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H2Ohio strategies and farm practices outlined by Gov. DeWine

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unveiled an overview of his new H2Ohio plan for water quality Thursday afternoon in Toledo. Backdropped by the National Museum of the Great Lakes, Governor DeWine presented basic details of the plan to an invited audience of over 100 farmers and legislators, as well as collaborators from farm associations, conservation groups, universities and research centers, agribusinesses, and public and government entities.

“H2Ohio is a dedicated, holistic water quality plan that has long lasting solutions,” said Governor DeWine. “It addresses the causes of the problems and not just the symptoms.”

H2Ohio will invest in targeted solutions to help reduce harmful algal blooms, ensure clean water in disadvantaged communities, and prevent lead contamination in daycare centers and schools. In July, the Ohio General Assembly invested $172 million in the plan.

“This is one of the most comprehensive data-driven planning processes in our state’s history.

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Changing weather patterns: The new “normal”

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

After enduring the spring of 2019, it will not take much convincing for many of you that precipitation extremes have become the new normal. It’s been said that if you want things to be different, just wait until next year. While this will likely be true, the trend of punishing rain events occurring more frequently is undeniable.

Impacts of extreme precipitation:

  1. Intense rains with increased atmospheric moisture = persistent risk of flooding
  2. Soil movement and topsoil degradation
  3. Decreased aggregate stability, lower soil O2 levels
  4. Sustained dry periods between rains
  5. Days to perform field work are limited.

 

Effective water use

While excessive water at any given time has many downsides, effective water utilization is critical to overall crop development and growth. Water is a fundamental component of photosynthesis. In order to maximize this critical resource, we must implement management strategies that allow our soils to both accept and retain more water to sustain us throughout the drier periods.

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The best weed control is a growing crop

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

The best weed control is a growing crop. This is one of the lessons re-learned in 2019 according to a couple of long time agricultural chemical company representatives.

“The earth was meant to be covered. If there is not a crop growing, nature is going to cover itself. Something is going to grow,” said Neil Badehnop, sales representative for Valent USA. “Overall weed control is done by the growing crop, and if the intended crop is not planted, something else will grow — in this case, it will be weeds.”

In his over 28 years monitoring the weed situation across Ohio, Badenhop has seen first hand the reality of the old saying “Weeds beget weeds.” In those fields that were left bare and weeds were not properly controlled and allowed to go to seed, there was the potential for a huge build-up in the weed seed bank.

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Selling for cash prices means leaving money on the table

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Corn yield estimates were reduced, slightly shrinking supply, while harvested acres were unchanged in USDA’s November report.

Three weeks ago, I suggested there were demand issues within the USDA’s Feed, Ethanol and Export categories. This week’s report reduced demand in every category and with the ethanol grind and export data under-pacing USDA estimates the past couple months, this was probably justified.

The feed category will be difficult to track. I’ve suggested the large wheat supply will likely replace some corn for feed if cash corn values remain strong while cash wheat prices remain at 10-year lows. However, over the last month feed ingredient prices have increased dramatically. Normally these by-products from corn, bean and wheat processing trade at values that encourage some livestock producers to replace corn and/or bean meal in the feed ration. The prices are so high now that many of these by-products should actually be replaced with corn and bean meal.

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Ohio Department of Agriculture partners with Ohio Christmas Tree Association to send Christmas trees to troops overseas

Yesterday, 100 Christmas trees were packed up and shipped off to military units overseas through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Christmas Tree Association.

State Christmas tree growers donate the trees, ODA nursery inspectors certify they are free from pests and disease. Both groups come together at ODA to wrap, load up and send the trees to military members stationed overseas. Trees will also include decorations provided by school children, churches and veterans’ groups from around Ohio.

This is the 24th year for the program that got its start in Ohio.

“This year we are sending the trees overseas to Kuwait. They leave and get to Kuwait in two weeks and then they get dispersed to the bases in the area,” said Valerie Graham with the Ohio Christmas Tree Association. “It is always great to participate in this program. They appreciate what we are doing.

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Ohio corn, soybean harvest near completion

Operators were busy in the fields last week as the State received cool temperatures that averaged 6 degrees below normal, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Reports mentioned significant amounts of tillage, baling, and strip till fertilizer placement occurring in addition to harvest activities. There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 10.

Corn jumped to 65 percent harvested, an increase of 16 percentage points from the last report, but still 14 points behind the 5-year average. The average corn moisture content was 20 percent, unchanged from the previous report. Soybeans moved to 86 percent harvested, an increase of 8 points from the previous report, but still 6 points behind the 5-year average. The average soybean moisture content was 14 percent, up one point from last week. Winter wheat was at 94 percent emerged, which was 10 points ahead of the 5- year average.

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More regular rains take Brazil’s soybean planting to 58%

Brazilian farmers had planted 58 percent of their 2019/20 soybean area by Nov 7, according to a weekly survey conducted by AgRural. That represents a progress of 12 percentage points in one week and keeps the new crop planting pace slightly ahead of the five-year average. There is still a delay, however, in comparison to last year.

Favorable weather conditions seen last week took the area already planted to 94 percent in top-producer Mato Grosso, where the soybean crop develops well so far. The only issue, for now, is that the state will not have new soybeans entering the market as early as in the 2018/19 season, when some farmers were already harvesting in late December.

Mato Grosso grows about 65% of Brazil’s second corn crop, which will be planted right after the soybean harvest, in January and February 2020. That means that a good chunk of the Brazilian corn crop will not be behind schedule or have any significant problem caused by delays in the soybean planting.

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Between the Rows farmers wrap up a challenging 2019

Nathan Brown

We are finished with soybeans and have not quite half of our corn left to shell yet. We’ve had a few breakdowns with the combine and we have a grain bin that needs to be finished and that is holding us up. In the neighborhood there are still quite a few guys trying to finish up. Some are really close and there are some with plenty of acres yet to cover.

The corn we have shelled so far has been in the 17% to 20% moisture range. We haven’t gotten into any really super high moisture corn, but it is still keeping the dryer running. Other than some coon and deer damage along the edges of the fields, the stalk quality seems to be holding in there pretty well. We did apply fungicides and that seems to have helped with plant health and standability.

It has been surprising how good the corn has been.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 128 | Water Quality and Dual Purpose Beards

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast (always brought to you by AgriGold) Aaron Heilers of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network joined Matt, Kolt, and Dusty to discuss the latest in water quality and their new video series. Also on the podcast, Matt talks to Brian and Stacie Anderson about all things turkey. Dusty will also visit with Laura Lindsey and Peter Thomison of Ohio State on some agronomic updates.

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USDA announces establishment of U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program

By Dave Russell, Ohio Ag Net

The interim final rule formalizing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program was published in the Federal Register in late October, allowing hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans. Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Greg Ibach said the interim rule includes a number of provisions for USDA to approve plans developed by states.

“This includes provisions for tracking the land where hemp is grown, procedures for testing the concentration levels of TCH, procedures for disposing of non-compliant plants, compliance provisions on how to handle violations as a result of inspections on farms, and procedures to share information with law enforcement,” Ibach said. “We are also going to make sure that states that have programs have resources available to manage those plants.”

The new hemp rule enables the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency to determine which USDA programs hemp growers are eligible, including loans and crop insurance.

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Corn neutral, soybeans bearish in today’s USDA numbers

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Today’s USDA report had corn production at 13.661 billion bushels, yield of 167.0, and ending stocks at 1.910 billion bushels. Soybean production was 3.550 billion bushels, yield was 46.9, and ending stocks of 475 million bushels.

The market has been anticipating this report for weeks. Anticipation can be highly overrated. Yet, it can also be disappointing as the amount of time and energy spent is quickly forgotten once the report is released. Don’t be surprised to just move on.

Will USDA finally get it right with corn acres and yield? However, with only 52% of the U.S. corn harvested shown on this week’s progress report, it means even less corn had been harvested when USDA compiled and field reports the beginning of November. Many anticipate the corn yield would decline in the last 20% to 40% of harvest. It could easily be the January 10, 2020 report to get a much better handle on corn yields when final 2019 production and yield are released.

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Questions, concerns and consumers in the alternative meat debate

By Matt Reese

It is hard to miss the new products in the grocery store and the nearest fast food restaurant — they look like meat, but they are plant-based. Products like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat are generating plenty of consumer buzz, questions and misinformation which, admittedly, have some in the livestock world a bit concerned.

“As a meat scientist I have received various calls and questions. It is a very hot topic today in the United States and around the world,” said Lyda Garcia, the Extension meat specialist
with The Ohio State University
College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences. “It is 2019 and we are a big melting pot in the United States. An advantage to that is we have a variety of different tastes. There are many options to choose from, which I think is a phenomenal thing, but I don’t think it is fair to state that one product is better than the other.

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Don’t give your storage away

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The delayed and slow harvest progress has helped corn and bean prices by keeping basis levels higher than normal. A slow harvest also keeps futures prices from sliding because when sales across the scale are more gradual, there is less burden on logistics and end users can grind through more old crop before new crop is available.

Some end users are concerned there won’t be enough low-priced grain after harvest, so they’ve been aggressive with basis bids. End users know when harvest is complete and the bin doors are closed, it will take some coaxing to motivate farmers to sell.

Often farmers are too focused on cash prices and don’t pay enough attention to their storage expenses. However, if farmers want bigger premiums and profits, they need to think about grain marketing differently than conventional wisdom. This is especially true in years when grain prices are at or under breakeven points.

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More Ohio highlights from the 2019 National FFA Convention

By Matt Reese and Kolt Buchenroth

Heading into the 2019 National FFA Convention, the organization announced a record-high student membership of 700,170 and, in the next year, Kolesen McCoy will be representing each of those members as only the third National FFA President from Ohio.

“It has been a mix of emotions and a roller coaster of a ride for sure. It is a very humbling experience. As soon as a heard my name called, I was shocked and overwhelmed with the excitement I had to go on this journey for the next 365 days with five amazing people at my side to be able to serve the 700,000 members across the country,” said McCoy from the Global Impact Stem Academy in Clark County. “And I can say that when I look at the five people around me there is a consistent message. They are not here for themselves, if that makes sense.

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South American crop update

By Daniele Siqueira, AgRural

Another crop season is underway in Brazil and things have not started exactly well for soybeans. And a poor start to the soybean crop always fuels speculations about the second corn crop, which is planted in the beginning of the year, right after the soybean harvest, and accounts for about 70% of Brazil’s total corn production and almost the entire corn export program. That’s why many people are already asking about the second corn crop planting window. Is Brazil going to cut its corn acreage in 2020 due to the soybean delay?

By Oct 17, Brazilian farmers had planted 21% of their intended area, compared to 34% in the same period a year earlier and also 21% on the five-year average, according to consultancy AgRural.

In top producer Mato Grosso, the soybean planting caught up after a slow start in September, and about half of its area was already planted by Oct 17.

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Markets have plenty to consider heading into November report

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

U.S. corn exports continue an alarming trend for reduction this fall. With two months into the September to August marketing year, weekly export inspections with the Monday 11 a.m. ET USDA report have seen numerous weeks of disappointing numbers. Many of those weeks saw corn exports at or below the low end of trader expectations. Typically, weekly corn export loadings have outpaced those of soybeans. However, this has not been the case for much of the summer and fall. At the end of October, corn exports were running 60% behind compared to USDA projecting an 8% drop for the year. Corn exports for 2019-2020 were lowered 150 million bushels with the October report. Since May, USDA projections for corn exports have dropped 375 million bushels for a 16% decline. Strong export competition and higher production from Brazil and Argentina has played a major role in the corn export decline.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 127 | National FFA Convention Recap

After a trip to Indianapolis for the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo, Matt, Dale, and Kolt are here with a recap of the whole week. Kolesen McCoy became the third FFA member from Ohio to become National FFA President, and we catch up with him in the podcast. Additionally, highlighting Ohio FFA’s success, we caught up with some members of the Covington UVCC FFA Chapter who was named the Model of Excellence Chapter for the country. Matt also sat down with a few of the Ohio FFA state officers to catch up about the National FFA Convention. All of that and more this week on the Ohio Ag Net Podcast brought to you by AgriGold.

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Soy demand getting a boost through Airable Research Lab

By Matt Reese

With an increasing number of consumers looking for environmentally friendly products, there is growing demand for plant-based chemical feedstocks in a wide range of uses (for example, as alternatives to petroleum-based plastics). More companies are finding ways to better serve their customers with bioproducts that can lower costs, provide functional benefits, and reduce the environmental impacts.

One example is Roof Maxx, a soy-based emulsion that can extend the life of roof shingles. The product was developed through a collaborative effort between Roof Maxx Technologies, LLC, the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC), and Battelle in Columbus. Brothers Mike and Todd Feazel sold a successful roofing business to start Roof Maxx Technologies and develop this cost-effective, earth-friendly roofing treatment.

The Feazels have been in the roof replacement business for many years and saw the great need for extending the life of traditional roofing to add value for customers. Roof Maxx restores the flexibility of aging shingles and their ability to repel water, extending the useful life of an existing roof for 10 to 15 years — and at a fraction of the cost of roof replacement.

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Trading in a sideways market

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

In 19 of the last 20 trading sessions, corn closed within a tight range of $3.83 to $3.98. It seems farmers are willing to make sales at $4 and end users are willing to buy at or below $3.80. I expect sideways trading until the November USDA report.

In early September when December corn futures were trading below $3.60, $4 seemed unlikely. So, I looked for trades with upside potential near $4, even if the market didn’t go there.

 

Trade 1: Sold Straddle

On 9/5/19 when December corn was around $3.59, I sold a November $3.65 straddle (selling both a put and call) on 10% of my 2019 production collecting 21 cents.

What does this mean?

  • If Dec corn is $3.65 on 10/25/19, I could keep all 21 cents
  • For every penny corn is below $3.65 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.44
  • For every penny higher than $3.65 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.86
  • At $3.86 or higher I have to make a corn sale at $3.65 against Dec futures, but I still keep the 21 cents, so it’s like selling $3.86
  • At $3.44 or lower I begin to lose money penny for penny regardless of how low prices go and no sale is made.
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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 126 | Revitalizing Plumb Hall, National FFA Office, and Fake Meat

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast brought to you by AgriGold, Matt, Dale, and Kolt are joined by the chair of the Animal Sciences Department at The Ohio State University, Dr. John Foltz. The podcast comes to you this week from inside of Plumb Hall on Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences campus. There, the Animal Sciences department is showing off their newly revitalized space.

Also on the podcast, Matt talks to Dr. Lyda Garcia of Ohio State regarding the fake meat and the impossible burger that has been popping up. OCJ FFA reporter Meredith Oglesby sits down with Ohio FFA’s National Officer Candidate, Kolesen McCoy.

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