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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 287 | Encouraging the Next Generation: Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Edition

On this week’s podcast Matt and Joel visit with Evan Callicoat, Director of State Policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. He talks about the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program, and what his goals are for the new assembly. Matt talks with Brian Baldridge, ODA Director, about his agriculture background and his objectives as director. Raegan Felder, leadership chair for OSU’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, to talk about their upcoming night for young professionals. Lastly, Dale talks with Chris Brown of Glandorf Schools and Leah LaCrosse of Huron City Schools who recently attended a GrowNextGen event. All this and more on this week’s podcast!

00:00 Intro and OCJ/OAN Staff Update

06:25 Brian Baldridge – ODA Director

12:50 Raegan Feldner – ACT

17:05 GrowNextGen

42:07 Back with Evan  … Continue reading

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By Shelly Detwiler

Let us eat cake, morning, night and anytime we wish!

Cake for breakfast. It’s an absurd, ridiculous, even preposterous idea, right? Think about it for a second. Common breakfast foods…eggs, milk, butter, oil. I’ve got you thinking now, don’t I? Throw in the sugar and flour you have a recipe for breakfast deliciousness such as donuts, pancakes, and waffles. Now that I have gotten you outside your breakfast box, let’s talk cake.

“Cake really isn’t important at all nutritionally, but symbolically it seems to have had an enormous importance,” saidAlysa Levene, author of “Cake: A Slice of History.” 

History tells us we need to thank ancient civilizations of Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for our introductions to cake, cheesecake and fruitcake, respectively. The early Egyptian’s cake was enjoyed in celebrations and feasting, much like we do today. Unlike today, those first cakes were made more like round cakes of bread with bits of honey or special ingredients.… Continue reading

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Virtual Corn College and Soybean School

By Laura LindseyAmanda Douridas, CCATaylor Dill, Ohio State University Extension

Due to popular demand, the AgCrops Team will host the 3rd annual virtual Corn College and Soybean School on Feb. 10, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring your OSU Extension state specialists and soil fertility guest speaker, Dr. Kurt Steinke, from Michigan State University. CCA CEUs will be available during the live presentations.

To register, please go to: go.osu.edu/cornsoy.  Please register by Feb. 9 at noon. There is a $10 registration fee for this event, which goes directly to support OSU AgCrops Team activities. 

Presentations will be recorded and uploaded to the AgCrops Team YouTube channel after the event (https://www.youtube.com/c/OSUAgronomicCrops). However, CCA CEUs will not be available for the recorded presentations.


9:00-9:40            Osler Ortez                       Corn Management for 2023

9:50-10:30          Laura Lindsey                   Soybean Management for 2023

10:40-11:20       Kurt Steinke (MSU)         Soil Fertility

11:20-noon        Mark Loux                        Weed Management


1:00-1:40            Kelley Tilmon                   Soybean Insect Management

1:50-2:30            Andy Michel                     Corn Insect Management

2:40-3:20            Pierce Paul                       Corn Disease Management

3:20-4:00            Horacio Lopez-Nicora     Soybean Disease Management

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Elchingers win Excellence in Agriculture

Nick and Bailey Elchinger of Henry County are the winners of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2023 Excellence in Agriculture competition. The results were announced Jan. 28 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience.

The Excellence in Agriculture Award competition is designed as an opportunity for young agricultural professionals who do not derive the majority of their income from production agriculture to earn recognition for their contributions to the agriculture industry, while actively contributing and growing through their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture.

Nick was born and raised in northwest Ohio on a small family farm where he learned to love farming alongside his grandfather, father and brother. Bailey was born and raised on a small family hog farm in southern Michigan. On their Henry County farm, they produce corn, soybeans and wheat along with baling both hay and straw commercially. Bailey also works off the farm for StoneX Financial Inc.… Continue reading

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Weaver named Outstanding Young Farmer

Brad Weaver of Wyandot County is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2023 Outstanding Young Farmer competition. The results were announced Jan. 28 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience.

The Outstanding Young Farmer Award competition is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

Weaver is a sixth generation farmer from Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Following his high school and 4-H career, when he showed cattle and hogs at the Wyandot County Fair, he attended The Ohio State University and received a bachelor’s degree in ag business and economics with a minor in education. His family raises wheat, corn, and soybeans as cash crops and uses a wide variety of cover crops on their farm. Weaver is currently the vice president of both the Wyandot County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees  and Wyandot County Soil and Water Conservation District board.… Continue reading

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Fertilizer prices and grain exports

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The hour clock sand is nearly empty for producers to finish pricing fertilizer needs for 2023 corn and soybeans. “Don’t delay the inevitable,” was a comment heard in regard to locking in fertilizer prices for 2023 crops. The gargantuan drop in natural gas prices the last 4 months has played a significant role in declining fertilizer prices of roughly $100 to $200 per ton. Europe’s winter to date of above normal daily low temperatures has sharply reduced their demand for natural gas, a major contributor for today’s sharply lower natural gas prices. 

Producers continue to express much agony and frustration that fall 2023 corn prices are below those for February by over a dollar in many cases. Corn margins for 2023 are the highest in 3 years, based upon pricing fertilizer in the spring and pricing corn for fall delivery in the spring. This is only one example of corn margin comparisons.… Continue reading

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Soybean Cyst Nematode Management Research (Part 1)

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

Not all Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) are created equal. There are specific SCN populations that are more challenging than others. “The active way to manage SCN is with a soil sample,” said Horacio Lopez-Nicora, OSU Extension Plant Pathologist. “Hopefully farmers do not have SCN in their field, but if they do, then they need to know the numbers so they can plan a strategy to manage the SCN and reduce numbers to below the damage threshold.”

In addition to knowing if SCN are present and the numbers, it is also helpful to know the specific population of SCN. “Some SCN populations can easily be managed with any source of SCN resistance. Those populations are the 80 type zero, formerly known as Race 3,” said Lopez-Nicora. “Other populations that have adapted and reproduce on the most commonly used source of resistance that we have available in commercially produced soybeans, which is PI 88788.… Continue reading

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Night for Young Professionals at OSU Feb. 9

By Matt Reese

Ohio State University student leaders are gearing up for the Night for Young Professionals — a free professional development event open to all students in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. 

The over-arching theme of the event, taking place in two locations in Columbus and Wooster, is to “Prepare tomorrow’s leaders today” with the goal of answering questions students have about the transition to a real-world job after graduation. Student participants get a professional headshot photo, dinner, door prizes and an opportunity to connect with industry leaders and have real conversations about what to expect when launching their career after graduation. The event is being hosted by Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) in Columbus and Agricultural Communicators, Educators and Leaders of Tomorrow (ACELT) in Wooster. 

“Our goal is to really give them an opportunity and a space to ask questions and to help prepare themselves for what comes after graduation,” said Raegan Feldner, leadership chair of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.… Continue reading

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Sampling corn for vomitoxin

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

Moldy grain and vomitoxin levels vary considerably within the grain lot. This is largely because the number of ears infected with Gibberella zeae, the fungus that causes Gibberella ear rot and produces vomitoxin in the grain, and number of infected kernels on a given ear within a field are highly variable. In addition, ears, and kernels with a similar appearance in terms of surface moldiness, may have vastly different levels of internal fungal colonization, and consequently, different levels of vomitoxin contamination. In addition, pockets of warm, humid areas in the grain lot coupled with moldy grain may lead to vomitoxin “hot spots” that can affect vomitoxin test results if sampling is inadequate. This may lead to price discounts or rejection of grain lots that are less contaminated than test results suggest, or conversely, acceptance of lots that are more contaminated than indicated by the results.… Continue reading

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Making use of food waste

There is money to be made — and potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — by finding a second life for the potato peels, fried dough particles, cheese whey and other industrial food-processing waste products that routinely end up in landfills, according to new research.

Scientists have taken the first step at estimating the best large-scale uses for food processing waste, first analyzing its contents and, based on those findings, proposing production opportunities ranging from sustainable fuels, biogas and electricity to useful chemicals and organic fertilizer.

This work is known as valorization, or determining the potential value of something “that is otherwise valueless or even a drain on resources for a company — when you have to spend money to get rid of it,” said Katrina Cornish, senior author of the study and professor of horticulture and crop science and food, agricultural and biological engineering at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). … Continue reading

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Protecting top end revenue and yield with crop insurance

By Michael Sweeney, Vice President of Bickle Farm Solutions

Over the last couple of years, federal crop insurance has brought us a couple of products that allow a producer to cover up to 95% of yield and revenue. Every crop insurance company also has a least one or maybe two products that also take you up as high as 95% protection. But which is the right fit for you? 

Michael Sweeney

Let’s start with the public products. Enhanced coverage option (ECO) and supplemental coverage option (SCO) are two relatively new programs that are available here in Ohio. These are both county-based plans, meaning that an entire county must show a loss for any payments to be made. Expected average yields are published for each county and crop. The same spring and fall prices used for crop insurance apply. ECO can be selected at a 90% or 95% trigger level and goes down to 86%.… Continue reading

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Soil Health Management Plans

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

USDA-NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) is promoting farmers to adapt a soil health management plan for their farms. NRCS defines soil health as “the continued capacity of a soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans.”  There are several key concepts.  First, soil is alive and teaming with soil microbes and other biological life (earthworms, mites, springtails, etc.).  Second, soil has many functions that are critical to our life.   

Key essential soil functions include: 1) regulating water,  2) sustaining plant and animal life, 3) filtering and buffering potential pollutants, 4) cycling soil nutrients and 5) providing physical stability and support. Soil microbes mediate about 90% of all soil functions.  Microbes process all soil carbon and even breakdown rocks to make plant nutrients available. Also, soil microbes are the end-product of most soil organic matter (SOM).  Dead microbes become the long-term SOM.… Continue reading

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Unverferth announces purchase of Orthman Manufacturing Inc.

Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc. is excited to announce the purchase of Orthman Manufacturing’s agricultural product lineup and the two manufacturing locations based in Lexington, NE. Manufacturing personnel and various support people will be offered employment with the new ownership. 

Unverferth Manufacturing has a well-known reputation for building upon the several businesses it has acquired over the last 75 years. With that growth comes a commitment to the employees through industry-leading wages, health care and other benefits along with positive impacts on local communities. Unverferth Mfg. saw a natural fit with the culture, the people and the innovative, well-built products at Orthman Manufacturing. Major equipment and facility investments have been made at the Lexington locations over the past several years that present great opportunities for increased production. 

“I have the utmost confidence that Unverferth Manufacturing will continue growing the Orthman name and most importantly take care of the respective employees. The culture and innovative drive at Orthman is very similar to that of Unverferth Manufacturing,” said John McCoy, Orthman preceding owner and company president.… Continue reading

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Plenty of moisture in January to recharge dry soils

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

Did it feel like winter was largely absent during January? If so, you are not alone, and we have the climate statistics to prove it. Figure 1 shows that much of the state will end the month with temperatures about 10°F above the long-term average (1991-2020). This places January 2023 in the top 5 warmest Januarys on record for many cities across the state. It was also a wet month, with precipitation running 125-200% of normal. Frequent systems, typical of the La Niña weather pattern we are in, helped recharge soil moisture and elevate stream flows across the state. With the lack of cold weather and wet conditions, muddy conditions are now being felt by many across Ohio.      

This week will feature a much colder and overall drier pattern for Ohio. Chilly conditions will be in place for Tuesday and Wednesday with highs generally in the 20s and overnight lows in the teens.… Continue reading

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Baldridge appointed ODA Director

By Matt Reese

Brian Baldridge was appointed the 40th Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Governor Mike DeWine Feb. 1, 2023. 

In this position, Director Baldridge provides leadership for the agriculture industry and oversees numerous regulatory, food safety, and consumer protection programs for the State of Ohio. Food and agriculture add more than $124 billion to the state economy each year. 

“First, I want to say thank you to Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Gov. Husted and their team for giving us the opportunity. Jan. 31 was my last day in the Ohio Legislature serving down in southern Ohio as a state representative in Adams, Brown and Scioto counties. [ODA Director] was the position that I would always look forward to if it ever came available,” Baldridge said. “I grew up the seventh generation on a family farm and we were very diverse as tobacco farmers in southern Ohio with grain, cattle, hay, and we had a hybrid seed corn business, which was not common in southern Ohio.… Continue reading

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What is drainage water recycling?

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio’s farmers know the value of managing water through surface and subsurface (tile) drainage. The economic return from increased yield and timely planting has been proven repeatedly. Yet, each year around corn pollination and soybean flowering, we often look for rain because it has gotten dry. Could we store the water we send to Lake Erie or the Ohio River for those dry July and August periods? That describes the thought behind drainage water recycling.

What is drainage water recycling? The practice involves capturing water drained from fields for storage in a pond, a reservoir, or a drainage ditch, for use later in the season to irrigate crops. Additionally, the practice creates a closed system that reduces field nutrient loss by reducing drainage water released from a site. Reducing nutrient loss helps to improve downstream water quality. However, we will still release some water downstream when drainage water exceeds storage capacity.… Continue reading

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OABA recognizes winners of Industry Excellence Awards at Industry Conference

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Despite diverse and unexpected challenges in recent years, Ohio’s agribusinesses are strong in 2023 — strength well represented at the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference in early February.

“Our numbers are up over last year and we’re excited about that. Since the pandemic we’ve slowly been bringing people back to our in-person events and activities. We’re not without our challenges, but I tell you what, the industry is strong,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “There are plenty of issues right now, but the No. 1 is probably labor. Our companies are continually telling me that they’re having trouble finding people to work. The theme of our conference this year is Resiliency, so that that’s what it’s all about. How do we continue to move forward in the environment we’re in right now?”

The Conference had a heavy focus on technology and how changes can play a role in building agribusiness resiliency. … Continue reading

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Chef to chef strategy keeps farm at the culinary forefront

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

The displays of Farmer Jones Farm Market and The Chef’s Garden are stocked with an array of colors. Purple carrots, red apples, orange sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables. It’s like a rainbow inside the market, directly across the street from fields of various plants. For most people, produce shopping is simply that: you need a carrot, so you buy a carrot. But Farmer Lee Jones, owner of The Chef’s Garden says that isn’t so. 

“Some carrots taste like cardboard, but some carrots taste wonderful and have great texture. We’re always striving to grow the tastiest, most nutritious, sexiest vegetables you’ve ever had,” Jones said. 

Chef Jamie Simpson was drawn to The Chef’s Garden for that very reason. Hailing from Charleston, SC, Simpson had studied culinary arts and was working as a chef for a high-end hotel prior to joining the team at The Chef’s Garden. … Continue reading

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Spring nitrogen for winter wheat

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Application timing and amount are key factors in achieving high winter wheat yields. While the amount of N required in the fall is relatively small, it is critical to promoting early development and tillering. With spring weather around the corner, winter wheat producers will be gearing up for spring topdress of their wheat crop. Timing and rates are critical in the spring as to maintain the high yield potential of winter wheat varieties.

Spring applications of N should be made after the plants break dormancy. Although in some situations field conditions may be favorable, nitrogen applied in the late winter before plants have broken dormancy is more likely to be lost before plants can utilize it. Spring N applications should not be made before wheat has broken dormancy and begins to green up. The University of Kentucky publication “A Comprehensive Guide to Wheat Management in Kentucky” recommends: “When making a single N fertilizer application the best time is when the crop growth stage is Feekes 4-5, (Zadoks 30, usually mid-March) just before the first joint appears on the main stem and when wheat starts growing rapidly.”… Continue reading

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Soy byproduct gets a boost from USDA funding

Late in 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced projects that will be funded through its National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Bioproduct Pilot Program, including a $9.5 million investment in sustainable U.S. bioproduct manufacturing to fund research and development of value-added products from agricultural commodities.

The innovative soy project, run by Soylei Innovations of Ames, Iowa, transforms high oleic soybean oil into thermoplastic rubber for pavements, and has had the support of ASA and its farmer leaders.

“This soy bioproduct has layers of potential, including extending how long road repairs for existing surfaces can last and providing a less costly paving solution nationwide — something even more important in rural communities where tax revenues for road paving and maintenance budgets are scant,” said Daryl Cates, American Soybean Association president. “We are very proud to have supported both development of the Bioproduct Pilot Program and this soy asphalt project, specifically.”

The NIFA Bioproduct Pilot Program is a two-year program that was authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.… Continue reading

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