Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: United States

Sitemap


Articles from 2010 In July


Under a Broiling Kansas Sun, History is Celebrated

Today is Homecoming in Nicodemus, the biggest day of an annual weekend celebration that brings the descendants of one of, it not the only, surviving Exoduster communities in America, home for a visit.

At its peak, this town was home to almost 800 people, all of whom farmed the land in Nicodemus County and some of whom also worked outside jobs in the nearby towns of Bogue and Stockton or traveled further to Hays and Phillipsburg.

Today, only about 40 residents of Nicodemus are left. But on Homecoming weekend, the town is populated at nearly its peak. And today is no different. There is food in the fryers and music in the shelters, speeches in the township hall and baseball at the park.

Nicodemus was founded as an African-American community and it still primarily is populated by African-Americans. But it struck me as I visited with returning former residents and their families how very, very much it reminds me of the small farming community where I grew up.

From the memories of the one-room school to chores before and after classes, talking to Earlice Switzer-Rupp whose father died only two weeks ago and whose mother still lives in Nicodemus, revealed how alike our childhoods were -- a home full of siblings, a classroom full of cousins, a town full of people who know just who to call if you misbehave and plenty of work to keep you out of trouble.

And it struck me that the fate of Nicodemus, which began to decline when the railroad didn't come through, has been ultimately the fate of dozens of other small Kansas farming communities: no jobs for the next generation graduating from college to come home to and a steady loss of population.

This is not a decline of the past, but also one of the present. And nobody seems to have a real answer on making it stop. No matter how many times you say, "we need something BESIDES farming" nobody seems to know what that is. Ethanol? Biodiesel? Internet-based home business? Wind farms?

We're running out of time to put something definitive at the end of those question marks.



European Union Approves Maize with Herculex® I/Herculex® RW and Herculex® RW/Herculex® I/Roundup Ready® Corn 2 Trait Stacks for Import, Food, Feed & Processing

BRUSSELS, Belgium, July 30, 2010 - The European Commission announced that it has granted import, food, feed and processing approvals for biotechnology maize products jointly developed by DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred and Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the The Dow Chemical Company. Maize products containing the Herculex® I insect protection and the Herculex® RW trait stack (also known as 1507x59122 stack or as Herculex® XTRA®), and maize products containing the Herculex® RW, Herculex® I and Roundup Ready® Corn 2 trait stack (also known as 59122x1507xNK603 stack) now are permitted for import into the European Union (EU).

"These approvals show promising movement in the EU for biotech approvals," said Pioneer Hi-Bred President Paul E. Schickler. "We are encouraged by these approvals and urge the Commission and EU Member States to similarly approve biotech crops for cultivation so Europe's farmers have access to the same technologies as other farmers around the world."

Herculex® RW contains the Bt trait (59122) to provide an environmentally improved means of protecting maize plants against attacks by the corn rootworm and reducing the need to use insecticides. Herculex® I contains the Bt trait (1507) to provide protection against a broad spectrum of insect pests, including corn borer, black cutworm and fall armyworm. The Roundup Ready® Corn 2 (NK603) gene for tolerance to glyphosate herbicide allows growers to effectively and efficiently control weeds in their fields, allowing the corn plants to achieve higher yields.

"These approvals tell us that the EU recognizes the extensive health and safety data supporting the use of these biotech products," said Dow AgroSciences' President and CEO Antonio Galindez. "These authorizations are essential to ensuring that maize products can be freely traded and that the European livestock industry has continued access to the feed derived from them."

Maize products containing these traits (1507x59122 or 59122x1507xNK603) were assessed to be safe for use in food and feed by the EU's own independent scientific authority, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in April 2009, and already have been approved in nine countries around the world. These products now are authorized for import into the EU in accordance with EU regulations, including the appropriate labeling and traceability of the products.

Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Ind., USA, is a top-tier agricultural company that combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. Dow AgroSciences provides innovative technologies for crop protection, pest and vegetation management, seeds, traits, and agricultural biotechnology to serve the world's growing population. Dow AgroSciences will market this technology in its soybean seed brands including Mycogen®, BrodbeckTM, DairylandTM, and RenzeTM. Global sales for Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, are $4.5 billion.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering SuccessTM.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Makes Strategic Move with John Deere Credit™

MINNETONKA, MINN. — July 29, 2010 — Syngenta Seeds, Inc. today announced it has entered into an agreement with John Deere Credit to offer grower financing solutions through Farm PlanTM for the 2011 crop season. Qualified growers purchasing Garst®, Golden Harvest® and NK® brand seed products will be eligible to receive season-long financing, with attractive cash discounts, at competitive interest rates through Farm Plan.

“At Syngenta, we are always looking for ways to help growers build a successful and profitable business,” said Chuck Lee, head of Syngenta Seeds corn and soybean marketing. “We’re excited to announce our relationship with John Deere Credit and look forward to making financing an option for our growers.”

“Farm Plan is a great fit with Syngenta because we serve the same customer. We’re dedicated to the business of agriculture and understand the evolving needs of producers,” said Scott Cline, vice president of marketing at John Deere Credit. “Our strategic relationship with Syngenta is helping us achieve our goal of providing dependable solutions that help qualified producers get what they need when they need it.”

Qualified growers will have access to financing through Farm Plan this coming fall. For more information, please contact your local Garst, Golden Harvest or NK representative.

MONSANTO TO INTRODUCE APHID TOLERANT GENUITY® ROUNDUP READY 2 YIELD® SOYBEAN VARIETIES FOR THE 2011 SEASON

ST. LOUIS (July 29, 2010) – Monsanto Company will introduce new Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean varieties with aphid tolerance in 2011 designed to help protect soybean yields from these damaging pests.

Since their identification in 2000, soybean aphids have become a major pest in soybean fields throughout the Northern United States. When left untreated, these insects can multiply rapidly and cause significant yield losses. They feed on the sap of the soybeans, leaving behind stunted, curled soybean plants which lead to reduced pod set and seed size. Feeding also potentially transmits harmful viral diseases.

“Monsanto’s new aphid tolerant soybeans will be introduced initially in maturity groups I and II in the upper Midwest, the areas where aphid populations are typically the highest,” said Aaron Robinson, Monsanto soybean traits technical manager.

Aphid tolerance is conferred by the native Rag1 gene, which was discovered by soybean plant breeders at the University of Illinois. The new Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® aphid tolerant varieties will be available with Acceleron® insecticide/fungicide seed treatment products, which provide protection against early-season diseases and insects, including soybean aphids, adding an additional layer of protection for more complete aphid control.

“Research trials have shown that these aphid tolerant varieties treated with Acceleron seed treatment products delayed aphid population development by two weeks in environments with high aphid populations,” Robinson said.

In environments with medium aphid populations, he said the economic threshold of 250 aphids per plant was never reached and therefore no foliar insecticide was applied to the Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® Aphid Tolerant varieties. However, the non-aphid tolerant soybean varieties did require a foliar insecticide application.

Dr. Shawn Conley, state soybean specialist at the University of Wisconsin, said aphid-tolerant technology would offer multiple benefits. “If you look at the impact that these insects have, true aphid resistance could provide a real economic boon to farmers in helping to reduce their yield loss,” he said. “Another advantage is that this technology could help eliminate some of the early insecticide sprays that also reduce the population of beneficial insects.”

“Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® aphid tolerant varieties provide a more flexible insecticide application window or, in some cases, eliminate the need for foliar insecticide treatment, providing a potential savings to the grower of $9 to $14 per acre,” Robinson added. “Use of these aphid tolerant varieties, timely scouting and foliar insecticide application, if necessary, are all part of an effective integrated approach to managing soybean aphids.”

The aphid tolerance gene will only be introduced in combination with Monsanto’s Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® trait to help maximize soybean growers’ yields. More soybean varieties in additional maturity groups will be available in with the Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® trait in subsequent years. For additional information, visit www.genuity.com.

Dig Now To Check Roots For Soybean Cyst Nematode

Dig Now To Check Roots For Soybean Cyst Nematode

The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is widespread throughout Iowa and surrounding states, and as much as 40% yield loss can occur from SCN damage without symptoms appearing on the soybean plants. Symptoms typically are not apparent when temperatures are moderate and rainfall is adequate to excessive during the growing season. The following information is provided by Greg Tylka, Iowa State University Extension plant pathologist and nematologist.

Symptoms generally begin to appear starting in mid-July and last through most of the growing season. Symptoms of SCN damage include stunting of plants, yellowing of foliage (not just leaf margins or areas between leaf veins) and mid-day wilting.

Slight stunting and yellowing (in the background) that occurred in mid-July was caused by soybean cyst nematode feeding.

The only way to check for SCN in the field is to dig roots, gently remove soil from the roots, and look for the egg-filled, round, white SCN females on the roots. The females are about the size of the head of a straight pin or a period at the end of a sentence in a newspaper or magazine, and for most people, the females can be seen with the unaided eye.

The first SCN females of the 2010 growing season appeared several weeks ago (June 7, 2010 Integrated Crop Management News),  and SCN females should be apparent on infected roots through August.

Dig some plants now and carefully look at the soybean roots

This number of SCN females on such a small amount of roots indicates poor control of the nematode by the resistant variety.

Carefully observing soybean roots for SCN females is a good way to check fields for infestations that have not yet been discovered. It also is effective to assess how well SCN-resistant soybean varieties are controlling nematode reproduction in fields known to be infested with SCN. There should be only a few, say 10 to 20, SCN females on the roots of a resistant soybean variety if the variety is effectively controlling the nematode.

Farmers Market Tour Emphasizes Local Food, Local Energy Connections

Farmers Market Tour Emphasizes Local Food, Local Energy Connections

Iowans who visit farmers markets in seven cities this summer will see the connection between local food and local energy when they meet Steve Fugate and his biodiesel-powered Volkswagen Jetta.

Fugate is president of the Yoderville Biodiesel Collective and education director for the Iowa Renewable Energy Association. He hopes his visits to farmers markets in Iowa City, Grinnell, Davenport, Ames, Fairfield, Washington and Cedar Rapids will lead to greater production of local energy. His farmers market tour from July 28 to August 14 is sponsored by the National Center for Appropriate Technology and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

The first stop will be at the Farmers Market in downtown Iowa City on July 28; the last visit will be August 14 in Cedar Rapids (see full schedule below). His goal is to persuade people that the "Buy Local" movement should extend to locally produced forms of energy, too, from biodiesel and biogas to wind and solar.

"Buy local" applies to fuel too, not just locally-produced food
 
Just as with food, energy produced locally carries many benefits, Fugate says. Biodiesel, for instance, reduces reliance on foreign oil and is better for the environment. It can also be made on the farm, using vegetable oil thrown away by local restaurants, or from oilseed crops grown locally. Wind and solar are growing Iowa industries that provide jobs in many Iowa communities as well as making use of resources Iowa has in abundance.

"In Iowa we are fortunate to have the expertise and financial assistance available to build sustainable, local food and fuel production systems," he adds. "Farmers may not be aware that there are many opportunities for grants and funds to do on-farm energy projects and there are low-cost DIY solutions that can be done for very little investment."

Fugate also is leading a biodiesel workshop September 11 in Kalona. For more information, contact him at (319) 331-4831, steve@greenworldbiofuels.com.
 
Farmers market stops:
* Iowa City--Wednesday, July 28
* Grinnell--Thursday, July 29
* Davenport--Saturday, July 31
* Ames--Thursday, August 5 (Downtown market)
* Fairfield--Wednesday, August 11
* Washington--Thursday, August 12
* Cedar Rapids--Saturday, August 14

Use Moisture Meters to Ensure Flood-Damaged Buildings Are Ready To Rebuild

Use Moisture Meters to Ensure Flood-Damaged Buildings Are Ready To Rebuild

The floodwaters have receded, clean-up is underway, but before you can rebuild your home or place of business, it is critical to allow enough time for the structure to dry completely, says an Iowa State University Extension specialist.

"Just cleaning up isn't enough," says Greg Brenneman, ISU Extension agriculture engineer. "Walls that have gotten wet must be completely dried out before you rebuild. Otherwise mold will grow in wet walls that are closed up before they dry."

Flood victims should tear out dry wall or plaster to the flood line, and discard any wet insulation. Wall cavities that are moldy must be cleaned and then sanitized with chlorine bleach — 1/2 to 1 cup chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water. Then allow sufficient time for all the framing lumber to become thoroughly dry.

It is best if you get the wood to below 20% moisture content

Brenneman recommends getting the wood to below 20% moisture content. "If you get the wood to below 20% moisture content and keep it at that level, you won't get mildew growth. But you have to open up the structure — remove the drywall or the plaster — and leave it open for several weeks or longer."

If the wood framing isn't dried to below 20% moisture content, consumers are taking a big risk if they rebuild, he warns. Mold may not grow on the wood framing if the wood is above 20%  moisture content, but the paper backing on the new drywall could pick up moisture from the wood, and the new drywall could end up with mold forming on it.

Consumers can use moisture meters to determine the moisture content of wood framing, says Brenneman. The most common type of moisture meter (also referred to as a resistance meter) measures the direct current conductance between two metal pins inserted into the wood--which is then correlated with the wood's moisture content. When using a moisture meter, follow the instructions carefully. Instructions are specific to the meter.

Meters are available for checkout through some local ISU Extension offices and health departments. For an informational video produced by North Dakota State University Extension on how to use a moisture meter, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49OiL0EtBho.
For research-based information related to household clean-up, removing mold or rebuilding after a flood, refer to ISU Extension's Disaster Recovery website at www.extension.iastate.edu/disasterrecovery/flood or contact your county ISU Extension office.

Because of demand for information related to flooding issues recently in Iowa, here is a list of ISU Extension resources:

• Crop Concerns http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/cropconcerns.htm
• Financial Concerns http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/financial.htm
• Flood Clean Up http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/flood.htm
• Housing Concerns http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/housing.htm
• Livestock Concerns http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/livestockconcerns.htm
• Resources http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/resources.htm
• Emergency Tips http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/emergencytips.htm
• Tree Damage http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/treedamage.htm
• Wells and Water http://www.extension.iastate.edu/DisasterRecovery/wells.htm

Now Is Time To Scout Corn For Foliar Diseases

Now Is Time To Scout Corn For Foliar Diseases

It isn't easy to make decisions about applying foliar fungicides to corn. You don't want to spray just because you saw a neighboring farmer spraying his field.

Research shows there needs to be disease pressure in order for producers to see increased or protected yields as a result of fungicide application, says Alison Robertson, Iowa State University Extension plant pathologist. To determine presence of disease pressure, she recommends you start by getting out of the truck and getting into the field. It is the ear leaves and those above the ear leaves that need to be protected.

"We've been receiving quite a few phone calls regarding application of foliar fungicides on corn," she says. "This is always a tricky decision to make. But research has shown that if you have disease pressure in the field and you apply a fungicide you have a greater chance of seeing an increase in yield or having your yield protected by using that fungicide."

Foliar diseases are favored by humid, damp growing conditions

Robertson says she's heard of some fields where disease pressure is very high this summer, especially in southeast Iowa. She's also heard of some fields, for example in west central Iowa, where there isn't a whole lot of disease. "I would be looking to apply a foliar fungicide on corn in southeast Iowa if you have disease pressure in your field," she says.

The most important leaves to protect on the corn plant are the ear leaf and those leaves above the ear. Those are the leaves where you don't want to get disease developing because those are the leaves that are contributing to grain fill. "The best chance to see a return for your investment in a foliar fungicide application is to apply that fungicide if there is high disease pressure in the field," says Robertson. "That means getting out and walking through the field and observing what disease and how much is developing in the lower canopy."

Disease pressure varies greatly from field to field this year

The risk of foliar disease pressure in some fields may be higher this year due to the current wet, humid weather on top of extra disease inoculums from the cool, wet years of 2008 and 2009. "Disease pressure varies greatly from field to field," says Brent Wilson, technical services manager for Pioneer Hi-Bred. "Foliar diseases - gray leaf spot, eye spot, northern leaf corn blight - are conducive to wet growing conditions."
 
"The window to see the greatest return from a fungicide application is rapidly closing as the corn crop and the disease cycle progresses," he says. "Fields with high disease pressure could still see a return on a fungicide investment."
 
The 2008 and 2009 growing seasons were cooler and wetter than normal. Those conditions allowed many disease inoculums to survive on field residue, specifically corn-on-corn fields, causing increased disease pressure in the wet 2010 growing season. Some corn hybrids have high tolerance ratings to many foliar diseases. "Hybrids with a higher tolerance score will likely withstand any yield impact to foliar diseases,"  says Wilson.

Yield response to fungicide is better on some hybrids than others

Pioneer research shows yield response to a fungicide application is greater for hybrids with a low level of resistance compared to hybrids with a moderate level of resistance to disease.

Foliar fungicide applications on corn have grown in popularity with many growers because of the limited amount of management options post-planting. Pioneer on-farm trials and research show applying a foliar fungicide to corn can lessen the effects of foliar disease outbreaks and boost yield up to seven bushels per acre.
         
Fungicides potentially offer many positive effects, but the decision to apply a fungicide can be difficult for growers. Growers should assess disease situations on a field-by-field basis to decide if a fungicide is the best option, says Wilson.

Several factors can increase chances of foliar disease outbreaks

Several factors negatively affect yield. Leaf disease susceptibility, continuous corn, excessive moisture, no-till or minimum tillage, and late planting are all important factors that increase the chances of foliar disease outbreaks. These factors play a big role in deciding if a fungicide is economically feasible.
         
Wilson says corn planted in mid-April is near the end of the application time frame. However, now is a good time to evaluate and take note of fields impacted by foliar diseases for the crop not only in the ground, but also to help assess hybrid performance for next year's seed purchase decisions.
         
The correct timing of a fungicide application is imperative. During the time of tasseling is the best option for spraying. Foliar disease is not severe at this point, but is present and will start to cause damage. Growers should not spray prior to tasseling because fungicides can cause crop injury if sprayed too early.
         
For more information on foliar fungicide applications or hybrid tolerance ratings, he suggests you contact a local Pioneer agronomist or sales professional. "While the weather cannot be predicted a year in advance, these types of growing conditions offer up a great opportunity to reflect on seed choices on a field-by-field basis," Wilson says. "Growers should work with local professionals for information on what works best for each acre."

Syngenta Seeds, Deere Credit announce finance agreement

Syngenta Seeds, Inc., has announced it has entered into an agreement with John Deere Credit to offer grower financing solutions through Farm Plan for the 2011 crop season.

Qualified growers purchasing Garst, Golden Harvest and NK brand seed products will be eligible to receive season-long financing, with attractive cash discounts, at competitive interest rates through Farm Plan.

“At Syngenta, we are always looking for ways to help growers build a successful and profitable business,” said Chuck Lee, head of Syngenta Seeds corn and soybean marketing. “We’re excited to announce our relationship with John Deere Credit and look forward to making financing an option for our growers.”

“Farm Plan is a great fit with Syngenta because we serve the same customer. We’re dedicated to the business of agriculture and understand the evolving needs of producers,” said Scott Cline, vice-president of marketing at John Deere Credit. “Our strategic relationship with Syngenta is helping us achieve our goal of providing dependable solutions that help qualified producers get what they need when they need it.”

Qualified growers will have access to financing through Farm Plan this coming fall. For more information, please contact your local Garst, Golden Harvest or NK representative.

For more information about Syngenta please go to http://www.syngenta.com.

Monsanto introduces TripleFlex herbicide for corn

Monsanto adds an acetochlor premix formulation, called TripleFlex, for preemerge and postemerge use in corn. The new herbicide will be available for the 2011 crop season.

The company claims TripleFlex will control a broad spectrum of grasses as well as small and large seeded broadleaf weeds such as pigweed, lambsquarters, waterhemp, velvetleaf and ragweed species. The product joins Monsanto’s Harness family of acetochlor herbicides. The company also offers two other broadleaf active ingredients: flumetsulam and clopyralid.

TripleFlex will also fit directly into the Roundup Ready Corn System, as Monsanto looks for more solutions for managing resistant weeds.
For more information, visit www.monsanto.com.