Thursday, November 18, 2010

U.S. Ethanol Policy

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University just released a policy brief titled "Impact on Ethanol, Corn, and Livestock from Imminent U.S. Ethanol Policy Decisions". The policy brief highlights and analyzes important aspects of the U.S. ethanol policy decisions. You can find the article by clicking on the following link -
Posted by Cory Walters, University of Kentucky

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One of the Driest Years Ever in Kentucky

Tom Priddy, University of Kentucky Ag Weather Center

According to preliminary data, since August 1st through November 9, the state has only received 6.10 inches of rain, which is over 5 inches below normal. Some west and west-central locations are 9 to 10 inches below normal for that time period.

Here's the latest map of US Drought Monitor for Kentucky:,MW

Unless Kentucky receives some rain before the end of the month, this August 1 through November 9 is the second driest on record (over 110 years)...surpassed only by 1953 with 5.17 inches. (See driest Aug-Nov 10 years below). Notice some very important dry years in the list, such as 1930 (the granddaddy of droughts) and recently 2008, 1998 & 1999 in the top ten list.

1 5.17 1953
2 6.62 1904
3 7.11 1908
4 7.24 2008
5 7.28 1963
6 7.29 1939
7 7.54 1943
8 7.93 1998
9 7.95 1930
10 8.43 1999
* Value is total rainfall (inches) between August and November.

Two rainfall events are in the forecast...Saturday, November 13, 2010 and again late Monday/Tuesday. The latest models indicate the Saturday event is weak and falling apart. Tuesday's event looks very promising. Also, the winter outlook is calling for above normal rainfall for Kentucky:

The Bt Maze

Refuge-in-a-bag, refuge in 2 bags, reduced refuge are all terms being used this fall about different Bt corn hybrids. If you are confused by all of the information, like me, there is an excellent resource that breaks down the latest information, and refuge requirements for the various Bt events.

Dr. Ric Bessin, Extension Entomologist, has updated Bt-corn for Corn Borer Control (ENTFACT 118), which is available online in the html version and in the pdf version.

He includes a table that breaks down all of the Bt events, the companies, the trade names (i.e. YieldGard, Herculex, Viptera, etc.), the pests controlled and the refuge required. This table will be a tremendous help as you try to sort through the Bt "maze".

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2010 Soybean Variety Trials now Online

Chad Lee, Grain Crops Extension, University of Kentucky

The 2010 University of Kentucky Soybean Variety Performance Report is now available online directly at: Soybean varieties are submitted by companies for testing. The varieties are tested at five locations across Kentucky. Each test is broken into different maturity groups. Variety performance should be compared only to other varieties in the same maturity test.

Variety performance across multiple locations is the best predictor of variety performance for next season. Variety performance across multiple locations over multiple years is a better predictor than single-year data.

The current report and archives of previous reports are available at the Soybean Variety Testing website.

Print copies should be available at county extension offices in a couple weeks.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Request for Help Evaluating the Wheat Fusarium Head Blight Prediction System

The web-based prediction tools at
( provide daily estimates of disease risk for 25 states east of the Rocky Mountains. This multi-state effort requires considerable resources to maintain, and scientists involved in the project would like to gather some input to justify continued investment of time, computing resources and funds needed to sustain the effort.

If you viewed or used these tools during the 2009 - 2010 growing season, we would like to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to complete a very brief on-line survey that will help us evaluate, improve, and maintain the system.

The link to the survey is:

Kentucky Corn Hybrid Trials now Online

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

The 2010 Kentucky Corn Hybrid trial is now available online at: Print copies will be out in about two weeks.

The 2010 season began with heavy rains in the spring followed by little to no rain during pollination and seed fill. The corn hybrid test normally has six locations across the states. Yields were so low and so variable at one location that only five locations are reported in this test.

The goal of the test is to identify hybrids with very good performance relative to other hybrids and to predict which hybrids will perform well next year. The best predictor of hybrid performance for next year is the cross-location average, where all environments examined are evaluated together.

Hybrids that ranked very well on the cross-location average have the best chance of performing well next season. Hybrids that have performance very well for two years have an even better chance of performing well next season.

Only hybrids in the same maturity test (Early, Medium or Late) should be compared with other hybrids in the same maturity test. Hybrids should not be compared with each other across tests.

For more on the hybrid corn test, contact you local county extension agent.