Featured News



OABA members, industry professionals to attend annual conference

The annual Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference is set to take place Jan. 29-31, inspiring attendees to look forward into 2020 and beyond to the opportunities and challenges ahead.

OABA members, along with other industry professionals, will hear from leading experts, educators and researchers during the two-day event, which features the Industry Networking Dinner and Annual Meeting on Jan. 30 with keynote speaker Shirley Brooks-Jones, who will inspire attendees to look for ways to give back in their own communities.

Two conference enhancements are available to attendees this year: the Safety & Risk Management Pre-event Day on January 29 and the AMP’T leadership program on January 31. The conference features four general session speakers: Michael Swanson – Wells Fargo Bank; Janette Barnard – Entrepreneur; Jim Canterucci – Constituent Hub; and Scott Caine – Aimpoint Research. Breakout sessions represent a wide array of agribusinesses, higher education institutions and organizations from Ohio and across the country, including University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, The Ohio State University, University of Kentucky, GROWMARK and Bayer CropScience.… Continue reading

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Setting futures goals

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Phase 1 of the China trade deal was signed, but few specifics have been provided.

Corn

March corn futures have continued to trade at some point every day within a tight range of $3.85 to $3.90 for the last 24 trading sessions.

With corn carryout tighter than levels from the past 3 years, any additional exports or yield reductions in upcoming reports could provide corn with some upside potential.

 

Beans

March beans have been more volatile over the last 24 trading sessions, trading between $9.20 and $9.60.

This year’s carryout is the second highest in the last decade. Without additional exports, upside price potential may be limited, especially if South America has good growing conditions.

 

Market action – Selling beans and setting basis

 

Bean futures

The last time I sold bean futures was on 2/9/18 for the last of my 2018 production at $10.07, which was a couple months before the trade war started.… Continue reading

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Early indications point to a wetter spring

By Jim Noel, NOAA

It is that time of the year where winter is here but spring is just around the corner.

The weather, climate and hydrology patterns still remain wet across the region. This makes Ohio vulnerable to wet conditions.

The outlook for February calls for normal to slightly below normal temperatures with not too far from normal rainfall. There is a chance February could be drier than normal but the chances are not high.

The jet stream remains active from Japan across the North Pacific Ocean into North America but not as active as last year. Therefore, the spring outlook is for a chilly start but a warmer than normal finish. At the same time, above normal rainfall is forecast so we are likely to see spring planting challenges again into 2020 like many of the last 10+ years. However, it does not look as bad as 2019 at this time.… Continue reading

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Welcome to 2020 Ohio FFA!

Dear Ohio FFA,

Welcome to 2020! As we are excited to welcome in the new year, we also reflect on the incredible accomplishments that occurred in 2019.

Ohio FFA remains strong with over 25,000 members across our state. These members excel in and out of the classroom. One hundred percent of our members have a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) and our members compete in over 50 Career Development Events (CDE) on the state level.

This past October, our members made Ohio FFA history! At the 92 National FFA Convention, we had the most finalists our state has ever had on the national level. We had American Star Finalists in three of the four categories, we were represented in the top four of 27 Proficiency Award Areas and we had 22 Agriscience Fair Finalist projects. Additionally, 438 Ohio FFA Members walked across the stage to receive their American FFA Degree. We wrapped up National Convention by celebrating Kolesen McCoy, Ohio’s National Officer Candidate, as he was elected to serve as the 2019-2020 National FFA President!… Continue reading

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Macro and micro nutrients

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

A basic understanding of soil fertility is important for high crop production. All crops require seventeen essential nutrients for proper growth and development, the specific amount of each nutrient depends upon the crop. The atmosphere provides hydrogen and oxygen and carbon (most comes from the soil first). The rest must come from the soil and the amount available for a plant depends upon many factors such as the soil type, organic matter, pH, drainage, microbes, temperature, and rainfall. Soil nutrients are absorbed by water being pulled through the plant through transpiration and by roots intercepting the nutrient molecules.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Some nutrients are required in large amounts compared to other nutrients and are called primary or macro nutrients. Primary nutrients include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), or potassium (K). Nitrogen is used to form amino acids and proteins in the plant and most plants need 3-5.5% of their plant tissue biomass as N.

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OAC to recognize outstanding individuals in agriculture

The Ohio Agricultural Council is accepting applications for two opportunities to recognize outstanding individuals in agriculture: the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame and the OAC scholarship program. Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame Created by the OAC in 1966, the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame has now honored more than 200 agriculturalists who have dedicated their lives of outstanding work to Ohio’s number-one industry, agriculture. Induction in the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame is Ohio’s highest recognition of an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the agricultural industry.

Each year up to four prominent agricultural leaders are honored and inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame for their superior service, dedication, leadership and plentiful contributions to agriculture. Persons wishing to nominate an individual who he or she believes is deserving of consideration for induction into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame may download a nomination form at www.OhioAgCouncil.org.

Nomination forms, along with three letters of recommendation, must be submitted by March 15, 2020, in order to be eligible for consideration in 2020.… Continue reading

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Brazil headed for a bumper soy crop amid US-China deal

The 2019/20 soybean crop harvest has started with expectations for a record production in Brazil. Despite planting delays in some states due to irregular rains in the fourth quarter of 2019, production is pegged by consultancy AgRural at 123.9 million metric tons, 1.2 million up from the previous estimate and a new record for the country, above the 119 million metric tons produced two years ago.

By Jan 16, 1.8% of the soybean area had been harvest in Brazil, most of it in top producer Mato Grosso, where yield reports have been coming at the high end of expectations. In the rest of the country, soybeans still need beneficial weather conditions until at least the end of February to secure a bumper crop, since important states such as Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás had significant planting delays. All of them, however, have favorable weather forecasts.

Still at risk
In Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, and in the North/Northeast region known as “Matopiba” (Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia), hot, dry conditions seen in December reduced the yield potential.… Continue reading

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USDA moving forward with vaccine bank

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced recent progress on implementing programs funded by the 2018 Farm Bill, including moving forward with developing a Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank.

Specifically, APHIS is awarding $10.2 million to support disease prevention and emergency response training. As part of this funding, APHIS is moving forward with developing the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. The first priority of the bank is to increase the U.S. stockpile of FMD vaccines. Last year, APHIS’ 30-day sources sought notice for FMD vaccines closed, with seven responses reviewed by the agency.

APHIS is now issuing a request for proposals, and plans to have the initial FMD vaccine contracts in place by the end of the second quarter of FY2020. The agency’s goal is to invest between $15 million and $30 million on the vaccine by the end of this year. Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine to avoid devastating economic consequences to the U.S.… Continue reading

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Farming for cleaner water: Soil health sessions

American Farmland Trust (AFT) wants to help Ohio agriculture learn more about soil health. AFT is sponsoring a 2-hour session — same session offered three times over the course of 18 hours — in Ostrander, Mt. Victory and Waldo.

Hans Kok, Midwest Soil Health Specialist and Coordinator of the Indiana Cropping Systems Initiative and Indiana Conservation Partnership, will be the featured speaker at all three sessions. Hans will talk about the adoption of practices and cropping systems that can lead to improved soil health. Food will be provided at each stop.
The sessions are:

• Feb. 3, 2020 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Leb’s Pizza House 17 S. Main St. Ostrander

• Feb. 4, 2020 7:30 am – 9:00 am at Plaza Inn 491 S. Main St. Mt. Victory

• February 4, 2020 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at All Occasions Banquet Facility 6989 Waldo-Delaware Rd. Waldo.

RSVP by calling Mark Wilson at 614-506-7846.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep.136| Paylean, Water, Drones

It’s Dusty, Matt and Kolt this week with USMCA as a big topic of discussion- along with “River Monsters” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The team will be seeking information about what pork farmers and County fairs are anticipating in the future of Paylean. Matt talks to Jim Heimerl about his take on the issue. And pigs need water, which brings the next big topic of the week, Janelle Mead talks about H2Ohio. Dusty caught up with Mark Carter from Purdue University at the Fort Wayne Farm show, where they talked about the drones on display at the event and their use— so much to hear about on this week’s podcast!… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau’s ExploreAg wins national honors

The American Farm Bureau Federation presented awards to state Farm Bureaus at the organization’s 101st Annual Convention in Austin, Texas. The awards recognize excellence in implementation of outstanding outreach programs in 2019.

Ohio Farm Bureau was the recipient of the New Horizon Award, honoring states with the most innovative new programs. This year’s award recognizes the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s ExploreAg initiative, a weeklong experience for high school students, where scholars are introduced to careers in food and agriculture both in the classroom and through hands-on learning.

“Creating a future workforce for agriculture is vital to the industry,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “ExploreAg addresses that need by encouraging young people to think critically about the food and farm industry and the issues associated with providing safe and sustainable food and fiber.”

To accomplish the ExploreAg program, Ohio Farm Bureau worked with numerous community partners. In two years, more than 30 Ohio agricultural businesses and operations have been highlighted in the program.… Continue reading

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A look back at 2019 Crop Tour numbers

By Matt Reese

Rewind back to mid-August of 2019 when two groups from Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net took to the back roads of the state to take a peek at the yield potential following arguably the worst planting season in the state’s history. The 2019 Ohio Crop Tour was sponsored by AgroLiquid.

Of course, we found many fields (particularly in northwest Ohio) that were very late developmentally. This made estimating yields for the fields quite challenging. The corn yield potential was there in many fields, but the crop was in great need of a late frost and steady rainfall throughout the rest of the growing season to come close to achieving the yield potential we were seeing. Guess what happened…

Here is what we wrote at the end of the 2019 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour on Aug. 15: For corn, the average yield for the East was 175 bushels per acre, the average for the West was 167 bushels per acre and the overall average was 171 bushels.Continue reading

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Compaction: Where the rubber meets the road

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

It can be said that compaction occurs where the rubber meets the road, or in this case, the rubber meets the soil.

“If you think about how roads are designed and built, they are constructed to handle heavy loads. It comes down to a function of the axle weight,” said Ian McDonald, researcher from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture. “Why do we think it is alright to put heavy axle weight on top of a biological ecosystem?”

In research conducted at Bern University by Matthias Stettler, it suggests that the axel load on equipment in a field should ideally be less than 5 tons per axle and tire inflation pressure should ideally be less than 15 pounds per square inch. Common field equipment axle loads are 7.5 tons per axle for a 200 horsepower 4-wheel-drive tractor, 13 tons per axle for a 325 horsepower 4-wheel-drive tractor, 24 tons per axle for a combine with a 12-row head, and 35 to 40 tons per axle for a 1200-bushel grain cart.

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Heritage Cooperative recognized for excellence

When it comes to stewardship, farmers, in partnership with their local ag retailers, are leading the way. Driving stewardship is more than individual practices – it also takes innovation at the farm level and consistent storytelling and advocacy at the local, state and federal levels.

Each year at the Land O’ Lakes Partners in Excellence Summit, an inspiring group of farmers and ag retailers are recognized for driving stewardship on the farm, to the benefit of their operations, local communities, their states and our nation. At this year’s summit, Land O’ Lakes awarded the top farmers and ag retailers in four categories: Outstanding Retailer Award, Outstanding Sustainability Award, Advocacy Award and Innovation Award.

Ohio-based Heritage Cooperative was the recipient of the 2019 Partners In Excellence Outstanding Retailer Award. Heritage Cooperative is a key partner, along with local farmers, in the landmark initiative with global ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle to assess and accelerate sustainability on 1.5 million acres of U.S.-grown… Continue reading

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Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Soybean Council energy study: Understanding the impact of demand charges and power factor in agriculture

Farmers have long explored options to provide energy savings associated with their agricultural operations. Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Soybean Council have partnered to provide research-based data driven tools to help Ohio farmers assess and navigate various energy infrastructure investment options for their farm. Specifically, the project team is interested in learning more about your experience and interest in implementing energy management strategies such as peak demand reduction, power factor correction, and/or the integration of solar generation systems to reduce electricity costs on your farm.

Farmers with commercial rate structures that charge for peak demand and poor power factor can implement equipment and management strategies to reduce electricity costs, thus increasing long-term profitability. However, very little is known about the economic feasibility of investing in equipment to reduce peak electric demand charges in agriculture. To determine the economic feasibility of implementing energy management strategies it is important to simultaneously study the real costs of installing new equipment, ongoing risks, challenges, as well as understanding how these improvements will influence the calculations of a farms electric bill a comprehensive manner.… Continue reading

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Develop a plan for the year ahead

By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I’m glad the days are starting to be a fraction longer, even though it’s not much more yet. While I wait for some daylight, I can usually be found reading early in the morning. I’m certainly a morning person, just ask my wife. There is no other good reason to be up at 4 a.m. this time of year, especially if I don’t have to be. I am though, trying to catch up on reading while it’s a bit easier to stay inside.

There is always something to be learned, reviewed, or perhaps occasionally unlearned. I like to take a second look at old ways of doing things and reading very old agriculture books. You would be surprised to learn that things that most would think are new ideas are sometimes over a century old.

As new ideas or innovations come to light, there is always somewhat of an incentive to evaluate and try them.… Continue reading

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Is the third time the charm for farmer fair practice rules?

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

A new rule proposed by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) covers a topic that has been up in the air for more than a decade. The 2008 Farm Bill called on the Secretary of Agriculture to create regulations meant to guide the USDA in determining whether or not a packer, swine contractor, or live poultry dealer gave a person or locality “any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage” when purchasing livestock and meat products. The Secretary of Agriculture entrusted the rulemaking to USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). GIPSA did propose versions of the rule in 2010 and 2016, but neither ever went into effect due to congressional prohibitions on such rulemaking and a presidential transition, respectively. (The anticipated regulations have long been referred to as the “Farmer Fair Practice Rules.”)… Continue reading

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Soil compaction, choices and patience

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Management requires measurement. There are two forms of soil compaction that can be measured and then managed, said John Fulton, associate professor at the Ohio State University in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at the recent Precision University 2020 meeting.

“To effectively manage compaction we need to both understand it and measure it. The first is surface compaction. This is the compaction that occurs at the upper soil layer.  It is considered to be within the tilled layer of soil. The second is subsoil or deep compaction. Subsoil compaction occurs below the tilled layer as a result of surface loading,” Fulton said. “There are four stages when dealing with compaction issues. They include: identifying areas of soil compaction,evaluating those compacted areas to determine both the cause and also severity, making plans to prevent future compaction, and developing plans to manage existing compaction.”

John Fulton, Associate Professor, Biosystems Engineering, The Ohio State University

Soil compaction can be defined as soil particles being compressed together and reducing the pore space.… Continue reading

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Beef exports (again) a key factor to watch in 2020

By Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

The latest Monthly Trade data for November 2019 was released by USDA Economic Research Service. The report continued the recent trend of lower monthly exports as compared to 2018. After three consecutive years of double-digit increases (2016-2018) in beef exports, current data show January-November 2019 exports to be down 4.6% compared to the same period in 2018. There are also new and hopeful trade deals to add to the mix with Japan, Canada, Mexico, and China. Needless to say, there are plenty of moving parts for 2020.

November 2019 beef exports were 8% below the same month of 2018 at just under 245 million pounds. For January-November 2019, exports to four of the top five destinations were lower (Japan, Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong) with the exception of South Korea which is up 6.3%. Japan is still the top destination for U.S.… Continue reading

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Senate passes USMCA

U.S. agriculture cheered today’s overwhelming support in Senate vote paving the way for the President’s signature of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“The Senate’s passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement is a huge win for our farmers in Ohio and across the country as it ensures the viability of agriculture’s trade partnerships in the global marketplace,” said Frank Burkett, Ohio Farm Bureau president. “Trade is vital to U.S. agriculture, and we applaud Senators Brown and Portman for their bipartisan work to continue and improve our relationship with our North American trading partners.”

The agreement has tremendous implications for agricultural exports from U.S. farmers. The dairy industry, in particular, will benefit significantly.

“USMCA makes important strides to break down trade barriers, opening the door to new opportunities and supporting the flow of high-quality American dairy products to two valuable export markets,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.… Continue reading

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