Ohio Field Leader

Ohio Field Leader Podcast – Episode 39 – Having a Plan for the Future

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

On this episode of the podcast, Dusty visits with Gary Baldosser on the final leg of the Ohio Field Leader Road Show in Seneca County.  Dusty and Gary discuss the Baldosser’s multi-generation family farm and how having a plan for the future is critical for sustaining the growth of both the physical operation and family involvement.… Continue reading

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Having a plan for the future

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

When a tornado hit the Baldosser farm on July 11, 2013, it destroyed their grain system and several buildings. That seeming misfortune turned into an opportunity for the Baldossers to plan for the future by re-building and developing an expansion plan and improving the safety and efficiency of the grain system in the process.

Gary Baldosser is a fourth-generation farmer in Seneca County. His great-grandfather originally settled the farm and Gary’s sons (Scott and Darin) are currently involved in the operation on a part-time basis. The Baldossers raise soybeans, corn, wheat, hay and cattle. Their farm consists of soils primarily in the blount soil series, which are deep and benefit from subsurface drainage. Their farm is in the Sandusky River Watershed. The Baldossers practice no-till and minimum tillage and utilize cover crops. They also have filter strips along their ditches.… Continue reading

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2023 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials: Results For All Trial Locations

By Dr. Laura Lindsey, Allen Geyer, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-39

Results for the 2023 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials are available for all locations: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/sites/hcs-soy/files/all%20yield%20data.pdf.

We will update the report with seed protein, oil, and size as we finish analyzing samples. Sortable yield data will be available in the upcoming days on the Ohio Crop Performance Trials website: https://u.osu.edu/perf/.

The purpose of the Ohio Soybean Performance Trials is to evaluate soybean varieties for yield and other agronomic characteristics. This evaluation gives soybean producers comparative information for selecting the best varieties for their unique production system. The entries for each test site were planted in a randomized complete block design. Each entry was replicated four times and planted in plots 28 ft long and 5 ft wide containing four rows seeded at 15-inch row width. The seeding rate was 150,000 seeds per acre. Corn was the previous crop at all locations, except C2 where the previous crop was soybean.… Continue reading

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Farmland Values and Cash Rent

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Every two years, Ohio State conducts a survey of farmers on cropland values and cash rent. Barry Ward, OSU Economist conducts this survey of professionals including ag business, farm managers, farmers, rural appraisers, and ag lenders. Western Ohio cropland values and rental rates are significantly different than the eastern and southern values. The type of soil, fertility, productivity, and generally higher returns result in higher prices in Western Ohio. Also, larger squarer fields, flatter soils, and access to crop markets add value to the cropland and to rental rates. In 2022-2023, Barry Ward surveyed 190 participants and the results were just released in August 2023. The numbers are reported for top, average, and bottom farmland with only the average farmland and cash rent values reported.

For all of Western Ohio, average producing cropland produced 185.3 bushels corn per acre and had a projected value of $9,672/acre in 2022 with a projected value of $10,329/acre in 2023 for a 6.8% increase in land values expected.… Continue reading

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The EPA’s Proposed Herbicide Strategy and What it Means for Herbicide Use

By Alyssa Essman, The Ohio State University, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-38

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 was passed by Congress in an effort to protect endangered species and their habitats. In recent years the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been under fire for not meeting the obligations outlined within the ESA, which ultimately left them vulnerable to legal ramifications. In early 2022 the EPA released the ESA workplan to address this issue. The herbicide strategy is one part of this larger workplan to protect the 900 plant and animal species classified as endangered. The proposed herbicide strategy was released in July 2023 and outlined the EPA’s plan for meeting ESA obligations with respect to herbicide drift, runoff, and/or erosion.

The proposed method of meeting ESA obligations is through the use of various mitigation strategies. For spray drift, mitigation strategies largely refer to the use of spray drift buffers. The required size of these buffers depends on application equipment, droplet size, and level of species impact, and can be reduced with the use of hooded sprayers or windbreaks.… Continue reading

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Harvest Complete? It’s Time To Assess SCN Levels In Your Fields

By Horacio Lopez-Nicora, OSU Extension, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-39

Soybean cyst nematode poses a significant threat to soybean production, with potential yield reductions occurring without visible symptoms. To effectively manage SCN, it is crucial to know the presence and population levels of this destructive pathogen in your fields. Fall presents an ideal opportunity for sampling soil and testing for SCN, allowing growers to plan ahead and implement effective management strategies. In this article, we highlight the importance of fall sampling for SCN and provide valuable resources available to Ohio growers.

Why Sample in Fall? Fall is the optimal time for soil sampling for several reasons. Firstly, if you are unsure whether your fields are infested with SCN or not, fall sampling can clarify its presence. Secondly, if you already know about the presence of SCN but want to monitor population levels over time, fall sampling enables accurate tracking of changes. Lastly, if you plan on collecting soil samples for fertility analysis anyway, using a subsample specifically for SCN testing can save time and effort.… Continue reading

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OSA and OSCF undergraduate and graduate scholarship opportunities

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

 The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA), the membership and policy arm for Ohio soybean farmers, is offering one $1,000 scholarship to students of any major with a passion for the soybean industry. The scholarship will be applied to the 2024-2025 school year. Applicants must be a full-time student at college, university or a technical school who have completed 15 hours of credit and must be able to provide proof of legal residency in Ohio.

Those who apply must also have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and must be a child or grandchild of an OSA member or be a Student and Young Adult Member themselves (SYA membership is $10). Applications open on Monday, October 23, 2023and must be completed by Friday, January 12, 2024, at 11:59 pm EST.

Contact Eric Robinson at erobinson@soyohio.org with any questions.… Continue reading

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Crop Rotation and 2nd Year Soybean Yields

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. and The SCN Coalition

As we begin to make plans for the 2024 growing season, growers will determine what crops to plant and plan crop rotation across their acres. When considering crop rotations and yields, many focus on continuous corn and the yield penalties associated with that practice. However, there is one possibly overlooked benefit of crop rotation: avoiding a soybean yield penalty.

In this article, the University of Kentucky’s John Grove discusses soybean yields for first year and second year soybeans from 2009 to 2016. Grove’s research data shows an average yield penalty of 2.3 bu/ac across that 7 year period, with some years being showing yield losses greater than 10 bu/ac. In another article from No-Till Farmer, Greg Roth shows data that predicts a 4 to 6 bu/ac yield penalty for second year soybeans.

Yield loses from continuous soybeans (and other continuous crops) are usually associated with increased disease presence as well as pests.… Continue reading

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Diversifying Soybean Shipping Options

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

On Sunday, Oct. 22, 360 members of the UNIFOR union went on strike at the thirteen Canadian locks along the St. Lawrence Seaway rendering the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway closed for international exports and imports. UNIFOR is Canada’s largest private sector union. 

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and UNIFOR announced it reached a tentative agreement on Sunday, Oct. 29, ending a week-long strike and reopening the St. Lawrence Seaway for imports and exports. Annually 760,000 metric tons of soybeans are exported via the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway.

“We are pleased the strike was short-lived. Supply chains are a two-way street. Those who provide and operate supply chain options — like the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway — request and expect predictability and reliability from shippers regarding the expected usage of the supply chain option,” said Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.… Continue reading

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U.S. Soy Animal Agriculture Study

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

Ohio farmers plant approximately 5 million acres of soybeans every year. With a statewide average of 56 bushels per acre, that is over 280 million bushels of soybeans produced annually. Soybean farmers sell the whole bean, but processors break up the soybean into components.  Soybean meal and soybean oil are the two primary components. Until recently, soybean oil was considered the by-product, and soybean meal was the primary protein source for livestock feed. Recently that has changed as the soybean oil has gained market share and added tremendous value to the bean. The soybean meal still carries significant value, and livestock remain the number one market of soybeans because of the soybean meal component. One goal of the Soybean Check-off is to create market demand, and understanding the market helps decision makers to effectively allocate their resources.… Continue reading

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Ohio Field Leader Podcast, Episode 30, Mark IV Farm

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

In Episode 38 of the Ohio Field Leader Podcast, Dusty visits with Jack Sommers at Mark IV Farm in Champaign County to discuss their family heritage in the pork business, and their use of no-till and cover crops in the Mad River Valley. There are some similarities between feeding hogs and feeding the microbes that live in the soil and Jack shares some of the insights he learned in his time as an OSU Extension Agent and implementing the practices on his own farm. 

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Specialty pork, significant slopes, conservation tillage and cover crops — Mark IV Farm

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

Since the 1930s, the Sommer’s family has been farming the rolling fields of Champaign County. Jack Sommers still lives in the farmhouse that his grandfather lived in when he purchased the farm over 90 years ago. Over the years the farm has had a diverse mix of livestock, with pigs being one of the constants. It was only this past summer that Jack and his family sold the last of the sows and transitioned to strictly grain crop production.

“My grandfather moved here from Ross County in 1917-1918 and raised his family here. In the 1930s he purchased this farm. It has always been a livestock and crop farm until just recently when we sold the last of the sows. We raised Berkshire sows producing specialty meats for Saddleberk which provided all natural, heritage breed Berkshire pork to the Kroger Company,” Sommers said.… Continue reading

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2023 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials: Results for Henry, Sandusky, and Clinton County

By Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU State Soybean Specialist and Alan Geyer. Adapted from C.O.R.N 2023-37

The purpose of the Ohio Soybean Performance Trials is to evaluate soybean varieties for yield and other agronomic characteristics. This evaluation gives soybean producers comparative information for selecting the best varieties for their unique production system.

Results for the 2023 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials are available for Henry, Sandusky, and Clinton County: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/sites/hcs-soy/files/N1%20N2%20S2.pdf We will continue to update this report as additional locations are harvested.

In the early relative maturity trial, soybean yield averaged 78 and 80 bu/acre in Henry and Sandusky, respectively. In the late relative maturity trial, soybean yield averaged 84 and 80 bu/acre in Henry and Sandusky, respectively. In Clinton County, soybean yield averaged 85 bu/acre in the early relative maturity trial and 83 bu/acre in the late relative maturity trial.

The trial plots were planted on April 15 in Henry County, April 10 in Sandusky County, and April 18 in Clinton County. … Continue reading

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Updated Manure Value

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Manure is a valuable commodity to farmers for its fertilizer value and it beneficial role in feeding soil microbes and plants.  As fertilizer prices have moderated, the value of manure has declined slightly, but its still a good product for the soil if put on thin with live plants (cover crops) to recycle it quickly.   Manured fields on average have a yield increase of 4.4%. That adds value to any farm.  To get the best results from manure applications, follow these recommendations.

Manure should always be tested because nutrient values vary. Take a manure sample close to the date of application to get accurate results. Soil testing is also recommended to avoid over application.  Pre-side dress nitrogen tests (PSNT) are commonly taken in the spring or early summer but take these tests close to manure application date.  Weather, moisture, soil temperature, and overall soil microbial activity changes PSNT values tremendously.… Continue reading

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Fall Applied Herbicide Considerations

By Dr. Alyssa Essman, OSU Extension State Weed Specialist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-36

Harvest is progressing in much of Ohio, though recent rains have slowed field activities in some areas. As crops continue to come off it’s a good time for a reminder about the value of fall-applied herbicides. Rains this past week may stimulate winter annual weed emergence to some extent. This is the best time of year to control winter annuals and some of the more difficult to manage overwintering weed species. Biennial and perennial plants are now sending nutrients down to the root systems in preparation for winter. Systemic herbicides like glyphosate and 2,4-D applied at this time will be translocated down into the roots more effectively than if applied in spring when nutrients are moving upward. This results in better control. In addition, the increasingly unpredictable spring weather patterns we have experienced in recent years can influence the timing and efficacy of spring burndown applications.… Continue reading

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SCN Detection and Host Crops

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

Soybean Growers in Ohio are encouraged to pull soil samples to submit for Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) analysis this fall. Soybean Cyst Nematode is the number one yield robber of soybeans in North America with yield losses of up to 30% possible.  Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Plant Pathologist and Nematologist at The Ohio State University said that their lab is processing up to two samples free of charge for every Ohio farm with support from the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off.  When the samples are received, they will be processed to see if a SCN is present, and also the number of eggs to understand the level of infestation.

It is important to know not just if SCN is present, but also the level and type. “One thing that we are really promoting is to know your numbers of SCN,” said Lopez-Nicora.… Continue reading

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Growing Soybeans, Raising Livestock, and the Importance of Teamwork

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

Since 1975, Ohio Soybean Association Vice President Rusty Goebel has been growing crops and raising livestock. The Goebel’s farm in the four northwest corner counties of the state including Williams, Fulton, Defiance and Henry. “I started farming when I graduated in 1975,” said Goebel. “My wife Sue and I got married in 1985 and now our son Lucas is involved in the farming operation. We feed hogs and have one wean to finish barn and two regular finish barns that we feed out 11,000 head of hogs per year. We also feed out cattle. My dad and I have fed cattle back in the 70’s and now we also start bottle calves and finish them out. We’ve always had cattle around.”

The Goebel’s grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. “We have some fairly heavy clay soils.… Continue reading

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New Soybean Lines Likely to Inherit Drought Tolerance

By Laura Temple, Soybean Research Information Network

New parents study pictures to determine if the baby inherited Mom’s eyes, Dad’s chin or Grandpa’s ears. Crop physiologists like Avat Shekoofa, associate professor of plant sciences for the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, rely on different technology to determine what traits get passed on to new soybean lines.

Shekoofa has been studying soybean varieties to identify characteristics that help them better tolerate drought conditions. Based on her previous research, University of Tennessee soybean breeders crossed proven drought-tolerant soybean cultivars with each other to see how those characteristics get passed on. The Tennessee Soybean Promotion Board continues to fund this research.

“The team crossed one of our public cultivars, Ellis, with other drought tolerant lines,” she explains. “We are testing the first generation of the crossed soybean lines for drought-tolerant characteristics and seeing a great response. So far, we’ve started studying 30 lines, and a little over 60% have carried drought-tolerant traits from the parent lines.”… Continue reading

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