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Senate votes in favor of establishing an industrial hemp program for Ohio

State Senators Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) and Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) announced the unanimous Senate passage of their legislation that would create an industrial hemp program in Ohio administered by the Department of Agriculture.

Senate Bill 57 clarifies that hemp and hemp derived products, including CBD oil may be sold legally in Ohio.

“This an exciting opportunity for farmers to expand the crops they plant,” Hill said. “Farmers can rotate hemp to improve soil health while earning more profit than many traditional cover crops. I’m eager to see all the ways that Ohio will benefit from this legislation.”

With the recent passing of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, industrial hemp has been removed from the list of scheduled substances banned by the federal government and can now be grown as a commodity crop throughout the United States.

“It is important to understand that hemp is not marijuana, it is much more versatile and lacks an appreciable amount of THC to cause any psychotropic effects,” Huffman said.

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First time fertilizer certification class in Tuscarawas County on April

By Chris Zoller, Ohio State University Extension

Do you apply fertilizer (other than manure) to more than 50 acres of land on crops grown primarily for sale? If so, the Ohio Department of Agriculture requires that you complete a three-hour fertilizer certification training. Even if you apply fertilizer to less than 50 acres and/or feed all of your crops to livestock, you are encouraged to become certified. The Tuscarawas County office of Ohio State University Extension will conduct a fertilizer certification class for anyone who is not certified. This is NOT for recertification. The training will be held April 9 at 7 pm at the Community Center in the Village of Tuscarawas at 222 E. Cherry St.

Please contact the Tuscarawas County office of Ohio State University Extension at 330-339-2337 no later than April 5 to pre-register. Additional information is available at http://tuscarawas.osu.edu.

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Lessons learned from the farm help CCA serve others

By Matt Reese

It is not that books, research and coursework are unimportant for agriculture — they certainly are. The best agronomists, though, are able to combine those book smarts with real lessons learned from hands in the dirt on a working farm.

With nearly 40 years of crop advising service in the Hancock County area, agronomist Don Boehm combines knowledge gained while managing his own farm to best serve the customers he works with as the crop protection manager at Legacy Farmers Cooperative.

Boehm, from Findlay, was recently named the 2019 CCA of the Year by the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Program at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference.

“The thing that has been the most rewarding to me is that God has blessed us with the opportunity to farm, so I get to use a lot of these same things I talk about on my own operation. I have learned a lot on my farm to help educate others.

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Ohio Corn and Wheat backing DeWine’s 18-cent gas tax increase

The Board of Directors for the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association recently voted to unanimously support Governor Mike DeWine’s original proposal calling for an increase to Ohio’s Fuel User Fee.

Gov. DeWine proposed an 18-cent increase in the state’s gas tax which, if approved by lawmakers, would take Ohio’s tax to 46 cents a gallon. The governor’s tax proposal is estimated to generate an additional $1.2 billion annually for road and bridge projects, the bare minimum, he claims, the state can spend to ensure its transportation infrastructure remains safe. In addition, the plan also calls for revenue sharing with Ohio municipalities, counties and townships.

“The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association Board has reviewed the various plans that have been announced and we back the proposal from the governor and the Advisory Committee on Transportation Infrastructure. Money the state receives through the fee on motor fuel hasn’t kept pace with maintenance and construction needs to keep Ohio roadways in good condition.

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Corn planting date considerations

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

For much of the Eastern Corn Belt it is widely understood that the optimal planting period is between April 20 and May 10. Research has proven that corn loses yield potential daily when planted after the beginning of May.

For the Central Corn Belt, the declines in yield potential due to planting delays vary from about 0.3% per day early in May to about 1% per day by the end of May (Nielsen, 2013). Knowing that this is true, it can be frustrating during a wet spring or when field work is delayed for one reason or another. Planting is a critical component of a successful crop as it sets the stage for the entire growing season. However, it is important to keep in mind that early planting is just one of many factors that contribute to high yield potential. Planting early favors high yields, but it does not guarantee them and growers should not focus entirely on the calendar.

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Ways to make a buck on soybeans for 2019

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Planting date was the biggie. We had our annual Soybean School at the Conservation Tillage Conference recently. Three of our speakers said that planting date was the most important item that growers could change to improve yield. Plant in April if possible or early May if not.

Last year in this column I noted that Fred Below crop physiologist from the University of Illinois at Commodity Classic said the number one influence on soybean yields is the weather. I do have to agree with that — just look at 2018 and you will see how great this influence is.

Variety selection? From Fred’s list of last year, I think genetics is number two (although he did not put it at the same ranking). In looking over the soybean varieties entered in Ohio’s 2018 Soybean Performance trials (http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/soy2018/) — there are big swings. Averaged across two sites from 2018 at central Ohio trials for late maturity the highest yielder is 61.7 bushels per acre and the low is 44.8.

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Returns for Ohio corn at RMA projected prices

By Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University

The month of February represents the price discovery period for projected price of corn. The projected price represents the Risk Management Associations (RMA) baseline for establishing federally sponsored corn insurance products for 2019. The projected price for corn is the average of the February settlement prices for the December futures contract. The subsequent harvest price is the average of the October settlement prices for the same December futures contract. The projected price and the harvest price are used to identify the guaranteed revenue for revenue based crop insurance products. However, neither price takes into account local cash basis.

The projected price established by RMA for 2019 corn revenue is $4 per bushel. This is up $0.04 per bushel from the 2018 and 2017 projected prices of $3.96 per bushel representing the increase in corn prices during the last few months of 2018 after a drop during the summer months.

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Late season rains impacted seed quality

By Anne Dorrance and Felipe F. Sartori, Ohio State University Department of Plant Pathology

We have received many calls and samples concerning seed quality and I’ve also heard about the rejections at the elevators. I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago with my colleagues (soybean pathologists) from across the country and Ontario, Canada and we are not alone. We were not the only state where soybeans had plentiful rains through and after grain fill with some of the crop still out in the fields.

 

What is causing all of the low germination?

From the samples we have received, we are culturing the expected seed borne pathogens: Phomopsis, Diaporthe, Fusarium, and Cercospora spp. All of these will affect seed and seedling health if the seed is not treated with a fungicide that can control true fungi.

 

What types of fungicides are there?

On the seed, there are materials to control the watermolds (Pythium and Phytophthora), insects, SCN, and the true fungi Phomopsis and Fusarium.

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Spring tips for managing SCN

By Matt Reese

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) continues to rob soybeans of yield and numbers are climbing in some Ohio fields.

Ohio State University Extension plant pathologists received soil samples from 238 Ohio fields for SCN testing in 2018. Of those samples, 37.4% had none, 24.4% were at trace levels, another 24.4% had low levels of 200 to 2,000 SCN eggs per 100 cubic centimeters (cc) of soil, 9.2% had moderate populations of 2,000 to 5,000 eggs per 100 cc of soil, and 4.6% had high levels over 5,000. The highest counts found to date are approximately 15,000 eggs per 100 cc of soil.

“There are fields throughout the Midwest where not only are SCN numbers creeping up to economic levels but also the reproduction factor, which is the ability to reproduce on the one source of resistance (PI 88788) is also creeping up,” said Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University plant pathologist.

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Prepare for 2019 spring fertilizer applications

By John Fulton and Trey Colley, Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

We are moving into spring work quickly here in 2019, including the application of fertilizer. Whether fixed- or variable-rate fertilizer application, it is important that proper maintenance, setup and calibration of spreaders is carried out. Annual calibration is necessary for accurate and uniform application of fertilizers.

While technology on spreaders, especially variable-rate technology (VRT) spreaders, has significantly increased in the last 10 years, the technology being adopted does not directly correlate to accurate field performance. Crop yield can potentially be impacted if incorrect rates are applied or non-uniform application occurs. There are a number of variables that impact the quality of dry fertilizer application, which includes the operator, fertilizer source properties, applicator and conditions during application. Here are a few notes to consider as we approach spring with work related to making sure the right source is accurately placed at the right rate.

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NCGA encouraging pollinator plantings

The yearly count of the Eastern Monarch butterfly population that overwinters in Mexico was released recently, showing an increase of 144% over last year’s count.

After years of struggles with a host of challenges from bad weather to loss of habitat the large butterfly count the highest count since 2006 comes as welcome news. But not too fast, because Western Monarchs continue to struggle due to drought, wildfires, pesticides and loss of habitat.

Landowners and farmers are uniquely situated to support the Monarch and are already making a difference. Habitat plantings can fit into many niches on the agricultural landscape, including conservation lands, grazing lands, rights-of-way, field margins, field borders, pivot corners, conservation lands, ditches, buffers and other low-productive lands. Milkweed and other nectar-producing flowers planted in these areas yield multiple on-farm benefits.

In 2018, Environmental Defense Fund and National Corn Growers Association launched a first-of-its-kind partnership between an environmental organization and commodity crop association.

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Planning for high yielding soybeans

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

When planning for the upcoming growing season, it can be easy to focus more energy on corn production as it has traditionally been the more intensively managed crop. However, producers who put in the effort to manage their soybean crop have proven it is possible to attain high yields of 70+ bushels per acre. Below are some tips for planning to produce high-yielding soybeans in 2019.

  • Quality seed: Planting the right seed sets the stage for the entire growing season. Growers should plant genetics with high yield potential. Choose varieties that have been tested at several locations and across multiple years. Growers should choose varieties adapted to their soil types and management practices. As with corn, choosing varieties with strong disease packages and agronomic traits with aid in achieving higher yields.
  • Planting date: University research has proven that timely, early planting is one way to increase soybean yields.
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Gov. DeWine outlines H2Ohio water quality initiative

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine outlined his H2Ohio water quality initiative, which he is introducing as part of his proposed budget for the 2020-2021 biennium.

“Water is vital to everyone, yet communities throughout the state face real and different challenges, such as algae blooms, failing septic tanks, nutrient pollution, and threats of lead contamination,” Governor DeWine said. “We cannot continue to lurch from water crisis to water crisis. I am proposing an H2Ohio initiative that would allow us to invest in targeted, long-term solutions to ensure safe and clean water across the state of Ohio.”

During an event in Toledo, Governor DeWine announced that his proposal would create a special H2Ohio Fund that would be used to protect Ohio’s water quality over 10 years and could amount to approximately $900 million.

“Rather than borrowing to pay to fix our water problems, we want to create a special account, where we can deposit funds to be used specifically for water quality across Ohio,” Gov.

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Commodity Classic packed with highlights for attendees

The nation’s corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum farmers gathered in Orlando for the 2019 Commodity Classic that featured a massive trade show and leading agriculture experts from around the country.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience. Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event, featuring a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.

The event is presented annually by the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Here are some of the many highlights.

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March 8 neutral report leaves traders nervous

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Just ahead of the report, grains were mixed with corn down 1 cent, soybeans down 6 cents, with wheat up 4 cents. Following the report, corn was unchanged, soybeans down 3 cents, and wheat up 2 cents.

China’s soybean imports were 88 million tons, unchanged from last month. Brazil’s soybean production was 116.5 million tons, down just one-half million tons from last month. Corn ending stocks were 1.835 billion bushels, up 100 million bushels. Exports were cut 75 million bushels and ethanol was down 25 million bushels. Soybean ending stocks were down 10 million bushels to 900 million bushels. Wheat ending stocks up 45 million bushels to 1.055 billion bushels.

We often witness the grain markets reacting to what is currently happening — the headlines. Continuing the dominant theme seen in recent weeks, grains are reacting to what we are NOT seeing. The lack of U.S./China trade news is affecting volume and volatility.

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Update: What’s legal to apply to the LL-GT27 soybean?

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension weed control specialist

We recently ran an article that covered the legality of POST glyphosate and glufosinate applications to the LL-GT27 soybean, which is resistant to both herbicides. The issue at that time was the legality of applying a mix of both herbicides, based on questions we had received. Cutting to the quick, our conclusion was that because it was legal to apply the mixture since both herbicides could legally be applied and labels did not prohibit mixing. We were naïve apparently, because that article caused the issue over whether it was actually legal to apply glyphosate to the LL-GT27 soybean to be raised.

Since then, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the companies who are the involved registrants have been working to come to a solution that clarifies this issue and keeps us all moving forward toward a resolution.

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China deal up in the air and soggy soils underfoot

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Bloomberg News reported on Feb. 28 that the U.S. and China are in the final stages of negotiating a 150-page executive order, which may be ready to be signed by President Trump and President Xi yet this month. Final details are still being hammered out. The pact will include six “memorandum of understanding” points agreed to last month. Those six points are: forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, non-tariff barriers to trade, and agriculture.

Late last month, White House Economic Adviser Kudlow indicated the U.S. is on the verge of an historic pact with China. The weariness is readily apparent for all in the ag industry in regard to the months long U.S./China trade issues. Producers have paid with the decimating hit they took to their bottom line with the sharp decline in soybean prices since last June. With the huge amount of selling pressure in recent weeks, it appears traders are looking for specific things to occur, a date to be announced for the trade signing by the presidents, and the actual signing to happen.

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Don Boehm named CCA of the Year

By Matt Reese

Don Boehm of Findlay was named the 2019 CCA of the Year by the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Program at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada yesterday.

Boehm now serves as the crop protection manager at Legacy Farmers Cooperative with more than 30 years of crop advising experience and service in the Hancock County area. He is currently responsible for weed management recommendations, soil sampling and scouting, and implementation strategies for the 4R principles at Legacy, which was among the first facilities certified in the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program. Throughout his career he has been involved with sales, management and direct work with farmers in his role as a CCA. Boehm has also worked to implement new technology for farmer customers and on his own farm.

“The thing that has been the most rewarding to me is that God has blessed us with the opportunity to farm.

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Corn at the halfway point

By Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois

The midpoint of the 2018-19 marketing year for corn arrived on Friday, March 1. Typically, the market begins to focus on new crop acreage and production prospects. Uncertainty regarding trade negotiations and lower use in domestic consumption categories may keep old crop consumption closer to the forefront than usual.

Corn consumption slowed in ethanol production and other domestic uses during the first half of the marketing year. Exports slowed a bit from the strong start to the marketing year, but remain on pace to hit the current USDA forecast of 2.45 billion bushels. While changes in trade policy may impact corn exports significantly over the next year, the following analysis assumes a continuation of the current trade environment. Through February 21, total commitments of corn total 1.557 billion bushels. Total commitments sit 11 million bushels above last year’s total through week 25.

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