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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 231 | Ugly Christmas Sweaters

In this episode of the podcast, Matt, Dusty and Kolt are joined by Elizabeth Long of Ag Resource Management as they share their ugly Christmas sweaters. Aside from holiday cheer, they talk about end-of-year financial decisions that need to be made. Matt has an update with Kirk Hines, Chief of Soil and Water Conservation Districts with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Dale visits with some folks from Farm Credit Mid America, and Jon Scheve has an update. All of that and more thanks to AgriGold!… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau sets policy, elects leaders at annual meeting

Landowner rights, energy development and the Ohio State Fair were among the topics discussed by delegates at Ohio Farm Bureau’s 103rd annual meeting. A record 385 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.

“The policy work that our delegates do during our annual meeting is what being a grassroots organization is all about,” said Jack Irvin, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy. “Now that their work is done, our work begins with lawmakers in Columbus and Washington, D.C. as we continue to act on the issues important to our members and all of Ohio agriculture.”

Members supported transparency for landowner energy lease holders, including proper notification of lease transfers and a requirement of well inspection reports to landowners. Delegates also voted in favor of protecting the Ohio State Fair. They encouraged a strategic review to enhance the fair as an event, as well as protecting the current location and addressing the needs of the facilities of the Ohio Exposition Center.… Continue reading

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A tradition of sheep, a legacy of stewardship

By Matt Reese, Kim Lemmon and Kolt Buchenroth

It has certainly not been easy, but Roger and Jan Cox have quietly worked together over many years to build a successful sheep operation and a family legacy. They are the 2021 Charles Boyles Master Shepherd Award winners. 

“This award has been given since 1987. It is named after Charles Boyles who was the farm manager of the sheep and beef facilities at Caldwell Research Station for many years. This is the highest recognition the Ohio sheep industry awards,” said Roger High, Executive Director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program. “It is an honor to be able to recognize shepherds who are certainly deserving of this.”

With a clear dedication to excellence, the couple has been able to accomplish much on their Morrow County crop and livestock operation.

“They are successful because of their teamwork,” said Dale Davis, a Southdown breeder from Morrow County.… Continue reading

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Factors behind production gains in Brazil

By Guil Signorini, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

Last month this column featured an article about souring fertilizer and chemical costs faced by Brazilian farmers as the 2020/2021 season unfolds. The latest developments show that the Southern farmers have not changed planting and growing plans due to these challenges. On the contrary, projections from CONAB (Federal Agency of Agricultural Supply) indicate that grain growers intensified production. Soybean production is expected to reach 4.9 billion bushels, a 7% increase over the last season, and the highest production mark ever registered. Projections for the corn crop are just as significant. Estimations indicate that the country will produce 4.6 billion bushels, a vital recovery from last season’s drop in production due to drought.

Guil Signorini

Nevertheless, what catches our curiosity is how Brazilian farmers have managed to improve production projections considering the pandemic and the severe pressure from high ag input costs.… Continue reading

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USDA opens 2022 signup for Dairy Margin Coverage

As part of ongoing efforts to support dairy farmers and rural communities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened signup for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program and expanded the program to allow dairy producers to better protect their operations by enrolling supplemental production. This signup period — which runs from Dec. 13, 2021 to Feb. 18, 2022 — enables producers to get coverage through this important safety-net program for another year as well as get additional assistance through the new Supplemental DMC.

Supplemental DMC will provide $580 million to better help small- and mid-sized dairy operations that have increased production over the years but were not able to enroll the additional production. Now, they will be able to retroactively receive payments for that supplemental production. Additionally, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) updated how feed costs are calculated, which will make the program more reflective of actual dairy producer expenses.  

“Dairy Margin Coverage is a critical safety-net for producers, and catastrophic coverage is free.… Continue reading

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Scott Metzger of Ross County elected to ASA Executive Committee

Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) board member Scott Metzger was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Soybean Association (ASA). Metzger will serve on the committee as an at-large member. He has served on ASA since 2018.

“We’d like to congratulate Scott on his new leadership position,” said Patrick Knouff, OSA president and Shelby County soybean farmer. “Ohio has a long history of leadership on ASA’s Executive Committee and through his guidance and passion, Scott will carry on that tradition.”

Metzger farms more 3,100 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat in Ross County. In addition to his position on ASA, he serves on the OSA Board of Trustees, where he has previously served as president, chairman, vice president, first vice president and treasurer. He also serves on the Ohio Soybean Council Board of Trustees. Additionally, Metzger has participated in many leadership programs including Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPower, and American Soybean Association’s Corteva Young Leader Program.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards first Y Prize for mental health initiatives

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recognized Jami Dellifield with the first ever Yvonne Lesicko Perseverance Prize, or Y Prize for short, for her innovative work on farmer mental health initiatives.

Dellifield serves as a Family and Consumer Sciences educator with Ohio State University Extension’s Hardin County office. After seeing the stress effects of farm life on producers in her area, Dellifield led the charge of bringing farmer mental health to the forefront of her efforts. Dellifield took it upon herself to find training and resources — not just for herself, but for others in OSU Extension to address farm stress issues.

The Y Prize is a new award created by the Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund. The fund was created in 2020 to honor Yvonne Lesicko, former vice president of public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. The fund, within the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, was established to support the causes and initiatives that were important to Lesicko. … Continue reading

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OFBF honors and awards announced at annual meeting

Four individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture and Farm Bureau were honored by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Dec. 9 in Columbus at the 103rd annual meeting of Ohio Farm Bureau.  

The 2021 Distinguished Service Award recipients are Dr. Tony Forshey of Licking County, Belinda Jones of Franklin County, Randy Leis of Montgomery County and Keith Stimpert of Franklin County. Each honoree was recognized for lifetime achievements that benefited Ohio’s farming community. 

Dr. Tony Forshey

Throughout his 27 years as a practicing veterinarian, Tony Forshey made invaluable contributions to the betterment of the swine industry. He focused on herd health and disease prevention, rather than simply treating sick animals. He was so well respected in his profession that he was named Ohio’s state veterinarian and chief of the Division of Animal Health for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Through his leadership in that position, Forshey, in partnership with Ohio Farm Bureau, helped create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board and was a charter member.… Continue reading

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U.S. soy makes progress in the EU

Soy Export Sustainability, LLC, andthe U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) announced that the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) has passed stringent independent benchmarking to confirm its compliance with FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021. The FEFAC guidelines are designed to support transparency in soy sourcing for 27 European nations.

FEFAC, the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, finalized updated guidelines earlier this year to provide EU buyers with even stronger assurances regarding sources of sustainably produced soy products, including criteria to confirm “conversion-free” soy, or crops that are produced without the need to convert forestland or natural habitats to farmland. U.S. Soy’s SSAP program was also recognized as compliant with previous 2015 FEFAC guidelines, and it remains the only nationwide program to achieve such certification.

The FEFAC compliance announcement is the latest in a series of key accomplishments and recognition for sustainable U.S. Soy. SSAP was recognized for meeting the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee’s sustainable sourcing code for agricultural products, the Global Seafood Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices, and the Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines.… Continue reading

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Beef export value shatters annual record

October was another strong month for U.S. red meat exports as beef export value continued to soar, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). October pork exports were below last year’s large total but year-to-date shipments remained slightly above the record pace of 2020.

“USMEF has always prioritized market diversification, and this is more critical than ever now that the red meat industry faces unprecedented transportation challenges and rising input costs,” said Dan Halstrom, president and CEO. “Exports will likely reach about $18 billion in 2021, which is a remarkable achievement. While global demand is tremendous and we are cautiously optimistic about further growth in 2022, supply chain pressures are not easy to overcome and are a growing concern for exporters and their international customers.”

Broad-based growth puts beef exports on $10 billion pace

Beef exports reached 115,709 metric tons (mt) in October, up 7.5% from a year ago, while export value climbed 48% to $956.9 million — the second-highest total on record, behind August 2021.… Continue reading

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Lime considerations

By Ed Lentz, CCASteve CulmanGreg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA

Many individuals have already applied lime this fall; however, lime can still be applied before planting next spring. It is important to test soil pH and determine whether any lime needs to be applied for future crops. Proper soil pH is important for nutrient availability, herbicide activity, and crop development. For most soils, additional lime is not needed every year. Consider these points before liming your fields:

  • Do I need lime? Each year we hear stories of people adding lime to their fields without a soil test. The grower has a source of free waste-product lime that they pick up and apply to their fields. In many cases their soil pH was fine, but they did not want to pass up a “good deal”. Without knowing the soil pH, a grower may inadvertently raise their soil pH to the high 7s.
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USDA punts in uneventful report

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

After the noon report was released, corn was down 4 cents, soybeans down 10 cents, and wheat  down 21 cents. Just before the report, corn was up 2 cents, soybeans down 6 cents, and wheat down 13 cents.

Typically, the December WASDE Report is a boring report. Today USDA will not be providing US corn and soybean yield and production numbers, a decades old trend. USDA will insert the same numbers they published November 9. Final US corn and soybean yield and production will be published with the January 12, 2022 WASDE Report.

Trade volume at the CBOT this week has been light ahead of today’s USDA WASDE Report.

Corn for ethanol was unchanged, US soybean exports were unchanged.  

US corn ending stocks for 2021-2022 were 1.493 billion bushels, last month, 1.493 billion bushels. US soybean ending stocks were 340 million bushels, last month, 340 million bushels.… Continue reading

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What’s our no-till message to the feds?

By Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

Our leading no-till farmers can easily explain to other farmers the advantages of continuous no-till, cover crops, and crop rotation. And those other farmers will understand the points, even if they disagree. 

But when the same points are made to the typical government employees or elected officials in Washington, you’ll likely get a blank stare and a question, “What’s no-till?”

At our Ohio No-till Conference on Dec. 8, Bill Richards, Jim Moseley and Fred Yoder will lead a discussion to arrive at a clear, succinct message. Richards and Yoder have no-tilled for many years. They have years of experience “communicating” with Washington folks, including the 98% who know nothing about no-till farming. Moseley is from Indiana and a former chief of USDA-NRCS. You can watch their comments and the rest of the Conference at

Interestingly, I’ve been asked by Lessiter Media (publisher of No-till Farmer and organizer of the National No-till Conference) to head up a group to compile a Top 15 list of research articles on no-till.… Continue reading

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2021 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium recap

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

After taking a year off due to the pandemic, the only thing better than the food at Der Dutchman in Plain City was the discussion during the 2021 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium. Farmers and commodity group leaders gathered from across the state to discuss the business of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA). Both organizations conducted their respective annual meetings, and a Presidents Leadership Panel discussion was held with OCWGA President Kelly Harsh and OCWGA Executive Director Tadd Nicholson, along with OSA President Ryan Rhoades and OSA Executive Director Kirk Merritt.

One of the featured topics during the Symposium was Tax Policy and American Agriculture in 2022 and the changes that are coming. Jay Truitt, president and CEO of Policy Solutions, a Washington, D.C. based Policy Advisory Group focusing on agricultural, international trade, and tax policy focused on the process going on in Washington.… Continue reading

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Steve Reinhard of Crawford County elected USB treasurer

Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) board member Steve Reinhard was elected to lead the national United Soybean Board (USB) as its treasurer. Reinhard has served on USB since 2017 and previously served as the Demand Action Team Chair.

“We’d like to congratulate Steve on his new leadership position,” said Jeff Magyar, OSC chairman and Ashtabula County soybean farmer. “His involvement on USB is already a testament to his dedication to create better opportunities for soybean farmers in Ohio and across the nation. In this new role, Steve will be able to take that passion to the next level.”

Reinhard farms 1,300 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat in Bucyrus. In addition to his position on USB, he serves on the OSC Board of Trustees, where he has previously served as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer. In addition to his roles on OSC and USB, Reinhard also represents Ohio on the Soy Transportation Coalition Board of Trustees.… Continue reading

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Kayli Long named Ohio Pork Council Producer Education Manager

The Ohio Pork Council is pleased to welcome Kayli Long to the staff as the organization’s Producer Education Manager beginning December 6, 2021. 

“The Ohio Pork Council is excited to have Kayli join our team,” said Cheryl Day, Executive Vice President. “We know her experience, talents and passion for agriculture will be a powerful addition to our organization.” 

Long joins the Ohio Pork Council with a passion for educating and promoting the agricultural industry, where her roots run deep. Having spent her youth growing up in Marion County, Long was heavily involved in both the Marion County 4-H program and the Ridgedale FFA chapter, where she held countless leadership positions. Long’s time in the FFA spent competing in events such as state public speaking, livestock judging, and job interview have helped to shape her into a passionate and well-rounded agriculturalist in today’s industry. 

Prior to accepting the role of Producer Education Manager, Long had served as the organization’s communications intern during the summer of 2021.… Continue reading

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Dairy defined: Tough times arrive in fake-food land

By The National Milk Producers Federation

The hype couldn’t last forever. 

No matter how many celebrity funders are brought on board or “next best thing” pitches are made to launch a product, eventually, over-the-top marketing comes back to bite, and that’s what’s been happening in the world of fake food. Here are a couple recent examples.

Oatly, the darling of the plant-based beverage set, lost one-fifth of its trading value in one day last month after warning it wouldn’t meet revenue expectations. As is the fashion of the day, Oatly blamed the pandemic and supply chains, but the simple truth is, consumer demand isn’t what it was earlier hyped up to be. Third-quarter sales in the Americas, expected at 40 million liters a month, fell short by 3 million. 

The company is facing quality control issues as well, with a recall in its native Sweden for potential loose metal in its products.… Continue reading

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Spreads suggest undervalued corn needs to trade at $6

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Usually, the corn market is in a carry this time of year, meaning futures values are higher in later months versus current months. When the market is in a carry there is an incentive for those with storage capacity to hold grain for later use. 

Last week the December corn futures entered its delivery period and is now worth more than the March contract. This suggests the market wants corn sooner than later. Having an inverse in the futures market at this point in the marketing year is uncommon for corn and may signify corn is undervalued.

Is corn really undervalued?

Since harvest finished throughout the U.S., basis values have continued to climb much higher. Some end users in recent weeks have had to increase their basis bids by 20 cents or more to keep corn flowing into their facilities. Others have turned to free storage or fancy marketing gimmicks to encourage farmers to deliver their corn right now.… Continue reading

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Summers named Ohio’s State Veterinarian

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director Dorothy Pelanda announced Dennis Summers as Chief of the Division of Animal Health, which is charged with protecting and promoting the health of Ohio’s livestock and poultry industries. In that capacity, he serves as Ohio’s State Veterinarian and oversees all operations for the division.

Summers first joined ODA in 2014 as a field veterinarian for the Division of Meat Inspection, then was transferred to ODA’s Division of Animal Health in the same capacity in 2015. He was appointed to the position of Assistant State Veterinarian in 2018 and then Interim State Veterinarian in 2021.

Prior to his service at ODA, Dr. Summers was a private practitioner in Vermont, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. His areas of practice focused on large animal medicine and surgery, mainly dairy, equine, and beef, but also some small ruminants and exotics.

Summers was born and raised in Muskingum County. He attended The Ohio State University for his undergraduate studies, majoring in Animal Sciences, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 2001.… Continue reading

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