Featured News

Never fail rules of grazing

By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I hear people mention the “lazy days of summer,” but I’ll have to admit that has never really seemed valid for me. I’m glad that the days are long, because quite often, I need every minute of daylight and then some. Precarious weather seems to be timed quite well to disrupt plans and tasks. This is only doubled in difficulty when you are also holding down an off-farm job, which always seems to take you away when the weather is perfect. You have to just shut your mind off, focus on the task at hand and not dwell on the farm work that must be completed. I know that I am not the only one this happens to.

I had something sent to me recently and I thought it made some good points. When time is sparse, as it seems it often is, then we need to be as efficient as possible and that includes pasture management.… Continue reading

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Infrastructure legislation moves through Senate

The United States Senate, after months of across-the-aisle negotiations, voted to pass the bipartisan infrastructure package (H.R. 3684) by a vote of 69-30 on Aug. 10. The measure has been a key priority for numerous agricultural organizations, including the American Soybean Association (ASA).

“ASA and its farmer leaders are very supportive of this bipartisan legislation, which makes historic investments across all aspects of our nation’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges, waterways and railroads. Throughout this Congress, ASA has engaged with lawmakers to express how important these investments in critical infrastructure are to farmers,” said Kevin Scott, ASA president and soybean farmer from South Dakota. “We also appreciate our leaders in Washington addressing the truck driver shortage, expanding broadband connectivity across farm country, and incorporating a pilot project that highlights the benefits of biobased construction materials containing soy.”

Among the items included in the bill are $17.3 billion for the nation’s ports and inland waterways and $65 billion for broadband internet access, including $2 billion specifically for rural broadband, which will provide more farmers and residents of rural areas with high-speed internet access. … Continue reading

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How are corn and soybean yields on your farm?

By Harold Waters and Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

The crop tour season is upon us with yield estimates from across the region coming in. While these are great conversation starters, the most meaningful estimates are for your own farm. There is no secret formula, yield estimate tools are widely published, so why not join in on the fun.

Corn yield estimates are based on determining the number of kernels per acre then using a standard kernel weight. A commonly used formula is found in the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Forages Field Guide on page 14, provided by Peter Thomison retired OSU state corn specialist. 

There are several techniques for estimating corn grain yield prior to harvest. A numerical constant for average kernel weight is figured into the equation. Weight per kernel will vary depending on hybrid and environment; yield will be overestimated in a year with poor grain fill conditions and underestimated in a good year.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 216 | Report Analysis with Jon Scheve

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast brought to you by AgriGold, Jon Scheve is breaking down the USDA WASDE report. Dale has a report with Mike Steenhook of the Soy Transportation Coalition regarding the infrastructure bill passing the Senate. Dusty has an interview with Nathan Brown from the Cultivating a Cure event. Plus the latest musings in agriculture!… Continue reading

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Corn and beans outpacing 2020 crop progress

Thunderstorms during the week brought much-needed rain which benefitted crop development, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 80 percent adequate to surplus, up 5 percentage points from the previous week. Temperatures for the week ending August 15 were 6.1 degrees above historical normals, while the entire State averaged 1.37 inches of precipitation. There were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 15.

Farmers sprayed crops, hauled grain and manure, and made hay. Alfalfa hay second cut was complete while alfalfa hay third cut was 65 percent complete. Oat harvest was 97 percent complete. Corn sinking progress was rated 94 percent complete and corn dough was rated 68 percent complete. Corn condition was rated 81 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming was rated 92 percent complete while 80 percent of soybeans were setting pods. Soybeans condition was rated 73 percent good to excellent.… Continue reading

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Microgreens offering local flavor to central Ohio

By Matt Reese 

Believe it or not, growing microgreens is the easy part.

This was one of the first lessons learned by Ty Lilly after he started researching these tiny powerhouses for nutritionand flavor after being laid off from a lucrative career in software. Rather than search for another job he decided to create his own. Along with business and life partner Martha Channell, who had also recently lost her job at a soil testing lab, they decided — after extensive research — to jump into growing microgreens full time in 2019 as Seven Acre Farm.

They live on a unique, 7-acre wooded property in Dublin on the northwest side of Columbus in Franklin County anddecided to harness the advantages of their location for growing and delivering fresh, vegan microgreens within hours ofharvesting. Despite never really hearing of microgreens before, they discovered emerging and quickly growing demandfor these vegetable greens harvested just after the cotyledon leaves develop. Upscale chefs love including microgreens in salads and as flavorful additions to their creations, and more consumers are seeking them out for adding color, flavor,and nutrition to their meals at home.… Continue reading

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Upper Scioto River Watershed opportunities

American Farmland Trust is presenting two unique opportunities for farmers in the Upper Scioto River Watershed.

First, farmers can receive $20 per ton financial incentive for using Triple Super Phosphate in the fall as an alternative to MAP or DAP. Second, farmers who adopt cover crops, reduce tillage and diversify their crop rotations could earn up to $40 per acre for carbon and water quality credits.

Both of these options will be discussed in presentation at Der Dutchman in Plain City Tuesday Aug. 12 starting at 11:30. The meeting includes lunch (and pie). … Continue reading

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2021 Ohio Wine Competition official results

Michael Angelo Winery’s 2020 Pinot Grigio won Overall Best of Show at the 2021 Ohio Wine Competition. The competition was held August 2-4 at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake. There were 300 total entries this year with 229 receiving medals: 29 double gold, 35 gold, 96 silver and 69 bronze.

Best of Show and Best of Ohio Awards

Overall Best of Show:2020 Michael Angelo Pinot Grigio
Best of Show White:Maize Valley Riesling
Best of Ohio White:2019 Ferrante Grand River Valley Signature Chardonnay
Best of Show Red:2017 Burnet Ridge Purple Trillium
Best of Ohio Red:2020 Crooked River Cabernet Franc
Best of Show and Best of Ohio Blush/Rosé:Kosicek Vineyards Emma’s Blush
Best of Show Fruit/Specialty:Maize Valley Blackberry
Best of Show Sparkling:Ferrante Star Seeker Moscato

The Best of Ohio designations are awarded to the Best of Show wines that are made from a minimum of 90% Ohio-grown American/Labrusca, Hybrid or Vinifera grape varieties, and have received the Ohio Quality Wine seal designation.… Continue reading

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Tackling important production decisions with on-farm research

By Aaron Overholser and John Fulton

Making decisions centered on crop production and how best to manage inputs and select practices that make sense for the farm operation can be difficult at times. Many times, information is obtained from neighboring farmers and searching the internet to understand what works or not. With precision ag technology and software available within the industry today, conducting on-farm studies has provided an opportunity for farmers to proactively address production questions. This then leads to insight about what works or not while fine-tuning input management; especially fertilizer application decisions. 

One of the programs in the state of Ohio that works with farmers to setup and answer their production questions is The Ohio State University’s eFields program. This program was developed in 2016 as a means to tackle farmers’ questions from around the state while helping Extension and research personnel conduct meaningful studies addressing research questions as well.… Continue reading

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ODA asking for help to spot the spotted lanternfly

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) needs help in keeping an eye out for the spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive insect that can cause significant damage to some plants and crops. The insect was spotted in Mingo Junction, Jefferson County, Ohio in 2020. There have also been sightings of it in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

SLF is a great concern to the grape and wine industry. The insect is fond of grape and fruit trees, hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut. Adult SLF mainly feed on grapevines and tree of heaven, while nymphs feed on a wide range of hosts. Both adults and nymphs feed on stems and leaves, causing sap bleeding and reduced photosynthesis, which can eventually kill the plant.

Now through November is the best time to identify the SLF because it is in its most recognizable stages as a nymph and a moth. After hatching in the late spring, the SLF goes through four nymph stages. By midsummer, the nymph SLF can be identified by its red body, roughly a half-inch in size, with black stripes and white dots.… Continue reading

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The steer-bull price differential: A historical perspective

By Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky

I decided to shift gears a bit this week and dive into a topic that often comes up when I visit with producers in extension settings. I am often asked whether I think it pays for a cow-calf operator to castrate bulls and sell steers. Castration is not without cost as it requires time and facilities and does stress calves for a period of time. Like so many management decisions, there are an infinite number of ways to examine this topic and there is more to consider than economics alone. But, it is a good question and one for which a livestock economist should be able to provide some perspective.

When examining historical prices, it is difficult to argue that there is not a price advantage to selling steers. Sure, there will be times when a group of bulls will outsell a group of steers, but I view those times as the exceptions, rather than the norm.… Continue reading

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Agriculture on display at Field of Dreams baseball game

Actor Kevin Costner leads players through the corn on Thursday night’s “Field of Dreams” baseball game in the style of the 1989 film.

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

They built it. And they came. Originally slated for 2020, Major League Baseball’s “Field of Dreams” between the White Sox and Yankees took place Thursday night in the middle of a cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa, just miles from the set of the 1989 Kevin Costner flick.

The venue held 8,000 people. Tickets were only available to those with an Iowa zip code.

While some online were curious about the yield of the crop, players sampled the crop.

The National Corn Growers Association was a part of the evening’s festivities as a sponsor. Releasing a statement before the game, “This is the first time two professional sports franchises will play a game in a field of corn.… Continue reading

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Hazy days: How does light influence crop?

By Alexander LindseyLaura LindseyAaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

Quite often this summer, our skies have been filled with smoke from western wildfires. Strong, dominant high pressure has focused record-breaking heat in the west while here across the Midwest, westerly to northwesterly flow has funneled that smoke our direction. Typically, this smoke remains at high altitude, resulting in hazy sunshine. What impact can this filtered sunshine have on crop production?

Capturing sunlight energy, which drives photosynthesis, is important to maximize crop yield. Typical plant canopy-level instantaneous light values (also known as photosynthetic photon flux density) on sunny days range from 1200 to 1800 µmol/m2/s while typical instantaneous plant canopy-level values for cloudy days are 100 to 400 µmol/m2/s. In general, sunny days (all else equal) are better for crops, especially if moisture is non-limiting.

For soybean, photosynthetic photon flux densities that exceed 700 µmol/m2/s produce minimal gains in leaf-level photosynthetic efficiency, which ultimately can translate into yield production.… Continue reading

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Bullish report, both corn and soybean yield below expected

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The U.S. corn and soybean yield numbers will be easy talking points with the USDA report today. 

However, look beyond those numbers. Instead, focus your attention on the corn tables. First, look beyond the U.S. for the Brazil corn production estimate. Second, back to the U.S. for the two numbers of 2021-22 total corn demand and corn ending stocks.  

Brazil corn production was 87 million tons. Last month USDA was 93 million tons. Total US 2021-22 corn demand was 14.650 billion bushels. Last month USDA was 14.840 billion bushels.

US 2021-22 corn ending stocks were 1.242 billion bushels. Last month USDA was 1.432 billion bushels.

The U.S. corn yield today was 174.6 bushels per acre and the U.S. soybean yield was 50.0 bushels per acre. The average trade estimate for the corn yield was 177.6 bushels while the trade estimate for the soybean yield was 50.4 bushels.… Continue reading

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Microcystis cyanobacteria bloom monitoring in western Lake Erie

By the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides forecasts for seasonal blooms of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in Lake Erie, typically from July to October when warmer water creates favorable bloom conditions. Western Lake Erie has been plagued by an increase of Hazardous Algal Blooms (HABs) intensity over the past decade. These blooms consist of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, which are capable of producing toxins that pose a risk to human and animal health, foul coastlines, and impact communities and businesses that depend on the lake. A combination of satellite image (for bloom location and extent), a forecasting and mixing model provide information on the current status of the bloom, forecasted position both at the surface and at depth, and toxicity from field samples.

The Microcystis cyanobacteria bloom in western Lake Erie has an approximate area of 120 square miles, which is a decrease in area since Aug 04.

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Federal Legislation and Carbon Markets (Part 3)

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

Carbon Credits are a concept that most in agriculture have now heard about.  All the major agriculture publications have featured articles about the new revenue opportunities carbon markets can present to landowners and farmers. While the big picture of a carbon market system is simple to understand, the details are more complicated.

There are several legal issues that can surround carbon market agreements. “In the legal world right now, we are asking the question: What are they? Are they real property? Are they tangible, are they intangible? Are they personal property? What are these things, and how do we track them in the legal world,” said Peggy Hall, Associate Professor and Field Specialist in Ag Resource Law at The Ohio State University. “If there is interest by farmers or landowners to engage in this carbon market, there are a couple of legal issues that need to be considered.”

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Federal legislation and carbon markets (Part 2)

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

Carbon Credits are a potential revenue source for farmers across the country. In Ohio, it was recently announced that the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund is offering farmers $40 per acre to sign up for their carbon credit agreements if they live in the Upper Scioto River Watershed. “The idea of carbon markets has been around for a long time,” said Peggy Hall, Associate Professor and Field Specialist in Ag Resource Law at The Ohio State University. “About 15 years ago there was a lot of talk about the carbon market and carbon credits, and then it fizzled out. Now the discussion is back again with the concept of the carbon credit. Those agreements establish a market for carbon capture or carbon reduction. The practices that farmers engage in that can reduce greenhouse gasses or sequester carbon can be converted to a carbon credit that can be sold on the open market.”

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Leafhopper issues in alfalfa

By Andy MichelMark SulcCurtis Young, CCAKelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

Potato leafhopper (PLH) adults arrived in Ohio during the last week of June and first week of July. Since then, the eggs have hatched and we are now seeing late stage nymphs and adults infesting alfalfa fields.  A few fields are showing the typical “hopperburn”, which is a triangular yellowing from the center of the leaf to the leaf margin. The more mature the crop of alfalfa is since the last cutting, the more the hopperburn symptoms will be showing. Hopperburn will also become more pronounced in areas of the state that are short on rain or are predicted to become drier because the alfalfa will not be able to outgrow the feeding activity of PLH.  Scouting now and making appropriate management decisions based on the scouting can help avoid serious damage to the crop.… Continue reading

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USDA investing $67 million to help heirs resolve land ownership and succession issues

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $67 million in competitive loans through the new Heirs’ Property Relending Program (HPRP), which aims to help agricultural producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues. Intermediary lenders — cooperatives, credit unions, and nonprofit organizations — can apply for loans up to $5 million at 1% interest once the Farm Service Agency (FSA) opens the two-month signup window in late August. 

After FSA selects lenders, heirs can apply directly to those lenders for loans and assistance. Heirs’ property issues have long been a barrier for many producers and landowners to access USDA programs and services, and this relending program provides access to capital to help producers find a resolution to these issues. 

“While those affected are in all geographic and cultural areas, many black farmers and other groups who have experienced historic discrimination have inherited heirs’ property,” Vilsack said. “USDA is committed to revising policies to be more equitable and examining barriers faced by heirs’ property owners is part of that effort.… Continue reading

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