From Across the Field- March Madness is Here

Having grown up in a family of sports fans, few things capture my interest more than March Madness. From the Cinderella stories to the blue bloods of both college and Ohio high school tournaments, March is the highlight of the sports calendar, unless the Reds somehow reach the World Series in my lifetime. Watching high school games at various locations and filling out a handful of NCAA brackets is something I look forward to annually.

I think March in general is a time that we look forward to, get excited, or maybe a bit anxious for. Typically, March marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring and the coming growing season. As I talk to farmers around the county, the itch to pull the planter out of the shed is beginning to grow, and understandably so. In Extension, we just came out of Conservation Tillage Conference last week, and are discussing on farm agronomy research plans today. As those in the Twittersphere and on social media would say #plant18 is just around the corner here in Ohio. Continue reading

Estimates for Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Payments for Program Year 2017

By: Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics- The Ohio State University, Previously on the Ohio Ag Manager.

Click Here to Access the Entire Article With Figures/Tables

The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 2014 ushered in two programs to the safety net for producers in Ohio and across the country: Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC0-CO) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Both programs serve as shallow loss programs protecting against large variations in revenue and price respectively. The two programs operate differently and should not be compared as substitute programs. However, producers were allowed a one time choice at the beginning of the farm bill to enroll each commodity in either ARC-CO or PLC. Participation rates in Ohio largely followed the national participation rates for corn and soybeans but differed for wheat. The national participation rate for wheat favored PLC, whereas in Ohio, producers favored heavily toward ARC-CO. Nonetheless there are producers in Ohio that are enrolled in ARC-CO and PLC for corn, soybeans, and wheat. This report looks toward the end of the marketing year to estimate county level payments for ARC-CO and PLC in Ohio. As a reminder, payments finalized in October 2018 will be for program year 2017. This information will be important for producers and lenders wishing to estimate their autumn cash flow. Continue reading

Dairy Price Woes Continue

By Matt Reese and Ty Higgins, for Ohio Ag Net

The world is awash in milk, it seems. Production is up, consumption is down and grim economic reality is settling in for many dairy farms.

Ohio State University Extension field specialist for dairy production economics Dianne Shoemaker does not see much light at the end of the tunnel for dairy prices.

“Sadly, I am not hearing a lot that is hopeful — too many cows, lots of heifers coming up behind them, too much milk. It sounds like New Zealand is having some weather issues, so if that results in lower than expected milk production, that means less milk for export to the international market,” Shoemaker said. ‘It is a bleak picture of the next 12 months. Top this off with uncertainty about NAFTA and proposed tariffs, and it is hard to be terribly optimistic. In spite of the oversupply of milk, farmers have to manage their businesses on an individual basis, which means they are likely to produce more milk and focus on components.” Continue reading

Get Your Fertilizer Certification…Before Planting Begins

By: Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio is now seeing full implementation of Ohio’s Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification regulation. The regulation was result of Senate Bill 150, which can be found at and The 2014 regulation required farmers to complete a fertilizer certification program if they applied fertilizer to more than 50 acres of land in agricultural production primarily for sale. Exemptions included fertilizer applied through a planter, individuals whose crops remained on the farm for their livestock and not sold, or fertilizer applied by a commercial applicator. Continue reading

McDonald’s Sets Science-Based Target to Reduce GHG Emissions

Previously on Drovers Online

Today, McDonald’s announces it will partner with franchisees and suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030 from a 2015 base year in a new strategy to address global climate change. Additionally, McDonald’s commits to a 31% reduction in emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) across its supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels. This combined target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Through these actions, McDonald’s expects to prevent 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere by 2030. This is the equivalent of taking 32 million passenger cars off the road for an entire year or planting 3.8 billion trees and growing them for 10 years. The target will enable McDonald’s to grow as a business without growing its emissions. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Time to Look at Inputs

If you ask a group of my friends to describe me using a handful of words, you will probably get a variety of answers, some of which I am proud of, and some others not fit for print (all in good humor though). One description that would probably come up a few times, of which I am generally proud of, is the word frugal. Frugal means to be economical with regards to money, or as I like to say “thrifty”. Growing up on a small beef and hay operation in the foothills of Appalachia, we didn’t have much of a choice other than to be thrifty when it came to farming. Still to this day the only new piece of farm equipment my father has ever owned was a four-basket hay tedder that he purchased some 15 years ago.  In our farming operation low cost and efficiency was the name of the game, especially when it came to raising forage. The goal was to maximize quality and yield at low costs. Continue reading

Changing climate highlighted at Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference

By: Matt Reese, Ohio Ag Net

Increased rainfall in larger doses and warming temperatures in the future are likely, building on trends that have already been seen in Ohio.

The first day of the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference included many presentations including nutrient management, crop production, water quality, technology and innovation during the event at Ohio Northern University in Ada. The role of the changing climate cannot be ignored in agriculture’s ongoing challenges with nutrient management and water quality. Continue reading

Study Shows Most Farmers are in Compliance With Fertilizer Recommendations in Western Lake Erie Region

From Ohio Ag Net

As farmers prepare for their 2018 crop, newly released research shows that a large majority of those whose fields drain into western Lake Erie are adhering to ag experts’ guidelines for fertilizer rates and application practices. The study concludes, however, that the recommendations themselves should be re-examined to better protect western Lake Erie from pollution resulting from agricultural runoff.

The findings are presented in a special issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation published by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). Continue reading

2018 Fertilizer Prices Turn Higher

By: David Widmar, Agricultural Economic Insights

In a post from October, we reviewed fertilizer price trends and noted prices, especially for anhydrous ammonia, had continued lowers. Over the last four years, the relevant budget question has been “how much lower” will fertilizer prices be for the upcoming year. While reduced fertilizer prices in 2018 seemed possible just a few months ago, recent data – based on the USDA’s reported fertilizer prices from Illinois – show fertilizer prices have turned higher for 2018. Continue reading