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Tips for safely thawing a turkey

With the traditional holiday just days away, if you’ve purchased a frozen turkey, the time to think about how to defrost it is now. Depending on how large your frozen bird is, it could take up to six days to safely defrost it in a refrigerator. 

It’s very important that you thaw and cook your turkey safely to help avoid developing foodborne illnesses. Thawing a frozen turkey correctly helps minimize the growth of bacteria, which can cause foodborne illnesses. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. However, as soon as it begins to thaw, any bacteria that might have been present before freezing can begin to grow again, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

There are three safe ways to thaw a frozen turkey: in the refrigerator, in a container of cold water, or in a microwave.

The USDA recommends thawing it in the refrigerator because doing so allows the turkey to thaw in a controlled environment out of the temperature “danger zone”—between 40- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit—where bacteria can multiply rapidly.… Continue reading

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A weed’s dream come true

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

It is a weed’s dream come true, that is if weeds had dreams. After 35 years of service as the Ohio State University Extension State Weed Specialist, Mark Loux, (a.k.a. Dr. Death to weeds) is retiring. 

Loux has been a farmers’ best friend and a weed’s worst nightmare. While a true statistical count has not been conducted, it could reasonably be estimated that Loux is responsible for the literal death of millions, possibly even billions of weeds in the State of Ohio and around the world. Add to that number the untold millions of weeds that were never able to germinate because of his persistent recommendation for the use of residual herbicides, and it is no wonder that the weed world is breathing (or respirating in plant terms) a collective sigh of relief. 

Loux’s career in weed science began, in part, due to his dad, who worked as a chemist for Dupont on the East Coast.… Continue reading

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Asian longhorn tick spread in Ohio in 2022

By Matt Reese

It was not the first time, and probably will not be the last. This summer, Morgan County Extension educator Chris Penrose came into his office to find a jar of some questionable critter to identify. In many cases, the contents of the jars prove to be unremarkable. That was not the case with this one.

“When I opened it up, I saw a whole bunch of ticks in there and I said to myself, ‘uh oh,’” Penrose said. 

After sending samples from the jar for further analysis in Columbus, Penrose’s suspicions were confirmed: the Asian longhorned tick had made its way to Morgan County cattle pastures. 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced in the summer of 2020 the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the discovery of an Asian longhorned tick in Gallia County. The tick was found on a stray dog. The tick was identified by Ohio State University and sent to the federal lab for confirmation.… Continue reading

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Beneficial bacteria biologicals

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Biologicals are simply live microbes that perform many important soil and plant functions.  Some microbes are biofertilizers (microbes that improve plant nutrition);  biopesticides (microbes that control or kill pathogens, insects, other pests); others produce plant growth hormones or help plants survive environmental stresses (drought, temperature, soil pH, wet soils) etc. Biologicals are starting to become more common as farmers learn how to take advantage of the benefits they supply, especially in healthy soils and plants.

Farmers have inoculated legumes and clovers with bacteria to fix nitrogen (N) in nodules.  Now farmers can inoculate plants for bacteria that are free living and also supply N to all plants.  There are at least 200 strains of bacteria that are known to live inside plants and around plant roots. With the new discovery of rhizophagy (plant roots eating bacteria for nutrients and growth), applying biologicals may soon be a common practice.   … Continue reading

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Apple Farm Service Precision Academy

Are you interested in learning more about the future of precision agriculture? Apple Farm Service is honored to be hosting the Precision Academy on Jan. 6 at the Hueston Woods State Park Conference Center in College Corner, Ohio.

The Precision Academy is a day of learning and networking for all things precision ag.

“We can’t wait to host this academy!” said Alex Ryan, Precision Manager for Apple Farm Service. “It’s going to be a great day packed with industry experts, new technology, and opportunities for learning and networking.”

Those who attend the academy will hear from a large panel of regional and national experts, have time for open discussion and round tables, and enjoy a complementary catered breakfast and lunch.

This large panel of experts include; Tracy Intihar (Assistant Director of the Dept of Ag for Ohio), John Fulton (Professor at College of Food, Ag, and Bio Engineering at the Ohio State University), Jim Love (Light Robotics Manager & Herbicide Specialist at Beck’s Hybrids), and many others.… Continue reading

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Nutrient loss after a field fire

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

A dry fall has led to an increased number of field fires. Farmers have asked a few questions about how a field fire impacts nutrients. A quick review of several Extension resources gives us helpful information. There are two things to consider in assessing the actual losses. One, how completely did the fire consume the residue? Second, what is the coverage area? The highest losses will be when the residue is absent. 

What nutrients are lost?

Nitrogen and sulfur are volatilized and lost when residue is burned. 

Our other macronutrients, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) loss, generally have minimal losses. P and K will remain in the ash, and losses are related to any ash blown offsite.

How much nutrient is lost per acre?

The amount of nutrients lost is related to the amount of residue per acre and the nutrient content of the residue.… Continue reading

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What do these weeds have in common?

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

What do marestail, cressleaf groundsel, purple deadnettle, wild carrot, birdsrape mustard, poison hemlock, dandelion, annual bluegrass, and Canada thistle have in common? These winter annual, biennial and perennial weeds are effectively controlled with fall herbicide applications. So before you pack the sprayer away in the barn, check for these weeds in your just harvested corn or soybean, emerging wheat, and pasture or hay fields.

Commonly asked questions about fall herbicides are how late in the fall can herbicides be applied? At what point is it too cold to apply? Dr. Loux has applied well into December under some very cold conditions and still obtained effective control of winter annuals. He suggests applying before Thanksgiving and aiming for a stretch of warmer weather if possible, but the effective treatments should work regardless. After extended periods of freezing weather, perennials such as dandelion, thistle, and dock shut down, resulting in reduced control.… Continue reading

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SCN Management Key to Breaking Yield Plateaus

By The SCN Coalition

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is a stealthy thief, robbing yields from seemingly healthy fields. “Our yields seemed to stagnate in that 55 to 60 bushel an acre range. Explosive yields for some fields showed we had good genetics, but we didn’t have the consistency across our acres to pull up the average,” says Dan Ory, a fifth-generation farmer in southwest Iowa. “We knew we had issues with sudden death syndrome (SDS). We dug deeper and realized we had problems with SCN.”

SCN is widely distributed across the Midwest. But due to the lack of visible symptoms and because the pathogen had for decades been suppressed by the PI 88788 source of SCN resistance, farmers like Ory weren’t actively managing it.

To build awareness about SCN’s $1.5 billion annual toll and how farmers can protect soybean yields, The SCN Coalition and BASF Agricultural Solutions partnered on a video series featuring Ory, Iowa State University Nematologist Greg Tylka and BASF Senior Field Technical Representative for Seed Treatment for the Western Corn Belt Troy Bauer.… Continue reading

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Thanksgiving costs on the rise in 2022

 Spending time with family and friends at Thanksgiving remains important for many Americans and this year the cost of the meal is also top of mind. Farm Bureau’s 37th annual survey provides a snapshot of the average cost of this year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10, which is $64.05 or less than $6.50 per person. This is a $10.74 or 20% increase from last year’s average of $53.31.

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – costs more than last year, at $28.96 for a 16-pound bird. That’s $1.81 per pound, up 21% from last year, due to several factors beyond general inflation. Farm Bureau “volunteer shoppers” checked prices Oct. 18-31, before most grocery store chains began featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices. According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys was $1.11 the week of Nov. 3-9 and 95 cents the week of Nov.… Continue reading

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Make sure to properly winterize sprayers

By Erdal Ozkan

It is very likely that you will not be using your sprayer again until next spring. If you want to avoid potential problems and save yourself from frustration and major headaches next spring, you will be wise to give your sprayer a little bit of TLC (Tender Loving Care) this time of the year. Yes, there may be still crop to be harvested, and you may still be busy. However, do not forget about winterizing your sprayer. Do not delay it too long, if you already have not done so. You don’t want a pump that is cracked and/or not working at its full capacity because you did not properly winterize it before the temperature falls below freezing.  Here are some important things you need to do with your sprayer this time of the year.


It is very likely that you did the right thing when you used the sprayer the last time: you rinsed the whole system (tank, hoses, filters, nozzles) thoroughly.… Continue reading

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Pelanda to retire as ODA Director

Dorothy Pelanda is retiring as Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Her last day will be Dec. 31, 2022.

In January of 2019, Rep. Dorothy Pelanda was nominated to serve as the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by then Gov.-elect Mike Dewine. At the time, Pelanda stepped into the ODA director role occupied by Tim Derickson. Pelanda previously served on the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. Pelanda had also been active on the state legislature, representing the 83rd House District, which includes Union and Logan counties, as well as most of Marion County. Pelanda’s career in public service began in 2011 when she was appointed to the Ohio House of Representatives. … Continue reading

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Reflecting on the year Between the Rows for Kurt Wyler

Kurt Wyler, the final of our four Between the Rows farmers we are highlighting in 2022, joins us to discuss the year in review. With a dairy, hay, silage, wheat, soybeans, and corn among the many areas the Wyler family is involved in, Kurt has quite a bit to recap.

This video and Between the Rows updates all year long thanks to Seed Genetics Direct.… Continue reading

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Managing risks in a volatile nitrogen market

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Other than land cost, nitrogen is the highest-priced input we pay for in the corn production budget. All signs are that volatile nitrogen markets will be with us for the 2023 crop. Recently, farmdoc daily looked at Illinois price fluctuations since June 2022. The high of $1,635 was on June 2, and the low of $1,153 happened on Aug. 25. By Oct. 6, prices are up to $1384. The volatility will likely remain due to uncertainty about natural gas prices from continued Ukraine-Russia tensions and unknown U.S. winter heating 2022-2023 season. What do natural gas prices have to do with nitrogen prices? Natural gas is key to the industrial fixation of nitrogen through the Haber-Bosch process. Natural gas is 75% to 90% of the operating cost for nitrogen production.

An October 2022 article from the farmdoc daily crew at the University of Illinois discusses tools for managing nitrogen price risk.… Continue reading

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Challenges to Ohio sheep production

By Brady Campbell, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University State Small Ruminant Extension Specialist

Ohio sheep production faces many challenges, however, in my opinion, some of the greatest arise from environmental changes, land mass availability, and predators. To start, we’ll discuss the environmental challenges that producers commonly face. The biggest environmental challenge in my opinion is directly related to excessive rainfall that much of the state has experienced in the recent past. As of late, because of excessive and unpredictable rainfall events, both crop and livestock producers have been unable to harvest and store quality feedstuffs in a timely fashion. 

Arguably, the spring of 2020 alone presented the greatest challenge as excessive rain events led to delayed planting of crop fields, making of hay, in addition to resuming normal pasture grazing. As a result, crop planting and harvesting was delay, if at all. Excessive moisture in the fall of 2020 was just as challenging during harvest as it was during planting.… Continue reading

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NFU weighs in on COP27 Panel

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew participated in the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. In addition to serving as an official observer of the proceedings as a representative of the World Farmers Organization, Larew also joined the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Agriculture panel – hosted by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. President Larew highlighted NFU’s support for the USDA climate-smart agriculture pilots that were recently announced. 

“It’s my honor to bring the voice of American family famers to the global stage as world leaders convene to discuss how we navigate the climate crisis,” said Rob Larew, NFU President“Family farmers and ranchers have led the way in sustainable and innovative practices. The USDA climate-smart pilots will accelerate this good work by further leveraging the resources of private and public partners to even greater gains, while keeping farmers and ranchers at the heart of the efforts.… Continue reading

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Organizations speak out on pesticide preemption

In a letter to congressional leadership, more than 300 agriculture, environment, academic, infrastructure, and other stakeholder groups are calling on Congress to reaffirm federal pesticide preemption on labeling and packaging. Failing to do so, the groups warn, could hold disastrous consequences for our food security, the environment, public health, vital infrastructure, and other uses where pesticides provide important societal benefits.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is clear that states “shall not impose or continue in effect any requirements for labeling or packaging in addition to or different from those required” by the federal government. However, in recent years, states have sought to impose health claim label requirements that directly contradict federal findings. This not only risks eroding public trust in science and evidence-based regulation, but also opens the door for a patchwork of conflicting state and municipal labels that could disrupt commerce and limit access to vital tools.

The letter, which drew 332 signers, calls on Congress to reaffirm that states may not impose additional labeling or packaging requirements that conflict with federal findings.… Continue reading

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Why high-oleic soybeans?

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

High-oleic Soybeans are nothing new to Ohio producers, and the number of opportunities to grow and market high oleic soybeans are greater now than ever.

“The demand for high-oleic soybean oil in both the food market and industrial uses is exploding,” said John Motter, Ohio Soybean Farmer and past United Soybean Board Chairman. “The demand for high-oleic beans is out there. We simply don’t have enough acres going to high-oleic soy in Ohio and across the country to meet the demand.”

Some folks worry about yield drag when growing a specialty bean. That has not been the case with the high-oleic soybeans.

“I’ve been growing high oleic soybeans for 11 years. I put out my own personal plots with the high-oleic beans and put them up against a high yielding elite commodity variety and the high-oleic beans area always right up there with the elite varieties. … Continue reading

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Skyrocketing input prices amid challenging weather conditions in South America

By Guil Signorini and Fabiano Colet, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science,The Ohio State University

The beginning of autumn marks the time of the year to turn our attention south and check the initial development of the growing season in Brazil and Argentina. At this time, South American growers are busy sowing their crops before spring takes place and brings rainfalls back. But before sowing, southern growers must have put a good effort into strategizing and circumventing challenges, especially in times of uncertainty. Their decisions and thought process may spark insights about North America’s upcoming ag input market landscape in five to six months.

The appropriate timing for planting has certainly been part of the thought process for Brazilian growers. The most logical driving factor in guiding growers’ decisions over planting date this season has been the high probability of La Niña. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) agency projects a 79% probability of La Niña in the last quarter of 2022, with the probability dropping to 47% in January 2023.… Continue reading

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Operation Evergreen again sending some Christmas to troops overseas

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OCTA) are partnering once again to send American troops stationed throughout the world Ohio-grown Christmas trees. Operation Evergreen is an annual event that was held at ODA’s Reynoldsburg campus and organized by OCTA.

“Sending our servicemen and women a piece of home during the holidays while they are serving our country overseas is one small way we can show our deep appreciation for the sacrifices they make on our behalf,” said Dorothy Pelanda, ODA Director. “The Ohio Department of Agriculture is proud to once again be a partner on this special project.”

Trees are donated by Ohio Christmas tree growers and inspected by ODA nursery inspectors before being sent to soldiers serving in the armed forces overseas. Trees received a phytosanitary certificate for international shipment and will be delivered to troops by UPS. In addition to the trees, decorations were donated by local schools, churches, and veterans’ groups, ensuring the military units receiving the trees will have all that is needed to celebrate the holidays.… Continue reading

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Woodworth joins Ohio Corn & Wheat

Ohio Corn & Wheat (OCW) is pleased to announce its newly hired manager of communications, Jessy Woodworth.   

As manager of communications, Woodworth will work closely with OCW’s director of marketing and communications, Marlene Eick, in implementing the organization’s communications initiatives. Her responsibilities will include capturing onsite photo and video content, managing OCW’s social media channels and overseeing communication campaigns on behalf of Ohio’s corn and small grains community.

Woodworth is a well-rounded communications professional with experience in internal and external marketing campaigns, social media, photography and writing. She joins the team following her time as a communication specialist for Madison Township in Franklin County, Ohio. Woodworth is also a contributing writer to 

“It takes a knowledgeable, creative individual to tell the story of Ohio’s corn and small grain producers,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of OCW. “Jessy is a great fit for that task, and we look forward to having her communications expertise on the Ohio Corn & Wheat staff.”… Continue reading

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