Featured News

Can good neighbors and solar projects go together?

By Matt Reese

I am not sure Jesus had Ohio’s solar debate in mind when He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” but I think it certainly applies to what is happening right now on both sides of the issue. 

Changes in utility scale electric generation and transmission systems have created a situation where Ohio landowners are being approached to consider leasing large tracts of ground for solar development through contracts ranging from 25 to 50 years. Certainly a loving neighbor would want financial success for others in the community. And those neighbors, if similarly loving, would of course want to do right by the wishes of those around them for the benefit of all. The current situation, though, in many unfortunate cases, pits neighbor against neighbor and is actively tearing communities and families apart. 

“We have a division occurring across Ohio: Those who stand to benefit financially from a lease that would allow for solar and wind development on their land and those who don’t want it — at least not in their area,” said Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program.… Continue reading

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Can soybeans trade back to $13 or will they continue to slide lower?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Last Tuesday January beans closed at their highest value since the October USDA report. Then the market dropped 50 cents in three days to end the week at the same value it traded a day after the October USDA report.

Can beans rally?

There are several factors that make a bean rally difficult right now. One, harvest reports suggest the U.S. bean crop is bigger than previously estimated. The Brazilian crop was planted quickly with adequate moisture. Combine that with large acres expected to be grown there and the trade suspects U.S. beans will have a lot of upcoming competition from the southern hemisphere by Valentine’s Day.

On the other hand, crushers are making healthy margins, which should keep a strong bid under the market and be a positive for beans. Also, Friday the USDA released their 10-year long term projection report that showed only a modest increase of 300,000 bean acres estimated to be planted next spring.… Continue reading

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Weather roller coaster to continue

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

After the warmest October on record (1895-present), a flurry of frosty of mornings have officially brought the 2021 growing season to a close. Many areas have experienced low temperatures in the low to mid 20s, with the coldest temperature of 19 degrees F occurring near DeGraff in Logan County on Nov. 5. Precipitation has varied widely across the state, with the heaviest occurring across Ottawa County and south-central Ohio. Wet conditions there have continue to hamper harvest and manure activities. Outside of these areas, precipitation has been a bit below average. We have also seen our first reports of snowfall across northeast Ohio. For more climate information, check out the State Climate Office of Ohio.


High pressure will remain anchored southeast of the region over the next couple of days. A weak cold front could bring a few widely scattered showers across the northwest counties.… Continue reading

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Infrastructure bill investments bring necessary updates for agriculture

The Infrastructure & Jobs Investment Act was approved Friday in a bipartisan vote by the House of Representatives, after being passed by the Senate in August, and now goes to the President’s desk for his signature. The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) was pleased to see investments in several soy-related areas contained in key parts of the bill, including $110 billion in funding for roads and bridges and $17 billion for ports and waterways. These investments will help update the multimodal transportation network on which the soybean industry relies. Importantly, the bill did not increase the tax burden on farmers, a key point of advocacy for OSA as Congress has considered funding bills over the past few months.    

“We recognize that this is not a perfect bill but we also acknowledge that the improvements to infrastructure this bill will bring are vital for our industry to remain globally competitive,” said Ryan Rhoades, OSA president and Marion County soybean farmer.… Continue reading

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Soybean yield drops, prices up double digits

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The corn yield went up and the soybean yield went down. Huge price action took place for soybeans. Soybean exports down 40 million bushels, soybeans for crush unchanged. 

After the noon report was released, corn was 6 cents, soybeans up 25 cents, and wheat up 9 cents, Just before the report, corn was down 3 cents, soybeans down 4 cents, with wheat unchanged. 

Trade expectations for this report had both corn and soybean yields increasing. Soybean exports were expected to decline while ending stocks were expected to increase. Corn bulls were expecting demand to increase and ending stocks to decline. Note that USDA is often slow to even very slow to increase demand numbers even when the trade had expected increases for months. 

The U.S. corn yield today was 177.0 bushels per acre and the U.S. soybean yield was 51.2 bushels per acre. Traders were expecting both the corn yield and the soybean yield to increase.… Continue reading

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Fall soil fertility sampling

By Laura Lindsey, Emma Matcham, Steve Culman, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2021-37

The fall is a great time to collect soil samples to identify any needs for lime, P, and K. Soil sampling either this fall or spring 2022 will be particularly important with the high costs of agricultural inputs. If soil test P and soil test K levels are within the maintenance range it is extremely unlikely that there will be a yield response with additional fertilizer application. For more information on the state soil fertility guidelines, see the newly revised “Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa” available here: https://agcrops.osu.edu/FertilityResources/tri-state_info

Keep in mind, when you collect a soil sample for fertility analysis, you can also collect soil for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) analysis. Please see Dr. Lopez-Nicora’s article on collecting soil samples for SCN in the fall.

When should you soil sample? Consistency is important. Sampling at the same time of the year the field was last sampled is ideal to help track trends.

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USDA awards Conservation Innovation Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is awarding $25 million to conservation partners across the country for 18 new projects under the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials program.

On-Farm Trials projects support widespread adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with agricultural producers. This year’s awarded projects increase the adoption of new approaches and technologies to help agricultural producers mitigate the effects of climate change, increase the resilience of their operations and boost soil health.

“Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners play a crucial role in charting the course towards a climate-smart future,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “On-Farm Trials enable partners to work with producers to test and adopt new climate-smart systems on their operations that support agricultural production and conserve natural resources, while also building climate resilience.”

Awarded projects include “Diversifying Appalachia’s Pastures to Improve Soil Health (West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania)WVU Research Corporation will promote and evaluate pasture diversification through reseeding as an innovative conservation strategy.… Continue reading

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Dry weather helped move harvest progress forward

A much needed dry week allowed Ohio corn and soybean producers to make some harvest progress last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. The average temperature for the week was 41.2 degrees Fahenheit, 5.9 degrees below normal. The statewide average precipitation was 0.01 inches, 0.73 inches below normal. There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Nov. 7.


Killing frosts arrived last week. Combines were able to get back into fields in Ohio late last week after a very wet October. Corn harvest progress was ahead of last year but still behind the 5-year average. Soybean harvest progress remained behind both last year and the 5-year average. Double-crop soybeans were being harvested. The window for planting winter wheat was closing quickly with some farmers saying they will not plant any wheat or plant as much as they had intended.

For more for this week’s report, click here.Continue reading

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Harvest is winding down in Ohio

Bill Daugherty

Things were going well until last Friday. My son was running corn and heard a thud. We came to find out that the final drive came apart on one side of the combine. We were in a panic mode and with all the nice weather we had we ended up driving to Indiana to get a new final drive.

We hated to lose a couple of nice days. We contacted our neighbors and they were gracious enough to help us on some beans. We have just 10 acres of hill ground of beans to finish up and beans will be complete.

We did high moisture corn last week. We feel good about what we got in. Obviously Thanksgiving is always the goal, but if we don’t get done by Thanksgiving hopefully we’ll be done in early December, depending on Mother Nature. We ran a bottom over by Killbuck Creek and still had some water laying in some of the swales.… Continue reading

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The little guy wins out in legal dispute

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

I’m pretty sure our Border Collies know the Old Testament story of David and Goliath. Why else would two dogs, who each weigh maybe 60 pounds dripping wet, herd a farm full of cows weighing over 1,800 pounds a piece?

            David was the youngest son of Jesse’s 12 boys. He was kept behind when the other brothers went to fight the Philistine army that had gathered for battle. David ended up at the battlefield when his father sent him to get an update from the front line. David found the two armies gathered on opposite sides of a deep valley. For 40 days, the Philistine giant, Goliath, who was over nine feet tall, had ridiculed the Israelis and their God and called them to fight. Because of his size and demeanor, the Israelis, including King Saul, were afraid. In fact, King Saul thought Goliath was too big to fight.… Continue reading

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USMEF welcomes Ohio corn checkoff as Million Dollar Club member

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is recognizing the Ohio Corn Checkoff as the newest member of the USMEF Million Dollar Club — a group of agricultural organizations that have invested more than $1 million in the promotion of U.S. beef, pork in lamb in international markets. 

Ohio Corn’s first investment in USMEF programs came in 1990. An award honoring Ohio corn producers for more than 30 years of steadfast and consistent support of USMEF will be presented Nov. 11 at the USMEF Strategic Planning Conference in Carlsbad, Calif.

“The U.S. livestock sector is the Ohio corn industry’s largest customer, so supporting meat production and exports is a very important part of what we do,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director for Ohio Corn. “We feel that red meat exports are an extremely efficient way for Ohio corn producers to capitalize on international growth opportunities, so we have always viewed our longtime partnership with USMEF as a very wise investment of corn checkoff funds.” … Continue reading

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Biological buffering of nitrogen

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

As crop prices increase, generally fertilizer prices increase as well. Farmers who are booking nitrogen (N) for next year are paying at least twice as much. N use efficiency is critical as farmers try to cut back on N usage while attempting to maintain crop yields. Building soil organic matter (SOM) and improving soil health improves N use efficiency.

Soil health and regenerative farming systems develop healthy soils with robust microbial communities that recycle soil nutrients efficiently to meet a crop’s nutritional requirements. In healthy systems, photosynthesis is maximized which produces large volumes of soil carbon as a food source for the soil biology. The soil biology then recycles those soil nutrients to the plant as plant available nutrients. Keeping soils high in SOM or carbon are a key factor in buffering N and keeping it plant available (Larry Phelan).

Inorganic N fertilizers are usually applied as salts which can be damaging to plants.

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2021 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium

The 2021 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium will be held Dec. 1, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Der Dutchman at  445 S Jefferson Ave, Plain City, OH 43064.

 The Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium offers grain farmers from around the state the opportunity to hear about the latest agricultural issues and trends impacting their operations while connecting with fellow farmers and industry experts. 

Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association members will also have the opportunity to voice opinions and elect board representatives during the 2021 OSA Annual Meeting. The agenda includes comments from Terry Cosby, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and presentation topics including: tax policy and American agriculture, nutrient management, renewable diesel, supply chain disruption, farm bill, and agricultural markets.

Register for the event at: ohiograinfarmerssymposium.org.… Continue reading

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The milk of the “eastern cowboys” of ancient Eurasia

By Don “Doc” Sanders

More than 6,000 years ago, tribes wandered the prairies of what is now Russia and Ukraine. They settled across Eurasia, the earth’s largest continental land mass, encompassing all of Europe and Asia.

These wandering tribes, the Yamnaya, traveled with heavy ox-drawn wagons and left their genetic fingerprint from Hungary to Mongolia. They’ve been referred to as “eastern cowboys,” as they also traveled on horseback.

A news story about the Yamnaya recently caught my eye because I have traveled and consulted in Mongolia, which I’ve previously written about. 

The Yamnaya tribes were on the scene before the exploits of Genghis Kahn and the Mongol Horde. Genghis Kahn conquered the descendants of the Yamnaya after he became the major Mongol general in 1105 A.D. 

As a dairy management specialist, what really piqued my interest about the Yamnaya is a recent report that a DNA analysis of plaque in the fossilized teeth of 50 Yamnaya nomads suggested that they drank milk.… Continue reading

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Biofuel advocates urge White House to embrace homegrown fuel solutions

America’s top biofuel and farm advocates called on President Biden to swiftly expand access to lower-carbon, lower-cost biofuels as the administration seeks to address the rising cost of fuel. In a letter to the White House, rural leaders noted that biofuels hold the power to “insulate consumers from volatile oil markets by extending the fuel supply, much like releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but with sustainable results.” 

“Simply extracting more oil — or importing it from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — won’t deliver the results you are seeking for consumers or the climate,” warned the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, Renewable Fuels Association, and Fuels America.
To promote competitive prices while reducing emissions, biofuel and farm advocates also urged regulators to act swiftly on long-awaited biofuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).… Continue reading

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Extension Farm Office Live (fall and winter edition)

By Barry Ward, David Marrison, Peggy Hall, Dianne Shoemaker, Julie Strawser, Ohio State University Extension 

“Farm Office Live” returns virtually this fall and winter as an opportunity for you to get the latest outlook and updates on ag law, farm management, ag economics, farm business analysis and other related issues from faculty and educators with the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Each Farm Office Live will include presentations on select ag law and farm management topics from our experts. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and interact with presenters via webinar features. Viewers can attend “Farm Office Live” online each month on Wednesday evening or Friday morning, or can catch a recording of each program. The full slate of offerings for this fall and winter:

Nov. 17, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 19, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Dec. 15, 7 – 8:30 p.m.… Continue reading

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USDA provides $1.8 billion through ARC and PLC

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the process of issuing $1.8 billion in payments to agricultural producers who enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2020 crop year. These payments provide critical support to help mitigate fluctuations in either revenue or prices for certain crops. These two USDA safety-net programs help producers of certain crops build back better after facing the impacts of COVID-19 and other challenges.  

In addition, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is encouraging producers to contact their local USDA Service Centers to make or change elections and to enroll for 2022 ARC or PLC, providing future protections against market fluctuations. The election and enrollment period opened on Oct. 18, 2021 and runs through March 15, 2022. 

“As we build back better than we were before, we will continue to support our farmers, ranchers and producers as they overcome the challenges associated with COVID-19, climate change and other issues,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator.… Continue reading

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The advent of automation

By Matt Reese

This fall, Dale Minyo was in the cab of a tractor pulling a grain cart, but he was not driving. No one was.

Minyo was at a Raven OMNiDRIVE autonomous grain cart system field demonstration outside of Minster with Precision Agri Services, Inc. Paul Bruns, sales specialist for Raven, gave an overview of the scenario leading up to the development of the system.

“Raven acquired two companies back in 2019 that started to build the pathway toward autonomy. The acquisitions of Smart Ag and DOT Technology Corporation have started to pave the way to bridge that labor gap and move faster into autonomy. Realistically what we are trying to do is solve the labor constraints we’ve got. It doesn’t matter where I have been throughout the country, good help is getting harder and harder all the time to find on the farm. We are trying to find the best way to reallocate the resources and people we have to let technology handle some of the more mundane tasks and let the individual do a more highly valued skill that may take some customization,” Bruns said.… Continue reading

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