Featured News

Arrested ear development in corn

By Osler Ortez, Ohio State University Extension

If you are familiar with “abnormal ears,” many ear symptoms can fall into that, but early to mid-June is the time when at least one of them can be mitigated: arrested ears. The term “arrested” is used because the development of these ears is interrupted or stopped prematurely due to external factors. 

Symptom: arrested ears (ear development arrested or stopped prematurely).

Causal factor: applications of nonionic surfactant (NIS) formulations.

Development timing: during the ear size determination period, from V6–V12; and up to V16.

From field observations, the timing of the causal factor for arrested ears coincided with the timing of pesticide spray applications (e.g., post-emergence herbicide; and pre-tassel fungicide and insecticide applications), which often include nonionic surfactants (NIS) in the tank-mix (note: NIS may be already included in some pesticide products). Researchers started to look closely at nonionic surfactants as the potential cause. Years later, results confirmed nonionic surfactants (not the pesticide!)… Continue reading

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Huge planting progress with great weather last week

Lawrence Onweller

Corn and soybean planting got finished up on May 19 early in the morning and the spraying is caught up. Then that night we got four tenths of an inch of rain, so that was just about ideal. Stuff sprouted really quickly because it’s been warm enough. 

It seems like in this area there’s almost more corn to go yet. There was quite a bit of corn planted around here the middle of the week. Guys in this area have been planting beans ahead of corn but there’s not a lot of acres left to go up here yet. The planting conditions were really nice last week.

Planting took around six to seven days total for both corn and soybeans. If the weather cooperates, with the machinery we have nowadays, we are able to do that. The equipment we have compared to what we used to have is amazing.… Continue reading

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The use of seed treatments for early season insect and disease management

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

Planting progress continues across Ohio going into the fourth week of May. As crops are emerging, stand evaluation is taking place. It is also the time to be on the lookout for early season insect and disease pressure.

The environment a crop is planted into can contribute to both insect and disease pressure on the newly established crop. “When it comes to seed corn maggot, the biggest risk factor for having a seed corn maggot problem in the first place is for farmers who disk in any type of organic matter into the soil before planting. That would include a cover crop, or previous alfalfa field, or disking in manure,” said Dr. Kelley Tilmon, OSU Extension Entomologist. “If planting occurs within a week to 10 days after that organic matter is incorporated into the soil, flies that lay the eggs for seed corn maggots are attracted to the rotting smell and that is where they will lay their eggs.”… Continue reading

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Will farmland sales drop off in 2023?

By Matt Reese

Planting season may give fast-talking auctioneers a chance to catch their breath during this time of staggering farmland sale prices, but it will only be a small chance. 

Devin Dye

“When you see strong prices like this, you have sellers interested in trying to capitalize on that, so we look for it to remain somewhat steady now throughout planting season,” said Devin Dye, with Dye Real Estate and Land Company in Lima. “Possession always becomes an issue. When do you give it and how soon do you have the auction to cover possession? So, throughout May and June we’ll see our auction slate slow down just a little bit. Then in July, August and September, things start to pick back up. We’re already starting to put proposals together and talk to sellers about having something midsummer and late summer. We’re already starting to have those conversations, so the opportunity for people to purchase farmland is still going to be there this this year.”… Continue reading

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USDA offers Livestock Disaster Program flexibilities

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has provided additional flexibilities and further enhanced disaster recovery assistance provided by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP), and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) in response to needs expressed by livestock producers across the U.S. who have experienced significant feed, forage and animal losses from natural disasters. These livestock disaster program policy enhancements include an extended June 2, 2023, deadline to submit notices of loss and applications for payment for 2022 losses. The deadline extension and program flexibilities are available to eligible producers nationwide who incurred losses from a qualifying natural disaster event.  

LIP and ELAP reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that died because of a qualifying natural disaster event or for loss of grazing acres, feed, and forage. 


New program applications for 2022  

FSA is accepting 2022 LIP notices of loss and applications for payment through June 2, 2023, for all covered livestock that may have been eligible in 2022.   … Continue reading

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Animal health bill introduced

The U.S. Senate recently introduced the Foreign Animal Disease Prevention, Surveillance and Rapid Response Act of 2023. The legislation reauthorizes animal disease prevention and management programs.

“We appreciate Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Representatives Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Don Bacon (R-NE), Jim Costa (D-CA), Angie Craig (D-MN) and Don Davis (D-NC) for introducing this critical legislation to protect animal health,” said Scott Hays, National Pork Producers Council president and Missouri pork producer. “With threats of African swine fever and other foreign animal diseases to livestock and poultry industries, having these provisions in the farm bill will ensure the U.S. remains positioned to deliver safe and affordable food to consumers worldwide.”

NPPC is advocating for a farm bill that fully funds critical programs safeguarding the nation’s food supply against threats posed by foreign animal diseases (FAD). These include the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program.… Continue reading

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Brandt passed away, leaving a legacy of conservation

Ohio agriculture has never before known a global cultural phenomenon quite like David Brandt, of Fairfield County, who passed away at the age of 76 from complications resulting from an automobile accident. 

He was known around the world as the face of a meme associated with honest work. In agricultural circles, Brandt will be remembered as a global leader in no-till, cover crops, soil health, nutrient dense crops, and direct marketing. Agriculturalists from around the world visited his Fairfield County farm each year to see his soils first-hand and learn from his many years of experience. He also traveled the world speaking about his farm. Brandt was a Vietnam veteran who returned home to farm in the late 1960s, but soon after his return, Brandt’s father died in a farming accident. He and his wife, Kendra (who passed away in 2020), were forced to sell the farm and start over with very little equipment.… Continue reading

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Early season disease management

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

Scouting for symptoms of early season diseases in a field is similar to scouting for early season insect problems. “Symptoms are representative of problems in the field,” said Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora, OSU Extension Soybean Pathologist and Nematologist.  “The symptoms will be in pockets and clustered together or aggregated together. The pockets will be delayed in emergence or have stand reduction. Those pockets may be insects or very wet areas that have abiotic physiological damage or disease, or they may be a combination.”

A disease will only impact the plants if all three parts of the disease triangle occur. Those parts include the disease being present, having the correct environmental conditions, and having a susceptible host.

“Most of the time, a farmer will know historically that the field has been affected by certain disease organisms,” said Lopez-Nicora.… Continue reading

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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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