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A look at yields as the smoke clears for 2023

By Matt Reese

From the driest spring weather on record for some areas to some record-setting wheat, corn and soybean yields for farms, the 2023 growing season had its share of ups and downs statewide. There was no shortage of coffee shop conversation fodder with a number of agricultural oddities from the year, but it seems the most discussion, questioning, theorizing, and speculating in 2023 revolved around the hazy, smoggy stretch of days due to the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. 

At the time, many farmers had concerns yields were being limited by the filtered sunlight through the smoke, but with some high yielding crops around the state, many are now speculating that the smoke could have somehow improved yields. 

There were three major stretches of wildfire smoke in Ohio: June 6 and 7, June 27 through 29, and July 16 and 17. There were several other smoky sky days of less intensity throughout the two-month period as well.… Continue reading

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Asian longhorned tick continues to spread

A species of exotic tick arrived in Ohio in 2021 in such huge numbers that their feeding frenzy on a southeastern farm left three cattle dead of what researchers believe was severe blood loss.

The scientists from The Ohio State University have reported in the Journal of Medical Entomology on the state’s first known established population of Asian longhorned ticks, and are now conducting research focused on monitoring and managing these pests.

So far, these ticks are not deemed to be a threat to human health. They tend to favor large livestock and wildlife, such as cattle and deer. Just a handful of the hundred ticks from the farm screened for infectious agents tested positive for pathogens, including one, Anaplasma phagocytophilium, that can cause disease in animals and humans. Elsewhere this tick carries another pathogen, Theileria orientalis, that affects cattle, and cases of bovine theileriosis have been reported in Ohio. 

Researchers say the tiny brown ticks — the size of a sesame seed in some life stages and pea-sized when engorged — are persistent, however: Surveillance showed they returned the following summer to the farm despite the application of pesticides in 2021. … Continue reading

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2023 turkey hatch a good one

Some rare good news for Ohio turkey hunters: the state’s wild turkey poult index, a metric used to estimate nest success for the popular gamebird, was above average for the third year in a row, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW). The 2023 Ohio index was 2.8 poults per hen, above the 10-year average of 2.7 poults per hen.

The agency relies on public reports of wild turkeys and their young, called poults, in July and August of each year to estimate nest success. The annual poult index can serve as an indicator of wild turkey population trends and inform harvest regulations in future years. Turkey brood success is largely influenced by weather conditions, habitat, and predation.

Wild turkey brood surveys in 2021 and 2022 showed above average nest productivity that benefitted turkey populations after several years of below average results. The statewide average poults per hen in 2022 was 3, and 3.1 in 2021.… Continue reading

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USDA offers assistance to protect privately-owned agricultural lands

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners and organizations interested in protecting farmlands and grasslands with financial and technical assistance available through the Agricultural Land Easements program (ALE). Applications for ALE are taken on a continuous basis. The deadline to receive fiscal year 2024 funding is Dec. 15, 2023.

The ALE program provides funding to conservation partners to purchase conservation easements on private working lands.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.

“Preserving Ohio’s farmlands is critical,” said John Wilson, NRCS State Conservationist in Ohio. “This program works to ensure the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses.” 

Land eligible for agricultural easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forest land. NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.… Continue reading

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Brazilian farmers have paid a price for all the 2023 records

By Daniele Siqueira, Head of Market Intelligence with Brazilian consultancy AgRural

Brazil’s agriculture has established fresh records in 2023, setting new all-time highs for corn and soybean production. Even facing the phenomenon La Niña for a third consecutive year, the country was able to produce 155 million metric tons of soybeans. Only one state, Rio Grande do Sul, at Brazil’s southern end, had a drought-related crop failure, but other states made up for the losses, with record yields almost everywhere. 

Corn production, driven by the second crop (known as “safrinha” and planted right after the soybean harvest), had a bad start caused by planting delays. But farmers were very fortunate after that, receiving beneficial rains even in the driest months of the year and escaping from frosts in states where temperatures normally drop during pollination and grain filling. As a result, Brazil was able to produce 132 million metric tons, well above the already good 113 million harvested in the previous year. … Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association annual meeting

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association is hosting a virtual annual meeting for 2023.

It will be held Wednesday Nov. 29 from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. in the morning.

The featured speaker will be Ben Brown, senior research associate with the Food and Agriculture Policy Research institute at the University of Missouri. The virtual meeting will include the Association’s annual business meetings and board elections as well. Visit for more information and to register.… Continue reading

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OSA and OSCF undergraduate and graduate scholarship opportunities

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off

 The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA), the membership and policy arm for Ohio soybean farmers, is offering one $1,000 scholarship to students of any major with a passion for the soybean industry. The scholarship will be applied to the 2024-2025 school year. Applicants must be a full-time student at college, university or a technical school who have completed 15 hours of credit and must be able to provide proof of legal residency in Ohio.

Those who apply must also have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and must be a child or grandchild of an OSA member or be a Student and Young Adult Member themselves (SYA membership is $10). Applications open on Monday, October 23, 2023and must be completed by Friday, January 12, 2024, at 11:59 pm EST.

Contact Eric Robinson at with any questions.… Continue reading

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Turkey prices fall as Thanksgiving approaches

The cost of purchasing a turkey could be lower this Thanksgiving, thanks to a drop in avian influenza cases and a recovery of the turkey population in the United States. American Farm Bureau Federation economists analyzed turkey and egg prices in the latest Market Intel report, which states the average price for an 8-to-16 pound turkey typically served for Thanksgiving was $1.27 per pound in August 2023, 22% lower than the same time last year.

“The status of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) is much different now than it was just a year ago,” the Market Intel states. “Migratory birds are a major vector of this virus, which naturally makes spring and fall migration high risk times. Detections from the current outbreak peaked during March 2022 with 20.96 million birds affected before gradually falling to just 540 birds in September 2023. This can be compared to 8.15 million birds affected in September 2022.… Continue reading

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Capturing carry in the soybean market

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Thursday’s USDA report indicated that last summer’s corn objective yield models might have been more accurate than the subjective based weekly reports after all. This could suggest the current average corn yield, estimated to be nearly 175, may increase again in the January report, which would not be bullish news for corn. 

For beans, the USDA only increased the yield slightly and demand remained unchanged. If the estimated export numbers can be attainted, the bean supply will be tight and supportive of prices.

Moving forward both the corn and bean markets will be watching Brazil’s weather the next several months as it is the critical window for crop development. So far, the weather has not been ideal there, but it is still early and growing areas are spread out over a larger area than in the U.S. 

Market Action – Capturing carry in the soybean market

Ten years ago, I built grain bins to store my beans during harvest.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 324 | Energy Outlook

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosts Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talk with Brent Sohngen, a professor of environmental and resource economics in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University. They discuss energy prices for gas and diesel, especially as prices trend lower. With the decrease in prices, Brent talks about what this means for different sectors of agriculture. 

 More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Scott Raber, Bane-Welker Equipment: Dale and Scott talk about expansions Bane-Welker Equipment is currently undergoing.
  • Bret Davis, Delaware County Farmer: Brett chats with Dale about on-farm biodiesel use. 
  • Peter Gehres, Jeff Martin Auctioneers: Peter stops in to talk with Matt about recent equipment prices and the outlook of it. 
  • Jeff Wolfe, Director for Ohio Poultry Breeders Association: Matt visits Jeff at the Ohio National Poultry show in Columbus, OH. 
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Soybean harvest nears completion, plenty of corn left

Favorable weather supported substantial row crop harvest progress last week, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent very short, 22 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on November 12 was 48.7 degrees, 5.8 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.10 inches of precipitation, 0.68 inches below average. There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 12.

Last week’s field activities included fertilizer application, lime spreading, and fall tillage. Farmers reported that high corn moisture content continued to slow corn harvest progress in western counties. Sixty-eight percent of corn was harvested and the moisture content of corn grain at harvest was 20 percent. Ninety-five percent of soybeans were harvested and the moisture content of soybeans at harvest was 13 percent. Winter wheat was 90 percent emerged.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau releases Technology Intelligence Report

Ohio Farm Bureau and Nationwide have created an Ag Intelligence Service report to help guide your technology investment decision-making process. It is designed to help position farm businesses to leverage technology trends on their operations by focusing on six important areas to consider before pulling the trigger on any new technology.

Adopting New Ag Technologies: Tips to Minimize Your Risks,” available exclusively for Ohio Farm Bureau members, will also help farmers understand and implement technology and help evaluate the risks associated with it.

“Technology is changing how farmers get the job done, bringing more productivity and efficiency,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “These advances and those on the horizon have farmers dreaming about what’s next, and this report will help our members better make decisions to turn those dreams into reality.”

The report identifies common pitfalls when adopting new technology and shares tactics to help avoid them.… Continue reading

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Wet corn, big yields

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Having lost her father in July of 2022, Cindy chose to invite her dad’s lifelong best friend and his wife to our home for lunch. John is 93 years old and has an incredible memory. Growing up on a small dairy farm in Hocking County with no electricity or running water instilled in him a lifelong work ethic. John and Cindy’s father became telegraphers with the C&O Railroad, actually working at the Canal Winchester Depot with my grandfather. Both friends retired from the Chessie System as dispatchers. John recalled the excitement of having a neighbor who owned the first horse-drawn crop harvester in the area, while I shared stories about riding in the combines of today. What an interesting personal history lesson as our deep respect for the legacy of the industry grows even deeper.

The Oct. 22 Weekly Crop Progress Report detailed the U.S. corn harvest was 59% complete.… Continue reading

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Did controlled drainage help your 2023 crop yield?

By Vinayak Shedekar, The Ohio State University

If you practice controlled drainage during the growing season, do you think that controlled drainage helped your crop yields in 2023? It may be too early to answer this question, as many of you are still waiting to finish harvest. But if you are wondering about the role that controlled drainage played this year, I will give you a few tips on how to answer this question.

Monthly rainfall during the 2023 growing season

The early season drought affected crops across most of the state. If you can obtain monthly rainfall totals from an on-site rain gauge or a nearby weather station, look at the rainfall totals from April through September and compare them with average crop water use. The OSU weather station network website ( provides weather data and graphs that can be helpful. For example, the Northwest branch research station in Wood County recorded lower than average rainfall during April, May and June, and slightly above average rainfall in July and August.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on WMJK 100.9 FM

We continue our series highlighting the outstanding Ohio Ag Net radio affiliates carrying the best in Ohio ag news.

We say thank you to WMJK FM serving Sandusky and surrounding counties. Tune in to 100.9 FM to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday at 6:00 a.m., noon, 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

The best in Ohio ag news is easy to find! If your current station doesn’t feature the voice of Ohio Ag—turn the dial! Click here to view the complete affiliate listing, including air times.Continue reading

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The evolving equipment market

By Matt Reese

The equipment market continues to evolve through unprecedented prices and demand.

“Evolving is exactly the right word — I think we’re still continuing to see strong prices for agricultural and construction equipment. We are seeing a little bit of softening in some of the compact construction equipment, but the demand still is there. I think the big issue that many folks are looking at now is with the interest rates creeping up. As they go higher, how is that going to continue to affect the price and the availability of new equipment? Used equipment continues to be a great option for many folks too,” said Peter Gehres, chief operating officers for Jeff Martin Auctioneers, Inc. “The one area where we are seeing a lot of volatility is semi-trucks, your truck tractors or trailers, over the road kind of equipment. There has been a lot of volatility up and down over the last year and we’re continuing to see that as the overall economy begins to change.… Continue reading

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Crop Rotation and 2nd Year Soybean Yields

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. and The SCN Coalition

As we begin to make plans for the 2024 growing season, growers will determine what crops to plant and plan crop rotation across their acres. When considering crop rotations and yields, many focus on continuous corn and the yield penalties associated with that practice. However, there is one possibly overlooked benefit of crop rotation: avoiding a soybean yield penalty.

In this article, the University of Kentucky’s John Grove discusses soybean yields for first year and second year soybeans from 2009 to 2016. Grove’s research data shows an average yield penalty of 2.3 bu/ac across that 7 year period, with some years being showing yield losses greater than 10 bu/ac. In another article from No-Till Farmer, Greg Roth shows data that predicts a 4 to 6 bu/ac yield penalty for second year soybeans.

Yield loses from continuous soybeans (and other continuous crops) are usually associated with increased disease presence as well as pests.… Continue reading

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Ohio National coming to Columbus this weekend

By Matt Reese

The Ohio National poultry show is coming this weekend to the Ohio Expo Center in the Voinovich and O’Neill buildings in Columbus. This year of the show commemorates the 150th anniversary of the American Poultry Association and there are well over 10,000 birds entered into what is annually among the largest poultry shows in the country.

“These are fancy breeding birds — you’ll be able to see any color, any size of bird there this year. I think that the biggest thing that we hear all the time is that most people never knew there were this many different chickens. At the Ohio National you’ll see just about anything — different colors, different sizes and different combs on their head. People just don’t believe there are that many chicken varieties out there,” said Jeff Wolfe, a director for the Ohio Poultry Breeders Association. “And this is the largest youth show for breeding poultry there is in the United States.… Continue reading

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