EPA grants request for year-round E15

The Environmental Protection Agency announced in February that it will grant the request by eight Midwestern governors to allow the year-round sale of fuel with a 15% ethanol blend, or E15, in their states beginning in the summer of 2025. 

The announcement was welcomed by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), which has been fighting to break down barriers to the environmentally friendly biofuels. 

“We are glad to hear this decision from EPA, as it puts us on the road to providing more certainty to America’s corn growers and consumers who will save money at the pump,” said Harold Wolle, NCGA President and Minnesota Farmer. “However, given that this decision will not take effect until the summer of 2025, we question and are concerned about the implications of the timeline for growers and consumers this summer.” 

The sale of E15 has been banned during the summer months to meet federal clean air standards that have been shown to be unnecessary and outdated.… Continue reading

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“Battle for the Belt”, soybean results

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off

In the “Battle for the Belt, corn vs. soybean?” the primary question being asked is which crop should be planted first to get the greatest yield benefit. “We can also look at the other side of the question, which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting,” said Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist. “Can we adjust our management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting? We don’t want to plant late, but sometimes weather conditions in Ohio dictate when we plant, which can be later than we like to see.” 

Delayed planting incorporates considerations beyond the weather. “We need to look at interactions with insects, diseases, weeds, and many other factors. When you alter your planting date, you also alter the problems you may encounter in the growing season,” said Lindsey.… Continue reading

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Respect for heritage with a focus on the future at Murphy Family Farms

By Matt Reese

Delivering pizzas may not typically be thought of as a stepping-stone job for a young farmer, but Brad Weaver said each one of his various off-farm jobs helped better prepare him for his current role on Murphy Family Farms in Wyandot County.

“I’ve always worked off the farm. In high school I had other jobs. I did some lawn mowing and in college I delivered pizzas for a while. I’ve been a mason tender, I worked at Kalmbach Feeds and then I started trucking. My dad owns an excavating company and I worked for him all through high school and college too,” Weaver said. “As I’ve moved up on the farm, I bought my own semi and now I continue to do some trucking. I think all of my off-farm jobs helped me out with what I’m doing now, whether it be personal relationships or just being able to talk to people in different circumstances.… Continue reading

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Big yields have growers excited to plant in 2024

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

The 2023 growing season produced some amazing corn and wheat yields across the state. The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers annually coordinate the Ohio Corn Yield Contest and the Ohio Wheat Yield Contest. Many of the top winners gathered for the Celebration of Ohio Corn & Wheat in Bucyrus in February.

“We run these side by side with the national contests and we recognize Ohio’s yield contest participants at this event,” said Brad Moffitt with Ohio Corn & Wheat. “One interesting fact is we’ve got irrigated corn in Ohio, but an irrigated entry has never won our contest. It’s always been a non-irrigated or what the contest calls dryland entry. This year Corey Farrens hit 340.4 bushels per acre. He is near South Solon in Madison County. Corey Atley down in Greene County still holds the record at 360+ bushels per acre. We have a 300-bushel club to give recognition to every contestant that hits 300 or higher.… Continue reading

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206 Bushel per acre soybeans at CTC 24

By Mark Badertscher, Randall Reeder, Adapted from C.O.R.N 2024-04

The Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference (CTC) will be held in-person March 12-13 at Ohio Northern University in Ada. The first day of this year’s conference will feature Alex Harrell, Soybean Yield Champion from southwest Georgia with a yield of 206 bushels per acre. His presentation has been made possible by sponsor Brandt Professional Agriculture.

Shawn Conley, Extension Soybean Specialist, University of Wisconsin, will return and be paired with Alex Harrell and Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension, during the Agronomic Crop Management session after lunch, Tuesday. Shawn Conley is always one of the conference’s most popular speakers.

Paul Jasa, Extension Agricultural Engineer, University of Nebraska, will return to CTC as another one of the main speakers, sponsored by Calmer Corn Heads, he will speak four times. Pioneer is sponsoring Dr. Nicolas Martin, University of Illinois, speaking on “Do Management Zones Increase Yields?”

With about 60 speakers total, CTC gives plenty of opportunities to gain valuable information.… Continue reading

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Explaining the weather

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Dr. Aaron Wilson, OSU Climatologist gave a summary of current and future weather conditions.  Dr. Wilson explained the difference between weather, which is current day to day events, and climate, which is long-term weather events over time.  It’s like a man taking a dog for a walk.  The dog is all over the place which is like our current weather, changing constantly.  However the man is like our climate, he is walking in a certain direction while the dog follows erratically along. 

Dr. Wilson reviewed the 2023 past weather conditions and made predictions for the upcoming 2024 year.  Overall, 2023 was warmer than normal, about 2-30F above normal.  It was the 4th warmest year since 1895 and the 49th driest year, about 4 inches below normal precipitation.  Last winter was warm, followed by a cold spring.  June was hot and dry but the rest of the year had variable weather that was cooler than normal during the day but with warmer nights. … Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 336 | Talking Ohio Pork Congress, feral swine challenges, and timely Farm Bill update

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg travel to the Ohio Pork Congress for an in-depth discussion with Ohio Pork Council board member, pork producer (and the owner of a new flamethrower) Nathan Schroeder alongside Josh Scramlin, the regional director of producer services of the National Pork Producers Council serving Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Additional audio includes Ohio Ag Net’s Dale Minyo talking with Cheryl Day, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council, for an update on the developing feral swine challenge in Ohio and the unique methods being discussed to control it going forward.

Dusty has a chat with Luke Crumley of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association for a timely and matter-of-fact Farm Bill update as it has a challenging road ahead in the 2024 election year.

All that and more in this week’s Ohio Ag Net Podcast!

0:00Intro and Pork Congress Discussion
2:38Cheryl Day talks Feral Swine
8:50Luke Crumley talks Farm Bill
23:40Back to the group at Pork Congress
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Registration up for 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston

Pre-show registration for Commodity Classic is currently tracking nearly 30% above last year at this time. America’s largest farmer-led agricultural and educational experience will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, March 2 in Houston.

“We’re expecting a big show, and we’re excited to welcome growers, agricultural exhibitors, and media for Commodity Classic’s first time in Houston,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, a Nebraska farmer, NCGA member, and co-chair of the 2024 Commodity Classic. “Advance registration is significantly higher than last year’s event in Orlando, Commodity Classic’s biggest show ever.”

Programming begins on Wednesday, Feb. 28 with the first timer lunch at noon, What’s New sessions, and the Welcome Reception in the trade show from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Attendees will also enjoy Friday’s General Session, optional tours in the Houston area, and the Hardy concert at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Saturday, March 2.

Commodity Classic features a robust schedule of over 30 educational sessions, two trade show floors with more than 430 exhibitors featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, inspiring speakers, unique tours, and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.… Continue reading

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Dicamba registration vacated and deadlines established for those in possession.

By Dusty Sonnenberg, Alyssa Essman and Peggy Hall, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2024-04

Farmers are all too familiar with the constant attack on Dicamba in the public square. The positive attributes of the product controlling challenging weeds is met with resistance from those concerned about the risk of volatilization and off target movement. Numerous lawsuits have occurred across the country. Many farmers and custom applicators have been struggling with the dilemma of whether to purchase and make the application of the product, especially as an over-the-top application to resistant soybeans.  Now a new twist has been added to the deliberations.

On February 6th, 2024 the 2020 registrations for the three dicamba products labeled for over-the-top applications in soybean (Xtendimax, Bayer; Engenia, BASF; and Tavium, Syngenta) were vacated by a federal court in Arizona. The court found the EPA in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).… Continue reading

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Novel discovery could fortify Soybean Cyst Nematode resistance

By the SCN Coalition

Researchers have discovered a new and unexpected way to prevent soybean cyst nematode (SCN) from attacking soybeans. The loss of function of the GmSNAP02 gene in resistant soybean varieties like PI 90763 and PI 437654 thwarts SCN’s ability to attack the soybean plant.

“Think of it like a lock-and-key model, where SCN is the key and GmSNAP02 is the lock,” said Melissa Mitchum, professor in the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia and a member of the research team that made the discovery. “If you get rid of that lock, the nematode can’t access the plant. You make the parasite ineffective.”

Nematodes that can reproduce on Peking genetic resistance appear to be exploiting GmSNAP02.

“We think PI 90763 resistance works by losing this GmSNAP02 protein, circumventing the nematodes and making the plant more resistant,” Mitchum said.

“This gene could have a relatively immediate impact for farmers,” she said.… Continue reading

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Warm, dry February offers fieldwork opportunities

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

While Valentine’s Day plans, the National Farm Machinery Show, dismal weather, and poor field conditions are more typical this time of year, many farmers around Ohio have instead found rare February opportunities for fieldwork this week. 

“We had some chicken litter applied earlier and we decided we were going to start working it in,” said Joe Everett in Shelby County. “If you looked at the calendar you would not think it’s February when looking outside. The conditions are really good and actually sometimes better than when we get later in the spring. We’re really happy with how things are working out here right now.”

Chicken litter is a nutrient source with many agronomic benefits and Everett is pleased with the chance to incorporate it in dry, unfrozen winter fields. The Feb. 15 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor showed a significant portion of western and northwestern Ohio, including much of Shelby County, is abnormally dry. … Continue reading

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Winning the War Against White Mold, Part 3 Genetic Resistance

This is a three-part series on Winning the War Against White Mold.
Click here to read Part 1—Disease Development.
Click here to read Part 2—Disease Management.

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off

For white mold to become a yield limiting factor in soybeans the three aspects of the disease triangle must all occur. First, the pathogen that causes white mold must be present. The amount of the pathogen in the environment will change over time. Second, the environmental conditions need to favor the development and distribution of the spores. This will vary from year to year. Finally, a susceptible host must be present. This is the one factor that the farmer has some control over through variety selection.

“There are multiple strategies that we can use to manage white mold,” said Dr. Wade Weber, Assistant Professor and Plant Pathologist at North Dakota State University.… Continue reading

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2024 ARC/PLC decisions

By Nick Paulson, Gary Schnitkey, and Ryan Batts Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois and Dr. Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University

Because the 2018 Farm Bill was extended, farmers will have the same commodity title choices in 2024 as they have since 2019. These include the Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Agricultural Risk Coverage at the county level (ARC-CO), and ARC at the individual level (ARC-IC) programs. 

For the first time, the effective reference prices in 2024 for corn ($4.01) and soybeans ($9.26) will be above statutory references prices ($3.70 for corn, $8.40 soybeans). Wheat’s effective reference price will remain at the statutory level of $5.50. Those effective reference prices are well below 2024 ARC benchmark prices: $4.85 for corn, $11.12 for soybeans, $6.21 for wheat. As illustrated in the recently updated for 2024 Farm Bill What-If Tool — a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet — ARC-CO will trigger larger payments when county revenues are driven by low yields, while PLC payments may be larger with moderately low prices and higher yields, as well as in scenarios with extremely low prices.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat celebrates yield contest winners

The 2023 growing season had some amazing corn yields across the State of Ohio. The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers annually host the Ohio Corn Yield Contest. Part of that contest is a 300+ bushel per acre club. There were 21 of the entries in the Corn yield contest qualifying for the 300+ bushel club. The overall winner in Ohio was Corey Farrens from Madison County with a yield of 340.46 bushels per acre. Corey, along with his agronomist from Nutrien Ag Solutions, Scott Spelman, visit with Ohio Ag Net’s Dusty Sonnenburg and share about the past growing season, never letting the corn have a bad day, and the team approach it took to get to the top corn yield in the contest. Runner-up in the state was Don Jackson of Preble County with 324.7-bushel corn.

Farrens and Jackson were also winners in the National Corn Yield Contest. Farrons was third in the Conventional Non-irrigated Class  and Jackson was third in the Strip-till Non-irrigated Class. … Continue reading

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Winning the War Against White Mold, Part 2 Disease Management

This is a three-part series on Winning the War Against White Mold.
Click here to read Part 1—Disease Development.

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off

White mold disease management begins with understanding the conditions that must be met for white mold to infect a susceptible soybean crop. “Once white mold has been identified in a field, or we are concerned about white mold developing, we have quite a few options for management of the disease,” said Dr. Wade Webster, Assistant Professor, Soybean Pathology, North Dakota State University. “The use of chemical applications is primarily where a growers attention will turn. For these applications we have a number of fungicide options and one herbicide option. That herbicide has the active ingredient lactofen. It has been shown to have active control of white mold to certain levels.”

Application timing is important for successful disease control.… Continue reading

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Winning the War Against White Mold, Part 1 Disease Development

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off

The weather in 2023 allowed for soybeans to maximize their yield potential in many parts of the state. In other areas farmers experienced a challenging growing season for soybeans. “Much of the state started off dry. Dry weather is typically not good for soybean disease development; however some pathogens produce structures to help survive these conditions.  That dry period was followed by a lot of rain during flowering which created a humid environment for the diseases to show up,” said Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Assistant Professor, Soybean Pathologist and Nematologist with The Ohio State University. “Parts of Ohio experienced disease pressure from white mold to the extent that it dramatically impacted yields. For disease a to occur we need three conditions to be met at the same time. In plant pathology we call this the disease triangle.… Continue reading

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Simple, PFR Proven, Economical Means of Elevating Soybean Yields

Luke Schulte of Beck’s Hybrids joins us for the latest agronomy update to discuss what Practical Farm Research shows for elevating soybean yields. Do we know every moment our plants are under stress? The Beck’s team has taken it upon themselves to investigate this question and offers simple and economical ways to help plants while seeing a return on investment. eXceed Nano Brown Sugar and Apple Cider Vinegar are among those showing big results.

Find out more in this video!… Continue reading

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A look at NCGA priorities for 2024

By Brooke S. Appleton

The next year offers many opportunities on the policy front, and my staff and I will spend the year building on the successes of corn grower advocates from 2023.

Last year, we successfully convinced the Biden administration to take action in response to Mexico’s ban on biotech corn, made great progress in ensuring consumers have year-round access to E15, won a round in our fight against tariffs on fertilizer imports, and set ourselves up for success in the upcoming farm bill reauthorization.

But if we are buoyed by last year’s wins, we are also feeling the continued presence of its challenges, many of which promise to be more pronounced in the year ahead.
One of the biggest challenges will be working with a divided Congress in which a slim number of seats is determining control of the U.S. House of Representatives, making it difficult to advance legislation.… Continue reading

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