Featured News

Phosphorus dynamics in water and soil: A study of 3s

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

At the 2022 Ohio No-Till Conference, Warren Dick, retired soil scientist at The Ohio State University, discussed a 10-letter word that has everyone’s attention – phosphorus. Largely blamed for many of the water quality issues we hear about today, phosphorus is one of the primary nutrients in crop production. There is a phosphorus (P) cycle, much like there is a water cycle. Animal manure, commercial fertilizers, biosolids, and plant residue are added to the soil. These all contain phosphorus. There is also atmospheric deposition of P in rain and dust. The phosphorus is mineralized in the soil and becomes soluble P that can be taken up by the crops.

Dick describes understanding phosphorus as a series of 3s. 

“There are three forms we find phosphorus in the environment,” Dick said. “There is mineral P that interacts with iron, aluminum and calcium.… Continue reading

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ODA teams up with foodbanks for new CAN program

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is proud to introduce Ohio CAN — Community + Agriculture + Nutrition — to help make sure no Ohioans go hungry.

Through this innovative program, historically underrepresented producers will be able to sell food to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and the products will then be distributed to Ohioans in need through the 12 Feeding America foodbanks and 3,600 member charities across all 88 counties.

“With Ohio’s strong food and agricultural base, it makes sense to better link our food producers with communities who need these necessities,” said Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director. “ODA is proud to be part of this collaboration to provide food to those in need from under resourced regional producers.”

Farmers and producers whose products are grown and produced within 400 miles of Columbus are eligible to apply. Ohio CAN will prioritize historically underrepresented applicants as well as those whose income is derived from a public assistance program.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat works toward agricultural exports in South America

United States agricultural exports account for one-third of gross farm income and millions of jobs in rural America. Brad Moffitt, Director of Market Development & Membership of Ohio Corn & Wheat (OCW), spent the first two weeks of November traveling South America to help open new markets for Ohio soft red winter wheat (SRW) farmers. By developing, maintaining and expanding international markets, OCW can enhance SRW’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for customers.

Moffitt, in partnership with U.S. Wheat Associates, met with current and potential buyers of U.S. SRW across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, to discuss the quality, availability and the field conditions used for production of the 2022 crop. Moffitt provided details on current products while building relationships and offering information on the upcoming 2023 planting season.

“Wheat buyers, millers and bakers have a choice when it comes to sourcing Soft Red Winter Wheat, and the demand for Ohio SRW is high,” Moffit said.… Continue reading

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KPIs on the farm

By Brian Ravencraft

What are KPIs and how can they help you run a successful agribusiness? KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. These are measures that are both financial and non-financial in nature that help you measure the overall health of your operation. Of course, the types of KPIs you put in place will vary from industry to industry, but in farming, we usually look at these top ones with our clients.


Here, we are looking to really measure and understand the financial health and capabilities of your business. For example, we will look at your available assets, measure profitability by taking a look at your ability to generate revenue, your ability to and how you pay for all of your financial obligations during your fiscal year, etc. We will also use this KPI to take a look at growth opportunities. If we find that one area of the operation is bringing in more profit than others, we will talk about ways to build upon this.… Continue reading

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Manure benefits soil health

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health,  Source OSU Manure Newsletter, Mary Wickes.

Manure is a great fertilizer for improving soil health, commonly used before commercial fertilizer.  If manure is applied correctly, using the 4R’s (right source, right rate, right time, right place) and proper best management practices, manure greatly improves crop growth and also increases biological activity, leading to improved soil health.  Some of the environmental benefits include: increasing soil carbon and reduced atmospheric carbon, reduced soil erosion and runoff, reduced nitrate leaching, and reduced demand for commercial nitrogen fertilizer derived from natural gas. 

Manure increases soil organic matter because it has nutrients plant require for adequate growth (N-P-K, micronutrients), so plants grow better and faster, producing more roots and crop residue to build soil carbon.  Manure consists of carbon residues which the plants can use in the form of carbon dioxide for increased photosynthesis.  Adequate soil carbon is limiting plant growth, so manure and carbon may boost plant growth significantly. … Continue reading

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Kirk Reese to manage Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network

Kirk Reese of Lexington, Ohio, has been named project manager for the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network.

The demonstration farms showcase and demonstrate conservation practices that improve agriculture’s impact on downstream water quality in Ohio. A Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project, the demo farms network is a joint partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ohio Farm Bureau. 

Reese grew up in Trumbull County, Ohio raising cattle. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in weed science at Ohio State University. Previously, Reese worked with OSU Extension, then with Pioneer Seeds in various product and agronomy roles over 25 years. He is currently entering his fifth season as agronomic consultant and owner of Insight Ag Solutions, LLC.

Reese and his wife, Lori, have been married 29 years and have three grown sons. … Continue reading

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Ohio 2023 fair schedule

Ohioans can start planning visits to all of their favorite fairs across the state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) released the official dates for the 2023 fair season, which includes Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair.

The Paulding County Fair will kick off the 2023 fair season on June 12, and the season will wrap up on Oct. 14 with the Fairfield County Fair. 

In addition to setting and approving the dates for the independent and county fairs, ODA is responsible for helping to assure the safety of fair amusement rides, monitoring livestock shows to help assure honest competition and coordinating animal health efforts with local veterinarians.

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OFBF Annual Meeting highlights

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

The current issues and concerns around rural Ohio always seem to generate some debate as Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) delegates hash out policy. Beyond grassroots policy development, awards are presented, networking transpires and successes are highlighted each year at the OFBF Annual Meeting in December. 

From new houses to solar fields, pressure on agricultural land being developed was a key topic discussed by delegates at the104th installment. In all, 366 delegates representing all county Farm Bureaus participated in the debate and discussion.

“Robust discussion from the delegate floor speaks to the passion of our members and the core of our grassroots organization,” said Jack Irvin, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) vice president of public policy. “Policy has been set by our members and it’s now our job to advocate for those policies at the Statehouse and in Washington, D.C., on behalf of them and Ohio agriculture.”… Continue reading

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October meat exports held strong

October exports of U.S. pork were the largest in more than a year and beef export volume also increased from a year ago, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. beef exports are on a record pace in 2022 and have already exceeded $10 billion.

Variety meat growth buoys October pork exports

Pork exports reached 238,198 metric tons (mt) in October, up 5% from a year ago and the largest since June 2021. Pork export value increased 13% to $697.3 million, the highest since May 2021. October export highlights included a new value record for Mexico ($203.1 million) and strong growth to South Korea, the ASEAN and the Dominican Republic. Exports were also higher year-over-year to China/Hong Kong. 

For January through October, pork exports were 12% below last year at 2.18 million mt, valued at $6.26 billion (down 8%).

USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom noted that the October pork results were bolstered by outstanding growth in variety meat exports, which set a new value record at $126.2 million.… Continue reading

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Can drain tiles do more than drainage?

By Vinayak Shedekar and Elizabeth Schwab 

At 40-foot lateral spacing, there are about 1,000 feet of tile installed in an acre of drained cropland. That certainly adds up! Have you ever wondered if the miles of tile drains in your fields could do more than just drainage? Let’s “dig deeper” and revisit all that a drainage system can do! If you can think of more than what’s in this article, send us a note!  

Primary functions of modern-day drainage  

In the US, drainage began in the 1800s with early settlers using surface ditches to drain swamp lands. The first recorded use of clay tiles was in upper New York state in 1838. The main purpose of drainage was to bring historically wet soils under agricultural production, with additional benefits of improved human health due to reduced risks of pests and diseases associated with waterlogged or marshy lands. Surface and tile drainage transformed the swamps of northwest Ohio into some of the best farmland in the state.  … Continue reading

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Bane-Welker to expand in Plain City

Bane-Welker is pleased to announce the addition of the Ashland construction brand in Plain City. The company has a super center in Pendleton, Ind. 

“We’re excited to expand the Ashland brand in our Ohio markets offering it to our construction and ag customers,” said Jason Bane, President of Bane-Welker Equipment. “Our Indiana super center has outperformed our expectations and the expansion into Ohio will be of great value to our customers in that market.” 

Adding the sales and service of this construction equipment helps expand Bane-Welker’s coverage area for service. 

Ashland Industries’ motto is Do More. From maximizing the productive capabilities of customers’, to providing uncompromising customer service; every strategy and tactic is first passed through that mantra. If it doesn’t allow customers to Do More, it’s not a priority. The customer is our north star, and they are guiding us towards exciting new opportunities and products.

“It’s important that we continue to be able to provide top-notch service and sales for all brands we offer to our valued customers,” Bane said.… Continue reading

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Straddles in a range-bound market

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

The December USDA report is usually one of the least influential reports of the year, and this year was no different. The only change was a corn exports decrease due to limited movement this year so far. 

Corn carryout levels are still similar to the last 2 years, when corn eventually traded above $7.50 after harvest. Seasonally, corn usually starts trending higher after mid-December into January.

Moving forward, weather in the southern third of Brazil and most of Argentina will be monitored closely, because dry conditions could reduce corn and bean yields over the next few weeks.

On Sept. 2, I suspected corn prices could likely be range-bound or slightly lower throughout harvest, so I placed a trade to maximize some profit potential if that scenario happened. On 10% of my 2022 production, I sold a $6.50 December straddle (i.e., sold the $6.50 December put and the $6.50 December call) and bought a December $5.90 put. … Continue reading

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Giant ragweed still looms large

By Alyssa Essman, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-41

Each fall just before harvest, the OSU weed science program conducts a statewide driving survey evaluating the frequency and distribution of problematic weed species in Ohio. Diagonal transects are driven through the top 45-50 soybean producing counties. Visual ratings are given for ten weed species in each soybean field encountered. The weeds evaluated during this survey were: marestail, giant ragweed, common ragweed, waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, redroot pigweed, volunteer corn, common lambsquarters, grasses/foxtail spp., and velvetleaf. In 2022 over 4200 fields were surveyed. Roughly 57% of fields were clean, or at least free of the ten weeds evaluated. The most common weed in 2022 was giant ragweed, present in 12% of fields when combined across rating levels. Waterhemp was the second most frequent weed, in 11% of fields, followed by marestail in 10% of fields. Grass/foxtail spp. were found in 9% of fields and volunteer corn in 8% of fields.… Continue reading

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Nominations now open for CCA of the Year

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2023 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year award. Sponsored by the Ohio CCA Program, the state award recognizes an individual who is highly motivated, delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management, and crop production, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio. 

The winner for the 2023 award will be recognized at the 2023 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference on March 14 in Ada, Ohio. The winner will receive a plaque, recognition in industry publications, and a $1,500 cash award, courtesy of the Ohio Association of Independent Crop Consultants, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Nutrien. 

Past award winners include: Tina Lust, Lust Seed Sales & Service; Thomas Puch, Heritage Cooperative; Wesley Haun, Tiger-Sul Products, LLC; and Don Boehm, Legacy Farmers Cooperative.… Continue reading

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Takeaways from the COP27 and implications to South American grain and cattle sectors

By Guil Signorini, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

Between Nov. 6 and Nov. 20, world leaders gathered in Egypt for the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27). Despite criticisms that became viral via social media regarding the large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by thousands of private jets flying to the conference, world leaders discussed and deliberated about environmental policies to manage global warming.

Inconsistencies aside, the COP27 showed a continuing and strengthening collaboration between public and private parties in a pragmatic route to accomplish the resolutions of the Paris agreement. The Paris Agreement is an international treaty signed in 2016 by 194 world leaders in which countries take on the responsibility to cap global warming at 1.5degrees C above pre-industrial average temperatures. Despite a large number of signatories, the Paris Agreement is not free of criticism, leading to the United States’ withdrawal in 2020.… Continue reading

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