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New Ohio Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory construction underway

By Matt Reese

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) held a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 16 to celebrate the start of construction on the new Ohio Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (OVDL). The ceremony brought Ohio’s leadership and agricultural commodity groups and stakeholders to the Reynoldsburg campus. Construction of the new laboratory also brings a name change, as the current title of Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) will be retired.

The 70,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility will include 40% more laboratory space and updated bio-security measures. A more energy-efficient building will also accommodate dozens of new staff members. The Capital Budget signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine last summer allocates $72 million for the new OVDL.

“It’s a great day for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. We provide testing for our livestock industry and the building that is being replaced is way out of date. This new facility is going to take us to the next level.  … Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on WMOV AM/FM

We continue our series highlighting the outstanding Ohio Ag Net radio affiliates carrying the best in Ohio ag news.

This week, we say thank you to WMOV AM/FM serving Gallia, Meigs, and surrounding counties. Tune in to 1360 AM, 93.5 FM, and 106.9 FM to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday at 6:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

The best in Ohio ag news is easy to find! If your current station doesn’t feature the voice of Ohio Ag—turn the dial! Click here to view the complete affiliate listing, including air times.Continue reading

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AgriPOWER announces next class

Ohio Farm Bureau’s 2023-2024 AgriPOWER Institute kicked off in November with 14 farmers and agribusiness professionals participating in Class XIV.

AgriPOWER is a program of Ohio Farm Bureau and designed for farmers and agribusiness professionals. It focuses on public issues that are relevant to the food industry such as consumer relations, regulations, energy and trade policies. In AgriPOWER, individuals develop the skills necessary to become effective leaders and advocates for agriculture by learning from experts in these fields. 

Participants in this year are Blake Adams of Leesburg, Jenna Brown of Utica, Deirdre Christy of Carey, Heather Coen of New Concord, Cristen Cramer of Woodville, Mia Grimes of Saint Paris, Hattie Hartschuhof Nevada, Lisa Holding of London, Olivia Krumwiede of Wakeman, Alicia McCracken of Beach City, Brianna Smith of Shelby, Shaeley Swick of Utica, Mary Wilhelm of New Bavaria and Cora Willeke of Marengo.

“AgriPOWER XIV is poised to provide these budding leaders with a remarkable chance to delve into the intricate challenges that Ohio agriculture faces, all while fine-tuning their abilities as powerful advocates for the industry,” said Melinda Witten, director of AgriPOWER.… Continue reading

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The EPA’s Proposed Herbicide Strategy and What it Means for Herbicide Use

By Alyssa Essman, The Ohio State University, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-38

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 was passed by Congress in an effort to protect endangered species and their habitats. In recent years the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been under fire for not meeting the obligations outlined within the ESA, which ultimately left them vulnerable to legal ramifications. In early 2022 the EPA released the ESA workplan to address this issue. The herbicide strategy is one part of this larger workplan to protect the 900 plant and animal species classified as endangered. The proposed herbicide strategy was released in July 2023 and outlined the EPA’s plan for meeting ESA obligations with respect to herbicide drift, runoff, and/or erosion.

The proposed method of meeting ESA obligations is through the use of various mitigation strategies. For spray drift, mitigation strategies largely refer to the use of spray drift buffers. The required size of these buffers depends on application equipment, droplet size, and level of species impact, and can be reduced with the use of hooded sprayers or windbreaks.… Continue reading

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Ohio National brought almost 11,000 birds to Columbus

By Matt Reese

California, Montana, Texas, Connecticut — vehicle license plates in the parking lot at the Ohio Expo Center were nearly as diverse as the poultry competing at Ohio National poultry show the second weekend of November. It was wall-to-wall feathers and a cacophony of bird calls in the Voinovich and O’Neill buildings at the nation’s largest poultry show.

“This is the Quarter Horse Congress of chicken shows. If you want to come to a good chicken show, then come to the Ohio National. There are almost 11,000 birds here and over 900 exhibitors from all over the country and Canada,” said Tim Johnson from Wood County, president of the Ohio Poultry Breeders Association (OPBA). “There are hundreds of breeds and varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys — if it’s got feathers and two legs, we’ve got it. And if you’re going to show something here, you’ve got to show something that’s good.”… Continue reading

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Seneca East FFA members excel at State competition

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA reporter

As the age-old saying goes, “Winning isn’t everything,” but for the Seneca East FFA Chapter, their hard work certainly paid off. On Oct. 14, four FFA members competed in the State Agricultural Soils Career Development Event (CDE), and to their surprise, they came home as state champions.

“To be a state champion in the Agricultural Soils CDE still seems unreal,” Ella Martin said. “When I first looked at the results, I didn’t even believe what I saw. I was sure they had messed up and something was going to change. Being on a champion team is something I hope everyone gets to do. To be on a team and become close with my teammates is a bond and experience that I will never take for granted. I wouldn’t have wanted to experience this with another group of people, and I am so grateful for this opportunity.”… Continue reading

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Congress approved extension of the 2018 Farm Bill

Congress approved a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown just ahead of the Nov. 17 deadline, combined with an extension of the 2018 Farm Bill through Sept. 30, 2024.  

House and Senate Ag Committee leaders stated that the extension is not a substitute for passing a five-year farm bill but will give lawmakers much-needed additional time to focus on a long-term bill.

Farm groups were generally pleased with the degree of certainty from the measure but are still pushing for a fully reauthorized farm bill.

“We are grateful Congress passed a farm bill extension to avoid serious program disruptions and we encourage President Biden to sign it. However, we urge both the House and Senate to stay focused on a new, modernized farm bill that recognizes the many changes and challenges of the past five years,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “The current farm bill was written before the pandemic, before inflation spiked, and before global unrest sent shock waves through the food system.… Continue reading

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New publication discusses wills and trusts

By Robert Moore, attorney and research specialist for the Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

A common question regarding farm transition planning is: “should I have a will or trust for my plan?” Like most legal questions, the answer is “it depends.” Sometimes a will is adequate for a plan while other plans should include a trust. Knowing which you need requires an understanding of wills and trusts and the factors that should be considered when deciding which to implement.

A new publication, Is a Will or Trust Better for Your Farm Transition Plan?, discusses the differences between wills and trusts and provides nine factors to consider when deciding which to use for your plan. The factors to consider are:

  1. Legal fees
  2. Complexity of the plan
  3. Probate
  4. Concerns about heirs
  5. Second marriages
  6. Transition of farming operation
  7. Taxes
  8. Privacy
  9. Control.

The publication analyzes each factor and how it relates to a will and trust.… Continue reading

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Nominate your favorite CCA for Certified Crop Adviser of the Year award

By Kevin Otte, Otte Ag, LLC

Q: What is the CCA of the Year Award?

A: The award program is designed to recognize an individual who is highly motivated, delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio.

Q: What do the winners receive?

A: The winner for the 2024 award will be recognized at the 2024 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in March in Ada. The winner will receive a plaque, recognition in industry publications, and a $1,500 cash award.

Q: What CCAs have won the award? 

A: Past award winners include: Alex J. Lindsey, The Ohio State University; Tina Lust, Lust Seed Sales & Service; Thomas Puch, Heritage Cooperative; Wesley Haun, Tiger-Sul Products, LLC; and Don Boehm, Legacy Farmers Cooperative.… Continue reading

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Fondue fun

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician 

Fondue night was a favorite childhood memory. We would gather around a platter heaped with crusty bread hunks, fresh crisp-crunchy apples slices and green celery chunks. Fondue forks seen as swords from a kid’s point of view were passed around. These would probably be illegal today or at the very least have hazard warnings in large red letters. I’ll fess up, there may have been a battle or two as mom slaved away making the creation of hot melted cheese and wine goodness. These memories prompted me to create my own fondue nights in the young Detwiler house. Bread was warmed and cut, apples were sliced, celery chunked, and fondue was made. My three guys of course loved the weapons, aka fondue forks, but when it came to the fondue, the little guys pronounced a total fail. Fondue had become Fon-don’t!

Switzerlanding.com states the earliest Swiss fondue recipe appeared on the scene was in a Zurich cookbook.… Continue reading

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Harvest Complete? It’s Time To Assess SCN Levels In Your Fields

By Horacio Lopez-Nicora, OSU Extension, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-39

Soybean cyst nematode poses a significant threat to soybean production, with potential yield reductions occurring without visible symptoms. To effectively manage SCN, it is crucial to know the presence and population levels of this destructive pathogen in your fields. Fall presents an ideal opportunity for sampling soil and testing for SCN, allowing growers to plan ahead and implement effective management strategies. In this article, we highlight the importance of fall sampling for SCN and provide valuable resources available to Ohio growers.

Why Sample in Fall? Fall is the optimal time for soil sampling for several reasons. Firstly, if you are unsure whether your fields are infested with SCN or not, fall sampling can clarify its presence. Secondly, if you already know about the presence of SCN but want to monitor population levels over time, fall sampling enables accurate tracking of changes. Lastly, if you plan on collecting soil samples for fertility analysis anyway, using a subsample specifically for SCN testing can save time and effort.… Continue reading

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Meat export update

September exports of U.S. pork were down slightly from a year ago but maintained a robust pace, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports continued to struggle compared to last year’s record totals but showed increasing strength in Western Hemisphere markets.

Pork exports totaled 221,140 metric tons (mt) in September, down less than 1% from a year ago, while export value fell 4% to $643.7 million. September export value to Mexico increased 18% year-over-year to $207.6 million, the third highest month on record. Exports also increased strongly to Central America and Australia and trended higher to the Caribbean, Taiwan, New Zealand, Vietnam and Malaysia. 

For the first three quarters of 2023, pork exports increased 9% year-over-year to 2.13 million mt and climbed 7% in value to just under $6 billion, led by record-large shipments to leading market Mexico. 

September beef exports totaled 98,757 mt, down 15% from a year ago and the lowest of 2023, while value fell 12% to $795.5 million.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST celebrates 25 years

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Beef Exhibitor Show Total (BEST) Program is excited to celebrate 25 years of the program with this year’s theme “Cheers to the BEST 25 Years” alongside sponsoring partners: Robbins Show Cattle, Ag-Pro, Bob Evans Farms, Diamond T Land & Cattle Co, Giulitto Trucking LLC, M.H. EBY Inc., Performance Training Solutions, Ricer Equipment, Shepard Cattle Company/Six R Farms, Weaver Livestock, The Folks Printing, Dickson Cattle Co., Jones Show Cattle, and RD Jones Excavating. 

BEST is a youth development program of OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions, educational contests, leadership opportunities and community service. Juniors earn points for participation in each sanctioned show which they are rewarded for at the end-of-season awards banquet.

The schedule for this year’s season is as follows:

  • Mardi Gras Masquerade, Circleville — Nov. 17-19
  • AGR Holiday Classic, Columbus — Dec.
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Learning by teaching

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Sometimes the best way to learn is to teach.

Whether they realize it or not, GrowNextGen ambassadors learn quite a bit as they help implement ag-based curriculum into activities for students around Ohio during the summer months, including fairs and specific GrowNextGen events. Former GrowNextGen ambassador Micah Mensing said the experience served him well in his current role as a customer education manager for Farm Credit Mid-America, which he started in 2019.

“The GrowNextGen program really started as this idea of being able to take curriculum and be able to share it through educational programs for folks that have never seen a soybean grow out in the field. We teach the many different uses of the commodity and put faces behind the commodity as well by educating about farmers,” Mensing said. “The Ohio Soybean Council provided some great training to me and I have a background growing up on a family farm with my grandpa.… Continue reading

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A look at yields as the smoke clears for 2023

By Matt Reese

From the driest spring weather on record for some areas to some record-setting wheat, corn and soybean yields for farms, the 2023 growing season had its share of ups and downs statewide. There was no shortage of coffee shop conversation fodder with a number of agricultural oddities from the year, but it seems the most discussion, questioning, theorizing, and speculating in 2023 revolved around the hazy, smoggy stretch of days due to the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. 

At the time, many farmers had concerns yields were being limited by the filtered sunlight through the smoke, but with some high yielding crops around the state, many are now speculating that the smoke could have somehow improved yields. 

There were three major stretches of wildfire smoke in Ohio: June 6 and 7, June 27 through 29, and July 16 and 17. There were several other smoky sky days of less intensity throughout the two-month period as well.… Continue reading

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Asian longhorned tick continues to spread

A species of exotic tick arrived in Ohio in 2021 in such huge numbers that their feeding frenzy on a southeastern farm left three cattle dead of what researchers believe was severe blood loss.

The scientists from The Ohio State University have reported in the Journal of Medical Entomology on the state’s first known established population of Asian longhorned ticks, and are now conducting research focused on monitoring and managing these pests.

So far, these ticks are not deemed to be a threat to human health. They tend to favor large livestock and wildlife, such as cattle and deer. Just a handful of the hundred ticks from the farm screened for infectious agents tested positive for pathogens, including one, Anaplasma phagocytophilium, that can cause disease in animals and humans. Elsewhere this tick carries another pathogen, Theileria orientalis, that affects cattle, and cases of bovine theileriosis have been reported in Ohio. 

Researchers say the tiny brown ticks — the size of a sesame seed in some life stages and pea-sized when engorged — are persistent, however: Surveillance showed they returned the following summer to the farm despite the application of pesticides in 2021. … Continue reading

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2023 turkey hatch a good one

Some rare good news for Ohio turkey hunters: the state’s wild turkey poult index, a metric used to estimate nest success for the popular gamebird, was above average for the third year in a row, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW). The 2023 Ohio index was 2.8 poults per hen, above the 10-year average of 2.7 poults per hen.

The agency relies on public reports of wild turkeys and their young, called poults, in July and August of each year to estimate nest success. The annual poult index can serve as an indicator of wild turkey population trends and inform harvest regulations in future years. Turkey brood success is largely influenced by weather conditions, habitat, and predation.

Wild turkey brood surveys in 2021 and 2022 showed above average nest productivity that benefitted turkey populations after several years of below average results. The statewide average poults per hen in 2022 was 3, and 3.1 in 2021.… Continue reading

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USDA offers assistance to protect privately-owned agricultural lands

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners and organizations interested in protecting farmlands and grasslands with financial and technical assistance available through the Agricultural Land Easements program (ALE). Applications for ALE are taken on a continuous basis. The deadline to receive fiscal year 2024 funding is Dec. 15, 2023.

The ALE program provides funding to conservation partners to purchase conservation easements on private working lands.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.

“Preserving Ohio’s farmlands is critical,” said John Wilson, NRCS State Conservationist in Ohio. “This program works to ensure the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses.” 

Land eligible for agricultural easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forest land. NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.… Continue reading

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Brazilian farmers have paid a price for all the 2023 records

By Daniele Siqueira, Head of Market Intelligence with Brazilian consultancy AgRural

Brazil’s agriculture has established fresh records in 2023, setting new all-time highs for corn and soybean production. Even facing the phenomenon La Niña for a third consecutive year, the country was able to produce 155 million metric tons of soybeans. Only one state, Rio Grande do Sul, at Brazil’s southern end, had a drought-related crop failure, but other states made up for the losses, with record yields almost everywhere. 

Corn production, driven by the second crop (known as “safrinha” and planted right after the soybean harvest), had a bad start caused by planting delays. But farmers were very fortunate after that, receiving beneficial rains even in the driest months of the year and escaping from frosts in states where temperatures normally drop during pollination and grain filling. As a result, Brazil was able to produce 132 million metric tons, well above the already good 113 million harvested in the previous year. … Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association annual meeting

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association is hosting a virtual annual meeting for 2023.

It will be held Wednesday Nov. 29 from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. in the morning.

The featured speaker will be Ben Brown, senior research associate with the Food and Agriculture Policy Research institute at the University of Missouri. The virtual meeting will include the Association’s annual business meetings and board elections as well. Visit ohiocornandwheat.org for more information and to register.… Continue reading

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