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Significant rainfall slowed progress

A modest amount of field work occurred in the state due to increased rain, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. High amounts of precipitation caused localized flooding throughout the state, bringing planting progress to a halt in most areas. Although reporters suspected some damage occurred to recently planted crops, most noted that it was too early to tell how severe that damage was. Average temperatures for the week were close to historical normals and the entire state averaged just under 3 inches of precipitation. There were 1.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 24.

Despite increased amounts of rain, farmers were able to continue small amounts of spraying activities and began hay cutting. Topsoil moisture increased from 29% surplus last week to 56% surplus this week. Corn planted progress was 66%, 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Soybeans planted progress remained ahead of the five-year average by 9 percentage points.

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Hay and straw: Labor of love? Or love of labor?

By Matt Reese

Baling hay and straw is a labor of love for brothers Miles and Caleb von Stein that requires a love of labor they’ve had since high school.

“Growing up, Caleb and I loved baling. We did it for our FFA SAE project. We started with 20 or 40 acres of straw. Dad and my uncle said we’d never get it all baled,” Miles said. “That was in 2010 and it almost was a personal challenge and we tried to do more every year. Then they didn’t think we could do 50 or 60 acres and now we are doing 600 or 700 acres. The fact that they thought we couldn’t do it almost fueled us even more to grow.”

Small square bales of hay and straw have paved the way for the von Steins to take their Hancock County family farm in a new and innovative direction focused on soil health, high quality products and meeting unique customer demands.… Continue reading

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Post-planting scouting

By John Fulton

Planting remains one the most important, if not most important, field operation for row-crop producers. In most cases, there is one pass to “get it right” with the planting operation. Two key goals of the planter are to achieve optimum stands and uniform emergence to maximize yield potential once the seed is placed in the furrow. Once placed in the soil, corn emergence is influenced by several factors and should be kept in mind not only during planting but also post-planting when scouting.

While planting is the critical field operation, scouting post-planting is important to evaluate planter performance (i.e. Did I “get it right?”) and understanding a field’s yield potential for the current cropping season. Scouting can provide valuable notes on how the planter performed across and between fields with this data used to help improve planting in the future. Mobile applications can enhance scouting since most today provide the ability to geo-reference (i.e.… Continue reading

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Ohio corn, soybean and wheat enterprise budgets: Projected returns for 2020

By Barry Ward, Ohio State University assistant Extension professor, leader in Production Business Management

COVID-19 has created an unusual situation that has negatively affected crop prices and lowered certain crop input costs. Many inputs for the 2020 production year were purchased or the prices/costs were locked in prior to the spread of this novel coronavirus. Some costs have been recently affected or may yet be affected. Lower fuel costs may allow for lower costs for some compared to what current budgets indicate.

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be largely unchanged from last year with lower fertilizer expenses offset by slight increases in some other costs. Variable costs for corn in Ohio for 2020 are projected to range from $359 to $452 per acre depending on land productivity. Variable costs for 2020 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $201 to $223 per acre. Wheat variable expenses for 2020 are projected to range from $162 to $198 per acre.… Continue reading

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Teens to advise ODNR youth outreach program

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

If only this were offered when I was a teen: the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is looking for highly motivated high school students to serve on the Conservation Teen Advisory Council (ConTAC), a statewide network of student leaders working together to enhance ODNR’s youth outreach and program efforts.

“This is a great opportunity for ambitious young people to jumpstart their future careers with skills that transfer to any profession,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz of the opportunity.

ConTAC members will develop innovative and practical ideas that empower young people to protect and preserve Ohio’s natural resources, provide feedback and make recommendations to enhance outdoor outreach. Council members will also get the chance to explore careers in the natural resources sector and develop valuable networking and leadership skills.

A new class of 30 teens will be selected to serve on ConTAC for the 2020-2021 academic year.… Continue reading

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March margin triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Program payment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the March 2020 income over feed cost margin was $9.15 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the first payment of 2020 for dairy producers who purchased the appropriate level of coverage under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. Current projections indicate that a DMC payment is likely to trigger every month for the remainder of 2020, a different expectation from last July when some market models had forecast no program payments for 18 months.

“This payment comes at a critical time for many dairy producers,” said Richard Fordyce, FSA Administrator. “It is the first triggered DMC payment for 2020, and the first payment to dairy producers in seven months.”

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.… Continue reading

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New alternatives for county fair auctions

Show and fair officials from across the country are looking at alternative options for their upcoming auctions amid uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

In response, Ohio – Breeders’ World Online Sales has introduced BW Final Drive Youth

Auctions as an alternative option to county fairs across the country to still hold auctions for their exhibitors. BW Final Drive Youth Auctions offers multiple options including premium sale online auctions, an “add on” option for buyers to add money to an exhibitor’s premium, and a terminal/market online auction.

“Being an auctioneer, 4-H advisor, county fair committee member and a 4-H parent, I am here to provide you with the best possible solutions for your auctions at a cost that reflects the youth are my top priority,” said Roger Hunker, owner of Breeders’ World Online Sales and BW Final Drive Youth Auctions.

BW Final Drive Youth Auctions works with each fair/show individually to meet their needs and guidelines.… Continue reading

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Case IH offering financing options during tough times

The world of farm equipment has changed with the struggling agricultural economy. Case IH, through CNH Industrial Capital, now offers a range of financing programs for equipment purchases, including 0 payments and 0% interest until 2022 offer to provide options to help farmers navigate the challenging times.

Scott Harris, VP North America for Case IH, said this is not a new program, but the offer has been expanded to support customers during these unprecedented times.

“This financing program not only gives farmers the ability to continue their essential day-to-day practices, but it also provides them with the flexibility to upgrade their fleet to brand-new equipment, helping maximize their yields. This program helps keep farmers highly productive and gets them through two harvests without having to pay,” Harris said. “In addition, Case IH has taken added steps to provide financial assistance and programs for producers. For example, the CNH Industrial Capital team is working with those who are having financial difficulties on account of the current environment and offering solutions such as flexible re-structures and new terms. … Continue reading

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Progress in planting made between rains

Willie Murphy

We have gotten a bunch of rain but we were able to plant last Tuesday. We planted a field of beans and it was getting pretty fit. On Wednesday we got both planters up and running and got the corn planter going. We got all the bugs worked out and got a bunch planted on Wednesday and Thursday. Then we got a spotty rain here and we got maybe two tenths. Further north got anywhere from four tenths to eight tenths on Thursday.

It kind of dried back out for us and we were able to plant corn all weekend. We started late Friday and planted until the middle of the day on Monday and got about half of our corn planted. North of here they got more rain. Altogether I think they got 2.5 inches from Monday to today. We are fortunate. You don’t have to go very far from here before it gets pretty wet.… Continue reading

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State Fair canceled for 2020 🎙

By Matt Reese

On May 21, the Ohio State Fair announced that the event will not be taking place in 2020 — rides, fair food, junior fair, Smokey Bear, open shows, friends in the show barn, everything is canceled.

In recent weeks, the Ohio State Fair’s management team and the Ohio Expositions Commission were evaluating all available information from state and local health officials, as well as the financial feasibility of a reduced capacity fair. With the available information, the Ohio Expositions Commission voted to cancel the Ohio State Fair in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the fair for the future.

 “Our commissioners love our State Fair and you know how much I do and this is hard on all of us. This is my 28th year with the Ohio State Fair and I’ve had a lot of challenges over the years and this is right up there.Continue reading

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Setting basis and leaving futures unpriced

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Last week’s USDA report showed 10% less carryout than the trade expected for the 2020 crop. However, it was still 3.3 billion bushels, which is concerning. In the last 33 years, the highest final carryout level ever reached was 2.3 billion bushels. While some farmers may have switched corn acres to beans, or other spring crops, it’s unlikely to be enough to offset 1 billion corn bushels.

 

Setting basis and leaving futures unpriced

This week a couple farmers across the country discussed setting basis levels in their area and moving grain sooner than later. Here are some issues to consider before setting basis for May, June or July delivery without first having futures prices locked in.

 

Willing to set futures price by June 29?

First, a farmer needs to decide if they are willing to set their futures price on this trade by June 29.… Continue reading

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Embracing young family workers and teaching farm safety during the COVID summer

By Dee Jepsen and Shoshanah Inwood

This spring and summer will be like no other in recent history during the COVID-19 outbreak. As you take stock of the goals you have for your farm this season, labor needs, and family dynamics, now is also the perfect time to create a plan for the role kids will have on the farm this season. As you formulate your plan, it will be important to take the age of your children and their farm interest into account. The following strategies and tips may be helpful as you come up with a plan for involving young family members in daily chores.

 

Designate safe play areas for toddlers and young children

A farm is a wonderful place to grow up. However, younger children also require more oversight. It will be helpful to have conversations as a family about how to keep kids safe while farm work is being done.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers program postponed

With the uncertainty of the COVID 19 crisis and the apprehension concerning gatherings of people, we have decided to postpone the spring 2020 Feeding Farmers program sponsored by AgriGold until later this year.

“The best part of this program is the neighbors coming together and sharing lunch and fellowship,” said Bart Johnson, owner of Ohio’s Country Journal. “We want to make sure we can continue the importance of getting together socially and celebrating the honor of being involved in agriculture.”

The hope is this fall will bring more relaxed social gathering guidelines and a return to more normal events. We will provide details when we know more.… Continue reading

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Soybean demand remains uncertain

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

The USDA released the first projections for U.S. corn and soybean supply and demand in the 2020-21 marketing year on May 12. The forecasts for soybeans showed higher ending stocks this marketing year with a substantial decrease in the next marketing year’s ending stocks. While the prospects for this year’s crop come to the forefront, the consumption projections reflect the potential market size and merit consideration.

Current marketing year ending stocks increased to 580 million bushels due to a 100 million bushel drop in soybean exports. Total consumption for the 2019-20 marketing year is forecast at 3.901 billion bushels, down 70 million bushels from 2018-19. The initial forecast of soybean use for the 2020-21 marketing year came in at 4.315 billion bushels. Driven by an expectation of exports at 2.05 billion bushels, consumption near this level last occurred in 2017-18 before the onset of the trade war.… Continue reading

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Coronavirus and COVID-19: What is this world coming to?

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Sometimes I think my fellow Americans don’t use a bit of their “smarts.” In my April column I described the hysterical rush of consumers purchasing as much toilet paper as they could haul out in a shopping cart or two. Then, over spring break, college students flocked to Florida beaches in spite of calls to social distance and self-quarantine at home.

Florida officials made no effort to stem the tide of spring breakers and their lack of social distancing and their flouting of authority. Florida businesses raked in the bucks from students, with fully booked hotels, restaurants packed to the gills, and booze flowing like the Suwannee River.

The students’ attitude was “if I die of COVID-19, so be it. Eat, drink and be merry. You only live once.” But the students gave no thought about spreading the virus to their friends and families when they returned home.… Continue reading

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You have received PPP loan funding: Now what?

By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAs

So, you have applied for and received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP Loan). What should you do next to ensure that you are tracking and using the funds on eligible expenses to qualify for loan forgiveness?

 

Loan forgiveness

The borrower is eligible for full forgiveness of the loan principal if the funds are used on payroll costs, interest payments on mortgages, payments of rent on any lease and utility payments. Due to high demand for the PPP loans, 75% of the forgiven amount must be used for payroll costs.

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or rehiring employees and maintaining wage levels by June 30, 2020. The amount forgiven will be reduced if you decrease your full-time employee count compared to the prior year and/or by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25% of their prior year compensation.… Continue reading

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CFAP direct payment details announced

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

Payments will go directly to farmers who have suffered a 5% or greater price loss and who are facing significant marketing costs due to the coronavirus. Eligible commodities include cattle, hog, dairy, specialty crops and row crops. Payments will be limited to $250,000 per person.

“This aid can’t arrive soon enough as many farmers file for bankruptcy, facing unprecedented losses.… Continue reading

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Farms to Foodbanks: Community foundations partner to supply foodbanks

Food chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in meat processing bottlenecks. Grocery and food pantry refrigerators and freezers are empty, despite increased need for healthy proteins.

Ohio Farm Bureau, Pickaway County Community Foundation (PCCF) and Delaware County Foundation are working with local farmers to supply local foodbanks with Ohio raised pork.

“We are always looking to generate win-win opportunities,” said Chris Baker, president and CEO of the Delaware County Foundation. “As the number of residents out of work and seeking assistance from food banks increases, some farmers have struggled due to disruptions at processing facilities. With a modest grant from the Foundation’s Community Crisis Fund we are pleased to be able to feed hundreds of people while supporting local businesses.”

When partners learned the meat processing plant in Orient was reopening after temporary closure they sprung to action and purchased 30 hogs from Ohio producers to process for local foodbanks.… Continue reading

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First round of U.S.-UK trade talks

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and United Kingdom International Trade Secretary Liz Truss began meeting in May via video conference to formally begin trade talks between the two nations.

“Both parties agree that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would contribute to the long-term health of our economies, which is vitally important as we recover from the challenges posed by COVID-19. An FTA is a priority for both countries and we share a commitment to secure an ambitious agreement that significantly boosts trade and investment. We will undertake negotiations at an accelerated pace and have committed the resources necessary to progress at a fast pace,” according to a joint statement..

The first round of trade negotiations continued through May 15. In October 2018, the Trump administration announced its intention to negotiate a trade agreement with the U.K.… Continue reading

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