A robot’s touch the answer for Bar-Lee Jerseys

The dairy industry’s constant search for the most cost effective and efficient production options has resulted in some unique technological changes in recent years. Milking a cow with robots, something thought of as near science fiction not long ago, is now being accepted as the way of life on a number of Ohio dairies.

Bar-Lee Jerseys, a family dairy farm in Willard, has in the past months put the technology to work. Jason Nuhfer is the fifth generation to milk and breed registered Jersey cattle.

“I graduated from Ohio State in 2008. At that time we started doing some facility improvements,” Nuhfer said.

A new free stall barn was added his graduation year. The calf barn was brought on in 2011 and the robotic milking system started the first of December this past year. Two Lely Astronaut A4 Robots were installed, each able to handle about 60 cows each.

“As we’ve done these facility improvements, kind of our number one goal was cow comfort — to keep that in mind,” he said.… Continue reading

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Keeping up with the latest agronomics through Syngenta’s ‘Grow More Experience’

The Syngenta Grow More Experience Site in Irwin, Ohio, one of 60 such locations across the country, was host last week to retailers from around the state hoping to step up their agronomic knowledge in order to pass it on to Ohio’s farmers.

“We have several retailers out and our goal today is for our retailers to actually come out and get an experience of what Syngenta has in our pipeline as well as some future technologies,” said Leon Hunter, agronomy manager for Syngenta East Heartland. “And one of the key objectives of today is to share with them a lot of different things that are happening agronomically. It’s not as much product focus, it’s more around the agronomic things that they can do to provide more education to their growers on how to produce more crop.”

Hunter noted some important lessons that have been highlighted from the agronomic side.

“One of our key focuses this year is to do some education around the Soybean Cyst Nematode and some of the portfolio products that we have to bring awareness to how devastating this particular disease can be.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers Week 4 – Black Walnut Farms, Warren County

A trip to southwestern Ohio wrapped up the 2016 Feeding Farmers program, courtesy of AgriGold. Each Friday for the past four weeks, the crew of the Ohio Ag Net traveled to various parts of the state delivering lunch, fellowship, and midday broadcasts to farm families that are the backbone of American agriculture.

Don Tharr heads up Black Walnut Farms in Warren County alongside his family. The farm overlooks ideal scenery in the valley its positioned in. A retired teacher, Tharr said this year’s planting was behind that of normal years and that they were getting ready to take on the never-ending-job that is weed control.

The farm is staying busy this summer erecting grain bins in which they are planning to pour the concrete for this week. From beginning to end, Tharr said the whole process takes all of three weeks, weather permitting.

With his sons having grown and now supporting their own families with the farm, Don said they’ve had to position themselves marketing-wise to make that sustainable down the road.… Continue reading

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Northwest Ohio crops get a “Billion Dollar Rain”

For Wood County farmer Dave Baer, a limited window of opportunity in late May made the 2016 planting season fast and furious, and like many of his neighbors and farmers all over Ohio those crops haven’t seen more than 1 rain event…until the morning of June 23rd. Seed Consultants‘ Bill Mullen talks about what the hot dry weather has done to the crops in that part of the state and what the latest rains mean for them.… Continue reading

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A western Ohio farmer’s notable antique tractor collection

Just east of the Ohio-Indiana state border sits Green Oak Farms where a barn of Gale Long’s is filled with an impressive collection of antique tractors. The Ohio Ag Net crew came across the collection during this year’s Feeding Farmers tour. Long said he has been bringing together the tractors for several years, getting a few here and a few there, eventually amassing what amounts to quite the sight. No particular color has sway on the barn as Farmall, John Deere, Allis-Chalmers and much more decorate the shop.

Watch as Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood visits with Long about the old iron.

 … Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers Week 3 – Watson Farms, Sandusky County

Week number three of Feeding Farmers, courtesy of AgriGold, took the Ohio Ag Net crew to Watson Farms in northern Ohio on the Sandusky-Seneca County line.

The family operation is headed up by Dusten Watson. He took over in recent years after his dad Lee handed down the keys to the next generation, something he plans to do himself down the road. The farm also recently brought on the full-time employee Joe Ringholz.

They’ve experienced a unique planting season. Some much needed rain this past Thursday was “a godsend.” Dusten did say that they should’ve stayed home with regard to planting on May 9th as everything put in the field that day had to be replanted.

Ty Higgins talks more about the farm in the video below.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers Week 2 – Green Oak Farms, Preble County

The second week of Feeding Farmers 2016, sponsored by AgriGold, took the Ohio Ag Net crew near the Indiana-Ohio state line to Green Oak Farms in Preble County. A notable turnout joined the team for lunch on the grain and livestock farm.

Gary Long runs the grain side of the large operation. He talked with Dale Minyo about their planting season this year and the operation overall.

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AgTube: The #Plant16 Song

The 2016 planting season has been Deja Vu all over again for many farmers in the Midwest. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins wrote this tune to help share their agony with the rest of the country. It this fits what your spring has been like…Crank…It…Up!

It’s been 45 day since I started rollin’
Yeah this plating seasons been really tollin’
It was off to a good start thought I’d be spending
the month of May in my tractor.
I’ve been waking up every morning hoping
Dirt would be right l I could get it going
But now it’s June and here I sit
And I’m feelin’ like such a slacker
I’ve been trying not to lose my temper
Always like ready set can’t go
Older farmers say they always remember
Springs like this but I need to see my crops grow
Other neighbors say that they’re about done
Please just don’t share that stuff with me
Farming should be a bit more fun
But I’m not even close with #plant16
All I want to do is get these seeds in
With some great help in the buddy seat
When I’m all done you know you’ll see it
I’ll be sure to send it out in a tweet
Just about finished my last corn field
But I’m not even close to done
Them early farms won’t have that much yield
Gonna tear ‘em up and give it one more run
Mother Nature wasn’t all that helpful
Hope I have plenty of corn seed
By July I’ll have a beer by the pool
Until then wish me luck with #replant16… Continue reading

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