Featured News

Summer Cover Crop Options

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Wheat harvest is mostly complete, and many fields are being baled for straw.  Some farmers have planted double crop soybeans, but with the sporadic rains, many fields are lying bare.  Looking at the calendar, it’s too late to plant soybeans and bare fields just grow weeds! Another option is to plant a cover crop, depending upon your goals, and what crop will be planted next year. 

Cover crops planted in August have an advantage over fall planted cover crops.  First, they capture more sunlight.  Cover crops need 60-90 days of growth before winter to survive.  Second, if you spray the weeds first before you plant, there is less competition, so they produce better stands. Third, summer and fall rains allow cover crops to get better growth.  Generally, whatever growth you get above ground is going to be matched below ground.  For these reasons, planting cover crops after wheat has many advantages. … Continue reading

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Sign-up available for CRP upland bird and pollinator practices

John Patterson, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director in Ohio, announced that landowners and operators in designated counties throughout Ohio will have the opportunity to offer cropland for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) upland bird practice and pollinator practice titled State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE).

Upland Bird SAFE

The Upland Bird SAFE is available on a continuous (ongoing) basis in the following counties: Adams, Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Fulton, Gallia, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Highland, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miami, Morrow, Paulding, Pickaway, Pike, Preble, Ross, Seneca, Shelby, Union, Williams, and Wyandot. 

The Ohio Upland Bird SAFE utilizes a wildlife management practice specifically developed by conservation organizations and agencies located within Ohio to establish and restore habitat for ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, and other upland birds on eligible cropland. The program specifically targets declining quail and pheasant populations in areas of greatest impact.… Continue reading

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Ohio Holstein Association Summer Breeder Tour

By Barb Lumley

The Ohio Holstein Association will hold a Summer Breeder Tour on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023 at Kiko Farms, Jim Jr., Evan and Harrison Kiko and Families, 813 Fox Avenue SE, Paris, Ohio. The events will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the cattle and facilities open for viewing. Lunch will be held at 12:00 p.m. RSVPs are strongly recommended by Monday, Aug. 7 and can be made by calling Paul Haskins at 419-618-4028 or Evan Kiko at 330-205-9354. At 1 p.m. Katie Esselburn, Lely Farm Management Support Advisor, will be the speaker. At 2 p.m. the cattle and facilities will be available for viewing.

Kiko Farms milk 170 Holsteins and recently completed some major facility updates. They include a new pack barn for special needs cows in 2021. In 2022 they installed 3 A5 Lely Robots. They have Robotic manure removal. Combined with a Lely Juno feed pusher already in place, there is a lot of new technology to check out.… Continue reading

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GrowNextGen ambassadors talk boats, drones, water quality at Ohio State Fair

In the latest series covering the ongoing and diverse work of the GrowNextGen program, Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood spoke with Shelbie Snoke about her work over the summer and at the Ohio State Fair to teach young people about agriculture. Snoke reflects on her experience as an ambassador, and her thoughts to others wanting to take part in the program.… Continue reading

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Remember the soybean aphid?

By Dr. Kelley Tilmon and Dr. Andy Michel, OSU Extension Entomology, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-23

You know how at the end of the horror movie there’s always some hint that the monster may come back?  We don’t know if this year will be “Soybean Aphid 11: The Return,” but there are some hints that you might want to pay attention to your beans and keep an eye out for this pest.  We have been hearing reports of unusually high numbers of various aphid species on various types of plants – fruits, vegetables, weeds.  This trend appears to be regional, and is being detected in other states as well.  Why?  It’s probably due to the unusual late spring/early summer weather which was very dry.  Wetness is the enemy of aphids because it creates conditions that favor the insect-killing fungi that help keep them in check.  We suspect that aphids got off to a great [great for them] start early this season because of the dry conditions, and now they’re unusually abundant in many settings.… Continue reading

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Kalmbach Feeds expands with acquisition of Ware Milling

Kalmbach Feeds is pleased to announce the acquisition of Ware Milling, an outstanding, family-owned feed business located in Houston, MS. This addition represents a strategic milestone in the growth of Kalmbach Feeds, fueled by amazing customers and growing demand for its top-quality nutrition products and services.

“We are excited about the opportunities for our customers and team members as they become part of the Kalmbach Feeds team,” said Richard Ware, President of Ware Milling. “We know that they will be treated well, with similar values and business principles to how we have operated for over 25 years. We as a family are excited to remain a part of the team for the foreseeable future and help ensure a smooth transition.”

Kalmbach Feeds and Ware Milling are a great fit, in large part due to the shared values and focus on meeting customer’s needs that have been a part of these two cultures for a combined 85 years.… Continue reading

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Wheat harvest yielded well for many

By Matt Reese, Joel Penhorwood and Dusty Sonnenberg

Wheat growers in many parts of the state reported high yields and good quality in 2023.

In an Ohio Ag Net Cab Cam video this year from mid-July, Doug Dawson from Delaware County talked about his wheat crop as yield monitor numbers bounced back and forth between 140 and 150 bushels per acre. His wheat harvest got off to a slow start when Dawson got rained out in his first couple attempts, but it worked out in the end.

“The moisture was higher than we wanted it to be at 16%, 18% and one field was actually 21% and we thought, ‘Are we ever going get done this year?’ with the moisture we’ve had recently,” Dawson said. “But all in all, it’s been a good year. I’ve heard a lot of guys say it’s the best wheat they’ve ever harvested. I’d have to say the field I’m sitting in is obviously the best field I’ve ever harvested in 40 years.… Continue reading

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Heat stress showing in latest Crop Progress

 Despite the decrease in drought conditions, several hot days left many growers throughout the State hoping for more rain, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report showed 33.6 percent of the State as abnormally dry or worse, indicating a continued decrease in excessively dry conditions. Conditions matching the moderate drought rating were observed in 7.8 percent of the State. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent very short, 16 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 13 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on July 30 was 75.3 degrees, 2.6 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.50 inches of precipitation, 0.65 inches above average. There were 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 30. 

Reporters across western counties described high temperatures causing heat stress in crops. On the east side of the State, it was reported that some intense short storms caused some isolated damage to crops.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 310 | Reflecting with Regula

The 310th episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast comes to you from the 2023 Ohio State Fair. Joel and Matt sit down with famed auctioneer Johnny Regula as they discuss county fair auctions, the Sale of Champions, memories from years past, and much more as the second week of the State Fair gets underway.

Also in this week’s podcast:

Terry Mescher, ODA, on H2Ohio

Dusty Sonnenberg gets an update on the growing H2Ohio program from Terry Mescher of Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Farm Credit Mid-America Growing Forward

Dale Minyo talks with Farm Credit Mid-America’s Scott LaGuire and Hilary Poulson about the unique opportunities offered by the Growing Forward program.

Congressman Max Miller on Farm Bill

U.S. Representative Max Miller of Ohio’s seventh congressional district talks with Joel Penhorwood about his work on the House Ag Committee and work being done on the 2023 Farm Bill.

Intro with Johnny Regula0:00.000
Terry Mescher of ODA on H2Ohio3:58.639
Farm Credit Growing Forward8:42.901
Congressman Max Miller on Farm Bill update22:34.630
Storytime with Johnny Regula29:00.665
Continue reading

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Time to start scouting!

By Stephanie PflaumRebecca DiScipioAmy RaudenbushSuranga BasnagalaMark BadertscherNic BaumerFrank BeckerLee Beers, CCATrevor CorboyTom DehaasNick EckelAllen GahlerDon HammersmithJamie HamptonMary Jo HassenAlan LeiningerEd Lentz, CCAKendall LovejoyClifton Martin, CCASarah NoggleLes Ober, CCAJordan PenroseBeth ScheckelhoffMike SundermanFrank ThayerKyle VerhoffBrooks WarnerKayla WyseCurtis Young, CCAChris ZollerAndy MichelKelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

The Ohio Lep Network is continuing to monitor moth pests across Ohio. As we have begun our 12th week of monitoring, we are continuing population reports for Western bean cutworm (WBC), corn earworm (CEW), and both variations of European corn borer (ECB – IA & NY).… Continue reading

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Color Out as Soybean Grading Factor

By Jason Jenkins, DTN Crops Editor, Used with permission. “Copyright 2023 DTN, LLC.”

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (DTN) — U.S. soybean farmers can stop worrying that their beans won’t make grade this fall due to off colors.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a final rule to the Federal Register revising the U.S. Standards for Soybeans, officially removing soybeans of other colors (SBOC) as an official grade-determining factor.

Moving forward, the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) will only use three main factors — damaged kernels, foreign material and splits — when assigning a grade to yellow soybeans. While no longer a grading criterion, SBOC will be available for informational purposes only upon request. The change will become effective Sept. 1 to correspond with the beginning of the new soybean marketing year.

During a phone interview with DTN, Virginia Houston, director of government affairs with the American Soybean Association, said that the organization was pleased by the final rule.… Continue reading

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Audio: U.S. Rep. Max Miller talks Farm Bill issues as work intensifies

The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September, but the expected $1.5 trillion piece of legislation has a lot of issues to tackle before it’s completed. In this audio interview, Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood talks with Congressman Max Miller (R), representing Ohio’s 7th congressional district, about his work on the House Ag Committee and specifically the issues he has seen come to the forefront with regard to the Farm Bill important to farmers.… Continue reading

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Hail damage issues in crops

By Laura LindseyAllen GeyerFabiano ColetOsler Ortez, Ohio State University Extension

While the damage was not widespread, there has been some severe hail damage in different parts of Ohio in July.

Soybean plants were at approximately the R2 (full flower) growth stage. Corn was at late vegetative stages to early reproductive stages (R1). If you experience hail damage, be sure to talk to your crop insurance provider. Two conditions must be considered in hail damage: hail characteristics (e.g., hail size, number, speed) and the characteristics of the target (e.g., crop, stage, variety/hybrid), as some of the outcomes may be driven by these factors.


Hail damage to soybean plants may include defoliation, node loss, stand loss, and/or bruising. At the vegetative growth stages, yield loss due to defoliation is minimal; however, stem damage and node loss can reduce soybean yield. Soybean plants are most susceptible to hail damage and yield loss during the reproductive stages.… Continue reading

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Payments for Regenerative Practices

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Due to government subsidies, a number of companies are now paying farmers for regenerative farming practices and conservation practices that reduce greenhouse gases.  Agriculture, it is estimated, may be responsible for about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. However, agriculture can be a huge sink or storage vessel for stored carbon. Currently, only about 15% of farmland is considered regenerative with the goal of reaching 40% by 2030!  Reaching that goal will require higher payments to farmers to make that change. 

Most of the money comes from the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year, around 40 billion dollars.  Companies get paid for buying farm commodities that reduce our “Carbon footprint” which can amount to multi-millions of tons of carbon.  Several practices are being promoted from cover crops, reduced tillage, nutrient optimization, agro-forestry practices, and grazing.  Farmers will have many opportunities to participate in these government/company-sponsored programs and expect many companies to start pushing regenerative practices because the payouts are substantial. … Continue reading

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Protecting Lake Erie is a job for all rural Ohioans — New septic systems prevent phosphorus discharge

By Karen Mancl, Professor Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University

With each summer, attention returns to Lake Erie both as a vacation spot and concern for the quality of the water. In the summer of 2014, a harmful algal bloom threated the water supply of thousands of Toledo residents. As a response rural residents and farmers have been asked to change the way they use their land to help protect Lake Erie for the future.

Too many nutrients washing off the land in the Lake Erie watershed help feed the algae. Nutrients come from a variety of sources — fertilizer, manure, and sewage. Septic systems permitted in Ohio are designed to reduce odor and pathogens in wastewater to protect the public health but are not designed to remove nutrients. Discharging systems, even when operated to meet all discharge standards, still discharge phosphorus and nitrogen that flows to Lake Erie in northern Ohio and the Gulf of Mexico in southern Ohio.… Continue reading

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Are dangers to liberty on display in unusual landowner case?

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth

There is a case pending in Virginia that is worth watching. Josh Highlander, age 37, lives in a nice house on 30 acres of old-growth hardwood in eastern Virginia’s New Kent County. He has never had a hunting or fishing violation. The opening day of Virginia’s 2023 spring turkey season was April 8. That was the day his wife noticed unknown men camouflaged as trees walking through the property. Turns out the visitors were game wardens who seized four trail cameras that Josh had placed on his property. Apparently the cameras were taken so that the wardens could review all of the film footage to determine if Josh had broken the law. Josh was not happy about this intrusion so he filed a lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources that poses the question, can government agents enter your land without a warrant to spy on you?… Continue reading

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A bird’s eye view of the Ohio Bird Sanctuary

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Most people consider the chance to see a bald eagle or an owl a rare and special opportunity, let alone coming face-to-face with one. A non-profit organization in mid-central Ohio has been allowing guests to interact with birds of prey and Ohio bird species up close for over 30 years. The Ohio Bird Sanctuary provides personal connections between humans and birds through education and rehabilitation.

Located today in Mansfield, the original Ohio Bird Sanctuary was founded on Gail and Chris Laux’s farm in Bellville in 1988. Gail had a passion for outdoor education from her previous work for Cornell University and other nature centers where she gained the proper training and education needed to rehab raptors. When she and her husband moved to the area, they saw a need for raptor rehabilitation in the community. At the time of the founding, bald eagles, osprey, peregrine falcons, and barn owls were all endangered in Ohio.… Continue reading

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The legend of Mark Morris

By Don “Doc” Sanders

If you don’t already know about him, allow me to introduce you to Dr. Mark Morris. He was a veterinarian known for his extraordinary work in developing diets to manage dog and cat diseases. He graduated from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1926.

In the late 1920s he built one of the first veterinary hospitals for dogs and cats, in Edison, New Jersey. His clinic focused only on dogs and cats. Something unheard of in those days. Then, veterinarians usually focused their practices on farm animals.

Morris was a pioneer in researching, diagnosing and developing treatment protocols for dogs and cats. Working with Rutgers University, his groundbreaking achievement was developing a nutritional program to manage dogs with kidney disease. He named his nutritional formula K/D, which many of you may recognize if you have had a dog with kidney disease.

The concept of this formula is to lower the nitrogen intake (protein) to alleviate the urinary excretion load on a dog’s kidneys.… Continue reading

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SON 23, The early days of Nematology, the SCN Coalition and the future

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

The Society of Nematology recently held their annual meeting (SON 23) in Columbus, Ohio, on the campus of The Ohio State University. Plant pathologists and nematologists from across the country gathered for a week to discuss current research and efforts being undertaken to address issues caused by the over 7,000 species of nematodes in the United States and around the world.

For over 5 decades, George Bird has studied nematodes; first as an undergraduate student at Rutgers University working as a student researcher in the summers, and for the last 50 years as a researcher, university professor and extension specialist at Michigan State University. Bird is also one of the founders of the SCN Coalition.

Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) has been recognized as an agronomic pest in the United States since 1954. “In the early years, SCN was very difficult to control and there were not many options,” said Bird.… Continue reading

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