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How and When to Plant No-till Soybeans

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Services

Planting no-till can be tricky and scary! Successful no-till depends on having fully functioning healthy soils and efficient nitrogen (N) recycling.  Fully functioning soils have higher soil organic matter (SOM) especially the active carbon, sugars, and root exudates  from live roots that allows the soil to crumble.  This leads to good soil structure, improved  drainage, increases water infiltration, and higher soil gas exchange. This aerobic (more oxygen) environment plus the food source (live cover crop (CC) roots) changes the microbial community from one dominated by bacteria (conventional soils, often anaerobic (no oxygen)) to a balanced system with beneficial fungi (mycorrhizal), good nematodes, healthy aerobic bacteria, and protozoa.  The “no-till time line” or transition period is often 3-7 years depending upon how fast and aggressive cover crops, continuous no-till, and manure have been used to promote a fully functioning healthy soil.

Soybeans are hardy, easy, and most simple crop to no-till. 

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Tyson to re-open Indiana plant

Following a plant tour with local health and government officials, a union representative, and medical professionals, Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. has announced its plans to resume limited production at its Logansport, Indiana, facility this week.

“We’ve taken additional precautions to reassure team members that they are returning to a safe work environment and have made additional changes to continue supporting them during this global health crisis,” said Todd Neff, senior vice president of pork at Tyson.… Continue reading

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Head scab on wheat

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

It is still too early to apply a fungicide to manage head scab. Use the scab forecast system ( to monitor concerns. If you plan to spray for head scab, Prosaro or Caramba may be your fungicide of choice. The new fungicide, Miravis Ace, which seems to be just as effective as Prosaro and Caramba based on a limited number of trials, may not yet be widely available. STAY AWAY from the strobilurins when it comes to head scab management. These fungicides tend to increase rather than reduce vomitoxin contamination.

I know that the idea of “protecting the crop” with a “preventative treatment” seems to suggest that the fungicide has to be applied before the crop reaches the critical growth stage — flowering in the case of wheat. But results from more than 20 years of scab research show that you are better off applying a few days “late” rather than a few days “early.”… Continue reading

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Direct marketing of meat

By Rob Leeds, Garth Ruff, Peggy Hall, Jacci Smith, and Tony Nye, Ohio State University Extension

Producers who are seeking to increase income are looking for different ways to market their livestock. Direct to consumer marketing of livestock products is one way producers are seeking to increase profits in their livestock sales. When exploring direct market possibilities there are several factors farmers must consider: regulations, consumer preference, marketing strategies and pricing.



The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the local Health Department are the two agencies that are responsible for regulating sales of meat in Ohio. ODA oversees the processing plants and sets the food safety regulations for the state. The local health department enforces the food safety regulations at the local level.

Producers can slaughter and sell their own chickens (up to 1,000 birds), rabbits, or non-amenable meats directly at the farm without a license if that’s the only food they’re selling, or with a farm market registration if selling non-amenable meats along with other low risk foods.… Continue reading

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May brings progress with fieldwork and planting

Typical Spring weather conditions allowed operators to work the fields, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Average temperatures were slightly above historical normals and the entire State averaged just about 1 inch of precipitation. There were 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 3.

Last week farmers applied fertilizer, repaired tiles, applied manure, and planted corn and soybeans where they could. Pasture and range condition was considered 66% good or excellent compared to 46% last year. Oats were 36% emerged compared to a five-year average of 30%. Corn planted progress was ahead of last year but behind the five-year average while soybean planted progress was ahead of last year and the five-year average.

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Good plant stand is a must for high corn yields

By Dave Nanda, Ph.D., Seed Genetics Direct director of genetics

With all the bad news about the coronavirus this year, we need a miracle. It is really a miracle of nature that a puny little seedling can grow into a big, tall corn plant within a couple of months. The most crucial time in the life of a corn plant is the seedling stage. If we understand how our crops grow, we can do a better job of meeting their needs and improve the odds for getting higher yields. Let’s look at what happens as the young corn plants develop.

Stage V1 to V2 — corn seedlings need 110 to 120 growing degrees to germinate and emerge. The seedlings emerge when coleoptile, the spear-like leaf, pierces thru the ground. First and second leaves develop six to seven days after the seedlings emerge. The first roots start to supply water and nutrients to the young seedlings.… Continue reading

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Celebrating Ohio FFA, the virtual way

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter

The countdown to show time may look different this year as Ohio FFA kicks off the Ohio FFA Celebration, but the excitement and hard work are all the same. And although the celebration may be different than the originally planned convention, Ohio FFA has a jam-packed week of speakers and recognition planned to commend the dedication of members during the 2019-2020 school year.

“I am looking forward to the Ohio FFA Celebration because it is our chance as an organization to recognize the hard work of our members and advisors throughout this year,” said Chyann Kendel, State Vice President at Large. “With our new platform of outreach, we will be able to watch the celebration while being surrounded by our loved ones and connected to our FFA family from afar.”

The virtual celebration allows more FFA members than ever before to watch and experience the recognition of Ohio FFA members.… Continue reading

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Interested in soil health? Learn together with OSU Extension

By Steve Culman, John Fulton, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Improving soil health (SH) can provide a variety of benefits including improved water infiltration, increased water holding capacity, and increased nutrient availability. However, it can be challenging to quantify these benefits in the field.

In 2020, the eFields program is kicking off an effort to help better understand how management practices influence soil health and ultimately water quality. OSU Extension has worked to identify a few soil tests that can provide helpful indicators of improved soil health. Though several health tests exist, we focused on tests that are simple, economical, and repeatable. We are looking for farmers interested in soil health and who want to participate in a statewide field survey collecting soil health data from fields under various management practices, specifically conventional tillage, no-till, organic nutrient management, and cover cropping. The results from this effort will be used to guide recommendations for improving soil health on Ohio farms.… Continue reading

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Ten practices for increasing corn yields and profits

By Harold Watters, CCA, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

The cropping season (a.k.a. late winter) is dragging along a bit slowly. Typically our best crops are planted between April 20 and May 10 — but we usually start a little earlier than the May 20. This year that won’t happen for many of us. What I do know is that the sun will get higher and higher in latitude and will change the weather pattern we are in. We will have a growing season, and we will get planted. I like to look over my corn reminders this time of year just to keep things in perspective and want to share them again. These are from Peter Thomison, our now retired OSU Extension corn specialist.

  • Know the yield potential of your fields, their yield history, and the soil type and its productivity.
  • Choose high yielding, adapted hybrids. Pick hybrids that have produced consistently high yields across a number of locations or years.
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USDA’s new CRP pilot program offers longer-term conservation benefits

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will open signup this summer for CLEAR30, a new pilot program that offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract. This pilot is available to farmers and landowners with expiring water-quality practice CRP contracts in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regions. The program signup period is July 6 to Aug. 21, 2020.

“This pilot allows us to work with farmers and landowners to maintain conservation practices for 30 years, underscoring farmers’ commitments to sound long term conservation stewardship on agricultural land,” said State Executive Director Leonard Hubert. “Through CLEAR30, we can decrease erosion, improve water quality and increase wildlife habitat on a much longer-term basis. We want to share this opportunity early, before the sign up period, so farmers and landowners have more time to consider if CLEAR30 or another program is right for their operation.”… Continue reading

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Marion County cancels 2020 fair amid COVID-19 concerns

Via Facebook, the Marion County Senior Fair Board announced a difficult decision to cancel the upcoming 2020 Marion County Fair  due to COVID-19 health concerns. The 170th Marion County Fair was planned for June 29 through July 4, 2020. There are plans to still showcase 4-H and FFA youth in single-day events tentatively scheduled for July 18 through July 25.

“The decision to not hold this year’s fair in normal capacity was not taken lightly as it impacts the livelihood of many individuals and businesses in our community as well as the fair industry. However, we believe we made the right decision at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our community,” said Keith Seckel, Marion County Senior Fair Board president in the Facebook post. “The silver lining of this unprecedented situation is that we are invested in doing what we can to recognize the heart of the Marion County Fair—the Junior Fair Exhibitor.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council announces 2020 Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees

Four Ohioans who have committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community will be honored Friday, Aug. 7, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) will induct Joe Cornely of Westerville, Tony Forshey of Hebron, Larry R. Gearhardt of Covington and Wendell Waters of West Lafayette, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. The 55th annual event normally attracts more than 600 guests to honor the four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“In an uncertain time, it’s more important than ever to recognize the outstanding individuals in the agriculture industry,” said Mike Bumgarner, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council and president and CEO of United Producers, Inc. “Our 2020 inductees have established enduring improvements to the industry, developing guidelines, procedures and organizations that have changed the landscape of Ohio agriculture; while also dedicating time to mentoring future generations of agriculturists.”… Continue reading

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Foodbanks still in need and being supplied by Ohio farms

As so many face unforeseen challenges across America, Cooper Farms is working to provide food and resources to their fellow Ohioans. The farm and food company, located in western Ohio, has made several donations over the past month, providing over 21,000 protein-rich meals, and so much more.

Nearly 6,000 pounds of turkey as well as two truckloads of eggs, about 27,000 dozen eggs, were donated to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks in a series of deliveries from the turkey, pork and egg company. An additional 1,100 pounds of turkey burgers were donated to area groups providing socially distanced serving of hot lunches for children and meals after virtual church services.

“Egg and turkey farmers have always been and remain committed to supporting their neighbors in need and ensuring that all families have access to wholesome, affordable foods,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association. “Eggs and turkey are high-protein foods that provide nutritional benefits to people of all ages and play an important role in a healthy diet.”… Continue reading

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Sprayer calibration: The why and how

By Erdal Ozkan, Ohio State University Extension State Specialist, Sprayer Technology

This is the time to check the accuracy of your sprayer. While applying too little pesticide may result in ineffective pest control, too much pesticide wastes money, may damage the crop and increases the potential risk of contaminating ground water and environment. The primary goal with calibration is to determine the actual rate of application in gallons per acre, then to make adjustments if the difference between the actual rate and the intended rate is greater or less than 5% of the intended rate. This is a recommended guideline by USEPA and USDA.

I get this question all the time: “Why should I calibrate my sprayer? I have a rate controller on the sprayer. I just enter the application rate I want, the controller does the rest”. This statement is correct, only if you are sure about the accuracy of the rate controller which is highly affected by the accuracy of the sprayer travel speed data that goes in the rate controller.

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Economic assistance for agriculture during COVID-19

By David Marrison, Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Peggy Hall, Dianne Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly altered all our lives. The impact is being felt by families, businesses, governmental agencies, and civic organizations. To help families and businesses alike, various levels of government have passed legislation to help lessen the economic blow of COVID-19. This article provides a brief overview of some of the assistance available. These include tax deadline provisions, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation rebates, unemployment compensation, and Wind and Hurricane Indemnity Program, Plus (WHIP+)


Tax deadline extensions

On March 21, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service extended the federal tax filing deadline for 2019 taxes from April 15 until July 15, 2020. The IRS encourages any taxpayer who is owed a refund to file as quickly as possible.… Continue reading

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Ethanol infrastructure legislation

The Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020 was introduced by Reps. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Don Bacon, R-Neb., to incentivize the deployment of fueling infrastructure for ethanol blends greater than 10% and biodiesel blends greater than 20%.

“The National Corn Growers Association appreciates the leadership of Reps. Finkenauer, Craig, Marshall and Bacon to help grow the market for higher blends of ethanol,” said Kevin Ross, NCGA president. “Expanding infrastructure for higher blends will help to increase future demand for farmers and ensure biofuels will continue to be included in federal efforts to provide consumers with cleaner, affordable fuels.”

The bill authorizes $500 million over five years to help retailers offer higher ethanol blends, expand the geographic area selling ethanol blends, support biodiesel fuel markets, and accelerate the deployment of fueling infrastructure. The legislation will work alongside the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to accelerate growth and open new economic opportunities for American farmers and biofuel producers.… Continue reading

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Challenges continue for pork producers in wake of Trump executive order

By Matt Reese

President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to extend federal support to the U.S. meat production and production systems. By triggering the DPA, the federal government will prioritize the continuity of meat processing plant operations.

The nation’s pork industry has been hit particularly hard with processing back-ups in recent weeks, said Cheryl Day, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council.

“The executive order is taking real time action to ensure the safety of those workers in the plant but also to make sure our food supply chain for meat and poultry will continue,” Day said. “It declares that processing plants are critical infrastructure and seeks to safely keep those processing plants open so farmers can keep delivering hogs at some level and there will be pork delivered to the consumer. While this won’t financially fix what is going on in the industry at the farm level, it definitely will help them continue to deliver hogs and it is the right move in the right direction.”… Continue reading

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Guaranteed revenue?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

This week I heard a story that a few farmers may consider planting corn without applying fertilizer to reduce input costs. They would then take advantage of the insurance revenue guarantee on the yield using their average production history. At first, I thought it was just coffee shop talk. However, within a day several elevator managers and other farmers throughout the Midwest said they were hearing the same thing.

While initially this idea didn’t make sense to me, I gave it some more thought, and realized there may be some logic to this unconventional idea. The following explores the viability of this strategy.


Insurance is a revenue guarantee

It is important to remember that insurance guarantees are based upon the total revenue of combining yield and price. For this plan to work, a farmer would need both low yields and low prices. By cutting fertilizer out completely a farmer would almost be guaranteed of reducing their yield by maybe 50%.… Continue reading

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Ohio AgriBuisiness not quite business as usual

By Matt Reese

On April 27, Governor Mike DeWine announced a gradual plan for reopening Ohio’s economy after six weeks of a mandatory stay-at-home order that expires on May 1.

The Responsible Restart Ohio plan has three phases:

  • On May 1, medical procedures that do not require an overnight stay can proceed
  • On May 4, manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses may reopen, provided they can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees
  • On May 4, general office environments may reopen, provided they can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees
  • On May 12, consumer, retail and services, may reopen, provided they can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees.

Agricultural businesses, of course, never closed, said Chris Henney, chief executive officer with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association.

“A lot has changed but a lot hasn’t. Our agribusinesses include feed mills, grain elevators and ag retail facilities and they all continue to operate.… Continue reading

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APHIS announces support for handling pigs unable to move to market

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the establishment of a National Incident Coordination Center to provide direct support to producers with animals that cannot be moved to market as a result of processing plant closures.

APHIS is also mobilizing the National Veterinary Stockpile and will deploy assets as needed and secure the services of contractors that can supply additional equipment, personnel and services.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide state-level technical assistance to producers and will provide cost-share assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in line with program guidelines for disposal.

Additional details are available on the USDA website.… Continue reading

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