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Soybean Acres Continue to Climb in NY

Mike Stanyard, Team Leader, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

February 1, 2013

What a great year to grow more beans! Great yields and great prices got the combines rolling early this fall. National Ag Statistic Service NY office estimates the 2012 NY soybean crop at 46 bushels/acre; up 3 bushels from last year.

NY still had its areas of moisture deficit. Much of our well drained gravel soils struggled the last two weeks of August and ended up yielding in the mid 30's. Other areas with timely showers had their best yields ever! Look at the NY Soybean contest; six entries over 80 bushels.

Most of the rain starved Midwest was not so fortunate. Soybean yields listed below are from the latest published reports from NASS for each state, These averages are a lot better than I expected considering the "I" states grow between 5 to 8 million acres of soybeans a piece. Soybeans did not get beat up as bad as corn did but most states were below their normal bu/acre averages. In comparison, IL and IN only had 100 bushel/acre corn averages!

See PDF below: 2012 Average Soybean Yield (Bushels/Acre) by State

We know that we grew some good soybeans in 2012 but the seed for this years crop wasn't grown in NY. A lot is grown in the Midwest where drought conditions and additional stresses could have yielded soybean seed that was lower in germination. In talking with many of the local seed dealers, it sounds like some of the soybean seed germination percentages may be below what we are used to seeing. The normal maturity groups and varieties will not be in short supply like it sounds some of the corn hybrids will. However, seed size tends to be larger in drought years and drier so you need to be more careful when handling the seed.

Seed size and lower germ percentage (<90%) are not a huge deal as long as we are aware of them. We have to remember that our seeds per pound will be lower with larger seeds. Also, if the percent germination on the bag is 90%, we need to increase our planting population 10% in order to achieve our desired final plant population. Be aware of the information on the seed bag! If you use lower quality seed, fungicide treated seed is a smart move. This does not improve the germination rate but better protects the emerged plants.

2012 Average Soybean Yield (Bushels / Acre) by State (pdf; 83KB)











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Dairy Cattle Summer Research Update

July 18, 2019
Batavia, NY

After the day's work is done, come hear about two new research trials conducted by Julio Giordano's lab:
  • Strategies for improving dairy cattle reproductive performance and economics
  • Using automated sensors for improving dairy cattle health monitoring and management

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Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm
Waterloo, NY

Join the Finger Lakes Graziers on a pasture walk and learn about soil health. 
view details


USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 ? Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today the availability of a new web-based tool - developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin - to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized
DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

"With sign-up for the
DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program," Secretary Perdue said. "Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry."

The University of Wisconsin launched the decision support tool in cooperation with FSA and funded through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist. The tool was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest financial safety net. It allows farmers to simplify their coverage level selection by combining operation data and other key variables to calculate coverage needs based on price projections.

The decision tool assists producers with calculating total premiums costs and administrative fees associated with participation in
DMC. It also forecasts payments that will be made during the coverage year.

The new Dairy Margin Coverage program offers very appealing options for all dairy farmers to reduce their net income risk due to volatility in milk or feed prices," said Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin, Madison. "Higher coverage levels, monthly payments, and more flexible production coverage options are especially helpful for the sizable majority of farms who can cover much of their milk production with the new five million pound maximum for Tier 1 premiums. This program deserves the careful consideration of all dairy farmers."

For more information, access the tool at For
DMC sign up, eligibility and related program information, visit or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit

New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.|1