Top Headlines

Featured Posts (Posts shown below the “Top Posts” on the home page)

Pasture repair after a muddy winter

By Dean Kreager, OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Licking County

By now hay feeding is complete and animals are enjoying the green grass instead of trying to find a way to get to the other side of the fence. How much damage was done in the areas hay was being fed this winter?

Pugging is the damage to sod created by animals’ hooves. Studies have shown that pugging damage can reduce forage productivity by up to 80% or more in severely damaged areas. For those who like to be scientific, there is a published system of scoring the damage based on Australian research and described by the University of Kentucky. A chart is available online. With that system, you can look at the percent of damage within one square foot along with the depth of the damage from zero to over 4 inches. These measurements should be repeated in several locations to find an average.… Continue reading

Read More »

Bullish wheat, neutral corn and soybeans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

U.S. highlights: U.S. corn exports down 75 million bushels, U.S. corn ending stocks up 75 million bushels. U.S. soybean exports unchanged, crush unchanged, soybean ending stocks up 5 million bushels.

World highlights: Brazil soybean production 155 million tons, last month was 154 million tons. Brazil corn production 130 million tons, last month was 125 million tons. Argentina soybean production 27 million tons, last month was 27 million tons. Argentina corn production 37 million tons, last month was 37 million tons. USDA today projected China would be importing 98 million tons of soybeans during the current marketing year from September to August. Last month was 96 million tons. 

Following the noon USDA report release, corn was down 4 cents, soybeans up 1 cent, and wheat  up 18 cents. Prior to the report, corn was down 3 cents, soybeans down 4 cents, and wheat up 8 cents.

U.S. 2022-2023 ending stocks: corn 1.417 billion bushels, last month 1.342 billion bushels; soybeans 215 million bushels, last month 210 million bushels; and wheat 598 million bushels, last month 598 million bushels. … Continue reading

Read More »

Keeping Preserved Farmland in Ag | 2023 Corn Planting Cab Cam | Patrick Bailey, Union Co.

Patrick Bailey of Bailey Heritage Farms in Union County welcomed Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood into the tractor cab for this corn planting Cab Cam. Patrick and his family have found relatively good progress this year, able to get seed in the ground mid-April and dodging rains farms in nearby counties have been delayed by.

This Cab Cam takes place on farmland that’s been the subject of a recent court battle. Area development has attempted to encroach on the land, which is enrolled in the Farmland Preservation Program. The Bailey family has so far successfully fought the development push. More in this story:

The 2023 Cab Cam series is sponsored by Precision Agri Services Inc. More at… Continue reading

Read More »

SCOTUS upholds Prop 12

By Matt Reese

The long-awaited ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on California’s Proposition 12 animal confinement law was not in favor of the arguments made by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“We are very disappointed with the Supreme Court’s opinion,” said Scott Hays, NPPC president, and Missouri pork producer. “Allowing state overreach will increase prices for consumers and drive small farms out of business, leading to more consolidation. We are still evaluating the Court’s full opinion to understand all the implications. NPPC will continue to fight for our nation’s pork farmers and American families against misguided regulations.” 

The May 11 decision by the court was 5-4 with dissention from Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson and Chief Justice John Roberts.

“Companies that choose to sell products in various states must normally comply with the laws of those various states,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch in the court ruling.… Continue reading

Read More »

Natural cover crop termination

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

As the planting season progresses, many cover crops and weeds continue to grow. Letting cover crops grow may reduce soil moisture, improve soil structure, reduce dust storms, and add soil carbon.  Crop rollers naturally kill cover crops by mechanically terminating (crimping) them.  Crimpers are used to kill grass cover crops (cereal rye, oats, barley, whet, millets, sorghum species), vetches (hairy, common), annual clovers (crimson and balansa), brassicas (kale, rape), buckwheat, sunflowers, and multi-species cover crops. Crimpers do not work well with perennial cover crops like red clover, alfalfa, or annual ryegrass.  Best results when the heads or flowers are in the “boot” or head stage, when mechanically crushing cover crop stems kills them.

Crimping advantages include suppression of weeds by forming a natural mulch, reduced summer soil temperatures, it conserves soil moisture, decreases soil erosion, adds organic matter, and reduces blowing soil.  Crimping cover crops works well on corn and soybeans but not on small seeded crops like hay.… Continue reading

Read More »

More ticks expected this season

Backyard lovers, campers, outdoors enthusiasts, and pet owners beware. If you thought last year’s tick season was bad, just wait. This year has the potential to be even worse.

Ticks—and the diseases they carry—are on the rise in Ohio and will likely continue to increase. There has been a steady increase in tick-vectored disease numbers in Ohio each year, and officials don’t expect to see a reverse of the trend, said Tim McDermott, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“While you can encounter a tick during any season, spring marks the beginning of heavy tick season, and this year, the tick population statewide is expected to continue to rise,” he said. 

McDermott said there are multiple factors contributing to the increase in tick-vectored disease, including global climate change, tick range expansion, and increasing numbers of wildlife living in close proximity to people. … Continue reading

Read More »

Lessons learned from HPAI

By Joel Penhorwood and Matt Reese

Ohio continues to face concerns regarding high path avian influenza (HPAI) after dealing with some devastating losses last year in the state’s poultry industry. 

The virus is still causing problems around the country with 15 states dealing with HPAI issues in February and March in commercial and backyard poultry flocks. Pennsylvania has been the worst hit with over 75,000 birds affected in late February and early March, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This winter, though, Ohio has been in the clear in terms of commercial and backyard poultry flocks after facing some tough situations last summer and fall. A wild, deceased bald eagle was found in Clermont County with HPAI in Clairmont County in November of 2022 and some additional wild waterfowl tested positive in Lake County in March.

While they were challenging, Ohio’s HPAI issues with poultry last year did serve as examples in the event of the future arrival of HPAI or other foreign animal diseases in the future.… Continue reading

Read More »

OAC scholarship recipients announced

Each year, the Ohio Agricultural Council offers up to three $1,500 scholarships annually to Ohio high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in agriculture and up to three $1,500 scholarships to undergraduate college students from Ohio who are currently pursuing a degree in agriculture. 

The OAC is pleased to announce the 2023-24 recipients of the Scholarship Program. 

Haven Hileman is a junior at The Ohio State University. She is the daughter of Ed and Robin Hileman. Through involvement with organizations like 4-H, FFA, and Farm Bureau, Haven has discovered a love for advocating and educating others about the agriculture industry. Haven is majoring in Animal Sciences at OSU and, upon graduation, plans to become an agricultural education teacher and raise livestock on her family farm. 

Lauren Mellott grew up on a small grain farm in Butler, Ohio, where she learned the importance of the agricultural industry and found her passion for providing education about and advocating for the industry that provides the world with food, fuel, and fiber.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn planting date concerns

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

For much of the Eastern Corn Belt it is widely understood that the optimal planting period is between April 20 and May 10. Research has proven that corn loses yield potential daily when planted after the beginning of May. For the Central Corn Belt, the declines in yield potential due to planting delays vary from about 0.3% per day early in May to about 1% per day by the end of May. Knowing that this is true, it can be frustrating during a wet spring or when field work is delayed for one reason or another. Planting is a critical component of a successful crop as it sets the stage for the entire growing season. However, it is important to keep in mind that early planting is just one of many factors that contribute to high yield potential. Planting early favors high yields, but it does not guarantee them and growers should not focus entirely on the calendar.… Continue reading

Read More »

Biodiesel boat racing inspires future agriculturalists

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

At first glance, a group of students racing boats may appear to be more about play than learning about Ohio agriculture. First glances, though, can be misleading. 

Through curriculum from the Ohio Soybean Checkoff’s GrowNextGen program, students learn the science to make biodiesel from vegetable (soy) oil and use it to power boats for racing. Variations of the program are available for elementary and junior high, but Rachel Sanders, FFA advisor and science instructor at the Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield, uses the boat racing with high school juniors.

“They’re actually looking at the chemical formulas and equations, figuring out the ratios of how much methanol and potassium hydroxide catalyst to use to make biodiesel, and hopefully race some boats,” Sanders said. “A couple of us teacher leaders, about 10 years ago, started looking at how could we incorporate this lesson into a chemistry classroom and some traditional science classrooms and show them how ag relates to any field in any area of science.” … Continue reading

Read More »

A Groovy place to be for unique and unusual plants

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

For plant lovers, a visit to the Groovy Plants Ranch feels like you’re a proverbial kid in the candy store. The whole property feels both whimsical and a bit weird, which is exactly the vibe that owners Jared and Liz Hughes were going for. 

“We never want to be boring. It’s more fun to do weird stuff,” Liz said. “If we like it and it’s fun, anything can be groovy.”

She and her husband Jared welcome thousands of visitors from across the country to their Morrow County business every year. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener. 

The botanical selection at Groovy Plants Ranch is quite diverse, boasting over 1,500 varieties of plants, herbs and vegetables. Everything from house plants, air plants and cacti to begonias, peonies, petunias and more are for sale, in practically every color, too. There are the same varieties visitors would find at any typical garden center, but also an array of rare plants. … Continue reading

Read More »

Early Soybean Planting and Stand Evaluation

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

Planters were rolling early across the state during the second full week of April.  Now in the second full week of May, not much is occurring.  Rainfall and cooler temperatures since April have slowed planting progress. The Ohio Ag Statistics Service reports planting progress as of May 7th at 11% complete in Ohio for soybeans with 2% emerged.

Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Soybean Specialist is conducting an early planting date study in 2023 (along with a corn planting date study). “Two of the three planting dates have been completed with the first planting occurring from April 12-14,” said Lindsey. “The farm managers at the three locations the study is being conducted reported good planting conditions in early April. The field conditions at the Western Research Center were a little damp.  The second planting occurred April 26-27.… Continue reading

Read More »

Part-Time Seasonal Job Opening at Ag Net Communications

Position: Media Specialist

Hours: Part-time Position – flexible hours – 10 hours a week

Pay: Based on experience

Location: Works remotely – home based

Deadline to apply: May 26, 2023

Start date: Immediately

Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net are looking for a highly detail oriented and organized individual to assist with website posts, graphic design and eNewsletter management. Ideal candidates should have some experience in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign; however, candidates without this experience may be considered.

Duties would include daily preparation of the content and advertisements in our eNewsletter Digital Dale, graphic design of digital and possibly print ads, and posting information to our website. Availability would be needed Sunday evening through Thursday evening from 4 to 5 p.m. to create the following day’s email newsletter. Other hours can be somewhat flexible if the needed work is completed by deadline.

This position is a temporary position for the summer; however, it is possible it could be extended.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 300 | 95th Ohio FFA Convention Recap

On this week’s podcast Dusty and Joel sit down to talk about the 95th Ohio FFA Convention with student reporters, Aubree Topp and Allison Kinney. Aubree is from the Botkins FFA Chapter and Allison is from the Indian Lake OHP FFA Chapter. During this year’s convention, they conducted interviews and captured photos and videos. 

Wyatt Morrow, a student reporter and from the Fairfield FFA Chapter, interviewed Katie Oestreich, Ben Bitner, Kennedy Short, Luke Jennings, and Landon Shelpman about their year of service together as State FFA Officers. Allison also interviewed Luke Jennings, who was named the New State FFA President. Lastly, Dusty talks with Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Specialist for small grains and soybeans, about soybean planting progress and stand evaluation. All this and more on this week’s podcast!

00:00 Intro and OCJ/OAN Staff Update

05:41 Wyatt Morrow – State Officer Recap

18:42 Allision Kinney – Luke Jennings, New State President

22:05 Dr.… Continue reading

Read More »

ODA announces farm pesticide collection dates

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will be sponsoring three collection events for farmers wishing to dispose of unwanted pesticides. This year, the collections are happening in Morgan, Putnam and Miami counties on the following days and locations:

• Aug. 9, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.: Morgan County, Morgan County Fairgrounds
2760 South Riverside Drive, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756

• Aug. 10, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.: Putnam County, Putnam County Fairgrounds, Gate 5
1206 East Second Street, Ottawa, Ohio 45856

• Aug. 22, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.: Miami County, Miami County Fairgrounds, North Gate
650 North County Road 25A, Troy, Ohio 45373

The pesticide collection and disposal services are free of charge, but only farm chemicals will be accepted. Paint, antifreeze, solvents and household or non-farm pesticides will not be accepted.

The pesticide collections are sponsored by ODA in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To pre-register, or for more information, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Farm Bureau job opportunity to provide accounting services for Ohio Ag Net

Ohio Farm Bureau is looking for an accounting coordinator that will provide general business support, payroll and accounting functions and activities for Ag Net Communications. This is an exciting opportunity to work in a hybrid schedule that allows flexibility to work from home and collaborate in the office as well. Ohio Farm Bureau offers a generous benefit package that includes vacation, sick and personal time; nine observed holidays and extra time off during the Christmas and New Year Holiday; incentive bonuses and extra vacation days, a 401k retirement plan with company match; three health plans to choose from, a company provided contribution to a health savings account, dental, vision, life insurance, voluntary insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability; employee incentive plan, tuition reimbursement and bonus for employee referrals. Deadline to apply: May 26, 2023

Ohio Farm Bureau is looking for a candidate that is a self-started, problem-solver and wants to contribute to the team and the success of the organization.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cool and wet days slow planting progress

Another week of below-average temperatures and scattered showers inhibited fieldwork, according to the USDA NASS, Great Lakes Regional Field Office. Farmers referenced cool, wet soil as having limited row crop germination and emergence last week. Adequate conditions for evaporation later in the week made field work possible on lighter soils before the arrival of a weekend storm.

Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2 percent short, 60 percent adequate, and 38 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on May 7 was 50.9 degrees, 4.8 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.94 inches of precipitation, 0.03 inches above average. There were 1.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 7.

Oat progress reached 79 percent planted and 49 percent emerged. Winter wheat advanced to 85 percent jointed and 1 percent headed. Winter Wheat crop condition was rated 67 percent good to excellent, up slightly from the previous week.… Continue reading

Read More »

Fields starting to dry, warm

(Update as of May 5)

Kyle Nietfeld

We’ve seen snow and rain here the last couple days. The snow was not accumulating, but there were some flakes flying around. In the last week, we’ve had almost two inches of rain. There were a few small, short downpours but mostly it was just wet, misty and drizzly. Currently, it’s nice out and it’s starting to dry off on the top. Ideally, we could get back in on Monday, but I think there’s an 80% chance of rain in the forecast this Saturday to Sunday. If we get missed, I would say on some of the drier ground we could be going on Monday.

I heard soil temperatures were as low as 38 or 39 degrees last weekend. I’m guessing after the nice sunny day yesterday and again this morning, I would say by this afternoon they’ll be in the 50s again. This area is maybe only 10% to 15% planted.… Continue reading

Read More »