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Legislative update in Ohio

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

February brought renewed activity at Ohio’s Statehouse as both the House and Senate returned to their regular committee schedules. The General Assembly began tending to several pieces of agricultural and resource legislation.  Here’s the latest summary of our state’s legislative developments.

Newly introduced Ohio legislation

H.C.R. 41 — Repeal individual income tax. Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-Mt. Lookout) introduced a resolution on Jan. 25, 2022 expressing an intent for the General Assembly to repeal the state personal income tax within ten years.  The resolution matches S.C.R. 13, introduced in the Senate last December, and both resolutions cite negative impacts on Ohio’s business climate as justification for the repeal.  The House Ways and Means Committee already held a first hearing on the resolution on Feb. 15, 2022.

Legislation on the move

H.B. 30 —  Slow-moving vehicles. Continue reading

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Ag Link Deposit Program accepting loan applications

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

The State Treasurer of Ohio is now accepting applications for the Ohio Agricultural Linked Deposit Program. The program provides operating loans up to $150,000 at an interest rate up to three percent. The program helps farmers and agribusinesses with upfront operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, and other expenses by providing interest rate reductions on new or existing loans at eligible financial institutions.


Loan application requirements for farms and agribusinesses are simple and include the following:

  • Must be organized for profit;
  • Must have headquarters and 51% of operations maintained in Ohio;
  • Muse use the loan exclusively for agricultural purposes; and
  • Must agree to comply with all program and financial institution regulations.

How the program works

Farmers and agribusinesses contact a participating lender who will submit the application. Once submitted, the Treasurer’s office begins the review process. If all eligibility requirements are met, the application is approved.… Continue reading

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Ukraine and crop prices

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

This week we saw a lot of fireworks with the aggression by Russia into the Ukraine. The question now is: where do prices go? Corn did finish 5 cents higher this Friday than the Friday before it. We are still trending higher for corn and that seems to be a positive. 

Fundamentally, nothing has really changed for corn. It is still going to come down to how wet is it going to be in South America in the second growing season for Brazil. That is mainly in April when their crop is made or lost. And, what will it be like in North America during our growing season in July?

Beans have seen almost  a $1.90 per bushel drop in over 24 hours. Fundamentally what had changed? Brazil is short beans. Argentina is short beans. Paraguay is short beans. The world at best is short 800 million bushels and there are estimates that the world is short 1.4 billion bushels in the growing year this year.… Continue reading

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Best deer harvest nationally in more than two decades

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

With Ohio’s whitetail hunting season recently wrapped, I found it interesting that hunters nationally harvested an estimated 6.3 million whitetailed deer in the 2020-21 hunting season, the most since 2011. That’s according to the National Deer Association’s latest Deer Report, which also noted that harvests of both antlered bucks and antlerless deer were up over the 2019 season, but the estimated buck harvest of 3,041,544 was the most in 21 years.

“2020 saw the highest buck harvest in the new century, and amazingly we estimate that we set another new record for the percentage of those bucks that were 3.5 years old or older,” said Kip Adams, NDA’s Chief Conservation Officer. “U.S. hunters are taking fewer yearling bucks and killing more of them as mature deer, but this doesn’t mean fewer bucks harvested overall. We’re killing older bucks and more bucks than ever in America.”… Continue reading

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New vaccine a world-wide game changer against COVID

By Don “Doc” Sanders

I have had more than enough of Dr. Fauci’s pronouncements. Mind you, I also contracted SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, after my wife, Kris, passed away from it. And I have been vaccinated twice with Moderna’s messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine since then. 

If you are an old codger (or codgeress) reading this, get vaccinated. If you are young with no predisposing conditions, I wouldn’t get vaccinated or subject healthy children to it.

In the past month, there has been a huge game-changer in COVID vaccines developed without the brand-new mRNA vaccine technologies, which haven’t yet withstood the test of time for people of child-bearing age. I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with the new vaccines, but there is no research regarding their long-term effects on reproduction and metabolic and genetic-regulated systems in growing children and young adults. (Most of you probably don’t know the story on the medication Thalidomide in pregnant women, but look it up.)… Continue reading

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Is using herbicide impregnated fertilizer an option for pastures on a budget?

By Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County Ohio State University Extension

Weed and feed products that combine herbicide and fertilizer application into one have long been available for lawn care use. Dry and stable fertilizer can be coated with a herbicide and top dressed onto a lawn to provide nutrients to the growing grass and help combat competing weeds. If the process shows favorable results in a lawn, could it work in a pasture or hay field?

Theoretically, yes it could work. But, there are distinct differences between the management and use of a lawn versus that of a crop that will be eaten by livestock. Pairing the appropriate herbicide with the fertilizer, adhering to any waiting periods for grazing or harvest, environmental conditions, and the scale of applying to multiple acres rather than a few hundred or thousands of square feet all create a more complicated equation for the feasible use of herbicide impregnated fertilizers on pastures and hay fields.… Continue reading

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ODA accepting specialty grant proposals

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. To qualify, the grants must be used to support projects that raise awareness about and increase demand for specialty crops grown in Ohio. Eligible specialty crops include both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. 

Successful grant applications should explain how projects will improve specialty crop production through marketing and promotions, research and development, expanding availability and access to specialty crops, or addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers. Projects that demonstrate profit potential for growers and that could boost employment opportunities in the specialty crop industry are prioritized.

Ohio’s food and agricultural non-profit organizations, associations or commodity groups, universities and research institutions are eligible to apply. Private individuals and businesses are not eligible for this grant and applications for projects that directly benefit a particular product or generate a profit for a single organization, institution or individual will not be awarded.… Continue reading

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Water battle continues in Idaho case

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

In 2004, Michael and Chantell Sackett purchased a vacant lot of .63 acres in a rural residential area in Bonner County near Priest Lake in northern Idaho. The property is about 300 feet from the lake and, on the other side, across a road from a tributary of a creek that feeds into the lake. The EPA says that the land is connected to the lake through a subsurface flow of water. 

The Sacketts planned to build a home on the property and obtained local permits in 2007. The construction of the house has never started because the Sacketts have been in a legal fight with the EPA over the issue of wetlands for 15 years.

While making initial building preparations, the Sacketts received an Administrative Compliance Order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging the deposit of fill onto their property constituted an unlawful discharge of pollutants into the waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act (CWA).… Continue reading

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H2Ohio producers eligible for next phase of program incentives

Producers in the 10-county expansion area of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative are eligible to apply for the next phase of the program, which expands the available conservation practices.
Producers were initially able to sign up for three Best Management Practices (BMP) — voluntary nutrient management plan (VNMP), overwintering cover crops and conservation crop rotation for small grains. They are now eligible to sign up for the remaining H2Ohio BMPs — VNMP implementation, variable-rate phosphorus fertilization, subsurface nutrient placement, manure incorporation, conservation crop rotation for forages, and drainage water management structures.
Producer agreements for this phase of the H2Ohio program will include commitments for 2023, 2024, and 2025. Producers must have an approved VNMP on file with their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to be eligible to sign up for more practices. Applications with approved VNMPs are due to local SWCD offices by April 30.Approximately 800 producers in the expansion area enrolled more than 600,000 acres of cropland into the H2Ohio program last fall.… Continue reading

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Give FFA Day is Feb. 24

It is National FFA Week and a great opportunity to support thousands of FFA members on Give FFA Day on Feb. 24.
Contributions made on Give FFA Day will support various statewide programming including student award programs, the recruitment and retention of current and future agricultural educators, Ohio FFA Camp, the Ohio FFA officer team and general activities and initiatives. Donors can designate their gift to which of these areas that matter to them most.
In addition, Sunrise Cooperative is matching gifts, up to $25,000, to the Ohio FFA Foundation to help donations make twice the impact. For more than 94 years, the organization has strived to make a positive difference in students’ lives through agricultural education.
“FFA has helped me believe in myself and showed me how important it is to believe in others. I was pushed out of my comfort zone more times than I can count, and before I knew it, I was accomplishing more than I ever dreamed I could,” said Cassie Mavis, a Fairfield FFA member who is currently serving as a state vice president at large.… Continue reading

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Interested in being a student reporter at the 2022 Ohio FFA Convention?

The 2022 Ohio FFA State Convention is right around the corner and Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net is looking for outstanding Ohio FFA members to help serve as student reporters for this year’s event.

In our tenth year of the student reporter program, selected FFA members will get the opportunity to help cover the convention and work alongside our news staff, including Matt Reese, Dale Minyo, and Kolt Buchenroth. Ever wonder what it’s like to do our job? This is your chance!

The live coverage of the Ohio FFA Convention will be posted on and various social media outlets with reporters helping to host news coverage alongside our staff in addition to a couple veteran student reporters.

Students will assist in gathering information, shoot photos and video of newsworthy items and people, share their commentary of what happened in each session, and much more.

To be considered:

  • Applicants must be attending both days of the Ohio FFA State Convention May 5 and 6, 2022.
Continue reading

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Ohio agriculture groups share recommendations for Expo Center site

Emphasizing that agriculture is one of the largest and most important economic sectors in Ohio, nine major Ohio agriculture groups released recommendations to modernize the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair. These proposals were sent to Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Expo and State Fair Commission, the State of Ohio, other public sector leaders and influencers, as well as the Ohio Expo 2050 Task Force, which the governor created to develop and recommend a long-term vision for the Ohio Expo Center. The recommendations were shared to ensure that the input, ideas and concerns of the agriculture industry, including preserving the current location and footprint with a strong investment for improvements, are properly incorporated into the state’s new Vision Plan. 

The groups include the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Poultry Association, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Soybean Association.… Continue reading

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Who is getting paid to kill our planet? Ask an otter

By Matt Reese

In 2021 a beaver dam was discovered on my family’s farm in Hancock County in Ottawa Creek, which is in the Blanchard River Watershed and part of the Western Lake Erie Basin Watershed. Since then, we have yet to actually see a beaver, but we have video and photo evidence of a river otter who seems to have moved in to the dwelling. 

A regular deer hunter on the property got video footage and photographs of the otter, which has caused quite a stir locally. On Jan. 28 I posted the otter video (which is really quite charming) on the farm’s Facebook page and it has gotten nearly 12,000 views. We even had a guy show up at the farm asking to go see the otter. 

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, North American river otters are semi-aquatic mammals that were historically distributed throughout much of North America, including Ohio.… Continue reading

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Will corn test $7 or is a return to $6 a more likely outcome?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

There are many factors that could impact corn prices moving forward.

Reasons to be bullish corn

  • Argentina crop conditions continue to deteriorate, and early estimates indicate yields could be 20% below normal.
  • A decrease in Argentina production could increase U.S. exports and tighten carryout.
  • New crop bean values in the U.S. and high fertilizer costs may buy some bean acres away from corn this spring.
  • Rumors of China buying more U.S. corn.
  • Funds continue to buy corn and other commodities as an inflation hedge.
  • U.S. corn remains competitive on the world market.

 Reasons to be bearish corn

  • Brazil is forecasted to grow more corn this year than last year and the planting pace is well ahead of normal. Early planted corn tends to miss dry weather associated with the later part of the growing season in that country.
  • Argentina’s corn production last year was also predicted to be 20% down from normal, but ended up being down significantly less than that prediction.
Continue reading

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Understanding soil phosphorus

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Phosphorus (P) fertilizer improves crop yields, so farmers add P fertilizer either every year or only once to corn in corn-soybean rotation. Unfortunately, only about 5-15% of applied P fertilizer is used by plants the year it is applied. Since P is so reactive, the remaining 85-95% of applied P fertilizer is quickly tied up or complexed by the soil. When fertilizer costs are high, farmers can use the P that is in their soil bank without sacrificing yield as long as P soil test levels are adequate.

Soil P can be lost in two ways. Soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) or orthophosphate easily leaches while particulate phosphorus (P bound to soil particles) is lost when soils erode. One way of minimizing P losses and utilizing P more efficiently is to understand how soil P is stored. There are four main pools of soil P: SRP, soil microbes, absorbed soil particulate P, and mineral P.

Continue reading

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Apple Farm Service Open House March 4

Apple Farm Service is holding their open house event with a day of fun and food at their Washington Court House location on Thursday, March 4.

“Come hungry,” said Matt Apple, store manager and vice-president, “Chris Cakes will be serving his famous pancakes and sausage from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. If you’ve never heard of Chris Cakes, you’re in for a treat! Chris is known for throwing his pancakes for hungry patrons to catch on their plates. Of course, you don’t have to catch your pancake, but it’s a fun challenge to see!”

Along with a hearty breakfast, Apple Farm Service will be offering free prize giveaways, music, games, and a chance to meet with area equipment specialists.

“This is a great time to stop in and meet the entire Washington Court House team,” said Kent Holmes, marketing manager for Apple Farm Service. “It’s also a great time to get all your equipment and parts questions answered.… Continue reading

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Great Plains expands seeding solutions with New 50-foot BD7600 Drill

Two years after introducing the revolutionary BD7600 Box Drill line to the market, Great Plains is expanding its seeding solutions with the introduction of the new 50-foot BD7600. Based on producer feedback and industry demand, the BD7600 has received enhancements like the addition of a 50-foot model size, hydraulic drive with DrillCommand capabilities, an exclusive Great Plains Metering System, and a durable, field-tested design. 

Now available in widths from 26 feet to 50 feet, the BD7600 also provides producers industry-leading box capacity with up to 3.8 bushels per foot — over 180-bushel capacity for the 50-foot model. 

With the increase in working width and box capacity, the 50-foot BD7600 brings productivity and efficiency together to improve producer profitability. Whether producers need a simple-to-operate, ground drive unit or a technologically-advanced, hydraulic drive unit to overcome field variability, the new BD7600 50-foot sets each operator up for success,”said Sterling Stepp, Great Plains Associate Product Manager.… Continue reading

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Searching for Ohio’s Bigfoot

By Mike Ryan, OCJ Field Reporter

Wanted, Bigfoot: Bipedal creature that is fast and agile, fluid and smooth in movement, with a hairy coat of brown, black, red, or salt and pepper. Stands 8 or 9 feet tall. Excellent tree climber and swimmer that will eat just about anything. Last seen ranging across the Buckeye state. 

Ohio is a Bigfoot sighting hot spot that has even been the subject of national media attention in recent years due to the large number of reported encounters that continue to accumulate across the state. The Grassman, as Ohio’s Bigfoot is known, has been reportedly seen in various Ohio locations, with the Appalachian foothills of eastern Ohio being its predominant haunting grounds.

Author Doug Waller, of Muskingum county, is a longtime Bigfoot enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge about Bigfoot and cryptid lore. Doug has published 5 books on Bigfoot with another one in the works.… Continue reading

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BQA opportunities

By Allen Gahler, OSU Extension, Sandusky County

Opportunities abound to educate yourself and become a better beef producer throughout February, March, and early April.  Some online webinars, some in person classroom style meetings, and even some on farm workshops will be taking place all around Ohio, courtesy of the OSU Beef Extension team and several county educators.

Perhaps the most critical of those meetings to attend for many Ohio producers are the Beef Quality Assurance training sessions.  Anyone who has not already been BQA certified and intends to sell cattle of any kind this year or any time in the future, no matter what type of sale method will be used, should consider getting certified as soon as possible.  This not only benefits you as a producer by opening up marketing opportunities because you are certified, but it assures your potential customers that you value the use of humane, sustainable, and wholesome beef production practices. … Continue reading

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