Featured News

Is Agriculture the Next Endangered Species?

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

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently issued two proposals in an attempt to fulfil their obligation under the Endangered Species Act and protecting endangered species from agricultural chemicals. These proposals are both very concerning to those involved in crop production as they could impose cost prohibitive restrictions on common agricultural practices.

Brandon Kern is the director of Public Affairs and Issue Analysis for the Ohio Soybean Association. Kern says that soybean farmers should be paying close attention to what has been proposed. “One proposal is called the Vulnerable Species Pilot Program, and the other is the EPA’s overall herbicide strategy that deals with just the herbicides,” said Kern. “Looking closer at these two proposals, the EPA’s Vulnerable Species Pilot Program has created pesticide use limitation areas all across the country associated with 27 different endangered or threatened species where their new pesticide use restrictions will be put in place if that proposal is enacted by the EPA.”… Continue reading

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What happens to residue P and K after harvest?

By Greg LaBarge

Fall provides an important window for nutrient soil sampling. Don’t Guess, Soil Test is still the best nutrient management advice any agronomist will give you. We have a variety of information on how to soil sample and use the results to make sound nutrient recommendations. Visit https://go.osu.edu/fertilityresources to review that information. Here I want to think about nutrients that do not show on the soil test because they are bound in the residue coming out the back of the combine as you harvest. How much P and K are contained in corn and soybean residue? When does it become available?

Some Iowa State work by Dr. Mallarino provides answers. The work reported nutrient partitioning of total plant P and K uptake between grain and vegetative tissue for a 57-bushel soybean and 170-bushel corn crop. From a total uptake perspective, the plant accumulates more K than P but at harvest we remove more P than K.… Continue reading

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Sept. 29 a bad day for grain markets

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

For a weekend breakfast weekend earlier this month Cindy filled a skillet with eggs, peppers, onions, bacon, then asked me to take over. I hesitated for a moment, then decided to make an omelet, failing to communicate that idea to Cindy. She passed by and the eggs were scrambled with her fast acting spatula. He who hesitates, loses. The eggs didn’t seem to care as the outcome was quite tasty. Harvest is also a team effort, with a combination of methods and techniques, generating quality production! Good communication doesn’t hurt.

Sept. 29 was a bad day on multiple fronts for the grains with weeks end, month end, and the end of the third quarter for the year. First, the USDA Quarterly Grains Stock Report was bearish for soybeans with Sept. 1 stocks of 268 million bushels, higher than traders had estimated at 244 million bushels. November 2023 CBOT soybeans closed at $12.75, down 25 ½ cents for the day.… Continue reading

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Unverferth debuts six-wheel steerable header transport

Unverferth Manufacturing introduces new patent-pending 6-wheel steerable header transports for added maneuverability and increased flotation over uneven ground and through fields designed for today’s heavier corn heads and draper platforms.

The new design features a front axle with rubber-cushioned suspension for a smoother ride over any terrain. The rear, in-line walking tandem wheels follow the ground contour to better distribute the weight and increase flotation under load. New, high-capacity IF320/65×15 wheels and tires provide the carrying capacity needed.

These models also include patented, tool-free adjustable rest brackets and tie downs for dependably securing the load. The 16-foot long tongue, 12-foot on model ASWP 42, permits tighter turning for greater maneuverability and added clearance for header gauge wheels and other attachments. An optional 20-foot tongue with built-in drop provides hitching ease when pulled behind a combine and to accommodate flex draper heads.

For greater transport safety the two front and two rearmost wheels feature electric braking for sure-footed stopping power.… Continue reading

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DP costs have spiked in 2023: Why?

By Matt Reese

With corn and soybean harvest season going strong, farmers are noticing much higher costs associated with deferred pricing (DP) grain at local elevators as they buy time for prices to increase. In northwest Ohio, monthly fees more than doubled at most grain elevators since last year.

“It’s country wide. We see a lot of elevators in Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana that have a drop charge somewhere as high as 25-cents a bushel and then a monthly rate that’s 10 cents or higher for DP. We just feel the effects more in northwest Ohio, I think, because last year’s DP rate was so low at six cents a bushel a month,” said Lisa Mitchell, grain merchandiser for Gerald Grain, based in Napoleon with locations throughout northwest Ohio. “Here at Gerald Grain, we have no drop charge this year and then we’re 15 cents a bushel a month — that’s pretty average right here in our little draw territory.… Continue reading

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CWD testing underway

By Dan Armitage

Hunters in Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties have additional opportunities to harvest white-tailed deer as the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) continues to monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the region. Since the fall of 2020, 23 wild deer in Ohio have tested positive for CWD, all in Marion and Wyandot counties. A disease surveillance area was established in Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties in 2021 and remains in effect. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer and other similar species, including mule deer, elk, and moose. No evidence exists that CWD can spread to humans, pets, or livestock.

The Division established earlier hunting seasons within the disease surveillance area to slow the spread of CWD by reducing deer numbers before the breeding season. Archery hunting season began Sept. 9, and an early gun hunting season is open Saturday, Oct. 7 to Monday, Oct. 9.… Continue reading

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Making a harvest connection

By Matt Reese

Harvest is here. Even in our modern world of Internet, unprecedented technology and cell phones in everyone’s pockets, the autumn leaves and crisp air have a way of making people yearn to reconnect with the farm. As crowds flock to corn mazes and dream of hayrides beneath the harvest moon, Ohio agriculture is hard at work to help make that connection in some fun, innovative ways.

Franklin County Farm Bureau members are uniquely positioned to find ways to bridge the agricultural gap with their urban neighbors and communities. On Sept. 10, the Franklin County Farm Bureau hosted the Taste of Franklin County event at Waterman Farm on the Ohio State University campus. Attendees toured the various gardens, the Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex, the dairy, and the pawpaw patch. Along with the tour, guests got to make their own pizzas with local ingredients provided by the Master Gardeners of Waterman farms and Miceli Dairy Products.… Continue reading

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A cooperative experience for Ohio high schoolers

Educators in the Appalachian Region of Ohio have been working with area high schools to share information about cooperative business models and agricultural careers.

Since the early 1900s, cooperatives have been active in rural America, from small grocery co-ops to multi-state agricultural co-ops. Many people in many counties in the Appalachian Region of Ohio struggle with poverty. The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (OSU-CFAES) Center for Cooperatives has been working to raise awareness about the co-op business model as an opportunity for economic development and justice in the region. They’ve been showing young people how cooperatives can be a strategy for sustainability. 

“After learning more about the future talent needs of cooperatives, a colleague suggested we develop a program to help young people see varied cooperative career opportunities, and I was excited to help young people see agriculture from lots of perspectives the way I have been lucky to personally,” said Hannah Scott, CFAES Center for Cooperatives at OSU program director, who comes from an Ohio farm family.… Continue reading

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What should be stored at harvest?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

On Friday, the USDA reported last year’s ending stocks. It showed less total corn stored in the U.S., but the percent of corn stored on the farm was much higher than last year. The trade is assuming most of that on-farm corn is still unpriced and will likely be moving into the market as harvest approaches.

U.S. soybean stocks were also higher, and like corn, there is more stored on the farm than last year. Unfortunately, the low river situation is not improving, so getting exports out of the U.S. quickly is difficult. This could keep prices from going up in the short term. 

Early field reports I’m seeing suggest corn yields are better than expected and may be higher than the estimates shown on the USDA September report. Bean yields are still uncertain until more is harvested this coming week. 

Corn price direction

Corn has traded at some point in a very tight range between $4.77 and $4.89 every day since Aug.… Continue reading

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Managing corn harvest losses with variable harvest moisture

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA

This year has been a weather rollercoaster in many areas which has delayed corn dry down. In some areas, disease killed the corn prematurely which will affect dry down and harvestability. High-moisture corn may require us to look harder at combine settings to minimize harvest loss. Initial settings for different combines can be found in the operator’s manual but here are a few adjustments that can be used to help set all machines.

Corn head

Setting the combine starts at the header with an average of 66% of all machine harvest loss in corn occurring here. Wetter corn often has stronger ear shanks making it harder to snap at the head. When fodder is wet, it is tough and does not flow as well through the head. The major adjustments on the header are deck plate width and gathering chain speed.

Deck plate settings

Setting deck plates in variable field conditions caused by poor stands in some areas can be challenging, hydraulic adjust deck plates are a significant help, but if they are not automatic adjust you will have to adjust them as conditions change throughout the field.… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA Foundation announces new leadership

Amy Jo Baughman will join the Ohio FFA Foundation as the executive director starting on October 16, 2023, concluding a search led by the Ohio FFA Foundation board of trustees. She will oversee two staff members, Lauren Corry, director of communication and stewardship, and Shelby Brown, program manager.

Baughman brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous role with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Office of Advancement as the director of alumni engagement. She is a two-time alumna of The Ohio State University CFAES, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the department of agricultural communication, education, and leadership. She was raised on a sheep farm in Fayette County and has a strong FFA background.

“I’m beyond excited for this unique opportunity. This role is a perfect blend of my personal connection to and passion for FFA, technical training in agricultural education, and professional experience in CFAES Advancement,” Baughman said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Field Leader Roadshow | Rusty Goebel, Williams County

Ohio Field Leader Dusty Sonnenberg is on the road for this episode of the Ohio Field Leader Roadshow to Williams County as he visits with the diversified operation of Rusty Goebel. Goebel raises corn and soybeans, as well as feeds out cattle and hogs while staying busy with involvement through the Ohio Soybean Association.

Ohio Field Leader is a project of Ohio’s soybean farmers and their checkoff.… Continue reading

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Biden-Harris Administration investing $3 billion in climate-smart practices on agricultural lands

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making more than $3 billion in funding available for agricultural producers and forest landowners nationwide to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices in fiscal year 2024 as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The announcement comes as the Biden-Harris Administration hosts the first-ever White House Climate Resilience Summit.  

These funds are provided by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act — the largest climate and conservation investment in history. This law invests an additional $19.5 billion for USDA’s popular conservation programs. These programs also advance the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure 40% of the overall benefits of certain climate, clean energy, and other federal investments reach disadvantaged communities that have been marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has seen record producer interest in these resources in fiscal year 2023. The agency is now accepting applications from producers interested in this additional conservation assistance for fiscal year 2024. … Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 318 | Professionally Building the Next Generation

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 Julia Brown of the Ohio Soybean Council and Paige Teeters, a senior at Wilmington College. They discuss the Night for Young Professionals that is happening this week at Wilmington College. The event is in partnership with the Ohio Soybean Council and the Ohio Ag Net and Ohio Country Journal. It strives to prepare college students for life outside of education and aims to connect students to industry professionals. 

More in this week’s podcast: 

  • Horacio Lopez-Nicora, The Ohio State University: Celebrating National Nematode day, Dusty talks with Lopez-Nicora about the microscope worms and what affects thy present crops with.
  • Robert Sprague, State Treasurer: Matt talks with Sprague about the Ag Link program
  • Margaret Jodlowski, The Ohio State University: She talks with Matt about the labor challenges that are affecting the agriculture market.  
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Harvest heating up across Ohio

Despite a round of midweek showers last week, harvest activity pushed ahead, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 6 percent very short, 46 percent short, and 48 percent adequate. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on October 1 was 65.3 degrees, 5.3 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.45 inches of precipitation, 0.28 inches below average. There were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 1.

Farmers reported that last week’s rainfall slowed the corn and soybean harvest in western counties. Eighty-eight percent of corn was in or past dent, 51 percent was mature, and 4 percent was harvested. Corn for silage was 75 percent harvested. Eighty-three percent of soybeans were dropping leaves and 7 percent of soybeans were harvested. Corn and soybean condition were 74 and 70 percent good to excellent, respectively.… Continue reading

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Box tree moth found in Dayton

An invasive insect has been spotted in the Dayton area for the first time.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has confirmed a box tree moth (BTM) sighting in Montgomery County. After first being found near the border of Hamilton and Clermont counties in June 2023, BTM has also been detected in Warren and Butler counties.

The box tree moth is an invasive pest from East Asia that poses a threat to boxwood plantings and the horticulture industry. Boxwood is an important ornamental shrub that is a valuable part of Ohio’s nursery stock economy. Federal and state officials are asking the public and horticultural businesses to spot and report the box tree moth using ODA’s reporting tool.

ODA’s plant health inspectors and USDA staff will be placing traps and surveying the area to determine the extent of the population.

Residents can look for and report any signs of infestation by following these steps:

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USDA issuing $1.75 billion through emergency relief programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will begin issuing more than $1.75 billion in emergency relief payments to eligible farmers and livestock producers. These much-needed payments are helping farming and ranching operations recover following natural disasters in 2020, 2021 and 2022. 

“USDA provides substantial economic support for America’s farmers and ranchers through its critical farm program payments. These payments are reflective of the incredible and cumulative financial hits brought on by devastating natural disasters that agricultural producers nationwide have endured while fulfilling their commitment to produce our food, fiber and fuel,” said Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary. “This additional assistance helps offset the tremendous losses that these producers faced and is a valuable investment, not only for farmers and ranchers but in the economic successes of our communities — rural and urban —  and in our nation’s food security for generations to come.”   

Emergency Livestock Relief Program 

FSA will issue more than $581 million in 2021 and 2022 drought and wildfire emergency relief to eligible ranchers.   … Continue reading

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