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Artificial intelligence: What is it and how can it be used?

By Robert Moore, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program, and ChatGPT

You may have seen the recent story of an attorney in New York who filed a pleading in a case in a federal district court. The filing included citations to six court cases that do not actually exist. Come to find out, the attorney who filed the pleading did not write it but instead used ChatGPT, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool. The attorney now faces a June 8 sanctions hearing before the judge. This incident is a good example of the myriad of implications, both good and bad, with using AI in the legal world and beyond.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence refers to the development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. It includes a broad range of technologies, including machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and robotics. AI systems have the ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and make autonomous decisions or recommendations.… Continue reading

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MoCo Career Expo

By Amanda Staley, OSU Extension 4-H Educator, and Angela Powell, workforce development coordinator for Morrow County

Nearly 400 Morrow County ninth grade students attended the first MoCo Career Expo on Thursday, May 4 at the Morrow County Fairgrounds and the Mt. Gilead EMS Station.  

This expo was designed to give Morrow County youth the opportunity to learn more about six of the 18 careers featured within the industries of agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing with goal of helping them decide whether these career options may or may not be a good fit for them in the future. At each station they were given the opportunity to complete a task that usually occurs within the career field. For example, when learning about being a veterinarian, they were asked to take the vital signs of a goat, or when learning about caring for a patient in cardiac arrest, students were taught to use an AED.   

Evaluation surveys were conducted and 77% of students surveyed agreed that they learned about careers they didn’t know about before the career expo. In… Continue reading

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Improving Soil Conditions

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Some cooler temperatures are coming and some rain has occurred.  Most farmers are hoping for more rain to get their crops out of the ground and growing.  One thing, where ever the soil had higher amounts of soil organic matter (SOM), the crops emerged and are growing much better.  Every 1% SOM holds about 0.5 to 0.8 inches of rain, which helps crops germinate and grow until they get their roots established.  Building SOM requires getting more roots in the soil.  No-till and cover crops are two ways to build SOM and reduce adverse weather.

As wheat harvest approaches, farmers may be considering double cropping soybeans.  In a dry year, soybeans may not be the best option, but letting wheat stubble remain bare promotes weeds.  Many cover crops can grow and thrive with little soil moisture including buckwheat, cowpeas for nitrogen, and teff (forage crop). … Continue reading

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Christmas in July Craft and Vendor Show

The Fairfield County 4-H Christmas in July Craft and Vendor Show will be held July 29 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds in Lancaster. 

The event will have 140 vendors this year in three buildings on the grounds. The event includes food from the Clearcreek Showmen 4-H Club, Perry’s Ice Cream courtesy of Oakland Grocery, search dog demonstrations, Santa with Santa’s Workshop (crafts for kids), gift basket drawings, a DJ with 4-H camp style line dancing, and The Showmen’s Closet, which is a resale pop-up shop for fair show clothes. There will also be a silent auction of decorated garlands from the some of the clubs.… Continue reading

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Biodegradable plastic in agriculture

By Karen Mancl 

Plastic has been a revolutionary material that is light-weight, flexible, durable, and inexpensive to produce. China has been using plastic mulch films in agriculture since the 1970s. According to Professor Yan Changrong of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the direct economic benefits have been great at an estimated RMB 120 – 150 billion per year (USD 19 – 24 billion) of rural income by increasing water use efficiency and yield by 30%, raising poor farmers out of poverty. Unfortunately, continuous use of plastic mulch for decades has resulted in soil plastic pollution that is beginning to cancel out the benefits.

Biodegradable mulch films must be 100% degradable by microbes in nature, breaking down to carbon dioxide, water, and minerals without damaging the soil. Sadly, the perfect biodegradable plastic does not yet exist, one that balances its physical features with environmental protection. Right now, the plastic PBAT comes the closest.… Continue reading

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4-H teens find their spark in Washington, D.C.

By Amanda Staley, OSU Extension 4-H Educator

Amelia Bender, Emma Smith, and Amanda Staley, OSU Extension 4-H Educator, traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Ignite by 4-H conference on March 9-12. 

The Summit included high impact programming and speakers featuring national experts and leaders. There were opportunities for career exploration and building connections with teens and leaders from across the country.

This invaluable experience taught about trending topics in agriscience and you met some of the most forward-thinking leaders in agriculture. It opened the teen’s eyes to career or volunteer opportunities that they may not have thought about before and what steps they need to take to obtain those opportunities. 

“Participating in ignite by 4-H was a meaningful opportunity in my 4-H journey. I was able to meet and make connections with many businesses and agricultural professionals that I never would have had the chance to meet,” Smith said.… Continue reading

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Talking turkey

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

Turkey is big business in Ohio. The Ohio Poultry Association states that Ohio ranks 9th nationally producing over 300 million pounds of turkey a year valued at over $220 million. The consumption of turkey in the U.S. has doubled since 1970 with 15.3 pounds per capita in 2021. That’s more turkey than just at your Thanksgiving table. 

Low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium, turkey is one of Ohio’s best kept agriculture secrets you can add to your plate. Turkey is one of our beloved comfort foods while keeping us satisfied. It fills your tank with some healthy protein to keep you feeling full. Look beyond the 25-pound Thanksgiving bird to the plethora of choices from ground, sausage, bacon, breasts, roasts, tenderloins, deli meats to pepperoni. My favorites are tenderloin, hot Italian turkey sausage and turkey pepperoni sticks. Turkey’s versatile mild flavor makes it a sponge for marinades and rubs.… Continue reading

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Boating is big business in Ohio

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

National Safe Boating Week is May 20-26, after which Ohio’s boating season unofficially kicks off on Memorial Day Weekend and is big business in the Buckeye State. A new study shows the state’s boating industry produced an economic impact of $6.4 billion in 2022. According to the study, published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft, the boating industry also accounted for 45,856 jobs here in Ohio.

“The boating industry lifts up the economy for local communities all across Ohio,” said Mary Mertz, ODNR Director. “The boost ripples out from the water and into local business, while supporting jobs all along the shores, from marinas and boat dealers on the coast, to restaurants and hotels further inland.”

The study was conducted through a survey of nearly 10,000 boating households and over 200 marine trade businesses.

Other boating habits revealed through the survey:

• In 2022, people spent 315 million hours boating in Ohio

• Fishing accounts for 33.6% of all boating time

• Women are the primary boat operators of 24.3% of all non-motorized boats and 5.4% of all motorized boats.… Continue reading

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A family’s forest: Managing for white oak

By Brooke DeCubellis, Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service

The white oak tree, found primarily in southeastern Ohio, is a versatile tree species sought after by humans and wildlife alike. Barrels made from its wood lends hints of caramel and vanilla to bourbon’s signature flavor. The tree’s durability and water-resistance is prized by both the lumber and furniture industries. Ohio wildlife flock to the nutrient-dense acorns that drop from its mighty branches, which also host a multitude of insects and birds. 

But the mighty oak is in trouble. Though mature trees still dominate southeastern Ohio woods, young white oak trees and saplings are not growing in the understory to replace the older generations, threatening the future of the tree species. 

“There are a lot of tree species that grow faster than white oaks,” said Cameron Bushong, Ohio Division of Forestry state service forester. “These trees will quickly overtop white oaks, blocking saplings from sunlight and competing for valuable nutrients.” … Continue reading

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West Central Ohio Hay Day

Please join Ohio State University Extension and Channel Equipment on July 6 for the West Central Ohio Hay Day, sponsored by the Champaign and Clark County Farm Bureau’s, and Americas Trusted Insurance Group. The event will take place on the Southeast corner of South St. Rt. 68 and W. Dallas Rd. Or, go to Channel Equipment at 338 W Dallas Rd, Urbana, OH 43078 and follow the signs.

The day will begin at 10 a.m. with talks from Extension personnel on various aspects of growing, making, storing, and feeding quality hay. Insurance representatives will also be speaking on some new offerings available to hay and forage producers. Lunch will be provided by Fresh Harvest food truck and will be free for those registered by July 1 thanks to the support of our sponsors.

The afternoon will be filled with equipment demonstrations from Krone and H&S company representatives. There will also be door prizes provided by generous donations from area vendors for those that register by July 1.… Continue reading

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OSU’s Alpha Gamma Sigma fraternity celebrating 100 years

Alpha Gamma Sigma Alumni will converge on The Ohio State University campus the weekend of July 15 for a “once in a lifetime” celebration of over 100 years of success. Members from all across the Midwest will enjoy a City Barbeque banquet followed by a brief program, then music and dancing. A cash bar will open at 5:30, followed by dinner at 6:30. The 4-H Center on the OSU campus is the party location at 2201 Fred Taylor Drive. 

The AGS House, at 1918 Indianola Avenue, was completely renovated in 2014. It will be open for free tours from 11:00 until 1:00 pm, followed by the Annual Meeting back at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.

Golfers can participate in a Celebratory Scramble event at the Bent Tree course in Delaware on Friday July 14 at 1:30 pm. Awards will be handed out at a buffet dinner after the scramble. … Continue reading

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Gaining a ‘Real World’ look at ag careers through GrowNextGen

School is out for the summer, but not before an in-depth look at the many possible careers in agriculture. GrowNextGen, a project funded in part by Ohio soybean farmers and their checkoff, recently teamed up with Ohio State Extension’s ‘Real Money. Real World.’ program to give students at Graham Middle School near St. Paris insight into possibilities for their not-too-distant future.

In this video, Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood catches up with Graham Schools Intervention Specialist Jody Bost to discuss the day’s activities, outcomes, and lessons learned in the ongoing conversation of careers in agriculture.… Continue reading

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Weed Science Field Day

The 2023 OSU Weed Science Field Day will be held on Wednesday, July 12 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston. Registration will start at 8:30 followed by a field tour. Studies can also be viewed at your own pace. Field day topics will include new corn and soybean products, waterhemp management, and cover crop trials. To register via email or for more information contact Alyssa Essman at

The Western Agricultural Research Station is located at 7721 S Charleston Pike, South Charleston, OH 45368. Registration is online at Register by July 5. Cost is $20 via cash or check, and includes a digital tour book and lunch.… Continue reading

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Two farm boys’ dreams come true: A farm transition success story

By Matt Reese

Two opportunities of two lifetimes have connected two hopeful farm boys, a generation apart, in a unique way for a mutual dream fulfilled. Here’s their story.

Gene Baumgardner

Gene Baumgardner grew up in northern Summit County in the late 60s with a love for farming.

“Dad milked 25 cows and farmed a couple of hundred acres. I was active in 4-H and enjoyed hogs. I had a purebred Duroc herd in the suburbs of northern Summit County on 6 acres. I loved being with dad on the farm but I realized even before I got out of high school that there was not enough there to go home to. I went to OSU in ag econ and did not take production ag courses, thinking I could go into sales,” Baumgardner said. “I met Johnita Ricketts and we were married in 1977 after I graduated from OSU in ’76.… Continue reading

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More rain this week for Ohio after moderate drought settled in

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

May 21 through June 10 was quite the dry spell across Ohio, with moderate drought conditions declared across 62% of the state by the US Drought Monitor on June 8.

These extended dry conditions compelled CFAES to activate its Rapid Response Team, which has created an early drought response resource site for Ohio’s farmers and communities. However, a change in the weather pattern this past weekend brought a strong cold front and Gulf of Mexico moisture to the region over the weekend. A wide swath of 1-2” of rain fell along and to the northwest of about I-71, with pockets of much heavier precipitation north of Dayton and in the Cleveland area.

A CoCoRaHS observer west of Troy reported 3.41” of rain during Sunday-Monday’s event, with Miami, Loraine, Cuyahoga, and Lake Counties reporting multiple locations with 2-3” of rain. However, northwest and southeast counties were not as lucky, and although lighter rain certainly was a joy to experience, much drier than normal conditions continue across these areas.… Continue reading

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Old crop bean futures price review

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Corn prices are volatile despite that old crop stayed mostly between $6 and $6.10, while new crop values ranged between $5.20 and $5.45 the past week. 

It seemed that the evening 10-day forecasts were showing rain, so prices would go down and then, by morning forecasts shifted drier pulling prices back up. If weather could be predicted, futures prices could be predicted too.

June’s USDA WASDE report is one of the least important reports of the year because few changes are usually made, and this year was no exception. Typically, weather forecasts will be impacting prices more than the June USDA WASDE report this time of year.

Traders will now wait for the USDA’s June 30 Acreage and Stocks report. Arguably that report is one of the most important of the year, because it shows the planted acres and updates estimates for the remaining grain left in storage. … Continue reading

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OSU Drought Rapid Response team resources

The recent rainfall sure helped, but the previous stretch of warmer temperatures combined with scant rainfall in recent weeks has resulted in moderate drought conditions over 62% of the state, with nearly 98% of Ohio considered abnormally dry, according to the June 8 update from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“Moderate drought” is the initial level of drought, while “abnormally dry” means an area is moving in the direction of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

And while it isn’t time to panic, these are rapidly changing conditions that need to be monitored, said Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension’s field specialist in agriculture weather and climate and the State Climatologist of Ohio. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“Our lawns are feeling it, our gardens are feeling it and now we’ve got a couple of communities that have issued water-reduction requests,” Wilson said.… Continue reading

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Managing light: Kill weeds or stimulate crops

By James Hoorman, Hoorman, Soil Health Services

Every farmer spends a lot of time, energy, resources trying to find ways to reduce or eliminate troublesome weeds in their fields.  Weeds compete with crops for water, nutrients, and even sunlight; reducing crop yields by as much as 30% nationwide.  Chemical weed control has been the most commonly used weapon of choice.  Now farmers may have a completely different tool called blue wave light. 

A company located in Xenia, Ohio, called Global Neighbor, is run by Jon Jackson.  They have developed a weed inhibitor using mid-infrared blue light wavelengths to treat weed seed.  The weeds seed remains viable, but the weed seed can not germinate.  The blue wavelength damages the seed cells where germination occurs. A weed seed’s first root, called a radicle, does not grow so the seed eventually dies.  Global Destroyer calls their new invention a weed destroyer and it is mounted on the back of a combine. … Continue reading

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Planting season wraps up for 2023

Farmers nearly wrapped up corn and soybean planting during another mostly dry week, according to the USDA NASS, Great Lakes Regional Field Office. Dry conditions continued to dominate, with the latest U.S. Drought Monitor rating 97.9% of the State as abnormally dry or worse and 62.0% in moderate drought. However, a late-week storm system provided respite to crops in the central tier of the State. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 35% very short, 42% short, and 23% adequate. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on June 11 was 63.4 degrees, 4.0 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.22 inches of precipitation, 0.69 inches below average. There were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 11.

Field activities during the previous week included herbicide and fertilizer applications. Farmers in northern counties reported signs of drought stress in produce crops. Heavy haze last week in northern and central counties was attributed to the ongoing Canadian forest fires. … Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 304 | Soybean Diplomacy: Fields to Foreign Lands

The newest Ohio Ag Net Podcast welcomes world travelers, auction updates, and policy experts. Hosted by Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg, this episode starts with the Ohio Soybean Council to speak about some international market development missions that support Ohio soybean farmers. Madison Layman and Bill Bayliss discuss their recent trip and the value of beans abroad. 

Dale Minyo speaks with Dale Everman of Homan Inc. about egg packing automation. From packaging technology, sourcing labor, and automating production, he speaks to the many solutions for Ohio — the second leading state in egg production. Equipment is a year round business and Dave Cornish of RES Auctions updates with Matt about current market trends and the most popular purchases of the season. 

Ohio Farm Bureau’s Brandon Kern, Senior Director of State & National Policy, updates listeners on action in the state capitol. The upcoming state budget could be leaving out some important funding to H2Ohio programs.… Continue reading

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