Featured News



Cover crops after soybean or corn silage is a great opportunity

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Growing cover crops after soybean or silage harvest creates more challenge than after wheat. Benefits of a cover include erosion control, suppress weeds, nutrient retention and adding organic matter. If you are making manure applications after silage harvest, a cover crop to retain nutrients is a must.

Table 1. Species of cover crops to consider in Ohio after soybean or silage harvest.

SpeciesRemarks
Cereal ryeA traditional cover crop. Requires close attention to management in the spring.
Winter triticaleSome use this for spring chop for livestock, then plant full season soybean or silage again. Watch out for Barley yellow dwarf though if planted early.
Winter wheatYou know this crop and it is easy to manage. Seed readily available.
OatsGrazing. Won’t survive winter but will make it to about Christmas. Some graze oats or wet wrap. Often planted with oilseed radish if early.
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J&M Manufacturing’s right-side unload auger

For over 30 years J&M has listened to their customers to continuously improve their trusted line of grain carts and provide the features they demand. Once again, J&M has taken the feedback from farmers to create a right-side unload auger on select X-Tended Reach grain carts, further increasing operator visibility and efficiency.
The biggest benefit of a right-side auger is that it makes unloading easier and more comfortable. Tractors are designed with controls and monitors on the right side of the cab. Compared to a traditional left-side auger grain cart, putting the auger on the right side makes it much easier to watch the grain cart unload, use the tractor controls and track monitors at the same time. This reduces the risk for mistakes especially during stressful moments and greatly diminishes the amount of twisting and turning while operating the grain cart.

In addition, tractor seats swivel more to the right than the left.… Continue reading

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Plenty to see, learn at Gwynne Conservation Area: Farm Science Review 2021

At the Farm Science Review, visitors can discover such things as:

  • How grazing goats can help control invasive plants in the woods.
  • How to call turkeys, identify frogs, stock a pond with the best types of fish, and grow edible mushrooms in a bucket.
  • How and when to harvest timber, and an update on volatile lumber prices.
  • How to identify the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species new to Ohio that can damage fruit and shade trees and grape vines.

To learn more about woods, water, wildlife, and grazing lands — and walk among them —check out the Gwynne Conservation Area at this year’s Farm Science Review. The nearly 70-acre demonstration site — home of a forest, a stream, a wetland, ponds, pastures, wildlife food plots, and trails leading past or through them — will offer 50-plus talks, tours, and demonstrations during all three days of the Review.

Visitors will find prairie plants blown by the wind, shade from trees, sunlight glinting on rippled water, butterflies, green frogs, bluegills, and bluebirds.… Continue reading

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Spotted Lanternfly found in Cuyahoga County

A population of the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF) has been found on the east side of Cleveland. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) was notified of the initial discovery by a tree care professional on Aug. 26, 2021.

ODA Plant Pest inspectors confirmed living, adult SLF are in the area. An inspector with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also confirmed a population of the SLF has been found at a secondary location, near the initial report. A railroad line connects both locations.

ODA has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Grape Industries Committee to do visual surveys, insect trapping, and outreach in the region.

SLF is a great concern to the grape and wine industry. The insect is fond of grapevines, fruit trees, hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut.… Continue reading

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Making the most of muck

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

The contrast between the bright, green leaves of a zucchini plant is stark in comparison to the black soil. Heat rises from the field, at least a few degrees warmer than the hot summer air. Rumor has it that the soil itself, when dry enough, can be lit on fire. The ground, known as muck, is dark and rich in nutrients and very valuable for specialty crop production in parts of northern Ohio. 

The area, which has been coined “the muck” by locals, is located just south of Willard, Ohio. The unincorporated area where more than 1,000 acres of the soil is located is called Celeryville, named after the many fields of celery that once dominated the area. 

In the mid-1890s, a gentleman named Henry Johnson realized that the Willard Marsh had soil ideal for growing vegetable crops. However, he needed help to drain the area.… Continue reading

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Fall slug and vole control

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Slugs and voles are becoming major problems on some farms.  One farmer lost 80 acres to slugs, and then another 40 acres.  Slugs and voles prefer moist, wet conditions, slow crop growth, and lush vegetation.  Unfortunately, there is no one management practice that reduces either pest.  It requires a coordinated attack which begins in the fall as grain crops are being harvested.

Both slugs and voles have several weaknesses.  First, their populations are cyclical, peaking and crashing about every 2-5 years.  Extremely cold winter weather with little protection, greatly reduces both pests.  Slugs burrow deep into the soil, but when the soil frost line meets the water table during a deep freeze, many slugs perish.  Voles do not hibernate but need 40% more energy in the winter to survive.  Cold weather without snow or heavy vegetation greatly reduces pest numbers.  Mowing a cover crop down to 8 inches or planting species that 50% winter kill helps reduce pest populations.

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Teens have conservation voice

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Talk about a cool school program: the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will welcome 42 new students as members of the Conservation Teen Advisory Council (ConTAC) for the upcoming school year, members of which serve as a voice of Ohio’s youth to ODNR to help expand reach, impact, and conservation efforts.

“The future of Ohio’s natural resources is in the hands of young people like this group,” said Mary Mertz, ODNR Director. “I am inspired by their passion for nature and can’t wait to see the ideas they bring to the table.”

Members are responsible for developing and implementing strategies and campaigns that best represent Ohio’s young people. In the past, the students have helped with presentations for the Great Lakes Commission, participated in stream clean-ups/litter pick-ups, crafted social media posts, shadowed staff, and much more.… Continue reading

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Harvest weather outlook

By Jim Noel, NOAA

Summer saw hit and miss rains and warm temperatures so what will the harvest season bring?

As we close out summer and the growing season we expect some week-to-week swings in the climate pattern for September. This means expect a warm week followed by a cooler week followed by a warmer week. The same applies to rainfall. We expect dry and wet periods. Overall, September appears to favor normal temperatures and slightly wetter conditions especially in southern areas. The driest areas appear to favor northwest Ohio. The 16-day mean rainfall outlook calling for rainfall for through middle September to range from well under an inch in northwest Ohio to 3 or 4 inches in the far southeast part of the state.

The ocean patterns are similar to last year but not quite as extreme so we may see an autumn pattern somewhat similar to last year which is a whole lot of typical conditions. … Continue reading

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NASS to review acreage earlier for certain crops

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will review all available data, including survey data, satellite-based data, and the latest information from USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency, for planted and harvested acreage for corn, cotton, peanuts, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets in preparation for the September Crop Production report. If the data review justifies any changes, NASS will publish updated planted and harvested acreage estimates in the Sept. 10 report.

It is normal practice for NASS to review these data in September for cotton, peanuts, and rice. The review typically takes place in October for corn, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets, however the data are sufficiently complete this year to consider adjustments in September. In October, NASS will again review acreage for corn, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets as well as for canola, dry edible beans, and sunflowers.… Continue reading

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Oats don’t know and lumber prices have no bearing on grain values

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Corn and beans continue trading within tight ranges. Yield estimates seem less certain than usual for this time of year. Therefore, a sideways market may be likely until the September USDA report is released. 

With so much uncertainty, there are those searching for some sign of where the corn and bean markets are headed. This includes trying to look for similarities in other markets, like lumber and oats. The following looks at each case and illustrates why other market similarities are more likely coincidences than correlated.

Correlation between the lumber market and the corn market

Lumber futures awareness entered our daily lives about one year ago when sheets of plywood doubled in price within a few months and seemed to be the new toilet paper shortage craze. Lumber prices rallied more than any other commodity for the first few months of 2021, but then fell dramatically since May as seen in this chart below:

Some traders are concerned what happened to lumber could happen to grain prices too.… Continue reading

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Get out to a field day this fall

By Todd Jeffries, Vice President, Seed Genetics Direct

Todd Jeffries, Seed Genetics Direct

Last year, many companies chose not to host events. This year, many companies are returning to somewhat normal circumstances and holding pre-harvest field days again, which is a welcome change. Field days have a lot of valuable learning opportunities for growers, such as:

  1. What’s new? The turnover for new hybrids is now quicker than ever thanks to double-haploid breeding and CRISPR technology. Some groan at the high turnover rates of new hybrids and genetics, but the yield increases over the past decade or two are real, and that’s what’s driving the new hybrids hitting the market so quickly. Field days provide the opportunity for growers to see and touch many of the new hybrids and varieties that have come out in the past year. Growers can learn about each one individually and compare it with what they are currently growing.
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Unusual fall armyworm outbreaks

By Kelley TilmonAndy MichelMark SulcJames MorrisCurtis Young, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

We have received an unusual number of reports about fall armyworm outbreaks particularly in forage including alfalfa and sorghum sudangrass, and in turf. Certain hard-hit fields have been all but stripped bare. 

True or common armyworm is a different species than the fall armyworm. The true armyworm is the species that causes problems in cereal crops in the spring of the year. Fall armyworm migrates into Ohio during the summer and could cause problems into late summer. It is not or maybe we should say has not typically been a problem in Ohio. Also, unlike the true armyworm that only feeds on grasses (i.e., corn, wheat, forage grasses), the fall armyworm has well over 100 different types of plants upon which it feeds including many grasses but also alfalfa, soybeans, beets, cabbage, peanuts, onion, cotton, pasture grasses, millet, tomato, and potato.… Continue reading

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Understanding genes and the environment

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Two new scientific articles help explain how DNA, which makes up our genes, and the environment work together to express those genes.  It was thought that humans had over 3 million genes, but now estimate that it closer to 300,000 genes.  Microbes which live in humans and in plants supply the majority of the genes that control many life functions.  Scientist are finding that the genes humans and plants obtain from their parents or “heredity is nothing more than stored environment” according to Luther Burbank.

Farmers can see this relationship when they plant the same seed in different fields with different soil types, and the crop expresses itself differently. This effect is compounded as multiple generations are grown in different environments. This same process expresses itself in the organisms we call ‘diseases’ or ‘pests.’  Sometimes a disease organism is not really a pest if it is in a healthy soil environment. 

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Nationwide honors Ohio’s Ag Educator of the Year, opens 2021-2022 search

Educators serve a critical role in preparing future generations for success. They also devote immeasurable time, and often their own resources, to help students pursue their passions. As the number one insurer of farms and ranches in the United States, Nationwide recently recognized 10 Ohio teachers as finalists for the 2020-2021 Golden Owl Award. In partnership with Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio FFA, AgCredit and Farm Credit Mid-America, Nationwide recognized Don Hammersmith at Ayersville High School as Ohio’s 2020-2021 Ag Educator of the Year. 

“As a company with deep roots in agriculture, we recognize the essential role agricultural teachers play in their communities and for the future of the industry,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “We’re proud to recognize the incredible work of teachers like Don Hammersmith to make a difference for their students and communities.”

Hammersmith was formally recognized as the Golden Owl Award grand prize winner during the Ohio FFA State Convention.… Continue reading

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PFR practices

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

What do you need to change to raise 125 bushel soybeans?

“The definition of insanity is doing what has always been done, and expecting different results,” said Travis Burnett, Field Agronomist for Becks. “The purpose of the high yield plots is to get outside our comfort zone and try different things, then work backwards with the results to see what can practically be applied to our traditional research.”

Becks has been conducting high yield corn and soybean plots for several years, using the latest seed technology combined with overhead irrigation, subsurface drainage and subsurface drip irrigation.

“Our challenge from Sonny Beck is to hit 125 bushels per acre,” Burnett said. “In 2020 we hit 117.”

One area which the team is trying new things to reach the goal is in how nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) are managed in the crop.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 218 | CAUV

Leah Curtis, Policy Counsel for Ohio Farm Bureau, visits with Matt, Dusty and Kolt discussing all things CAUV. Plus, Matt has updates with Chris Pugh of Bane Welker Equipment talking about getting the precision harvest equipment ready and Andi Blaylock of Cargill talking about mental health. Plus a healthy dose of Army Worm banter in this edition brought to you by AgriGold!… Continue reading

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Brady Campbell named small ruminant specialist at Ohio State

The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences has hired Brady Campbell as an assistant professor to focus on small ruminant management.

Campbell begins his new position on Sept. 15 in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). He will work with Ohio State Extension professionals to develop educational materials and programs for sheep and goat producers. 

“Brady will fill an important role for our department and the state. Ohio is the largest sheep production state east of the Mississippi,” said John Foltz, chair of the animal sciences department. “Lamb and goat production are on the rise in Ohio due to a variety of factors, including increased consumption in restaurants and increased ethnic populations in the state.”

In addition, he will conduct applied research on small ruminant production and management and assist with youth livestock sheep and goat programs. 

“As we educate undergraduate students who are increasingly from urban backgrounds, they can more easily work with small ruminants,” Foltz said.… Continue reading

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Dry, hot conditions continue

Small amounts of rain provided some relief to crops and livestock during a mostly hot, dry week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 64% adequate to surplus, down 8 percentage points from the previous week. Temperatures for the week ending August 29 were 7.5 degrees above historical normals, while the entire State averaged 0.71 inches of precipitation. There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 29.

Livestock were in good condition but were beginning to get slightly stressed due to heat and humidity. Alfalfa hay third cut progress was 81% complete. Eighty- seven percent of corn was in or through dough and 54% of the crop was dented. Corn condition was rated 77% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming progress was at 94% complete and 89% of soybeans were setting pods. Soybeans were rated 68% good to excellent condition. … Continue reading

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The benefits of late-season scouting

By Roy A. Ulrich, Dekalb and Asgrow Technical Agronomist in Southern Ohio

Many of the crops in the state are advanced enough in their growth stages, that no further management decisions or applications will impact yield, except for harvest timing decisions. However, much of the final yield is still to be determined by the previous management decisions and the weather over the coming weeks. Just because our management influence has ceased for this growing season, it doesn’t mean that scouting can’t positively impact future growing seasons. 

            Nitrogen management is one of the things that late season scouting can help determine, if making any changes to next year’s nitrogen program should be considered. The tell-tale yellowing of the lower leaves starting at the tip of the leaf angling in towards the mid rib, is an indication of a corn plant remobilizing nitrogen from lower in the plant towards the ear for grain fill.… Continue reading

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Preparing for and preventing African swine fever

With the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory confirmation of African swine fever (ASF) in samples collected from pigs in the Dominican Republic, efforts are being redoubled to protect U.S. swine herds from this devastating disease hitting too close to home.

ASF has moved through Russia and Eastern Europe since 2007 and in August of 2018 was reported in China’s swine herd. It has been estimated that the number of sows China has lost to ASF is more than the entire U.S. sow herd.

The Dominican Republic case of ASF confirmed on July 28 is less than 1,000 miles away from the U.S. border, so USDA is using the case as an opportunity to prepare U.S. producers and key stakeholders for the possibility of ASF entering the U.S. Rosemary Sifford, with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), participated in a recent Pork Checkoff producer webinar on the topic. … Continue reading

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