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What needs to be considered when soil sampling in wet/dry soils?

By Kevin Otte, CCA, Otte AG, LLC and Luke Baker, Brookside Labs

Soil sampling and the subsequent soil analysis have been performed for nearly a century. Sampling the soil is a time-honored service offered by retailers and independent agronomists, with many public and/or private laboratories providing analytical services. Collecting soil samples is as much a science as it is an art. In today’s technological environment, site-specific sample points/grids/zones can be created and utilized by the person in the field collecting the sample. That’s the science part. The art is how the sample is collected. It is more than just pushing a probe into the ground and filling a bag with soil.

Kevin Otte

How deep is the soil core? Was the core looked over before putting it into the bag? Was the sample collected manually or automatically? There are different ways to collect a good soil sample that will represent the area that is being sampled and could go down a rabbit hole with the pros/cons of each.… Continue reading

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Sugargrove Farm: 200 Years in Ashland County

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Since 1984, visitors to Sugargrove Tree Farm have been making special holiday memories picking out the perfect Christmas tree for their homes, enjoying horse and wagon rides, cookies and some hot chocolate in the process. This on-farm experience has been part of the most recent chapter in the rich family history on the land.  

The most recent chapter of the family history on the farm has provided many area families with fond holiday memories.

Current owner Blake Rafeld can only speculate what motivated his early ancestors to leave their successful farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to head West, to the unsettled lands of Ohio. His ancestors had to pass through native forests, over creeks and rivers, and traverse the Great Trail, a Native American trail, on horseback. It was a dangerous trek, full of unknowns, but his great-great-great grandfather, Benjamin Brubaker, took the risk and brought his family to what would later become rural Ashland County.… Continue reading

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Farmers talking yields can be misleading

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Like U.S. corn, the U.S. bean export pace is behind USDA estimates and may not be strong enough to support current prices. Reports indicate China has purchased beans from Brazil for October and part of November, which is usually a time reserved for U.S. product. If this trend continues, bean futures values may be negatively impacted. 

Plus, dry weather throughout the Mississippi River basin is forcing higher than normal freight rates, which is not helping U.S. bean prices globally. Similarly, limited rain in Panama has reduced navigation through the canal and increased freight charges to Asia too.

In the meantime, uncertainty in the bean market will continue until more is harvested and better yield estimates can be determined.

Discussing yields with other farmers throughout the Corn Belt

Conversations between farmers throughout the Corn Belt is often tricky because information can be misinterpreted or misleading by accident.… Continue reading

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September 2023 Soybean Disease Special Podcast

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off

The 2023 growing season has provided the opportunity for farmers to experience a variety of environmental conditions. As a result, there have been areas in Ohio where soybean disease infected some fields and will negatively impact the final yield.  On this special episode of the Ohio Field Leader Podcast, Dusty visits with Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Soybean Pathologist and Nematologist at The Ohio State University, to discuss the growing season and what we observed as well as what growers should make note of heading into the harvest season.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau names 2023 policy development committee

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2023 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Policy Development Committee. The committee collects and organizes public policy recommendations from county Farm Bureaus and presents the final policy suggestions to be voted on by Ohio Farm Bureau’s delegates during the state annual meeting in December.

In its initial session, the committee heard from government leaders, subject matter experts and Farm Bureau staff on topics such as CAUV and property taxes; farmland preservation and local development planning; feral swine; ballot initiatives on minimum wage, clean water programs and marijuana; artificial intelligence; solar; Endangered Species Act and US EPA pesticide rules and insurance risk management and future casting due to climate factors.

The policy committee consists of 10 members from Ohio Farm Bureau’s board of trustees and 10 representatives of county Farm Bureaus.

The committee is chaired by Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington and includes OFBF President Bill Patterson of Chesterland and Treasurer Chris Weaver of Lyons.… Continue reading

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One year of 988

By Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Program Coordinator for Ohio State University Extension

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. In September of 2023, there was a milestone marking one year since the launch of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Nationwide. This switch allowed for youth and adults to go from memorizing a 1-800 number to the easy-to-remember 988.

What is 988?

  • Think the equivalent of 911 only 988.
  • Simply call, text, or chat 988 when you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health challenge or thoughts of suicide.
  • A mental health professional will answer the call and it is completely anonymous, available 24/7.

What have the benefits been?

  • Almost 5 million people have contacted the line in the last year, 2 million more than the previous one.
  • The average answer time went from 2 minutes and 39 seconds to 41 seconds.
  • There are specialized options for Veterans, Spanish subnetwork, and LGBTQI youth.
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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 317 | Agritourism: A Consumers Dive Into Agriculture

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosts Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talk with Rob Leeds of The Ohio State University Extension in Delaware County. They talk about agritourism and the popular rising demand of bringing consumers to the farm. Leeds talks about growing your agritourism business and the importance of them in Ohio and beyond.      

More in this week’s podcast: 

  • Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association: Matt talks with the OCWGA folks about ethanol and the Farm Bill. As September comes to an end agriculturists are eagerly waiting on a new Farm Bill to be passed.  
  • Ty Higgins, Ohio Farm Bureau: Ty and Joel talk about mental health and agriculture and the importance of breaking the stigma.  
  • Ohio Soybean Association: Patrick Knoff and Brandon Kern talk with Dusty about the U.S. EPA and changes to use of pesticides.
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Crop maturity hastens as dry stretch continues

Crop maturity accelerated under last week’s warm and dry conditions, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 6 percent very short, 49 percent short, and 45 percent adequate. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on September 24 was 63.4 degrees, 2.0 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.09 inches of precipitation, 0.64 inches below average. There were 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 24.

Last week’s field activities included hay bailing, manure application, lime spreading, and drainage tile installation. Limited instances of tar spot fungus in corn stands were reported in west-central portions of the State. Seventyseven percent of corn was in or past dent, 40 percent was mature, and 2 percent was harvested. Corn for silage was 59 percent harvested. Fifty-two percent of soybeans were dropping leaves. Corn and soybean condition were 72 and 68 percent good to excellent, respectively.… Continue reading

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Silage kicks off 2023 corn harvest

By Joel Penhorwood and Matt Reese

A challenging start to the growing season, dry conditions and slow growing degree day accumulation for many areas left silage harvest well behind schedule for Ohio. For the week ending Sept. 9, silage was 27% completed compared to 51% completed at the same time last year and the 5-year average of 39%, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

This giant bunk was empty just a couple of days earlier at MVP dairy.

The action ramped up for silage harvest at MVP Dairy in Mercer County Sept. 11 when they harvested 18 months-worth of feed for the 4,500-head dairy operation. They chopped around 2,100 acres of corn over about a week and a half in mid-September to meet the needs for the dairy.

“It is sometimes referred to as organized chaos in order to make all the magic happen,” said Luke VanTilburg of MVP Dairy.… Continue reading

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What makes a “good complete” mineral?

By Katie VanValin, Extension specialist, Department of Animal and Food Science, University of Kentucky

You’ve probably heard it a dozen times, “Make sure you put out a good complete mineral,” but what does this mean?

Like many aspects of beef production, one perfect recipe for a mineral that will meet the needs of all cattle throughout the year does not exist. A good mineral is a product that can provide supplemental minerals in a form and source that allow cattle to consume enough minerals to prevent deficiencies. Unfortunately, not every mineral product on the shelves at the local farm store will meet this definition. Here are a few considerations when looking for a “good” mineral.

The first thing to consider is the form of mineral you are looking for. The form typically refers to how the mineral is delivered to the cattle and includes blocks, loose free-choice minerals, loose minerals for mixing in feed, or injectables.… Continue reading

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Harvest not in full swing quite yet

Kyle Nietfeld

We’ve seen a little bit of corn shelled and some guys are starting to cut some of the April beans. We haven’t personally done anything yet. I think we’re looking at the end of the week. There’s a chance for rain Wednesday, so that might change things. We do need the rain, so we won’t complain about it. If it doesn’t rain, I’d say by the end of the week we will be cutting some soybeans. We’ve got some green stem beans that are dry in spots and then green other areas. A rain might average the moisture out across the field. 

We just had some patches of white mold here and there in few fields. It dried off so it hasn’t really spread much. We haven’t had a significant rain here in a couple weeks. 

There’s been a little tar spot showing up here in the county and then some leaf blights, but nothing major.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on WKLM 95.3 FM out of Millersburg

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

We say thank you to WKLM 95.3 FM out of Millersburg – serving Holmes, Coshocton, and surrounding counties. Tune in to 95.3 FM to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday at 5:45 a.m. and 12:36 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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Setting up success with succession planning

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood

With the topic of farm succession comes a number of less-than-pleasant potential conversations between generations. Farm Credit Mid-America’s Melanie Strait-Bok, senior vice president of agricultural lending, said FCMA financial officers can be a great resource for tools and advice to work through those tough conversations. 

“I know everyone makes the joke that a farmer never retires, but succession planning goes beyond retirement. It’s looking at how to have a viable operation today and move that viable operation into the future, whether that’s transitioning to the next generation within the family or bringing in somebody outside the family,” Strait-Bok said. “How do we make sure that we can bring in the next generation of farmers so that they can be successful and learn? When you think about succession planning, I know conversations might be slightly difficult, but that’s why you have individuals around you to help like your financial officer at Farm Credit, your accountant and your attorney.… Continue reading

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Soybean’s Third Largest Trading Partner

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off.

Soybeans and sea food may seem like an odd combination; however, the aquaculture sector is a major customer for U.S. Soy, especially in Egypt.  Chad Warner, a farmer from Darke County and member of the Ohio Soybean Council recently accompanied a group of fellow farmers from six other states and traveled with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) to learn more about the market development efforts that are being funded by soybean check-off dollars.

“We just returned from a USSEC trip to Eqypt with a group from Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and New York,” said Warner. “Egypt is our third largest customer and one of the fastest growing markets. On the trip we observed a program called World Fish. It is a training program that teaches local participants about the aquaculture industry. Worldwide, aquaculture is the number one source of protein for human consumption followed by poultry.… Continue reading

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Paul Bunyan Show Oct. 6-8

The Paul Bunyan Show, one of the oldest and largest forest industry shows in the country, has sold out its exhibitor space for the 2023 show. The event will be Oct. 6-8 at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds in Cambridge. This year is the 65th celebration of Ohio’s forest products industry that is a vital part of the state economy, employing over 115,000 individuals and contributing over $30 billion in economic activity.

Roughly 150 vendors will showcase their newest products and many include live equipment demonstrations. Husqvarna (Booth #510-513) is the Paul Bunyan Show’s title sponsor for the 18th consecutive year and will offer training throughout the weekend in chainsaw safety, cutting and felling techniques, technical tree climbing, aerial cutting, and hazard cutting. Other sponsoring exhibitors include but are not limited to: Columbus Equipment Company (Booth #400, 401, 406, 407), Buckeye Power Sales (Booth #129), Murphy Tractor (Booth #439, 440, 444), and LaRoche Tree Service, Inc.… Continue reading

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Attendees enjoyed new tech, great weather at 2023 Farm Science Review

More than 116,786 attendees made the trip to the Molly Caren Agricultural Center this week for the 61st annual Farm Science Review and left with new products, new ideas and new connections.

The three-day farm show welcomed 35,902 visitors on Tuesday, 59,641 on Wednesday and 21,243 on Thursday, all of whom experienced beautiful Ohio fall weather.

“As far as shows go historically, this one is at the top of the list in terms of attendee-exhibitor interactions, field demonstrations and weather conducive to folks enjoying their time here,” said Nick Zachrich, FSR manager. “We’ve had lots of great feedback from attendees and exhibitors alike on how the connections made here this week will be prudent to the agriculture industry as a whole in the years ahead.”

For exhibitors, it’s a chance to connect with current and potential customers. Brad Bergefurd, an agronomist with Brandt, said his company has been exhibiting at FSR for over 10 years now.… Continue reading

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Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) damage are often linked together. SDS is a soil borne fungal pathogen (Fusarium virguliforme) that invades the roots and lower stems of soybeans producing a toxin. SDS can devastate soybean fields causing aborted flowers and yellow dying plants. SDS has two major phases.  In the first phase, it attacks the roots then in the second phase, it attacks the leaves causing leaf scorch. SDS infection occurs early in the season and then the SDS symptoms show up later in the season.  SDS and SCN symptoms are more prominent in hot dry years.

Foliar SDS symptoms include small to pale green leaves early on with small circular spots in the late vegetative stages to early reproductive soybean stages. The area between the leaf veins turn bright yellow then brown as the disease progresses. When the infection gets severe, on roots, blue fungal masses can be seen. … Continue reading

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A modern-day pirate tale

By Dan Armitage

There’s a saying among recreational boaters that you’re not considered an “experienced” boater until you’ve run aground at least once. If that’s true, then I am a very experienced seaman, for I have run aground countless times in my 60 years of on-water experience. Granted, I have done quite a bit more boating than most, as an outdoor writer and boat reviewer for several national magazines. I also started my professional boating career when I lived in the Florida Keys, where I worked on commercial lobster and dive boats, enough so that I acquired the sea time, studied hard, and earned my USCG Master Captain credentials. Of course, I always had a boat of my own to “mess about” with, and as is the nature of the “skinny” water in the Keys, and tides constantly changing the depth of the water beneath the hull, I’ve been aground more often than I care to admit.… Continue reading

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USDA announces ODA grant funding for specialty crop producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) awarded over $604,000 in Fiscal Year 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Ohio. With this grant, the Ohio Department of Agriculture will fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop products and create new market opportunities for the state’s specialty crop producers.

“With this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding, Ohio is investing in innovative projects that will help address the needs of specialty crop producers within the region,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “The funded projects will also further USDA’s efforts to ensure U.S. specialty crop products remain competitive in markets across the nation and abroad.”

Through the SCBGP, the Ohio Department of Agriculture will fund seven projects. Among the department’s projects, is funding to the FairShare Community Supported Agriculture Coalition to develop peer-to-peer training on vegetable crop production, wholesale packaging standards, and food safety.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s Academy to be held in Allen County

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will be hosting cattlemen from across the state to provide education on how to market their cattle and learn about incorporating implant technology. This event will be useful to those who own and operate feedlots, backgrounders, and freezer beef operations. 

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner being served first. Special thanks to Farm Credit Mid-America for sponsoring this educational program. The date, location and special guests for the clinic are as follows:

Date: September 26, 2023 @5:30 p.m.
Location: Allen County Fairgrounds

Address: 2750 Harding Hwy, Lima, OH 45804 

OCA Update: OCA Staff 

Marketing Your Cattle: Pat Lampert, Director of Livestock, Nexus Marketing and National Farmers Organization and Jeff Rose, Operations Manager, Nexus Marketing

Implanting: Seth Clark, Ohio Territory Manager, Merck Animal Health

Dinner Sponsor: Farm Credit Mid-America

Register here for Allen County:

Cattlemen’s Academy events are free for OCA members.… Continue reading

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