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November pork export value highest in 30 months

Fueled by record performances in Mexico, Central America and Colombia, November exports of U.S. pork reached the highest value since mid-2021, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. beef exports slowed in November, recording the third lowest value of 2023. November lamb exports also trended lower.

With a month to spare, pork exports set numerous annual records in 2023. November pork exports totaled 258,601 metric tons (mt), up 5% from a year ago and the highest in six months. Export value was up 2% to $737.4 million, the highest since May 2021 and the seventh highest on record. November volume and value to Central America were record-large, while export value reached new heights in Mexico and Colombia. November exports also increased significantly to South Korea and Oceania.

For January through November, pork exports totaled 2.64 million mt, up 8% from a year ago, valued at $7.39 billion (up 5%).… Continue reading

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Warren County Showmanship Extravaganza

The Warren County 4-H Committee is planning the first-ever Showmanship Extravaganza event on April 27, 2024 at the Warren County Fair Grounds.

The event is open to all youth ages 8-18 throughout the state (there is no affiliation with either 4-H or FFA required).  We are hoping to get youth exposed to showing livestock, practicing with species they have not worked with before, and giving them the opportunity to practice and compete for a Grand Showman of Showman event.  Ribbons, trophies, and prizes will be awarded to exhibitors of five species, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, market goats, dairy goats, alpaca, market lamb, market hog, and horse. In addition, there will be hands-on demonstrations and educational opportunities for poultry, rabbits, and dogs. The event is $20, and if someone is only interested in the smaller species side demonstrations, it is free. Registration is due April 1 and is available at go.osu.edu/extravaganza.… Continue reading

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Hear Ohio Ag Net on 106.9 The Bull!

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 WBLL AM/FM serving Champaign, Logan, and surrounding countieswith newly added coverage airing at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tune in to 106.9 The Bull on FM or at 1390 on AM to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday.

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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Student-made ice cream flavors now being sold on OSU campus

By Tracy Turner, The Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Maudine’s Berry Patch ice cream!

Or maybe the ice cream flavor you prefer is coffee walnut, matcha white chocolate, blueberry lavender, oatmeal cream, or even good old vanilla. 

Those are just some of the ice cream flavors created during the past two years by students in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). And some of that ice cream is now being sold in two locations on Ohio State’s Columbus campus.

Students in a dairy processing class taught by Professor Rafael Jimenez-Flores,holder of the J.T. “Stubby” Parker Chair in Dairy Foods in the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology (FST), developed the ice cream varieties from scratch to final product as part of their coursework. 

Working in teams, students created the ice cream samples in the Dairy Processing Pilot Plant in CFAES’ Parker Food Science and Technology Building, evaluated them based on important traits such as processability and sweetness, then narrowed the list down to the tastiest contenders. Also… Continue reading

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Nearly 21 million children expected to receive new grocery benefit this summer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that 35 states, all five U.S. territories, and four Tribes plan to be the first to launch the new, permanent summer grocery benefits program for children — known as Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer — in summer 2024. 

USDA estimates that, in total, the states, U.S. territories, and Tribes that have committed to launching the Summer EBT program in summer 2024 will serve close to 21 million children, providing a total of nearly $2.5 billion in grocery benefits. This is around 70% of the total population of children eligible for Summer EBT. USDA expects additional states and Tribes will provide Summer EBT in 2025.

Through this new program, states will provide families with $120 per eligible child for the summer to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets or other authorized retailers — similar to how SNAP benefits are used. Participating Tribes will provide a benefit of the same amount that can be used to buy food at WIC-authorized retailers.… Continue reading

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Researchers Continue to Strengthen and Refine Soybean SCN Resistance

By Carol Brown, Soybean Research and Information Network

For decades, farmers have been trying to overcome soybean cyst nematode, or SCN, in their fields. There are two major sources of SCN resistance in PI 88788 and Peking on the market today, and 95% of soybean cultivars contain resistance from the PI 88788 source, according to the SCN Coalition. But researchers and farmers are finding that after years of their use, the resistance is waning.

A team of researchers has been collaborating on a complex project to enhance SCN resistance with long-term, strategic SCN management. The project, supported by the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP), holds great potential for soybean farmers. The NCSRP is funded by soybean check-off dollars.

Leading the project is Andrew Scaboo, assistant professor in plant science and technology at the University of Missouri and an expert in soybean breeding. The team is approaching the project from two directions: exploring the genetic makeup of the nematode and developing soybeans with the ability to resist their attack.… Continue reading

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Finding solutions for 2024

By Joby Young, executive vice president at the American Farm Bureau Federation

In 2023, my first full year serving as executive vice president at the American Farm Bureau Federation, I enjoyed witnessing the complete cycle of the grassroots policy development process. Together, our farmer and rancher members have accomplished much, and we have the potential to do even more in 2024.

Farm Bureau took a giant step forward on the right to repair issue in 2023 by signing memorandums of understanding with five farm equipment manufacturers. The agreements formalize farmers’ rights to access tools and parts to repair their equipment. Our members called upon us to find a private solution to this issue, and we answered that challenge. Now, almost three-quarters of agricultural equipment in America is covered by right to repair agreements.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a major victory for America’s farmers and ranchers in its Sackett v.Continue reading

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What should be done now to prepare for clean soybean fields in 2024?

By Mike Hannewald, CCA, field agronomist with Beck’s Hybrids

Mike Hannewald

It’s time to start thinking about prepaying inputs for the coming year and part of that is putting together plans for how we’re going to keep fields clean and to be able to know what herbicides we want to purchase and at what rates. In the weed management information accumulated over the years through the Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR) program, there is a four-step process specifically for managing weeds in soybeans.

Step one: Starting clean

This seems like pretty common sense. Just before we get those beans planted or shortly after those beans are planted, we want to make sure that we get all the weeds that are out there field so that we have a nice clean field to start the season. In a no-till or a minimum-tillage environment, this will require a solid burndown program. In most cases it’s going to be glyphosate plus pick-your-chemical to help assist with broadleaves — so 2,4-D, dicamba, Sharpen, any of those are good options.… Continue reading

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North Star Hardware & Implement Co. becomes a Fendt dealer

North Star Hardware & Implement Co. recently signed a contract with AGCO Corporation to become a dealer of their Fendt product line.

North Star Hardware & Implement Co. is one of a handful of dealers in Ohio that now carries AGCO’s Fendt brand. North Star Hardware will now be selling and servicing Fendt tractors, Ideal Combines, RoGator equipment, and Hesston hay and forage equipment in addition to their already diverse equipment options.

“We’re excited to expand our line of products for our customers,” said Kevin Selhorst, North

Star Hardware & Implement Co. Sales Manager. “We are getting ready to celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2024, and becoming a Fendt dealer is a great way to show that we are committed to adapting to the innovations in the agricultural industry and that we plan on being a steadfast business in our community for years to come.”

For 90 years, the Fendt brand has offered and continues to provide leading products, from tractors to harvesters and planters, to make farmers more successful.… Continue reading

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Of tractors and triumph: The ag adventure of Cooper Meshew

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

This past summer, Cooper Meshew packed his bags and headed west to join a custom harvest crew. The days were long and plains were vast venues for the orchestrated dance between combines and grain carts across thousands of acres. The task may not initially seem that extraordinary, but the average onlooker would never know the adversity that Meshew had to overcome to cross off this bucket list item. His journey into agriculture has been far from the ordinary.

As a child, Meshew was diagnosed with a life-changing diagnosis; he has a degenerative nerve disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT). The disease affects 1 in 2,500 people, but Meshew has a rare variant of the disease, one that only about 1 in 10 million people worldwide develop. CMT affects sensory and motor nerves in the hands, feet, arms, and legs, resulting in muscle weakness and atrophy.

Along with the challenges of CMT, Meshew does not have a background in agriculture.… Continue reading

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Highlights from the 2024 AE50 Awards

The prestigious AE50 awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)  recognize the industry’s top new products and services for remarkable innovation, significant engineering advancement and impact on their markets. In late 2023, the 2024 awards were announced. A panel of expert engineers meticulously selects the winners, using criteria that emphasize innovation, engineering advancement and market impact as the key determinants. Here are highlights of some the equipment recognized.

Case IH

Steiger 715 Quadtrac 
Case IH’s largest and most powerful tractor ever produced, the Steiger 715 Quadtrac delivers built-in power and speed to cover more ground in less time. The purpose built 715 horsepower-rated, 778 peak horsepower FPT Cursor 16L engine sets a new bar for performance in the most demanding applications. This newest Steiger model introduces the new heavy-duty Quadtrac undercarriage that offers increased traction to keep up with the engine’s horsepower.

Steiger Model Year 2024 line-up 
With a peak horsepower range of 467 to 699, the new Steiger tractors boast updated FPT 13L Cursor engines with an updated fuel system, numerous serviceability improvements and a simplified exhaust system providing improved visibility from the cab.… Continue reading

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John Deere partners with SpaceX to expand rural connectivity

Deere & Company announced it has entered into an agreement with SpaceX to provide cutting-edge satellite communications (SATCOM) service to farmers. Utilizing the industry-leading Starlink network, this solution will allow farmers facing rural connectivity challenges to fully leverage precision agriculture technologies. This partnership, an industry first, will enable John Deere customers to be more productive, profitable, and sustainable in their operations as they continue to provide food, fuel, and fiber for their communities and a growing global population.

“The value of connectivity to farmers is broader than any single task or action. Connectivity unlocks vast opportunities that were previously limited or unavailable,” said Aaron Wetzel, Vice President of Production and Precision Ag Production Systems at John Deere. “For example, throughout the year, farmers must complete tasks within extremely short windows of time. This requires executing incredibly precise production steps while coordinating between machines and managing machine performance. Each of these areas are enhanced through connectivity, making the entire operation more efficient, effective, and profitable.”… Continue reading

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A conversation with…Brian Baldridge, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture

From a wild start in his role as director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2023 to an exciting year ahead in 2024, Brian Baldridge had plenty to say on a recent Ohio Ag Net podcast. Here are some highlights.

Q: First, could we look back at the last year for the ODA? How were your first few months in the role as ODA Director?

Director Baldridge: I started Feb. 1 of 2023 in this role. Obviously, in February it’s busy because we’re thinking ahead to our crop season. I was on the job 3 days and we had a tragedy of a train derailment in East Palestine that affected those folks in that region tremendously. We were a secondary agency with that, but at ODA we knew that we were preparing to assist the ag community when those questions about health and safety arose. We stayed in touch with our partners for the first 3 weeks before we were heavily involved.… Continue reading

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2023, a year to be fondly remembered in Brazil

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

In early January, Brazil is starting to harvest its 2023/24 soybean crop and preparing to plant the 2024 “safrinha” corn crop, which is sown right after. The country has faced weather woes since the beginning of the soybean planting in mid-September, with below-normal rains and high temperatures in north-central states. Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest producer, is the most affected state, with losses estimated between 5 million and 10 million metric tons.

For Brazil as a whole, there is a wide range of estimates, with some sources still putting production above the bumper crop harvested last year and others already ruling out a new record due to losses caused by hot, dry conditions. 

North-central states have received more regular and very welcome rains since late December, which have given a boost to areas planted later, especially in the North/Northeast of the country.… Continue reading

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Screening Builds Knowledge for Soybean Cyst Nematode Management

By Laura Temple, North Central Soybean Research Program

Soybean cyst nematodes, or SCN, come in multiple types, depending on their ability to overcome and reproduce on SCN-resistant soybeans. Researchers use the HG type test to determine what types of SCN live in tested soils. The test takes its name from the abbreviation of Heterodera glycines, the scientific name for SCN.

Soybeans come in countless varieties, bred for yield and an array of offensive and defensive characteristics. University agronomists commonly screen regional varieties to provide farmers with third-party data about those characteristics.

“As SCN appears to become more virulent, or able to overcome and reproduce on sources of SCN resistance for soybeans, farmers need specific data to select the best varieties to manage SCN in different fields,” says Horacio Lopez-Nicora, assistant professor of soybean pathology and nematology at Ohio State University. “We are screening both SCN populations and soybean varieties to provide Ohio farmers that information.”… Continue reading

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The year of protein

By Gregg Doud, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation

Within dairy and throughout agriculture, the refrain that will be often repeated is that this will be the year of protein. In fact, it may be the first of many: If you look out over the next decade, the supply of animal protein in the world — that’s beef, pork, poultry, and dairy — comes nowhere near meeting the demand.

That means U.S. dairy’s emphasis on exports and our international competitiveness will certainly be an area of focus. Dairy farmers and their cooperatives are extremely well positioned to do this: We’re efficient, we can get high-quality products overseas competitively, and our processing capacity is expanding. Our innovation and technology in the dairy industry to expand international markets is second to none. NMPF can support these efforts by continuing our excellent partnership with the U.S. Dairy Export Council and by seeking sound policy that promotes the powerhouse potential of U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 331 | Legal Lingo With Leisa Podcast Edition

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talk with Leisa Boley Hellwarth who is a lawyer and columnist of the monthly Legal Lingo column. She talks about the articles she has written and what farmers need to pay attention to as they move into 2024.

 More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Todd Wilkinson, NCBA President: Dale talks to Todd about the farm bill and cattle inventory as need for more food increases with growing population. 
  • Dr. Dave Shoup, Wayne County Farmer: Dave is the Pork Industry Excellence Award Winner and he talks with Matt about herd health, his service to his community, and the upcoming Ohio Pork Congress.  
Intro0:00
Todd Wilkinson2:52
Dr. Dave Shoup9:37
Main Conversation, Leisa Boley Hellwarth15:15
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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association celebrates success at Annual Meeting

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held its Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Jan. 13, 2024, at the Hilton Polaris Hotel, Columbus, Ohio. Cattlemen and women from across the state gathered to engage in important association business, hear updates from many industry partners and recognize the recipients of several prestigious industry awards.

The day was made possible by the following sponsoring partners: Ag Credit, Corteva Agriscience, Heartland Feed Services, Ohio Association of Meat Processors, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and PBS Animal Health.

Todd Wilkinson, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), joined members to present an industry update on policy issues. In addition, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Brian Baldridge spoke briefly about the current programs and new construction underway at the department.

OCA President Mark Goecke of Allen County led the OCA Annual Meeting. The first order of business was awarding the association’s Top Hand members.… Continue reading

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The woodwork of Robert Troup: A union of art and utility

By Mike Ryan, OCJ Field Reporter

Robert Troup is an artisan metal and woodworker based out of Pleasantville in Fairfield County. Troup makes functional postmodern household furniture and conceptual wood and metal sculpture. 

“I have been building furniture since the mid 1990s, and my business has been growing slow and steady ever since. I enjoy building functional things with an aim to show off the wood to its best advantage. I think this is part of my Midwestern upbringing — it has to be useful, it can’t just be pretty. Most of my commissioned work is tables — a lot of sofa, coffee, and hall tables — but chairs are more interesting to create. Tables can be interesting, but chairs can be much more intricate and involved. With tables, there is limited geometry to explore; with chairs, you have a lot more to work with — different angles, heights, seat slopes, arms,” Troup said.… Continue reading

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