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Junior National Belted Galloway Show in Medina County

The first ever Junior National Belted Galloway Show is being held at the Medina County Fairgrounds June 26-30, 2024. The event will feature cattle shows along with public speaking, sales talk, livestock judging, team fitting, cattleman’s quiz, and a photo contest. Families are coming in from all over the country with exhibitors excited to show Ohio the quality of cattle the Belted Galloways have to offer.

More information is available at: beltie.org/juniors_nationals.php.… Continue reading

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Neutral numbers for corn, bearish for soybeans and wheat

By Bennett Musselman, Leist Mercantile

Trade expectations: U.S. soybean exports reduced, increased ethanol demand and Brazil soybean and corn production to be reduced.    

Following the noon USDA report release, corn was down 2 cents, soybeans down 12 cents, and wheat down 9 cents. Moments before the report was released, corn was down 1 ½ cents, soybeans down 8 cents, and wheat down 6 cents. 

U.S. 2023-2024 ending stocks: corn 2.122 billion bushels, last month 2.172 billion bushels; soybeans 340 million bushels, last month 315 million bushels; and wheat 698 million bushels, last month 673 million bushels. 

Trader estimates for 2023-2024 US ending stocks: corn 2.102 billion bushels; soybeans 317 million bushels; and wheat 690 million bushels. 

Surprisingly there were no changes Brazilian soybean production. The trade was anticipating a slight reduction in the Brazilian soybean crop. USDA this month estimates Brazil soybean production at 155 million tons, last month was 155 million tons.… Continue reading

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Adjustments for the first day of planting

Planting season is here and its time to think about those final planter adjustments while the planter has its final moments in the shop. Luke Schulte of Beck’s Hybrids goes into detail about the simple steps to take before hitting the fields, and looks into what the research says about the price to pay if you don’t.

More from Beck’s online at www.beckshybrids.com.… Continue reading

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2,4-D tariffs would hurt farmers

Saying growers need reliable access to essential farming tools, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Harold Wolle warned the U.S. International Trade Commission of the consequences for America’s farmers if the agency grants a petition to levy tariffs on imported 2,4-D, an often-used herbicide that has been on the market for decades.

“The scenario under consideration has the potential to limit imports of an important product, raise its price, and create a supply shortage, all while raising the cost of production in an already tight market,” Wolle said. “Farmers are price takers, not makers in selling our commodities, and closely managing our production costs is crucial to our success. Thus, tariffs on these products would create an even more difficult economic scenario for me, my family, and the farmers I represent.”

Wolle’s testimony comes after Corteva Inc. filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the ITC on March 14 over India and China’s trade practices involving the herbicide.… Continue reading

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ODA issues box tree moth quarantine

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is issuing a quarantine for six counties in southwest Ohio to prevent the spread of an invasive insect — the box tree moth.

Beginning April 11, 2024, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Greene, Montgomery, and Warren counties will have regulations in place restricting the movement of boxwood shrubs out of the area. ODA is encouraging landscapers and residents in these counties to check the quarantine boundaries and not transport the plants outside of the quarantined area.

Box tree moth. Image courtesy of Walter Schön, www.schmetterling-raupe.de/art/perspectalis.htm, and Courtesy of Matteo Maspero and Andrea Tantardini, Centro MiRT – Fondazione Minoprio.

The box tree moth was detected in Ohio in June 2023, near the border of Hamilton and Clermont counties. More sightings have been confirmed in the quarantined counties listed above. Box tree moths are invasive pests from East Asia that pose a threat to boxwood plantings and the horticulture industry.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan now offered to all sole proprietors

Farmers and small businesses with employees have a lot of expenses, but many of them are finding affordable health coverage options through the Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan. Now, the plan has been updated to give sole proprietors access to more rate stability and a smart solution that offers potential savings on health care.

“We hope that the Health Benefits Plan will continue to become an even more valuable business solution which is now more readily available to sole proprietors throughout the agricultural economic sector,” said Mike Bailey, senior vice president of operations & partnerships with Ohio Farm Bureau. “These changes will have zero impact on existing employer groups and employees currently enrolled in the plan.” 

Additionally, enrolled members will not notice anything different, nor will their benefits be affected in any way.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan can lead to more rate stability and is a smart solution that offers potential savings.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat Emerging Leaders Summit

Ohio Corn & Wheat (OCW) selected and hosted 10 farmers across the state of Ohio to participate in its Emerging Leader Summit, a two-day program designed to help growers develop skills in leadership, communication and advocacy. 

“The Emerging Leaders Summit is our opportunity to equip industry leaders and build on the skills they have already begun developing through their own practices and work,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat. “Our goal is to provide them with the tools necessary for continued growth, so they walk away feeling confident to fight for their farms and tackle the issues Ohio’s grain farmers face on a daily basis.”

The selected participants included Jana Caudill (DeGraff), Nolan Chamberlain (Bowling Green), Jared Cox (Dresden), Karyn Forman (Goshen), Liza Musselman (Orient), Jason Oman (Findlay), Nate Schroeder (Columbus Grove), Kip Shoemaker (Leesburg), Ken Swartz (Perrysburg), and Roger Wright (Springfield). 

At the summit, participants learned more about membership organizations, commodity checkoff programs and policy priorities.… Continue reading

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Where are prices headed?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

History repeated itself again this week. Just like the last 10 years, May corn futures finished lower than the close one week after the March planting intentions was released.

Where will prices go from here? 

In 2016, 2021, and 2022 the price of May corn rallied over the next 3 weeks. In 2021 and 2022, old crop corn carryout was very tight. However, in 2016 as is the case this year the stocks are not tight.

In 3 of the last 10 years, May corn’s value at the end of April was similar to or a few cents higher compared to the value of corn at the beginning of April. And in the other 4 of the last 10 years, corn finished the month lower than where it started. So, based on historical trends, there is a good chance May corn will not finish the month much higher and could end up even lower. … Continue reading

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Buckeye Temp Tracker – April 9, 2024

The Buckeye Temp Tracker is powered by BA Genetics and takes note of soil temperatures in four counties each week. Check back each Wednesday for the next update throughout this planting season.

In the interactive map below, click on the thermometer icons to see the soil temperature results from each of the four Ohio counties involved in the program.

Each reading is in degrees Fahrenheit.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 300px-Map_of_Ohio_highlighting_Ashland_County.svg_.png

Ashland County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 48 degrees

Worked Ground – 50 degrees


Fairfield County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 44 degrees

Worked Ground – 45 degrees


Fayette County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 45 degrees

Worked Ground – 46 degrees


Mercer County

Non-Worked Corn Stalks – 46 degrees

Worked Ground – 44 degrees

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Changing to meet demand while maintaining quality production

By Matt Reese

In an effort to better serve area customers with top-quality beef, Murphy Farms in Clinton County diversified their offerings in some unique ways, while continuing to do what has been working for many years.

Willie Murphy and his family stay very busy on their row-crop, cattle and contract hog farm in Clinton County. Willie farms with his brother and uncle and his wife, Brooke, does the books. They put tremendous work into maximizing production and quality with all of the end products coming from their farm. In recent years, they have also worked to improve options for marketing their beef directly to customers.

The Murphys have around 60 brood cows on pasture and two feedlot buildings where they feed 220 to 250 head a year. They have sold freezer beef directly to customers for many years.

The Murphys have around 60 brood cows on pasture and two feedlot buildings where they feed 220 to 250 head a year.
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Gifting may help with estate taxes

By Robert Moore, attorney and research specialist for the Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Estate taxes are receiving a lot of attention due to the impending reduction in the federal estate tax exemption in 2026. If Congress does not extend or make permanent the current estate tax exemption, the exemption in 2026 will be $5.5 million per person plus inflation. The inflation-adjusted estate tax exemption for 2026 is expected to be between $7 million and $7.5 million. The current federal estate tax exemption for 2024 is $13.61 per person.

The lower federal estate tax exemption will still be high enough for most people to avoid federal estate taxes. However, some farmers will see themselves move into the federal estate tax bracket in 2026. People who will find themselves subject to estate taxes due to the 2026 sunset provisions are exploring strategies to help reduce estate tax liability.

One such strategy that may be considered is gifting.… Continue reading

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Recognizing Good Soil Health

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Dr. Alan Franzluebbers, North Carolina Extension has a U-Tube video showing farmers how to look for healthy soils and then improve it. There are several obvious soil health indicators like looking for earthworms, earthworm burrows, and their middens. Also, remove surface residue and look for white spiderweb like mats which are beneficial fungi.  Crop fields with small mushrooms growing are a good sign because those are beneficial fungi just spreading their spores.  However, the hardest to see are the soil bacteria which can be over 1 billion per teaspoon of soil.

Soil Biology has been understudied and is extremely important.  Soil biology can be measured by looking at the soil biological activity, measuring the total biomass of living organisms, and by looking at the diversity of these organisms.  The biology has four main functions: decomposers of crop residue, cycling of water and nutrients, controlling gasses like carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and oxygen for root respiration, and diversity of organisms (think reduce diseases, release nutrients, etc.)… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 343 | Cows and Sows Just Not Plows Edition

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal talks with Kyle Brown, Wyandot County swine farmer and Chris Weaver, Williams County dairy farmer about livestock outlook for 2024. They talk about market outlooks, disease pressure, and upcoming challenges within livestock, specifically in the dairy cow and swine industries. 

More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Madi Layman, Ohio Soybean Council: Dale talks with Madi about biodiesel and market outlook. 
  • Shaun Weller, DVM, Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute: Matt talks with Dr. Weller about High Path Avian Influenza in Ohio dairy cattle.
Intro0:00
Madi Layman2:19
Dr. Shaun Weller13:03
Main Conversation, Kyle Brown and Chris Weaver20:32
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Temperamental weather highlights latest Ohio Crop Progress Report

This year’s weather has been temperamental, with temperatures fluctuating wildly between above average to below average over the past few months, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 32 percent adequate and 68 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 7 was 46.3 degrees, 0.3 degrees above normal.

Weather stations recorded an average of 2.67 inches of precipitation, 1.8 inches above average. There were 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 7. Precipitation last week left fields saturated and brought fieldwork to a stop. Drier weather settled in towards the end of the week, but most fields remained too wet to hold heavy equipment. Oats were 7 percent planted. Winter wheat was 16 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 67 percent good to excellent. Fruit trees began blossoming in the northern counties after last week’s light frost.… Continue reading

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Rule 34

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth     

A rule is one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere. An example is Rule 34, titled Killing of Game Animals, of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race that states, “in the event that an edible big game animal, i.e., moose, caribou, buffalo, is killed in defense of life or property, the musher must gut the animal and report the incident to a race official at the next checkpoint. Following teams must help gut the animal when possible. No teams may pass until the animal has been gutted and the musher killing the animal has proceeded. Any other animal killed in defense of life or property must be reported to a race official, but need not be gutted.”

In plain English, if a musher is forced to kill a moose in self-defense or in defense of the dog team, the musher must properly field dress the moose before continuing the race.… Continue reading

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Introducing the 2024 Between the Rows farmers

Matt Spillman

We farm corn, soybeans and wheat and make some hay. We’re usually about 50-50 on corn and beans and then we put in a couple hundred acres of wheat. Things are looking pretty good on the wheat. It survived through winter and looks really good. We got the first round of nitrogen on month ago and are looking forward to doing the second application here soon. It was really dry when the wheat was planted. We put it in deep and we seem to have a good stand. 

My dad and uncle started the farm and then dad passed away 2 years ago. Now my two brothers are farming too. We also feed out some freezer beef and sell some through auction.

Most of the winter was really nice. We had a February that was actually nicer than April has been so far. We’re just kind of waiting on things to dry out after the recent rain.… Continue reading

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Researchers want to know about your livestock’s behavior from the 2024 solar eclipse

The solar eclipse has captivated the imagination of a good swath of rural Ohio this year, but a certain group of scientists are looking to livestock owners to help make hay of the unique event.

This year, the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is wanting help observing and recording livestock, poultry, pet and wildlife behavior. 

“There is a lot of research being done these days using the general public to get input from a larger area and diversity,” said Jacqueline Jacob, UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences agricultural extension project manager. “This survey builds off that current trend.” 

UK’s current initiative seeks observers who have witnessed changes – or even no fluctuations – in animal behavior including:  

  • Various types of behavior changes, such as deviations in feeding, sleeping, movement, vocalizations (e.g., singing or mooing) 
  • Productivity declines 
  • Indications of perplexity among other behavioral variations 

These collected observations from diverse areas and animal species will be combined into a report that can then be distributed to all participants. … Continue reading

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Hardin County’s Austin Heil brings personal touch to farm machinery

Ohio Field Leader Dusty Sonnenberg travels to Hardin County in the latest Ohio Field Leader Roadshow to the farm of Austin Heil. The conversation goes into Austin’s unique custom machinery solutions that take advantage of the latest technologies with plenty of on-farm knowhow to plant corn and soybeans. Ohio Field Leader is brought to you by Ohio soybean farmers and their checkoff.… Continue reading

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Simple concept, vital stewardship

By Matt Reese—Watch the full video interview with Ryan here.

It is a very simple concept. Hogs eat crops to produce meat for consumers. The manure from the hogs goes to fertilize the crops. It’s the constant attention to the details of management, care and stewardship that make the difference for a successful farm.

Ryan Rhoades is a third-generation farmer who raises 3,200 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat in Delaware and Marion counties with his family. He also has a contract swine operation finishing 2,500 hogs each year. The different components of the farm compliment each other — the crops need the nutrients from the manure and the hogs need the crops for food.

“In every load of feed there’s about 5,000 pounds of soy-based products or some type of soy-related commodity in that feedstuff, as well as corn. We couldn’t feed our hogs without it,” Rhoades said. “We all depend on each other.… Continue reading

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AgCredit patronage returns

AgCredit — one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders for farmers, rural homeowners and agribusiness — announced that it will distribute $22 million to its borrower-owners through its patronage program.

Each year, AgCredit’s Board of Directors reviews the cooperative’s net income and determines how much to return to the cooperative’s borrower-owners in the form of patronage. Qualified borrower-owners will receive their share during events at their local offices, through the mail or through direct deposits into their bank accounts. This is the 37th consecutive year AgCredit has distributed patronage with a total of over $444 million returned during that time.

“Our ability to return patronage dividends to eligible borrower-owners in our territory for 37 consecutive years demonstrates the commitment of our cooperative,” said Brian Ricker, AgCredit President and CEO.

How do patronage refunds benefit AgCredit borrower-owners? They reduce their cost of borrowing. AgCredit already offers competitive rates on loans, but on average over the past five years, the patronage program has reduced rates by an additional 1.67%.… Continue reading

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