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Podcast: 11. Dusty Sonnenberg - Tech in Soybeans

Managing soybeans for high yield can be a daunting task when so much of the growing environment seems out of our control. In this week’s podcast, Dusty Sonnenberg walks through some steps growers can take to maximize the genetic potential of the seed and breaks down what he has seen work for growers.

Dusty admits, soybean yields are largely driven by environment. From fungicides and biologicals to micronutrients, there are lots of products available to try to break through the yield ceiling, but it really comes down to what the plant is asking for in its specific environment. One of the main aspects growers can work on to improve the soybean’s environment is managing weeds. With many different approaches to weed management, we talk through how we can build plans that we can have confidence in going into the growing season. Dusty said, “It's crucial to have a plan, but be flexible. Even with a solid plan agronomically, growers can still run into trouble if they aren’t doing basic field scouting and remaining agile.”

“Rather than looking at the environment… they are just going to go out and spray what was planned and it may or may not be the best fit for the environment,” Dusty said. “...being agile and flexible and in constant communication with your consultant or retailer to know what's going on in those fields and adjust your chemistry appropriately.”

The conversation in soybeans right now is trait packages for weed control. As we look at what we have today, and what is coming down the road, multiple stacks of herbicide modes of action is something to be excited and cautious about. We need to be intentional about using residual chemistry and choosing different modes of action to manage our weed populations.

“Anything that's not managed properly can unfortunately cause unintended consequences,” said Dusty. “As we develop these, the concept is pretty sound scientifically. If we have enough different modes of action that we can use to attack that plant, hopefully it will not adapt quick enough to be able to adjust to all of them so we always have something in the toolbox we can use.”

In addition to traited seed, there is a lot of tech coming to weed management in soybeans. The Ohio State University is doing research with drones being able to pinpoint and GPS locate individual weeds. This allows for individual treatment of those weeds, to prohibit their ability to go to seed in the field. There is also a weed zapper that uses electric shock to kill weeds that are above the plant canopy.

In short, consistent management of weeds and fertility are the first steps to high yield soybeans. From there, many value-added products can be experimented with in your own growing environment. Dusty encourages growers to spend more time in their fields and master the basics. To learn more about Dusty’s work, go to to see what is new in soybean research.

What technology are you using to manage weeds? Leave a review here.



Host: Morgan Seger

Guest: Dusty Sonnenberg, Certified Crop Advisor

Morgan Seger: (01:16)

This is through the Ohio Soybean Association, checkoff dollars. He creates content for growers like us to learn and really help us push the yield ceiling, like we talk about in today's episode. But, he's also very hands-on with his CCA, creating nutrient management plans; and, he kind of walks through that with us as well. We tried to focus on soybean management today because that's the one crop that I've been hearing a lot of growers say, that "They just can't break their yield ceiling." Now, we're generally not upset with our yields, but lots of times we feel like they're totally driven by the environment. So, Dusty walks through some management things that we could be doing to really make sure we're maximizing the yield potential that's in that bag of soybeans, when we start in the spring. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Dusty.

Morgan Seger: (02:04)

Welcome back to Precision Points. Today on the show, I have Dusty Sonnenberg, Field Leader with Ohio Ag Net and Country Journal. Dusty, welcome to the show.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (02:13)

Thanks Morgan. Good to be with you today.

Morgan Seger: (02:16)

So, I'm excited to catch up. We both grew up in Henry County. But, as I was putting together your bio for our show notes, that are posted on, I was so impressed with how many things you have going on, and how you're able to balance it all. I know growing up, our paths crossed from participation basically in different organizations. But, you have a lot going on. Would you mind sharing some of that background with our listeners?

Dusty Sonnenberg: (02:42)

Sure, I'd be happy too. Every day is an adventure and a little bit crazy at the same time. But yeah, so I am a farmer here in Henry County. We raise corn soybeans, wheat, and also hay. And then, we have a livestock operation, so we raise dairy replacement heifers for a large dairy, about 700 heifers a year, they'll go through our farm. And then, we also have a freezer beef operation. So, we'll do about two dozen dairy steers every year, that we sell direct market. Outside of the farming, I am a certified crop advisor. In a previous life, I guess you could say, I was the Accounting Ag Extension Educator here in Henry County. Before that, I was a County 4-H agent, actually down where you're at, and Darke County, was my first job right out of Ohio State. And then, I moved up to Defiance County, transitioned roles over the course of time within OSU Extension.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (03:27)

But after that, I went into private consulting as a crop consultant, so I'm a certified crop advisor. And, right now busy writing a lot of nutrient management plans; primarily the CNMP are those, comprehensive nutrient management plans that livestock producers need when they apply manure. As a lot of your listeners probably know here in Northwest Ohio, H2Ohio has been the buzz up until coronavirus hit; and then, still a lot of things with water quality issues in the Maumee River valley, in the Western basin of Lake Erie, basically, which the Maumee River feeds. And so, as guys signed up for H2Ohio, an important part of that, is either the voluntary nutrient management plans, which they have; or if they use anything with livestock manure, they need the CNMP. So, I've been putting those together for a number of guys. Outside of that, as you alluded to, I work for a Bart Johnson at the Ohio Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (04:21)

So, that's sort of one of my, I guess, passions or hobbies, I enjoy communicating. I actually do a local radio show here in Napoleon on WNDH, the Maumee Valley Ag Report, that is every morning at 6:55 AM. Just a short update on what's making news, and actually have expanded and do that on another station over in Paulding County, wMYw sort of the same format of just agricultural news, but more with a local touch. We hear a lot on the national news sources and even statewide, but sometimes it's nice to bring it close to home. So, I do that, and then with the Barton, the folks at Country Journal and the Ag Net. And then also, with the Ohio Soybean Association, I filled the role of field leader. And, what field leader is, is a sort of unique position that can pull together all my passions, I guess, everything that I enjoy doing.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (05:09)

So, it's primarily focused obviously on soybean production, since it is funded by soybean checkoff dollars here in the state. And, what we do is we look at the research that those checkoff dollars are funding, primarily through folks at Ohio State and the Ohio Ag Research and Development Center. But also, some of the independent research that goes on, and we try and then take what's being learned and communicate that back to farmers. We do that. And then, we also take a look at everything going on, sort of in the state that applies to farmers with water quality issues, nutrient management, plant health, soil health; it just seems like that list goes on and on every year. A lot of different buzzwords and agronomy.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (05:47)

And, as we can translate that into, how that impacts management decisions for soybean farmers, we try and communicate that. So, that's where that is. Outside of the ag circles, yeah, I serve as the Executive Director for the Murray County community Foundation. So, that's sort of a nice outreach there to work in a small community setting, right here in Henry County, and help a lot of different organizations, most of which are not ag related. And then, I serve on a couple of boards of directors too. I'm the Vice Chair for the Board of Directors for Tri-County Rural Electric Co-op here, and also the Chairman of the Board for Ag Credit.

Morgan Seger: (06:23)

Gotcha. Yeah. So, you have a pretty lengthy resume there; and it seems like you're able to balance all of those things really well. And, I remember when they announced your new role with Ohio Country Journal, like you said, it really seemed like a really good fit where you got to bring a lot of these things together from the education piece, but also being hands-on with farmers; and from the nutrient management plans and just seeing what they have going on.

Morgan Seger: (06:51)

So with that role, I was excited about the exposure you've had to different growers and what they've been working with; and specifically, with the interest in soybeans. I know for us, on our farm soybeans have been really tricky for us to figure out, because we haven't been unhappy with our yield, but we haven't found something that's really helped us push that yield ceiling. And, the more growers I talked to, the more, it seems like soybeans are driven by environment, there's just not a whole lot, we can do as far as management. So, I was wondering if you had an opinion on that? Is there things that growers are trying that you're seeing are working with soybeans?

Dusty Sonnenberg: (07:34)

Sure. No, that's a great question. And, soybeans are a very unique crop because they do respond to so many things. Environment obviously is the largest. Without water, we don't make any crops, so water obviously is important. But, the way soybeans react and respond to different stresses that are in the environment; from the time that that seed is planted in the ground, as we go through the different vegetative phases; and then, get into the different reproductive stages, there's so many points along the way that that plant can be influenced, if you will. And obviously, our primary goal is to maximize or enhance the genetic potential that seed already has. I was just having a conversation, I think just last night, with an older producer saying how, "In much of Ohio, the dry weather we had this year," 20 years ago, that crop would have been finished.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (08:24)

There just would have been no way we'd have had much of a yield. But surprisingly, even on my farm, I go out and look; and we had, I think, from May 15th until the 1st of August, an inch and a 10th of rain is all that we had. We really were in that dry pocket. And, yet it's amazing how those beans got off to a good start. I was fortunate, we had almost ideal conditions when we planted them; so they got into moisture than they germinated. They were able to send roots down a little bit. And then, they were able, basically, to live off the dew that we had each morning, to get through until August. And then, we caught some timely rains as they were starting to pot out. And we've got just a little bit of rain every day since then, or not every day, every week since then. And so, it's really helped them finish strong.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (09:08)

But, some guys like to go the plant health route; and so, they may spray different fungicide applications at various stages. R3 is the popular one. Sometimes they even push it into the vegetative stages. There's a lot of different plant hormone type things, products that are out there. Some are more, maybe micronutrient products; a lot of others are biologicals, foliars, may be hormonal type things, either trying to balance or regulate how ethylene production is in the plant, sort of the stress hormone there; and then a lot of the different things that we see being done. So it's like, anytime you go to any of the farm shows back when we were allowed to go to farm shows, just about every tent you would go through, somebody had a product that they were trying to convince you to use, to try and break that ceiling, if you will, for soybean production.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (09:58)

I think it's just unique based on a lot of factors; obviously, what is your soil type? What is your production system? Where are you at, geographically in the state? What equipment you have? Are you planning that? I see so many guys that are really working, population management seems to be something different. I was just last week talking with a farmer that was retrofitting his 30 foot John Deere air seeder. So, he could still variable rate population there. His reason, interestingly enough, was for weed control. He is starting to have issues with waterhemp of all things. And, what he is finding is in some of the low swales where waterhemp typically would be found, those are high organic soil. So, and he wasn't getting a high enough plant population, maybe to canopy and hold those weeds back. So, he's working to manipulate that planner so he can plant higher populations in areas where he thinks he may have more weed pressure and just try and find some control avenues that way.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (10:54)

So, things like that are interesting. Like we said, there's all kinds of products, treatments. I'm pretty excited, I guess, as we see weeds is one of the leading stressors out there of beans. At some of these new herbicide packages, you've got your Xtend beans, you've got the Enlist beans, every company has got a different option out there. And, I think farmers should really take a good hard look at those, and find out what those present as options from a management side, talk to their seed dealers, regardless of brand, there's a lot of good products out there. And, Ohio across the board is a great State to raise soybeans; and, I think we have tremendous potential to help them maximize that genetic potential the seed has. We just have to make sure we give them the best environment, get them off to a good start and then get out of the way.

Morgan Seger: (11:44)

Yeah, that's probably good advice. So, as we're looking at the herbicide tolerance that you were just talking about. I know there's been a lot of discussion, maybe even controversy, about what's actually going to come to market and are we going to be able to spray it.

Morgan Seger: (12:02)

I know a lot of people were in line for Xtend and then things changed in the middle of the season. How can growers build a plan where they confidently have, I guess, like a set management plan for those weeds?

Dusty Sonnenberg: (12:18)

That's a great question. That's a tricky question, especially in light of what we saw this past year with the dicamba products out there. And, without throwing anybody under the bus, it really seemed like farmers got the rug pulled out from underneath them. Some, I think had a very good management plan in place going into the season. And, the dicamba products were part of that plan. They knew they had some tough to control weeds. And so, they had a plan in mind they were going to follow, and that unfortunately, for some was able to be carried out, for others, it changed midgame; and nobody likes to play a game when the rules change halfway through. And, I think that left a bad taste in some guy's mouth. So, I think it's important that, as you said, they do have a plan, but probably work with whoever their retailer is, whoever their consultant is, to maybe have not just one plan, but two plans; a plan A, a plan B, a plan C.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (13:09)

Probably the biggest area I see farmers get in trouble with is, they set a plan in the spring, probably it's going to be a two-pass type system, they're going to do something pre-emerged, they're going to do something post-emerge; but in-between there, they don't necessarily go out and scout and see what weeds they have. And so, it may be that, that second part of the plan, the post-emerge herbicide, or even maybe a followup later on that, rather than looking at what the other team is putting on the field, if you will, what weeds are out there, they're just going to go out and spray what they had planned; and it may or may not be the best fit for the environment or the situation they have, so. Taking time, getting out of the truck, walking across the field and trying to correctly identify what weeds they have, what the pressure situation is like, what stage of growth are the beans at, that what's the weather like, and all those different factors play in.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (14:01)

But, I guess being agile and flexible and being in constant communication with either your consultant or your retailer, to know what's going on in those fields and adjust your chemistries appropriately. It may be, you can save a few dollars, you don't need to put out there some of the things you had originally planned. Or it may be, you need to put a little bit more money into it. One thing Mark Locke's always stresses, is the importance of residual herbicide, especially in that post application pass. And, as prices have been tight, they're going up a little bit now, but when things are tight, we look at cutting different places, and unfortunately residual herbicides can cost a little bit more.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (14:38)

And so, that might be an area you guys cut back on. But, when we look at the yield losses, that are potential also from weed pressure, and I think that's what we often overlook as producers is, we see weeds, we know they look ugly, we don't want to them go to seed and produce more; but really, it's that impact on yield, and it can be as high as 50 percent severe situation. So, really managing weeds with herbicides may actually make us money. It sounds odd because we have to spend money first, but to allow those beans to produce like they would, rather than competing.

Morgan Seger: (15:11)

I actually really liked that plan of being flexible and just going back to the basics, and walking your fields. Because, not only could it impact the chemistry, but it could impact that list of value added products that you talked about earlier, the fungicides and the micros. Because, when you're out there, since we don't necessarily have that silver bullet yet, you can be assessing those things as well, to make sure you're putting together the best plan.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (15:39)

Absolutely. Soybean fields are a dynamic situation. Anytime you walk out in them, and sometimes I feel guilty, I get run in so many different directions, I probably don't spend enough time in my own field; and walk out there, and it's real tempting just to go in, just pass the end rows or little ways, and assume that's what the rest of the field is like. And so, if I see insect pressure, the whole field's got it; if I don't, then none of the field has it. We both know that's not true. You really have to get a good, random sampling across the field to see, obviously typically the field edges where we're going to have more pressure, whether it's insects moving in, maybe weed control issues based on how the sprayer went across the field. But, getting a good look at that total field, obviously not walking the entire field, but enough that you get a good sample, and doing it on a regular basis.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (16:28)

It very easily could be that one day things look pretty clean, you aren't seeing a whole lot of insect activity that could also be based on the time of day. There's certain times a day, those insects are active and hopping around; other times you can walk across the same spot in the same field and not see a single one. So, varying up that [inaudible 00:16:45] and getting a good understanding of what's going on in that environment, I think are important. There are some neat technologies, and I know this, Precision Ag Reviews, is all about precision technology. And, I had an interesting conversation with Mark Locke's and also Dr. Scott Scheer down at Ohio State, they are working on a research project funded by the soybean checkoff.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (17:05)

So, I'll put that little plug in there too, but it is using drones and they have developed the technology out there that they can fly drones across the soybean field at 15 miles an hour, so they're doing a pretty good clip and identify with a specific GPS location, every marestail or waterhemp or whatever specific week they want to target, they can pin point and map those individual weeds out with the drone. And then, they either retrofit it with an individual spray nozzle or something else, and go back and treat those individual weeds. So, as we get into this time of the year, when really we're too late for a lot of herbicide applications, but maybe we want to prevent some of those hard to control weeds from going to seed, that may a good option, rather than having to walk out there and either take a hoe or cut it down by hand, to just send that drone out, identify specifically where the weeds are and just treat those individual plants; maybe not to kill the plant, but at least to hinder the seed production for next year.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (18:06)

So, neat things that technology is able to do. They're doing a similar research project, also to look at different insects that may be out there, and plant health, and same idea.

Morgan Seger: (18:16)

That's a really interesting. I know there's been some different technology where you can like spot spray, but understanding how that works when your field is totally in a vegetative state and it's green everywhere; being able to pinpoint where those are, has to be some pretty high technology. And, that's kind of cool that they're able to do that. I know lately, I've been going out into my end rows and pulling out anything I see, just because I want our field to look good, and I don't want it to go to seed. But, I know that we've also probably already done some damage when it comes to yield at that point, so. Now, when it comes to traits, I think I heard they're working on a six way stack, but whatever that number is on herbicide tolerances, does any of that make you nervous for building resistance against multiple herbicides or multiple modes of action, when we get that many stacks on one seed?

Dusty Sonnenberg: (19:12)

Yeah. Short answer is yes. I think anything, if not managed properly, can unfortunately cause unintended consequences. And, that's exactly what we've seen. I mean, going all the way back to Roundup Ready soybeans, and it looked like it was going to be the wave of the future, and really was for several years; it made raising soybeans simple. But, the unintended consequence was we abused that system. We overused product, we didn't mix up our modes of action, all those things that we now know, to try and reduce the chance of developing a pesticide resistance or a weed resistance problem, came back to bite us. And now, we've seen that with numerous other modes of action. And so, as we develop these, the concept is pretty scientifically, that if we have enough different modes of action, that we can use to attack that plant, hopefully it will not adapt quick enough to be able to adjust to all of them.And so, we've always got something in the toolbox we can use.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (20:12)

With that said, one interesting thing they are finding is that, the genetic species that are out there with waterhemp, with some of the marestail and Palmer amaranth, is that it's not just one true genetic line, but there are so many crosses because the seeds reproduce so quickly, and in such a volume; that it is adapting almost as quickly as we are coming up with different herbicide combinations to be able to go after it. And, you just think about basically, your genetic tables and how you can cross and come up with different types of hybrid configurations and plants; and it's very much the same with weeds, only it's totally randomized in nature. And so, with 500,000 to a million seeds per plant, it's not out of the realm of possibility that two of those, that are very genetically different, from the same species could cross, and then provide a resistance to just about any product we have out there, so.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (21:08)

I think that the concept is good and it's really what we need to have multiple traits built into some of these beans; so we can attack them, safely with as many different mechanisms and tools, as there are out there. But at the same time, if we don't still manage those, and make sure we mix up the chemistries; by mix up I mean intentionally using different modes of action at different times, we could find ourselves right back in the same situation. And, that's what they found out West in some cases, unfortunately, as more and more of these are becoming herbicide resistant. Speaking of that, I'll throw in another neat technology. And, I just put an article up on Again, another shameless plug for the publication that I put content out for, for Ohio Soybean Association. And, if you go to, there's one called a shocking solution to a weed control.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (21:57)

And, that is about the lightening Weeder, this is a product... Yeah, this particular one is made out in Missouri, I believe. But, what it is, it is a generator on the back of a tractor connected to a 30 foot boom, and they have different sizes and models. But, basically it uses electricity to kill weeds. And, what they're doing is they're running that boom through a soybean field just above the canopy. And so, any weed that is sticking up above the canopy comes in contact with that, and gets about 15,000 volts of electricity that shoot down the weed, and basically rupture the cells within that weed, and kill it. So, it's primarily used in organic production right now. That's where it first got started. Came out in the seventies, gone into the eighties, right about the same time herbicides were making their mark. Herbicides were less expensive, easier to use and more readily available.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (22:47)

And so, herbicide took off, but this stayed as an option in the organic market. Well, now a lot of commercial commodity producers are looking at it in our regular traditional beans, because of those weeds, they can't control with the herbicide, but they can still physically control with this. Now, it's probably more of what you would consider a rescue treatment, that's not going to be your primary weed control, because it only gets what it contacts above the canopy. But again, a neat technology to see; and there's a couple of guys that have some, that are going out doing custom zapping, if you will, going out to go after those weeds.

Morgan Seger: (23:22)

Yeah. I actually saw that article and I was surprised that it was as older technology, as it was in the seventies and eighties, like you said, but interesting. And, could be a really good solution for those weeds that have built up some tolerance; and especially like you were saying, lots of times we notice areas of our field where we have those trouble spots, where you could kind of go in and almost do like a spot treatment once the weeds get too tall too, to kind of clean them up, that's interesting.

Morgan Seger: (23:49)

There's this video on YouTube that I used to show all the time, and it's called WEED-IT plays Beat it. And, it's a sprayer that goes and sprays every time it sees the vegetation, but they planted plants to Michael Jackson song, Beat It. And so, it would just spray it along. It's kind of interesting the things that they're coming up with. And I think, as we kind of worked through this conversation, it sounds like weed management is going to continue to be one of the biggest things we can do for our soybeans, to make sure that we are capturing the yield that we have in our bags.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (24:24)

I think so. I think you're right, Morgan. Two things that just about every soybean producer across the country faces is, weather challenges, and then pest management, whether that be diseased weeds or insects. But, weeds seem to be one that is common because they're so easily moved, they don't necessarily need to quote-unquote, over winter like insects or diseases do, where they typically have to come in from the South or come in from somewhere else. Weeds can be transferred obviously in the wind, they can be carried by water, such as waterhemp, birds, other animals can.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (24:56)

And a lot of the transportation, I guess, we see of new infestations of weeds is right off of our own equipment, whether it's tillage equipment, where those seeds are carried from one field to another. A lot of times it's harvest equipment coming through, as the weeds run through combines, the seed gets hung up in that combine; and then once we move from field to field, we do a beautiful job, just spreading those and broadcasting them all across the field. So, unfortunately we can become our own worst enemy when it comes to that. But yeah, there's some commonalities and unfortunately weeds are one of the big ones.

Morgan Seger: (25:26)

Now, is there anything with fertility that you're seeing where people have been able to push that yield ceiling a little bit or is it mostly just having the basics when it comes to fertility? Is there anything extra?

Dusty Sonnenberg: (25:38)

Well, obviously you start with the basics. And again, I'm surprised most guys are doing it right, and having regular soil test, and whether they're applying their fertility on a two year rotational basis, or three years, or whatever way; most have that pretty well figured out. Now, I think where the trends are, is all these different foliar products that are out there. And, and how can we deliver to the plant, what it is asking for, based on the particulars of the growing season, based on the environment at that specific time. And, can we get it to the plant in a foliar method now? Ideally plants would take up their nutrients through the roots, that's how they're designed to do it; and as best we can provide that fertility through the soil, whether it is just good soil health practices, or if it is something that we are adding to the soil, that's probably the primary way to do it.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (26:27)

But, there's a number of products that I think have a lot of validity to them, that are foliar applied products. And so, it's really a matter of, again, paying attention to what's going on in the environment, looking for what stresses there are, what does that bean asking for to help, again, reach that genetic potential that it already has. And then, what ways can we deliver it to them? And, there are some good foliar products out there. I'm not going to touch on any specific ones, but it's not hard just to do a quick Google search and you can probably find a dozen based on whatever area you're trying to help that plan with.

Morgan Seger: (27:01)

Yeah, and It's probably plant specific, in areas specific, year specific, based off like what you're saying, what the plant is actually asking for. Good. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to walk us through some of the technologies that you're seeing, and what growers in Ohio are doing. If someone wanted to follow along with that content you're putting out, where would you suggest they go to find it?

Dusty Sonnenberg: (27:24)

Absolutely. They can just go to, again, And, that is a website that is archived with a whole bunch of different articles. We'll have two to three articles up every week, looking at either what is new and soybean research, maybe some different things going on environmentally; but all things, obviously soybean tied or connected there. Or, you can follow us at, that's the Ohio Country Journal; always good information that we try and tell people the homepage for agriculture here in Ohio. So, lot of different options out there. But, just encourage people to get out, scout their fields, know what's going on in their specific environments, in each field. Every field is a little different. And then, do their homework and know what the options are.

Morgan Seger: (28:09)

Yeah. Well, I appreciate the work that you're doing. The content that you're putting out is great and very helpful. So, thanks for that. And, I hope you have a great harvest.

Dusty Sonnenberg: (28:17)

All right, you guys be safe. Thanks, Morgan.

Morgan Seger: (28:19)

Thanks, Dusty. Thanks for tuning in to today's episode. To learn more about Dusty and the work he's doing, make sure you go to the Ohio Country Journal's website or to the Ohio Ag Net, to see the content that he's putting out. To hear more podcasts like this, please rate, review and subscribe to Precision Points. You can visit for show notes from this episode, read expert advice on the blog, share your experience with precision ag products, and check out our network of farmer reviews. Let's grow together.


Host: Morgan Seger

Morgan Seger grew up on a small farm in Northwest Ohio then studied agriculture at The Ohio State University. She spent ten years working with ag retail, specifically in ag tech, before coming to to host Precision Points Podcast. She lives and farms in western Ohio, with her husband Ben and their four children. Morgan, has her own blog called Heart and Soil where she talks about her experience farming, gardening, and raising her family.


Guest: Dusty Sonnenberg

Dusty is a Certified Crop Advisor and Technical Service Provider writing nutrient management plans. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from The Ohio State University in Agriculture and earned his Master’s Degree in Business from Defiance College. Dusty and his wife Cheryl, with their sons Cody and Bailey, own and operate Sonnenberg Farms, which is a cash grain and freezer beef operation in Henry County. They raise soybeans, corn, wheat and hay. They also own and operate Jay Calf Ranch, where they start replacement heifer calves for a local dairy. Sonnenberg is a member of the Board Directors for Ag Credit, ACA. He is a part owner and Operations Manager of Tri-State RTK Network, LLC. He is a Trustee and currently vice president for Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative. He serves as Executive Director for the Henry County Community Foundation. Dusty is a member of the Henry County Dairy Producers, Henry County Cattlemen’s Association, and Holgate FFA Alumni. He is a past trustee for the Henry County Farm Bureau Board. In 2002, Sonnenberg was the National Winner of the American Farm Bureau’s Discussion Meet, and in 2005, the Sonnenbergs placed second nationally as runners-up in the American Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Agriculture contest.

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