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June Dairy Month: Bridgewater Dairy

By Dusty Sonnenberg

Now in its fourth decade producing milk in Northwest Ohio, Bridgewater Dairy has seen its share of good times and challenges. Managed by Leon and Chris Weaver, Bridgewater Dairy was built and started milking cows in 1990. The Williams County farm started milking 2,000 cows and a decade and a half later expanded to milk around 3,000 cows. In 2011, the partnership that owns Bridgewater Dairy also purchased Oakshade Dairy in Fulton County and milks around 1,500 cows at that location. All the heifers and dry cows from both farms are raised at Bridgewater. The Bridgewater Dairy produces all its own feed on 5,000 acres of ground. The feed for Oakshade Dairy is purchased from local farmers.

The dairy industry has seen its share of challenges over time.

“For the first 20+ years, there were ups and downs in the dairy industry as we were getting the farms going,” said Chris Weaver.… Continue reading

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Prices drop, basis rallies

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Last Week:

  • July corn closed the week down 50 cents.
  • December corn closed the week down 40 cents and is down 75 cents from the high about one month ago.
  • November soybeans closed the week down only 17 cents from its highest close of the year.
  • July wheat collapsed a $1.17 and is down $2.37 from the high two weeks ago.



Soybeans seems to be the only bright spot, as strong bean export demand continues. For the next 8 months, the U.S. will be the only major source of beans for the world to buy from. Plus, weather has favored planting more corn acres throughout most of the U.S. this spring, so there could be fewer bean acres in the June 30 plantings report as well.



The corn and wheat markets are being affected by speculation that Russia may let grain in Ukraine be exported for humanitarian purposes. … Continue reading

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McDonald’s shareholders reject animal rights activist

Recently, McDonald’s shareholders rejected Carl Icahn’s bid to get two animal-rights activists on the fast-food restaurant’s board. The billionaire investor wants to force the company to stop buying pork from hog farmers who use individual pens for sows.

Several other food firms, including Wendy’s, Papa John’s, and Dine Brands Global, which owns Applebee’s and IHOP, recently have rebuffed similar moves. The National Pork Producers Council, which has worked with the restaurant industry to address concerns it has with pork production practices, supports the right of producers to use sow housing systems that are best for their animals and operations. It has pointed out that the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians both recognize individual and group housing as appropriate for providing for the well-being of sows during pregnancy.… Continue reading

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Hay barn fires are a real hazard

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Allen Gahler, Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

Mother Nature has been at it again, hardly giving us enough days to make dry hay with a risk of pop-up showers every afternoon. These conditions are very dangerous for hay producers. Since wet hay does just rot it may also burn. Hay fires are caused when bacteria in wet hay create so much heat that the hay spontaneously combusts in the presence of oxygen. At over 20% moisture, mesophilic bacteria release heat-causing temperature to rise between 130 degrees F to 140 degrees F with the temperature staying high for up to 40 days. As temperatures rise thermophilic bacteria can take off in your hay and raise the temperature into the fire danger zone of over 175 degrees F.

Assessing risk

If the hay was baled between 15% and 20% moisture and acid preservatives were used, there is still potential for a hay fire but not as great as on non-treated hay.Continue reading

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NW Ohio swamped after big rain

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

Rain totals in the neighborhood of over 5 inches fell on already soggy northwest Ohio starting June 6. The rains left fields flooded and newly planted crops swamped under feet of water in some areas. Ottoville, Miller City, Kalida, and Deshler got some of the heaviest rain. It made for plenty of heartbroken, frustrated farmers who have been battling persistent rainfall all planting season. Areas around Van Wert faced heavy rains as well. Tony Meyer sent in this photo from south of Deshler in Henry County. Most of the state had heavy rains.

Nathan Birkemeier of Putnam County shared these photos from his area that got anywhere from 2 inches of rain to nearly 5 depending on the field.

Ryan Barlage near Miller City in Putnam County, where some of the heaviest rains fell, got 3.8 inches of rain in the first hour and 6 inches total.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 256 | Soil Health Savvy

In this podcast brought to you by AgriGold, Mary Griffith of the Soil Health Institute visits with Matt and Dusty about soil health. Matt hears from Marc Erwin on sky-high diesel prices. Dale visits with Jeanne Gogolski, CEO of Education Products and the originator of the GrowNextGen program. Finally, Matt visits with Dr. Todd Price on site selection for swine facilities. All of that and more all thanks to AgriGold!… Continue reading

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OABA Welcomes Lauren Prettyman as Director of Communications & Member Experience

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to welcome Lauren Prettyman as the Director of Communications & Member Experience. In her role, Lauren will oversee all aspects of association communications including social media management, event promotion, press release and news writing, graphic design, photography and videography, as well as managing members’ experiences, including Member Directory, event support, sponsorships, and more. Lauren’s first day with the association is June 6.

Lauren is a 2014 graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.S in agriculture communication and a minor in production agriculture. While there, she was involved in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, university scholars’ programs and study abroad, including trips to study animal agriculture and environmental conservation in Chile, Brazil, Ireland and Costa Rica.

Lauren grew up on her family’s row crop and beef cattle farm in Marion County and has become more involved in helping on the farm since moving back to Ohio in 2020.… Continue reading

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RFS numbers released

The final 2022 renewable fuel volumes released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency support access to higher blends of ethanol for consumers.

For 2022, the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume of 20.63 billion gallons includes an implied 15 billion gallons of ethanol, following the law. EPA also added a supplemental 250 million gallon requirement for 2022, responding to a 2017 Court decision finding EPA improperly waived past volumes. EPA finalized the delayed 2021 volume at 18.85 billion gallons, including an implied 13.79 billion gallons for ethanol, tracking retroactive renewable fuel consumption for the year.

In a separate action, EPA finalized denial of 69 pending RFS exemption petitions. Closing the books on RFS exemptions.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall was supportive of the action.

“[The] EPA announcement is welcome news for farmers and ranchers as well as America’s families who are dealing with record-high fuel prices. AFBF appreciates that the Biden administration has upheld the promise to honor the critical role that renewable fuels play in supporting the rural economy,” Duvall said.

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Planting continues to lag last year, hovers near average

Farmers rushed to plant during last week’s warm and sunny conditions, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent very short, 2 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 33 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending June 5 was 71.7 degrees, 6.1 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.58 inches of precipitation, 0.38 inches below average.
There were 3.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending on June 5.

Good weather permitted farmers to make significant corn and soybean planting progress last week. Livestock enjoyed pastures still green from the wet spring in most areas, though the week’s dryness contributed to limited reports of increasingly parched pastures. Corn was 85 percent planted, and 65 percent of corn had emerged. Soybean planting progress was 71 percent complete, while 47 percent were emerged. Oats were 99 percent planted and 93 percent of oats were emerged.… Continue reading

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The end is near for the long 2022 planting season

Kurt Wyler

We have made good progress the last 2 weeks. We’ve had decent weather and have covered a lot of ground. There have been a few rains but nothing to keep us out of the field more than a day or 2. We can’t complain.

Everything we have in the ground seems to be coming up nicely and looking good. We are getting things wrapped up along with most everyone in this area. The forecast is calling for a pretty good rain later today but we think we should be able to finish up before it hits. We have about 45 acres of corn and 90 acres of beans and we will be completely wrapped up with planting. The other day I planted 65 acres and was in 12 different fields, so some of our field sizes can really slow us down.

We farm 80% hill ground with some bottom ground.… Continue reading

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Diesel prices likely to keep rising

By Matt Reese

Diesel prices are taking big chunks out of farm profitability in 2022 and show no signs of dropping any time soon.

“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,” said Jeff Fichtelman, partner in JP2 Risk Management. “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.”

Marc Erwin, of Erwin Brothers, LLC trucking company in Ansonia watches diesel prices closely. The high prices, along with troubling diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) shortages and supply chain issues, are impacting the nation’s trucking industry, which affects pretty much everyone.

“We specialize in the fuel delivery business and we own and operate two truck stops, one in Muncie, Ind.,… Continue reading

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Producers have until June 30 to sign up to receive the 2022 Census of Agriculture

Agriculture producers who did not receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture and do not receive other USDA surveys or censuses have until June 30 to sign up to receive the 2022 Census of Agriculture at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will mail ag census survey codes for responding securely online to every known U.S. producer this November. Hard copy questionnaires will follow in December. 

The ag census, conducted for over 180 years, remains the only source of comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. It includes every operation — large or small, urban or rural — from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products are produced and sold, or would normally be produced and sold, in the ag census year.

“The Census of Agriculture is a collective voice that tells the story and value of American agriculture. The data influence action and inform policy and program decisions that directly impact producers, their operations, and everyone they touch — and that’s all of us,” said Barbara Rater, NASS Census and Survey Division director.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council announces Board of Trustees Election

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) Board of Trustees has five district seats up for election this year. All eligible candidates interested in running for the OSC Board must obtain at least 15 valid signatures on the petition available at

All petitions must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) by mail and must be postmarked no later than July 6, 2022 and received by July 13, 2022.

OSC is the Qualified State Soybean Board for Ohio and manages state soybean checkoff dollars. The OSC Board is made up of farmer volunteers who direct the investment of checkoff dollars to improve the profitability of Ohio soybean farmers.

Districts up for election are:

  • District 7: Auglaize, Mercer, Miami, and Shelby Counties; Incumbent Jerry Bambauer is eligible to run for another term.
  • District 8: Champaign, Hardin, and Logan Counties; Incumbent Cindy Layman is eligible to run for another term.
  • District 10: Butler, Darke, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Preble Counties; Incumbent Scott Denlinger is term-limited.
Continue reading

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COBA/Select Sires welcomes summer interns 

COBA/Select Sires welcomes four interns to the team for the summer of 2022. Rachael Billups, an incoming senior at The Ohio State University, joins as the Communications/Marketing Intern. Cole Pond, an incoming sophomore at The Ohio State University, Mecaylah Hesse, a recent graduate of the University of Findlay, and Cole Harhager, a student at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI), are Reproductive Services Client Manager (RSCM) Interns. 

Billups majors in agricultural communication with a minor in agribusiness. Her time in FFA, specifically participating in dairy judging contests, directed her path to COBA/Select Sires. Billups will work on organizing and distributing the route mailings each week for the District Sales Managers. Other tasks include newsletter writing, designing ads, posters, route stuffers, social media graphics and other marketing-related tasks. 

Pond is studying agribusiness and applied economics and comes with experience on his family’s Holstein operation in Woodstock, Ohio. Hesse is studying animal science industry and worked as a farm hand on two dairy farms, as well as a hog operation.… Continue reading

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Reasons to gear up your field scouting program

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Scouting fields to monitor crops throughout the growing season help you make more informed management decisions and stay on top of issues as they develop. In addition, regular scouting can help identify future changes needed to maximize production. Every year seems to present us with new and, in some cases, unexpected pest problems. Therefore, I would suggest that scouting has increased importance, attributed in part to changing weather patterns and pest adaptations.

Weather shifts give us new pests or an increased window of opportunity for a known pest. For example, the 2021 growing started with widespread alfalfa weevil in Northwest Ohio and ended with fall armyworm over most of the state. Over a 35-year career, there are two, maybe three years, where alfalfa weevil was a treatable problem, and it was a first with fall armyworm. Then, we added the corn disease tar spot to our list of concerns between those two insect issues.… Continue reading

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Tenant’s right to buy land at landowner’s death

By Robert Moore, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

The relationship between farmland owner and tenant often goes beyond just a business transaction. It is common for the tenant to lease the same farmland for many years or for the tenant/landowner relationship to span several generations. The relationship between the parties may evolve into one of great trust and respect — the landowner knowing that the tenant will treat the land like their own and the tenant knowing the landlord will always be fair with them.

Sometimes, when the landowner knows that their heirs do not have interest in owning the land, they will promise to give the tenant the first chance to buy the farm at landowner’s death. Tenants will always appreciate this gesture so that they do not have to outbid their neighbors at a public auction when the landowner dies. However, a mere promise is not enough.… Continue reading

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Sunrise announces RISE FFA Career Program recipients

Sunrise Cooperative, Inc. is pleased to announce its 2022 RISE FFA Career Program recipients. Slated to join Sunrise as full-time employees following graduation are Kayla Cummins from Indian Lake -OHP FFA, Vivian Barnett of Willard FFA, Blade Hale and Gavin Sexton from South Central FFA, along with Chris Hiler from Buckeye Central FFA.

The five members of the 2022 class will begin work at Sunrise in June and will work their way through our RISE FFA Career Program, otherwise referred to as Sunrise University. Over the next four years, our new hires will gain hands-on, real-life job experiences, while learning all facets of the cooperative. 

In addition to full-time employment, Kayla Cummins was selected as the top recipient and will receive a 2021 Jeep Gladiator that the 2021-2022 Ohio FFA President Jacob Zajkowski drove during his tenure as a signing bonus. Along with her top honor, she earned a $1,000 chapter donation from Sunrise.… Continue reading

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Wheat head scab risk rising in Ohio

By Pierce Paul, Extension Plant Pathologist, The Ohio State University 

Due largely to rainfall, high relative humidity, and warmer temperatures over the last several days, the risk for head scab is now moderate across most of the state of Ohio, and high across the south. The risk is low in NW Ohio. This would be the time to consider applying a fungicide to control head scab and reduce the risk of grain contamination with mycotoxins as fields reach anthesis in the northern third of the state. Even fields in the lower half of the state that flowered 5 to 7 days ago could benefit from a fungicide application. Most of the recommended fungicides for FHB management provide similar levels of FHB and vomitoxin suppression when applied between early anthesis (Feekes 10.5.1) and early grain-fill (up to six day after early anthesis).
The recommended, and most effective, fungicides for scab and vomitoxin control are Miravis Ace, Prosaro, Caramba, Proline, Sphaerex, and Prosaro Pro.… Continue reading

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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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