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Friday, June 05, 2009

Cornbelt Update


Cornbelt Update is a weekly summary of news from Extension, government, and other attributable sources, focused on marketing, farm management, and other issues that are of interest to Midwestern farm owners and operators.

Delayed planting in IL, IN & OH may push the national corn yield potential down to 152 bu. estimates Purdue marketing specialist Chris Hurt, who says acreages shifts from corn to beans won’t help either. He says the low production means usage cuts by the ethanol and livestock industries which are already in negative margin territory.

But Hurt says the kicker will be the impact on the ethanol industry because the Renewable Fuels Standard requires 12 bil. gal. in 2010 and that means 350 to 400 mil. bu. more corn will have to be produced this year. If that is a hardship, Hurt says the EPA administrator can reduce the requirement, which softens the corn market. Read more.

The soybean market is being fueled by the short supply in Argentina and the long demand in China, according to Purdue’s Chris Hurt. He says US exports could rise 60 to 80 mil. bu. above USDA’s projection of 1.24 bil. bu., pushing carryout below 100 mil. bu. representing only a 12 day supply; and he says that may lead to $14 soybeans. Read more.

New crop soybean prices will be a function of 2009 acreage, more than anything else says Hurt. He says, “If July futures do move to $14, this might only increase November new crop futures by 40¢ to 60¢ per bu. and approach the $11 per bu. mark.

Use a spread to market beans, says Hurt, “Consider pricing new crop futures by selling old crop futures months like the July, August, or September. This is an old crop/new crop spread which is full of risks. Those risks can be lowered sharply by selling the August or September futures rather than the July futures. Generally by late July or early August the old crop shortage situation will be resolved and August and September prices may decline more than the November futures.” He adds, be sure of what you are doing.

If you don’t store soft red wheat, and only 1 in 4 bushels is stored, you may want to rethink that marketing strategy this year. New crop prices are $1.30 higher than in April because the crop size is 68% of last year. IL Extension’s Darrel Good says the harvest delivery basis is 96¢ under July, compared to $1.76 at this time last year. He expects further price strengthening on a deteriorating winter wheat crop and corn crop concerns. Read more.

Wheat has been a problem for the futures market because of the lack of convergence of cash and futures. Good says corrective efforts have resulted in a 50¢ premium for Dec futures, and a 64¢ premium for Mar 2010 futures. And he says a stronger basis will be another benefit for wheat producers who store this year, instead of harvest sales.

Replanting beans? Tough decisions should be based on good data says IL agronomist Vince Davis. Read his newsletter here.
1) You are losing roughly ½ bu. of soybean yield potential per day of delay in June.
2) An evenly spaced seeding rate of 50,000 plants/A will produce 91% of expected yield.
3) 150,000 seeds planted June 1, with 50,000 plants/A has a 90% yield potential.
4) If the low stand is not uniform, one idea is to plant more seeds into an existing stand.
5) The thinner the stand, the more delayed the canopy, and the higher the weed pressure.
6) Buy more time for a thin stand with an extra application of post emergence herbicide.

It may have been entrapment, but Michigan State entomologists have found soybean aphids on early planted soybeans on the campus, reporting 5% of the plants were infested. The aphid population included both winged and non-winged individuals, some of which had arrived via a rainfall, but unseen in the prior week.

Weed competitiveness depends on your cropping system say NE researchers, who found narrow row beans reduce weed competition by 20-50% compared to wider rows, as well as when the weeds emerged relative to the growth stage of the crop. Competitiveness was defined as the amount of dry matter produced by the weeds.

Weed control #1. Post emergent herbicide applications on corn is recommended when weeds are 2-4 in., since grain yield loss will occur as weed competition increases beyond that height. Additionally, smaller weeds are easier to control than larger weeds.

Weed control #2. The prevalent use of glyphosate has diminished the use of tank mixes of broadleaf and grass herbicides, but IL Extension’s Aaron Hager says glyphosate resistance may bring the practice back into popularity. For glyphosate resistant corn, he recommends tank mixing growth regulator herbicides with glyphosate for waterhemp.

Weed control #3. Post emergent herbicides for corn that restrict application to corn maturity, should be applied against the most restrictive, whether that is height, leaves, or other factors. Hager says the same recommendation goes for tank mixed herbicides.

If you have wheat, it probably has a disease of some type, according to an Illinois wheat survey. It found 77 to 100% of wheat had leaf blotch, usually minor problems with leaf rust, 50-92% had glume blotch, and head scab was as low as 17% and high as 100%.

Don’t take an antibiotic if you have a virus, and if your wheat has a virus, don’t try to treat it with a fungicide. Just like the antibiotic, it won’t work, says OH Extension’s Pierce Paul. He’s seen wheat spindle streak mosaic and barley yellow dwarf virus in wheat fields, but he says next year, select wheat varieties that carry resistance.

It is too late this year to cure scabs and blotches in wheat, but next year choose a variety that is resistant to the diseases in your field this year. IL Pathologist Carl Bradley says planting wheat into excess surface corn stubble increases the chance for fusarium.

Crazytop in corn may be a common sight in parts of the Cornbelt this year, because conditions were good for downy mildew fungus which causes it. Infection can set in when young plants are in saturated soils for 24-48 hours between planting and the five leaf stage. Water accumulation in the whorl also is a contributing factor.

Wet soils in the eastern Cornbelt are contributing to early season corn and soybean diseases, stemming from soil borne pathogens that are attracted to plant roots, and cause a deterioration of the root system. OSU specialists recommend several routes to take:
1) Manage the drainage in the field, which are indicated by the replant frequency.
2) Use a seed treatment for both corn and beans that have several active ingredients.
3) Use a seed treatment when the crop has to be replanted.
4) Choose resistant varieties and hybrids, particularly for phytophthora in beans.
5) Plant when the soil is sufficiently dry and conditions favor the seed not the disease.

The active ingredient in Furadan 4F is being banned by the EPA after Aug. 13. The impact is Furadan 4F can be used this year, but not next year. Don’t stockpile it, since you cannot sell a crop that has been treated with Furadan after Jan. 1. If using Furadan 4F to protect Bt refuges, alternatives include granular application units on planters or purchase seed that has been treated with neonicotinoids such as Poncho or Cruiser.

Stalk borers should be on your scouting radar. If you find them on brome and ragweed they will soon migrate to corn. They will tunnel in unfurled leaves at ground level and wilt the upper leaves of corn, and YieldGard corn is not immune. When 8-9% of corn plants are infested at the 3-5 leaf stage with corn at $4, rescue treatment is warranted. Read more.

Wireworms are not always being stopped by Poncho 250, according to Iowa State entomologists. They have caused a stand loss in fields with the treatment and anyone using the product should scout for damage, and consider higher rates next year.

Bean leaf beetles are on the warning list of MO Extension, where numbers have exceeded economic thresholds on early planted beans without insecticides. Flea beetles were also spotted in corn fields where seed did not have insecticide treatments. Find management tips.

Growing season weather should be good, says meteorologist Jim Noel at Ohio State. He’s calling for the summer season to be close to normal rainfall and temperature, with limited heatwaves during the summer. He attributes that to sunspots, and the lack of La Nina and El Nino. But he’s expecting an El Nino to be in the forecast for the fall and winter, which means drier than normal with good fall harvest conditions.

Livestock producers will want to “bookmark” a reference point to obtain accurate information about a wide variety of animal diseases, including hoof and mouth disease, BSE or mad cow disease, anthrax, avian flu, Johne’s, and west nile virus. Links to authoritative sources are here.

Posted by Stu Ellis on 06/05 at 01:20 AM | Permalink

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