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FrIday, JaN. 31, 2014

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FarM NEWS / Fort dodGE, IoWa

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Weather outlook—

Early signs say above trendline yields (with snow cover not removed) are experiencing between 10 and 20 inches of frozen ground, which, he said is a lot, considering winter is not quite halfway over. He said the frost typically goes deeper in January and February as temperatures rise and freeze repeatedly. In areas where snow has been removed—such as under roadways, Hillaker said the ground could be frozen as far down as four feet. Cold weather and reduced snow cover contribute to those kinds of conditions, he said.

Caution is watch word for spring plantling By KAREN SCHWALLER kschwaller@evertek.net

While the oceans hold many secrets, the secret to upcoming weather also lies there, according to Elwynn Taylor, climatologist and ag meteorologist for Iowa State University. “Eighty percent of the precipitation that Harry falls in the Hillaker Midwest in the late spring and going into summer is because of high pressure systems that have their origins from Bryce the gulf,” Anderson Taylor said. “The high pressure systems form over the oceans. “We look at what’s happening over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and even at what’s happening near the equator to see what will be happening in the Midwestern Corn Belt for the upcoming year.” Though it’s too early at this point to make those predictions, Taylor said ag producers will want to have more focused attention on the El Nino and La Nina systems as they emerge, which will be happening the closer it gets to March or April. “If we have an El Nino year, there is a 70 percent chance that the U.S. corn yield will be above trend line, with the trend being at 160 bushels per acre,” he said. “If there is no El Nino or La Nina affect, there is a 50-50 chance that corn yields will be affected, but if we have a strong La Nina year, there is a 70 percent chance that U.S. corn yields will be lower than trend line.” He said the U.S. has experienced six consecutive years of higher-than-normal corn yields, followed by four consecutive years when corn yields were under the trend

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-Farm News file photo

DR. ElwyNN TAylOR, ISU climatologist and ag meteorologist, said if 2014 weather shifts into an El Nino pattern, there is a 70 percent chance of above-trendline yields, estimated at 160 bushels per acre or greater. If it becomes a La Nina pattern, there is a 70 percent chance of below-trendline yields. He said it’s too early Monitor January 14, 2014 to tell which itU.S. will Drought be or if the pattern will remain neutral as in 2013.

Iowa

(Released Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014) Valid 7 a.m. EST

Drought Conditions (Percent Area) None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 Current Last Week 1/7/2014

3 Months Ago 10/15/2013

Start of Calendar Year

23.40

76.60

23.40

52.56

19.70

0.00

D4 0.00

76.60

52.56

19.70

0.00

0.00

11.00

89.00

68.27

35.00

1.76

0.00

23.40

76.60

52.56

19.70

0.00

0.00

5.32

94.68

78.89

38.39

1.76

0.00

0.00

100.00 100.00 58.33

32.26

1.23

12/31/2013

Start of Water Year 10/1/2013

One Year Ago 1/15/2013

Intensity: D0 Abnormally Dry

D3 Extreme Drought

D1 Moderate Drought

D4 Exceptional Drought

D2 Severe Drought

The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary. See accompanying text summary for forecast statements.

Author: Eric Luebehusen U.S. Department of Agriculture

-Contributed graphic

THE MOST RECENT drought monitor map for Iowa shows, as of Jan. 21, much of the Farm News coverage area —north of I-80 and west of I-35, ranges from abnormally dry to severe drought. Much of the counties of Ida, Sac, Calhoun, http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ Webster, Crawford, Carroll and Greene are in severe drought conditions. line averages. “For what we are seeing right now, the odds favor a slightly higher trend line yield for U.S. corn—roughly 166 bushels per acre,” Taylor said. “El Nino is our friend, while La Nina offers a higher risk of crop damage.” Taylor said the U.S. Drought Monitor shows there is still some concern over lingering effects of the drought that are persisting in the Corn Belt, particularly in the western half. But he said the highest concern of that is on the west coast, at least for now.

The polar vortex that consumed the Midwest in early January is expected to get stronger and move farther south by month’s end, causing cold to intensify in the Midwest and East, and for drought to build in California and points west. Taylor said this type of “harshness” for the winter is cyclic, and was common during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. “We’ll be expecting more of this type of extreme weather over the next 20 years, than we’ve experienced in the previous 20 years,” he said, adding that it

affects summer temperatures as well as those of winter. “If we have a ‘Dust Bowl’ period, it will most likely occur around the year 2025, based on past similar events that have been equally spaced,” he said. A cautious spring Bryce Anderson, senior ag meteorologist for “DTN/The Progressive Farmer” said caution will be the key word this year. “The extensive dryness we are seeing in the western U.S. and the southwestern Plains, along with the recent

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dry trend in the western Corn Belt, has me very cautious regarding moisture for this crop year,” he said. It’s too early to predict what weather patterns will be for this year’s crop season. “As far as Iowa goes,” Anderson said, “normal March and April spring rains will get us in good shape for the next growing season— we don’t have anything to catch up with at this point.” Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, said it’s been a while since the state has experienced as much cold as it has so far this winter. As a result, combined with lesser amounts of snow cover and relatively dry soil, more of the ground is frozen, and is frozen further down. “This can be good because you can get rid of more agricultural pests that might otherwise overwinter and be more prolific next growing season,” he said. “It also regenerates the soil structure because of the expansion and contraction of freezing and thawing. “It helps reduce compaction from field work from last spring when things were so wet.” On the other hand, he said, the deep frost layer could hurt alfalfa cover crops because of the ground being frozen so deeply. But areas throughout the state that go undisturbed

2013 review Hillaker said rainfall for 2013 was overall more favorable than in 2012 for the state as a whole, with nearly 9 inches more precipitation over the previous year. He called that substantial. “Almost everywhere in the state had more rain with only a few exceptions,” he said. “Five counties out of 99 in Iowa got more rain, with Montgomery County being the wettest county in the state, and Dickinson County being the garden spot in 2013, with the rains coming at critical growing points.” He said on the dryer end of the spectrum, southwest Iowa had the least wet spring last year, with less trouble getting the crops into the ground and time to allow crops more time to develop before the weather turned around in July and August. He said the far north central and northeast Iowa had the worst of it. “In a few places June was wet as they were in April and May, with Mitchell County being the worst off,” Hillaker said. “A pretty good percentage of the county didn’t even get its crops planted at all. “It just stayed too wet to allow planting — even soybeans — well into July when it’s too late to bother with it.” Mid to late-season dryness complicated things in west central Iowa, Hillaker said, pinpointing Carroll County as an area which suffered from extreme drought conditions as summer progressed. Hillaker said the 2013 growing season ended with more soil moisture almost everywhere in the state than after the 2012 season, however, he still thinks the longer-term focus shows the upcoming growing year will be dryer than usual

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FarM NewS / Fort DoDge, Iowa

www.farm-news.com

FrIDay, JaN. 31, 2014

2014 Corn Edition

Ethanol’s cleaner emissions improving Study: Marginal crude oil’s carbon impact is climbing (AUC) — According to a new study that compared the greenhouse gas emission reductions of corn ethanol and those of crude oil production and fracking, corn ethanol’s carbon intensity is declining, while the carbon intensity of petroleum is increasing. In a press release, the Americans United for Change identified the study, issued Jan. 16 by Life Cycle Associates, found the carbon impacts associated with crude oil production continue to worsen as more marginal sources of fuel are introduced into the fuel supply. “As the average carbon intensity of petroleum is gradually increasing,� the report said, “the carbon intensity of corn ethanol is declining. “Corn ethanol producers are motivated by economics to reduce the energy inputs and improve product yields.� The study, commissioned

by the Renewable Fuels Association, found that average corn ethanol reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent compared to average petroleum in 2012. This estimate includes prospective emissions from indirect land use change for corn ethanol. When compared to marginal petroleum sources like tight oil from fracking and oil sands, average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 37 to 40 percent. As more unconventional crude oil sources enter the U.S. oil supply, and as corn ethanol production processes become even more efficient, the carbon impacts of ethanol and crude oil will continue to diverge. The study predicts that by 2022, average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 43 to 60 percent compared to petroleum.

-Farm News file photo

A NEW STUDY, issued Jan. 16, shows that ethanol’s carbon footprint is shrinking, while refining marginal petroleum is getting dirtier. “The majority of unconventional fuel sources emit significantly more GHG emissions than both biofuels and conventional fossil fuel sources,� the study said. “The biggest future impacts on the U.S. oil slate are expected to come from oil sands and fracking production.� In the absence of biofuels, “significant quantities of

marginal oil would be fed into U.S. refineries, generating corresponding emissions penalties that would be further aggravated in the absence of renewable fuel alternatives.� The study also reveals several fundamental flaws with the GHG analysis conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the expanded Renewable Fuel

Standard regulations. For an example: corn ethanol was already determined to reduce GHG emissions by 21 percent compared to gasoline in 2005, according to the analysis. Yet, the EPA’s analysis for the RFS2 assumes corn ethanol GHG reductions won’t reach 21 percent until 2022. The EPA’s analysis also assumes the carbon intensity of crude oil will be the same in 2022 as it was in 2005, a presumption that has already been disproven by the realworld increase in the carbon intensity of crude oil. As unconventional sources of crude oil have grown in recent years, the carbon intensity of petroleum fuels has increased above the baseline levels initially identified in the Renewable Fuel Standard.� The authors called on EPA to address several shortcomings with its analysis. “When it comes to

ethanol’s carbon footprint,� said Bob Dinneen, RFA president and chief executive officer, “biofuel critics and some regulatory agencies are unfortunately stuck in the past. “We don’t need to wait until 2022 for corn ethanol to deliver on its promise to reduce GHG emissions. This study uses the latest data and modeling tools to show that corn ethanol has significantly reduced GHG emissions from the transportation sector since enactment of the original RFS in 2005. “Further, the report highlights that ethanol’s GHG performance will continue to improve and diverge with crude oil sources that will only get dirtier as time goes on.� When ethanol is appropriately compared to the unconventional petroleum sources, Dinneen said, it is replacing at the margin, the GHG benefits are even more obvious.

CT-scans reveal soil compaction impacts WISC. MADISon, (ASA) —The large, airfilled spaces, or macropores, in untilled soil often resemble the branching vessels of the human circulatory system. Taking advantage of this similarity, a team of nordic researchers, led by Per Schjonning, of th University of Helsinki, combined tomography computed scanning with traditional

measurements of air exchange to diagnose the long-term impacts of soil compaction on the hidden, but vital, soil pore network. In farm settings, soil can become compressed and unnaturally dense when heavy farm machinery is driven over it. But what the system of pores looks like in compacted soil hasn't been well studied.

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When the nordic scientists examined cores of compacted, heavy clay subsoil from a research site in Finland, they found the macropores were greatly affected compared with a non-compacted, control soil. In particular, the compacted soil contained mostly long, vertical arterial pores, or pipes, with significantly fewer marginal pores branching from them. Schjonning’s findings appeared in the nov.-Dec. 2013 issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal. Compaction also reduced the size of the vertical arter-

ies, and just as in the human body, this constriction of the soil's "circulatory" system can have ill effects, Schjonning wrote. Blocked and narrowed pores likely impede the diffusion of air through bulk soil, the scientists say. The dominance of vertical pipes in the compacted soil also suggests that water flows mostly downward, with relatively little reaching the surrounding soil matrix. Both of these changes can reduce crop productivity. But most troubling to the researchers was how lasting the impacts of compaction

appear to be. In the study, the group examined soil cores taken from a depth of 0.3 to 0.4 meters (0.9 to 1.2 feet) in plots where 30 years earlier a heavy tractor-trailer drove over the ground four times in an experimental treatment. Smaller farm equipment was used in subsequent years. Despite the three decades of elapsed time, macropores in the compacted subsoil were still highly altered compared with control soils, indicating a poor ability of this heavy clay soil to recover its original structure.

What's more, the damage was done by wheel loads (7,000 pounds per tractor rear wheel and 10,600 pounds per trailer wheel) that are considerably lower than those used in agriculture today. What this all says, Schjonning said, is that while subsoil compaction is easy to ignore because it's hard to see, it definitely deserves more study, say the researchers. And what better to help diagnose this hidden problem than CT-a medical instrument that detects equally stealthy problems in the human body?

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Friday, Jan. 31, 2014

www.farm-news.com

Farm news / Fort dodGe, iowa

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2014 Corn Edition

Can corn prices be higher next year? Good: Futures prices don’t reflect large carryover URBANA, Ill. (University of Illinois) — Much of the discussion in the corn market, and in crop markets in general, has become focused on the potential for a protracted period of low prices and the likely impact on farm incomes and land values. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good, there even appears to be some competition relative to who can forecast the lowest corn prices for next year and beyond, which is just opposite the situation of a year ago when the drought-reduced U.S. crop invoked forecasts of extreme prices on the high side. “While the corn market sentiment seems to have become negative for price prospects for an extended period, the futures market is actually offering higher prices for the 2014 crop than for the 2013 crop and even higher prices for the 2015 crop,” Good said. “At this writing, December 2015 corn futures were trading 52 cents higher than December 2013 futures. “Prices for the 2016 crop are also higher than prices for the 2013 and 2014 crops.” Good reported that the premium for 2014 and 2015 crops seemingly reflects the “carry” in the market stemming from the large 2013 crop and prospects for large stocks at the end of the current marketing year. The premium of deferred futures within the current marketing year is consistent with the expected price pattern when production is large. “This price structure reflects the cost of storage and encourages consumption sooner rather than later,” Good said. “However, theory suggests that the price structure should reset beginning with prices for delivery of the 2014 crop and again with prices for deferred crop years. “That is, if supplies are expected to be abundant again next year, December 2014 futures should be near the price of December 2013 futures with deferred prices within the 2014-15 marketing year reflecting a carry. “That pattern should be repeated for the 2015-16 marketing year. “The reason that prices do not reset in the manner described is that the market expects the price level to be different next year than during the current year,” Good said. “In the current case, the market is anticipating prices to move higher next year and remain higher than current prices for the next three years.

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Iowa corn price falls $2.62 By USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service The preliminary December 2013 average price received by farmers for corn in Iowa is $4.30 per bushel. This is a decrease of 9 cents from the November 2013 price and $2.62 lower than December 2012. The preliminary December 2013 Iowa average soybean price, at $12.90 per bushel, is up 20 cents from November 2013, but $1.40 lower than the previous December. The preliminary December 2013 oat price is $4.25 per bushel, up 1 cent from November 2013 and 10 cents above December 2012. All hay prices in Iowa averaged $176 per ton in December 2013, down $8 from November 2013 and $22 per ton less than December 2012. Alfalfa hay prices fell $25 per ton from one year

Prices received by Iowa farmers Dec. 2012

Corn (bu) Soybeans (bu) Oats (bu) All hay baled (ton) Milk (cwt)

Nov. Dec. 2013 2013 ---Dollars--6.92 4.39 4.30 14.30 12.70 12.90 4.15 4.24 4.25 198.00 184.00 176.00 21.70 22.20 22.40

Prices received by U.S. farmers Dec. 2012

Corn (bu) Soybeans (bu) Oats (bu) All hay baled (ton) All hogs (cwt) Beef cattle (cwt) Milk (cwt)

Nov. Dec. 2013 2013 ---Dollars--6.87 4.35 4.31 14.30 12.70 13.00 3.90 3.40 3.44 189.00 171.00 168.00 62.40 63.60 62.10 124.00 130.00 130.00 20.80 21.60 21.80 -Source USDA-NASS

ago, to $195 and other hay prices were $15 per ton lower than last year, at $130. Iowa dairy farmers received an average of

$22.40 per hundredweight for milk sold in December 2013, up 20 cents from November 2013, and 70 cents per cwt above one year ago.

“Based on historical production responses, corn acreage outside the United States may stabilize following the recent decline in prices, but a substantial reduction in acreage would not be expected.” —Darrell Good University of Illinois agricultural economist

“The price structure seems to be at odds with general market sentiment.” Good explained that higher corn prices next year and beyond would have to come from some combination of reduced foreign production, smaller U.S. crops, or an increased demand for corn. Increased demand is not synonymous with an increase in consumption associated with lower prices. Instead, increased demand is defined as the willingness of end users (domestic

and foreign) to consume more corn at a given price, or conversely, to pay higher prices for a given level of consumption. The question is, is it realistic to expect any of these conditions to unfold? “The generally high corn prices since 2006 have stimulated an increase in foreign corn production,” Good said. “The USDA estimates 2013-14 foreign production to be 46 percent larger than production in 2005-06. “Based on historical production re-

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sponses, corn acreage outside the United States may stabilize following the recent decline in prices, but a substantial reduction in acreage would not be expected.” If that is the case, he said, reduced production would have to be the result of poor weather and lower yields. It is likely premature for the market to expect widespread poor yields in 2014, particularly with generally favorable weather conditions in South America. “Some increase in corn demand outside of the U.S. associated with population and income growth seems to be a reasonable expectation,” Good said. “Potential corn demand by China is of the most interest. “A small increase in domestic demand for corn could also be generated by an expansion in broiler and hog production. There will be much interest in the USDA’s Hogs and Pigs report to be released on Dec. 27. “The potential increase in foreign and/or domestic demand may explain a portion of the higher prices for the 2014 crop,” he said. Good said that the most commonly cited reason for higher corn prices next year is the expectation that U.S. producers will trim acreage and production in response to the decline in corn prices. “It is difficult to imagine that total crop acreage will decline in 2014,” Good said, “given the 8.3 million acres of prevented plantings in 2013 and the 1.6 million acres released from the Conservation Reserve Program this year. “Smaller corn acreage would have to be the result of a substantial shift to other crops. Current price relationships do not point to a large shift. That leaves 2014 yield as the major factor that could support higher corn prices next year. “Not much can be said about yield potential at this point, but expecting yields below trend is less reasonable than expecting yields at or above trend value.” Good outlined challenges corn producers are facing in making pricing decisions for next year’s crop. “Current conditions suggest that corn prices next year will be lower than currently reflected in the futures market,” he said, “but it is early and a lot can change. “For those who use crop revenue insurance, the challenge is to assess price risk between now and the end of February when insurance prices are established. “If the real threat to prices is the size of next year’s U.S. crop, downside price risk may be limited until after February.”

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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

www.farm-news.com

FrIDay, JaN. 31, 2014

2014 Corn Edition

Comparing NASS, FSA planted acreage data URBANA, Ill. (University of Illinois) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released final estimates of planted and harvested crop acreage for 2013 in the Crop Production 2013 Summary report on Jan. 10. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency released its final report of planted acreage for 2013 on Jan. 15. For 2013, the final NASS estimate of planted acreage of corn was 95.365 million acres while the final acreage reported to FSA was 92.399 million acres. The difference was 2.966 million acres, with the FSA acreage estimate representing 96.89 percent of the NASS estimate. These relationships are within the range of the differences in the previous six years when the difference between the two estimates ranged from 2.381 million acres to 3.295 million acres and the FSA estimate ranged from 96.42 to 97.45 percent of the NASS estimate. For soybeans, the final NASS estimate of planted acreage in 2013 was 76.533 million acres, while the final acreage reported to FSA was 75.299 million acres. The difference was 1.234 million acres, with the FSA acreage estimate representing 98.39 percent of the NASS estimate. These relationships are within the range of the differences in the previous six years when the difference between the two estimates ranged from 0.917 million acres to 1.884 million acres and the FSA estimate ranged from 97.09 to 98.79 percent of the NASS estimate. According to a Universi-

Crop summary for Iowa, U.S. 2012-2013 U.S.

IOWA Crop

All corn Oats Soybeans All hay Alfalfa hay Other hay

All purposes 2012 2013

For grain 2012 2013

1,000 acres

1,000 acres

14,200 130 9,350 (NA) (NA) (NA)

14,000 130 9,500 (NA) (NA) (NA)

13,700 13,500 58 50 9,300 9,430 1,140 1,150 730 700 410 410

All corn Oats Soybeans All hay Alfalfa hay Other hay

All purposes 2012 2013

For grain 2012 2013

1,000 acres

1,000 acres

97,155 2,760 77,198 (NA) (NA) (NA)

97,379 3,026 77,728 (NA) (NA) (NA)

87,375 1,045 76,104 56,260 17,292 38,968

89,135 1,196 76,918 56,617 17,662 38,955

-Source USDA-NASS

ty of Illinois agricultural economist, there may be some misunderstanding or confusion about how the two estimates of planted acreage are generated and how the estimates should compare. “The NASS estimates of planted acreage incorporate both survey and administrative data,” said Darrel Good. “The primary survey data are collected in the December Agricultural Survey of producers. The survey is conducted by mail, phone, Internet, and personal interview in all states except Hawaii. The survey is a probability survey in the sense that operations surveyed represent a sample drawn from a list of all producers in such a way that all operations have a chance to be included.” The December 2013 survey was conducted between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17 with a sample size of 82,403 producers, according to the Jan. 10 NASS executive summary. Respondents were asked to report the acreage of each crop planted for all purpos-

“The FSA estimates in September 2013 provided an early indication that NASS September corn and soybean acreage estimates were too high.” —Darrell Good University of Illinois agricultural economist

es for all land operated by the respondent. Based on the survey data, each state field office submits an estimate and written analysis to the NASS Agricultural Statistics Board. The survey data and written analysis are used along with administrative data to prepare the final estimates of planted acreage, harvested acreage, yield and production. The administrative data are primarily the planted acreage data reported to and summarized by the FSA. “The FSA requires producers,” Good said, “participating in the direct and counter-cyclical payment program and the Average Crop Revenue Election program along with those who receive marketing assis-

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tance loans or loan deficiency payments to file an annual report regarding all cropland use on their farms. “Producers self-report to the FSA, but the failure to file an accurate and timely report can result in the loss of program benefits. Producers report planted acreage, prevented acreage, and failed acreage by crop.” Good said that the planted-acreage data collected by the FSA should be accurate, but are incomplete because not all producers are required to report. “In contrast, the NASS estimates are for all planted acreage,” he said, “but the estimates are subject to sampling error since not every producer is surveyed. “The NASS estimates of

planted acreage of each crop should be larger than the FSA estimates because not all producers participate in FSA programs.” The relationship between the two estimates should be generally consistent from year to year since NASS uses the FSA estimates as input for final estimates. Variation in the magnitude of the differences from year to year could reflect such things as differing rates of participation in FSA programs and NASS sampling errors, Good said. For wheat, the final NASS estimate of planted acreage in 2013 was 56.156 million acres while the final acreage reported to FSA was 53.775 million acres.\ The difference was 2.381 million acres, with the FSA acreage estimate representing 95.76 percent of the NASS estimate. These relationships are within the range of the differences in the previous six years when the difference between the two estimates ranged from 1.171 million acres to 2.779 million acres

and the FSA estimate ranged from 94.81 to 98.06 percent of the NASS estimate. “The relationship between FSA and NASS planted-acreage estimates can be useful in forming early expectations of the NASS final-acreage estimates,” Good said. “FSA releases reports of planted acreage monthly from August through January, reflecting the producer reports received and processed to date. “Beginning in October, NASS formally uses the FSA estimates as input for their estimates. In most years, however, the September FSA estimates are close to the final FSA estimates, or can be used to anticipate final FSA estimates, and therefore final NASS estimates. “The FSA estimates in September 2013, for example, provided an early indication that NASS September corn and soybean acreage estimates were too high, having not yet fully reflected the magnitude of prevented plantings.”

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6C

FArM NEWS / FOrT DODgE, IOWA

www.farm-news.com

FrIDAy, JAN. 31, 2014

2014 Corn Edition

Farmers weight the stover option By KAREN SCHWALLER kschwaller@evertek.net

SPENCER—The truth is, when it comes to deciding whether or not to harvest corn stover, there is no cookie-cutter approach to knowing whether it’s right for every producer. More than 60 curious grain and livestock producers gathered at the Clay County Regional Events CenKapil ter in Arora Spencer on Jan. 14 to hear officials from Iowa State University Extension talk about pros and cons of harvesting corn stover. Stover is Paul all aboveKassel ground plant material other than grain. The meeting was called because opportunities exist near the Emmetsburg area to support the biomass feedstock needs of a cellulosic ethanol plant. POETDSM’s Project Liberty cellulosic ethanol plant is expected to produce 25 million gallons of ethanol per year once its kicks into full production in 2014. “The whole purpose of harvesting corn stover is to allow corn farmers to be more profitable,” said Dr. David Ertl, technology commercialization manager for the Iowa Corn Growers Association. “We see corn stover harvesting as an opportunity to add profit to your operation, but it’s got to be done sustanedly.” Ertl said sustanedly means it’s good for soil quality and profitable to do. “Most of the concerns we hear from farmers are about soil quality,” he said. “With

-Farm News photo by Larry Kershner

STACKS OF LARGE square bales of corn stover are evident along Iowa Highway 17 from Webster City to Boone. The bales are for the Dupont Pioneer cellulosic ethanol plant under construction in Nevada. There are more than 300 bales in the foreground stack and more than 225 bales in the stack visible in the background.

“We see corn stover harvesting as an opportunity to add profit to your operation, but it’s got to be done sustanedly.” —Steve Erupt Iowa Corn Growers Association

-Farm News photo by Karen Schwaller

FARMERS LISTENED and shared ideas during the Jan. 14 stover meeting in Spencer held by POETDSM and Iowa State University. After hearing the pros and cons presented they were encouraged to determine the feasibility of harvesting corn stover residue from their fields. proper care and attention, you can make good use of corn stover.” Ertl said corn stover harvest isn’t for all soils. If a field has a 3 percent or more slope, no stover should be harvested. He said that with a corn-oncorn rotation and reduced

tillage, it can be a sustainable practice. Ertl said producers should consider the environmental impact, agronomic and soil quality factors, logistics, economics and benefits of harvesting corn residue. Environmental consider-

ations might include slope and water/wind erosion potential, tillage practices, soil type and cover crops. “It irks me when I read (in the media) that corn stover is considered an ag waste product,” said Ertl. “On my way here I was pleased to see how much stover has been left on the fields. “We all know the value it provides for erosion control.” Agronomic and soil quality considerations include residue management and tillage practices, rotation, nutrients removed and fertility requirements, impact on soil carbon and organic matter and compaction.

“Corn stover harvesting could mean more trips across the field during harvest,” Ertl said, “but it’s offset with fewer trips across the field for tillage.” Logistics considerations include harvesting techniques (raking, windrowing, chopping, baling); storage (moisture, cover, dry matter loss, spoilage); and handling and transportation. Economic considerations include understanding the full costs and impacts of the stover harvesting practice, such as equipment and capital, operating costs, nutrient replacement, and time and complexity. Ertl said the benefits include reduced residue to

manage, along with reduced tillage; improved seedbed conditions, additional income from corn acres, and support of a local company that is supporting agriculture. “It you’re looking for an answer on whether or do this or not, we can’t say,” said Ertl. “It could be a field-to-field decision to make. “This is a very new aspect of corn production and not all the answers are out there yet — there is still a lot of research being done.” Baling options Kapil Arora, a field agricultural engineer with ISU Extension, said for every ton of grain per acre there is also a ton of stover. Producing 25 million gallons of ethanol per year would require 335,000 tons of biomass per year—about 700,000 large bales of corn stover. One large bale equals 1,000 pounds, so a large bale would equal 40 gallons See STOVER, Page 7C

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farm news / fort dodge, iowa

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2014 Corn Edition

Stover

Continued from Page 6C

of cellulosic ethanol. Arora said stover is baled in large square bales and round bales. Squares, he said, offer a solidpack bale, but unless tarped, allows rain water to soak in because they are flat. Round bales, he said, are less solid, and when stacked, allow rain water to run off of one and onto the one below it. Refinery officials look for stover that is clean, with low ash content and low moisture content. He showed producers various machines that could be used to harvest stover, ranging from pullbehind windrowing implements used after harvest to a combine that tows a baler directly behind. “One of the ways you could increase your corn stover is to look at getting an auger for the side of the combine,” he said, telling producers that a thick windrow could be made from blowing stover residue into a row from two directions as the combine moves across the field. Arora said a benefit of having a custom baler on the back of the combine is that the stalks don’t hit the ground, so they are the cleanest they can be. However, he said something like that would most likely require more horsepower to get two jobs done at one time. He said it could also slow harvest time because of the extra process as the combine goes through the field. He said stalk-chopping windrowers produce higher quality corn stover, because of its lower ash content, adding that large square bales offer better handling for high volume biomass compared to round bales. To maximize the productivity of large square balers, tractors would need more than 250 horsepower. Bale storage becomes an issue as well. Arora said each time a bale is moved, air is reintroduced into the bales, and they sweat. He said they sweat every time they are moved, creating moisture issues. Storing bales under a roof is the best option, he said, but would be

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Pros and cons of harvesting stover A large number of variables come into play when determining if stover harvest is right for a farming operation. Stover harvest may have benefits to an operation, but also may have some negative effects. The decision whether to harvest stover depends on whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. These include: PROS ∫ Excessive stover can make tillage difficult and may require multiple passes to adequately manage the residue. Removing some stover in these situations can reduce tillage trips, saving money, fuel, time and compaction. ∫ Excessive stover can interfere with planting operations and emergence. It can physically interfere with planter units during planting and can reduce good seed-to-soil contact, reducing emergence. Removal of stover may increase seed germination and emergence. ∫ Heavy residue can slow the drying and warming of soil in the spring. This is problematic in heavy wet soils and can delay planting and emergence. Reducing the amount of stover may allow the soils to warm up and dry faster in the spring to facilitate planting. ∫ There is some evidence that heavy residue has a detrimental effect on the yield of the following year’s corn crop. It may be due to allelopathy, immobilized nitrogen, emergence and reduced stand, or perhaps all three. Having reduced amounts of stover may have a positive effect on the yield of the following corn crop in a continuous corn situation. ∫ Stover can be a source of pathogens, which may increase incidence of some diseases in the following corn crop. Reduced stover may improve plant health of the following corn crop. ∫ Removal of stover provides an economic benefit whether the stover is being used on-farm such costly for many. Tarping them works, but they can be labor intensive. An ISU study showed that for bales that are have less than 25 percent moisture, dry matter loss was greatest in the anaerobic state of storage. For bales with greater than 25 percent moisture, dry matter loss was greatest in tarped bales. “If you deliver stover with higher moisture or ash content, (some companies) won’t pay you as much,” Arora said. Arora advised against harvest-

as feed or bedding, or if sold as an additional source of income from the corn crop. ∫ Harvesting stover reuses the carbon in stover for another use rather than allowing it to return directly to the atmosphere as carbon monoxide from the field. CONS ∫ Excessive removal of stover will expose soil to erosion. Stover contains nutrients which are removed with the stover. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be replaced through fertilizer, but with added cost. ∫ Stover harvest incurs additional equipment, fuel and labor costs. ∫ Stover is a source of organic matter for soils. Therefore, enough stover should be left in the field to prevent loss of organic matter. ∫ Harvesting stover means more trips across the fields, which carries a cost and may also contribute to compaction especially if done when fields are wet. ∫ On soils with poor water-holding capacity, surface residue can help maintain higher moisture content in the soils and prevent them from drying out. Removal of stover may lead to drier soils and decreased yield on lighter soils. ∫ Stover harvest can be delayed by weather, which may delay other field operations. ∫ Stover harvest is one more operation to fit into the busy fall season. ∫ Stover harvest may impact contracts for rented ground.

ing too much stover, but in cases where the ground is more black, planting a cover crop could be beneficial. However, he said, if the cover crop gets too tall, producers could need to go in with a stalk chopper or similar implement, and that wet matter could get into stover bales, making them less valuable.

as much biomass as it does grain. “That’s unique in the agronomy world,” he said, adding that the crop residue value of corn stover comes with retention of soil moisture, reduction of erosion, maintaining of organic matter, improving soil structure, improving crop yields when done effectively, and renewing energy feedstocks. Kassel said some potential dangers lurk behind residue removal, including the potential decline of soil carbon and quality, greater soil erosion risk — especially on high-slope areas, and

Quality and nutrients Paul Kassel, an ISU field agronomist, talked about nutrient and soil quality concerns, saying corn is a unique crop because it creates

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long-term yield reduction. He said removal of some stover could actually increase soil carbons, but too much removal could reduce overall total organic carbons, reducing soil productivity. This result varies with soil types. “In a perfect world you would want a lower bulk density in the soil — where you would sink in when you walk on it,” Kassel said.”As you remove more residue the density goes up.” Kassel said residue removal allows soils to warm faster in spring leading to improved germination on poorly drained soils. A switch to no-till and slightly increased nitrogen rates can minimize soil carbon loss due to residue removal, and that higher amounts of residue removal can cause higher bulk densities and decreased water infiltration, promoting erosion. “Residue removal rates should be determined with consideration for tillage, site characteristics, fertility and productivity in order to maintain soil health,” Kassel said. Tests done by ISU Extension showed that stover harvesting reduced the economic optimal nitrogen rate by 20 to 40 pounds of nitrogen per acre, and did not affect yield on fields that were tilled, but increased yield with no-till practices by 5 to 6 percent. Kassel said corn stover has 50 percent less nitrogen and 25 percent phosphorous than grain, but it has 250 percent more potassium than grain. He said farmers need to monitor closely the comparison between nutrient values of the corn and stover, and the cost of harvesting it, along with the cost of nutrient and fertilizer applications to accommodate for the stover removal. Results from one ISU study showed that some stover removal resulted in lower soil nutrient applications with little to slightly higher yield results, but those results varied with tillage practices. The POET-DSM ethanol plant in Emmetsburg is expected to create 40 new jobs, along with feedstock sourcing generating $21 million per year in local revenue.

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farm news / fort DoDge, Iowa

www.farm-news.com

frIDay, Jan. 31, 2014

2014 Corn Edition

10 years ago t is very doubtful anybody remembers what happened on Feb. 17, 2004. It was a day that was important locally and an especially significant day on this farm. It was a day that was part of a series of events that affected people’s lives in much of the world, but especially here in the Midwest. I am trying to build a little suspense here because I believe when you hear what happened 10 years ago, you will say, “Has it been that long?� Enough of the hinting, Feb. 17, 2004 was the day the POET Biorefinery ethanol plant took its first load of corn in Hanlontown and, as they say, the rest is history.

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To me, 2004 was the year the ethanol industry started making its impact that was Clayton felt in the Rye corn marfarm news staff ket first. Its impact led to increased land prices, caused other commodities such as soybeans and wheat to adjust their prices to remain competitive, created a food-versusfuel debate that has not ended after a decade, and made a government program based on price supports meaningless. And that’s for starters. There is the boost in farm income that helped farm country in particular that can be seen in large and

many new buildings occupied by machinery dealers. The size of tractors, combines and implements increased dramatically. The seed and herbicide industry and their dealers benefited from the new demand. New technology led by global positioning systems and anything that could let a corn grower do a better job was quickly adopted. Farmers’ plans had the goal of trying to grow every bushel they could and did not include trying to maximize their government payments though three-letter acronyms that we have almost forgotten — LDP, CCP and PCP. A few weeks before the local ethanol plant opened, I wrote a column I titled, “Countdown.� Here is and excerpt: “Corn prices have improved locally about 10

We corn growers intend to live up to the term “corn grower� in every sense of the phrase for ethanol, livestock and exports. cents a bushel because of the plant. We’ve also had an improvement of corn prices nationally. “Today the ethanol plant is paying $2.60 a bushel with the area elevators paying just over $2.50 per bushel. A year ago it was $2.10 a bushel, two years ago it was $1.70 a bushel, and three years ago it was $1.75 a bushel.� We have gone from selling corn from around $2 a bushel with an 8 to 9 billion bushel annual crop when this century began to a 13 to 14 billion bushel corn

crop that, until 2014, was priced at $6 to $7 a bushel. It was the first time in my memory we did not hear that phrase that was used back in 1990s about “burdensome supplies of corn.� Corn was no longer a drag on the market, but was a market leader. Here is another excerpt that column 10 years ago: “I hope you can feel my enthusiasm for this shot in the corn market arm. “I’ve sold too much corn for too many years for less than $2 a bushel. “This will be a welcome change. These are prices I

Iowa is nation’s leader in ethanol production Iowa has 42 ethanol plants and produces 30 percent of z POET Biorefining in Ashton, Coon Rapids, Emmetsall ethanol in the U.S. Iowa ethanol plants have the ca- burg, Gowrie, Hanlontown and Jewell. pacity to produce approximately 3.7 billion gallons of z Anderson Denison Ethanol LLC. in Denison. ethanol annually. z Quad County Corn Processors in Galva. Within the Farm News coverage area there are 21 dry z Corn LP in Goldfield. mill facilities and one wet-milling plant — Cargill in Fort z Green Plains Renewable Energy in Lakota. Dodge. The 22 dry-milling plants are: z Little Sioux Corn Processors in Marcus. z Valero Renewables in Albert City, Fort Dodge and z Golden Grain Energy LLC in Mason City. Hartley. z Lincolnway Energy in Nevada. z Flint Hills Resources Renewables Inc. in Arthur and z Siouxland Energy and Livestock LLC in Sioux Center. Iowa Falls. z Pine Lake Corn Processors LLC in Steamboat Rock.

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used to only dream about. “I will enjoy them as long as I can.� What a ride the last decade has been for all of us in agriculture. Nothing lasts forever, be it good or bad, and another time of adjustment is here as we make plans for corn sales of around $4 a bushel. We will try to grow every bushel we can to keep our income up, but this time we will be watching our expenses more carefully. Purchases of everything from seed to machinery to bins to land will be made with more caution than that of the last 10 years. We corn growers will do everything we can to fill those large shiny bins that have been built in recent years. We corn growers intend to live up to the term “corn grower� in every sense of the phrase for ethanol, livestock and exports. One more thing about what happened on Feb. 17, 2004 — the first load of corn across the scale and into the pit came from our farm. It was our corn that started taking the paint off all that brand new equipment. “Has it already been 10 years?�

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FaRm newS / FoRT DoDge, iowa

9C

2014 Corn Edition

Multi-hybrid planter advances ag University, private collaboration made it possible BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — When South Dakota State University plant scientist Peter Sexton needed a new row-crop planter at the Agricultural Experiment Station’s Southeast Research Farm near Beresford, he looked to the future — in terms of equipment and networking. With support from the experiment farm board, the nonprofit growers’ corporation that owns the farm, Sexton and SDSU forged a partnership with Sioux Falls-based Raven Industries and DuPont Pioneer. The collaboration resulted in a twin-row planter with the ability to automatically switch hybrids while seeding on-the-go based on global positioning system mapping of the field. It’s the world’s first multi-hybrid planter, which is testament to the value and ingenuity of this collabora-Contributed photo tive effort in identifying in- MULTI-HYBRID PLANTER technology allows for switching hybrids on the go. novative solutions for the The letters S-D-S-U were planted into a field on the Southeast Research Farm future of agriculture. near Beresford, S.D. The darker green is soybeans, and the lighter area is sunflowers. Field trials were also planted with corn and soybean hybrids suited to The first step wetter areas in the field and more drought-tolerant hybrids planted on the uplands The project was initiated in the same field. in spring 2012, when Sexton sought advice from the “We’ve got a good rela- most logical choice was a “Without their support, Southeast Experiment Farm tionship,” said Sexton. The twin-row configuration and this project wouldn’t have board, comprised of area board agreed that a preci- the Monosem planter, happened,” Sexton said. farmers, regarding the need sion planter with the capa- which had the three-point for a new planter. bility of planting multiple hitch the Beresford facility Retrofited planter Though SDSU staffs the hybrids was the way to go. required, Sexton said. Through an agreement farm, “the board plays a Kurt Reitsma, an SDSU The Southeast Research signed in summer 2012, valuable role in our decision- Extension field specialist, Farm corporation purchased Raven donated the engimaking,” Sexton said. Pro- arranged for Raven Indus- the planter and the board neering time to customize ceeds from the farm go to the tries engineers to meet with provided funds for the raw the planter. Sexton outlined corporation, which then rein- the board. materials needed to cus- what he wanted the planter vests them into research. They determined that the tomize the planter. to do and Raven engineers developed those capabilities. “This is a great model of industry partnering with public entities,” said Douglas Prairie, Raven Industries’ product manager, citing his company’s emphasis on innovation. Sexton gave Raven engiQuality Genetics & Traits neers feedback as they developed the hydraulic drives, control system and

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software to modify the Monosem . “It was fun to watch the excitement on the part of the engineering team,” Prairie Douglas Prairie. “They saw such a great purpose and vision in what they were accomplishing.” When the planter was used initially in spring 2013, Raven engineers worked on-site to make adjustments and get feedback from Sexton and the research farm staff. The development phase was kept under wraps until patents were filed and the system was unveiled by Raven at a June 2013 trade show demonstration. Raven also showed the prototype planter at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. “We have far exceeded where I thought this product would be today,” Prairie said. The multi-hybrid switching system, controls and software are now commercially available. In addition to the fields planted at the research farm, test plots were sown on private South Dakota farms near Parkston, Tripp, Lennox and Baltic. To select the appropriate corn and soybean hybrids for the fields that SDSU mapped, Sexton turned to DuPont Pioneer. For low-lying areas, Sexton wanted a hybrid that could stand what he calls “wet feet.” It needed to have a horizontal root profile and be resistant to fungi to combat wetness it would experience in May and June. However, for the high areas, Sexton said he sought a variety with deep, vertical roots to reach for moisture when drought-stressed in August. Pioneer agreed to supply the seed and made recommendations, according to agronomy research manager Barry Anderson.

Shaping the future The information gleaned from field trials planted using this first-of-its-kind multi-hybrid planter will allow SDSU researchers to produce agronomic data that will help farmers decide what to plant, where to plant it, and how much to plant, as well as when and how much pesticide and fertilizer to apply, Sexton said. SDSU will also be provide agronomic and financial reasons why farmers should consider using a multi-hybrid approach to planting, Prairie said. Eventually, Raven Industries seeks to play a role in designing a true multi-hybrid planter. Additionally, this project has paved the way for further collaboration between Raven and SDSU — a partnership with the Research Park at South Dakota State University has been announced among the three entities to further concentrate on precision agriculture innovations. Looking forward, as companies develop seed hybrids for specific growing environments, Sexton anticipates planters that use this technology will become commonplace. “What gets commercialized may look different,” he said, “but the basic ability to switch between lines on the go, I think, is part of the future.”

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The data from this research will, Anderson said, “give us a chance to understand how our products perform. “It’s nice when we as a seed industry can team up not only with the university, but also with manufacturers. “That doesn’t always happen.” The first crops planted with the new machine were harvested in October 2013 and the data is now being analyzed.

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Sugar beet spacing has a definite sweet spot. Too high of a population per foot and the yield drops. Too low of a population per foot and the sugar content in the beets will lower. One test found the highest sugar content (17.1%) on fields with seed spacing between 4.5 and 5 inches. The sugar percentage dropped to 16.9% for fields sown with seed spacing between 5 and 5.5 inches and to 16.5% for fields planted at seed spacing of 5.5 to 6 inches. Source: Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op Taking into consideration both tonnage and sugar concentration, this means a farmer can lose $20 per acre by planting ½ inch to 1 inch off (5- to 5.5-inch spacing) and $50 per acre if he’s 1 inch to 1 ½ inches off (5- to 6-inch spacing). Sugar beets face two competing factors in seed spacing. Seeds that are spaced too close together will reduce the overall tonnage produced (represented by the black bars) while seeds that are spaced too far apart will lower the overall sugar content (represented by the red line). The White Planter system of handling and placing seed helps ensure consistent and accurate placement.

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FRIdAy, JAn. 31, 2014

www.farm-news.com

FARm newS / FoRT dodGe, IowA

1d

Dealers see few variety changes for area corn growers this year. “The corn rootworm pressures are higher in our area,” he said, “so those concerned producers are taking precautions.” Precautions Suchan mentioned including buying treated corn products, and using other corn rootworm management practices, such as applying an insecticide at planting time or a later-season application to help slow the population of the pest for the following year.

Some changes in corn versus soybean acres By KRISS NELSON jknelson@frontiernet.net

and JOLENE STEVENS grovecorner@aol.com

Colby Smith, Iowa regional team leader for Great Lakes Hybrids, is predicting a decent size of an increase in bean acres, mainly due to issues many producers have been having with corn-on-corn acres, due to many factors. Factors including dry weather conditions, higher input costs with lower market prices and that the controlling of insects in corn is becoming more of a challenge. For those producers purchasing corn seed for the 2014 growing season, Smith said producers aren’t making huge changes. “Maturity wise, there isn’t a real shift any which way or another,” said Smith. Historically, later-maturity varieties yield better, so many will plant those, but they also tend to choose mid-season and early-season varieties to plant for diversity, he said. Many Great Lakes Hybrids customers, Smith said, are in the market for conventional varieties as

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

ANDY SUCHAN, a Pioneer Seed sales representative for Farnhamville and Gowrie, makes notes on his seed inventory. Suchan said growers are not making huge changes in their variety selections, although some are buying early-maturities to keep drying costs down. well as the company’s VT2 and Smartstax varieties. Varieties with strong stalks are also in popular demand. “Overall they are looking for varieties that can handle stress with the last two years of drier conditions,” said Smith. Smith suggests whether seed is in low or even good supply, it is a good idea to meet with a dealer early to make seed selections. “It is a good idea to be proactive,” he said, “especially if getting the right varieties is important.”

“The corn rootworm pressures are higher in our area, so those concerned producers are taking precautions.” —Andy Suchan Pioneer seed representative

Individual choices Andy Suchan, Pioneer Hybrid seed representative for the Farnhamville and Gowrie areas, said he hasn’t seen a dramatic shift from planting more corn to planting more beans for

the 2014 planting season. “It depends on the operation, not really seeing a shift one way or another from beans to corn,” said Suchan. As far as which maturity his customers are choosing,

some are basing those decisions more conducive to their particular on-farm set up. “If they have on-site storage or a drying system they may go for a 105-day or a full season 113-day corn,” said Suchan. “If their corn is for town delivery, they will most likely go for a 108-day or down to a 101-day corn.” But the majority, Suchan said, tend to go with an earlier maturity hybrid just to help save on potential drying costs. As far as pests, Suchan said, the corn rootworm continues to be a concern

Conservative decisions At Vincent, Cody Lundgren, an agronomy sales specialist for NEW Cooperative Inc., said producers he works with in the coops’ 22-member network are “sticking pretty much” with what they know when it comes to seed selection. “Not a lot for seed selection has changed the past couple of years with the high degree of variability across fields and plots,” Lundgren said. “Growers look at the corn characteristics and bean varieties and pick them according to their needs or their field abilities. “Growers are being more conservative in their decision-making and using what they know to be a more stable hybrid or variety. “They see long-term performance of greater value to them than just winning the plot this year.”

Producers picking varieties, eyeing weed control Resistant weeds will create some management changes By JOLENE STEVENS grovecorner@aol.com

VINCENT — Growers are looking to expand their chemical programs to deal with hard-to-control weeds. The days of two or more glyphosate programs are over, said Cory Lundgren, an agronomy sales specialist for NEW Cooperative Inc., as producers are looking at foundation herbicides and tank-mix partners that bring multiple modes of action and overlapping residual control. Growers look at the germ plasm first. “A hybrid or variety needs to perform itself,” he said, “before the traits have something to protect, and most growers are aware that traits only protect yield, they don’t add yield.” With increasing pressure from rootworms, especially in continuous corn programs, multiple modes of action are critical to protecting corn roots. “A grower needs to have more than one trait protecting his roots,” Lundgren said. “So producers look towards Smartstax, created by

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Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, or Agrisure traits from Syngenta, such as the new Duracade, that provide at least two below-ground traits for rootworm protection.” Insecticides, either banded or in-furrow at planting, are tools producers are looking to for protection.” He said retailers have seen insecticide use increase substantially over the past several years, as well as starter fertilizers. “Growers who have begun using starter fertilizers,” he said, “are using more products like Capture LFR from FMC and tankmixing for convenience and protection.” The 2, 4-D and Dicamba resistant-herbicide varieties said won’t be available until the 2015 growing season. Lundgren said farmers are looking forward to the Dow ‘Enlist’ and Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend Crop Systems to provide more control over broadleaf weeds. The growth regulator chemistry used, he said, is more anticipated in the soybean market because that’s

A GIANT RAGWEED seedling gets a toehold in a corn field.

A WATERHEMP seedling finds life in an Iowa field. According to an international survey of herbicide resistant weeds, issued on Jan. 22, there are 417 unique cases of resistant weeds globally. These weeds have developed resistance to 150 herbicides and have been found in 78 different crops in 63 countries.

“Not all weeds germinate and emerge at the same time so by overlapping residual herbicides a producer can limit the chances of weeds coming through before their crop can canopy and protect itself.” —Cory Lundgren NEW Cooperative agronomist

an area where more produc- terhemp and Palmer ama- hybrid or variety has to perers are having trouble con- ranth. form first,” Lundgren said, trolling weeds, such as wa“As with other traits the “and growers want to know

these traits won’t hurt yield before they accept them fully. “Seed companies want their products to succeed, so they are not going to willingly release a hybrid or variety that will not perform for growers. “These companies are going to be cautious of what they produce for seed. The techniques Monsanto has developed to precisely insert a trait gene into the germ plasm of either corn or beans indicates at this time, it does greatly reduces the potential for yield drag.” Until Roundup Ready Xtend and Enlist are reSee WEEDS, Page 6D

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Farm NEwS / FOrt DODgE, IOwa

www.farm-news.com

FrIDay, JaN. 31, 2014

2014 Corn Edition

Better weed management is essential Owen: Farmers must be proactive to resistant weeds By ANGELA KNEIFL angelakneifl@yahoo.com

SHELDON — Managing ahead of resistant weeds, rather than reacting to them, was the Jan. 6 message of Dr. Mike Owen, an Iowa State University weed specialist, to an audience of more than 120 at the Crop Advantage Series in Sheldon. Explaining it is necessary for farmers to develop a weed management program in advance, and not just attacking resistant weeds,

Owen said: “Weeds will adapt, you must know your herbicide action group.” There are numerous ways for weed seeds to migrate, whether through livestock manure spread on a field or the combine sowing them liberally at harvest. According to Owen, waterhemp, horseweed — also known as marestail — and giant ragweed have developed herbicide resistance in Iowa. In fact, he said, 30 percent of Iowa’s weeds are re-

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sistant to various herbicides, so a coordinated program of chemicals used to burn weeds down is necessary. Due to the continual use of the same herbicide each year contributed to weeds developing resistance to glyphosate, the active element in Round-up herbicide. Owen said a diversity of herbicide protocols need to be used to keep or slow a weed’s capability of developing resistance, Owen said. He said the U.S. leads the word in prevalence of resistant weeds. He said Dow Chemical Co. has developed a soybean trait that is resistant to dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or 2,4-D, and is meant as an alternative to Round-Up Ready soybeans. The event was held at the -Farm News photo by Larry Kershner Best Western Starlite Vil- DR. MIKE OWEN, an ISU Extension weed specialist, speaks to a Jan. 22 audilage Inns and Suites. ence in Fort Dodge about herbicide resistant weeds.

Iowa’s corn stock grows Corn increases 11 percent; soybeans increase 1 percent By USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service IOWA Iowa corn stocks in all positions on Dec. 1, 2013 totaled 1.74 billion bushels, up 11 percent from Dec. 1, 2012, according to the Jan. 10 U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service grain stocks report. Of the total stocks, 62 percent were stored on-farm. The September to November 2013 quarter indicated disappearance totaled 629 million bushels, 16 percent more than the 543 million bushels used during the same period last year. Iowa soybeans stored in all positions on Dec. 1, 2013 totaled 340 million bushels, up 1 percent from the 338 million bushels on hand Dec. 1, 2012. Of the total stocks, 40 percent were stored on-farm. Indicated disappearance for September to November 2013 is 112 million bushels, 3 percent less than the 115 million bushels used during the same quarter last year.

Position and grain

IOwa STOCKS Dec. 1, 2012 Dec. 1, 2013 1,000 BU 1,000 BU

2013 percent of 2012

On-Farm Stocks Corn Soybeans

910,000 145,000

1,07,000 135,000

118 93

Off-Farm Stocks* Corn Soybeans

650,221 193,067

666,589 204,798

103 106

1,560,221 338,067

1,736,598 339,798

111 101

Total Stocks Corn Soybeans

*Includes stocks at mills, elevators, warehouses, terminals and processors. -Source: USDA

Position and grain

unITeD STaTeS STOCKS Dec. 1, 2012 Dec. 1, 2013 1,000 BU 1,000 BU

2013 percent of 2012

On-Farm Stocks Corn Soybeans

4,586,000 910,000

6,380,000 955,000

139 105

Off-Farm Stocks* Corn Soybeans

3,446,732 1,056,161

4,046,104 1,192,558

117 113

Total Stocks Corn Soybeans

8,032,732 1,966,161

10,426,104 2,147,558

130 109

*Includes stocks at mills, elevators, warehouses, terminals and processors. -Source: USDA

See STOCKS, Page 3D

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frIday, Jan. 31, 2014

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farM neWS / fort dodge, IoWa

3d

2014 Corn Edition

ISU: Micronutrients are OK, but ...

zinc were used as a mixture.” The ISU professor said he was not surprised by the results. He said the twoyear trials were built on former research conducted in Iowa from 1965 to 1990, which also showed no yield response, whether up or down, based on applications of micronutrients. There are six primary micronutrients his study used — boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo)

and zinc (Zn). Mallarino said he thinks the reason there is no response is that either there is plenty of these elements in the soil already, or soils are getting the needed micros through manure applications on fields. He said Fe, Mn, B, Zn and Cu are found in dairy manure, swine waste and poultry litter. He said the problem with applying micronutrients is that it’s hard to diagnose when they are needed.

“Other than iron in soybeans and zinc in corn,” Mallarino said, ‘deficiencies in the region are isolated and not well documented.” In addition, soil testing is geared better for phosphorus, potassium, nitrates and pH levels. Tissue sampling row crops is also hard for diagnosing micro deficiencies since it’s hard to sample early enough to correct the problem, plus there is no field calibration data in Iowa or Minnesota for mak-

ing the adjustments. “If there is no yield response,” Mallarino said, “we can’t calibrate it.” The 2012 and 2013 test trials were conducted on 42 soybean plots, mostly on farmers’ fields and seven corn plots on ISU research farms. Micros tested were B, Cu, Mn and Zn and a mixture, all replicated four times. Micros were foliarapplied on corn at the V6 stage and on soybeans between R1 and R3. Another trial soil-applied the micros in eight corn and eight soybean plots. In all the trials there was no significant yield response, Mallarino said, with the exception of “a small average annual yield decrease from the (micronutrient) mixture each year.” How this applies to producers, Mallarino said, is to understand that yield is not necessarily an indication of micronutrient needs. “Don’t trust soil or plant tissue tests, except DTPA (diethylene triamine penta acetic acid) test for zinc,” he said. “Apply zinc for corn if you have less than 1 part per million.” He told the audience to lime acidic soils and avoid planting in sandy, badly eroded areas and soils ladened with calcium carbonate.

used during the same quarter last year.

up 30 percent from Dec. 1, 2012. Of the total stocks, 6.38 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 39 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 4.05 billion bushels, are up 17 percent from a year ago. The September to November 2013 quarter indicated disappearance is 4.32 billion bushels, compared with 3.74 billion bushels during the same period last year. Soybeans stored in all

positions on Dec. 1, 2013 totaled 2.15 billion bushels, up 9 percent from Dec. 1, 2012. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 955 million bushels, up 5 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 1.19 billion bushels, are up 13 percent from last December. The indicated disappearance for September to November 2013 totaled 1.28 billion bushels, up 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Oats stored in all positions on Dec. 1, 2013 totaled 48 million bushels, 34 percent below the stocks on Dec. 1, 2012. Of the total stocks on hand, 25.6 million bushels are stored on farms, down 2 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks totaled 22.4 million bushels, down 52 percent from the previous year. Indicated disappearance during September to November 2013 totaled 15.5 million bushels.

67 test plots show no yield response in 2012, 2013 By LARRY KERSHNER kersh@farm-news.com

FORT DODGE — Anyone who’s paid attention to corn and soybean input advertisements have heard row crops need micronutrients for growth quality and were introduced to ag products that contain one or a mix of Antonio micronutriMallarino ents. Farmers can apply micros if they want, said Dr. Antonio Mallarino, an Iowa State University professor of soil fertility and nutrient management, especially if soil testing shows zinc at less than one part per million. “But in my mind,” Mallarino said, “it’s a just-incase application anyway. “It’s more important to be right with your N, P and K applications.” N, P and K are the chemical symbols for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, or potash, respectively.

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Mallarino had just spent 40 minutes explaining to an audience of more than 50 the history of research on yield responses of corn and soybeans with micronutrient applications from 1965 to 2013. One of the more intense trials conducted in 2012 and 2013, he said, showed that after 67 different test plots of corn and soybeans, “there was no yield response in any trial,” he said. “If anything there was a slight drop when copper and

Continued from Page 2D

Iowa oats stocks stored in all positions on Dec. 1, 2013 totaled 4.5 million bushels, 21 percent below the stocks on Dec. 1, 2012. Of the total stocks, 36

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-Farm news photo by Larry Kershner

DR. ANTONIO MALLARINO, an Iowa State University professor of soil fertility and nutrient management, speaks to Webster County farmers on Jan. 22 about corn and soybean yield responses to micronutrients. Mallarino told his audience that research from 1965 through 1990 and additional test plots in 2012 and 2013 have shown no yield responses in the two row crops when micronutrients have been applied.

percent were stored onfarm. The September to November 2013 indicated disappearance is 624,000 bushels, 30 percent less than the 891,000 bushels

U.S. Corn stored in all positions on Dec. 1, 2013 totaled 10.4 billion bushels,

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4D

FARm NEwS / FoRT DoDgE, IowA

www.farm-news.com

FRIDAy, JAN. 31, 2014

2014 Corn Edition

Educating one motorist at a time Stauffer receives 2014 ethanol marketing award FORT DODGE — Jason Stauffer, of Manson, said he was humbled on Jan. 14, when he was handed a plaque from Bill Northey, Iowa’s secretary of agriculture, as the recipient of the 2014 Secretary’s Ethanol Marketing Award. Stauffer is the retail fuels manager for STAR Jason Energy, a division of Stauffer GROWMARK Inc. “I don’t feel like I deserved the award,” Stauffer said, “but it was an honor and humbling to be recognized for doing the right thing.” Stauffer said STAR Energy goes the extra mile in offering five ethanol blends to the motoring public, educating them about the higher blend’s benefits one motorist at a time. STAR Energy’s Fort Dodge location began offering E15 as a conventional fuel to customers in December 2013. It installed a blender pump for E20, E30 and E85 options for flex fuel vehicles two years ago. Stauffer, Northey said, has been instrumental in the establishment and promotion of this site and making

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additional renewable fuels available to customers. “We aggressively market ethanol with an educational approach,” Stauffer said. STAR Energy, with 23 Iowa locations, has installed ethanol blender pumps in Fort Dodge, Storm Lake and Spencer. The company’s addition of E15 was important he said, due to the September 2013 change to V-grade gasoline. “Most people think gas is gas,” Stauffer said. “But the gas you buy today, is not the gas you bought last summer.” Each year, the RFS requires that more and more corn ethanol be mixed with gasoline, according to the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa. In Iowa, the new base gasoline stock is classified as 84 octane. It will provide a base to allow more ethanol to be mixed with gasoline. Because Iowa requires a minimum of 87 octane gasoline be sold, consumers get 87 octane as a mixture of 10 percent ethanol with 84 octane gas, or can get an 89 octane as a mixture of premium 91 octane and 84 octane gasoline, without ethanol. Stauffer said almost instantly customers, who used the higher octane gas, either saw a drop in their gas mileage with 87 octane, or

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-Farm News photo by Larry Kershner

JASON STAUFFER, manager of refined fuel managing for STAR Energy, explains how the ethanol blender pump works at 2 North 27th St., in Fort Dodge. The button with 87 octane is blended with E10. The 89 octane button is blended with E15, both were selling on Jan. 17 for $2.99 per gallon. Clients could also dial up blends of E20, for $2.94; E30, for $2.85; and E85, for $2.74 per gallon that day. Stauffer said the E15 blend, a conventional fuel and safe for passenger cars 2001 and newer, will give motorists the gas mileage they enjoyed before V-grade gas was pipelined to Iowa in September 2013. a 30-cent hike in the price if using the 89 octane. The higher price is due to the higher cost of mixing 83 octane with premium, 91 octane, gas. “The option to V-grade gas,” Stauffer said, “is E15. E15, which is blended with 87 octane gas to get 89 octane.” He said that’s the message he’s been telling to customers with passenger vehicles rated to handle the

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higher ethanol blend. “Now if you go and ask anyone who is pumping E15,” Stauffer said, “95 percent say they are happy

with it because they have effect on fuel economy. their gas mileage back.” Studies by Oak Ridge According to the Iowa National Laboratory and the Renewable Fuels Association, E15 has a negligible See E15, Page 5D

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www.farm-news.com

farM news / fort dodge, iowa

5d

2014 Corn Edition

DuPont offers growers tools to manage cold stress Multiple testing provides accurate trait scores for early-season stress tolerance JOHNSTON (DuPont)â&#x20AC;&#x201D; DuPont Pioneer researchers are working to help growers understand the risks of planting in cold, wet seedbeds and mitigate those challenges with corn hybrids that tolerate less-than-ideal soil conditions. Many hybrids feature strong stress emergence scores, which indicate a relative ability to emerge in cooler conditions, tolerate early-season challenges and give growers the opportunity to produce high yields. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stress emergence isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just a trait for northern growers,â&#x20AC;? said Imad Saab, senior DuPont biotech business affairs manager. Saab has been on the forefront of stress emergence work at Pioneer for more than a decade. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a valuable trait for growers everywhere

who are planting corn earlier or into cool, damp soils,â&#x20AC;? Saab said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the rise in no-till or minimal-tillage systems, more corn is being planted into inhospitable soils.â&#x20AC;? Growers in northern states are aware of cold stress issues. Saab reports many questions about stress emergence come from states farther south. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Growers in the south can start planting in March or possibly late-February if conditions allow it,â&#x20AC;? Saab said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Kentucky, for example, early-planted corn can experience cold, wet conditions, particularly in no-till environments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Soils can remain cold and damp for weeks after planting.â&#x20AC;? These conditions can significantly reduce the number of emerged plants. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re leveraging the genetic diversity of corn

and cutting-edge molecular breeding tools to improve stress tolerance in hybrids,â&#x20AC;? Saab said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We identify germplasm that tolerates cold and water-logging better, and we use this information to enrich our corn lineup with hybrids that excel in early-season performance.â&#x20AC;? Because corn historically is a warm-weather crop, finding strong cold-tolerance in germplasm collections isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t easy. It takes diligent research and the ability to evaluate massive numbers of genetic lines in combination with molecular breeding tools. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve tackled the problem with good, old-fashioned field selection in the past,â&#x20AC;? Saab said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In recent years, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve added predictive lab testing capabilities along with molecular markers to enrich our pipeline for

these traits. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Using all three methods in combination gives us a high level of confidence that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re identifying and advancing the best germplasm to meet these challenges.â&#x20AC;? Growing the plant in field settings allows Pioneer researchers to place them in areas subject to very cold springtime conditions including snow. The growing environment essentially tells them which hybrids are performing well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Field testing allows us to monitor other traits as well,â&#x20AC;? Saab said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We continue observations throughout the growing season, so we get lots of data we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t collect in lab testing alone.â&#x20AC;? The lab does offer some advantages, however. Pioneer is using unique lab

tests that are carefully calibrated with data from field trials. This means the lab test results correlate with field measures of plant performance under stress. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lab testing has become one of the backbones of our yearly hybrid selection processesâ&#x20AC;? Saab said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can test higher numbers of lines, test them year round and make sure commercial lines will perform as predicted.â&#x20AC;? Molecular markers provide another method of identifying genes that provide cold tolerance and stress emergence benefits. Pioneer is using wholegenome prediction, which targets many markers at once, developing profiles of lines with the more ad-

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6D

Farm NEws / Fort DoDgE, Iowa

www.farm-news.com

FrIDay, JaN. 31, 2014

2014 Corn Edition

E15

Continued from Page 4D

National Renewable Energy Laboratory have shown that with all other things being equal, ethanolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impact on fuel economy would be equal to the loss of energy density. This translates into a loss of less than 2 percent for E15 when compared to other gasoline blends, the IRFA said. For a vehicle getting 30 miles per gallon this would equate to a drop to around 29.4 mpg or about the loss of miles to the gallon when vehicle tires are improperly inflated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our consumers are not required to purchase E15 in Fort Dodge,â&#x20AC;? Stauffer said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and E10 will remain available at this location. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is simply another choice at the pump between 87 or 89 octane, and nothing more.â&#x20AC;? He said E-15 provides cleaner engines, reduces knock, increases overall performance and has better winterizing capabilities. Avoiding line wash All companies providing

Weeds

E15 may not be available year-round By LARRY KERSHNER kersh@farm-news.com FORT DODGE â&#x20AC;&#x201D; According to Jason Stauffer, retail fuels manager for STAR Energy, if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fails to give E15 its one-pound waiver, the fuel will be pulled from retail pumps from June 1 and will flow again on Sept. 15. At issue is an administrative rule set by EPA in the Jan. 26, 2001 Federal Register, that reads: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The final fuel must have a Reid Vapor Pressure not in excess of 9.0 pounds per square inch during the time period from May 1 to Sept. 15.â&#x20AC;? The May 1 deadline is for refiners, transporters and sellers. The public will be denied access starting on June 1 until Sept. 15. If E15 does not get the waiver by June 1, Stauffer said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll just take the buttons off the pumps and tell people we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell any to you E15 and higher ethanol blends, must have a misfueling mitigation protocol. This is to prevent a cus-

until Sept. 16.â&#x20AC;? Gasolineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volatility ratio climbs in hot weather, Stauffer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vaporization wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen as much in cooler temperatures.â&#x20AC;? The dates for taking E15 off the market were chosen by EPA, he said. The problem is that as gasoline evaporates it releases volatile organic compounds into the air. The Reid Vapor Pressure is a measure of the volatility. Gasoline without ethanol is at the maximum 9 psi level. When mixed with E10, the volatility rises to 10 psi. In the 1990â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Congress passed the â&#x20AC;&#x153;one pound waiverâ&#x20AC;? for E10 blended gas to be sold. Without the waiver, the base gasoline would have to be a lower quality. But the waiver is for E10 only, so E15 does not qualify. Because there is little difference between E10 and E15, Stauffer said,

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unclear why E15 cannot be included in the waiver. Stauffer said refiners could provide a separate base gasoline stock for blending E15 and stay within the RVP limit, but they refuse to provide it for Iowa. That type of gasoline is available to large metro areas, he said, because of different regulations they have on emissions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to ship that gas down to here,â&#x20AC;? Stauffer said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and to do that you couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The price would be so high, people would drive past our station.â&#x20AC;? The pipeline system exists for bringing that lower-grade gasoline to Iowa for E15 blending, Stauffer said, but the demand is not high enough and facilities would have to be built to store it. Stauffer said the inability to sell year-round will hold many retailers back from investing in installing E15 pumps.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just another choice offered to customers, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No one likes mandates,â&#x20AC;? Stauffer said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so we give people all the options.â&#x20AC;?

tomer who wants no ethanol in the gas tank become the victim of linewash, which is getting any

residual ethanol in the hose into the tank. To avoid this problem, Stauffer said STAR Energy

has installed a dedicated pump and hose that never gets a drop of ethanol blended gasoline.

A higher standard Stauffer said ethanol providers are held to a higher standard in Iowa than in other states. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you have a speck of ethanol in your gasoline you have to have the green and blue ethanol sticker,â&#x20AC;? he said. Pumps with E15 and E85 must also carry an orange and black sticker. Failure to have those stickers on the pumps is an automatic fine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Were having problems with the stickers in this cold weather,â&#x20AC;? Stauffer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They start to peel off and then the high winds blow them away. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we were inspected after a sticker blows off, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a fine. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter why the sticker isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t there.â&#x20AC;? He said other states give stations an option to post a sticker, but not Iowa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well monitored here,â&#x20AC;? Stauffer said.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Growers also need to be aware of proper use rates and what their specific weed problems are.â&#x20AC;? The right herbicide and rate for the right weed height is critical to reducing problems later on, he said. Once a weed is injured from a herbicide it becomes near impossible to kill, so growers need to listen to their local agronomistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; recommendation for weed control and apply the herbicides right away. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Under the right weather and soil conditions a weed

can double in height very quickly,â&#x20AC;? Lundgren said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so timely application is important. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rates on most herbicides are dependent on weed height, so by delaying application and not adjusting the herbicide rate you may be just wasting your money and creating a more expensive problem later.â&#x20AC;? Looking at another aspect of crop production in north central Iowa, Lundgren said last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drought continues to affect everyone in one way or another.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I listen to farmers almost every day,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;as they deliver grain contracts to our elevators as they say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;If I could have used one more rain or one more inch of rain it would have made a big huge difference.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perhaps a reminder that while we can do everything right for our crops, nature has to deliver, as well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This past season we witnessed about as many extremes as we could. Earlyplanted corn saw up to 1 inch of snow in some places

and 10 days later 100-degree temperatures. â&#x20AC;? Saturated soils delayed planting in many areas, some to the point of not getting planted at all.Later season heat affected pollination contributing to corn ears aborting kernels and reducing yield. In addition, in Webster County, Lundgren said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we saw less than 1 inch total rainfall from July 1 to Sept. 1. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This alone took 10 to 15 bushels easily off the corn crop.â&#x20AC;?

Continued from Page 1D

leased for use, growers are choosing to add multiple modes of action to their herbicide program and overlapping residual control, Lundgren said. There exists today â&#x20AC;&#x153;many great chemistriesâ&#x20AC;? to work for producers in Iowa, he said, but will require a change in programs for some growers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We still have many great chemistries that can work for producers in north central Iowa at least,â&#x20AC;? Lundgren said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but for some it requires a change in programs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The best weed is one that never emerges in the first place. Unfortunately not all weeds germinate and emerge at the same time so by overlapping residual herbicides a producer can limit the chances of weeds coming through before their crop can canopy and protect

itself.â&#x20AC;? Starting with foundation of pre-emerge herbicides followed by a post emerge program that contains another residual herbicide is a producers best start for weed control,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the added chemicals, a producer needs to be aware of the increased cost. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cheap glyphosate-only programs are a big contributor to the control problems we are facing today, and growers are moving towards more complex programs.

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FRIDAy, JAN. 31, 2014

2014 Corn Edition

Corn lobby: Will seek research funds ICGA calls for RFS in its original wording; new farm bill By KRISS NELSON jknelson@frontiernet.net

JOHNSTON — The Iowa Corn Growers Association works annually to provide corn growers with a voice in Iowa, Washington D.C. and around the world, said Mindy Poldberg, ICGA’s diof rector government relations. When the 2014 Iowa Legislative session startMindy ed Jan. 13, the ICGA Poldberg was ready with its agenda of lobbying efforts to get as much profarming work done in the 100-day session. Poldberg said voting delegates gathered in August 2013 to decide what the top priorities would be for 2014 and met again in December to pick a top 10 list of focused actions that require watching, protecting or changes. Transportation, Poldberg said, is a topic that ICGA has been lobbying at the state level for increased funding for two sessions. “We have a $200 million gap annually,” she said, “and that is really showing up in our rural areas with bridges all across Iowa.” She said in every Iowa county, bridges are being embargoed or closed detouring ag traffic and creating farming and business inefficiencies. “As an association,” Poldberg said, “we know transportation is important and will be working on that as a high priority this year.” In 2012, the Corn Checkoff was raised to one cent per bushel of corn sold, which meets the one-cent cap that set when the checkoff began in 1976. Without a change in the law, another referendum can never be held and the corn checkoff can never be

ICGA lists 2014 federal, state legislative priorities JOHNSTON (ICGA) — As the 2014 Iowa Legislative session completes its third week today, the Iowa Corn Growers Association has been working with lawmakers to promote policies and programs important to Iowa corn growers and to monitor potential policies that could affect farmers. In August 2013, ICGA’s grassroots representatives reinstated expiring policies and adopted new resolutions at the annual meeting and policy conference in Des Moines. “Input from ICGA members is the cornerstone of our legislative process,” said Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Lynnville and ICGA president. “It’s important that corn growers from across the state are engaged in policy decisions that affect their operations. “Our organization is working tirelessly at the state and national levels on behalf of our farmer members to enact and protect policies that affect our profitability.” The ICGA’s top legislative priorities for 2014 include: STATE ∫ Biodiesel: Support extension of current production tax credit for biodiesel plants. ∫ Checkoff: Raise the legislative cap to the corn checkoff so that farmers can choose by referendum whether they want a corn checkoff increase. ∫ Conservation: Implementation of Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy including funding, revisions and monitoring. ∫ Iowa Department of Agriculture: Funding for Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship budget requests. ∫ Ethanol: Support a legislative resolution of the Iowa House and Senate in support of the federal RFS, to be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as support for an extension or increase of current income tax credits and fuel tax differential for ethanol. ∫ Livestock: Support for the livestock raised, Poldberg said. The Iowa Corn Promotion Board does not intend to seek a checkoff increase in the near future, she said, however, if an increase is necessary, and requested by producers in the future, a code change would be re-

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industry and the existing laws regulating livestock operations; and support increased funding for the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to $4 million. ∫ Research: Increased funding to $2.8 million for the ISU Experiment Station and other agriculture-related research ∫ Property tax: Support for maintaining the agriculture productivity formula. ∫ Transportation: Increased funding, including fuel tax increase for improvements to roads and bridges. FEDERAL ∫ Biotechnology: Support and defend the use of genetically modified crops. ∫ Environment: Defend against EPA water quality issues including total maximum daily loads, nutrient criteria, spill prevention control and countermeasure and Clean Water Act jurisdiction. ∫ Ethanol: Support for retaining Renewable Fuel Standard and defend against EPA’s 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations; and support for higher blends, such as E15, for conventional cars and removing the1 pound waiver. ∫ Farm bill: Pass a farm bill and retain current structure and funding level for crop insurance; and protect Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development. ∫ Research: Support agricultural research for corn, corn products and agriculture. ∫ Taxes: Extend expiring agricultural tax credits or make permanent, such as bonus depreciation and capital gains. ∫ Trade: Support for Trade Promotion Authority. ∫ Transportation: Support for appropriation for Mississippi River lock and dams, including the Water Resources Reform and Development Act and barge fuel tax. The complete 2013-2014 ICGA state and federal policy resolution book can be found online at www.iowacorn.org/policy.

quired before an increase would even be possible. The goal is to be proactive in planning for the next 40 years of the corn checkoff. For 2014, Poldberg said, the ICGA is proposing to increase the legislative cap

for the corn checkoff. This proposal will not increase the actual checkoff assessment, but make possible raising the checkoff above the existing one-cent cap. “There is no intent to raise the checkoff,” Pold-

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THE IOWA CORN Growers’s Association has set a target for more research funding in 2014 including $2.8 million for the ISU Experiment Station and the $4 million for ISU’s Veterinarian Diagnostic Lab. berg said. “We have to be prepared for the future, such as if there are any radical market changes where the corn association can help corn growers, to help further education and make sure the facts are out there. “This effort is to try to prepare to be able to provide for the next 40 years.” According to the ICGA, the proposal increases the cap to five cents per bushel. Each increase, approved only through a producer referendum, is limited to one penny with five-year increments in between. The next penny referendum could happen after September. Research funding “It is important to continue to invest in long term research,” said Poldberg. There are two main areas on which ICGA is concentrating for 2014. ∫ An increase of $2.8 million to the Iowa State University Research Station

to achieve long-term research goals. ∫ Get the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab budget to $4 million. Poldberg said the veterinary lab has received cutbacks resulting in less funding in recent years and getting them back up to its required amount of $4 million in funding is needed. The lab is, Poldberg said, “such a critical part of livestock production.” ICGA will be lobbying federal lawmakers by fighting for ethanol and the Renewable Fuels Standard, as well as getting a farm bill put into place. Poldberg said the RFS and farm bill are important to Iowa agriculture; especially the farm bill if crop insurance will remain intact. “Farmers are wanting to know the answer,” Poldberg said, “although they are resilient entrepreneurs, they need to know.”

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2014 Corn Edition  

A publication of Farm News with editorial and advertising focused on the Corn Industry with the Ag sector.

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