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Volume 12, Number 2 - February 2006

This Month in Ag Connection

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Asian Soybean Rust - What Happened?

Soybean Rust was anticipated as a severe problem in 2005, but the disease never materialized. Asian soybean rust experts at a recent Soybean Rust conference indicate that a lack of over wintering inoculum, high temperatures and a lack of moisture were all contributing factors.

The disease was first reported in the United States in 2004. In 2005, rust was reported in Florida in February and spread slowly through the southeast, mostly during late summer and early fall. Most of the detections were reported after August 15. The rust that was detected consisted of a few lesions or pustules found on a few leaves.

Scientists at the National Soybean Rust Conference said the disease did not over winter along the Gulf Coast in 2004 because of a hard freeze killing any volunteer soybean and kudzu leaves. In milder winters there will be more host survival and the spore load will increase.

While temperature plays an important role in the infection process, researchers are not certain how temperatures might affect development of the disease in the United States. Temperatures ranging from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for infection. Once the disease resurfaced in 2005, it was too late in the growing season for it to spread.

Some experts believe it may have been too hot in 2005 for the disease to develop early in the growing season. Most infections started in late August when temperatures started to drop. In China, scientists indicated that it is too hot for soybean rust to develop during the summer. Without prolonged periods of leaf wetness the disease could not proliferate. The ideal conditions for soybean rust development occurred in only a few places in 2005.

The absence of low level jet-stream winds also played a part in the lack of disease development. Other than the effects of the summer's tropical storms, the low-level jet winds were not strong. Most northerly wind currents did not extend much past the first tier of states north of the coast.

The disease could reappear in 2006 and beyond. Watch for updates and scout your fields!!

(Author: Wayne Crook, Agronomy Specialist)

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New Generation Cooperatives

New generation cooperatives (NGC) are a popular method used to add value to agricultural commodities. While not a specific legal structure, the term "New Generation Cooperative" is used to describe how a firm operates. It describes the relationship between the firm, its members and how it is financed. NGC start up and construction are financed through the sale of delivery rights. Expenses and growth are financed through members retained earnings. The delivery rights represent a member's right to deliver a specific amount of commodities to the cooperative. The five primary characteristics of NGC are:

A few benefits for producers are:

Here are five questions you should ask if you are considering joining a NGC:

NGC's should operate with the following objectives:

(Author: Mary Sobba, Agricultural Business Specialist)

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2005 Bermudagrass Yields at Lincoln, MO

During the spring of 2002 Bermudagrass plots were established at Lincoln, MO. The three seeded varieties are Wrangler, Guymon and Cheyenne. Sprigged varieties are Hardie, Midland 99 and Ozarka. All plots were fertilized with urea on May 13, 2005 at a rate of 100 pounds actual nitrogen per acre, with an additional 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre applied on June 1, 2005 after the first harvest date.

Plots were mowed to a four-inch stubble height on June 1, July 5 and September 12. Samples were collected, weighed and sub-sampled. The sub-samples were air dried to approximately 15 percent moisture. Dry matter yield estimates were then made by multiplying these air-dry weights by 0.85. This adjusts for the moisture in the air since we do not have access to drying ovens to eliminate all moisture from the samples.

Due to the lack on rainfall during July, there was no growth to harvest at the scheduled early August harvest time. August rains resulted in adequate regrowth for a September harvest. Harvest after mid-September is not recommended for Bermudagrass. Also, since no harvest was taken in early August, additional N was not applied.

Yield results for the seeded varieties are listed in Table 1. There were statistically significant differences in dry matter yield between these varieties. Wrangler had the highest yield on the June 1 harvest date. Total estimated dry matter yield for Wrangler was greater than for either Guymon or Cheyenne. Total estimated dry matter yield was not statistically different for Guymon or Cheyenne, even though Guymon outyielded Cheyenne on the June 1 harvest date.

Table 1

2005 Estimated Dry Matter Yield in Pounds per Acre of Seeded Bermudagrass Varieties
Variety 6-1-05 7-5-05 9-12-05 Total
Wrangler 2392a 3034 1735 7162a
Guymon 1784b 2538 1659 5981b
Cheyenne 1338c 2206 1901 5446b
P>F 0.003 0.09 0.32 0.01

a,b,c = Means within column with differing superscripts are different.
LSD = Least Significant Difference

Sprigged variety yields are listed in Table 2. No statistically significant dry matter yield differences were noted among these varieties.

Table 2

2005 Estimated Dry Matter Yield in Pounds per Acre of Sprigged Bermudagrass Varieties
Variety 6-1-05 7-5-05 9-12-05 Total
Hardie 1949 3152 2224 7326
Midland 99 1620 2955 2477 7052
Ozarka 2049 3114 2240 7404
P>F 0.67 0.85 0.73 0.94

The plots will continue to be monitored in 2006. Additional plots are being established to compare yield and forage quality with the addition of various legumes to tall fescue.

Special thanks to MFA Plant Foods at Cole Camp for supplying the urea for these demonstrations and to the Benton County SWCD for allowing the plots on their property in Lincoln.

(Authors: Gene Schmitz, Livestock Specialist and Rich Hoormann, Agronomy Specialist)

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Bottom Line Tidbits: Farm Tenant and Landowner Communication

Heads-up farmers: the number one complaint consistently shared by farm rental landowners is "my tenant takes me for granted and doesn't communicate with me". Improving your communication with your landowners or potential landlords can give you a competitive advantage.

If you rent land, addressing and curing this complaint of landowners should be one of your highest business management priorities for 2006. An important economic reality is that it would be easier and cheaper for the landowner to come up with a new tenant - than it would be for the tenant to come up with replacement land. The ironic point is that addressing and curing this lack of communication complaint should not be difficult or complicated.

If you don't feel comfortable visiting in person or telephoning each of your landowners on a regular basis - consider developing a seasonal or quarterly newsletter. This letter should inform the landowner about:

Don't be afraid to share information about your personal or family activities. Remember, a goal of the communication is to develop a feeling of inclusion - that you are not taking the landowner for granted.

On the subject of activities or events - have you considered having a field day for your landowners? This could be an excellent way of expressing your appreciation for the opportunity of farming their land and impressing upon them the significant investment you have made in machinery and new technology. This would also be an excellent opportunity to invite some of your farm service and input representatives to your farm. In fact, they could help communicate to the landowners the need for their company's services or products. An additional benefit is that a field day would give you the opportunity and motivation to cleanup or cleanout the shop and machine shed.

Use your imagination for ways of enhancing your communication with your landowners and approach the task with a positive and creative attitude.

The ball is in your hands - don't drop it!

(Author: Parman R. Green, University of Missouri Ag Business Mgmt. Specialist)

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Horizon Point Custom Weather Analysis

Horizon Point is a custom weather analysis system for farmers. It provides farmers with the opportunity to have site specific weather reports sent to their e-mail address. For more information on this system, see the following web site:

This service is free. Give it a try.

(Author: Don Day, Natural Resource Engineer)

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Taxation Tidbits

  2005 2006
Standard Deduction:
  • Single
  • Married filing jointly
  • Head of household


Personal Exemption $3,200 $3,300
Maximum Section 179 Deduction $105,000 $108,000
Maximum Social Security Wage Base $90,000 $94,200
Full Retirement Age for Social Security 65 years 6 mos. 65 years 8 mos.
Annual Gift Exclusion $11,000 $12,000
Federal Estate Tax Equivalent Exemption $1.5 mil. $2.0 mil.

(Author: Parman R. Green, MU Extension Ag Business Mgmt. Specialist)

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Publishing Information

Ag Connection is published monthly for Central Missouri Region producers and is supported by University of Missouri Extension, the Commercial Agriculture program, the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Managing Editor: Kent Shannon.