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HPAI found in Ohio dairy cattle

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has received a presumptive positive test result of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in an Ohio dairy cattle herd and is awaiting confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL).

The dairy operation in Wood County received cows on March 8, 2024, from a Texas dairy, which later reported a confirmed detection of HPAI. Ohio’s animal health officials were notified when the livestock began showing clinical signs compatible with sick, lactating dairy cows in other states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state veterinary and public health officials, continue to investigate the emerging illness among dairy cows that is causing decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms.

On Monday, March 25, state animal health officials were notified when federal agencies confirmed the detection of HPAI in dairy herds in Texas and Kansas that had cattle exhibiting these symptoms.… Continue reading

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A look at the March planting intentions report

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Of the 15 reports put out by the USDA each year the March planting intentions report is arguably the fourth or fifth most anticipated report of the year.

For corn the USDA surprised the market by dropping planting intentions to 90 million acres which is 1 million acres below what the Economic Forum printed in the middle of February. In the last 17 years the number of planted acres posted in the June report was higher than the intended acres of the March report 9 times. On average the amount of increase in acres to the June report was around 1 million acres.

Where do prices go now?

In the last 10 years the price of May corn on report day has moved up or down more than 20 cents only 1 time. In 8 of the last 10 years, the price of May corn the week after the report was trading in the opposite direction from the starting point it traded on report day.… Continue reading

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Ohio Field Leader Podcast, Episode 43, Austin Heil

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

The Ohio Field Leader is hitting the road again in 2024 and the first stop is in Hardin County at the farm of Austin Heil. Learn how this 6th generation farmer gains inspiration from his Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Nicholas, who came to America in 1828, and started the farm in 1839. The family farm they still operate today. Dusty and Austin talk about agricultural technology and transitions and the future of the industry.… Continue reading

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Marysville FFA bands together to aid in tornado relief

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA Reporter

On March 14, an EF-2 tornado — a tornado with wind speeds of 111-135 miles per hour — touched down in central Union County, according to the National Weather Service. However, that tornado was only one of eight to go through the area.

By March 17, Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency for 11 counties in Northwest Ohio, which included Union, Richland, Miami, Mercer, Logan, Licking, Hancock, Delaware, Crawford and Auglaize. Under the order, all relevant state departments provided resources and personnel for recovery due to the significant damage.

Trapp Farms, the family farm of Emerson Trapp, a former member of the Marysville FFA Chapter in Union County, was hit with immeasurable damage. Trapp, now a freshman at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, came home to help his family as soon as he learned what happened.

“The amount of debris in the fields that were in the path of the tornado was overwhelming,” said Chris Trapp, Emerson’s mother.… Continue reading

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Consistent communication with accountants is vital for farmers

By Emily Zuver

For farmers, who balance a myriad of unpredictable elements ranging from weather patterns to market demand, financial stability is the key to success. This is why it is so crucial for farmers to maintain a steady dialogue with their accountant throughout the year. Not just at tax time. This month, we look at some of the top reasons farmers need to always keep their accountant’s contact information handy.

Tax planning beyond tax season

The common misconception is viewing accountants solely as tax advisors. However, their proficiency lies in strategizing tax planning throughout the year. By being proactive and engaging with accountants even during off-peak seasons, farmers can manage tax liabilities, leverage incentives, and streamline tax returns effortlessly. Also, communicating with your accountant about equipment or land purchases and sales, when acquired, will help alleviate the rush at year end to obtain this pertinent information.

Budgeting for the unseen and unforeseen

Agriculture is renowned for its seasonality and inherent unpredictability.… Continue reading

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YAP State Committee leadership announced

Leading Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee in 2024 are Chaircouple Luke and Kayla Durbin of Coshocton County, and serving as co-chairs are Tim and Sarah Terrill of Montgomery County. Serving as secretary for the committee is Carly Fitz of Perry County.

The Durbins farm full-time with their families on their grain farms in Tuscarawas and Coshocton counties, respectively. In addition, they own and operate Durbin Land and Cattle raising Simmental cow/calf pairs with their daughter, Finlay. They have participated in various state and national Farm Bureau events, including the American Farm Bureau annual convention and Young Farmer & Rancher conferences and the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals Winter Leadership Experience. They are active in their county young agricultural professionals program. In addition to their Farm Bureau activities, they sit on FFA chapter advisory boards, participate in their county 4-H endowment and take time to mentor young showmen.… Continue reading

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Follow Ohio’s soil temperatures with the new Buckeye Temp Tracker – April 2, 2024

In the first of a new spring series looking at weekly soil temperatures around Ohio, the Buckeye Temp Tracker is powered by BA Genetics and takes note of soil temperatures in four counties each week. Check back each Wednesday for the next update throughout this planting season.

In the interactive map below, click on the thermometer icons to see the soil temperature results from each of the four Ohio counties involved in the program.

Each reading is in degrees Fahrenheit.


Fairfield County

Unworked Corn Stalks – 49 degrees

Worked Ground – 51 degrees


Fayette County

Unworked Corn Stalks – 52

Worked Ground – 50


Mercer County

Unworked Corn Stalks – 45 degrees

Worked Ground – 44 degrees


Ashland County

Unworked Corn Stalks – 43 degrees

Worked Ground – 44 degrees

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Human HPAI case reported after contact with Texas dairy cattle

A person in the United States has tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) virus, as reported by Texas and confirmed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This person had exposure to dairy cattle in Texas presumed to be infected with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses. 

The patient reported eye redness (consistent with conjunctivitis), as their only symptom, and is recovering. The patient was told to isolate and is being treated with an antiviral drug for flu. This infection does not change the H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S. general public, which CDC considers to be low. However, people with close or prolonged, unprotected exposures to infected birds or other animals (including livestock), or to environments contaminated by infected birds or other animals, are at greater risk of infection. CDC has interim recommendations for prevention, monitoring, and public health investigations of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses.

CDC is working with state health departments to continue to monitor workers who may have been in contact with infected or potentially infected birds/animals and test those people who develop symptoms.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 342 | Hot Topics In American Agriculture

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talk with Devin Fuhrman, the chief agriculture and sponsor relations officer for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. They talk about agriculture trends in America and what that means moving forward as a nation. Trends they talk about are trade, land prices and uses, the United States being a net food importer, and more!

More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Melanie Strait-Bok, Farm Credit Mid-America senior vice president of agricultural lending in Ohio: Dale talks with Melanie about patronage week at Farm Credit Mid-America and how they give back to their customers 
  • Doug Martin, Paul Martin and Sons: Dale talks with Doug about farm equipment sales and what demands look like for the future such as more technology.  
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HPAI discovered in Texas, Kansas and Michigan dairy herds, public health risk remains low

A mysterious disease has been working its way through the Texas Panhandle, puzzling the agriculture industry. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller received confirmation from the United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that the mystery disease has been identified as a strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) commonly known as bird flu. To date, three dairies in Texas and one in Kansas have tested positive for HPAI. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is vigilantly monitoring this outbreak.

“This presents yet another hurdle for our agriculture sector in the Texas Panhandle,” Miller said. “Protecting Texas producers and the safety of our food supply chain is my top priority. The Texas Department of Agriculture will use every resource available to maintain the high standards of quality and safety that define Texas agriculture.”

The Texas dairy industry contributes roughly $50 billion in economic activity across the state.… Continue reading

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Geothermal heating and cooling on the farm

By Q. Victoria Chen, Ph.D., LEED AP BD+C; Patrick Nortz, CPG, PE; and Gregory Nortz, PE

Geothermal heating and cooling systems offer farmers, rural businesses, and homeowners an opportunity to realize long-term energy savings, particularly if currently relying on energy sources such as LP Gas, fuel oil, or electricity, all which are more costly than natural gas. Most farmers are in business long term. Therefore, the payback of a geothermal system can be significant over the working life of a farm.

What is a geothermal heating and cooling system?

A geothermal system can be designed and installed in many ways. To keep it simple for this article, let us assume we are talking about a “closed ground loop” piping system that circulates heat-exchange fluid through a piping system in the ground to enable summer cooling or winter heating of a building.

In addition to the “ground loop” piping, geothermal heating and cooling systems contain the following:

  • Geothermal heat pump, which captures the heat or loses the heat, depending on the season, and is similar in cost and size as a conventional gas furnace.
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Which to plant first? Corn or soybeans?

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

In an epic and ongoing “Battle for the Belt” with Ohio State University Extension, researchers are digging into the question gaining increasing attention among Ohio’s corn and soybean growers. Which crop should be prioritized for early planting to get the greatest yield benefit?

“We can also look at the other side of the question, which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting,” said Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist. “Can we adjust our management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting? We don’t want to plant late, but sometimes weather conditions in Ohio dictate when we plant, which can be later than we like to see.” 

Delayed planting incorporates considerations beyond the weather.

“We need to look at interactions with insects, diseases, weeds, and many other factors. When you alter your planting date, you also alter the problems you may encounter in the growing season,” Lindsey said.… Continue reading

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Unique and weird

By Matt Reese

There is something special about farmers.

Jack Irvin will be the first to tell you he has no farm background to speak of. He grew up in northeast Ohio with an interest in politics and lobbying. Early in his career he got a job working in the Statehouse in Columbus. It was there — on the occasions he would work with them — Irvin first noticed that there was something different about farmers. They may not have always had much political polish, sometimes they wore boots instead of nice dress shoes and ties were optional. What they maybe lacked in smooth talking, though, the farmers at the Statehouse made up for by being authentic, well-reasoned and straight forward — a stark, and pleasant oddity in the political realm.

Though he did not really know the difference between a corn stalk and a cover crop, the uniqueness of farmers encouraged Irvin to shift his lobbying efforts toward agriculture.… Continue reading

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Health and Nutrition and the United Soybean Board

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

The United Soybean Board (USB) invests soybean check-off dollars to help create new opportunities for increased demand and a better bottom line for U.S. soybean farmers. For every $1 from the check-off that is invested, it returns $12.34 back to the soybean farmer. More than the financial return is the knowledge that is gained to improve efficiency and productivity.

The United Soybean Board is made up of soybean growers from across the country. One of those farmer members is Laurie Isley. Isley is a soybean grower from Michigan and currently serves as chair of the Health and Nutrition Supply Committee. The Health and Nutrition Supply Committee plays a critical role in directing how money is invested in areas such as plant health research and soil health and best management practices. “These three areas have a direct impact on farmers,” said Isley.… Continue reading

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Disappointing wheat prices

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Following a great dinner at home recently, Cindy asked, “So, Doug, if you were preparing tomorrow night’s meal, what would you make?” Hmn…My response, “Remember that time I made a baloney omelet?” I was immediately disqualified. Producing a meal requires skill, planning, experience, and common sense — just like producing crops. No baloney about that!

Recent price activity for CBOT wheat has been extremely disappointing. During the first half of December 2023, July CBOT rallied to $6.66 in the midst of a 3-day buying spree when China bought 41 million bushels of US wheat. Fast forward to the week of March 11. Disappointment was plentiful when in 3 successive days China announced several cancelations of U.S. wheat purchases totaling 18 million bushels. That same week China was also canceling wheat purchases from Australia and France. Corn, soybeans, and wheat all took huge price declines from December into February.… Continue reading

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Asian longhorned ticks and Theileria in 2024

By Tim McDermott, Ohio State University Extension Educator ANR, Franklin County

One of the worrisome things about ticks in Ohio has been the increasing numbers of ticks of medical importance to humans, companion animals, and livestock as we have gone from one tick of medical importance 20 years ago to five now, including two new ticks in the past few years. While ticks have always been a problem in livestock, the invasive Asian longhorned (ALHT) tick that was first discovered in Ohio in 2020 has demonstrated the ability to not only vector, or transmit disease to cattle, but to cause mortality in cattle through high numbers of ticks feeding upon the animals. As of the end of 2023, we had positively identified ALHT in Franklin, Delaware, Ross, Gallia, Vinton, Jackson, Athens, Morgan, Monroe, Belmont, and Guernsey counties.

Have we found Theileria in cattle in Ohio?
Theileria orientalis is a tickborne protozoon that infects red and white blood cells.… Continue reading

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Bullish numbers for corn March 28

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

U.S. corn acres were a surprise at the decline.

Have a safe weekend as your families gather to celebrate Easter in numerous family traditions.

One point to remember today. Rarely are both corn and soybean acres bullish or bearish. In addition, today marks the end of the week, end of the month, and end of the quarter.

USDA today released two reports, U.S. Prospective Plantings and U.S. Grain Stocks as of March 1. Those two reports detail U.S. numbers only. 

Following the noon USDA report release, corn up 12 cents, soybeans up 2 cents, and wheat up 8 cents. Just before the report was released, corn was unchanged, soybeans down 12 cents, and wheat up 4 cents.

U.S. corn 90.0 million acres, last year 94.6 million acres. U.S. soybeans 86.5 million acres, last year 83.6 million acres. U.S. wheat 47.5 million acres, last year 49.6 million acres.… Continue reading

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Spring planting tips

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc

Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Ready or not, spring of 2024 is upon us and with it the beginning of another growing season. Spring is a critical time for making sound decisions that will impact crops throughout the growing season. Each year is different, however, every year we see similar problems in eastern Corn Belt fields relating to spring management decisions. Now is a good time to revisit some of the important things to consider as planting season approaches.

One yield-robbing problem that can significantly impact crops is compaction. Compaction can be caused by any fieldwork that is performed when soil is too wet. Therefore, it is important to consider soil moisture before heading to the field with any implement. Each year, agronomists visit fields to assess stunted crops with poor root development because of compaction.… Continue reading

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