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Three Ohioans among FFA American Star finalists

The National FFA Organization has announced the 16 finalists for its 2023 top achievement awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.

Three Ohioans are among the coveted ranks: Luke Jennings from Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter, Riley Berger from the Ridgewood FFA Chapter, and Audrey Pinger from the Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter.

The American Star Awards represent the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. The award recognizes FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies by completing a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows members to learn by doing. Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business, or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the results.

Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.… Continue reading

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Defoliation in soybean and corn, and Japanese Beetle watch

By Kelley Tilmon and Andy Michel, OSU Extension Entomology, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-22

We have been receiving reports of higher-than-typical Japanese beetle activity in horticultural settings (e.g., ornamentals, home gardens) and this may be a warning sign to watch for them in field crops too.  Also, there are many weedy fields because of the difficulties with planting and weed management this season.  Weedy fields may be more attractive to Japanese beetle and other defoliators because certain weeds are preferred food.

Starting in July and through August, a number of different insect species (such as Japanese beetles, bean leaf beetles, and various caterpillars) can feed on soybean leaves and (for some species) corn.  Foliage feeding in corn is almost never economic, though economic damage from silk clipping by Japanese beetles is possible (though rare).  Consider a rescue treatment when silks are clipped to less than ½ inch and, fewer than 50% of the plants have been pollinated, and the beetles are still numerous and feeding in the field.… Continue reading

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Holmes County Steam & Engine Show Aug. 3-5

Steam engines, antique tractors, threshing machines and more will soon be rolling into Mt. Hope for the 31st annual Holmes County Steam & Engine Show.

“This may be our biggest show yet,” said Melvin Wengerd, Holmes County Steam & Engine Association president. “The $10,000 purse featured for our Thursday evening horse pull is the largest in the state and always attracts some of the greatest pulling teams around.”

The three-day event will be held on the Mt. Hope Auction Grounds/Holmes County Event Center, in Mt. Hope, Ohio. Dates are Thursday, Aug. 3 through Saturday, Aug. 5.

Highlights include Thursday’s horse pull. New this year is a mini pony pull starting at 2 p.m., and a draft pony pull starts at 4 p.m. Friday will feature a tractor pull and Saturday there will be a garden tractor and mini rod pull. Visitors won’t want to miss threshing and sawmill demonstrations, tractor games and Saturday’s finale drawing for the pedal tractor.… Continue reading

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Brazil sees increase in corn exports

While Brazil is positioned to surpass the U.S. in corn exports this year, the data don’t indicate the trend leading to this development will necessarily continue, as the South American country faces many challenges when it comes to agriculture and trade, a national ag economist said.

“U.S. exports have been hindered by droughts that have affected key areas of the Corn Belt,” said Krista Swanson, NCGA Lead Economist. “But the U.S. has several relative advantages in the global corn market that can be harnessed to support our $90 billion corn industry.”

The U.S. is bolstered by far superior infrastructure and sustainable farming practices, Swanson said. For example, she said Brazil is 86.6% of the size of the entire United States but has just 25% of the roadway miles found in this country, of which only 12.4% are paved. Nearly 70% of roadway miles are paved in the U.S.

The comments were made during a joint press conference hosted by the National Corn Growers Association and the U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association announces new Hometown Tour

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced its first ever Hometown Tour. The Hometown Tour will follow OSA to several farms across the state, where farmers can gather to learn about precision ag, including autonomous tractors, as well as specialty soybean opportunities, soy-based biofuels and more. Lunch will be provided and there is no cost to attend; however, attendees must register in advance. CCAs, CPAgs, CPSSs and CPSCs who attend are eligible to receive one CEU credit.

“We’ve had great success with farmer meetings, and we decided to take our organization on tour and meet farmers where they are,” said Patrick Knouff, OSA president and Shelby County soybean farmer. “We hope to provide a day full of fellowship and expert insight, especially since each meeting’s agenda will look slightly different.”

Tour dates, which will run from 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., include:

Thursday, Aug. 10

Goebel Farms, Stryker, OH

Friday, Aug. 25

Layman Farms, Kenton, OH

Monday, Aug.

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Apply now for controlled hunts

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

Ohio hunters are fortunate to have special opportunities for pursuing popular game birds and animals on state land. Applications for Ohio’s public land controlled hunting opportunities are being accepted through July 31. The hunts provide special chances for people to pursue deer, waterfowl, doves, and more on public lands during the 2023-24 season. The Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) as well as the Division of Parks and Watercraft host controlled hunts on select areas around Ohio. Hunts for adults, youth, mobility impaired, and mentors with apprentices are available. Species-specific hunts include deer, waterfowl, dove, pheasant, squirrel, and quail. Firearm and archery opportunities are available for some species.

Hunters may apply for controlled hunts by completing the application process online using Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System or via phone by calling 1-800-703-1928. There is $5.50 service fee for the phone option. Each hunt requires payment of a non-refundable $3 application fee.… Continue reading

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Fulton County hosts successful Breakfast on the Farm event

Triple H Farms in Metamora opened its farm to nearly 3,000 guests on Saturday, June 24 for the 2023 Breakfast on the Farm event (BOTF). Guests of all ages enjoyed a free, locally produced breakfast and a self-guided tour of a modern grain, tomato, and beef farm.

“Breakfast on the Farm was a great way to showcase agriculture to people who have never had the opportunity to visit a farm,” said Amanda Podach, Fulton Soil and Water Education Specialist. “The feedback was so positive, people really enjoyed exploring the farm, and the breakfast was amazing. We owe a huge thanks to the Herr family, our sponsors and more than 350 volunteers who helped make this day such a great success.”

Podach shared that this type of event gives the general public a first-hand look at modern food production, especially as the gap between producer and consumer continues to grow. The goal was to offer the opportunity for the public to experience how farmers care for their animals, how they produce wholesome and safe food, and how they care for the land.… Continue reading

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Biotechnology advancing the agriculture classroom

By Jake Zajkowski, OCJ field reporter

Honeybees are a familiar sight for those in agriculture, and now more than ever in science classrooms. Teachers at the GrowNextGen Ag Biotech Graduate Academy are taking soybean plants, pests, and their pollinators to the next level by training teachers, who then pass the engaging and industry-relevant labs on to their students. Sponsored by Corteva and the Ohio Soybean Council, GrowNextGen’s mission is to make agricultural learning relevant for students in Ohio.

“One thing that is really beneficial from GrowNextGen is that we get the labs and the worksheets to go along with the lesson and we get the materials,” said Olivia Pflaumer, FFA Advisor and tenth grade environmental science teacher at Global Impact STEM Academy. “It’s a place to get started and we can modify it as we need so we can scale it up or down for our students as we see fit.… Continue reading

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FFA Foundation looking for new executive director

The Ohio FFA Foundation Board of Trustees recently accepted Jessica Parrish’s resignation as executive director. Parrish will continue to serve as executive director through September 8, 2023, to facilitate a successful transition. Parrish has served in this role since 2016. Prior to serving as executive director, she worked as the foundation’s program manager for two years. In the fall, Parrish will begin a new role as the Director, Staff Operations at Nationwide.

“With a mix of sadness and gratitude, on behalf of the Ohio FFA Foundation Board, we wish to thank Jessica for her nearly 10 years of exceptional service to Ohio FFA. The board is tremendously excited for Jessica as she enters her new career opportunity. We wish her the very best,” said Kent Fisher, board chair.

Under Parrish’s leadership, the Ohio FFA Foundation has doubled the number of annual donors, increased revenue, and created programs to serve and support Ohio FFA members and advisors in new ways.… Continue reading

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Confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on the confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Xochitl Torres Small has dedicated her career to serving the agriculture industry and the American people, and I have witnessed her lead with energy, authenticity and personal investment that I know will leave an impact on USDA for years to come. As the granddaughter of migrant farm workers, Xochitl experienced firsthand the challenges that many producers and rural communities face day in and day out. The hard work and determination she witnessed informs her commitment to public service and her respect for those we serve. Under her leadership, our Rural Development team has made record progress working to drive down energy costs, improve access to high-speed internet, expand processing capacity to help America’s livestock producers attain fairer prices for their work, and provide affordable housing options for rural residents.… Continue reading

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Demand and weather

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 


Usually, the July USDA report does not have yield adjustments, but this year there was a change to the estimated corn yield due to excessive dry weather in June.

Export demand

While weather is always a big factor, long-term demand may also become an issue. The USDA continues to estimate a 27% increase in export demand for next year. However, considering Brazil’s record crop being harvested, and likely an even bigger crop next spring, it is unclear where the added demand will come from. Perhaps the USDA is building a reserve in the demand area in case yields drop further throughout summer. 

Feed demand

Old crop feed demand was changed to match the stocks report from two weeks ago. Moving forward it will need to increase to warrant higher prices, which means more animals will need to be on feed, and that seems unlikely.… Continue reading

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Crop Nutrient Status

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

A mixed bag is occurring this year.  Some farmers have col, dry soil while others are getting too much rain.  Variable weather conditions mean there are a variety of nutrient problems.  The most common complaint seems to be slow growing soybeans.  Soybeans planted into heavy cereal rye combined with cold nights is resulting in slower soybean growth, especially if it is dry (slow nutrient release).  As summer progresses, temperatures should warm up the soybeans should catch up.  Rye residue conserves moisture and keeps the soil in a more ideal range for optimal plant and microbial growth later in the season when temperature get hotter, high 80’s and 90’s. 

There are several nutrient issues farmers can scout for this year.  On corn and soybeans, Boron (B) and Calcium (Ca) deficiency symptoms are noticeable.  On corn, look for parallel lines or just slight zipper effects on the outside of the leaf to identify B deficiency. … Continue reading

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Central State University named partner institution on $10 million agriculture award

Central State University (CSU) partners with three other universities to receive a $10 million award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture to recruit, educate, train, and retain the next generation of diverse food and agriculture professionals.

The From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agriculture Professionals (NEXTGEN) award was given to CSU and Lincoln University, two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), along with a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), Texas A&M University, and one Research University (RIU), Missouri University of Science and Technology.

“The goal is to train our undergraduate students to become the essential workforce for the future of agriculture in the United States,” said Hongmei Li-Byarlay, CSU’s principal investigator (PI) for the project, research associate professor of entomology at CSU, and project director for Pollinator Health, Agricultural Research Development Program. “The grant will provide a lot of training opportunities and research internships for students to explore a variety of topics in agriculture, especially in soil science, entomology, and life science.”… Continue reading

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Pasture risk management decisions for dry weather

By Clifton Martin, Ohio State University Extension Educator ANR, Muskingum County

We passed through a May and June that looked more like a July and August if we consider rainfall. Usually, July and August are more likely to put managers under pressure with hot temperatures and limited precipitation that force choices that might often be classified as “which wrong choice is the most right?” as we work to make the best of less-than-ideal conditions.

Timely rainfall is easing the current drought pressure that had been developing locally, but we still have a way to go for summer heat. As we navigate these choices, here are some points to remember.

A goal of managing grazing systems is to keep forage plants healthy and growing so that they meet the nutritional needs of grazing livestock. Two easy principles to follow on that journey are first, the “take half/leave half” concept and, second, provide a rest period so plants can recover.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 308 | Beneath the Roots: Nematode

Some of the smallest organisms have one of the largest scientific following. Hosts of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, Matt Reese, Dusty Sonnenberg, and Joel Penhorwood discuss nematode impact on crops and forests. The Society of Nematology recently met in Columbus to discuss everything from seed treatment to soybean impact and nematode’s role in our landscapes. Dr. Joe Boggs from The Ohio State University is the podcast guest to discuss poison hemlock, the dangers of wild parsnip, and economic impact of the Box Tree Moth. 

Dr. George Bird from Michigan State joins the conversation to discuss his leadership in the Soybean Cyst Nematode Coalition and his 40-year career in the field. From Auburn University, Dr. Kathy Lawrence talks with Dusty about the many growing trials that are benefiting growers and how nematode apply to all specialty crops, especially in the southern United States. 

From the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, Dr.… Continue reading

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Big wheat numbers for Dawson Farms | Wheat Harvest Cab Cam | Doug Dawson, Delaware County

Big numbers on the yield monitor are the theme for this year’s wheat harvest at Dawson Farms in Delaware County. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood stopped by for a Cab Cam with Doug Dawson as he and his family worked to finish the last of their wheat.

Dawson said the big year has reminded him of some in the past, and along with it, some advice for fellow farmers.

“Keep hitting singles, guys,” he said. “I have learned in 40 years when you’re swinging for home runs and trying to hit the top of the market, you’ll never do it.”

Listen in to the full Cab Cam, sponsored by Precision Agri Services Inc. More online at… Continue reading

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Wheat harvest wrapping as crop conditions improve

Timely precipitation supported row crops, with notable improvements in both corn and soybean condition, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report showed 59.6 percent of the State as abnormally dry or worse, with a reduction in acres meeting drought criteria. Conditions matching the moderate drought rating were observed in 24.9 percent of the State. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 4 percent very short, 16 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on July 16 was 73.8 degrees, 0.4 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.71 inches of precipitation, 0.24 inches below average. There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 16.

Last week’s field activities included herbicide and fungicide applications and winter wheat harvesting. Reporters identified increased pest pressure in row crop acres.… Continue reading

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Ohio Field Leader Roadshow | Roy Klopfenstein

Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Field Leader, joins Roy Klopfenstein for this in-depth interview on what’s happening at his Paulding County farm, including growing season progression, market access, and more. Klopfenstein, a representative in the Ohio State Legislature for District 82, also discusses the many issues affect farmers statewide.

Ohio Field Leader is a project of Ohio’s soybean growers and their checkoff.… Continue reading

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2023 Wayne – Ashland Dairy Service Unit Twilight Tour

Please join the Wayne-Ashland Dairy Service Unit and OSU Extension – Wayne County for the 2023 Dairy Twilight Tour at New Prospect Farm, 12391 Benner Road, Rittman, OH 44270. There will be a Dairy Summit held on July 18, from 3-5 P.M., with the tour taking place from 6-9 p.m. There will be free dinner served from local favorites including Amy’s, Joe’s, Exclusively Yours and Lerch’s. Ice cream, milk and cheese will also be available. There will be over 65 different companies to visit, activities for kids, and an opportunity to see the farm and visit with the Gary Dotterer family.

New Prospect Farms LLC is a partnership between Gary Dotterer and sons, Kent, and Kevin. After farming with Gary’s brothers in the past, this dairy farm was established in 2008. The crops continue to be raised with the extended family through the Dotterer Brothers operation. New Prospect Farms continually strives to become more efficient by making improvements to the farm.… Continue reading

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