Home / Featured News / Top Headlines (page 5)

Top Headlines

Featured Posts (Posts shown below the “Top Posts” on the home page)

Will China live up to Phase One promises?

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Jan. 15 was supposed to be a big deal for U.S. farmers with the Phase One trade deal signing between the U.S. and China. U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue called the signing, “A bonanza for U.S. agriculture.” The “tale of the tape,” would say otherwise. Decades ago, grain and other commodity prices were spit out via ticker tape, not a computer screen. Closes at the CBOT in the two days following the trade deal signing detail soybeans closing 18 cents lower while corn declined 13 cents. One summary suggests the market is unimpressed with the details of Phase One — not exactly what U.S. producers had envisioned in their 20 months of waiting for the trade war to end. During this period, it was an arena which often shouted declining prices and stressed margins. The words, “need and price,” stand out in this agreement. Bottom line, it means China will be buying based on their needs and not upon what the U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

New coronavirus likely spreading between humans

Scientists with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) can offer insight into the new coronavirus that is being blamed for at least 26 deaths and more than 830 confirmed illnesses internationally since December 2019, with at least two cases of coronavirus reported this week in the United States—in Washington state and Chicago. And at least an additional 50 people in the United States are under observation in 22 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that include the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), all of which can infect both humans and animals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Thus far, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam and China all have confirmed cases of coronavirus, which was first reported in December in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province, China.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio leaders on American Lamb Board

The American Lamb Board (ALB) elected FY2020 leadership at its meeting Jan. 22, held prior to the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) convention. The national board saw the retirement of one Ohioan, Jim Percival or Greene County, and the addition of another, Donald Hawk of Knox County.

The newly elected chair is Gwendolyn Kitzan, South Dakota. vice chair is David Quam, Texas. Elected for a second term as secretary is Greg Deakin, Illinois, and treasurer is Rob Rule, Iowa.

 … Continue reading

Read More »

Pontsler named Ohio Farm Bureau organization director

Taylor Pontsler has been named Ohio Farm Bureau Federation organization director for Champaign, Clark, Darke and Miami counties.

In her new role, Pontsler will serve as a liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and Ohio Farm Bureau. In addition, she will assist county groups in the development and implementation of programs to strengthen their organizations, enhance their ability to serve members and affect positive change at the community level.

Pontsler received her associate’s degree from Clark State Community College, where she studied agricultural business, and her bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College, where she studied agronomy. She previously served as marketing and media associate for Champaign, Clark, Darke and Miami county Farm Bureaus.

Pontsler resides in New Carlisle has been an active member of Clark County Farm Bureau for the past four years.… Continue reading

Read More »

New federal rule replaces WOTUS, seeks to add clarity

By Matt Reese

In what has been a long, confusing and lawsuit-laden debate regarding government oversight of the Waters of the United States, the Trump Administration announced replacement regulation for WOTUS, which was repealed in fall of 2019.

The new Navigable Waters Rule was announced on Jan. 23 and garnered broad support from agriculture.

“The Navigable Waters Rule gives farmers clarity and certainty about what waters fall under federal and state jurisdiction the old WOTUS rule was unable to provide,” said Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president. “Ohio farmers go above and beyond to be good stewards of land and water and this new rule will help them put innovative and sustainable conservation practices in place to insure water quality and a healthy environment for themselves and fellow Ohioans.”

In the rule, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked together with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove unnecessary regulatory burden regarding navigable waters.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s fairs wrestling with ractopamine

From coast to coast, the U.S. commercial pork industry is excited about the tremendous potential for exporting to China. China, though, is not excited about ractopamine, the active ingredient in Paylean, Optaflexx and other products. China has a ban in place for imported pork from hogs that have been fed ractopamine.

The challenge is that ractopamine has U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval as a legal feed additive for pigs over 150 pounds and has been commonly used to provide some extra muscle for the show ring and commercial production. Pork from pigs fed ractopamine is safe for human consumption. But, like it or not, if China doesn’t want it, the packers who process the pigs are not going to want it. If packers do not want it, the already limited options for processing pigs fed ractopamine get much, much slimmer.

State Veterinarian Tony Forshey outlined the problems now facing fairs at the Ohio Fair Managers Convention in early January.… Continue reading

Read More »

2020 weed control strategies for waterhemp and Palmer amaranth

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

From a distance, Palmer amaranth, common waterhemp, and redroot pigweed can easily be mistaken for each other, but proper identification is a key to effective management. Each weed species is a growing problem in Ohio.

Palmer amaranth and waterhemp are relatively easy to separate from redroot pigweed when taking a closer look, because both the Palmer amaranth and waterhemp have smooth stems with no hair on them. Redroot pigweed has fine hairs on the stem.

“It is not critical to separately identify the Palmer amaranth from common waterhemp because the management strategy

Jeff Stachler, OSU Extension

is going to be similar for both,” said Jeff Stachler, Ohio State University Extension educator in Auglaize County. “Palmer amaranth and waterhemp are both dioecious plants, meaning they produce separate male plants and separate female plants. That causes a problem from the standpoint of diversity as every flower on a female plant could hypothetically have a unique male plant that pollinated each of the flowers.

Continue reading

Read More »

China’s ASF problem remains bleak for 2020

Despite 2019 having been China’s official “Year of the Pig,” things could not have been much worse for the nation’s swine herd, its farmers or the country’s 1.4 billion consumers who have a strong preference for pork as a protein.

On a positive note, official reports of African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in China were more of a trickle in the second half of last year compared with the prior nine or so months. However, many industry experts believe that the country has little hope to rebound its ability to produce more pork in 2020. The main reason? The breeding herd. Last year, every province officially became ASF-positive. This resulted in the country losing about half of its swine herd, which equates to roughly one-quarter of the world’s swine herd.

According to Dave Pyburn, the Pork Checkoff’s chief veterinarian, China’s ASF woes are many.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely here and hope that China will see some relief,” Pyburn said.… Continue reading

Read More »

U.S. Department of Transportation issues proposed rule on remote ID for drones

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a proposed rule that would continue the safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly called drones, into the nation’s airspace by requiring them to be identifiable remotely.

“Remote ID technologies will enhance safety and security by allowing the FAA, law enforcement, and Federal security agencies to identify drones flying in their jurisdiction,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The FAA seeks input on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Remote Identification (Remote ID) of UAS that today was published in the Federal Register. It is accompanied by comment period that closes March 2, 2020, to receive public feedback and help the FAA develop a final rule to enhance safety in the skies over the U.S.

“As a pilot, my eye is always on safety first,” said Steve Dickson, FAA Administrator. “Safety is a joint responsibility between government, pilots, the drone community, the general public and many others who make our nation so creative and innovative.”

Drones are a fast-growing segment of the entire transportation sector — nearly 1.5 million drones and 160,000 remote pilots are registered with the FAA.… Continue reading

Read More »

Young Ag Professionals awards 10 grants

Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals program has awarded $500 grants to eight local YAP groups and two Collegiate Farm Bureau groups.

The grants are courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America and fund YAP-focused educational programming or events. Winning groups will be acknowledged at the upcoming Young Agricultural Professionals Winter Leadership Experience Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

Here are the recipients and their programming.


Ashland and Wayne counties YAP

The Ashland/Wayne Young Ag Professionals are planning the 4th annual Ag Toy Drive, which is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 3, 2020. New goals for 2020 include an online outreach video, increased attendance and improving relationships with Ag Toy Drive sponsors and strategic partners.


Clinton, Greene, Fayette, Warren counties YAP

Plans are underway for the Crop to Cup Bus Tour. This multicounty YAP event is intended to increase Farm Bureau membership while also providing educational tours of a brewery, cider house, winery and a distillery.… Continue reading

Read More »

People, product and protocol — Biosecurity and African swine fever

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

The world is watching African swine fever (ASF) and it is a top concern for the U.S. pork industry.

“It would be devastating for our industry. Our industry depends on exports,” said Dave Pyburn, Vice President of Science and Technology at the National Pork Board. “Immediately in the face of an outbreak of any of the big three foreign animal diseases, (classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease, and ASF), we would see all exports stop.”

ASF is not harmful to humans, but is fatal to pigs. This particular swine disease has a near 100% fatality rate according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The ASF virus originated in sub-Saharan Africa, though most of the ASF headlines have come from China. According to a Purdue Agricultural Economics report, the USDA estimates that hog slaughter and pork production are falling sharply in China as ASF continues to devastate the Chinese pork industry.… Continue reading

Read More »

Top misconceptions about 1031 exchanges

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

In the farming industry, a 1031 real estate exchange is a common strategy to allow a farmer “defer” paying the capital gains and/or ordinary income taxes on an investment property when it is sold, as long as the “like-kind property” is purchased with the profit gained by the sale of the first property.

Over the years, I have seen where folks have common misconceptions about this very complicated and technical section of tax law. Here is a list of various misconceptions I’ve found that folks have about 1031 Exchanges:


  1. “Like-kind” means I must exchange the same type of property, such as an apartment building, for another apartment building.

The term “like-kind” refers to the nature or character of the property not its grade or quality. For this reason nearly all real property is like-kind to each other.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey 2020

By Barry Ward, Ohio State University Extension

A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation. Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work.” A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Custom farming providers and customers often negotiate an agreeable custom farming machinery rate by utilizing Extension surveys results as a starting point.… Continue reading

Read More »

Get a farm business boost with the OSU Extension Farm Business Analysis Program

By Dianne Shoemaker and Haley Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension

How well do you know your farm? Sure, you could probably drive your fields blindfolded and you could name without a doubt the cow that will always come in the parlor last; but what about your farm as a business? If this question made you stop and think, then it’s time to become more familiar with your cost of production and other financial measures that make the rest of your farming operation possible.

The Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program is focused on working with farmers across Ohio to better understand the numbers behind their farm business in order to make more informed production, marketing and financial management decisions that will impact the farm’s overall profitability.

Farm business analysis is a tool that can be applied to any farm, regardless of size, crop, or livestock enterprise. Financial management is critical to the success of every farm business, and with analysis, farms are able to better understand the numbers behind their profits or losses.… Continue reading

Read More »

OABA members, industry professionals to attend annual conference

The annual Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference is set to take place Jan. 29-31, inspiring attendees to look forward into 2020 and beyond to the opportunities and challenges ahead.

OABA members, along with other industry professionals, will hear from leading experts, educators and researchers during the two-day event, which features the Industry Networking Dinner and Annual Meeting on Jan. 30 with keynote speaker Shirley Brooks-Jones, who will inspire attendees to look for ways to give back in their own communities.

Two conference enhancements are available to attendees this year: the Safety & Risk Management Pre-event Day on January 29 and the AMP’T leadership program on January 31. The conference features four general session speakers: Michael Swanson – Wells Fargo Bank; Janette Barnard – Entrepreneur; Jim Canterucci – Constituent Hub; and Scott Caine – Aimpoint Research. Breakout sessions represent a wide array of agribusinesses, higher education institutions and organizations from Ohio and across the country, including University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, The Ohio State University, University of Kentucky, GROWMARK and Bayer CropScience.… Continue reading

Read More »

Setting futures goals

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Phase 1 of the China trade deal was signed, but few specifics have been provided.


March corn futures have continued to trade at some point every day within a tight range of $3.85 to $3.90 for the last 24 trading sessions.

With corn carryout tighter than levels from the past 3 years, any additional exports or yield reductions in upcoming reports could provide corn with some upside potential.



March beans have been more volatile over the last 24 trading sessions, trading between $9.20 and $9.60.

This year’s carryout is the second highest in the last decade. Without additional exports, upside price potential may be limited, especially if South America has good growing conditions.


Market action – Selling beans and setting basis


Bean futures

The last time I sold bean futures was on 2/9/18 for the last of my 2018 production at $10.07, which was a couple months before the trade war started.… Continue reading

Read More »

Early indications point to a wetter spring

By Jim Noel, NOAA

It is that time of the year where winter is here but spring is just around the corner.

The weather, climate and hydrology patterns still remain wet across the region. This makes Ohio vulnerable to wet conditions.

The outlook for February calls for normal to slightly below normal temperatures with not too far from normal rainfall. There is a chance February could be drier than normal but the chances are not high.

The jet stream remains active from Japan across the North Pacific Ocean into North America but not as active as last year. Therefore, the spring outlook is for a chilly start but a warmer than normal finish. At the same time, above normal rainfall is forecast so we are likely to see spring planting challenges again into 2020 like many of the last 10+ years. However, it does not look as bad as 2019 at this time.… Continue reading

Read More »

Welcome to 2020 Ohio FFA!

Dear Ohio FFA,

Welcome to 2020! As we are excited to welcome in the new year, we also reflect on the incredible accomplishments that occurred in 2019.

Ohio FFA remains strong with over 25,000 members across our state. These members excel in and out of the classroom. One hundred percent of our members have a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) and our members compete in over 50 Career Development Events (CDE) on the state level.

This past October, our members made Ohio FFA history! At the 92 National FFA Convention, we had the most finalists our state has ever had on the national level. We had American Star Finalists in three of the four categories, we were represented in the top four of 27 Proficiency Award Areas and we had 22 Agriscience Fair Finalist projects. Additionally, 438 Ohio FFA Members walked across the stage to receive their American FFA Degree. We wrapped up National Convention by celebrating Kolesen McCoy, Ohio’s National Officer Candidate, as he was elected to serve as the 2019-2020 National FFA President!… Continue reading

Read More »

Macro and micro nutrients

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

A basic understanding of soil fertility is important for high crop production. All crops require seventeen essential nutrients for proper growth and development, the specific amount of each nutrient depends upon the crop. The atmosphere provides hydrogen and oxygen and carbon (most comes from the soil first). The rest must come from the soil and the amount available for a plant depends upon many factors such as the soil type, organic matter, pH, drainage, microbes, temperature, and rainfall. Soil nutrients are absorbed by water being pulled through the plant through transpiration and by roots intercepting the nutrient molecules.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Some nutrients are required in large amounts compared to other nutrients and are called primary or macro nutrients. Primary nutrients include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), or potassium (K). Nitrogen is used to form amino acids and proteins in the plant and most plants need 3-5.5% of their plant tissue biomass as N.

Continue reading

Read More »

OAC to recognize outstanding individuals in agriculture

The Ohio Agricultural Council is accepting applications for two opportunities to recognize outstanding individuals in agriculture: the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame and the OAC scholarship program. Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame Created by the OAC in 1966, the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame has now honored more than 200 agriculturalists who have dedicated their lives of outstanding work to Ohio’s number-one industry, agriculture. Induction in the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame is Ohio’s highest recognition of an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the agricultural industry.

Each year up to four prominent agricultural leaders are honored and inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame for their superior service, dedication, leadership and plentiful contributions to agriculture. Persons wishing to nominate an individual who he or she believes is deserving of consideration for induction into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame may download a nomination form at www.OhioAgCouncil.org.

Nomination forms, along with three letters of recommendation, must be submitted by March 15, 2020, in order to be eligible for consideration in 2020.… Continue reading

Read More »