Featured News

Using drones for spray application – adoption trends in US and worldwide

By Dr. Erdal Ozkan, Professor, The Ohio State University, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2024-06

Traditionally, aerial pesticide spraying worldwide has been done using conventional fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters with a pilot onboard. However, this is changing fast. Small, remotely piloted aircraft are being used to apply pesticides around the world, especially in East Asia (mainly China, Japan, and South Korea). For example, about 2,800 unmanned helicopters were registered as of March 2016 in Japan, spraying more than a third of the country’s rice fields. Although rice is the main crop treated with spray drones in Japan, use of drones to treat other crops such as wheat, oats, soybean, and other crops has been steadily increasing. According to one report, 30% of pesticide spraying in South Korea is done using drones.

Korea and Japan have used drones for years—mainly the single-rotor, remote-controlled helicopter. Their use of multi-rotor drones is much more recent in contrast to China who have experienced the most significant increase in use of multi-rotor drones for spraying pesticides.… Continue reading

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Sustainable practices and smart marketing at Goecke Farms

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Growing up, Mark Goecke was very familiar with the phrase “Waste not, want not.” Being one of 10 children on his family’s dairy farm, he quickly learned that everything had value and to make every resource count.

Today, Mark and his brother Steve have transitioned the family’s dairy farm into a feedlot operation in Spencerville. Their focus on sustainability and raising quality beef recently garnered the business the 2024 Commercial Cattleman of the Year award from the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). 

“Whenever you’re recognized by your peers, that’s the highest accolades you can get,” said Mark Goecke.

The two brothers took over the family farming operation in 1999 upon their father’s retirement. They knew a change was needed to sustain two families on the farm. They were already feeding out a few Holstein steers then but decided to replace the heifers with more steers. In 2000, they began building more barns and adding more cattle.… Continue reading

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5 management tips for early-planted soybeans

By Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

There is a yield advantage with early-planted soybeans if you focus on soil, seed and sulfur. It is no longer a question of whether to plant soybeans early, but what crop management practices will help the crop achieve maximum yield potential.

Farmers continue to push up the planting window for soybeans, often putting seed in the ground before corn. The benefit is increasing the time for the plant to produce more nodes on the stem, which increases pods and ultimately creates more seeds per plant. In other words, it leads to higher yields — as much as a half-bushel per acre, per day — according to the United Soybean Board.

Conversely, delayed soybean planting equates to yield loss, which varies by region. USB research notes that soybean yield loss from May 1 to May 31 ranges from 2.2% in Georgia to 42% in an irrigated system in Nebraska.… Continue reading

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Louis Dreyfus update on March 21 Ohio Soybean Hometown Tour

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) is hosting another stop on the Ohio Soybean Hometown Tour. On March 21, OSA will gather with farmers at Kalmbach Feeds in Upper Sandusky. The Hometown Tour will feature an update on the new Louis Dreyfus Company soybean processing facility from Jeremy Mullins, commercial manager for Louis Dreyfus Company. Attendees will also get to participate in a policy roundtable with Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Brian Baldridge and State Rep. Riordan McClain.

Lunch will be provided and there is no cost to attend; however, attendees must register in advance. CCAs, CPAgs, CPSSs and CPSCs who attend are eligible to receive one CEU credit.

The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information and registration, visit www.soyohio.org/hometown.… Continue reading

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Tri-state water quality discussions underway

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) hosted a discussion around water conservation with agricultural leaders from Indiana and Michigan to focus on improving water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB).

ODA Director Brian Baldridge joined Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Don Lamb and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Tim Boring in March for a Tri-State Water Quality meeting to explore opportunities for collaboration.

The Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) watershed is shared among the three states, covering nearly 7 million acres of land.

“There are no boundaries when it comes to improving water quality,” said ODA Director Brian Baldridge. “This meeting is a real opportunity to align our efforts with Indiana and Michigan in protecting our most valuable resource, water. Our state programs have been at the forefront of the water quality discussion, and we look forward to continuing to share ideas with our neighbors in helping move the needle in the right direction.”… Continue reading

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Clark County rallies around tornado victims

By Matt Reese

Severe weather moved through central Ohio early in the morning of Feb. 28, 2024, causing significant damage in several parts of rural Ohio and the Columbus area.

With maximum wind speeds ranging from 75 miles per hour to 130 miles per hour, the National Weather Service reported several tornadoes touching down, including two EF2 tornadoes and damaging straight line winds. Some of the worst damage was in Clark and Madison, Franklin, and Licking counties. In Clark and Madison counties, homes and barns were severely damaged on the tornado’s path over 19 miles. Communities have been at work since addressing the damage and cleaning up debris before spring planting begins. 

Melissa Tuttle is the Clark County Farm Bureau president and has been proud of how the community has responded. 

“The tornado was a half mile wide and it came through from around 4:45 in the morning to 5:00. It’s amazing that we had no fatalities, but we did have a lot of devastation and many people lost their homes in the rural community.… Continue reading

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The highs and lows of California

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Early in my career, I attended several veterinary conferences in California.

During those these conferences, I was given the opportunity to visit dairies that were on the cutting edge of the industry. They appeared visionary in terms of production, size, but especially visionary to this down-home farm boy that went off to become a veterinarian.

At that time, when Dr. Judy’s and my veterinary practice was growing, the herds we worked with ranged from 50 to 125 cows. In comparison, typical California herds ranged contained 500 to 1,500 cows. Today, they are often over 5,000 cow herds.

The genetics being bred into California cows at that time impressed me. But a few years later, I observed that some of the resulting traits being bred into those cows shortened their productive lives. For instance, California dairymen recognized after several years, it was those cows with the wide hips and level toplines that these anatomical traits delayed these cows’ return to fertility after calving.… Continue reading

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Meat exports off to a good start in 2024

U.S. pork exports raced to a great start in 2024, according to January data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). While January beef exports were slightly below last year’s volume, export value trended significantly higher. Lamb exports were also strong in January, posting the highest value in more than four years.

Strong gains for U.S. pork in Mexico, Korea, Central and South America, Australia

Although January pork exports were led by another powerful performance in leading market Mexico, U.S. pork continued to make gains in a wide range of Western Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific destinations. With momentum continuing to grow in South Korea, Central and South America, Australia and Malaysia, pork exports totaled 251,424 metric tons (mt) in January, up 6% from a year ago. Export value also increased 6% to $682.1 million.

“Mexico’s demand for U.S. pork is so spectacular that it tends to overshadow other great success stories,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO.… Continue reading

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Topdressing wheat with liquid hog manure

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Wheat fields are firming up across Ohio and spring topdressing with nitrogen fertilizer has started. Livestock producers and commercial manure applicators may be considering applying liquid manure as a top-dress fertilizer for wheat.

The key to applying the correct amount of manure to fertilize wheat is to know the manure’s nitrogen content. Most manure tests reveal total nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen and organic nitrogen amounts. The ammonia nitrogen portion is readily available for plant growth. The organic nitrogen portion takes considerably longer to mineralize and generally will not be available when wheat uptakes the majority of its nitrogen before mid-June.

Most deep-pit swine finishing manure will contain between 30 and 40 pounds of ammonia nitrogen per 1,000 gallons. Finishing buildings with bowl waters and other water conservation systems can result in nitrogen amounts towards the upper end of this range. Finishing buildings with fixed nipple waters and surface water occasionally entering the pit can result in nitrogen amounts towards the lower end of this range.… Continue reading

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Crop insurance is not marketing

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Crop insurance is a great tool to protect a farmer’s production risk. It guarantees that if something happens during the growing season, the farmer is protected from catastrophic losses. 

However, some farmers think their revenue protection crop insurance is providing a floor price for their grain that protects them against falling crop prices. I believe that is an incorrect thought process and I think that crop insurance should be thought of as a revenue protection tool. This is because it considers both price and production in its calculations. Let me explain.

First, some farmers believe their revenue protection price is guaranteed at the spring value, which is $4.66 this year. Unfortunately, it is not. The revenue protection is based on the level of insurance farmers buy. If a farmer elects to buy the highest level of coverage, they can only get 85% coverage. If we use that coverage value as the example this means the price value of the floor protection is actually $3.96 ($4.66 spring value x 85% coverage).… Continue reading

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Tomorrow’s technology is being developed today (Part 2)

This is a two-part series—Click here to read Part 1.

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

You may have been told to get your head out of the clouds when you were younger, but that is exactly where the technology is today. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) also commonly known as drones are utilizing the cloud and new sensor technology to build and enhance databases with imaging capabilities never seen before. The efficiency and improved accuracy of collecting information about the various forms of plant stress in the crop is greatly enhanced utilizing sUAS’s.

Dr. Christopher Stewart is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at The Ohio State University. His research toward OpenPASS which is an open-source web and mobile application will allow users to automatically deploy software piloted sUAS’s to scout for soybean health.… Continue reading

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Corn plant population

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

One factor that greatly influences corn yields is plant population. Determining the correct plant population may take some effort, however, it is a critical factor that every corn grower needs to get right in order to maximize yields. Recent research performed by universities and seed companies has determined that that yields increase significantly as populations are increased up to a point of 34,000 seeds per acre.

In general, yields begin to level off at planting rates around rates 36,000 seeds/acre. Recent studies have also determined that even in low yield environments planting rates of 31,000 seeds per acre maximize yield and economic return. In very productive, 250 bushel per acre yield environments, research results show that higher populations (38,000+ seeds/acre) maximize yields. Breeding and advances in genetics have improved the modern corn plant’s ability to yield at higher populations when compared to corn hybrids from the past.… Continue reading

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Stateler new president-elect for NPPC

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) proudly announces the induction of new officers and the election of members to its board of directors.

“We are thrilled to welcome these accomplished individuals to NPPC’s board of directors,” said Bryan Humphreys, NPPC CEO. “Their diverse backgrounds and proven track records will provide valuable perspectives and strategic insights as the pork industry navigates the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

 The 2024-2025 NPPC board officers include Duane Stateler of Hancock County who was elected as president-elect. Stateler, a fifth-generation pork producer, co-operates Stateler Family Farms with his son Anthony, overseeing a comprehensive operation that manages 15,600 head annually and oversees 1,600 acres of crop production of corn, soybeans and wheat. Duane actively represents producers on national committees and engages in various agricultural associations in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 339 | Beans and Corn at Commodity Classic

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talk with Patrick Knouff and Rusty Goebel with the Ohio Soybean Association at Commodity Classic in Houston. They talk about Commodity Classic, the Farm Bill, future markets, trade, and more in relation to soybeans! 

More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Cindy Layman, Ohio Soybean Council: Cindy talks with Dale about an update about biodiesel.  
  • Sarah McKay, National Corn Growers Association: Sarah talks with Dale about the current and future use of corn. 
  • Eclipse Trips: Matt talks about an upcoming solar eclipse that has an exceptional viewing area in Ohio. 
Cindy Layman12:37
Sarah McKay19:39
Eclipse Trips30:30
Main Conversation, Patrick Knouff and Rusty Goebel36:19
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March: It’s magically delicious

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

It is that time of year. Time to deck out in green and cheer on National Nutrition Month! Not sure if anyone but dietitians have heard of NNM, but it is just another reason to invite everyone to learn about making informed food choices and to develop healthful eating and active habits. This year I just love the theme Beyond the Table, and its focus on the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition. Here are my top three favorite messages from the theme.

Buy food in season and from local farmers when possible 

You cannot beat fresh seasonal food. Fresh from the field promises you varieties that are going to take your plate to National Champion level in flavor, texture, and overall taste. Local grown foods are going to turn veggie and fruit haters into lovers. Statistics show (Shelly’s very qualified reasonable research) that consumers do not know their produce seasons.… Continue reading

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