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2017 Planting Tips


Southern Production & Marketing Strategies

A Supplement to Cotton Farming and The Peanut Grower Magazines

December 2016

CornSouth Calm down, Chicken Little

Amanda Huber Editor

Well, isn’t this an interesting turn of events — that’s what I said to my parents when I stopped by their house the morning after Election Day. Over our respective cups of coffee, we shared stories about election night, what time we’d gone to bed, when we had heard it

called, and so on. At my age, I’ve been through several rounds of both Republicans and Democrats, and while I hope for good things in the next four years, no administration gets everything it wants. My greatest concern is my children. Like most kids, they use social media to communicate, and unfortunately social media is chock full of Chicken Littles proclaiming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” In time, they’ll understand that surviving any one president is possible. While I have my own personal hopes for the Trump administration, there are many issues facing the farmers and rural America that will garner his attention. House Speaker Paul Ryan in his post-election press conference said, “Think about the farmers…who are being harassed by the EPA and the Waters of the United States. Think about the ranchers in the West that have been harassed by the Interior Department, or the laid-off timber workers. There is relief coming. This means we can lift the oppressive weight of the regulatory state… this is very exciting.” In the least, hopefully the Trump administration can change the EPA’s new-found tactic of taking the worst-case scenario on their computer models for product registrations and policy changes and make it something far more reasonable.

If you have comments, send them to CornSouth, 6515 Goodman Rd., Box 360, Olive Branch, MS, 38654. You may also call (901) 767-4020 or contact Lia Guthrie at or Amanda Huber at



Market Factors


ark Welch, Texas A&M ag Extension economist, said in his early November Market Grain Outlook, that the U.S. corn crop harvest was on a normal pace, and that The International Grains Council had raised its estimate of world corn production the week prior. His report continued as follows: Total 2016/17 production is up 8 mmt (315 million bushels) from 1,027 mmt (40.431 billion bushels) in September to 1,035 mmt (40.746 billion bushels). Noted were bigger crops in the U.S., Argentina and India. Use projections were up in an amount about half the size of the production increase.

Grain Use

Ethanol production for the week of Oct. 28 was 42.924 million gallons per day, five percent above same time last year and 12 percent above the five-year average. USDA’s combined projection of corn for fuel and sorghum food, seed and industrial use is just below the implied grain-use projection based on the current rate of production. This week’s Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report showed that in September 435 million bushels of corn and 5 million bushels of grain sorghum went to fuel production. The monthly pace to reach USDA’s combined use total of 5.395 billion bushels is 450 million bushels per month. Average monthly grain for fuel crush in 2015/16

was 445 million bushels.

Export Markets

Broiler chick placements continue to show numbers ahead of last year and the five-year average. For the 2016/17 corn marketing year, broiler chick placements are up two percent. U.S. corn export sales remained on pace to reach the 2016/17 target set by USDA. For the week of Oct. 20, sales of 31 million bushels were recorded, one million above the pace needed to hit the target. Cumulative sales are at 41 percent of the marketing year total. On average, 41 percent of yearly sales are on the books by the end of October. In a press release, the Fed noted growth in economic activity since September and strength in the labor market. While economic analysts did not expect a rate hike in November, 86 percent expect a rate hike in December.

Marketing Strategies

The long-term seasonal price pattern for December corn is to set the harvest low in early October then trade mostly sideways to expiration, though it may be set a month early this year, the overall pattern is still holding at this point. I have completed sales of the 2016 corn crop with harvest wrapping up. My focus now turns to the 2017 crop. Again, I will break up sales based on seasonal patterns and dates associated with major crop reports and growing conditions.

Scorecard on Conditions Joe L. Outlaw, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension economist and co-director of the Ag and Food Policy Center offered this comparison between the economic conditions on the farm from the 1980s and today at the Southern Outlook Conference in September. 1980s


High interest rates



High inflation rates



Favorable exchange rate

Less than 1970s

Trending no

Farm debt under control



Down from 1970s highs but not bad

Way down from recent highs - Bad



Eroded quickly

Eroding quickly


Not really

Market prices Debt to Asset values troublesome Asset values Financial community prepared

2017 Planning

Tips For A Successful Corn Crop


he University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Jason Kelley, Extension agronomist, offers the following tips for a successful

corn crop. ■ Make sure raised beds are still intact before planting. Beds that settle because of heavy rain or are much smaller can cause planting problems with uneven planting depth or planting on the edge of the bed. This is especially true for twin-row planted corn where each row may be too far on the edge of the bed for proper planting. Having corn planted on the edge of the bed can lead to shallow planting and result in poor stands and increases the potential for poor root development and lodging later in the season. Having a good bed at the beginning of the season is essential. Re-pulling beds should be considered in most fields for optimum stand establishment. ■ Plant the proper amount of seed. The trend the past few years has been to increase plant populations to increase yield. There are limitations to this practice, but plant populations needed to maximize corn yields have been increasing over time. Typically for our irrigated fields, a final plant population of 32,000 to 34,000 plants/ acre is recommended to maximize yield, regardless of row spacing (30, 38 or 38 inch twin rows). Under most conditions expect that 95 percent of the seeds planted will emerge. This population level is generally enough to maximize yields on most hybrids, limits risk from late-season lodging and keep seed

NEW PRODUCTS New Products From BASF, FMC BASF and FMC Corporation recently announced an agreement that brings novel in-furrow crop protection products to the U.S. corn market. The companies will integrate their market-leading insect and disease protection technologies into new products formulated with the convenient LFR patented technology from FMC. The new products include the same technology found in Headline fungicide and in FMC proprietary LFR formulations in Capture LFR Insecticide. The unique LFR technology is unmatched in its ability to mix readily with liquid fertilizers, provide consistent active ingredient distribution and stay in suspension for uniform application from the first acre to the last. Each company will offer new products as a result of the agreement. For 2017, BASF will launch Manticor LFR In-Furrow Fungicide/Insecticide. FMC will launch Temitry LFR Insecticide/Fungicide. EPA registration has been granted for both products.

Topguard EQ Fungicide Premix FMC Corporation recently announced the cost at a manageable level. Previous plant population research trials on several hybrids currently grown in Arkansas indicated that current plant population recommendations are appropriate for high-yielding corn. ■ Plant seed at the proper depth. I generally like planting corn a full 2 inches deep. Sometimes with early planting, the tendency

launch of a new fungicide premix called Topguard EQ fungicide that provides long-lasting disease control and plant health benefits in corn, soybeans, wheat, pecans and more than 20 other crops. Topguard EQ fungicide is the only premix of azoxystrobin, a strobilurin fungicide, and flutriafol, a triazole fungicide patented by FMC. This unique combination broadens the spectrum of diseases that can be controlled and offers multiple modes of action to combat disease resistance. Once applied, flutriafol is rapidly taken up by plant tissues and translocates quickly within the plant to prevent the spread of disease. Azoxystrobin offers broad-spectrum disease control and is also a strong product for overall plant health. Topguard EQ fungicide provides both preventative and curative control on a number of major plant diseases. Topguard EQ fungicide is registered on more than 20 crops including soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton, vegetables and nuts. In corn, the product controls a broad range of diseases including gray leaf spot, Southern rust and Northern corn leaf blight. is to plant more shallow, which is a mistake in my opinion. I have seen corn that was planted shallow (1-1.5 inches) end up being very shallow after rains settle the beds. This is especially true on lighter textured soils and leads to poor root development and can cause lodging later in the season. Shallow planted corn is also more susCORN SOUTH DECEMBER 2016


2017 Planning ceptible to blackbird feeding. Avipel bird repellent (seed treatment) is labeled and available for use in Arkansas corn, which may help reduce blackbird feeding on newly planted/emerging corn. Feeding by blackbirds always seems to be worse in early planted fields. n Plant under the best conditions. If conditions do not favor planting, the good news is that corn planted in late March to April will have warmer soil temperatures, and corn should emerge quickly and likely be more uniform than if it had been planted earlier. In previous planting date studies, obtaining an optimum stand was much more important than the actual planting date when looking at March-April planted corn. Don’t push planting on fields that need another day or two to dry. Planting into fields that are too wet can cause sidewall compaction and may result in poor root growth later in the season along with poor stands if the seed furrow does not close properly. Performing tillage on fields that are too wet can lead to cloddy seedbeds, which will also result in erratic stands. Getting the54280_southads.pdf best stand possible 1is the first 9/16/16 step to achieving high corn yields. CS

PLANTING NEWS No End To Georgia Drought

Georgia farmers are experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent memory, and University of Georgia climatologist Pam Knox cautions that there could be a potential repeat next year. “I’m thinking about April 1 of next year. If we haven’t been able to recover that soil moisture that we’ve lost, we could really see another bad drought in 2017,” Knox said. La Nina would bring warmer temperatures and drier weather conditions to the Southeast. Farmers depend on rainfall from December through February to replenish the soil and refill irrigation ponds. “This is already a dry time of year, but this is crazy that we’ve basically had no rain in the last month,” Knox said. “There was a good portion of the state that got no rain in October. That, coupled with the high temperatures, really makes the drought worse.”

Herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth Confirmed In Missouri

University of Missouri Extension weed scientists report the first confirmed case of 1:22 PM multiple-herbicide-resistant Palmer ama-

ranth in the state. MU Division of Plant Sciences research specialist Mandy Bish says, “As the incidences of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth increase, producers lose chemical control options.” PPO-resistant populations of the most common pigweed species, waterhemp, have been reported, but Palmer amaranth is much more aggressive than waterhemp. Under optimal conditions, Palmer amaranth can grow up to 2 ½ inches per day. “Its fast growth makes it very difficult to effectively treat and control,” Bish says. At harvest, Palmer amaranth can be distinguished from waterhemp by the longer seed head. Additionally, the female seed heads are prickly to the touch. Each plant contains about 500,000 seeds. With multiple-herbicide-resistant populations confirmed, Bish says it will be important to implement nonchemical methods as part of control. Research indicates that one pass of deep tillage in affected areas can reduce both Palmer amaranth and waterhemp densities. Pigweed seeds need sunlight. If buried, they cannot germinate. CS








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Corn south december 2016