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H2Ohio reminder for nutrient applications

By Glen Arnold, Ohio State University Extension

Harvest is starting and farmers participating in the H2Ohio program are reminded that any fall fertilizer applications, including manure, need to be approved by their local Soil & Water Conservation Districts. This will assure the application is in compliance with their Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan and there will be no problems with the payment process.

Many farmers will be working with their local fertilizer dealerships for fertilizer recommendations, but it is still a requirement to get approval from your local Soil and Water Conservation District before the fertilizer or manure is applied.… Continue reading

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Last Chance: Act Now to Update PLC Yields

By Clint Schroeder, Ohio State University Extension Educator

Landowners or producers with a Power of Attorney for their landowner have until September 30, 2020 to update their Price Loss Coverage (PLC) yield, also referred to as farm yield, information on file with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). PLC yields exist for each FSA farm number and commodity. This one-time opportunity to update yield information for covered commodities was a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill. The updated yields will be used to calculate payments under the PLC program for the 2020 through 2023 crop years if market prices trigger payments. PLC yields have also been used before in disaster relief programs. There is no guarantee that farmers will have this opportunity again under future farm bills. If a farm chooses to not update their yield info the existing yields for the farm will be used.… Continue reading

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We need to reflect back on what we learned this year

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

I think we screwed up the 2020 cropping season in 2018 and 2019. I hope the yield estimates we saw in OCJ in August hold up. Matt always goes back and checks with the growers at harvest, this year with the virtual tour I hope we can still check those actual yields against the estimates. At any rate the screw ups we did in 2018 and 2019 were a bit out of our control… meaning we were too wet when we harvested in 2018 and too wet when we planted in 2019 — and that led to a lot of surface compaction, and probably some deeper compaction, too. To follow that up we had a mild winter in 2019-2020 so we saw limited freeze-thaw to take away some of those compaction issues. I do not suggest tillage this fall, generally, to solve the problem.… Continue reading

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Fall soil sampling?

By Greg LaBarge and Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

Simply put, the goal of soil sampling is to make a fertilizer recommendation for crop production.

  • To provide that recommendation, calibration studies are done to measure crop response.
  • For Ohio, the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provide the calibration study history for recommendation development. For 2020 we just rolled out the latest “Tri-State” recommendations.

It’s about statistics. We want to take a representative sample, meaning that the sample should represent the fertility level of the area we sampled.

  • Choose sample areas in the field that have similar crop yields, crop rotation histories, fertilizer application methods and sources of applied nutrient.
  • Fields or field areas with a history of livestock production (a former pasture, had manure applications or produced hay) or other unique characteristics may require a different sampling strategy.
  • Field areas represented by any single sample should not be greater than 25 acres.
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Managing grain quality challenges with unconventional storage this harvest

With anticipated shortages of grain bin capacity this fall, some farmers will be relying on unconventional storage solutions. And that could lead to grain quality issues without proper management, said Gary Woodruff, a GSI district manager and grain conditioning expert.

He notes that good conventional alternatives available to farmers include pile systems involving wall panels, a tarp for weather protection and proper aeration. A flat storage building, specifically equipped with aeration tubes or tunnels, can also safely hold excess grain, he said.  

Woodruff, however, says unconventional storage sites — a machine shed, for example — pose risks.

“The first is a structural issue,” he said. “If you pile corn in the building without additional support to the walls, they can blow out. Grain is a movable product, and any corn against a wall can cause structural failures.”

The other concern is grain quality.

“If there is no aeration system, the grain should be stored at 13% moisture or below, late in the season after temperatures are down to 50 degrees to prevent spoilage,” Woodruff said.… Continue reading

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With Ohio’s deer archery season beginning Sept. 26, it’s important to realize that Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) typically affects some white-tailed deer in the late summer and is not all that unusual. In fact, EHD is the most common ailment affecting deer in the eastern U.S., and the disease occurs annually in the late summer and fall in deer herds across North America. Ohio has documented some cases of EHD this summer, mostly in northwest Ohio.

The EHD virus is not infectious to people and is not spread from animal to animal, but is transmitted by the bite of small insects called midges, so EHD-associated deaths in deer can occur until the first frost of the year causes a decline in midge activity. Once infected, deer show symptoms within five to 10 days, and many deer die within 36 hours of the onset of symptoms. There is little that can be done to protect wild deer from the virus.… Continue reading

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Feed and Fuel Your Future showcases careers in agriculture through a virtual learning series

Help students find their future career! is collaborating with the Ohio Department of EducationGrowNextGen, and Ohio Corn & Wheat to connect science and agriculture careers through a virtual learning series for students.  

Presenters will provide live virtual field trips, lessons and career panels each week to help students consider the relevant, abundant STEM careers available in agricultural fields.

Students, parents and teachers can participate throughout this 4-week series to connect science through agriculture and help students find their future career.

  • Week of Oct 5: Finding Flavor in a Food Science Career
  • Week of Oct 12: Time to Eat! Careers in Food Production
  • Week of Oct 19: What’s in Your Water? Careers in Sustainability and Ecosystems
  • Week of Oct 26: Lots of Tech in the Field: Careers in Technology

Visit the ODE website for more information about these events. Participants must pre-register for the virtual field trips.… Continue reading

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Building on $10 beans

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The buying continued this week, with all grains posting healthy gains. Beans continued their rally and are up $1.80 per bushel from Aug. 10. Several reasons for the huge run up are the low potential yields, big purchases by China and possible adverse weather in South America during their upcoming growing season.

Corn seems to be along for the ride. There have been some nice export sales, but corn yield potential looks pretty good at this point.

Early harvest reports

As the corn harvest begins, early observations suggest that areas that looked very good in July haven’t been impacted much by the late August heat. Even the areas that were dry in both July and August are seeing yields generally in line with what farmers were expecting.

Early bean harvest reports are limited and show wide-ranging yields. So far, many farmers are disappointed with early yields, a few say it’s better than average.… Continue reading

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Bacon battle between hog producers

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

It’s been said that a lawsuit is a machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.

That’s an appropriate analogy for the complaint, filed in mid-August 2020, by Maxwell Foods (a subsidiary of Goldsboro Milling of North Carolina) against Smithfield Foods (purchased by the Chinese company, WH Group in 2013), alleging breach of the production sales agreement (PSA) by failing to pay a fair price for hogs as well as purchase output required by the agreement. (This little piggy went to market below price; this little piggy stayed home in violation of the PSA.)

            A few days prior to the initiation of legal proceedings in North Carolina’s Wayne County Superior Court, Maxwell Foods announced it would begin shutting down hog operations and permanently closing by mid-2021 due to “projected financial losses.”… Continue reading

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American Farm Bureau Foundation launches “Easy Button” for elementary ag education

New at-home learning resources are now available to parents and teachers clamoring for content. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture unveiled a new webpage featuring weekly lesson plans dedicated to helping students in kindergarten through fifth grade learn where their food comes from while helping parents and teachers keep children engaged.

“We are thrilled to be launching this weekly series of virtual learning tools for parents, teachers and students,” sadi Daniel Meloy, AFBFA executive director. “Providing engaging lesson plans and exciting content helps support our goal at the Foundation for Agriculture to provide an ‘easy button’ for at-home learning during this time so many of us are juggling priorities while trying to ensure kids enjoy virtual learning.”

The resource page contains free weekly activities, which focus around a central theme and can be done independently of one another. The first lesson, which is live now, is titled “Who is a farmer?”… Continue reading

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University/industry partnership takes field scouting to the next level

It’s no secret that farming has become increasingly high-tech, but a partnership between The Ohio State University and an Ohio agribusiness is taking things even further with new field scouting technology that involves a drone and artificial intelligence (AI).

The Molly Caren Agricultural Center, home to the annual Farm Science Review (FSR), is no stranger to implementing new technology and best practices to optimize production and, more importantly, serving as a resource for Ohio and regional producers.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, FSR 2020 will be a three-day virtual show held Sept. 22–24 at Although the center is closed to the public, Molly Caren Ag Center farm manager Nate Douridas and his team have been conducting various research projects to ensure that Ohio remains at the forefront of agricultural innovation.

In partnership with Integrated Ag Services, a local agribusiness based in Milford Center, a new high-definition field scouting program is being studied using a drone equipped with AI software.… Continue reading

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Visit the Agronomic Crops Team at the (Virtual) Farm Science Review on September 22-24th

By Amanda Douridas, Mary Griffith, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, Ohio State University Extension

This year the Farm Science Review will be virtual for the first time in its nearly 60 year history. The virtual show takes place on September 22-24th and includes many livestreamed educational sessions and demonstrations, as well as recorded videos. The show is free to attend with a simple registration process. To register, start at and click on the red box that will take you to the My Show Planner. For registration guidance, check out this quick video that demonstrates the process.

The Agronomic Crops Team will be at the virtual Farm Science Review and available to discuss agronomy related issues with visitors through a virtual portal. Once you have registered to attend the Farm Science Review, you can find the Agronomic Crops Team here. The main activities hosted by the Agronomic Crops Team include:

Virtual Agronomic Plots Tour: This year the Agronomic Crops Plots were planted as always, and visitors can take a 360 virtual reality tour of the plots.… Continue reading

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Your guide to virtual Farm Science Review

Find a comfortable seat and charge your device.

Farm Science Review is being held online this year because of COVID-19 concerns.

Although the Molly Caren Agricultural Center is closed to the public, you’ll be able to learn the latest agricultural technology and helpful farming techniques from more than 400 exhibitors—all for free on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

More than 200 free livestreamed and recorded talks and demos will be available online. You will have to provide your own steakburgers, milkshakes, or other FSR fare, though.

To access the content for this year’s show, Sept. 22–24, start at Some videos and other content will be available before the show begins. From inside a large scarlet banner at the top of the FSR homepage, choose from the following topic areas:

• Agronomy
• Ask the expert
• Conservation
• Educational resources
• Exhibitors
• Field demonstrations
• Livestock
• Safety, health, and wellness
• Small farms and gardening
• Youth/4-H
Hover your cursor over any of the topics and click to select.… Continue reading

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Implementing a month end closing process

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

Good financial practices are key to the success of your business, but too many businesses fail to implement them. Most business owners know that poor financial management is a major cause of poor business performance and growth, but still fail to carry out the financial tasks that are necessary to keep things running smoothly and successfully. Here are some ways to help implement these practices.

Begin by creating a month end close process with your accountant. This is done to prevent lost revenue, poor tax planning and missed financial opportunities. Beware: waiting until the end of the year to close out everything is often an overwhelming process. Trying to evaluate an entire year’s worth of transactions is a tedious process and often it is too late to do anything about any events that happened earlier in the year.

Try these tips for a streamlined month end close:

• Create a detailed closing schedule.… Continue reading

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Supply chain, U.S. trade policy, COVID-19 to be discussed during Farm Science Review

The U.S. trade policy, labor and immigration issues, agricultural commodity markets, and the food supply chain will be among the topics addressed at a panel discussion during the 59th annual Farm Science Review Sept. 22–24 at

The previously titled Tobin Talk, now The Talk on Friday Avenue, “Value Chains in Food and Agriculture,” on Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. at, will feature comments from a panel of agricultural economists from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The Talk on Friday Avenue is among a series of presentations at Farm Science Review to address topics relevant to the agricultural industry, from controlling weeds and managing beef cattle to reducing safety hazards on the farm and growing plants indoors in water, without soil.

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Farm Science Review will be exclusively virtual, so you can find out about the latest in farm technology and techniques from the convenience of your home.… Continue reading

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Corn versus soybean storage

By Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University, and Sanghyo Kim, Korea Rural Economic Institute

There is an increasing role of storage in marketing with the return of corn and soybean surpluses and the concern that storage is less profitable for soybeans than corn in the U.S. Concern particularly exists when storing beyond the South American soybean harvest. Return and risk to storing soybeans and corn are generally found to be similar. The few exceptions all favor soybeans, not corn.

Five previous studies have examined returns to storing both corn and soybeans. While each study finds returns to storing corn and soybeans differ, none test for statistical significance.

For this study, return and risk to storing corn and soybeans was examined for the two most common types of storage: cash storage and storage hedged with a short futures position that is offset when the stored crop is sold in the cash market.… Continue reading

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Century-old dream is modern reality on Dull Homestead Farm

By Matt Reese

In the late 1930s, 8-year-old Ralph Dull — the youngest of four children — felt as if he was on top of the world as he held the reins of a well-trained mule team, guiding them in the task of raking hay.

“Bob and Tom were the mules used for raking hay and they knew what to do so I didn’t have to do much,” Ralph said with a grin. “I wasn’t old enough to drive a tractor yet but felt pretty important driving the mules.”

Young Ralph would have had no way to comprehend the changes that were ahead for agriculture and the Montgomery County century farm he has always known as home.

Ralph’s father, Vernon Dull, and grandfather, Ira Brenner, purchased three parcels totaling 127-acres in 1918 and started farming the ground in 1919. The earliest days of the Dulls on the land included a diverse crop rotation and a variety of livestock, but Angus cattle were a key focus of the farm.… Continue reading

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Sycamore Hill Sesquicentennial Farm: Everybody needs a little bit of farm in their life

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

To learn the history of Sycamore Hill Farm in Ashland is to take a step a back in time to Ohio’s earliest beginnings. In 1816, Philip and Mary Fluke and their four young children ventured west from Pennsylvania with a team of horses, two milk cows and whatever possessions their wagon could hold. Philip had purchased a 160-acre section of land for $2 an acre in Orange Township, Ohio and was on his way to create a new life for his family. After clearing paths through the virgin forest for his team to get through, Philip made it to his section of land, where he built a log cabin and started clearing the land to plant corn and wheat.

The land boasted fruit trees, planted with seeds from Johnny Appleseed, who had set up camp nearby. It was common to see Native Americans from the Delaware tribe passing along the trail by the farm, on their way to trading posts.… Continue reading

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A look at agricultural policies from 2020 presidential candidates

A new look into the priorities for rural America of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is revealed in responses to a questionnaire distributed by the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF asked the Republican and Democratic candidates to respond with their stances on several topics including trade, labor, regulatory reform and sustainability. Here are their responses to the topic of farm policy.

Question: Reliable food supplies and stable prices are critical for the United States’ long-term prosperity and economic well-being. Programs in the farm bill, set to be renewed in 2023, provide key safety net and risk management tools for farmers, as well as critical tools to help farmers implement resource-conserving practices on the farm as well as trade promotion programs that help us build new markets abroad. Sustained, effective and predictable policy through the farm bill is necessary to address the threats that farmers have faced historically and new threats we now face to provide a consistent food supply.… Continue reading

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