Search Results for: No days off

A lesson in “risk off hedging”

Weather forecasts are favorable for planting the next two weeks, so the market is expecting the 2017 corn will be planted easily. This news combined with positive long-term forecasts means the market is pulling back some, suggesting the possibility of another record corn crop.

Funds reduced their length in bean futures and increased shorts in corn and wheat. If the weather forecasts change, funds may change positions providing upside potential. With 75 days left in the corn weather market, I will be surprised if there isn’t at least one weather scare before July.


Market action

Two weeks ago I moved some of my ’17 beans from Nov futures back to Aug futures. I thought there was a strong chance I could catch the inverse, then have it turn back to a profitable carry eventually. The market is shifting to what I expected would happen. Therefore, I’m moving another 20% of my ’17 crop with a similar trade.… Continue reading

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Input care and management crucial in a tight farm economy

The economics of the situation looking forward for commodity agriculture will require careful planning and management to maximize yields and profitability while minimizing risks and costs per bushel.

“We have to make a plan to think about how to move forward including a clear business plan that includes goals, timelines, and ‘what ifs,’” said Neil Bentley, director of marketing for BASF. “Break even is in sight. We need to think about how we make smart decisions and make sure you have a stewardship plan in place so you can be successful.”

Key inputs need to be managed with great care to balance return on investment, environmental stewardship and product longevity. BASF has developed strategies for field-to-field planning to protect plant health.

“With plant health, the key thing we are trying to understand is how to put the right plant health application on the right acre,” said Megan Andriankaja, project manager for BASF.… Continue reading

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Who’s the rabbit now?

Early this year Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced that it would be shutting down with the final installment of the “Greatest Show on Earth” this May. This is at least partially a result of one final trick from the wildly popular Barnum & Bailey performing elephants — they disappeared.

Tickets sales for the circus really slumped after the touring elephants were retired in mid-2016 to the point that, when paired with high operating costs, the business became unsustainable. Of course, animal rights activist organizations, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), were behind the push to pull elephants from the circus.

The event attracts roughly 10 million visitors a year who will now have to seek new venues to get their fix of exotic animals and human oddities galore. There is no doubt that the circus that ran for nearly 150 years will be missed by many, but as the legendary  Barnum & Bailey fades from our memories in the name of “progress,” will the thought of performing elephants one day be as foreign as phones with cords that hang on the wall and 8-track players?… Continue reading

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Lake-effect snow to bury the Great Lakes into this weekend

AccuWeather reports a return of cold air into the northeastern United States will trigger a significant lake-effect snow event over the next several days.

A storm moving through the Northeast prior to the end of the week will help drag cold air southward from Canada in its wake.

The colder air will spill in on a brisk northwesterly wind.

This chilly Canadian air moving over the unfrozen Great Lakes will combine to create plenty of lake-effect snow downwind of the lakes.

“Lake-effect snow occurs when cold air much colder than the surface waters of the Great Lakes blows over the warmer lake waters,” said Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather Meteorologist .

As long as winds persist from the west or northwest, so will the lake-effect snow machine; in this case it looks to be through the end of the weekend. 

Seasonably Cold 12

“A narrow but high-intensity lake-effect snow band can develop and dump feet of snow in locations where it persists for hours, or even days, on end,” Elliott said.Continue reading

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Really, $6 beans? Probably not.


Corn pushed to the top of the trading range last week. However, with 2.3 billion corn bushels carryout (compared to 1.8 billion last year), farmers are anxious to sell, so prices pulled back by Friday. It will likely take a significant drop in corn acres next year and a weather event to see $4 by summer. Expect sideways trading for the next 80 days and it could be a tight range of $3.45 to $3.60 on the March futures.



Prices continue to inch lower week by week. Currently, there appears to be enough beans in the U.S. to meet demand. In South America, Brazil is on track to produce a record crop while pockets of Argentina are too wet. This may mean 100 million bushels will be lost in Argentina, but Brazil’s record crop may make up for it.

Still many speculators are betting what happened last year will happen again.… Continue reading

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West Ohio Agronomy Day Jan. 9

The 2017 West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Monday, January 9th at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. A light breakfast will be available starting at 8 a.m. with a marketing update from Sunrise Cooperative at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m. the Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification (Core and Categories 1, 2, and 6) and the two-hour Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training for those who already hold a Pesticide Applicator’s License (commercial or private) will begin. In addition, Certified Crop Adviser CEUs have been approved and Commercial Pesticide Applicator Credits are available in 2A and 2C.

Once again, Purdue’s Dr. Fred Whitford will be there, this time to talk about “Safety is in Your Hands.” Attendees will also participate in a “Corn and Soybean Insect Update” by Dr. Kelley Tilmon, OSU Entomologist; “Finding Value in your Data” by Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Agronomy Specialist; and a “Weed Management Update” and “Weed Management 201” by Dr.… Continue reading

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2017 Maple Days

The 2017 Ohio Maple Days are set for Jan. 19 in Morrow County, Jan. 20 in Wayne County — the location is a stone’s throw from Holmes County, too — and Jan. 21 in Geauga County.

The events offer educational sessions on maple syrup production. They’ll cover topics such as pricing, food safety, tap timing and quality control. The topics and speakers will be the same at all three locations.

Both hobby and commercial producers are welcome.

Ohio’s maple syrup season typically starts sometime in February. The timing depends on the weather.

Prep for the coming season

The events are meant to help producers get ready for the coming season, said Gary Graham, state maple specialist with Ohio State University Extension and one of the events’ speakers.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The college is the sponsor of the events.… Continue reading

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Do the “12 Days of Christmas” birds live in Ohio?

In the holiday song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” someone’s true love gives them … quite a few birds.

Given that the song has European roots — it apparently came from France and was published first in England — does it hold up ornithologically in Ohio?

Do the song’s birds live in the Buckeye State?

Here are answers from experts in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences(CFAES) at The Ohio State University and from sources including The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Ohio, which was published earlier this year.

1st day: Partridge (with or without pear tree)

ANSWER: Technically, no. But also, not any more.

The ruffed grouse, which is pictured below, although in a willow tree, lives in Ohio. And people sometimes call it a “partridge.” But scientists say that name is inaccurate.

While both grouse and partridges belong to the Phasianidae family — which includes pheasants, chickens and others — they’re actually members of two different subfamilies: Grouse are in Tetraoninae; partridges, in Perdicinae.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef farmers partner with Kroger to provide beef to local families for the holidays

The Ohio Beef Council, representing beef farmers throughout the state, is pleased to partner with Kroger and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program to provide beef to Ohio families in-need this holiday season. The beef donation will be made to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank through a campaign that launched December 2 on Facebook. It encourages social media enthusiasts to ‘share’ a post on Facebook, and ‘like’ both the Ohio Beef Council and Kroger Facebook pages. Each Facebook ‘share’ will result in the donation of two pounds of ground beef, which is enough to feed eight people. The campaign runs through Dec. 25.

Ohio beef farmers and Kroger representatives are excited to work together to help local families. “This promotion is a great example of collaboration to achieve a common goal,” said Deborah Thompson, public affairs manager of Kroger’s Columbus Division. “Together, with our friends at the Ohio Beef Council, we are looking to donate 28,000 beef meals to local families.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council celebrates 2016, honors Stimpert

It was fitting that for its 25th anniversary, the Ohio Soybean Council’s 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Keith Stimpert, the former OSC executive director, who helped guide the organization through it’s inception. On this milestone anniversary, there is plenty to celebrate.

At the OSC banquet earlier this week, Stimpert recalled numerous stories from the early days of the organization, including some early work with bio-based fuels and products. Those early efforts created the foundation for amazing success through the years. Since the early 1990s, OSC has engaged in public and private collaborations that encourage rapid commercialization of new commercial and industrial uses of soybeans. In one example of this success over the last 25 years, this year marked the sixth and seventh prestigious R&D 100 Awards that OSC has received since 2007.

“With the checkoff, who would have guessed that soybeans would be in the things they are in now?… Continue reading

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Large pork supply being addressed by checkoff efforts

America’s pig farmers will produce a record-breaking number of market hogs this year, resulting in ample supplies of pork hitting grocery stores and restaurants. It is anticipated that this high level of production will continue well into 2017.

“The U.S. economy is growing, and that is good for meat demand,” said Len Steiner, a pork industry economist. “Some key indicators of growth include the stock market recently hitting all-time record highs, increasing consumer confidence and an unemployment rate now at 4.9%, demonstrating the U.S. economy is at or near full employment.”

Steiner added that total meat production continues to increase, moving from 90.9 billion pounds in 2014 with expectations for meat output to exceed 101 billion pounds this year. Not since the mid-1990s has meat production increased so quickly.

“We estimate that 2016 U.S. pork production will set an all-time record just shy of 25 billion pounds, with even more pork expected to be produced in 2017,” Steiner said.… Continue reading

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OCA members to offer over 100 consignments in Replacement Female Sale

Several members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will sell over 100 consignments in the OCA Replacement Female Sale on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, at 6 p.m. at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company facility in Zanesville, Ohio. Consignments include approximately 20 mature cows, less than five years of age, and approximately 90 bred heifers.

Breeds represented will include Angus, Charolais, Maine-Anjou cross and commercial females. Service sire breeds represented include Angus, Charolais, Maine-Anjou, Red Angus, Shorthorn, Simmental, and hybrid composites of theses breeds. All of the females selling will have a safe pregnancy status verified within 60 days of the sale and all lots will be eligible for interstate shipment.

“Now is a great opportunity for cattlemen to add numbers to their herd or get started in the beef business. With cattle prices seeing a bearish market after coming off of a record-high for the past couple of years, we’ll undoubtedly see increased herd expansion,” says John Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinatior.… Continue reading

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Prepare your sprayer for storage now to avoid costly problems in the spring

It is very likely that you will not be using your sprayer again until next spring. If you want to avoid potential problems and save yourself from frustration and major headaches, you will be wise to give your sprayer a little bit of TLC (Tender Loving Care) these days. Yes this is still a busy time of the year for some of you, but don’t delay winterizing your sprayer too long if you already have not done so. You don’t want a pump that is cracked and/or not working at its full capacity because you did not properly winterize it before the temperature falls below freezing. Here are some important things you need to do with your sprayer this time of the year.


It is very likely that you did the right thing when you used the sprayer the last time: you rinsed the whole system (tank, hoses, filters, nozzles) thoroughly.… Continue reading

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Shame the country sky isn’t used more — but it’s not too late

By Joel Penhorwood, Ohio Ag Net

I was quite fortunate to have teachers throughout my schooling that had a passion to do more than teach, but actually get their students excited about what they could do with their knowledge.

With the recent onset of fall, I reflect back on my grade school days and remember eagerly waiting in class on Fridays for the ever-elusive weekend. One such day found me in a certain 6th grade science class thinking about what Saturday and Sunday held in store. As the bell rang releasing us from the clutches of our textbooks one autumn Friday, our teacher reminded us that during that evening’s football game, one of the high school science teachers would have a telescope set up on the hill beside the stadium — and here’s the catch — we’d get bonus points if we visited him.

I made a mental note and put it out of my mind.… Continue reading

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Trade on likelihood not hope

Have we hit the market low?

Many wonder if the market low has passed because markets frequently rally going into October. I’m not sure for several reasons.

  • There are hints that China may start exporting some corn for the first time in 10 years.
  • Harvest is starting slower than usual. Friday I drove from Lincoln, Neb. to Minneapolis and was surprised with how few acres were harvested along I-80 and I-35. I get a sense the market hasn’t been affected much by harvest pressure.
  • Yields are expected to be big this harvest. In fact, some elevators in the western Corn Belt have already started limiting dumping hours.
  • While many farmers are very reluctant to sell at current levels, some landlord shares may get sold across the scale, which may push prices lower in the next few weeks.


Harvest reports

Corn is drying fast in the field. Within a week moisture levels on our farm went from 20% to below 15%.… Continue reading

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Free-range eggs offer an opportunity for the next generation

Tough crop prices, limited land expansion opportunities and a promising young generation encouraged Tim and Angie Brumme to seek out new options to diversify their Big Little Farms, LLC tucked in the beautiful rolling hills near Killbuck in Holmes County.

“We farm 800 acres of row crops and hay. We have cattle and sheep and we rely on a lot of rental ground. We decided we wanted to do something on our own ground for more stability,” Tim said. “We have two daughters and are looking for the next generation. There are a lot of broilers around and some hogs and neither was a good fit for us. We were looking at options in February of 2015 when we saw an ad from Kalmbach looking for growers for cage-free, free-range eggs. The costs are not much higher per building, but they are higher per bird. We could see some opportunity with this, though, as McDonald’s

and Panera and one restaurant chain after another announced they were going cage-free.… Continue reading

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Some like it hot…some not

As we move into August, we continue to experience a fairly typical seasonal weather pattern for most of Ohio. Yes, it’s hot and humid!  We have been experiencing these conditions for the past couple of weeks and it appears that the trend will continue at least for the remainder of this week. Maybe Mother Nature will improve her sense of humor and provide us some relief in the coming weeks.

Every cow-calf producer makes management decisions about their operations based on a wide variety of factors. Some of these factors include access to land, feed resources, marketing goals, labor availability, etc. In this article, I want to discuss another factor that significantly impacts management decisions for the cow-calf producer. That factor is the weather.

The weather has a direct impact on nearly every management decision made by the cow-calf producer. There are predictable seasonal trends that we can expect as we move from winter to spring to summer to fall.… Continue reading

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No waste left behind at the North American Manure Expo

Farmers can get a good grip on manure using cover crops, says an expert with Ohio State University Extension.

“Cover crops are an excellent practice to utilize nutrients from manure for growing grain crops,” said Alan Sundermeier, an educator in OSU Extension’s Wood County office. “Capturing the manure nutrients with a growing plant will keep the nutrients on the field and out of waterways.”


Sundermeier, who’s also the director of that office, gave tips on getting cover crops off the ground  — and then eventually back into it — as part of the North American Manure Expo earlier this month. The event was in London, about 25 miles west of Columbus.

His talk, called “Establishing Cover Crops,” was one of four during the expo’s Cover Crops track. It was one of about 40 talks in 13 tracks during the event’s two days overall.

The expo’s theme was “Returning nutrients to their roots.”… Continue reading

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Boards, co-ops, and councils: Serving locally offers liability risk

Transporting grain and other commodities, moving farm machinery on the highway, keeping livestock in, hauling manure, applying chemicals, managing employees, etc. — as if farmers don’t have enough sources of liability, many producers also serve on boards of cooperatives, banks, grain elevators, and other businesses. Serving as a director can provide an excellent opportunity for farmers to give direction and offer valuable insights. Just make certain you are properly protected while doing so.

Before agreeing to serve, insist that the board have directors and officers liability insurance (often called D&O). This is a policy, payable to the directors and officers of a company, or to the organization itself, as indemnification (reimibursement) for losses or advancement of defense costs in the event of legal action brought for alleged wrongful acts in their capacity as directors and officers. And this type of litigation is on the rise; agricultural businesses are not immune.

Entire books have been written about how to limit liability while serving as a director.… Continue reading

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Reminiscing about the good ol’ days

You may have noticed that I’ve written about serious stuff the past few months. Well, I never could stand being all serious, all the time, so this month my social conscience about food will take a summer break and I’ll take you on a trip down memory lane.

A scientific article about non-caged, free-range, organic eggs recently set me reminiscing about my mother. She raised 300 free-range layers and sold eggs from our back door. Her chickens had abundant room to move about and find a nest when they had an urge to lay an egg. Though free-range, they returned each night to a chicken house, for protection from varmints.

However, for several nights a couple of the hens chose not to return to their safe house. They hid in the haymow above the heifer loafing pens. Eventually, my brothers came across the nests in the wayward hens’ hideaway. They contained a couple dozen eggs.… Continue reading

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