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High stakes for ag in D.C. debates

By Matt Reese

With harvest in full swing, the attention of America’s farmers is not on policy debates in Washington, D.C., but there are some significant potential agricultural implications.

“Get your muck boots on if you’re going to try to wade into this. There is a lack of clarity. There is the bipartisan infrastructure package that has broad support right now and a lot of key priorities for Ohio agriculture included in it — like rural broadband and funding for inland waterway structures. That is kind of being stymied right now by all of the other things that are happening with the Build Back Better Act, a $3.5 trillion proposal,” said Luke Crumley, with Ohio Corn & Wheat. “On top of that we have this fiscal cliff looming with the debt limit that is quickly approaching here in the middle of the month. Our growers are trying to sift through all that in the middle of harvest.… Continue reading

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New law bulletin explains Ohio’s sales tax exemptions for agriculture

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

If you’ve ever claimed a sales tax exemption on a purchase of farm goods, you may have experienced some confusion over whether you or the good is eligible for the exemption. That’s because Ohio’s sales tax law is a bit tedious and complicated. The law has several agricultural exemptions, but it can be challenging to understand who can claim them and what types of goods and services are exempt. 

Those are the reasons for our newest law bulletin, Ohio’s Agricultural Sales Tax Exemption Laws. We walk through the different sales tax exemptions that apply to agriculture, offer examples of goods that do and do not qualify for the exemptions, explain who can claim an exemption and how to claim it, and explain what happens when sales taxes are overpaid or not correctly paid. We also offer steps a farmer can take to obtain the full benefits of Ohio’s agricultural sales tax exemptions. … Continue reading

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Lamb quality video series

The American Lamb Board (ALB) and Premier 1 Supplies are co-sponsoring a new American Lamb Quality Video Series. North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service is producing the 5-part series. 

Using the theme of “Beginning with the End in Mind,” the purpose of the series is to help the U.S. lamb industry provide a consistently high-quality product to consumers, taking into account the wide variety of production systems. 

Travis Hoffman, Ph.D., NDSU and University of Minnesota Extension Sheep Specialist, is spearheading the project. The first video, Lamb Carcass Characteristics is now available at and Additional videos such as USDA Yield Grades and USDA Quality Grades, Live Animal Evaluation and Retail Meat Yield & Value will be announced in the coming months via ALB’s enewsletter. Q & A webinars are also planned.

“Using lamb carcasses to demonstrate quality attributes and techniques used for standardized analysis make the videos very relevant and useful for today’s U.S.… Continue reading

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Recognizing the risks of broadleaf weeds in pasture

By Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

It is often said that, “Any plant in the wrong place is a weed.”

Well, in a pasture situation, there tend to be quite a few plants that weren’t intentionally planted there but thrive there regardless. It can be challenging to determine if these weeds are threatening or adding beneficial diversity to our pasture sward. Broadleaf weeds tend to be easier to identify and control than grassy weeds in a pasture setting, but can still be puzzling depending on lifecycle, growth stage, flower arrangement, and growth habit.

One that commonly confuses land managers in Southeast Ohio is spotted knapweed. Spotted knapweed is a detrimental weed that shares similarities to many less threatening pasture plants. The color of the flower is similar to that of red clover, the growth habit is similar to chicory, and the flower shape is similar to Canada thistle and ironweed.… Continue reading

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Farmers dodging rains as harvest progresses

John Schumm

We have had a pretty good fall without a lot of rain. There is a lot more corn off now than soybeans in the area. Harvest has gone along a little better than normal so far.

We got 3 or 4 tenths last week and a little bit here in the last day or so. We were really out only a day or two. We were certainly not wet before, so it sucked the moisture right up and we were right back at it. 

We have all of our wheat in here at home and in 4 or 5 days after we planted we could row it. The ground temperatures are warm and it is doing very well. With the moisture, the conditions were perfect. We planted it on Oct. 1 or Oct. 2 and it is 3 inches tall already and the fields are turning green. 

We have half of our beans harvested.… Continue reading

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Income tax schools

By Barry Ward and Julie Strawser, OSU Income Tax Schools

Dealing with the tax provisions of the COVID-related legislation for both individuals and businesses are among the topics to be discussed during the upcoming Tax School workshop series offered throughout Ohio in November and December.

The annual series is designed to help tax preparers learn about federal tax law changes and updates for this year as well as learn more about issues they may encounter when filing individual and small business 2021 tax returns.

OSU Income Tax Schools are intermediate-level courses that focus on interpreting tax regulations and changes in tax law to help tax preparers, accountants, financial planners and attorneys advise their clients. The schools offer continuing education credit for certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys, annual filing season preparers and certified financial planners.

Attendees also receive a class workbook that alone is an extremely valuable reference as it offers over 600 pages of material including helpful tables and examples that will be valuable to practitioners.… Continue reading

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Multimillion-dollar pilot watershed project set for NW Ohio

The Ohio State University will be the lead partner on a new five-year, multimillion-dollar pilot watershed project in northwestern Ohio designed to demonstrate that agricultural conservation practices — if used on 70% of the farmland in a watershed, and evaluated on a watershed scale — can help meet Lake Erie’s water quality goals.

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service, is providing $6.8 million in funding for the project.

A further $4 million is being made available to the project by the state of Ohio through the H2Ohio water quality initiative, which the project will complement.

Key to the project are investments by other partners that bring the project’s total funding to more than $18 million.

The new project “targets the ultimate goal of preserving Lake Erie while supporting agricultural vitality and environmental sustainability,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). … Continue reading

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Ohio county Farm Bureaus receive national recognition for 2021 efforts

The American Farm Bureau Federation County Activities of Excellence awards celebrate unique, local, volunteer-driven programs that serve as models of innovation for local program development. The winning counties receive a grant to fund participation in the Farm Bureau CAE Showcase at the 2022 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention and Trade Show Jan. 7-12, 2022 in Atlanta. AFBF received more than 75 entries across all membership categories, with only 18 activities nationwide being selected to present at the convention. Again this year, Ohio had more winners than any other state.

“The creativity of our county Farm Bureau members continues to amaze me,” said Melinda Witten, Ohio Farm Bureau senior director of leadership development. “These programs are superb examples of Farm Bureau offering member value and being important community partners in their respective counties.”

Ohio’s winners:

Knox County: Date Night at the Orchard

Date Night at the Orchard served as a way to get the local community on a farm and show them local agriculture while also having a fun night out.… Continue reading

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Studying the compounded effect of pathogens

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

The environment in a soybean field is ever changing. Crop health is dependent on a number of factors. Often, pathologists refer to the “Disease Triangle” which is composed of having a susceptible host plant, the right environmental conditions, and also the disease or pathogen present. All three of these conditions need to be met in order for a crops health to be impacted.  While simple to understand and control in a laboratory, conditions in the field are often much different.

Disease Triangle, Photo Credit Iowa State University

If a host plant is susceptible, and the environmental conditions are favorable, a number of pathogens may be present and ready to attack the crop. It is the interaction of these diseases that is of interest to Horacio Lopez-Nicora, plant pathologist at The Ohio State University.

Lopez-Nicora was recently hired by Ohio State after Anne Dorrance was promoted and assumed more administrative responsibilities for the University.

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What’s our message to the Feds?

By Randall Reeder, Ohio State University Extension (retired)

Our leading no-till farmers can easily explain to other farmers the advantages of continuous no-till, cover crops, and crop rotation. And those other farmers will understand the points, even if they disagree. 

But when the same points are made to the typical government employees or elected officials in Washington, you’ll likely get a blank stare and a question, “What’s no-till?”

At our Ohio No-till Conference on Dec. 8, Bill Richards and Fred Yoder will lead a discussion to arrive at a clear, succinct message. Both have no-tilled for many years. They have years of experience “communicating” with Washington folks, including the 98% who know nothing about no-till farming. 

Interestingly, I’ve been asked by Lessiter Media (publisher of No-till Farmer and organizer of the National No-till Conference) to head up a group to compile a Top 15 list of research articles on no-till. Did you know that “no-till” is known by other names, including “zero-till” and “direct seeding?”… Continue reading

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Financial learning opportunities in October

By Wm. Bruce Clevenger, Amanda Douridas, Ken Ford, Haley Zynda, Ohio State University Extension educators

Ohio State University Extension has scheduled four seminars in Ohio for Agricultural Lenders. The dates are Tuesday, Oct. 19 in Ottawa; Thursday, Oct. 21 in Urbana; Thursday, Oct. 21 in Washington Court House, and Monday, Oct. 25 in Wooster.

These seminars are excellent professional development opportunities for Lenders, Farm Service Agency personnel, county Extension Educators and others to learn about OSU Extension research, outreach programs and current agricultural topics of interest across the state.

2021 topics and speakers by location

Oct. 19, Putnam Co. Educational Service Center, 124 Putman Parkway, Ottawa, OH  45875

  • Farm Service Agency – Loan program update, Kurt Leber, Northwest Ohio FSA, District Director, Farm Loan & Farm Program
  • Examining land values, rents, crop input costs and margins and tax implications, Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension
  • Behind the meter solar energy on-farm, Eric Romich, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Energy Education
  • Solar leasing farmland, Eric Romich, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Energy Education
  • Carbon market, Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources — Pickaway County
  • Machinery replacement strategies and investment in precision ag, Terry W.
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Higher loan limit now available for USDA guaranteed farm loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing a higher loan limit will be available for borrowers seeking a guaranteed farm loan starting Oct. 1, 2021, from $1.776 million to $1.825 million.  

“Farm loans are critical for our customers’ annual operating and family living expenses, emergency needs, and cash flow,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA administrator. “Raising the guaranteed loan limit will allow FSA to better meet the financial needs of producers as natural disasters and the pandemic continue to impact their operations.”

FSA farm loans offer access to funding for a wide range of producer needs, from securing land to financing the purchase of equipment. Guaranteed loans are financed and serviced by commercial lenders. FSA provides up to a 95% guarantee against possible financial loss of principal and interest. Guaranteed loans can be used for both farm ownership and operating purposes.

In fiscal year 2021, FSA saw continued strong demand for guaranteed loans.… Continue reading

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Huron County community mourns a terrible loss

Owen Ray Feichtner, 16, of Willard, Ohio passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. He was born on May 4, 2005, in Willard to Heath and Joey (Secor) Feicthner.

He was a member of the South Central FFA and had an overwhelming passion for all things agriculture with big dreams for the future of his family farm. As an active 4-H member, Owen showed multiple species including hogs, cattle, lambs, and goats. He was a true people person who enjoyed sharing his love of the showring with young 4-H members and pushed all of those around him to be better. More recently he began to have a passion for breeding and raising pups with his brother Nash, this passion lead Owen all over the state with good friends in search for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Owen also enjoyed deer hunting, riding horses with his Paw and friends, and road trips to livestock shows and activities involving family and friends.… Continue reading

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The “cow tax” chain of misinformation

By Matt Reese

For a few days in October, many of us take great delight in making things a bit spookier than they really are, but this type of misinformation is now immediately available year round — and it can go well beyond spooky to dangerous. 

With a constantly updating news cycle featuring various media outlets vying to lure in massive advertising dollars, social media making everyone a preacher/news anchor/columnist according to their own whims and a truly vicious political climate from both sides of the aisle, gross misinformation has the opportunity to flow freely with few checks and balances.

I have gotten some questions about the rumors surrounding a “cow tax” being proposed for methane emissions. First, these rumors are not true. Second, this story is an excellent illustration for the way information can be twisted to lead to conclusions not based on reality.

It all got started with legitimate concerns regarding the possibility of the murky and confusing issue of agricultural methane emissions being targeted with taxes through federal legislation, specifically in the infrastructure bill passed by the Senate this summer.… Continue reading

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USDA Stocks Report highlights

Thursday’s report was pretty bearish for soybeans due to substantially more supply still remaining in storage than the trade expected. Even so, the market only decreased 40 cents after two days of trading, which is encouraging.

Estimates were not bullish for corn, but after this summer’s massive market inverses, the final numbers were not out of line either. Even after the bean news, corn managed to close on Friday no lower than where it was the day before the report was published.

The report showed fewer wheat bushels than expected, and after two days of trading, prices increased more than 50 cents. This may suggest wheat replaced more corn in rations last spring than originally thought. And this makes sense, considering wheat prices were very close to corn values in April and May. However, now that the wheat/corn price spread is much wider, it is unlikely that very much wheat will be used for feed this upcoming marketing year.… Continue reading

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More green stem syndrome in soybeans

By Laura Lindsey, Kelley Tilmon, and Andy Michel, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2021-34

Green stems on mature soybean plants may be the result of a source/sink problem. If there are a limited number of pods (sink), there are fewer places for the plant’s photosynthates (source) to go.

From previously conducted work by Jim Beuerlein, when soybean pods were removed from a plant node when they first formed and started to expand, the leaf at that node stayed green after the rest of the plant matured. If all the small pods were removed from a branch on a plant, that branch did not mature. Further, if setting of pods were prevented on the main stem of a plant but pods allowed to develop normally on the branches, those branches matured normally while the main stem stayed green and held onto its leaves. Anatomical studies of the flow of carbohydrates within a plant show that each leaf fills the pods at its node only, but if all its carbohydrates are not needed at that node, the extra will move to the next lower node.

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Record value for July beef exports

U.S. beef exports set another new value record in July, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). July export value climbed 45% from a year ago to $939.1 million, while volume was the third largest of the post-BSE era at 122,743 metric tons (mt), up 14% year-over-year. 

July beef exports to the mainstay Asian markets of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were relatively steady with last year, but at significantly higher value. Export volume growth was driven by record-large shipments to China and a strong rebound in Western Hemisphere markets compared to year-ago totals. For January through July, U.S. beef exports increased 18% from a year ago to 822,830 mt, with value up 30% to $5.58 billion. Compared to the pace established in 2018, the record year for U.S. beef exports, shipments were up 6% in volume and 17% in value. 

Pork exports in July were steady with last year at 221,809 mt, but export value jumped 20% to $657.3 million.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 221 | South American Update

Matt and Dusty are joined by Daniele Saquiera of AgRural in Brazil and Risë Labig, Marketing Specialist with Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal to get an update on all things related to South American agriculture. Plus, Matt has interviews with Nathan Rice from NRCS on grazing, Ryan Conklin of Wright and Moore on Taxes, and Doug Walton and Mike Weasel talking about land and property markets. All of that and more thanks to AgriGold on this episode of the podcast!… Continue reading

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