Featured News

Farm labor visa programs address poverty and undocumented migration

By Dr. Beau Brodbeck is assistant director for field operations, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University. Dr. Fernando Landini is a researcher at Universidad de la Cuenca del Plata

Alfredo lives in a rural Guatemalan village and travels to the U.S. with an H-2A visa each May to work in a nursery, returning each December, in time for Christmas, to spend a few months with family. Over the years, the money he earns has allowed his home to evolve from a mud-slat structure with dirt floors to a modern cement block home with tiled floors, glass windows and running water. In seven seasons he has saved to purchase an acre of land, install a small greenhouse and buy his first vehicle to haul vegetables to the local market. Prior to the visa, he grew corn on a half-acre of rented land to feed his family and worked seasonally on neighboring coffee farms, earning just enough to clothe his family.… Continue reading

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Wheat Yield Contest entry deadline May 15

The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is accepting entries for the 2024 Wheat Yield Contest. This year 26 national winners will be recognized. The entry deadline for winter wheat is May 15 and the entry fee in $100. Visit www.wheatcontest.org for more.

The Ohio contest winner in 2023 received a 1-year free lease on a seed tender from J & M Manufacturing. The runner up received free fungicide from BASF.  

Ohio Wheat Yield Contest, 2023 Winners

State Winner: Kent Edwards Castalia, Erie Co., 169.4 bu., Pioneer            

State Runner-up: Jim Dauch, Bellevue, Huron Co., 162.21 bu., Pioneer

Third: Doug Dawson, Delaware Co., 151.96 bu., AgriMaxx

Fourth: Luke Swaim, Greene Co., 151.88 bu., Croplan

Fifth: Eric Kesler, Clark Co., 150.15 bu., Agri-Pro

Sixth: Richard Clifton, Pickaway Co., 147.94 bu., Becks

Seventh: Steve Downing, Allen Co., 145.62 bu., Wellman Seeds

Eighth: John Carroll, Ross Co., 143.76 bu., Pioneer

Ninth: Aaron Stuckey, Fulton Co., 140.12 bu., Pioneer

Tenth: Jim Bethel, Madison Co., 140.07 bu., Seed Consultants

National winner: Kent Edwards, Castalia, Erie County, third place- Dryland Winter Wheat, 169.4 bu/ac, Pioneer

100 Bushel Club: Leon Burkholder, Eric Richer, Dave Cunningham, Brian Rufenacht, David Lutz, Doug Goyings, Dan Schwartz, Brian Sutorius, Anthony Stuckey, Greg Griffin, Bill Schroeder, Martin Quigley, David Zielger, Michael Puckrin, Jim Bethel, Aaron Stuckey, John Carroll, Steve Downing, Richard Clifton, Eric Kesler, Luke Swaim, Doug Dawson, Jim Dauch, Kent Edwards (24)

Seed brands in the 2023 contest included: Great Harvest, Pioneer, AgriMaxx, Strike, Seed Consultants, Dyna-Gro, Ohio Certified Seed, Wellman Seeds, Becks, Agri-Pro, and Croplan.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on 97.5 WVNU

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 97.5 WVNU serving Highland and surrounding counties, with coverage airing at 5::40 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Tune in to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday!

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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Grain prices struggle with lack of fresh fundamental news

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Trade expectations: U.S. soybean exports reduced, increased ethanol demand and Brazil soybean and corn production to be reduced.    

Following the noon USDA report release, corn was down 2 cents, soybeans down 12 cents, and wheat down 9 cents. Moments before the report was released, corn was down 1 ½ cents, soybeans down 8 cents, and wheat down 6 cents. 

U.S. 2023-2024 ending stocks: corn 2.122 billion bushels, last month 2.172 billion bushels; soybeans 340 million bushels, last month 315 million bushels; and wheat 698 million bushels, last month 673 million bushels. 

Trader estimates for 2023-2024 U.S. ending stocks: corn 2.102 billion bushels; soybeans 317 million bushels; and wheat 690 million bushels. 

Surprisingly there were no changes Brazilian soybean production. The trade was anticipating a slight reduction in the Brazilian soybean crop. USDA this month estimates Brazil soybean production at 155 million tons, last month was 155 million tons.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council to honor the 2024 Hall of Fame inductees

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) is set to honor the 2024 awardees who have significantly contributed to the advancement of Ohio’s agricultural community. The 2024 OAC Hall of Fame ceremony will celebrate the achievements of the late David W. Brandt of Carroll, Bill and Janet Butler of Hillsboro, Fred Finney of Wooster and the late Raymond A. Miller of Hilliard. Each has uniquely impacted Ohio agriculture through innovation, education and leadership.

“It is with great honor and respect that we celebrate the lasting legacies of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees,” said Tadd Nicholson, President of the Ohio Agricultural Council and executive director of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. “Their visionary leadership and relentless commitment have propelled our agricultural industry forward, making significant contributions at both local and national levels.”

The ceremony, marking its 58th year, is expected to draw over 600 attendees including community leaders, industry professionals and family members who will gather to pay tribute to the inductees’ lifelong dedication and service to Ohio’s agricultural sector.… Continue reading

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Ohio instructional guide now available for HPAI in dairy

To further protect the U.S. livestock industry from the threat posed by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, USDA is sharing a number of actions to help get ahead of this disease and limit its spread.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a Federal Order requiring the following measures, effective Monday, April 29, 2024. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has published an Ohio Instructional Guide to help dairy farmers comply with USDA’s Federal Order to limit the spread of HPAI in dairy cattle.

Requirements for movement of dairy cattle are outlined in the guide, which is posted at the bottom of ODA’s Dairy Cattle web page. There is also a link to digitally submit an alternative movement document (also referred to as an “owner-shipper” or “owner-hauler” statement) which must be approved by the State Veterinarian to move cull lactating dairy cattle across state lines. … Continue reading

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Reducing Phosphorus Runoff

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Rain is again slowing down spring planting. April and May showers are saturating fields causing nutrient runoff and soil organic matter (SOM) losses.  While most scientists say phosphorous (P) is the main culprit, the harmful algae blooms (HAB) or cyanobacteria need a variety nutrients.  If rains continue into summer combined with warm weather and not much wind, HAB can multiply quite rapidly. Farmers have planted cover crops and applied a variety of best management practices to reduce HAB in Lake Erie, will it be enough?

Where is the P coming from, what is the source?  Human wastes account for roughly 16%, livestock manure 17%, and the biggest source is still from agriculture, from the soil.  Considering the large acreage (4.2 million acres in the Maumee River basin) it takes only a small amount of P loss to cause HAB in Lake Erie.  Farmers generally apply about 35-40# of P on corn and maintain about 95% of what is applied.… Continue reading

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Evaluating an Emerging Stand

Join Mike Hannewald, field agronomist with Beck’s Hybrids, in this week’s installment of the agronomic video series as he explores the critical early stages of crop development in ‘Evaluating an Emerging Stand.’ This episode dives into the key indicators to assess while evaluating young crops, providing insights that can help optimize growth and future yields. Tune in for expert tips designed to give your crops a robust start.

More from Beck’s online at www.beckshybrids.com.… Continue reading

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Is fungicide in wheat worth it?

By Chris Suber, president of Ebberts Field Seeds, Inc.

Chris Suber, president,
Ebberts Field Seeds, Inc.

There’s no shortage of things to do during May for Ohio farmers. Whether it’s working ground, planting, or spraying, every hour counts when conditions are fit to be in the field. Yet an important application in wheat still needs to get done among the chaos of getting the corn and soybean crop planted and off to a good start — a fungicide pass when the wheat is at the heading stage to manage Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), commonly known as head scab.

For most Ohio farmers, this pass typically falls in the middle of May. Although this year Ohio’s wheat crop appears to be a full week to 10 days ahead of typical. One of the last things a farmer wants to do during this busy time is clean the sprayer out just to spray a few fields of wheat, especially when you’re trying to finish soybean burndown or spray corn.… Continue reading

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New Small-Scale Food Business Guide available from Ohio Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau’s legal team has created a new members-only resource for those looking for information about rules and regulations for small-scale food businesses.

The Small-Scale Food Business Guide covers both federal and state regulations for selling food products such as raw meat, dairy, eggs, baked goods, cottage foods, fruits and vegetables, honey and more.

The guide provides a breakdown of the registration, licensing, processing, food safety, inspection, labeling, and any other regulatory/legal standards to be considered when running a small-scale food business. Look at this guide when starting a food business to discern what you may need to do, starting at the farm and ending at the market/consumer.

“The laws and rules surrounding the production and sale of food products come from many different sources, both state and federal, often creating a confusing and hard to navigate regulatory space,” said Leah Hetrick, Ohio Farm Bureau director of legal education and member engagement.… Continue reading

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Ohio PR firms recognized nationally for work in agriculture

Two of Ohio’s agriculturally focused public relations firms were recognized nationally on the 2024 O’Dwyer’s list of top Agricultural PR Firms.

For the third consecutive year, Westerville-based Inspire PR Group was ranked among the top 100 PR firms by O’Dwyer’s Public Relations News — a leading PR industry publication. Inspire was also ranked the 6th agricultural PR firm in the nation and won some additional awards from the National Agri-Marketing Association. In addition, Springfield-based Shift•ology Communication was ranked 10th on the 2024 O’Dwyer’s list of top Agricultural PR Firms.

For 55 years, O’Dwyer’s has been conducting PR firm rankings, recognizing outstanding agencies focusing on factors such as strategic communications counsel, media relations and financial performance (excluding advertising or production expenses). The ranking system is widely considered one of the industry’s most reputable sources.

Both firms were recognized at the National Agri-Marketing Association Conference in Kansas City in April. Shift•ology and clients, American Dairy Association Indiana and San Joaquin County AgVentures, received Best of NAMA awards for Virtual Events featuring Indianapolis 500 Milk Person, Kerry Estes and Producer-Funded PR Campaign Element for a virtual experience on a California blueberry farm and apple orchard, respectively.… Continue reading

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Buckeye Temp Tracker – May 7, 2024

The Buckeye Temp Tracker is powered by BA Genetics and takes note of soil temperatures in four counties each week. Check back each Wednesday for the next update throughout this planting season.

In the interactive map below, click on the thermometer icons to see the soil temperature results from each of the four Ohio counties involved in the program.

Each reading is in degrees Fahrenheit.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 300px-Map_of_Ohio_highlighting_Ashland_County.svg_.png

Ashland County

Corn Stalks – 61 degrees

Worked Ground – 61 degrees

Fairfield County

Corn Stalks (worked and planted) – 63 degrees

Worked Ground (planted) – 63 degrees

Fayette County

Corn Stalks – 64 degrees

Worked Ground – 64 degrees

Mercer County

Corn Stalks – 61 degrees

Worked Ground – 60 degrees

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Ohio Field Leader Roadshow | Zoe Kent

On this episode of the Ohio Field Leader Roadshow, Dusty Sonnenberg heads to Kent Farms to visit with 8th generation farmer Zoe Kent. Zoe has also made a name for herself in recent years as a social media influencer, sharing the story of agriculture in a unique way.

Ohio Field Leader is a project of Ohio’s soybean farmers and their checkoff.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Council Hires Anna Gest as manager of nutrition education programs

The Ohio Beef Council (OBC) Operating Committee, responsible for Beef Checkoff demand building investments in the state, recently expanded its beef nutrition focus through the creation of a full-time position. Anna Gest of Grafton, Ohio will serve as the Manager of Nutrition Education Programs. Gest was most recently the part-time Nutrition Coordinator for the council.

Gest is a Registered Dietitian who has been working with OBC since 2018. As Manager of Nutrition Education Programs, Gest will engage with medical professionals, health organizations, educators, and school nutrition stakeholders to share beef, nutrition, and health information. She will also assist with digital and social media campaign creation related to beef as part of a healthy lifestyle. 

A graduate of The Ohio State University, Gest also has a Masters degree from Kent State University. She has previously worked as a hospital dietitian. She and her husband, Andy, have a small feedlot and grain farm in Lorain County. … Continue reading

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Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program seeks election to board for three districts

Pursuant to Section 924.07 of the Ohio Revised Code, Brian Baldridge, Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture, will conduct an election of the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program Board in July 2024.

The Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program is designed to increase the opportunities for smallgrains producers. The purpose of this program is to provide funds to permit small grains producers to develop, implement, and participate in market development and promotion, research and educational programs.

The election to the Board will include these three districts:

District 3: Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne counties

District 7: Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Delaware, Franklin, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum, Tuscarawas, and Union counties

District 9: Adams, Athens, Brown, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington counties

The Nomination Procedure is as follows

• Nominating petitions may be obtained from: Brian Baldridge, Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Legal Section, 8995 E Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-3399, Telephone (800) 282-1955 or (614) 728-6390.… Continue reading

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Using storage and risk management to get $5.90 corn

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Delays in planting across parts of the Corn Belt sparked a rally in corn last week. If a large portion of the crop isn’t planted over the next two weeks, futures could continue to rise. However, if there seems to be enough opportunity for farmers to make significant progress in planting, then the market will likely pull back.

Setting corn basis on the 2023 crop

I have 100% storage capacity for all my crop production on my farm. This helps with harvest logistics and allows me to maximize profitability from more basis opportunities and market carry.

Within 60 miles from my farm, there are two ethanol plants, six feed mills, and four rail shuttle loaders. Since I never know which location will have the best bid each year after harvest, HTA (Hedge To Arrive) contracts are never a profitable option. Usually, I can even get a premium to what my local markets are bidding, if I sell my corn picked up on the farm and let someone else haul it away, which can sometimes be up to 500 miles.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 347 | Super Star Student Reporters

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 Aubree Topp of Botkins FFA and Alexis White of Fort Frye FFA who are serving as student reporters at the 96th State FFA Convention. They talk about their experience as student reporters and about their agricultural background.        

More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association: Dusty talks with Tadd about sustainable aviation fuel tax credits.  
  • Tom Fontana, Ohio Soybean Council: Dusty visits with Tom talking about an update on biodiesel. 
  • Farm Credit Mid – America: Dale talks with the folks at Farm Credit Mid – America about the Fight the Hunger, Stock the Trailer county fair event. 

Time Stamp: 

Tadd Nicholson3:44
Tom Fontana8:11
Farm Credit Mid – America16:28
Main Conversation, Aubree Topp and Alexis White23:54
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Planting progresses amidst rain delays

Light but consistent rain showers have kept the soil wet enough to limit fieldwork in some locations, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 3 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and 36 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on May 5 was 66.9 degrees, 12.0 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.98 inches of precipitation, 0.09 inches above average. There were 3.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 5.

Rain delays weighed heavily on farmer’s minds. Corn and soybean planting progressed forward to 26 and 20 percent planted, respectively. Oats were 76 percent planted. Winter wheat was 92 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 71 percent good to excellent. Pasture and range condition was rated 89 percent good to excellent, with greening supported by ample moisture over the previous
month. Farmers reported limited opportunity for planting.… Continue reading

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Consider using on-farm research to improve farm profitability

By Elizabeth Hawkins, Dara Barclay and John Fulton

The 2024 season has kicked off and you may be spending some of your time in the tractor reflecting on how to make the most of this crop. On-farm research is one of the best tools to help you improve profitability and now is a great time to plan some experiments to understand how you can improve your bottom line. Local trials can provide valuable insights at the farm level to use for future decision making, and conducting a high quality and informative experiment can be easier than you think. Here are some quick tips for on-farm research success:

  1. Carefully consider the question you want to answer. Having a clear vision of what you want to learn is important to ensure you plan the right treatments to compare and data to collect throughout the season.
  2. Select treatments that make it possible to compare the management practices that are most important for you to learn about.
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