Why are basis values so different by geographic area?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

I’ve often been asked why basis is so high in some areas but lower in others. There are many factors contributing to these variances, but it’s important to realize that basis values across the U.S. also correlate with each other.

Land values and basis values

While local yields can impact land values the most, basis values have a strong relation to those values as well. I’ve seen social media posts recently with farmers comparing basis values across the U.S., specifically that Ohio is getting +50 while parts of North Dakotas get -80. While this might frustrate some farmers, it’s important to realize that average basis values are actually “baked” into land values and cash rents. For instance, Ohio usually has a +20 basis in a normal year; but Ohio’s land costs are typically double of North Dakota’s, where -70 basis is common.

Basis values move together

When basis values in one area move in any price direction, other areas shifted similarly.… Continue reading

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I survived 2019

By Harold Watters, CCA Ohio State University extension agronomist

And I deserve a certificate. I think you do too. I told my intern this summer that this will be a season she will remember her whole career. But honestly, I want to forget this one — unless this is the glimpse of what the future brings. Attend any “dealing with climate change” program you hear about, just in case.


Weed management in Ohio, update 2019

Our OSU Extension AgNR educators observed soybean fields across the state again this fall to see what was out there for our annual fall soybean weed survey. I was supposed to share this early enough so you could at least get a fall application on to get a head start on controlling marestail, but it seems we have more problems than that to deal with.

Statewide our most frequently observed weed problem was again marestail.… Continue reading

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Top stories of 2019: #1

  1. $65 hay bales a sign of the times

It was tough for hay production in 2018-2019. That truth came to a fever pitch in June at the LaRue Horse and Tack Sale.

“We usually have an average of 300 to 500 bales a month that people bring in,” said Janeen Heilman, sale organizer. “In April, of this year, we had 439 bales of hay of all different kinds and cuttings. The average per bale for April was $5.64. In May, we only had 195 bales for sale. The average for those was $6.91 per bale.”

The situation, which has slowly been increasing in desperation, hit its peak on Saturday, June 1.

“This month, we only had 15 bales and we had two people hurting for hay. It ended up at $65 a bale,” she said. “We talked to make sure they knew how they were bidding and they did.”

You read that correctly — $65 for small square bales of fourth cutting alfalfa mix.… Continue reading

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Top stories of 2019: #2

  1. Citizens of Toledo approve the Lake Erie Bill of Rights

The Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) was passed by the citizens of Toledo in a special election held on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The passage of LEBOR opened up the possibility of thousands of lawsuits against any entity that could be doing harm to Lake Erie, including agricultural operations. This was immediately followed up with a lawsuit from Wood County farmer Mark Drewes challenging the constitutionality and legal status of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights. This case has been moving in Drewes’ favor since then, but has not yet been resolved.… Continue reading

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Top stories of 2019: #3

  1. Hemp bill signed into law at the Ohio State Fair

Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law, decriminalizing hemp and paving the way for the development of a new hemp industry in our state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will administer the newly created hemp program.

Hemp is a cannabis plant that does not produce intoxicating effects. Hemp contains a fiber, a grain, and oil that can be extracted for CBD, which is now being used in food and dietary supplements.

The hemp program sets up a licensing structure for farmers who are interested in growing the crop and those interested in processing it. It also allows for universities to grow and cultivate the crop for research purposes.… Continue reading

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Top stories of 2019: #4

  1. “Deal or No Deal” appearance yields big win and lasting memories for an Ohio family

In March of 2018, the Anderson family got more bad news. Randy Anderson, who had been fighting cancer for several years, found out it had spread. His daughter, Casey Heath, wanted to do something to help her father focus on something other than his pain and health issues. At the same time, Casey and her husband were contemplating selling their home in Sandusky so she could move closer to Bluffton to work at Anderson Tractor Supply, the family’s agribusiness in northwest Ohio.

The situation prompted Casey to do an unusual Google search to find out about the television game show “Deal or No Deal” — her father’s favorite game show. That led to the family being featured on the episode that first aired on Dec. 5, 2018. When the show was over, Casey had $133,000 — enough to make the financial leap for Casey to return to the family business.… Continue reading

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Top stories of 2019: #6

  1. June 11 brings bullish news for corn

Doug Tenney, with Leist Mercantile, has been a long time contributor and, in recent years, has been offering his insights immediately following the monthly USDA reports that often have tremendous implications for the crop markets. In June, after what had been the most challenging planting season in history that led to record setting prevented planting acres, there was clearly huge interest in the bullish numbers from USDA.… Continue reading

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Top stories of 2019: #8

  1. Ohio FFA’s Kolesen McCoy elected National FFA President

Heading into the 2019 National FFA Convention, the organization announced a record-high student membership of 700,170 and, in the next year, Kolesen McCoy, from the Global Impact STEM Academy Chapter, will be representing each of those members as only the third National FFA President from Ohio. The other National FFA presidents from Ohio were Bobby Jones in in 1933-1934 and Mark Sanborn in 1978-1979. McCoy is looking forward to building upon that heritage.… Continue reading

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Top stories of 2019: #10

Our web site keeps track of the stories that generate the most interest and at the end of the year we like to review the top stories to gain insight into how to better serve readers of our web and print content and our radio listeners. Plus, it is always fun to see which story comes out on top. In addition to these top posts, other noteworthy drivers of web traffic in 2019 included the Ohio and Pro Farmer crop tours, the Ohio State Fair livestock show results, FFA, and Between the Rows. Weather challenges, the tough farm economy, and all things draft horse also garnered major web traffic in the last 12 months. Here is the 10th most popular story of 2019. Stay tuned as we count them down to the top story of 2019 as we approach 2020.

  1. Ohio is home to back-to-back six-horse hitch champions

OCJ field reporter Kayla Hawthorne hit a home run with her story about All Star Farms earning several national and world titles within the draft horse six-horse hitch industry.… Continue reading

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Keep a close watch on rural mental health this holiday season

By Matt Reese

While it can be the most wonderful time of the year for many, it can also be the most challenging time of year for others. Though some situations in Ohio agriculture turned out better than feared, 2019 was still a tough year for farms in the state that was preceded by several tough years. All these factors converge to make it an excellent time to keep an eye on friends and family members in the farming community who may be experiencing significant stress this holiday season.

Jolene Brown, a farm wife, author and professional speaker, spends quite a bit of time talking about the importance of mental health in the farm community, which can be especially important this time of year. First, it is so important to remember the farmer is more important than the farm.

“Who we are is what we do, and that’s how we see ourselves.… Continue reading

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Sustainable and safe greenhouse crop production

By Mary Wicks and Peter Ling

Ohio’s production of crops grown under controlled environments (CE), i.e. greenhouses and plant factories, is growing. From 2012 to 2017, floriculture and bedding crop production increased by 12%, based on square footage. During the same period, the area allocated for greenhouse production of vegetables, herbs and tomatoes increased about 4-fold, with total sales of about $75 million in 2017.

Like any other crop, those grown in CE require careful management to maintain plant health and maximize yields. Unlike field crops, CE production allows for control of growing conditions. Understanding how to manipulate climatic factors, such as temperature, humidity and lighting, as well methods to manage pests, can optimize plant growth while minimizing negative environmental impacts.

For CE production of vegetable crops, eliminating the risk of foodborne pathogens is also critical. The National Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Program provides training and resources to educate growers about methods of growing, storing and transporting food crops that protect consumers.… Continue reading

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A variety of factors shaping the basis

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The U.S. and China indicated last Friday they are close to completing a deal to end the 19-month trade war. Potentially, China could buy $40 billion worth of agricultural products in 2020, up 50% from $27 billion in 2017. However, which commodities and how much of each would be purchased are unclear and nothing has been signed.

The market didn’t react well to all of the unknowns in the news. Initially corn was up 8 cents and beans were up 16 cents, but by the end of the day corn was only up 3 cents and beans were up just 8 cents. Perhaps the market still remembers last month’s trade deal that ultimately fell apart. Still the news is probably more bullish than bearish for both crops.



There has been a lot of discussion recently if basis will remain strong or if it’s time to sell.… Continue reading

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Roselyn’s last wreath

By Matt Reese

Louise was in a snit. And, an ugly snit it was. Regarded as a living saint by all in the small town community, Louise had rarely been known to be in such a state.

Louise had dedicated her life to service to others, most notably her handicapped elder sister Roselyn. Louise was talented, beautiful and extremely intelligent in her youth. She’d had unlimited potential, and she’d lived up to much of it.

She’d had a successful career in business, from which she was now retired. She had tirelessly cared for and supported Roselyn beyond what could be reasonably expected of anyone. And it was said Louise shone the brightest every year in her service to the local church. This level of service reached its pinnacle at the start of Advent. Louise coordinated the magnificent Advent Service each year four weeks prior to Christmas in the beautiful, small town church her family had attended for generations.… Continue reading

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Tillage for the control of weeds, insects and disease

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Ask most farmers why they perform tillage, and the first few responses will most likely be: to eliminate compaction issues, manage crop residue, or level the soil and prepare a seed bed for next year. After that there is a second tier of answers that usually follows. Weed control, as well as managing insects and disease issues are often secondary reasons given for tillage.

Prior to the advent of modern herbicides, and the no-till revolution, tillage was the primary form of weed control for centuries. As both chemical herbicide technology and equipment have evolved, the need for tillage has also changed.

While tillage is an effective method for controlling some species of weeds, there are now chemical options that are equally effective.

“We now have good enough chemistries that we do not typically need to perform tillage to control weeds,” said Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension Weed Specialists.

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Charitable gifting of grain as a year-end tax planning opportunity

By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAs

As the 2019 calendar draws to a close, thoughts of charitable giving may be on your mind. With recent new tax law changes enacted under the Tax Cut & Jobs Act, itemizing deductions (which includes charitable contributions) on individual tax returns, has resulted in higher standard deduction thresholds. Married filing jointly couples need more than $24,000 ($12,000 for a single taxpayer) in itemized deductions to take advantage of additional deductions against adjusted gross income.

For farmers that are below the thresholds (less than $24,0000 for itemized deductions of medical, state and local taxes, mortgage interest and charitable giving), charitable gifting in the form of grain may be more appealing than cash donations. The gifting of the grain is a reduction of farm income, while still taking advantage of the $24,000 of itemized deductions.

Here is what you will need to know as a farmer who wants to make a charitable gift before the end of 2019:

  • The farmer can exclude the sale of the cash crop from income and deduct cost of growing the crop.
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Symposium offers updates on the farm economy, weather and water quality

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

Ohio’s corn, soybean and wheat producers gathered in Columbus this week for the 2019 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium. Guests heard from Director Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Cathann Kress, Dean of the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

In addition Ben Brown, OSU Farm Management Program Manager, covered a wide array of topics about the current farm economy and the outlook moving forward. One important part of that conversation was the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments.

“We can attribute a lot of the factors behind the Ohio farm economy and decisions around grain marketing and planting to the MFP,” Brown said. “It is helping farm income and providing cash. Instead of having to manage grain in a bin, we have these payments. This is creating some liquidity at the farm level that is propping up balance sheets.… Continue reading

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Shining a light on service during the holiday season

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter

The FFA sets students up for success through “learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live and living to serve” — that is exactly what Ohio FFA members are doing as they prepare for the holiday season. Chapters across the state engage in a number of service projects to give back to their local communities.

The Shelby FFA chapter in Richland County donates fruit from their chapter’s annual fruit sale to the Shelby Help Line each year. The goal of this project is to provide the local community access to fresh food. This project started in 2012 when the chapter received a donation of $1,000 worth of fruit from an anonymous supporter.

“It’s important to give back to the community because they support us as much as we support them,” said Shelby Evans, a Shelby FFA chapter reporter.

Evans said this service project aligns with the FFA motto as the chapter helps those in need and promotes healthy lifestyles.… Continue reading

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