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Farmers taking advantage of great harvest weather

Charlie Kail

There is more corn standing out in the field than I thought there should be with the weather we have had. We have had straight runs of fantastic harvest weather. A couple of guys have been telling me that the corn is just too wet. My response to them is that the deer and the raccoons are getting it instead because they don’t mind if it is a little wetter.

I had one guy tell me he was running 11 bushels per acre and then a minute later he was running 240. When you have that kind of variation in yields you are going to have moisture that varies too. There will be corn moisture at 17% up into the 23% or 24% range. When I was a kid we couldn’t get corn below 22%. The new hybrids obviously dry down a lot better than the old ones did.… Continue reading

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Ag organizations lay groundwork to start work with Biden Administration

After several days of ballot counting and much anticipation, the Associated Press announced that former Vice President Joe Biden had won the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

“The last four years haven’t been too kind to family farmers and ranchers. Overproduction, rampant corporate consolidation, trade disputes, and climate change have kept commodity prices stubbornly low, causing farm debt to balloon and farm bankruptcies to proliferate,” said Rob Larew, National Farmers Union (NFU) president. “On the campaign trail, President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that he intends to address many of the concerns we have expressed over the last several years. He has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement as well as provide farmers and ranchers the tools they need to implement climate-smart practices, both of which are top priorities for Farmers Union members. Additionally, Biden has outlined his commitment to revitalize rural economies, enforce antitrust regulation, strengthen the Affordable Care Act, alleviate racial inequities in agriculture, expand rural broadband, and promote homegrown biofuels.… Continue reading

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There is no security quite like food security

By Matt Reese

This time of year farmers around the state are working feverishly around the clock (and the weather) to get the last fields of corn and soybeans harvested and safely in the bin before the harshest winter weather sets in. Along with this accomplishment, comes a special feeling of deep satisfaction unique to farms. It is the completion of a year of planning, investment and long hours. Similarly, getting a mow filled with hay in summer’s waning days feels pretty good and there is also something very comforting about amassing an impressive pile of fire wood before the first snow of the season.

Beyond the farm community, though, these things simply do not compare to a feeling of having a nice stockpile of food for your family as winter arrives. For the Reeses, the 4-H turkeys, chickens, lambs, and pigs have been processed, I just got a quarter of a steer from my brother and the freezer is full of meat as we head into winter.… Continue reading

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The power of rural health in Ohio

By Dee Jepsen and Laura Akgerman

National Rural Health Day is Thursday Nov. 19, 2020. This day highlights the unique challenges rural communities face when it comes to health services and healthy people.

Focusing on the Power of Rural is the theme for this year’s campaign

Ohio has a State Office of Rural Health (SORH), which serves as the anchor of information and support for rural communities. They advocate strengthening health care delivery systems through their resources and programs, and encourage recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural areas. Visit their website at https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/state-office-of-rural-health

In addition to the good work done by SORH, Ohioans can connect with other rural health advocates and providers by joining The Ohio Rural Health Association, an advocacy organization which works closely with SORH, and offers resources, educational and networking opportunities for ORHA members. ORHA’s missions is to enhance the health and well-being of the state’s rural citizens and communities.… Continue reading

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USDA releases farm production expense forecast for 2020

By Chris Zoller, Ohio State University Extension Educator, ANR in Tuscarawas County

The United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) has announced their prediction for farm production expenses for 2020. Production expenses are projected to be reduced by 1.3% to $344.2 billion in nominal (non-inflation-adjusted) dollars. These expenses represent the costs of all inputs used to produce farm commodities and affect farm profitability. While overall production expenses are forecast to decrease, specific expenses vary.

USDA-ERS estimates expenses to increase in 2020 account for 69% of total expenses. The two largest expense categories, feed and labor, are expected to increase 1.4% and 3.1%, respectively. Expenses expected to decrease in 2020 account for 31% of all production expenses. Specific examples of expense items expected to decrease include interest expenses (27.1%), fuel and oil (13.9%), livestock and poultry purchases (7.5%), and pesticides (2.1%).

Inflation-adjusted total production expenses in 2020 are expected to be 19% below the record high of $427.1 billion in 2014.… Continue reading

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OSU Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference this week

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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China buying bolsters prices

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The strong China buying bonanza for U.S. soybeans and U.S. corn the last several months has been instrumental in the price gains seen for January soybeans from July to the end of October. Summer lows were $8.40 for January CBOT soybeans. December CBOT corn had a low this summer of $3.20. During much of the early growing season there was much press about China not meeting the goals of purchasing $36 billion of U.S. agricultural goods. By the end of October it was estimated they had purchased at least 30 million tons (1.1 billion bushels) of U.S. soybeans. 

In addition, analysts are suggesting China could be purchasing 20 million tons of U.S. corn. China recently issued additional corn import licenses, above the first round of import licenses of seven million tons. They were a buyer of U.S. corn numerous times in October. Many are anticipating U.S. corn and U.S.… Continue reading

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NCGA working to grow corn demand through new uses

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has held two Consider Corn Challenge contests, garnering nine winners with unique technologies that would improve a product or process by using field corn to produce biobased materials. If all nine of the Consider Corn Challenge winners reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand would be approximately 2.9 billion bushels.

“The team is discussing having another Consider Corn Challenge because we know there is still a lot of untapped potential out there, and researchers have new and innovative ideas to bring to the table using corn as an industrial feedstock,” said Dan Wesely, NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) and Nebraska farmer. “This is an important area of focus because it will set us up for driving corn demand long-term.”

Previous Consider Corn Challenge winners have recently received more funding for their technologies. ExoPolymer announced the Investment Group of Santa Barbara (IGSB) is providing seed money to help them continue to conduct research for targeted markets.… Continue reading

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Planning weddings, showers and events in 2020

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

K-i-s-s-i-n-g! First comes love. Next comes marriage. Then comes baby in the baby carriage. It’s true. What we learned on the playground has come second circle. Paul and I are in that seasoned time of life when weddings and babies are coming fast and furious. It’s a good thing I love to plan and host parties for these life celebrations.

Next comes marriage…

Weddings and showers are a HUGE part of today’s marriage culture and COVID has put a damper on these events. Smaller gatherings, postponements and two-step weddings are being planned. Son 1, semi-escaped the COVID wrath with a February “destination wedding” in South Dakota. Hallelujah there was no blizzard! Paul and I wanted to host a Buckeye Bash celebration back in Ohio. We decided on an end of August date for the “I do BBQ,” anticipating that the mandates by the State would let up.… Continue reading

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Cover crop management

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services.

As fall harvest progresses, farmers are looking ahead to next year’s crop.  Farmers utilizing no-till and/or cover crops may need to make different management decisions than conventional tillage farmers.  Consider the following tips for managing cover crops and making fertilizer adjustments.

Legumes and clover cover crops are usually planted before corn because they make nitrogen (N).  Legumes and clovers maximize N production (85-90%) at blooming, so terminate these cover crops before they set seed and the N is ties up. Most organic N is in the leaves and becomes available to the next crop 2-5 weeks after they decompose.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Most no-till farmers add 40-60# N in a corn starter to stimulate early corn growth, when soil microbial communities are lower and recovering after a cold winter. Microbial populations increase exponentially with moisture and warmer soils in late spring and early summer, recycling soil nutrients to the next crop.

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National recognition for Ohio county farm bureaus

The American Farm Bureau Federation County Activities of Excellence awards celebrate unique, local, volunteer-driven programs that serve as models of innovation for local program development. The winning counties receive a grant to fund participation in the Farm Bureau CAE Showcase at the 2021 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention and Trade Show in January. AFBF received more than 60 entries across all membership categories, with only 12 activities nationwide being selected to present at the convention.

“Once again, Ohio has more CAE winners than any other state,” said Melinda Witten, Ohio Farm Bureau senior director, leadership development. “We are always proud of the county Farm Bureau programming in Ohio, but we are thrilled to see five counties recognized at the American Farm Bureau level.”

Here are Ohio’s winners.

Delaware and Pickaway counties: Farms to food banks

The counties purchased 43 head of locally raised hogs and beef cattle from member-producers and junior fair exhibitors.… Continue reading

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Ohio brothers make aquaculture dream a reality

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

It’s uncommon to find local Ohio seafood, but the Waldock brothers have found a way to produce seafood locally nearly 600 miles from the closest ocean.

Buckeye Seafood Company in Wood County produces fresh shrimp and tilapia for retail. The aquaculture operation was added to diversify the family’s 300-acre vegetable production operation in Wood County by brothers Jack and TJ Waldock, who share a lifelong love of fish and seafood.

“We’ve loved fishing forever,” Jack Waldock said. “We always wanted to do aquaculture. When we were younger, we wanted to do tilapia but there was a heavy start up price. Our dad steered us that way and when we were in high school we went and toured a tilapia and perch facility. We were always looking for something different to do and shrimp came up. After years of planning, we pulled the trigger and got started.… Continue reading

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American Forage and Grassland Council will hold hybrid conference in 2021

By Chris Penrose, OSU Morgan County Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and President Elect, American Forage and Grassland Council

In response to feedback, the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) Board of Directors has made the decision to host a hybrid conference in January 2021. This means there will be two events, one in-person and one virtual, on two separate dates. The Board felt this approach met the feedback received and allows members and attendees the option to choose the event structure that best fit their comfort level.

The AFGC Annual Conference will be held in-person January 3 through Jan. 6 at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Georgia and the AFGC Virtual Conference will be held January 11 and 12, 2021. The content offered in person will be recorded and available at the virtual event and the virtual will include sessions by presenters who made the decision to present remotely.… Continue reading

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Fall cover crops

By Sarah NoggleRachel Cochran, Ohio State University Extension

It is time for planting fall cover crops. Cover crops can serve many purposes, ranging from erosion control to nutrient sequestration. Depending on the type and species of cover crop, benefits range from providing a nitrogen source, scavenging nutrients to decrease leaching potential, acting as a soil builder, preventing erosion, fighting weeds, acting as a forage, conserving soil moisture, and enhancing wildlife habitats.

Legumes

  • Can be used as a nitrogen source due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil
  • Many have good or excellent forage value, such as many clover species, alfalfa, and winter pea

Brassicas

  • Many are good weed-fighters, such as turnips, oilseed radish, and mustards
  • Many have good grazing and forage value, such as canola, turnips, and oilseed radish

Grasses

  • Good erosion fighter due to fibrous root systems
  • Many have excellent grazing or forage value
  • Good nutrient scavenger due to vast root system

Cover crops can be seeded in ways to fit any operation.… Continue reading

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Veterans defended this country and now serving through agriculture

By Natalie Monroe, communications director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition

Many veterans return home feeling lost, without purpose.

They seek that “new mission” they grew accustomed to during their time in the military.

When the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) was founded in 2008 by Michael O’Gorman in the back of his pick-up truck, no one was connecting veterans with the farming community. He thought he could help them have meaningful careers on our nation’s farms. Today there are more than 250 organizations supporting this military-to-agriculture movement.

A national non-profit, FVC helps veterans pursue careers in agriculture. For these men and women, farming has become their new mission. The FVC mission — mobilizing veterans to feed America — is rooted in our belief that veterans possess the character needed to create sustainable food systems and strengthen rural communities. We recognize that agriculture additionally offers purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits. For many, this makes the difference in their civilian re-integration.… Continue reading

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Don’t take drying shortcuts with stored corn

By Dee Jepsen and Lisa Pfeifer, Ohio State University Extension

Wet weather conditions are causing concerns with the 2020 corn crop going into storage. Proper management of stored grain will be the key to eliminating risks to human health and safety later in the season.

Grain that goes into the bin with higher moisture content presents a host of possible issues.

  • It can freeze or bind.
  • Mold issues can arise.
  • An environment susceptible to insect problems can be created.
  • Higher volumes of bin fines can result.

All of these issues ultimately affect grain flow efficiencies, which can lead to a number of safety hazards. These conditions can cause grain to become bridged or line the sidewall of the bin, resulting in the need for bin entry into an unstable environment.

Producers will need to monitor bin conditions and test the moisture level of the product more frequently throughout the storage season.… Continue reading

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The day after election day

By Matt Reese

I am writing this just after returning from the polls on Nov. 3 election day to cast my votes for 2020. It is my guess that the sun will be rising in the east on Nov. 4, 2020 regardless of the election’s outcome.

This sunrise provides some perspective to the conclusion of the raucous few months of hype, promises, rhetoric, and politicking that have bombarded Ohioans. Of course, some winners rejoiced with unbridled optimism regarding the positive changes for the future and some losers lamented the disastrous outcome for life as we know it. Ultimately, the truth of the matter is that the election results will be neither as idyllic as hoped or as horrific as feared. We have a proven system of checks and balances that (for better or worse) reign in these extremes. It may be flawed, but it keeps chugging along, just like that sun crossing the sky overhead.… Continue reading

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Weed management in Ohio: Maybe we are getting better?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

Our OSU Extension AgNR educators have been conducting fall weed surveys in Ohio soybean fields since 2006. That was about 10 years after the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans and we were starting to see break throughs and wanted to document those occurrences.

We again observed soybean fields across the state this fall to see what was out there during our annual fall soybean weed survey. We each drive about 80 miles around our county and rank weed control on a 1 to 3 scale — with a 1 being very few weeds and a 3 a trashy mess. We also count the number of weed free fields.

Statewide our most frequently observed weed was again marestail as has been regularly since 2006 I believe. It was present in 21% of the fields. Giant ragweed is right there with it at 20%. Waterhemp is again a problem, even THE major problem, in some areas of the state.… Continue reading

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OFBF, NRCS extend demo farms project

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service have signed a new, five-year agreement to continue research for the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network project. The ongoing efforts of the two organizations will study ideas that emphasize protecting Ohio’s water resources and soil health through innovative agricultural practices.

After the establishment of the project in 2015, three demonstration farms were created as models for new innovations that reduce and prevent agricultural nutrient runoff and have shared those discoveries with local farmers, land management agencies and the public. The demonstration farms are a key component of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Water Quality Action Plan, a comprehensive initiative to help farmers proactively improve and protect water quality.

“Being able to conduct this type of research on real farms, each of different scales and scopes, has been invaluable as we look for ways for farmers to maintain their production levels while also protecting the quality of water and their soils,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Farmers invited to XtendFlex Live Premiere

Farmers from Minnesota to Mississippi are planning to join Bayer and special guests for the XtendFlex Soybeans Live Premiere. The 90-minute web event is scheduled on Nov. 12 at 8 a.m. (CST).

“Ever since we started talking about it, farmers have been anxiously waiting for the XtendFlex soybeans technology approval. Ultimately, XtendFlex soybeans offer farmers the yield they want with the choice they need,” said Brandy Cullen, traits marketing communications manager at Bayer’s Crop Science division. “XtendFlex soybeans are the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System’s ‘next big thing,’ and we are excited to celebrate this milestone with farmers across the country.”

U.S. Farm Report anchor Tyne Morgan will host the prize-packed event where three farmers will each win 500 acres’ worth of XtendFlex soybeans. Prizes also include a new drone, Google Nest, YETI Cooler, grill, smoker and Omaha Steaks. The live premiere will also feature a guest appearance from American country music singer and songwriter Dustin Lynch and a surprise guest. … Continue reading

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