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Disaster aid package clears senate, stalled in house

Senate Republicans and Democrats finally came together on an agreement regarding a $19.1 billion disaster aid package. Some media sources report that the aid package was set to include payments to producers that can’t plant this year. It also will include farmers whose stored commodities were damaged by flooding. Producers who lost crops to hurricanes and wildfires last year will also qualify for payments. The combination of disaster payments and crop insurance benefits or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program would be limited to 90 percent of a farmer’s loss. Disaster payments to farmers who don’t buy crop insurance will be limited to 70 percent of their loss. The disaster aid package also includes a provision making industrial hemp eligible for whole-farm insurance policies starting next year. The Senate approved the bill 85-8 on Thursday, just before the Memorial Day recess. Passing the bill had been delayed months because of a battle between President Trump and Democrats over disaster funding for Puerto Rico.

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A little progress, more frustration with planting

Dylan Baer – Wood County

As of right now we are a little over half done with spraying pre-emerge on soybeans. All of it has been done with our ATV sprayer. We have a nice Apache Sprayer in the barn and we haven’t used it. There are farmers in the area that don’t have any spraying done and it is starting to show. We’re thankful to be able to go out and get what we can get while we can get it. Other than that we have been mowing like crazy.

Between our house and McComb there is a field of beans planted up on a ridge. I don’t know when that happened but I saw it the other day. Other than that field, there really hasn’t even been any groundwork done. I think we have over half of our acres that go to corn that still need field cultivated. We just haven’t been able to do anything.

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How late is too late for corn?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension CCA

As I write this it is obvious that the majority of the corn crop this year will be planted after May 20. I sat last Thursday with a grower from Miami County. We figured the days it takes him to dry out, then to plant first corn and then soybeans and determined that at least some of his crop will be planted into June no matter what. Yields are likely to be reduced. We do know that with good growing conditions and timely late-season rains, we can still produce a decent crop. Consider the economics of your decisions during this season, make those applications that can make you money and skip those that only make you feel good.

Frost worries? Or just wet corn? The corn plant has the ability to adapt to later planting by advancing more rapidly through the growth stages.

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Initial details of trade relief announced

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released initial details for a trade assistance package to support farmers and ranchers struggling with oversupply and low prices due to international trade conflicts. The agency plans to allocate as much as $16 billion, including $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). In a press conference President Donald Trump promised quick action for the nations’ farmers.

Secretary Sonny Perdue also praised the measure.

“China hasn’t played by the rules for a long time and President Trump is standing up to them, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include non-tariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property. President Trump has great affection for America’s farmers and ranchers, and he knows they are bearing the brunt of these trade disputes. In fact, I’ve never known of a president that has been more concerned or interested in farmer wellbeing and long-term profitability than President Trump,” Perdue said.

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Be mindful of sidewall compaction this year

By Joel Penhorwood

With the delayed planting season this year, certain agronomic concerns arise as farmers rush to get in the fields.

Bill McDonald, director of agronomic services for Seed Consultants, said he is seeing some corn fields being planted into wet ground, causing a distinct seed slot to form. That could lead to possible detriment for the corn plant down the road.

“I can stand here and visually look down in the ground and I can see the seed with the mesocotyl coming out of it,” said McDonald, referring to the pictures at right and below. “I have no nodule roots yet and my concern is if we don’t get a rain here relatively quickly, there is going to be nowhere for those nodule roots to go except for up and down the row. We’re dependent on Mother Nature now. We could see a lot of stand loss out here.

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What a difference a week makes!

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Monday morning corn prices took a dive, but by close on Friday, prices had rallied 40 cents. This rebound is due to widespread rainy weather forecasts through Memorial Day, making expected planting progress slow for the next 10 days. Plus, no one knows how many acres will be designated prevent plant this year. The trade seems to have targeted about 4 million acres at this point.

Last week I discussed how some farmers may consider taking prevent plant if they are eligible, because as of last week, prices were at unprofitable levels. For some, prevent plant may have been the better option financially. Despite disappointing prices, many farmers in the eastern Corn Belt were saying they still planned to plant regardless, because “that’s what they always do.” With this week’s 40 cent rebound, farmers now tell me they are considering how long after their prevent plant date they will still try to plant corn.

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Audits in agriculture

By Brian E. Ravencraft

Timely audits are important for organizations. Timely financial statements can help an organization plan for the coming year. Timely financial statements will also allow organizations to make smarter budget and financial decisions. Second, timely internal control reports and management letter comments can help organizations correct issues before they create bigger problems. Auditors often have very helpful recommendations on how to correct various issues and save the organization time, money, and resources in the process.

How does an organization receive a timely audit report?

First, it is important to have everything reconciled and ready for the auditor as soon as possible after year end. Auditors, like many others, schedule out their work or audits a few months out at a time. If you are not ready when you are scheduled to be, this can cause scheduling problems and make it hard for the auditor to complete your audit.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 106 | Cab Cams, Soggy Weather, and Dorky Car Rides

The 106th episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, sponsored by AgriGold, with hosts Matt Reese, Joel Penhorwood, Kolt Buchenroth, and Zach Parrott. Todays podcast starts off with Joel’s Cab Cam interviews with Andy Detwiler and Greg McGlinch. Cab Cams this week are sponsored by Homan Inc.

Intern Zach Parrott, goes on his first farm visits with Matt Reese and Kolt Buchenroth, where they meet up with Jess and Adam Campbell and Between the Rows farmer, Nathan Brown. Matt Reese also talked with dairy farmer Devin Cain and his backpack program to help feed hungry kids.

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Belmont County Farm Bureau tackles local hunger issues

By Matt Reese

A hungry child is hard to stomach.

It is hard to imagine in today’s society of excess and plenty that there are people — especially children — who regularly do not get enough food to meet basic nutritional needs. Yet, in every corner of Ohio, it is far too easy to find hungry children. Nationally, more than 13 million children live in food insecure homes and one in five children does not get the food they need every day. Three out of four teachers report that there are children in their classrooms who regularly come to school hungry.

The Belmont County Farm Bureau decided to tackle this problem head on in their corner of the state by cooperating with local efforts to provide food to children in need through county schools. Dairy farmer Devin Cain is helping coordinate the program.

“I had the privilege of going to Texas last year with DFA, our local milk co-op.

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Overcoming challenges during planting | Andy Detwiler, Champaign Co. | 2019 Spring Cab Cam

Andy Detwiler of Champaign County has a story and background in agriculture more unique than most. He has spent a life in farming without the use of his arms after losing them in a farming accident at a very young age. He has since become an inspiration to others in his local community and around the world by not letting anything get in his way, including a difficult planting season. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood caught up with Detwiler Thursday evening ahead of the overnight rain storms as he was rushing to get in corn in the well-drained soils near Urbana.

Want to learn more about Andy? Check out his YouTube page, the Harmless Farmer, at this link.

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How did Jon Scheve average over $4 2018 corn?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

On 4/23/19, when the corn board was in free-fall, I priced my remaining 2018 crop on futures. I didn’t set a cash price, and instead I was waiting for a higher basis. I received $3.61 against July futures on the remaining 54% of my ’18 crop I still had unpriced.

Why sell futures now?

There were several reasons.

  • I was concerned with how much corn prices had fallen already.
  • It was apparent to the market there was too much U.S. and global corn supply.
  • I’m only 10% sold for my 2019 corn and have no 2020 sales.
  • The risk of African swine fever appearing in the U.S. is always present.
  • There is unknown trade risk with China or even if NAFTA 2.0 gets signed.
  • On 4/23/19 forecasts indicated that most of the Corn Belt would have a 15-day window of good weather to plant.
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2019 Spraying Cab Cam | John Davis, Delaware County

While fieldwork in Ohio remains scarce, one unique setup in Delaware County is busy at work. The John Deere Gator of farmer John Davis is braving the mud, covering some much-needed ground with his custom sprayer setup. Davis’ Gator offers not only a sealed cab but also a precision spray system complete with auto-steer and more. He says though they’ve used the setup in previous years, it is truly proving its worth this year, able to cover hundreds of acres a day over fields wetter than most. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood has more in this cab cam, thanks to Homan, Inc.

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Cattle battle goes to federal court

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

David sued Goliath in federal court in Chicago on April 23, 2019, alleging violations of U.S. antitrust laws, the Packers & Stockyards Act and the Commodity Exchange Act. Actually David is R-CALF-USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America), a national non-profit organization that represents U.S. cattle and sheep producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. Plaintiffs also include four cattle feeding ranchers from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming.

Goliath is the Big 4: Tyson, Cargill, JBS and National Beef. These four defendants collectively purchase and process more than 80% of the fed cattle in the U.S. annually.

David’s slingshot is a federal class action. The complaint describes two classes purportedly harmed by actions of the Big 4: cattle producers who sold fed cattle to any of the Big 4 from January 2015 to the present; and traders who transacted live cattle futures or options contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) from January 2015 to the present.

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Dairy goat numbers on the rise in Ohio and around the country

By Matt Reese

There is no doubt about it. Baby goats are cute. They are also very trendy.

Baby goats have exploded in popularity in recent years for their charming antics and apparent appeal to certain demographics when they are wearing little goat onesies online. Videos attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers feature baby goats tormenting other livestock, jumping about on playground equipment, wearing bizarre articles of clothing, sharing living quarters with humans, and even eating waffles. And, goat yoga? Yup, it really exists.

National dairy goat interest is clearly being driven to some degree by the cute baby goat obsession, but legitimate markets for dairy goat products continue to grow on their own merits. Goat cheese is an increasingly popular foodie trend and can be found in upscale restaurants everywhere and the lower lactose milk from goats is gaining favor in the United States as well.

The newly released 2017 Census of Agriculture data recently quantified this increasing dairy goat popularity.

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Will prevented planting play into markets?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Friday’s USDA report confirmed what the market already knew. Near perfect growing conditions last year in the highest producing areas around the world has generated too much corn and soybean supply in the U.S and globally. Unfortunately, due to problems with the African Swine Fever in Asia and the China trade war, demand has decreased. And, it’s unlikely either will be resolved before the end of the year.

Right now, the new crop market is likely overvalued, especially if most areas are planted on time and trend line yields are produced. But the big variable now is weather. Forecasts for the Dakotas and the eastern Corn Belt show a possible break in rain this week, but more rain is expected next weekend. This may mean farmers in those areas will wait for better planting conditions or take prevent plant. The Dakotas only have until May 25, and the eastern Corn Belt until June 5, before they have to declare if they are taking prevent plant on corn.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 105 | An ode to opossums, tariffs, and prevent plant

The 105th episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, sponsored by AgriGold, comes on another rainy day across the Buckeye State. A wide range of topics greet host Joel Penhorwood alongside Kolt Buchenroth, Dale Minyo, Zach Parrott, and Matt Reese.

We begin by hearing in the first installment of Plow Talk from guests Matthew and Jason Bane of Bane-Welker Equipment. Ohio Corn and Wheat’s Tadd Nicholson talks about the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign while grain merchandiser Jon Scheve updates us on his latest market advice in this tough economic and agronomic time (hint: it has to do with prevent plant). Union County Fred Yoder updates us on his perspective for this unique growing season and how he compares it to 2011, all the while strawberry producer Todd Stacy talks a unique way of picking his crop.

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May 10 numbers bearish

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Ending stocks were bigger than expected all across the board for both old and new.

It’s been a crazy week for grain prices, unfortunately a down week. Producers have been active with field preparations and most of all, planting finally taking place. However, at least for Ohio, it has not been a full week of planting for everyone. 

Old crop corn ending stocks were 2.095 billion bushels, last month 2.035 billion bushels. Soybean ending stocks were 995 million bushels, last month 895 million bushels. Wheat ending stocks were 1.127 billion bushels, last month 1.087 billion bushels. Looking ahead to 2019 crops, corn ending stocks were 2.485 billion bushels, soybeans 970 million bushels, with wheat at 1.141 billion bushels.

This report today was a supply and demand report which also includes the first report for 2019 crops. In a first ever, world grain tables without China are also detailed.

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