Edith Munro

Corn & Soybean Digest
What are your grain storage/marketing plans?  1

As corn and soybean prices drop below breakeven levels, we asked farmers: What are your grain storage and marketing plans? From using on-farm storage and carry to selling to ethanol plants and little forward selling, read what farmers in Missouri, Ohio and Minnesota are planning for their corn and soybeans after harvest this fall.

Corn exports strong in Ukraine, despite conflict  2

Sanctions and trade disruptions in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia dispute have yet to hamper Ukraine’s corn exports, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates at almost 800 million bushels for the 2013/14 marketing year.

Optimism on waterway reforms  1

While the recently passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act “moves the needle,” far more needs to be done, says Paul Rohde, Midwest area vice president for the Waterways Council, Inc. He warns that by the end of this decade, 78% of waterway locks will have surpassed the end of their design life.

Is Africa the next cerrado? 1

Africa’s Guinea savannah is “one of the largest underused agricultural land reserves in the world,” according to a 2009 World Bank study that found 990 million acres suited for agriculture, of which less than 10% was in crops.

Q&A: What practice improved your ROI? 2

Next in our Q+A series, we asked farmers what practices they've used that improved return on investment. From split nitrogen applications to variable rate and grid sampling to implementing auto-steer, farmers in Minnesota, Ohio and Iowa talk about what practices have offered them a better ROI.

Nitrogen on soybeans? 1

Soybeans fix their own nitrogen, but high-yielding beans need a lot of nitrogen – 4 to 5 pounds per bushel total with some 3 pounds per bushel in the harvested seed, according to Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences. “That’s why some people try applying nitrogen to boost yields,” he says. “You would think if you put on 100 to 200 pounds per acre, there would be a response.”

ARS offers improved nitrogen management tool 1

A new 4.5 version of the Nitrogen Index, available this winter from NRCS-ARS, makes the program quicker and easier to use as a tool for nutrient-application decision tool.

Q&A: What new idea paid off the best in 2013? 1

We asked farmers which ag practices and ideas paid off for them in 2013. From narrow rows in corn to cover crops to nutrient management, growers sounded off about the new things they tried with success last year.

Will India follow China’s path?

A consistent corn supplier in recent years, India has captured some 45% of the Southeast Asian corn export market. India’s ability to supply those exports reflects a long-term increase in harvested acreage, yield gains from increased hybrid seed use, and expanded production that, so far, has kept up with growing domestic demand.

Q&A: What are your most effective soil conservation practices? 1

We asked farmers what their most effective soil conservation practices are. From Iowa to Missouri, their responses included bioreactor water control systems, no-till and cover crops.

Strong corn competition from Russia, Ukraine

“Ukraine is going to be bigger than Argentina in corn, when you look at projections,” says Chad Hart, associate professor of economics at Iowa State University. “Call them a regional powerhouse in the Black Sea region."

China slow to compete in corn 1

Kevin Rempp, Montezuma, Iowa, a grower who chairs the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, saw the inefficiencies of the traditional Chinese system on a U.S. Grains Council crop tour. “The plots were about three-fourths to two acres maximum per farmer, so a field of 80 to 100 acres could have many, many plots,” he recalls.

Soybean transportation costs to Shanghai, China, in dollars per ton.
Corn, Soybean Crops in Brazil Strain Transportation System 66

Brazil’s larger corn and soybean crops strain its already-inadequate transportation system. That hinders Brazil’s ability to deliver promptly at a competitive price – and infrastructure improvements aren’t advancing quickly enough to ease the problem in the near future.

Corn Growers Form International Maize Alliance to Focus on Biotechnology, Food Security, Stewardship, Trade Issues 5
Corn growers from the world’s three largest corn exporting nations will collaborate on a global initiative to resolve common problems that restrict trade under a unique pact signed by grower leaders in May at Argentina’s MAIZAR corn congress. The agreement – the first of its kind among corn grower groups – creates The International Maize Alliance (MAIZALL), which will work on biotechnology, food security, stewardship and trade issues.
Soybean Seedling Diseases Cause 37-Million-Bushel Yield Decrease Each Year 32

Seedling diseases and seed rot accounted for more than 20% of soybean establishment problems in the past five years, and farmers had to replant almost 20% of affected acres. (This comes from a March 2012 survey of Midwestern and Southeastern certified crop advisors in 12 major soybean-producing states as part of a soybean seedling disease study.)

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