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Agriculture associations appeal to Congress: We need #TradeNotTariffs

After weeks of engaging with the Trump Administration to gain insight into the future of trade tariffs, agriculture producers and related industries dependent on exports to China are turning to Congress for help.

The White House has declared that by June 15 it would announce its final list of $50 billion in Chinese products that would be subject to 25% tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. In response, China’s Commerce Department announced several months ago that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on 106 U.S. goods amounting to roughly $50 billion in imports.

In the announcement, China specifically stated that it will impose a 25% tariff on imports of U.S. soybeans, a tax that could be devastating to growers of the number one U.S. agricultural export, with sales to China last year totaling $14 billion.

Davie Stephens, a Kentucky soybean grower and Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA), is among growers distraught over the prospect of tariffs on trade.… Continue reading

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Federal judge rules against California’s attorney general in Prop 65 Case

In another win for U.S. agriculture and the national agriculture coalition fighting California’s false and misleading Prop 65 labeling requirement for glyphosate, U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb, for the Eastern District of California, upheld the preliminary injunction prohibiting California from enforcing the requirement until a final ruling on the matter is issued by the court.

California Attorney General Xavier Beccera had filed a motion to lift a preliminary injunction issued by the court in February prohibiting the state from enforcing its labeling requirement. That motion was denied by Judge Shubb, who upheld the preliminary injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing its Prop 65 labeling requirement for glyphosate until all of the facts are considered by the court.

“California is attempting to implement a policy that would cause damage to American farmers,” said Chandler Goule, Chief Executive Officer for the National Association of Wheat Growers. “The facts and science are on our side which show that glyphosate is safe for use. … Continue reading

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Double-crop soybeans off to a strong start in southern Ohio

By Matt Reese

It is the time of year where combines are rolling in wheat fields and being closely followed by planters and drills for double-crop soybeans. The heat really pushed the wheat crop in mid-June and provided an earlier than expected start to wheat harvest and a good head start on getting double-crop soybeans in the ground in southern Ohio.

The plentiful rains (that led to some later than desired planting and sidedressing and a even a few prevented planting acres) set the stage for potential wheat diseases, but also for a good start for double-crop soybeans, said Keith Summers, an insurance agent with Leist Mercantile in Pickaway County.

“There is some wheat coming off now. It turned quick. There is a little down from some of the winds, but it looks pretty good and I think the wheat quality is in pretty good shape,” Summers said. “I think most of the guys who are still planting wheat are double-cropping.… Continue reading

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Watch for SCN

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

Typically, this is the time of year when soybeans may begin to show symptoms of Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) damage. SCN is a parasitic roundworm that feeds on the soybean root system. The cyst stage of the nematode’s life cycle is when the female nematode is filled with eggs. Cysts are visible throughout the summer on soybean roots and will appear as small, white, and lemon-shaped. After the female matures, these cysts are hard to see. When trying to identify SCN presence on soybean roots, it is important not to confuse cysts with Rhizobium nodules (where N fixation takes place). How can you determine if SCN is causing damage and yield loss to your soybeans? Injury symptoms include yellowing and stunting of plants. These symptoms may appear in patches of a field. These patches may grow from year to year; especially in the direction a field is tilled.… 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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Ohio Soybean Farmers Denounce Tariffs

The Ohio Soybean Association denounced the White House’s decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese products, which China has said it will answer with a retaliatory 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. soybeans. China purchases 61 percent of total U.S. soybean exports and more than 30 percent of overall U.S. soybean production. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting additional duties on designated Chinese goods July 6.

“We should address our trade challenges by increasing our competitiveness, not creating new barriers,” said Allen Armstrong, OSA president and Clark County soybean farmer. “Exports have been one of the few bright spots for farmers in recent years, and we can’t afford another hit to the bottom line.”

A study by The Ohio State University found the proposed tariffs could decrease a farm’s net worth by an estimated 6 percent and annual net income by 59 percent over a six-year period.… Continue reading

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Mexico unveils tariffs on U.S. ag

In response to the Trump Administration’s trade actions, Mexico has decided to impose tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. agricultural products. As farmers across the U.S. prepare what is ahead, many fear these tariffs will be detrimental to the agricultural industry. Larry Kudlow, White House Chief Economic Adviser, has shared that the President Trump is now preferring to work out separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico.

In a related noted, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) have introduced legislation to require congressional approval of tariffs designated under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.… 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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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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Soybean price will rely on demand

By Ben Brown, Program Manager for the Ohio State University Farm Management Program

For the last few years, soybeans have provided a per acre return to producers greater than corn. Thus, acreage shifts to soybeans have ensued across the Midwest. The ratio of new crop soybean to corn prices from November 2017 to April 2018 traded at 2.5:1. Historically a ratio of 2.5:1 or greater signaled that acres would continue to move from corn to soybeans and that the expectation was for more soybean acres in 2018. However, in March producer signaled that they intended to plant 1 million fewer acres than 2017. With a trend yield of 48.5 bushels per acre, the expected soybean crop would be the third largest crop on record behind the record set in 2017 and the third straight year over 4 billion bushels. Weather will be the largest factor over the summer months to the final production value, but expectations are for another large crop.… Continue reading

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Highly systemic fungicide key for protecting new growth

Affiance Fungicide, offered by Gowan, is “highly systemic”. As Account Manager Jon Sherwin explains, a fungicide with systemic movement has the ability of a pesticide to translocate or move within a plant into new growth. This provides better protection for new growth that emerges after application than non-systemic products that only protect plant tissue that comes in contact with the spray mixture.… 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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Ohio Crop Progress for June 11, 2018

Planting progress moved closer to five year averages for most crops, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending June 10. Fields and pastures had begun to dry out early in the week followed by rain showers later in the week. Producers who finished planting or who finished applying fertilizers and herbicides to fields during the first part of the week welcomed the rain. Corn planting wrapped up for most producers and soybean planting moved closer to completion as well. Oats were nearly all emerged and the crop reported to be in good to excellent condition increased over the previous week. Winter wheat condition remained similar to the previous week while intermittent wet weather proves challenging for those cutting Hay.

Click here for the full report.Continue reading

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Ohio corn acreage continues to decline

By Ben Brown, Program Manager for the Ohio State University Farm Management Program

Three supply shocks have increased corn prices and brightened the outlook for corn producers. A drought in South America, reducing both the Argentina and Brazilian corn crop, gave corn prices their first positive outlook. Then in March, U.S. producers indicated that they were going to plant 2 million fewer acres in 2018 than in 2017. Even with the reduction in acres, a trend corn yield would make the 2018 crop the fourth largest crop recorded. Frequent rains throughout the central and eastern regions of the Corn Belt have delayed spring plantings and increased prices.

With three supply side adjustment to annual production, the corn market has been bullish with December 2018 futures contracts trading well above $4. Dealing with large supplies will continue to be a focus for grain merchandisers. Total supply in 2018 is expected to be 4% lower in 2018 than 2017.… Continue reading

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Be prepared for soybean diseases

Soybean frogeye leaf spot, which has traditionally been more of a problem in the southern states, is progressing further north every year and is now being found in several Ohio fields. White mold will try to hamper soybean yields this year as well. Jon Sherwin, an Account Manager with Gowan, talks about the advantages of Domark fungicide and how it is more cost effective to apply this year.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers announces support for Thune/Brown ARC-II Bill

Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) announced their support of the efforts by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to improve the lives of America’s farmers.

The Senators have proposed a series of changes to commodity programs aimed at making the Agriculture Risk Coverage program better for American farmers.

“The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association applauds the bi-partisan effort from Senators John Thune and Sherrod Brown to find ways to improve upon the farm safety net for farm families across the country,” said Jed Bower, President of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and a farmer from Washington Court House. “The Agriculture Risk Coverage Improvement and Innovation (ARC-II) Act is a step in the right direction to make the farm safety net more responsive to both the needs of farmers and real market conditions. We look forward to a productive discussion on the future of the next Farm Bill in the Senate, and the eventual renewal of a Farm Bill for our country before its expiration on Sept.… 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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Current cattle situation and outlook for Ohio

By Ben Brown, Program Manager for the Ohio State University Farm Management Program

The U.S. cattle herd on Jan. 1, 2018 was larger than the count a year earlier, making 2017 the fifth consecutive year of herd expansion. Expansions in beef typically last four to six years. The U.S. appears poised for the possibility of at least one more expansion year in 2018 that would push beef production increases into the early part of the next decade. With constant demand for beef products, increases in beef production put downward pressure on the price received by producers. A cow that would have brought $2,000 in January 2015 brought about $1,200 in April 2018. As beef becomes cheaper, it starts to compete with other goods like pork for market share.

The inventory for all cattle including calves in the U.S. on January 1, 2018 was at 94.4 million head, up 0.7% from the previous year.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council announces Board of Trustees election

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) Board of Trustees has five district seats up for election this year. All eligible candidates interested in running for the OSC Board must obtain at least 15 valid signatures on the petition available at www.soyohio.org.

OSC is the Qualified State Soybean Board for Ohio and manages state soybean checkoff dollars. The OSC Board is made up of farmer volunteers who direct the investments of checkoff dollars to improve the profitability of Ohio soybean farmers.

Districts up for election are:

  • District 1: Fulton, Henry, Lucas, and Williams Counties incumbent Todd Hesterman is eligible to run for another term
  • District 2: Erie, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Wood Counties incumbent Nathan Eckel is eligible to run for another term
  • District 5: Allen, Hancock, and Putnam Counties incumbent Bill Bateson is eligible to run for another term
  • District 9: Delaware, Marion, Morrow, and Union Counties incumbent Bret Davis is term-limited
  • District 13: Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Highland, and Warren Counties incumbent Amy Sigg Davis is term-limited

All petitions must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) by mail, and must be postmarked no later than July 6, and received by ODA no later than July 13, 2018.… Continue reading

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