Featured News

Highly functioning healthy soils

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

In his years studying soils, Adam Daugherty, NRCS District Conservationist, Coffee County Tennessee, has come to the conclusion that soils have latent potential just waiting to be developed and manifest. “We don’t just want to conserve our soils when we can restore and help improve them,” said Daugherty. “The rejuvenation of your soil does not start with the implementation of principles, but rather the commitment to understanding ecological functions. You need to know why before how. The ingredients include the sun, soil, plants, and you.”

Daugherty believes that while no-till production is a good step, the implementation of no-till practices alone will not rejuvenate the soil. “Biologically, no-till was bacteria dominated. That biology is presently out of balance, and in many places the overall ecosystem functions are low,” said Daugherty. “Minus a lot of erosion and a little diesel, no-till production has mirrored conventional tillage.… Continue reading

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Case IH expands options with for small- and mid-sized operations

Narrow operating windows make maximizing productivity essential during planting and harvest, regardless of farm size. That’s why Case IH has purposefully designed its latest models of the Early Riser planter, Early Riser 2120, and Axial-Flow combine, Axial-Flow 160 series, to ensure peak performance for all producers. Both equipment solutions deliver advanced technology to small- and mid-scale operations at a price point that makes sense for their operation.

“Farmers shouldn’t have to over-buy or retrofit equipment to get something that works for their operation,” said David Brennan, planter marketing manager at Case IH. “The Early Riser has been a rockstar since its introduction delivering early, uniform emergence. These new planter models will deliver on the Early Riser name, with a smaller package for farms that need it.” 

Brennan explains that the unmatched accuracy found through the Early Riser 2120 delivers rapid, consistent emergence and improves productivity for the operation. Plus, the Early Riser 2120 is driven by flexibility.… Continue reading

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USMCA panel requested over biotech corn dispute

In August, the U.S. Trade Representative requested a panel formation under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement over Mexico’s decision to ban imports of biotech corn used for human consumption.

Leaders at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said they are highly supportive of the move.

“Mexico’s decree, which runs counter to scientific findings and is in direct violation of USMCA, is negatively impacting American corn growers,” said Tom Haag, NCGA president. “U.S. officials have exhausted every avenue trying to resolve this conflict and are left with no other choice but to turn to a third-party panel in hopes of quickly rectifying this issue. We are deeply appreciative of USTR for standing up for America’s corn growers.”

If USTR’s request is granted, a group of objective experts will be empaneled to hear the case and make a final determination based on the commitments both parties signed as part of the free trade agreement.

The dispute stems from a 2020 decree by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that sought to ban imports of biotech corn beginning in January 2024.… Continue reading

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Rice it up!

By Shelly Detwiler

On a Midwest farm surrounded by cornfields, it was a rare occurrence when rice graced our supper table. I loved and gobbled potatoes, baked, frenched, casseroled, scalloped and hashed. Years later as a young dietitian in South Carolina listening to my patient’s eating habits, I learned that rice trumps potatoes in the South (with the exception of sweet potatoes that is). To blow my ever-loving mind, My boys LOVE rice! This just seems cra-cra for this potato lovin’ mama. Rice to potatoes was like the winners and losers. That changed last winter on a cold morning visit to Beaufort Farmers’ Market with a purchase of Rollen’s Raw Grain Charleston Gold rice.

I had stumbled upon some heirloom varieties of rice from where it had all begun. The story goes that rice was introduced to the Americas through Charleston, SC in the very late 1600s. Being the low country climate and close to the rise and fall of tides created a perfect growing location for rice.… Continue reading

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FSR inducts three into Hall of Fame

Farm Science Review inducted three individuals who have supported the show in numerous capacities into its Hall of Fame Wednesday night at its annual recognition banquet. Kevin King, Ben Overholser and John K. Victor were recognized as the 2023 honorees. 

Kevin King, of Westerville, Ohio 

Kevin King got his start with Farm Science Review in his early years as a student in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “In the spring of 1978, I started working for Farm Science Review as a student employee out at Don Scott Airfield when the show was out there,” said King. 

Being a student worker for FSR was just the beginning for King, “I continued working there through college and then had the opportunity to move into an expanded role and get my graduate degree.” 

After obtaining his master’s degree, King was hired to be the assistant manager in 1983 and served in that role until 1995. … Continue reading

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The unique community and commerce of county fairs

By Matt Reese

The 2023 county fair season is still going strong around Ohio as communities gather together to celebrate agriculture, youth and each other. It does not take any visitor to a county fair long to see how the local community rallies around the event. Each county or independent fair has its own unique niche within the local business community, especially with regard to agribusinesses.

Many businesses pour so much into county fairs as a part of their marketing efforts, but also because they truly love the events.

Dusty Sonnenberg recently talked with Julia Woodruff, an account officer with Ag Credit at the 2023 Huron County Fair. Woodruff grew up in Huron County 4-H competing at the county fair and now her children do as well. She has also served as a 4-H advisor in the county for many years. In her role at Ag Credit, she gets to be involved in a new capacity as a supporter of the fair. … Continue reading

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Tax scams getting more sophisticated by the day

By Brian Ravencraft

I have talked in past articles about the importance of being on the lookout for tax scams. Now is a good time to revisit this topic because these scams are becoming more and more sophisticated by the day. Remember, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never reach out to you via phone and/or email. Official communication only comes through the United States Postal Service. This is the number one reminder I can give you before moving on with the rest of this article.

At the firm where I am a principal, we help our clients identify these scams. Let us outline a recent one we helped a client navigate. The client received an email from an address that was posing as the IRS. The message contained an image resembling the IRS logo. The message said they were writing to inform the taxpayer about an important matter regarding a recent tax return filing.… Continue reading

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ASA submits comments on Enlist draft biological opinion

This summer the American Soybean Association (ASA) submitted comments on the draft biological opinion on Enlist One and Enlist Duo registrations, underscoring how the crop protection tools are vital for U.S. soybean producers.

“As agricultural producers, we believe it is critical to have the availability of crop protection tools, like Enlist One and Enlist Duo, to continue the safe, affordable and sustainable production of food,” ASA states in the comments. “Having a broad array of pesticides and the guidance to use them safely will significantly contribute to our need to sustainably feed 9.7 billion people by 2050.”

ASA is generally supportive of the draft biological opinion conclusions and the steps it proposes for registration amendments. In the comments, the association highlights Enlist uses, benefits, risk management and mitigation. ASA urges EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider adding double cropping as an approved runoff mitigation on Enlist labels.… Continue reading

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Is Ohio farmland up for sale to foreign countries?

By State Representative Angie King

Prime farm and pasture land is a precious commodity in Ohio. With agriculture the state’s top driver of a $698 billion economy, I began to take notice when Chinese-controlled businesses and the Chinese Community Party increased their purchase of prime farmland in the Midwest.

But not only does the sale of good agricultural ground worry me, but it is also that some of these purchases and attempted purchases just happen to be right next to military bases. Only six months ago, the Chinese government flew a spy balloon across the United States, including the Midwest, before being shot down off South Carolina’s coast.

In North Dakota, Grand Forks City Council halted the progress of a corn mill after a Chinese-based food manufacturer purchased 300 acres of farmland just a handful of miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base. 

A Chinese billionaire and former army officer has purchased 150,000 acres near Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas with the prospect of building a wind farm.… Continue reading

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Are big yields in store this harvest season?

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Cindy was on the ladder removing an abandoned swallows’ nest from the porch light while I cleaned the big trash bin. She reminded me to spray it with disinfectant. She had a “birds-eye” view of my project. So when I fetched a bottle of spray she said, “That’s air freshener.” I shortly reappeared with bottle number two. As she descended the ladder, she said, “Doug, that’s also air freshener.” Who knew? She hands me the yellow bottle of disinfectant, which I immediately recognized. I was obviously on the “just get-er-done channel,” caught in the act! I have an appreciation for producers’ attention to detail and care as we prepare for the upcoming season of harvest. Patience matters!

It’s no secret that some Ohio corn producers are already anticipating a near record or new record corn yield in this growing season. The last week of August much of central and western Ohio was tremendously blessed with one huge unexpected rain with totals often reaching 1 to 2 inches.… Continue reading

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Early Planting and Soybean Node Counts

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

Beck’s “Becknology Days ™ shines a light on education and research. Between the Agronomy Tent Talks and PFR wagon tours showing their practical farm research studies, best management practices for soybean production are given emphasis. Steve Gauck, Eastern Regional Agronomy Manager for Beck’s discussed the benefits they have seen with early soybean planting and then feeding the crop accordingly during this year’s event.

Research conducted at Iowa State explained by pushing up the soybean planting date has yield benefits. By allowing the crop to canopy quickly it maximizes light interception. This also limits weed emergence and competition. The study showed that there was 20% more interception of sunlight and the radiation use efficiency increased with the conversion of light to biomass by 15% when beans were planted earlier than normal.

Gauck explained how these findings worked in practical terms.… Continue reading

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Make your avocation your vocation

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

Nibblin’ on sponge cake
Watchin’ the sun bake
All of those tourists covered with oil
Strummin’ my six string
On my front porch swing
Smell those shrimp, they’re beginnin’ to boil

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
But I know, it’s nobody’s fault

Jimmy Buffett died on September 1, 2023, and we lost one of our finest entertainers and a national treasure. What does this have to do with agriculture? As the late law professor, Morgan Shipman, used to opine, nothing and everything.

Jimmy Buffett was born on Christmas Day in 1946 in Mississippi. And he was the son of a son of a sailor, as his grandfather was a steamship captain from Newfoundland. Buffett described his younger self as a simple Catholic alter boy who wanted to play bass in a band so he could meet girls.… Continue reading

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Corn progressing to mature mark in warm, dry conditions

Last week, warm temperatures and dry days supported favorable row crop development, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2 percent very short, 16 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on September 3 was 67.4 degrees, 2.7 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.02 inches of precipitation, 0.86 inches below average. There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 3.

Seasonally moderate temperatures and dry days benefitted crop conditions in most counties. However, some reporters in west-central counties noted excessively dry soils, with moisture-stress evident in some soybean stands. Damaging effects from last month’s high winds and hail were observed by fruit and vegetable growers in several northeastern counties. Ninety percent of corn was in or past dough, 40 percent of Ohio corn was in or past dent, and 2 percent was mature.… Continue reading

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GrowNextGen ambassadors take learning to the farm

In this featured audio, Ohio Ag Net’s Dale Minyo speaks with Bret Davis, a farmer in Delaware County. Davis hosted teachers from the GrowNextGen ambassador project at his farm to help them better understand agriculture and how they can build that understanding in the students they teach. From making the connection between agriculture and its products in our everyday lives to cultivating excitement, Davis and Minyo discuss why this type of learning is fundamental for all students – no matter their age. … Continue reading

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Farm payment limits addressed in Farm Program Integrity Act

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), in introduced bipartisan legislation to address abuse of the farm payment system and ensure taxpayer support is targeted to those actively engaged in farming. The Farm Program Integrity Act would create a hard cap of $250,000 in total commodity support for any one farm operation and require beneficiaries of the system spend at least 50% of each year engaged in farm labor or management. Currently, just 10% of farm operations receive 70% of all yearly farm payment subsidies.

“For years we’ve seen big farms get bigger while small and mid-sized family farmers in Ohio get squeezed,” Brown said. “Too often, farm program payments have gone to producers who do not need the support, or to people who aren’t even involved in farming. With this commonsense bill we can ensure assistance is directed toward working Ohio farmers.”

The Farm Program Integrity Act has garnered support from Taxpayers for Common Sense, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, R Street Institute, U.S.… Continue reading

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A final look at the 2022 marketing year

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Usually by this time of year there is more clarity around yield potential, but the extent of possible late season heat damage is creating some uncertainty in the market. Right now, the bean market likely has more upside potential than corn, because August weather is more critical for bean development.

Final thoughts on the 2022 corn marketing year

Over the last few weeks, I have been reviewing my 2022 crop sales to evaluate performance and see how I can improve my grain marketing strategies going forward. 

At first, I was a little disappointed with the average sales of $6.42 corn futures for 2022. However, it is easy to forget that waiting until spring the previous two years had led to values between $7.50 to $8.00, and market conditions this year suggested it could happen again. The following chart shows the spot futures market the previous two years.… Continue reading

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Howard Wyman Leadership School securing a strong future for sheep

By Jake Zajkowski, OCJ field reporter

The Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School has been bringing together sheep producers from around the country for over 50 years. This year the five-day experience included meat processing workshops, feedlot tours, and conversations among sheep producers from the nation’s diverse operations.

The school is organized by the National Lamb Feeders Association and moves to different locations around the country. This year was the third time the program has been held in Ohio.

“This is a big deal for the lamb feeder industry,” said Karen Mineotis, executive director of the National Lamb Feeders Association. “This is their primary way to get young people involved in the industry so we can teach them how to focus on getting better in their production. Producers should know what our feeders want so they can be profitable, and so can the meat packer. We need to keep a consistent quality product here in the United States and that’s what we’re striving for here.”… Continue reading

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Soybean Growth Nodules

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

The relationship between soybean growth and nodules is widely understood. Nodules form on the roots of the soybean plant, fixing nitrogen as early as the V2 stage of development. This symbiotic relationship is key to achieving the high yield potential of today’s soybean genetics. With the appearance of pockets of stunted and yellow soybeans in eastern Corn Belt fields this year, there have been many questions about soybean nodule development. Below are some key factors that can impact the rhizobia bacteria and lead to some of the issues we have seen in soybean fields:

Factors that negatively impact rhizobia bacteria and soybean nodulation:

  • Saturated soils where oxygen is limited
  • Excessively dry soil conditions
  • Compacted soils where oxygen is limited
  • Some in-furrow fertilizers can be toxic to the rhizobia bacteria
  • Low soil pH (less than 5.6) or high soil pH (greater than 8.0)
  • Soils with low organic matter
  • Residual soil nitrogen can limit the development of nodules

Factors that promote nodulation and efficient nitrogen fixation:

  • Adequate population of rhizobia bacteria
  • pH between 6.5 and 7.0
  • Use of an inoculant that has been correctly stored and applied
  • Soil temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees F

Soybean nodulation is a key factor in the growth and development of soybean plants.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on 97.5 WTGR

We continue to highlight our outstanding Ohio Ag Net radio affiliates, carrying the best in Ohio ag news.

We say thank you to Tiger County 97.5 WTGR serving Darke and surrounding counties. Tune in to 97.5 FM to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday at 6:35 a.m., 5:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:10 p.m., and 4:40 p.m.

The best in Ohio ag news is easy to find! If your current station doesn’t feature the voice of Ohio Ag—turn the dial! Click here to view the complete affiliate listing, including air times.Continue reading

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Farmers for Soil Health offers financial assistance for cover crop adoption

The farmer-led, farmer-driven initiative offers cost-share programs and technical assistance to farmers in 20 states — including Ohio — who plant cover crops for three years.

Farmers in 20 states can now enroll in cost-share programs through Farmers for Soil Health. This corn, pork and soy commodity initiative, in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, establishes financial and technical assistance for corn and soybean farmers who adopt cover crops. The focus is to bring money directly back to farmers, where sustainability is happening at the farm level.

Participating farmers who plant cover crops will receive payments to help transition totaling $50 (spanning three years) per new acre of cover crops planted. These payments of $2 per acre are available for up to 600,000 acres of existing cover crops. Eligible farmers will participate in measurement, reporting, and verification to highlight progress toward the goal of expanding adoption of cover crops.… Continue reading

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