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Farmland leasing webinar

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

Winter is a good time to review farm leases, for both economic and legal reasons.  We’ll provide you current information to help with the farmland leasing process in our Ohio Farmland Leasing Update webinar on February 9, 2022 from 7 to 9 p.m. Barry Ward, Leader of Production Business Management for OSU Extension, will address the economic issues and our legal team of Peggy Hall and Robert Moore will provide the legal information.  

Our agenda will include:

  • Current economic outlook for Ohio row crops
  • Research on cash rent markets for the Eastern Corn Belt
  • Rental market outlook fundamentals
  • Negotiating conservation practices
  • Using leases in farmland succession planning
  • Ohio’s proposed law on providing notice of termination
  • Ensuring legal enforceability of a lease

There is no fee for the webinar, but registration is necessary.  Register at reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 238 | Ohio Restaurant Association

John Barker, President & CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association joins us to talk about the impact of COVID-19 to Ohio’s foodservice industry and the impact of food price inflation. Plus, Dale has an update with Robert Fox of CoBank, Matt visits with Jason Williamson of Williamson Crop Insurance, and Dale has a report with Wesley Haun of Tiger Sul Products. All of that and more thanks to AgriGold!… Continue reading

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Planting depth will critical to achieving high yields in 2022

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Planting is one of the most critical management practices of the year because it sets the stage for the entire growing season. There are several key aspects of planting, one of which is planting depth. Invariably, every year Seed Consultants’ agronomists come across problems that are caused by variable and improper planting depth. Planting depth is critical because it impacts germination, seedling development, crop root development, emergence, and ultimately crop yields.

For corn, seed needs to be planted no shallower than 1.5 inches below the soil surface. Typically, the suggested range is 1.5 to 2 inches, however, some studies and growers have seen success at depths up to 3 inches. It is important to make sure that corn is planted into adequate soil moisture for germination. In addition, corn needs to be at least 1.5 inches deep for the proper early development the root system.… Continue reading

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How to stay healthy at home in the COVID-19 pandemic

By Lingying Zhao

We have been in the COVID-19 pandemic for almost two years. Because of the pandemic, we started a new mode of working from home and/or staying at home as a measure to control the virus’ spread and protect our health. Recently, as the new Omicron variant of Coronavirus spread in the U.S. and all over the world, many of our friends and family members became infected with the virus. When we are sick, the instructions issued from the workplaces, doctors, and/or schools are to stay at home. Consequently, in this winter during the pandemic, we are spending even more time in our homes. However, most of our homes are not designed and equipped to deal with the air-borne transmission of infectious diseases. One sick family member at home may affect the safety of the entire household. Staying healthy at home in the pandemic, especially when we have sick family members living at home, becomes a significant challenge.… Continue reading

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Cattle market outlook bright despite rising input costs

By Garth Ruff, Ohio State University Extension beef cattle field specialist

On Jan. 24, the OSU Beef Team was pleased to host a 2022 Beef Market Outlook meeting featuring Andrew Griffith, Associate Professor of Agriculture and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee. He covered the usual supply, demand, and market projections as well as some insight to supply chain disruptions, input costs, and beef industry trends. This article will highlight some of the main points of Griffith’s talk which can be viewed in its entirety on the Beef Team YouTube channel at


Cow numbers are down, in large part due to long lasting drought that has gripped most of the country west of the Mississippi River. Heifer slaughter was up over 4% compared to 2020 and cull cow slaughter was up nearly 10% compared to the prior year. This reduction of the cow herd will allow for strong fed cattle and feeder prices “in 2022, 2023, and potentially in 2024 depending on heifer replacement rates,” Griffith said.… Continue reading

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2022 Commodity Classic show floor nearly sold out

Exhibit space at the 2022 Commodity Classic in New Orleans has nearly sold out, with 389 companies committing to the trade show floor. Exhibitors are eager to share the latest agricultural innovations and technologies with thousands of farmers from across the country.

The 2022 Commodity Classic will be held March 10-12 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. This year’s theme is “The Future Is In Your Hands.”

Exhibitors at Commodity Classic will have direct, in-person interaction with scores of top producers, first-time attendees, and key ag media representatives. Commodity Classic attracts top farmers from across the nation who are the early adopters, thought leaders, and innovators in agriculture. 

Commodity Classic provides farmers with a unique combination of outstanding education, top-notch speakers, technology and innovation, a huge trade show, entertainment, and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.

Commodity Classic is hard at work ensuring that this year’s show will be a fun and safe event that complies with COVID-19 guidelines.… Continue reading

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Hunting sheds, darters and fur auctions

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

It’s no secret that Ohio whitetails are well-known for the size and quality of their antlers — both on the animal and after the antlers have been shed. I learn quite a bit about the resident deer population in the areas I hunt by going out this time of the year in search of shed antlers, including the locations of bedding areas and discovering new travel routes. 

A whitetail buck grows its first set of antlers when it is one year old, when they begin growing in the early spring. The developing antler is covered with a thick velvety skin rich with blood vessels and nerves. Decreasing day length in the late summer and early fall triggers several physical changes in a buck, including termination of the blood supply to the antlers. The antlers begin to harden soon thereafter and by August or September, the velvet is shed as the buck rubs his antlers against trees and other solid objects in the fields and woods.… Continue reading

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Riding for farmers who cannot

By Alayna DeMartini, Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

After a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile run, Austin Heil wanted more.

Not more on the actual day in 2016 he finished Ohio’s half Ironman race, the Ironman 70.3 Ohio. On that day, he needed sleep and a lot of food. But weeks after getting to the finish line, he wanted to do a group ride with some of the people he bonded with along the course. People who swam and biked and ran alongside him.

“You’re near death in the last leg of a triathlon, so you meet a lot of people,” he joked about the grueling experience.

A few months after the triathalon, Heil organized a bike ride near his northwest Ohio farm in Kenton. And just to make the ride really interesting, he mapped out a course that would form a handwritten “Ohio.”

Using a Garmin app, he clicked around.… Continue reading

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Carnival season time to eat, drink and be merry

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

New Orleans is the place to party this month! First, let’s clear up some confusion. Carnival season starts at epiphany and is a time to eat, drink and be merry that includes parades, balls and other merriment leading up to Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras (also known as Fat Tuesday and Shrove Tuesday) is the peak, the culmination, the last hurrah, the final tick of the Carnival season game clock before fasting and prayer begin with Lent. Now I’ve been to the Big Easy, the grand finale may be complete, but the energy, music and food live on yearlong. 

Believe it or not this party all started with a pancake. The story goes that a Pope in the time of 600 AD forbade eating all meat and animal products during Lent. It spread to Southern England where parishioners used up their eggs, milk and butter the day before Ash Wednesday in the form of pancakes.… Continue reading

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Meatpacker investigation continues

The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, asking the Department of Justice to provide an update on its investigation into the meatpacking industry. The Department of Justice began an investigation after excessive volatility in the live and fed cattle markets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“With over 80% of the fed cattle market controlled by only four major packing companies, we are concerned about the control these firms have,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president. “We look forward to hearing from the Department of Justice regarding their investigation, so we can update Farm Bureau members and assure them that adequate government oversight is being conducted in the nation’s cattle markets, and that the markets remain fair for businesses, farmers and all American families.” 

Farm Bureau asked for a written update on the volatility in the live and fed cattle markets within 90 days.… Continue reading

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Corn College and Soybean School

By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

Due to popular demand, the AgCrops Team will host the 2nd annual virtual Corn College and Soybean School on February 15, 2022 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM featuring your OSU Extension state specialists, including the new corn agronomist, Osler Ortez, and new soybean pathologist, Horacio Lopez-Nicora. CCA CEUs will be available during the live presentations (2.0 CM, 5.0 IPM, and 1.0 NM).

To register, please go to: There is a $10 registration fee for this event, which goes directly to support OSU AgCrops Team activities. Presentations will be recorded and uploaded to the AgCrops Team YouTube channel after the event (… Continue reading

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Setting basis on 2021 beans and final futures sales

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Predictions indicate South America’s bean crop will likely be smaller than earlier estimates had suggested. However, at this point how much smaller is anyone’s guess, so projections are wide-ranging. If production is at the lower range, there is substantial upside potential still in the market. On the other hand, if production is only mildly affected, then the market has probably traded beyond what is warranted.

Either way, most traders believe that South America will not be producing a record crop this year, which should keep the market from trading to the lows of sub $12 from only two months ago.

For our farm operation, we typically store all our beans in on-farm storage because the nearest processor is too far away for us to haul to during harvest. Plus, nearby local elevator bids tend to be much lower than the processor’s bid most of the year, even when accounting for the additional freight to haul the longer distance.… Continue reading

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Soil temperatures and nitrogen retention

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

With current fertilizer nitrogen prices and concerns about availability, we want to take advantage of every unit of N we apply for the 2022 corn crop. One place to look for N is from fall manure applications. The conditions at and after application will affect the amount of N available. We can make predictions of loss, but doing a pre-sidedress nitrogen test or another in-season soil test will increase the confidence in how much N is there for the crop.

One good guide to conditions that reduce N loss is soil temperature. The soil temperature guideline used for anhydrous ammonia is to make applications once soil temperatures are less than 50 degrees F at 4-inches deep and continue to go down. 

Retaining the ammonium in fall-applied manure follows the same principle. If we apply when the soil temperature is less than 50 degrees, the bacteria that convert ammonium (soil stable N) to nitrate (leachable N lost through tile) are less active.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s youth raise over $22,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST Program for youth ages 8-21 years co-hosted the Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle along with an online auction to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC). The Clark County Cattle Producers sponsored the event. 

 The Celebrity Showdown was hosted at the Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio on Jan. 28, 2022. For this event, youth were responsible for raising a minimum of $100 for the opportunity to dress up their cattle and present them to the celebrity judge. This year’s judge was Shawn Flarida, owner of Shawn Flarida Reiners, from Springfield, Ohio. Through donations from family, friends, their local community and members of OCA, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown raised $8,334 for the show. 

The team that took the lead with fundraising was HR Cattle Company with $2,025 total raised. The other teams/participants with the highest fundraising numbers were Austin Sutherly with $1500; Jordan Flax and Sophie Wilson with $1,300; Lara, Lexi and Rylan Rittenhouse with $830; Ella and Emma Grimwood with $759; and Cassidy Harris, Annabelle Harris, Eli Creech, Andrew Johnson, Annabelle Johnson, Annie Johnson and Harper Creech with $500. … Continue reading

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Hannewald wins 2022 Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

Mike Hannewald of Lucas County is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2022 Discussion Meet competition. The results were announced Jan. 29 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience.  
The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. It is designed for young agricultural professionals to work together to find solutions around issues facing agriculture today.
Hannewald developed a strong interest in farming while growing up on the family farm, just outside of Waterville, and became very active in 4-H and FFA. A Lucas County Farm Bureau member, he earned his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from The Ohio State University. He is an agronomist and precision farming adviser for Beck’s Hybrids, covering northern Ohio and northeastern Indiana and remains actively involved on the family farm. 
As the winner, he receives a $3,000 cash prize, complimentary registration to the 2023 YAP Winter Leadership Experience and an expense-paid trip to 2023 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Puerto Rico.… Continue reading

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Renewable Fuels Standard for 2022

Allies of corn growers in the U.S. Senate sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan calling on him to prioritize the Renewable Fuels Standard. 

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), with the support from a bipartisan group of 12 senators, called on the administrator to maintain proposed blending requirements for 2022; deny all pending Small Refinery Exemptions; eliminate proposed retroactive cuts to the 2020 renewable volume obligations; and set 2021 RFS volumes at the statutory levels. 

“The RFS is a significant tool for EPA to reduce the carbon footprint of our transportation sector,” the senators wrote. “By taking the above actions, the EPA can quickly restore integrity, stability, and growth to the RFS and the U.S. biofuel sector while ensuring that the program continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diversify our fuels, drive down gas prices, strengthen our national security, and drive rural economic opportunity.”
National Corn Growers Association leadership saw the letter as an important development.… Continue reading

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Celebrate 30 years with us!

The first issue of Ohio’s Country Journal was nearly 30 years ago in September of 1992. It featured Stark County dairy farmer Mark Thomas and his tireless promotion of ethanol through his success on the race track behind the wheel of an ethanol-powered hot rod. 

By 1992, Thomas had won three International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) world championships and always promoted his favorite fuel — corn ethanol. From there, Thomas’ racing career and ethanol took off. Since 1992, ethanol has been among the greatest success stories of agriculture in Ohio. 

In 30 years there have been plenty of other industry-shaping developments. I have been perusing the OCJ archives in recent weeks as we work our way through year 30 and have been amazed at the massive changes that have shaped Ohio agriculture. Along with the rise of ethanol, here are some others.

Genetically modified crops

There is not much in the last three decades that has had more impact in crop fields than this topic. … Continue reading

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Correcting soil compaction from a wet 2021 harvest

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

The wet fall left many of us with tough decisions. Proceed with harvest and know we are compacting fields or delaying harvest until dryer soils or have the ground firm up with colder soil temperatures. Those who waited for the ground to firm up are still working on harvest here in January 2022. Those that proceeded with harvest have compaction and most likely at least some ruts they need to decide how to handle. 

Before getting to remedies, we need to understand how severe the compaction was. The field conditions, equipment loads, and tire pressures are important to determine compaction severity. 

The soil and water status where the highest compaction occurs is when the soil is below saturation (e.g., when water fills 85% of pore spaces). The small amount of air space gives soil particles room to move into, while the soil strength is still quite close to its weakest state.… Continue reading

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Biden Administration to increase H-2B visas

To address the country’s ongoing labor shortage, the Biden Administration this announced it will allow an additional 20,000 foreign workers into the country under the H-2B visa program. 

The program permits employers to temporarily hire such workers for non-agricultural labor or services, including meatpacking. Employers requesting H-2B visas must attest to the U.S. Department of Labor that they will offer a wage that equals or exceeds the higher of the prevailing wage, applicable federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage or local minimum wage. Most of the visas will be available only to workers who received H-2B visas in the last three fiscal years, but 6,500 will go to laborers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras. Farm groups continue to ask congressional lawmakers to expand the current H-2A visa program to year-round agricultural laborers, including meatpacking workers.… Continue reading

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2022 Ohio Hops Conference

Hop growers, aspiring hop growers, hop enthusiasts, brewers, beer professionals and the hop curious are invited to register and attend the 2022 Ohio Hops Conference February 26 and 27, 2022.

The Ohio Hop Growers Guild is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2022 Ohio Hops Conference! Registrations are limited for in person attendance as well as a limited number of tradeshow vendors, but will also have a virtual option. The event will take place in the Beer Museum at Brewdog DogTap Columbus in Canal Winchester at 96 Gender Rd. Registration for participants and tradeshow is on the Ohio Hop Growers Guild website,

Keynote presentations will be from members of the Hop Quality Group. University specialists and industry experts will provide information on Hop Breeding, Soil Fertility, Harvest Timing, Disease, and Insects. Panels of Brewers and Hop Growers will also cover a wide array of topics including hops production, quality, and marketing.… Continue reading

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