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Maumee River nutrient loading

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

The Maumee River Watershed is the largest watershed feeding into the western basin of Lake Erie. Dr. Laura Johnson of Heidelberg University and the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg recently shared that while the amount of land contained in the Maumee River watershed is large, the Maumee River itself only contributes around 5% of the water flowing into the western basin, but nearly half of the total phosphorus. Heidelberg has a tributary loading program that includes the largest tributaries to Lake Erie. Started in 1975, the program’s goal is to quantify the loads of nutrients and sediments from watersheds that enter other aquatic ecosystems. It monitors 16 locations along rivers that feed into Lake Erie.

The total phosphorus (TP) measured is the combination of the Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP) and Total Particulate Phosphorus (TPP).… Continue reading

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Another school goes WILD!

By Dan Armitage, outdoor writer

Joining another of my favorite Buckeye State conservation programs, Dover Intermediate School in Cuyahoga County was recently dedicated as a WILD School Site, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW). Wild School sites are supplementary education programs created by schools where students, teachers, and the community can come together and learn about wildlife and the environment. Dover Intermediate School is the 208th WILD School Site in Ohio and the 10th in Cuyahoga County.

Dover Intermediate School boasts an extensive native plant garden that doubles as a dynamic land lab. Students and educators engage in projects aimed to foster environmental stewardship and hands-on learning, including vegetable composting, bird baths, and native flower cultivation. An on-site pond allows students to learn about aquatic ecosystems. These habitats support amphibians, birds, insects, reptiles, and small mammals, providing firsthand insight to the balance of ecosystems.

Teachers use the native garden and pond as a focal point for learning, integrating core subjects such as math, science, social studies, art, and music into an outdoor curriculum.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Council Pork Act Notification

Public Notice by the Ohio Pork Council and the National Pork Board: the election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2025 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2024, in conjunction with a Board of Directors meeting of the Ohio Pork Council at Deer Creek Lodge & Conference Center, Mt. Sterling. All Ohio pork producers are invited to attend.

Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of the state and has paid all assessments due may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible producers are encouraged to bring with them a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and the checkoff deducted. For more information, contact the Ohio Pork Council Office, 9798 Karmar Ct. Suite A, New Albany, OH 43054, 614-882-5887.… Continue reading

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CAUV updates will provide significant tax savings for woodlands

After more than a decade of advocating for accurate woodland inputs in the CAUV formula, the Ohio Department of Taxation has accepted the Ohio Forestry Association’s (OFA) data regarding land clearing costs and updated those inputs in the formula. These changes should result in significant tax savings for many woodland owners.

“This is wonderful news for Ohio’s woodland owners and forest products industry,” said Jenna Reese, OFA executive director. “With 86% of forests privately owned in Ohio, forest health and the industry depend on the woodland management decisions of landowners enrolled in CAUV.”

Accurate CAUV values for woodland are important to maintaining Ohio’s working forestland. Woodland CAUV values rely on “cost of conversion” deductions in the CAUV calculation, meant to represent the costs of converting woodland to cropland for valuation purposes.

In 2016, Ohio Farm Bureau’s advocacy led to updates of these costs for the first time in decades. However, Farm Bureau and OFA have continued to advocate for further updates that accurately match the real costs of clearing and drainage that landowners would experience.… Continue reading

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Neutral corn and soybean numbers, bearish for wheat

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Report highlights: Not negative for U.S. corn and soybeans supply and demand tables. U.S. corn exports up 25 million bushels, no changes for U.S. soybean crush or exports. No changes in Brazil corn and soybean production.

Trade expectations: No changes to U.S. corn and soybeans yields.  

Following the noon USDA report release, corn up 3 cents, soybeans down 3 cents, and wheat down 13 cents. Just before the report was released, corn down 8 cents, soybeans down 10 cents, and wheat down 15 cents.

US 2023/24 ending stocks: corn 1.877 billion bushels, last month 2.022 billion bushels and soybeans 345 million bushels, last month 350 million bushels.  

Trader estimates for 2023/24 ending stocks were: corn 2.049 billion bushels and soybeans 355 million bushels.

US 2024/25 ending stocks: corn 2.097 billion bushels, last month 2.102; soybeans 435 million bushels, last month 455 million bushels; and wheat 856 million bushels, last month 758 million bushels.… Continue reading

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Elevating urban farming

By Matt Reese

While thoughts of Ohio agriculture immediately turn to the rural, open fields of the state, there are an increasing number of urban farming efforts in metropolitan areas from the Ohio River up to Lake Erie.

Sherifat Alabi, from Nigeria, is an Ohio State University graduate research associate working on her PhD in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership.

Typically, smaller-scale, farmers in urban areas face unique challenges to production and obstacles in marketing. Sherifat Alabi, from Nigeria, is an Ohio State University graduate research associate working on her PhD in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership. She took an interest in these urban operations of Ohio. With the goal of learning more, and sharing their stories, Alabi undertook a research project titled: “Story of change: Elevating the voices of small-scale regenerative farmers.”

“The purpose was to elevate the voices of small-scale regenerative farmers in Ohio by highlighting their motivation, challenges, and opportunities to influence agricultural literacy and to inspire a collective response that foster support for small-scale farmers and their communities,” Alabi said.… Continue reading

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Can weather switch the bearish trend?

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Success at last! Last month after weeks of stewing over my loss of not finding a special cutting board and a carrot peeler, I decided to give the search effort one final feeble attempt at success. Cindy’s famous words when I would inform her, I had lost something, “Where did you last have it?”

I would then reply, “If I knew where I last had it, I would walk there, and it would no longer be lost.” Have you had that same conversation? This final search effort lasted less than 30 seconds as I found the cutting board hiding in a cupboard AND the carrot peeler misplaced in a drawer which did not make sense. I laughed out loud at my welcomed discoveries. Just remember to enjoy your efforts when the lost becomes found at your home or farm shop.  

The June 28 USDA repot day was bearish for corn producers as prices fell sharply that day, down 15 cents.… Continue reading

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USDA proposes fix to Packers and Stockyards Act

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced newly proposed rule to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan for the meat and poultry supply chain.

USDA’s Fair and Competitive Livestock and Poultry Markets proposed rule addresses challenges around interpretations of unfairness and competitive injury for the livestock, meat, and poultry sectors. The measure is designed to support farmers and lower food costs for consumers.

Secretary Vilsack made the announcement during an event at the Center for American Progress showcasing the Administration’s agenda to create more affordable and competitive agricultural markets. The event highlighted USDA’s wide-ranging progress to enhance the Department’s ability to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act, including previous rulemaking and an enforcement partnership with the Department of Justice. USDA also released a fact sheet highlighting its actions under the Biden-Harris Administration to spur competition in the agriculture sector.

“Entrenched market power and the abuses that flow from it remain an obstacle to achieving lower prices for consumers and fairer practices for producers,” Vilsack said.… Continue reading

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Syngenta rolls out upgraded resource for crop protection and disease scouting

Syngenta announced that its newest online resource for all things disease management and planning is now available on www.BoostYourBushels.com. This latest website update will enable users to discover a variety of https://boostyourbushels.com/tools that can help them make the most educated decisions for improving the overall health of their corn, soybean and wheat crops.

One of the newest additions is the disease ID guide. Users can browse this guide to not only identify the diseases present in their fields but to also understand which may be prevalent in their region. The guide provides information that discusses the signs, symptoms and potential solutions for diseases to help with scouting and management.

“It really is a one-stop spot for everything growers may need to learn about a disease and their fungicide applications for the year,” said Logan Romines, Syngenta fungicide product lead. “They can see what diseases are of concern in their area, as well as the identifying factors of those diseases.… Continue reading

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Peaches elevating Hornyak Farms

By Matt Reese

It’s all about the elevation.

An older neighbor who remembered peach production on the location many years earlier suggested Matt and Leigh Hornyak plant some peach trees shortly after the couple got married and purchased the property. Though peaches can be tricky to grow for many orchards due to the risks of late frost damage and fragile early blooms, the 1,300-foot elevation of the Hornyak orchard in Geauga County allows for consistently delicious peach production.

“The air stratifies so much. You can’t see it, but it’s like water. The cold air is going to go down low and as long as you’re talking about a situation where it’s 5 or 6 hours, you’re fine. If you start getting to 12 hours or more of freezing temperatures, at that point the cold air will move up those hills and we will definitely run into a situation where the cold air gets up to towards the orchard,” Matt Hornyak said.… Continue reading

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Soybean crush facility will change soybean markets in Wyandot County

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood

Freshly laid gravel, bare soil and soybeans growing in the neighboring field set the scene for the groundbreaking of the new Louis Dreyfus Co. (LDC) soybean crush facility in June. Construction has started for the massive soybean processing plant in Upper Sandusky that will integrate crushing, vegetable oil refining, and lecithin production and packaging capabilities. The new facility will have an annual crush capacity of over 55 million bushels — around 20% of Ohio’s annual soybean production.

“Ohio is fifth in bushels and we believe at the Ohio Soybean Association that we have the best beans here in Ohio — that’s why we want them to keep using our soybeans for oil,” said Rusty Goebel, a Williams County farmer and president of the Ohio Soybean Association. “In a rural community you can’t overstate the importance of the jobs and economic impact from all investments. This new plant will drive more demand for our soybeans.… Continue reading

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Can we beat the summer heat?

By Alexandra Stinemetz, Ph.D., Pioneer field agronomist

Alexandra Stinemetz, Ph.D., Pioneer field agronomist

The rainfall pattern across Ohio during the early part of the 2024 growing season has been irregular. The precipitation kept fields wet in many of the northwestern counties delaying planting until late May and early June. The state has witnessed a variety of weather conditions but the above average temperatures and accelerated growing degree unit (GDU) accumulation has been experienced by all. What impact will high temperatures have on our corn and soybean crops?

Warm weather causes corn to grow faster. Optimal daytime temperatures for corn ranges between 77 degrees F and 91 degrees F. Growth decreases when temperatures exceed 95 degrees F but even temperatures in the mid-90s are not a problem until soil moisture is lacking. Leaf rolling is thought to be the first sign of drought stress in corn. The extent of corn yield loss is determined by stage of growth and the duration of plant wilting.… Continue reading

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Coalition files lawsuit to stop EPA’s emissions rule for heavy-duty vehicles

The National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association joined the American Petroleum Institute in filing a lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards for model years 2027-2032. This is in addition to a lawsuit filed to challenge EPA’s light-duty and medium-duty vehicle emissions standards for model years 2027-2032.

The groups said EPA exceeded its congressional authority with the regulation with targets that rely too heavily on electrification and do not fully appreciate the role low carbon fuels like ethanol play in the transportation sector.

“EPA has tried to impose a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing climate change by prioritizing electric vehicles over other climate remedies like corn ethanol,” said Harold Wolle, Minnesota farmer and National Corn Growers Association president. “But while it could take decades to get enough electric vehicles on the road to make a dent in GHG emissions, lower carbon fuels such as ethanol are critical and effective climate tools that are available now.… Continue reading

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2024 Water Quality Status Report highlights

Each year, Ohio Farm Bureau releases its Water Quality Status Report. In 2024, the report showcases the impacts being made by Ohio farmers who are taking measures to ensure clean water through voluntary efforts that are being done on a large scale with measurable results. 

This year’s report also features a deep dive into research projects being conducted with the support of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network, a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project and joint partnership between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Here are the highlights.

New report gauges impact of farm-level water quality efforts in Ohio 

The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative released the findings of its 2023 Assessment Survey Report on practices farmers in the Sandusky watershed are using to manage water and nutrients. The assessment results show ample conservation efforts, as well as areas for improvement and continued farmer education and resourcing by OACI.… Continue reading

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Corn prices likely to continue lower

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The corn market has been in a holding patten. The market is stuck between not knowing what weather will be like later this month and knowing a lot of old crop is being stored by farmers.

Where will prices go from here?

Historically, corn prices go down over the summer unless there are widespread drought conditions, which is rare. As I shared previously, in 11 of the last 15 years, the value of December corn in late November was lower than ANY value traded in the previous May or June.

In 2 of the 4 years when the market went higher after June, it was because the planted acres decreased in the June report from the March intentions report, which did not happen this year. In the other 2 years there were widespread dry conditions across the country, something that as of today is not occurring.… Continue reading

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Dicamba Cutoff Reminder

By Alyssa Essman, OSU State Specialist, Weed Science, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2024-20

The date has now passed for dicamba products registered to be used over the top in emerged soybeans, even though some soybeans were just replanted in the last few weeks, and double crop soybeans are going in the ground. There has been much uncertainty regarding the use of dicamba for the 2024 growing season and beyond as a result of the vacated dicamba registration in February and the EPA’s existing stocks order for dicamba use in 2024 that soon followed. (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 EPA’s order allowed for existing stocks of dicamba products (Engenia, Tavium, and XtendiMax) purchased for use in dicamba-tolerant (DT) soybeans to be sold and distributed through May and to be applied through June.… Continue reading

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Take action against combine and field fires

By Wayne Dellinger, CCA, and Dee Jepsen, Ohio State University Extension

Weather conditions have helped Ohio wheat fields mature a little early this year — but these same conditions can lead to an increase in fires to combine harvesters and crop fields. Unintentional fires are never an enjoyable event. Two recommendations to prevent injuries and property damage include preventative maintenance and pre-planning for fire emergencies. 

Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for combine fires. Other states leading the list include Minnesota (1st), Iowa (2nd), Illinois (3rd), Kansas (5th), Nebraska (6th) and South Dakota (7th). 

The majority of harvester fires start in the engine compartment. Contributing factors for heat sources include faulty wiring, over-heated bearings, leaking fuel, or hydraulic oil. The dry crop residue makes a ready source for rapid combustion to occur when the machine is operated in the field.… Continue reading

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The tools of a trusted advisor

By Matt Reese

While the 4Rs are focused on the relationships between practices of managing of nutrients in farm fields, Nutrien Ag Solutions has found the 4Rs can also help build customer and community relationships as well.  

Nutrien Ag Solutions is the retail business of Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services. The brand was established in 2018 after Nutrien was formed through the merger of PotashCorp and Agrium. Nutrien Ag Solutions now has 10 Ohio 4R Certified retail facilities located in Attica, Upper Sandusky, Polk, Hamler, Delphos, Findlay, and Leipsic/Ottawa. The 4R certification has been a benefit in establishing and enhancing local customer relationships, said Katy Boots, precision ag lead for the Northern Ohio Division of Nutrien Ag Solutions.

“With our customers, we look at being their trusted advisor. With the 4Rs, they were kind of hesitant at first, just because it was something new back in 2015,” Boots said.… Continue reading

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Wheat harvest, corn silking ahead of normal

Winter wheat harvest made significant progress last week, with growers reporting average to above average yields, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2% very short, 34% short, 62% adequate, and 2% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on July 7 was 73.0 degrees, 1.1 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.90 inches of precipitation, 0.01 inches above average. There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 7.

Farmers reported continued dry conditions in the South. Corn condition was rated 74% good to excellent while soybean condition was rated 73% good to excellent, each up from the previous week. Winter wheat was 88% harvested. Winter wheat crop condition was rated 77% good to excellent, up from the previous week. Oat progress advanced 84% headed and 3% mature. Crop condition for oats was rated 82% good to excellent, up slightly from the previous week.… Continue reading

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