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Setting up success with succession planning

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood

With the topic of farm succession comes a number of less-than-pleasant potential conversations between generations. Farm Credit Mid-America’s Melanie Strait-Bok, senior vice president of agricultural lending, said FCMA financial officers can be a great resource for tools and advice to work through those tough conversations. 

“I know everyone makes the joke that a farmer never retires, but succession planning goes beyond retirement. It’s looking at how to have a viable operation today and move that viable operation into the future, whether that’s transitioning to the next generation within the family or bringing in somebody outside the family,” Strait-Bok said. “How do we make sure that we can bring in the next generation of farmers so that they can be successful and learn? When you think about succession planning, I know conversations might be slightly difficult, but that’s why you have individuals around you to help like your financial officer at Farm Credit, your accountant and your attorney.… Continue reading

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Soybean’s Third Largest Trading Partner

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off.

Soybeans and sea food may seem like an odd combination; however, the aquaculture sector is a major customer for U.S. Soy, especially in Egypt.  Chad Warner, a farmer from Darke County and member of the Ohio Soybean Council recently accompanied a group of fellow farmers from six other states and traveled with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) to learn more about the market development efforts that are being funded by soybean check-off dollars.

“We just returned from a USSEC trip to Eqypt with a group from Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and New York,” said Warner. “Egypt is our third largest customer and one of the fastest growing markets. On the trip we observed a program called World Fish. It is a training program that teaches local participants about the aquaculture industry. Worldwide, aquaculture is the number one source of protein for human consumption followed by poultry.… Continue reading

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Paul Bunyan Show Oct. 6-8

The Paul Bunyan Show, one of the oldest and largest forest industry shows in the country, has sold out its exhibitor space for the 2023 show. The event will be Oct. 6-8 at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds in Cambridge. This year is the 65th celebration of Ohio’s forest products industry that is a vital part of the state economy, employing over 115,000 individuals and contributing over $30 billion in economic activity.

Roughly 150 vendors will showcase their newest products and many include live equipment demonstrations. Husqvarna (Booth #510-513) is the Paul Bunyan Show’s title sponsor for the 18th consecutive year and will offer training throughout the weekend in chainsaw safety, cutting and felling techniques, technical tree climbing, aerial cutting, and hazard cutting. Other sponsoring exhibitors include but are not limited to: Columbus Equipment Company (Booth #400, 401, 406, 407), Buckeye Power Sales (Booth #129), Murphy Tractor (Booth #439, 440, 444), and LaRoche Tree Service, Inc.… Continue reading

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Attendees enjoyed new tech, great weather at 2023 Farm Science Review

More than 116,786 attendees made the trip to the Molly Caren Agricultural Center this week for the 61st annual Farm Science Review and left with new products, new ideas and new connections.

The three-day farm show welcomed 35,902 visitors on Tuesday, 59,641 on Wednesday and 21,243 on Thursday, all of whom experienced beautiful Ohio fall weather.

“As far as shows go historically, this one is at the top of the list in terms of attendee-exhibitor interactions, field demonstrations and weather conducive to folks enjoying their time here,” said Nick Zachrich, FSR manager. “We’ve had lots of great feedback from attendees and exhibitors alike on how the connections made here this week will be prudent to the agriculture industry as a whole in the years ahead.”

For exhibitors, it’s a chance to connect with current and potential customers. Brad Bergefurd, an agronomist with Brandt, said his company has been exhibiting at FSR for over 10 years now.… Continue reading

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Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) damage are often linked together. SDS is a soil borne fungal pathogen (Fusarium virguliforme) that invades the roots and lower stems of soybeans producing a toxin. SDS can devastate soybean fields causing aborted flowers and yellow dying plants. SDS has two major phases.  In the first phase, it attacks the roots then in the second phase, it attacks the leaves causing leaf scorch. SDS infection occurs early in the season and then the SDS symptoms show up later in the season.  SDS and SCN symptoms are more prominent in hot dry years.

Foliar SDS symptoms include small to pale green leaves early on with small circular spots in the late vegetative stages to early reproductive soybean stages. The area between the leaf veins turn bright yellow then brown as the disease progresses. When the infection gets severe, on roots, blue fungal masses can be seen. … Continue reading

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A modern-day pirate tale

By Dan Armitage

There’s a saying among recreational boaters that you’re not considered an “experienced” boater until you’ve run aground at least once. If that’s true, then I am a very experienced seaman, for I have run aground countless times in my 60 years of on-water experience. Granted, I have done quite a bit more boating than most, as an outdoor writer and boat reviewer for several national magazines. I also started my professional boating career when I lived in the Florida Keys, where I worked on commercial lobster and dive boats, enough so that I acquired the sea time, studied hard, and earned my USCG Master Captain credentials. Of course, I always had a boat of my own to “mess about” with, and as is the nature of the “skinny” water in the Keys, and tides constantly changing the depth of the water beneath the hull, I’ve been aground more often than I care to admit.… Continue reading

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USDA announces ODA grant funding for specialty crop producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) awarded over $604,000 in Fiscal Year 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Ohio. With this grant, the Ohio Department of Agriculture will fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop products and create new market opportunities for the state’s specialty crop producers.

“With this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding, Ohio is investing in innovative projects that will help address the needs of specialty crop producers within the region,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “The funded projects will also further USDA’s efforts to ensure U.S. specialty crop products remain competitive in markets across the nation and abroad.”

Through the SCBGP, the Ohio Department of Agriculture will fund seven projects. Among the department’s projects, is funding to the FairShare Community Supported Agriculture Coalition to develop peer-to-peer training on vegetable crop production, wholesale packaging standards, and food safety.… Continue reading

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Cattlemen’s Academy to be held in Allen County

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will be hosting cattlemen from across the state to provide education on how to market their cattle and learn about incorporating implant technology. This event will be useful to those who own and operate feedlots, backgrounders, and freezer beef operations. 

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner being served first. Special thanks to Farm Credit Mid-America for sponsoring this educational program. The date, location and special guests for the clinic are as follows:

Date: September 26, 2023 @5:30 p.m.
Location: Allen County Fairgrounds

Address: 2750 Harding Hwy, Lima, OH 45804 

OCA Update: OCA Staff 

Marketing Your Cattle: Pat Lampert, Director of Livestock, Nexus Marketing and National Farmers Organization and Jeff Rose, Operations Manager, Nexus Marketing

Implanting: Seth Clark, Ohio Territory Manager, Merck Animal Health

Dinner Sponsor: Farm Credit Mid-America

Register here for Allen County:

Cattlemen’s Academy events are free for OCA members.… Continue reading

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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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