Showing posts from June, 2018

China Tells Farmers To Grow More Soybeans

U.S. House Passes Farm Bill Legislation

The U.S. House of Representatives passed farm bill legislation late Thursday, June 21, 2018. Before its passage, I asked @ACESIllinois Jonathan Coppess how the vote might go, what the bill contains, and how it compares to the Senate’s version of the legislation.

Nothing to do about Seedling Diseases in Soybean

Soybean seed treatments aren’t working at the moment and there’s nothing a farmer can do.

If you drive around much you’ll have noted some drown out areas in soybean fields, probably across the whole of the corn belt. Those are pretty easy to spot, but there are some areas that look like they’ve not been underwater - at least not for very long, if at all. They’re wilted back and showing signs of seedling diseases says University of Illinois Extension Plant Pathologist Nathan Kleczewski, "You must remember these soybeans have been in the ground for 30 or 40 days and seed treatments are going to only give us two to three weeks of protection.

Under perfect conditions your are going to see about three weeks of protection says the researcher, and we’re well past that point now. Kleczewski says while it is unusual at this point in the season, the Plant Clinic at the University of Illinois has been getting in samples of treated soybeans that are clearly suffering from seedling diseases, “f you think about the environment we had and the conditions we had immediately after planting. So, when we planted it was really warm and wet there for a while. So, you can imagine that initially this plant would have germinated from the seed and started to throw off roots. And then from here we are seeing from those initial roots, see how they are very white and stiff, this is because the outer cortex sloughed off. This is usually a sign of pythium infection and maybe there was also some rhizoctonia infection. So this canker you see here would be indicative of rhizoctonia.”

There is nothing to do at this point says Kleczewski. Spraying a fungicide on won’t do any good. If things dry out the plants may recover. Still there will be some stand loss, but not likely much yield impact.

Episode 01 | Nutrient Loss Reduction Podcast

Replacing Petrochemicals with Biochemicals made from Corn

Farmers gathered at the CUTC in St. Louis this week (June 4, 5, 6) to learn about future uses for the nation’s number one commodity crop.

The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference is organized by NCGA or the National Corn Growers Association. It happens every two years and is dedicated to exploring future uses of corn. Vijay Singh is a regular. He works for the agricultural college at the University of Illinois and specializes in engineering ethanol processing plants. Singh sees them expanding to include biochemical production in the near future, “That’s the big thing right now and for that, we need large amounts of sugar. The U.S. is at a major advantage in terms of producing sugars from corn and that comes from the corn processing industry.”

The corn processing industry has long focused on creating food products, high fructose corn syrup, ethanol and some other co-products. However, now that sugar, rather than crude oil, has become the preferred feedstock for producing high-value biochemicals that are used to create consumer products, things like polymers, there is a place for corn in that pipeline.

The U of I engineer says because it is economically feasible dry-grind ethanol plants are starting to produce sugar along with producing ethanol. Those sugars can then be used to produce biochemicals. The biochemicals made from a renewable source, corn, are taking the place of petrochemicals.

Corn Growth Stage and Post-Emergence Herbicides

by Aaron Hager, Extension Weed Scientist
University of Illinois

The labels of most post-emergence corn herbicides allow applications at various crop growth stages, but almost all product labels indicate a maximum growth stage beyond which broadcast applications should not be made, and a few even state a minimum growth stage before which applications should not be made.

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These growth stages are usually indicated as a particular plant height or leaf stage; sometimes both of these are listed. For product labels that indicate a specific corn height and growth state, be sure to follow the more restrictive of the two. Application restrictions exist for several reasons, but of particular importance is the increased likelihood of crop injury if applications are made outside a specified growth stage or range. The following table lists the maximum corn growth stage for broadcast application of several post-emergence corn herbicides. Be sure to consult the respective product label for additional precautions or restrictions.