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Jed Bower elected to the NCGA Corn Board

Delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress, which was held virtually, elected five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board. This included newly elected Ohioan Jed Bower from Fayette County. Bower lives and farms near Washington Court House and will take office Oct. 1.

“I am humbled by the vote of confidence delegates had in casting their vote for me. I look forward to representing both Ohio and national corn farmers as we work to advance an industry we love,” Bower said.

The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations. Board members represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokesmen for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.… Continue reading

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Moderate summer harmful algal bloom predicted for western Lake Erie

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its research partners predict that western Lake Erie will experience a moderate harmful algal bloom this summer. This year’s bloom is expected to measure 4.5 on the severity index — among the smaller blooms since 2011 — but could possibly range between 4 and 5.5, compared to 7.3 last year. An index above 5 indicates the more severe blooms.

Lake Erie blooms consist of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, capable of producing the liver toxin microcystin which poses a risk to human and wildlife health. Such blooms may result in higher costs for cities and local governments that need to treat drinking water, prevent people from enjoying fishing, swimming, boating and visiting the shoreline, and harm the region’s vital summer economy. These effects will vary in location and severity due to winds that may concentrate or dissipate the bloom.

“A smaller bloom forecast for Lake Erie and the surrounding coastal communities is encouraging, but we cannot be complacent,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.… Continue reading

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Watch for frogeye leaf spot in beans

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

Frogeye leaf spot is a disease that can impact soybean yields across this eastern Corn Belt. Typically, more prevalent in the southern growing regions, the disease can occur farther north as a result of weather favorable to its development.

The fungus that causes frogeye leaf spot (Cercospora sojina) survives in infected plant debris and can cause infections in growing plants when weather conditions are favorable. Frogeye leaf spot lesions produce spores that are easily transported by wind, acting as inoculum for leaf infections on other plants. The disease is promoted by warm, humid weather and will continue to develop on infected plants during patterns of favorable weather. With the warm and wet weather patterns that have existed in the eastern Corn Belt during 2017, it is expected that frogeye would be observed in some fields.

Frogeye leaf spot symptoms begin as small yellow spots that become larger lesions with gray centers and dark reddish-purple or brown borders.… Continue reading

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Scouting for spider mites

By Andy Michel and Kelley Tillmon, Ohio State University Extension Entomology, C.O.R.N. 2020-22
Hot, dry weather encourages certain pests in field crops, in particular spider mites in soybean and occasionally corn. Spider mites are a sporadic problem that most often occurs in August, but infestations in July are possible with sustained periods of hot, dry weather like some parts of Ohio are experiencing. Crop scouts in areas that have not received rain recently should be on the lookout for this problem; spider mites are easy to miss in early stages and can build quickly.

Look for light-colored stippling damage which is easier to spot than the mites themselves. In areas with heavy stippling you can confirm the presence of mites by tapping vegetation over a black piece of construction paper. (Many sources will say to use white paper; but insider tip: they are actually easier to see against a dark background.) The mites will look like specks of dust that move.… Continue reading

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Opinion: Ag Twitter grills Burger King over methane reduction campaign

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

Ag Twitter — the term given to the larger agricultural community on the popular social media app — practically melted down Tuesday after fast food brand Burger King announced that they were changing their “#CowMenu” to reduce their methane emissions.

Burger King included a (rather strange) video features Mason Ramsey, the yodeling boy, singing about none other than bovine flatulence. The twittersphere leaped to life blasting the burger joint for its video and it’s stance.

Much of today’s society is developing into a cancel culture which refers to boycotting public figures or companies after they do something controversial.… Continue reading

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Is fungicide the right move for corn and soybeans in 2020?

By Alexandra Knight, Ph.D., Field Agronomist, Pioneer

Late season fungicide and insecticide applications to corn and soybeans is a management decision growers will be making rather quickly but, does it appear this year will pay?

In many parts of Ohio, 2019 left fields unplanted. In many cases, cover crops were planted to preserve mycorrhizal fungi. While this left an opportunity for beneficial organisms to thrive, it also provided an opportunity for insects and diseases to maintain a home. This combined with the mild winter, would lead us to suspect 2020 to be a strong year for both insects and disease.

In both corn and soybeans, the leaves serve as “solar panels” to capture sunlight and turn that sunlight into sugar to produce grain. When leaves remain healthy and undamaged more sugar can be produced and ultimately more yield obtained.

When fungicide applications occur, the leaf is protected from further disease development for a period of approximately 2 to 3 weeks.… Continue reading

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Take action: Pesticide resistance management

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

Production threats facing soybean farmers are constantly changing. Weeds, insects, and diseases create stress on crops that can contribute to reduced yields throughout the growing season. Take Action: Pesticide Resistance Management is an initiative of the United Soybean Board to help growers better identify and understand these production challenges and find solutions to protect their crops while reducing the threat of resistance developing in the pest.

Take Action is both a website and an app for smart phones and tablets that gives farmers the tools needed to follow an integrated pest management strategy with the resources to correctly identify pests, determine thresholds, and select treatment options the reduce the chances of developing pesticide resistance.

The Take Action website is divided into a resources section and a management section. Both sections are broken down into three key areas: Herbicide-resistance management, Disease-resistance management, and Insect-resistance management.

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New job board for Ohio’s pork industry

To keep up with the ever-growing pork industry, members of the Ohio Pork Council have made it their mission to bridge the gap between rising unemployment and a deficit workforce. This summer, the Ohio Pork Council is pleased to launch Ohio Pork Careers – a job board website that farmers can use to inform jobseekers about entry-level job opportunities available on Ohio’s pig farms.

“It is super easy to add a job in minutes with this website. If a farmer wants to post jobs on our site they have to go through a short application process. We are actually fielding all of those registrations here in house to make to ensure this website is only being used by farmers. As far as the hiring process, we turn that over to farms themselves, but we are doing an extra level of security as far as the employee registration process to make sure we are not having any issues,” said Meghann Winters, with the Ohio Pork Council.… Continue reading

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Soybean weed management in hot, dry conditions without dicamba

By Mark Loux Ohio State University herbicide specialist

Here are a few weed-related observations while we try to stay cool and hope for a day of rain or at least popup thunderstorms.

  • One of the frequent questions during extended dry weather is – do I wait for rain before applying POST herbicides, or just go ahead and apply before the weeds get any larger and tougher to control.  Our experience has been that it’s best to go ahead and apply when weeds are still small, even if it’s dry, and herbicides will usually do what they are supposed to.  Letting them get larger without any sure forecast for rain can make for a tough situation that requires higher rates or a more injurious mix.  On the other hand, waiting to apply can be fine if there is a good chance of rain within the next few days.  It’s not always an easy decision.
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Farm Science Review going virtual in 2020

For the first time in its nearly 60-year history, The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, scheduled for Sept. 22 to Sept. 24, will not be held in-person. Instead, a virtual show will be implemented for 2020.

The farm show, sponsored by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), annually attracts over 100,000 visitors from all over the United States and Canada to the show site in London.

“We are committed to delivering a robust and innovative virtual show in support of agriculture during this pandemic,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president and dean of CFAES.

“Throughout its history, the Farm Science Review has been at the forefront of showcasing the future of agriculture,” she said. “While it may look different in 2020, we will continue to meet the needs of our growers and partners through access to exhibitors, virtual demonstrations, and education about the most recent advancements in agricultural production.”

The three-day event normally allows agricultural producers to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, view field demonstrations, and learn the latest in agricultural production.… Continue reading

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Observations from latest USDA report

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC


The USDA updated their balance sheets with the new acres reported on June 30. The following chart shows only the categories I think most affect final carryout. The green and orange columns are the July 10 USDA numbers while the blue columns are my estimates of possible yields and demand going forward.


Feed demand

It seems like it’s difficult for the USDA to know exactly how many on farm bushels farmers are using for feed each year, so this estimate could potentially change some down the road. I think the USDA has still overvalued U.S. feed demand even with a drop this month, so I’ve decreased it slightly in my estimates.


Ethanol demand

COVID-19 is still having a major impact. If schools are not back to normal this fall it means more people will still be working from home and less commuting to the office.… Continue reading

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Hot, dry weather concerns continue around Ohio

Timely rain events helped to break up what was an otherwise hot and dry week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture increased from 30% adequate or surplus last week to 43% adequate or surplus this week. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 6 degrees above historical normals, and the entire state averaged less than 1 inch of precipitation. There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 12.

Farmers baled straw and hay, applied herbicide to soybeans, and applied manure to wheat stubble. Winter wheat harvested was at 85%, ahead of the five-year average by 17 percentage points due to hot and dry weather continuing. Soybeans blooming was at 48%, ahead of the five-year average by 16 percentage points. Oats headed reached 100%, ahead of the previous year by 15 percentage points. Fifty-one percent of corn was considered good or excellent and 70% of pasture and range was considered good or excellent compared to a five-year average of 57%.

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Dry weather concerns continue, though recent rains helped

Charlie Kail

We got 4 tenths and that brought by my yard from brown back to looking like it might turn green. The rain has been spotty. There are places that have gotten 3 to 4 inches of rain in the last 3 or 4 weeks and then there are places like I call the “Mechanicstown Desert” where we’ve just settled the dust a few times. There is an area north of town that is excessively dry compared to a mile above it and a mile below it.

The crops are showing signs that they are not deep rooted with all of the rain we had when we were starting out. We have too many shallow roots out there. We have a lot of fields that look like we are growing pineapples instead of corn. We have soybean leaves standing up on edge trying to get out of the sun. Some fields look pretty rough and some look pretty good because they got a shot of rain.… Continue reading

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A water quality status report

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

When farmers set their mind to something, they are going to do it right. That has been the case as the agriculture industry pulled together to tackle water quality issues across the state. In 2014, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation announced that their members would be investing $1 million dollars to develop a comprehensive water quality action plan to address growing concerns of water quality issues in the Western Lake Erie Basin and the Ohio River. Since that time, individual farmers and agricultural businesses, agricultural commodity groups and livestock organizations, and environmental groups have joined forces to bring the plan to reality.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic stealing the headlines, the H2Ohio program was making news across the state.

“The H2Ohio program is money that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine set aside for the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) the Ohio Department of Natural Resource (ODNR) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help with water quality projects that span the state and span those departments,” said Jordan Hoewischer, Director of Water Quality and Research for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.… Continue reading

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Foliar fertilizer application to soybeans

By Laura Lindsey, Steve Culman, and Emma Matcham, Ohio State University Extension, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-21

When soybean prices are low, inputs need to be carefully considered. Obtaining a return on investment (ROI) is necessary?

In 2019, Ohio State participated in a national protocol to evaluate foliar fertilizer in soybean. Trials were conducted in 13 states and totaled 20 different growing environments. In 2019, only 1 environment, located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, showed a yield benefit associated with foliar fertilizer application.

In Ohio, none of the evaluated foliar fertilizer products resulted in a different yield compared with the non-treated control (no foliar fertilizer application). The 2019 results are consistent with previously conducted trials in Ohio. Historically, yield response to micronutrient foliar fertilizer application is rare.

Although, yield response to micronutrient foliar fertilizer application is rare, there are cases where applications are warranted. In Ohio, manganese is the micronutrient that is most likely to be deficient in soybean.

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ODA announces 2020 local agricultural easements approved for purchase

The Ohio Department of Agriculture today announced approval for local sponsors to purchase agricultural easements on 39 family farms representing 5,012 acres in 25 counties.

Local sponsoring organizations, which include land trusts, counties and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, receive funding from the Clean Ohio Fund to manage the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). The easement ensures farms remain permanently in agricultural production. The program supports the state’s largest industry, food and agriculture.

To be eligible for the program, farms must be larger than 40 acres or next to a preserved farm, actively engaged in farming, participate in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation program, demonstrate good stewardship of the land, have support from local government and not be in close proximity to development. Landowners may use the proceeds of the easement in any way they wish, but most reinvest it in their farm operation.

Funding for the state’s farmland preservation efforts is derived from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, approved by voters in 2008, and used to purchase agricultural easements from willing sellers through a competitive process.… Continue reading

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Not much excitement with the July 10 report

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Don’t put away the sunscreen protection just yet. Another heat wave with 90 degree temperatures returns the middle of next week across Ohio.

The huge U.S. 2020 acres decline for corn with the June 30 report paints a much different picture compared to last month. Last month USDA had new corn ending stocks at 3.323 billion bushels. Some had expected that number would eventually reach 4 billion bushels. Corn ending stocks for 2020-21 were expected to be cut with the 5 million acres decline from June 30.

Bigger changes for corn had been expected with this report. However, few changes were expected for soybeans and wheat. With the flare-up of the Coronavirus the past two weeks, U.S. export totals for corn, soybeans, and wheat were expected to be reduced. Demand for grains continues to be anemic. However, yesterday’s weekly U.S. grain sales report were surprisingly better than expected.… Continue reading

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Fairs are finding a way to make it work for livestock exhibitors

By Matt Reese, Dusty Sonnenberg, Kolt Buchenroth and Dale Minyo

So far, 2020 has been a tough year for 4-H.

Jane Warnimont is a Putnam County 4-H advisor and mother of 4-H members who has seen the ups and downs first hand.

“Back in February when things started occurring you got the inkling that something was coming down the pike. March, though, is kind of when things really shut down. That included 4-H and we couldn’t meet with our 4-H members. Those are critical moments for getting things done,” Warnimont said. “Clubs usually start meeting in January and February. Most clubs are really starting to meet their checkpoints in April or May in a normal year. Zoom meetings are helpful but you don’t have that one on one if kids are having problems. This was really tough for first year members too.”

It was maybe toughest for those with livestock projects.… Continue reading

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