Featured News

A focus on herd health and service

By Matt Reese

With a background as a veterinarian, Dave Shoup has worked extensively on herd health in his family-owned Wayne County farrow-to-finish swine operation. 

“We work with multiple contracted facilities and are located in three counties. Relatively speaking for the size of our swine operation, we are spread over considerable area because we like to be able to use manure over as many acres as we can. I work with three of my brothers on the farm and we each have our own niche in the operation and we think that works out pretty well,” Shoup said. “Years ago, I had heard the nightmares of comingling pigs into nurseries from multiple sow locations. The way we do it is kind of complex, and it probably only works in our setup where we’re fairly well isolated away from other hog farmers here in Wayne County. It’s all designed to establish a consistent herd immunity on all sow farms to our endemically established diseases through vaccination and direct exposure.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on Unforgettable 1220 out of Van Wert

We continue our series highlighting the outstanding Ohio Ag Net radio affiliates carrying the best in Ohio ag news.

This week, we say thank you to WERT AM/FM serving Northwest Ohio out of Van Wert. Tune in to 1220 AM and 104.3 FM to hear the Ohio Ag Net weekday mornings at 5:34 and 5:52.

The best in Ohio ag news is easy to find! If your current station doesn’t feature the voice of Ohio Ag—turn the dial! Click here to view the complete affiliate listing, including air times.Continue reading

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Liability with escaped farm animals

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Recent collisions involving cattle on Ohio roadways raise the question of who is liable when a farm animal causes a roadway accident? Ohio’s “animals at large law” helps answer that question. It’s an old law that establishes a legal duty for owners and keepers of farm animals to contain their animals. The law states that an owner or keeper shall not permit their animals to run at large “in the public road, highway, street, lane, or alley, or upon unenclosed land.” But as with many laws, the answer to the question of “who’s liable” under the law is “it depends.” Here’s how the law works.

The law applies to both owners and “keepers.” The animals at large law places responsibility on both the owners and the “keepers” of the animals. The reference to “keepers” can expand the duty to someone other than the animal owner.… Continue reading

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Bill addresses concerns with foreign ownership of farmland

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act Improvements Act of 2024, which would shine a light on foreign adversaries that buy up farmland in Ohio by strengthening the reporting and enforcement of foreign ownership of agricultural land in the United States. It would strengthen current law, which requires foreign persons who acquire, dispose of, or hold an interest in U.S. agricultural land to disclose those transactions to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The law hasn’t been updated in years, and has too many loopholes that allow foreign entities to conceal their identities and hide the true extent of the problem. 

The legislation builds on Brown’s ongoing work to ban foreign adversaries — like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea — from getting a foothold in the U.S., particularly near U.S. military installations. Last year Brown’s bill to protect Ohio farmland from China passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support as part of the Senate’s annual defense bill.… Continue reading

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Soybean Check-off Leadership and a Look to the Future

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

In Episode 41 of the Ohio Field Leader Podcast, Dusty visits with Ohio farmers who are serving in leadership capacities with Soybean Check-off organizations. Steve Reinhard serves as Chairman of the United Soybean Board, Bill Bayliss is the newly elected President of the Ohio Soybean Council, and David Clark serves as Vice President of the North Central Soybean Research Program. Each of the members share about the specific function of their respective organizations and their goals for the coming year.… Continue reading

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Current 2024 U.S. dairy outlook

By Jason Hartschuh, Field Specialist, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock, Ohio State University Extension

With the first month of 2024 coming to a completion, hopefully you have had time to review your 2023 profit and losses to prepare your farm for 2024. The U.S. all-milk price for 2023 will be about $20.60 per cwt, only the fourth time in 20 years that the all-milk price was over $20 per cwt. Unfortunately, the inflation-adjusted milk price was also the fourth lowest in the past 20 years, leading to record low milk-to-feed margins and record high dairy margin coverage (DMC) payments. The milk to feed margin in the DMC program was below the $4 per cwt coverage level for 2 months in 2023. The cull cow market though was a bright spot for 2023, with the last part of the year having cull cow prices above $100 per cwt. While each farm is different, on average dairy farms will have positive profits per cow for 2023.… Continue reading

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Calculating nutrient value in fertilizer

By Greg LaBarge

Input suppliers have various fertilizer sources to meet a farm’s crop nutrient needs. Understanding how to compare nutrient costs is important to get the best value. Comparing fertilizer prices for a single nutrient source like 28-0-0 on a price-per-ton basis is straightforward. For example, $326 per ton is cheaper than $350. But if we want to compare the prices of 28-0-0, 46-0-0, and 82-0-0, we need to go a step further to make a price comparison. We want to calculate the nutrient cost per pound to compare prices with different sources with varied nutrient content.

The calculation for single nutrient products is simple, requiring two steps. Let’s use the example of comparing the nitrogen cost of 28-0-0 to 82-0-0.

Step one is to calculate the amount of nutrient or N in both sources. For 82-0-0, take 2,000 pounds multiplied by 82% (2000 x 0.82 = 1640 pounds of N).… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA state officers visit the Land Down Under

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA reporter

Each year, 75 current or past State FFA Officers with active FFA membership are invited to apply for the International Leadership Seminar for State Officers (ILSSO). A 14-day travel experience, ILSSO allows attendees to develop an awareness of global agriculture and enhance their cultural competency of another country. This year, ILSSO was hosted in Australia.

Out of the 75 attendees on the trip to the “Land Down Under,” six of them were the current member of the Ohio FFA State Officer Team.

“After the State Officer Summit in Washington D.C. this past August, all 300+ state officers were invited to apply as potential ILSSO 2024 attendees,” said Kaydence Morris, Ohio FFA State Reporter. “I was blessed to have been accepted. From there, I completed an 8-week curriculum consisting of four modules of instruction on cultural awareness in Australia, completing projects that developed my cultural intelligence, as well as various essays and quizzes.”… Continue reading

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Wheat tillers and yield

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

When weather warms up in the spring, winter wheat will break dormancy and will begin to green up. After a period of about 2 weeks, producers should evaluate their stand in order to make management decisions for their wheat crop. Part of this evaluation includes counting tillers to determine if there is an adequate stand for achieving high yields. According an article in a C.O.R.N. Newsletter written by Laura Lindsey, Ed Lentz, Pierce Paul, “Yield potential is reduced if tiller numbers fall below 25 per square foot after green up.”

So, what is a tiller? And how should they be counted? Tillers are additional stems that develop off of the main shoot of the plant. Primary tillers form in the axils of the first four or more true leaves of the main stem. Secondary tillers may develop from the base of primary tillers if conditions favor tiller development.… Continue reading

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Growers and retailers needed for a new project: Understanding yield response to K applications in Ohio

By John Fulton and Aaron Heilers

Potassium (K) is a key nutrient for growing profitable crops in Ohio. Recently in Ohio, consultants, retailers, and farmers have been concerned that soil K values have been decreasing. One cause for this decrease is higher soybean and corn yields leading to higher K removal rates in grain harvested from Ohio fields. Further, moving to annual applications of P and K for corn-soybean rotations has been the trend over the past decade. This approach of annual applications follows the concept of feeding the plants for corn and soybean production and it has provided profitable returns to Ohio farmers. Certain areas in Ohio also note yield response to K in lieu of the Tri-State Recommendations for K in corn and soybeans.

As a response to concerns over K recommendations, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, the 4R Nutrient Council, and The Ohio State University have partnered to initiate a new project looking at yield response to K applications across Ohio.… Continue reading

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Conservation Tillage Club breakfast events

By Mark Badertscher, Ohio State University Extension

The 2024 Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program series started in January and continues Feb. 8 and Feb. 22 at the Plaza Inn Restaurant, 491 S Main Street (State Route 31) in Mt. Victory. Each session will start at 7:30 a.m. with a complimentary buffet breakfast followed by the program at 8 a.m.

Feb. 8 will feature Aaron Wilson, OSU Assistant Professor and Agricultural Weather and Climate Field Specialist’s presentation will focus on being climate smart and farming with weather extremes. Topics of discussion include recent weather patterns and how they have affected crop production practices in Ohio.

The Feb. 22 event will feature a program on drone use in agriculture by Henry County OSU Extension Educator Alan Leininger. Drones are becoming more common in agriculture than just for scouting crops for insects, weeds, and disease.

The Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program series is jointly sponsored by OSU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Hardin, Logan, and Union Counties, and in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.… Continue reading

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Pesticide Use Limitation Areas

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

In September 2023 a federal district court approved a legal agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop strategies to reduce harm to endangered species from the use of pesticides. As a part of the EPA strategies, they identified 27 federally threatened and endangered species that are vulnerable to pesticides, and proposed mitigation to protect them by minimizing or avoiding pesticide exposure. For each species being considered, the EPA has proposed a geographically specific mitigation using a pesticide use limitation area (PULA).

The EPA released a draft white paper for public comment. The white paper identified proposed mitigation measures that would be required. Agricultural commodity groups and agribusiness industry groups as well as environmental groups and other stakeholders submitted comments that are now being reviewed by the agency.

“The proposal that the EPA is looking to move forward regarding the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has received numerous comments from our organization and others in Ohio and nationally,” said Brandon Kern, Director of Public Affairs and Issue Analysis for the Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio Soybean Association.… Continue reading

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USDA encouraging CRP participants to consider Forest Management Incentive

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering financial assistance to agricultural producers and private landowners enrolled in its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to improve the health of their forests. The Forest Management Incentive, available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), can help participants with forest management practices, such as brush management and prescribed burning.  

“Healthy forests offer many benefits, from providing habitat for wildlife to sequestering carbon,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “Through the Forest Management Incentive, USDA’s Farm Service Agency provides an additional forest improvement tool to producers participating in the Conservation Reserve Program. This incentive enhances the Conservation Reserve Program’s environmental benefits and helps protect our country’s natural resources.”  

The Forest Management Incentive is available to participants with active CRP contracts with forest cover that are not within two years of expiring. The incentive is a payment to eligible CRP participants who properly completed authorized forest management practice activities to improve the condition of resources, promote forest management and enhance wildlife habitat. … Continue reading

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More developments regarding Moroccan phosphate duties

In recent developments concerning the Court of International Trade’s remand of duties on Moroccan phosphate imports, the Department of Commerce has issued a new duty rate of 7.41%, a significant decrease from the previous 19.97%. Despite this positive step for U.S. crop producers, the decrease falls short of the administrative review rate of 2.12% issued in November 2023. The International Trade Commission (ITC) also upheld its original determination that the domestic industry suffered harm from Moroccan imports. 

The next step involves the Court of International Trade (CIT) reviewing each agency’s remand determination and making a final ruling. The CIT considers submissions from other parties to the litigation during this process. The potential appeals to the Federal Circuit in both the Commerce and ITC cases add a layer of complexity to the ongoing situation.

The National Corn Growers Association was deeply disappointed in the ITC decision.

“The idea that major fertilizer conglomerates were materially injured even as they were posting substantially higher profits during the time in question sounds dubious to me,” said Harold Wolle, NCGA president.… Continue reading

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A look at corn prices moving forward

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

The corn market might have finally found a temporary bottom, but everyone wants to know what direction corn prices will go in 2024. Weather here and around the world is the biggest price driver, but it is impossible to predict long term. Therefore, below are three charts that could provide some historical perspective for upcoming marketing plans.

Corn yields from 1975 to 2023

Since 1975, the national yield has increased from about 90 bushels per acre to nearly 180.

Over the last nearly 50 years, the average national yield has been within 2 bushels of or above the trendline yield almost 75% of the time. Using a linear trendline suggests that statistically, this year’s corn yield could be around 180.5. In most years, the weather is favorable enough to produce a normal crop across the U.S. as a whole. 

When will futures prices hit the high for the year?… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 333 | Ohio Farm Bureau Buzz

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Joel Penhorwood of Ohio Ag Net talk with Paul Lyons, Ohio Farm Bureau Vice President of Membership. They talked about the recent American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Young Ag Professional Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Paul shares about his experiences at the annual meeting and gives an overview of Ohio recognition. 

 More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Luke and Kayla Durbin and Joe Everett, YAP State Committee: They talk with Joel about the recent YAP Conference, their role on the State Committee, and their own agriculture background. 
  • Scott Fenwick, Clean Fuels America: Scott is the Technical Director for Clean Fuels America and talks with Dale about the biodiesel technology world. 
  • Brandon Kern, Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio Soybean Association: Brandon works as the Director of Public Affair and Issue Analysis and he talks with Dusty about US EPA and Endangered Species Act in relation to pesticide use. 
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Innovative tech shows promise to boost rubber production

With disease and high demand posing threats to the world’s primary natural rubber supply in Southeast Asia, scientists are working to ramp up the U.S. rubber market by advancing methods to extract latex from two sustainable North American plant sources: a dandelion species and a desert shrub.

Researchers reported their methods to improve efficiency and increase latex yield in two recent publications, building upon decades of research led by Katrina Cornish, professor of horticulture and crop science and food, agricultural and biological engineering at The Ohio State University. 

Cornish and colleagues have added specialized agents during processing of the Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TK) dandelion and the guayule shrub to coax a higher amount of latex from both plants. Neither source can simply be tapped — the method used on tropical trees that produce the only commercially available natural rubber in the world.

“We need to have efficient extraction methods for any and all alternative natural rubber-producing species, especially at a large scale,” Cornish said.… Continue reading

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Farm income expected to decline

By Matt Reese

Economists are looking at the farm economy from all angles and none of those perspectives look all that positive right now. Interest rates, inflation, input costs and lower cash receipts all played a role in a lower farm income forecast for 2023.

Late last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the most recent farm income estimates, anticipating a 17% decrease in U.S. net farm income, moving from $183 billion in 2022 to $151 billion in 2023, according to American Farm Bureau economist Daniel Munch.

“Much of the forecast decline in 2023 net farm income is tied to lower crop and livestock cash receipts, continued increases in production costs and a decrease in ad hoc government support. It is important to highlight the projected nature of this forecast. Net farm income numbers for 2022 were not finalized until August 2023 and have been adjusted upward over $20 billion in the eight months since the year ended.… Continue reading

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FarmHouse Fraternity executive team attends international leadership institute

Five members of FarmHouse Fraternity, Alpha Tau Zeta Chapter at The Ohio State University attended the annual FarmHouse Leadership Institute (FLI) in early January. The weekend event was held in St. Louis, Missouri.

Executive committee members in attendance included: Brady Jacobs Bell, president; Grant DeBruin, vice president of administration; Brady McCumons, vice president of recruitment and retention; Garrett Hastings, vice president of finance; and Lantz Snavely, vice president of risk management. They were joined by Emily Wickham, chapter advisor, and Dr. John Foltz, chapter alum and member of the FarmHouse International Executive Board.

Chapter officers attend FLI at the beginning of their officer term. The program is designed to help chapter officers and advisors learn more about their roles, build connections with other FarmHouse members from across the United States and Canada, learn valuable leadership skills, and set strategic goals for their chapter.

“Our officer team had a great experience attending FLI.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on 106.3 The Fox

We continue our series highlighting the outstanding Ohio Ag Net radio affiliates carrying the best in Ohio ag news.

This week, we say thank you to 106.3 The Fox (WBUK FM) serving Putnam and surrounding counties, with coverage airing at 5:20 a.m., 10:50 and 4:30 p.m. Tune in to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday, alongside their other local ag programming!

The best in Ohio ag news is easy to find! If your current station doesn’t feature the voice of Ohio Ag—turn the dial! Click here to view the complete affiliate listing, including air times.Continue reading

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