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The truth is free

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

This past May 6, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a merit decision in Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Pusser. While this is not an agricultural case, everyone who has an insurance policy should be aware of the ruling. And farmers tend to have their share of insurance policies. The case deals with misstatements made by applicants when applying for insurance and the serious problems that can result.

The question before the Ohio Supreme Court was whether the specific language in an insurance policy was sufficient to warn the insured that misstatements as to warranties in her application for the policy rendered the policy void from the beginning (void ab initio). The Ohio Supreme Court ultimately held that the insurance policy involved in the case plainly stated that a breach of warranty in the application for the policy rendered the policy void ab initio. … Continue reading

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Watch vomitoxin levels in feed

By Erika Lyon, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Ohio State University Extension

High vomitoxin levels are leading to the rejection of some corn at grain elevators this year. Vomitoxin detected in corn so far is enough that at some elevators, trucks are not permitted to leave scales until a vomitoxin quick test is completed. One central Ohio elevator has been rejecting corn at 5 parts per million (ppm), with estimates of 10% of corn being rejected this season. The average level of vomitoxin in corn passing through central Ohio elevators is estimated at 2 ppm. What exactly does this mean for livestock owners who use this corn as a source of feed?

Vomitoxin, or deoxynivalenol (DON), is a secondary metabolite or mycotoxin produced by Fusarium molds that can cause health and productivity issues in livestock. The common source of DON in corn is the species F. graminearum, which is also occurs in other small grains such as wheat, barley and oats.… Continue reading

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CFAES food safety center to research food safety in Kenya

The Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) at The Ohio State University has been awarded a $770,000 grant to improve food safety and prevent foodborne illnesses in Kenya.

The initiative is one of four new research projects announced by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

The 3.5-year project, “Chakula salama: a risk-based approach to reducing foodborne diseases and increasing production of safe foods in Kenya,” includes a team of researchers from The Ohio State University, the University of Florida, Kenya Medical Research Institute, and the University of Nairobi, who will work to develop and test food-safety interventions to support Kenya’s small-scale poultry producers.

“This project will use a systems-based approach to answer important food safety questions and build an enabling environment that fosters the implementation of risk-based approaches to food safety in Kenya and, eventually, other African countries,” said Barbara Kowalcyk, director of CFI.… Continue reading

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Dry weather keeps harvest progressing

Dry weather and warmer than normal temperatures gave farmers favorable conditions to harvest corn and soybeans throughout most the week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 88% adequate to surplus by week’s end. Average temperatures for the week were 8.1 degrees above historical normals and the entire State averaged 0.67 inches of precipitation. There were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 15.

Soybeans were 93% harvested by week’s end, one percentage point behind the five-year average of 94%, while soybeans moisture content was at 13%. Corn harvested was at 79%, 5 percentage points behind the five-year average of 84%. Corn moisture content was at 19 percent, down 1 percentage point from the previous week. Winter wheat emerged was 96%. Seventy- three percent of winter wheat was rated good to excellent condition compared to 68 percent the previous week.… Continue reading

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Mann faced challenges of 2020 in term as first female Ohio Corn & Wheat president

By Matt Reese

In the very male-dominated world of agricultural leadership, multiple women in top leadership positions generates a fair amount of attention from the outside looking in, even if it may not from the inside looking out. Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat, has often been asked about the current number of women in leadership positions within the organization, including Patty Mann who is serving as the organization’s first female president.

“To be honest, it didn’t really occur to me that we were promoting females up through the leadership chain, they just happened to be some of our best leaders,” Nicholson said. “Patty Mann is our current president and Kelly Harsh is coming in as our vice president to be president right behind her. For these two years, our organization will be led by females who just happen to be great leaders on our board.”

In addition, Gail Lierer from Butler County is the current chair of the Corn Checkoff Board.… Continue reading

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Ohio soybean production and research in 2020

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

Each spring, farmers plant roughly 4.8 million acres of soybeans in Ohio.  Looking back at the past planting season, conditions were vastly different between 2019 and 2020.

“For 2020, planting was much better than it was in 2019,” said Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension state soybean and small grains specialist. “Many areas had very good planting dates, and our soybean trials, that are conducted in six counties, were planted very timely for the most part. Some parts of the state did struggle with wet weather during planting. Some areas in southern Ohio had fields that were flooded after planting, and parts of eastern Ohio struggled as well, but compared to 2019, planting conditions were much more favorable.

“There were definitely areas of the state that struggled with dry weather after planting. That continued in some areas through August and September.

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2020 Farm Service Agency county committee elections underway

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has mailed ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. To be counted, ballots must be returned to the local FSA county office or postmarked by Dec. 7. 

“FSA has over 7,000 county committee members nationwide who serve their communities by providing input on our programs at the local level,” said Richard Fordyce, FSA Administrator. “We value their knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and safety-net programs.”

Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office, and at least one seat is up for election each year. Newly elected committee members will take office January 1, 2021. County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility. 

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Agriculture Policy and Outlook Conference – Day Three Recap

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Trade and Macroeconomy Outlooks were the topics for Day three of the 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference sponsored and hosted by The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Dr. Ian Sheldon, Professor and Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy, in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics began the program by discussing the impact of the pandemic on global and U.S. Trade.

According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), global trade is forecast to decline by 9.2% in 2020, followed by a 7.2% rise in 2021. “Things could have been worse,” said Sheldon. “The April forecast was for a 13% decline optimistically, and 32% decline pessimistically. There is still considerable uncertainty about the trajectory of trade for the rest of 2020 and into 2021, especially now as we see a resurgence of COVID-19.”… Continue reading

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Upland hunting ups and downs

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

Nathan Stricker is a wildlife biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife and for a decade and a half has served as my primary source of information about Ohio’s upland game birds and animals to share with listeners on my weekly radio show, Buckeye Sportsman. During a recent interview, he offered us his annual upland game forecast, primarily of pheasants, rabbits and quail, for the start of those popular hunting seasons. Stricker, a farm boy from western Ohio, runs beagles, primarily pursuing cottontails, and I hunt with an English setter, targeting wild pheasants.  

A week ago that would have been plural, as in setters, but the pup I kept from a litter last summer was struck by a car ten minutes into his first ever “real” hunt. We were in northern Michigan, where I hoped to break-in 14-month-old “Henry” on hard-holding, highly scented woodcock.… Continue reading

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Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Webinar

Do you know how the COVID legislation may affect your tax return? Do you know how equipment trade-ins may affect your federal and state tax returns? Farmers and farmland owners who wish to increase their tax knowledge should consider attending this webinar that will address tax issues specific to this industry. Content focuses on important tax issues and will offer insight into new COVID related legislation.

Mark your calendars for December 3, 2020 to participate in this live webinar from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The event is a joint offering from OSU Income Tax Schools which are a part of OSU Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Purdue University Income Tax Schools.  If you are not able to attend the live webinar, all registered participants will receive a link to view the recorded webinar at a time of their convenience. This link will be available through the tax filing season.… Continue reading

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Central State University Extension Hosted Aquaponics Field Day with tilapia harvest

Nearly 200 tilapia fish weighing approximately two pounds each were ready for harvest at the Central State University Extension (CSUE) Aquaponics Field held last week at its CSUE Aquaponics Demonstration Facility.

Participants attending were able to take home fresh fish at the end of the field day’s presentations with CSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Educator Marc Amante. The last of the season’s lettuce and cucumbers were also distributed as the facility will be closing for the 2020 season.

Participants viewed progress on a different demonstration system being built in the same greenhouse and learned more about the self-sustaining system.

“Aquaponics is a closed loop system that combines conventional aquaculture (the raising of aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a mutually symbiotic environment. The aquaponics system utilizes the waste of one element for the benefit of another other. In this case, the waste produced by the fish benefits the growing plants,” said Cindy Folck, CSUE Program Leader for Agricultural and Natural Resources.… Continue reading

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CSU Seed to Bloom Botanical and Community Gardens officially opens

A “Virtual” Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Central State University Seed to Bloom Botanical and Community Garden was held Friday, Nov. 6, at the gardens located across from the university at the corner of Wilberforce-Switch Road and US 42, Wilberforce.

The garden is now open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days per week.

The CSU Seed to Bloom Botanical Garden was the vision of former Central State University President Emeritus Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, who envisioned an inviting space where members of the community could relax and people of all ages could learn.


As part of the Agricultural Production Area, the CSU Seed to Bloom Botanical Garden is part of the Botanical and Community Garden Project and provides an inviting space to interact with its natural beauty. Providing a unique stage for horticultural education in a collegiate atmosphere, the garden offers learning opportunities for CSU students, local schools, and the greater community.… Continue reading

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Differentiating RR2 Xtend, XendFlex and Enlist

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

Farmers and the agricultural community have waited patiently since June for a decision regarding the labeled use of approved dicamba-containing herbicide formulations for use within the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend and XtendFlex soybean systems. Fortunately, the wait is over, providing farmers a valuable tool to combat herbicide resistance. 

On October 27, 2020, the EPA announced the registration of XtendiMax, Engenia, and Tavium herbicides for use in dicamba-tolerant crops (RR2 Xtend/XtendFlex soybeans and XtendFlex cotton). In 2021, farmers will have access to more technology choices regarding soybean herbicide tolerances than ever before. While the comfort level and familiarity of many herbicide platforms is high, newer technologies such as XtendFlex and Enlist E3 may not be as well understood.

While Enlist herbicides (Enlist One, Enlist Duo) and the approved dicamba-containing herbicides mentioned above are all growth regulators or auxin herbicides, they do not share the same advantages. Enlist One and Enlist Duo contain 2,4-D choline.… Continue reading

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Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium goes virtual in 2020

By Matt Reese

Since March of 2020, much has changed, but the value of Ohio’s shepherds learning from experts and each other has not. This year’s Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium will be in a virtual format to reflect what has changed in 2020, but the content of the program remains relevant for the many aspects of Ohio’s lamb and wool industries that have not changed.

“We’ve worked hard and diligently to get this program up and going. Unfortunately due to everything that is happening, we still wanted to provide an opportunity for our shepherds to be able to connect and to receive some of the information we traditionally provide every year at the Buckeye Shepherd Symposium,” said Brady Campbell, coordinator of Ohio State University’s sheep team. “When you take a look at our sheep numbers and membership that is passionate about the sheep industry, we rank among the top three in the nation according to the ASI.… Continue reading

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Reducing soil compaction

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Indian Summer is here with warmer temperatures and some sunlight as farmers try to finish up harvest. A lot of field work is being done including deep and shallow tillage. A farmer down the road from my house, did some deep ripping on very wet soils. When he left, I think he might have left half the field on the road! Even though we had extremely dry weather this year, recent rains have kept our soils really moist, even muddy. As farmers, we might want to think about what long-term damage that tillage equipment might be doing to our soils. 

The following information comes from an article I co-wrote on “The Biology of Soil Compaction” Journal of No-till Agriculture in 2011.

Soil compaction is a common and constant problem on most farms that till the soil.  Heavy farm machinery can create persistent subsoil compaction. Scientists have found that compacted soils (a) physically restricted root growth; (b) decrease root zone aeration; and (c) reduces drainage, (d) increased losses of nitrogen from denitrification, (e) increases soil erosion. … Continue reading

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Simulating the future of crops and CO2

Five years ago, the United Nations committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030. Since then, however, world hunger has continued to rise. Nearly 9% of the global population is now undernourished, according to a2020 report from the FAO, and climate variability is a leading factor driving us off course. 

Over the past 30 years, a network of 14 long-term research facilities spanning five continents has simulated future levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) to forecast the impact on crops. Importantly, these “Free-Air Concentration Enrichment” (FACE) experiments are conducted outside in real-world field conditions to capture the complex environmental factors that impact crop growth and yield.

A recent review published in Global Change Biologysynthesizes 30 years of FACE data to grasp how global crop production may be impacted by rising CO2 levels and other factors. The study portends a less optimistic future than the authors’ previous review published 15 years ago in New Phytologist.… Continue reading

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Pork exports continue on record pace, beef trending lower

September exports of U.S. pork increased 10% year-over-year, keeping 2020 exports on a record pace, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports were fairly steady with last year in major Asian markets but trended lower overall.

Pork exports reached 222,475 metric tons (mt) in September, with value increasing 6% to $563.2 million. Shipments to China/Hong Kong remained higher than a year ago in September but made up a smaller share of the global total compared to recent months, as exports set a new record for Canada and increased year-over-year to Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Chile and the Caribbean.

Through the first three quarters of the year, pork exports were 16% ahead of last year’s record pace in both volume (2.22 million mt) and value ($5.69 billion). The increases were even stronger for pork muscle cuts, jumping 22% to 1.87 million mt valued at $4.93 billion (up 19%).… Continue reading

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Ohio State Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference – Day Two recap

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Agricultural and Environmental Policy were the topics for Day two of the 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference sponsored and hosted by The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Dr. Brent Sohngen, Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics began the program by discussing Sustainable Supply Chains.

“A growing number of companies have Carbon Neutral goals,” said Sohngen. “Two thirds of the worlds economy want to be carbon neutral by 2050.”

There are multiple reasons why companies have set Carbon neutral goals. The Paris Agreement is one factor. “Many governments have made commitments to carbon neutrality by 2050, so if businesses want to remain in business in those countries, they will have to go along,” said Sohngen. “Consumers and Investors are pressuring companies. People with higher incomes want carbon neutral things, and they can afford it.… Continue reading

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Cab Cam with John Hintz in Fairfield County Ohio

In this segment of our Fall Cab Cam series I caught up with John Hintz shelling corn in Fairfield County. I wasn’t so much interested in his corn but the Agro Eco Power upgrade he made to his combine. This ECM update provides more power, torque, and improved fuel economy. He has been pretty impressed with the results and the efficiency that came with the upgrade. Our cab cam series if sponsored by Precision Agri Services Inc, and yes they are an Agro Eco Power dealer but after talking to John about the difference it made in his combine I really felt it was worth doing a cab cam about it!… Continue reading

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Soybean boom

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

With beans trading above $11, many in the trade are wondering where futures are headed next. In the last 9 years that beans managed to hit $11 in a marketing year, prices went on to quickly trade above $12. Technical signals and fundamentals both are suggesting it is a real possibility. The following summarizes some big factors impacting bean prices right now.

Brazil imported U.S. beans

When the world’s largest bean producing country buys product from their chief competitor, it raises heads….and prices.

Many U.S. farmers were selling beans through harvest

On Oct. 6 corn was only $3.80 but beans were trading $10.50. This meant the market was encouraging farmers to sell beans off the combine and store corn during harvest. Plus, grain traders throughout the Midwest tell me that storage piles at ethanol plants are limited and many bean processors reported extremely long lines during harvest.… Continue reading

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