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Commodity Classic equips science teachers with ag insight

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Commodity Classic brings farmers together from all over the country to learn, and it is also a great place for teachers to learn about the agricultural practices they are integrating into their classrooms.

Through the generosity of the Ohio soybean farmers and their checkoff, and the GrowNextGen program, many Ohio teachers have gotten the opportunity to travel to Commodity Classic to see first-hand the innovation and technology that goes into producing crops on America’s farms.

Kelly Lewis, the program instructor for bioscience technologies at Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools, was among around 50 other teachers from across the country who attended the 2024 Commodity Classic to learn more about modern agriculture.

“It was pretty amazing. They told me to bring an extra suitcase, and I’m really glad I did because I brought a lot back for my students. It was great to connect with growers and learn about different aspects of the industry.… Continue reading

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Battle of the Belt, 2024 Planting Update

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

Every year is different. Early indications of the potential for near record early planting dates across the state quickly faded with the above average rainfall that has been experienced in many areas. The Battle for the Belt, which to plant first – corn or soybean, is in year number two. While the 2023 research project went off without a hitch for early planting dates, 2024 has been a mixed bag.

Dr. Laura Lindsey is one of the lead investigators and says that they still have their fingers crossed in hopes of getting the early planting accomplished at all the locations. “Last year this project was a lot easier,” said Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist. “In 2023 we had 5 planting dates at 3 locations across Ohio and it worked perfectly.… Continue reading

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Witten named OABA president and CEO

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) is pleased to announce Melinda Witten as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective June 3, 2024. This leadership appointment continues the association’s ongoing efforts to enhance advocacy and service for Ohio’s agribusiness community.

“We are thrilled to welcome Melinda to the team,” said Grant Gates, chair of the OABA Board. “Her exceptional leadership skills and comprehensive understanding of agricultural challenges and opportunities assure us that our association is in very capable hands.”

Witten brings a wealth of experience and a robust track record in agricultural leadership to her new role. She spent over a decade at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, where in her most recent role as Senior Director of Leadership Development she was instrumental in transforming the Young Ag Professionals program and directing the AgriPOWER Leadership Institute. Additionally, Melinda played a pivotal role in the creation of the ExploreAg and Ohio Farm Bureau Ag Literacy programs, significantly enhancing agricultural education and engagement across the state.… Continue reading

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Narrowing futures spreads

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Many U.S. farmers are not selling grain at current low prices. The reason might be because so many farmers have a breakeven for the 2023 corn crop above $5. It seems likely the farmer does not want to sell corn at cash values below $4.50 before they plant next year’s crop.

This has contributed to the May/July corn futures spread narrowing from a 14-cent carry two weeks ago to a 9-cent carry this week. The reason the spread would narrow is because there is demand from the export market for cash corn along the Mississippi and Illinois river when farmer selling is light.

That spread change may mean little to farmers, but to those who profit from storing grain, it is more than a 30% drop in potential revenue over the next two months. Additionally, the basis has had at least a 10-cent increase in the western Corn Belt over the last few weeks.… Continue reading

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Buckeye Temp Tracker – April 23, 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 – 40 degrees

Worked Ground – 40 degrees

Fairfield County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 42 degrees

Worked Ground – 42 degrees

Fayette County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 40 degrees

Worked Ground – 45 degrees

Mercer County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 43 degrees

Worked Ground – 44 degrees

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 345 | The Scoop on Ohio Agriculture

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Joel Penhorwood of Ohio Ag Net talk with Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Ag Council president and Ohio Corn and Wheat executive director. They first chat about farm nicknames throughout the years. They also talk about the Ohio Agriculture Council spring meeting where they bring people from all sectors of Ohio agriculture together.     

More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Krista Swanson, National Corn Growers Assoication: Krista talks with Dale about corn production forecasts in conjunction with Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Assoication. 
  • Terry Mescher, Ohio Department of Agriculture: Dusty talks with Terry about H2Ohio and the outlook for the project. 
  • Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn and Wheat: Tadd talks with Matt about the newly announced E15 waiver.  
  • Adam Heffron, Ohio State Fair and Expo Center: Adam who is the new executive director of the Ohio State Fair and Expo Center talks with Matt about the upcoming fair and plans for the future. 
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Warmer temps spur on fieldwork

Warmer weather and high winds helped to dry ground and allowed for fieldwork to begin, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent short, 55 percent adequate, and 44 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 21 was 57.7 degrees, 5.6 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.55 inches of precipitation, 0.22 inches below average. There were 2 days suitable for
fieldwork during the week ending April 21.

Farmers reported most flooding from earlier in the month had subsided and fields were recovering well. Some fieldwork began including tillage, spraying, fertilizer applications, and some planting. Oats were 27 percent planted. Winter wheat was 69 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 68 percent good to excellent. Farmers reported nitrogen applications made to wheat made improvements to stand quality. Pastures greened up and were looking lush, and animals have been grazing well.… Continue reading

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Dairy producers encouraged to sign up for DMC by April 29

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging dairy producers to enroll by April 29, 2024, for 2024 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC), an important safety net program that helps offset milk and feed price differences. This year’s DMC signup began Feb. 28, 2024, and payments, retroactive to January, began in March 2024. So far, DMC payments triggered in January and February of 2024 at margins of $8.48 and $9.44 respectively.

“We encourage producers to join the 554 dairy operations in Ohio that have already signed up for this important safety net program in advance of the deadline,” said John Patterson, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director in Ohio. “At $0.15 per hundredweight for $9.50 coverage, risk protection through Dairy Margin Coverage is a cost-effective tool to manage risk and provide security for your operations.”

FSA revised DMC regulations to extend coverage for calendar year 2024, which is retroactive to Jan.… Continue reading

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OACI report gauges progress of farm water quality improvement efforts

The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI) rolled out the findings of its 2023 Assessment Survey Report on practices being used by farmers in the Sandusky watershed 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.

“The numbers were, overall, much stronger than I thought they were going to be and I’m really hopeful that after H2Ohio is factored into these assessments in the future that those figures will be even bigger,” said Kris Swartz, Wood County farmer and Chair of the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative. “The amount of producers embracing technology and using grid sampling and variable rate applications stood out to me and paints a bright picture for the future of this watershed.”

The survey results establish a baseline of adoption for various farming practices in the Sandusky watershed. The information will allow for a more targeted approach to help increase some practices, while also displaying that some practices are already adopted at an adequate level.… Continue reading

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Some planting started, but wet conditions continue

Matt Spillman

We were really wet here the first couple weeks of April. We had 6 plus inches of rain and major flooding in some of the bottoms. Most of the water is gone now and things are shaping up. It looks like maybe today we can make some progress on groundwork and things have dried out nicely. I think today’s the day we’re going to get started planting.

We have some sandy ground and some heavy clay that takes a while to dry out. I would say 30% of our ground is probably not too far from being plantable today — maybe more than that — so we can get rolling.

We’re going to start with beans. We’ve been having good results with the earlier beans for our operation the last few years. We’ll hit those pretty hard for a day or so before the corn. I think we’ll be rolling with both planters towards the end of week.… Continue reading

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EPA issues emergency fuel waiver for E-15 sales 

In this featured audio, Matt Reese talks with Tadd Nicholson from Ohio Corn and Wheat about the EPA’s recent announcement on the E15 waiver. Read below for an additional release from the National Corn Growers Association.

Corn Growers Applaud EPA for Allowing Access to Higher Blends of Ethanol During Summer Months

By Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will use its existing authority to prevent drivers from losing access to lower-cost and lower-emission E15, a higher ethanol blend often marketed as Unleaded 88.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and state corn grower organizations, which have advocated for the move, praised the decision.

“This waiver is good news for corn growers and those in rural America who will benefit economically from this decision and for consumers who will save money at the pump during a busy travel season,” said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle.… Continue reading

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Governor DeWine Announces Statewide Open Enrollment for H2Ohio Agricultural Incentive Program

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director Brian Baldridge announced today that H2Ohio’s agriculture incentive program is now being offered to producers throughout the state.

Governor DeWine launched H2Ohio in 2019 as a comprehensive initiative aimed at addressing various threats to water quality, including harmful algal blooms caused by phosphorus runoff. H2Ohio’s agricultural program, which initially focused solely on farms located in northwest Ohio near Lake Erie, incentivizes farmers to implement science-based, proven best management practices to prevent nutrient runoff and improve water quality.

“H2Ohio is now firmly established in northwest Ohio, giving us the opportunity to take this program to other parts of the state,” said Governor DeWine. “We appreciate the commitment that our current H2Ohio farmers have shown to protecting Lake Erie, and we look forward to engaging more producers across Ohio on how they can contribute to cleaner water throughout the state.”

Statewide enrollment for row-crop producers who farm in Ohio’s 64 counties outside of northwest Ohio’s Western Lake Erie Basin will open next week.… Continue reading

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Collegiate Farm Bureau to Host Earth Day, Ag Day Festivities

By Wilmington College

Hand by hand, Wilmington College can “plant roots for a greener future.” The College is holding its 13th annual Earth Day | Ag Day on April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Center for the Sciences and Agriculture. It’s a day to share the connection between the Earth and agriculture. The event will feature Collegiate Farm Bureau’s 3rd annual PARK(ing) Day — a national celebration of parking spaces turned into public spaces.

PARK(ing) Day is an event in which participants turn vehicular parking spots into environment-friendly spaces to share with and educate the public about “planting roots for a greener future.” These practices would include protecting and enhancing the environment, agriculture and sustainability while looking ahead to plan prosperous futures for all.

The pop-up parks can include any non-permanent fixtures or features, such as lawn chairs, hammocks, yard games or concessions. Participants are encouraged to include interactive displays or activities that celebrate the outdoors or natural spaces.… Continue reading

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AFBF to USDA: Restore NASS surveys

The American Farm Bureau Federation urged USDA to reverse its decision to cancel livestock and crop surveys that are crucial to the success of America’s farmers and ranchers. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently announced it would no longer provide a July cattle inventory survey, as well as county-level estimates for crops and livestock and the objective yield survey for cotton.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall sent a letter to USDA to emphasize the importance of the surveys, particularly the July cattle report. From the letter, “NASS’ two reports regarding the total U.S. cattle inventory, published on Jan. 31 and in late July, give farmers, ranchers, researchers and other data users a full picture of supplies in the U.S. cattle sector at the beginning and in the middle of each year. This allows for a fair assessment of the cattle market for the next six months. Eliminating the mid-year report puts the market in the dark for the second half of the year, removes market transparency and increases market volatility.… Continue reading

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Wheat yield winner shares tips

By Matt Reese

The 2023 wheat crop was a pleasant surprise for many farmers around Ohio who saw some of the best yields ever. Statewide, winter wheat in Ohio averaged 90 bushels per acre in 2023 up 11 bushels from the previous year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service Great Lakes Region.

Kent Edwards of Erie County was particularly pleased with his169.4 bushel per acre yield entry for the Ohio and National Wheat Yield Contest. His yield was the highest in the Ohio contest and finished third in the national Dryland Winter Wheat category.

Kent Edwards (fifth from left) and Hanna Edwards (seventh from left) were joined by Pioneer Seed representatives and members of the Ohio Small Grains Check-off during the awards reception at the 2024 Commodity Classic and National Wheat Yield Contest Awards reception. Also pictured are: Brian Sutorius, Pioneer; Sam Boyce, Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program (OSGMP); Ray Van Horn, OSGMPDerek Hetrick, OSGMP; Eric Richer, OSGMP; Nick Wolford, OSGMP; Owen Niece, OSGMP; and Gary Wilson, OSGMP.
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Using Dairy Manure with Newly Planted Corn and Soybeans

By Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Manure Management, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2024-09

In recent years, dairy farmers and commercial manure applicators have been moving towards applying dairy manure to newly planted corn and soybeans.

Applying dairy manure to fields after crops are planted in the spring offers some advantages over applying manure before crops are planted. One advantage is corn or soybean planting not being delayed by the added moisture from the liquid manure. This delay can be costly if wet weather further delays spring planting. The second advantage is the liquid manure adding moisture to the soil that can enhance crop germination and emergence, especially if the weather turns off dry.

As soon as a field is planted, the manure can be applied. This is true for both corn and soybeans. The seed is protected by an inch or more of soil. In university research the application of 10,000 gallons per acre of dairy manure has not negatively impacted crop germination and emergence on corn or soybeans.… Continue reading

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Spring wheat management

By Laura LindseyPierce PaulEd Lentz, CCAAlyssa Essman, Ohio State University Extension

Spring is an important time to make key management decisions for winter wheat. Decisions should be made on wheat growth stage, not calendar date or crop height. Correct growth stage identification and knowledge of factors that affect grain yield can enhance management decisions, avoiding damage to the crop and unwarranted or ineffective applications. Several scales can be used to identify wheat growth stages, including the Feekes and Zadoks scale. Here we focus on the Feekes Growth Scale and key spring management practices.

Feekes 5 Growth Stage

At Feekes 5 growth stage, leaf sheaths are strongly erect. This is an ideal growth for spring topdress nitrogen application. Weed control efforts should be made prior to or during Feekes 5.0 with 2,4-D and other labeled herbicides. This is also a good stage to begin scouting for foliar diseases. … Continue reading

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OPA calling for nominations to 2025-2026 American Egg Board

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is accepting suggestions for nominations to serve on the 2025-2026 American Egg Board (AEB), which is U.S. egg farmer’s link to consumers in communicating the value of the incredible egg. AEB is seeking an ethnically diverse group of candidates. Appointed members will serve a two-year term.

“Serving on the American Egg Board is a unique opportunity to assist in furthering AEB’s mission to increase demand for eggs nationwide,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “Working with egg farming partners nationally to further our commitment to provide wholesome eggs for Ohioans and the rest of the country is a distinct privilege.”

To be eligible for nomination, individuals must be producers or representatives of producers and they must own more than 75,000 laying hens. Producers who own 75,000 or less hens are eligible provided they have not applied for exemption and are paying assessments to AEB.

The Board is appointed by the U.S.… Continue reading

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