Featured News

March: National Nutrition Month and National Ag Day

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

As March blows in for 2023, it’s time to celebrate 50 years of both National Nutrition Month and National Ag Day. The message is primarily the same year after year, just with a different twist and trendy words. Climate, environment, tomorrow and future are key words this year. 

In the Detwiler house, the hijacked words of climate, sustainability and environmental are like playing a game of Taboo. We believe that farmers have strived for this from the beginning of time. The importance of buying foods in season, minimal packaging and growing gardens is reinforcing what we have been doing for generations. Nutrition Month and Ag Day give us a stage to promote our authentic messages of food and farming. 

I have a love hate relationship with social media. I love it because it allows me to share my passion of agriculture, food, and my business.… Continue reading

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East Palestine update

Gov. Mike DeWine’s office provided updates from the State of Ohio regarding remediation work at the site of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

DeWine is planning a meeting with farmers in the area. Although the Ohio Department of Agriculture currently has no reason to believe that crops planted in soil in the area of East Palestine are not safe for consumption, the agency will host a roundtable discussion with East Palestine area farmers on Thursday afternoon to discuss concerns about the upcoming planting season.

Here are other updates.

Track and soil removal

The excavation continues under the south tracks at the derailment site. Ohio EPA reports that contractors are making good progress, and soil has been removed down to the clay in about 50 percent of the area. Once to that point, confirmation sampling is conducted to see if any contaminants remain. If contaminants are discovered, contractors will scrape away the clay until sampling comes back with no detection of contaminants.… Continue reading

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Take action on managing pest resistance

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

We all must pay more attention to pest resistance in our chemical control choices. Whether it is natural selection, genetic shifts, or enhanced metabolism, certain weeds, insects, and disease species are becoming more challenging to control. There are several things to consider in pest control to keep the wide range of pest control options on your farm.

Mixing and matching the application timing and site of action of our pesticide options is one important way to limit pesticide resistance. The website https://iwilltakeaction.com has several resources to understand how to mix pesticide products with different modes of action into your applications. Charts list available herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide products with branded premix formulations.

Corn hybrids with insect resistance traits are widely available. Resistant to some traits are found in certain insect species. Many traits are available and packaged in several combinations under different brand names.… Continue reading

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EQIP-CIC signup deadline April 7

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) deadline to apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program Conservation Incentive Contracts (EQIP-CIC) is April 7, 2023. 

EQIP-CIC expands resource benefits for Ohio producers through incentive conservation practices such as wildlife management, cover crops, nutrient management, conservation crop rotations, and prescribed grazing. Additionally, EQIP-CIC allows producers to target priority resource concerns on their property by offering incentive payments for a five-year contract without needing to enroll the entire operation into the program. EQIP-CIC is designed to be a stepping-stone between EQIP and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), to help producers improve their level of conservation and earn benefits of longer-term conservation enhancements.

Find Ohio’s ranking dates as well as other program information on the Ohio NRCS EQIP website. To learn more about other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or contact your local USDA Service Center.… Continue reading

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Big surprise means bullish USDA numbers March 8

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Big surprise: USDA lowered Argentina soybean production 8 million tons to 33 million tons.

The word for of today is: unrelenting. Argentina’s current drought conditions are expected to continue for another two weeks with daily highs in the 90s and even into the 100s.

US highlights

U.S. corn exports were down 75 million bushels, U.S. soybean exports were up 25 million bushels, crush down 10 million bushels. U.S. corn ending stocks up 75 million bushels. U.S. soybean ending stocks down 15 million bushels.  

World highlights

Brazil soybean production 153 million tons, last month was 153 million tons. Brazil corn production 125 million tons, last month was 125 million tons. Argentina soybean production 33 million tons, last month was 41 million tons. Argentina corn production 40 million tons, last month was 47 million tons. USDA today projected China would be importing 96 million tons of soybeans during the current marketing year from September to August.… Continue reading

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The challenge of a generation

By Matt Reese

It wasn’t that long ago when the outskirts of central Ohio towns like Groveport and Canal Winchester quickly transitioned to open, fertile farm fields with prolific crops and grazing livestock. In just the span of a generation, though, warehouses, residential areas, strip malls, and traffic have forever altered the landscape. Some would argue the change is for the better, and society is currently demanding it, but a growing number of voices are being raised about the erosion of the Ohio agriculture of generation’s past and concerns about a food insecure future beneath the pavement, in the shadow of perceived progress.

The issue is certainly not new for Ohio, which has a long history of paving over some of the world’s most productive farm ground. But in the wake of massive change including huge solar fields, the Intel announcement, an unsatiable demand for warehouse storage due to online shopping, and yet another housing boom, Ohio’s agricultural future is looking increasingly uncertain in some areas. Continue reading

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Which crop should be planted first?

Battle for the Belt: Which crop should be planted first, corn or soybean?

By Dr. Laura Lindsey and Dr. Osler Ortez, OSU Extension, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-05

  • Which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting?
  • Can we adjust management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting?
  • How are insects, diseases, weeds, and other factors affected by planting date?

We will address these questions (and more!) weekly during the growing season with a series of short videos. Watch Episode 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0U2vPdtEVc

To stay up-to-date on this project, make sure to subscribe to the CORN newsletter (https://lists.osu.edu/mailman/listinfo/corn-out), subscribe to our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@OSUAgronomicCrops), or follow us on Twitter (@stepupsoy, @OrtezCornCrops).

For both soybean and corn, earlier planting is promoted to maximize yield. However, Ohio has a trend toward a lower number of suitable fieldwork days. With non-favorable weather, the planting date window is often short and disconnected.… Continue reading

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Corn exports

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Rumors of corn exports to China had the market on edge last week with futures finishing almost 18 cents off the lows from a few days earlier. With the March contract, which is in the delivery process, trading higher than the May contract, along with basis increases throughout the U.S., some are expecting export announcements in the next few weeks.

The U.S. is about the only exporter of corn right now and we are competitively priced with the rest of the world, so export numbers should increase. Brazil export facilities have switched over almost completely to beans, as their new crop is being harvested right now. Argentina’s corn crop will likely be 20% to 30% lower than normal due to the worst drought in over a half century. And, Ukraine continues to have logistical issues due to the war.  

So, even though the corn export pace is currently behind USDA estimates, there are still some variables that would make it possible to hit their projections.… Continue reading

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Corn planting dates

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

For much of the Eastern Corn Belt it is widely understood that the optimal planting period is between April 20th and May 10th. Research has proven that corn loses yield potential daily when planted after the beginning of May. For the Central Corn Belt, the declines in yield potential due to planting delays vary from about 0.3% per day early in May to about 1% per day by the end of May (Nielsen, 2013). Knowing that this is true, it can be frustrating during a wet spring or when field work is delayed for one reason or another. Planting is a critical component of a successful crop as it sets the stage for the entire growing season. However, it is important to keep in mind that early planting is just one of many factors that contribute to high yield potential. Planting early favors high yields, but it does not guarantee them and growers should not focus entirely on the calendar.… Continue reading

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USDA wetland reserve easements now available to Ohio landowners

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced a special set-aside funding pool for landowners interested in restoring, enhancing, and protecting wetlands through the Wetlands Reserve Easement Program (WRE). This year, Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding has provided additional financial opportunities for the program, as wetlands play a critical role in climate mitigation. The first application cutoff date to receive fiscal year 2023 funding for the WRE-IRA program is March 17, 2023.  

Wetland Reserve Easements can help landowners protect land from climate impacts by reducing, capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Additional benefits include land development protection, critical wildlife habitat preservation and water quality improvement

Many of the state’s landowners can take advantage of this program, as eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can successfully be restored; croplands or grasslands subject to flooding; and previously restored wetlands and riparian areas that connect protected wetland areas. … Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 291 | The Auction Guru: Machinery Pete

On this week’s podcast Matt, Dusty, and Joe sit down to talk with Greg Peterson “Machinery Pete.” They discuss how Machinery Pete got started and share stories from his years in the business. Next, Joel talks with Dr. Chad McKay, Associate Professor of Agriculture at Wilmington College, to talk about the college and the 65th Annual Aggies Livestock Judging Competition. Ms. Erin Wollett, Cardington FFA Advisor, talks with Joel about the Aggies Livestock Judging Competition and the importance behind it. Lastly, Matt talks with Dave Brandt about the meme that went famous with his face on it saying “It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.” All this and more on this week’s podcast!

00:00 Intro and OCJ/OAN Staff Update

07:36 Dr. Chad McKay – Aggies Livestock Competition

13:25 Ms. Erin Wollett – Aggies Livestock Competition

19:01 Dave Brandt – Meme

23:26 Back with Machinery Pete… Continue reading

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Weed control in wheat

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Scouting wheat for potential weed issues is important to avoid yield loss or harvesting problems. When identifying a weed issue that requires a herbicide treatment, it is essential to apply herbicides at the correct stage of small grain growth to avoid crop injury. Making weed control decisions before or during Feekes 5.0 provides the greatest range of herbicide options. As wheat advances past jointing (Feekes 6.0) and approaches the boot stage, herbicide choices become limited. Most herbicides can be applied in UAN when the small grains are topdressed. However, applying herbicide in UAN can increase crop injury somewhat, and some labels recommend adjusting surfactant rates to minimize damage.

A few species to look for include.

  • Wild garlic can contaminate harvested grain if the grain table picks up the aerial bulblets. Several herbicides are effective if applied in the spring after the garlic has several inches of new growth.
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USDA extends line speed trial

The U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to allow eligible pork harvest facilities to continue experimenting with ergonomics, automation, and crewing while maintaining line speeds that have been proven able to protect food and worker safety for over two decades.

“Ensuring sufficient harvest capacity is critical to allow America’s pork producers to continue to provide wholesome pork products to consumers,” said the National Pork Producers Council in a statement. “This extension will allow USDA to assess a final report of the data collected during the time-limited trial and determine next steps. NPPC appreciates the extension of the trial period and will continue working with the administration and Congress towards a permanent solution.”

This extension comes after a spring of 2022 announcement from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approving the Clemens Food Group pork packing plant in Coldwater, Michigan, to run faster line speeds under a one-year trial program. The trial initially let four plants operate with faster harvesting line speeds, which could increase packing capacity and alleviate supply issues in the face of strong pork demand. … Continue reading

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Harvest for All feeding the hungry

Farm and ranch families from across the nation donated 25.3 million pounds of food and raised more than $1 million to help fight hunger in 2022 through Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program. Combined, the monetary and food donations totaled the equivalent of 31.1 million meals.

Criteria for tracking Harvest for All donations included dollars and pounds of food donated by state and county Farm Bureaus, as well as volunteer hours, reported from the grassroots up as part of the annual campaign.

The spirit of farm communities has always been one of working together and giving back. Now in its 21st year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but members of all ages from across the nation contribute to the effort. Their participation helps ensure Americans who are facing food insecurity can enjoy the bounty of food farmers and ranchers produce.

In addition to raising food and funds, farmers and ranchers tallied 13,827 volunteer hours assisting local hunger groups in 2022.… Continue reading

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 Court extends huge victory for producers of “Gruyere”

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and a coalition of other dairy stakeholders prevailed in their ongoing battle to protect the right of producers to use generic names in the U.S. market.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the prior decisions of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in finding “gruyere” to be a generic term for a variety of cheese. The Fourth Circuit’s clear decision should put an end to the attempt by Swiss and French consortiums to expropriate a common food name through a U.S. certification mark registration.

The Fourth Circuit found that the evidence is “so one-sided” that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and Opposers must prevail as a matter of law. … Continue reading

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David Brandt: The man, the meme, the legend

By Matt Reese

David Brandt did not even know what a meme was until he found out he was one. 

“I didn’t know anything about it until I went to the bank, probably a year and a half ago or so, and one of the tellers says, ‘You’re a meme.’ And I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’” Brandt said. “She showed it to me on her phone and she says, ‘What do you think?’ and I said, ‘Well I guess somebody took my picture. I should have got it registered or something. Maybe I could have made some money off of it.’”

For those not familiar, a meme is a cultural piece of media that is shared online, often with the intention of invoking certain emotions, usually being humorous. For those who use them, memes are immediately recognizable ways to convey different spins on a common theme or thought. 

A meme featuring a photo of Brandt taken at a Natural Resources Conservation Service event on his farm in 2012 with the phrase “It ain’t much but it’s honest work” has become a global symbol of traditional values and work ethic. … Continue reading

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Survey to create a Soybean Management Systems App

By Dr.Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Soybean Specialist, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-05

Researchers want to help you grow more profitable soybeans through the power of data science. The concept is to use data-driven knowledge to make profitable soybean management decisions in a systems approach. Soybean agronomists are developing an app to help make those decisions in real time. The more farmer data collected, the more accurate the tool will be. (And…the more data we have from Ohio, the more applicable the tool will be to our state!) The app will allow growers to drop a pin in a field, enter input variables, and receive crop management decision help directly and through online scouting tools such as Sporecaster and Tarspotter.

This is what we are asking from you:

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Tips on N for wheat

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Nitrogen is the highest variable cost line in the 2023 wheat production budget. In addition, it is an important variable in yield, lodging, and grain quality. Spring N fertilizer should be applied between green-up (Feekes 3-4) and the beginning of stem elongation or jointing (Feekes 5-6). Here are a few things to consider in determining your wheat topdress N rate.  

Ohio wheat N rate recommendations appear in the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations. Bulletin 974 (2020) is yield potential based. Table 1 shows N rate recommendations. These recommendations are for mineral soils with adequate drainage and 1% to 5% organic matter. Another important note is that the N rates in Table 1 are the total N applied. Therefore, if you used fall N, subtract that nitrogen from the Table 1 rate.

Using manure as a nitrogen source is a great opportunity considering current nitrogen prices. Lodging from excess N is a genuine concern when using manure in wheat.… Continue reading

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Duling steps in as president of Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Putnam county farmer and Soil and Water District Supervisor, Jeff Duling, assumed the role of president of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Districts during the annual Partnership Meeting held in Columbus. This meeting brought together nearly 500 conservation leaders throughout the state, including Supervisors and staff from Ohio’s 88 county SWCDs, agency and staff from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Ohio State University, commodity and environmental groups, and many more. The event focused on the theme “Conservation Conversations” and focused on the relationships Soil and Water Districts have with their constituents. 

“I am extremely honored and excited to assume the role of President,” Duling said. “This is a great time to be involved with Soil and Water Districts and to lead the Federation. During my tenure I want to focus on developing the relationships districts have with the people in their community to bring meaningful conservation practices to more people in Ohio.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Forestry Association holds annual meeting and selects new leadership

The Ohio Forestry Association (OFA) held its annual meeting and awards luncheon on March 2, 2023, at the Columbus Marriott Northwest – Dublin. Tree farmers, loggers, and industry representatives from across the state gathered to hear important industry updates and present outstanding service awards.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the presentation of industry awards:

OFA Logger of the Year – John Jefferson (Jefferson Logging Company, LLC, Crown City)

Outstanding Individual in Government Service Award – Donald Karas (Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Columbus)

Outstanding Individual in Industry Award – Mike Krol (American Wood Fibers, Circleville)

Outstanding Individual in Private Service Award – Daniel Castellucci (Frontier

Woodland Services, LLC., Alliance)

Outstanding Logging Activist Award – Arnold Matthews (Southern Ohio Logger Chapter, Crown City)

Walt Lange Conservation Education Award – Tom Mills (Ohio Tree Farm Program, Findlay)

Director’s Awards for Outstanding Contributions to OFA Programs – David Bergman (Westerville)

Lashbrook/Woyar Award for Outstanding Contributions to the OFA Foundation – Wayne Lashbrook (Jackson County) and Peter Woyar (New Marshfield)

Jeff Jenkins of Wheelersburg, Ohio, began his term as board president at the conclusion of the meeting.… Continue reading

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