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Rain welcomed around Ohio

Warm weather continued while timely rain events helped improve crop condition, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Approximately 79 percent of the state saw abnormally dry conditions or worse according to the latest Drought Monitor; however, rain events late in the week delivered between a half inch and two inches of precipitation to much of the state. Topsoil moisture increased from 24 percent adequate or surplus last week to 46 percent adequate or surplus this week. Weeds have begun to also increase on fields with teasel, milkweed, marestail, and ironweed being reported on fields. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 3.5 degrees above historical normals, and the entire state averaged slightly over 1 inch of precipitation. There were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 26.

Although precipitation moderately increased in some areas,
crop stress continued. Warm and dry conditions kept progress
for some crops ahead of average.

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Rain haves and have-nots showing up in Ohio

Patty Mann

Last week over a 3-day period we got 1.8 inches of rain. That only puts us up over 2.5 inches for July, so you can see how much on the short end we were. Everything has turned around. The corn grew and greened up and most of it is pollinating. We are really thankful that rain came when it did. It sounds like we have a good chance of more rain this afternoon and then some cooler nighttime temperatures, which will definitely help as well.

I don’t think we have anything quite to brown silk yet, but the early stuff is well along through pollination. Some of the later stuff planted in late May is just starting to poke a few tassels out. That corn has gotten more rain and just looks phenomenal.

We haven’t seen disease issues yet. The beans are approaching or are at R3 and we have been spraying some fungicide on the beans.… Continue reading

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Is the massive Chinese purchase of U.S. corn a sign of better things to come?

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

To date, the huge rains in the Yangtze River valley in China have been in the press very little. In early July, up to 30 inches of rain fell in a 7-day period. This region is not a major corn and soybean production area. The Three Gorges dam had been built mainly to generate electricity but was expected to mitigate catastrophic flooding.

However, on July, 14 a huge U.S. corn sale did grab lot of press headlines. On that day USDA announced China had bought 1.7 million tons of U.S. corn. It was the third largest U.S. corn sale in history along with the largest one-day sale to China. Disappointingly, corn closed down three cents.

Hot and dry weather in August could provide price fireworks for soybeans but less for corn.

The July 10 USDA Supply and Demand Report (WASDE) was a vanilla report with little fanfare.Continue reading

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What is soil health?

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Soil health is a term that everyone seems to be confused about or have their own opinion. Soil health is about three things: soil organic matter (SOM), soil microbes and organisms, and plants. Good soil and soil health are dependent upon the interaction of these three things. Active short-term organic matter are the root exudates, root carbohydrates (sugars) and microbial bi-products which produces good soil structure and is missing from most of our tilled soils. Soil microbes process nutrients to make them plant available and produce humus which is the long-term SOM. Plants and live roots supply the carbon, nitrogen and energy from sunlight to feed the microbes and to produce SOM. The end result is a rich fully functioning soil producing healthy dense food to feed livestock, humans and wildlife.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

What is the difference between good soil health and degraded soil health?

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Late summer establishment of perennial forages

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University forage specialist

The month of August provides the second window of opportunity for establishing perennial forage stands this year. The primary risk with late summer forage seedings is having sufficient moisture for seed germination and plant establishment, which is a significant risk this summer given the low soil moisture status across many areas.

The decision to plant or not will have to be made for each individual field, considering soil moisture and the rain forecast. Rainfall/soil moisture in the few weeks immediately after seeding is the primary factor affecting successful establishment.

No-till seeding in August is an excellent choice to conserve soil moisture for good germination. Make sure that the field surface is relatively level and smooth if you plan to no-till seed because you will have to live with any field roughness for several years of harvesting operations.

Sclerotinia crown and stem rot is a concern with no-till seedings of alfalfa in late summer and especially where clover has been present in the past.… Continue reading

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Court allows Enlist Duo registration but requires closer look at monarch butterflies

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

In a decision that turns largely on scientific methodology and reliable data, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed continued registration of the Enlist Duo herbicide developed by Dow AgroScience (Corteva). Unlike last month’s decision that vacated registrations of three dicamba herbicides, the two-judge majority on the court held that substantial evidence supported the EPA’s decision to register the herbicide. Even so, the court sent one petition back to the EPA to further consider the impact of Enlist Duo on monarch butterflies in application areas. One dissenting judge would have held that the science used to support the Enlist Duo registration violates the Endangered Species Act.

The case began in 2014, when the same organizations that challenged the dicamba registrations (National Family Farm Coalition, Family Farm Defenders, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network North America) and the Natural Resources Defense Council each filed petitions challenging the EPA’s registration of Enlist Duo.… Continue reading

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Ava Shroyer | OYLE Champion Market Goat Exhibitor

Ava Shroyer of Logan County exhibited the Grand Champion Market Goat at the 2020 Ohio Youth Livestock Expo. Our Matt Reese caught up with her moments after being named champion via video conference.
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OYLE market goat show results

Ohio youth livestock exhibitors may not enjoy the thrill of the Ohio State Fair this summer, but they will have a competitive arena to finish their beef, sheep, swine, and boer goat projects. Led by a group of agriculture industry volunteers and livestock show enthusiasts, the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) will host a show for junior exhibitors over a series of dates in July and August.

More than 900 Ohio 4-H and FFA members will exhibit nearly 3,280 individual entries at the inaugural event.

Beef cattle, sheep, and boer goat projects will show at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio, with shows beginning July 25 and ending August 5. The market goat show was held July 26. Here are the results.

  1. Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.
  2. Tiffany Sunday, Pickaway Co.
  3. Isaac Beal, Miami Co.
  4. Paige Pence, Clark Co.
  5. Anara Shroyer, Logan Co.
  6. Cadin Reveal, Clinton Co.


Champ. Lightweight Champ: Anara Shroyer, Logan Co.… Continue reading

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Grazing in dry pastures

By Matt Reese

Dry conditions are hit and miss around Ohio, but by mid-July areas of “moderate drought” were starting to show up in northwest (Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert) and west central (Hardin, Logan and Champaign) counties. Along with hurting corn and soybeans, pasture ground around the state was really starting to suffer.

“Once it gets dry, the best option you’ve got is to pull your stock off. Most farms have some woods or marginal areas you can graze that would help a little bit. You can de-stock and cull surplus livestock. Or, you can design your system so that you have got stock that can be sold off,” said David Barker, Ohio State University grazing specialist. “It all takes planning. Without planning, people will graze the pastures down to the dirt. Once the pasture is that short, the ability to recover isn’t there. If a rain does come there is no vegetation to hold the water there.… Continue reading

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U.S. EPA administrator visits Ohio demonstration farms

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler recently visited the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms in northwest Ohio. Administrator Wheeler learned about all of the testing being done to improve water quality for the Western Lake Erie Basin and all of Ohio.

“It’s impressive to see how farmers are taking a proactive approach to try to reduce nutrient runoff,” Wheeler said. “Our agency is working cooperatively with farmers instead of hitting them with a hammer, and I think that farmers have proven that they know their land and they know what it takes to reduce phosphorus loading. These demonstration farms have shown me how they can save money on nutrients with new technologies while, at the same time, producing greater yields.”

The first stop for Wheeler was Kurt Farms in Dunkirk, Ohio. There, he learned about how edge-of-field testing units sample the water coming from farm fields to determine the volume of nutrients coming off of the farm and how different nutrient management practices impact the data.… Continue reading

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It is time to scout for insects

By Kelley Tilmon, Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension

As the summer progresses we are receiving reports of insect problems often encouraged by hot, dry weather. Last week we reported on spider mites and especially if you are in an area of continued dry weather we recommend scouting your soybeans and corn. For more visit

Some areas are also reporting increases in young grasshoppers in soybeans, another insect favored by dry weather. Grasshoppers of often start on field edges so early scouting may allow for an edge treatment. Japanese beetles are another common defoliator of soybean that are starting to appear. Both of these pests fall into a general defoliation measurement, and we recommend treatment if defoliation is approaching 20% on the majority of plants in post-flowering beans. Download our guide to estimating defoliation in soybean at

A weird problem being reported not just in Ohio but in parts of the Midwest as far-flung as Minnesota is the red headed flea beetle, which is being found in corn and soybean.… Continue reading

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Part II — The back story: A miraculous journey in Parkinson’s research

Dr. George Lopez had practiced internal medicine in California. But during a procedure, an intravenous catheter slipped out of the patient’s vein. As Dr. Lopez attempted to restore the IV, the patient crashed and subsequently died. Lopez never practiced medicine again.

He rebounded by forming a company and inventing an indwelling IV catheter that locks into place. And he developed several other medical devices, making his company very financially successful.

Then came another setback. An avid outdoorsman, Lopez fished, hunted, surfed and spear-fished — and held the trophy for landing the largest blue marlin off the California coast. But he noticed that he was progressively losing strength in his wrists. Eventually, all of his muscles were weakening. The diagnosis was Parkinson’s Disease. As a result, he had to give up mountain biking, then fishing and his other outdoor activities. Eventually, he could barely get out of a wheelchair. At the same time, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, became terminally ill and died.… Continue reading

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Black Swamp Conservancy to host drive-in theater event

Black Swamp Conservancy is inviting the public to come out for a drive-in screening of films highlighting local and national conservation efforts. The program will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at the Field of Dreams Drive-In Theater, Liberty Center. Gates will open at 8:00 pm, movies begin at 8:45 pm. The screening is free and open to the public. Donations to Black Swamp Conservancy are appreciated and can be made via the Conservancy’s website.

For more information about this event, visit Black Swamp Conservancy’s website at, or call (419) 833-1025.

Resilience: The Story of the American Red Wolf examines the last wild population on the coast of North Carolina of an animal so secretive, many people are unaware that it even exists: the red wolf. Due to the species’ low numbers in the wild, biologists must work quickly to protect it from extinction. Directed by local two-time Emmy nominated wildlife filmmaker and photographer, Alex Goetz.… Continue reading

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PPP loans and tax deductions

By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAs

Tax planning and tax compliance are going to be more important than ever for any business owner continuing to weather the COVID-19 storm. Those that received a PPP loan may need to step extra lightly.

The PPP loan program presented an attractive option to business owners at a volatile time, allowing them access the needed funds to cover everything from payroll costs to mortgage interest. Hundreds of billions of dollars were loaned out. However, we learned early in the loan process that the use of these funds may cancel out other benefits afforded to the business owner.

As it stands now, loan recipients will not be able to deduct the expenses if they used PPP loan dollars, that will be forgiven, to cover those expenses. Under Section 1106(b) of the CARES Act, a recipient of a covered loan can receive forgiveness of debt on the loan in the amount equal to the sum of payments made for expenses during an 8-week period beginning on the covered loan’s origination date.… Continue reading

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Study quantifies value of red meat exports to U.S. corn, soybeans

Since 2015, indirect exports of corn and soybeans through beef and pork exports has been the fastest-growing category of corn and soybean use, delivering critical returns for corn and soybean farmers. These producers support the international promotion of U.S. beef, pork and lamb by investing a portion of their checkoff dollars in market development efforts conducted by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

USMEF has released an updated version of the independent study aimed at quantifying the value red meat exports provide to U.S. corn and soybean producers. The original study was conducted in 2016 with updates also released in 2018 and 2019. Key findings from the latest version, which utilizes 2019 export data, include:


Value of red meat exports’ feed use of corn and soybeans

  • In 2019, U.S. beef and pork exports used 480 million bushels of corn. Corn revenue generated by pork exports totaled $1.8 billion (480 million bushels x average annual price of $3.75 per bushel).
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Specialty crops available for CFAP funding

By Chris Zoller, Ohio State University Extension Educator, ANR Tuscarawas County

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced earlier this year the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Developed earlier this year, CFAP is intended to assist farmers who suffered economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initial payments were made available to growers of certain non-specialty and specialty crops, dairy, livestock, and wool producers. On July 9, 2020 USDA announced additional specialty crops eligible for economic assistance. The list of specialty crops includes: alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce — including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red and red leaf — marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme and turnip top greens.… Continue reading

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Partnerships for better soil health and water quality

By Kurt Knebusch, Ohio State University CFAES

For Rachel Cochran, a typical day involves working one-on-one with farmers, while practicing social distancing, of course.

“It could be contacting them about pulling cores for a soil health study,” she said. “It could be talking to them about potential best management practices that they might be thinking about using.”

For Boden Fisher, his workday could involve being invited to attend a farmer’s wheat harvest, allowing Fisher to measure the crop’s quality, part of a study comparing the use of top-dressed manure and commercial fertilizer.

For Nick Eckel, a typical workday, and every workday in general, means helping farmers successfully implement new conservation practices.

The practices, Eckel said, “hopefully will be sustainable for future generations to build upon.”

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) recently hired six new water quality associates to work in northwest Ohio, and Cochran, Fisher, and Eckel are three of them.… Continue reading

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Governor DeWine to Ohio fairs: What we’ve seen is unacceptable

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a conference call with Ohio fair directors and managers Wednesday. According to the Governor, after fairs started in June cases of COVID-19 began to rise.

“We are now unfortunately seeing the results of some of these fairs,” Gov. DeWine said. “We’ve had one fair that has had 19 cases come out of that fair alone.”

The fate of Ohio youth returning to school in the fall rests on the operations of Ohio’s fairs the remainder of the season.

“We are really at a crucial stage in Ohio. What you do at your fairs determines if kids are back in school this fall,” DeWine said.

The Governor stressed the importance of the Responsible RestartOhio orders for county and independent fairs.

“We’ve got to get control of this,” DeWine said. “If fairs are going to continue, you all are going to have to control the crowd and make sure everyone is wearing a mask….What… Continue reading

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Moisture stress and high temperature effects on soybean yields

By Michael Staton, Michigan State University Extension Soybean Educator

Producers want to know how their soybean fields will be affected by the recent heat wave and lack of rain and the warmer and drier than normal conditions that are forecast to prevail for the remainder of July. Soybean yield losses are most likely to occur when moisture stress occurs during germination and reproduction. Inadequate soil moisture during germination causes uneven and spotty emergence. This is the reason why soybean agronomists recommend placing soybean seed into at least 0.5 inches of moist soil at planting. Soybeans that were planted later in June may have germinated under marginal soil moisture conditions.

Michael Staton, MSU Extension Soybean Educator

Soybeans can tolerate moisture stress relatively well during the vegetative stages. Stress at this time reduces shoot growth, but not root growth. These conditions diminish water use by the plants and increase their ability to extract water from deeper in the soil profile.

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