Yield monitor management

By John Fulton and Elizabeth Hawkins

It’s hard to believe fall harvest is approaching here in Ohio. With that, the Ohio State Digital Ag team wants to highlight that yield monitor is setup and calibration is important to ensure quality yield data collection and use of this data. Geo-referenced yield data (i.e. yield maps) are being used to provide precision agriculture insights and recommendations at the field level. Yield maps not only help growers understand end-of-year performance within fields, but also can be used to characterize in-field variation. Information about this variation is often used by service providers to deliver prescriptions, recommendations, or other information back to the farmer. Because yield maps continue to be an important data layer to learn from and help drive changes or decisions at a field level, proper management of the yield monitor is critical to generate accurate and reliable yield data. Grain moisture and test weight, along with grain flow through the combine, will vary within passes and across fields.… Continue reading

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Agriculture Technology Conference

The annual Agriculture Technology Conference will be held at Northwest State Community College in Archbold on Aug. 23, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event will highlight planting and automation technology. The morning sessions will feature presentations on systems approach to farmstead automation for grain crop production by Scott Shearer from the Department of Food, Agriculture, & Biological Engineering Ohio State University, broadband in Ohio and how it affects the agriculture industry by Peter Voderberg, Chief of BroadbandOhio, and spray drones by Alan Leininger, ANR Educator Henry County, The Ohio State University. The afternoon will feature technology demonstrations from manufacturers such as John Deere, Case IH, Horsch, Pottinger and many more. Demonstrations on current UAS “Drone” spraying technology will also be featured. Several agribusinesses will be featured in our trade show area including the field demonstration companies. Certified Crop Advisors recertification credits will be available. Register for the event at reading

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Getting a handle on manure

By Mary Wicks

Demand for poultry litter, a combination of manure, feathers, and bedding, has grown as the price of commercial fertilizer has increased and farmers recognize its value in providing nutrients and organic matter. As with any fertilizer or manure, understanding of nutrient content and availability, soil fertility, and plant requirements is needed to ensure the application rate is optimal to meet yield goals while reducing costs and protecting water quality.

But not all poultry litter is created equal. Poultry litter from broiler facilities includes bedding, while litter from layer facilities is manure, without the bedding, plus feathers and calcium from eggshells. These differences affect the nutrient and moisture content. Storage practices also have an effect. As poultry litter ages, nitrogen is converted to ammonia gas, while microbial activity can drive off water, concentrating nutrients and reducing odors.

Due to the nutrient variation in poultry litter, and other manures, a lab analysis is always recommended before application.… Continue reading

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Control indoor environment to abate heat stress and diseases in poultry production

By Lingying Zhao

Recently, it has been very hot outside with air temperatures approaching 90 degrees. Hot weather raises inevitable concerns about heat stress and disease prevalence of animals, especially poultry birds in large-enclosed spaces. The ongoing climate change and variability are expected to exacerbate the heat stress problems and infectious diseases in poultry production, which have caused significant losses in poultry industries. The recent outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have resulted in 57 million and 58.8 million infected birds, in 2014-2015 and 2022-present respectively. The heat stress problems in poultry production have resulted in an estimated total annual loss of $180 million. These losses present significant challenges to the sustainability of the poultry industry. In addition to vaccination and medication treatment options, engineering technologies and management strategies are needed to control the indoor environment to proactively abate heat stress and disease transmission in poultry facilities. This article summarizes indoor environment management strategies and the best available technologies to abate heat stress and infectious diseases.… Continue reading

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Farm equipment auction prices show no signs of falling

By Matt Reese

The used farm equipment market continues to experience never-seen-before strength, with no signs of weakening anytime soon, said Dave Cornish, RES Auction Services equipment representative.

“I’ve been in the equipment end of it since 1988, whether it’s in the parts side or sales side, and I’ve never seen anything like this before. And it’s not just in Ohio, it’s throughout the United States. I’ve had dealers from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Florida buy at our sale in Wooster, Ohio and tell me the same thing. ‘Well, we should not have paid that much, but we had to take care of our customers,’” Cornish said. “The biggest issue is it seems like there’s a shortage from manufacturers on new equipment. It affects the dealerships that can’t get equipment in to take care of their customers, whether it’s ag or construction. It’s tough times for the actual dealers and their sales representatives because, if you don’t have the equipment, customers are going to go someplace else.… Continue reading

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New nozzle list

By Abby Welsh, Ohio State University Extension

A few years ago, the Ohio State University Pesticide Safety Education Program put together a list of approved sprayer nozzles for applying pesticides.

This list was recently updated in May 2023 and can be viewed at

The list describes the minimum and maximum operating pressures for each sprayer nozzle. Any limitations for specific nozzles are indicated by a footnote on the chart.

For more information, please visit our website:, or contact the Pesticide Safety Education Program at… Continue reading

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Limitations of spray drones and obstacles to their adoption

By Erdal Ozkan

Acceptance of spray drones by individual farmers has been slow for several reasons:

  1. Not enough research data comparing drone performance (e.g., efficacy and spray drift) to ground sprayers and conventional aircraft is available. The limited published data on performance of spray drones may not be usable and can be contradictory because of the wide variation of design parameters among drones being tested.
  2. Fewer acres are covered per hour of operation compared to airplane and ground sprayers.
  3. The battery powering the drone lasts a short time (5 to 15 minutes with a full tank) and requires recharging between tank refills. Having three charged batteries per drone and fast charging at 240v eliminates long interruptions in spraying to charge the drone’s battery. Maintaining three charged batteries allows replacement of a discharged battery while refilling the spray tank. The spent battery can then be recharged and ready for the next refilling.
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Opportunities with drones for spraying pesticides

By Erdal Ozkan

Currently, there is tremendous interest in using drones to spray crop-protection products. Drones are now a viable option when choosing equipment to spray pesticides, and the number of companies offering drone spraying services is rapidly increasing in Ohio and other places in the United States. A variety of names and the acronyms are associated with remotely piloted aircraft. Most used ones are: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). However, the name used most commonly by the general public is “drone”. So, I chose the same name as I refer to this type of aircraft. 

An article appeared in the Mid-April Ohio’s Country Journal in which I gave a brief overview of different types of drones used for spraying pesticides, including the major components of a spray drone, as well as operating characteristics of spray drones. This time, I will focus on the opportunities spray drones bring us as well as their limitations, and the challenges facing drone sprayer operators. … Continue reading

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Buying and selling advice for farm machinery in the current market

By Matt Reese

Greg Peterson, better known to many as Machinery Pete, spent the last 33 years logging and studying farm equipment auction prices around the country. With the highest-ever values for used equipment holding strong in current markets, Peterson has advice for both buyers and sellers of farm equipment in the months ahead.

Sometimes, specific auction items sell higher than expected simply because of the reputation of the person selling them.

“One thing I’ve loved about reporting on the auction space all these years is the chatter aspect. Really, to me, all that matters is what it brings when the gavel falls, but when you go out to an auction and people are saying things, that chatter is valid,” Peterson said. “I see that in the classic case of a very highly respected farmer having a retirement sale who helped their neighbors for years. They’re just good neighbors, good farmers like we see throughout Ohio Minnesota, everywhere.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 301 | Getting it in the Ground!

A great listen for those planting, get ready for an information-packed episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosted by Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg. This week, they dive into the critical topic of navigating financial challenges in agriculture in 2023, as they engage in a compelling conversation with Larry Davis from Ag Resource Management. Join them as they uncover valuable advice and insights to help farmers navigate the ever-evolving financial landscape and make informed decisions for a prosperous future.

But that’s not all—Dale Minyo visits with Dale Everman from Homan Inc. to discuss the efficient use of nutrients and the vital topic of manure management, equipment advantages, and the latest farm building trends.

Joel Penhorwood then shifts gears and connects with Cindy Layman to explore the exciting world of GrowNextGen Virtual Field Trips. Delve into the immersive experiences offered by these virtual trips, designed to ignite curiosity and promote agricultural understanding among students and educators alike.… Continue reading

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Ride N Drive with Apple Farm Service

If you’ve ever wanted to try out a zero-turn mower, or test drive a tractor, now’s your chance with Apple Farm Service’s Ride N Drive event. Apple Farm Service is excited to announce the upcoming event for Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton.

Visitors can mow the fairgrounds with a new zero-turn mower, drive around in a new compact tractor, and try out a handful of attachments. Five brands of equipment will be available with sizes and models for small to large yards.

“We love putting these Ride N Drives on,” said Kent Holmes, marketing manager for Apple Farm Service. “It’s the perfect opportunity for you to find out first hand if you like a certain model, type of machine, or if you are ready to switch to a zero-turn or lawn tractor. There are absolutely no strings attached and the event is completely free, so bring your entire family!”… Continue reading

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Keeping Preserved Farmland in Ag | 2023 Corn Planting Cab Cam | Patrick Bailey, Union Co.

Patrick Bailey of Bailey Heritage Farms in Union County welcomed Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood into the tractor cab for this corn planting Cab Cam. Patrick and his family have found relatively good progress this year, able to get seed in the ground mid-April and dodging rains farms in nearby counties have been delayed by.

This Cab Cam takes place on farmland that’s been the subject of a recent court battle. Area development has attempted to encroach on the land, which is enrolled in the Farmland Preservation Program. The Bailey family has so far successfully fought the development push. More in this story:

The 2023 Cab Cam series is sponsored by Precision Agri Services Inc. More at… Continue reading

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J&M Manufacturing wins international design award

J&M Manufacturing, in Mercer County, is proud to announce the Para-Linkage coulter design on their NitroGro applicators has won the 2023 Gold manus award. The design beat out 480 entries across 36 countries. The Para-Linkage design is the first U.S. design to win a manus award. The biannual award recognizes outstanding examples of plastic bearings being used in real-world applications. J&M accepted the award on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at the Hannover Messe, one of the world’s largest industrial trade fairs, in Hannover, Germany.

The Para-Linkage coulter is designed to keep the applicator knives consistently in the ground while going over rocks and hard soil. As the Para-Linkage coulter rises, the knives rise at the same rate as the disc to ensure the liquid fertilizer is consistently being applied at the desired depth. On traditional coulters, as the disc moves over an obstacle the knives swing up at an arc. This causes the knife depth and the fertilizer application to be inconsistent. … Continue reading

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2023 Pre-Plant Anhydrous Cab Cam | Jed Bower, Fayette County

Join Ohio Ag Net’s Dusty Sonnenberg as we take a ride in the cab of Fairfield County farmer Jed Bower’s tractor and get an insider’s look at his pre-planting process in this Pre-Plant Anhydrous Cab Cam. We talk the benefits and challenges of using anhydrous ammonia as a fertilizer, and gain valuable insights into the practices for applying it safely and efficiently as a pre-plant addition.

The 2023 Cab Cam series is brought to you by Precision Agri Services Inc. More about them at… Continue reading

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Planning for farm building repairs and renovations

Whether due to damage or simply aging, most farm buildings eventually require repairs. Spring is a popular time of year when farmers want to fix up or enhance their structures.

Jeremiah Fairbanks, general manager of repairs for Morton Buildings, said their projects typically fall into three categories:

  • An updated look — The most common need, he says, is updating a building, giving it a fresh, modern look. Examples include replacing faded or rusted steel on the roof and sidewalls, installing skylights or renovating structures that otherwise might be torn down.
  • Functionality — Many farmers want to add new features that enhance the performance of their buildings or make them more versatile. “Examples include a porch addition, new windows, large sliding doors, interior installation and building extensions,” Fairbanks said.
  • Damage repair — He notes that well-used farm shops and garages can take a beating, whether due to storms, equipment mishaps or simple wear, which in most cases can be addressed with a variety of minor or major repairs. 
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New ag drones hope to make big difference for farm production, data security

Drones have been long-promised to make an impact as a piece of routine equipment on farms. The new American-made Hylio ag drones, now offered to Ohio farmers by Apple Farm Service, are hoping to make that promise a reality with availability in 2023 that looks to impact aerial application and data security. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood caught up with a variety of sources at the one-of-a-kind kickoff event for the new technology by Apple Farm Service in early April.… Continue reading

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Time to stock up on the right nozzles for the operation

By Erdal Ozkan

This is the time of the year you must complete shopping for nozzles because the spraying season is just around the corner. Although nozzles are some of the least expensive components of a sprayer, they hold a high value in their ability to influence sprayer performance. Nozzles meter the amount of liquid sprayed per unit area, controlling application rate, as well as variability of spray over the width of the sprayer boom. Nozzles also influence droplet size, affecting both target coverage and spray drift risk. Nozzles come in a wide variety of types and sizes. The best nozzle for a given application will maximize efficacy, minimize spray drift, and allow compliance with label requirements such as application rate (gallons per acre) and spray droplet size. Selecting the best nozzle requires careful consideration of many important factors including: sprayer operation parameters (such as application rate, spray pressure, travel speed); type of chemical sprayed (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides); mode of action of chemicals (systemic, contact); application type (broadcast, band, directed, air assisted); target crop (field crops, vegetables, vineyard, shrubs and trees, etc.);… Continue reading

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Fungicide application in corn with ground machines and spray drones

By John Fulton, Alan Leininger, Cori Lee

Spray drones have become a hot topic not only in Ohio, but globally. In 2022, the number of spray drone application services grew substantially across Ohio. The main focus has been on application of fungicides in wheat, corn, and soybeans along with the application of cover crops using the dry spreader box option in the fall. With labor shortages and other challenges, spray drones have become a tool to complement the existing ground and aerial application equipment. To date, there has been limited deposition testing of this new spray technology but there are researchers at U.S. institutions and agencies researching drift and efficacy.  

At The Ohio State University, we initiated deposition testing in 2022 to address questions around this technology. A couple of projects were conducted at the field scale level with one occurring in central Ohio partnering with Integrated Ag Services and Syngenta to look at fungicide application in corn to understand coverage and droplet size from the two different modes of application.  … Continue reading

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