Featured News

Foliar fertilizer application to soybeans

By Laura Lindsey, Steve Culman, and Emma Matcham, Ohio State University Extension, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-21

When soybean prices are low, inputs need to be carefully considered. Obtaining a return on investment (ROI) is necessary?

In 2019, Ohio State participated in a national protocol to evaluate foliar fertilizer in soybean. Trials were conducted in 13 states and totaled 20 different growing environments. In 2019, only 1 environment, located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, showed a yield benefit associated with foliar fertilizer application.

In Ohio, none of the evaluated foliar fertilizer products resulted in a different yield compared with the non-treated control (no foliar fertilizer application). The 2019 results are consistent with previously conducted trials in Ohio. Historically, yield response to micronutrient foliar fertilizer application is rare.

Although, yield response to micronutrient foliar fertilizer application is rare, there are cases where applications are warranted. In Ohio, manganese is the micronutrient that is most likely to be deficient in soybean.

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ODA announces 2020 local agricultural easements approved for purchase

The Ohio Department of Agriculture today announced approval for local sponsors to purchase agricultural easements on 39 family farms representing 5,012 acres in 25 counties.

Local sponsoring organizations, which include land trusts, counties and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, receive funding from the Clean Ohio Fund to manage the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). The easement ensures farms remain permanently in agricultural production. The program supports the state’s largest industry, food and agriculture.

To be eligible for the program, farms must be larger than 40 acres or next to a preserved farm, actively engaged in farming, participate in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation program, demonstrate good stewardship of the land, have support from local government and not be in close proximity to development. Landowners may use the proceeds of the easement in any way they wish, but most reinvest it in their farm operation.

Funding for the state’s farmland preservation efforts is derived from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, approved by voters in 2008, and used to purchase agricultural easements from willing sellers through a competitive process.… Continue reading

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Not much excitement with the July 10 report

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Don’t put away the sunscreen protection just yet. Another heat wave with 90 degree temperatures returns the middle of next week across Ohio.

The huge U.S. 2020 acres decline for corn with the June 30 report paints a much different picture compared to last month. Last month USDA had new corn ending stocks at 3.323 billion bushels. Some had expected that number would eventually reach 4 billion bushels. Corn ending stocks for 2020-21 were expected to be cut with the 5 million acres decline from June 30.

Bigger changes for corn had been expected with this report. However, few changes were expected for soybeans and wheat. With the flare-up of the Coronavirus the past two weeks, U.S. export totals for corn, soybeans, and wheat were expected to be reduced. Demand for grains continues to be anemic. However, yesterday’s weekly U.S. grain sales report were surprisingly better than expected.… Continue reading

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Fairs are finding a way to make it work for livestock exhibitors

By Matt Reese, Dusty Sonnenberg, Kolt Buchenroth and Dale Minyo

So far, 2020 has been a tough year for 4-H.

Jane Warnimont is a Putnam County 4-H advisor and mother of 4-H members who has seen the ups and downs first hand.

“Back in February when things started occurring you got the inkling that something was coming down the pike. March, though, is kind of when things really shut down. That included 4-H and we couldn’t meet with our 4-H members. Those are critical moments for getting things done,” Warnimont said. “Clubs usually start meeting in January and February. Most clubs are really starting to meet their checkpoints in April or May in a normal year. Zoom meetings are helpful but you don’t have that one on one if kids are having problems. This was really tough for first year members too.”

It was maybe toughest for those with livestock projects.… Continue reading

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Congress pushing for greater dairy access in Japan

Members of Congress representing dairy districts from across the country joined together this week to send a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue asking them to work together to build upon the successes secured in a Phase One agreement with Japan and swiftly pursue a Phase Two agreement that addresses any remaining gaps and inequalities in market access and establishes robust commitments on nontariff issues that can significant impact dairy trade.

This bipartisan letter was led by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Josh Harder (D-CA) and Roger Marshall (R-KS). They were joined by numerous House colleagues, amounting to 51 in total, writing, in part:

“Given the fact that our domestic market is a top destination for Japanese exports, Japan must ensure that the terms of trade offered to the United States are better than those offered to other, less valuable, markets.… Continue reading

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May margin triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Program payment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the May 2020 income over feed cost margin was $5.37 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the third payment of 2020 for dairy producers who purchased the appropriate level of coverage under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

“This payment comes at a critical time for many dairy producers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “DMC has proved to be a worthwhile risk management tool, providing dairy producers with much- needed financial support when markets are most volatile.”

To date, FSA has issued more than $176 million in program benefits to dairy producers who purchased DMC coverage for 2020.

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. Over 13,000 operations enrolled in the program for the 2020 calendar year.… Continue reading

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Sunrise (and Metal for Moms) chosen Hometown Pride Initiative

Sunrise Cooperative was chosen for the Cenex Hometown Pride initiative. Energy Solutions Advisor Kyle Martin submitted Monroeville, Ohio organization Metal for Moms, who were then chosen to receive a $5,000 donation.

The Cenex Hometown Pride initiative established a grant program designed to showcase and celebrate the unique and amazing things small towns have to offer. The program encourages Cenex dealers to share what makes their town special, whether it’s a tradition, location, attraction or the people who live there. As a Cenex dealer Sunrise was eligible to submit a local charity to receive a $5,000 donation.

Cenex established the Hometown Pride initiative in 2019 during which $100,000 was given to local causes and charities — Cenex plans to donate an additional $100,000 in 2020.

“I picked Metal for Moms because I knew all the guys helping out with it and have seen the great things they’ve done in the community,” Martin said.… Continue reading

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USDA announces flexibility to file for failed, prevented planted acres

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing additional flexibilities for producers to file on acres with failed crops or crops that were prevented from planting because of extreme weather events. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is adding these flexibilities for Notice of Loss on both insured and uninsured crops to enable Service Centers to best assist producers.

“With many program deadlines approaching, our Service Centers are working hard to accommodate as many producer appointments as possible,” said Richard Fordyce, FSA administrator. “By providing flexibilities to our Notice of Loss policy, we can ensure we provide the best customer service.”

Filing for prevented planted acres
For insured crops, producers who timely filed a prevented planted claim with the reinsurance company but filed a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) form after the deadline will be considered timely filed for FSA purposes. FSA can use data from the Risk Management Agency (RMA) for accepting the report of prevented planting with FSA.… Continue reading

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Worries about the “D” word looming

By Matt Reese

They say a wet year will starve you to death and a dry year will worry you to death.

Well, with a rough stretch of high temperatures starting in late June combined with limited rainfall around the state, farmers are starting to worry. So far in July, temperatures in Ohio were averaging 2 to 8 degrees F above average in a lengthening stretch of 90-degree days, said Aaron Wilson with Ohio State University Extension. At the same time, Wilson said Ohio had less than 0.25-inch statewide.

“Not only are we falling short on typical rainfall (~1-inch per week), but hot daytime temperatures have led to intense evaporation rates (0.25 to 0.30-inch per day). This has caused rapidly drying soils and decreasing stream flows,” Wilson said in the CORN Newsletter.

Even by July 2, abnormally dry conditions were being reported for roughly 17% of Ohio, largely in the northwest.… Continue reading

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Market still responding to uncommonly bullish June Acres Report

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

November CBOT soybeans reached their highest level in months in early July at $9.03. Keep this $9.03 high in the back of your mind as that July 3 price action partially but not completely filled a gap of $9.035 to $9.00 from March 9. The multi-day rally just before the July 4th holiday had rebounded during eight weeks of time from the lows of $8.31 in late April. The cause of the rally was twofold, both weather and a June 30 Acres Report.

Confusion, not clarity was again the theme, just like last June. Surprise of surprises — it was an uncommonly bullish June Acres Report. This report put 2020 U.S. soybean acres at 83.8 million acres along with corn at 92 million acres. Both corn and soybean acres were below trade expectations. Grains responded with December CBOT corn closing higher 16 cents while November CBOT soybeans were higher by 21 cents.… Continue reading

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Improving soil moisture

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Soils are water reservoirs for crop production. Dr. Elwyn Taylor, Iowa State University climatologist reported that 200-bushel corn needs 19 to 23 inches of water during the growing season. For 200-bushel corn at 75 degree F (soil temperature), corn needs 1-acre inch of water per week, doubling to 2 inches at 85 degrees F, and doubling again to 4 inches at 95 degrees F. As soil temperature increases every 10 degrees F, the corn plant’s water needs double. Keeping soil covered with crop residue and creating a good crop canopy greatly reduces soil temperatures. On a bare soil, soil temperatures may reach over 100 degrees F, which has negative impacts on water needs, microbial populations, and nutrient cycling.

Taylor reports that every 1 inch of fully and effectively used water is worth about 8 bushels corn, 3.5 bushels soybeans, and 6 bushels wheat. Effective rainfall is an extremely important concept.… Continue reading

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Pasture management in dry weather

By David Barker, Ohio State University

Dry weather in recent weeks throughout Ohio has raised several questions about how pastures should be managed during drought. Although the experts don’t all agree if this period of dry weather meets the definition of a drought (yet), there is no doubt that pasture growth will slow to zero. How should we be grazing our pastures in mid-summer?

Avoid over-grazing

Unfortunately, without rain or irrigation pastures will not grow, and close grazing will exaggerate this effect. Leaf removal by grazing (or mowing) results in a roughly similar proportion of root death. During moist conditions, roots can recover quite quickly, however, grazing during drought will reduce water uptake due to root loss. As a general rule of thumb, grazing below 2 or 3 inches will accelerate drought effects on pastures, and also, slow recovery once rain does come. Of course, optimum grazing height and management varies with pasture species.… Continue reading

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USDA makes first significant FMD Vaccine Bank purchase

The establishment of a robust Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank — a top, long-term priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) — came closer to reality as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its first significant vaccine purchase. The establishment of the FMD vaccine bank was part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine should an outbreak occur. FMD is an infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, pigs and sheep; it is not a food safety or human health threat. The disease is endemic in many parts of the world and would have widespread, long-term fallout for livestock and crop agriculture, including the immediate loss of export markets.

“Today’s announcement is momentous, representing years of NPPC advocacy to ensure U.S. agriculture is protected should we have an FMD outbreak,” said Howard “AV” Roth, NPPC president.… Continue reading

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July brings on the heat

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

Hot and dry conditions have certainly set in across the Buckeye State. Temperatures this past week have averaged 2 degrees to 8 degrees F above average, with most locations stringing together at least five consecutive days above 90 degrees F and more to come. Based on the forecast, Columbus will likely reach 11 days this Friday, the longest stretch of 90-degree weather since July 21-31, 1999!

Along with hot temperatures there has been a lack of widespread rainfall, generally less than 0.25-inch statewide over the last seven days, with only brief heavy downpours for a few lucky folks across Ohio. Not only are we falling short on typical rainfall (~1-inch per week), but hot daytime temperatures have led to intense evaporation rates (0.25-0.30-inch per day). This has caused rapidly drying soils and decreasing stream flows. Abnormally dry conditions (not official drought) are being reported as of Thursday July 2 for about 17 percent of Ohio, with an expansion of these conditions anticipated this week.… Continue reading

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Manure fundamentals

By Mary Wicks

You can’t get more basic than manure — all animals create it although only humans manage it. We have created litter boxes, toilets, wastewater treatment plants, and a variety of systems for handling livestock manure. Let’s look at the latter.

Not all manure is the same. Fresh manure is a mixture of feces and urine and can include livestock bedding materials or poultry feathers. All manure is valuable. It contains nutrients, including nitrogen (N,) phosphorus (P), potassium (K), organic matter, and micronutrients, so it’s often applied to cropland as a fertilizer. However, manure properties vary depending on the species, handling practices, and application methods.



Animals are different and so is their manure. For example, fresh manure from a broiler chicken is 4.91% N and 2.99% P on a dry basis, while a milk cow is 5.44% N and 0.80% P, and a hog is 7.66% N and 4.78% P.… Continue reading

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Drought projections and fungicide applications

By Anne Dorrance and Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

There have been several calls this past week for fungicide applications on corn and soybean at all different growth stages. So let’s review what might be at stake here.


Frogeye leaf spot and white mold on susceptible varieties when the environment is favorable for disease easily pay the cost of application plus save yield losses. Let’s dig a bit deeper. Both of these diseases are caused by fungi but frogeye leaf spot is a polycyclic disease, meaning that multiple infections occur on new leaves through the season while white mold is monocyclic and the plant is really only susceptible during the flowering stage. Both of these diseases are also limited geographically in the state. White mold is favored in northeast Ohio and down through the central region where fields are smaller and air flow can be an issue. Frogeye has been found on highly susceptible varieties south of 70, but it is moving a bit north, so it is one that I am watching.… Continue reading

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There are ways to spend less on prescriptions

By Harwood D. Schaffer and Daryll E. Ray

Over the last decade or so we have seen a growing concern over rising drug prices for the general public with prices of many drugs set at what the market will bear or priced on value to the consumer rather than cost of production. The result has been increasing medication costs for many families, including those who live on the farm.

We too have had concerns about our own pharmaceutical costs. In retirement we have transitioned from employer-paid insurance that included prescription coverage to individual Medicare Part D prescription insurance.

About a year ago we ran across a popular prescription pricing website that provided available pricing for various pharmacies with discount coupons for most drugs. In the process of looking up drug costs to compare with what we were paying with our Part D insurance we ran across a prescription savings club offered by a national grocery chain with stores in our area.… Continue reading

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Ohio No-till events and COVID-19

By Randall Reeder

As I write this in early July, we still plan to have our three events August 19-20. We are confident we can safely gather 50 to 75 at each site. We’ll stay outside if necessary. Bring a lawn chair and expect to leave some space around you. Masks are optional. (If you’re sick, please stay home.)

Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska, will present “No-till Seeding Equipment: Adjustments and Operation” at all three locations. The Nature Conservancy is covering Paul Jasa’s expenses.

Here are the dates, host and location for the three events:

• Aug. 19, 6:00 to ~9:00pm., Nathan Brown, 6110 Panhandle Road, Hillsboro, OH 45133;

• Aug. 20, 9:00 am to noon, Fred Yoder, 7050 Butler Avenue, Plain City, OH 43064-9694;

• Aug. 20, 6:00 to ~9:00 pm., Keith Kemp, 959 Georgetown-Verona Rd., West Manchester, OH 45382.

At each location, about an hour of the program will be specific for that site.… Continue reading

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Agricultural exports doing relatively well

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has cut demand for many U.S. products, agricultural exports are holding up well, according to a new analysis by an agricultural economist with The Ohio State University.

The reason?

“We all have to eat,” said Ian Sheldon, a professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Even when consumer income declines, the demand for food changes very little, Sheldon said. People in the developed world might be dining out less frequently, but they’re still buying groceries.

Exports of U.S. agricultural goods, including soybeans, which are Ohio’s top agricultural export, are up, Sheldon said. By the start of June, the amount of U.S. soybeans exported was 200,000 tons higher than it was for the same period in 2019.

“The pandemic has affected ag trade, but not by as much as we thought it would,” said Sheldon, who serves as the Andersons Endowed Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.… Continue reading

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Economic headwinds slow red meat exports in May

U.S. beef and pork exports trended lower in May, due in part to interruptions in slaughter and processing, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports dropped well below year-ago levels and recorded the lowest monthly volume in 10 years. Pork exports remained higher than a year ago but were the lowest since October 2019.

“As protective measures related to COVID-19 were being implemented, plant disruptions peaked in early May with a corresponding temporary slowdown in exports,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “Unfortunately the impact was quite severe, especially on the beef side. Exports also faced some significant economic headwinds, especially in our Western Hemisphere markets, as stay-at-home orders were implemented in key destinations and several trading partners dealt with slumping currencies.”

Halstrom noted that the recent rebound in beef and pork production will help exports regain momentum in the second half of 2020.… Continue reading

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