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Cyber attack on meat industry yields minimal disruption

Over the Memorial Day weekend, JBS SA, the world’s largest meat marketer, had to shut down all of its U.S. beef processing plants. It total those plants process around 20% of the American beef market. JBS plants in Australia and Canada were also affected by the attack.  

“JBS’ computer networks were infiltrated by unknown ransomware. The USDA released a statement showing its commitment to working with JBS, the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and others to monitor the situation,” said Jeffrey K Lewis, Research Specialist. Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program. “The ransomware attack comes on the heels of the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack, leading many to wonder who is next. As part of its effort, the USDA has been in touch with meat processors across the country to ensure they are aware of the situation and asking them to accommodate additional capacity, if possible. The impact of the cyber-attack may include a supply chain shortage in the United States, a hike in beef prices at the grocery store, and a renewed push to regulate other U.S.… Continue reading

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Daily price swings could be big in coming weeks

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The March 31 Prospective Plantings Report had the United States planting 91.1 million acres of corn and 87.6 million acres of soybeans. When that report was released, it was pretty common for many analysts to suggest we need a record corn yield and perfect weather to produce enough corn to satisfy global corn demand. While that report is old news, the question remains: how much above those numbers will USDA publish with the upcoming June 30 Acreage Report? The report will provide further insights into the actual number of corn and soybean acres planted this spring. Many are expecting both corn and soybean acres to increase from the March 31 report. Mid-May one private analyst indicated 2021 corn acres would be 96.8 million acres. That number caused numerous sell-offs which lasted into the last week of May.

China was extremely active last month buying U.S. new crop corn.… Continue reading

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Sunrise announces inaugural class of Sunrise University

Sunrise Cooperative has announced the addition of nine team members as an extension of its RISE FFA Career Program. The new members of the Sunrise team are full-time employees and the inaugural class of Sunrise University.
Sunrise University is an expansion of the RISE FFA Career Program. In 2021, Sunrise has offered a full-time position to nine individuals. These new employees will learn all facets of the cooperative to expand their knowledge in agriculture. Their employment will allow Sunrise to grow our own team with dedicated employees that have learned from the start about Sunrise and our customer-owners. The recent graduates will build their career paths through first-hand experience in what we have coined as Sunrise University.
The inaugural class of Sunrise University includes Zach Allgyre (Seneca East FFA), Colton Boyer (Clear Fork FFA), Hannah Cleveland (Bellevue FFA), Brayden Cole (Lorain County JVS FFA), Shaun Hall (Shelby FFA), Eli Ott (Monroeville FFA), Dan Utz (Buckeye Central FFA), Jacob Walters (Van Buren FFA) and Seth Wells (Miami East FFA).… Continue reading

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Beef under (cyber)attack

By Jeffrey K Lewis, Research Specialist, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Over the Memorial Day weekend, JBS SA, the largest meat producer globally, was forced to shut down all of its U.S. beef plants which is responsible for nearly 25% of the American beef market.  JBS plants in Australia and Canada were also affected.  The reason for the shut down?  Over the weekend, JBS’ computer networks were infiltrated by unknown ransomware.  The USDA released a statement showing its commitment to working with JBS, the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and others to monitor the situation.  The ransomware attack comes on the heels of the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack, leading many to wonder who is next.  As part of its effort, the USDA has been in touch with meat processors across the country to ensure they are aware of the situation and asking them to accommodate additional capacity, if possible.  … Continue reading

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Crop emergence looking strong statewide

Ross Black

Once we get a day or two of drying to recover from this 6 tenths of rain, then I suppose it will be time to start applying nitrogen to this corn. If it gets 90 degrees, this stuff is really going to take off. 

I know it is a typical farmer thing, complaining that we either don’t get enough rain or too much rain, but boy I would have taken an inch all day long because we could have more than handled it. Everything I have seen so far seems to be coming up extremely well. It was good we did not get a pounding rain because some of this crop that is still trying to come up is not crusted in. It was a slow and steady rain that didn’t hurt anything and everything looks great. 

The wheat is really looking good. I would say maybe in the mid-20s of June it could be about ready to come off.… Continue reading

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Digging parties and drainage

By Matt Reese

My 11-year-old son really enjoys inviting some of his buddies over to dig in the dirt in the backyard. So far this spring, they have already had a couple of “digging parties.” The mud was particularly extensive on a recent digging party where they went so deep they dug right through the waterline going from the house to the barn. 

“I had to hit it with the shovel three or four times before water started shooting out,” one of my son’s friends told me, covered head to toe in dripping mud. 

Fortunately, the hardest part of fixing a leaking water line is digging the hole, and that was already done. After baling out the hole the next day, my son and I were able to get it patched up pretty quickly. All digging party participants now know how deep is too deep to dig and that they need to bring an extra change of clothes if they want to come in for dinner. … Continue reading

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OABA to honor professionalism, stewardship and excellence in agribusiness employees

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association will recognize outstanding leaders in the agribusiness industry through the OABA Industry Excellence Awards.

OABA has a distinguished history of providing educational opportunities to its member companies and their employees. The Industry Excellence Awards are OABA’s next step to recognizing stories of professionalism, stewardship and excellencewithin the agribusiness industry.

“Our industry is filled with stories of outstanding leaders who go above and beyond for their companies and customers,” said Chris Henney, president and CEO of OABA. “By recognizing and honoring these individuals, we raise the bar for theentire agribusiness industry.”

OABA member company employees can now be nominated for three award opportunities: Achievement as an Emerging Leader, Excellence in Customer Service and Excellence in Safety & Stewardship.

Nominations can be submitted by any industry professional, but the nominee must work for an OABA member company. Nominations must be submitted by July 30, 2021.

Award recipients will be recognized at the 2022 OABA Industry Conference on Jan. 26. Winners will receive complimentary registration and lodging for the conference, recognition in industry publications and a $1,000 cash award, sponsored by Assured Partners – ABIS/J.H. … Continue reading

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Designing drainage systems for the future

By Vinayak Shedekar, PhD

Why do Ohio farmers drain their crop land? In the 1850s, early settlers began digging ditches to drain swamps. Drainage transformed the swamps of northwest Ohio into some of the best farmland in the state.  

After some major advances in drainage technology during the mid- to late-1900s, most of the drainage materials and technologies remained steady (these included new designs of drainage plows, tile trenching machines, corrugated-wall plastic tubing, and laser-beam grade-control). In the past 10 to 15 years, however, the drainage design and installation has been revolutionized by the availability of computer software for drainage design, machine control, and high-precision differential (RTK) GPS technology for surveying and installation of drainage systems.

Most of modern-day subsurface tile drainage work is now largely focused on replacing and/or improving aged tile systems (replacing old, randomly placed clay tile systems with corrugated-plastic tubing in a more systematic fashion), installing new systems in soils where wetlands are not threatened, and retrofitting existing systems to enable farm­ers’ adoption of drainage related conservation practices.… Continue reading

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Grants for urban agriculture and innovative production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced earlier the availability of up to $4 million for grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production is accepting proposals for planning and innovation projects, and these grants are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.  
“Urban agriculture can play an important role in food justice and equity,” said Mark VanHoose, Ohio Farm Service Agency Acting State Executive Director.

USDA will accept applications on until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 30, 2021.
“Such projects have the potential to educate, innovate, and unify communities to improve nutrition and food access and increase local food production in urban areas,” said John Wilson, Natural Resources Conservation Service Acting State Conservationist in Ohio.

Implementation projects
Implementation projects that accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers.… Continue reading

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Soybean nutrient concentration research aims to improve fertilizer use efficiency

By Laura Temple, North Central Soybean Research Program

Modern soybean varieties produce much higher yields than decades ago. And researchers have identified other differences. New soybean cultivars have lower concentrations of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), according to a meta-analysis of soybean composition over time.

“What do lower nutrient concentrations mean to soybean plants?” asks Dr. Alvaro Sanz-Saez, an assistant professor in Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences at Auburn University. “Maybe new cultivars have higher, unrealized yield potential. Or maybe they need fewer nutrients. Or maybe breeding for higher yields has limited their ability to take up nutrients.”

The answers to these questions could impact fertilizer applications and costs or lead to knowledge to further increase soybean yields. Sanz-Saez and a team of researchers investigated differences in nutrient concentrations between older and newer cultivars in a project funded by a soy checkoff investment from Alabama Soybean Producers.

“This research could help us detect characteristics that make future soybeans absorb K and P more efficiently, reducing fertilizer application and farming costs,” Sanz-Saez said.

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Ohio’s bacon and egg producers support Ohio restaurants through Best Buckeye Breakfasts campaign

Ohio’s egg and bacon farmers have joined efforts to launch Best Buckeye Breakfasts — a statewide restaurant support campaign highlighting Ohio farmers’ favorite breakfast menu items while encouraging the state’s consumers to support their local restaurants and those they employ by dining in, carrying out, or sharing their favorite breakfast spots. Best Buckeye Breakfasts officially launches June 3, on National Egg Day, and will run through Aug. 15, on  

“Ohio is home to one-of-a-kind foodie destinations and, no matter where you go, you’ll likely find a delicious breakfast dish on the menu that features eggs and bacon produced by local farmers,” Jim Chakeres, executive vice president, Ohio Poultry Association (OPA). “While Ohio’s farmers are excited to share their favorite breakfast spots, they want to hear from local communities and restaurateurs as part of this campaign.” 

Over the next 10 weeks, Best Buckeye Breakfasts will highlight different menu items — from eggs benedict to breakfast sandwiches and traditional breakfasts — and which Ohio restaurants serve them best, according to Ohio’s farmers and social media users. Ohioans… Continue reading

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Roseler and Weiss inducted into Dairy Science Hall of Service

By Maurice Eastridge, Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences The Ohio State University

The Dairy Science Hall of Service was initiated in 1952 to recognize worthy men and women who have made a substantial and noteworthy contribution toward the improvement of the dairy industry of Ohio, elevated the stature of dairy farmers, or inspired students enrolled at the Ohio State University. The 2021 inductees were recognized in April at the Department of Animal Sciences “Celebration of Excellence” held virtually.

Dwight Roseler

Dwight Roseler grew up in Wellington and has dedicated his career to assisting dairy farmers and those that work in the dairy industry. He graduated from The Ohio State University with his degree in dairy science in 1981. After graduation, Dwight worked as a field dairy nutritionist for local cooperatives in north central Ohio for seven years before continuing his education. Dwight earned a Master of Science degree in Ruminant Nutrition and Business Management in 1990 and a Ph.D.… Continue reading

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Avoid hay barn fires

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Hay fires are caused when bacteria in wet hay create so much heat that the hay spontaneously combusts in the presence of oxygen. At over 20% moisture mesophilic bacteria release heat-causing temperature to rise between 130 degrees F to 140 degrees F with temperature staying high for up to 40 days. As temperatures rise, thermophilic bacteria can take off in your hay and raise temperature into the fire danger zone of over 175 degrees F.

Assessing risk

If hay was baled between 15% to 20% moisture and acid preservatives were used, there is still potential for a hay fire but not as great as on non-treated hay. A moisture tester on your baler can help you know how moisture varies across your field and when to use hay preservative. Without a moisture tester, if you occasionally find darker green damp spots or humidity is high, be sure to monitor for heating.… Continue reading

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DeWine signs bill to set the stage for better rural broadband

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

There’s been a major milestone reached in Ohio’s crusade to expand rural broadband access. Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 2 in May that provides $20 million this fiscal year to expand access and created the Ohio Broadband Expansion Program.

“Internet service providers can start connecting households that weren’t economically viable to connect previously,” said Jenna Reese, director of state policy with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

The bill was passed with an emergency clause which allows for immediate implementation as opposed to the normal 90-day implementation period. 

“This will allow the Development Services Agency to start working on rules to administer this program,” Reese said. “Allowing the program to get off the ground will help us have a robust program that we can continue funding later.”

That funding will come at a sum of $200 million — including some federal funds — in the state budget to expand the program.… Continue reading

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The power of farmers to unite a community

By Rick McNary, vice president of Strategic Partnerships for The Outreach Program

I didn’t think they could do it, but they proved me wrong. 

I was so sure the Belmont County Farm Bureau would not hit their goal of packaging 22,222 bags of meals for their school’s Backpack Program, that I was already scheduling a truck to pick up the unused ingredients. But I underestimated the power of one man with a vision and the power of farmers to unite a community to care for its own. 

I have spent more than 10 years engaging volunteers across America in meal-packaging events, so I know what it takes to raise money and to organize hundreds of volunteers. Therefore, when Devin Cain told me their fund-raising goal of $43,000 and the short window of time to raise the money, I was skeptical. But the real kicker was when he told me they weren’t going to have volunteer registration.… Continue reading

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The export delivery process

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Last Wednesday, the corn market pulled back to a technical point and Thursday it bounced off it. Fundamentally, crops aren’t made or lost in May, so debates over planted acres and Chinese demand for old and new crop will continue to manipulate prices. In June, weather becomes a factor and it’s impossible to know today what exactly will happen. I expect a bumpy road yet for prices this summer.

The export delivery process

Recently I received a request for an explanation of the corn futures delivery process. So, I reached out to my good friend Joe Rich of O’Bryan Commodities to help me summarize this complex process.


The current delivery process was set up many decades ago when corn exports were nearly 30% of total demand. The total U.S. exported bushels stayed relatively consistent for 40 years but have increased about 50% in volume in the last 5 years.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Council welcomes Ashcraft as next Communication Director

The Ohio Pork Council and Executive Vice President Cheryl Day have announced the hiring of Curt Ashcraft as the organization’s next Communication Director beginning June 1, 2021. 

In this position, Ashcraft will be at the forefront of all communication, marketing, and educational efforts for the Ohio Pork Council, including all management of social media, content, and promotions for the organization. 

“We are excited to welcome Curt to our team, leading the marketing and communication effort for the organization,” Day said. “His experience and creativity will assist Ohio pig farmers find new and innovative ways to promote healthy, wholesome pork.” 

Ashcraft comes to the Ohio Pork Council with a number of experiences that are rooted in the world of agriculture. Growing up on a grain farm and rural community in Knox County, Ashcraft spent his youth as a member of 4-H, as well as the National FFA Organization. During his four years in the Fredericktown FFA Chapter, Ashcraft was involved in parliamentary procedure, public speaking, and was a member of one of the top meat science programs in the state. … Continue reading

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Planting progress nears completion, emergence advances

Timely precipitation occurred throughout the week which accelerated crop progress and boosted crop conditions,
according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions
were rated 89 percent adequate to surplus, up 14 percentage points from the previous week. Temperatures for the week ending May 30 averaged 3 degrees below historical normals, while the entire State averaged 0.84 inches of precipitation. There were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 30.

Farmers continued planting crops between showers. Replanting activities were necessary in some fields. Oats were 94 percent emerged and were rated 72 percent good to excellent condition. Corn planted progress was 92 percent complete and corn emerged was at 70 percent, 20 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Soybeans planted progress remained ahead of the five-year average at 84 percent while soybeans emerged was 58 percent.
Winter wheat jointing was 98 percent and the winter wheat crop was rated 77 percent good to excellent condition.… Continue reading

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Assessing stands, weeds and nutrients

By Roy A. Ulrich, Technical Agronomist for Dekalb/Asgrow for Southern Ohio

Planting corn and soybeans in the spring of 2021 in the state of Ohio was once again wracked with the inevitable decisions of when to plant and when not to plant. Countless hours were spent staring into those crystal balls of smart phone weather apps that we all seem to praise or curse depending on the outcome or the forecast. This planting season has been stretched out over a two-month time span, with a wide variety of planting and growing conditions that accompanied this spring’s weather pattern. This has left us with fields that have a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses in the crop we have established in the field. While this may not be the ideal situation, this crop is far from being a success or failure and is a long way from being in the bins. So, we need to take stock of what we have and don’t have within our fields and how can we maximize the crop we have established and minimize the environmental stresses it faces later this growing season.… Continue reading

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