Fruit and veggie conference

A conference for fruit and vegetable growers is set for Feb. 7 at the Oasis Conference Center, 902 Loveland-Miamiville Road in Loveland.

The Southwestern Ohio Specialty Crop Conference offers “a little something for everyone,” said Greg Meyer, Ohio State University Extension educator in Warren County and event organizer.

“We have hosted a grower school for specialty crops in southwestern Ohio for over 30 years,” Meyer said. “We decided to expand it to offer more classes and, in 2016, we moved the venue to the Oasis Conference Center to give us more space for concurrent sessions.”

The conference, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers five concurrent sessions in fruit production, vegetable production, specialty cropping systems, pesticide safety and farm management, and marketing and food safety.

In addition, some sessions offer private pesticide applicator credits in three categories, Meyer said: Core, 3 (Fruits and Vegetables) and 5 (Greenhouse). He encourages applicators to bring their license to the conference so OSU Extension personnel can check their recertification status and determine how much training they need to become recertified.… Continue reading

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Are weather scares worth watching?

The impact of social media is going far beyond sharing the latest cute pet videos or what President-elect Trump is saying on Twitter. Case in point: viral weather stories are influencing farmer decisions and what they may receive for their corn and soybeans. That’s according to Ryan Martin, a respected agricultural meteorologist with Advantage Weather Solutions who spoke at a workshop at American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show in Phoenix.

Martin looked ahead at what weather conditions will look like for much of the country, but warned farmers not to get carried away by the hype that they may come across on Facebook or Twitter. He highlighted recent posts that showed extreme dry and wet conditions in Brazil that suggested farmers there were in a world of trouble. Experts have credited price spikes and dips to these viral localized weather stories, despite the fact that they were not as influential as people believe.… Continue reading

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Friendly faces of Ohio agriculture help to expand international trade

International grain trade is a high dollar business of capital and clout and the U.S. is a world leader. The jaw-dropping global-sized trade deals, huge dollar figures and massive logistical undertakings of trade decisions affect countless people, often get their start through simple person-to-person relationships. Profound friendships and vast amounts of trust are a requirement, and Ohio’s abounding agricultural industry is playing a key role in the process. Two international teams of livestock grain buyers visited the Buckeye state this fall to get a better look at where their feed grains are coming from and get to know the people producing them. The visits were coordinated by the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, led by market development director Brad Moffitt.

“The thing that amazes me about agriculture is that when you get a bunch of strangers into a room, within an hour you’re friends,” Moffitt said. “And then you part great friends.… Continue reading

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Farmers and the market waiting for key reports

Producers and traders alike will anxiously be awaiting several USDA reports in coming weeks. First, will be the Jan. 12 USDA supply and demand report. It will be the final production report for 2016 U.S. corn and soybean production as well as a day for the quarterly grains stocks report as of Dec. 1, 2016. The second watched report will be released the third week of February when USDA provides their 10-year baseline reports for grains and meats produced in the U.S. Those baseline reports will be an early glimpse into expected 2017 U.S corn and soybean acres and yields. Just prior to the baseline report release, we will hear of 2017 corn and soybean acres that USDA provided to Congress last fall for the upcoming year. Those numbers don’t get public attention until February. It can become quite confusing dissecting the February reports when the numbers are released. The last report to gather attention in early 2017 will be the March 31, 2017 acres intentions report.… Continue reading

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Planning for high yielding soybeans

When planning for the upcoming growing season, it can be easy to focus more energy on corn production as it has traditionally been the more intensively managed crop. However, producers who put in the effort to manage their soybean crop have proven it is possible to attain high yields of 70+ bushels per acre. Below are some tips for planning to produce high-yielding soybeans in 2016.

• Quality Seed: Planting the right seed sets the stage for the entire growing season. Growers should plant genetics with high yield potential. Choose varieties that have been tested at several locations and across multiple years. Growers should choose varieties adapted to their soil types and management practices. As with corn, choosing varieties with strong disease packages and agronomic traits with aid in achieving higher yields.

• Planting Date: University research has proven that timely, early planting is one way to increase soybean yields. As with corn, planting soybeans by early May improves yield potential.  … Continue reading

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West Ohio Agronomy Day Jan. 9

The 2017 West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Monday, January 9th at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. A light breakfast will be available starting at 8 a.m. with a marketing update from Sunrise Cooperative at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m. the Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification (Core and Categories 1, 2, and 6) and the two-hour Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training for those who already hold a Pesticide Applicator’s License (commercial or private) will begin. In addition, Certified Crop Adviser CEUs have been approved and Commercial Pesticide Applicator Credits are available in 2A and 2C.

Once again, Purdue’s Dr. Fred Whitford will be there, this time to talk about “Safety is in Your Hands.” Attendees will also participate in a “Corn and Soybean Insect Update” by Dr. Kelley Tilmon, OSU Entomologist; “Finding Value in your Data” by Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Agronomy Specialist; and a “Weed Management Update” and “Weed Management 201” by Dr.… Continue reading

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OSU Agronomy Webinars planned

Ohio State University Extension announces a series of four webinars available to producers, Certified Crop Advisers and industry offered throughout January and February 2017. The Corn, Soybean and Wheat Connection series is scheduled to begin on January 24, 2017 and will focus on issues and updates in grain crop production. Each webinar will begin at 7:00 p.m. and can be view at several host sites across the state or from your home computer. Certified Crop Adviser credits will be available each evening at physical locations only.

The first session on January 24 will feature Dr. John Fulton and Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins on how to efficiently utilize data from precision agriculture technology to guide farm management decisions. The second webinar will be held on January 31 and will detail how to assess growing conditions and their impact on ear rots, mycotoxins and malformation in corn. This session will be taught by Dr.… Continue reading

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2017 Maple Days

The 2017 Ohio Maple Days are set for Jan. 19 in Morrow County, Jan. 20 in Wayne County — the location is a stone’s throw from Holmes County, too — and Jan. 21 in Geauga County.

The events offer educational sessions on maple syrup production. They’ll cover topics such as pricing, food safety, tap timing and quality control. The topics and speakers will be the same at all three locations.

Both hobby and commercial producers are welcome.

Ohio’s maple syrup season typically starts sometime in February. The timing depends on the weather.

Prep for the coming season

The events are meant to help producers get ready for the coming season, said Gary Graham, state maple specialist with Ohio State University Extension and one of the events’ speakers.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The college is the sponsor of the events.… Continue reading

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Biodiesel and lower food prices

As Americans set the table for another holiday meal this year, they are paying less for it, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Price Outlook. The Consumer Price Index for grocery store items is 2.3% lower than the last year, all while biodiesel production is higher than ever.

“Food is a universal part of most holiday celebrations, and this year prices have dropped even as biodiesel production is breaking records,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “As we’ve said for almost a decade, more biodiesel production helps the food supply, despite what opponents incorrectly claim.”

Biodiesel production has grown steadily most years since Congress enacted the federal Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005. NBB expects a more than 2.6 billion gallon biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel market in the U.S. in 2016 — a record.

“One reason biodiesel benefits the food supply is because it is made from fats and oils.… Continue reading

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Court ruling shows need for farmers to continue ramping up water quality efforts

Mississippi River Basin states should be given a chance to address nutrient pollution first, before the federal government steps in, a federal court ruled.

“This decision is a clear victory for agriculture and farmers specifically but our work is far from over,” said Brent Hostetler, Chairman of National Corn Growers Association’s Stewardship Action Team. “Although the court ruled in our favor, the ball is back in our court and we must continue to pursue productivity while ramping up resource conservation.”

Gulf Restoration Network (GRN), lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, and other environmental groups released a report last month faulting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the 1.1 million-square-mile Mississippi River Basin. GRN wanted EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to force states to adopt numeric water quality criteria for rivers, streams and lakes.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey countered that the Clean Water Act enacted by Congress takes a state driven approach to water pollution and that this comprehensive strategy should be given a chance to work without the use of federal rulemaking.… Continue reading

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SCI announces yield contest winners

Seed Consultants would like to congratulate the winners of our 2016 Yield Contests.


Project 300 Corn Yield Contest
Tim BishopQueenstownMDSCS 1105YHR™239.91st
Laura BishopQueenstownMDSC 11AQ15™239.022nd
Don JacksonCamdenOHSC 11AQ15™230.393rd
Project 100 Soybean Yield Contest
David FisherLondonOHSCS 9385RR™88.531st
Don Vontress/Keith BeamXeniaOHSCS 9328RR™82.032nd
Dan UetrechtClarksvilleOHSCS 9363RR™76.883rd
Double-Crop Soybean Yield Contest
Terry VissingMarysvilleINSCS 9385RR™71.251st
Eldon MartinWorthingtonINSCS 9393RR™71.251st
Tim BishopQueenstownMDSCS 9412RR™51.673rd


 … Continue reading

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Publication outlines pesticide risks for pollinators

A new publication available from Purdue Extension could help crop producers minimize pesticide risk to pollinator species.

Protecting Pollinators in Agronomic Crop Production, the latest publication in the Protecting Pollinators series, describes some of the risks pollinators may face when pesticides are applied to field crops, such as corn, soybeans or wheat.

“Honeybees don’t necessarily need to be sprayed directly with pesticides to be harmed,” said co-author Rick Fosterentomology professor and Extension integrated pest management specialist. “Honeybees consume pollen, nectar and water to survive, and any of these can be sources of pesticide exposure. Additionally, planting dust or pesticide droplets may be suspended in the air as they fly through it. This publication will help agronomic crop producers to recognize some of the risks associated with pesticide use and reduce some of those harmful side effects.”

Foster co-authored the publication with fellow Purdue entomologists Christian Krupke and Greg Hunt, Purdue Extension educator Michael O’Donnell and Phil Sutton, St.… Continue reading

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Farm balance sheets tight, but still healthy

Times may be tougher than they were a few years ago but farm balance sheets are still healthy in a historical context with potential for more positive days ahead.

“Two years from now we will see some big relief,” said Barry Ward at the 2016 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium yesterday. “We have a couple maybe three years wait before we see meaningful change in the price points.”

An agricultural economist at The Ohio State University, Ward shared his outlook on cost predictions for 2017 regarding energy, fertilizer, seed, chemical, machinery and equipment, land values, renting, and crop input costs.

“The challenges have been with us for the last couple years. We’ve got a cost structure in place for grain production in Ohio and the Midwest for that matter that’s really difficult, making our margin improvement difficult,” he said. “We’ve got commodity prices that are going to continue to be at lower prices than they were in 2010 through 2012 so we are essentially stuck with that cost structure.”… Continue reading

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NCGA releases yield contest results

Improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices helped corn growers achieve ever-higher yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2016 National Corn Yield Contest. Additionally, a record five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.

The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 52nd year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. Participation in the contest remained strong in 2016, with 7,972 entries received.

“The contest provides farmers more than just an opportunity for friendly competition; it generates data that impacts future production practices across the industry,” said Brent Hostetler, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques first developed by contest winners grow into far-reaching advances, helping farmers across the country excel in a variety of situations.  Our contest emphasizes innovation both from growers and technology providers, thus enabling us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”

The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 375 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 175.3 bushels per acre in 2016.… Continue reading

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Historic harvest: Top two national corn yields exceed 500 bushels

The tallies are in and the National Corn Growers Association Corn Yield Contest is seeing a familiar face at the top of the yield monitor again this year.

Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy raked in the highest corn yield with his win in the no-till/strip-till irrigated division at a whopping 521 bushels per acre.

The second highest yield went to Kevin Dowdy in the irrigated division at 501 bpa.

Both fields found success with the same corn variety — AgriGold A6499 STX/RIB.

“This was the first time in the history of the NCGA contest that a grower had two yields over 500 bushel in the same year. And on top of that, they were both AgriGold. So a big day for our brand,” said John Kermicle, AgriGold general manager.

Leaders of the seed brand came together at the AgReliant Genetics headquarters in Indianapolis on Monday to recognize the outstanding performance of both their hybrids and their customers in this year’s National Corn Growers Association contest.… Continue reading

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Farmers asked to respond to survey on natural gas grain drying

Farmers have long explored options to provide energy savings associated with their agricultural operations. Ohio State University and the Ohio Soybean Council have partnered to provide research-based data driven tools to help Ohio farmers assess and navigate various energy infrastructure investment options for their farm. Specifically, the project team is interested in learning more about your experience and interest in extending natural gas lines to service your farm. Very little is known about the economic feasibility and regulatory process of investing in critical natural gas infrastructure to service farms in rural communities throughout Ohio. To determine the economic feasibility of converting to natural gas it is important to simultaneously study the real costs of installing critical energy infrastructure, ongoing risks, challenges, as well as the costs of converting equipment in a comprehensive manner.

If you are an Ohio farmer and interested in participating, you may click the survey link below to participate in this voluntary study.… Continue reading

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Newly funded research continues efforts to stamp out aflatoxin

Corn farmers’ ongoing quest to manage and mitigate the fungus aflatoxin received a boost this week with the announcement that the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center for Excellence has approved seven new research projects for 2017.

AMCOE’s mission is to investigate biological controls, aflatoxin resistance via transgenic and traditional breeding, best management strategies for harvest, handling and storage and improved testing procedures. AMCOE, managed by the National Corn Growers Association, is now in its sixth year supporting aflatoxin research.

“Aflatoxin is a critical issue for corn growers who want to provide consumers with the best quality and safest product possible,” said Charles Ring AMCOE Committee Chairman of Sinton, Texas. “AMCOE is committed to making continued progress toward solving this problem and helping southern corn farmers remain profitable.”

Aflatoxin in corn can be at dangerously high levels especially during periods of drought. The toxin, a byproduct of the Aspergillus fungi, is endemic in cornfields around the world.… Continue reading

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Nitrogen concerns in the mix?

This week I sat through three meetings on nutrients of concern in Ohio. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday — oh and while I was at one on the meetings I got a text with a picture of an Ohio legislator giving testimony on potential new phosphorus legislation.

On Tuesday, I was an invited speaker to the OSU soil fertility class along with a couple of others; the environmentalist of the group said that nitrogen was a great concern environmentally. I knew this but was surprised to hear her say it, because all I hear is about phosphorus and Lake Erie.

I sat through a meeting and discussion Wednesday on managing nitrogen in Ohio using precision application tools. Although the meeting was supposed to be about managing nitrogen, it seems to me it was more about selling goodies to hopefully manage nitrogen. And then on Friday I attended the rollout of the 4R retailer certification program statewide.… Continue reading

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Purple wheat?

Some farmers in northwest Ohio have noted purple-reddish leaves on their wheat crop (see picture). If your wheat plants turned purple, here are a couple of things to note.

Purple Wheat

Environmental: Was the shift in color fairly sudden and widespread in the field? If so, the purple leaves may be weather related. With the abnormally warmer temperatures we experienced this fall, the shift to colder temperatures may have been sudden enough to slow the wheat growth and cause the leaves to turn purple. If this is the case, make a note and watch what develops. Also, planting too shallow, late planting date, abnormally dry compaction soils can accentuate the appearance of the wheat as it adapts from warm to cold temperatures. There is nothing you can do at this time and new growth should shift back to green when warmer temperatures return in the spring.

Some of the purpling may be due to a build-up of sugars (sucrose) in the leaf tissue.… Continue reading

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Central Ohio Precision Ag Symposium

The Central Ohio Precision Ag Symposium will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at All Occasions Catering, 6986 Waldo-Delaware Rd., Waldo Ohio from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This symposium will feature the most current technologies available in precision agriculture. These topics will be shared by some of the leading University precision ag experts such as 2013 Precision Ag Educator of the Year Winner — John Fulton from The Ohio State University. Fulton has also been recognized as one of Precision Ag Magazine’s 2016 Top 10 (#4) People in Precision Agriculture. Scott Shearer, Chair, Department of Food and Biological Engineering at the Ohio State University, and Erdal Ozkan, Department of Food and Biological Engineering at the Ohio State University will also be presenting.

Many industry experts will be on hand. Tim Norris and Dustin Crunkilton from AgInfoTech — Precision Farming Dealers’ magazine’s Most Valuable Dealership for 2015, will share their experiences, research and field data collected from many Central Ohio Farms.… Continue reading

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