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China purchases boosting corn prices

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Two months ago, farmers hoped corn prices would stay above $3. Two weeks later, many feared $3.50 would be the high before harvest. One month ago, corn hit $3.75 before rolling back to $3.60 and many felt the high for the season might have been posted. Then Friday, corn traded to $4.20, leaving everyone questioning where the top will be.

What is causing this?

An unexpected increase in China’s supply needs is a major reason. For the last 30 years, China never imported more than 7 million metric tons (MMT) per year. With 1 MMT equaling about 40 million bushels, that’s equal to around 280 million bushels.

However, in the last 2 weeks, reports suggest that China will need to import at least 30 MMT over the next year to maintain supply needs. That would be 1 billion bushels from around the world more than estimated just 2 months ago.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council promotes Julia Brown to Communications Manager

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) announced today that Julia Brown has been promoted to Communications and Media Relations Manager effective immediately. In her new role, Brown will manage all communication programs and budgets including media relations, communication research, farmer awareness campaigns and consumer outreach.

This promotion follows the departure of Jennifer Coleman, who had served as Director of Communications for 13 years. Coleman joined Aimpoint Research as the Director of Communications.

Brown has worked for OSC since 2018 when she was hired as the Communications and Project Coordinator. In her previous role, she coordinated OSC publications and media relations, and managed OSC’s participation in events such as the Ohio State Fair and Farm Science Review. She also managed the Ohio Soybean Council Foundation scholarship program. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Ohio University.

Emilie Regula Hancock, who has served as OSC’s Marketing and Outreach Manager and OSA’s Policy and Membership Manager since 2017, will take over managing OSC’s strategic planning and industry relations programs.… Continue reading

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Three part webinar series to help Ohio dairy producers mitigate price risk

Dairy producers in Ohio and across the country have faced a turbulent year for milk prices, input costs, and income.

Like other commodities, dairy product supply chains were stressed during the initial stages of the global Coronavirus pandemic. Milk prices have improved since the lows of April and May, but price and income risk remain major concerns of producers. Organizers from The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in partnership with the Ohio Dairy Producer’s Association are hosting a free three-part webinar series November 5, 17, and 24 from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST. to prepare producers to mitigate these risks. 

Ohio’s Federal Milk Marketing Order Class III milk price fell to a low of $12.14 per hundredweight in May before climbing to $24.54 per hundredweight in July. However, Class III prices do not always reflect the price received at the farm. Producer Price Differentials (PPDs) can increase or decrease the final price paid to producers based on factors such as how the milk is used — bottled for fluid consumption or manufactured into cheese and other dairy products- and how much milk is pooled in the Federal Order system.… Continue reading

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The smell of rain and microbes

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

After a dry summer, the smell of rain is often refreshing but maybe a little less so to farmers at harvest time!  People can often sense it is going to rain.  This “pre-rain” smell comes from ozone formed when oxygen (O2) in the atmosphere is spilt through electrical charges in the clouds to form ozone (O3). Ozone is blown down from the upper atmosphere and has a sharp odor, somewhat like chlorine or burnt wires. This pre-rain smell is a good indication a storm is brewing before the pleasant smell of rain occurs.

Recent research shows that the smell of rain is caused by soil actinomycetes or actinbacteria.  Scientist have a name for it called petrichlor (pronounced pet-try-cure).  As rain infiltrates the soil, it causes the actinomycetes to form spores which are released along with geosmin, a chemical that creates that earthy soil smell when soil is tilled. 

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Do banded woolly bears predict winter weather?

By Joe Boggs, Ohio State University Extension

Bristly “woolly bear” caterpillars commence their annual crawl-abouts in search of sheltered winter quarters in the fall. You may see noticeable numbers crossing roads with some unfortunates becoming laminated onto tires. Their crawl-abouts may start as early as late September and continue until early November in Ohio. It depends on the weather.

Woolly bears (woolly worms in the south) are the caterpillar stage of medium-sized moths known as tiger moths (family Erebidae; subfamily Arctiinae). The caterpillars are so-named because of their short, stiff bristles. The sharp-pointed bristles serve to defend the caterpillars. However, they are not stinging hairs; they do not inject venom. Still, some people suffer severe localized reactions if the hairs penetrate their skin. 

Woolly bears will roll themselves into a tight ball when disturbed to bring to bear their defensive bristles. Their resemblance to hedgehogs is referenced by the alternate common name “hedgehog caterpillars.”… Continue reading

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EPA announces new five-year registration for dicamba products on soybeans

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

This past summer was tumultuous for soybean growers across the country in many ways. On June 3, farmers were caught in limbo as discussions between the U.S. EPA, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and herbicide manufacturers were precarious after the Ninth Circuit Court vacated the product registrations of three dicamba-based products. Those products include: Monsanto’s XtendiMax, DuPont’s FeXapan, and BASF’s Engenia, which had been registered to be applied as conditional use pesticides for post-emergent applications. The court held that when the EPA conditionally amended the registrations for an additional 2 years, the process they used violated the provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

On June 8, the EPA issued a key order providing guidance on how those in possession of the products could legally proceed. The order applied to the sale, distribution and use of stock for the three dicamba products in question.… Continue reading

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CFAES outlook meetings

Farmers in Ohio and across the Midwest might have reason to be optimistic this year.

Prices for soybeans, corn, and wheat have risen in 2020, and total net cash income from farms in the United States is expected to be up this year by 4.5%. That’s partly because of an increase in government payments to farmers.

Those payments will make up 32% of this year’s net cash income from all U.S. farms — more than double the portion those payments typically account for, said Ben Brown, an assistant professor of agricultural risk management at the The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Traditionally, government assistance to farmers has made up about 14% of the annual net cash income from farms in the United States. Net farm cash income is a measure of profit generated from all U.S. farms by adding all sales of agricultural commodities and farming-related activities, plus direct government payments, and subtracting cash expenses.… Continue reading

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More than $7 billion paid in second round of USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that in the first month of the application period, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $7 billion in payments to producers in the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. CFAP 2 provides agricultural producers with financial assistance to help absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These payments directed by President Trump will continue to help this critical industry recoup some of their losses from ongoing market disruptions and associated costs,” said Secretary Perdue. “This program builds upon the over $10 billion disbursed under the first round of CFAP. Agricultural producers who have been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020 are encouraged to apply for assistance.”

Since CFAP 2 enrollment began on September 21, FSA has approved more than 443,000 applications.… Continue reading

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Precipitation slows harvest progress

Crops were harvested at a slower pace due to higher amounts of precipitation last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 84% adequate to surplus by week’s end, up 29 percentage points from the previous week. Approximately 28% of the State was abnormally dry or worse, according to the most recent Drought Monitor, compared to 56% the previous week. Average temperatures for the week were 5.1 degrees above historical normals and the entire State averaged 1.84 inches of precipitation. There were 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Oct. 25.

Soybeans dropping leaves reached 100%, ahead of the five-year average by 2 percentage points. Soybeans harvested was at 73% while soybeans moisture content was at 13%. Corn mature was at 93%, one percentage point behind the five-year average, while corn moisture content was rated 22%. Alfalfa hay fourth cutting was at 92%, ahead of last year by 1 percentage point.… Continue reading

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Rains slow harvest progress

Charlie Kail

We’ve gotten around 1.5 inches of rain in the last few days. The rains slowed things down. Most people were running beans. I’d say beans are 60% to 70% off. Corn has been coming off in the 17% moisture range, but there is a lot more short season corn planted today than what there was 20 years ago. We are trying to get the corn off ahead of the deer. When the deer run out of green grass after it frosts a couple of times, then they start working on the corn. In areas with a lot of deer pressure, they are planting 97- or 95- day corn to get it off. If they don’t, they’ll be riding along and just watching corncobs go into the header.

Corn yields are everywhere from 35 bushels per acre to 200 around here and that can be in the same pass in the same field.… Continue reading

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Iowa trip by Ohioans offers helping hands and hope

By Matt Reese

Ted Blohm and his wife, Sue, were kicking around vacation ideas when she said, “How about we plan a trip to Iowa and help the farmers?” 

The Blohms had been part of a similar effort back in the 90s on a trip to Missouri to help the flooded farmer victims with great success so they decided to give it a shot. They contacted the Iowa Farm Bureau and got in touch with a Linn County representative who told them they could essentially go down any country road in the area and pull in a driveway and be received with open arms. They were told the destruction of buildings, homes, and fields was devastating due to the derecho and high winds that swept through the area on Aug. 10, 2020.

This conversation led to a connection with Lana Robison from the area, who has been coordinating people with places to go and help.… Continue reading

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Soil health indicators

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services, and Jon Traunfeld, University of Maryland Extension

How do I know if my soil is healthy and what are indicators of soil health ?  Plants thrive in healthy soils and are not overtaken by pests (weeds, insects, diseases).  Weeds are the first colonizers of unhealthy, compacted or newly formed soils. Usually something is missing (soil organic matter (SOM), a certain nutrient, soil too tight) and weeds thrive under these conditions until the condition improves.  Insect and disease pest also thrive, because the plant is sick and easy prey.  Just like the lion or wolf in the wild, the sick and weak are consumed.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Healthy soils have deep loose soil for good root growth.  The soil should be dark in color meaning that the soil has plenty of SOM.  Healthy soil should be slightly moist, crumble,  have soil aggregates that fall apart, and have an “earthy” smell.

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Retail lamb sales up

Retail sales of all lamb in the U.S. are increasing.

“The combination of consumers cooking at home, the desire for new meal options, the hard work by lamb marketers, retailers and American Lamb Board (ALB) checkoff efforts seem to be opening consumers to lamb’s possibilities, and it shows in the numbers,” said Gwen Kitzan, ALB chair from Newell, SD. 

The latest retail data, analyzed by IRI/FreshLook Marketing, and released by ALB, quantifies the growth in retail sales for all lamb (domestic and imported) through July 12, 2020. 

Retail sales data show pounds of all lamb sold at multi-outlet supermarkets in the U.S. in the 13-week period from April 20 through July 12, 2020, increased 8.6% compared to the same period in 2019. That’s 16.3 million pounds of lamb sold and $137.8 million in sales during the quarter.

In the last four weeks of the period (June 15 through July 12, 2020) pounds of lamb sold increased 29.8% compared to the same period one year ago, and lamb dollars spent increased 38.2% to $40.5 million.… Continue reading

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The importance of mast

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

The 2020 acorn abundance survey conducted on 38 wildlife areas throughout Ohio shows an above-average year for red oaks and a below-average year for white oaks, according to the Ohio of Wildlife (ODOW). This is important. Ohio’s fall acorns are an important food source for more than 90 forest wildlife species, and mast crop distribution can influence hunting plans. The acorn mast crop is the number of nuts collectively produced by trees.

Division of Wildlife employees scanned the canopies of selected oak trees on wildlife areas to determine the percentage of trees that produced acorns and the relative size of the acorn crop. The results showed that an average of 27% of white oaks and 70% of red oaks bore fruit this year. Over the past five years, acorn production has oscillated. For the second year in a row, red oaks were well above the 16-year average, while white oaks were below average.… Continue reading

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Stalk rot issues are showing up in some corn

By Pierce Paul and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

Corn harvest is progressing very slowly across the state as the crop is taking unusually long to dry down this year. The longer the crop stays in the field, there greater the risk of late-season diseases such as ear and stalk rots, especially if it continues to rain. Stalk rot often refers to a combination of several interrelated problems, including stalk breakage, stalk lodging, premature plant death, and root lodging. Several factors may contribute to stalk rot, including extreme weather conditions, inadequate fertilization, problems with nutrient uptake, insects, and diseases. For instance, when leaves above the ear are severely damaged (either by diseases, insects, or some environmental stress) well before grain-fill is complete, the plants often translocate sugars from the stalk to fill grain, causing them to become weak and predisposed to fungal infection. A number of fungal pathogens cause stalk rot, but the three most important in Ohio are Gibberella, Collectotrichum (anthracnose), and Fusarium.… Continue reading

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Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0

By Chris Zoller, Ohio State University Extension educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County

Farmers are encouraged to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0 (CFAP 2.0). The application deadline is December 11, 2020.

President Trump and USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an expansion of the original CFAP intended to provide support to farmers who suffered losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following information is sourced from USDA and available at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.

Eligibility

Any individual or legal entity who shares in the risk of producing a commodity may apply for CFAP 2. Producers must be in the business of farming and producing commercially produced commodities at the time of submitting their application to be eligible. Commodities grown under a contract in which the grower has ownership and production risk are eligible for CFAP 2.

To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018.… Continue reading

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Naming of Ohio State center cements Lal’s legacy

The legacy of Rattan Lal, one of the world’s top scientists, has been bolstered with the addition of his name to a center at The Ohio State University. The honor was bestowed on Oct. 15, in a virtual ceremony hosted by Ohio State, Nationwide Insurance, and Ohio Farm Bureau.

Earlier in the day, Lal received the 50th annual World Food Prize, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize in Food and Agriculture.”

Lal serves as Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and is the founding director of what will now be known as the CFAES Rattan Lal Carbon Management and Sequestration Center (C-MASC).

“Although it would be an exception for a current faculty member to be acknowledged with an honorific naming, Dr. Lal’s accomplishments and the notoriety he has brought to our university warrants this exception,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES.… Continue reading

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Extended drydown in corn

By Alexander Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

As fall is progressing, crop harvest is also occurring throughout the state. However, many producers are seeing slower than usual drydown in their corn fields this October. This may be in part due to how the weather conditions impacted corn growth and development this year.

In many parts of Ohio in 2020, temperatures were near the long-term average this season. One marked difference though was that precipitation was below normal for much of the season around the state.

In 2018 and 2020, temperatures were very similar to one another in each month, with the exception of May being slightly cooler and September being slightly warmer in 2020. The only month in which 2020 received more precipitation than in 2018 was May. Cool wet conditions resulted in planting dates that extended into the latter part of May for the state (USDA reported 57% corn acres planted on May 17, 2020), but also may have contributed to delayed emergence due to slow heat unit accumulation (only 11% of the corn was emerged on May 17).… Continue reading

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Farming and parenting can be tough to balance

Raising children on a farm might sound idyllic, but in a national study, most farmers with children under 18 said childcare was a challenge.

Over two-thirds of first-generation farmers, people who had not grown up on farms, reported struggles with childcare, from finding affordable options nearby to finding providers whose childrearing philosophy matched theirs. 

Even multigenerational farmers, many who live near relatives, said childcare’s affordability, availability, or quality was a problem. Just over half of those farmers reported some type of childcare challenge.

“This is going to come as a surprise to a lot of people who don’t think childcare is an issue for farmers,” said Shoshanah Inwood, an assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the lead researcher of the study. “Finding quality, affordable daycare affects young farmers and their ability to stay in agriculture.”

The four-year study began with a survey taken in 2014 among farmers in five metro areas: Columbus, Ohio; Burlington, Vt.;… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers Week 4 Staley Farms Van Wert County Ohio

We wrap up the T102 Fall Feeding Farmers with a stop in Van Wert county at the farm of Jacob Staley. Jacob farms with his father Craig and while grandpa Kenneth Doner has retired he is always around to keep an eye on them. Jacob has finished soybeans and is waiting for dryer weather to get rolling on corn. They also raise turkeys for Cooper Farms. Check out the video with Dale and Jacob as they talk about the farm.… Continue reading

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