Featured News

Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 239 | ARM gears up for busy spring

Larry Davis of Ag Resource Management (ARM) joins Dusty, Matt and Kolt on the podcast to discuss some upcoming financial dates and deadlines. Dale has reports with Bill Even, CEO of the National Pork Board and Gene Noem, President of the National Pork Board. Matt visits with Steve Lerch of Story Arc Consulting, the keynote speaker at the Ohio Pork Congress last week.… Continue reading

Read More »

How two ag practices transformed the Brazilian Cerrado

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

A fascinating trait of modern human society is its resilience and ability to adapt to challenges. Two recent South American updates touched on this topic when talking about the latest occurrences in the Brazilian agricultural sector. The first update mentioned innovative financial tools to ease the steep operational costs of growing grain crops in Brazil. A second update defined the 1995 energy sector reform as an essential policy change to incentivize renewable electricity generation. 

Guil Signorini

In this vein, grain crops grown in Brazil offer additional insights. Natural challenges caused by the tropical weather and poor soils were the engine and fuel behind remarkable maneuvers to address production limitations. Back in the 70s, when the expansion of agriculture reached the Cerrado region of Brazil, the soils could be described as follows: sandy or light-textured, naturally poor in nutrients, highly acid (pH between 3.8 and 5.2), little organic matter (between 3% and 5%), high Aluminum saturation (greater than 45%), and little water holding capacity (less than 3 inches in soils with 23-inch effective depth).… Continue reading

Read More »

Rodenticide rules

The National Pork Producers Council and nine other agricultural groups submitted answers and observations in response to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency request for information about the use of rodenticides to control rats and mice infestations on farms. 

EPA regulates which pesticide products can be used and how they are used under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The agency is reported to be considering allowing only “certified pesticide applicators” to apply the products on farms, requiring protective respiratory equipment be used when applying rodenticides and mandating detailed records on rodenticide use be kept and maintained. 

NPPC and the groups said in their comments: “These products are absolutely critical to attaining multiple objectives important not only to our members’ operations but to society as a whole.” 

They pointed out that rodenticides help protect the health and well-being of animals, ensure the safety of the food those animals produce, prevent the propagation and spread of human pathogens carried and transmitted by rodents and reduce the loss of feed from rodent waste and consumption.… Continue reading

Read More »

American lamb industry evaluates carbon footprint

The American Lamb Board (ALB) is working with Michigan State University (MSU) to evaluate the environmental footprint of the U.S. sheep industry in order to have accurate and robust data to contribute to this important issue. The initial focus of the study defines a comprehensive model of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the diverse array of U.S. sheep production systems such as range, farm flock, pasture, intensive and feedlot. MSU will conduct a partial life cycle analysis of lamb production in these types of operations to quantify GHG emissions.

Environmental concerns about livestock production have gained traction and the American Lamb industry entered the spotlight when a 2011 Environmental Working Group Study characterized lamb as one of the largest contributors of GHG emissions. The study’s outcomes are still cited at influential conferences and in the media.

“It is extremely important for our industry to identify and evaluate our role in GHG emissions,” said Peter Comino, ALB Chairman, Buffalo, WY.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA extends due date to March 7 for National Agricultural Classification Survey

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) wants recipients of the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) to know that there is still time to respond. Mailed last December to more than a million potential U.S. agricultural producers, the NACS collects data on agricultural activity and basic farm information. These data will be used to build a survey recipient list for the 2022 Census of Agriculture. Response to the NACS is required by federal law for all who receive the questionnaire, even if the recipient is not an active farmer or rancher. Questionnaires can be completed securely online at agcounts.usda.gov, by mail or phone. The response deadline is extended to March 7. 

“Filling out the NACS is one of the most important steps to determining who should receive the Census of Agriculture questionnaire this fall,” said Barbara Rater, Census and Survey Division Director. “The influential Census of Agriculture dataset is used by many — from local and federal governments, to educators, researchers, agribusinesses, media and more — impacting decisions that affect producers, their farms, families, communities, industries, and the nation. … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Pork Congress 2022 highlights

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

The challenges of change have wrought powerful progress for Ohio’s pork industry over the last couple of years and there was plenty to celebrate at last week’s Ohio Pork Congress held in Lima, a new location for the event.

“The response to our new location has been great. It is the first time we have been here in Lima. We have record attendance and a record number of exhibitors,” said Ryan McClure, president of the Ohio Pork Council. “The pork industry in the state of Ohio is very strong. We have grown substantially in the last few years.”

Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center in Lima allowed for expanded tradeshow space and more room for educational seminars. Attendees learned about a wide array of topics including risks of foreign animal diseases, nutrition, employee management, and animal care. 

“Ohio’s pork industry is full of great people who produce wholesome, high-quality pork for domestic and world markets,” McClure said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Herbicide scramble for 2022

By Dusty Sonnenberg and Matt Reese

On Jan. 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed the registration amendment process for Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides. 

These Enlist herbicides received a 7-year registration through Jan. 11, 2029. The Enlist weed control system offers multiple herbicide modes of action to control several resistant weeds and is centered around 2,4-D choline with Colex-D technology. Enlist E3 soybeans are tolerant to three herbicide modes of action, which include: 2,4-D, glufosinate, and glyphosate.

On the new label there were a number of changes. Most notably, the EPA banned the use of Enlist One and Enlist Duo in numerous counties across the country including 12 counties in Ohio. Those counties in Ohio include Athens, Butler, Fairfield, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hocking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Vinton, and Washington. In total, the new label for Enlist Duo (2,4-D-choline-glyphosate premix) bans use of the product in 217 counties in 21 states, with the bulk falling in Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.… Continue reading

Read More »

American Dairy Association Mideast leadership elected for 2022


The Board of Directors for American Dairy Association Mideast, the dairy promotion checkoff program serving about 1,600 dairy farmers in Ohio and West Virginia, elected their 2022 officers during their annual re-organization meeting.

  • Chair: Greg Conrad of New Holland, Ohio
  • Vice Chair: Greg Gibson of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia
  • Secretary: Lois Douglass of Marshallville, Ohio
  • Treasurer: Joe Miley of West Salem, Ohio

Greg Conrad and Bill Besancon of Wooster were elected to represent ADA Mideast on the United Dairy Industry Association board. Lois Douglass will continue to serve on the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board per her USDA appointment. Conrad, Besancon and Douglass also serve on the Dairy Management Inc. board.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio NRCS seeks new proposals for Conservation Innovation grants

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking new proposals for cutting-edge projects that will provide new conservation opportunities through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. In fiscal year 2022, Ohio will invest up to $300,000 for new CIG projects.

Ohio priorities in fiscal year 2022 include urban agriculture, soil health, water quality, and forestry-based sustainable natural ecosystems. Projects may be farm-based, multi-county, small watershed or statewide in scope. For additional information, please contact Ohio CIG program manager Cheryl Rice at cheryl.rice@usda.gov or search for the latest postings at Grants.gov. An upcoming webinar for CIG applicants is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 18, 2022 at 3 p.m. ET. Interested attendees can join via the below link or phone number:

Meeting Link: https://bit.ly/3rHA4gS

Phone number: +1 202-650-0123, 203371432# / Phone Conference ID: 203 371 432#

All non-federal entities and individuals are invited to apply, with the sole exception of federal agencies. Projects may be between one and three years in duration.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation names Youth Pathways grant recipient

Leveraging the resources of the Fisher Fund for Lifelong Learning, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation launched a Youth Pathways initiative in 2018, focused on introducing students to and training them for careers in food, agricultural and environmental sciences. Each year, organizations throughout the state are invited to submit proposals for innovative projects that would help to address the need to attract more young people to careers in these fields.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is proud to announce that the Junior Achievement Virtual Inspire Career Exploration Fair is the 2022 recipient of the Youth Pathways for Careers in Agriculture Grant. A total of $100,000 will assist this nonprofit as it develops programming that will prepare students for post-secondary training or direct placement in food, agricultural and environmental sciences industries.

“You would be hard pressed to find an initiative that lines up as closely with the mission of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation as the Junior Achievement Virtual Inspire Career Exploration Fair does,” said Tara Durbin, senior vice president agricultural lending with Farm Credit Mid-America and president of the OFB Foundation.… Continue reading

Read More »

Soybean cyst nematode and seed treatments

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

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is hidden pest for soybean growers in Ohio and across the mid-west. Each year the yield impact from SCN costs soybean growers millions of dollars in lost revenue. The first step in tackling this pest is to know the SCN level in each field. Once those numbers are known, the best way to manage SCN in a field by planting varieties of soybeans with levels of SCN resistance.

Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora

SCN research is studying an integrated management approach.

“Planting soybean varieties with a high SCN resistance level is a good management tool,” said Horacio Lopez-Nicora, assistant professor in Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University. “Research into integrated SCN management is investigating seed treatments. We are seeing SCN populations begin to increase even on our most powerful levels of genetic resistance, especially the most used ones.

Continue reading

Read More »

Are you covering the very basics of record keeping?

By Brian Ravencraft

Just how meticulous are you about keeping detailed records for the finances for your farm? Most folks I work with do a decent job, but when you kick it up a notch you can really see the benefits that excellent record keeping can provide.

Good record keeping starts with — but goes far beyond — tracking every dollar coming in and out of your operation. You should certainly be tracking where you are spending your dollars and where the dollars coming into your business are coming from. Be sure to keep all receipts and invoices and keep business and non-business expenses separate.

Reviewing and keeping your income statements and balance sheets is something you should be doing every month, all year long. Your income statement shows you your expenses and income over certain periods of time and your balance sheet lays out your liabilities, assets, and equity during at certain points in time as well.… Continue reading

Read More »

Record U.S. dairy exports in 2021

The industry’s decades of work led to a record year for U.S. dairy exports after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced record sales of $7.75 billion in 2021, accounting for over 17% of U.S. milk production. 

“The record demand for U.S. milk overseas in 2021 is a testament to the hard work and dedication of U.S. dairy farmers and the entire industry to making sure our high-quality, nutritious products feed the world as well as Americans,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “As we’ve said many times, exports represent the next frontier for U.S. dairy — it’s gratifying to see decades of effort bear fruit and only makes us more excited about the future successes ahead.”

Exports may have reached even higher levels had U.S. exporters not been battered by supply chain challenges that drove up costs and complexity of delivering dairy products to foreign customers.… Continue reading

Read More »

Beef exports shatter records and pork export value reaches new high

U.S. beef exports greatly exceeded previous volume and value records in 2021, surpassing $10 billion for the first time, according to year-end data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports finished slightly below the record volume reached in 2020 but set a new value record, topping $8 billion for the first time.

Broad-based growth for U.S. beef exports

December beef exports totaled 121,429 metric tons (mt), up 1% from a year ago, while value climbed 33% to $991.8 million — the third largest month on record. These results pushed 2021 volume to 1.44 million mt, up 15% from a year ago and 7% above the previous record set in 2018. Export value soared to $10.58 billion, up 38% from 2020 and shattering the previous record (also from 2018) by 27%. 

Beef exports to Korea, Japan and China/Hong Kong each exceeded $2 billion, setting new volume and value records in Korea and China/Hong Kong and a value record in Japan.… Continue reading

Read More »

Deadline extended to enroll in 2022 Dairy Margin Coverage and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage

USDA has extended the deadline to enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage (SDMC) for program year 2022.  The deadline to apply for 2022 coverage is now March 25, 2022. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened DMC and SDMC signup in December 2021 to help producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities.

“Over the past two years, American dairy farmers have faced unprecedented uncertainty, from the ongoing pandemic to protracted natural disasters. As producers continue to manage these interconnected challenges, FSA has tools at the ready to provide critical support,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “We are encouraging dairy operations to take advantage of the extended deadline and join the 8,969 operations that have already enrolled for 2022 coverage. At 15 cents per hundredweight at the $9.50 level of coverage, DMC is a very cost-effective risk management tool for dairy producers.”

Enrollment for 2022 DMC is currently at 55% of the 2021 national program year enrollment.… Continue reading

Read More »

Stitzlein recognized with Ohio Pork Industry Excellence Award

By Matt Reese

Some people are people-people. 

Some people are livestock-people. 

Gary Stitzlein has proven to be both, which has served him well in his lifetime spent involved in and serving Ohio’s hog industry. It has also helped earn him the 2022 Ohio Pork Industry Excellence Award, which means he’s good-people, too.  

“Gary is very deserving of the award because he has been a leader in the industry and excels in many of the areas, whether it was working at the OSU swine barn, the outstanding job he did with judging, or his involvement with farmers across Ohio as he has worked for the Kalmbach organization,” said Dick Isler, former executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Producers Council. “He displays the leadership, personal qualities and traits of those who have received the award ahead of him.”

Stitzlein received a degree in agricultural education with a minor in animal science from The Ohio State University back in 1971.… Continue reading

Read More »

FACA applauds USDA investment in Climate-Smart Pilot Projects

The more than 80 member organizations of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) strongly commend USDA for advancing a voluntary, incentive-based approach to deploy climate-smart practices on working lands through its Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities. FACA includes American Farm Bureau.

“Farm Bureau commends efforts by USDA to address the challenges farmers and ranchers are facing in their attempts to adopt new and emerging climate-smart practices, as well as participate in developing climate marketing channels,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “Voluntary, incentive-based pilot projects are a great first step to identify barriers and ensure farmers and ranchers of all sizes can participate no matter where they are located or what they produce.  We look forward to working with the administration, Congress and our members to develop bipartisan solutions that provide adequate CCC funding while also ensuring the longevity of programs that build on our longstanding commitment to sustainability.”

Members of the Alliance welcome USDA’s plan to partner with farmers, ranchers, forest owners and nongovernmental organizations through pilot projects and are pleased to see the program structured in a manner consistent with FACA recommendations.… Continue reading

Read More »

Considerations for managing P and K in 2022

By Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCASteve Culman, Ohio State University Extension

During this period of high prices and uncertain availability of phosphorus and potassium fertilizer, a few basic soil fertility concepts can help guide application decision-making. Fortunately, the work during 2014-2020 that led to the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendation for Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa-2020 is current information we use. Here are a few key points from the Tri-States plus some other principles that may help.

1. Have a current soil test and use it.

What is the best investment when fertilizer prices are high, a recent reliable soil test! What is a recent reliable soil test? A recent soil test is no more than four years old. A reliable test is where you believe the number for pH, phosphorous, and potassium on the soil test represents that field you farm. If you question your soil report numbers, think about changing how you collect samples for soil testing.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension will host the 7th Annual East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference. The conference is planned for Friday, March 25 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum, 3266 Dyewood Road SW, Carrollton, OH 44615. All women and young women (high school age) who are interested, involved in, or want to become involved with food, agricultural, or natural resources production or small business are encouraged to attend.

East Ohio Women in Ag Conference 2022 Flyer

The conference program features a networking fair and sixteen breakout sessions presented by OSU Extension educators, producers, and partner agencies. Sessions this year are focused around four themes: Natural Resources, Plants & Animals, Home & Family, and Special Interest (includes break-out with Ohio FFA State Officers). The conference keynote will be led by Bridget Britton, OSU Extension Behavioral Health Field Specialist. She and her team will lead participants through “Stoic or Stressed?… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA report neutral

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

After the noon report was released, corn was up 8 cents, soybeans up 19 cents, and wheat up 2 cents. Just before the report, corn was up 9 cents, soybeans up 21 cents, and wheat up 3 cents.

The February WASDE Report is normally not a game changer. Today USDA will have supply and demand numbers along with world production estimates. Traders are expecting small changes for US ending stocks. In addition, traders are most anxious to see the corn and soybean production numbers for South America.

US corn ending stocks for 2021-2022 were 1.540 billion bushels, last month, 1.540 billion bushels. US soybean ending stocks were 325 million bushels, last month, 350 million bushels. US wheat ending stocks were 648 million bushels, last month, 628 million bushels.

Trader estimates have US corn ending stocks 1.512 billion bushels, soybean ending stocks 310 million bushels, and wheat ending stocks 629 million bushels.… Continue reading

Read More »