C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2010-36

Dates Covered: 
October 26, 2010 - November 8, 2010
Editor: 
Curtis Young

CORN Newsletter Shifting Schedule.

As we move into the late fall and winter months, the publication of the CORN Newsletter will be shifting into its winter schedule as well.  The next issue of CORN will be published in two weeks and will be published twice a month from November 2010 through the end of March 2011.  Weekly publication of CORN will return in April 2011.

Grain Quality Alert!

Check those bins.  OSU Extension Offices have received reports of bins of grain sweating to the point of moisture dripping from the roofs and down the sides of the bins.  With soybeans coming off so dry and the idea that beans are easy to store, some farmers may be forgetting a key factor.  All grain needs to be cooled down to avoid condensation.  Yes, the soybeans may have been binned at 9-10% moisture, but harvested at 80 degrees F, setting up an ideal condensation scenario when outside temperatures dip into the 40's and below. 

Much of the farm storage of soybeans is in bins without stirrators and some of those bins may have inadequate ventilation which could cause some serious problems with temperature and moisture management. 

Farmers are more likely to track grain condition in corn bins but once again may be lulled into thinking if they did not need to dry it, why put air on it?  Remember that more stored grain goes out of condition because temperatures are not controlled than for any other reason. 

Since grain is a good insulator, it does not cool uniformly as outside temperatures drop.  Air near the bin wall cools and settles toward the bin bottom creating convection currents.  The air then rises up through the warm grain picking up moisture in the form of water vapor.  The air continues to move towards cooler grain near the surface, where the moisture condenses and can cause spoilage.

The most common location of wet or spoiled grain is at the top-center of the bin.  Another location for storage problem symptoms is the grain near the bin wall, often the colder north wall.

Source:  Grain Drying, Handling and Storage Handbook, Midwest Plans Service

PLEASE keep in mind your stored grain is like money in the bank, but only if its condition is properly maintained.

For more information of corn storage molds, see the article by the same name in CORN Newsletter 2010-33 at:  http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2010/2010-33.

Transgenic Traits for Corn.

We recently placed a chart that lists the current Bt transgenic corn traits available for insect management at our Agronomic Crops Insects web page located at http://entomology.osu.edu/ag/.  The actually address for this chart is http://entomology.osu.edu/ag/images/DiFonzo.pdf.  This table was put together by two of our colleagues, Drs. Chris DiFonzo of Michigan State University and Eileen Cullen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is an excellent source of information of what is out there for growers.

Tips for Evaluating Sales Information.

Now that crop harvest is winding down, many companies that conduct field experimentation will be getting out and sharing their success stories, so how can you weed through the information to find the truth?

The first thing I often say as it relates to fertilizer products (but this likely extends to other agronomic products/practices) is "if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is."  The first thing to look for when evaluating yield data from field trials is to look for some information regarding how field experimentation was done.  This does not require you to have a statistical background.  Simple questions like - "Was the study replicated?", "How many locations were utilized?", "Were there any locations that did not respond positively (environmental interactions)?"  To my knowledge, no agronomic practice (within reason) results in a yield increase every time it is evaluated.  So if someone states, "we conducted field research on 50 fields, and we saw a yield increase every time," be suspicious.

View split field research data cautiously.  Back in 2006 we prepared a CORN Newsletter article that shared our concerns regarding the use of split field experiments to direct agronomic decisions (2006-37).  Split field comparisons can reveal yield differences, but our ability to determine how confident we are that the differences are due to an actual treatment effect and not just shear random chance (or due to some other underlying factor) is negligible.

Inquire why a specific treatment resulted in a supposed yield difference.  This can be critical.  If the explanation does not make sound agronomic sense, then you have your answer as to whether or not it would be beneficial on your farm.  Along this line, determine if the salesperson is marketing something specific to your situation (soil test level, agronomic practice, insect pest, disease pressure, etc.) or just selling something that everyone should use.  Many non-traditional approaches to nutrient supplementation can be beneficial, but they are only beneficial in specific instances.  Are they telling you it works everywhere, or just under a certain set of circumstances? 

Ag marketers/salespersons are important to the introduction of new products that you as a producer benefit from annually.  Our goal at Ohio State University is to provide you tools that allow you to make better decisions.  Your ability to separate good information from a marketing ploy is simply another tool in your arsenal.

Cool Season Grass Workshop (Ray Smith, University of Kentucky).

The American Forage and Grass Association is sponsoring a Cool Season Grass Workshop November 11, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  Leading forage extension specialists from across the country have planned this workshop for industry and public sector professionals.  The goal of the workshop is to provide practitioners with the knowledge and background to better work with farmers and landowners.  Topics include:  Variety Development, Seed Quality, Growth and Development of Grasses, Learning How to ID Seedling Grasses, Plant Physiology, Managing Grass Pastures based on their Response to Defoliation, Grass Fertility and Nutrient Management, Forage Species Use, Adaptation and Yield, and Using Cool Season Grasses for Dairy Herds.  Go to http://AFGC.org for more details and to register.  Application for CCA credits for these sessions is in process.  The direct link to the conference registration is: http://data.memberclicks.com/site/afgc/CoolSeasonBrochure11.pdf.

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About the C.O.R.N. Newsletter

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.