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Wheat tillers and yield

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Seed Consultants, Inc., Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist 

When weather warms up in the spring, winter wheat will break dormancy and will begin to green up. After a period of about 2 weeks, producers should evaluate their stand in order to make management decisions for their wheat crop. Part of this evaluation includes counting tillers to determine if there is an adequate stand for achieving high yields. According an article in a C.O.R.N. Newsletter written by Laura Lindsey, Ed Lentz, Pierce Paul, “Yield potential is reduced if tiller numbers fall below 25 per square foot after green up.”

So, what is a tiller? And how should they be counted? Tillers are additional stems that develop off of the main shoot of the plant. Primary tillers form in the axils of the first four or more true leaves of the main stem. Secondary tillers may develop from the base of primary tillers if conditions favor tiller development.… Continue reading

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Growers and retailers needed for a new project: Understanding yield response to K applications in Ohio

By John Fulton and Aaron Heilers

Potassium (K) is a key nutrient for growing profitable crops in Ohio. Recently in Ohio, consultants, retailers, and farmers have been concerned that soil K values have been decreasing. One cause for this decrease is higher soybean and corn yields leading to higher K removal rates in grain harvested from Ohio fields. Further, moving to annual applications of P and K for corn-soybean rotations has been the trend over the past decade. This approach of annual applications follows the concept of feeding the plants for corn and soybean production and it has provided profitable returns to Ohio farmers. Certain areas in Ohio also note yield response to K in lieu of the Tri-State Recommendations for K in corn and soybeans.

As a response to concerns over K recommendations, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, the 4R Nutrient Council, and The Ohio State University have partnered to initiate a new project looking at yield response to K applications across Ohio.… Continue reading

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Conservation Tillage Club breakfast events

By Mark Badertscher, Ohio State University Extension

The 2024 Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program series started in January and continues Feb. 8 and Feb. 22 at the Plaza Inn Restaurant, 491 S Main Street (State Route 31) in Mt. Victory. Each session will start at 7:30 a.m. with a complimentary buffet breakfast followed by the program at 8 a.m.

Feb. 8 will feature Aaron Wilson, OSU Assistant Professor and Agricultural Weather and Climate Field Specialist’s presentation will focus on being climate smart and farming with weather extremes. Topics of discussion include recent weather patterns and how they have affected crop production practices in Ohio.

The Feb. 22 event will feature a program on drone use in agriculture by Henry County OSU Extension Educator Alan Leininger. Drones are becoming more common in agriculture than just for scouting crops for insects, weeds, and disease.

The Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program series is jointly sponsored by OSU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Hardin, Logan, and Union Counties, and in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.… Continue reading

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Pesticide Use Limitation Areas

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

In September 2023 a federal district court approved a legal agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop strategies to reduce harm to endangered species from the use of pesticides. As a part of the EPA strategies, they identified 27 federally threatened and endangered species that are vulnerable to pesticides, and proposed mitigation to protect them by minimizing or avoiding pesticide exposure. For each species being considered, the EPA has proposed a geographically specific mitigation using a pesticide use limitation area (PULA).

The EPA released a draft white paper for public comment. The white paper identified proposed mitigation measures that would be required. Agricultural commodity groups and agribusiness industry groups as well as environmental groups and other stakeholders submitted comments that are now being reviewed by the agency.

“The proposal that the EPA is looking to move forward regarding the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has received numerous comments from our organization and others in Ohio and nationally,” said Brandon Kern, Director of Public Affairs and Issue Analysis for the Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio Soybean Association.… Continue reading

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USDA encouraging CRP participants to consider Forest Management Incentive

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering financial assistance to agricultural producers and private landowners enrolled in its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to improve the health of their forests. The Forest Management Incentive, available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), can help participants with forest management practices, such as brush management and prescribed burning.  

“Healthy forests offer many benefits, from providing habitat for wildlife to sequestering carbon,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “Through the Forest Management Incentive, USDA’s Farm Service Agency provides an additional forest improvement tool to producers participating in the Conservation Reserve Program. This incentive enhances the Conservation Reserve Program’s environmental benefits and helps protect our country’s natural resources.”  

The Forest Management Incentive is available to participants with active CRP contracts with forest cover that are not within two years of expiring. The incentive is a payment to eligible CRP participants who properly completed authorized forest management practice activities to improve the condition of resources, promote forest management and enhance wildlife habitat. … Continue reading

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More developments regarding Moroccan phosphate duties

In recent developments concerning the Court of International Trade’s remand of duties on Moroccan phosphate imports, the Department of Commerce has issued a new duty rate of 7.41%, a significant decrease from the previous 19.97%. Despite this positive step for U.S. crop producers, the decrease falls short of the administrative review rate of 2.12% issued in November 2023. The International Trade Commission (ITC) also upheld its original determination that the domestic industry suffered harm from Moroccan imports. 

The next step involves the Court of International Trade (CIT) reviewing each agency’s remand determination and making a final ruling. The CIT considers submissions from other parties to the litigation during this process. The potential appeals to the Federal Circuit in both the Commerce and ITC cases add a layer of complexity to the ongoing situation.

The National Corn Growers Association was deeply disappointed in the ITC decision.

“The idea that major fertilizer conglomerates were materially injured even as they were posting substantially higher profits during the time in question sounds dubious to me,” said Harold Wolle, NCGA president.… Continue reading

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A look at corn prices moving forward

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

The corn market might have finally found a temporary bottom, but everyone wants to know what direction corn prices will go in 2024. Weather here and around the world is the biggest price driver, but it is impossible to predict long term. Therefore, below are three charts that could provide some historical perspective for upcoming marketing plans.

Corn yields from 1975 to 2023

Since 1975, the national yield has increased from about 90 bushels per acre to nearly 180.

Over the last nearly 50 years, the average national yield has been within 2 bushels of or above the trendline yield almost 75% of the time. Using a linear trendline suggests that statistically, this year’s corn yield could be around 180.5. In most years, the weather is favorable enough to produce a normal crop across the U.S. as a whole. 

When will futures prices hit the high for the year?… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 333 | Ohio Farm Bureau Buzz

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 Paul Lyons, Ohio Farm Bureau Vice President of Membership. They talked about the recent American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Young Ag Professional Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Paul shares about his experiences at the annual meeting and gives an overview of Ohio recognition. 

 More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Luke and Kayla Durbin and Joe Everett, YAP State Committee: They talk with Joel about the recent YAP Conference, their role on the State Committee, and their own agriculture background. 
  • Scott Fenwick, Clean Fuels America: Scott is the Technical Director for Clean Fuels America and talks with Dale about the biodiesel technology world. 
  • Brandon Kern, Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio Soybean Association: Brandon works as the Director of Public Affair and Issue Analysis and he talks with Dusty about US EPA and Endangered Species Act in relation to pesticide use. 
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Innovative tech shows promise to boost rubber production

With disease and high demand posing threats to the world’s primary natural rubber supply in Southeast Asia, scientists are working to ramp up the U.S. rubber market by advancing methods to extract latex from two sustainable North American plant sources: a dandelion species and a desert shrub.

Researchers reported their methods to improve efficiency and increase latex yield in two recent publications, building upon decades of research led by Katrina Cornish, professor of horticulture and crop science and food, agricultural and biological engineering at The Ohio State University. 

Cornish and colleagues have added specialized agents during processing of the Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TK) dandelion and the guayule shrub to coax a higher amount of latex from both plants. Neither source can simply be tapped — the method used on tropical trees that produce the only commercially available natural rubber in the world.

“We need to have efficient extraction methods for any and all alternative natural rubber-producing species, especially at a large scale,” Cornish said.… Continue reading

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Farm income expected to decline

By Matt Reese

Economists are looking at the farm economy from all angles and none of those perspectives look all that positive right now. Interest rates, inflation, input costs and lower cash receipts all played a role in a lower farm income forecast for 2023.

Late last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the most recent farm income estimates, anticipating a 17% decrease in U.S. net farm income, moving from $183 billion in 2022 to $151 billion in 2023, according to American Farm Bureau economist Daniel Munch.

“Much of the forecast decline in 2023 net farm income is tied to lower crop and livestock cash receipts, continued increases in production costs and a decrease in ad hoc government support. It is important to highlight the projected nature of this forecast. Net farm income numbers for 2022 were not finalized until August 2023 and have been adjusted upward over $20 billion in the eight months since the year ended.… Continue reading

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FarmHouse Fraternity executive team attends international leadership institute

Five members of FarmHouse Fraternity, Alpha Tau Zeta Chapter at The Ohio State University attended the annual FarmHouse Leadership Institute (FLI) in early January. The weekend event was held in St. Louis, Missouri.

Executive committee members in attendance included: Brady Jacobs Bell, president; Grant DeBruin, vice president of administration; Brady McCumons, vice president of recruitment and retention; Garrett Hastings, vice president of finance; and Lantz Snavely, vice president of risk management. They were joined by Emily Wickham, chapter advisor, and Dr. John Foltz, chapter alum and member of the FarmHouse International Executive Board.

Chapter officers attend FLI at the beginning of their officer term. The program is designed to help chapter officers and advisors learn more about their roles, build connections with other FarmHouse members from across the United States and Canada, learn valuable leadership skills, and set strategic goals for their chapter.

“Our officer team had a great experience attending FLI.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on 106.3 The Fox

We continue our series highlighting the outstanding Ohio Ag Net radio affiliates carrying the best in Ohio ag news.

This week, we say thank you to 106.3 The Fox (WBUK FM) serving Putnam and surrounding counties, with coverage airing at 5:20 a.m., 10:50 and 4:30 p.m. Tune in to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday, alongside their other local ag programming!

The best in Ohio ag news is easy to find! If your current station doesn’t feature the voice of Ohio Ag—turn the dial! Click here to view the complete affiliate listing, including air times.Continue reading

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Young Ag Professionals share stories ‘Beyond the Fencerows’ at Winter Leadership Experience

The Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals hosted the 2024 Winter Leadership Experience in late January in Columbus. This event is designed for individuals in agriculture aged 18-35, providing opportunities for learning, networking, and connecting with like-minded peers. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood interviewed Kayla and Luke Durbin, along with Joe Everett, all members of the YAP State Committee. Luke and Kayla, the incoming chairs, share their insights on the YAP event and discuss their unique farming situation involving two separate family farms. The trio also gives a sneak peek into the location for next year’s highly anticipated event.… Continue reading

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Do Soybeans Benefit From Nitrogen Applications at Planting?

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

Recently soybean producers have considered the potential for a nitrogen (N) application at planting to stimulate the crop and ultimately increase the final yields. Beck’s Hybrids has studied this concept in their Practical Farm Research. Mike Hannewald, Field Agronomist for Beck’s recently shared some of the data.

“Looking at the soybean nitrogen uptake curve, it shows us that the bean plant needs about 20 pounds of nitrogen before the plant develops and forms nodules,” said Hannewald. “Soybean nodulation starts at V2 under ideal conditions, but if the plant is stressed it can take a little longer. At V2 the nodules form and start fixing N from the air and converting it into a usable form for the plant.  The N that plant needs before nodulation must come from the soil.”

Does applying N to a legume crop impact how the plant functions?… Continue reading

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Member Appreciation Breakfast in Ashland

Ashland County Farm Bureau invites members and prospective members to their Member Appreciation Breakfast on Feb. 24 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Ashland County – West Holmes Career Center. Ashland County Farm Bureau board members will be offering a menu of made-to-order omelets, donuts and beverages.

In addition to breakfast, the event will offer a presentation on CAUV at 9 a.m. by Leah Hetrick, Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Legal Education and Member Engagement. Cindy Funk, Ashland County Auditor, will follow to address Ashland County-specific questions regarding CAUV.

This event is free to members and their dependents. Non-members can attend at $20 per person. Become a member of the Ashland County Farm Bureau at the breakfast and there is no charge! Bring a new member or join as a new member at the breakfast and receive a free t-shirt. Renew at the breakfast and receive $5 in cash back.… Continue reading

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ODA annual awards presented for dedication to water quality

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) recognized two Soil and Water Conservation Districts for their leadership and commitment to the H2Ohio program.

The awards for Erie and Mercer counties were presented by ODA Director Brian Baldridge at the 2024 Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annual Partnership Meeting in Columbus.

“H2Ohio would not be a success without the tireless work from our Soil and Water Conservation Districts,” Baldridge said. “They are the trusted voices in our communities helping connect Ohio’s farmers to conservation.”

The H2Ohio Lifetime Conservation Advocate Award recognizes those who exhibit exceptional leadership and commitment to water quality through H2Ohio. Recipients of this award are devoted stewards of water quality improvement and conservation who demonstrate innovation, partnership, enthusiasm, and a “get it done” attitude.

This recognition supports Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative designed to address complex issues impacting Ohio’s waters. Launched in 2019, H2Ohio uses a comprehensive approach guided by science and data to reduce algal blooms, stop pollution, and improve access to clean drinking water by supporting best farming practices, road salt runoff reduction, litter cleanup, dam removal, land conservation, and water infrastructure revitalization.… Continue reading

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Managing stored grain quality through winter’s ups and downs

By Matt Reese

Good winter management of stored grain starts as soon as corn or soybeans go into the bins, said Matt Bambauer, with Bambauer Fertilizer & Seed, Inc.

Generally speaking, for much of Ohio, the quality of the corn and soybeans going into bins last harvest was fairly good, despite some high harvest moisture levels. Bambauer was, for the most part, pleased with the 2023 quality coming into the New Knoxville and Pemberton grain locations.

“I would say in our local area in west central Ohio, we had some spots with vomitoxin here and there in the corn, but in general the corn was pretty good quality. It was just wetter than usual. We got lucky enough to have an extended fall to where the moisture did eventually come down,” Bambauer said. “The grain quality was better than it was last year for sure as far as vomitoxin goes. But we did dry a lot of corn, and when you dry corn, you’re going to end up with more fines.… Continue reading

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2023 Ohio Crop Tour recap

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, Ohio’s 2023 average corn yield was 198 bushels per acre, up 11 bushels from 2022. Growers harvested 3.40 million acres for grain, up 7% from 2022. Total production of corn for grain was 673 million bushels, up 13% from 2022.

Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2023 was 58 bushels per acre, up 2.5 bushels from 2022. Growers harvested 4.73 million acres, down 7% from 2022. Production, at 274 million bushels, was down 3% from 2022.

The 2023 Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net Crop Tour was sponsored by Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff. The 2023 Ohio Crop Tour included both samples from our group and input from Ohio State University Extension. A good deal of variability was expected on the 2023 tour given the weather during the growing season.… Continue reading

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Statewide and Region Phosphorus Nutrient Use in Ohio

By Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Agronomic Crops, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2024-02

Soil available and added phosphorus (P) nutrient impacts Ohio’s crop production and environment. Fertilizer P can increase crop yields. Yet, excessive P can have negative impacts on water quality, resulting in toxic algal blooms. To properly calibrate the use of P for maximum crop yield efficiency and environmental safety, it is important to monitor P use trends, understand the changes to P recommendations from 1995 to today, review changes in soil test phosphorus (STP), and identify the sources of P used. Two recent factsheets examine P nutrient use at two scales: statewide and regional. The regional results were summarized by Crop Reporting Districts (CRD). The two publications and their links are Phosphorus (P) Nutrient Use in Ohio ANR-0143, found at, and Ohio Phosphorus (P) Use by Crop Reporting District ANR-0144, found at

These two reviews of P use reveal several trends impacting agronomic management and environmental outcomes: Ohio purchased P fertilizer use is trending downward.… Continue reading

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