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Friday, April 29, 2016

Deadline Sunday: National Winter Wheat Yield Contest

Register NOW For the National Wheat Yield Contest. Sunday, May 1 is the final deadline for the winter wheat sector of the National Wheat Yield Contest, hosted by the National Wheat Foundation. 

The contest, which will drive growth and innovation in the wheat industry as well as encourage knowledge and tech transfer, is open to NAWG members or members of a recognized state wheat grower organization. The spring wheat sector registration deadline is July 1, but in order to qualify for the winter wheat sector, you must register by May 1. Register online on the National Wheat Foundation website here.

Planting Progress Surges, Corn Emergence Closer to Average

(NCGA) Corn planting surged even further ahead of the five-year average last week according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With 30 percent of total corn acres planted by April 24, progress surpassed the five-year average for this point by 14 percentage points, ten percentage points further ahead of the average than this time one week ago.
Progress surpassed the five-year average by 50 percentage points in Missouri, with Iowa and Minnesota both more than 30 percentage points planted over the five-year average as well. Only Texas lagged behind the five-year average by more than five points.
The USDA also released its first forecast of the percentage of corn emerged this week. While planting ran far ahead of the five-year average, the percentage of the corn crop emerged surpassed the five-year average by only one percentage point. Again, Missouri saw progress the furthest ahead of the average, with 24 percent of corn acres emerged. The state normally sees only ten percent emergence by this point.
To view the full report released today, click here.

Be on the Lookout for Wheat Rust Diseases

(Carl A. Bradley, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Kentucky) Stripe rust (Fig. 1) was diagnosed by the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the UKREC this week in a wheat sample that came from Lyon County.  In addition, leaf rust (Fig. 2) of wheat has been observed in states south of Kentucky (Arkansas and Mississippi), and appears to be moving northward.  Some wheat varieties have high levels of resistance to these diseases; therefore, it is important to know the susceptibility of the varieties planted. Resistant varieties likely will not require any additional management for rust disease control; however, a foliar fungicide application may need to be considered for susceptible varieties. The 2016 multi-state university foliar fungicide efficacy table for wheat diseases can be found here

Figure 1
Figure 2

If leaf or stripe rust is detected in Kentucky, please contact your local county agent so that we can continue to track the spread of these rust diseases across the U.S.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Guide to Seed Treatment: Pollinator Stewardship

As planting season begins across the country, KyCorn encourage farmers to be diligent in taking proper precautions to minimize pollinator exposure to treated seed.

When planting, be aware of the presence of honeybee hives, or crops or weeds in the flowering stage within or adjacent to the field.  Ensure that no blooming weeds are present in the field.  Avoid off-site movement of dust by observing wind speed and direction.  And finally, be sure to follow planting depth instructions, and observe plant-back guidelines found on the seed tag.

For more information, visit or contact your seed dealer. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

NCGA's New Strategic Plan Puts Focus on Building Demand

At the recent Commodity Classic in New Orleans, the National Corn Growers Association finalized a new strategic plan that will focus NCGA's work on a vision of sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world. 

The new plan sets four major strategic priorities that reflect the concerns heard through listening to farmers and key stakeholders:
  • Increase Demand
  • Strengthen Customer and Consumer Trust
  • Enhance Productivity & Environmental Sustainability
  • Strive for Organizational Excellence
Increasing demand is vital, noted NCGA President Chip Bowling at a news conference held earlier this month.

"Most corn farmers are well past the point of prices being below the cost of production, and prices have been there for some time now," Bowling said. "Facing this dramatic income drop, farmers have begun tightening their belts. We are already seeing the ripple effects of this on rural communities. Implement dealers are selling less equipment. Manufacturers are scaling back production. Agribusinesses have laid off employees."

For NCGA, this means a particular focus on increasing ethanol demand, exploring new uses, increasing livestock exports and pushing for transportation infrastructure that can more efficiently move corn and corn products to market. The target goal within the new plan is competitive market demand for 19 billion bushels of corn by 2025.

"Our growers know what's at stake," Bowling said. "They've worked hard to bring in the three largest crops ever over the past three years, and now we have the opportunity to lead in building demand, enhancing trust, and improving sustainability."

Legislative Staff Learns Ethanol Facts

Nearly 100 spokespersons descended on offices in Washington, DC earlier this week; reaching out to legislative staff in Congressional districts that do not hear the corn or ethanol story very often.  "Representatives of these areas get the same opportunity to vote on ethanol issues, so it is perhaps more important that we become a resource to these non-cornbelt offices to be sure they get both sides of the ethanol story, since our Kentucky Delegation readily hears these topics from us", said KyCorn Programs Director Adam Andrews.
The annual Washington DC fly-in is hosted by American Coalition for Ethanol, or "ACE".  KyCorn is a dues-paying member.  Selection criteria for requesting meetings was offices outside of the Midwest, who have co-sponsored anti-ethanol legislation or have signed onto letters that were critical of ethanol.  The objective of the meetings was to understand what drove the decision, and respectfully provide a pro-ethanol perspective.  "It is inevitable that these members will have another opportunity to join an anti-ethanol effort in the future, and it behooves us to provide ourselves as a resource for the next time that the decision is presented to them", explained Adam.
"From our discussions, we found that in many cases the office didn't have a very compelling reason to sign onto the anti-ethanol effort that they participated in.  We need to be sure to keep the relationship active with these offices.  In many cases, their participation against ethanol can be prevented, if we just respectfully provide a balanced set of facts."

Calling for Immediate Congressional Action on TPP

"Every day of inaction on TPP means that U.S. farmers are missing out on new lucrative trade opportunities, and without enactment, our farmers are at a competitive disadvantage to countries that already have bilateral agreements in place with countries participating in the TPP," said KyCorn Executive Director, Laura Knoth.