Grain Marketing: Turning On-Farm Storage into Profit

With corn and soybean prices trading at values near or below breakeven points, it’s important to develop a marketing plan that allows farmers the ability to try and capture potential profits while minimizing risk. OSU Extension is offering three meetings this December for farmers to learn about marketing grain in a tight economy.

Farmers have the option of attending one of three meetings, featuring Jon Scheve of Superior Feed Ingredients as a guest speaker. Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

·       Auglaize County: Dec 7, 5-9pm. Wapakoneta Eagles (25 East Auglaize St, Wapakoneta, OH). To register contact 419-739-6580.  Pre-registration is due 12-2-16.

·       Paulding County: Dec 8, 9am – 1pm. Paulding County Extension (503 Fairground Dr, Paulding, OH). To register contact 419-399-8225.  Pre-registration is due 12-2-16.

·       Madison County: Dec 9, 9am-1pm. Beck’s Hybrids (720 US 40, London, OH). To register contact 740-852-0975.  Pre-registration due 12-5-16.

Jon Scheve of Superior Feed Ingredients will be talking about what can influence markets in the upcoming year and how to better prepare your operation for the opportunities and challenges you will be facing. Jon will explain how on-farm storage combined with forward selling, market carry, and basis appreciation can provide added income. He will also educate farmers on how hedging with futures and options can be used to protect farmers from risk.

Registration for each meeting is free and includes a meal. Pre-registration for each meeting is required. Contact the hosting county Extension office to register (Auglaize: 419-739-6580; Paulding: 419-399-8225; Madison: 740-852-0975).

Current Hay Conditions in Ohio

By: Maurice L. Eastridge, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

The weather conditions have been variable in Ohio this summer. Some areas have been extremely dry and other areas have been very wet during the past two to three months. Thus, hay yield and quality are quite variable across Ohio. For those areas that have been very dry, yields have been adversely affected, even though the quality of the hay harvested may be rather good. For the areas that have been wet, it has been very difficult to get the second and three cutting harvested. Thus, even though yields may be respectable, quality has been adversely affected. Therefore, many livestock farmers in Ohio need additional hay for the winter. In some cases, they need to purchase hay of higher quality than they have on hand. Now is the time to make such purchases as the last cuttings of the year are occurring and before prices creep up post harvest as supply diminishes with ample demand.  Read the full article by clicking on current-hay-conditions-in-ohio

2016 Corn Silage Crop in Ohio

By: Maurice Eastridge and Bill Weiss, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

The weather conditions have been variable in Ohio this summer. Some areas have been extremely dry and other areas have been very wet during the past two to three months. Thus, corn silage yields will likely be quite variable across Ohio this year. For those areas that have been very dry, yields will be adversely affected, but generally the concentrations of protein and energy will be better than average. Therefore, many dairy farmers in Ohio may need to purchase additional corn for silage or identify other ingredients to replace corn silage in the diet. Now is the time to make such decisions while some corn may still be standing in the field, other forages are readily available, and commodities will be less expensive near harvest time.  To read the full article click on 2016-corn-silage-crop-in-ohio

Economic Impact of Avian Influenza

By: Sam Custer, OSU Extension Educator, Darke County

Since December 2014, the USDA has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections to be low. No human cases of these HPAI H5 viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally.

168 Influenza findings have been reported since December, a majority of which have been turkeys and most recently layers.  The HPAI H5N2 virus strain has been confirmed in several states along three of the four North American Flyways: Pacific, Central and Mississippi. The latest findings can be found at

The novel H5N2 virus is not the same virus as the H5N1 virus found in Asia, Europe and Africa that has caused some human illness. This H5N2 strain is a new mixed-origin virus that combines the H5 genes from the Asian HPAI H5N1 virus with N genes from native North American avian influenza viruses found in wild birds.

Biosecurity is critical for all poultry producers including backyard flocks.  Consider a review of the recent news release from our college

Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, recently reported losses in poultry production and related businesses due to avian influenza are estimated at $309.9 million in Greater Minnesota, according to a newly released emergency economic impact analysis from University of Minnesota Extension.

Using economic modeling, analysts determined that for every million dollars in direct losses, the estimated ripple effect leads to $1.8 million in overall economic losses, including $450,000 in wages. Ripple effect losses stem from factors including reduced wage-earner and business-to-business spending.

The Extension analysis put losses of poultry production–both turkeys and egg-laying chickens–at $113 million as of May 11.

“These projections represent where we stand as of May 11,” said Brigid Tuck, Extension senior analyst, who led the study. “If the virus affects more farms, as we have seen since May 11, the impact levels will rise. If barns stay empty for another cycle of poultry production, these numbers could potentially double”

Sandve’s full article can be found at

Producers are no longer thinking about “if” this will hit Ohio, but “when”.  We hope the disease will miss us this spring but it has been predicted that the level of risk will be high each fall and spring for the next couple years as waterfowl migrate back and forth through our state.

The values of poultry sales in Ohio from the last census is $946,592,000.  If we would experience a 50% loss of production in Ohio, I would estimate a ripple effect would be 1 billion dollars in overall economic losses, including $815,000 in wages.

No poultry in your county – think about the effect on the demand for corn and soybean meal.  If we would lose ½ of our poultry for a 6 month period of time you would reduce corn demand by 27,000,000 bushels, the equivalent of 9% of our state corn production and soybeans would be about a 5,000,000 bushel reduction.

For those with commercial poultry operations much planning and execution is necessary at this time including advanced biosecurity and disaster planning. 

Join the Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network

by: Gigi Neal, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources- Clermont County

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 30% of operators are women on the national level. In Ohio, 28% of operators are female: 31,413 women of 113,624 total operators. Ohio’s largest concentration of female farm operators is in its 10 eastern counties, which boast more than 500 women farm operators per county.

The goal of the Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network (OWIALN) is to help women in agriculture improve their quality of life by providing them with resources to make better business decisions, while maintaining a balance with family and personal obligations.

This national initiative is developing a new portal for education, technical assistance and support of women farmers, ranchers and producers. The OWIALN shares the same goals and collaborates on programs with the eXtension Women in Agriculture Community of Practice at

Join us for educational workshops, eNewsletters, webinars and more. To join the Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network, contact coordinators Gigi Neal at 513-732-7070 or or Heather Neikirk at 330-830-7700 or Visit our website at or like us at Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network on Facebook.





Grain Marketing in Challenging Times Webinar Series Offered

Grain marketing will be increasingly more important to future success of the farm business in the next few years due to tighter profit margins associated with lower grain prices. Ohio State University Extension and the OSU Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Developmental Economics are offering a grain marketing series titled Grain Marketing in Challenging Times. This series, offered through a weekly webinar for five weeks, will allow farmers to learn how to set critical grain pricing targets and strategies from the comfort of their home. The series of classes will focus on using futures and options; making a marketing plan to fit your farm business; utilizing crop insurance as a grain marketing tool; and financial statement analysis in relationship to your grain marketing plan.

The series will kick off on Tuesday, February 3 starting at 11:30 am and running through 1:30 pm and will cost $69.00. The class will meet virtually on five consecutive Tuesdays (February 10, 17, 24 and March 3) and will host three follow-up programs on grain market outlook: one after planting, one pre-harvest and one post-harvest (dates TBA during the class).  Each webinar will be recorded and made available to class participants to review either as make-up for missed classes or to listen again to capture the more important concepts discussed. Chris Bruynis, Assistant Professor and OSU Extension Educator will be the host for the class and Matt Roberts, Associate Professor, OSU Department of Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Developmental Economics will be the instructor. To register for the class, go to  Registration will close on January 28, 2015. For more information go to and look under agriculture and natural resources for the flyer or email Chris Bruynis at  Click to access the Grain Marketing Flyer.

MarketMaker Links Producers and Potential Buyers

By: Brad Bergefurd, Extension Educator

There are nearly 8,000 farmers markets in the U.S., an increase of more than 150 percent since 2000.  Direct-to-consumer agriculture sales produce $1.2 billion in annual revenues. To be successful in your agricultural business an important thing is to have a good marketing plan. The Ohio State University South Centers leads Ohio’s Direct Agricultural Marketing program and has many resources available to assist producers with resources and educational opportunities to assist with their direct agricultural marketing plans.

Launched in 2008, one very important resource is Ohio MarketMaker which currently hosts one of the most extensive collections of searchable food industry-related data in the country. The web based program contains demographic, food consumption, and business data that users can search to find products to buy, or find a place to sell their products.

MarketMaker currently links producers and consumers in 19 states plus the District of Columbia.  As the exclusive licensee, Riverside Research plans to invest in additional research and development to expand MarketMakers capabilities to new markets and regions, both nationally and globally.  States that are currently participating include:  Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, D.C. and Wyoming. 

At the beginning of 2014, MarketMaker contained almost 700,000 businesses in categories of AgTourism, Farmers/Ranchers, Fisheries, Farmers Markets, Wineries, Eating & Drinking, Wholesalers, Food Retailers, Food Banks, and Other.  In 2013, users posted 442 advertisements in the Buy & Sell Forum which were viewed over 36,000 times. 

If you don’t have an online profile, you can set one up in less than 10 minutes at There is no fee to register; it is totally free to both consumers and producers.  Your profile is easy to maintain and manage, and allows you to connect with local, state and national customers and buyers.  Some of the features available are: indicating which farmers’ markets you’ll be participating in, which restaurants you sell to, which grocery stores carry your products and your affiliation with local food organizations.

MarketMaker has many unique features that allow the consumers and producers to present themselves to other MarketMaker users.  Using the business connection feature, market managers, consumers and producers can link with one another and other organizations that have also developed MarketMaker profiles, including grocery stores, restaurants, and schools. The link serves the mutual benefit of identifying users of local food sources. Businesses you connect with on MarketMaker appear on your business’s detail page to let users know more about your operation. You may want to connect with a variety of businesses, including: retailers or farmers’ markets that carry your product, businesses where you source product, and other local food businesses.

Another unique feature is the connection of industry affiliations.  Buyers and sellers can select their current affiliations.  These affiliations help to build credibility with customers.  Some of these could include: Ohio Proud, CIFT, Ohio Grocers Association, and others.

In today’s world, social networking plays a huge factor in marketing.  MarketMaker also has the feature of connecting your Facebook and Twitter social links to your profile.  Connecting your profile to these sites helps to build your audience and customer base while networking with others in the industry.

Farmers markets may also create a profile in MarketMaker.  Farmers market managers can easily create profiles with location, web site, contact information and produce available. The advanced directional mapping tools allows customers to easily find the market and view the types of products that the market has for sale.  This feature brings buyers to the market, and saves the buyers time on locating the products they need.  

MarketMaker is supported by several state and national sponsors.  These sponsors are the USDA, Farm Credit, Ohio Wines, Ohio Farm Bureau, the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, and the Ohio State University.

For further information on Ohio MarketMaker or Direct Agricultural Marketing visit the following Ohio State University Direct Marketing web site at  If you would like to be added to the Ohio Direct Marketing list serve to receive direct marketing updates and educational opportunities contact Interim OSU Direct Marketing Team leader Brad Bergefurd, or Ohio MarketMaker Program Coordinator Charissa McGlothin or call the OSU South Centers 1-800-860-7232 or 740-289-3727 extension #132.