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Dry weather still a concern as harvest draws near

Willie Murphy

We had a half-inch of rain the week before last. Then this past Saturday it was scattered but in the northern end of the county where it had been dry all summer we got an inch of rain and that will really help with the final fill on the beans and the double-crop beans. In the southern part of the county we got two-tenths.

The corn is pretty well made, other than maybe the later planted corn may get a bit more kernel depth. The later planted beans could still use a rain to fill out the pods. The earlier beans are pretty well made now. The double-crop beans could use some more rain. We don’t need any wind, but we could use some rain this week, which would really help the hay too.

We are getting ready to start third-cutting hay. For no more rain than we’ve had it has grown better than we anticipated.… Continue reading

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Connecting with consumers from the farm and online

By Matt Reese

A short, online video starts with a cow in a pasture quickly walking away from her calf following behind. The calf is clearly interested in eating. Mama cow is having none of it, though, and picks up her pace. The narrator chimes in, “Haha, that’s fast food.”

The video is not produced or polished or even planned (or so it seems). It appears to be just another day on the farm. It is real, unscripted, unfiltered farm life. And people absolutely love it — at least Dr. Marissa Hake’s 19,000+ followers on Instagram do.

Marissa is a veterinarian and the director of animal welfare and sustainable farming for Fairlife, LLC. Prior to her current position she worked exclusively with dairy calves, which is when she started to use social media to share information about agriculture.

“It has been a journey. When I started it was just facts. More and more, though, as I was trying to build consumer trust, the ‘just the facts’ approach doesn’t resonate.… Continue reading

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Social media 101 with Dr. Marissa Hake, DVM

By Matt Reese

Dr. Marissa Hake has built quite a following on various social media platforms as she shares her farm story. Hake is a veterinarian and the director of animal welfare and sustainable farming for Fairlife, LLC. Prior to her current position she worked exclusively with dairy calves, which is when she started to use social media to share information about agriculture. Read more about her farm and family on their Williams County farm on page  .

Hake’s social media platform of choice is Instagram. She is also active on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

“On social media, Facebook is like your living room that is more formal and professional. Instagram is like your bedroom. It is more intimate and picture-based. Twitter is what is inside your head — your deepest, darkest, bad thoughts,” Hake said.  “Facebook has older audiences and is more word based, which makes it a great platform to share more detailed/informational posts.… Continue reading

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Local Sponsor Certification now open through Oct. 9

Counties, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, land trusts, cities, and townships are invited to apply to the Office of Farmland Preservation for Local Sponsor Certification. The application for Local Sponsor Certification is open from August 19, 2020, through October 9, 2020. Any organization interested in being a local sponsor for the 2021 landowner application year must apply during this time period. The application and FAQs are available on the local sponsor page.

Local sponsors who complete the Local Sponsor Certification application and qualify will be allocated a portion of the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP) 2021 funds. These funds are used to purchase agricultural easements on Ohio farms. Refer to the attached timeline for a list of upcoming dates and deadlines for this funding round.

If you have questions, please contact the Farmland Preservation Office at 614-728-6238 or… Continue reading

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Federal legislation update

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

Despite the fact that most of us haven’t seen much besides the inside of our homes lately, the world still turns, which is also true for the gears in Washington D.C. Here is a review of some recently introduced and passed federal legislation, as well as a proposed federal rule.

Great American Outdoors Act is a go

The Great American Outdoors Act, one of the last pieces of legislation introduced by the late Representative John Lewis, was signed into law by the President on August 4. The new law secures funding for deferred maintenance projects on federal lands. The funding will come from 50% of the revenues from oil, gas, coal, or alternative energy development on federal lands. The funding will be broken down between numerous agencies, with 70% to the National Park Service each year, 15% to the Forest Service, 5% to the U.S.… Continue reading

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OYLE: The show did go on!

By Matt Reese

In most years, a story about a livestock show in Ohio’s Country Journal would be focused on the exhibitors, maybe their animals. This year, however, is not most years.

The 2020 Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) featured the usual crop of hard working young people and quality livestock impressing the judges and spectators alike. The fact that the show actually took place though, in the midst of changing rules and cancellation of just about everything else, may be the most newsworthy part of the event. A group of dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to put the OYLE together in a short timeframe and exhibitors were grateful.

“It has been different, but it has been fun. We didn’t know if we were going to have a State Fair or not. We’re all extremely grateful to go to a real show, not online,” said Ava Shroyer, who had the grand champion market goat at the OYLE.… Continue reading

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I do it for the kids

By Katie Wells, Ohio State University Extension Educator for 4-H, Ross County

In 2019, there were 22,933 Ohio 4-H volunteers. Of those, 16,114 were adult volunteers and 6,819 teen volunteers. Why is it that these people are so willing to invest in kids through 4-H?

Perhaps it is because they see youth learning more about themselves, others or a new project area.

Perhaps it is because adults see courage, compassion, resiliency, tenacity, initiative and personal pride springing up in kids.

Perhaps it is because they realize it takes a village to raise a child and they want to be sure the village is a good one.

Perhaps it is because our community works hard head, heart, hands and health to young people and they want kids in on that message. The reasons are endless and unique, but it’s all wrapped up in doing it for the kids.

I love 4-H because of so many big and little things, but one that stands out is every single adult volunteer who unanimously claims their reason for being involved is, “ I do it for the kids.”… Continue reading

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Trump Administration invests $1.35 million in Ohio Renewable Energy Projects

U.S. Department of Agriculture Ohio Rural Development State Director David L. Hall announced 39 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants totaling more than $1.35 million are being awarded to rural small businesses and agricultural concerns across the state.

“By offsetting a portion of renewable energy project costs, REAP funding helps Ohio’s ag producers and rural business owners control costs and preserve the environment,” Hall said. “This program illustrates that we can successfully do both. That’s important — not just in today’s challenging economy — but also for future generations. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Ohio in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

In Ohio:

• Milky Way Farms is owned and operated by the Oney Family of Huron County. Project funds totaling $24,750 will be used to purchase and install a milk bulk tank and cooling compressors to help ensure milk quality and cut operating costs.… Continue reading

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Virtual Cultivating a Cure a success

The 10th annual Cultivating a Cure, an event created to support cancer treatment and prevention research, raised over $90,000 in support of the OSUCCC — James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute during its first-ever virtual event.

Cultivating a Cure was started in 2011 by former Ohio Farm Bureau President Brent Porteus and his daughters, Amy and Beth, to support their passion for breast cancer research, cancer prevention and to remember Debbie Porteus, beloved wife and mother, and all of those who have or who are battling cancer. Since its inception, Cultivating a Cure has raised almost $750,000.

“It’s amazing to see the power the agricultural community has by coming together with our partners at OSU, The James and Nationwide,” said Frank Burkett III, Ohio Farm Bureau president. “Ohio Farm Bureau has been proud to be a part of this event from the very beginning. Nothing speaks to our mission of advancing agriculture and strengthening our communities like Cultivating a Cure does.”… Continue reading

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Promoting beneficial insects

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

There are numerous beneficial insect species in the USA including 91,000 species of beetles (Order:Coleoptera), and many Hymenoptera  or species of wasp (4,000), bees (4,000), and ants (1,000).  Other beneficials include flies (5,500, Diptera), true bugs (3,800, Hemiptera), spiders (3,000, Arachnids) and earwigs (Dermaptera). Beneficials include immature ground beetles and lightning bugs, which consume soil insects and weed seed. The world insect population has declined 75% since the 1970’s, due to the overuse of insecticides, especially neonicotinoids seed treatments. Beneficial insects also pollinate USA agricultural crops worth an estimated $5 billion dollars per year and are predators to many harmful insects. Soybean fields are home to a surprising number of pollinators.

There are three major ways to fight harmful insects: chemical insecticides, good plant nutrition from soil health, and by promoting insect predators.  Insecticides generally kill everything including the beneficial insects that reduce harmful insect populations.  Neonicotinoids (Cruiser, Poncho, Gaucho) seed treatments are deadly to good predator insects which have much lower reproductive rates than the harmful insects.

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Personal and business funds: Keep ‘em separate!

By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAs

It can happen for a number of reasons, a business owner mixes the funds for their business with their personal finances. Especially during these trying times, it can be easy to let those funds intermingle. But the can of worms this can open is usually not worth the short-term fix this practice can offer. I asked some of the members of our Business Services & Solutions Team at Holbrook & Manter to weigh in on the following prompt: Explain the dangers a business owner faces by mixing personal funds with the funds for their business.

Read their responses and tips below.

When a small business owner comingles their personal funds and their business funds, accounting for the business can be difficult and sloppy. This often leads to business financials incorporating personal expenses or excluding business expenses, which then portrays an inaccurate financial position of the company.… Continue reading

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New fertilizer guide for field crops

Farmers in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan now have a new guide for creating fertile ground for their corn, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa crops. 

Working with a team of soil scientists and agronomists from across Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, Steve Culman, a soil fertility specialist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), led the effort to revise a 1995 guide for fertilizing field crops. 

The free and newly revised Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa offers guidelines for how much nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and micronutrients soil should have to spur high crop yields without jeopardizing water quality. 

“If everyone follows this document, we will have better water quality,” Culman said. “There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”

Both nitrogen and phosphorus can flow off agricultural fields with rainwater and contribute to the formation of algal blooms and low-oxygen “dead zones” downstream.… Continue reading

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Fendt debuting five new machines in Virtual Product Preview August 21

AGCO Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, hosted dealers and media this week to celebrate its greatly expanded Fendt distribution network and introduce five new products to North America. The public may tune in for a virtual preview of the new Class 10 combine and expanded offering of tractors during a virtual product preview at 10:00 a.m. EDT, Friday, August 21. Registration is now available at

“These exciting new Fendt offerings represent the next chapter for AGCO, our growing dealer network and, most importantly, our current and soon-to-be customers,” said Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. “For the first time, we’re offering a comprehensive line of Fendt tractors in North America to serve the needs of livestock and hay producers and those with large-acreage crop operations.

“Fendt represents excellence, efficiency, reliability, quality and passion to AGCO, our dealers and our customers.… Continue reading

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Managing basis

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

After last Monday’s devastating winds across Iowa, there have been a lot of predictions on how many bushels will be lost. However, it will take at least a couple of weeks before the market feels like it knows the full scope. Historically though, actual damages from these types of weather events are often initially overstated.

The market is also evaluating export pace and volume, expected prevent plant acres and inflation. While there are many reasons that corn could rally, it’s important to remember that there are simply too many corn bushels still left in the bins from the last crop.

If prices do rally, export pace and demand would likely be reduced and that could offset lost bushels from the storms. While the USDA did post a 2.75-billion-bushel carryout for the upcoming year, there needs to be a pretty sizable drop to come in below a 2.30-billion-bushel carryout which would still be the largest carryout in over 30 years.… Continue reading

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Governor names Elizabeth Harsh an Ohio State trustee

Elizabeth A. Harsh, who has been appointed to The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine appointed Harsh, executive director of the Ohio Beef Council and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, to a term as trustee that began Wednesday and ends May 13, 2029.

“I look forward to this exciting and challenging opportunity to help contribute to the continued success of The Ohio State University,” Harsh said Thursday. “Ohio State has always held such a special place in my life, with my family and my career, and I welcome this new role with great anticipation.”

The board of trustees has full fiduciary authority for both the university’s academic and health sciences organizations, and oversees academic programs, budgets, general administration, and employment of faculty and staff.

Harsh, of Radnor, Ohio, graduated from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) with a BS in animal sciences in 1983.… Continue reading

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Seed Genetics Direct Field Days will be held as scheduled

As fall approaches, Seed Genetics Direct will host its annual field days ­in Ohio and Indiana between August 25 and Sept. 16 (see schedule below). Seed Genetics Direct is an independent seed company headquartered in Jeffersonville, Ohio that serves the Eastern Corn Belt.

Free and open to the all farmers, field days provide the opportunity for visitors to tour corn and soybean plots to see the performance of 2021 genetics and technologies. Seedsmen will also be available to provide detailed information and answer questions.

“We’ve added seven new corn hybrids and nine soybean varieties to our lineup for the Eastern Corn Belt. Field days are great opportunity to see products, as well stock up on the best deals of the season. Our September discounts include a 15.5% early-pay discount or a 9.5% savings with John Deere zero percent financing, as well as $10 off per unit of traited corn,” said Todd Jeffries, SGD vice president.… Continue reading

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Virtual Ohio No-till event now online

As with most other events, Ohio No-Till Council summer events had to cancel (or postpone until 2021). The group’s field events planned for Aug. 19-20 are instead going to be a VIRTUAL event online.

Topics include soil health, cover crops and the main emphasis is planning for cover crops after soybean and corn harvest. Issues for beginning farmers and 60-inch corn rows with soybeans in between are also covered as well by a variety of experts on the subjects.

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FSR Career Exploration Fair transitions to virtual event

The Farm Science Review Career Exploration Fair, previously planned to be held during the 2020 Farm Science Review, will now be offered as a virtual event. This event is hosted by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) and The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The FSR Career Exploration Fair is an opportunity for career seekers, from high school and college students to mid-career professionals, who are looking to start or change their career path to connect with agribusiness employers.

The virtual event will be offered in two parts. Before the event, participating companies will post overview videos for participants to view. The virtual Career Exploration Fair will be held Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., allowing participants time to network with these companies and ask deeper questions regarding available positions and scholarships.

A virtual resource kit will be made available to agriscience education programs to assist students in effectively engaging with the Career Exploration Fair.… Continue reading

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2020 Virtual Ohio Crop Tour summary

By Matt Reese

Great job Ohio corn and soybean growers! We had 102 entries total in our 2020 Virtual Crop Tour (63 corn and 39 soybeans). Special thanks to Ohio State University Extension educators from around the state who sent in quite a few entries as well.

The corn yield averaged out to be right around 194 bushels. Soybean yield estimates came out at 54.3 bushels per acre for the state. For a corn tour by county click here. For a soybean tour by county click here.

It is very clear that the combination of just enough rain, great genetics and solid management can overcome many of the challenges of 2020 to produce strong yields. The impact of dry conditions, though, showed up in several of the reports in some of the driest areas of the state.

 John Hoffman’s Pickaway County corn report summarized the extreme variation around the state on one farm.… Continue reading

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USDA to invest up to $360 million in partner-driven conservation

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on August 6 invited potential conservation partners to submit project applications for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS will award up to $360 million dollars to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

“RCPP brings an expanded approach to investing in natural resource conservation that empowers local communities to work with multiple partners and agricultural producers to design solutions that work best for them,” said Matthew Lohr, NRCS Chief.

Partners may request between $250,000 and $10 million in RCPP funding through this funding announcement. Partners are expected to offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding in an amount equal or greater to the NRCS investment.

Eligible lead partners are encouraged to apply. Funding is open to private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities, among others.… Continue reading

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