Featured News

A budget is key for all agribusiness owners

By Brian Ravencraft

I have talked about business budgets in past articles, but it has been a while. To me, it is always a topic worth circling back around to. I see many agribusiness owners operating without a budget. Sometimes it is a very loose one. It should be no surprise that as an accountant, I don’t recommend this. Businesses of all sizes need to have a budget in place. They need to be realistic and meticulous when creating it. They need to then abide by it, but also revisit it often as the business evolves. This is especially true when it comes to farming and agribusiness. So many elements, such as the weather, regulations, and more can change the financial course of your business and a budget can be a lifesaver when navigating difficulties. 

Without a budget you are opening the door to some very large risks and many headaches.… Continue reading

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Happy potlucking!

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

Arizona House Bill 2341 was sponsored by Representative Townsend and introduced in 2016. HB 2341 expands the food and drink rule exemption to include potlucks not conducted at a workplace. 

This bill was life-changing for the residents of the great state of Arizona. You see there was potluck prohibition (except in the workplace). Truth! It took almost two months from the first read to the Governor’s John Hancock approving a strike in line 26 (served at a noncommercial social event that takes place at a workplace, such as a potluck) making potlucks legal. Adding to the absurdity of the bill is that there were at least a couple of nay votes! Who votes no on potlucks? Arizonians were unknowingly having more fun than the law allowed at churches, sporting events or even neighborhood gatherings. The police could’ve pulled up, sirens a blazing to the church potluck and hauled them all off to jail.… Continue reading

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Ohio angler nets Great Lakes bass record

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

A 10.15-pound smallmouth bass caught by an Ohio angler from Ontario, Canada, waters of Lake Erie was a 16-year-old female and is the only known 10-pound-or-greater smallmouth bass ever caught in a Great Lakes state or province. On Nov. 3, 2022, Gregg Gallagher of Fremont caught the behemoth bass while fishing in Ontario provincial waters of Lake Erie. The fish was larger than the previous Ontario record, a 9.84-pound bass caught in 1984, and larger than Ohio’s current smallmouth bass record, a 9.5-pound fish. The new Ontario provincial record was weighed soon after the catch on a certified scale in Port Clinton. 

The bass was transferred to the Division of Wildlife’s Sandusky Fisheries Research Station for species identification validation and measurements. The fish was measured as 23.75 inches in length and 19 inches in girth. The Division of Wildlife sampled the record bass and determined it to be a 16-year-old female that was hatched in 2006.… Continue reading

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Ohio Field Leader Roadshow | Steve Reinhard

Join Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Field Leader, as he interviews Steve Reinhard, a respected farmer from Crawford County. Gain valuable insights into Reinhard’s experiences and challenges tis spring on his family’s diversified operation.

Ohio Field Leader is a production of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.… Continue reading

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“Fight the Hunger, Stock the Trailer” has high hopes for third year

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

The bar has been raised for the “Fight the Hunger, Stock the Trailer” program from Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) and Rural 1st as the effort kicks off for its third year in 2023.

The program sets the stage for, and incentivizes, junior fair youth leaders in counties around Ohio to collect donations for area food pantries during their county fair.

“We are empowering the youth on our junior fair boards and they’re going to get creative on how to bring in canned food to the local fair that week of the fair. Then they’re going to take all that food and donate it to their local community,” said Jennie Schultice, FCMA financial officer. “We started this back in 2021 with eight counties. Last year we jumped to 54 county fairs participating and this year we’re going to move into all five regions of the state, so this will be offered to all counties that we serve this year and we’re looking for bigger and better things in 2023.”… Continue reading

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East Palestine update

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences announced finalized results from plant tissue sample testing on East Palestine area crops near the site of the Norfolk Southern train derailment.

Analysis of scientific data by OSU shows plant materials from agricultural sites in the East Palestine area are not contaminated with semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) associated with the train derailment. Using U.S. EPA-approved methods, ODA’s plant health inspectors collected plant tissue samples from 16 agricultural areas in Columbiana County last month. All samples — including winter wheat, pasture grasses, malting barley, and forage covers — were taken within a five-mile radius of the train derailment site. Samples collected and tested closest to the derailment site (inner radius) were considered the most likely for potential contamination, and plant tissue samples collected farther from the derailment site (background radius) were tested to serve as a baseline comparison.
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Opportunities with drones for spraying pesticides

By Erdal Ozkan

Currently, there is tremendous interest in using drones to spray crop-protection products. Drones are now a viable option when choosing equipment to spray pesticides, and the number of companies offering drone spraying services is rapidly increasing in Ohio and other places in the United States. A variety of names and the acronyms are associated with remotely piloted aircraft. Most used ones are: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). However, the name used most commonly by the general public is “drone”. So, I chose the same name as I refer to this type of aircraft. 

An article appeared in the Mid-April Ohio’s Country Journal in which I gave a brief overview of different types of drones used for spraying pesticides, including the major components of a spray drone, as well as operating characteristics of spray drones. This time, I will focus on the opportunities spray drones bring us as well as their limitations, and the challenges facing drone sprayer operators. … Continue reading

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Seed treatments and early season insect pressure

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

Many farmers view seed treatments as a form of insurance. This is especially true in early planted crops. Seed treatments are chemicals applied to the outside of a seed coat. They are designed to be taken up by the plant as it germinates. The chemical is distributed in the plant tissue to provide protection against certain insects and diseases.  “Seed treatments are very water soluble. They need to be water soluble to be taken up through the plant and the vascular system of the plant,” said Dr. Kelley Tilmon, Professor and Entomologist specializing in Field Crop Insects with The Ohio State University. “That water solubility can prove to be a problem when the seed sits in the soil too long. There is an opportunity for the seed treatment to wash off the seed if there is enough exposure to rain percolating through the soil.… Continue reading

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Springtime means travel time

By Michael Sweeney, Vice President of Bickle Farm Solutions

One of the most necessary evils we have in the agricultural world is moving our equipment on the road. It is hazardous almost every time we put tires on pavement. But it must be done. Jenny Cox, our business development representative, spoke with Shannon Utter, a Sergeant with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to come up with some things to check and a few clarifications that we all might need reminded of before this big spring push.

Michael Sweeney

When asked about escorting farm equipment, Sergeant Utter said that “Ohio does not require an escort for farm equipment on the road, however putting someone up front if available certainly helps warn oncoming traffic.” 

It is not always easy coming up with an extra person to run a pickup out in front, but I think most reading this article have probably had a close call or two that could have been avoided if someone was ahead warning oncoming traffic.… Continue reading

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USDA seeks members for Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agricultural and Innovative Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations for four positions on the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. Nominations will be open to public from May 15, 2023, to July 15, 2023. The 12-member Committee, which first convened in March 2022, is part of USDA’s efforts to increase support for urban agriculture and innovative production. Members of the Committee provide input on policy development and help identify barriers to urban agriculture as USDA works to promote urban farming and the economic opportunities it provides in cities across the country. 

“The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Committee is an important opportunity for urban and innovative producers to have their voices heard and give direct feedback to USDA,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, which oversees USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. “These new members will provide valuable input on how we can better serve urban agricultural producers with a focus on equity, local food systems, access to safe and nutritious food and new ways to address climate change.” … Continue reading

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Farm Bureau service delivery pilot project launched

Continuing its “value first” approach, Ohio Farm Bureau has developed a new pilot project in 12 northwest Ohio county Farm Bureaus to test an alternative field staff structure. 

This project follows the 2022 launch of an initial pilot that is testing a new service delivery model in cooperation with eight county Farm Bureaus in northwest Ohio, with a unique combination of staffing and a structure aimed to build membership with more specialized programs and services. 

According to Ohio Farm Bureau Vice President of Membership Paul Lyons, this new pilot project will have very similar goals as the first, but will use a slightly different method. Those goals include leading with the value of Farm Bureau when promoting the organization, creating new approaches to acquire and retain members while designing a more individualized experience for them, and testing a new staff delivery model to meet Ohio Farm Bureau’s overall goals.

“For this new pilot project, the county Farm Bureau structure will remain the same, as will the staff,” Lyons said.… Continue reading

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Will May USDA numbers hold up?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

One of the biggest reports of the year was just published and it provides the first look at supply and demand for the 2023 crop. Usually, there are few surprises in this report because the trade is already using the acreage number from the March 31 report and the trendline yield estimate from the February Outlook Forum. In the last 10 years, the yield number was only changed twice on the May USDA report from the February numbers.

The USDA’s usage estimates are generally predictable. They tend to use a slightly higher number than the average of the last 5 years of usage in feed, ethanol, and exports. It seems this was done again for 2023. But, are these numbers attainable?


There were concerns that persistent snow in North Dakota would delay a lot of corn planting past the May 25 planting deadline in the state.… Continue reading

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Pork exports picking up, beef rebounding

March exports of U.S. pork were the largest since May 2021, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). While below last year’s high volume, March beef exports were the largest since October.

Mexico is the pacesetter, but pork exports strengthen in several regions

March pork exports totaled 260,195 metric tons (mt), up 17% year-over-year and the ninth largest volume on record. Export value was also ninth largest at $724 million, up 18% from a year ago. These results capped a strong first quarter for U.S. pork as exports reached 716,691 mt, up 14% from a year ago, valued at $1.96 billion (up 15%).

For Mexico, March pork exports were the second largest on record, while shipments to the Dominican Republic and Malaysia were record-large. Exports also increased to South Korea, Japan, China/Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia and Taiwan.

“It’s great to see U.S.… Continue reading

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Buying and selling advice for farm machinery in the current market

By Matt Reese

Greg Peterson, better known to many as Machinery Pete, spent the last 33 years logging and studying farm equipment auction prices around the country. With the highest-ever values for used equipment holding strong in current markets, Peterson has advice for both buyers and sellers of farm equipment in the months ahead.

Sometimes, specific auction items sell higher than expected simply because of the reputation of the person selling them.

“One thing I’ve loved about reporting on the auction space all these years is the chatter aspect. Really, to me, all that matters is what it brings when the gavel falls, but when you go out to an auction and people are saying things, that chatter is valid,” Peterson said. “I see that in the classic case of a very highly respected farmer having a retirement sale who helped their neighbors for years. They’re just good neighbors, good farmers like we see throughout Ohio Minnesota, everywhere.… Continue reading

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Better planting weather boosts planting progress

Farmers took advantage of last week’s midweek sunny spell to make considerable headway in planting, according to the USDA NASS, Great Lakes Regional Field Office. Precipitation limited fieldwork early last week, but several subsequent days of above average temperatures and clear skies facilitated excellent evaporation until a second round of late-week storms. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1% very short, 5 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 26% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on May 14 was 63.0 degrees, 4.0 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.84 inches of precipitation, 0.05 inches above average. There were 3.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 14.

Oat progress reached 85% planted and 65% emerged. Winter wheat advanced to 89% jointed and 11 percent headed. Winter Wheat crop condition was rated 71% good to excellent, up from the previous week. Corn and soybean planting progress pushed forward to 265 and 28% planted, respectively.… Continue reading

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Stay ahead of the field! Sign up for Ohio Ag Net’s NEW free text alerts

We know you’re always on the go and staying informed in this hectic world is important to stay competitive. Now, that’s easier than ever before!

NEW from the Ohio Ag Net – get the latest farm news, weather, and market reports delivered directly to your phone. Keep on the move while our team of broadcasters works to bring you the information you need to stay ahead of the field!

By signing up at the form below, or at www.ocj.com/text, you’ll get the voice you know with the news you trust texted to you each weekday at 11 a.m. ET. Sign up is fast, simple, and free!

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 301 | Getting it in the Ground!

A great listen for those planting, get ready for an information-packed episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosted by Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg. This week, they dive into the critical topic of navigating financial challenges in agriculture in 2023, as they engage in a compelling conversation with Larry Davis from Ag Resource Management. Join them as they uncover valuable advice and insights to help farmers navigate the ever-evolving financial landscape and make informed decisions for a prosperous future.

But that’s not all—Dale Minyo visits with Dale Everman from Homan Inc. to discuss the efficient use of nutrients and the vital topic of manure management, equipment advantages, and the latest farm building trends.

Joel Penhorwood then shifts gears and connects with Cindy Layman to explore the exciting world of GrowNextGen Virtual Field Trips. Delve into the immersive experiences offered by these virtual trips, designed to ignite curiosity and promote agricultural understanding among students and educators alike.… Continue reading

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Barn painting auction to benefit 10 Ohio historical societies

Hocking County Historical Society, Logan, Ohio, is holding an online auction of historic barn paintings to benefit 10 historical societies throughout Ohio, including those in the following counties: Shelby, Champaign, Fulton, Stark, Portage, Ashland, Summit, Wood, Ross, and Hocking. Each historical society currently displays 7 to 8 of the paintings. The paintings, oil impasto, are done on a Masonite panel and framed in rustic barn siding, made by the artist and author, Robert Kroeger. The barn paintings and their stories are featured in the recently released book, Round Barns of America, available in bookstores and through online retailers. The auction is on biddingowl.com and under the Hocking County Historical Society. It begins on May 1 and ends on May 31.

The 72 paintings feature 11 round barns in Ohio, including Stark County’s Timken barn and Lancaster’s round barn in the county fairgrounds as well as the oldest documented round barn, built by President George Washington in 1794.… Continue reading

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Reducing corn N rate with fall manure

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist

The best way to take a nitrogen credit from fall manure applications is with a Pre-sidedress Nitrogen Test (PSNT) soil test. The two primary nitrogen types applied with manure are ammonium and organic N. The ammonium portion is not soil stable, and a portion is lost after application. How significant that loss is depends upon soil temperatures and precipitation. For example, we can expect more fall-applied manure ammonium for the following corn in November compared to a September application. Organic N is soil stable. We expect about a third of the organic N to mineralize and supply N to the corn crop. Given all the variables impacting N applied with fall manure, a PSNT test is helpful to determine a final sidedress nitrogen rate.

The savings can be significant. For example, in 2021 and 2022, Glen Arnold and I used the PSNT on incorporated fall-applied swine manure with two rates of 5,000 and 8,000 gallons per acre at Northwest Ag Research Station.… Continue reading

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