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Which to plant first? Corn or soybeans?

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

In an epic and ongoing “Battle for the Belt” with Ohio State University Extension, researchers are digging into the question gaining increasing attention among Ohio’s corn and soybean growers. Which crop should be prioritized for early planting to get the greatest yield benefit?

“We can also look at the other side of the question, which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting,” said Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist. “Can we adjust our management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting? We don’t want to plant late, but sometimes weather conditions in Ohio dictate when we plant, which can be later than we like to see.” 

Delayed planting incorporates considerations beyond the weather.

“We need to look at interactions with insects, diseases, weeds, and many other factors. When you alter your planting date, you also alter the problems you may encounter in the growing season,” Lindsey said.… Continue reading

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Unique and weird

By Matt Reese

There is something special about farmers.

Jack Irvin will be the first to tell you he has no farm background to speak of. He grew up in northeast Ohio with an interest in politics and lobbying. Early in his career he got a job working in the Statehouse in Columbus. It was there — on the occasions he would work with them — Irvin first noticed that there was something different about farmers. They may not have always had much political polish, sometimes they wore boots instead of nice dress shoes and ties were optional. What they maybe lacked in smooth talking, though, the farmers at the Statehouse made up for by being authentic, well-reasoned and straight forward — a stark, and pleasant oddity in the political realm.

Though he did not really know the difference between a corn stalk and a cover crop, the uniqueness of farmers encouraged Irvin to shift his lobbying efforts toward agriculture.… Continue reading

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Health and Nutrition and the United Soybean Board

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

The United Soybean Board (USB) invests soybean check-off dollars to help create new opportunities for increased demand and a better bottom line for U.S. soybean farmers. For every $1 from the check-off that is invested, it returns $12.34 back to the soybean farmer. More than the financial return is the knowledge that is gained to improve efficiency and productivity.

The United Soybean Board is made up of soybean growers from across the country. One of those farmer members is Laurie Isley. Isley is a soybean grower from Michigan and currently serves as chair of the Health and Nutrition Supply Committee. The Health and Nutrition Supply Committee plays a critical role in directing how money is invested in areas such as plant health research and soil health and best management practices. “These three areas have a direct impact on farmers,” said Isley.… Continue reading

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Disappointing wheat prices

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Following a great dinner at home recently, Cindy asked, “So, Doug, if you were preparing tomorrow night’s meal, what would you make?” Hmn…My response, “Remember that time I made a baloney omelet?” I was immediately disqualified. Producing a meal requires skill, planning, experience, and common sense — just like producing crops. No baloney about that!

Recent price activity for CBOT wheat has been extremely disappointing. During the first half of December 2023, July CBOT rallied to $6.66 in the midst of a 3-day buying spree when China bought 41 million bushels of US wheat. Fast forward to the week of March 11. Disappointment was plentiful when in 3 successive days China announced several cancelations of U.S. wheat purchases totaling 18 million bushels. That same week China was also canceling wheat purchases from Australia and France. Corn, soybeans, and wheat all took huge price declines from December into February.… Continue reading

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Asian longhorned ticks and Theileria in 2024

By Tim McDermott, Ohio State University Extension Educator ANR, Franklin County

One of the worrisome things about ticks in Ohio has been the increasing numbers of ticks of medical importance to humans, companion animals, and livestock as we have gone from one tick of medical importance 20 years ago to five now, including two new ticks in the past few years. While ticks have always been a problem in livestock, the invasive Asian longhorned (ALHT) tick that was first discovered in Ohio in 2020 has demonstrated the ability to not only vector, or transmit disease to cattle, but to cause mortality in cattle through high numbers of ticks feeding upon the animals. As of the end of 2023, we had positively identified ALHT in Franklin, Delaware, Ross, Gallia, Vinton, Jackson, Athens, Morgan, Monroe, Belmont, and Guernsey counties.

Have we found Theileria in cattle in Ohio?
Theileria orientalis is a tickborne protozoon that infects red and white blood cells.… Continue reading

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Bullish numbers for corn March 28

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

U.S. corn acres were a surprise at the decline.

Have a safe weekend as your families gather to celebrate Easter in numerous family traditions.

One point to remember today. Rarely are both corn and soybean acres bullish or bearish. In addition, today marks the end of the week, end of the month, and end of the quarter.

USDA today released two reports, U.S. Prospective Plantings and U.S. Grain Stocks as of March 1. Those two reports detail U.S. numbers only. 

Following the noon USDA report release, corn up 12 cents, soybeans up 2 cents, and wheat up 8 cents. Just before the report was released, corn was unchanged, soybeans down 12 cents, and wheat up 4 cents.

U.S. corn 90.0 million acres, last year 94.6 million acres. U.S. soybeans 86.5 million acres, last year 83.6 million acres. U.S. wheat 47.5 million acres, last year 49.6 million acres.… Continue reading

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Spring planting tips

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

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

Ready or not, spring of 2024 is upon us and with it the beginning of another growing season. Spring is a critical time for making sound decisions that will impact crops throughout the growing season. Each year is different, however, every year we see similar problems in eastern Corn Belt fields relating to spring management decisions. Now is a good time to revisit some of the important things to consider as planting season approaches.

One yield-robbing problem that can significantly impact crops is compaction. Compaction can be caused by any fieldwork that is performed when soil is too wet. Therefore, it is important to consider soil moisture before heading to the field with any implement. Each year, agronomists visit fields to assess stunted crops with poor root development because of compaction.… Continue reading

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Planter box additives worth consideration

Beck’s Field Agronomist Mike Hannewald talks what the numbers tell us about planter box additives as farmers prepare for planting. Tune into this video agronomy update as he recaps their reviews of various “talc replacements” looking to provide the benefits of graphite and talc while also helping to give seeds a head start, either as biologicals or bio-stimulants.

More from Beck’s online at… Continue reading

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Largest ever patronage distribution from Farm Credit Mid-America

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

The week of March 18, Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) was busy celebrating National Ag Week by making farm visits to deliver patronage checks to owner members around the Midwest.

“We call this Christmas in March because it’s just such a fun way to celebrate Ag Week and say ‘thank you’ to all of our member owners. We get out on the farm and deliver checks to them instead of them having to bring checks in to make payments. It’s just a really rewarding week to be able to say, ‘thank you’ in a way that’s really impactful for their operation,” said Melanie Strait-Bok, FCMA Senior Vice President of Agricultural Lending for Ohio. “This year we’re giving back $255 million to our customers. For Ohio customers, we’re giving back about $61 million in patronage. When you look at all of the years that Farm Credit Mid-America has been paying back patronage since 2016, it’s $1.25 billion that we have been able to give back to our customers.… Continue reading

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Tom honored with Friend of the Expo Award at 2024 Ohio Beef Expo

At the 2024 Ohio Beef Expo, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), Bill Tom of Washington Court House was posthumously awarded the Friend of the Expo Award for his dedication and contributions to the Ohio Beef Expo’s success.

The Ohio Beef Expo is the premier event for Ohio’s beef industry covering many facets of the beef world with seedstock shows and sales, a trade show, a competitive junior show and much more all in one place. At the time of his passing in December 2023, Tom was the OCA vice president and served on the board of directors. He was also vice chair of the Ohio Beef Expo. Prior to this he served in many Expo leadership roles, including chairing the Expo Junior Show. 

Tom provided tremendous leadership for the Ohio Beef Expo including planning the event, helping juniors in the show ring, manning a trade show booth, or serving as a ringman at an Expo sale.… Continue reading

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Market Dynamics of US Soy and the Soybean Check-off

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

The United Soybean Board (USB) invests soybean check-off dollars to help create new opportunities for increased demand and a better bottom line for U.S. soybean farmers. For every $1 from the check-off that is invested, it returns $12.34 back to the soybean farmer.

The United Soybean Board is made up of soybean growers from across the country. “The board discusses big picture ideas and all the things going on in the marketplace. We talk about market disruptions and what some of the ways are that US Soy can engage to protect the markets that we currently have. This includes looking at infrastructure and ensuring that our crop gets to the global marketplace,” said Meagan Kaiser, Missouri soybean farmer and past chair of the USB. “We also talk about how we ensure that we are targeting the right audience and that they understand the value of US sustainable soy.… Continue reading

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Nitrogen timing and rate after rye cover  

By Greg LaBarge

Cereal rye has been a go-to cover crop for many producers who are getting started in the practice due to the relatively wide fall planting window, reasonable cost, and the ability to retain nitrogen from the previous crop or fall manure applications. We have flexibility in the spring by planting green or using mechanical and chemical options to terminate the plant. One challenge to using rye when planting corn is to answer the question of the best way to handle nitrogen.

Rye can influence nitrogen availability in a couple of ways. Rye is a good scavenger of soil nitrate and can lower soil availably N. The second concern is that when terminated, the rye residue has a C:N ratio that results in the immobilization of N by soil microbes breaking down the residue. In both cases, soil N cycling is impacted, and N available to corn can be limited.… Continue reading

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Trends show more agricultural land lost to development

The new 2022 Census of Agriculture data shows the number of farms in Ohio declined by 2.3% and in land in farms declined by 6.4% between 2002 and 2022. One number that is concerning to agricultural stakeholders in Ohio is the loss of 931,089 acres in land in farms in Ohio in the last 20 years. 

The question is how much of the agricultural land in Ohio was lost to development?

Ani Katchova, Professor and Farm Income Enhancement Chair, and Xiaoyi Fang and Rae Ju, PhD students in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at the Ohio State University published a report to answer this question.

They used the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) of the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium ( which uses satellite imagery to show land of different categories and changes in land categories over time. 

The definition of agricultural land according to the NLCD includes cultivated crops and pasture/hay, which is narrower than the more general definition of land in farms (which also includes woodland, wasteland, and land in conservation programs) according to the Census of Agriculture.… Continue reading

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Spring pasture walk

By Victor Shelton, Retired NRCS Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I like to walk over the pastures in early spring for a number of reasons. First of all, to check plant density, diversity and soil cover. If there was extra soil disturbance in the past few months, it might mean that we have small gaps in the perennial plants that could give way for optimistic weeds to surface. Now is a good time to try and address that. Overseeding clover is probably one of the easiest and surest methods, especially if you lack sufficient legumes in the stand.

Gaps in the forage that are most optimistic for weeds are spaces where there is no cover and bare soil presents itself. If there are areas or spots that have been grazed tightly to the ground and only tolerable species are left, such as bluegrass and native white cover, it is generally a sign of a long-term issue and it stands out quite loudly when it’s adjacent to taller avoided forage species such as rank left-over summer growth of tall fescue.… Continue reading

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The search is on for 2024 Ohio Ag Net Student FFA Reporters!

The 2024 Ohio FFA State Convention is fast approaching, May 2-3, and Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net is looking for outstanding FFA members to help serve as student reporters for this year’s event. 

Ever wonder what it’s like to do our job? This is your chance!

Selected FFA members will get the opportunity to help cover the convention and work alongside our news staff. Reporters can expect to gain an early insight into a possible career in agricultural communication, and make some new connections along the way. 

The coverage of the Ohio FFA Convention will be posted on and various social media outlets with reporters helping to host news coverage alongside our staff in addition to veteran student reporters. 

Students will assist in gathering information, shoot photos and video of newsworthy items and people, share their commentary of what happened in each session, and much more. 

To be considered: 

  • Applicants must be attending both days of the Ohio FFA State Convention May 2 and 3, 2024. 
Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 341 | Cultivating Capitol Connections: Farm Bureau County Presidents’ D.C. Trip

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Joel Penhorwood of Ohio Ag Net and Logan County Farm Bureau president talks with Ty Higgins, senior director of communications and Jack Irvin, vice president of public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau talk about the recent county presidents’ Farm Bureau trip to Washington, D.C. They talked about what policy was on the forefront for their time in D.C. such as the Farm Bill and tax reform. 

More in this week’s podcast:   

  • GrowNextGen: Dale talks with the folks at GrowNextGen about the program in their classroom.
  • Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president: Matt talks with Adam about the recent trip to Washington, D.C., and how Ohio Farm Bureau lobbies for Ohio farmers. 
  • Becca Waldo, Ashtabula County Farm Bureau president: She talked to Matt about the country farm bureau president trip to D.C.,
Continue reading

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Ohio’s farms continue to rebuild after tornado damage

Ohio farms are known for their resilience, which also holds true for The Ohio State University Molly Caren Agricultural Center, home to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) annual Farm Science Review (FSR), after it was damaged by an EF2 tornado in the early morning hours of Feb. 28.

The aftermath of the storm left 46 of the 62 buildings on the grounds damaged or destroyed. This included 13 university-owned buildings and 33 privately-owned buildings. 

Like other local farmers impacted by the storm, the focus of the FSR and CFAES teams has been on recovery and rebuilding to ensure the show will continue as scheduled.

“We are fully committed to hosting this year’s show and coming back stronger than ever, which is in our nature as a farmer-focused facility and event. This is real life for farmers, and we’re right here experiencing it, too,” said Nick Zachrich, FSR manager.… Continue reading

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