Blogs

Farm Science Review by the numbers

The 2012 Farm Science Review celebrated 50 years, while the crops faced the worst drought conditions in that same 50 years. There were two OSU ag deans present at the event as Bobby Moser continued the process of handing the reigns over to Bruce McPheron. One university president (Gordon Gee), two ag secretaries (Tom Vilsak from the USDA and Dave Daniels from ODA), one governor (John Kasich) and one two-time Heisman Trophy winner (Archie Griffin) were also all at the 2012 FSR. Three high achievers were inducted into the FSR Hall of Fame and temperatures ranged from the 40s to the 70s. It also should be noted that there were several very tired ag media representatives when it was all said and done. All of these numbers added up to yet another fantastic Farm Science Review. Here are some more pertinent 2012 FSR numbers.

 

Yields

Corn yields were averaging 100 to 105 bushels going into the final afternoon of harvest demonstrations.… Continue reading

Read More »

The Ty-rade – Corn: Commodity or Food?

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

There is no doubt that the recent drought will have a lasting impact. Not only on the farmer’s bottom line, but it will also result in a higher total of your grocery bill. But at what point did corn become a food and not a commodity?

I make this point as other facets of agriculture also have to pass along a price hike due to a poor growing season. Apples are a prime example. At a farmer’s market last week a gallon of apple cider was $8! Obviously the apple crop was sub-par or the jug cap was made of solid gold. But you know what; people that wanted it enough were buying it.

I mulled this over (pun intended) and realized that not all products grown in the field are considered a food, until it is convenient. When corn was $4 a bushel, farmers grew a crop.… Continue reading

Read More »

Life and rewards on a family farm

By Matt Reese

When I was a young boy, my parents decided to start planting Christmas trees on their farm, a labor-intensive endeavor that takes eight to 10 years to derive any income. The years that followed were filled with long hours of spring planting, summer mowing and shearing and winter harvests.

Whether we are planting 3,000 seedlings by hand under the warming spring sun or battling long days of soggy socks while harvesting trees for customers on a 35-degree rainy day during the sales season, my family depends upon each other to do what is needed to make it through. Sometimes it is easy, and sometimes it is not so easy, but we almost always find a way to have fun working together on the farm. These kinds of family relationships do not develop over night, but over years of working together with the common goal of producing something useful from the land.… Continue reading

Read More »

The joys of downsizing livestock numbers

By Kim Lemmon

Many of you know that I have raised pygmy goats for about 7 years. Some of you even followed some of the ups and downs of my goat breeding program through this blog.

I loved my goats and enjoyed caring for them but as the years passed the joys of raising livestock were often overshadowed by the struggles to keep them all healthy, fed, watered and living in clean pens while still fulfilling my duties at home and work.

It became evident this summer that I really wasn’t enjoying the goats as much as I should have been. I had sold my favorites so I was basically cleaning up after and caring for some really fancy goats from which I really wasn’t getting any enjoyment.

To the shock of almost everyone I know, I decided to sell my remaining goats and take a break for awhile.

I didn’t struggle with the decision and I don’t regret it.… Continue reading

Read More »

Lessons from the county fair

By Kim Lemmon

The saying is, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Sometimes it takes not only the help of the local villagers but also the help of nearly the entire county to get me through the local county fair.

It seemed like I wouldn’t even make it to the fair on opening day. My co-workers had helped me finish the September issue of Ohio’s Country Journal a day early and I was excited to be headed to the fair with my draft horse and two mini horses but nothing is ever easy about moving into the fair.

I put the truck in drive and found that the brakes were gone. My husband, Mark, called a friend and he very generously loaned us his very clean and very expensive truck so we could get all the horses and their accessories to the fair. The truck was returned in less than squeaky-clean condition but was accepted back graciously nonetheless.… Continue reading

Read More »

OCJ covers tell their own stories (the second 10 years)

By Matt Reese

To commemorate 20 years of Ohio’s Country Journal this month, I thought it would be interesting to let the covers tell their unique stories through the years. I pulled out the binders holding a copy of each issue and stacked them up on the desk at the office and started with 1992 and worked my way through 2012.

It took awhile, as I found myself leafing through the pages to see the familiar faces and catch up on ag news of the days gone by. I was reminded how rich Ohio agriculture is in terms of the soils, the productivity and, maybe most importantly, the people. Ohio is home to so many great leaders in agriculture, promising young people and great farmers. Ohio has also been a battleground for some of the most pressing issues in food production as we have Corn Belt values colliding with East Coast mentalities all in the same great state.… Continue reading

Read More »

OCJ covers tell their own stories (the first 10 years)

By Matt Reese

To commemorate 20 years of Ohio’s Country Journal this month, I thought it would be interesting to let the covers tell their unique stories through the years. I pulled out the binders holding a copy of each issue and stacked them up on the desk at the office and started with 1992 and worked my way through 2012.

It took awhile, as I found myself leafing through the pages to see the familiar faces and catch up on ag news of the days gone by. I was reminded how rich Ohio agriculture is in terms of the soils, the productivity but, maybe most importantly, the people. Ohio is home to so many great leaders in agriculture, so many smiling young people and many great farmers. Ohio has also been a battleground for some of the most pressing issues in food production as we have Corn Belt values colliding with East Coast mentalities all in the same great state.… Continue reading

Read More »

Deadlines are made to be broken

By Matt Reese

I do not know where they learned this, but my children are experts at stall-tactics to delay bedtime. The kids’ bedtime is usually around 8:00. Sometimes we make this deadline and sometimes we do not, but my precocious stallers of slumber have the ability to push back bedtime 10 or 15 minutes, maybe even a half an hour, through various schemes.

After getting bathed, dressed and saying prayers, I will tuck my son into bed and he will look at me with the saddest eyes he can muster, conjure up his sweetest little boy tone and say, “Daddy, I’m hun-gy.”

He knows I am a sucker for this and I will inevitably go get him something semi-healthy to munch on. Then, after the snack, “Daddy, I’m firsty.”

If I have reservations about putting my child to bed hungry, I am certainly not going to put him to bed thirsty.… Continue reading

Read More »

The Ty-rade – The crop tour was just Ducky

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Last week I had the opportunity to be a part of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. This tour is 4 solid days of scouting corn and bean fields from Ohio to the Dakotas and I saw firsthand that it is as bad out there as you are hearing. I took plenty of pictures, did some interviews and shot some video to try to give you the best view possible from my vantage point. Here is a recap of my trip.

This was the longest I have been away from home since my kids were born. They always have a little bit of a hard time when I pack my bags, but we have found a way to narrow the distance when I am gone.

Every time I hit the road, I get a stuffed animal to take along for the ride. That toy goes everywhere I go and I take pictures of it in the stangest places and send them back home to my kids.… Continue reading

Read More »

No big guns required on Crop Tour

It has been a real crop tour couple of weeks with our own Ohio Crop Tour down I-71 and I-75 last week and Ty Higgins’ national trip through crop fields from Ohio to Minnesota as a broadcast media representative on the Pro Farmer Crop Tour.

With a bit of crop tour experience under my belt, I can say that they are very enjoyable and informative, but quite rigorous and downright exhausting. My experience involved early mornings and late nights while trying to organize the group, cater to the needs of my fellow travelers, compile the mountain of data we collected over the two day period, shoot video, conduct interviews, take photos and, most importantly, have fun.

In total, we made 20 stops in 20 counties over two days. The yield measurements would take 20 to 30 minutes or so at each stop and then we would jump in the car and I would compile the data on the way and post it on the web, listening to catchy Bluegrass music with Jon Miller along the way.… Continue reading

Read More »

Percheron Thunder Roman Riding

By Kim Lemmon

Last week when I attended the Indiana State Fair, I got the pleasure of watching Jason Goodman’s Roman Riding act. He stands on the backs of the wheel team of his six-horse hitch of Percherons as they gallop around the arena.

I saw him perform at the 2010 World Percheron Congress but his act never gets dull. Sorry the video isn’t better. It is a pretty exciting act to watch so it is hard to hold the camera still.

Check out www.percheronthunder.com for more information on Percheron Thunder.

Also, my horses and I will be attending and showing at the Morrow County Fair next week. Make sure you stop by the draft barn and say hi if you are there.

If it isn’t a show day, you may have to wake me up. I often get more and more tired as the week goes on and sneak in some naps in the horse barn.… Continue reading

Read More »

The Ty-Rade – A picture is worth 50 bushels

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Seeing is believing. Over the past two months I have travelled to many parts of Ohio and I, like many others, have seen crops that look alright and crops that look poor. It is no secret that a big part of the Midwest is suffering through the worst drought in many decades. I have seen images on the news and pictures that have been sent in to us at The Ohio Ag Net, I even took a few pictures myself when I visited Farm Science Review fields a few days ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These four ears are from the same field. How in the world will crop tours be able to “guess” what will come out of America’s corn fields will a sample like this one?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are two more ears from an FSR site.… Continue reading

Read More »

Stage coach accident at the Indiana State Fair

Pre-show entertainment at the Indiana State Fair Pepsi Coliseum Draft Horse Show injures five in horse-drawn stage coach flip.

By Kim Lemmon

For the past two years, I have traveled to the Indiana State Fair to watch the National Percheron Show. This year, my husband, Mark, and I talked about visiting on Sunday, August 12 for the opening of the draft shows but we weren’t able to find horse sitters so we decided to stay home.

Sunday night I received a text from Heather Hetterick of Ohio Ag Net to see if I was at the Indiana State Fair. She was monitoring news on the internet and saw that there had been an accident in the Indiana State Fair’s Pepsi Coliseum before the start of the draft horse show Sunday night.

Apparently, a stage coach with a 6-horse hitch of light horses was carrying several queens, judges and other show officials into the Coliseum before the start of the show.… Continue reading

Read More »

Quirky Albuquerque

By Matt Reese

I recently had the privilege of attending the Ag Media Summit in Albuquerque, an event which my wife was a speaker on a panel. So, while we had plenty of work to do, we tried to do some fun stuff as well on our hot date (without the kids) in the Southwest.

One highlight of the trip was a hot air balloon ride in this self proclaimed “Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World.” As it turns out, Albuquerque’s climate is very well suited for ballooning and the state’s single top economic event is the International Balloon Fiesta in October. Jonathan, our adept balloon pilot, told us that a typical commercial balloon setup

costs around $120,000 and the ballon lasts for about 500 flights. Different colors last different durations by faring differently in the UV rays and general wear and tear. As the material ages, the pores expand and eventually degrade the balloons.… Continue reading

Read More »

Bucking bull futurities

By Kim Lemmon

My husband, Mark, is a rodeo fan so I’ve been to my share of rodeos. The bucking bulls were always my least favorite part of the rodeo so I never gave too much thought to what makes a good bull until recently.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine stumbled across a bucking bull futurity. I guess it does make sense that these valuable animals would need to have a way to gain training, knowledge and experience before cowboys climb aboard.

These futurities allow bulls to enter chutes and wear all the bucking bull gear to gain experience without the added stress and weight of a cowboy on the backs of these young bulls.

This was the second year a futurity was held in Ohio at Buckin’ Ohio near Burbank. I can see the value in this event to find out which bulls have the potential and talent to one day become professional rodeo bulls.… Continue reading

Read More »

Draft horse paparazzi

By Kim Lemmon

Some people watch TMZ or read In Touch magazine to follow their favorite stars. It can become a hobby or sometimes an obsession for some folks to follow their favorite movie and television or sports stars.

My favorite pass time is attending draft horse shows and watching draft horses. For the past two years, my favorite draft horse  — besides my own mare — has been a famous Percheron gelding whose barn name is Cody. He and his teammates won a lot of classes at the 2010 World Percheron Show and have had a lot of success in the show ring since then. Cody is amazing in harness and it is obvious that he loves to be shown.

I see Cody several times a year because he is part of the Flat Rock team that is located in Bellevue, Ohio, so he and his teammates are often shown at the draft shows I attend.… Continue reading

Read More »

The Ty-rade – Downhill both ways

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

I am by no means a “Zen master”. I have moments of calm and moments when what they call the Higgins Temper rears its ugly head. I have taken many a deep breath and have attempted to “chill-out”, as the kids call it, but being a monk is not in my future.

I do, however, believe in balance. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that if you do something good, something good happens to you in return. Yes, that works the other way too. Without sounding too much like a hippie, for every yen there is a yang.

Deep thoughts, aren’t they? That’s what I get for trying to clear my mind with the newest addition to my garage. Last week I bought bikes for my wife and I. Now that both of our kids can ride, training wheels-free, we wanted in on the action.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State Fair time for the Reeses

Our calendars have been cleared, our cash has been stockpiled and we have spent an inordinate amount of time

trimming, shearing, washing, baking, organizing, packing, and preparing. In late summer, that can only mean one thing at the Reese house — is it time for the Ohio State Fair.

We almost live at the event from late July through the early August conclusion of the fair. Our children have an almost constant sheen of fair grime coating their bodies and we all smell like a mix of sweat, sheep, sawdust and fair food through most of the event. Our daughter participates in the ladies lead competition, we show Horned Dorsets in the Open Breeding Sheep Show, Kristin entered (and won) a table display competition in the Ag & Hort. Building, we have two Christmas trees on display (the grand champion spruce, the grand champion fir and the overall Reserve Champion), Kristin coordinates the Ohio Lamb and Wool Queen Competition, and she is doing a cooking demo or two and serving lamb in the food pavilion.… Continue reading

Read More »

The Ty-rade – Drought over the years

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Good job on selling them more. Is there a reason they didn’t also buy the October front cover strip? I believe that one is available too.

I came across this picture via the Texas Corn Producers. At first I thought it was a bunch of cows (leave it to me), but then realized that it was a comparison of drought maps from years gone by. What it shows is staggering.

You can’t help but notice 1934. Imagine going through that. No doubt that the “Dust Bowl” was an extreme situation. Many initiatives were put in place in the Farm Bill back then that continue today.

It is now a fact that this summer is more drought-stricken than 1954 and this year’s conditions seem to make 1988 look like a walk in the park from the national perspective.

Will your grocery bill go up? Yes.

Will gas prices rise?… Continue reading

Read More »

Waiting for the Ohio State Fair Draft Horse Show

By Kim Lemmon

If you read my blog last week, you know that I’m very excited for the Ohio State Fair Draft Horse Show to start. I decided that maybe if I drove my Percheron draft horse mare, Julie, that it would not only help me prepare for my county fair at the end of August but it would also get me even more in the mood for the draft horse show at the state fair.

After harnessing the horse and dragging the cart around and hitching it to her, I have even more admiration for the folks that show draft horses. My cart and harness are really heavy.

Julie is an experienced show horse. She was shown in halter, cart and team classes up to the four-hitch at state fairs when she was younger by her former owners. She knows what she is doing, but I don’t.

We took a few laps around the arena and a few trips up and down the road.… Continue reading

Read More »