Featured News

NMPF coronavirus for dairy production website expands

The National Milk Producers Federation’s coronavirus webpage is expanding further, adding a farmer handbook to address dairy production needs and launching a podcast series featuring experts discussing crucial issues faced by dairy farmers and the broader industry as they work to feed the U.S. and the world.

“Dairy farmers are working hard to provide consumers a safe and abundant supply of milk, and they critically need resources to help them manage in a fast-changing environment. To assist them, we’re working our hardest to keep up with those needs,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “This COVID-19 resource, www.nmpf.org/coronavirus, is a valuable tool both for farmers to manage their operations and for the broader industry and consumer community to understand what’s happening in dairy and respond appropriately.”

The handbook, drafted by members of the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) program, addresses topics from preventing coronavirus transmission in the workplace to proper workforce management in a pandemic.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 147 |Quarantine Chronicles

Amidst the COVID-19 quarantine, Kolt has created a way to broadcast our Monday updates from home! Matt, Bart, and Kolt host this week’s podcast from the safety of their own homes. The topics of discussion this week are Ohio’s essential farmers during Governor Dewine’s stay at home order, and climate change and its impact on future planting. Interviews include a panel discussion from Matt with Fred Yoder, Dave Brandt, and Bill Richards. Dave Russell has two interviews this week with Andrew Walmsley, and Senator Bob Gibbs.… Continue reading

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Not just any other day: You are essential!

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

It is something we in agriculture have known for generations. Unfortunately, many in society are several generations removed from the farm, and the value of agriculture has been silently forgotten. Farmers work daily to provide for the food, fiber, and energy needs of our country and the world. In times of prosperity, this daily endeavor is often overlooked by the non-farm public.

Last Friday, the Secretary of Homeland Security by means of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released the list of 16 critical infrastructure sectors necessary to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure. Food and Agriculture were included in that list of 16. In his Friday press briefing, President Donald Trump stated that: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”… Continue reading

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The art of the load

By Matt Reese

East of the Mississippi, the average farm cattle herd size is less than 20. The often-small number of cattle on Ohio farms creates an inherent marketing challenge: it can be tough to put together a good, consistent load of cattle larger operations need.

This, of course, is where stockyards come in to aggregate cattle from different farms. Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Young Cattleman of the Year, Luke Vollborn from Gallia County, recently started Next Generation Livestock Marketing (NGLM), LLC to provide farms with another option to enhance cattle profitability through the art of the load.

“A lot of farmers in Ohio do not keep big numbers and it is hard for them to put a good load together. NGLM is a service for farmers to get maximum dollar straight off the farm without having to run everything through a stockyard. I buy feeder cattle of any size or type and most kinds.… Continue reading

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Malaria drug from Bayer shows promise as treatment for COVID-19

Yesterday Bayer announced it is joining the U.S. Government’s fight against COVID-19 with a donation of 3 million tablets of the drug Resochin (chloroquine phosphate).

Resochin, a product discovered by Bayer in 1934 and indicated for prevention and treatment of malaria, also appears to have broad spectrum antiviral properties and effects on the body’s immune response. New data from initial preclinical and evolving clinical research conducted in China, while limited, shows potential for the use of Resochin in treating patients with COVID-19 infection.

Bayer in recent days has been in talks with the White House, HHS, CDC, and the FDA, offering any assistance we can provide with a focus on donating Resochin to help in the government’s efforts to combat the virus. Currently not approved for use in the United States, Bayer is working with appropriate agencies on an Emergency Use Authorization for the drug’s use in the U.S.

Bayer thanks the Trump administration for moving quickly to enable this donation and will continue to work closely with the administration to support its efforts in the fight against COVID-19.… Continue reading

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Agriculture deemed essential in emergency

The Trump Administration has made it clear that the food and agriculture is a critical infrastructure industry in the wake of the coronavirus national emergency, a move that encourages state and local authorities to allow farms and the entire food-supply chain to continue operating as usual amid current and potential restrictions created to stem the spread of the virus.

“This declaration allows farmers to do what they do best — feed U.S. consumers — in a time of acute need and anxiety,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation. “Agriculture is working around the clock to ensure timely delivery of safe, abundant food. That’s what farmers always do — but in a time of unprecedented public-health concern, a fully functioning food system is even more critical to national health and well-being.”

The administration’s designation of “essential critical infrastructure workforce” was announced today by the Department of Homeland Security.… Continue reading

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Letter to DeWine outlines essential services for Ohio agriculture

A coalition of Ohio agriculture groups, including Ohio Farm Bureau, sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine to highlight the importance of farmers and all of those along the food supply chain amid the state’s COVID-19 response efforts. These organizations are fielding many calls from their members who have questions about how their industry may be impacted. This letter addresses those concerns and asks for consideration and actions for what is an essential part of overcoming the coronavirus crisis. Here is a portion of the letter to Gov. DeWine:

We are thankful for your leadership as well as that of  Lt. Gov. Husted and Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director Pelanda during these uncertain times. The concerns around the rapid spread of COVID-19 have already had a major impact on our daily routines.

Both you and the President have noted that our food supply is an essential service, which is vitally important.… Continue reading

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Fear driving markets and consumer behavior

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

It seems the U.S. toilet paper retail supply may be indirectly related to current corn prices. Fear is driving many people to do things they normally wouldn’t do, like hoard face masks and years of toilet paper. In Minneapolis where I live, Costco’s canned goods and cleaning supplies were nearly empty and Target/Walmart’s pharmacy and health sections were extensively picked over.

While exercising caution regarding the coronavirus is important, panic and excessive fear isn’t helpful. Most people who get the virus will ultimately be fine, so it’s important to keep perspective. Experts expect only 5% of coronavirus cases will require ICU visits; however, there are only 100,000 ICU beds available and many are already filled. If just 1% of the U.S. (3 million people) get the virus and 5% of those people need hospitalization (150,000), there won’t be enough beds and medical staff to help the very sick.… Continue reading

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QuickBooks tips from real accountants

By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAs

As a principal at the accounting firm I have been at for over 25 years, I get to work with several very talented accounting professionals each day. Our team is well-versed in so many things, QuickBooks accounting software being one of them. This software is very popular among business owners. Perhaps you use it. If so, this is the article for you.

Many members of our team are highly proficient in the software and shared some of their favorite features with me. I have outlines them for you below. So, get out a pen and prepare to take some notes for things to try the next time you log on to QuickBooks.


  • QuickBooks is a tool that can make financial management for your business dramatically easier. Yet, learning all the ins and outs takes time. Hopefully, these quick tips can help you get started, advance your knowledge and save time on critical tasks. 
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Check first before heading to local SWCD office

With the current social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19, many Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) offices around the state have changed their structure in response.

While most offices are open, many are closed to the public, and some have staff working remotely from home. Before heading to a local Soil and Water office, please call first. If there is no answer, please leave a message or send an email to the office contact you are trying to reach. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Like everyone in the state, SWCDs are trying to limit personal contact to essential business. Please be patient with non-emergency matters.

In related note for northwest Ohio, the deadline for farmers to submit an application for the H2Ohio program has been extended from March 31, 2020 to June 2, 2020. To allow adequate time for the alternate means of communication necessary to achieve completed applications, ODA is extending the deadline.… Continue reading

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Immediate challenges facing the agriculture sector with COVID-19

American Farm Bureau has released its first assessment of the impact on farmers and ranchers in the wake of the national mitigation efforts to combat COVID-19.

In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, AFBF President Zippy Duvall pledged that “America’s farmers and ranchers will be with you every step of the way, doing all that we can to help you win this fight and to ensure the health, safety and prosperity of all America.” USDA invited Farm Bureau to convey agricultural issues or concerns arising as the pandemic mitigation efforts and impact advance. Duvall said labor, supply chain issues and possible price manipulation topped the list of immediate issues farmers are raising with the national organization.

The letter, which will be updated as new issues materialize, outlines concerns from Farm Bureau members across the country as national and local leaders take action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health.… Continue reading

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Cheryl Day named Ohio Pork Council executive vice president

The Ohio Pork Council (OPC) is pleased to welcome Cheryl Day to the staff as Executive Vice President, beginning Monday, March 23, 2020.

In this role, Day will work closely with the board of directors to execute strategic goals based on producer priorities; coordinate state checkoff programs; maintain working relationships with stakeholders and allied industry representatives; and execute legislative strategies.

“Given her professional experience in agriculture, Cheryl hosts a wealth of knowledge on the pig farming community and the issues that our industry faces,” said Dave Shoup, Ohio Pork Council President.

Hailing from Cerro Gordo, Illinois, Day most recently served as vice president of livestock management for Nedap Livestock Management, USA, where she provided strategic leadership to the Nedap, USA team. Day formerly served as editor of National Hog Farmer and executive director of the Illinois Association of Drainage Districts.

Additionally, Day has experience as a professional speaker and public relations consultant, through which she has provided leadership training, strategic planning, brand management, legislative strategy, and more.… Continue reading

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Food safety and coronavirus

By Sanja Ilic and Tracy Turner

There have been no reports of this food contamination with coronavirus. As of this time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is unaware of any instances suggesting that coronavirus, COVID-19, has been transmitted by foods. This includes meats, fruits, and vegetables. Moreover, the USDA has created a website dedicated to answering questions regarding food, food safety, and COVID-19.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that include the common cold, severe illnesses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), all of which can infect both humans and animals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. Symptoms range from mild to severe respiratory illness. Advanced age or conditions such as various cancers, COPD, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes are associated with an increased severity of COVID-19 infections and fatality rates.… Continue reading

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Wise words when the world goes COVID crazy

By Matt Reese

We are currently facing a time that may offer a chance for thought and introspection. Many folks are offering up words of wisdom and I will spare you most of mine, but I do want to share some of the wiser words I’ve come across during this unique time for our farms, our state and our nation.

One of the best things I have read comes from one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, and his “On Living in an Atomic Age” from 1948 where he writes about the great public concerns about the newly developing societal fears at the time. It seems there are many applications for our current situation.

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”Continue reading

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Canada approves USMCA

On March 13, the Canadian Parliament’s approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) set the stage for the long-awaited trade agreement to be hopefully implemented this summer. The trade agreement replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement from 1993.

“Now that the USMCA has been approved by all three countries, an historic new chapter for North American trade has begun. This landmark achievement would not be possible without President Trump’s leadership and determination to strengthen our economy, and the hard work of our negotiating partners in Canada and Mexico,” said Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative. “USMCA is the gold standard by which all future trade agreements will be judged, and citizens of all three countries will benefit for years to come.”

USMCA was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on January 29, 2020, after it received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. All three countries are working together closely on implementation in advance of the Agreement’s entry into force.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension offices throughout Ohio will implement teleworking options for staff

Governor DeWine recently issued a state of emergency for the state of Ohio, and along with the Ohio Department of Health, has implemented a variety of strategies to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To do our part in reducing risk to Ohio State University Extension employees or clientele, we have implemented a teleworking plan effective immediately, and all OSU Extension offices will be closed to the public until further notice.

This mirrors The Ohio State University’s decision earlier this week to close university buildings and facilities on all of its campuses to “critical services” only (such as law enforcement and public safety; hospitals and health services; facility utilities; and a few others).

While our physical offices will be closed, we are committed to continuing to conduct our work as fully as possible. Our employees are prepared to telework and are ready to serve their local clients and communities.… Continue reading

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Global economic setbacks, progress and potential as planting season draws near

By Dave Russell and Matt Reese

The world is watching as coronavirus sweeps around the globe and limits commerce at every level of society. The issue, and its impact on the agricultural economy and global trade, was certainly a topic of discussion with the Ohio Farm Bureau members on the recent County Presidents’ Trip to Washington, D.C.

“We’re dealing with a new kind of demand destruction with the coronavirus. We found yet another headwind for U.S. agriculture this year,” said John Newton, chief economist with American Farm Bureau. “The elephant in the room is China and Phase One and what has happened to that elephant with the coronavirus. Globally the supply chain is going to slow. This could have a long tail and we’ll have to continue to keep an eye on it.”

After a general downturn in the agricultural economy and an extended trade war, the impact of the coronavirus could have lasting effects for farms. … Continue reading

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H2Ohio signup deadline extended

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The deadline to enter into a contract with the H2Ohio program for farmers in the 14-county, Maumee River watershed is being extended. The original deadline was March 31, but due to COVID-19, more farmers and Soil and Water Conservation District personnel are conducting information exchanges through phone calls and e-mails.

The H2Ohio deadline is expected to be extended to June 2, tentatively. Contact the local Soil and Water Conservation District for more details.… Continue reading

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Optimizing soybean planting decisions

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

Adjusting management practices and optimizing soybean yields based on the planting date was the topic of a presentation by Manni Singh, Assistant Professor of Cropping Systems from Michigan State University at the Conservation Tillage Conference.

“We set the yield potential of soybeans when we plant them, and then we work the rest of the season to protect that yield potential,” Singh said. “We manage the planting date, we manage insects, and we manage diseases.”

Manni Singh, Agronomic Cropping Systems Specialist, Michigan State University

According to data collected by the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center (GLISA), over the last 100 years, total rainfall has gone up by 11%. Of that rainfall, 37% occurs in heavy storm precipitation events.

“These extreme weather events in the spring cause poor field conditions and a variable planting window that farmers need to manage,” Singh said.

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