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Will diesel prices ever come down?

By Jeff Fichtelman, partner in JP2 Risk Management

First, let me say, I am no expert in the energy markets. I spend my days trading the grain markets. But what has caused high corn and bean prices is quite similar to what’s causing high gas and diesel values. 

Futures price for U.S. diesel have doubled in value since Dec. 1, 2021. Even more dramatic, the low in mid-2020 was $1.25 per gallon. Now, it’s nearly $4 per gallon — just on the board. Diesel is a by-product of cracking crude oil. Based on this, if crude is more expensive to buy, diesel is likely going to be more expensive as well. July ‘22 crude futures are pushing up against new highs as well. So what is causing these high values? 

Jeff Fichtelman

Essentially the perfect storm of record high demand met with near record low supply, and an ability to pass on higher prices to the end consumer.… Continue reading

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Is there more market excitement in store moving into June and July?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

This past week the market focused on the possibility Russia would allow grain to be exported out of Ukraine through “humanitarian maritime corridors” from ports on the Black Sea. For this to happen it requires a deal between the US, EU, UN, Ukraine and Russia. It’s doubtful all five will be able to agree on something, but the market continues to watch closely.

If a substantial amount of grain trapped in Ukraine could be exported out by sea, wheat prices would likely be significantly overvalued and would put corn prices under pressure too. If Ukrainian grain stays trapped, then wheat and corn values are arguably undervalued at current prices. ark

China and Brazil made an agreement that corn can be traded between the two countries. This agreement does not change world supply and demand. Long term this agreement is more of a logistical price issue between China, South America, and U.S.… Continue reading

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Bt trait waits in the wings as soybean farmers struggle with SCN control

By Emily Unglesbee DTN Staff Reporter

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — It’s well understood that farmers need more options for control of soybean cyst nematode (SCN), the tiny root parasite that steals more than a billion dollars from soybean growers every year.

Soybean cyst nematodes, whose tiny white egg masses are shown above, have outsmarted many SCN-resistant soybeans, but a Bt soybean trait from BASF could offer growers a new mode of action — if they can wait until the end of the decade.

That’s why the scarcity of new SCN-resistant soybeans is frustrating for farmers like Aimee Bissell, a Bedford, Iowa, farmer who told DTN about her fruitless searches each year for a Peking soybean variety to grow. She wants to battle nematodes that have evolved resistance to the more common type of SCN-resistance, PI 88788, but market and industry forces have kept alternative resistance sources stalled. (See the full story here:…

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Tenth anniversary of OSU’s Dairy Palooza

By Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Program Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Although it was a long time coming, the 10th anniversary of Dairy Palooza took place at the Wayne County Fairgrounds on April 30. It was a “leap of faith” as the committee began making plans back in the winter. However, not one soul was willing to dismiss the idea of planning the big goals needed to undertake the project. Evidently, our sponsors believed too, as their response was equally as strong in their commitment. 

Although our surroundings are somewhat rustic and possibly lack some technology, we delivered on our promise of “making the best better” for this special anniversary. Our purple color reflected that of champions in all our publicity and the fact that complimentary halters and souvenir t-shirts were also coordinated in that shade. We even gave digital thermometers for each attendee, but they were unavailable in purple.… Continue reading

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Meat industry investigator bill passes out of House Ag Committee

In May, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 7606, the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022. The bill would increase enforcement of competition laws and boost resources to investigate abusive market practices by creating a new office and position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The new position would be created to oversee agricultural markets with authority to investigate, subpoena and prosecute meat packers and live poultry dealers accused of wrongdoing. The committee hearing showed some division, but the bill ultimately passed with a 27-21 vote.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) condemned the unfunded bill, calling it “duplicative.” 
“Cattle producers strongly support effective oversight of the meatpacking sector, but the special investigator bill does nothing to accomplish that goal. Rather than focusing on adequate staffing and funding for the woefully under-resourced Packers and Stockyards Division at USDA, this hasty proposal was rushed through the legislative process without consideration of the confusing bureaucratic mess it would create.… Continue reading

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Battle for protecting preserved farmland won (sort of, for now)

By Matt Reese

Arno Renner predicted the future for his farm and he did not like what he saw. He decided to take action to preserve his farmland near Marysville in Union County and in the clear path of potential development. To protect his farm for perpetuity, Renner donated the development rights to his 231.25 acres of land valued at over $3.5 million on Nov. 5, 2003. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) accepted the donation. At the time, the ODA Office of Farmland Preservation entered into an agreement with the Union Soil and Water Conservation District to monitor the easement on the land.

The Agricultural Easement Donation Program (AEDP) is one tool for landowners to protect their farm’s soils, natural resource features, and scenic open space. It provides landowners the opportunity to donate the easement rights on viable farmland to the ODA. In addition to the donation program, the State also has an easement purchase program using Clean Ohio Conservation Fund.… Continue reading

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Soybean planting progress and vegetative growth

By Dr. Laura Lindsey Adapted from C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2022-15

Cool, wet weather in April and early May delayed soybean planting progress; however, with some warmer and drier days, soybean planting was 18% complete by the second week of May (Table 1). Soybeans that were planted the end of April or first week of May are likely at the VC growth stage or will be at the VC growth stage soon.

What does the soybean crop need to maximize yield during vegetative growth? During vegetative growth, green plants use the energy in sunlight to power photosynthesis. This process uses water, carbon dioxide from the air and light energy to produce sugars. Sugars are then converted into plant dry matter. Chlorophyll in green leaves, stems and pods gathers light for photosynthesis. During vegetative growth, plant dry matter distributed to leaves, stems and roots enables the plant to “build the factory” for producing seed later in the season.

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2022 Ohio Wine Competition official results

Gervasi Vineyard’s Sognata Vidal Blanc Ice Wine won Overall Best of Show and Best of Ohio at the 2022 Ohio Wine Competition. The competition was held May 16 to May18 at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio. There were 386 total entries this year with 322 receiving medals: 38 double gold, 42 gold, 148 silver and 94 bronze.

Overall Best of Show and Best of Ohio: Gervasi Vineyard Sognata Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

Best of Show White: D&D Smith Gewurztraminer

Best of Ohio White Wine: Maize Valley Reserve Blanc

Best of Show Red: 2019 Burnet Ridge Purple Trillium

Best of Ohio Red Wine: Debonné Vineyards Classic Red

Best of Show Blush/Rosé Wine: Hanover Winery Sweet Lizzy

Best of Ohio Blush/Rosé Wine: Debonné Vineyards Pink Catawba

Best of Show Fruit: Vinoklet Passion Blueberry

Best of Show and Best of Ohio Sparkling Wine: Michael Angelo’s Blanc de Blanc

   Best of Show Specialty Wine: L’uva Bella Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon

Best of Show Dessert Wine: Meier’s #44 Cream Sherry

Best of Ohio Dessert Wine: Gervasi Vineyard Sognata Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

The Best of Ohio designations are awarded to the Best of Show wines that are made from a minimum of 90% Ohio-grown American/Labrusca, Hybrid and Vinifera grape varieties, and have received the Ohio Quality Wine seal designation.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension hires new field specialist focusing on agronomic systems 

Stephanie Karhoff has been selected as the new field specialist, agronomic systems for Ohio State University Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University. Karhoff’s full-time appointment is effective June 1, 2022. 

“We are extremely pleased to fund this important position, which will work in tandem with our other field specialists in agronomic systems, CFAES research faculty, producers, and our commodity and industry partners to translate and apply the newest university knowledge to meet the timely and most critical issues facing the ag crops industry in Ohio,” said Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, associate dean and director, OSU Extension. “Please join OSU Extension in welcoming Stephanie Karhoff to this role, which is important to the continuing success of Ohio’s agronomic crops industry and Extension’s agriculture and natural resources efforts throughout the state.” 

Karhoff has served as the Extension educator for agriculture and natural resources in Williams County since April 2019.… Continue reading

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Planting progress catches average, trails last year

Excessive soil moisture continued to delay planting and fieldwork, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent short, 52 percent adequate, and 47 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending May 29 was 63.3 degrees, 0.1 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.19 inches of precipitation, 0.14 inches below average, with late-week rain saturating fields and generating runoff. There were 2.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending on May 29.

Farmers described inadequate opportunities for fields to dry, with some areas of the State reporting ponding. Livestock were doing well in pasture, benefitting from moderate temperatures and green grass. Corn was 72 percent planted, and 51 percent of corn had emerged. Soybean planting progress was 56 percent, while 29 percent were emerged. Oats were 96 percent planted and 86 percent of oats were emerged.… Continue reading

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Managing nitrogen in 2022

By Roy Ulrich, technical agronomist for Dekalb and Asgrow, Southern Ohio

Adequate rates of nitrogen available to a corn plant during the entire growing season is a foundation to a successful harvest. This fact is foundational that Fred Below from the University of Illinois in his “Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World” ranked nitrogen as the second most important factor in corn yield, only to be outdone by weather. 

If nitrogen is that critical to a successful crop, then what is the correct rate of nitrogen for an acre of corn? The old school approach would be to take a yield goal and multiply it by 1.25 pounds  per bushel so a 250-bushel per acre yield goal would require an application rate of 312 pounds per acre of nitrogen. As most know, nitrogen isn’t quite this simple and isn’t this cut and dry when it comes to final yield. 

When it comes to actual nitrogen rates, like most good agronomy answers, when it comes to nitrogen needed “it depends” is the correct answer.… Continue reading

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Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program open to Ohio Vineyards

The 2022 Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program (VEAP) is now open to new and existing Ohio vineyards. VEAP allows wineries to invest in and plant high-quality, high-value grapes onsite instead of purchasing them from other states. The VEAP is an incentive program created and funded by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC).

Due to the small number of grapes produced in Ohio, many wineries, farmers markets, and retailers are forced to purchase grapes of several different varieties from other states in order to meet production needs. The VEAP is designed to provide a more stable source of high-quality, high-value grapes grown in Ohio. Additionally, the program will allow for more Ohio wines to qualify for the Ohio Quality Wine (OQW) program and increase consumer awareness of Ohio’s premier wines made from Ohio-grown grapes.

The VEAP funding will cover the cost of the grape vines planted. Each grower may apply for up to $1,500 per half-acre with a maximum of three acres, or $9,000.… Continue reading

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USDA to allow producers to request voluntary termination of Conservation Reserve Program contracts 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants who are in the final year of their CRP contract to request voluntary termination of their CRP contract following the end of the primary nesting season for fiscal year 2022. Participants approved for this one-time, voluntary termination will not have to repay rental payments, a flexibility implemented this year to help mitigate the global food supply challenges caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other factors. USDA also announced additional flexibilities for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  

“Putin’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine has cut off a critical source of wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds, and cooking oil, and we’ve heard from many producers who want to better understand their options to help respond to global food needs,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “This announcement will help producers make informed decisions about land use and conservation options.”… Continue reading

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SCN testing in newly planted corn fields

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

In an effort to better understand the dynamics of soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Horacio Lopez- Nicora, assistant professor, Soybean Pathology and Nematology, in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, is conducting research funded by the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off. This research is evaluating SCN levels in both corn and soybean fields.

“This is a research opportunity for growers to participate and help us understand the reproduction factors of SCN in Ohio,” Lopez-Nicora said.

The research requires farmers to collect soil samples from both corn and soybean fields at planting and again at harvest.

“We want farmers to take a sample at planting, and it doesn’t matter if it is corn or soybeans,” Lopez-Nicora said. “Results from this first sample will be the initial population of SCN.… Continue reading

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Soybean seed germination concerns

Matthew Wilde Progressive Farmer Crops Editor

ANKENY, Iowa (DTN) — Poor soybean seed quality in some varieties and lots may cause lower-than-normal germination rates, which could lead to poor emergence and thin stands. There are several steps farmers can take, though, to mitigate potential issues.

A few soybeans are beginning to poke through the ground in some parts of the Midwest this week. But farmers yet to plant may want to check seed tags, as reports of lower germination rates than normal might require population adjustments.

Shawn Conley, University of Wisconsin Extension soybean specialist, said he’s warned farmers for the past several months to pay close attention this spring to the minimum germination rate printed on soybean seed bag and bulk container tags. It might surprise them.

All soybean seed is tested at independent labs to determine germination rates. According to the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association, the germination rate of soybean seed it tests ranges from 88% to 98% during a normal year.

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