Featured News

Zajkowski joins Ohio Ag Net

Jake Zajkowski is a sophomore at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. He is originally from the Buckeye State but now shares time in agriculture between both states. The Lucas County native is studying agriculture science with a concentration in policy analysis and minors in horticulture and applied economics and management. 

Zajkowski joined the Ohio Ag Net team in January of 2023. He grew up in the suburbs where car rides with the family would consist of country music, talk shows, and news — never a world he thought he would find himself working in. Zajkowski now works both as the afternoon farm broadcaster and summer intern for Ohio Ag Net. Throughout the week, he keeps up to date on markets and agriculture news and then produces, records, and edits farm shows for radio affiliates in Ohio. He also works on digital marketing campaigns, supports the video team and edits podcasts. … Continue reading

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Handling dry conditions

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

In 2023, Ohio experienced the 6th driest May since the 1930’s Dust Bowl.  The combination of cool May weather and mostly dry soil conditions delayed crop germination and has reduced crop growing conditions. Crops are already struggling to grow. 

Several factors are contributing to this dilemma.  First, the switch from a La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean to an El Nino usually means drier weather conditions in the Midwest.  When La Nina’s are strong and long, you can expect a stronger El Nino pattern.  El Nino’s may last 1-3 years on average.  Most weather experts expected drier conditions in late summer and early fall, but dry weather came earlier than expected! 

Second, along with weather patterns, solar sunspot activity is at a higher intensity. Solar sunspots normally peak about every 11 years with a solar sunspot peak expected in 2025.  The last few solar sunspot activity cycles have been mild to average, but the sunspot intensity is much higher this time around. … Continue reading

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Prop 12 ruling leaves plenty to sort out for pork producers (and consumers)

By Matt Reese

The long-awaited May 11 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 groups initially petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take their case against California’s Prop 12 back in September of 2021.

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

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Dry spring weather impacts on corn, beans and wheat

By Stephanie Karhoff, CCAOsler OrtezLaura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

In past years we dreamt of a dry spring. Guess we should be careful what we wish for as we face an early dry spell this season.

The CFAES weather stations on Wooster Campus and Northwest and Western Agricultural Research Stations reported 58% to 70% less precipitation in May than normal. Dry weather is not only a concern for Ohio now, but several other states are also facing similar or worse conditions, especially those in the central Corn Belt. Soil surface conditions are the most affected at this point. Moving a little deeper into the soil profile, better moisture is available. USDA-NASS reported subsoil moisture at 68% adequate and 3% surplus at the end of May. For topsoil moisture, 7% is very short, and 38% is short. So how will current abnormally dry conditions impact early corn and soybean growth and wheat grain fill?… Continue reading

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The Commerce Clause and Prop 12

By Matt Reese

The Commerce Clause is outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. The purpose of this clause is to give regulatory power over commerce to Congress. Based on this clause, Congress can regulate commerce, including commerce between states. It gives Congress broad power to regulate interstate commerce and restricts states from impairing interstate commerce. It also prohibits any regulations or laws at the state level that would interfere with Congressional authority.

Early Supreme Court cases primarily viewed the Commerce Clause as a limit to state power rather than as a source of federal power. In more modern times, it has been viewed as either a way to grant broad additional powers to Congress, or a way to limit state government economic authority.

The many debates surrounding James Madison’s Commerce Clause in the Constitution were a big part of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling favoring the State of California’s Proposition 12 over arguments made by the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Mow pastures or not?

By Chris Penrose, Extension educator, Morgan County Extension 

A tough question developing on many farms right now is if we should start mowing pastures. Clipped pastures reduce eye irritation on the cows, makes for a less favorable environment for ticks, and stimulates new leaf growth. However, the pastures in my area are still green and if we mow them now without adequate moisture, I fear they will turn brown and go dormant sooner. Hay fields I have seen that were mowed last week are yet to initiate new growth and that could be the same case if we mowed pastures right now.

If we wait to mow, more vegetation on the surface will keep the soil cooler and hold moisture better and even have some mature forages that could still be grazed if needed. I am not sure what the right answer is for you but if the pastures have been heavily grazed and there are primarily weeds growing, I see an argument to mow pastures.… Continue reading

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Soybean meal powers swine diets to produce nutritious pork

By Matt Reese

While he enjoys most aspects of the farrow-to-finish and crop farm his family operates in Putnam County, Nathan Schroeder particularly loves the chance to work with baby pigs. 

“My favorite part is the nurseries. I enjoy getting a new group of weaned pigs in. I enjoy spending the extra time in there getting them going when they’re small,” Schroeder said. “We are contract growers for Hord Livestock, and we have 4,800 finishing spaces, so that’s two double-wide barns. We also have two nurseries, each holding 5,200 head. We are celebrating our tenth year with hogs. We are just the first generation with the hog farm and the fourth generation of the overall farm.”

Schroeder and his family had been renting their farm ground to a neighbor but decided to get back into crop production several years ago and expand with the contract hog operation.

“We decided we wanted to expand.… Continue reading

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Increase nutrition, minimize plant stress and make a difference

By Luke Schulte, CCA, Field Agronomist, Beck’s Hybrids

For most of you, late May and June have been well below normal regarding rain accumulation. As soils become abnormally dry, nutrients become more difficult to pull from the soil profile. This is due to several reasons. Nutrients like nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) are primarily taken in the plant with water. Potassium (K) becomes less exchangeable in dry soils. Nutrient conversion from organic forms slows as microbial activity is lessened in hot, dry soils.

As nutrient deficiencies are observed in the coming weeks, it’s important to remember that visual nutrient shortages do not necessarily mean your dry fertilizer and/or starter program were lacking. As dry as many of our soils have become, soil nutrition may be present, just not available for root uptake. Our plants have the ability to take up significantly higher nutrient volumes via the roots than they do through the leaf tissue.… Continue reading

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Bean basis review

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

It is amazing how quick a 2-week weather forecast change can impact corn prices. Friday morning weather reports showed possible rain, so the market was trading lower. Then by midday, precipitation was looking less likely over the next two weeks, and corn values increased 30 cents. This is what a weather market looks like. If you could predict the weather, you could predict corn prices too.

2022 crop marketing recap — Bean basis review 

As the 2022 marketing year ends, I like to review all of my trade decisions to evaluate performance and identify areas of improvement in the future. The following analyzes my bean basis decisions.

For background, my farm in southeast Nebraska is 60 miles from a processing plant and 10 miles from a rail-loading elevator. Due to long lines and increased freight costs during harvest, I built enough on-farm storage 10 years ago to store 100% of my corn and beans to maximize flexibility and profitability.… Continue reading

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Done with planting? Collect soil samples for SCN test and learn how samples are processed in the lab!

By Horacio Lopez-Nicora, OSU Extension Nematologist and Pathologist, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-17

The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) remains the most devastating and yield limiting soybean pathogen in Ohio and North America. SCN can cause over 30% yield reduction with no visible symptoms, therefore, early detection of this pathogen relies on testing your fields to know your SCN numbers!

Spring is a good time to sample for SCN. A soil test in spring will reveal if SCN is present and if so, at what levels. If you are planning to participate in an on-farm trial that requires soil sampling, a subsample can be used for SCN testing. Additionally, if you planted corn, a soil sample from that field will reveal if you have SCN but most importantly, how much SCN. Knowing your SCN numbers will help you determine the best management strategy.   

With funding from the Ohio Soybean Council and promoting the mission of The SCN Coalition we will process up to TWO soil samples, per grower, to be tested for SCN, free of charge.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards nearly $60,000 in scholarships

 Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently awarded nearly $60,000 in scholarships to students across the state.

According to Jenny Cox, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation board president, the foundation has put intentional focus on its purpose and its work, and scholarship awards directly impact that purpose: to inspire and educate the next generation of agriculture.

“One in eight jobs in Ohio are related to food and agriculture. As the demands for employees to fill these roles increase, we want to do our part to cultivate the next generation of workers to grow their careers in agriculture. The opportunity to work with and get to know some of these young people and learn about all of their accomplishments and activities through reviewing scholarship applications is incredibly rewarding. The stories and successes of these young people confirm to me that the future of agriculture is bright.”

Annually, the foundation recognizes Ohio students for their academic effort, community engagement and career interests that link agriculture to community service, education or scientific research.… Continue reading

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Dry weather continues

While skies remained dry and temperatures soared, farmers nearly completed their intended plantings, according to the USDA NASS, Great Lakes Regional Field Office. Dry conditions persisted across many northern and western counties, with the U.S. Drought Monitor rating 74.1% of the State as abnormally dry. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 30% very short, 46% short, and 24% adequate. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on June 4 was 71.4 degrees, 5.9 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.04 inches of precipitation, 0.92 inches below average. There were 7.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 4.

Fieldwork competed last week included planting row crops, fertilizer application, hay bailing, and transplanting vegetable crops. Concerns about ongoing excessive dryness loomed last week as farmers in northern counties reported signs of drought stress in corn. Some farmers in western counties described soil crusting as posing challenges to crop emergence.… Continue reading

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A look back at planting for a better plan moving forward

By Roy A. Ulrich, Technical Agronomist, DEKALB and Asgrow, Southern Ohio

At the mid-point of the 2023 growing season, we have the opportunity to look back at the spring to evaluate the management practices left to employ during the remainder of the growing season. Did the weather put in jeopardy the success of this crop by raining too much? Not raining enough? Can we mitigate the potential impact of those stresses? And, weed control and nutrient deficiencies are timely topics regardless of how the weather has impacted your plans.  

Over the last several years, tall waterhemp has continued to expand across the state. There has been more tall waterhemp visually evident late in the growing season poking out of the canopy in soybean fields. Tall waterhemp, like most other weeds in the pigweed family, requires warmer soil temperatures to germinate, so the weeds aren’t present until after our spring-applied residuals start to break down.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 303 | Ohio’s Favorite Flavors and Breeds

National Dairy Month kicks off this week’s episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosted by Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg. Scott Higgins joins the conversation to talk about the visions of the American Dairy Association Mideast, and favorite dairy products of the season. They will discuss challenges with slim dairy margins, along with product processing opportunities in the state. 

Middle school students are practicing utilizing their wallets at Graham Middle School. Joel Penhorwood interviews Principal Nick Guidera, discussing the GrowNextGen program in his school. Real Money Real World for youth financial literacy was giving hands-on experiences with the dollar. 

Matt checks in with WJ Fannin, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Commercial Cattleman of the Year, in Fayette County. From stockyard sales to individual cuts of meat, his business meets the needs of consumers. They will talk about cattle barn technology and operating a data-driven herd. 

0:00 – Intro and opening discussion
6:15 – Nick Guidera on Real Money Real World 
13:53 – Cattleman of the Year: WJ Fannin 
18:28 – Dairy Outlook with Scott Higgins … Continue reading

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Fhb1 Fusarium head blight gene

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

One problem that eastern Corn Belt wheat growers face frequently is Fusarium head blight (scab). This disease can cause significant yield loss in addition to reduced grain quality and high levels of mycotoxins. Growers have effectively managed head scab with timely fungicide applications.

One additional tool available to growers for management of Fusarium Head Blight is gene resistance. The Fhb1 gene is widely recognized as an outstanding source of head scab resistance in wheat. This gene is effective in reducing the DON (Deoxynivalenol) levels in wheat, ultimately resulting in better grain quality. DON levels are a major concern in wheat because they cause animal feed refusal, sickness, and decreased weight gain.

For the 2023 sales season all of Seed Consultants’ wheat varieties will have the Fhb1 gene. The Fhb1 gene provides Type II resistance, which slows down or inhibits the spread of the pathogens from the initial infection site.… Continue reading

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GrowNextGen showcases Real Money/Real World at Graham Middle School

In this featured audio, Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood sits down with Nick Guidera of Graham Middle School to discuss a unique program students took on as their school year came to a close – a partnership between GrowNextGen, a program funded in part by Ohio Soybean farmers and their checkoff, and Ohio State Extension’s Real Money. Real World. initiative.… Continue reading

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LegenDairy milk

By Emmy Powell, communications specialist at Texas Farm Bureau 

Milk is the ultimate drink. It helps your body rehydrate, repair and replenish. It is full of nutrients and helps your body build strong bones and supports your immune system.
Milk contains 13 essential nutrients and minerals: protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, riboflavin, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, iodine, selenium and pantothenic acid. Holy cow! That’s impressive.
Compared to alternatives, milk has the least amount of ingredients. It has none of the stabilizers or flavorings often found in the ingredient list of non-dairy alternatives.
Milk is not only is the top food source of calcium in the American diet, but it also has a lower carbon footprint than most foods.
For centuries, dairy farmers have been good stewards of the environment, and they continue to look for ways to improve and learn more sustainable practices each day.
Tasty, nutritious and sustainable…milk will always be my first choice in the morning!… Continue reading

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What does paper acreage reporting cost you?

By Michael Sweeney, Vice President of Bickle Farm Solutions

Crop insurance is all about deadlines. It seems like there is always an important date coming up, and they always fall right in the middle of the busiest times of the year for us as farmers. The most important one of those deadlines is fast approaching. July 15, acreage reporting date, is right around the corner. Don’t feel bad if you just rolled your eyes and muttered something under your breath while you read that. I know very few people that actually enjoy filling out their lengthy paper report. But nonetheless it must be done. Have you ever thought to yourself “there’s got to be an easier way to do this”? 

Michael Sweeney

            Luckily for most there is. It is easier, more efficient, can save you money, and can give you a more accurate actual production history, or APH. Precision acreage reporting is available with nearly every crop insurance company in the United States now.… Continue reading

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BEST Banquet awards

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Beef Exhibitor Show Total (BEST) program wrapped up the 2022-2023 BEST season on May 6 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus at an awards banquet attended by over 750 participants and their families. Over 350 BEST exhibitors were awarded for their show success, cattle industry knowledge, photography skills, community service efforts and more.

This year’s BEST program featured seven weekends of sanctioned shows held throughout the state. Over 700 youth participants showed 1,000 head of market animals and heifers throughout the season.

This year’s sponsoring partners were Evans Family Ranch, Ag-Pro Companies, Bob Evans Farms, Diamond T Land and Cattle Co., Dickson Cattle Co., D&E Electric – The Young Family, M.H. EBY, Inc., The Folks Printing, Jones Show Cattle, R.D. Jones Excavating, Ricer Equipment, 6R Farms, Shepard Cattle Company and Weaver Livestock.

BEST Committee

The OCA BEST program is coordinated through the leadership of the BEST Committee.… Continue reading

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