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Drought projections and fungicide applications

By Anne Dorrance and Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

There have been several calls this past week for fungicide applications on corn and soybean at all different growth stages. So let’s review what might be at stake here.


Frogeye leaf spot and white mold on susceptible varieties when the environment is favorable for disease easily pay the cost of application plus save yield losses. Let’s dig a bit deeper. Both of these diseases are caused by fungi but frogeye leaf spot is a polycyclic disease, meaning that multiple infections occur on new leaves through the season while white mold is monocyclic and the plant is really only susceptible during the flowering stage. Both of these diseases are also limited geographically in the state. White mold is favored in northeast Ohio and down through the central region where fields are smaller and air flow can be an issue. Frogeye has been found on highly susceptible varieties south of 70, but it is moving a bit north, so it is one that I am watching.… Continue reading

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There are ways to spend less on prescriptions

By Harwood D. Schaffer and Daryll E. Ray

Over the last decade or so we have seen a growing concern over rising drug prices for the general public with prices of many drugs set at what the market will bear or priced on value to the consumer rather than cost of production. The result has been increasing medication costs for many families, including those who live on the farm.

We too have had concerns about our own pharmaceutical costs. In retirement we have transitioned from employer-paid insurance that included prescription coverage to individual Medicare Part D prescription insurance.

About a year ago we ran across a popular prescription pricing website that provided available pricing for various pharmacies with discount coupons for most drugs. In the process of looking up drug costs to compare with what we were paying with our Part D insurance we ran across a prescription savings club offered by a national grocery chain with stores in our area.… Continue reading

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Ohio No-till events and COVID-19

By Randall Reeder

As I write this in early July, we still plan to have our three events August 19-20. We are confident we can safely gather 50 to 75 at each site. We’ll stay outside if necessary. Bring a lawn chair and expect to leave some space around you. Masks are optional. (If you’re sick, please stay home.)

Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska, will present “No-till Seeding Equipment: Adjustments and Operation” at all three locations. The Nature Conservancy is covering Paul Jasa’s expenses.

Here are the dates, host and location for the three events:

• Aug. 19, 6:00 to ~9:00pm., Nathan Brown, 6110 Panhandle Road, Hillsboro, OH 45133;

• Aug. 20, 9:00 am to noon, Fred Yoder, 7050 Butler Avenue, Plain City, OH 43064-9694;

• Aug. 20, 6:00 to ~9:00 pm., Keith Kemp, 959 Georgetown-Verona Rd., West Manchester, OH 45382.

At each location, about an hour of the program will be specific for that site.… Continue reading

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Agricultural exports doing relatively well

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has cut demand for many U.S. products, agricultural exports are holding up well, according to a new analysis by an agricultural economist with The Ohio State University.

The reason?

“We all have to eat,” said Ian Sheldon, a professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Even when consumer income declines, the demand for food changes very little, Sheldon said. People in the developed world might be dining out less frequently, but they’re still buying groceries.

Exports of U.S. agricultural goods, including soybeans, which are Ohio’s top agricultural export, are up, Sheldon said. By the start of June, the amount of U.S. soybeans exported was 200,000 tons higher than it was for the same period in 2019.

“The pandemic has affected ag trade, but not by as much as we thought it would,” said Sheldon, who serves as the Andersons Endowed Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.… Continue reading

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Economic headwinds slow red meat exports in May

U.S. beef and pork exports trended lower in May, due in part to interruptions in slaughter and processing, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports dropped well below year-ago levels and recorded the lowest monthly volume in 10 years. Pork exports remained higher than a year ago but were the lowest since October 2019.

“As protective measures related to COVID-19 were being implemented, plant disruptions peaked in early May with a corresponding temporary slowdown in exports,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “Unfortunately the impact was quite severe, especially on the beef side. Exports also faced some significant economic headwinds, especially in our Western Hemisphere markets, as stay-at-home orders were implemented in key destinations and several trading partners dealt with slumping currencies.”

Halstrom noted that the recent rebound in beef and pork production will help exports regain momentum in the second half of 2020.… Continue reading

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Dry weather stressing Ohio crops

Hot and dry weather came back into the state causing drought stress in crops, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture decreased from 69 percent adequate or surplus last week to 30 percent adequate or surplus this week. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 5 degrees above historical normals, and the entire state averaged less than 0.2 inch of precipitation. There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 5. Farmers applied herbicide to soybeans, sprayed weeds, baled hay, and harvested wheat. Winter wheat harvested was at 51 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 10 percentage points, boosted by the warm, dry weather. Soybeans blooming was at 27 percent, 11 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Alfalfa hay first cutting reached 100 percent, 12 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Fifty-three percent of corn was considered good or excellent and 66 percent of pasture and range was considered good or excellent compared to a five-year average of 59 percent.… Continue reading

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Ohio Youth Livestock Expo now ramping up for events

By Matt Reese

While the Ohio State Fair will not happen in 2020, the show will still go on for many of those exhibitors. Megan Wendt, with and The Wendt Group, is one of around 50 volunteers working to put together the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) to provide Ohio State Fair junior exhibitors with a chance to hit the show ring this summer.

“The OYLE was put together pretty quickly when the Ohio State Fair announced its cancelation. A group of leaders from the summer jackpot series as well as the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association came together pretty quickly to provide a place for these kids in the state of Ohio to finish out their projects that most of them had already started. Once the decision came from the Ohio State Fair, we just jumped in to make sure there was something for these kids to be excited about and keep working with their animals to see the project through to completion,” Wendt said.… Continue reading

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Soybean gall midge

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

Over the years, many Ohio farmers have adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach when it comes to protecting their soybean crop. With assistance from Ohio State University Extension entomologists, certified crop advisors, and ag retail agronomists, farmers have implemented the practice of regularly field scouting and insect identification, which are key first steps in crop protection.

Familiar insect pests such as: soybean aphids, brown marmorated stinkbugs, or common defoliators such as bean leaf beetles, Japanese beetle adults and grass hoppers, are regularly scouted for during the growing season. Scouting for the unknown pests however, is not typically done by farmers.

A few years ago, a new insect pest was found infesting soybean fields in Nebraska.

“This new pest had never been seen before, and an insect taxonomist had to help make the formal identification to determine that it actually was a new and not a previously named species,” said Kelley Tilmon, associate professor and State Specialist for field crop entomology at The Ohio State University.… Continue reading

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Are foliar fungicides plus insecticide tank mixture applications to soybeans profitable?

By Michael Staton, Michigan State University Extension Soybean Educator, with additional comments from Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Soybean Specialist.

Are foliar fungicides plus insecticide tank mixture applications to soybeans profitable? On-farm research results collected from 2017 to 2019 by Michigan State University Extension can help soybean producers decide if they should apply foliar fungicide and insecticide tank mixtures in 2020. Similar research has also been performed in Ohio and across states in the North Central Region.

Michael Staton, MSU Extension Soybean Educator

Soybean producers are interested in increasing soybean yields and income by applying foliar tank mixtures of a fungicide and an insecticide. However, extension entomologists do not recommend insurance tank mixes like this for a variety of reasons, unless insects are over threshold. The Michigan soybean on-farm research program coordinated a total of 15 trials from 2017 to 2019 to evaluate the yield and income performance of foliar fungicide and insecticide tank mixtures.

Continue reading

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NCGA submits fueling regulation comments to EPA

The National Corn Growers Association submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Agency’s Fuels Regulatory Streamlining proposed rule to update and streamline certain fuel regulations.

Clear and objective regulations around the manufacture and sale of fuels, including existing E85 for use in flex-fuel vehicles, E15, and future mid-level ethanol blends, are important to corn growers.

NCGA President Kevin Ross asked EPA to ensure proposed changes to the definition of gasoline do not add new and unnecessary regulatory burdens for E85, keep pathways to higher ethanol blends open, and build on the successful rule for year-round E15 by addressing additional regulatory barriers to expanding E15 sales.

Ross urged EPA to, “follow through and take action to update E15 labeling and equipment certification requirements. Streamlining E15 labeling and certifying current E10 equipment for E15 would support more retailers offering this fuel to consumers,” he wrote.… Continue reading

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Tearing down the silos

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

There is an analogy in the business world of tearing down “silos” within an organization to improve communications and teamwork. Martin Irving of L.J. Irving and Sons, Inc. in Napoleon, Ohio uses communication and teamwork to tear down literal silos.

“People want to do business with people they know and trust,” Martin said. “I like to visit with people and listen to their needs and then explain how we can take a problem they have, and find a solution to fix it. Listening and working together is how we have built our reputation.”

Finding solutions and fixing problems is what L.J. Irving and Sons has been doing since the business was started by Martin’s parents, Larry and Nelda Irving in the mid-1980s.

“The company started as a small mix of residential and commercial concrete work and demolition,” Martin said.… Continue reading

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New Senate bill bolsters farmers in crisis

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) strongly supports the Responding to Epidemic Losses and Investing in the Economic Future (RELIEF) for Producers Act of 2020, introduced by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

The bill would:

• Compensate hog and poultry producers who are forced to euthanize or donate animals that can’t be processed into the food supply due to COVID-related packing plant capacity reductions;
• Increase funding for animal health surveillance and laboratories, which have appropriately assisted and shared resources with their public health partners; and
• Revise the Commodity Credit Corporation charter so a pandemic-driven national emergency qualifies for funding.

“We thank Senators Inhofe, Burr, Ernst, Grassley and Tillis for their support of U.S. hog farmers who urgently need federal assistance to address this unprecedented crisis,” said Howard “A.V.” Roth, NPPC president. “While plant capacity has improved, millions of hogs remain backed up on farms due to the COVID-created bottleneck, one that could have a lasting impact on hog farmers.… Continue reading

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USDA reminds Ohio producers to complete crop acreage reports

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds Ohio producers to complete crop acreage reports by the applicable deadline for their county. Acreage reporting dates vary by crop and by county. Contact your FSA county office for a list of acreage reporting deadlines by crop.

“To make sure you’re eligible for many USDA programs, you need to file an accurate crop acreage report by the applicable deadline,” said Leonard Hubert State Executive Director in Ohio. “Our FSA staff is standing by to help you with your acreage reports, including providing maps.”

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for:

July 15, 2020 — Report all your Burley Tobacco, Cabbage (Planted 3/19/20-5/31/20), Corn, Grain Sorghum, Hybrid Corn Seed, Spring Oats, Popcorn, Potatoes, Soybeans, Sugar Beets, Tomatoes and all other crops. Report Perennial Forage Crops.

Aug. 15, 2020 — Report Cabbage (Planted 6/1/20-7/20/20).

Sept. 30, 2020 — Report Aquaculture.

Dec. 15, 2020 — Fall Barley, Fall Wheat, and all other Fall-Seeded Small Grains.… Continue reading

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COVID trouble with straddles

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Due to COVID-19, two recent straddle trades didn’t go as planned. While it’s always disappointing when this happens, it’s important to review what happened, what can be learned from the situation, and how to move forward in a positive way.


My history with selling straddles

Since 2016, selling straddles has represented about 30% of my grain marketing strategy. I use them to try and capture profit from a sideways market. The trade involves selling both a put and a call at the same strike price.

Selling straddles can force sales at higher values, which makes for a strong strategy. As a producer I’m happy with rallies because, I always have more grain to sell at higher prices. Selling straddles helps me maximize profit potential when the market stays sideways, which has happened a lot in the last 3 years.


The downside of selling straddles

Straddles don’t have a built-in floor price, which opens me up to unlimited downside risk.… Continue reading

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Double-crop soybeans

By Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Soybean Specialist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-20

As small grains are harvested across the state, here are some management considerations for double-crop soybean production:

Relative maturity (RM) has little effect on yield when soybeans are planted during the first three weeks of May. However, the effect of RM can be larger for late planting. When planting soybean late, the latest maturing variety that will reach physiological maturity before the first killing frost is recommended. The suitable relative maturity for soybeans planted between July 1-10 is: 3.0 to 3.3 for Northern Ohio, 3.2 to 3.5 for Central Ohio, and 3.4 to 3.7 for Southern Ohio. This is to allow the soybean plants to grow vegetatively as long as possible to produce nodes where pods can form before vegetative growth is slowed due to flowering and pod formation.

Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist

Double-crop soybeans should be produced in narrow rows- 7.5 to 15-inch row spacing.

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Updated WOTUS still not perfect

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

As always, there is an update on the continuing saga of the waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. If you recall, back in April, the Trump administration’s “final” WOTUS rule was published. Next, of course, came challenges of the rule from both sides, as we discussed in a previous Harvest post. Well, the rule officially took effect (in most places, we’ll get to that) June 22, despite the efforts of a group of attorneys general from Democratically-controlled states attempting to halt the implementation of the rule.

The attorneys general asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California a nationwide preliminary injunction, or pause on implementation of the rule until it could be sorted out in the courts. The district court judge denied that injunction on June 19. On the very same day, a federal judge in Colorado granted the state’s request to pause the implementation of the rule within the state’s territory.… Continue reading

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Report looks at building more resilient Ohio food systems

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

A group of Ohio farm and food groups recently released an 18-page report assessing the measures for building a resilent food system.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), Ohio Farmers Market Network (OFMN), Ohio Food Policy Network (OFPN), and Produce Perks Midwest (PPM) published eight policy recommendations in the report Opportunity in a Time of Crisis: Recommendations for Building a More Resilient Ohio Food System.


  1. Establishment of an interagency food work group to identify strategies to fund and build farmers market capacity including technical assistance and infrastructure development for online purchasing platforms for farmers markets, direct-to-consumer producers, and local retailers;
  2. Establishment of an interagency food work group to identify areas where creation of food preservation, processing, and distribution facilities are needed and how they can be financed;
  3. Passage of the HEROES Act with aid for underserved farmers and those selling into local food systems;
  4. Passage of the Family Farm ReGeneration Act (HB 183/SB 159);
  5. Changes to state contract bidding requirements for local food purchasing;
  6. Online infrastructure development for SNAP nutrition incentive programming, like Produce Perks;
  7. Support of the SNAP Online Expansion and Delivery Act; and
  8. Passage of Senate Bill 121, which supports nutrition education.
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PCCF and Pickaway County Farm Bureau purchase junior fair beef for food pantries

The Pickaway County Fair had a different packer bidding on the steers at the Pickaway County Junior Fair Sale this year. The Pickaway County Community Foundation and Pickaway County Farm Bureau joined forces to purchase all of the steers from the 4-H and FFA youth that participated in the Pickaway County Fair.

Pickaway County Community Foundation Executive Director Jan Shannon noted that the partnership accomplished two important goals. First, it recognized the work and effort of the youth that raised the steers by paying a generous $1.15 per pound. Second, beef processed at the Orient Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction meat packing plant will be distributed by Farm Bureau and the Foundation to local food pantries to feed those in need.

“Rarely do you see such a collaboration that benefits not only the youth that worked hard raising the animals but then, in exchange, those in need in our county” Shannon said.… Continue reading

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