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Bill introduced to expand financing opportunities for farmers and manufacturers

U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation to expand financing opportunities for first-time farmers and small and mid-size manufacturers around the country. The Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds (MAMBA) Act will modernize the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) rules for Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs) and First-Time Farmer Bonds (Aggie Bonds) providing new financing opportunities available to first-time farmers and small and mid-size manufacturers to build new facilities. The rules for IDBs and Aggie bonds have not been updated in nearly 40 years.  

“Ohio farmers and manufacturers are eager to grow and produce more Ohio-made products and food, and we can help them achieve that goal by connecting them with the capital they need to grow,” said Senator Brown. “A simple update to the way manufacturers can use private activity bonds will be a huge help to the next generation of farmers, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs as they work to hire Ohioans and grow our economy.”

 MAMBA will:

  • Improve the ability of aggie bond to support the next generation of farmers ability to acquire land by increasing, the limitation on small issue bond proceeds for first-time farmers. 
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Turtle trafficker, officer assaulter indicted in Hamilton County

In a bizarre only-in-Ohio kind of incident, an individual suspected of trafficking red-eared slider turtles in Cincinnati and striking a state wildlife officer with his vehicle was recently indicted in Hamilton County by a grand jury, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

In July, State Wildlife Officer Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County, received a Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) report regarding turtles being sold in Cincinnati. Officer Turner and State Wildlife Officer Andrew Dowdell, assigned to Butler County, responded to the location. They found two men selling red-eared sliders without the required propagation permit.

During the encounter, one of the suspects, Alonso Oliver-Tucker, 37, of Philadelphia, disobeyed an officer’s verbal commands and fled in his vehicle, striking Officer Turner as he accelerated. Officer Turner was treated at The Christ Hospital and released the same evening.

The Cincinnati Police Department filed three arrest warrants for Oliver-Tucker, who was arrested several days later in Pennsylvania.… Continue reading

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Automation advancements impress at the 2023 Farm Science Review

New automation options have taken center stage at the 2023 Farm Science Review. In our latest video, join Joel Penhorwood of the Ohio Ag Net as he hears from Dr. John Fulton from The Ohio State University to explore the latest in agricultural automation. From high-flying drone companies to a state-of-the-art automated mobile irrigation system, and even a tractor retrofit to be fully autonomous, they discuss the details on things available to farmers today.… Continue reading

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Ohio ag groups organize to address mental health

Listen to a full conversation on this topic via the audio player above with Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Spokesperson Ty Higgins.

From weather, to rising prices and costs of doing business, to long hours, and the weight of keeping the family farm in business can cause incredible amounts of stress and take a toll on a farmer’s mental wellbeing.

A newly created alliance will focus on mental health in agriculture to ensure Ohio’s farmers, families, and communities are better equipped to deal with stress.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), The Ohio State University (OSU), Ohio Farm Bureau (OFB), Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, and Farm Credit Mid-America make up the new Ohio Agricultural Mental Health Alliance (OAMHA).

The group’s first action is introducing a new, anonymous survey to seek feedback directly from rural communities.… Continue reading

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Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! The jumping worms of Dane County

By Don “Doc” Sanders

You may jump to the conclusion that the following story is a thinly veiled reimagining of Mark Twain’s 1865 short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” Twain’s tale has the character Jim Smiley using a frog as a source of income in a gold mining camp at Angel’s Camp in California. Smiley had caught the frog and named it Dan’l Webster.

He taught Ol’ Dan’l to jump and catch flies. Dan’l would do this on command. If you know anything about frog anatomy, frogs have a long tongue that is attached from the front of their lower jaw. This gives them a greater reach when flicking for flies. Smiley used this to his advantage, wagering vulnerable, naive miners how high and far Ol’ Dan’l could jump to catch a fly. But Smiley ends up getting tricked himself. The story appeared more about taking advantage of a bunch of suckers rather than being about a jumping frog.… Continue reading

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Great Plains adds Implement Command system to popular Max-Chisel

Great Plains has expanded the family of Implement Command-compatible products to include the ever-popular Max-Chisel. The Max-Chisel is an aggressive soil management tool that is designed to achieve complete soil fracture, even at shallower depths. In the fall, the Max-Chisel works to remove ruts, limit erosion, and capture moisture through vertical tillage. In the spring, the Max-Chisel prepares the soil for a single pass with a seedbed preparation tool, like the VT1100 Turbo-Max.

For added control and convenience, the Max-Chisel is now offered with the optional Implement Command System (ICS), allowing producers to set, adjust, and monitor the implement from the tractor cab. The Max-Chisel joins several other Great Plains models that are compatible with Implement Command, including VT1100 Turbo-Maxes, Velocity, and select models of HT1100 Terra-Maxes and Disk Harrows. ICS allows producers to make active decisions and real-time field adjustments to improve yield potential and soil health. With Implement Command, several tillage functions can be easily controlled with a simple push of a button.… Continue reading

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USDA forecasts big drop in farm income levels

By Daniel Munch, American Farm Bureau Federation economist

USDA’s most recent Farm Sector Income Forecast, released Aug. 31, dropped net farm income expectations for 2023 lower than initial February estimates to $141.3 billion, down 23% from 2022’s $183 billion. This $41.7 billion decline nearly erases the $42.9 billion increase that was forecast between 2021 and 2022 but is smaller than the $46 billion gain between 2020 and 2021 following the COVID-19 pandemic. When adjusted for inflation, net farm income, a broad measure of farm profitability, is expected to decrease $48 billion (25.4%) in 2023. The forecast also shows farm and ranch production expenses continuing to increase, rising by $29.5 billion (7%) in 2023 to $458 billion, following a record increase of $56 billion in 2022. 

It is important to note USDA finalized net farm income for 2022, which has been forecasted until this release. In February, USDA had estimated 2022 net farm income at $162.7 billion, a 16% increase over 2021.… Continue reading

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Ohio Forestry Association Foundation announces application period for conservation education grant program

The Ohio Forestry Association Foundation opened its grant application window on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. These grants will generally be small-scale and are designed to assist an organization in a conservation education project, with a maximum individual grant amount of $2,500. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 13 this year, with grant awards being selected and announced by Dec. 1 for funding to be used in the following calendar year. See complete details of the grant program, including application details and directions or see the printable application

Examples of past grant recipients include: 

  • $1,000 to help fund the purchase of a Portable Sawmill for a Natural Resource Class at a Career Center 
  • $1,000 to sponsor a Forestry Station at a State Envirothon 
  • $1,000 to help fund an Educational Trip for College Forestry Students 
  • $1,500 to sponsor a 4-H Woodworking Day at the State Fair  
  • $1,750 to fund forestry programming at an Environmental Learning Center 
  • $2,000 to purchase basic forester equipment for youth education  
  • $2,500 to help fund the Best Management Practices for Logging Manual. 
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ODA announces H2Ohio open enrollment in Maumee River Watershed

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced a new round of H2Ohio open enrollment for producers in the 14 counties of the Maumee River Watershed project area.  

“It is as important as ever that Ohio’s agricultural community steps up to the plate to do the right thing,” said Brian Baldridge ODA Director. “We know 2,400 farmers are engaged in H2Ohio, but it takes all of us working together to improve Ohio’s water for generations to come.”

Producers in the following counties are eligible to enroll or re-enroll acreage into proven, science-based, best management practices (BMPs) that contribute toward improving water quality in Lake Erie and other bodies of water: Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Lucas, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams, Wood.

Governor DeWine launched the H2Ohio initiative in 2019 to help offset some of the financial risk producers incur when trying new conservation practices. This year, ODA has streamlined BMPs and updated incentives to better suit producers’ needs to implement conservation practices on their farm operation.… Continue reading

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Plenty of appeal for women in ag at Farm Science Review

More than half (51%) of all farming operations in the United States have at least one female operator, according to the 2019 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). 

“We’re not always the tag-along,” said Emily Mullen, owner and operator of Mullen Dairy and Creamery and longtime FSR attendee. 

“My first experience at FSR was actually a super big deal because I got to play hooky from school for the day and hang out with my dad,” said Mullen. “To be thrown together with a group of people that shared the same passion as I had made me feel like I was part of a community.” 

Like other farmers, Mullen has to think outside the box to keep her family’s fourth-generation dairy farm going. 

“One thing I noticed as I looked at the generations of past family members is that I had to farm differently in order to maintain a place in this industry,” Mullen said.… Continue reading

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Last Call for SDS of Soybean Sample Submissions

By Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicroa, Plant Pathologist and Nematologist, The Ohio State University

Thank you to those who submitted sudden death syndrome (SDS) samples this season! As we approach the end of summer, we are still encouraging anyone who has SDS-infected plants to please submit them to the Ohio State University’s Soybean Pathology and Nematology Laboratory (read more HERE). This will aid in our efforts as we conduct a survey of SDS in Ohio to determine the genetic diversity of the causing agent Fusarium. By submitting infected plants, you can help us to better understand the pathogen and explore any fungicide resistance that may be developing (read more HERE). 

Counties from which SDS samples were received.

Please complete the SDS submission form and send samples to:

OSU Soybean Pathology & Nematology

c/o Jenna Moore

Kottman Hall, Room 110

2021 Coffey Rd,

Columbus, OH 43210

Sample Submission: Please submit entire soybean plants.… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum’s most iconic spot undergoes renovation

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA Reporter

Dubbed “The Happiest Place on Dirt,” Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum has served Ohio FFA and its members with unique outdoor experiences since 1942.

Located in Carroll County on the banks of Leesville Lake, Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum is often noted as one of many past FFA members’ most treasured memories in the blue jacket. From high ropes to boating, and volunteer projects to leadership workshops, Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum has played an active role in shaping members’ experiences in FFA. Students step out of their comfort zones, try something new and bask in the fellowship of what it means to be an FFA member.

One of camp’s most iconic spots is an outdoor amphitheater that surrounds an enormous rock, also known as the beloved “Blue Gill Rock,” just off the lake’s shore. The spot hosts everything from state FFA officer campfires in the evenings to early morning Sunday services.… Continue reading

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ODA hosts H2Ohio event in Putnam County

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) discussed open enrollment for the H2Ohio program in the original 14 county Maumee River Watershed at a press event today in Putnam County. Producers are now eligible to enroll or re-enroll acreage into proven, science-based, best management practices (BMPs) that contribute toward improving water quality in Lake Erie and other bodies of water.

H2Ohio farmer Jeff Duling hosted ODA officials, the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI) and members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate for an update on the program. Attendees also viewed a drone demonstration by Midwest Air LLC, planting cover crops into standing corn. Overwintering cover crops are one of H2Ohio’s BMPs farmers are implementing to protect Ohio’s water quality.

Following Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio statewide expansion announcement this week, ODA’s H2Ohio experts also discussed the plan to enroll an additional 500,000 acres across the state.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau releases updated Ohio Landowner Toolkit

Owning land comes with important responsibilities, and Ohio Farm Bureau has recently updated a valuable resource to help landowners better navigate through the issues that come along with those responsibilities.

The new 40-page Ohio Landowner Toolkit contains essential information prepared by Ohio Farm Bureau’s legal team that will help answer questions unique to property owners on topics such as agricultural easements, property rights, oil and gas, zoning, open burning and more.

“The benefits of the Landowner Toolkit extend beyond individual landowners,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “By promoting informed and responsible land management, it contributes to the health of Ohio agriculture as a whole. Additionally, by helping landowners navigate legal and financial complexities, it can contribute to the stability and growth of individual farms and create a path of success for farm families.”

The toolkit also assists members in navigating eminent domain, boundary disputes, trees and property rights, line fence, open burning and Ohio Farm Bureau’s $5,000 Reward Property Protection Program.… Continue reading

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Is the U.S. out of corn?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Some in the trade are questioning the national corn yield after the USDA lowered it this week. Early field reports I am seeing across the country would suggest the yield is better than some are expecting. In 8 of the last 22 years, the national yield average went up from the September report to the January report, so there is a chance the national yield can still increase.

Corn export demand, on the other hand, is lousy. The USDA has estimated it should be running more than 20% higher at this point in the marketing year verses last season, but it is currently running nearly 10% behind last year’s pace. This makes a sustained corn rally difficult even if the yield does get smaller in future reports.

Do the “quick ship” high basis bids mean the U.S. is out of corn?Recently some farmers on social media have suggested the U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 316 | Ag Finance Outlook

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 Elizabeth Long and Larry Davis of Ag Resource Management. They talk about agriculture finances and the input cost associated with running a farming operation. With the Farm Bill expiring soon, they also discuss important topics to pay close attention to.  

More in this week’s podcast: 

  • GrowNextGen: Dale visits Waterman Farms at The Ohio State University to talk with a teacher who utilizes the content from the GrowNextGen programming to teach interactive lessons to students in the classroom. 
  • Luke VanTilburg, MVP Dairy, LLC: Luke talks with Joel about chopping silage and the growing season leading up to the silage harvest.
Luke VanTilburg13:17
Main Conversation, Elizabeth Long and Larry Davis20:57
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Crop continues to mature under cooler days and dry skies

Moderate temperatures and mostly clear skies throughout Ohio provided farmers with favorable conditions to conduct pre-harvest activities, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Continued lack of significant precipitation resulted in an increase in abnormally dry soil moisture levels. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 6 percent very short, 37 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on September 17 was 62.3 degrees, 3.1 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.25 inches of precipitation, 0.59 inches below average. There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 17.

While row crop progress remained behind the five-year average, favorable crop condition ratings exceeded previous year averages. Sixty-seven percent of corn was in or past dent and 22 percent was mature. Corn for silage was 42 percent harvested. Twenty-seven percent of soybeans were dropping leaves.… Continue reading

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New collaboration seeks to further advance short-stature corn

Pairwise, a food and agriculture company known for bringing the first gene-edited food to the U.S. market, and Bayer announced a new five-year, multi-million dollar agreement focused on innovations in short-stature corn. This new program leverages Pairwise’s Fulcrum platform and builds on the success of the companies’ initial five-year collaboration for corn, soy, wheat, cotton, and canola. 

The upcoming collaboration between Pairwise and Bayer will be focused on optimizing and enhancing gene-edited short-stature corn for future use in Bayer’s Preceon Smart Corn System. Short-stature corn — with a targeted height of 30 to 40% less than traditional corn — is an innovative new approach to growing corn and offers a number of sustainability benefits, including protections from crop loss due to increasingly severe weather events and extreme winds brought about by climate change. Short-stature corn also allows for more precise application of inputs throughout the growing season, sustainably growing more through reduced risk of crop loss.… Continue reading

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Dairy farmers struggle as prices drop and costs climb

By Ching Lee, assistant editor of “Ag Alert,” a publication of California Farm Bureau

After earning record-high milk prices in 2022, dairy farmers have seen their earnings plummet in recent months, with more operations struggling to stay in business and some closing their doors for good.

Their plight has prompted comparisons to the 2009 economic crisis that forced droves of dairies into bankruptcy. Some say it may be worse this time around due to additional inflationary pressures and higher interest rates that make it more costly for businesses to borrow money.

“This is a real downturn,” said Jack Hamm, a dairy farmer in San Joaquin County, California. “These last two months have been every bit as bad as 2009. There’s dairies for sale every week.”

In 2009, dairy farmers faced an unprecedented financial catastrophe as the global recession took hold. With an abrupt decline in export market demand and an oversupply of milk in the world market, milk prices tanked.… Continue reading

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