Featured News

Trades don’t always work like you think they will

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The export market heated up this week as China bought U.S. beans for August/September shipment, but then the President suggested the trade deal could be secondary to China, who might be responsible for the coronavirus. Could this mean that the trade war is not yet behind us?

As stay at home orders have started to ease, gasoline usage has increased. With that increase, ethanol stocks have dropped from their record highs too. While still far from normal, both are moving in the right direction.

U.S. beans continue to be crushed at high volume, which is a positive. However, the Brazilian Real’s currency value continues to decrease relative to the U.S. dollar, hampering upside in the bean market here in the U.S.


Previous trade detail: Dec. 27, 2019

I sold 25% of my 2019 beans in the July ’20 contract at $9.75 while the March soybeans were trading at $9.50 on the same day.… Continue reading

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Cold weather weed concerns

By Matt Reese

As wet, cold, windy weather lingers into May for much of Ohio, there are growing concerns about the growing weeds in unplanted fields.

“We always get questions about the cold weather. We had a warm winter and we actually have winter annuals larger than they have been in other years. I have been hearing about chickweed that is 8 to 10 inches tall, which makes for a really challenging burndown situation. A lot of times, you can take those down really fast in warm weather with the right herbicides,” said Mark Loux, Ohio State University herbicide specialist. “Cool weather is a big concern and then wet weather is another challenge. It is hard to give really concrete guidelines in this situation. If it is hitting freezing at night, cloudy in the day and 40 or 50 degrees, that is obviously not a good situation to spray and you probably want to wait that out.… Continue reading

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LEBOR dead in the water

By Matt Reese

After contesting a late-February decision that the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) was invalid, the city of Toledo abandoned its appeal on May 5.

“The United States District Court found that LEBOR violated Drewes Farms’ constitutional rights and that it was not a close call for the Court. The District Court also found that LEBOR ‘flagrantly’ violated Ohio law,” said Tom Fusonie, with the law offices of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP. “After aggressively defending LEBOR and appealing the decision invalidating LEBOR, Toledo has now abandoned its appeal. On behalf of our client, Drewes Farms, we are pleased that Toledo has dropped its appeal that would only have caused more legal fees to be incurred. The District Court’s Order protecting Drewes Farms’ constitutional rights and defending the rule of law stands.”

On Feb. 27, 2019, Wood County farmer Mark Drewes filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality and legal status of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension to continue teleworking arrangements

By Cheryl Buck, Ohio State University Extension communication manager

Ohio State University Extension will continue operating via its teleworking plan for all employees and will keep physical OSU Extension offices closed to the public until further notice.

This remains in accordance with The Ohio State University’s decision that all university employees, with the exception of essential facilities workers, are to continue teleworking and remain off campus, physical distancing and taking all other precautions to stay safe.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton recently extended Ohio’s Stay Safe Ohio order through May 29. While some businesses and organizations in the state are starting to reopen as of early May, the guidelines for reopening offices via the governor’s office require personnel to work from home when possible.

OSU Extension has invested in technology that allows personnel to work from their homes. Programs intended to be held face-to-face have been adjusted to a virtual format, and personnel can still be contacted by phone or email.… Continue reading

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Crunch time for Ohio’s fair season

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

Howard Call, executive director of the Ohio Fair Managers Association (OFMA) testified before the Ohio Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee May 6, presenting a plan to hold Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs. According to Call, OFMA also presented the plan to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s staff on May 1. The plan lays out how fairs will be able to operate while abiding by social distancing and all other health department guidelines.

“That’s going to be a big job,” Call said. “It’s going to take some effort and some oversight to get people to do that.”

County fair season in Ohio is quickly approaching, with the Paulding County Fair set to start June 13.

“I am very concerned for that county, for its residents, and for those youth and participants,” Call said. “We are just trying to get them to hold on.”

On May 6, Harrison County announced an “abbreviated fair.”… Continue reading

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Cold weather continues into May

By Aaron Wilson, atmospheric scientist with Ohio State University Extension

Temperatures in April were about 2 to 5 degrees F below the long-term mean and included three major freeze events that brought some horticultural damage across southern counties and scattered minor reports of burned tips on alfalfa and wheat.

Precipitation varied significantly across the state. Unlike much of the spring of 2019, lighter amounts fell across northwest Ohio compared to southeast Ohio. Only about 1 inch of rain fell in southern Fulton/northwest Henry Counties for the month, with more than six inches in parts of Adams, Monroe, and Belmont Counties. These totals are about 1 to 2 inches below the long-term mean in the northwest, with most counties southeast of I-71 showing surpluses of 1 to 4 inches for the month.

This past weekend, many areas throughout Ohio hit 80 degrees F for the first time this season, but those conditions are gone and not likely to return for a while.… Continue reading

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MRTN — Maximum Return To N

By Harold Watters, CCA, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Current recommendations from Ohio State University use an economic model to set our corn nitrogen rate. The Maximum Return To N (MRTN) concept was developed by soil fertility specialists from across the north central region as a Corn Belt wide approach to nitrogen rates.

For us we use data from trials in Ohio so we also have our weather included as part of the equation. And we factor in the price of nitrogen and the value of corn to bring in the economics. I see that our best economic return to nitrogen for $3.50 corn (I’m still optimistic) and $0.40 per pound of N is about 168 pounds of N/A. With a range of about 15 pounds to either side giving us about the same economic return — within $1. You may also gain efficiency by delaying the bulk of you N application until side dress timing.… Continue reading

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Europe rebuked for unfair dairy trade practices

The U.S. dairy industry applauds the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for firmly rebuking the European Union (EU)’s protectionist dairy trade policies in its annual U.S. Special 301 Report.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) endorse USTR’s findings that the EU has erected a complex regime of trade barriers that harm opportunities for U.S. exports to Europe. In addition, the EU has aggressively sought to restrict U.S. exports in global markets by weaponizing geographical indications (GIs) protections and blocking the ability of U.S. suppliers to use common names to market cheeses such as fontina, gorgonzola, asiago and feta.

“USTR has rightly taken Europe to task for their destructive and unfair campaign against American-made dairy exports, and in particular the high-quality cheeses produced by the dedicated men and women of the U.S. dairy industry,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC. “I commend USTR for its recent actions to defend U.S.… Continue reading

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How and When to Plant No-till Soybeans

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Services

Planting no-till can be tricky and scary! Successful no-till depends on having fully functioning healthy soils and efficient nitrogen (N) recycling.  Fully functioning soils have higher soil organic matter (SOM) especially the active carbon, sugars, and root exudates  from live roots that allows the soil to crumble.  This leads to good soil structure, improved  drainage, increases water infiltration, and higher soil gas exchange. This aerobic (more oxygen) environment plus the food source (live cover crop (CC) roots) changes the microbial community from one dominated by bacteria (conventional soils, often anaerobic (no oxygen)) to a balanced system with beneficial fungi (mycorrhizal), good nematodes, healthy aerobic bacteria, and protozoa.  The “no-till time line” or transition period is often 3-7 years depending upon how fast and aggressive cover crops, continuous no-till, and manure have been used to promote a fully functioning healthy soil.

Soybeans are hardy, easy, and most simple crop to no-till. 

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Tyson to re-open Indiana plant

Following a plant tour with local health and government officials, a union representative, and medical professionals, Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. has announced its plans to resume limited production at its Logansport, Indiana, facility this week.

“We’ve taken additional precautions to reassure team members that they are returning to a safe work environment and have made additional changes to continue supporting them during this global health crisis,” said Todd Neff, senior vice president of pork at Tyson.… Continue reading

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Head scab on wheat

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

It is still too early to apply a fungicide to manage head scab. Use the scab forecast system (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/) to monitor concerns. If you plan to spray for head scab, Prosaro or Caramba may be your fungicide of choice. The new fungicide, Miravis Ace, which seems to be just as effective as Prosaro and Caramba based on a limited number of trials, may not yet be widely available. STAY AWAY from the strobilurins when it comes to head scab management. These fungicides tend to increase rather than reduce vomitoxin contamination.

I know that the idea of “protecting the crop” with a “preventative treatment” seems to suggest that the fungicide has to be applied before the crop reaches the critical growth stage — flowering in the case of wheat. But results from more than 20 years of scab research show that you are better off applying a few days “late” rather than a few days “early.”… Continue reading

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Direct marketing of meat

By Rob Leeds, Garth Ruff, Peggy Hall, Jacci Smith, and Tony Nye, Ohio State University Extension

Producers who are seeking to increase income are looking for different ways to market their livestock. Direct to consumer marketing of livestock products is one way producers are seeking to increase profits in their livestock sales. When exploring direct market possibilities there are several factors farmers must consider: regulations, consumer preference, marketing strategies and pricing.



The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the local Health Department are the two agencies that are responsible for regulating sales of meat in Ohio. ODA oversees the processing plants and sets the food safety regulations for the state. The local health department enforces the food safety regulations at the local level.

Producers can slaughter and sell their own chickens (up to 1,000 birds), rabbits, or non-amenable meats directly at the farm without a license if that’s the only food they’re selling, or with a farm market registration if selling non-amenable meats along with other low risk foods.… Continue reading

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May brings progress with fieldwork and planting

Typical Spring weather conditions allowed operators to work the fields, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Average temperatures were slightly above historical normals and the entire State averaged just about 1 inch of precipitation. There were 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 3.

Last week farmers applied fertilizer, repaired tiles, applied manure, and planted corn and soybeans where they could. Pasture and range condition was considered 66% good or excellent compared to 46% last year. Oats were 36% emerged compared to a five-year average of 30%. Corn planted progress was ahead of last year but behind the five-year average while soybean planted progress was ahead of last year and the five-year average.

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Good plant stand is a must for high corn yields

By Dave Nanda, Ph.D., Seed Genetics Direct director of genetics

With all the bad news about the coronavirus this year, we need a miracle. It is really a miracle of nature that a puny little seedling can grow into a big, tall corn plant within a couple of months. The most crucial time in the life of a corn plant is the seedling stage. If we understand how our crops grow, we can do a better job of meeting their needs and improve the odds for getting higher yields. Let’s look at what happens as the young corn plants develop.

Stage V1 to V2 — corn seedlings need 110 to 120 growing degrees to germinate and emerge. The seedlings emerge when coleoptile, the spear-like leaf, pierces thru the ground. First and second leaves develop six to seven days after the seedlings emerge. The first roots start to supply water and nutrients to the young seedlings.… Continue reading

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Celebrating Ohio FFA, the virtual way

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter

The countdown to show time may look different this year as Ohio FFA kicks off the Ohio FFA Celebration, but the excitement and hard work are all the same. And although the celebration may be different than the originally planned convention, Ohio FFA has a jam-packed week of speakers and recognition planned to commend the dedication of members during the 2019-2020 school year.

“I am looking forward to the Ohio FFA Celebration because it is our chance as an organization to recognize the hard work of our members and advisors throughout this year,” said Chyann Kendel, State Vice President at Large. “With our new platform of outreach, we will be able to watch the celebration while being surrounded by our loved ones and connected to our FFA family from afar.”

The virtual celebration allows more FFA members than ever before to watch and experience the recognition of Ohio FFA members.… Continue reading

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Interested in soil health? Learn together with OSU Extension

By Steve Culman, John Fulton, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Improving soil health (SH) can provide a variety of benefits including improved water infiltration, increased water holding capacity, and increased nutrient availability. However, it can be challenging to quantify these benefits in the field.

In 2020, the eFields program is kicking off an effort to help better understand how management practices influence soil health and ultimately water quality. OSU Extension has worked to identify a few soil tests that can provide helpful indicators of improved soil health. Though several health tests exist, we focused on tests that are simple, economical, and repeatable. We are looking for farmers interested in soil health and who want to participate in a statewide field survey collecting soil health data from fields under various management practices, specifically conventional tillage, no-till, organic nutrient management, and cover cropping. The results from this effort will be used to guide recommendations for improving soil health on Ohio farms.… Continue reading

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Ten practices for increasing corn yields and profits

By Harold Watters, CCA, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

The cropping season (a.k.a. late winter) is dragging along a bit slowly. Typically our best crops are planted between April 20 and May 10 — but we usually start a little earlier than the May 20. This year that won’t happen for many of us. What I do know is that the sun will get higher and higher in latitude and will change the weather pattern we are in. We will have a growing season, and we will get planted. I like to look over my corn reminders this time of year just to keep things in perspective and want to share them again. These are from Peter Thomison, our now retired OSU Extension corn specialist.

  • Know the yield potential of your fields, their yield history, and the soil type and its productivity.
  • Choose high yielding, adapted hybrids. Pick hybrids that have produced consistently high yields across a number of locations or years.
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USDA’s new CRP pilot program offers longer-term conservation benefits

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will open signup this summer for CLEAR30, a new pilot program that offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract. This pilot is available to farmers and landowners with expiring water-quality practice CRP contracts in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regions. The program signup period is July 6 to Aug. 21, 2020.

“This pilot allows us to work with farmers and landowners to maintain conservation practices for 30 years, underscoring farmers’ commitments to sound long term conservation stewardship on agricultural land,” said State Executive Director Leonard Hubert. “Through CLEAR30, we can decrease erosion, improve water quality and increase wildlife habitat on a much longer-term basis. We want to share this opportunity early, before the sign up period, so farmers and landowners have more time to consider if CLEAR30 or another program is right for their operation.”… Continue reading

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Marion County cancels 2020 fair amid COVID-19 concerns

Via Facebook, the Marion County Senior Fair Board announced a difficult decision to cancel the upcoming 2020 Marion County Fair  due to COVID-19 health concerns. The 170th Marion County Fair was planned for June 29 through July 4, 2020. There are plans to still showcase 4-H and FFA youth in single-day events tentatively scheduled for July 18 through July 25.

“The decision to not hold this year’s fair in normal capacity was not taken lightly as it impacts the livelihood of many individuals and businesses in our community as well as the fair industry. However, we believe we made the right decision at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our community,” said Keith Seckel, Marion County Senior Fair Board president in the Facebook post. “The silver lining of this unprecedented situation is that we are invested in doing what we can to recognize the heart of the Marion County Fair—the Junior Fair Exhibitor.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Agricultural Council announces 2020 Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees

Four Ohioans who have committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community will be honored Friday, Aug. 7, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) will induct Joe Cornely of Westerville, Tony Forshey of Hebron, Larry R. Gearhardt of Covington and Wendell Waters of West Lafayette, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. The 55th annual event normally attracts more than 600 guests to honor the four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“In an uncertain time, it’s more important than ever to recognize the outstanding individuals in the agriculture industry,” said Mike Bumgarner, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council and president and CEO of United Producers, Inc. “Our 2020 inductees have established enduring improvements to the industry, developing guidelines, procedures and organizations that have changed the landscape of Ohio agriculture; while also dedicating time to mentoring future generations of agriculturists.”… Continue reading

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