Prepare for 2019 spring fertilizer applications

By John Fulton and Trey Colley, Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

We are moving into spring work quickly here in 2019, including the application of fertilizer. Whether fixed- or variable-rate fertilizer application, it is important that proper maintenance, setup and calibration of spreaders is carried out. Annual calibration is necessary for accurate and uniform application of fertilizers.

While technology on spreaders, especially variable-rate technology (VRT) spreaders, has significantly increased in the last 10 years, the technology being adopted does not directly correlate to accurate field performance. Crop yield can potentially be impacted if incorrect rates are applied or non-uniform application occurs. There are a number of variables that impact the quality of dry fertilizer application, which includes the operator, fertilizer source properties, applicator and conditions during application. Here are a few notes to consider as we approach spring with work related to making sure the right source is accurately placed at the right rate.… Continue reading

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The challenges of still having unsold 2017 corn

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Wheat’s massive drop was most likely the cause for the decline in corn and beans the past couple of weeks. Large hedge funds often have positions in all three commodities, so if they were selling one, they might be selling all three.

In the last 30 days, wheat, corn, and beans had significant decreases with moderate rebounds last week:

  • Wheat decreased $1 per bushel then recovered 20 cents
  • Corn decreased 25 cents per bushel then recovered 14 cents
  • Beans decreased 45 cents per bushel then recovered 20 cents

This week’s recovery could make technical traders think prices have found a low. If so, they may consider re-ownership or short covering of recent sales in the futures market, which could help prices trend higher.


I’ve noticed a few analysts and advisors who still have 10% to 25% of their 2017 corn unpriced. One advisor was suggesting that farmers price remaining ‘17 unsold corn if July ’19 futures hit $4.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 97 | Farm Bureau to D.C., Ohio Beef Expo, and Ohio Ag Week

This episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, brought to you by AgriGold, hears from Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown as well as American Farm Bureau’s Paul Lyon. The crew also hears from Bruce Smith of COBA/Select Sires during the recent Ohio Beef Expo, plus agronomist Mike Hannewald taking a look at the phosphorous problem from a soil health perspective.

Tune in!… Continue reading

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Ohio’s senators weigh in on the changing climate

By Matt Reese

There is no doubt about it: 2018 was wet. It was the third wettest year on record and farmers should prepare for more soggy situations moving forward. At the recent Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada, Ohio State University climate specialist Aaron Wilson said temperatures are also on the rise and more rain is not coincidental. The warmer conditions lead to a greater amount of water vapor in the atmosphere and increased rainfall potential. Farmers are acutely aware of the situation; so are politicians.

This week in Washington, D.C. there was also plenty of talk about the changing climate as legislators considered the Green New Deal resolution spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The much-discussed Green New Deal brought “cow farts” into the national political debate and strives for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and the creation of jobs. Estimates suggest the Green New Deal could cost anywhere from around $50 trillion to over $90 trillion between 2020 and 2029 in addition to a wide array of potential societal costs.… Continue reading

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Gov. DeWine outlines H2Ohio water quality initiative

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine outlined his H2Ohio water quality initiative, which he is introducing as part of his proposed budget for the 2020-2021 biennium.

“Water is vital to everyone, yet communities throughout the state face real and different challenges, such as algae blooms, failing septic tanks, nutrient pollution, and threats of lead contamination,” Governor DeWine said. “We cannot continue to lurch from water crisis to water crisis. I am proposing an H2Ohio initiative that would allow us to invest in targeted, long-term solutions to ensure safe and clean water across the state of Ohio.”

During an event in Toledo, Governor DeWine announced that his proposal would create a special H2Ohio Fund that would be used to protect Ohio’s water quality over 10 years and could amount to approximately $900 million.

“Rather than borrowing to pay to fix our water problems, we want to create a special account, where we can deposit funds to be used specifically for water quality across Ohio,” Gov.… Continue reading

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A first-generation farm’s success

By Kayla Hawthorne, OCJ field reporter

In 2012 Brad and Mindy Thornburg bought 11 Angus-Simmental cross cows “sight unseen” through a deal with a friend. Thornburg Cattle was an adventure from the start of the first-generation farm near Barnesville in Belmont County, but they expected nothing less. They have battled through numerous challenges since then and their resulting success was highlighted in January when Brad was named the Young Cattleman of the Year by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.

The Young Cattleman of the Year Award is presented to individuals or couples, typically under 40 years of age, who have demonstrated the initial stages of a successful beef operation and exhibited leadership potential. The recipient is also the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s automatic nominee to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Young Cattlemen’s Conference held in early February.

The Thornburgs have worked hard to make their own way in the cattle business, but have relied heavily on the insight and expertise from others in the industry.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau county presidents’ trip highlights trade and farm economy

By Matt Reese

Ohio Farm Bureau’s county presidents flooded Capitol Hill this week with their message of how farms in Ohio — and their farms specifically — are impacted with federal policy decisions.

“It is so easy for all of us to take our food system and agricultural industry for granted. It is so important here at Capitol Hill for our farmer leaders to come out and tell their stories to help educate the leaders here in Washington about the challenges facing Ohio agriculture and what is happening on our farms,” said Jack Irvin, with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). “Having that personal story makes it so much more real than some white piece of paper that has a bunch of facts listed on it. When you have a real-life person telling a real-life story, it is something you can remember and understand a lot more easily than some generic talking point from a generic lobbyist.”… Continue reading

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Are there reasons to be optimistic for corn prices?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The last USDA report lowered export demand by 75 million bushels, most likely due to the anticipated large corn crops in South America and Ukraine. Unlike the U.S. though, these countries lack adequate storage, which means their corn is priced to move when it is harvested and it will compete with U.S. supply.

The USDA also reduced the ethanol grind by 25 million. The recent price set-back, could help ethanol plants’ margins and allow for the grind to remain steady going forward.

On a positive note, feed usage wasn’t reduced any further in this report. Some say the long cold winter is causing lower feed efficiency, so some expect feed demand to be adjusted higher down the road. While others in the trade think the much lower wheat prices will encourage end users to replace corn with more wheat in the rations. I’m not sure this will happen though, given wheat’s relatively good carry and strong basis most of the year will keep much of the wheat out of feed.… Continue reading

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The pulse of the kitchen

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

I live with a dairy farmer and meat and milk are usually what’s for dinner at our house. However, I think for one meal a week, or better yet a serving daily, all us carnivores can think outside the box and enjoy beans and legumes, or pulses as they are called these days. Pulses are the edible seeds grown in pods that are harvested dry. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognizes 11 types of pulses: dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cow peas, pigeon peas, lentils, Bambara beans, vetches, lupins and pulses nes (which is everything not in a before mentioned group).

Experts will say they are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Those hot trendy terms are not why I like to recommend them. Pulses are low fat and high in fiber with plenty of protein. Research has shown that eating a half-cup to three-quarters of a cup of pulses per day can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.… Continue reading

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Hey Toledo: The lake don’t care

By Matt Reese

There is no doubt the people of Toledo care about Lake Erie — and they should — though it could be argued that some of this caring is misguided and counterproductive. This is certainly the case with the recently Toledo-voter approved, and fairly bizarre, Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR). I do believe that no small amount of genuine caring went into the effort to get LEBOR passed, but I am also pretty certain that Lake Erie itself most definitely does not care.

Now with a Bill of Rights like a person, Lake Erie (whether it cares or not) can take legal action against parties who could damage it.

“[The lake] now has legal rights, but they would say that the lake is an indefensible entity, so therefore it needs help defending itself. Help is granted to the lake by passing the LEBOR law and allowing the citizens of Toledo to come to the lake’s defense as a legal entity,” said John Torres, with the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association.Continue reading

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Say cheese! Guggisberg once again named U.S. champions

By Joel Penhorwood

Guggisberg Cheese of Millersburg, Ohio has topped the U.S. Champion Cheese Contest once again.

The 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest put the Guggisberg’s baby Swiss entry at the very top at the annual competition’s gathering this past week. The company also won in 2015 with their Swiss entry.

No matter which way you cut it, it’s an extremely prestigious honor, said Ursula Guggisberg-Bennett.

“This is an absolutely huge honor for us,” she said. “It’s one thing to win the top of your category, which we won first place in the Swiss category and then first place in the baby Swiss category. But then to win the grand champion overall over 2,555 entries it’s just an absolute phenomenal win for us. We’re so, so excited.”

The company continues to take pride in their northeast Ohio settings, saying the unique mineral deposits of the surrounding soil add a unique feature to their final dairy products.… Continue reading

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House offers changes to DeWine’s gas tax proposal

The proposed “gas tax” by Gov. Mike DeWine in the State transportation budget would raise the state’s tax of fuel from the current 28-cents-per-gallon to 46 cents and generate $1.2 billion as part of the two-year, $7.4 billion transportation budget.

The reason behind the proposed increase is significant shortfall in the state’s road and bridge maintenance budget — something the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) looks to quickly approach $1 billion by 2030 if unabated.

Last week the Ohio House responded to the governor’s proposal with a 71 to 27 vote to raise the tax on gas 10.7 cents with a two-year phase in period, making the tax on gas $0.387 per gallon. In addition, the House:

  • Increased the tax for on-road diesel by 20 cents over a three-year phase in period, making the tax on on-road diesel $0.48 per gallon.
  • Added a provision putting compressed natural gas to the list of taxable motor fuels.
Continue reading

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March 8 neutral report leaves traders nervous

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Just ahead of the report, grains were mixed with corn down 1 cent, soybeans down 6 cents, with wheat up 4 cents. Following the report, corn was unchanged, soybeans down 3 cents, and wheat up 2 cents.

China’s soybean imports were 88 million tons, unchanged from last month. Brazil’s soybean production was 116.5 million tons, down just one-half million tons from last month. Corn ending stocks were 1.835 billion bushels, up 100 million bushels. Exports were cut 75 million bushels and ethanol was down 25 million bushels. Soybean ending stocks were down 10 million bushels to 900 million bushels. Wheat ending stocks up 45 million bushels to 1.055 billion bushels.

We often witness the grain markets reacting to what is currently happening — the headlines. Continuing the dominant theme seen in recent weeks, grains are reacting to what we are NOT seeing. The lack of U.S./China… Continue reading

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Newbie turkey hunters wanted

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

I love this idea: adults interested in learning how to hunt turkeys are invited to apply for a mentored hunt in northwest Ohio this spring. The opportunity is targeted to adults who want to learn how to pursue gobblers with hands-on help from an experienced hunter, who will determine the time and place of the hunt and accompany the newbie through the process. If only this type of program were available when I decided to set my sights on gobblers a few decades ago!

You can apply for the hunt by calling Andrea Altman at 419-429-8321 by 4 p.m. Friday, March 15. You must be at least 18 years old and must have eave never previously held a turkey tag in Ohio or have held a turkey tag in Ohio but were unsuccessful at harvesting a turkey.… Continue reading

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Wilmington Aggies Judging Contest going strong in 61st year

The recent Wilmington College Aggies Judging Contest, which encompasses general livestock, equine, dairy, and agronomy judging, took place in early March at the Clark County Fairgrounds. Well over 1,000 young people were expected to participate.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood spoke with student Calla Henry, alumni Erin Wollett, and Wilmington College President Jim Reynolds at the event.… Continue reading

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China deal up in the air and soggy soils underfoot

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Bloomberg News reported on Feb. 28 that the U.S. and China are in the final stages of negotiating a 150-page executive order, which may be ready to be signed by President Trump and President Xi yet this month. Final details are still being hammered out. The pact will include six “memorandum of understanding” points agreed to last month. Those six points are: forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, non-tariff barriers to trade, and agriculture.

Late last month, White House Economic Adviser Kudlow indicated the U.S. is on the verge of an historic pact with China. The weariness is readily apparent for all in the ag industry in regard to the months long U.S./China trade issues. Producers have paid with the decimating hit they took to their bottom line with the sharp decline in soybean prices since last June. With the huge amount of selling pressure in recent weeks, it appears traders are looking for specific things to occur, a date to be announced for the trade signing by the presidents, and the actual signing to happen.… Continue reading

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Fall and winter conditions offered significant challenges for manure application

By Matt Reese

There has been ample fodder for frustration this fall and winter for agriculture in general, but it surely could be argued that few have faced more challenges due to the persistent wet weather during this time frame than those trying to follow the letter of the law when applying livestock manure to farm fields.

Tim Wood is the sales manager for M&W Farm Supply, LLC that handles the manure from 14.75 million chickens at Trillium Farms locations around Marseilles, Mt. Victory and Croton. Conditions since last fall have been far from ideal for getting the poultry manure out of the barns and onto the fields.

“Our intention each fall is to spread roughly 100,000 tons on close to 50,000 acres. So, we are kind of in a hole. We cover an 11-county area and typically harvest starts earlier in the north than the south. Around the 20th of September we had only spread around 1,500 tons.… Continue reading

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Don Boehm named CCA of the Year

By Matt Reese

Don Boehm of Findlay was named the 2019 CCA of the Year by the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Program at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada yesterday.

Boehm now serves as the crop protection manager at Legacy Farmers Cooperative with more than 30 years of crop advising experience and service in the Hancock County area. He is currently responsible for weed management recommendations, soil sampling and scouting, and implementation strategies for the 4R principles at Legacy, which was among the first facilities certified in the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program. Throughout his career he has been involved with sales, management and direct work with farmers in his role as a CCA. Boehm has also worked to implement new technology for farmer customers and on his own farm.

“The thing that has been the most rewarding to me is that God has blessed us with the opportunity to farm.… Continue reading

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