Top Headlines

Featured Posts (Posts shown below the “Top Posts” on the home page)

The new Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) crop insurance program

By Nick PaulsonGary Schnitkey, and Krista Swanson with the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University

The Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) is a new supplemental insurance program that will be available in 2021. ECO is an option that can only be added to an underlying individual plan of insurance and provides area-based coverage similar to the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO).

Overview of ECO

ECO will be available for purchase on 31 spring-planted crops including corn, soybeans, and wheat (RMA 2020a and 2020b). ECO is purchased as an endorsement to an eligible individual insurance plan such as Revenue Protection (RP), Revenue Protection with the Harvest Price Exclusion (RP-HPE), or Yield Protection (YP). It cannot be used with an underlying area plan of insurance (i.e. Area Risk Protection Insurance (APRI) or Margin Protection).… Continue reading

Read More »

Seed Consultants virtual meetings

Join Seed Consultants Agronomists, Matt Hutcheson, Bill McDonald and Jordan Bassler for a virtual Winter Agronomy Meeting. Attendees have three options to join or can join all three. When you joining the meeting, attendees will be entered in to win one of the following prizes:

  1. 40 bags of Enlist E3 soybeans
  2. $200 eCertificate to the Seed Consultants online store
  3. $100 eCertificate to the Seed Consultants online store
    The Seed Consultants Virtual Winter Agronomy Meeting Schedule is as follows:

• January 27 2021: Matt Hutcheson—“Enlist Update and Lessons Learned”

• February 3 2021: Jordan Bassler –“Basics of Soil Fertility”

• February 10 2021: Bill McDonald— “2020 Corn Fungicide Study Results and Discussion”

For more details or to register for the meetings, click here.… Continue reading

Read More »

Conservation Reserve Program general signup ends Feb. 12

Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) could sign up for the popular program beginning Jan. 4, 2021. Signup goes through Feb. 12, 2021. The competitive program, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.

“This signup for the Conservation Reserve Program gives producers and landowners an opportunity to enroll for the first time or continue their participation for another term,” said Richard Fordyce, FSA administrator. “This program encourages conservation on sensitive lands or low-yielding acres, which provides tremendous benefits for stewardship of our natural resources and wildlife.”

Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to their local region and the nation’s environment and economy.… Continue reading

Read More »

Hit-and-miss in for Brazil’s crops

By Daniele Siqueira

I’m writing this article in mid-December and many of you would probably want me to tell what will be the size of Brazil’s 2020/21 soybean crop. I wish I could, but it’s too early for that. If Brazil grew soybeans in the Northern hemisphere, like the United States does, we would be in July — and you all know that soybeans can stand a lot of stress in July and still have good yields if weather conditions benefit the pod-filling stage in August.

Daniele Siqueira

Remember 2012? I spent the whole July 2012 in the Midwest, crop scouting and talking to farmers, and soybeans didn’t look much better than corn. But then good rains hit several areas in August. Too late for corn, as you know, but still a blessing for many soybean fields. And, despite some damaged areas that we can see here and there, Brazil’s 2020 soybeans are in better shape than the U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Top stories of 2020

By Matt Reese

Happy New Year! The top web stories from 2020, as you may guess, took quite a departure from the norm. Web traffic expanded significantly in 2020 at but we did not have many of the normal events that typically drive our top posts, such as the Ohio State Fair and crop tours. Much of the resulting drama of not having these events showed up very clearly in the top stories of 2020. I will say there are some surprising results in here (to me anyway) from a 2020 that was never short on uncertainty and, quite frankly, insanity.

  1. Governor DeWine to Ohio Fairs: What we’ve seen is unacceptable

Kolt Buchenroth nearly broke the Internet with this story (our website actually did shut down temporarily due to the traffic) that exploded with his reporting from a July 22 meeting between Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio’s fair managers covering hot topics including COVID cases, wearing masks at fairs, and the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo.… Continue reading

Read More »

Maximizing factors that influence crop yield

By Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmers consistently attempt to increase crop yields but may not know which factors are important.  Yield is influenced by climate and temperature, plant and water management, and soil nutrient management factors.  Good genetics plus the ability to manipulate and optimize the plant’s environment generally result in the highest yields.

Climate and temperature factors are critical to achieving high yields.  Warmer temperatures maximize crop growth including cell division, cell growth, and crop metabolism while cold temperatures inhibit plant growth.  Ideally, soybeans grow the best at air temperatures of 770F. A string of temperatures below 600F reduces soybean pod set.  Corn is a warm season plant that germinates best at 60-650F soil temperatures and grows best between 72-850F.  Iowa and Illinois benefit from dark soils, high in soil organic matter (SOM) which absorbs heat and warms soils better than light-colored sandy soils. 

Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 186 | No Diggity, No Drainage

Matt, Kolt, and Dusty host today with special guest, Amy Milam. She is the director of Legal Education and Member Education with Ohio Farm Bureau and talks a little bit about new legislation for drainage. Interviews this week include Matts talk with Garry Shick of Hardin County; Garry was named the Ohio No-Till Farmer of the Year. Madi Kregel has an interview with the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association President Steve Bateson, and Randy & Kim Haines of Cool Winds Farms in Lima, Ohio. She talks to them about the harness racing industry and the impact COVID-19 had on it. … Continue reading

Read More »

Top story of 2020!

Governor DeWine to Ohio Fairs: What we’ve seen is unacceptable

Kolt Buchenroth nearly broke the Internet with this story (our website actually did shut down temporarily due to the traffic) that exploded with his reporting from a July 22 meeting between Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio’s fair managers covering hot topics including COVID cases, wearing masks at fairs, and the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo. The governor was not holding back his dismay regarding the uptick in COVID cases tied to county fairs. There was some dismay from the county fair side of things as well, as one could imagine. This story is a real sign of the times for the incredibly wild ride that was the 2020 fair season.… Continue reading

Read More »

2020 Organic Corn Performance Test results available

In 2020, 34 organic hybrids representing 6 commercial brands were submitted for evaluation in the Organic Corn Performance Test. The tests were conducted on certified organic fields at Apple Creek (West Badger Farm) and Wooster (Fry Farm) in Wayne County and Lindsey in Sandusky County and were intensively managed for nutrients and weed control. Each hybrid entry was evaluated using four replications per site in a randomized complete block design. Hybrids were planted either in an early or full season maturity trial based on relative maturity information provided by the companies. The relative maturity of hybrid entries in the early maturity trial were 106 days or earlier; the relative maturity of hybrid entries in the full season trial were 107 days or later. The planting rate was 34,000 seeds/acre with a final stand target of 30,000 – 31,000 plants/acre. Soil amendments were applied according to recommended cultural practices for obtaining optimum grain yields.… Continue reading

Read More »

Dealing with the threat of intentional harm to farm property

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

Whether from trespassers, thieves, vandals, disgruntled employees, drug makers, activists, or extremists, farm security threats are a risk farmers face. Unfortunately, current social and political conditions have added new dimensions to that risk. Intruders can harm property in many ways: releasing or injuring livestock, stealing anhydrous or chemicals, destroying crops, contaminating water, introducing disease, setting fires, or committing other acts of theft, vandalism or destruction.

Recent suspicious activities on Ohio farms have reminded us of the need for constant awareness of farm security and intentional harms to farm property. Our newest publication, Intentional Harm to Farm Property: Legal Options and Strategies for Farm Owners aims to meet this need by addressing the following.

What to do when a farm security issue occurs

Three immediate actions can be helpful to ensuring a clear-headed reaction to an incident:

  • Call local law enforcement.
Continue reading

Read More »

2020 Northwest Ohio Corn Silage Test

By Rich MinyoBill WiddicombePeter ThomisonAllen Geyer, Ohio State University Extension

In 2020, 45 corn silage hybrids representing 11 commercial brands were evaluated in a joint trial with Michigan State University (MSU). One Ohio location is combined with Michigan’s two southern (Zone 1) silage locations. The trials were divided into two maturity groups designated early and late since the relative maturity (RM) submitted by the companies with results listed in separate tables. The Ohio test site is located in our Northwest Region at Hoytville (Wood County). The two MSU sites are in Branch and Lenawee counties, which are on the Ohio/Michigan state line. The test results from the three 2020 locations are treated as one region. The plots were planted with 4-row Almaco SeedPro 360 plot planters and maintained by each respective state utilizing standard production practices. The center two rows were harvested using MSU’s New Holland T6.175 tractor which powered a two-row Champion C1200 Kemper forage harvester with a rear mounted Haldrup M-63 Weigh system.… Continue reading

Read More »

Keeping poinsettias through the winter

Bold when purchased, poinsettias can wither as winter goes on. 

It might be because of how they were treated. If they were exposed to cold drafts or perched by a heat vent, or if they sat in a cold car through too many errands, the leaves could turn yellow and fall off—even before the holidays or not long after. 

Native to Mexico, poinsettias favor bright light and warm conditions.

“You need to find a location in your house that provides good light. Six hours of bright light are necessary every day,” said Uttara Samarakoon, an assistant professor at Ohio State ATI in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). 

The biggest mistakes people typically make are not providing enough light, watering them too much or too little, and keeping them near heating or air conditioning vents, said Samarakoon, coordinator of the Greenhouse and Nursery Management Program at ATI.… Continue reading

Read More »

Temple Grandin offers alternatives to livestock farmers

By Mike Estadt, Ohio State University Extension Educator

Temple Grandin, Professor at Colorado State University and world renown animal welfare specialist and contributor to Forbes Magazine recently authored an article “Alternative business models that farmers should consider.”  The full article can be found at:

First and foremost, small processing plants will never, let me repeat that, never compete with the large plants on cost efficiency. But a series of smaller plants will be less susceptible to the disruptions that happened in the spring of 2020. Grandin offers the following points that have been synthesized into a few sentences.

Use the craft beer industry as a model: Go niche

During the restrictions placed upon restaurants and bars, craft brewers innovated and moved their dining outside so they could still sell their draft beers. More importantly craft brewers have been able to coexist with the Anheuser-Busch InBevs because they offer beers that the large brewers do not. That… Continue reading

Read More »

Online equine classes offered by Ohio State ATI

Two equine online courses planned for spring semester are horse health and disease, and horse breeding and selection through online equine courses at Ohio State ATI in Wooster. Horse health and disease is a study of equine disease, lameness, and emergency first aid with emphasis on preventative health care and the manager’s role with the veterinary professional.

Horse breeding and selection teaches the principles of equine breeding management with emphasis on applied equine reproductive physiology, breeding methods, breeding stock management, and basic genetics and selection. Both courses include a hands-on lab that will meet every other week in Wooster; however, students have the option of enrolling as a continuing education student (a student who is not pursuing a degree) and taking part in the online portion only. 

Classes begin Jan. 11, 2021, and there is still time to enroll. For more information about these and other spring semester courses, contact ATI’s Office of Business Training and Educational Services at 330-287-7511 or visit reading

Read More »

Top stories of 2020: No. 6

Politics of cow farts and the Burger King Whopper

In a bizarre ad campaign based on shaky science, flawed logistics and incorrect assumptions, Burger King touted feeding lemongrass to cattle to reduce climate change. The delightful Doc Sanders addressed the issues and set the science straight, but also gave Burger King kudos for ultimately reversing their course on this Whopper of a story. If you did not see the initial ad, you can view it at: It will further shape your impressions looking back on the insanity of 2020.… Continue reading

Read More »