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Why inverse markets mean farmers should sell their grain now and not later

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The USDA had no surprises for corn and beans last week. Now the market will wait for national yield estimates in the August USDA report. A quarter of the Corn Belt is dry, so the next 2 weeks will be critical for the national yield outcome and price direction. The price potential range is still very wide.

Carry versus inverse markets

A market carry is when a nearby futures contract month’s price is lower than a later month’s price. On Friday, December corn closed at $5.52 while March closed at $5.59. This indicates corn supply during and after harvest is expected to be higher than demand usage, so the market is encouraging hedgers to store the grain for later use by paying them the carry spread.

Inverses are when the nearby futures contract month’s price is higher than a later month. For instance, on Friday September corn was $5.56 while December was $5.52.… Continue reading

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Cash or accrual accounting: How do you choose?

By Brian Ravencraft

When it comes to keeping track of the revenue coming into your agribusiness, and the expenses you take on during day-to-day operations, you essentially have two different types of accounting methods to choose from. Cash accounting and accrual accounting. It is important to understand the difference between the two before deciding what is best for your agribusiness.

Cash accounting looks at the revenue and expenses as they come in and as they are paid out. Think of this as a wheel that is constantly turning as money flows into your operation. Not considered while using this method is money that is expected to come in. Here we are talking about all real cash, all the time. Those who enjoy a real time look of the cash coming in and out of their business should select this method. 

Accrual accounting brings accounts payables and receivables into the fold, monitoring the money brought into the agribusiness and the funds and services the operation owes to outside vendors and companies.… Continue reading

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New Priority Area and EQIP funding announced to improve northern bobwhite quail habitat

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has designated a new priority area in Ohio focused on improving and creating northern bobwhite quail habitat. Private landowners and producers can apply for funding through the NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Interested landowners in the selected townships are encouraged to contact their local NRCS service center, ODNR private lands biologist or Pheasants Forever biologist to learn more.  

·   NRCS: Nick Schell,, 614-255-2490

·   Ohio Division of Wildlife: John Kaiser, 937-203-7511

·   Quail Forever: Cody Grasser,, 419-551-3875

“Private landowner involvement is such an important part of preserving this iconic species,” said Lori Ziehr, Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service Acting State Conservationist.  “The northern bobwhite quail is an edge species, and through priority area funding, we can incentivize and promote conservation practices that generate the high-quality early successional habitat crucial to their survival.” 

Ohio is near the northern edge of the species’ range, and winter weather conditions can contribute to dramatic fluctuations in bobwhite quail populations.… Continue reading

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CORN Live talks cover crops

By Mary Griffith, Ohio State University Extension

The next three sessions of CORN Live webinars will focus on managing cover crop systems. Sessions will be on Thursday mornings from 8:00-9:00am with 1 hour of nutrient management CCA CEUs offered for attending each session. Topics include:

  • July 22: Interseeding Cover Crops, Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State University, and Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension
  • July 29: Next Generation Cover Crops: Shalamar Armstrong, Purdue University
  • August 5: Cover Crop Roundtable: Panel discussion with Ohio farmers

Each session is free to attend, but registration is required to get log-in information. Register at… Continue reading

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Foliar diseases and fungicide decisions in corn

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

This July has been one of the wettest on record, and with the extra moisture, comes concerns about diseases. Gray Leaf Spot (GLS) and, to a lesser extent, northern corn leaf blight (NCLB), have already been reported in some fields, well before tasseling in some cases. Such early disease development could impact grain yield, especially if it continues to be wet and the hybrid is susceptible. GLS is favored by warm temperatures (70 and 90 F) and high relative humidity. NCLB is also favored by wet, but slightly cooler (64 and 80 F) conditions, than GLS. Over the last several days, we have had temperatures within the favorable range for both diseases, and if they continue to spread and damage the ear leaf before grain fill is complete, yield losses could be high.

GLS and NCLB are not the only diseases on the minds of growers this year.… Continue reading

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City of Maumee caught after 20 years of sewage dumping 🎙

Unlike permitted livestock farms, such as CAFOs, that are not allowed to discharge an ounce of manure into Ohio’s waterways, municipalities have agreements with Ohio EPA to allow for a certain amount of sewage to be dumped directly into tributaries located in watersheds that flow into Lake Erie.

For Maumee, Ohio, that agreement is 25 million gallons per year. However, due to an outdated sewer infrastructure, the municipality has actually been adding as much as 150 million gallons of sewage into the Maumee River for each of the past 20 years.

City Law Director David Busick confirmed that Department of Public Service Sewer Division employees, who keep track of sewer discharge levels, did not comply with the law when they failed to self-report the incidences of annual sewer overflow in Maumee. The City Council has since approved an action plan that requires mandated maintenance upgrades and infrastructure replacement guidelines. The city has also been fined by Ohio EPA to the tune of $29,936, which can be applied to remediation steps.… Continue reading

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Holmes County Steam Engine Association announces 2021 show

Preparations are in the final stages for the Holmes County Steam Engine Association’s 2021 Show.  New this year is a dirt track that will be used for both the Horse and Antique Tractor Pull events. 

The 29th annual, three-day event will be held on the Mt. Hope Auction Grounds/Holmes County Event Center, in Mt. Hope, Ohio. Dates are Thursday, Aug. 5, Friday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, August 7. 

Each year features a brand and make of tractor, with 2021 the year of Case IH/Farmall. If that’s not your favorite, next year will feature John Deere.   

This fun and exciting family-friendly weekend will kick off on Thursday at 9 a.m. and include steam engine demonstrations, the popular Noon Whistle and, later in the day, the Kid’s Pedal Race. Local music group “Six Strings Band” will provide entertainment at 5 p.m. The evening’s main event, the Horse Pull, begins at 6 p.m.  

“Our pull has always been one of the largest in the state and offers an even larger purse of $10,000 this year,” said Melvin Wengerd, HCSEA Board Member.… Continue reading

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Unions and property rights

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

On June 23, 2021, the United States Supreme Court decided Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid. Many legal analysts are touting this case for upholding property rights. A closer look, however, reveals that the impact is more about unions and access and the viability of a very specific California law, unlike any other in the country.

            In 2015, two California businesses, Cedar Point Nursery (a grower of strawberry plants) and Fowler Packing Company (a shipper of table grapes and citrus), challenged a California state law that allowed unions to access private property, before and after the working day, 3 hours per day, 120 days per year to recruit new members. The regulation was issued in 1975, in the days of Caesar Chavez and the Farm Workers Union. It is a law unique to California. The law’s history indicates that the provision was a practical way to give farmworkers, who can be nomadic and poorly educated, a realistic chance to consider joining a union.… Continue reading

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Soybean defoliation: It takes a lot to really matter!

By Curtis Young, CCAKelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

The mid-season defoliators are beginning to show up in soybean fields across Ohio. These defoliators include first generation bean leaf beetles, Japanese beetles, grasshopper nymphs and several different caterpillars such as silver-spotted skippers, painted-lady butterflies and green cloverworms. Since all of these insects collectively add to the defoliation of soybeans, their collective feeding is used in the threshold to determine the need for an insecticide treatment, but it takes a lot of feeding to add up to significant damage. It often looks worse than what it truly is.

When scouting soybean fields to assess levels of damage, it is important not to let one’s eye and mind over estimate what is truly there. Japanese beetles and grasshoppers tend to hit edges of fields first before they start moving farther into the centers of the fields. And Japanese beetles tend to feed in aggregations and at the tops of plants producing a startling appearance that easily catches one’s eye standing at the edge of a field looking in.… Continue reading

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NBB disappointed in DC Circuit decision on SREs in 2019 RFS rule

The National Biodiesel Board expressed disappointment in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision on the 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard rule. NBB joined other biofuel industry associations (the case is known as Growth Energy v EPA) to challenge EPA’s failure to account for a flood of retroactive small refinery exemptions that undercut the annual volumes by 7% in 2019.

“Small refinery exemptions harm biodiesel and renewable diesel producers when they retroactively reduce demand for advanced biofuels,” Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President for Federal Affairs. “Today’s decision creates renewed uncertainty for our industry because it does not require EPA to account for retroactive exemptions — something the 10th Circuit Court identified as ‘a gaping and ever-widening hole’ in the RFS.

“On behalf of NBB’s members, I call on EPA to quickly issue the 2021 and 2022 RFS rules, provide a strong signal of growth for advanced biofuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel, and fully account for any small refinery exemptions it plans to grant—as it has already done in the 2020 RFS rule.”The… Continue reading

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MSR — 20 years and still counting

By Mary Wicks

In 2021, an OSU Extension educator, John Smith, recruited folks from OSU, SWCDs and other agencies to launch the first Manure Science Review (MSR). The goal was to provide an educational program that provided research-based information on manure handling and other issues facing livestock producers. It was a success and has continued into 2021, always following Smith’s mantra that you need to provide high quality information, impressive equipment demonstrations, and good food.

Since its beginning, over 4,000 people have attended the MSR, learning from the experts in the manure world on everything from regulations to application methods to environmental issues. The MSR has been held in 16 different Ohio counties in its 20 years of existence. The always popular field demonstrations have included the unique Subsurfer for injecting poultry litter, smoking subsurface drainage tiles, many solid and liquid manure applicators, cover crop plots, and holey underwear. And of course, the food has always been plentiful and delicious. … Continue reading

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2021 Ohio State Fair is almost here

By Matt Reese

The Ohio State Fair is almost here, though the 2021 installment will be significantly different than in the past. The focus will be entirely on youth and agricultural activities this year following an extremely challenging 2020 when the event was canceled. 

“We have been able to survive and make it through it to put on an agricultural fair this year. That is what is closest to my heart — to be able to have a junior and senior livestock show. We have been able to put together enough staff to help us get that accomplished this year,” said Virgil Strickler, general manager of the Ohio State Fair. “The agricultural side is the roots of the fair and at least we are starting to get that back up and running.”

The 2021 Ohio State Fair is not open to the general public. It will only be open for exhibitors, their families, and their guests this year.… Continue reading

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AEP Re-Creation Lands purchased

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Among more than $70 billion in state spending priorities is a major item of importance to Ohio’s sportsmen. During negotiations late last month between the House and Senate, Gov. Mike DeWine successfully advocated for $29 million for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife to purchase the remaining 18,000 acres of the AEP Re-Creation Lands. 

Back in 2015, the power company announced its intention to sell the 60,000-acre property, which has long been used by Ohio hunters, anglers and trappers. It was thought that the state of Ohio would be first in line to purchase the prized property, which amounts to 10% of all available public land for sportsmen in the state.

After 2 years, with very little progress, AEP began to consider private buyers, a result Ohio sportsmen were unwilling to tolerate. Led by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, a Columbus-based coalition of the state’s top sportsmen’s groups united in 2017 under the banner of Protect What’s Right to advocate for funding for AEP and to restore the financial security of the Division of Wildlife, which had deteriorated over the previous years.… Continue reading

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OSHA signs alliance with Ohio Agribusiness Association to address grain handling hazards

To combat the dangers workers face in grain handling, the U.S. Department of Labor’sOccupational Safety and Health Administration, the Ohio On-Site Consultation Program, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the Ohio Agribusiness Association signed an alliance on July 9, 2021. The two-year alliance will help train workers on the grain industry’s six major hazards: engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, “struck by,” combustible dust explosions and electrocution hazards and OSHA’s Grain-Handling Safety Standard

“Grain handling can expose workers to serious and life threatening hazards, such as fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, engulfment in grain bins, and injuries and amputations from grain handling equipment,” said OSHA’s Acting Region Administration William Donovan in Chicago. “This alliance aims to provide training and resources to improve workplace safety in this industry.”

An implementation team, comprised of representatives of each organization, will meet to develop a plan of action, determine working procedures and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants.… Continue reading

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Stockton named OFBF 2021 Outstanding Young Farmer

Kyle Stockton of Elida is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Young Farmer Award for 2021. The contest is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

Stockton grew up on a small row crop and steer operation and holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from Ohio State University. He worked off the farm for nine years while working toward returning to his family farm. Today, he has a row crop operation that includes corn, soybeans, wheat, and custom planting and harvesting, and he raises hogs and feeds out Holstein steers.

“I have made it my mission to find how the 21st century farmer will stand out among other farmers, and it keeps coming back to business principles. While properly maintaining and operating machinery is still extremely important, and the blessing of good rain will never be matched in importance, it is digging into the financials of farming and finding the best returns on investment, prices and marketing that sets apart the best farmers.… Continue reading

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OABA seeking emerging leaders for 2022 LAUNCH Class

Tomorrow’s agribusiness leader will need to be nimble and lead change in addressing workforce pressures, consumer demands, and governmental challenges, all while fostering networks and collaborative work styles. Emerging agribusiness leaders can build their skills through LAUNCH – Leaders Achieving Unexpected New Career Heights – to rise to the challenges and opportunities facing agribusinesses today and tomorrow.

Hosted by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, in partnership with Shift-ology Communication, the LAUNCH program is geared to help Ohio agribusinesses Elevate People, Elevate Ideas and Elevate the Industry.

The program is designed for emerging leaders with a desire to meet higher level goals than the scope of their current position. The course is designed for leaders with all levels of experience — from entry level to seasoned employees — who seek to rise within their company.

“Agribusinesses continually compete with all industries to recruit and retain the best talent, but there is also a need to invest in those who are already passionate about agriculture,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO.… Continue reading

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Variable rate sidedressing and inter-seeding cover crops

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

Time is one of the most precious commodities on a farm. There are windows of opportunity to accomplish certain tasks in production agriculture, and with the adoption of new practices, such as cover crops, sometimes those windows become limited. One example is the seeding of cover crops after corn that soybeans will be planted into the following spring. Depending on the corn maturity, often the window following corn harvest is too late to successfully establish a cover crop and meet the requirements of many government programs.

In an effort to mitigate the timing issue of late seeding after harvest, some farmers have attempted to “fly-on” the cover crop just prior to leaf drop. In some cases, farmers have seeded with a “hi-boy” type machine. Siebeneck Farms in Putnam County is inter-seeding cover crops at the same time they sidedress their corn with a modified sidedress applicator.

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Understanding primary factors driving plant growth

By Kyle Poling, Pioneer Field Agronomist

Crop scouting provides an opportunity to identify environmental stresses and evaluate effectiveness of management practices that impact yield. Being in your fields throughout the growing season can help in the detection and diagnosis of problems early so corrective action can be taken before major yield losses occur. Even though some issues cannot be fixed in the current year, regular scouting can identify management decisions that should be improved or changed for next year’s crop.

Kyle Poling, Pioneer Field Agronomist

Plants cannot think or feel because they lack a brain or a nervous system; however, plants do have an extraordinary ability to respond to stimuli in their growing environment. If growing conditions are ideal, plants will thrive. Conversely, environmental stresses will cause normal plant development to be altered, often causing slow/stunted growth. Under extremely stressful conditions, plants may even die.

The primary factors that affect plant growth include: water, temperature, light, and nutrients.… Continue reading

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