Search Results for: No days off

Weather Changes and Agriculture’s Response

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

“Weather is constantly changing and impacting agriculture.”  That statement by Dr. Aaron Wilson, Assistant Professor and Field Specialist, Ag Weather and Climate for OSU Extension, sums up what most farmers already know about mother nature. No two growing seasons are alike and depending on the characteristics of the farm, the challenges that weather events often bring require adaptability and patience. “There are a number of activities farmer are already doing to build resilience,” Wilson said. “Really heavy rainfall events and rapid oscillations back and forth between wet and dry periods; the impacts of weather on our soil, impacts on our nutrients, pests and disease are all impacted by the changing weather and it is important for farmers to have information to prepare and to manage accordingly.”

While changes in the weather vary from day to day, weather patterns change over time.… Continue reading

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Few changes in Supply and Demand

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile 

This past month I had the privilege of attending the Christmas dinner as an alumnus of FarmHouse fraternity at Ohio State University. The students had included numerous professors and even department chairs from CFAES (College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences) in attendance. It was exciting to see the relationships among students, professors, and peers, lifelong skills which will carry them far as adults beyond their college days. Maintaining, understanding, and building traditions is always a positive. What an inspiration of hope in the coming year!

The Dec. 8 USDA Supply and Demand Report was boring with few changes. U.S. corn and U.S. wheat exports were each increased 25 million bushels. Brazil’s soybean production was reduced 2 million tons to 161 million tons. That decline was slightly smaller than trade expectations. Argentina soybean production was unchanged at 48 million tons. Brazil’s corn production at 129 million tons and Argentina’s corn production at 55 million tons were both unchanged. … Continue reading

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How can a crop failure in Brazil impact soybean prices?

By Daniele Siqueira, Head of Market Intelligence with Brazilian consultancy AgRural

I am writing this text in early December, with about 90% of Brazil’s 2023/24 soybean crop already planted. It hasn’t been an easy season. Thanks to El Niño, several producing areas in central and northern Brazil have experienced hot, dry conditions since September, when the planting season began. Southern states, on the other hand, have struggled with above-normal rains. 

Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest producer, is the most affected so far. The state, which accounts for about 25% of the Brazilian soybean production, has lost approximately 5 million metric tons of its potential production, which is seen now at 40 million. And losses can be bigger than that if weather conditions remain unfavorable in December, when most of Mato Grosso’s crop fills pods. 

Weather conditions were so severe in October and November that some fields in western Mato Grosso are getting ready for harvest just 70 days after emerging, with up to 50% yield losses.… Continue reading

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A look at labor issues in Ohio agriculture

By Matt Reese

It is no secret. Employer/employee dynamics have changed throughout the domestic labor force in recent years. Ohio farms are not an exception. 

“We did pretty intensive focus groups last year and we asked farmers a general question: ‘What’s your greatest challenge impacting your operation?’ By in large, labor was the No. 1 answer we heard,” said Michael Bailey, vice president of strategic partnerships for Ohio Farm Bureau. “We did follow up survey research of farmers in Ohio and we learned that 51% of farmers in Ohio have one to five employees. Over half our industry relies on labor that’s hired. Across the board, for all segments of agriculture — livestock, specialty crop, even orchards, and greenhouses — the need is out there.”

It is increasingly difficult for farms to find, hire, train, and afford qualified employees in 2023. With this in mind, Bailey said Ohio Farm Bureau, in a partnership with Nationwide, has released a first-of-its-kind Labor Intelligence Report and Guide to Finding, Hiring and Retaining Farm Employees through their new Ag Intelligence Service.… Continue reading

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Having a plan for the future

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

When a tornado hit the Baldosser farm on July 11, 2013, it destroyed their grain system and several buildings. That seeming misfortune turned into an opportunity for the Baldossers to plan for the future by re-building and developing an expansion plan and improving the safety and efficiency of the grain system in the process.

Gary Baldosser is a fourth-generation farmer in Seneca County. His great-grandfather originally settled the farm and Gary’s sons (Scott and Darin) are currently involved in the operation on a part-time basis. The Baldossers raise soybeans, corn, wheat, hay and cattle. Their farm consists of soils primarily in the blount soil series, which are deep and benefit from subsurface drainage. Their farm is in the Sandusky River Watershed. The Baldossers practice no-till and minimum tillage and utilize cover crops. They also have filter strips along their ditches.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Organic Grain Conference

By Eric Richer, Field Specialist-Farm Management

Registration is open for the 2nd annual Ohio State Organic Grains Conference, January 4-5, 2024 at the Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center near Toledo. The 2024 conference offers programming for experienced organic growers, growers transitioning to or considering organic, and consultants or educators who support these growers. Featured speakers will include Klaas Martens from Lakeview Organic Grain in New York; Léa Vereecke from Rodale Institute; former Ohio State soil fertility specialist Steve Culman; and Eugene Law, currently of USDA-ARS, but soon to be an Ohio State assistant professor in weed ecology.

Take advantage of Early Bird pricing and register now. The cost of $100 per person includes two days of quality programming, meals throughout the event, and opportunities to network with organic farmers in the region as well as speakers and trade show vendors.

This event is brought to you by Ohio State University Extension and Ohio State’s Organic Food & Farming Education and Research (OFFER) program.… Continue reading

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Margin calls

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Many traders take time off the week of Thanksgiving, which can sometimes lead to increased market volatility. The price action this week does not necessarily mean a trend has formed. 

Next week December corn futures will move into the delivery period. How the market reacts during this time will probably be more telling than what the market did this week.

Why I like margin calls

As a true hedger, I dislike the term “margin call” because it is often associated with speculators who are in a trade that has gone wrong. 

However, I am not a speculator, I am a hedger. The difference is I produce the commodity that I have a futures sale for, which means grain marketing and risk management decisions are different. For hedgers a “margin call” is really just a financial decision, and not a bad thing. 

Let’s say in June, December corn futures are $5 per bushel, and I decide to sell futures.… Continue reading

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The manure balancing act

By Matt Reese


The investment is high, fickle weather determines the schedule and well, sometimes, the job just stinks, but Zach Parker, owner of Zippy’s Manure Service, enjoys finding the right balance with manure application and fulfilling a critical role in Ohio agriculture.


Parker provides a way for farmers in north-central Ohio to maximize manure’s benefits and minimize the challenges. Too much manure results in environmental issues and the loss of valuable nutrients; too little does not meet crop needs and is inefficient. Parker operates in a carefully balanced middle ground.


“I started my business back in 2017 and I do custom manure hauling. I’m based in Crawford County and my furthest client is about 32 miles away,” Parker said. “I do a number of hog facilities and a couple of dairies where we haul the manure from the barns to farmer’s fields. We apply the manure however they want it done.… Continue reading

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End of harvest fast approaching

An early-week storm system and weekend snow hampered corn harvest progress as farmers pushed towards the season’s close, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2 percent very short, 24 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on November 26 was 38.3 degrees, 1.2 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.78 inches of precipitation, 0.02 inches above average. There were 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 26.

Corn harvest was delayed in northern tier counties as producers waited for space to become available at grain elevators. Tar spot and vomitoxin posed concerns for some farmers in northwestern counties. Eighty-six percent of corn for grain was harvested. The moisture content of corn grain at harvest was 19 percent, down one point from last week. Winter wheat condition was 80 percent good to excellent, down 4 points from the previous week.… Continue reading

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A look at bale grazing

By Christine Gelley, Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County

Extending the grazing season is one of the best ways to save money on feed and reduce labor on the farm. In order to add grazing days to the calendar, farm managers must approach grazing with a plan and the willingness to be flexible. Rotationally grazing, utilizing multiple forage species and growing seasons, being thoughtful about stocking rates, adding fertility when needed, and having plentiful fence and water will increase chances for success.

Whether you have the ability to graze for a couple extra weeks or a couple extra months, the benefits of preparation will show up in the money you save on harvesting or purchasing supplemental feed. Regardless of how diligent you are about your grazing plans, it is difficult to provide sufficient grazing for livestock 365 days a year in Ohio and eventually you’ll be relying on stored feeds to meet the needs of your livestock.… Continue reading

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“Christmas Tree Ship” tradition returns

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

As in days of old in many Great Lakes ports, Christmas trees will in Toledo by boat on Saturday, Dec. 2, when The National Museum of the Great Lakes, in partnership with Geo. Gradel Co., invites folks to join a holiday tradition by welcoming back the “Christmas Tree Ship.” And thanks to the generosity of The University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC), museum admission will be free for all on that Merry Saturday.

Here’s the backstory: on Nov. 23, 1912, the schooner Rouse Simmons sank in Lake Michigan while carrying Christmas trees, a popular way to transport the holiday trees at the time. Remembered as the Christmas Tree Ship, her captain, Herman E. Schuenemann, was known for giving trees to families in need. The story provides the inspiration behind the Museum’s community giveback event encouraging individuals to make a memory to last a lifetime by watching Santa arrive at the museum’s dock delivering Christmas Trees and holiday support.… Continue reading

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Using futures in a hedge account versus HTAs

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Brazil’s weather caused some excitement in the bean market last week. One day forecasts showed no rain, and the next it did. Until late January, farmers should expect South America’s weather forecasts to have a big impact on prices. 

Unfortunately, corn hit a new calendar low this week at $4.61. While Brazil weather issues could still help corn prices, the estimated 2+ billion-bushel carryout will be hard to overcome without a big increase in export demand. 

Hedging grain — Using futures in a hedge account verses HTAs

I am often asked why I hedge my grain using a futures account instead of using HTA (Hedge To Arrive) contracts with an end user. Following are some of the pros and cons. 

Setting up a futures hedging account

This is a one time “hoop” hedgers using futures must do that selling an HTA does not require. Including a hedge line with a bank to finance the hedge account is also a good idea. … Continue reading

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Corn harvest advances

Farmers took advantage of last week’s fair weather, making steady progress towards harvest completion, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2 percent very short, 20 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on November 19 was 44.9 degrees, 3.7 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.58 inches of precipitation, 0.01 inches below average. There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 19.

Last week’s field activities included corn harvesting, lime application and fall tillage. Eighty-one percent of corn was harvested. The moisture content of corn grain at harvest was 20 percent, unchanged from last week. Winter wheat was 95 percent emerged. Winter wheat condition was 84 percent good to excellent, down slightly from the previous week.

Click here to read the full report from USDA.Continue reading

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Ohio National brought almost 11,000 birds to Columbus

By Matt Reese

California, Montana, Texas, Connecticut — vehicle license plates in the parking lot at the Ohio Expo Center were nearly as diverse as the poultry competing at Ohio National poultry show the second weekend of November. It was wall-to-wall feathers and a cacophony of bird calls in the Voinovich and O’Neill buildings at the nation’s largest poultry show.

“This is the Quarter Horse Congress of chicken shows. If you want to come to a good chicken show, then come to the Ohio National. There are almost 11,000 birds here and over 900 exhibitors from all over the country and Canada,” said Tim Johnson from Wood County, president of the Ohio Poultry Breeders Association (OPBA). “There are hundreds of breeds and varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys — if it’s got feathers and two legs, we’ve got it. And if you’re going to show something here, you’ve got to show something that’s good.”… Continue reading

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Seneca East FFA members excel at State competition

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA reporter

As the age-old saying goes, “Winning isn’t everything,” but for the Seneca East FFA Chapter, their hard work certainly paid off. On Oct. 14, four FFA members competed in the State Agricultural Soils Career Development Event (CDE), and to their surprise, they came home as state champions.

“To be a state champion in the Agricultural Soils CDE still seems unreal,” Ella Martin said. “When I first looked at the results, I didn’t even believe what I saw. I was sure they had messed up and something was going to change. Being on a champion team is something I hope everyone gets to do. To be on a team and become close with my teammates is a bond and experience that I will never take for granted. I wouldn’t have wanted to experience this with another group of people, and I am so grateful for this opportunity.”… Continue reading

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A look at yields as the smoke clears for 2023

By Matt Reese

From the driest spring weather on record for some areas to some record-setting wheat, corn and soybean yields for farms, the 2023 growing season had its share of ups and downs statewide. There was no shortage of coffee shop conversation fodder with a number of agricultural oddities from the year, but it seems the most discussion, questioning, theorizing, and speculating in 2023 revolved around the hazy, smoggy stretch of days due to the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. 

At the time, many farmers had concerns yields were being limited by the filtered sunlight through the smoke, but with some high yielding crops around the state, many are now speculating that the smoke could have somehow improved yields. 

There were three major stretches of wildfire smoke in Ohio: June 6 and 7, June 27 through 29, and July 16 and 17. There were several other smoky sky days of less intensity throughout the two-month period as well.… Continue reading

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Soybean harvest nears completion, plenty of corn left

Favorable weather supported substantial row crop harvest progress last week, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent very short, 22 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on November 12 was 48.7 degrees, 5.8 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.10 inches of precipitation, 0.68 inches below average. There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 12.

Last week’s field activities included fertilizer application, lime spreading, and fall tillage. Farmers reported that high corn moisture content continued to slow corn harvest progress in western counties. Sixty-eight percent of corn was harvested and the moisture content of corn grain at harvest was 20 percent. Ninety-five percent of soybeans were harvested and the moisture content of soybeans at harvest was 13 percent. Winter wheat was 90 percent emerged.… Continue reading

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Corn-to-Go

Managing manure application when STP >50

By Greg LaBarge

I often get questions about managing manure applications in fields where Soil Test P (STP) is above the maintenance limit of 50 parts per million (ppm) in the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa, Bulletin 974. Be aware that the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provide recommendations for the economical use of purchased fertilizer. The 50 ppm maintenance limit is the STP level where “no agronomic response, either higher yield or benefit of a higher STP, results from added fertilizer.” The Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations only address crop agronomic needs, not P’s environmental impact. If you need to apply manure to a field with STP greater than 50 PPM, how can it be done to limit field P loss?

The publication Assessing Nutrient Loss Risk in Ohio, NRCS, 2020 provides environmental P loss criteria based on the STP in a field.… Continue reading

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Corn harvest behind 5-year average

After a round of precipitation and overnight freezes early last week, the row crop harvest progressed steadily, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS,Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 19% short, 67% adequate, and 14% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on November 5 was 43.0 degrees, 5.7 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.56 inches of precipitation, 0.16 inches below average. There were 4.6
days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 5.

Though corn moisture content remained higher than average, the corn harvest’s pace accelerated last week. Farmers in northern tier counties reported instances of cob rot, mold, and sprouting in harvested grain. 45% of corn was harvested and the moisture content of corn grain at harvest was 22%. Eighty-nine percent of soybeans were harvested and the moisture content of soybeans at harvest was 13%. Corn condition was 87% good to excellent. … Continue reading

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Harvest 2023 is winding down

Lawrence Onweller

It is going slow. The corn planted in May isn’t drying down. It’s still running 24% moisture. The yields are good, but we’re burning through a lot of gas and that part is going slow. The moisture in the corn just doesn’t want to drop, especially the fuller season corn. It just takes a long time to take twice as much moisture out and that’s literally what you’re doing when you’re harvesting 24% corn, you’re taking almost double the amount of moisture out.

With the weather, you’re able to harvest part of the day and then do field work part of the day. We’ve had sprinkles — no large rains in the last couple of weeks — just intermittent rains that haven’t really slowed down harvest. 

We’re seeing a lot of the corn yield in the 220s. That’s really good and the last 3 years it’s been like that.… Continue reading

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