Featured News

Talking ethanol at Commodity Classic

By Dusty Sonnenberg and Matt Reese

John Settlemyre, who farms in Warren County and serves as the current president of Ohio Corn & Wheat, was busy talking, learning about and discussing ethanol at Commodity Classic in Orlando. 

Scientists are finding ways to not only enhance the ethanol but also the byproducts that are coming off of ethanol production, he said. 

“One company in Houston, for example, is taking ethanol and producing ethylene which is going to be used in polyethylene plastics — a huge green source of plastics which are recycled and very important for our environment and a very valuable use for ethanol,” Settlemyre said. “Currently when we produce ethanol, we’re about 42% less greenhouse gas emissions when we use it as a fuel. When we produce ethanol, we also produce about a pound of CO2 for every pound of ethanol, so if we can capture the CO2 out of the reactor vessels and do something with it, it’s a free source of CO2.… Continue reading

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Solutions for actively managing SCN go beyond genetics

By the SCN Coalition

A hot topic at the North Central Soybean Research Program, 2022 National Soybean Nematode Conference 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,” says 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 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. By 2030, he expects that yield reduction to grow to “about 10 bushels an acre, amounting to over $2 billion in lost soybean yield each year.”… Continue reading

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Phosphorus BMP Field Day

By Paige Garrabrant, Ohio State University Extension

Nutrient runoff and algal blooms are a growing problem while fertilizer costs are at an all-time high. Best Management Practice (BMP) Field Day is an event to address these problems and offer solutions for farmers, students, and community members interested in attending. BMP Field Day is a full day event to learn more about Phosphorus usage, the environment, and strategies to save on fertilizer. BMP Field Day will be held in-person March 29 at the Secrest Welcome Center at the Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center in Wooster, Ohio. Sign-in starts at 8:00 am, the event starts at 8:30 am, and ends at 4:00 pm.

This event is provided free for farmers, students, and community members because of generous sponsorship from the USDA NIFA and is co-hosted by Virginia Tech and The Ohio State University. Registration includes a free lunch and tour of OARDC field sites.… Continue reading

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You get what you pay for, until you don’t

By Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, Ohio State University Extension

Let’s talk about a topic that’s been on my mind and the minds of others recently given the economy and other issues: Value.

Meriam Webster defines Value in several different ways 1) the monetary worth of something: market price, 2) a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged, 3) relative worth, utility, or importance.

To determine Market Value, I subscribe that it’s up to a buyer and the seller/provider to determine value themselves for a good or service and it’s up to the buyer to know where their cost threshold is. I would also propose in many instances that you get what you pay for, until you don’t. Here are some examples.

A colleague of mine just sent me a screen shot of a fellow cattlemen advertising and selling beef on social media. If you’re on social media, these kinds of posts have been routine over the past couple of years.… Continue reading

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35 years of growth for the Ohio Beef Expo

The Ohio Beef Expo took time to celebrate its 35-year anniversary in 2023, bringing familiar faces that have been part of its storied past. The Expo is not only a highlight of agricultural events in Ohio, but has solidified its place amongst beef occasions nationally. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood caught up with Elizabeth Harsh, executive director of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, to discuss the organization’s premier event. In this video, we also hear from Johnny Regula and Jim Rentz as they discuss the Expo’s evolution from a combined-breed sale to what it is today.… Continue reading

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Meetings aplenty at Commodity Classic

By Dusty Sonnenberg and Matt Reese

Though travelers visit Orlando every winter to soak in some sunshine, many Commodity Classic attendees typically get more tan lines from the glow of the convention center lighting. Meetings, networking at receptions and trade show conversations keep them indoors for much of their time in sunny Florida.

Months-worth of business is conducted in just a few days as corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum farmer leaders from around the country gather to set policy, share ideas and learn from each other at Commodity Classic. Ohio is home to many of those farmer leaders.

Early in the event, David Clark from Montgomery County found himself in required attendance at two simultaneous meetings based on his multiple national level roles. Clark serves as the vice president for the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) and vice chair of the Soy Transportation Collation (STC). 

NCSRP takes a broad look at pest and disease issues around the production area while STC looks at transportation infrastructure.… Continue reading

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The Andersons to expand dry fertilizer distribution in Lordstown

The Andersons, Inc., a leading provider of plant nutrients, is pleased to announce the expansion of the Lordstown, Ohio, wholesale fertilizer distribution terminal. The expansion project will include a new 10,000-ton storage building, increasing dry bulk storage by nearly 65%. The project also features enhancements to the receiving system and loadout automation process.

“The Lordstown facility is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. This investment further supports The Andersons commitment to growing with our customers in the northeast Ohio market. We look forward to the positive impact this project will have, supplying key nutrients for agricultural production when and where it matters most, positioning the Lordstown facility to serve the market for the next 25 years,” said Andy Spahr, vice president wholesale for The Andersons. 

According to Operations Manager Josh Kurth, the dry bulk storage capacity will increase from 15,500 to 25,500 tons. The new receiving system will improve unloading capacity from 300 to 500 tons per hour, allowing The Andersons to resupply the warehouse much quicker during periods of high demand.… Continue reading

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Topdressing wheat with liquid swine manure

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

With the month of March moving along, the topdressing of wheat fields with nitrogen fertilizer will soon start. Given the current fertilizer prices more livestock producers may be considering applying liquid swine manure as a top-dress for wheat

The key to applying the correct amount of manure to fertilize wheat is to know the manure’s nitrogen content. Most manure tests reveal total nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen and organic nitrogen amounts. The ammonia nitrogen portion is readily available for plant growth. The organic nitrogen portion takes considerably longer to mineralize and generally will not be available when wheat uptakes the majority of its nitrogen before mid-June.

Most deep-pit swine finishing manure will contain between 30 and 40 pounds of ammonia nitrogen per 1,000 gallons. Finishing buildings with bowl waters and other water conservation systems can result in nitrogen amounts towards the upper end of this range.… Continue reading

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NRCS expanding assistance to advance climate mitigation efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for Environmental Quality Incentives Program – Inflation Reduction Act (EQIP-IRA) funding. These funds expand financial and technical assistance to landowners and producers advancing conservation practices targeting climate mitigation on their land. Applications must be received by April 28, 2023 to be eligible for Fiscal Year 2023 funding.

Nationally, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides an additional $19.5 billion over five years for climate smart agriculture through several of the conservation programs that NRCS implements. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program is NRCS’ flagship conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands. In Ohio, an additional $3.3 million in financial assistance has been made available to Ohio landowners through EQIP-IRA in Fiscal Year 2023. 

EQIP-IRA is designed to help farmers and private landowners apply conservation measures that focus on carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and soil health.… Continue reading

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Benson Hill offers unique premium opportunities for farmer-partners

Jeff Johnson of Benson Hill talks with Ohio’s Country Journal’s Matt Reese about the unique set up of their vertically integrated soybean business. They are looking for farmers to grow specific crops for specific needs. He says there are still contracts available for Ohio growers, with limited opportunities in 2023 for a $5 premium in northwest Ohio because of the expanding aqua-market

Johnson says the opportunities for more ROI per acre are considerable versus that of a commodity-based soybean. Learn more at www.bensonhillfarmers.com.… Continue reading

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Patronage paid out by AgCredit

AgCredit — one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders for farmers, rural homeowners and agribusiness — announced that it will distribute $21 million to its borrower-owners through its patronage program.

Each year, AgCredit’s Board of Directors reviews the cooperative’s net income and determines how much to return to the cooperative’s borrower-owners in the form of patronage. Qualified borrower-owners will receive their share during events at their local branches, through the mail or through direct deposits into their bank accounts. 

“Our ability to return patronage dividends to eligible borrower-owners in our territory for 36 consecutive years demonstrates the commitment of our cooperative,” said Brian Ricker, AgCredit President and CEO. “AgCredit is uniquely positioned to ensure that these benefits are reinvested throughout our local communities.”

When borrower-owners receive patronage funds, they often spread that money throughout their communities by purchasing local goods and services, creating a recurring cycle that positively impacts everyone those dollars reach.… Continue reading

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Water quality success stories: Saturate that buffer for crop’s sake

By Greg McGlinch, CCA, PhD, assistant professor, Wright State University Lake Campus and Stephen J. Jacquemin, PhD, professor, Wright State University Lake Campus 

Driving across the rural Ohio landscape, you might occasionally see little gray objects with black caps poking their heads up around fields adjacent to streams and rivers. These gray box-like structures hold an opportunity for farmers and landowners to increase their ability to reduce nutrient loading while conserving precious water in their fields. The name of these little boxes are controlled drainage structures and they can be part of a bigger conservation practice called saturated buffers. 

This is a typical saturated buffer layout consisting of a non-perforated tile outlet pipe (1), water control structure (2), perforated distribution pipe (3), and vegetated buffer (4). Graphic is from Extension publication ABE-160-W.

Saturated buffers utilize water control structures to divert subsurface tile water from agricultural fields into the riparian buffer by redirecting drainage through perforated tiles feeding these edge- of-stream vegetated transitional habitats.… Continue reading

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Early planting doesn’t work out — Do I replant, repair, plant, or leave this pitiful stand?

Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-06

Soybean plants have a remarkable ability to compensate for open spaces by developing axillary branches that set additional pods. Learn from our Science for Success team of Soybean Extension Specialists how to assess early season damage and make replanting decisions based on crop conditions and economic considerations so you can save your soybean season. Dr. Shawn Conley, Soybean and Small Grain Extension Specialist from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, will lead the discussion and panelists will include: Dr. Laura Lindsey (Ohio State University), Dr. Manni Singh (Michigan State University), and Dr. Jeremy Ross (University of Arkansas). There will be plenty of time for discussion, so bring your questions!

When: Friday, March 17, 2023 at 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT)

Where: Virtual…Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/when-early-planting-doesnt-work-out-do-i-replant-tickets-551491444757

Cost: FREE! CCAs will earn 0.5 CEUs in Crop Management… Continue reading

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Spring grazing is almost here

By Chris Penrose, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Morgan County

Spring is just around the corner and it will soon be time to graze our livestock. Think it is too soon? I might be cheating, but I will start grazing my spring calving cattle on stockpiled fescue in a couple weeks and if things go right, I will be done feeding hay to them. In reality, I plan on officially grazing new growth in late March (on some warmer springs, I have started around March 21). After teaching pasture and grazing programs for over 30 years and trying to “practice what I preach,” here is what I try to do.

First, we need to start off with healthy pastures, ones that can take an early grazing without hurting re-growth too much. Next, I try to estimate when the spring “flush” of new rapid growth will start. In most years, it is around April 10 in Southeast Ohio.… Continue reading

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Ohio State opens new terrestrial science park devoted to space research

Students, researchers and leaders from The Ohio State University as well as business and community leaders recently helped open the temporary home of the George Washington Carver Science Park’s (GWCSP) Starlab terrestrial analog facility.

The lab, located in the Agricultural Engineering Building on the Columbus campus, marks the launch of the first-ever science park devoted to space research. The space park is a collaboration between Voyager Space, Ohio State, the State of Ohio, JobsOhio and One Columbus, and will house a replica laboratory of the Starlab space station developed by Nanoracks and associated facilities, enabling researchers to prepare, evaluate, validate and test spaceflight experiments, and conduct parallel research on the ground.

“This partnership that we have at The Ohio State University with Starlab and the George Washington Carver Science Park will produce numerous opportunities for research, for outreach and extension and collaboration,” said Cathann Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “Not… Continue reading

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Will we see a turnaround in corn prices?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Watching the corn market slide the last three weeks has been painful for producers. However, it feels a little too early for the corn market to pull back this much this fast. It seems possible the corn market could turn around like beans did in the fall.

Last September when beans were trading around $13.80, the trade was suggesting the U.S. bean export program may be in trouble due to low water levels and a slow export pace. Many market participants thought that beans would trade in a $13.50 to $14.50 range going forward because of concerns over Brazil’s large upcoming bean crop that could potentially make meeting USDA export estimates at the time more difficult. 

Two months later, Brazil was still on track to raise a record crop, and despite dry conditions in Argentina, it was still likely South America’s production would hit a new record.  Many… Continue reading

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Ohio Farmer Wins National Conservation Award

Nathan, Les, and Jerry Seiler

By the American Soybean Association

The Conservation Legacy Award is a national program designed to recognize the outstanding environmental and conservation achievements of soybean farmers, which in turn help produce more sustainable U.S. soybeans. The program is sponsored by ASA, BASF, Bayer, Nutrien, the United Soybean Board/Soy Checkoff and Valent USA.

Les Seiler began focusing on soil preservation in 1986, when he and his brother, Jerry, set aside conventional tillage practices and looked to conservation farming methods on their Ohio farm.

Now, more than 30 years later, the Seilers continue to make no till, grass waterways and filter strips, and planting cover crops routine components of their overall farm management plan.

“We have so much soil erosion because of poor soil health, and we can’t infiltrate water on the land anymore,” Seiler said. “We’ve seen the need to do something different besides conventional farming practices of moldboard plowing and a lot of tillage.”… Continue reading

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Bluhm named Farm Bureau OD

Samantha Bluhm of Bluffton has been named organization director for Allen, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert counties.

Bluhm grew up on a beef cattle operation in Wauseon with a crop family farm in Norwalk. She was a member of 4-H for 11 years and in FFA for three years. She showed livestock at the county, state and national level in her youth and has been involved with Farm Bureau since birth.

Her past Farm Bureau experiences include the county presidents and Young Ag Professionals trip to Washington, D.C., the YAP Winter Leadership Experience, Ag Day at the Capital, county membership campaigns and more.

Bluhm graduated from Ohio State University in 2018. Most recently, she was a registered representative for Western & Southern Life and the agricultural teacher at Kalida High School. In 2020, Bluhm was nominated for Nationwide’s Golden Owl Award, which recognizes outstanding agricultural educators.… Continue reading

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