Top Headlines

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

September report neutral to bullish

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

A plethora of numbers were released today with the USDA WASDE report at 12 noon ET.

No major surprises today.

Key numbers to watch today included the U.S. corn and soybean yields as well as corn and soybean imports into China.

USDA projects the U.S. corn yield at 178.5 bushels with the U.S. soybean yield at 51.9 bushels. On grain imports into China, soybean imports are pegged at 99 million tons and corn imports of  7 million tons.

Traders were already expecting a volatile day hours before the report. Shortly after the report was released, corn was up 3 cents, soybeans up 16 cents, and wheat down 2 cents. At the 8:45 a.m. grains pause, corn was up 2 cents, soybeans up 6 cents with wheat up 1 cent. Just before the report release corn was up 2 cents, soybeans up 10 cents, and wheat down 1 cent.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA seeks input on ready-to-go technologies and practices for agriculture innovation agenda

To further the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) work on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA), USDA announced it is seeking public- and private-sector input on the most innovative technologies and practices that can be readily deployed across U.S. agriculture.
USDA is looking for ready-to-go technologies and practices to achieve its goal of increasing agricultural production by 40% to meet global population needs in 2050 while cutting U.S. agriculture’s environmental footprint in half.

“Across America, we have seen significant advances in agricultural production efficiency and conservation performance during the past two decades,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary, who leads USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “We want to keep the momentum. As part of our Agriculture Innovation Agenda, USDA wants to continue helping farmers access new approaches.”

To help identify and accelerate adoption of ready-to-go innovations, USDA is currently accepting public comments and written stakeholder input through its Request for Information (RFI) offsite link image through Nov.… Continue reading

Read More »

Will beans hit $10?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

This week a bean trader told me, “it’s not a matter of if beans hit $10 but when.” With a little 2019 futures position left to sell, and all of my 2020 bean crop unsold, this was music to my ears.  However, it brings back memories from 14 months ago, when the potential for $5 corn seemed like only a matter of time.

How realistic are $10 beans?

There are so many factors affecting prices, that it’s impossible to accurately predict when the high will occur.  Instead, I prefer to make a list of why prices could go either direction, and then evaluate the likelihood of each scenario happening.  This helps me when making grain marketing decisions for my farm.

Reasons to be bullish are:


The Fed said keeping the economy running and bringing unemployment levels down were a higher priority than keeping inflation in check right now. … Continue reading

Read More »

September means Farm Science Review…

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

…But it’s going virtual this year. The dates stay the same as planned for the in-person show – September 22 to 24. I for one am looking forward to seeing how the staff, exhibitors, and OSU educators pull this off. There has been a lot of shuffling since the decision was made to go virtual but most details will be in place by about Sept. 1. Go to the website after the first of September and start to put your plan for your virtual visit together. And FYI, there will be field demos, looks like there could be better visuals than you typically see because the camera can get closer to the combines, tillage tools, etc. than you could in the past.

I have some old memories of the Farm Science Review. I began work in June of 1975 as a student worker for Dale Friday, FSR Manager and Craig Fendrick, Assistant Manager.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation invites students to apply for college scholarships

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) is offering several college scholarships for students involved in the beef industry. These scholarships are administered through OCF in conjunction with the following organizations and individuals.

Tagged for Greatness

Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to college students enrolled in an agricultural program or graduating high school seniors who plan to study agriculture at a college or university. These scholarships are made possible by the sale of Ohio’s beef specialty license plates.

Cattlemen’s Country Club

Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to college students enrolled in a two-year or four-year program or graduating high school seniors who plans to attend a college or university majoring in an agricultural or non-agricultural program. These scholarships are made possible by proceeds from the beef putt-putt golf course at the Ohio State Fair.

Saltwell Expo Scholarship

One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a college student who is enrolled in an agricultural program or a graduating high school senior who plans to study agriculture at a college or university.… Continue reading

Read More »

OAC scholarships awarded

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 2020-21 recipients of the Scholarship Program:

• Rachel Barrett of Rockford

• Cora Dorman of Croton

• Faith Hagelberger of Minster

• Mekenzie Jolliff of Kenton

• Ethan Kaper of Baltimore

• Ryan Patton of Logan

Scholarships are selected based on academic record, leadership qualities, community involvement and responses to application essay questions. Scholarship recipients are also provided a one-year complimentary student membership in OAC.

Scholarship applications for the 2021-22 school year will be available at in fall 2020. Completed applications must be returned to the Ohio Agricultural Council by February 15, 2021.… Continue reading

Read More »

China ramps up corn and soybean purchases

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

China was an active buyer of U.S. corn and soybeans during August. That trend continued into the first week of September. It appears their appetite for U.S. grains is large. The concern of China meeting their Phase 1 trade deal agreement of $36 billion of U.S. agricultural goods in the first year of the agreement garners significantly less attention than it did earlier this summer. The amount of U.S. corn China will purchase in the current marketing year ending next Aug. 31 continues to increase. Current USDA estimates had China purchasing 7 million tons of U.S. corn. Yet, just days into the new marketing year the first week of September, they had already purchased a total of 9 million tons of U.S. corn. Estimates of total corn imports into China are as high as 15 million to 20 million tons. The U.S. share could reach 12 million tons. … Continue reading

Read More »

September is the time to get ready to plant wheat

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I will admit I have not done much wheat work since the 1980s but I observe that many producers who do grow wheat are happy with their results — from the economic side by having three crops in a rotation and from the ability to do additional practices in the field after wheat harvest. Some benefits to having a summer fallow field are:

  • the application of manure,
  • to install tile,
  • the opportunity to do some deeper tillage or some levelling, and maybe to do some fertility adjustments along with that tillage,
  • to cleaning up perennial weeds (although this has been accomplished with RoundupReady crops too),
  • add a cover crop in the rotation and really have an impact on nitrogen accumulation or to build soil health,
  • or even to double-crop soybeans.

What are best management practices for growing wheat in Ohio?

Variety selection is of utmost importance.… Continue reading

Read More »

September – A time to remember, find hope and have faith

By Robin Kinney, senior director of member engagement for the American Farm Bureau Federation
This time of year brings beautiful memories of fall colors, the hope for a safe, bountiful harvest and for me, the remembrance of friends gone too soon. But as someone once said, “As long as we are being remembered, we remain alive.”

I’m acutely aware that Sept. 10 is National Suicide Awareness Day. My life changed forever two years ago when I learned one of my best friends made the decision to end his life and others I know are making that choice. It still troubles me daily that they believed it was their only option. It is hard for me to imagine that feeling of isolation, the weight of the decision, the pressures they were dealing with. In my view, there was an alternate path and other options.

Our rural families are resilient, enduring and overcoming overwhelming odds time and time again.… Continue reading

Read More »

Drought and herbicide carryover

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

The 2020 summer was hotter and drier than normal for most farms, so herbicide carryover will be a major issue for planting cover crops.  Herbicides degrade based on soil temperature, rainfall, time of application, organic matter, soil type, soil pH, and sunlight.  Generally, microbially active soils break down herbicides quickly.  Moisture is critical for microbe activity, so drought or dry summers means slower herbicide breakdown.  High soil temperatures can also reduce microbial activity and herbicide breakdown.  High soil microbial activity occurs between 75-850F but once soil temperatures get above 900F, generally microbial activity declines.  On bare soils, the soil temperatures in the top inch may reach 110-1400F on a hot sunny day, greatly reducing microbial activity and herbicide breakdown.

Mark Loux OSU Extension Weed Scientist
Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Scientist

Herbicide application timing also determines herbicide degradation.  Herbicides applied in the spring or early summer have a longer time to break down. 

Continue reading

Read More »

A shocking solution to weed control

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

The annual task of getting effective weed control is a challenge every farmer is familiar with. Each year millions of dollars are spent in the United States on herbicides to manage weed pressure in fields. As a boy, Seth Stutzman got tired of pulling and hoeing weeds on his family farm. The Stutzman family farms around 350 acres of organic corn, soybean and wheat near Plain City. Those involved in organic crop production realize one of the greatest production challenges they face is getting consistent weed control, largely due to a much smaller number of approved chemical options for certified organic crops.

Two years ago, Stutzman found what he thought was a good solution to his hours of hand labor in the fields. Stutzman purchased The Weed Zapper and began using it to clean up his fields, and those of neighboring farms.

Continue reading

Read More »

Cover crop driving tour

Those interested can drive themselves to three different fields to view cover crops planted in August. The farmers will be on hand to answer questions and discuss their challenges and opportunities in using cover crops. Refreshments will be served at each location. There is no cost to attend. Total drive time is just under 30 minutes and farms can be visited in any order.

The event will be held Thursday, Sept. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. The field locations are:

• Hosted by Jack Sommers: Hoffman Farm, Hammond Rd, Cable near Mingo

• Hosted by Tom Smith: 2684 Mt. Tabor Rd., West Liberty

• Hosted by Tim Lyden: near 5745 St Rt 47 E Bellefontaine.

Contact Amanda Douridas at or 937-484-1526 for more information. This event was paid for by a grant from the National Wildlife Federation.

Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio FFA member serves as Ohio’s Fair Queen

Across the state Junior Fair King and Queen Contests serve as staple events during county fairs. For reigning county fair queens, they then have the chance to compete to serve as the Ohio Fair’s Queen. This year a Valley View MVCTC FFA member and the 2019-2020 Ohio FFA State Reporter, Mackenzie Hoog is serving as the Ohio Fair’s Queen. Hoog represents the Montgomery County fair.

Hoog began her reign as the Ohio Fair’s Queen in January during the 2020 Ohio Fair Managers Association (OFMA) Conference. She competed against 79 other queens vying for the position. To be considered, Hoog submitted an application and proceeded through a series of interviews. After the first round of interviews, the top 15 answered a question on stage. Those 15 were narrowed down to five and interviewed once again. On Saturday morning of the OFMA conference in front of other junior fair board members and fair directors, the new Ohio Fair’s Queen was crowned.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ask the expert sessions to be held live during 2020 Farm Science Review

By David Marrison, Jeff Workman and Chris Bruynis, Ohio State University Extension

For the first time in its nearly 60 year history, Ohio State’s Farm Science Review scheduled for September 22 -24 will not be held in-person.  Instead, a virtual show will be held and the Review will come to you on your laptop or smartphone this year, and for free.  You can watch live streamed talks and recorded videos featuring the latest farm equipment and research to pique your curiosity.

Virtual visitors can find out about the show’s offerings by going to and clicking on an image of the show’s site. Within that image, people can click on the various icons to find the schedules for talks and demos they’re most interested in, such as field demonstrations or “Ask the Expert” talks.

Among the livestreamed talks will be Ask the Expert presentations. Viewers will enter the talks through a Zoom meeting link and be able to post their questions in chat boxes.… Continue reading

Read More »

Innovative state approaches to the hemp regulations Under the 2018 Farm Bill

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

Our newest report for the National Agricultural Law Center examines the different approaches states are taking to regulate hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill. Innovative State Approaches to Hemp Regulations under the 2018 Farm Bill is available on our website at:

Over the last few years, the agricultural sector has been buzzing with excitement about the potential of a new crop — industrial hemp. For years, hemp was increasingly regulated across the country because it was legally classified the same as marijuana, another type of cannabis.

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act completely illegalized hemp production. This criminalized approach to hemp changed with the 2018 Farm Bill, however, which removed hemp from the definition of “marijuana” and gave states a chance to create their own hemp regulation programs. Many states seized the opportunity.… Continue reading

Read More »

Low iodine diet tips

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

You have heard about my aging knees and more recently my pandemic induced changing hair color. Effects of aging happen whether we like it or not. Let’s back up to pre-pandemic times, April 2019. I was headed to the Doc to talk about a recent lab, my lipid levels. To my dismay, it was not my lipid levels that became the topic of discussion, but my TSH. TSH is a snapshot of your thyroid function. Mine was a little elevated and my thyroid a “little puffy.” Symptom-free, after repeating some labs, an ultrasound and ruling out a common culprit in women, Hashiomotos, an autoimmune hypothyroid disease, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Ground Hog Day had arrived as I began to hear a repetitive phrase “If you are going to get cancer, this is one of the best ones to get.” It was still heartbreaking and no matter how many docs and people tell you this….the… Continue reading

Read More »

A tail-selling tradition

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

As one of my all-time favorite “win-win” PR efforts in the outdoors industry, Mepps fishing lures continues its popular Squirrel Tail Recycling Program this month. The tails are used for the hand-tied, dressed hooks of their world-famous, fish-catching lures, a program that has been ongoing for more than half a century.

“Squirrels are good eating and we can reuse their tails for making the world’s No. 1 lure,” said Josh Schwartz, Mepps Communications Director.

Antigo, Wisconsin-based Mepps buys fox, black, grey and red squirrel tails and will pay up to 26 cents each for tails, depending on quality and quantity. Plus, the cash value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.

“We do not advocate harvesting of squirrels solely for their tails,” Schwartz said.

For details on the Squirrel Tail Recycling Program, visit… Continue reading

Read More »

The good and bad about Ohio’s jobless rate

The news is mixed about the rate of Ohioans out of work.  

The state’s unemployment rate has rebounded from late spring’s rates, and it’s below the national rate.

But, in July, Ohio’s jobless rate of 8.9% topped that of many nearby states. Across the Midwest, only one state had a higher rate than Ohio’s: Illinois. 

Keep that in perspective, said Mark Partridge, an economics professor with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). During a recession, Ohio typically takes a bigger hit, he said.

Jobs in manufacturing make up the largest portion of Ohio’s economy, and typically manufacturing sharply declines during a national recession. So far, dips in manufacturing have not been significant, he said. 

“We’re actually doing relatively well compared to what we normally do,” Partridge said. “Usually we’re one of the worst in the country during a recession, and it often takes us a while to climb out of it.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Harvest weather outlook

By Jim Noel, NOAA

The cooler than normal blob of water in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator tends to push the first autumn freeze later than normal in our region. Therefore, there is no indication of an early freeze in September this year. It appears the first freeze for Ohio will not come until October either on schedule or a bit later than normal.

September looks to have the first half start cooler than normal followed by a return to normal temperatures for second half of the month.  Precipitation will be normal or slightly above normal for September. Normal rainfall is currently 1 inch to 1.5 inches per two weeks dropping to about an inch per two weeks for the second half of September. Even though we expect rainfall at or slightly above normal in September, there is a great deal of uncertainty due to the tropics and where those systems will travel.… Continue reading

Read More »

Managing your fall farm operations through COVID-19

By Lisa Pfeifer and Dee Jepsen

In big or small ways, COVID-19 has impacted most aspects of farming and agribusiness. Safety, health, and wellness have become necessary concerns for farm operations.

Health officials have provided guidance on frequent hand washing, physical distancing, and staying home when sick. These practices should be in place for the farm operation, not just those businesses with public interaction. Consider these additional measures as you prepare your workforce for staying healthy through the fall season.

Teams or workforce pods

Look at the functions of your total farm operation. Creating workforce teams or “pods” can help ensure an operation minimizes the impacts should a worker become ill or test positive for the coronavirus. Pods of workers that had no interaction with the affected employee will be safely able to continue working.

For example, do you have livestock to care for as well as harvesting activities?

  • If so, can you manage employee schedules so those that feed, milk or care for livestock can do tasks without overlapping with the harvesting crew?
Continue reading

Read More »