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Planting green: The effects on weed control and soybean yield

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

Weed control is one of the major challenges that soybean farmers face every year. Crop yields can be reduced by as much as 80% when weeds are left uncontrolled. In the Midwest, weed pressure can account for up to 39% yield loss in soybeans. On average, weed pressure impacts soybean yield more than pressure from insects, animals, and diseases combined.

Alyssa Essman is a Weed Science Research Associate at The Ohio State University, and has conducted research looking at the interaction between cover crops and weed control. She studied the impact of “planting green,” or terminating cover crops after planting soybeans, and the effect on weed control and soybean yield.

Alyssa Essman , The Ohio State University, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Photo Credit The Ohio State University

When evaluating weed control programs in Ohio, producers often think about the “Big 5” weeds that are most troublesome.

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We need to do better with nitrogen

By Harold Watters and Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Making better nitrogen rate decisions can help the pocketbook and the environment. Nitrogen is one our highest cost variable inputs to produce an acre of corn with around 15% of the variable cost. Nitrogen also gets a lot of attention in water quality discussions. If we apply more nitrogen than the corn needs in a year, it is likely headed out the tile and downstream.

Long-term nitrogen rate trials conducted at OSU’s Western Agricultural Research Station and Northwest Agricultural Research Station show how variable the right N rate for corn is from year to year. Soil types at two locations are different with Western being a silt loam soil and Northwest a lake-bed clay. Figure 1 has a trend line drawn by location with all treatments shown by individual symbol at each rate. Note that the highest yield varies tremendously from year to year, varying by nearly 150 bushels per acre.… Continue reading

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Spring pesticide safety reminders

By Mary Ann Rose, Ohio State University Extension

You probably worked on your sprayer and other major equipment over the winter to gear up for pesticide applications. Have you put any effort into preparing for applicator safety? Here are some questions to ask yourself in preparation for the season: 

  • Do I have the required personal protective equipment on hand? Review your pesticide labels, and make sure you do. One of the new dicamba formulations used on DT soybeans requires a respirator — did you know that? Be sure you have whatever the label requires.
  • Are you sure you have the right kind of PPE? Let your pesticide label be your guide. Leather or cotton gloves do not protect you from pesticides — they absorb chemical and hold it close to your skin. One exception: certain fumigants do call for the use of cotton gloves. Otherwise these are not appropriate to use with pesticides.
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Should you expect any freeze damage to winter wheat?

By Laura LindseyAlexander Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

The incoming cold temperatures are not likely to impact winter wheat. The magnitude of freeze damage depends on: 1) temperature, 2) duration of temperature, and 3) wheat growth stage.

Prior to the Feekes 6 growth stage, the growing point of wheat is below the soil surface, protected from freezing temperatures. Most of the wheat in Ohio is at the Feekes 4 (beginning of erect growth) or Feekes 5 (leaf sheaths strongly erect) growth stage and should be unaffected by the incoming cold temperatures, predicted to be mid- to low 20s on Wednesday and Thursday.

At Feekes 6 growth stage, our research has shown only a 5% reduction in wheat yield at a temperature of 20°F for 15-minute duration and 50% reduction in wheat yield at a temperature of 12°F for 15-minute duration. (Although, it should be noted, there is a great deal of variability in response due to environmental conditions for the remainder of the growing season.… Continue reading

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OABA announces newly elected Board of Directors

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to announce the newly elected members to the Board of Directors. 

  • Representing the Agrichemical industry: Nick Franks, Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co.
  • Representing the Feed industry: Anne Staugler, Big K Mills, Inc. 
  • Representing the Grain industry: Travis Algren, Consolidated Grain & Barge Inc.
  • Representing the Members-at-Large: Heath Barnes, Mercer Landmark and Jeff Osentoski, Heritage Cooperative 

“Our Board of Directors contribute their time, experience and expertise for the good of the industry and the association,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “We are pleased to welcome our newest board members and congratulate those that were reelected.”

The newly elected members were announced at the OABA Annual Meeting on March 24. Algren and Barnes are new members on the board; Franks, Osentoski and Staugler were reelected by OABA members. The respective terms for these board members will expire on Dec. 31, 2023.

Below is the complete list of Board members:

  • Chairwoman: Jackie Seiber —  L W Seibert Farms, LLC
  • Vice Chairman: Robert Mullen — Nutrien
  • Immediate Past Chairman: Nathan Louiso — Axis Seed 
  • Travis Algren — Consolidated Grain & Barge Inc. 
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Demo Farms Study Standing Corn Side-Dressed with Manure

Earlier this year, we brought you an update from the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network and Stateler Family Farms. The Stateler’s were testing the impacts of standing corn side-dressed with liquid swine manure. The results are in! Listen to Dale’s interview with Glen Arnold, Greg LaBarge and Anthony Stateler. This video is sponsored by the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network.… Continue reading

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Which USDA reports are the most important?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The upcoming March 31st USDA report is highly anticipated for several reasons:

  • It provides the estimated remaining stocks stored on farms and at commercial elevators.
  • It shows how tight stocks are and if price rationing is necessary.
  • It includes the first official planting intentions estimate for the upcoming year based upon surveys filled out by producers in early March.

Last month the USDA Economic Outlook Forum estimated 92 million corn acres and 90 million soybean acres would be planted in 2021. However, these are budgetary derived numbers and not based upon actual producer surveys. Therefore, the market will be comparing these estimates and other private estimates until the March 31streport. Prices will then adjust accordingly.

How important is each USDA report?

Many people say the end of March report day is important, and it is, but how does it compare with other reports throughout the year?… Continue reading

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USDA offers resources for Ohio maple producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers technical expertise and financial assistance to help Ohio maple producers fund their operations, conserve natural resources and recover from natural disasters. Maple producers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center to learn about resources to support their operations both during the harvest season and throughout the year.

“We know this is a busy time for our maple producers,” said Mark VanHoose, acting State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Ohio. “Whether you’ve been a producer in our state for years or are just getting started, we encourage you to contact your local USDA Service Center to learn about programs and services to fit your business needs.” 

FSA offers funding opportunities to help maple producers start, expand and maintain their operations.

“I encourage Maple producers, especially operations interested in organic certification to reach out to NRCS,” said John Wilson, acting State Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).… Continue reading

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Barn art legacy

By Matt Reese

It was a frigid February Saturday morning when the buzzing of a string of text messages on my phone led to a sick, sad feeling in the pit of my stomach. The old family barn at my brother’s home had caught fire overnight and was a total loss.

As children, the barn — likely built in the 1870s using some of the last old growth timber in the area — was an incredible castle for play, hay fort construction and exploration. As I got older it housed 4-H projects and was the location of many hours of labor side-by-side with family. It was a place to gather with friends and a lonely perch in the haymow offered an ideal setting for youthful daydreams. As an adult, a return to the confines of the barn where generations of my ancestors toiled offered a unique comfort and cemented a deep connection with the family legacy of the property.  … Continue reading

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The importance of accounting services to agribusiness professionals

By Brian Ravencraft

I am pretty sure I have mentioned before that I have a farming background. A handful of the team members I work with at Holbrook & Manter do as well. From growing up on farms, to managing them to this day, we truly understand the challenges those working in agribusiness face. For this article, I asked a few of my colleagues to share their thoughts on top accounting services those in farming and agribusiness should seek out, and why. First, I will share my thoughts just below, then read on for their thoughts we well. 

The top agribusiness accounting service needs I see are the following:

  1. Estate/retirement/ transition planning: Farmers approach this topic differently over other retirees. Retirement planning for farmers can look very different from retirement planning for others that have worked in just an employee setting. Typically, retiring farmers rely on a combination of income from farm assets, savings, and social security.
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Harold’s Equipment and Hills Supply collaborate for customer solutions

Picture four men sitting around a kitchen table. The discussion is serious, but the conversation isn’t strained. The topic is the challenge farmers in southern Ohio face when trying to find the equipment they need and knowledgeable people to service it. To the business owners having the conversation, the solution is fairly obvious, challenging as it may be. When the chairs slide back from the table the men shake hands and a unique relationship is formed with the goal of better serving southern Ohio’s agricultural community.

That is how Harold Neuenschwander and Marcus Miller of Harold’s Equipment and Mick Heiby and Frank Burkett of Hills Supply brought two of Ohio’s strongest agricultural service companies together to offer better customer service and more equipment options in Southern Ohio. Harold’s Equipment and Hills Supply began working together out of Washington Court House in January of this year. It’s not an acquisition and it’s not a buyout of any kind.… Continue reading

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Picking the right forage

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

The spring seeding window for the most popular forages in our region is quickly approaching. Producers looking for guidance on how to choose the best forage for their system should always start with a soil test rather than a seed catalog. Whether you have farmed your site for decades or days, soil testing is essential for success.

Once you know the characteristics of your soil, you can formulate a timeline to adjust fertility if needed, sow your selected seed, and set realistic expectations for production. Soil testing should be conducted when site history is unknown, when converting from a different cropping system (row crops, woodlands, turfgrass, etc.), or on a three-year schedule for maintenance.

Additional factors worthy of consideration prior to purchasing seed include site drainage, sunlight exposure, weed competition, forage harvest method, and feed value for the end user.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo recap

The 33rd Ohio Beef Expo was held March 18-21 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s event, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), was a producer focused event to provide critical farm income for the cattle families and rural small businesses that participate in it. Despite this year’s challenges, the Expo successfully hosted breed shows and sales, a retail trade show and a youth cattle show. OCA followed an approved COVID plan for the Expo that required postponing many other traditional events and seminars. 

The Expo kicked off with the retail trade show featuring many eager exhibitors selling everything from cattle chutes to farm insurance. Sullivan Supply was selected as the premier large booth exhibitor, Honey Creek Western Wear was the premier small booth exhibitor and Umbarger Show Feeds was awarded the premier outdoor booth exhibitor. The premier Genetic Pathway exhibitor was Breeder’s World. 

Four breeds hosted shows on Friday to display cattle being sold in the sales.… Continue reading

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Will price levels hold?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

China’s purchasing of corn and beans is the biggest factor impacting the market right now. Everything else seems to be noise. If buying continues to outpace any potential cancellations, stocks will decrease, and prices should trend higher. If the reverse happens then the market will have difficulty remaining at these levels.

Soybean outlook

Most U.S. beans have already been shipped, and while some of the remaining ones could still be canceled, there is less opportunity every day for that to happen. This means old crop carryout is tight and its likely next year’s will be too pending planting intentions. Beans seem to have more upside potential than downside risk at this point. 

Corn outlook

China added more purchases this week, which suggests the USDA will likely need to increase export estimates and decrease carryout in upcoming reports. Unlike beans, a lot of corn has not been shipped out of the U.S.… Continue reading

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Pre-season planter tips

By John Fulton

With planting upon us, it is important to ensure both your planter and associated technology is ready to go. With seed costs and the desire to maximize yield potential, placing seed and fertilizer accurately and a way to eliminate mistakes including generating compaction. Checking your planter can helps it plant more uniformly and place seed at the proper depth. Having errors during the planting operation can impact yield and ultimately profitability for a field and the crop. Yield potential has a season-long cumulative negative effect of yield limiting factors (YLF’s). We frequently state that corn hybrids or soybean varieties have the highest yield potential when in the bag. University research has noted that errors at planting can impact corn yield. For example, a 10-bushel per acre gain can occur from good seed-to-soil contact. Further, uneven emergence can lead to a 5% to 9% yield reduction in corn. Therefore, seeding depth and downforce management are critical for optimization of planter performance.… Continue reading

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Practices that promote birds, bees, and butterflies

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

The birds are chirping while bees and butterflies will soon be flying as spring starts to blossom.  Pollinators are an important food source for over 4,000 species of wild native bees and 725 species of butterflies in North America.  The monarch butterfly population has declined dramatically and may soon be an  endangered species.  Many wild bees, flies, and butterflies pollinate many crops humans consume. Providing healthy pollinator habitat is a way to preserve these beneficial species.

The annual value of insect pollinated crops is $29 billion per year and about 80% of flowering plants need pollinators to survive according to a Cornell study. Domestic honey bees hive loss is estimated to be 30% annually but only a 15% loss is acceptable. USA honey sales are about $5 billion per year with Ohio pollinator services valued at 216 million. Most of the decline in pollinators is the result of a loss of pollinator habitat and pesticides which either kill or weaken certain species and makes them susceptible to diseases and mites.

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Ohio State ATI to pilot mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Certification

The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute is one of the first post-secondary schools nationwide selected to pilot a work ethic certification based on the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s work ethic curriculum.

It is the first and only institution in Ohio to offer the certification. The certification is accredited by NC3, the National Coalition of Certification Centers, which has partnered with Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation to expand the program across the U.S. 

Known as the MRW Work Ethic Certification, the program is an extension of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge and examines the importance of work ethic, personal responsibility, delayed gratification, and a positive attitude. Students who successfully complete the program will receive an industry-recognized NC3 certificate.

The program is a natural fit for Ohio State ATI, which was named one of five top trade/career schools in the U.S. by Niche is an education ranking and review site, which compiles student reviews and data from the U.S.… Continue reading

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Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa achieves Year Three Certification in 4R Nutrient Stewardship

Continuing its commitment to improving water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin, Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa has achieved certified status for year three through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program.

The voluntary certification program is a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to water quality issues in Lake Erie. Facilities are required to meet certain program goals each year to retain certified status. 

With the program in its seventh year, Nutrien Ag Solutions Leipsic/Ottawa joins a long list of retailers to achieve year three certification.

“The 4R Certification has helped us transition more growers to grid soil sampling,” said Logan Kaufman, Certified Crop Adviser and crop consultant for Nutrien Ag Solutions. “We are able to assure our growers that the nutrients being applied are being placed where they are needed, in hopes of improving water quality.”… Continue reading

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Investing below the surface

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

Just because a farmer has raised cover crops for a few years, it does not mean they have all the answers. Sometimes the experience leads to more questions. The more experience they gain, the more questions they have, but also the more new things they will try.

Dr. Hans Kok, Program Director of the Conservation Technology Information Center in Indiana, and Eric Neimeyer, a farmer from Delaware County, led a discussion tackling the FAQ’s about cover crop management during a “Dirt on Soil Health” program this winter.

Some of the common questions Dr. Kok encounters include: When is the best time to plant cover crops? When is the best time to terminate the cover crop? What are the best cover crops to plant?

Dr. Hans Kok

What about using wheat or cereal rye as a cover crop?

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