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OFL Roadshow – Nathan and Nolan Eckel, Wood County

Ohio Field Leader Dusty Sonnenberg takes the Roadshow to Wood County to the diversified grain and livestock operation at Eckel Farms. In this video, we hear from Nathan and Nolan Eckel about their operation, innovations, and changing farming practices as suburban sprawl nears their place of work.

Ohio Field Leader is brought to you by Ohio soybean farmers and their checkoff.… Continue reading

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Amplifying Ag with BASF: June planting and slug control

In the first installment of the monthly Amplifying Ag series with BASF, Grace Looker, technical product manager for seeds and traits, talks recommendations for June soybean planting, including which maturities to be selecting and how much to up population. Slugs have also become a notable nuisance this year and she goes into detail regarding when damage goes from being mostly cosmetic versus when it deserves more in-depth management.… Continue reading

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A new Lake Erie lawsuit targets TMDL

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

A new chapter is developing in the legal battle over resolving water quality problems in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Earlier this month, the Lucas County Board of Commissioners, City of Toledo, and Environmental Law & Policy Center filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The lawsuit targets the EPA’s approval of Ohio’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan for the Maumee River Watershed. If it feels like déjà vu, that’s because it is. In the 10 years since Toledo experienced a drinking water crisis caused by harmful algal blooms in the Western Basin, there have been four federal lawsuits demanding a plan for improving water quality in the lake and a legal battle to protect the lake with a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights.”

The current litigation arises from a 2023 settlement agreement that led the Ohio EPA to create the TMDL for the Maumee River Watershed.… Continue reading

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Prevent plant in 2024?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

May 31 was the final planting date for all of Iowa, most of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and southeast North Dakota. So, now everyone wants to know how many acres will go into prevent plant. Some market participants claim prevent plant acres will be higher than normal, but I’m not so sure.

One, it is usually more profitable for farmers to push past the last planting date, if they can get crops planted within the next 10 days, because they only lose 1% coverage each of those days. However, if they take prevent plant, they only get around 55% coverage.

Two, farmers can only reduce some of their input costs when taking prevent plant. Obviously seed costs and the expense to plant and harvest fields are saved. However, many farmers still need to spray their fields two or three times, which means at least some chemical costs are unavoidable. Plus,… Continue reading

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Crop Progress: More rain, more delays

Rain slowed planting progress across Ohio last week, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 31 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on June 2 was 62.9 degrees, 2.0 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.17 inches of precipitation, 0.12 inches above average. There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 2.

Farmers reported concerns with emerged crops that have been under water possibly needing to be replanted. Where possible farmers were spraying and side dressing corn. Oat planting was winding down. Corn and soybean planting progressed to 90 and 79 percent planted, respectively. Oats were 93 percent planted. Winter wheat was 96 percent headed and winter wheat condition was 71 percent good to excellent. Oats condition was 86 percent good to excellent. Pasture and range condition was rated 88 percent good to excellent.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 350 | Decoding Carbon Intensity Scoring and Tackling Farm Finances

In this episode, Matt and Dusty chat with Marlene Eick and Tadd Nicholson from Ohio Corn & Wheat about the buzz around Carbon Intensity Scoring. They break down what it means for the future of commodity corn production and its broader implications for the agricultural sector. Understand how this scoring can drive sustainability and profitability on your farm.

Dale Minyo brings valuable insights from Farm Credit Mid America and his discussion with Brock Burcham on managing farm financial stress. Learn about practical strategies to maintain financial health and stability amid economic challenges.

We also feature audio from GrownNextGen at COSI, discussing their efforts to train the next generation of scientists in agriculture. Discover how innovative educational programs are shaping the future of the industry.… Continue reading

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4Rs represent different things to different people

By Matt Reese

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program means different things to different groups of people involved with certified retailer Legacy Farmers Cooperative based in Hancock County.

Paige Scott is the precision services manager for Legacy Farmers Cooperative, which includes overseeing 4R stewardship and H2Ohio implementation. Additionally, she contributes to scouting, tissue testing, carbon market discussions, and introduces new technologies in progressive agriculture.

“The 4R certification means quite a bit at Legacy Farmers. I think one of the most important parts about it internally is that it really holds us accountable to ourselves. Our employees know that we are doing the absolute best that we can to do everything right by not only our customers, but the environment by following the 4Rs. Every year we go through the audits and our locations get to see the practices we’ve put into place to make sure we’re following the 4R certification. It really affects how we do our fertilizer applications, our sales, and our recommendations clear down to the customer level,” Scott said.… Continue reading

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Growing strawberries for two decades at Bapst Berry Patch

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

When you have vacation time, you could use it for trips. You could see a friend, hike in the mountains or swim in the ocean. But for Brad Bapst, vacation time is used for only one thing: strawberry season. 

Bapst Berry Patch is located in Beaver, a small village in Pike County. Every May, people from as far away as Kentucky, West Virginia, and beyond visit the farm to secure fresh strawberries. 

Brad Bapst has worked for The Ohio State University for nearly 30 years. When he first began his career, Bapst worked in agricultural research at the South Centers, where he was introduced to research trials focused on berries and small fruits. Today, his job as a business specialist with the Small Business Development Center has him out of the research world. Still, the information he learned about raising strawberries years ago stuck with him. 

“About 22 years ago, we saw an opportunity to grow strawberries on our farm.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers at Ralston and Wilcox Farms in Hardin County

The fourth and final of the spring 2024 Feeding Farmers series found the Ohio Ag Net crew in Hardin County at a unique combination of both Ralston Farms and Wilcox Farms. Dale Minyo talks with Kelsey Ralston, a third-generation farmer on her family farm (Wilcox Farms). She married into another local farming family (Ralston Farms) and they currently are each majority grain farming families while also enjoy raising cattle for fresh beef.

The wet conditions on the day of the event made it ideal for taking a break for a much deserved family meal.… Continue reading

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Farming as a family today and in the future on the edge of suburbia

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

The Ohio Field Leader travels to northern Wood County and Eckel Grain Farms and Cattle Company located just outside of Perrysburg, Ohio. Dusty visits with Nathan and Nick Eckel about their operation and the challenges and opportunities that present themselves when farming on the edge of suburbia and near the epicenter of the water quality issues in the Western Lake Erie Basin and Maumee River watershed. Along with their brother Nolan, these farmers combine grain farming, raising livestock, and educational research along with service to the agriculture industry as a part of their everyday life.… Continue reading

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New rules for electronic ear tags for cattle

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Producers shipping certain types of cattle and bison across state lines might have to use electronic identification (EID or RFID) tags if a final rule developed by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) becomes effective. Federal funding is available to help producers obtain the EID tags. But efforts are underway to stop the EID rule from taking effect. As we’ve seen in the past, disagreements continue over animal traceability and EID mandates. Here’s an update on the current events surrounding the EID issue.

The APHIS final rule

The final rule announced by APHIS on April 26, 2024 will amend the animal traceability rule enacted in 2013. That rule requires “official identification” on certain cattle and bison moved in interstate shipment for the purpose of animal disease traceability. Under the rule, “visual” ear tags are a form of official identification, in addition to certain pre-approved brands and tattoos and group lots.… Continue reading

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Re-evaluating your accounting software and changes coming to Intuit QuickBooks                                                                                

By Emily Zuver, Holbrook & Manter

It is no secret that we are fans of accounting software. I could start in on the benefits that it brings to farmers and agribusiness owners, but I do have a word count limit for this article. The benefits are simply endless.

Chances are you are using some type of accounting software. Whether it be something developed just for farmers or one of the more popular platforms like Intuit QuickBooks. No matter what you have in place, the mid-year point is an ideal time to really evaluate your software to make sure it is meeting your needs.

At Holbrook & Manter, we get asked often what software we recommend. It truly depends on the business and the business owners’ needs and desires. With that being said, we tend to gravitate towards QuickBooks Online. This platform allows both the business owner and their accountant to view records and finances in real time.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat joins Carbon Alliance

The American Carbon Alliance (ACA) announced that Ohio Corn & Wheat has joined as members of the ACA.

“When it comes to working for new markets and increased demand for corn products, Ohio Corn & Wheat lead the way,” said Tom Buis, CEO of the American Carbon Alliance. “They’re a tremendous asset to the ACA, and together we will work to advocate for a strong American agriculture industry through carbon capture and sequestration.”

Ohio Corn & Wheat is an organization that works on behalf of Ohio’s corn and small grain farmers through education, advocacy, and legislative policy to secure a more sustainable future.

“Sustainable aviation fuel represents a crucial step towards reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector with American-grown corn ethanol. This not only supports Ohio farmers but also bolsters local economies and promotes energy independence,” said Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn & Wheat Executive Director. “We look forward to working with the American Carbon Alliance to take a strong stand in support of Ohio growers.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Council Culinary Studio a sizzling success

By Briana Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

The Ohio Beef Council (OBC) recently invested in a new culinary studio that will surely have social media followers liking, sharing, and commenting. After reaching an agreement with  the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation, the existing kitchen in the building that houses the three entities was totally remodeled.

Recent studies conducted by the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Foundation have shown that 64% of Americans choose to cook their dinners at home to save money and make healthier eating choices. Additionally, they’re turning to social media to find recipe information and how-to cooking videos. More than half (54%) of consumers reported using TikTok and YouTube to learn a new recipe or cooking technique. 

Elizabeth Harsh, Executive Director of the Ohio Beef Council, said the Council recognized this shift as an opportunity to reach consumers where they are: watching videos and multimedia content online. … Continue reading

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Livestock and the farm bill

By Matt Reese

Of course, a large portion of the agricultural funding in the farm bill is directed at crop production, but as the farm bill debate continues many livestock producers and organizations are also heavily invested in the process. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released documents providing an overview of their farm bill priorities and plans this spring.

In terms of safety nets, a growing percentage of dairy producers have been benefitting from the updated Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC). The farm bill program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. DMC has been authorized through calendar year 2024.

DMC Sign-up for 2024 just wrapped up in April. It has been a good tool for Ohio diary producers, said Jason Hartschuh, Ohio State University Extension field specialist in dairy management and precision livestock.… Continue reading

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SCN and Soil Health Testing Opportunity for Ohio Growers

Adapted from C.O.R.N 2024-15

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is a serious threat to soybean, and early detection is crucial to mitigating its impact on yields. The presence of SCN in a field, and more importantly, the SCN numbers, will determine the most effective management strategy. It is crucial, therefore, to test your fields and know your SCN numbers.

We are pleased to announce that, with support of Ohio Soybean Council, we are once again offering soybean growers the opportunity to submit up to two samples free of charge to the Soybean Pathology and Nematology Lab at OSU for SCN testing. This initiative aims to furnish Ohio soybean growers with valuable information to enhance the protection of their soybean fields against the most destructive soybean pathogen in North America.

Spring is an ideal time to sample for SCN, either before, during, or after planting. Conducting a soil test in spring will indicate if SCN is present and the levels at which it exists.… Continue reading

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FEMA designates 11 Ohio counties as primary natural disaster areas due to March 14 tornadoes

There has been a Presidential disaster declaration for areas in Ohio from tornadoes that occurred on March 14, 2024. The declaration allows the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans

Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or to refinance certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability. USDA’s FSA offers these loans for losses caused by the tornado that occurred on March 14, 2024. The deadline for producers in designated primary and contiguous counties to apply for loans is January 2, 2025.

The application deadline is Jan. 2, 2025. In Ohio, the primary counties eligible are: Auglaize, Crawford, Darke, Delaware, Hancock, Licking, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Richland, and Union counties. Contiguous counties are also eligible, which are: Allen, Ashland, Champaign, Clark, Coshocton, Fairfield, Franklin, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Knox, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Preble, Putnam, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Wood and Wyandot counties.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s conservation team of teens

By Dan Armitage, outdoor writer

You’ve got to like this program: Ohio teenaged conservationists are invited to join a team of high school leaders for the 2024-2025 Conservation Teen Advisory Council (ConTAC) — but you need to get your applications in quickly. Highly motivated students who are interested in natural resource conservation, outdoor outreach, wildlife, or simply making a positive impact in their state would make the perfect applicants, according to host Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“ODNR has spent the last 75 years creating a legacy of conservation,” said Mary Mertz, ODNR Director. “ConTAC is a way for teenagers to build upon that legacy and become future leaders who address issues that face our great outdoors.”

ConTAC gives students a chance to meet new peers from across the state with similar interests. Through monthly meetings and project work, members will develop and implement innovative and practical ideas that empower young people to protect and preserve Ohio’s natural resources.… Continue reading

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Deerfield Ag Services awarded Fair Funding Starter Scholarships

Deerfield Ag Services has awarded $5,000 in Fair Funding Starter Scholarships for the 2024 fair season. This year, Deerfield Ag Services is supporting 34 junior fair exhibitors through the scholarship program.

The program began in 2022 with the goal of supporting individual youth exhibitors at the start of their projects to offset some of the initial investments associated with fair livestock projects.

“Junior fair participants are the future of agriculture right here in our community,” said Bill Wallbrown, CEO. “It is important to us that we help ensure these young people have the opportunity to get involved in wonderful programs like 4-H and FFA and foster that love of hard work on the farm.”

While these scholarships will not likely offset the full cost of getting started, Deerfield hopes to make it more attainable for junior fair participants to take part in exhibiting the livestock of their choice.

The scholarship was eligible to students in Portage, Stark, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.… Continue reading

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Herbicide trade tariffs being considered

In mid-May, the U.S. International Trade Commission agreed to advance a petition by Corteva Agribusiness to place anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of the herbicide 2,4-D shipped from China and India.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said the decision will impact farmers.
“We are disappointed that ITC did not listen to the feedback from farmers about how harmful these tariffs could be to rural America,” said Harold Wolle, Minnesota farmer and NCGA president. “Corn prices are already low and input costs have been rising. This decision will only compound our problems.”

Six of the nation’s major commodity groups, including NCGA, sent a letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission in April encouraging it to vote against advancing a petition. Growers have said the imports covered by this case are the major sources of supply other than Corteva, which is the only U.S. manufacturer, and that America’s farmers cannot rely upon a sole domestic supplier of 2,4-D to meet nearly all the market’s needs.… Continue reading

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