Ryan Martin’s Indiana Ag Forecast for April 21, 2017

Apr 20, 2017 28

Highly variable weather across the Hoosier state today, as one front pushes off to the east and we gear up for another significant system to rise up out of the southwest. We think that most of the state today, at least from US 50 northward, will be dry, as clouds and sun mix it up. However, closer to the OH River, clouds hold firmer, and we actually cannot rule out some scattered lingering action, thanks to our approaching weekend event.

A strong low exits the central plains later today and overspreads the MO valley. Rains associated with this circulation will begin to push into SW Indiana in earnest overnight tonight through tomorrow. Models still are in some disagreement as to how far north the heaviest rains go, but we believe that most of the action from tonight through the weekend will be from I-70 southward, and the farther south you go, the higher rain totals can be. Rains can linger in some light and scattered form through midday Sunday. Rain totals from tonight through the weekend will be .25”-1.25” from I-70 southward, .05-.25” from I-70 to US 24, and north of US 24 – little to no rain.

We should be dry from Sunday afternoon on through Monday and Tuesday as clearing skies come in behind the weekend system. Temps may pull back a bit but will be normal to above to start the week. Clouds will start to build later Tuesday afternoon.

A quick moving front sweeps through Tuesday night through mid-morning Wednesday. This front has .25”-.66” rain potential with coverage at 80% of the state. This should be seen mostly as a nice, gentle rain…except for the fact that it may interrupt desires to be in the field. An almost immediate move back to sunshine for the balance of Wednesday will be in the cards.

24 hours late, we have a warm front lifting across the state that will trigger some light rains from Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. Rain totals look to be a few hundredths of an inch up to .25” with coverage at about 40%. The rains have the best chance north of I-70. Areas south of I-70 likely stay rain free. However, behind the warm front, we see strong south winds kick up for Friday that will promote some drying, but will likely be too strong for some type of fieldwork. We expect winds next Friday and Saturday to average 12-25mph out of the south at the least.

A strong cold front looks to move in to finish off the 10-day period next Sunday the 30th and it will roll on through the 1st of May. Rains with this front can still be strong…with potential of .25”-1.5” and coverage at 90%.

In the extended window, we still have two systems to watch, although we now think that the first system, around the 3rd into the 4th, will be relatively minor. It sweeps through quickly…likely 12 hours or less, and has rain totals of no more than .1”-.4”. Coverage will be around 70% of the state. The second system, farther out in the extended window, around the 5th into the 6th, has more moisture with it…rains of .25”-1”. However, currently, it looks like it may want to track more south…bringing rains to the OH River valley, but missing a large part of the state. Right now, we would put coverage at no better than about 35%.

There is no fall off in temps through the next two weeks. We see temps near to above normal, with no major cold. However, the active precipitation pattern likely keeps a lid on excessive heat as well, as temps for the most part average 2-8 degrees above normal into mid may.

Active Weather Continues into Mid May

Apr 20, 2017 40



Active weather continues

Monday’s crop progress report showed Indiana corn planting four percent completed and that number will surely grow in the next report as farmers grabbed opportunities to plant this week. But a round of rain Wednesday and Thursday, including marble sized hail west of Kokomo and almost an inch and a half of rain in Clinton County stalled field work in many locations. In the new HAT planting forecast chief meteorologist Ryan Martin says there will be a few more planting windows from now through mid-May, but you need to be ready for them.

“I think we’ve got a very active pattern continuing,” he said. “If I’ve seen anything in the way my forecast has evolved over the past week, I’m not looking for as much heavy rain, but you take some of the heavy rain out of one system and all of a sudden you put in another one in the middle of what should have been a 4-day dry window. For example, we’ve got the system moving across the Corn Belt this weekend that’s going to give everybody some pretty good rain, then I had been looking for about four days of dryness to start off next week. I’ve had to narrow that down to two.”

Tuesday night into Wednesday more rain is possible, light rain this time. Thursday night through midday Friday the northern third of Indiana might get a quarter to half inch of rain. But that’s not all Martin is worried about. Wind could factor in as well.

“Because a lot of cover crops still need sprayed and we have some burndown that’s behind in spots. We’ve seen these systems as they’re coming in get a little bit stronger. Every time you see a stronger low it doesn’t matter how much precipitation is with it, if the low is strong you’ve got good strong winds with it. Notice this as we went back through the Thursday time frame, very gusty winds over most of the state. There is a strong frontal boundary complex that comes through this weekend and it probably gives us some good strong north to northwest breezes as we kick off Monday.

Some weather systems will carry heavy winds, others not so much. But overall, spraying could be difficult in the coming weeks. The planting forecast is online Saturday, and it can be delivered to your email inbox by signing up at www.hoosieragtoday.com, brought to you by Seed Consultants and Kokomo Grain.

No Reason to Rush

Apr 20, 2017 85



Don’t get impatient

David Cosgray

Fieldwork and planting progress was good early this week, but rain over much of the state on Thursday brought that activity to a standstill.  DuPont Pioneer agronomist David Cosgray reminds producers it is still early in the season, “The worst thing we can do is plant into a wet seed bed where we kind of mud it in.”  He said most growers can get their entire crop planted in 10-14 days, so there is no reason to rush at this point, “As soon as you start to mud in a crop, you open yourself up to yield loss and sidewall compaction.”

With a warm winter behind us, Cosgray is concerned about heavy insect pressure this growing season, “I am concerned about some European corn borer issues. I am also very worried about western bean cut worm infestation, especially in northern counties.” He said these insects can burrow down into lighter soils and overwinter very nicely.

Listen to the complete DuPont Pioneer agronomy update under the crops tab on this website.

Indiana Corn Marketing Council Awards Purdue Students Assistantships

Apr 20, 2017 43

Purdue University graduate student Sarah Mueller is researching ways to increase nitrogen fertilizer efficiency through the timing of nitrogen application. (Photo courtesy of Purdue Agricultural Agronomy)

As part of its goal to promote research into the corn industry, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) has awarded two $25,000 assistantships to Purdue University students in the Department of Agronomy. Each year, ICMC awards the funding to two Purdue graduate students, one studying for a master’s degree and one for a doctoral degree. The funding supports an annual stipend and attendance at professional meetings.

Sarah Mueller, who is pursuing her doctorate’s degree, has earned the assistantship for a third year. She is continuing her research with Tony Vyn, professor of agronomy. Their research into corn cropping systems focuses on increasing nitrogen fertilizer efficiency through the timing of nitrogen application.

“When conducting on-farm experiments, compiling research and analyzing data, I try to keep in mind how this research will impact the end user and the importance of putting the results into the hands of those who will use it,” Mueller said.

Jennifer Woodyard, who is pursuing her master’s degree and assists Eileen Kladivko, professor of agronomy, also received a $25,000 assistantship from the Indiana corn checkoff.

Woodyard’s research is specific to soil biology. She is currently examining popular cover crop treatments and their effect on soil health. Working with farmer collaborators, her project area covers 23 sites across Indiana.

“I come from a farming family and I understand the importance of research to producers. This award makes it possible to pursue my degree and continue research specific to soil biology and improving crop yield,” Woodyard said.

Marshall Martin, senior associate director of agricultural research and assistant dean in the College of Agriculture, is the liaison to the Indiana Corn Marketing Council. “Investment in the education of future research scientists or leaders ensures productivity for corn producers and the industry by providing the latest information and research in genetics, agronomy, disease management, insect management, and improving soil health with cover crops and marketing,” Martin said.

“The Indiana corn checkoff provides funding for these assistantships as a way to encourage students to pursue careers in research pertaining to the corn industry,” said David Gottbrath, president of Indiana Corn Marketing Council and a farmer from Pekin. “It is an investment of farmer dollars to ensure we have the best talent working not only to improve corn production practices but also find new uses

Australia and New Zealand Dairy Leaders Would Support U.S. WTO Action on Canada

Apr 20, 2017 28
Healthy Holstein dairy cows feed at a farm in central Washington in this December, 24, 2003 file photo. REUTERS/Jeff Green/Files

Dairy industry leaders from Australia and New Zealand say they would support the U.S. in potential World Trade Organization action against Canada. Leaders from both nations say they would support President Donald Trump if he included the WTO in a trade dispute over a milk pricing scheme by Canada that is harming U.S. dairy farmers. U.S. dairy groups say the issue will hurt the entire U.S. dairy industry. In Wisconsin this week, President Trump said that the existing rules were unfair. New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay told Reuters in an email his government was assessing the “WTO-consistency” of Canada’s dairy industry policy and had raised concern with the Canadian government. Malcolm Bailey, chairman of the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, said his organization was working with his foreign ministry to gather information for a possible WTO complaint.

The dairy industry in the European Union, which has two-thirds of Canada’s cheese import allocation, signed a letter last September along with Australian, New Zealand, U.S., and Mexican peers, demanding the start of a WTO dispute, as well.

Source: NAFB News Service

How is Agriculture Doing in Final Hours of State Legislature?

Apr 20, 2017 36

How is Agriculture Doing in Final Hours of State Legislature?

Justin Schneider

On Friday, the gavel will fall ending the current session of the Indiana General Assembly. The top priority for Indiana agriculture this session was funding for repair and maintenance of local roads and bridges. The House and Senate passed different versions of a funding package and a conference committee has been trying to reconcile the two bills for the past two weeks. Justin Schneider, with Indiana Farm Bureau, says Farm Bureau supports the House version, “The House version had $215 million more new money going to local governments for road and bridge repair. In our mind, given all the need, we have more money directed to local governments.”

Both bills contain a hike in the gas tax, something Farm Bureau supported,  and Schneider says it is needed, “The reality is that, given the amount of money that is needed just to get us as a state back to where we need to be, the tax increase is necessary.” He added that most people understand this even though they are not happy about having to pay more at the pump.

IFB is urging its members to voice support for the House version of the road funding plan, “INFB members must take action to restore sufficient funding for rural roads and bridges in HB 1002. Otherwise, the increased fuel taxes and registration fees you pay will primarily go to maintaining state roads, not the roads where you work and live.”

The new, 2-year, state budget will also be approved as the session ends. While negations will continue up to the last minute, Schneider is confident many of FB’s priorities, such as funding for the State Fair, the Indiana Grown program, Purdue, and the BOAH, will be included, “I feel confident there are going to be things being addressed that agriculture has supported.”  He said there are more requests than funds to meet them,so there is a good chance that not everyone is going to get everything they asked for.

Indiana Farm Bureau and Hoosier Ag Today will present a final review of legislative action next week.

360 Degree Videos take Consumers on Virtual Trip to the Farm

Apr 20, 2017 42

USFRA 360 Videos

What if there was a way to show millennials who are so attached to technology a 360-degree look at what happens on a modern, sustainable farm? U.S. Farmer and Rancher Alliance’s SMART Farm concept is the way. It introduces the farm to those millennials and any consumer with a little bit of technology. Randy Krotz with USFRA says the term SMART Farm represents all the technology farmers use.

“Then we took it the next step and said we need to be able to deliver that to consumers so they’re experiencing the farm and seeing the technology that we use,” he explained. “So we’re creating a series of 360 videos, think of putting a headset on and being able to spin around look up and down and see in 360. The first one is a launch of a farrowing unit and a finishing unit for pigs.”

Krotz says they took the virtual reality glasses and video equipment for a launch two months ago at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival in Miami.

“It was an opportunity to literally be in front of tens of thousands of people with such great traffic, and of course people aren’t used to seeing agriculture in an event like that. So that’s the real opportunity that USFRA tries to work on all the time, taking farmers and ranchers places where agriculture doesn’t normally show up.”

Visitors experienced being in a farrowing unit, able to look down at baby pigs, witness the air control, the care all the pigs receive, and the obvious emphasis on keeping hogs healthy. There was some very positive response, according to Krotz, including it looks like a pig spa.

“But the best reaction we got over and over was ‘I feel better about eating meat.’ I think that was because they saw how well animals were cared for. There’s no question we got negative reactions too, we did, not after they watched the video but people who just didn’t want anything to do with modern agriculture. We didn’t let those people go, we tried to talk to them, but obviously you can’t change everybody’s mind.”

Krotz says they’ll try to take the setup to about 25 events this year, but the video is also available on YouTube. If you don’t have the glasses be sure to click the rotation arrows in the upper left hand corner of the video.

Pence Talks Trade in Japan

Apr 20, 2017 56

Vice President Mike Pence was in Tokyo on Tuesday, calling for “stronger and more balanced bilateral trade relationships” with countries like Japan and South Korea. His comments raise the prospect of trade talks with Japan, as well as a look into the current agreement with South Korea. Japan and the U.S. seem to have different ideas on how to take their trading relationship forward.

President Donald Trump immediately withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement on his first day in office. The Vice President opened up the prospect of a bilateral agreement with Japan, a country that the president accused of unfair trade practices. The trade deficit with Japan was $69 billion last year. In the meantime, Tokyo is looking to revive the TPP without the United States.

Pence also spoke to U.S. and South Korea business leaders in Seoul, saying that the Trump administration wants to restructure the South Korea-U.S. trade deal, known as ‘Korus.’ He says the trade deficit with South Korea has doubled since the deal came into effect.

Source: NAFB News Service

Monsanto Surpasses Pollinator Habitat Goal

Apr 20, 2017 58



Monsanto announced it has reached milestones in two key aspects of its biodiversity program, including protecting species and promoting sustainable landscapes. Monsanto established 72 habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators at company sites across America. The number of those sites certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council doubled from 15 to 31 in the past year. “Our commitment to establishing pollinator and wildlife habitats is an important part of our advocacy for protecting species and promoting sustainable landscapes, which are at the heart of our biodiversity strategy,” said Pam Strifler, Monsanto Vice President of Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement.

In addition to the work Monsanto is doing on its own sites, it is providing funding to support several initiatives that help to boost monarch habitat, honeybee health, reforestation, seed collection, and preservation. Monsanto is the primary corporate funder of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. One result of the Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s projects includes creating 16,000 acres of new pollinator habitat in 2016.

Pheasant’s Forever also worked with Monsanto to help develop new pollinator sites.
Source: NAFB News Service

USDA Staffing Way Behind with Secretary’s Confirmation Crawl

Apr 18, 2017 40

USDA staffing

The Trump Administration could finally have a Secretary of Agriculture in place as early as next week when it goes before the Senate, but following former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s final confirmation there will be a lot of catching up to do. There isn’t expected to be much of a challenge for Perdue, but Jon Doggett at the National Corn Growers Association says there are hundreds of other politically appointed positions that must then be filled.

“He will be one of the last if not the last cabinet secretary that will be confirmed, but the administration needs to name a deputy secretary, 7 under-secretaries, 2 assistant secretaries, and the list goes on and on,” Doggett said. “There’re about 15 positions at USDA that need to be named by the President and then confirmed by the Senate, and there is a total of about 240 USDA positions that are political positions that need to be named by the administration. Right now we have one, and that person has not yet been confirmed, so we’re way, way, way behind schedule.”

Will some of those appointments be from Indiana leadership? Some think so, so we’ll closely watch the dominoes fall.

The Perdue delay also has stalled talks concerning current farm bill programs and the next farm bill. Doggett says the sooner 2018 Farm Bill discussions get underway the better because negotiations could be the toughest for a farm bill yet.

“There is a lot of need out there and we are going to be going into this situation where the government doesn’t have much money,” he said. “The federal debt is about an extra $4 trillion by the time we get to this next farm bill than when we were starting off the last farm bill, so it’s going to be tough to get the money to do this bill right. Risk management is the thing we hear over and over again from our members, and that is they need the ability to manage risk. That will be crop insurance and that would be either the ARC program or PLC program or something like those kinds of programs to be available for growers.”

It remains to be seen how quickly the Trump Administration will move on filling out the Department of Agriculture roster once Perdue is confirmed.  His confirmation hearing before the Senate is slated for April 24th.