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Cooking with delicious basil

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

It is May and I know the spring planting adrenaline is not just amping up for all you farmers out there but all of you home gardeners as well. Herbs are not only an easy way for you to add some spice to your garden but also your plate. No matter if your garden is a football field or a postage stamp, you too can enjoy the flavors of your labor. One of my favorite herbs is basil. Basil is an easy herb to plant, tend and enjoy in your garden.

Plant basil in your large gardens, kitchen gardens or even just a plant or two in your flower bed. Basil even does well in pots. The most important intel to have is location, location, location. You want to have easy access when you decide to chef it up in your kitchen and need some basil.… Continue reading

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Klopfenstein named Young Ag Professional and Ag Literacy Program Specialist

Mary Klopfenstein of Delphos has been named Young Ag Professional and ag literacy program specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau. She was most recently the organization’s ExploreAg and ag literacy program specialist. Her new role will add the duties of working with the Young Ag Professionals State Committee and focusing on YAP programming, which provides leadership development and professional growth opportunities for Farm Bureau members ages 18-35.

A former Ohio FFA state president, Klopfenstein grew up on a small row crop farm in McCartyville, where her love for agriculture blossomed as she showed horses through 4-H and sold sweet corn as her Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) for FFA.

Before joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Klopfenstein was at Illinois Farm Bureau as a youth & collegiate program coordinator. She currently serves as the northwest Ohio representative on the CFAES Alumni Society Board of Directors and is an Allen County Farm Bureau member.… Continue reading

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Declining livestock inventories contribute to drop in meat cold storage

By Bernt Nelson, American Farm Bureau economist

Cold storage, particularly for red meat and poultry, is an important part of the protein supply chain, with meat in cold storage coming from a variety of sources and used in both domestic and global markets. USDA’s monthly Cold Storage report measures reserve food supplies held in commercial and public warehouses. All stocks in the March 25 report represent inventory in cold storage on Feb. 29, 2024. Red meat in freezers was estimated to be 1.05 billion pounds, down 4% from February 2023 and the lowest it has been in 23 years. Frozen poultry stocks, a separate measure from red meat, were 1.03 billion pounds in February 2024, down just 1% from last year. These changes were somewhat expected since nearly all animal protein sectors are experiencing or will experience lower inventories in 2024 and beyond. When the supply of any commodity falls, it’s common for market volatility to increase.… Continue reading

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Long-serving 4-H program manager Allen Auck retiring

After nearly four decades of unwavering commitment to Ohio State University and its 4-H program, Allen Auck, the esteemed program manager for events and activities, is retiring April 19, 2024.

Throughout his tenure, Auck has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of Ohio’s 4-H program, leaving an indelible mark on countless youth and colleagues alike. His leadership and coordination have been pivotal in organizing numerous initiatives, including the Ohio State Fair 4-H guidebook and project judging, the Ohio 4-H Conference, Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center activities, and fostering youth participation in numerous state and national 4-H conferences.

“Allen’s dedication and passion for the Ohio 4-H program have been unparalleled,” said Kirk Bloir, the state 4-H leader. “His leadership has not only shaped countless lives but has also laid the foundation for our organization’s continued success and growth.”

Auck’s legacy extends far beyond his role as a program manager; his impact has resonated deeply within the Ohio 4-H community, touching the lives of generations of youth and instilling in them the values of leadership, service, and personal growth.… Continue reading

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Seed Genetics Direct teams up with PSR for new hybrids

Professional Seed Research (PSR) from Sugar Grove, Ill., and Seed Genetics Direct LLC (SGD) from Jeffersonville recently entered into an exclusive agreement allowing SGD to promote, sublicense and market PSR hybrids jointly developed by SGD and PSR.

Using a proprietary method, PSR can develop new inbred lines in just one year, saving several years of inbred selfing. This system ensures a high level of homozygosity to evaluate the inbred lines performance while retaining flexibility for further refinement as it progresses towards market. The rapid selection process saves time, manpower, and cost versus normal breeding programs, enabling yield testing 4 years earlier than through traditional programs.

SGD has approximately 25 research testing locations throughout Indiana and Ohio allowing hybrid selection for our unique disease pressure. Initially SGD will have access to 100 unique and proprietary hybrids but hopes to expand to a minimum of 1,000 new hybrids yearly. Testing at 25 locations will allow SGD to sort and advance the top conventional genetics.… Continue reading

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Buckeye Temp Tracker – April 16, 2024

The Buckeye Temp Tracker is powered by BA Genetics and takes note of soil temperatures in four counties each week. Check back each Wednesday for the next update throughout this planting season.

In the interactive map below, click on the thermometer icons to see the soil temperature results from each of the four Ohio counties involved in the program.

Each reading is in degrees Fahrenheit.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 300px-Map_of_Ohio_highlighting_Ashland_County.svg_.png

Ashland County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 52 degrees

Worked Ground – 53 degrees

Fairfield County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 52 degrees

Worked Ground – 54 degrees

Fayette County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 52 degrees

Worked Ground – 54 degrees

Mercer County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 55 degrees

Worked Ground – 55 degrees

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A custom operator’s perspective – Anhydrous Cab Cam – Craig ‘Biggin’ Schlechty

In this first Cab Cam of 2024, Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood heads to the corner of Shelby County near Miami County for a conversation with Craig ‘Biggin’ Schlechty, a custom operator busy with anhydrous application. He talks about progress on his first day of fieldwork this year, his perspective as a custom farmer, safety around anhydrous, and much more.

The 2024 Cab Cam series is sponsored by Precision Agri-Services Inc. More online at… Continue reading

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Early weed control, bumping seed rate could pay big dividends

By Dave Nanda, Ph.D., Director of Genetics for Seed Genetics Direct

Dave Nanda

It has been a wet start to the growing season statewide. I favor early planting, but only if the ground is ready. To set the stage for a successful season, the timely planting also requires timely weed control, which has been a challenge so far in 2024 with the wet weather.

The micro-environment of each plant is very important for its ability to reach maximum yield potential. Plants sense early on if they have competition from weeds or other crop plants, and they start to react and plan their future accordingly. If growers can reduce pressure from weeds, it will encourage crops to produce more yield. 

It is especially important to control weeds early so herbicide-resistant weeds won’t get started. Many weeds, such as marestail and waterhemp, have developed resistance to glyphosate herbicide because it was used on millions of acres of corn and soybeans.… Continue reading

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Internal controls for agribusiness operations

By Brian Ravencraft

Having sound internal controls in place is necessary for any agribusiness. It can be the difference between success and struggle. Internal controls are designed to prevent fraud, streamline operations, and ensure that your business is following best practices. Every type of business needs to have controls in place, no matter the size. Let’s take a look at some of the top controls to implement.

Separation of duties

Segregating duties among your employees is crucial for preventing fraud and costly errors. By dividing responsibilities for different processes, no single employee or department has too much control. For instance, the person who reconciles your bank statements shouldn’t be the same person who approves transactions within your accounting system.

Regular reconciliations

Frequent and accurate account reconciliations help identify discrepancies that may point to mistakes, internal fraud, or external theft. This includes reconciling bank statements, credit card statements, and other financial accounts to the accounting records within your business.… Continue reading

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Narrow row corn

By Victor Gomes, Wanderson Novais, Alex Lindsey, Osler Ortez, Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

Optimizing corn yields involves considering various factors such as planting date, relative hybrid maturity group, row spacing, plant population, and other crop inputs. Growers, facing the challenge of unpredictable weather and the annual introduction of new products and hybrids, are continually seeking ways to enhance yields and improve operational efficiency. In recent years, there has been interest in producing narrow row hybrid corn, however, the availability of agronomic recommendations for modern hybrids is limited. 

To address this issue, researchers from the Ohio State University conducted a series of trials looking at various factors associated with narrow row corn production. These factors included hybrid selection, population density and documenting potential disease issues and response to foliar inputs of nitrogen and fungicide. The trials were conducted from 2016-2018 in two sites (South Charleston, high yield potential, and Hoytville, lower yield potential).… Continue reading

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Cover Crop Termination

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services, adapted from Green Covers

This spring has been warmer than normal, but Ohio’s subsoil moisture has been dry due to last year’s drought.  Recent rains may have helped depending upon how much rain actually soaked in.  Last year, adequate subsoil moisture allowed farmers to get decent yields, however; what about this year?  According to the National Weather Service, there is a 83% chance for a transition from El Niño to La Niña during April-June and a 62% chance for La Niña to develop by June-August.  Typically, El Niño years are drier while La Niña years tend to be wetter in the Midwest. 

For Ohio, the 60-day weather forecast is for temperatures to be above normal in our area but perhaps drier than normal conditions around the Great Lakes. April may be wetter, but May is expected to turn dry. Farmer’s may be planting earlier than normal depending upon the weather.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 344 | Aimpoint: Aiming to Help Farmers

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talks with Mark Purdy, COO of Aimpoint Research. They talk about research and collecting data to help support farmers and the agri-food sector. They talk about the effects of inflation, technology, wage inflation, and more. 

More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Matt Reese, Ohio Country Jounral: Matt talks about the new AI versus old AI and what that means in agriculture today. 
  • Kent Edwards, Erie County Farmer: Matt talks with Kent about being the Ohio wheat contest yield winner.  
Matt Reese3:44
Kent Edwards8:38
Main Conversation, Mark Purdy11:39
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Wet conditions continue

Heavy rains last week saturated fields and prevented any large-scale planting activities, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 31% adequate and 69% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 14 was 56.8 degrees, 9.4 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.86 10 inches of precipitation, 0.98 inches above average. There were 0.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 14. Farmers reported that with the excess rain, the only field work that could be done was applying herbicide and fertilizing wheat. Oats were 11% planted. Winter wheat was 51% jointed and winter wheat condition was 70% good to excellent. Warmer than normal conditions continued to push fruit crop development.

For more from this week’s Crop Progress report from USDA NASS, click here.… Continue reading

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Waiting on markets and weather

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

While cycling sold recently in North Carolina in what I deemed to be familiar territory, I (oops) “left the planned route.” Realizing my phone showed 10% battery life and that I was lost was not my most shining moment. My new navigation means became a conversation with a DoorDash driver, a local fire department, and a nice lady working in her yard. Fortunately, I was just 5 miles short of my destination. Since I had alerted Cindy of my dilemma, she once again got to “wonder” as I “wandered.” No need to worry, just wait. The same advice followed by producers, prepared and anxious to plant.

Puzzling and perplexing accurately describes the situation of soybean trading activity on Friday, April 12. Literally out of nowhere, soybeans mid-morning were up 20 cents, and closing up 14 cents. Numerous research reports literally had no explanation of what was taking place and were unable to put forth fundamental reasons for the rally.… Continue reading

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Corn emergence

By Stephanie Karhoff

Emergence issues can cause reduced stand and uneven plant development, lowering yield potential. As corn planting progresses throughout Ohio, revisiting the emergence process and how environmental and management factors influence it is important.

Corn requires between 100 and 120 growing degree days (GDDs) to emerge (based on air temperature). Daily GDD accumulation is determined by calculating the average daily temperature and subtracting the base temperature of 50 degrees F. Actual daily low and high temperatures are used if they fall between 50 and 86 degrees. If the temperatures are below 50 degrees or above 86 degrees, then 50 degrees or 86 degrees are used in the formula. This adjustment is made because corn growth rates do not increase above 86 degrees, and at 50 degrees, growth is already near zero.

After germination, the mesocotyl will elongate and push the coleoptile up until it breaks through the soil surface.… Continue reading

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Purdue survey tallies consumer attitudes toward lab-grown meat alternatives

Many consumers view conventional meats as both tastier and healthier than laboratory-grown alternatives, according to the March Consumer Food Insights Report.

The survey-based report out of Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability assesses food spending, consumer satisfaction and values, support of agricultural and food policies and trust in information sources. Purdue experts conducted and evaluated the survey, which included 1,200 consumers across the U.S.

The report explores consumer perceptions of and willingness to try exotic and cultivated meats. The report highlights differing responses to queries based on meat type: conventional (non-cultivated) or cultivated. The researchers use the term “conventional” meat to describe meat that is sourced conventionally — bred and raised or hunted, slaughtered and butchered. Cultivated meat is grown or cultivated in a laboratory from animal cells.

Focusing on familiar meats that Americans can find in any grocery store, such as beef and chicken, center researchers saw a big difference between the perceived taste and healthfulness of conventional versus cultivated versions of these meats.… Continue reading

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Veterinarians continue to closely monitor HPAI in Ohio dairy cattle

By Matt Reese

On March 25, it was confirmed that a mysterious disease in Texas dairy cattle was identified as a strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), commonly known as bird flu.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state veterinary and public health officials from around the country continue to investigate the emerging illness among dairy cows that causes decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms. USDA has since confirmed the presence of HPAI A(H5N1) in additional dairy cattle herds in Idaho, New Mexico, Michigan, and Ohio.

In early April, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) received confirmation from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) of the detection of HPAI in an Ohio dairy cattle herd. The affected dairy operation in Wood County received cows on March 8, 2024, from a Texas dairy, which later reported a confirmed detection of HPAI A(H5N1).… Continue reading

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See for Yourself mission to Central America leaves a lasting impression on U.S. soybean farmers

By the United Soybean Board

The Soy Checkoff recently journeyed to Panama and Colombia for its annual See for Yourself mission. A group of farmer participants accompanied by national checkoff farmer-leaders visited Central America February 4-11. The educational mission aims to cultivate the next generation of soybean leaders and this group saw how their soy checkoff investments impact other parts of the world and drive demand for U.S. Soy. 

Adele Flynn, Ohio Farmer said, “As farmers, we tend to forget about the soybeans from the time they leave our fields or bins. The See for Yourself program showed us how our checkoff dollars go to work, guaranteeing U.S. soybean farmers have a vital, strong, and competitive market. But it is so much more than that! We were able to see how our soybeans are making an impact on people’s lives, all while learning a ton, forming great new friendships, and making connections.”… Continue reading

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REAP grant adding efficiency to Jones farm

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

RB Jones is the eighth generation on his family’s Warren County farm going back to the original Revolutionary War grant. He has been a partner in the farm since 1977. His nephew, Aaron Jones has long helped on the farm and became a partner after his father passed away 5 years ago. RB’s son, Ryan and his family also help on the farm and his wife, Debbie, does the farm bookwork and tax prep. In addition to grain farming together, Aaron has a trucking business on the side and RB and Debbie raise cattle and goats. They all work together year-round but especially come together during the busy planting and long harvest seasons. The 2023 harvest season went a bit smoother than in the past thanks to a 2023 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program grant project the Jones family worked on with funding from the USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).… Continue reading

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Spring forage establishment

By Jason Hartschuh, Extension Field Specialist, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock, Ohio State University Extension

As soil temperatures rise and the chances of a morning frost decline, the window to spring-establish forages is open. In the spring, the combination of weather and plenty to do make planting opportunities scarce. To take advantage of those short planting windows, the following are items to consider to improve chances for a successful forage establishment this spring.

  1. Soil fertility and pH: Set up your forages with the best starting conditions you can by providing sufficient available nutrients and a soil pH that allows for those nutrients to be taken up. Follow the Tri-state Soil Fertility Recommendations ( Phosphorus levels for grass are optimal in the 20-40 ppm range, while the range for legumes is 30-50 ppm. When it comes to potassium, the optimal range is 100-130 ppm for sandy soils with a cation exchange capacity (CEC) less than 5; for loam and clay soils with a CEC greater than 5, the range is 120-170 ppm.
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