following information at the 2024 Central Ohio Agronomy School this winter.

Our winter weather climate is changing and is predicted to become more like the weather patterns currently in found southern West Virginia and eastern Virginia by 2030.  This pattern is predicted to continue to move in a southeasterly direction resulting in Ohio winters resembling the current weather patterns found in the Carolinas by 2095.

Summer weather patterns are predicted to become similar to the climate found in southern Illinois by 2030.  These changes will continue in a southwesterly direction, with our summer of 2095 weather being similar to the weather we currently see in Arkansas.

Days suitable for fieldwork

Since 1995 an average of 13 fieldwork days were observed in Ohio between weeks ending April 25 to May 15. A low of 3.3 was observed in 2011 and a high of 22.5 in 1999. Over this time frame, fieldwork days decreased on average by 0.09 days each year.

Source Kansas State University

2024 Second Quarter Fertilizer Prices Across Ohio

Results from a quarterly survey of retail fertilizer prices in the state of Ohio revealed fertilizer prices were slightly lower than national averages reported by Progressive Farmer – DTN (Quinn, 2024). The survey was completed by 32 retailers, representing 19 counties, who do business in the state of Ohio. Respondents were asked to quote spot prices as of the first day of the quarter (April 1st) based on sale type indicated. This is part of a larger study conducted by OSU Extension to better understand local fertilizer prices, which began in December 2023.

In summary, survey participants reported the average price of all fertilizers was lower in Ohio compared to the national prices, except for DAP (18-46-0) at $785/ton in Ohio versus $780/ton nationally, (Quinn, 2024).

The chart below (Table 1.) is the summary of the survey responses. The responses (n) are the number of survey responses for each product. The minimum and maximum values reflect the minimum and maximum values reported in the survey. The average is the simple average of all survey responses for each product rounded to the nearest dollar. We recognize that many factors influence a company’s spot price for fertilizer including but not limited to availability, geography, volume, cost of freight, competition, regulation, etc.

When compared to results from the previous quarter’s survey, prices for fertilizers saw a modest increase, with only anhydrous ammonia, MAP and potash showing a slight decrease. DAP and urea saw the most increase in price from the previous quarter with DAP up $50/ton and urea up $59/ton. This increase equates to an increase in price of 9% for both DAP and urea. Only ammonium thio-sulfate remained unchanged.

Quarter 2 survey data included nine responses to questions about poultry litter, delivered and applied within a 25-mile radius of the facility. Prices ranged from $45-72/ton with an average of $55/ton reported.

Big Swings Ahead for Planting, Growing and Harvest Season

Source: Jim Noel

As El Niño continues to weaken in the eastern Pacific Ocean the “rapid change” often leads to a wetting up as we discussed last time for a part of spring. This wetting up has occurred across Ohio in the last month with some areas wetter than others and could continue into May but to a lesser extent. The years where strong El Niño events came to an end in spring include 2016, 1998, 1982, 1973 and 1958. However, as we go into summer and autumn, there is a growing chance of a  La Niña returning which is opposite of El Niño. This swing in the ocean pattern will likely put some stress on Ohio crops this year.

Above normal temperatures are expected from May to autumn harvest with the warmth favoring nighttime minimum temperatures more than daytime maximum temperatures. There will likely be some 95+ degree days this summer but there is more of a chance of 75+ overnight temperatures. You can see the official summer temperature outlook by NOAA attached.

Rainfall will see significant swings the rest of this year. We are in a normally wet time of the year currently averaging 0.8-1.0 inch per week. We expect this wetness to last into May. However, as growing season arrives it appears there will be growing variability in the rainfall patterns. In addition,  we expect some dryness to expand as summer progresses and La Niña develops with confidence higher for dryness in June and August/September timeframes at this point. The extent of any summer/early autumn drought development needs to be monitored in the coming weeks.

Even though it is typical to still see some light freezes/frosts in April, most data suggests this is not likely as we go into May meaning a near normal last freeze for most of the state.

You can get all the official climate outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center at https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov .

Ohio Crop Weather

Source: USDA

Sustained Wet Conditions

Heavy rains last week saturated fields and prevented any large-scale planting activities, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 31 percent adequate and 69 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 14 was 56.8 degrees, 9.4 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.86 inches of precipitation, 0.98 inches above average. There were 0.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 14.
Farmers reported that with the excess rain, the only field work that could be done was applying herbicide and fertilizing wheat. Oats were 11 percent planted. Winter wheat was 51 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 70 percent good to excellent. Warmer than normal conditions continued to push fruit crop development.

Weekly Commodity Market Update

Brownfield’s Weekly Commodity update featuring former OSU Extension Ag Economist Ben Brown.  This week Will and Ben discuss USDA’s updated acreage expectations.

This Week’s Topics:

  • Market recap
  • Sideways to lower commodity trading
  • Corn stocks estimates drop
  • Soybean stocks estimates rise
  • Soybean crush sets all-time record
  • Brazilian production shifts
  • Reports to watch

Market recap (Changes on week as of Monday’s close):

  • May 2024 corn down $.04 at $4.31
  • December 2024 corn down $.04 at $4.69
  • May 2024 soybeans down $.23 at $11.58
  • November 2024 soybeans down $.17 at $11.67
  • May soybean oil down 2.43 cents at 45.47 cents/lb
  • May soybean meal up $2.50 at $338.50/short ton
  • May 2024 wheat down $.14 at $5.51
  • July 2024 wheat down $.13 at $5.67
  • May WTI Crude Oil down $.73 at $84.88/barrel

Weekly Highlights

  • The Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, rose to 3.5% in March, higher than expectation and the third consecutive month of increasing inflation. Shelter and energy costs drove the increase. Following the report, traders pushed the first expected Federal Funds rate cut out to September compared to June moments before the report.
  • The Producer Price Index, another measure of inflation, rose 2.1% from March 2023, which was the largest monthly year over year gain in nearly a year. This was slightly down from an expectation of 2.2%. Month over month prices were up 0.2% compared to up 0.6% in February and pre-report expectations of up 0.3%.
  • US crude oil stocks excluding the strategic petroleum reserve were up 245 million gallons from the week prior. Similarly, US gasoline and distillate stocks were up on lower demand and higher imports. Crude oil prices have eased from their highs experienced last week on easing geopolitical tensions but the risk is still present.
  • Ethanol production pulled back 310 million gallons- down 5 million from the week prior. Ethanol margins decreased to end March but have started to move higher again despite near record ethanol stock levels. Margins remain positive for ethanol producers.
  • USDA lowered US corn ending stocks to 2.122 down 50 million bushels on the month but not as much as the 70-million-bushel drop expected. Demand was increased 25 million bushels for both corn exports and ethanol use.
  • USDA increased soybean ending stocks 25 million bushels on the month and 23 million more than what was expected after cuts to exports, seed and residual more than overcorrect for lower imports.
  • Brazil’s CONAB reduced both total corn production and soybean production for the country 1.8 and 0.5 million metric tons respectively. Both are noticeably lower than USDA’s April numbers.
  • Open interest of Chicago grains and oilseeds was down for wheats (-4.1%), corn (-2.8%), soybean oil (-1.8%), soybean meal (-2.0%), cotton (-11.1%) and rice (-5.9%) while being up slightly for soybeans (+1.0%).
  • Managed money traders continued to expand their short positions of corn (3,998) and soybeans (1,054). Corn and soybean managed money contracts pulled back from their record short positions but are rebuilding them again. Traders decreased their net short of Chicago Wheats 1,239 contracts.
  • Last week Bloomberg reported Chinese importers canceled “four or five cargos” of Ukrainian corn booked for delivery in an effort to support local prices ahead of planting.
  • Export sales for week ending March 4th were bearish and pulled the market lower. Corn sales of 12.8 million bushels were the lowest of the marketing year and fell well below expectations. Soybean and wheat sales were also on the low end of expectations.
  • Export inspections with the exception of wheats were flat to lower and uninspiring. The reported soybean volume was the lowest since Mid-September as volumes continue to move seasonally lower. Wheat exports exceeded all pre-report expectations.
  • The National Oilseed Processors Association reported their members crushed a record high 196.4 million bushels in March. This was 1.2 million bushels below the average trade estimate ahead of the report. The soybean oil stocks volume was on the top end of expectations and the fifth consecutive month of volumes exceeding the average trade estimate.
  • As expected, planting picked up in the western corn belt last week. Six percent of the US corn crop is planted compared to 3% last week and an average pace of 5%. The first soybean planting progress came in at 3% up from an average of 1%. Cotton and rice were 8% and 44% respectively.
  • The winter wheat conditions rating slipped just slightly to 346 down from 348 last week (a perfect score is 500). However, this remains well ahead of 273 last year.

Ohio Crop Weather – April 1, 2024

Source: USDA

This year’s weather has been temperamental, with temperatures fluctuating wildly between above average to below average over the past few months, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 32 percent adequate and 68 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 7 was 46.3 degrees, 0.3 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 2.67 inches of precipitation, 1.8 inches above average. There were 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 7. Precipitation last week left fields saturated and brought fieldwork to a stop. Drier weather settled in towards the end of the week, but most fields remained too wet to hold heavy equipment. Oats were 7 percent planted. Winter wheat was 16 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 67 percent good to excellent. Fruit trees began blossoming in the northern counties after last week’s light frost.

Battle for the Belt:

Season 2 Episode 2- Who Won 2023- Corn or Soybean?

Project Overview

Battle for the Belt aims to answer four questions:

  • Which crop should we plant first- corn or soybean?
  • Which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting?
  • Can we adjust management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting?
  • How are insects, diseases, weeds, and other factors affected by planting date?

Highlights:

  • Planting window is shrinking
    • Between April 17 and May 15 we have an average of 15 suitable field workdays.
  • Corn yield decrease of 1.75 bushel per day after April 30th.
  • Soybean yield decrease of .5 bushel per day after April 3oth.

Everyday Biosecurity Recommendations for Dairy and Beef Cattle Farm Personnel

Having a biosecurity plan with clear plans and protocols is crucial to protect your animals and farm personnel while also preventing the spread of disease to others or through outside visitors. With the recent outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in dairy cows, livestock producers should heighten their biosecurity practices on the farm. According to the latest announcements by American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP), the disease syndrome in cattle does not cause high morbidity and mortality as it does in birds. The AABP announced April 7, 2024 that it will call this emerging disease Bovine Influenza A Virus (BIAV) to better distinguish the disease syndrome in cattle from the pathogenesis observed in birds.

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