2018 Feeding Farmers | Yocom Farms, Champaign Co.

The first week of the 2018 Feeding Farmers program, sponsored by AgriGold, took the Ohio Ag Net crew just outside of Urbana in Champaign County to the Yocom farm where brothers Ross and Roger have been farming together for several years. The two were heavily involved in a building sprayers from 1974 onward, but recently retired from the business to solely farm. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood visits with Roger about the operation and its history.

Listen to Dale Minyo’s interview with Ross Yocom

 … Continue reading

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Hay production fills barns and roles on the farm

By Matt Reese

In the heavy lakebed soils just off the shores of Lake Erie, hay is an important part of the Gahler farm, though not necessarily an easy fit. Hay compliments the cattle and row crops for the farm and capitalizes on the unique soils.

“My Grandpa and his brother had a dairy and sold out in the late 60s. Dad and his three brothers began taking over after that and in addition to the grain crops they grew several specialty crops over the years. My uncle Ed started the hay operation, making small bales for primarily horse markets in the late 70s,” said Al Gahler, who is now involved in the hay operation with his uncle. “It is a completely alfalfa-based program. In relation to other crops we have a higher percentage of hay in this area. With our lakebed clay soils the alfalfa does really well in the crop rotation.… Continue reading

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Lessons learned in Costa Rica

By Abby Motter, OCJ field reporter

Hola! I am Abby Motter, a senior at The Ohio State University studying Agriscience Education, and minoring in both Production Agriculture and Spanish. This past March I had the chance to spend my spring break in a very different capacity. Instead of road trips, beaches, and bad decisions, I traveled alongside some of my classmates on a service-learning experience to Costa Rica. I will never forget the long bus rides filled with fellowship, the beautiful views, the difficult learning moments, or the powerful insight gained from engaging with Costa Ricans, locally know as Ticos. Traveling to Costa Rica allowed me to engage in an aspect of agriculture that is not only different from the United States in its methodologies, but also in its focus. Most importantly, we had the chance to learn more about ourselves by completing a home stay in the community, La Finca Argentina.… Continue reading

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Managing parasites in small ruminants

By Matt Reese

The sun is out, the grass is growing and livestock in Ohio are out on pasture contentedly grazing. There is something special about the relationship between animals and pasture on a farm but there are challenges as well, including parasites.

“Worldwide, producers are losing billions of dollars to parasites through production losses and actual animal losses. They are more of an issue in the Eastern U.S. because our grazing areas are more concentrated than in the West. Issues with parasites increase this time of year when temperatures are 50 to 104 degrees F. Beyond this range, their survivability decreases significantly,” said Brady Campbell, program coordinator of the Ohio State University sheep team. “When it is hot, humid and wet they thrive. Now everything is out on pasture and when it is wet and dewy it is a problem. Dew is actually how the parasites travel up and down the forage and that is when the sheep are doing most of their grazing in the morning and evening.”… Continue reading

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Watch fields for early season issues

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

As we begin another growing season in Ohio, growers have already begun

to deal with the challenges of 2018. Although it is early in the growing season, Ohio’s farmers have already dealt with several issues in their corn fields.

Patterns of wet weather and large rainfall events have caused planting delays, slow emergence, and saturated soils in many areas. Due to large rain events this spring, many fields were flooded. While corn can survive flooding/ponding for a period of time, several factors determine the length of time plants can survive. Young corn plants can usually survive two to four days in flooded conditions. Death of corn plants is more likely prior to the V6 stage of development because the growing point is still below the soil surface. Although ponding/flooding has the potential to impact stands, crops can survive under the right conditions.… Continue reading

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One-of-a-kind sprayer being developed in Ohio

By Erdal Ozkan, Ohio State University Professor and Extension Ag Engineer

Much of the pesticide applied today using conventional spray equipment for pest control in floral, nursery, orchard, vineyard and other specialty crop productions is wasted in a number of ways. Most of this waste is due to the sprayers used and how they are operated.

Using conventional sprayers in orchards, for example, the growers simply turn on the sprayer at one end of the row of trees and stop spraying at the other end. The spraying is done continuously, regardless of the gaps between the trees. This gap could be rather wide in some cases, up to 30% of the area sprayed. This means we may waste at least 30% of the pesticide sprayed using conventional sprayers.

Moreover, in a nursery, or an orchard we not only have gaps between trees, we also have a tremendous variation in the size and shape of targets we spray: some short, some tall, some bushy, some slender.… Continue reading

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Senate Farm Bill passes committee — Lake Erie, dairy programs included

By Joel Penhorwood

he Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry passed their version of the 2018 Farm Bill on Wednesday, 20-1.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Committee, said it’s an important bipartisan effort during a crucial time for Ohio agriculture and natural resources.

“This bipartisan bill is good for farmers, good for families, good for taxpayers, good for jobs, and good for Lake Erie,” Brown said. “This bill is a big win for Ohio, and it’s the product of a long, bipartisan process, working with farmers and stakeholders over the past year.”

Listen to Sen. Brown’s comments following the vote.

Sen. Brown spoke with reporters in a conference call immediately after the vote. He was joined by Dr. Cathann Kress, Dean of the Ohio State College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. She commented on the positive movement forward for Ohio agriculture.

Known formally as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the legislation can be read in its entirety here.Continue reading

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Of bedtimes and biofuels…

By Matt Reese

Summer is here and as far as the Reese children are concerned, the structure and discipline of the school year schedule disappears. This is most obvious at bedtime, or a lack thereof.

I have a system for playing with the children, coaching their sports, general dad stuff, and getting things done. I work while they are at school and when they get home we do chores/fun stuff/homework/sports practice. They go to bed and then I can get some more work done until midnight or so.

The problem with my system is that as they get older and the bedtime gets later, my window for getting work done in the late evening gets smaller. And, as I get older, I am also finding that I can’t work as late as I used to.

During the school year the bedtime used to be a hard 8:00, but over the last year or so that has evolved into more like 9:00.… Continue reading

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Friendly report for corn and wheat, neutral for soybeans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

hortly before the report corn was up four cents, soybeans and wheat were both up two cents. After the report, corn was up 8 cents, soybeans were up 6 cents, with wheat up 15 cents.

This USDA report was expected to see US wheat production increase while world wheat production was expected to decline. Brazil’s corn production was also expected to decline. The report today had US wheat production at 1.827, billion bushels, increased by six million bushels. This was a small surprise but not price breaking. World wheat production was 242.37 million tons, up almost two million tons. Corn production in Brazil was 85 million tons, down 2 million tons. Russia wheat production was cut 3.5 million tons, a bullish push for wheat.

Some of the numbers today include, US old corn ending stocks 2.102 billion bushels, US old soybeans ending stocks 415 million bushels, US wheat ending stocks 1.080 billion bushels.… Continue reading

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A court win for co-op allows insurance patronage to continue

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

After a two-year court battle regarding the legality of it’s insurance patronage program, Sunrise Cooperative was given the green light to continue the process of making these payments, when available, to customer-owners as it has been for a decade.

After the 2008 farm bill made insurance rebates illegal, Sunrise was grandfathered around the law as their insurance patronage was structured to be given to members who chose to use Lund & Smith Insurance Services, LLC (L&S) as their crop insurance provider. Sunrise owns one-third of L & S, so the payments were found to be justified.

That is until 2016, when Sunrise was about to merge with TruPointe Cooperative. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) had given notice to Sunrise that those insurance patronage payments would have to stop, since TruPointe was not grandfathered in to the aforementioned law and the addition of TruPointe would change the entity structure of Sunrise.… Continue reading

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Good (legal) judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and an attorney from Celina

Texans love to proclaim that everything is bigger in Texas. And some things truly are —their hair and their pickup trucks, the Texas Capitol (which is several inches taller than our nation’s), the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush that bloom in the spring, their farms and ranches that are often measured in sections not acres, and the post office LBJ had built in his hometown, Johnson City. A recent case decided by the Texas Supreme Court on March 23, 2018, Annette Knopf and Stanley Gray v William Robert Gray, Karen Ann Gray, and Polasek Farms, LLC, No 17-0262, indicates that family disputes may be bigger in the Lone Star State as well.

The trouble all started when Vada Wallace Allen wrote her own will. Chances are that Vada paid a mechanic to work on her vehicle, sought a dentist when she needed a filling, and would not have even considered replacing her own knee.… Continue reading

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2018 off to a good start (mostly) Between the Rows

Things are going really well. The crop looks really good. I think we are one inch of rain away from having a perfect spring. We are a little dry and if we could just get a good soaker it would be perfect. Hopefully we’ll get it. We are supposed to heat up today. The weather has been really nice with some 70- and 80-degree days with low humidity. Now we’re supposed to get hot and humid and that should kick up some thunderstorms.

For emergence it has been perfect. We didn’t have any beating rains. Everyone down this way said that this year was as good for getting the crop out of the ground without any issues as they have ever seen. The crop looks healthy.

Around Wilmington and up towards Court House they have been getting some rains and things are really going. We could use some rain but we are still doing well.… Continue reading

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Transitions of no-till


By Randall Reeder, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

When is no-till not really no-till? If a field has not been tilled the previous two seasons, is the third year truly no-till?

Jerry Grigar, State Agronomist for NRCS in Michigan, has pondered those questions, especially related to no-till research. If a new faculty member plans to do a 3-year no-till research project, can she start with ground that’s been tilled for years? Would the results in the third year be different if it was on long-term continuous no-till ground?

No-till is not really no-till until the soil achieves a physical, biological and chemical balance after several years of continuous no-till. Cover crops, manure, and crop rotations can reduce the time to as little as 3 years, but it often requires 6 to 9 years.

Grigar, who is also a successful no-till farmer, believes any no-till research begun on tilled ground should be called transitional no-till.… Continue reading

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Antique tackle show at Buckeye Lake

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman Radio (

Cool old fishing stuff and cutting edge fishing information will be the draw to the Buckeye Lake area Saturday, June 23. The Antique Lure & Vintage Tackle Show at Lakewood High School on historic Route 40 should be a big draw to regional anglers interested in the old and the new. It offers several exhibits featuring antique lures by National Fishing Lure Collectors Club members, who will be showing, selling and appraising tackle brought in by guests, as well as displays and tackle auctions by local collectors.

Vance Outdoors is sponsoring a casting area and contest for youth and women in a casting-friendly area staffed by the Cranberry Marsh Bass Club, celebrating 50 years of competitive fishing, and local guide Doug Stewart will be leading seminars and giving away a fully guided half day Buckeye Lake fishing trip.

The Antique Lure & Vintage Tackle Show is presented by The Buckeye Lake Area Civic Association and supported by the Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, Explore Licking County, and the businesses surrounding Buckeye Lake.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s 2018 fair season kicks off

It is again the time of year where the attention of countless exhibitors, volunteers and visitors is focused upon the longstanding tradition of the county fair. The events are a centerpiece of summer for Ohio counties, but they would not happen without the dedication of many hours from volunteers.

“People do not really understand the number of volunteer hours that local fairs have,” said Tom Stocksdale from Wayne County who serves as the District 5 representative on the Ohio Fair Managers Association Board of Directors. “If fairs had to pay for everything that happens, they couldn’t afford to operate. So much depends on volunteer hours.”

Thanks to all of those volunteers as Ohio’s fair season kicks off this month.


Paulding County Fair (Paulding) June 11-16
Pickaway County (Circleville) June 16-23
Putnam County (Ottawa) June 25-30


Marion County (Marion) July 2-7
Harrison County (Cadiz) June 25-30
Clinton County (Wilmington) July 7-14
Madison County (London) July 7-14
Adams County (West Union) July 8-14
Lawrence County (Proctorville) July 7-14
Logan County (Bellefontaine) July 8-14
Trumbull County (Cortland) July 8-15
Montgomery County (Dayton) July 9-15
Lucas County (Maumee) July 10-15
Jackson County (Wellston) July 13-21
Franklin County (Hilliard) July 14-21
Crawford County (Bucyrus) July 15-21
Fayette County (Washington C.H.)… Continue reading

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What price level should a farmer start marketing their grain?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Weather forecasts are positive and crop conditions are favorable. Trade issues are still completely unknown. Dec corn has had a 25-cent trading range in the last 10 trading sessions. For the next 45 days I think weather will still be dictating prices.

Market action

Two long-standing orders for my 2018 anticipated corn production against the Dec’ 18 hit last week.

  • 5/22/15 — 5% sold at $4.25
  • 5/24/18 — 10% sold at $4.28


Current 2018 corn position

With these two sales, just under 40% of my ’18 anticipated production is sold at an average price of $4.22. I have additional option strategies that depending on where corn prices are in late November could add additional sales to my ’18 crop:

  • Over $4.20 — 20% more sold at $4.20
  • $3.60 to $4.20 — 10% more sold at a level between $4.20 and $4.40
  • Below $3.60 — No additional corn sold.
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Markets have plenty to watch as summer heats up

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

USDA with its weekly crop progress report on May 29 put the U.S. corn planting at 92%. Huge amounts of corn were planted during the first three weeks of May, though northwest Ohio struggled severely to plant corn and soybeans timely this spring. Heavy rains fell throughout much of May causing significant delay in planting until the last few days of May. The May 29 report revealed Ohio had just 82% of its corn planted, leaving 621,000 acres yet to be done.

It is interesting to note that comments on the stock market at the end of May suggest that stock traders were growing weary, paying less attention to trade developments with China and other U.S. trading partners. Meanwhile, the opposite is taking place for grains, as traders seem to hang onto any and all news of China and its trade posture with the U.S. Producers want to be optimistic, yet aware the big price decline could be just moments away.… Continue reading

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Ohio State students dedicate capstone project to save wetland

By Chip Tuson, Program Manager, Marketing & Communications for the Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

Each autumn, seniors majoring in Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering (FABE) at The Ohio State University begin a yearlong capstone design experience. Students form teams to address real-world problems sponsored university, local, and national clients and organizations. This year, 118 FABE students completed 23 projects. In addition, 39 Agricultural Systems Management (ASM) students also worked on 12 projects in a similar exercise.

One group of ecological and biological engineering students chose a project close to home with those familiar with Ohio State’s Columbus campus: restoring the Carmack Woods. The Carmack Woods are a 6.5-acre undeveloped area on the west side of the Columbus Campus.

“There was a point in time when the university considered developing the Carmack Woods area into a parking lot because they are losing a large parking area near medical campus,” said the team, consisting of ecological engineering majors Monica Backs, Lucas Froelich, Jake Radeff, Patrick Sanders, and biological engineering major Gio Papio.… Continue reading

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Unique opportunities, challenges for organic producers during difficult days for dairies

By Joel Penhorwood, Ohio Ag Net

Farms of all sizes and production methods are in tough situations right now with financial pressure with inputs are too high and prices too low. Many small farms in recent years have turned to organic production as a way to make the most bang for their buck on existing acres. The situation may be the most dramatic for dairy farms now facing years of below production cost milk prices.

Alan and Renee Winner in Logan County made the organic transition for their dairy and about a third of their crop acres for a number of reasons.

“Over the past 20 plus years we have eaten organically and learned about alternative therapies such as homeopathics, essential oils, and herbs, so this was a natural transition for our family,” Renee Winner said. “Although we have some neighbors and a couple of Alan’s relatives that were already organic, it wasn’t until a local friend, who has been involved with organics for several years, shared information about the industry that we actually thought that we could make that jump. … Continue reading

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