Featured News

John Deere partners with SpaceX to expand rural connectivity

Deere & Company announced it has entered into an agreement with SpaceX to provide cutting-edge satellite communications (SATCOM) service to farmers. Utilizing the industry-leading Starlink network, this solution will allow farmers facing rural connectivity challenges to fully leverage precision agriculture technologies. This partnership, an industry first, will enable John Deere customers to be more productive, profitable, and sustainable in their operations as they continue to provide food, fuel, and fiber for their communities and a growing global population.

“The value of connectivity to farmers is broader than any single task or action. Connectivity unlocks vast opportunities that were previously limited or unavailable,” said Aaron Wetzel, Vice President of Production and Precision Ag Production Systems at John Deere. “For example, throughout the year, farmers must complete tasks within extremely short windows of time. This requires executing incredibly precise production steps while coordinating between machines and managing machine performance. Each of these areas are enhanced through connectivity, making the entire operation more efficient, effective, and profitable.”… Continue reading

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A conversation with…Brian Baldridge, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture

From a wild start in his role as director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2023 to an exciting year ahead in 2024, Brian Baldridge had plenty to say on a recent Ohio Ag Net podcast. Here are some highlights.

Q: First, could we look back at the last year for the ODA? How were your first few months in the role as ODA Director?

Director Baldridge: I started Feb. 1 of 2023 in this role. Obviously, in February it’s busy because we’re thinking ahead to our crop season. I was on the job 3 days and we had a tragedy of a train derailment in East Palestine that affected those folks in that region tremendously. We were a secondary agency with that, but at ODA we knew that we were preparing to assist the ag community when those questions about health and safety arose. We stayed in touch with our partners for the first 3 weeks before we were heavily involved.… Continue reading

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2023, a year to be fondly remembered in Brazil

By Daniele Siqueira, Head of Market Intelligence with Brazilian consultancy AgRural

In early January, Brazil is starting to harvest its 2023/24 soybean crop and preparing to plant the 2024 “safrinha” corn crop, which is sown right after. The country has faced weather woes since the beginning of the soybean planting in mid-September, with below-normal rains and high temperatures in north-central states. Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest producer, is the most affected state, with losses estimated between 5 million and 10 million metric tons.

For Brazil as a whole, there is a wide range of estimates, with some sources still putting production above the bumper crop harvested last year and others already ruling out a new record due to losses caused by hot, dry conditions. 

North-central states have received more regular and very welcome rains since late December, which have given a boost to areas planted later, especially in the North/Northeast of the country.… Continue reading

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Screening Builds Knowledge for Soybean Cyst Nematode Management

By Laura Temple, North Central Soybean Research Program

Soybean cyst nematodes, or SCN, come in multiple types, depending on their ability to overcome and reproduce on SCN-resistant soybeans. Researchers use the HG type test to determine what types of SCN live in tested soils. The test takes its name from the abbreviation of Heterodera glycines, the scientific name for SCN.

Soybeans come in countless varieties, bred for yield and an array of offensive and defensive characteristics. University agronomists commonly screen regional varieties to provide farmers with third-party data about those characteristics.

“As SCN appears to become more virulent, or able to overcome and reproduce on sources of SCN resistance for soybeans, farmers need specific data to select the best varieties to manage SCN in different fields,” says Horacio Lopez-Nicora, assistant professor of soybean pathology and nematology at Ohio State University. “We are screening both SCN populations and soybean varieties to provide Ohio farmers that information.”… Continue reading

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The year of protein

By Gregg Doud, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation

Within dairy and throughout agriculture, the refrain that will be often repeated is that this will be the year of protein. In fact, it may be the first of many: If you look out over the next decade, the supply of animal protein in the world — that’s beef, pork, poultry, and dairy — comes nowhere near meeting the demand.

That means U.S. dairy’s emphasis on exports and our international competitiveness will certainly be an area of focus. Dairy farmers and their cooperatives are extremely well positioned to do this: We’re efficient, we can get high-quality products overseas competitively, and our processing capacity is expanding. Our innovation and technology in the dairy industry to expand international markets is second to none. NMPF can support these efforts by continuing our excellent partnership with the U.S. Dairy Export Council and by seeking sound policy that promotes the powerhouse potential of U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 331 | Legal Lingo With Leisa Podcast Edition

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talk with Leisa Boley Hellwarth who is a lawyer and columnist of the monthly Legal Lingo column. She talks about the articles she has written and what farmers need to pay attention to as they move into 2024.

 More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Todd Wilkinson, NCBA President: Dale talks to Todd about the farm bill and cattle inventory as need for more food increases with growing population. 
  • Dr. Dave Shoup, Wayne County Farmer: Dave is the Pork Industry Excellence Award Winner and he talks with Matt about herd health, his service to his community, and the upcoming Ohio Pork Congress.  
Intro0:00
Todd Wilkinson2:52
Dr. Dave Shoup9:37
Main Conversation, Leisa Boley Hellwarth15:15
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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association celebrates success at Annual Meeting

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held its Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Jan. 13, 2024, at the Hilton Polaris Hotel, Columbus, Ohio. Cattlemen and women from across the state gathered to engage in important association business, hear updates from many industry partners and recognize the recipients of several prestigious industry awards.

The day was made possible by the following sponsoring partners: Ag Credit, Corteva Agriscience, Heartland Feed Services, Ohio Association of Meat Processors, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and PBS Animal Health.

Todd Wilkinson, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), joined members to present an industry update on policy issues. In addition, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Brian Baldridge spoke briefly about the current programs and new construction underway at the department.

OCA President Mark Goecke of Allen County led the OCA Annual Meeting. The first order of business was awarding the association’s Top Hand members.… Continue reading

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The woodwork of Robert Troup: A union of art and utility

By Mike Ryan, OCJ Field Reporter

Robert Troup is an artisan metal and woodworker based out of Pleasantville in Fairfield County. Troup makes functional postmodern household furniture and conceptual wood and metal sculpture. 

“I have been building furniture since the mid 1990s, and my business has been growing slow and steady ever since. I enjoy building functional things with an aim to show off the wood to its best advantage. I think this is part of my Midwestern upbringing — it has to be useful, it can’t just be pretty. Most of my commissioned work is tables — a lot of sofa, coffee, and hall tables — but chairs are more interesting to create. Tables can be interesting, but chairs can be much more intricate and involved. With tables, there is limited geometry to explore; with chairs, you have a lot more to work with — different angles, heights, seat slopes, arms,” Troup said.… Continue reading

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Recent weeks tough on grain prices

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Cindy and I were recently trying to efficiently navigate a crowded aisle at a local store. As she opted to cut to the left, I deemed right to be the faster option and chose to guide her in that direction. As per kindergarten teacher training. I heard, “uh we don’t push” with the accompanying “look.” As we left the store, she kindly reminded me, “Doug, steer your truck, not your wife.” Now that was funny, and laugher is always the best medicine. (Lesson learned).

The last 3 months of 2023 were not kind to grain prices as corn, from its mid-October high at $5.21, closed on Dec. 29 at $4.71. Soybeans had a mid-November high at $14.10, closing on Dec. 29 at $12.98. That trend continued into the first 2 weeks of January with further declines. The Jan. 12 USDA report day was a “Bad Day at Black Rock,” to borrow the title from a short story by Howard Breslin and published by The American Magazine in January 1947.… Continue reading

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Highland County’s Ag is Everyone’s Business Event set for March 1

The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the presentation of the 12th annual Ag is Everyone’s Business event on Friday, March 1 at Boeckmann Farms, owned and operated by Jason and Amy Boeckmann, located north of Hillsboro.

This year’s keynote speaker is Shawn Hackett, ag commodities expert and TV and radio personality. Hackett has dedicated his life to educating Ag industry leaders and farmers about financial risk management, hedging and the utility of indicator-based Ag commodity price forecasting tools. His extensive research on long-term cycles and statistics on climate, currencies, geopolitics, and global capital flows have long been a key differentiating factor for Hackett’s price forecasting skills. Hackett takes complicated concepts and presents them in an easily digestible framework to a wide audience and discusses them regularly in his subscriber-based Hackett Agricultural Report and Hackett Dairy Report. Hackett will be presenting: How weather, geopolitics, and other factors are influencing ag prices.… Continue reading

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Increasing the yield of future agriculturalists

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Farmers want to improve yields, but not just of the crops they grow on their farm.

“About 11 or 12 years ago, the soybean farmers on our board were looking for a couple things that would really make a difference. They wanted to invest in a couple of big projects. One was soybean yield — big surprise — but equally as important to our board was our education program,” said Tom Fontana, director of research and education for the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC). “They wanted to make the connection between science and agriculture in Ohio classrooms. Agriculture needs people to work in our industry and introducing students to all the aspects of agriculture and career opportunities in our industry is vitally important, as is educating them about what we do on farms.”

At the time, OSC had already been making significant investments in this area in cooperation with Jeanne Gogolski, current CEO of Education Projects, in the development of science-based school curriculum built around agriculture.… Continue reading

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2024 Beef Expo March 14-17

Ohio’s premier beef industry event, the Ohio Beef Expo is scheduled for March 14-17, 2024 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. The event will provide cattle enthusiasts from across Ohio and surrounding states with a unique experience that brings education, breed sales, youth shows, industry retail opportunities, and more together all in one place.

This year’s schedule will be similar to the 2023 event. The Coliseum will be used for all junior show activities. The Junior Show will continue with the Market Animal Show on Saturday and the Heifer Show on Sunday. All Junior Show stalling will take place online and viaducts will reserved for OCA BEST sponsors. Remaining viaduct bays, premium stalling, and horse stall purchases will be made in an online auction on Feb. 21.

New this year, the Hereford breed will be kicking off the Saturday sale schedule. The newest addition to the Ohio Beef Expo breeds line-up, the Aberdeen Angus breed, will be one of the 10 breeds hosting sales during the Expo on Friday and Saturday.… Continue reading

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Improving seed germination

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmers struggle to get their crops and seeds planted to germinate quickly.  When seeds are dormant, they wait for just the right conditions before germinating.  Often environmental stresses like not enough moisture (drought) or lack of oxygen make seeds wait until conditions improve. Seeds have a built-in mechanism that prevents them from germinating too soon.  This cautious seed germination approach also tends to hurt plant yields, because plants get off to a late start. 

Dr. Brad Binder, University of Tennessee has been working with various plant seeds and the plant hormone ethylene to study seed germination.  Ethylene increases seed germination, increases leaf growth, and root growth early in a plant’s life.  When applied later in the growing season, ethylene causes plants to mature quicker (senescence) or die off and it promotes fruit ripening.  Dr. Binder exposed tomato, cucumber, and wheat seeds to ethylene in the dark just like when seeds are planted and found that when the seeds started growing and were exposed to sunlight, the plants where taller, had larger leaves, more robust roots, and grew much better.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on 99.9 FM WTUZ

Our series rolls right along highlighting the outstanding Ohio Ag Net radio affiliates carrying the best in Ohio ag news.

This week, we say thank you to 99.9 FM WTUZ Z-Country serving Tuscarawas County and the surrounding area. Tune in to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday at 5:05 a.m. and 12:04 p.m.

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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Bearish report day to kick off 2024

By Bennett Musselman, Leist Mercantile

Trade expectations: lower U.S. soybean exports, higher U.S. corn for ethanol, lower Brazil soybean production.

U.S. highlights: U.S. 2023 final corn production 15.3 billion bushels, 177.3 yield ; last month production of 15.234 billion bushels, yield 174.9. U.S. final soybean 2023 production 4.16 billion bushels, 50.6 average yield; last month 4.129 billion bushels, yield 49.9.  

Following the noon USDA report release, corn was down 11 ½ cents, soybeans down 22 ¾ cents, and wheat down 4 ¼ cents. Moments before the report was released, corn was down 3 ½ cents, soybeans up 1 ¾  cents, and wheat down 1 1/2 cents.

US 2023-2024 ending stocks: corn 2.162  billion bushels, last month 2.131 billion bushels; soybeans 280 million bushels, last month 245 million bushels; and wheat 648 million bushels, last month 659 million bushels. 

Trader estimates for 2023-2024 U.S. ending stocks: corn 2.105 billion bushels; soybeans 239  million bushels; and wheat 658 million bushels. … Continue reading

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New year, new regulations

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

A new year, a new regulation. This time it’s the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) that begins on Jan. 1, 2024. Congress passed this act in 2021 to enhance transparency in entity structures and ownership. You may also find it being referred to as Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting.

The CTA is primarily an anti-money laundering law. In it, Congress states that bad actors seek to conceal their ownership of corporations, limited liability companies, or similar entities in the United States to facilitate money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud and other illegal acts. Consequently, Congress passed this legislation that requires reporting of the beneficial owners of corporations, limited liability companies, etc. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2024, the beneficial owners must be reported to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for every corporation or website you are involved with, unless there is an exemption.… Continue reading

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The journey from moldboard to Outstanding No-Till Farmer

By Matt Reese

The switch from potatoes and dairy production on Ted Logan’s Morrow County farm to no-till and cover crops has been a radical change — especially for the clay loam soil on the gently rolling fields.

“Up until about 15 years ago, we milked cows and were a commercial potato operation. Potatoes require moldboard plowing every 3 years. Then we switched to basically no-till corn and soybeans for the labor savings and got out of the potato and dairy operation,” Logan said. ”Since then, the soil has completely changed. When you till it frequently like we used to do, the soil just gets very hard. The organic matter levels were down to 1% or lower and it was just very difficult to have any kind of mellowness to the soil. Organic matter is up to 3.5% to 4% now. I feel that can tide you over in the dry times and the soil is so — resilient — is the best word I can use.”… Continue reading

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It’s time for the 2024 Winter Agronomy Meetings in Ohio

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Check-off, Adapted from C.O.R.N 2023-42 and 2024-1

With the turning of the calendar and snow on the ground it is a sure sign that agriculture has moved into the next season.  Some call it the winter season; others call it Agronomy Meeting Season.

The first statewide meeting in Ohio this year is a virtual opportunity for farmers. Battle for the Belt: Corn vs. Soybean- Virtual Corn College and Soybean School is quickly approaching. The 4th annual virtual Corn College & Soybean School will be held on Friday, February 2. The webinar will begin at 9:00 a.m. and finish at 4:00 p.m.

Speakers include OSU Extension state specialists. The first-year results of “The Battle For The Belt: Corn vs. Soybean” will be presented, including 2023 growing season results. This research project addresses which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting, adjusting management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting, and how insects, diseases, and weeds are affected by planting date.… Continue reading

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