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2021 Ohio State Fair is almost here

By Matt Reese

The Ohio State Fair is almost here, though the 2021 installment will be significantly different than in the past. The focus will be entirely on youth and agricultural activities this year following an extremely challenging 2020 when the event was canceled. 

“We have been able to survive and make it through it to put on an agricultural fair this year. That is what is closest to my heart — to be able to have a junior and senior livestock show. We have been able to put together enough staff to help us get that accomplished this year,” said Virgil Strickler, general manager of the Ohio State Fair. “The agricultural side is the roots of the fair and at least we are starting to get that back up and running.”

The 2021 Ohio State Fair is not open to the general public. It will only be open for exhibitors, their families, and their guests this year.… Continue reading

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AEP Re-Creation Lands purchased

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

Among more than $70 billion in state spending priorities is a major item of importance to Ohio’s sportsmen. During negotiations late last month between the House and Senate, Gov. Mike DeWine successfully advocated for $29 million for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife to purchase the remaining 18,000 acres of the AEP Re-Creation Lands. 

Back in 2015, the power company announced its intention to sell the 60,000-acre property, which has long been used by Ohio hunters, anglers and trappers. It was thought that the state of Ohio would be first in line to purchase the prized property, which amounts to 10% of all available public land for sportsmen in the state.

After 2 years, with very little progress, AEP began to consider private buyers, a result Ohio sportsmen were unwilling to tolerate. Led by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, a Columbus-based coalition of the state’s top sportsmen’s groups united in 2017 under the banner of Protect What’s Right to advocate for funding for AEP and to restore the financial security of the Division of Wildlife, which had deteriorated over the previous years.… Continue reading

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OSHA signs alliance with Ohio Agribusiness Association to address grain handling hazards

To combat the dangers workers face in grain handling, the U.S. Department of Labor’sOccupational Safety and Health Administration, the Ohio On-Site Consultation Program, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the Ohio Agribusiness Association signed an alliance on July 9, 2021. The two-year alliance will help train workers on the grain industry’s six major hazards: engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, “struck by,” combustible dust explosions and electrocution hazards and OSHA’s Grain-Handling Safety Standard

“Grain handling can expose workers to serious and life threatening hazards, such as fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, engulfment in grain bins, and injuries and amputations from grain handling equipment,” said OSHA’s Acting Region Administration William Donovan in Chicago. “This alliance aims to provide training and resources to improve workplace safety in this industry.”

An implementation team, comprised of representatives of each organization, will meet to develop a plan of action, determine working procedures and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants.… Continue reading

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Stockton named OFBF 2021 Outstanding Young Farmer

Kyle Stockton of Elida is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Young Farmer Award for 2021. The contest is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

Stockton grew up on a small row crop and steer operation and holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from Ohio State University. He worked off the farm for nine years while working toward returning to his family farm. Today, he has a row crop operation that includes corn, soybeans, wheat, and custom planting and harvesting, and he raises hogs and feeds out Holstein steers.

“I have made it my mission to find how the 21st century farmer will stand out among other farmers, and it keeps coming back to business principles. While properly maintaining and operating machinery is still extremely important, and the blessing of good rain will never be matched in importance, it is digging into the financials of farming and finding the best returns on investment, prices and marketing that sets apart the best farmers.… Continue reading

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OABA seeking emerging leaders for 2022 LAUNCH Class

Tomorrow’s agribusiness leader will need to be nimble and lead change in addressing workforce pressures, consumer demands, and governmental challenges, all while fostering networks and collaborative work styles. Emerging agribusiness leaders can build their skills through LAUNCH – Leaders Achieving Unexpected New Career Heights – to rise to the challenges and opportunities facing agribusinesses today and tomorrow.

Hosted by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, in partnership with Shift-ology Communication, the LAUNCH program is geared to help Ohio agribusinesses Elevate People, Elevate Ideas and Elevate the Industry.

The program is designed for emerging leaders with a desire to meet higher level goals than the scope of their current position. The course is designed for leaders with all levels of experience — from entry level to seasoned employees — who seek to rise within their company.

“Agribusinesses continually compete with all industries to recruit and retain the best talent, but there is also a need to invest in those who are already passionate about agriculture,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO.… Continue reading

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Variable rate sidedressing and inter-seeding cover crops

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

Time is one of the most precious commodities on a farm. There are windows of opportunity to accomplish certain tasks in production agriculture, and with the adoption of new practices, such as cover crops, sometimes those windows become limited. One example is the seeding of cover crops after corn that soybeans will be planted into the following spring. Depending on the corn maturity, often the window following corn harvest is too late to successfully establish a cover crop and meet the requirements of many government programs.

In an effort to mitigate the timing issue of late seeding after harvest, some farmers have attempted to “fly-on” the cover crop just prior to leaf drop. In some cases, farmers have seeded with a “hi-boy” type machine. Siebeneck Farms in Putnam County is inter-seeding cover crops at the same time they sidedress their corn with a modified sidedress applicator.

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Understanding primary factors driving plant growth

By Kyle Poling, Pioneer Field Agronomist

Crop scouting provides an opportunity to identify environmental stresses and evaluate effectiveness of management practices that impact yield. Being in your fields throughout the growing season can help in the detection and diagnosis of problems early so corrective action can be taken before major yield losses occur. Even though some issues cannot be fixed in the current year, regular scouting can identify management decisions that should be improved or changed for next year’s crop.

Kyle Poling, Pioneer Field Agronomist

Plants cannot think or feel because they lack a brain or a nervous system; however, plants do have an extraordinary ability to respond to stimuli in their growing environment. If growing conditions are ideal, plants will thrive. Conversely, environmental stresses will cause normal plant development to be altered, often causing slow/stunted growth. Under extremely stressful conditions, plants may even die.

The primary factors that affect plant growth include: water, temperature, light, and nutrients.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative partners with H2Ohio to host farmer meetings

The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI) welcomes the recent expansion of the H2Ohio farmer incentive program into 10 additional Western Lake Erie Basin counties. In an effort to spread awareness of the program and amplify the continued commitment farmers have to preserving Ohio’s lakes, streams and waterways, OACI is partnering with the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and H2Ohio to host a series of informational meetings for farmers and producers.

ODA and OACI will host four virtual meetings explaining H2Ohio’s expansion in the Maumee Watershed and how agriculture and conservation fit into the program’s goals and priorities. The meetings will be held on the following dates, and full details and access to the links are available at

·  July 20, 6:00 p.m.

·  July 22, 9:00 a.m.

·  July 28, 6:00 p.m.

·  July 29, 1:00 p.m.

“We are committed to reaching as many farmers as possible to spread the word about the expansion of the H2Ohio program and the dedicated work farmers are putting in to improving water quality across the state,” said Kris Swartz, OACI chair and northwest Ohio farmer.… Continue reading

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USDA to provide pandemic assistance to livestock producers for animal losses

Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack announced the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) in [recorded] remarks at the National Pork Industry Conference in Wisconsin Dells. The announcement is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 20 through Sept. 17, 2021.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorized payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1, 2020 through Dec. 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. PLIP payments will be based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys, but pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the assistance.… Continue reading

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USDA seeking new partnerships to restore wetlands

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $17 million for conservation partners to help protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is prioritizing proposals that focus on assisting historically underserved producers conserving wetlands. Proposals from partners are due Aug. 15, 2021. 

Restored wetlands help to improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding and provide recreational benefits.

“Our goal is to support agricultural producers in their efforts to conserve natural resources on their land, improve water quality downstream and enhance wildlife habitat,” said Lori Ziehr, State Conservationist in Ohio. “Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnerships help partners and producers work together to protect wetland ecosystems on working lands.”

Through WREP projects, eligible conservation partners protect, restore and enhance high-priority wetlands on agriculture lands. WREP enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working agricultural landscapes, providing meaningful benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program and to the communities where the wetlands exist.… Continue reading

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Basis and spread trades can boost the bottom line

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Another week of good weather for most of the Corn Belt has put downward pressure on prices. Corn prices declined each day this week and is nearly $1 per bushel lower than last week’s market high. The market seems to be trading a national average yield of 177 right now. The market will be keeping a close watch on rainfall in the Dakotas and western Minnesota over the next two weeks and be waiting for the August USDA report a month from now when national yield is usually updated.

Since the end of last year’s harvest, my entire 2020 corn crop was priced with futures along with half of my 2019 corn crop, which was priced with futures from the previous summer. I had been keeping all this in on-farm storage and was monitoring the basis market around my farm and across the U.S.… Continue reading

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Supreme Court denies request for reviewing Prop 12

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

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would not grant certiorari and review a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ on California Proposition 12. Voters approved Proposition 12, the “Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act,” in 2018. The Act establishes housing standards for egg-laying hens, breeding hogs and veal calves and prohibits the confinement of animals in spaces that don’t meet the standards. Business owners and operators in California may not sell meat or egg products from animals that are not confined according to the standards. Standards for calves (43 square feet) and egg laying hens (1 square foot) became effective in 2020 while standards for breeding pigs and their offspring (24 square feet) and cage-free provisions for egg laying hens are to be effective beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) sought a preliminary injunction against Proposition 12 in 2019, arguing that it violates the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S.… Continue reading

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Union County landowners file suit over farmland preservation dispute

Attorneys for Union County farm families filed two lawsuits on July 12 to protect the farmland from eminent domain for the construction of a commercial gas pipeline.

Don Bailey, Successor Trustee to Arno L. Renner, Charles Renner and Patrick and Whitney Bailey, successor landowners and operators of lands preserved by the Arno L. Renner Trust and over which Arno Renner donated an Agricultural Easement to the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2003 filed the lawsuits in Union County Common Pleas Court.

The lawsuits:

 1) ask for a writ of mandamus to the ODA, the holder of the Ag Easement, to enforce its terms, and  2) seek injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment against Columbia Gas of Ohio who seeks to acquire commercial gas pipeline easements to  construct the Marysville Connector.

The mandamus action also includes the Union Soil and Water Conservation District due to its responsibility to monitor and report violations of the Ag Easement to ODA.… Continue reading

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New grain system supports efficiency and expansion

When JCW Farms decided to install a new grain system in London, the objectives were threefold:  to gain more storage capacity, improve efficiency and allow for future expansion.

JCW Farms is a 5,000-acre family farming operation based in nearby Plain City, about 24 miles northwest of Columbus. The new grain system was opened in 2016 to supplement and eventually replace the operation’s older grain storage facilities. 

“We needed more capacity and wanted to eliminate some of our older facilities so we could consolidate and be more efficient,” said John Wilson, a co-partner of JCW Farms along with his wife, Christina, and son, Jakob.

The project, designed and built by local GSI dealer Sims Construction, featured five new grain bins, including two 150,000-bushel bins for storing corn, a 60,000-bushel bin for soybeans, a 40,000-bushel flat bottom wet bin and a 20,000-bushel wet hopper bin. Other components included two grain pits for holding incoming grain from the field, three grain legs, a support tower, a 2,000-bushel-per-hour Tower Dryer and a 7,000-bushel-per-hour system for loading grain into transport trucks. … Continue reading

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Tri-State Precision Agriculture Conference Aug. 11

Join Ohio State University Extension Henry County for the inaugural Tri-State Precision Agriculture Conference on Aug. 11, 2021. Speakers will discuss current trends in tillage equipment, and equipment demonstrations will feature high speed tillage, vertical tillage, strip tillage, and cover crop seeding systems. Fertilizer re-certification and CCA credits are available. 

The event is Wednesday, August 11, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Northwest State Community College, 22600 OH-34, Archbold, OH 43502. The cost is $20 by Aug. 2, $30 after August 2 including at the door. It is free to all FFA and 4-H members. 

Registration includes catered lunch. RSVP is REQUIRED at For more information, please contact Alan Leininger at 419-592-0806 or… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 211 | Buckeye Sportsman

Matt and Kolt are joined by Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman Radio and OCJ outdoors columnist. In the audio section of the program, Kolt visits with Brandon Kern of Ohio Farm Bureau about the recently passed state budget. Dale visits with Randy Mintin of Pivot Bio and Tyler Drewes, Wood County Farmer about the ProveN product. Lastly, Kolt catches up with the Bane-Welker Equipment interns. All of that and more on the Ohio Ag Net Podcast powered by AgriGold!… Continue reading

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Rains keep crops progressing

Spotty precipitation occurred throughout the State with some areas receiving more than an inch of rain and other areas receiving much less, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 87 percent adequate to surplus, up 13 percentage points from the previous week. Temperatures for the week ending July 11 were 1 degree higher than historical normals, while the entire State averaged 1.28 inches of precipitation. There were 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 11.

Farmers harvested wheat throughout the week as field conditions allowed. Winter wheat harvest was 69 percent complete and the winter wheat crop was rated 86 percent good to excellent condition. Oat harvest was 16 percent complete and oats condition was rated 71 percent good to excellent. Corn silking progress was 10 percent complete while corn condition was rated 79 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming was rated 43 percent and soybeans condition was rated 75 percent good to excellent. … Continue reading

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USDA numbers bullish for wheat, negative for corn and beans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Expect within 20 minutes of the noon report release for market’s focus to return to central U.S. and world weather. Traders are also expecting Brazil’s corn production to decline. 

Shortly after the report was released, new corn was up 2 cents, new soybeans up 4 cents, and wheat up 13 cents. Just before the report release, new corn was up 11 cents, new soybeans were up 12 cents cents, and wheat was up 7 cents. 

Corn and soybean yields should see little changes compared to the June report. Yield numbers should start to see changes reflecting weather conditions beginning with the August 12 report.

Today, expect market reaction to the numbers to be volatile and quick. Numbers that are a surprise could easily move corn and soybeans multiple dimes within 3 minutes.

The tables below detail US production, yields, and ending stocks:

USDA 2021-22 US Corn, Soybean, Wheat Production and Yield                                      (Production is Billion Bushels)                                                                                                             (Yield is Bu/Acre)
 USDAAverageRange of USDA
 July 12 EstimateEstimatesJune 10 
Corn Production15.16515.11514.863-15.27514.990
Corn Yield179.500178.800177.0-179.5179.500
Soybean Production4.4054.3944.335-4.4054.405
Soybean Yield50.80050.70050.000-50.80050.800
All Wheat1.7461.8471.724-1.9471.898
All Wheat Yield45.800  50.700
USDA 2020-21 US Grain and Soybean Ending Stocks (Billion Bushels)
 USDAAverageRange of USDA
 July 12 EstimateEstimatesJune 10
USDA 2021-22 US Corn, Soybean, and Wheat Ending Stocks (Billion Bushels)
 USDAAverageRange of USDA
 July 12 EstimateEstimatesJune 10 

U.S.… Continue reading

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Rains keeping crops going strong

John Schumm

We probably have one of the best growing seasons we’ve ever had. The moisture is plenty and the heat is perfect, so things are really moving. This field of beans I am in is almost to my belt.

I have not seen any disease in the corn yet. I have been seeing some frogeye in the soybeans. I just got done spraying all my soybeans last week with foliar feeding and fungicide so I hope we have taken care of that and other diseases. Frogeye has been around for several years. We saw it earlier this year, I think, because of the dampness in the ground. 

My corn fields are fully tasseled. Silks are out and pollination is beginning and it will be happening the next 10 days or 2 weeks. As long as it is not raining every day, we’ll get through it well. The silks are very long and will have a long pollination period.… Continue reading

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What did we learn about food safety and food security from the pandemic?

By Gönül Kaletunc

First, the good news! No farm workers have died due to COVID-19 related outbreaks in Ohio according to data collected by the Food & Environment Reporting Network. COVID-19 cases and related deaths in agriculture mainly occurred in the meat processing industry.

As a direct impact of COVID-19 pandemic to human health in Ohio, 1.1 million people were infected with virus and 20,000 lives were lost (through May 24, 2021). COVID-19 is a respiratory disease transmitted by direct uptake of droplets or aerosols produced by a person infected with coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Coronavirus in droplets landing on surfaces may remain infectious and may be transmitted to humans who touch the surfaces and then their faces. However, it is not known whether the amount of contamination on surfaces is sufficient to make a person sick. Maintaining a good hygiene such as washing hands is important to prevent virus transmission as well as wearing a mask.… Continue reading

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