Featured News

Standard of perfection

By Matt Reese


The crowing, cawing sea of poultry at the Ohio National is truly something to behold, especially at the 2023 event commemorating 150 years of the American Poultry Association (APA). More than 900 exhibitors from around the United States and Canada brought almost 11,000 birds representing every shape, size and color of poultry and waterfowl to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus the second weekend in November. The constant roar of the widely divergent bird calls packed wall-to-wall in the Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center made it difficult to have a conversation without shouting.


All the hubbub is built around one book: The American Standard of Perfection.


“All of the standards for all of the breeds are covered in a book that is called The American Standard of Perfection to give an example of what you are trying to accomplish with your breeding. Each breed and each variety, or the color, is represented in that book, which has all the specific parameters on each bird — the size, the height, the comb, the right curve, the correct number of points.… Continue reading

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Tighter margins lie ahead

Alternative lending options such as those from Ag Resource Management are available for farmers looking to their needs as margins are expected to tighten in years ahead. Ohio Ag Net talks with Wade Simpson, area manager with ARM, about the current climate for farm operating dollars and where their company fits in.… Continue reading

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Not deciding is deciding

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

Remember the old adage: not deciding is deciding​? That describes the actions of the US Supreme Court in October regarding a North Carolina case, Stein v. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. This matter is commonly known as the PETA undercover recording case.

On June 3, 2015, over then Governor McCory’s veto, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the North Carolina Property Protection Act, which amended current law that provides a civil remedy for the interference with certain property rights by creating a civil cause of action for the owner or operator of the premises. In essence, North Carolina strengthened their “ag gag” law to offer civil protections to farm owners and operators when encountering undercover animal rights workers. North Carolina described the Act as protecting property owners from damages resulting from individuals acting in excess of the scope of permissible access and conduct granted to them.… Continue reading

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Small Farm Financial College

Ohio State University Extension in Belmont, Guernsey, Jefferson and Harrison counties will be hosting a Small Farm Financial College this winter. This college is designed to help landowners examine potential ways to increase profits on their small acreage properties. The program is open to all new or aspiring farmers, new rural landowners, small farmers, and farm families looking for new ideas. During this college, participants will be challenged to develop realistic expectations for their new farm business.

They will receive information on getting started, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their property, and developing a farm business plan. Information on farm finances, insurance, liability, labor and marketing will be covered during the college.


The following sessions will run from 6-8:30PM each Tuesday on:
January 16 at The Pike 40, 41010 National Rd, Belmont, OH – Session I: Getting Started on Your New Farm Business
January 23 at Black Sheep Vineyard, 1454 US-250 #7959, Adena, OH – Session II: You Can’t Measure What You Don’t Track.… Continue reading

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USMCA dispute panel limits Canadian market access

The recent ruling by a U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) dispute panel allowing Canada to restrict the dairy access that the United States negotiated for in the USMCA pact weakens the agreement’s value to the US dairy industry, according to the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

An earlier panel ruled in January 2022 that Canada had improperly restricted access to its market for U.S. dairy products. In response, Canada made insufficient changes to its dairy tariff rate quota (TRQ) system, resulting in an outcome that still fell far short of the market access the U.S. expected to receive under USMCA. To address that shortcoming, the U.S. brought a second case to challenge the changes that Canada instituted. The panel announced that Canada was not obligated to make further changes.

“It is profoundly disappointing that the dispute settlement panel has ruled in favor of obstruction of trade rather than trade facilitation,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.… Continue reading

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Solution for dogs with a defective esophagus

By Don “Doc” Sanders

 Dogs with a malfunctioning esophagus are commonly diagnosed with a condition called megaesophagus. As the name implies, this condition involves a dilated and enlarged esophagus. With megaesophagus, the esophagus is more or less paralyzed, making it difficult for an affected dog to swallow food. Megaesophagus is a frustrating health issue for dog owners and their veterinarians, and it drastically shortens a dog’s life.

I suspect you may not be aware of this health condition, unless you’ve had a dog with the malady. A dog with megaesophagus accumulates food in its dilated esophagus. This prevents the food from passing into the stomach.

Veterinary experts believe that this limitation could be caused by a restriction in the cardia, the valve connecting the esophagus to the stomach, or a failure of musculature in the esophagus to push the food through the cardia. Just an FYI: This complication may occur in humans after COVID infection.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Organic Grain Conference

By Eric Richer, Field Specialist-Farm Management

Registration is open for the 2nd annual Ohio State Organic Grains Conference, January 4-5, 2024 at the Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center near Toledo. The 2024 conference offers programming for experienced organic growers, growers transitioning to or considering organic, and consultants or educators who support these growers. Featured speakers will include Klaas Martens from Lakeview Organic Grain in New York; Léa Vereecke from Rodale Institute; former Ohio State soil fertility specialist Steve Culman; and Eugene Law, currently of USDA-ARS, but soon to be an Ohio State assistant professor in weed ecology.

Take advantage of Early Bird pricing and register now. The cost of $100 per person includes two days of quality programming, meals throughout the event, and opportunities to network with organic farmers in the region as well as speakers and trade show vendors.

This event is brought to you by Ohio State University Extension and Ohio State’s Organic Food & Farming Education and Research (OFFER) program.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council scholarships

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) is excited to announce the opening of scholarship applications for the 2024-2025 school year. OAC is dedicated to supporting the future leaders of the agricultural industry and is pleased to offer scholarships to assist students in pursuing a career in an agricultural-related field.

“OAC is proud to support the education of the next generation of agricultural leaders,” said Chris Henney, President of the Ohio Agricultural Council. “We believe in the potential of Ohio’s youth to make meaningful contributions to the agricultural industry, and these scholarships are one way we can help them achieve their educational and career goals.”

OAC scholarships are open to high school seniors who are preparing to enter college, as well as undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in college. To be eligible, applicants or their parent or legal guardian must be residents of Ohio. OAC is looking for individuals who exhibit a strong commitment to the agricultural industry and a passion for making a positive impact in their communities.… Continue reading

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Santa coming to Apple Farm Service

Everyone at Apple Farm Service was excited to learn that the big man in red is stopping by each Apple Farm Service to spend some time with good little girls and boys who love farm toys. To celebrate, Apple Farm Service is turning their showrooms into Santa’s workshop. Children and their families are invited for a morning of fun with Santa. Visitors can get a free printed photo with Santa, warm up with fresh hot chocolate or hot apple cider, create a homemade ornament, and check out the large display of farm toys and apparel.


This fun and festive event is free and open to the public. Santa will be at the Botkins, Mechanicsburg, and West College Corner locations on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. until noon, and the Covington and Washington Court House locations on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. until noon.


Visit AppleFarmService.com/Santa to view this year’s craft, see which real-bearded Santa is at your store, and view the current selection of toys and apparel.… Continue reading

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2023 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials: Results For All Trial Locations

By Dr. Laura Lindsey, Allen Geyer, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-39

Results for the 2023 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials are available for all locations: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/sites/hcs-soy/files/all%20yield%20data.pdf.

We will update the report with seed protein, oil, and size as we finish analyzing samples. Sortable yield data will be available in the upcoming days on the Ohio Crop Performance Trials website: https://u.osu.edu/perf/.

The purpose of the Ohio Soybean Performance Trials is to evaluate soybean varieties for yield and other agronomic characteristics. This evaluation gives soybean producers comparative information for selecting the best varieties for their unique production system. The entries for each test site were planted in a randomized complete block design. Each entry was replicated four times and planted in plots 28 ft long and 5 ft wide containing four rows seeded at 15-inch row width. The seeding rate was 150,000 seeds per acre. Corn was the previous crop at all locations, except C2 where the previous crop was soybean.… Continue reading

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Margin calls

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Many traders take time off the week of Thanksgiving, which can sometimes lead to increased market volatility. The price action this week does not necessarily mean a trend has formed. 

Next week December corn futures will move into the delivery period. How the market reacts during this time will probably be more telling than what the market did this week.

Why I like margin calls

As a true hedger, I dislike the term “margin call” because it is often associated with speculators who are in a trade that has gone wrong. 

However, I am not a speculator, I am a hedger. The difference is I produce the commodity that I have a futures sale for, which means grain marketing and risk management decisions are different. For hedgers a “margin call” is really just a financial decision, and not a bad thing. 

Let’s say in June, December corn futures are $5 per bushel, and I decide to sell futures.… Continue reading

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The manure balancing act

By Matt Reese


The investment is high, fickle weather determines the schedule and well, sometimes, the job just stinks, but Zach Parker, owner of Zippy’s Manure Service, enjoys finding the right balance with manure application and fulfilling a critical role in Ohio agriculture.


Parker provides a way for farmers in north-central Ohio to maximize manure’s benefits and minimize the challenges. Too much manure results in environmental issues and the loss of valuable nutrients; too little does not meet crop needs and is inefficient. Parker operates in a carefully balanced middle ground.


“I started my business back in 2017 and I do custom manure hauling. I’m based in Crawford County and my furthest client is about 32 miles away,” Parker said. “I do a number of hog facilities and a couple of dairies where we haul the manure from the barns to farmer’s fields. We apply the manure however they want it done.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 326 | Restoring the Soil of Tomorrow with No-Till Farming

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosts Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talk with Ted Logan who is the current Ohio No-Till Farmer of the Year. Ted is a farmer in Morrow County that switched to no-till around 15 years ago. Initially, he switched to save on labor, but he now shares the benefits his soil has experienced.  

 More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Mike Heffelfinger, Van Wert County Farmer: Mike joins Dale to talk about a farmers perspective on the GrowNextGen program through the Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio soybean farmers. 
  • Ani Katchova, The Ohio State University: Ani is a professor at OSU and she talks with Matt about the farm income outlook.  
  • Tim Trotter, Edge Dairy Cooperative: Tim is the CEO and he chats with Joel about the legislative issues that are facing the dairy industry. 
Intro0:00
Mike Heffelfinger4:30
Ani Katchova9:58
Tim Trotter16:32
Main Conversation, Ted Logan23:35
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End of harvest fast approaching

An early-week storm system and weekend snow hampered corn harvest progress as farmers pushed towards the season’s close, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2 percent very short, 24 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on November 26 was 38.3 degrees, 1.2 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.78 inches of precipitation, 0.02 inches above average. There were 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 26.

Corn harvest was delayed in northern tier counties as producers waited for space to become available at grain elevators. Tar spot and vomitoxin posed concerns for some farmers in northwestern counties. Eighty-six percent of corn for grain was harvested. The moisture content of corn grain at harvest was 19 percent, down one point from last week. Winter wheat condition was 80 percent good to excellent, down 4 points from the previous week.… Continue reading

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Consumer spending away from home on the rise

By Gary Joiner, director of communications at Texas Farm Bureau


The Agriculture Department tracks the food spending habits of Americans as part of its Food Expenditure Series. The latest numbers show consumer spending preferences are changing.

Spending away from home surpassed food at home spending by over $300 million last year. That’s the largest gap ever.


The two biggest drivers in away from home food spending are full-service restaurants and quick service restaurants. Each account for about 34% of the total.


Grocery stores continue to capture the largest market share of what people are purchasing to eat at home. But that percentage has declined significantly.


In 1999, grocery stores accounted for 72% of all at-home expenditures. Last year, that number dropped to 50%. Much of the decline was because of the growth of warehouse clubs, supercenters and home delivery.


According to analysis shared by the American Farm Bureau, food spending behavior also varies by state and region.… Continue reading

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Farmland values? Protein expansion? Trends and tips in a changing financial world

Farm Credit’s Fallon Savage, senior vice president, corporate credit and operations, joins Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood to discuss a wide range of financial topics bound to hit farmers in the year ahead. The main takeaway? In a time of great profitability, keep those pencils sharp when it comes to making strategic decisions for your operation. Topics discussed include farmland value outlook, protein sector expansion, and more.… Continue reading

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A look at bale grazing

By Christine Gelley, Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County

Extending the grazing season is one of the best ways to save money on feed and reduce labor on the farm. In order to add grazing days to the calendar, farm managers must approach grazing with a plan and the willingness to be flexible. Rotationally grazing, utilizing multiple forage species and growing seasons, being thoughtful about stocking rates, adding fertility when needed, and having plentiful fence and water will increase chances for success.

Whether you have the ability to graze for a couple extra weeks or a couple extra months, the benefits of preparation will show up in the money you save on harvesting or purchasing supplemental feed. Regardless of how diligent you are about your grazing plans, it is difficult to provide sufficient grazing for livestock 365 days a year in Ohio and eventually you’ll be relying on stored feeds to meet the needs of your livestock.… Continue reading

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“Christmas Tree Ship” tradition returns

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

As in days of old in many Great Lakes ports, Christmas trees will in Toledo by boat on Saturday, Dec. 2, when The National Museum of the Great Lakes, in partnership with Geo. Gradel Co., invites folks to join a holiday tradition by welcoming back the “Christmas Tree Ship.” And thanks to the generosity of The University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC), museum admission will be free for all on that Merry Saturday.

Here’s the backstory: on Nov. 23, 1912, the schooner Rouse Simmons sank in Lake Michigan while carrying Christmas trees, a popular way to transport the holiday trees at the time. Remembered as the Christmas Tree Ship, her captain, Herman E. Schuenemann, was known for giving trees to families in need. The story provides the inspiration behind the Museum’s community giveback event encouraging individuals to make a memory to last a lifetime by watching Santa arrive at the museum’s dock delivering Christmas Trees and holiday support.… Continue reading

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