Livestock and CFAP

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs. USDA is accepting applications now through Sept. 11, 2020. Learn more at

Eligible Livestock

CFAP assistance is available to livestock producers who have an ownership interest in eligible livestock that have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and face additional significant costs in marketing their inventories due to unexpected surplus and disrupted markets.

Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, hogs, and sheep. Specifically, eligible livestock are:

• Pigs < 120 lbs. Hogs 120 lbs.
Cattle (excluding beefalo, bison, and animals used for dairy production or intended for dairy production)
• Feeder Cattle < 600 lbs.… Continue reading

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New soybean offering from BASF

Soybean growers have a new seed option available for the 2021 growing season.

BASF announces the U.S. launch of Xitavo Brand soybean seed with Enlist E3 technology. Xitavo Brand soybean seed is owned by MS Technologies and exclusively distributed by BASF.

With weed resistance increasing, growers need new tools to improve soybean efficiency and productivity. Xitavo soybean seed delivers an innovative solution to growers seeking a new soybean seed option.

“At MS Technologies, we’re committed to providing leading solutions and better choices for soybean growers,” said Joe Merschman, President of MS Technologies. “We know that higher yields are always top of mind for growers, and we’re excited to collaborate with BASF to bring this new technology to market to help growers get the most out of every acre.”

Xitavo soybean seed includes the Enlist E3 triple-stack herbicide tolerant trait. Enlist E3 soybeans provide tolerance to Liberty herbicide, new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate.… Continue reading

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Preharvest herbicide treatments

By Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension State Weed Specialist. Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-28

Information on preharvest herbicide treatments for soybeans can be found in the “Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois”, at the end of these crop sections (pages 72 and 143 of the 2020 edition).

Mark Loux OSU Extension Weed Scientist
Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Scientist

Some dicamba products are approved for preharvest use in soybeans, and some 2,4-D products are approved for use in corn, and these are not listed in the guide. The basic information for these follows:
Dicamba – soybeans: Apply 8 – 32 oz/A (4 lb/gal products) as a broadcast or spot treatment after soybean pods have reached mature brown color and at least 75% leaf drop has occurred; soybeans may be harvested 14 days or more after a pre-harvest application; do not use preharvest-treated soybean for seed unless a germination test is performed on the seed with an acceptable result of 95% germination or better; do not feed soybean fodder or hay following a preharvest application of this product.

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Thinking about storing more grain this fall?

By Chris Bruynis, Associate Professor/Ohio State University Extension Educator

There are several market factors that may have farmers looking to increase their storage for this fall. With lower prices, some farmers will look to store grain and hope prices will improve. With the current basis and price improvement between the harvest period compared to the January/March delivery period of 22 to 40 cents for corn and 16 to 34 cents for soybeans, elevators are sending a message to store grain.

The concern I have is that we will use some facilities that are not typically used for grain storage making aeration challenging at best. With poor air movement, grain going into storage will need to be of better quality, lower foreign material, and probably lower moisture.

Dr. Kenneth Hellevang, Ph.D., PE, Extension Engineer and Professor from North Dakota State University is one of the leading experts on grain drying, handling and storage.Farmers… Continue reading

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Making corn silage in dry conditions

By Bill Weiss, Ohio State University Extension

The primary goal of making corn silage is to preserve as many nutrients in the corn plant as possible, to produce a feed that is acceptable to cows, and to minimize any risks associated with feeding the silage. The following are important considerations for making corn silage when growing conditions have been dry.

Chop at the correct dry matter concentration. Drought-stressed corn plants are often much wetter than they appear, even if the lower plant leaves are brown and dried up. Before starting chopping, sample some plants (cut at the same height as they will be with the harvester) and either analyze DM using a Koster tester or microwave or send to a commercial lab (turn-around time may be a few days if you send it to a lab). If the plants are too wet, delay chopping until the desired plant DM is reached.… Continue reading

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Connecting with consumers from the farm and online

By Matt Reese

A short, online video starts with a cow in a pasture quickly walking away from her calf following behind. The calf is clearly interested in eating. Mama cow is having none of it, though, and picks up her pace. The narrator chimes in, “Haha, that’s fast food.”

The video is not produced or polished or even planned (or so it seems). It appears to be just another day on the farm. It is real, unscripted, unfiltered farm life. And people absolutely love it — at least Dr. Marissa Hake’s 19,000+ followers on Instagram do.

Marissa is a veterinarian and the director of animal welfare and sustainable farming for Fairlife, LLC. Prior to her current position she worked exclusively with dairy calves, which is when she started to use social media to share information about agriculture.

“It has been a journey. When I started it was just facts. More and more, though, as I was trying to build consumer trust, the ‘just the facts’ approach doesn’t resonate.… Continue reading

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Promoting beneficial insects

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

There are numerous beneficial insect species in the USA including 91,000 species of beetles (Order:Coleoptera), and many Hymenoptera  or species of wasp (4,000), bees (4,000), and ants (1,000).  Other beneficials include flies (5,500, Diptera), true bugs (3,800, Hemiptera), spiders (3,000, Arachnids) and earwigs (Dermaptera). Beneficials include immature ground beetles and lightning bugs, which consume soil insects and weed seed. The world insect population has declined 75% since the 1970’s, due to the overuse of insecticides, especially neonicotinoids seed treatments. Beneficial insects also pollinate USA agricultural crops worth an estimated $5 billion dollars per year and are predators to many harmful insects. Soybean fields are home to a surprising number of pollinators.

There are three major ways to fight harmful insects: chemical insecticides, good plant nutrition from soil health, and by promoting insect predators.  Insecticides generally kill everything including the beneficial insects that reduce harmful insect populations.  Neonicotinoids (Cruiser, Poncho, Gaucho) seed treatments are deadly to good predator insects which have much lower reproductive rates than the harmful insects.

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New fertilizer guide for field crops

Farmers in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan now have a new guide for creating fertile ground for their corn, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa crops. 

Working with a team of soil scientists and agronomists from across Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, Steve Culman, a soil fertility specialist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), led the effort to revise a 1995 guide for fertilizing field crops. 

The free and newly revised Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa offers guidelines for how much nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and micronutrients soil should have to spur high crop yields without jeopardizing water quality. 

“If everyone follows this document, we will have better water quality,” Culman said. “There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”

Both nitrogen and phosphorus can flow off agricultural fields with rainwater and contribute to the formation of algal blooms and low-oxygen “dead zones” downstream.… Continue reading

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Seed Genetics Direct Field Days will be held as scheduled

As fall approaches, Seed Genetics Direct will host its annual field days ­in Ohio and Indiana between August 25 and Sept. 16 (see schedule below). Seed Genetics Direct is an independent seed company headquartered in Jeffersonville, Ohio that serves the Eastern Corn Belt.

Free and open to the all farmers, field days provide the opportunity for visitors to tour corn and soybean plots to see the performance of 2021 genetics and technologies. Seedsmen will also be available to provide detailed information and answer questions.

“We’ve added seven new corn hybrids and nine soybean varieties to our lineup for the Eastern Corn Belt. Field days are great opportunity to see products, as well stock up on the best deals of the season. Our September discounts include a 15.5% early-pay discount or a 9.5% savings with John Deere zero percent financing, as well as $10 off per unit of traited corn,” said Todd Jeffries, SGD vice president.… Continue reading

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Virtual Ohio No-till event now online

As with most other events, Ohio No-Till Council summer events had to cancel (or postpone until 2021). The group’s field events planned for Aug. 19-20 are instead going to be a VIRTUAL event online.

Topics include soil health, cover crops and the main emphasis is planning for cover crops after soybean and corn harvest. Issues for beginning farmers and 60-inch corn rows with soybeans in between are also covered as well by a variety of experts on the subjects.

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2020 Virtual Ohio Crop Tour summary

By Matt Reese

Great job Ohio corn and soybean growers! We had 102 entries total in our 2020 Virtual Crop Tour (63 corn and 39 soybeans). Special thanks to Ohio State University Extension educators from around the state who sent in quite a few entries as well.

The corn yield averaged out to be right around 194 bushels. Soybean yield estimates came out at 54.3 bushels per acre for the state. For a corn tour by county click here. For a soybean tour by county click here.

It is very clear that the combination of just enough rain, great genetics and solid management can overcome many of the challenges of 2020 to produce strong yields. The impact of dry conditions, though, showed up in several of the reports in some of the driest areas of the state.

 John Hoffman’s Pickaway County corn report summarized the extreme variation around the state on one farm.… Continue reading

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Crop tour by county: 2020 virtual crop tour of Ohio corn

Allen County

This May 4 planted field had a final stand count within 1,000 of planted. Ear size shrinks on clay hills, but every stalk has an ear. There was no insect or disease pressure. It was at milk stage with a yield of 140 to 150 bushels depending on where in field you pull sample. There is a great final stand count, but ear size on clay hills suffered due to lack of moisture.

Allen Co. corn

There was a great final stand in this field planted May 5. It had even height across the field. There was light northern corn leaf blight. Yield estimate: 185 bushels.

Ashland County

The corn is in need of rain. It had a yield estimate of 210 bushels but may have trouble reaching that potential without some additional rain.

Ashland Co. corn

Brown County

The corn looked great. No stress. Great pollination and no disease.… Continue reading

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Crop tour by county: 2020 virtual crop tour of Ohio soybeans

Allen County

This field was planted May 4. It had an even stand with good color. It is one good rain away from excellent yield. There is limited disease pressure and no insect issues. The canopy height is 36 inches with 2 inches between nodes. The plants have average clusters with 2 to 3 beans per pod and a 50-60 bushel yield estimate.

Champaign County

This field had minimal stress and good pod fill. It was planted April 21.

There was minimal bean leaf beetle, grasshopper and Japanese beetle feeding.

The canopy was 24 inches and yield potential is 50-60 bushels.

Coshocton County

These were clean beans and the field generally looked good. It was planted May 30. The canopy height was 41 inches with 3 inches between nodes. The yield estimation is 50-60 bushels.

These beans were planted April 27. It was a clean field and generally looking good.… Continue reading

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Day 3 summary

More dry weather woes turned up in today’s submissions with some lower yields. There were sub-100 bushel corn reports from Fulton County and Richland County today. There was also a big jump in big yields. The Day 3 average ticked up a bit to 194.7 bushels to bring the tour average corn yield up to 193.3 bushels. Clinton County turned in the high yields of the day with a 265-bushel report thanks to just-in-time rains throughout the season so far.

Soybean yields were mostly split between the 40- to 50-bushel range and the 50- to 60-bushel range, with a few 60+ reports rolling in. There was a little less disease reported today, but an uptick in weed pressure concerns as some hairy fields were scouted. Waterhemp appears to be a growing concern growing in more Ohio fields than ever. There was some insect feeding reported, but it seems the larger concern are the larger critters munching on crops.… Continue reading

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Making the most of the rains

By Matt Reese

There has been much discussion about the drought conditions showing up around the state and there has been evidence of that reflected in some of the yield reports in the 2020 Virtual Ohio Crop Tour.

The latest installment of the United States Drought Monitor from Aug. 13 showed Moderate Drought in parts of far northwest Ohio, a couple of spots in eastern Ohio and some areas of central and southern Ohio. There is a much larger part of the state though dealing with Abnormally Dry conditions. In these areas, farmers are trying to help crops make the most of the rainfall they have received through various management practices.

John Deeds in Hancock County submitted yields for the Virtual Crop Tour. Though the ground he farms with his brother, Tom, is on the fringe of areas with Moderate Drought, they have gotten more rainfall than other parts of northwest Ohio.… Continue reading

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Day 3 Crop Tour submissions: Corn

Allen County

This May 4 planted field had a final stand count within 1,000 of planted. Ear size shrinks on clay hills, but every stalk has an ear. There was no insect or disease pressure. It was at milk stage with a yield of 140 to 150 bushels depending on where in field you pull sample. There is a great final stand count, but ear size on clay hills suffered due to lack of moisture.

There was a great final stand in this field planted May 5. It had even height across the field. There was light northern corn leaf blight. Yield estimate: 185 bushels.

Allen Co. corn

Clinton County

Crops look great for limited rains in areas at times. This first field was planted May 13. The first very concerning problem was the tip-back and bird damage in the very first field of corn planted with a yield estimate of 225 bushels per acre.… Continue reading

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Day 3 Crop Tour submissions: Soybeans

Allen County

This field was planted May 4. It had an even stand with good color. It is one good rain away from excellent yield. There is limited disease pressure and no insect issues. The canopy height is 36 inches with 2 inches between nodes. The plants have average clusters with 2 to 3 beans per pod and a 50-60 bushel yield estimate.

Crawford County

This field had full canopy coverage. It was weed free. It was planted May 1 and had an average population 99,000. It was a no-till field. Soil moisture was low but adequate. Disease pressure was low except for some large patches of SDS. Canopy height was 27 to 30 inches with 2.5 inches between nodes and mostly 3 bean pods. The yield estimation was 60+.

Crawford Co, beans

Fulton County

This was a pretty consistent field of soybeans planted in 15 inch rows, no-till into a cereal rye cover crop on May 4.… Continue reading

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Crop tour highlights efforts to care for land and crops

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

For the 2020 Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net Virtual Crop Tour two fields in western Wood County farmed by Brad Hass were evaluated. Both were Hoytville clay soil and were well drained. The corn was a prevented planting field in 2019 due to the excessive rainfall. It had some volunteer wheat from 2018 that was allowed to grow in 2019 as a cover crop, then was terminated and tilled prior to planting the corn in 2020. The hybrid evaluated was a 108-day corn. The initial target population was planned for 32,000 but actual planting population was closer to 30,500. Emergence was uniform, and stalk strength looked good. The ear count came out to 30,000 per acre. A majority of the ears were 18 kernels around, with 30 kernels per row. The kernel depth was somewhere between average and excellent.… Continue reading

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Day 2 summary

More of Ohio’s localized dry conditions showed up in some of today’s reports. There were fields of corn firing, some suffering soybeans and later-planted fields showing up in today’s reports as well. A tough Union County field has a sub-130-bushel yield potential after being planted wet and then enduring some very dry conditions. Gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight started showing up in more of today’s reports too. The high for corn today was from Putnam County with a nice 234-bushel estimate. The average for Day 2 is 192.5 bushels. The two-day corn yield average is 192 bushels.

The lowest soybean yields reported so far are from Hardin County where conditions have been really challenging due to very limited rainfall. There was some pod feeding, frogeye and increasing amount of Japanese beetle feeding reported today. There were a couple of 60+ yield potential fields reported, but also more 40- to 50-bushel range fields reported today.… Continue reading

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Day 2 Crop Tour submissions: Soybeans

Franklin County

These beans went in the ground June 6. The field looks good, is loaded with blooms and extremely healthy. Canopy height is 36 inches with 4.5 inches between nodes. Pods are just developing and yield potential is in the 40- to 50-bushel range.

Franklin Co. soybeans

Hardin County

These beans were planted in early May and suffered through a very dry June and early July. They have had adequate moisture since then, but could use good rainfall the rest of August. Disease pressure is low and so is the yield potential, especially without some more rain. The yield estimate is less than 30 bushels.

This May 5 planted field did not get much rain in June and early July. The canopy height is 37 inches with 2.5 inches between nodes. The plants are at R5/R6 and the yield potential reflects some recent August rains with 50 to 60 bushels.… Continue reading

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