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CORN to Go

Managing your soil seedbank

By Stephanie Karhoff

Achieving clean, weed-free fields next spring requires acting now to prevent seed from being deposited into the soil seedbank. The weed seedbank is the reservoir of seeds in the soil that will serve as the source for seedlings next season. Exhausting this reserve of seeds can help prevent rapid population increases and slow herbicide resistance development.

Our most problematic weed species are prolific seed producers. Waterhemp can produce over a million seeds per plant if plants emerge early in the season and have adequate resources. Meanwhile marestail can produce about 200,000 seeds per plant.

Weeds that have either escaped POST herbicide applications or emerged afterwards are currently developing mature seeds. If we assume that one single waterhemp plant can produce 1 million seeds, and 20 percent of these seeds are viable, and only 25% germinate, 50,000 plants are generated in the span of one year from that single escape.… Continue reading

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United Producers, Inc. announces comprehensive Vacc-60 Program

United Producers, Inc. (UPI), the Midwest’s largest livestock marketing cooperative, is excited to announce the launch of its Vacc-60 program. Vacc-60 is a comprehensive management program designed to increase the farm-gate value of weaned calves. In partnership with Tennessee Farmers Coop, the Vacc-60 program leverages the latest in animal care in order to produce healthy, more profitable cattle.

“We are excited to announce the launch of our Vacc-60 program,” said Bill Tom, Executive Vice President of Livestock Marketing. “Our vision for Vacc-60 is to not only help the grower produce healthy, more profitable cattle, but also develop a trusted program that will elevate the marketability of those cattle within the industry.”

The program includes management, animal health, nutrition, marketing, credit and risk management components designed to enhance the value of weaned calves, while offering multiple options to accommodate producer preferences. These cattle will be offered in a variety of options to the marketplace.… Continue reading

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Rain haves and have nots showing up around the state

Kyle Nietfeld

We have been receiving some decent rains here the last two weeks which is really helping the crops mature. We get an inch or an inch and a half here, an inch there. It’s probably, on average, been about an inch a week. It’s been really nice.

The beans are coming along. I think they’re pretty well done flowering and setting pods now and finishing filling the pods. We started getting those sunny days without that smoke and they really seemed to bush out and take off that’s for sure.  

The corn is really coming along. There’s not much tip back and it looks like everything pollinated really nicely. All the ears are filled out and looking really good. It sounds like silage chopping is probably coming up here about the first week of September.

I think they’re calling for temperatures around 95 or 96 here Thursday, but we’ll have enough moisture.… Continue reading

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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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August’s Stealthiest Insect Pest: Stink Bugs in Soybean

By Dr. Kelley Tilmon and Andy Michel, OSU Extension Entomology, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-25

Why are stink bugs the stealthiest insect pest near the end of summer?  It’s because their method of feeding is so subtle.  You won’t see damaged leaves or sickly-looking plants with stink bugs.  They have straw-like mouthparts which they poke through the pod directly into the developing seed.  If this happens early enough in seed development the seed will simply abort.  If it happens later, the seed will be shriveled and shrunken.  Either way, this reduces yield and/or reduces seed quality, though you will not see the damage unless you carefully inspect the pods for missing or damaged seed. The good news is that soybeans are relatively easy to scout and are susceptible to the insecticides labeled for them.  There are many species of stink bugs that feed on soybean including brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), green, red-shouldered, and brown stink bugs.… Continue reading

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Strong pork exports, beef exports below record pace of 2022

U.S. pork exports concluded an excellent first half with another strong performance in June, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). While well below the record pace established in 2022, June beef exports topped $900 million in value, pushing first-half export value to nearly $5 billion.

First-half pork exports achieve broad-based growth

June pork exports totaled 245,964 metric tons (mt), up 12% from a year ago, while export value climbed 6% to $691.4 million. Through the first half of 2023, exports were 14% above last year’s pace at 1.47 million mt, valued at $4.05 billion (up 12%). 

Pork exports to Mexico are on a record pace, with first-half value up 21% to more than $1 billion. First-half exports increased sharply year-over-year to the ASEAN region, Australia, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic and Chile, while also posting gains in China/Hong Kong, South Korea and Central America.… Continue reading

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Closing your business? Know which tax returns to file

By Brian Ravencraft

Due to any number of reasons, many businesses just don’t make it. They have no choice but to cease operations. If only it was as easy as locking the door and never looking back. The proper tax documents must be filed in order to shut down operations properly and without penalty.

You must file a final income tax return and some other related forms for the year your business shuts down. The type of return to be filed depends on the type of business you have.

If you are a Sole-Proprietorship, you will file a Schedule C Form 1040 return that is known as a profit or loss from business. This will go along with your personal return. You will also need to account for any self-employment tax.

If you operated as an S-Corporation, you would file a Form 1120-S for the year of closing. Your accountant will also have you report capital gains and losses on a Schedule D while also checking the box that shows this will be the final return for the business.… Continue reading

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Schmuki family named Ohio Tree Farmers of the Year

The Schmuki family will be welcoming visitors to their 238-acre Certified Tree Farm on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a fun day of learning more about managing a forest for a variety of uses including timber, wildlife, water and recreation. The tour will take place at their Post Boy Tree Farm south of the house at 17395 Starkey Hollow Road, SW, Newcomerstown, Ohio 43832. The tour is free but food and beverages will be available to purchase.

This Certified Tree Farm was selected from among 1,200 Certified Tree Farms in Ohio as the 2023 Ohio Tree Farm of the Year. The Tree Farm program, administered here in Ohio by the Ohio Tree Farm Committee, is sponsored by the Ohio Forestry Association and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. The role of the Tree Farm program is to encourage and recognize woodland owners who own 10 or more acres who are actively and sustainably managing their woodland using a management plan written by a professional consulting forester to guide them in their efforts.… Continue reading

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Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) damage are often linked together. SDS is a soil borne fungal pathogen (Fusarium virguliforme) that invades the roots and lower stems of soybeans producing a toxin. SDS can devastate soybean fields causing aborted flowers and yellow-dying plants. SDS has two major phases. In the first phase, it attacks the roots then in the second phase, it attacks the leaves causing leaf scorch. SDS infection occurs early in the season and then the SDS symptoms show up later in the season. SDS and SCN symptoms are more prominent in hot dry years.

Foliar SDS symptoms include small to pale green leaves early on with small circular spots in the late vegetative stages to early reproductive soybean stages. The area between the leaf veins turn bright yellow then brown as the disease progresses. When the infection gets severe, on roots, blue fungal masses can be seen.… Continue reading

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Black Vulture Relief Act

Introduced by Rep. John Rose (R-TN) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), the Black Vulture Relief Act is bipartisan legislation that would allow livestock producers to take vultures without a permit, when there is an immediate need to protect their livestock from injury or death. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues black vulture depredation permits to states and states issue sub-permits to producers, but these permits only allow for take of three individual animals per year. Given that black vultures can attack multiple times a month in flocks as large as 50, the current permits are completely insufficient to address the problem. Black vulture numbers are also on the rise, and they attack livestock in a particularly vicious way, usually targeting calves hours or even minutes after birth.

This summer, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association member and Missouri cattle producer Charlie Besher testified before the House Natural Resources Water, Wildlife and Fisheries Subcommittee in support of the Black Vulture Relief Act.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association welcomes new Director of Public Affairs

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) welcomes Brandon Kern as its new Director of Public Policy and Issues Analysis. In this role, Kern will lead the development of state and federal policy priorities and positions, provide strategic advice and guidance on issues of importance to Ohio soybean farmers and stakeholders, and drive farmer and partner engagement on key policy issues. 

Kern most recently served as the Senior Director of State and National Policy for Ohio Farm Bureau.

“We are excited to have Brandon lead OSA’s policy efforts at the Statehouse,” said Patrick Knouff, OSA president and Shelby County soybean farmer. “His passion for both policy and agriculture will be crucial to advancing legislation and policy that benefit soybean farmers and the soybean industry.” 

Kern previously served as Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs in the Office of Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, was a Military Intelligence Officer with the U.S. Army Reserve, and filled various policy and legislative roles in the Ohio Senate Majority Caucus and in the office of U.S.… Continue reading

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A look at SCN

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

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is a significant source of soybean yield loss in the state. What work is being done to address this?

There are numerous efforts to keep raising awareness of how important and damaging SCN is in North America. Horacio Lopez-Nicora is a plant pathologist and nematologist at the Ohio State University He has a laboratory on campus in Columbus in Kottman Hall to analyze soil samples submitted by farmer to assess their SCN levels. But work at the lab is more than just counting the number of eggs in soil samples. It is also about identifying specific SCN populations out there. It has moved beyond just identifying is a field has SCN populations. It is also about identifying those specific populations in the field.

Lopez-Nicora said the process starts with the soil sample.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau hires ExploreAg and ag literacy program specialist

Mary Klopfenstein of Delphos has been named ExploreAg and ag literacy program specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau. She will oversee planning, marketing and implementation of the ExploreAg program, as well as create a comprehensive ag literacy program that aligns with the ExploreAg workforce development program.

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.

She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, majoring in agribusiness and applied economics with minors in international economic development and youth development.… Continue reading

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ODA announces statewide H2Ohio conservation ditch program

As part of Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announces $5 million available in grants for a statewide conservation ditch program. Ohio county engineers and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are eligible to apply for funding to construct two-stage and self-forming ditches.

“We are continuously improving and expanding our H2Ohio practices to reach our water quality goals,” said Brian Baldridge, ODA Director “Conservation ditches play an important role in improving Ohio’s waterways right at the edge of the field.”

ODA’s Conservation Ditch program is an expansion of last year’s Two-Stage Ditch program that reserved $4 million for 11 ditch projects in Northwest Ohio. More than 16,500 acres of watershed will benefit from the 8 miles of conservation ditch projects, which will be completed by the end of 2024.  Projects approved in this year’s sign-up will have until the end of 2025 to be completed.

Conservation ditches provide environmental benefits and improve water quality by slowing water flow, processing nutrients, and removing sediment. Applications… Continue reading

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2023 Cultivating a Cure sets record

The 13th annual Cultivating a Cure, an event created to support cancer treatment and prevention research, welcomed nearly 400 attendees and raised a record-breaking $136,245 for the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center — James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Founded in 2011 by the Porteus family, Cultivating a Cure was created to support their passion for cancer research and prevention while remembering all of those among our families who are and have battled cancer. Cultivating a Cure recognizes the value that is found when members of the agriculture community forge and develop their relationships and come together to address issues and challenges facing our industry such as finding a cure for cancer. Since its inception, Cultivating a Cure has raised over $1.1 million.

This year’s event was held at Boyert’s Greenhouse & Farm in Medina County. Hosts Mike and Patti Boyert and guests Bob and Teri Berry shared their testimony of being a patient at the James and how cancer has impacted their family.… Continue reading

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Maggots in corn generating questions

By Kelley Tilmon and Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension entomologists

We have received a few calls asking about small, slender, almost translucent maggots recently found in abundance on corn leaves and anthers. These are a curiosity but they are harmless to plants or people. These maggots are the larvae of hover flies (also called syrphids), a type of fly often found in agricultural and horticultural habitats. The hover fly adult is often mistaken for a bee, because of yellow and black stripes on the abdomen. But it is a true fly. If you look at the head, you will see the family resemblance. Adults can sometimes be a nuisance because they are attracted to sweat, both for the moisture and for the salt found in it. However, they neither sting nor bite, and pose no threat. They are called hover flies because of their ability to hold their position steady in flight, rather like a hummingbird. … Continue reading

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Agribusinesses bringing sustainability to customers

By Matt Reese

The word “sustainability” means a wide array of things to different people and Ohio’s agribusinesses have been working for many years to help customers be more sustainable in their own operations.


In some cases, the products themselves offer significant benefits to the sustainability of the farms using them.

“We’ve been selling cover crop seed to local growers for many years. As policies change and there has been more incentive, we have worked with growers to get the right cover crop programs on their farm to benefit their operation financially as well as environmentally,” said Kara Spicer with B&B Ag-Vantages, Inc. in Conover. “We now have many farmers successfully using cover crops to improve their operations.”

In the case of NACHURS Alpine Solutions, the company’s liquid fertilizer product offerings are built around helping customers implement the 4R philosophy.

“Our products fit in quite easily with current sustainable practices such as cover crops and reduced tillage as they do not require soil tillage to be incorporated in the growing environment,” said Becky Worley, brand specialist for NACHURS Alpine Solutions.… Continue reading

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More than counting kernels

By Matt Reese

Of course, the outward goals of the 2023 Ohio Crop Tour are to get an idea of what is actually out there in the corn and soybean fields around the state of Ohio in terms of yields, pests and diseases. And, in general we have accomplished just that in the 11 years since we started the effort. We have been quite a bit off on the final yield a couple of times, but we generally get within a handful of bushels of the final USDA average yield numbers for Ohio released in January. We also typically succeed in getting a good handle on pest issues and statewide trends in crop development and challenges. So, in terms of the obvious goals of the Crop Tour, I think we do pretty well, maybe an A- or a B+ most of the time.

But, like most everything else we do, the Crop Tour is not really about corn yields, Japanese beetles or leaf disease, it is about people.… Continue reading

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