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NCGA announces 2015 yield contest results

Improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices helped corn growers achieve ever-higher yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2015 National Corn Yield Contest. Entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, setting a contest record with a new all-time high yield of just over 532 bushels per acre. Additionally, a record five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.

“The contest does more than just provide farmers an opportunity for friendly competition; it generates information that shapes future production practices across the industry,” said Brent Hostetler, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques contest winners first develop grow into broad advances that help farmers across the country excel in a variety of situations.  Our contest emphasizes how innovation, from growers and technology providers alike, enables us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”

The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 51st year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.… Continue reading

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Commodity Classic app available for 2016 event

Everything you need to know about the 2016 Commodity Classic can now be held in the palm of your hand.  The mobile app for the 2016 Commodity Classic, March 3-5, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana, is now available for download for iOS iPhone and iPad devices, Android phone and tablets and other mobile devices.
To download the 2016 Commodity Classic app at no charge, visit the app store for your device.  Type Commodity Classic in the search bar of the iTunes Store or Google Play.  Download links are also available at commodityclassic.com/app.
“This tool is a great feature and will certainly come in handy for those attending Commodity Classic,” said event Co-Chair Sam Butler, a soybean grower from Alabama. “With so many sessions and things to experience in so many locations over several days, this app can help attendees stay organized and get the most out of our convention and trade show.”
With the mobile app, you can access the entire Commodity Classic schedule, get details on the dozens of educational sessions, browse the list of exhibitors, and receive immediate updates and notifications during the event. 
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Grim picture for 2016 crop prices

Barry Ward recalls the not-so-distant past when he could relay positive stories and bright agricultural outlooks in the weeks and months ahead. Those talks were just a memory for the speaker at today’s Grain Farmers Symposium.

“This was a lot nicer talk to give a few years ago. That was a period unlike anything we had even seen in our lifetimes,” said Ward, leader of OSU Extension’s Production Business Management program. “There is not much good news in terms of profitability in crop agriculture today. There are a few small positives but not many.”

Ward, from the Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE), delivered generally grim numbers in his outlook on land values, rental rates and input budgets..

Land values

In terms of land values, prices are likely heading down.

“When you look at net farm income we are not seeing much good news.… Continue reading

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Trade and technology important in ag discussions

In December, National Corn Growers Association’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team met in St. Louis to review the organization’s policy in their area of expertise, discuss progress on several ongoing programs and hear from industry representatives about upcoming challenges and opportunities.

Looking at a variety of issues, including how to best support agricultural exports, stress the importance of respecting refuge requirements and facilitate successful communication across the value-chain on their issues, the team will use their in-depth knowledge of the subject matter to develop the nuanced, strategic suggestions needed to help the Corn Board guide NCGA policy effectively.

“It can begin to feel like farmer leaders spend a large amount of time participating in meetings for a variety of agricultural groups during the winter months,” said John Linder, Team Chair, a farmer from Ohio. “Yet, as I have become increasingly involved, I have come to deeply appreciate the breadth and scope of the myriad issues facing farmers today. … Continue reading

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Ohio Nutrient Management Record Keeper (OnMRK) available

Ohio Nutrient Management Record Keeper (OnMRK) is a computerized recordkeeping system
that sync’s with your smartphone or tablet to create a simple, easy and quick way to record all
of your fertilizer and manure applications from the field. The free app which works on tablets,
iPads and smartphones can be downloaded from the Google Play store for Android devices and
iTunes for the Apple products.

To get started, simply go to the app’s website www.onmrk.com.  After setting up your account, enter your farm and field information. Download and open the app on you smartphone or
tablet and enter your applicator key. All of the data that has been entered on your computer
will now synchronize with your smartphone or tablet. The app features drop‐down menus and
quick entry fields which make it fast and easy to enter the required information.

Click here for Ohio Nutrient Management Record Keeper Instructions

The application information you enter from the field is combined with the GPS Location data
from your smartphone or tablet.… Continue reading

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OSC Board elects leaders

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) Board of Trustees elected officers for 2015-2016 during the December board meeting. These executive committee positions include the offices of chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary.

Individuals in these positions are responsible for the implementation of board policies and procedures, as well as carrying out the roles for their respective offices.

Terry McClure of Paulding County was elected chairman. McClure previously served as OSC vice chairman and as a Soy Transportation Coalition board member. In addition to his volunteer leadership position with OSC, McClure is a member of the Board of Directors of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Previously McClure was president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, a board member of the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, and a board member of the Paulding County Soil and Water Conservation District. He farms soybeans, corn and wheat.

Elected vice chairman after holding the office of treasurer was Steve Reinhard.… Continue reading

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USDA announces funding through International Wheat Partnership Research Program

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $3.4 million for research projects in support of the new International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) program.

“Wheat is one of the world’s most important staple crops, providing a significant amount of daily calories and protein throughout the world,” said Secretary Vilsack. “By 2050, the demand for wheat as part of a reliable, affordable, and nutritious diet will grow alongside the world population, and continued wheat research will play an important role in ensuring its continued availability.”

Awards for this program will be made through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The new International Wheat Yield Partnership program seeks to enhance agriculture research that can benefit the global community and support the G20 nations’ Wheat Initiative with the key aims of enhancing the genetic component of wheat yield and developing new wheat varieties that are adaptable to different geographical regions and environmental conditions.… Continue reading

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Ohio small grains checkoff elects leaders

Bryan Bush, a farmer from Edison, was elected chairman of the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff for 2016 during their December meeting at the Ohio Corn & Wheat office in Delaware.

Bush has served on the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff board for 8 years, most recently as vice president. As District 7 Director he represents corn farmers in Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Delaware, Franklin, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum, Tuscarawas and Union counties.

Putnam County farmer Mark Hoorman, was elected as vice-chairman. He is in his fourth year of service and previously served as secretary. He represents corn farmers in District 1, which is Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas and Williams counties.

Rachael Vonderhaar, beginning her second year on the board, will serve as secretary. Vonderhaar farms with her family in Preble County. As District 8 Director, she represents corn farmers in Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Clermont, Darke, Greene, Hamilton, Preble, Miami, Montgomery, and Warren counties.… Continue reading

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Corn Checkoff elects officers, board members

Keith Truckor, a farmer from Metamora, was elected chairman of the Ohio Corn Checkoff for 2016, during their December meeting at the Ohio Corn & Wheat office in Delaware.

Truckor has served on the Ohio Corn Checkoff board for two years, most recently as chair of the domestic demand committee. As District 1 Director he represents corn farmers in Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas and Williams counties.

Putnam County farmer, Dennis Vennekotter, was elected as vice-chairman. He is in his fourth year of service and previously served on the National Corn Growers Association Ethanol Action Team. He represents corn farmers in District 4: Allen, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert counties.

Doug Longfellow, beginning his fifth year on the board, will serve as secretary. Longfellow farms with his father in Darke County in addition to selling seed. As District 11 Director, he represents corn farmers in Darke, Preble and Montgomery counties.

Gail Lierer of Butler County was elected as Ohio Corn Checkoff treasurer.… Continue reading

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OSC Board of Trustees election results

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) recently announced the results of four Board of Trustees district elections during the November board meeting. Elected trustees will serve one three-year term ending in 2018.

The results were as follows:

  • District 2 – Nathan Eckel, Wood County
  • District 5 – Bill Bateson, Hancock County
  • District 9 – Bret Davis, Delaware County
  • District 13 – Amy Sigg Davis, Warren County

No petitions were received from District 1 and that seat remains open.

To download a PDF of this news release, please click here.… Continue reading

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SCI congratulates yield contest winners

Seed Consultants would like to congratulate the winners of our 2015 Yield Contest.


2015 Project 300 Corn Yield Contest




Terry VissingSCS 1125AMX™




Tim BishopSCS 1085AM™




David FisherSCS 10HR43™


2015 Project 100 Soybean Yield Contest




Terry VissingSCS 9385RR™




Tim BishopSCS 9434RR™




John NoltSCS 9314RR™


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Dow DuPont merger creating agricultural opportunity and concern

Last week, DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that their boards of directors unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger of equals. The combined company will be named DowDuPont. The parties intend to subsequently pursue a separation of DowDuPont into three independent, publicly traded companies through tax-free spin-offs. This would occur as soon as feasible, which is expected to be 18 to 24 months following the closing of the merger, subject to regulatory and board approval.

“This transaction is a game-changer for our industry and reflects the culmination of a vision we have had for more than a decade to bring together these two powerful innovation and material science leaders,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Over the last decade our entire industry has experienced tectonic shifts as an evolving world presented complex challenges and opportunities — requiring each company to exercise foresight, agility and focus on execution.… Continue reading

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West Ohio Agronomy Day

The evening portion of the 2016 West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Tuesday, January 19th at the Days Inn (SR 47 & I-75) in Sidney.  This program will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a light supper and a marketing update from Trupointe and Cargill personnel.  We will be providing Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification credits (Core and Categories 1, 2, and 6) and Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training for those who already hold a Pesticide Applicator’s License (commercial or private).  These trainings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and will be conducted by OSU Extension personnel.

The day-long 2016 West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Monday, January 11th at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie.  A light breakfast will be available starting at 8 a.m. with a marketing update from Trupointe and Cargill at 8:30 a.m.  At 9 a.m. the Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification (Core and Categories 1, 2, and 6) and the Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training for those who already hold a Pesticide Applicator’s License (commercial or private) will begin. 

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Fertility Agronomy Day

Soil fertility is crucial to maximize yield potential when growing crops. Economic and environmental considerations are also a key aspect to fertility management. With the knowledge to do so, farmers can set up fields to maximize profits while minimizing environmental impact.

It all starts with taking a good soil sample and understanding how to use that information in making nutrient application decisions. To better prepare farmers to make these decisions, OSU Extension is offering an Improving Yields through Fertility Agronomy Day. Topics discussed will be: Managing Fertilizer and Lime Input Costs and Water Quality, Soil Sampling, Using Field Buffers in Marginal Areas, Develop a Nutrient Management Plan, and On‐farm research results.

Guest speakers include Dr. Steve Culman, OSU Extension State Fertility Specialist; Greg Labarge and Harold Watters, OSU Extension Agronomic Crops Field Specialists, and Ron Nieman, NRCS District Conservationist.

Participants are asked to bring a soil analysis report so we can help you develop nutrient recommendations for a field.… Continue reading

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Grain price outlook not bright

There are plenty of market factors at play currently and few are positive for increasing corn, soybean and wheat prices. Stagnated demand growth and ample grain supplies from another robust year of production do not leave much opportunity for price improvement, said Matt Roberts, an agricultural economist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

“U.S. prices for corn remain weak on the back of two record harvests,” he said. “Combined with good to excellent yields in major growing nations, global corn and feed grain supplies are quite large.”

Roberts said that growers should continue to expect to see $3.50 to $4 per bushel corn, $8 to $9 soybeans and $5 for wheat until prices are low enough to drive acres from production or demand growth from developing countries like India soaks up the expanded acreage from recent years.

Adding to the problem is significant uncertainty from China, that may be reversing its trend of importing corn.… Continue reading

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Christmas brings many reasons to smile for poinsettia growers

Every job has its ups and downs, but Brett Cuthbert admits that it is hard to get too frustrated when surrounded by thousands of beautiful flowers — especially around the holidays with acres of poinsettias under glass.
“If you’re having a bad day you can walk into the greenhouse and see flowers,” Cuthbert said. “You have to love what you do and being able to see flowers every day certainly isn’t bad.”

Brett is part of the third generation to run Cuthbert Greenhouse, Inc., in Franklin County that specializes in wholesale production of a wide variety of plants. The greenhouse business was started in 1951 to supply starter plants for the family’s 30-acre farm near Groveport. The operation has grown to two locations with 13 acres under glass and a small retail market. They primarily sell to Kroger, Giant Eagle, Kmart and other large retailers in the Columbus area.

“We try to stay within 150-mile radius around Columbus most of the time,” he said.… Continue reading

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Technology highlighted at Ohio No-Till Conference

Technology has been at the forefront of the discussion at today’s Ohio No-Till Conference in Plain City.

Bill Haddad from Danville talked about his almost half century of work promoting no-till. He worked closely with emerging technological changes in the early days of no-till, particularly in the Amish community in northeast Ohio. One of the promotional tools he relied upon was a no-till bumper sticker applied to the backsides of Amish horses pulling two-row no-till planters.

Moving to a more modern era, Scott Shearer, with the Ohio State University Department of Food, Agriculture, and Biological Engineering talked about the unbelievable opportunities for technology in the future, and present day.

“I understand why you might look at me kind of skeptically with some of the things I talk about because they are pretty far out there,” Shearer said. “It is an interesting time and a very dynamic time.”

Remote sensing technology from drones can help with identifying weed escapes, directed scouting, stand counts, nutrient deficiencies, crop vigor, total biomass production, changes in leaf appearance for disease detection, drainage and soil moisture content, plant water stress, and assessing how hybrids are responding to the environment around them, Shearer said.… Continue reading

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NBB pushing for biodiesel tax incentive

The National Biodiesel Board called on Congress to quickly pass a reformed biodiesel producer’s tax incentive as tax negotiations heated up on Capitol Hill and lawmakers introduced updated biodiesel tax legislation in the House and Senate.

“The biodiesel industry cannot grow and support good-paying jobs without some level of predictability on tax policy, and the legislative clock is winding down,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “This tax incentive has strong bipartisan support, as demonstrated by the bills introduced today. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for the environment and it’s good for consumers. And importantly the reforms included in today’s bills will appropriately focus the incentive on U.S. production”

The new legislation, sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J), builds on legislation (S. 1946) that won unanimous support from the Senate Finance Committee in July.… Continue reading

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Time to register for the Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium

The seventh annual Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium (OGFS) will be held on Thursday, December 17th at The Ohio State University Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. The symposium will bring together farmers, researchers and industry experts who will offer insight into key agricultural issues such as land values and rents, input margins, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a crop market outlook, and how the federal clean power plan could impact Ohio.  Attendees will also hear an update from their national grain associations as well as from the leaders of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and Ohio Soybean Association (OSA).

The event is free, but registration is strongly recommended. Deadline for registration is December 11. Visit www.ohiograinfarmerssymposium.org to RSVP, or call OCWGA at 740-201-8088.

On-site registration opens at 8:00 a.m. followed by the start of the program at 9:00 a.m.  A full OGFS agenda is available online at www.ohiograinfarmerssymposium.org.… Continue reading

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Connecting sustainability with reducing input costs

Cutting input costs and meeting customer demands for sustainability are top-of-mind issues for farmers. The good news is that these two objectives do not have to be in opposition to one another. In fact, implementing sustainable practices on the farm can help cut costs and contribute to profitability.

“It just goes hand-in-hand to be more efficient on our farms with the current lower commodity prices,” said Keith Kemp, Soy Checkoff farmer-leader from West Manchester, Ohio. “Those efficiencies today will make my farm more sustainable today and more profitable down the road.”

One sustainable practice farmers can use to cut costs is utilizing no-till.

“We managed things very closely when we got into no-till 30 years ago and we made sure we were completely ready as far as fertility, tile and getting compaction out of the soils,” Kemp said. “Once we got into no-till we got our worms, microbes and all the little critters working to digest a lot of the residue and put their own fertility in the ground so we didn’t have to use as much fertilizer as conventional farmers.”

Another practice is analyzing all of the data collected on the farm to only apply the inputs each crop needs.… Continue reading

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