This installment of 5 Ag stories to read reminds growers to evaluate soybean emergence for uneven stands, and to lookout for "rootless" corn seedlings. There's also insight into revenue and returns on cash-rented land for 2014. To keep up with growing season weather, check out ag weather maps from USDA, and for a little fun, watch a parody by the Peterson Farm Bros.
1. Uneven soybean emergence and replant. Despite wet and muddy conditions in May possibly causing uneven soybean emergence, experts at Ohio State University say that replanting may not be necessary. Laura Lindsey, soybean and small grains specialist with OSU Extension, says growers should evaluate soybean fields to check for emergence problems.
"Planting conditions weren't ideal this year, and some soybean stands may not look good right now," she said. "But you have to keep in mind that while stands may not look so great right away and emergence is uneven, soybeans will even out in most situations.
"When considering replanting soybeans, make sure to take into account the existing stand, yield loss due to late planting and the cost of additional seed," she said. "Soybean yield is decreased by approximately half a bushel per acre every day when planting later than mid-May."
2. Rootless corn. Peter Thomison, crop science professor at Ohio State University, has received several reports of “rootless” and “floppy” corn. He says that happens with there is limited or no nodal root development, and that symptoms are leaning or lodged corn seedlings. The problem becomes evident when there are strong winds.
Rootless corn problems are usually caused by weather related conditions that coincide with development of the permanent (or nodal) root system and various environmental factors. These include shallow plantings, hot, dry surface soils, compacted soils, and loose or cloddy soil conditions. Excessive rainfall and shallow plantings may cause erosion and soil removal around the crown region that can result in rootless corn.
Can rootless corn recover? Yes, after plants lodge, adequate rainfall will promote crown root development and plants can recover. Cultivation to throw soil around exposed roots may aid the corn's recovery.
3. Revenues, returns on cash-rented land. Due in part to lower corn prices and lower projected crop insurance payments, farmers will likely have lower returns in 2014 versus the last few years, says Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois.
At projected yield levels, break-even prices to cover non-land costs and cash rent is around $4.50 per bushel. Prices near $5.00 per bushel are needed to generate profit levels similar to 2013. If a price decline causes crop insurance payments in 2014, farmer returns on cash rent farmland likely will be negative.
4. Weather update. Every week the USDA releases maps noting weather conditions specific to agriculture: soil moisture, growing degree days, drought, etc. We collect these maps into a gallery for easy reference and viewing. Check out the latest USDA weekly weather update. Also, remember that CSD offers weather forecast and related ag weather maps on our website!
5. YouTube parodies. We’re heading into the thick of summer, and looking forward to watching crops progress and being outside. To celebrate summer and the 2014 growing season, here’s a flashback to one of my favorite parody videos from the Peterson Farm Bros., “I’m farming and I grow it.” Enjoy and share, and let us know in the comments which Peterson Farm Bros. parody is your favorite!