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Articles from 2013 In December

Oregon Products a Big Christmas Gift Choice this Year

Oregon Products a Big Christmas Gift Choice this Year

If do-it-yourself gifts were popular this Christmas, Oregon ag stood a good chance of reaping some holiday profits.

"We are lucky because Oregon has a wide array of wonderful agricultural products that gift makers can work with," says Laura Barton, Oregon Department of Agriculture trade manager.

DIY types of gifts encompass arts, crafts and food items, she explains.

With so many specialty crops produced in the state, there were many fits for the holiday gifts, Barton notes.

As the Christmas tree capital of America, Oregon has many links to yule marketing with poinsettias, peppermint for candy canes, holly and a lot of greenery all originating in the Beaver State.

A gift of Oregon berries is only one of the many gifts that were shared this Christmas to benefit the state's farm industry.

"You can make things from scratch or you can purchase something somebody else made and add to it with even more Oregon products," she says.

As an example, a Portland bakery makes its own puff pastry using Oregon butter. It would be relatively easy to take the ready-made pastry and fill it with local berries or maybe local artisan cheese, she explains. Other Oregon products such as hazelnuts or pears (with or without partridges) can adorn and decorate wreaths, creating an all-Oregon gift product, she says.

"For someone who likes to garden, you could put together a gift of Oregon vegetable and flower seeds, and creatively package them with a gardening tool," she notes.

Homemade food products are still a big hit for both gift-givers and receivers, Barton adds, explaining that it is no surprise to anyone who has visited Oregon-based retail outlets like Harry and David or Made in Oregon to look over their baskets of fruit, nuts or other products produced in the state, also the location of Pendleton Mills' blankets, throws and apparel.

One of the gift ideas she came up with is a membership in a Community Supported Agriculture effort, a prize that would continue to give produce to participants throughout the new year.

When Trigger Reached, Upper Big Blue NRD Will Set Pumping Limits

When Trigger Reached, Upper Big Blue NRD Will Set Pumping Limits

It now depends on when the trigger is reached and pulled. That's the scenario facing irrigators in the Upper Big Blue NRD, which includes all of York County and parts eight other counties.

The board of directors in this intensely irrigated NRD, by a margin of 12 to 3, voted to set specific groundwater allocation amounts and timeframes, and to require irrigation well flow meters, all when the district's groundwater trigger level is reached. That trigger is the 1978 average groundwater level, the lowest point recorded in the district's annual groundwater measurements.

RULES CHANGES: Upper Big Blue NRD irrigators hope water declines won't trigger limits on pumping.

"We could get to the allocation in one dry year, or we might get a wet season or two, and not get there for a few years, says John Turnbull, Upper Big Blue NRD general manager. "But measures are in place to continue to maintain the sustainability of groundwater in our district," he said after the vote.

Reaching the triggering level seemed a long way off until the drought of 2012, which caused heavy pumping across the district. The average NRD-wide groundwater decline was 4.38 feet when measured in spring 2013, the largest one year decline since record keeping began in 1961, and an average decline just three feet above the trigger level.

At the December board meeting, the board set the first groundwater allocation period at 30 inches over three years. An irrigator can go over 10 inches in one year, but would still receive only 30 inches for the three years. Likewise, using 8 inches the first year allows the carryover of 2 inches to the final two years.

Should groundwater levels not recover at the end of the initial three-year allocation, a second allocation period of 45 inches over five years would be implemented.

The board's vote also would require mechanical flow meters on all wells greater than 50 gallons per minute output if the trigger level is reached or by Jan. 1, 2016, whichever is first. Electronic flow meters, under the rule changes, are no longer allowed, with the exception of those already in place or those installed up to Feb. 1, 2014, the effective date of the rule changes.

Turnbull says the board made the decision based on historical groundwater use and public comment. "They listened to constituents, reviewed data, considered staff recommendations and held a public hearing," he says. "The regulations adopted allow the producer to spread the allocation over several years, more in dry years and less in wet years. Also, pooling allows the producer to irrigate more on gravity fields and less on center pivot ground, provided the water stays within the allocation limits."

Other decisions made by the board include:

  • No restriction on expansion of irrigated acres and no moratoriums on well drilling.
  • Groundwater transfers would cease. Those transfers would no longer be allowed if the allocation trigger is reached.
  • "Certified groundwater use" acres and pooling. The rule changes provide for the combining of certified groundwater use acres into units. A unit of groundwater use consists of acres in the same government survey section or irrigated by the same well that are under the control of one groundwater user. Pooling refers to the combining of certified "groundwater use acres" (irrigated acres) for the purpose of determining what lands will be assigned an allocation.

For more information, call the NRD at 402-362-6601 or go to

Register Now for I-29 Dairy Conference Jan. 15-16, 2014

Register Now for I-29 Dairy Conference Jan. 15-16, 2014

Registration is underway for the Annual I-29 Dairy Conference that will be held Jan. 15-16 in Sioux Falls at the Best Western Ramkota Inn & Conference Center.

Registration fee is $45 per person and includes Wednesday evening meal, keynote address and all programs, breaks and lunch on Thursday.

Milk Producers Association of North Dakota will pay the $45 tuition for each member attending. South Dakota Dairy Producers will pay the $45 tuition for each member attending. Western Iowa Dairy Alliance will pay the $45 tuition for each member attending. College/Technical School students received a reduced rate of $20 tuition for the conference for each member attending.

Register Now for I-29 Dairy Conference Jan. 15-16, 2014

To register online or download conference information including the program agenda, visit or contact Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist with any questions at or call 605-882-5140.

The Best Western Ramkota Inn & Conference Center is located at 3200 West Maple Street Sioux Falls, SD (Exit 81 off I-29 South of I-90). To make a lodging reservation at Ramkota Inn, call 605-336-0650. Reserve your room by December 26th, 2014. Mention "SDSU Dairy Science-I29 Conference" to get the conference rate of $89.99 (single) & $99.99 (double occupancy) plus tax.

The theme for this year's conference is SDSU Extension Moo-University Educating & Ag-Vocating for the Future. Conference agenda is as follows:

Jan. 15
4:45-7 p.m. Registration in East Lobby
5:00 p.m. Exhibits Open in East Lobby
5:30 p.m. Social in Washington Room
6 p.m. Dinner in Washington Room
7 p.m. Keynote, When City and Country Collide, presented by Amanda Radke, Livestock advocate and blogger

Jan. 16
8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Registration in East Lobby
8a.m. - 9 a.m. Meet Vendors in East Lobby
9 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
9:10 a.m. Understanding the Energy Audit Program and the Impact it can have on Your Dairy, presented by Nicole DelSasso, Farm Energy Efficiency Mgr., Innovation Center for US Dairy
10 a.m. Affordable Health Care Act: Options for You, Your Dairy & Your Employees, presented by Janice Lewis, Avera Health, Sioux Falls, SD
10:45 a.m. Break, & Meet Vendors in East Lobby
11:10 a.m. Latest in Herd Health Recommendations for Your Dairy presented by King Hickman, DVM, GPS Dairy Consulting
Noon: Lunch in Washington Room
12:40 p.m. Producer Perspective of Cover Crop Utilization on Dairies or Best Management Practices in Forage Selection & Utilization in Washington room presented by Grant Vis, Dairy Producer, Edgerton, Minn.

Breakout Sessions

1:10 p.m. first Round of Breakout Sessions:

Succession Planning: Where Do We Start? In Roosevelt room presented by, Melissa R. O'Rourke, ISU Farm & Agribusiness Management Specialist

Evaluating Energy Use Changes in the Barn in Lincoln room presented by Erin Cortus, SDSU Extension Specialist, Environmental Quality and Jim Salfer, U of M, Regional Extension Educator, Dairy

Utilization of Cover Crops in Your Dairy Operation in Jefferson room presented by Kent Solberg, MN Sustainable Farming Association

2 p.m. Break & Meet Vendors in East Lobby

2:15 p.m. Second Round of Breakout Sessions:

Succession Planning: Where Do We Start? In Roosevelt room presented by Melissa R. O'Rourke, ISU Farm & Agribusiness Management Specialist

Understanding the New I-9 Documentation Process. In Lincoln room presented by Rob Holcomb, U of M, Extension Educator-Ag Business Management

Understanding the Nuts and Bolts of an Energy Audit. In Jefferson room presented by Nicole DelSasso, Farm Energy Efficiency Mgr., Innovation Center for US Dairy, Kyle Clark, EnSave, technical service provider for USDA/NRCS, and Rebecca MacLeod, USDA/NRCS Liaison.

The I-29 Dairy Conference is a multi-state educational venue with the following coordinating partners: South Dakota State University Extension Service, Southwest Minnesota Dairy Profit Group, North Dakota State University Extension Service, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, University of Minnesota Extension, and Midwest Dairy Association.

To learn more and register on-line visit

Strong Interest Shown In Northern Plains Nitrogen Project

Strong Interest Shown In Northern Plains Nitrogen Project

By Lon Tonneson

There was "strong interest" shown in December, during a round of informational meetings, among farmers and others in investing in North Plains Nitrogen, says Darin Anderson, NPN chairman, a Valley City, N.D., farmer and president of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association.

"We were very encouraged," Anderson says.

NPN is trying to raise funds to build a $1.7 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant near Grand Forks, N.D. The facility would produce anhydrous ammonia, urea and UAN liquid fertilizers from natural gas. Primary markets for products would be North Dakota, South Dakota, northern Minnesota, Nebraska and the southern portion of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Northern Plains Nitrogen hopes to build a $1.7 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant near Grand Forks, N.D.

The project was conceived to provide a secure supply of N-based fertilizer for the region, Anderson says. Fertilizer suppliers in the northern U.S. and southern Canada currently have to import N- based fertilizer from Egypt, Oman, Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries. The time lapse from overseas production to arrival into the U.S.-Canadian market is in excess of 70 days.

Shipment delays, potential in-season shortages of some fertilizer products and long pre-payment terms creates an opportunity for NPN, Anderson says.

An additional driver for the project is the increasing supply of economically priced natural gas in North Dakota. The natural gas is coming from the oil wells in the Bakken.

The plant would employ more than 135 people and have the capacity to produce 2,400 tons per day of ammonia. Most of the ammonia will serve as feedstock for the downstream urea and UAN plants. Ammonia would also be sold for direct application.

NPN hopes to secure for the financing for the plant in 2014, begin construction in the spring of 2015 and have the plant online in the spring of 2017.

To see a presentation and to find a link to the investment opportunities, see

Ohio Amish 'Flip' Natural Gas Royalty Rights - Tax-free

Ohio Amish 'Flip' Natural Gas Royalty Rights - Tax-free

Pennsylvania and New York farmer landowners may be finding extra competition from Ohio Amish and Plain sect landowners who are cashing-out oil and natural gas royalty rights – tax free. Just before Christmas, the Columbus Dispatch featured an article about how some Ohio Amish landowners were "flipping" their royalty rights – selling future potential royalty payments for an up-front lump sum and rolling it into land purchased elsewhere.

BUGGYING OUT: Ohio Amish and Plain sect landowners are rolling tax-free cash from selling oil and natural gas royalty contracts into farmland in more bucolic areas.

Some plan to leave Ohio for greener pastures in Pennsylvania or New York – where shale gas drilling is either nonexistent or far less active than in eastern Ohio. Using Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Tax Code, landowners – not just Plain sects – can use cash they receive for selling their oil and natural gas minerals to buy another piece of property, tax free. However, if you keep your farmland, the sale of your minerals and royalty may qualify for long-term capital gain tax rate of only 15%.

The landowners are selling decades of potential future oil and natural gas royalties for immediate cash. But that cash value is substantially discounted by investors offering the deals.

Threating the pastoral way of life
During the last year, gas/oil exploration trucks were involved in fatal collisions with Amish horse-drawn buggies on the region's narrow and winding roads. The rush to drill and frack wells, plus the truck traffic for developing them and necessary pipeline systems.

So, many Amish are cashing out to escape the noise as their bucolic landscape of lush green hills becomes dotted with oil storage tanks and rumbles with the buzz of oil rigs.

More than one Guernsey County Amishman has had enough of it. Eli Byler, for instance, recently sold

half of his future oil and natural-gas royalties to Flatiron Energy Partners, a Dallas, Tex., private equity firm specializing in mineral rights buying. Byler plans to roll the more than $220,000 in cash into a 211-acre farm in Clearfield County, Pa.

For many landowners, selling royalty rights is the best way to reduce their risk and take cash, suggests Austin Eudaly, Flatiron's vice president of acquisitions. Royalty rights-buying companies rose from two to 10 in Ohio during 2013 as speculation over the oil and gas yields from the Utica and Devonian shale formation heated up.

Dairy Checkoff Claims Sales Gains

Dairy Checkoff Claims Sales Gains

Leaders of the U.S. dairy industry point to the dairy checkoff program as a reason for expanding consumption. More than 12 billion additional pounds of dairy have been sold through checkoff partnerships over the last five years, according to the American Dairy Association Mideast. Annual U.S. per capita consumption of total milk is an estimated 604 pounds (milkfat basis), compared to 541 in 1981, which was before the national checkoff program was created.

Dairy Checkoff Claims Sales Gains

"Much of this growth is made possible through the financial resources, expertise and other assets from processors, manufacturers, foodservice companies, retailers and others that work with the checkoff to maintain and grow sales," the group reports. "By working with leaders we're growing sustained, category-wide dairy sales that can make a difference. The targeted and collaborative partnerships create a win-win scenario for the dairy checkoff, its partners and the entire industry."

Specific 2013 results include:

*About 10 billion pounds of additional milk have moved through the pizza category since the checkoff began partnering with Domino's five years ago. Successes include the Domino's® Smart Slice line of school lunch pizza, now available in more than 450 districts in 39 states, including Ohio.


*McDonald's used more than 1.7 billion pounds of additional milk through dairy-friendly items between 2009 and 2011.

*The checkoff helped Taco Bell introduce double steak quesadillas and fancy cheese shreds that led to a 4-percent increase in dairy volume at the chain. DMI has provided an on-site dairy scientist, among other resources. The chain plans to launch a dairy-based breakfast menu in 2014 that will help grow Taco Bell's dairy sales by 5 percent.

*The checkoff is leading the industry's largest fluid milk action plan ever to slow and reverse sales declines through product and distribution innovation that will drive more consumers more frequently to the dairy case. The checkoff has invested $9 million; processors' combined total is $81 million, a figure that could grow by the hundreds of millions the next several years.

*A Quaker-led promotion that encouraged consumers to use milk instead of water when preparing oatmeal led to a 5% increase in fluid milk sales in 1,400 Safeway stores.

*The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which producers founded in 2008, trained more than 1,200 industry staff members in food safety to minimize risk and protect dairy sales. The Innovation Center also helped secure nearly $10 million in grants from USDA for research to support the Farm Smart tool to help producers assess their management practices.

 *ADA Mideast conducted a food safety cheesemaking program for artisan and farmstead cheesemakers earlier in the year. More than 75 cheesemakers from Ohio and five other states participated in the one-day workshop.  The organization continues to showcase real Ohio dairy farmers and give consumers a firsthand look inside the operations of today's dairy farms through its Meet Ohio Dairy Farmers public education campaign. Now in its fifth year, the campaign includes several new videos, an interactive dairy farm tour, an animated journey of milk from farm to fridge, and new dairy farmer profiles.

*Fuel Up to Play 60, which the dairy checkoff created in 2008, is the nation's largest in-school wellness program, with more than 73,000 schools enrolled.   More than 40,000 students are engaged in Fuel Up to Play 60 in Ohio and West Virginia, representing more than 3,800 schools, with 2,100 adult leaders active in guiding the students.

*Chocolate milk continues to be the Official Beverage of the Ohio High School Athletic Association. ADA Mideast partnered with OHSAA to educate coaches, student athletes, parents and fans about the nutritional benefits of drinking milk

*The U.S. Dairy Export Council helped exporters capitalize on steady global demand, declining production from other suppliers and favorable pricing to ship record volume – at record values – in 2013. U.S. exports are estimated to total $6.2 billion, compared to $5.2 billion in 2012.

To learn more about the dairy checkoff, visit or

USDA Project Seeks to Control Fire Blight Without Antibiotics In Organic Apples

USDA Project Seeks to Control Fire Blight Without Antibiotics In Organic Apples

A team of Michigan State University (MSU) researchers has begun investigating organic methods for controlling fire blight, a devastating apple and pear tree disease.

The three-year project, under the direction of MSU AgBioResearch plant pathologist George Sundin, is funded by a $464,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). MSU AgBioResearch scientist Matt Grieshop is also involved in the project.

Fire blight is caused by a bacterial pathogen. It infects the flowers of blooming apple and pear trees, spreads into the branches and ultimately kills the tree.

USDA Project Seeks to Control Fire Blight Without Antibiotics In Organic Apples

"It's a serious problem not only in Michigan but worldwide," says Sundin, MSU professor of plant, soil and microbial sciences. "It's particularly problematic here in Michigan because, during bloom, we have a humid climate that includes plenty of rain, which contributes to the spread of the disease. One of the things that make fire blight so dangerous is its high degree of infection -- it spreads very quickly."

In 2000, a fire blight epidemic wiped out over 400,000 apple trees in southwestern Michigan alone, causing an estimated $42 million in damages.

One means of controlling fire blight, an antibiotic chemical called streptomycin, is set to be phased out next year for organic production, Sundin said. This leaves organic growers without a comparable method for protecting fruit trees from the disease.

"Streptomycin is an older antibiotic, but it's relied on by a lot of organic growers," he says. "Other options are available, but nothing that's as effective."

Conventional growers will continue to have access to other antibiotic sprays, but organic growers are more limited in their options.

"Organic growers are in desperate need of antibiotic alternatives if they are to maintain their organic certification," says Grieshop, who will assist in the project's farm experiments and outreach objectives. "Without effective, organically compliant fire blight management tactics, organic apple production will be greatly reduced."

Sundin's team will begin a renewed investigation into these other options in an effort to better understand and optimize their use. He said new alternatives are critical for the success of organic apple growers, who do not use the more robust chemical sprays available to conventional growers.

The team will examine several options, including a yeast called Blossom Protect and copper bactericides, which are copper solutions lethal to bacteria.

"Blossom Protect is a yeast that, when applied to the flowers of an apple tree, prevents the fire blight bacteria from entering," Sundin explains. "We've had inconsistent results from it in the past, but our goal now is to study it in greater detail. We need to better understand the mechanism of how it colonizes the flowers and controls fire blight, how it responds to different temperatures and when the right time is to apply it."


Copper bactericides pose their own challenges.
"They've been shown to be effective, but they can also cause russeting -- the formation of blemishes -- on the apples," Sundin said. "Damaged fruit doesn't sell, so we need to learn whether applying copper bactericides in lower quantities or at different times can mitigate that."

Taking a systematic approach, Sundin aims to give organic apple growers the tools they need to protect their crops.

"Understanding how to optimize the use of organically certified materials for fire blight control is really important," he says. "These materials may seem weaker than streptomycin simply because we're not using them correctly."

The project will also help conventional orchards. The team will deliver its results to growers through written and online materials.

Helping organic growers is vital to Michigan's apple industry, Sundin says "Organic produce is becoming more and more important to Michigan consumers," he says. "There's no reason for them to have to get their apples from Washington when we can grow them here."

Having the right techniques to ensure healthy crops is one of the best ways to make that happen.

"We get a lot of disease pressure here because of our climate," Sundin says. "We need good management tools. That's something we have for conventional apples but not yet for organics."

The project will begin this summer and continue through summer 2016. As the research progresses, Sundin says he plans to upload videos to

Don't Miss the 2014 Wisconsin Corn/Soy Expo

Don't Miss the 2014 Wisconsin Corn/Soy Expo

Wisconsin Corn/Soy Expo, the hallmark winter farmer meeting, is set for Thursday Feb. 6 through Friday, Feb. 7 at the Kalahari Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells, with an extensive offering of educational programs, industry trade show and networking opportunities for farmers, their families and industry representatives.

Don't Miss the 2014 Wisconsin Corn/Soy Expo

The annual Corn/Soy Expo is a great opportunity to mix farm business with family time. Members of the Wisconsin Soybean Association and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association save $50 on registration to the two-day event, which includes free admission to the annual Pork Producers Taste of Elegance, morning coffee and  rolls, two lunches, breaks, an evening reception, industry trade show and admission to all programs. Extra Taste of Elegance tickets can be purchased for unregistered family members at a reduced rate when registering for Corn/Soy Expo.

As a special incentive for Corn/Soy EXPO attendees, the Kalahari offers their standard rooms for $109 Wednesday and Thursday evening and a special $189 rate for Friday night. All overnight stays include free waterpark passes for every registered guest and discounted rates for the new Kalahari Theme Park. Hotel information is included in the program brochure, accessible online at and the reservations must be made by Jan. 10.

Wisconsin's Annual Corn/Soy Expo kicks off Thursday, Feb. 6, with an 8 a.m., Early Riser Session featuring DTN Senior Market Analyst Darin Newsom. A general session follows, hosted by Penton Farm Progress Company Editorial Director Willie Vogt who covers technology and machinery issues for Wisconsin Agriculturist, Farm Industry News, and other regional farm publications. A presentation by Informa Economics political analyst Jim Wiesemeyer and a panel on national industry issues rounds out the morning session.

A full slate of Thursday afternoon educational sessions include, as follows:
-New Road Rules for Farm Machinery
-Soil Health and Tillage
-Improving Soybean Productivity
-Herbicide Resistance Weed and Management Update
-Nitrogen Management for Wisconsin Crops
-Apps for Agriculture
-Marketing with Carl Babler
-Cover Cropping Techniques
-Tillage and Water Quality
-Grain Storage Tips
-Farm Transitions and Exit Strategy

Friday starts at 8 a.m. with a long-range crop weather forecast from John Felt of Blue Water Outlook and continues with a general session featuring Jolene Brown discussing family farm issues and sneak peak at the new documentary "Farmland."  Rancher Trent Loos is the featured speaker for Friday's luncheon and the day concludes with Fred Below, University of Illinois professor of Crop Physiology, covering the quest of high yield corn and soybeans.

The complete Corn/Soy Expo program and event registration is available online at the new web site. Registration material also can be requested by calling the Wisconsin Soybean Program office at 608-274-752 or the Wisconsin Corn Program office at 262-495-2232.

Source: Wisconsin Corn/Soy Expo

The new ‘normal’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Corn futures at $7 per bushel; soybeans at $15. Those higher prices were supposed to be the new ‘normal’ in agriculture.

Obviously, corn isn’t selling at $7 now but some growers seem to be clinging to the idea that they could rebound and approach that area again, according to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus in Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech University.

“I know a grower who has 100,000 bushels in the bin,” Dr. Kohl told participants at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in St. Louis. “He could have sold them at $7 a bushel last year. He’s still holding out at $4. And that’s called what? That’s called stubbornness and greed.

“The gentlemen who paid $21,000 an acre for farmland up in Iowa was in one of my sessions not long ago. He said ‘I would have bought another 1,000 acres if it was available’ because he said ‘They’re not making it anymore.’ Greed is alive and well in this Super Cycle, and she’s very, very dangerous.”

Kohl said farmers who attend the 200 or so presentations he makes annually are beginning to ask questions about interest rates and land values. “That anxiety actually is good because it makes you think.

“The other thing is we’re getting extremely complacent, particularly on the grain side. We’ve been in this super cycle for 10 years, and everyone says this is the new normal, the new plateau. No, no, no … it’s not. And one of the things I would tell you is that it’s the good times that get you into trouble.”

The higher prices have created a new sense of optimism in agriculture, a sense that Kohl calls refreshing. But it doesn’t mean farmers can ignore indicators that can help them chart the course for the next several years.

Another example: A young couple who started farming from scratch several years ago has amassed a net worth of $1.3 million. The farm next to them is up for sale.

“It’s interesting. At $7 corn and $15 soybeans, every one of the ratios a banker or Farm Credit looks at is a green light,” Kohl said. “But you go to $4 corn and single-digit beans two-thirds of the ratios are red light. We’re in an extremely fragile environment.”

To see Kohl’s presentation at the Rice Outlook Conference, go to:

And for more from David Kohl:



Pioneer Has Tips for Monitoring Stored Grain

Pioneer Has Tips for Monitoring Stored Grain

Growers need to monitor stored grain carefully throughout the storage period.  Routine checks should be made at least every two weeks – even in winter months, say DuPont Pioneer experts.

A regular check of bins allows growers to assess the condition of grain. It also provides the opportunity to catch emerging problems before they result in spoiled grain.

Pioneer Has Tips for Monitoring Stored Grain

Here are some tips for monitoring bins:
•Smell the exhaust to detect musty odors that indicate molds are developing.
•Check the grain surface for crusting, wet areas and molds, as well as insect and rodent activity.
•Check grain temperature and moisture. "In-bin" electronic probes, which are becoming more common, allow growers to monitor these properties continuously.
•Probe the grain mass to check for "hot spots," molds and insects.
•Check inside the roof of the building for condensation and leaks.
•Make sure the building exterior is well-drained, weather-tight, rodent-proof and not physically damaged by the forces of the grain.
•If you detect any problems, correct them immediately. If necessary move the grain to a different storage facility.

For more information on bin checks, contact your Pioneer sales professional or visit

Source: DuPont Pioneer