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Sustaining optimal body condition from fall calving to breeding season

By Kate Hornyak, Ohio State University Extension program coordinator, Delaware County

Maintaining optimal body condition in cattle from fall calving through to the breeding season is pivotal for the success of any beef operation. In Ohio, with its unique climate and agricultural landscape, this task can present unique challenges and opportunities. There are comprehensive strategies tailored to Ohio’s environment, helping cattle producers ensure their herds are in peak condition, promoting reproductive success and overall herd vitality.

During the fall, fluctuating temperatures and early frosts can impact the availability and quality of pasture for grazing, necessitating the need for supplementary feeding. Farmers must be vigilant to ensure that cattle have access to adequate nutrition as natural forage sources diminish. Additionally, wet conditions and heavy rainfall can lead to muddy and unsanitary living conditions, increasing the risk of disease and foot problems in cattle.

As winter arrives, the challenges intensify with the onset of freezing temperatures, snow, and ice.… Continue reading

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The Next Steps in SCN Management

By Laura Temple, The SCN Coalition

Many university extension programs offer soil testing for soybean cyst nematodes, or SCN, so that soybean farmers understand the potential threat buried in specific fields. However, Horacio Lopez-Nicora, assistant professor of soybean pathology and nematology at Ohio State University, has begun digging much deeper into soil samples submitted in Ohio.

“While we know SCN hurts soybean yields, we would like to understand more about how their populations change,” he says. “At the same time, a wide variety of other nematodes — both parasitic and free-living — reside alongside SCN in our soils. We want to learn more about those species, as well.”

Farmers throughout the state receive bags and instructions on how to collect soil samples during winter meetings, thanks to support from the Ohio Soybean Council. Lopez-Nicora says his team asks them to take soil samples both at planting and at harvest in both soybean and corn fields, along with yield estimates.… Continue reading

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Good days, great trees at Greig Christmas Tree Farm

By Matt Reese

Some days, Christmas tree farming can be pretty tough.

“You know, it’s the middle of the sales season — it’s busy, you’re constantly moving and we’re in the heart of the Snow Belt and the weather can definitely be a challenge. It can be pretty hard when you’re schlepping through a foot of snow out there working at half the speed you normally could,” said Jeff Grieg, who owns Greig Christmas Tree Farm in Ashtabula County with his brother, Doug. “But it’s a lot of fun and I don’t look at it as work. I grew up with it, so it’s what I do and that makes it really enjoyable. I was out there today and it was a little chilly, but it was a beautiful day. You’re at peace out there doing what you want to do and when you throw in the Christmas element of it in, it makes it a lot of fun.”… Continue reading

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OSU livestock judging team finishes strong in successful season

The Livestock Judging Team at the Ohio State University wrapped up its 2023 season at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville. Seniors Ryan Michael, Morgan Price, Sarah Belmonte, Ellie Shaw, Dawson Osborn and Stephen Parthemore — all animal sciences majors — left NAILE as the 13th High Team in the senior college competition.

Other notable fall finishes for the team include second High Team overall (first in placings, second in reasons) at the Purdue Boilermaker Classic, third High Team (High Team in swine) at the Keystone International Livestock Exposition in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and 12th High Team overall at the American Royal in Kansas City.

Ryan Michael also placed in the top 20, earning the position of 19th High Individual overall with placings of 16th in cattle and 20th in swine.

Michael served as a key contributor to his team’s success throughout the season with multiple top 10 finishes, including third High Individual overall at the Purdue Boilermaker Classic and second High Individual overall at Keystone.… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Performance Trials can improve farm profitability

By O. Ortez, R.J. Minyo, M.A. Lowe, D.G. Lohnes, L. Lindsey, A. Geyer, M.W. Hankinson, J. McCormick, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), Ohio State University

The purpose of the Ohio Crop Performance Trials is to evaluate corn hybrids, soybean varieties, and wheat varieties for grain yield and other important agronomic characteristics. 

Results of the trials can assist farmers in selecting hybrids and varieties best suited to their farming operations and production environments and can complement recommendations made by seed companies and breeding programs. 

Seed companies marketing hybrids and varieties in Ohio are invited to enter their genetics in the crop performance test. An entry fee is charged to cover expenses. Each hybrid or variety entry is evaluated using at least three replications per site in a randomized complete block design. Trials are planted using small plot planters with GPS systems and harvested with specialized plot combines.… Continue reading

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BEEF 509 Feb. 23 and 24 in new format

The 2024 edition of BEEF 509 will be held on the campus of Ohio State University on Feb. 23 and 24 and will feature a new format with only one session. It is designed to teach cattle producers more about the food side of the beef business. The course includes carcass grading, evaluation and harvest demonstration.

BEEF 509 is an educational program sponsored by the beef checkoff and the Ohio Beef Council (OBC) in partnership with the Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences and OSU Extension. Registration is $175 per person with the beef council covering all additional program expenses. A maximum of 30 program spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will be held at the OSU Animal Sciences Building located at 2029 Fyffe Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210. The registration deadline is Jan. 3, 2024. For more information contact Luke McKee at… Continue reading

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Nearly 300,000 pounds of food collected through unique partnership with county fairs, Farm Credit Mid-America and Rural 1st

Attendees at 64 county fairs across Ohio raised more than 228,000 pounds of food to benefit more than 65 food banks as part of Fight Hunger, Stock the Trailer, astate-wide food drive contest sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America and Rural 1st. Since 2021, the friendly competition has raised food donations for local food banks across Ohio in collaboration with county fairs. 

“We’re proud to see how much our annual Stock the Trailer event has grown since the start of the contest in 2021,” said Melanie Strait-Bok, senior vice president of agricultural lending in Ohio. “Not only does this event allow us to give back to our local communities, but it helps secure the future of agriculture through our donations to junior fairboards.”

Winners were determined by calculating the total weight of all donations at participating fairs throughout five regions in Ohio. In addition to the $500 donation for participating, first place regional winners were awarded $5,000.… Continue reading

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Corn harvest quality looking good this year nationwide

According to the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) 2023/2024 Corn Harvest Quality Report, the 13th such annual survey published globally, the 2023 U.S. corn crop is the largest on record with the lowest percentage of broken corn and foreign material (BCFM) to date.

Warm and dry weather conditions in April and May let producers plant ahead of schedule, and despite concerns about continued dryness in June, healthy rainfall returned later in the summer. This allowed the crop to properly mature and resulted in the timely harvest of 386.97 million metric tons (15,234 million bushels) of corn.

The average aggregate quality of the representative samples tested was better than the grade factor requirements for U.S. No. 1 grade. The report also showed that 88% of the samples met the grade factor requirements for U.S. No. 1 grade and 96.7% met the grade factor requirements for U.S. No. 2. 

“The Council is proud to produce this annual report that proves the quality and abundance of U.S.… Continue reading

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Bailey promoted to senior vice president of operations and partnerships for Ohio Farm Bureau

Michael Bailey of Marysville has been promoted to senior vice president of operations and partnerships for Ohio Farm Bureau. In this new role, Bailey will continue to manage the Strategic Partnerships Department and will have increased responsibility over organizational operations including managing the chief information officer and OFBF’s Technology Department, general counsel and human resources. His new responsibilities also will include aiding the executive vice president with strategic planning, striving for organizational efficiencies, and improved coordination.

Bailey, who has been Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of strategic partnerships since 2019, has extensive experience in building productive relationships, creating partnerships and attaining shared goals and applying those skills in numerous senior administrative positions within state government. Before his time at Farm Bureau, he served as deputy director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, executive director of the Livestock Care Standards Board, senior program manager for the marketing division, and executive director for the Office of Farmland Preservation.… Continue reading

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Even with a rough start, Brazil’s grain season poised for continued growth

By Guil Signorini, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

The changing climate impacts agricultural production and creates logistical challenges globally. Recently, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service highlighted record low water levels in the Mississippi River System, causing unprecedentedly high grain barge rates in all seven originating locations along its rivers. Southbound barge rates in the Cincinnati and Lower Ohio stretches were 75% and 60% above the 10-year average for October (2012-2021). The Mississippi water level was also critical in October 2022, leading to operational halts and reduced barge loads. What was supposed to cost $27.60 per ton of grain transported via barges to Louisiana ports in normal conditions exceeded $93.40 per ton in October 2022 and $45.16 in October 2023. Over 60% of all U.S. soybean exports occur between October and January every year, and over 90% of the soybeans we export leave the country through Louisiana ports.… Continue reading

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Finishing 2023 corn futures sales

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

December corn futures traded to $4.47 on Nov. 29, the lowest price of the calendar year. The massive carryout has been too much for the market to handle and export demand remains weak. Likely some added pressure came from farmers who were selling or pricing grain last week as their basis contracts against the December futures were up.

Previous 2023 corn crop sales recap: Against December 2023 futures 

  • Sept. 7, 2022 — sold 10% at $6.25. 
  • June 23 — sold 10% through option trade at $5.25.
  • Oct. 27 — sold 10% through option trade at $4.75.

Floor protection on remaining 70% of corn

On Feb. 15, December corn was trading at $5.98. I bought downside protection with $5.70 puts for just under 34 cents on 70% of my anticipated production.

What does that mean?

If the price of December corn on Nov.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 327 | Wassail Wonders: Toasting to Tradition

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 Shelly Detwiler who is from Union County. She is a berry farmer and also writes a monthly column for the Ohio Country Journal. Shelly talks about the history, recipes and tradition behind the holiday drink,  wassail.

 More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Amanda Northstine, Teacher: Amanda talks with Dale about the GrowNextGen program and the benefits she sees in her junior high classroom. 
  • Jeff & Doug Greig, Greig Christmas Tree Farm: Matt Talks with Jeff and Doug about the Christmas tree season and their success  
  • Dr. Ian Sheldon, Professor at The Ohio State University: Matt talks with Dr. Sheldon about international trade.
Amanda Northstine3:23
Jeff & Doug Greig13:36
Dr. Ian Sheldon21:07
Main Conversation, Shelly Detwiler34:01
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Get ready for some wassailing

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician 

My memories of punch are either of pale pastel sherbet blobs floating in a sparkling party punch or that of my historic college years when my roommates made punch in our bathtub. The vessel of choice back in the day was filled with bottles and bottles of the cheapest alcohol, red fruit punch and if your budget allowed it, sliced fruit. Thank goodness today that same potion is now being served from Gatorade drink dispensers, which sounds a little more Health Department friendly. No matter your memories of punch, the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s contain the biggest partying season there is, and no gathering is complete without a signature beverage. Whether served from a punch bowl or a cocktail glass, today’s punch brings the festive season to the jolliest of the jolliest. 

Punch served either high test or regular has been a main attraction at dances, weddings, birthdays, parties of any kind, but especially Christmas for generations. Through… Continue reading

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Changes to the Ohio Commercial Activity Tax

By Brian Ravencraft

The recent enactment of H.B. 33 of the 135th Ohio General Assembly has changes that may eliminate the requirement for many businesses to file the Ohio CAT tax. H.B. 33 increases the CAT exclusion to $3 million in taxable gross receipts for tax periods beginning in 2024 and $6 million for tax periods beginning in 2025. The CAT rate will remain at .26% for taxpayers with taxable gross receipts exceeding these increased exclusion amounts. Combined or consolidated elected taxpayer groups are treated as one taxpayer. The annual filing minimum tax (AMT) will be eliminated after the 2023 annual return. Only quarterly returns will be accepted beginning in the calendar year 2024.

What this means for taxpayers

Annual taxpayers must file their 2023 return by May 10, 2024. Since the annual minimum tax for 2023 was prepaid with the 2022 return, no tax will be due with the final return unless taxable gross receipts exceeded $1 million in 2023.… Continue reading

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HPAI hits Ohio’s poultry industry again

By Joel Penhorwood and Matt Reese

Over the past month, waterfowl migration in different parts of the country has led to a new spike in highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases and the depopulation of more than 7.6 million birds nationwide. In recent weeks there have been 94 confirmed cases of bird flu in 26 states, including Ohio, according to USDA. A Union County commercial layer facility and a Darke County commercial turkey facility with a combined nearly 1.4 million birds have been depopulated since Nov. 21, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. 

Unfortunately, Ohio already had some experience with the grim realities of poultry depopulation. Last winter, Dennis Summers, DVM, Ohio’s State Veterinarian, spoke at the Ohio Pork Congress and shared some lessons learned from the previous challenges with HPAI in Ohio. The depopulation process is emotionally, financially and physically challenging for everyone involved, but it is necessary to protect all the other livestock or poultry in the area.… Continue reading

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