Featured News

Upcoming soybean research

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

In agriculture, the year is broken down into seasons. There is the planting season, the growing season, the harvest season, and winter meeting season. When it comes to agronomic research, they also have seasons. These include the planning season, the meeting season and the research season. Planning and research occurs all year long. Research goes on during the growing season, (and beyond in the laboratory). Meeting season occurs in the winter, as well as summer field days.

“When planning research, we try to move from the root upward,” said Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Plant Pathologist and Nematologist at The Ohio State University. “Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) will continue to be an important part of our research. We are looking at different seed treatments. We are also looking at different sources of resistance that can be effective at managing the sources of SCN resistance.”… Continue reading

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Ohio counties eligible for emergency farm loan assistance

By David Marrison, OSU Extension Field Specialist- Farm Management

Farm operations in 15 Ohio counties are eligible to apply for emergency credit through the U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Farm Loan program. These loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

The Emergency loan program is triggered when a natural disaster is designated by the Secretary of Agriculture or a natural disaster or emergency is declared by the President of the United States under the Stafford Act. These loans help producers who suffer qualifying farm related losses directly caused by the disaster in a county declared or designated as a primary disaster. In addition, farmers located in counties that are contiguous to the primary designated county may also qualify for this loan program.

A declaration was made for Brown and Clermont counties on Nov.… Continue reading

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Casey named CEO of NCGA

Neil Caskey, a long-time professional in the agricultural arena, has been tapped to lead the National Corn Growers Association as its new CEO, according to the organization’s board of directors. Caskey will assume the role on Monday, Feb. 27.

NCGA board members say they are pleased to name someone of Caskey’s caliber to the top job.

“Neil’s experience in agriculture is extensive, and he is well known as someone who gets the job done well,” said Tom Haag, NCGA president. “The board and I are certain that Neil will usher in new ideas and take the organization to new heights.” 

Caskey has served as NCGA’s vice president of communications and industry relations for over four years and spent over a decade promoting agricultural issues as executive vice president at OBP Agency, a leading advertising and public relations firm. His professional background also includes work for the American Soybean Association and as a legislative aide for a U.S.… Continue reading

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Fish kill numbers, wildlife impacts updated for East Palestine

In early February, 38 Norfolk Southern rail cars carrying toxic chemicals derailed, resulting in a chemical burn to prevent a potential explosion and an ominous smoke plume over the village of East Palestine in Columbiana County.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified five materials known to have been released into the air and water from the incident:

  • vinyl chloride.
  • butyl acrylate.
  • ethylhexyl acrylate.
  • ethylene glycol monobutyl ether.
  • Isobutylene.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz provided a Feb. 23 updated estimate on the number of aquatic animals potentially killed from the incident. The final sample count of aquatic species killed in waterways impacted in the area totaled 2,938. Of this collected sample, most — nearly 2,200 — were small minnows.

“It’s important to stress that these small fish are all believed to have been killed immediately after the derailment. Because the chemicals were contained, ODNR has not seen any additional signs of aquatic life suffering in the streams.… Continue reading

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Farmland preservation gaining urgency

By Matt Reese

The concern around keeping Ohio’s best farmland in agricultural production is not a new one. Our state has a long history of paving over productive soils in favor of “progress” in the form of parking lots, strip malls and whatever other whims developers dream up. Certainly, some of this (or maybe even most) development has real value and benefits to the state and local communities. Each acre of productive farmland lost, though, erodes our society’s future ability to produce food, fuel and fiber, along with the agrarian heritage of the community.

Agricultural lands sequester carbon, produce oxygen, allow for water infiltration, provide wildlife habitat, have aesthetic appeal, and offer value to communities in ways which rooftops, concrete and asphalt cannot. Farms generate tax revenue with low costs to the community. Development brings additional burdens to existing infrastructure such as roads, schools and water systems.

While this has been an issue for many generations, the topic of farmland preservations seems to have gained some urgency in ag circles in the last couple of years.… Continue reading

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Soy protein blocks LDL cholesterol

By Sharita Forrest University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

A protein in soybeans blocks production of a liver enzyme involved in the metabolism of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein, scientists found in a recent study.

Consuming soy flour rich in the protein B-conglycinin has the potential to reduce low-density lipoprotein – LDL – cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of metabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis and fatty liver disease, said Elvira de Mejia, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Scientists have long known of soybeans’ cholesterol-reducing properties and lipid-regulating effects. Researchers in the recent project at the University of Illinois investigated two soy proteins thought to be responsible for the outcomes – glycinin and B-conglycinin. They found the latter to be particularly significant.

“Soybeans’ effects on cholesterol metabolism are associated with their protein concentrations and composition,” de Mejia said. “They’re also associated with peptides embedded in them that are released during gastrointestinal digestion.”… Continue reading

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Using Quicken for farm record keeping

By Grant Davis, Champaign County ANR Educator, Ohio State University

2022 Quicken Training Flyer

As we have moved into the new year, and tax season is quickly approaching, you might be looking to re-evaluate how you keep records for your farming operation. Maybe you have thought about using a software program like Quicken but think it won’t work for a farm business, or just would like to see how it works before making the commitment of purchasing. Champaign County Extension will be hosting a short series on using Quicken® for Farm Record Keeping on February 21, and 28, at the Champaign Community Center Auditorium from 6 to 8:30pm. Participants will learn about Quicken using an OSU Computer Lab provided during the workshop with Quicken software installed. Or, if you already are using Quicken® you are welcome to bring your own computer. A workshop manual/home reference will be provided. Registration is $50 per farm business (Maximum 2 people per farm).… Continue reading

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Droning on in the classroom

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Ohio’s teachers were talking agriculture at the recent 2023 Science Education Council of Ohio Science Symposium in Lewis Center.

The Ohio Soybean Council’s GrowNextGen was a major sponsor of the event, offering teachers effective methods of integrating agriculture into their lesson plans. One of the attendees was Chris Brown, a science teacher for seventh and eighth grades from Glandorf Elementary in Putnam County, who has been working with GrowNextGen in his classroom. 

“My first memory with GrowNextGen is we got to go to the Farm Science Review as part of the Ohio Rural Educator Program. I was just overwhelmed by the amount of things that are involved agriculture and that just opened my eyes,” Brown said. “I thought ‘Wow, I need to get this in my classroom because I can connect it to basically everything I teach.’ I really don’t think there’s a student who couldn’t find a way to use this, no matter what career they want to do.… Continue reading

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Hot topics in grain crops

By Ed Lentz, Ohio State University Extension

The Ohio State University Extension Hancock County office will be offering its Hot Topics in Grain Crops Series over three evenings in February and March at the Hancock County Agricultural Service Center, 7868 CR 140, Findlay, OH 45840. Each meeting will cover one specific crop — wheat, corn, and soybean. Local research results and a discussion on upcoming production issues will be presented at the meeting. There will also be a Question-and-Answer period to address any issue concerning that crop which was not part of the presentation. The programs will be led by Edwin Lentz, who has a doctorate in Crop Management and Physiology and has been providing agronomic expertise to Ohio farmers for over 30 years. Programs are free but please register by calling the Hancock County Extension office, 419-422-3851 or email lentz.38@osu.edu at least one day before the program. Program details are given below:

  • Hot Topics in Corn Production.
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Chapters celebrate National FFA Week across Ohio

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA reporter

Annually, FFA chapters across the country celebrate National FFA Week to honor the organization and its members each February. 

Whether through service projects or community outreach, the celebratory week allows FFA members to raise awareness and promote the National FFA Organization, agricultural education and its prominence in building future leaders. This year, National FFA Week was celebrated from Feb. 18 through Feb. 25. 

Ohio FFA had much to celebrate this year after the association reached a record-breaking 28,000 FFA members in 2022. 

“With Ohio now having a record number of students, National FFA week gave us the chance to celebrate where we are now while reflecting on how far we have come since the founding of our organization,” said Hannah Saum, Ohio FFA Vice President.

With over 300 FFA chapters in Ohio, it was no surprise that the week celebrating the blue and gold was packed with excitement and fun. … Continue reading

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Farm Bureau seeking YAP leaders

Ohio Farm Bureau members ages 18-34 who are interested in developing their leadership skills and enhancing programming for their peers should apply for the 2024-2026 Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee. Application deadline is April 28, 2023 at 5 p.m.

The state committee is composed of eight members or couples who suggest, develop and conduct activities that provide networking, social and learning opportunities for young farmers and ag professionals, including planning the yearly leadership experience and hosting Young Agricultural Professionals in a variety of in- and out-of-state events.

Committee members serve a two-year term that begins in September 2023 and expires two years later after the Young Ag Professionals Leadership Experience in January. Four new couples or singles are appointed each year. Members serve a two-year term with four returning and four new positions each year.

Applications are due to Kelsey Turner, Ohio Farm Bureau director of leadership and business development, by April 28, 2023 at 5 p.m.… Continue reading

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Leases, zoning, milk insurance and popcorn: Answers to legal questions

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Yes, you read it right: our roundup of agricultural law questions includes a question on popcorn–not one we often hear. Below are our answers to and several legal questions we’ve recently received in the Farm Office.

Q: A farm lease landlord didn’t notify a tenant of the intent to terminate a verbal farm lease before the new September 1 deadline. What are the consequences if the landlord now tries to enter into a new lease agreement with another tenant operator?

A: Ohio’s new “statutory termination law” requires a landlord to provide written notice of termination of a verbal farmland lease by Sept. 1 of the year the lease is effective. The law is designed to prevent a tenant from losing land late in the leasing cycle, after the tenant has made commitments and investment in the land.… Continue reading

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Turkey study underway

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

The National Wild Turkey Federation Ohio State Chapter recently allocated $50,000 to support a new wild turkey research study that seeks to address population declines in the Buckeye State. With increasing concerns over population declines in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio State University are conducting the first broad-scale study of hen survival in the state in almost two decades. Findings will help researchers and wildlife managers understand how survival rates, harvest rates and reproduction have changed in the last 17 years and what factors may be causing those changes.

In the early 2000s, researchers determined May 1 to be the median date for which hens begin incubating; however, it’s clear today that incubation start dates vary in different regions of the state. Changing weather and habitat conditions, too, may be impacting the initiation of nest incubation from the median date established in the early 2000s.… Continue reading

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Bill introduced to reform eminent domain in Ohio

Ohio lags behind most states in protections for landowners. In fact, when Ohio landowners are faced with losing property rights through eminent domain, the present law makes it difficult for them to defend their own interests and they often find themselves at a disadvantage.

House Bill 64, introduced by State Rep. Darrell Kick (OH-98) and State Rep. Rodney Creech (OH-40), would create a more direct legal route for a landowner to receive compensation when property is taken by the government without compensation, using a court action called inverse condemnation. In most states, when a property owner files an eminent domain case in court, the court starts by determining if there was indeed a taking of land or property value and if the owner is owed compensation. If so, the same court handles the trial to set the amount of compensation to the landowner.

Current Ohio law, on the other hand, requires a landowner to first file a lawsuit to force the government or entity taking property to follow the law, then separately go through the eminent domain process.… Continue reading

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How do grain cancelations work?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Export sales have been very good for beans up to this point in the marketing year, but there are still a high percentage of beans left that have not shipped out of the country yet. As March approaches this might become a concern because Brazil’s beans are valued 80 cents less for shipment a month from now. This may lead to cancelations soon, which could mean a bigger carryout and price pull back.

What are cancelations?

The term “cancelation” in grain trading does not mean foreign buyers can just walk away from contracts without penalties. It instead means there are offsetting trades between two parties that effectively cancels the original contract. This often involves a money exchange between two parties as the original sales need to be shifted to other buyers.

How do cancelations work?

To answer this, it helps to first understand how grain trading works after farmers sell and deliver their grain.… Continue reading

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The hermit of Mad River

By Don “Doc” Sanders

I’d like to introduce you to an interesting character in Champaign County history and lore: Professor David Orin Steinberger. Steinberger, who became known as the Hermit of Mad River, was born in Clark County, March 25, 1857, and settled in Champaign County. His family had an extensive pioneer history in the area. His maternal uncle Isaac Funk was one of the founders of Funk & Wagnalls, the publisher of encyclopedias and other reference works. 

A graduate of the National Academy of Design and Art League Schools in New York City, Steinberger taught art at Wittenberg College (now University) in Springfield, Ohio. His uncle and the other half of Funk & Wagnalls, Adam Wagnalls, had also studied at Wittenberg. 

While a professor, David Steinberger contracted tuberculosis (TB). At the time, it was commonly thought that people only got TB from drinking unpasteurized milk from infected cows. While there is scientific evidence that bovine tuberculosis can be passed to humans through raw milk and other dairy products made from raw milk, it has been learned that TB can also be transmitted human to human.… Continue reading

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King named OPC Senior Director of Communications and Public Relations

The Ohio Pork Council (OPC) announces Mike King as its new Senior Director of Communications and Public Relations. The veteran communications professional has worked in multiple roles in ag publishing and marketing communications agencies where he focused on communicating about agriculture products and services with an emphasis on swine. Most notably, King recently completed more than 13 years as science communications director at the National Pork Board in Des Moines, Iowa. 

 “We’re very pleased that Mike has joined the Ohio Pork team to help take our communications and marketing efforts to the next level,” said Cheryl Day, OPC Executive Vice President. “His extensive knowledge of the pork industry, along with his ability to make complex issues and topics relevant, understandable and useful, will serve Ohio’s pork industry stakeholders well.” 

During his tenure at the National Pork Board, King focused on delivering Checkoff-funded research information to producers as well as keeping them informed on key issues such as biosecurity, antibiotic stewardship, environmental footprint and foreign animal disease.… Continue reading

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Solutions for actively managing SCN go beyond genetics

By The SCN Coalition

“Don’t ever let politics or pessimism deter you from producing novel and bold strategies,” said Ed Anderson, executive director of the North Central Soybean Research Program, to kickoff the 2022 National Soybean Nematode Conference. Those presenting at the conference have clearly embraced that mission.

A hot topic at the event was a new genetic tool for managing soybean cyst nematode (SCN) that’s expected to hit the market late this decade.

“The new Bt SCN resistance trait developed by BASF will slow the rate of increasing yield loss, but it alone won’t fix the problem,” said Greg Tylka, nematologist at Iowa State University and a leader of The SCN Coalition. The mounting economic toll of parasitic nematodes must not be met with complacency. Barring the unexpected development of a silver bullet, an active, multipronged defense against SCN will be needed.

SCN is a mounting economic threat

SCN currently costs farmers 5.5 bushels an acre, equating to roughly $1.5 billion in yield loss each year, estimates Mike McCarville, trait development manager at BASF.… Continue reading

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