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Improved soil health linked to nitrogen fertilizer efficiency

By Jordan WadeSteve CulmanCassandra Brown, Ohio State University Extension

Most farmers value soil health in theory, but few studies have worked to place an actual agronomic value on soil health. A study published earlier this spring found that a 10% improvement in certain soil health measurements increased relative yields by an average of 5% across N fertilizer rates. In other words, good soil health means getting more bang for every buck spent on fertilizer.

Study leader, former Ohio State PhD student Jordon Wade, based these findings on analysis of corn nitrogen (N) rate trials throughout the Midwest. His findings were consistent across a variety of soils and climatic conditions across the Corn Belt.

Improving N use efficiency is linked to soil biology and the cycling of organic matter, both of which are important components of soil health. In response to increased attention on soil health, both commercial and university research labs have begun offering soil health testing services.… Continue reading

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Court seeks status report on EPA compliance with order on Renewable Volumes

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to submit a status report every 60 days “on its progress in complying with the court’s remand” stemming from the July 2017 ruling in Americans for Clean Energy v. EPA. The 2017 ruling required EPA to address its improper waiver of 500 million gallons of 2016 renewable fuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard. 
The Jan. 27 order from the D.C. Circuit was in response to a motion filed in December 2020 by biofuel and farm organizations, in which the groups asked the court to enforce its 2017 decision by requiring EPA to fully restore the 500 million gallons that were inappropriately waived from the 2016 RFS requirements. While the court denied the motion, the groups welcomed the court’s requirement that EPA provide status reports every 60 days on its progress in responding to the court’s decision. … Continue reading

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Disruptions create opportunity

By Matt Reese

Coming off a disruptive year for nearly every aspect of life, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) 2021 Industry Conference is taking a look at some of those disruptions and finding ways to create opportunities for positive change. The 2021 OABA Industry Conference starts today and continues through this week. At the virtual event, agribusiness professionals will address disruptors to the industry and learn to harness the momentum for change.

“We are going to have our annual OABA Industry Conference and like a lot of other people we are having to switch gears this year and go virtual. It will be different, but a lot of it will be the same, especially the great quality content, topics and speakers that we have year in and year out,” said Chris Henney, president and CEO of OABA. “You can register ahead and participate in the conference in real time like you would any other year, and you can actually also register afterwards and it is available for 90 days after the event.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast named in Feedspot’s top 40

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

The new year has already proven to be rewarding for the team here at Ohio Ag Net. Feedspot, an agricultural media database, compiled a list of the top 40 ag and farming podcasts in the U.S. that listeners “must follow in 2021.” The Ohio Ag Net Podcast was named 21st on the list. 

Feedspot used a team of 25 specialists to find and rank the list of podcasts based on the following criteria:

  • Relevancy
  • Industry Blogs — given a high rank than individual brand blogs
  • Post frequency
  • Social media engagement and follower numbers
  • Domain authority 
  • Age of blog
  • Alexa web tracking rank.

Click here for the full Feedspot article!

The Ohio Ag Net Podcast covers a large variety of agricultural topics statewide and nationally. Each week we cover anything and everything related to Ohio agriculture from vomitoxin, ractopamine, and dicamba to FFA happenings, field days and county fairs.… Continue reading

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Will the surge in land prices continue?

What started out with better than expected sales prices at land auctions prior to fall harvest extended into very strong prices at some auctions during October and November, surprising many.

“Farmers National Company had auction sales in several states during this time where land sold near levels last seen in 2012. In specific instances, prices for good quality cropland in the heart of the Midwest are up hundreds to thousands of dollars per acre more than anticipated,” said Randy Dickhut, senior vice president of real estate operations at Farmers National Company. 

Agricultural land prices have been fairly stable in the past several years despite the gyrations of the ag economy. Producer incomes were taking hits, but the land market took it in stride except for the hardest hit areas or segments. The factors supporting the land market remained constant during this time, which included historically low interest rates, a lower supply of land for sale and adequate demand for good cropland just about everywhere.   … Continue reading

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Farm Gates

By Dave Russell, Ohio Ag Net

Who’s the largest owner of private farmland in U.S.? 

Queue the theme to Jeopardy: “According to The Land Report this software developer is now the largest owner of private farmland in the U.S.” 

Answer: “Who is Bill Gates?” 

Yep…Land Report says the one-time world’s richest man owns 242,000 acres of farmland in 18 states. The most acres are in Louisiana at just over 69,000, followed by Arkansas at nearly 48,000 and Nebraska at 20,588. Gates owns almost 9,000 acres in Ohio, just over 9,000 acres in Indiana, nearly 18,000 in Illinois, but only 552 acres in Iowa. 

Bill and Melinda Gates also cracked the Land Report’s Top 100 Landowners for the first time coming in at number 49. The No. 1 landowner in the U.S. is billionaire John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media, who tops the list with 2,200,000 acres.… Continue reading

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Adult mental health first aid training

By Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University Extension

The Ohio State University Mental Health Awareness Team members are pleased to be able to bring Mental Health First Aid training to rural Ohio.

The program is a blended format in partnership with the Ohio State University Farm and Rural Health Task Force with funding from the USDA FRSAN grant. Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. This course is open to anyone, but the Feb. 5 training will take an agriculture and rural focus.  

There are seats open in the Feb. 5 class. The class will be held via zoom from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with appropriate breaks scheduled. This course will have a 2-hour online component prior that must be completed before the virtual class. Participants will receive this link to the pre-course material at least one week prior to the class. 

Class size is limited to 20 participants. Those… Continue reading

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Winter weather outlook for 2021

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

A global assessment of the weather showed 2020 to be the second warmest year since 1880. The warmest average year was 2016, and 2019 ranked third. Looking all the way back to 1880, the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1985.

The most recent Winter Outlook Meeting, hosted by The Ohio State University, provided data and information to help farmers make informed decisions going into the winter and spring. Aaron Wilson, Atmospheric Scientist at OSU and state climatologist shared information focused on “Where we’ve been, where we are currently, and where we are going.”

There was also a significant increase in the number of “billion dollar disasters” in 2020. There was a total of 22 recorded last year. The numbers in general have been increasing. To put it in perspective, looking at the time period of 1908 through 2020, the average is six disasters of that magnitude per year.… Continue reading

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OABA 2021 Industry Conference

From trade conditions to weather to a global pandemic, those working in agriculture never know what form a disruptor may take. But they have experienced, time and time again, that disruptors become a propelling force for change. A nimble agribusiness leader will seize the momentum of disruption to realize positive impact for their business – even if others fail to see the disruptor for the opportunity it is.

At the 2021 OABA Industry Conference, agribusiness professionals will address disruptors to the industry and learn to harness the momentum for change which they present.

The Industry Conference will be held virtually January 27-29, 2021.  Included in conference registration is the Safety & Risk Management Day on February 3. 

Topics include: economic outlook, insects, soil health, political impact outlook, export markets, precision planting, hemp, sulfur and potassium, N economics, waterhemp, eastern corn market, ethanol outlook, meat processing, and international trade and policy.

Professional credits (Certified Crop Adviser and state pesticide credits) are available throughout the OABA Industry Conference and are indicated in the session description.… Continue reading

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Most farm families rely on off-farm income

By Chris Zoller, Ohio State University Extension educator, ANR in Tuscarawas County

The United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) completed a survey in 2019 to determine the number of hours principal farm operators work per week on-farm and off-farm. USDA-ERS defines the principal operator as the person who makes day-to-day decisions. The paragraph below is taken directly from the report.

Off-farm income supplements farm income for most farm households, in addition to offering benefits such as health insurance. In 2019, about 71 percent of farm households had one or more household members earning an off-farm salary or wage. More than 40 percent of principal operators worked off-farm, contributing about 54 percent of the total off-farm labor hours reported for their households. Principal operators who reported off-farm employment worked on average 15 hours off the farm per week in 2019. Compared with the seasonality of on-farm work, off-farm work offered principal operators more consistency—with operators working about 25 percent of total off-farm hours in each quarter of the year.… Continue reading

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Gibberella ear rot and vomitoxin in corn

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

If your grain was harvested from a field with Gibberella ear rot (GER), it is more than likely contaminated with mycotoxins. Deoxynivalenol, also known as vomitoxin, is one of the mycotoxins most commonly produced by the fungus Fusarium graminearum that causes GER. Another name for this fungus is Gibberella zeae, hence the name of the disease. grain Grain harvested from GER-affected fields or areas where conditions were favorable for the disease, should be sampled and tested for the presence and level of contamination with vomitoxin. Mycotoxin tests are either qualitative, semi-quantitative, and quantitative. Qualitative tests provide a yes/no answer for the presence of the toxin and are useful for initial screening. Semi-quantitative tests estimate whether the toxin is at or above certain levels (>5 ppm) or within a given range, whereas quantitative tests provide more precise estimates of contamination. There is a trade-off between precision, price, and speed.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 189 |No Bern Here

Matt, Kolt and Dusty host a very special guest this week- Larry Davis of Ag Resource Management! He talks about the upcoming lending season, and has a few questions for us! Dusty brings audio from Aaron Wilson on abnormal conditions on the easter corn-belt, and Ben Brown on corn and soybean stock exports. Kolt brings audio with Kelsey Turner with the Ohio Farm Bureau on the American Farm Bureau convention. … Continue reading

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Nutrient management update – the new 2020 fertilizer recommendations

By Greg LaBarge CCA/CPAg, Ohio State University Extension

Things are changing for the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for agronomic crops. We are giving updates this winter because the 2020 Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations were finally published this past November. We have shared preliminary results over the past two winter meeting seasons — now it is out and complete.

The Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provided the foundation for agronomic nutrient management recommendations from the Land Grant Universities in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana since 1995. With changes in management, available hybrids and other production practices an update was due. Data collection for a comprehensive review of these recommendation began back in 2006 and culminated with 198 on-farm trials in 39 counties conducted during the cropping years in 2014 to 2018. The numbers have been crunched and new recommendations are now published in in the 2020 version of Tri-state Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Alfalfa, Bulletin 974.… Continue reading

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Message from Ohio FFA President Bethany Starlin

Message from Ohio FFA President 

Bethany Starlin

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…welcome to 2021! Many of us may have quickly put 2020 behind us due to the many hardships it presented. Nevertheless, it is important that we reflect on the great strides that our association has made and recognize the accomplishments of our members.

In a time when it would have been easier to close the door and say, “we’ll try again next year,” our association decided instead to think outside of the box and seek ways to continually offer unique opportunities to our more than 25,000 members. It is an honor to say that over the past year Ohio FFA has not cancelled a single state-wide leadership event, but instead transformed the delivery model. The virtual world we live in can be difficult to navigate but it also offers the unique ability to bring us closer together while still keeping us [physically] apart.… Continue reading

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Biden addresses food insecurity with executive order

 To address a dramatic rise in hunger, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that to increase food assistance for families missing meals due to school closures as well as boost Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for the lowest-income households.Throughout the pandemic, National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed concern about elevated rates of food insecurity in both urban and rural communities; by some estimates, one in six adults and one in four children have experienced food insecurity during the pandemic — rates that are about 50% higher than the United States was seeing just a year ago.Though SNAP and other food assistance programs have provided a crucial safety net for millions of Americans, it hasn’t been enough to offset the surge of job losses and resulting financial stress. Even after the most recent stimulus package boosted SNAP benefits by 15%, the average recipient is still approximately $100 short of covering the costs of a month of low-cost groceries.Because
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Advanced Yield Select Crop Inputs seeks to boost ROI

It is all about the return on investment. Cory Atley, Ohio’s four-time crop production yield winner, announced a new brand — Advanced Yield Select Crop Inputs — for the purpose of helping growers “make the most of every dollar they spend on crop inputs on every acre they farm.”

Atley, who farms more than 8,000 acres of leased and family ground, is known by many for his high yields and appearance in the reality show “Corn Warriors.” In addition to farming, he and his team at Advanced Yield work with dozens of farmers from Ohio to Kansas to coax more bushels from the ground every year.

“We’re bringing out our own branded products because we’ve found a way to source high-quality products for much lower cost,” he said. “We’ve proven the value of these formulations in our own operation and we can bring these same products to growers in a way that will save them money.” … Continue reading

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Will bullish markets continue?

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The Argentina dock strike last month lasted far longer than had been expected as it was drawn out to almost three weeks. It has been an annual occurrence for an Argentina dock strike to last 1 to 3 days as the dock workers demand more money. It has been reported the grain companies offered an increase high enough to keep government intervention from taking place. While you may think Argentina is a small player in the grand scheme with soybean production below that of Brazil and the United States, Argentina is the world’s largest exporter of soymeal. As the strike ended, reports noted at least 170 vessels waiting to be loaded with grains.

March 2021 CBOT soybeans finally breached the $12 mark on Dec. 17 after at least five different unsuccessful assaults in a month. The next resistance level of $13 was penetrated in significantly fewer days, taking place on Dec.… Continue reading

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Lessons learned for 2021

By Matt Reese

I’m fairly certain that no single year in recent world history has had more of a universally global impact than 2020. Nationwide and around the world, if you were alive and breathing during the previous 12 months, 2020 inevitably had a significant impact on you. No matter your profession, age, socio-economic status, regardless of where you live or who you are, we are all likely heading into 2021 with an altered perspective from a year ago. Have you changed for the better?

I think one positive change in the last year was that the role of agriculture (from farms through the supply chain) gained some valuable ground in the estimation our society in general. Many of those far removed from the daily challenges of agriculture have clearly been taking our amazing food system for granted. Those folks got a sobering wake-up call in 2020. 

Ohio Farm Bureau president Frank Burkett, III alluded to this in his comments reflecting on 2020 while heading into the organization’s virtual annual meeting in December.… Continue reading

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Bayer’s third generation corn rootworm trait gains final approval

Bayer announced the receipt of the final safety certificate for import and food/feed use from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for the company’s third-generation corn rootworm trait (MON 87411). This approval represents the final key authorization for commercial introduction of SmartStax PRO Technology in the United States.

SmartStax PRO Technology is the next generation of corn rootworm protection, and the first product offering three modes of action for corn rootworm control. It combines the proven benefits of SmartStax Technology corn rootworm protection with a novel RNAi-based mode of action, providing improved control of corn rootworm over a range of pressure.*

“We’re excited to receive this authorization and look forward to putting SmartStax PRO Technology in the hands of our grower customers,” said Scott Stein North America Corn Product Management Lead. “The introduction of a novel mode of action like RNAi will provide growers yet another tool to help control tough corn rootworm pests.”… Continue reading

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Growers help manage seed research

Farmers are invited to tell Seed Genetics Direct what seed to test against to ensure research data provides the comparisons all farmers want. Farmers do not need to be a SGD customer to supply a corn or bean competitive check.

Farmers who wish to participate should send their name, contact info and 10 pounds of seed (with tags) to Seed Genetics Direct at 9983 Jeffersonville-West Lancaster Road, Jeffersonville, Ohio, 43128. Nominations must be received by Feb. 20. Questions should be directed to Chris Jeffries, CCA, president, at 740-505-0073 or

SGD customers may also manage STEPP (Seed Testing Evaluation Plot Program) plots with SGD. An on-farm customer testing program, STEPP is an important tool in SGD’s research program and offers additional data points in more locations to provide a broader perspective on current and new hybrids and varieties. Customers interested in managing a STEPP plot should contact Todd Jeffries, vice president, at toddj@seedgeneticsdirect.comContinue reading

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