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Beck’s collaborates to accelerate gene editing innovations

Inari, the SEEDesign company, and Beck’s, the largest family-owned, retail seed company and the third largest seed brand in the United States, have announced a business and R&D collaboration — reinforcing their respective missions to provide more diverse, sustainable and competitive choices for farmers. The combination of Inari’s novel predictive design and advanced multiplex gene editing technology with Beck’s established corn research and breeding program will increase product testing capabilities and expand both companies’ capacity for innovation. 

Since its inception in 2016, Inari has made significant progress in delivering scientific breakthroughs through its SEEDesign platform. Much like the software and the hardware of a computer, this platform has a two-step approach. The software is its predictive design capabilities, which create a deep understanding of the plant genome, enabled through artificial intelligence and used to predict plant behavioral outcomes to improve performance. 

“Pushing the boundaries of what is possible and addressing the current and future challenges facing farmers requires innovation and collaboration,” said Ponsi Trivisvavet, chief executive officer at Inari.… Continue reading

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March meat exports break records

U.S. red meat exports ended the first quarter on a very high note, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), with March beef and pork exports each posting the highest monthly value on record. Pork exports and shipments of beef muscle cuts also set new volume records in March. 

Beef exports totaled 124,808 metric tons (mt) in March, up 8% from a year ago and the second largest of the post-BSE era. Export value broke the $800 million mark for the first time at $801.9 million, up 14% year-over-year. Beef muscle cut exports set new monthly records for both volume (98,986 mt, up 13% from a year ago) and value ($718.3 million, up 17%). For the first quarter, beef exports pulled even with last year’s pace at 333,348 mt, valued at $2.12 billion. For beef muscle cuts, first quarter exports increased 4% to 262,914 mt, valued at $1.9 billion (up 5%). … Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 205 | Culinary Chaos

In this episode of the podcast, Matt, Dusty and Kolt are joined by Shelly Detweiler, OCJ Food Columnist, Union County berry farmer and dietician. Shelly and Matt tackle a delicious looking asparagus dish and Shelly makes Dusty’s mouth water with a strawberry pie. Matt has an update from Dewey Mann from The Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Lab at Ohio State about all of the changes they’re making there. Matt also catches up with Mike Smith of Marion County. Mike is preparing his John Deere collection of old iron for the Classic Green Reunion held at the Ohio Expo Center June 24-26th. More information can be found at classicgreen.org. All of this and more powered by our friends at AgriGold! … Continue reading

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All 94 Ohio county and independent fairs to receive $50,000 from SB 109

On May 17 Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 109 into law, providing the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) $4.7 million in grant funding to distribute evenly to all 94 county and independent agricultural societies. As a result, ODA will be allocating $50,000 to each agricultural society to be used on their operating expenses, projects, or any other items related directly to the fair.

“Ohio’s fairs not only provide us fond memories of our childhood, they are also important to our local communities and provide a valuable forum for the next generation of responsible food producers,” said Dorothy Pelanda, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “We sincerely thank Governor DeWine and the General Assembly for this generous support of our fairs that have lost significant revenue and have struggled over the past year. It is my hope that this funding can help breathe new life into our fairs as they move toward a successful 2021 season.”… Continue reading

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Ohio legislature spending energy on energy legislation

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Energy is a hot topic at the statehouse these days. The Ohio General Assembly is reviewing several proposals dealing with energy sources, including solar and wind facilities, oil, gas, and gas pipelines. The proposals raise a critical question about where control over energy production activities should lie: with the state or with local communities? The proposals offer contrasting views on the answer to that question.

Solar and wind projects 

We reported in March that companion bills H.B. 118 and S.B. 52 were on hold due to conflicts with the proposals, which would have allowed citizens to use the referendum process to reject proposed large scale wind and solar energy developments in their communities. On May 12, the bill sponsors offered a substitute bill to the House Public Utilities Committee. The new approach in the substitute bill would allow a township to adopt a resolution designating all or parts of the township as “energy development districts.”… Continue reading

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Slow planting progress continues

Rain showers early in the week gave way to drier weather later in the week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 97 percent adequate to surplus, down 2 percentage points from the previous week. Temperatures for the week ending May 16 averaged 9.2 degrees below historical normals, while the entire State averaged 0.71 inches of precipitation. There were 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 16.

Farmers completed small amounts of fieldwork, including repairing and calibrating equipment and treating fields with fungicides. Oats were 77 percent emerged and were rated 64 percent good to excellent condition. Corn planted progress was 39 percent complete and corn emerged was at 17 percent. Corn planting progress moved ahead of the 5- year average while emergence fell slightly behind. Soybeans planted progress was 29 percent while soybeans emerged was 12 percent. Winter wheat jointing was 89 percent and the winter wheat crop was rated 73 percent good to excellent condition. … Continue reading

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Challenging times forge strong leadership

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

When Karie Staley found out she was selected to be the new branch manager for Central Ohio Farmer’s Co-op in Mt. Gilead, she was more than excited. 

After nearly 20 years dedicated to the company and to her customers as a sales agronomist, she began her role as the branch manager in early 2019. She had no idea at the time what the year would hold, but was looking forward to getting started that spring. 

“We were ready to go, had everything set and ready to roll, but it just started raining. Then it kept raining,” Staley said. “People didn’t want to do prevent plant, but then the days kept rolling by and farmers had to make an economic decision.” 

Customers of the cooperative kept calling to cancel their orders. 

“You can send seed corn back, but you can’t send treated soybeans back,” Staley said. … Continue reading

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A growing solution to the plastics problem

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Plastics are all around us. Cookware and eating utensils, toys and games, car and truck fenders, syringes, fence posts, single-use water bottles, signs, and even human anatomical parts made on 3-D printers. They’re all made of plastic.

We have Leo Baekeland, a brilliant, but eccentric, Belgian-born chemist, to thank for setting us on the course to our world of plastic. Experimenting with formaldehyde and phenol formulations, he invented, in 1907, the first type of plastic, which he named Bakelite. A solid heat-resistant product that could be molded into different shapes, it was used primarily for electrical equipment like telephones. 

For his history-making invention, Baekeland landed on the cover of Time magazine. And for founding the first plastics company, the Bakelite Corporation, he became known as the Father of the Plastics Industry. The tagline for his company’s star product: “The Material of a Thousand Uses.” 

Bakelite drew the kind of attention given today to innovations like cell phones, smartwatches and robotic machines.… Continue reading

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Ag groups expressing concerns about tax reform

The Tax Aggie Coalition sent a letter Monday to congressional leadership reiterating that any tax reform needs to have built-in protections for family-owned farms.  
“As Congress turns its attention to making investments in our nation’s infrastructure and human resources, we urge you not to alter or eliminate long-standing tax code provisions that are fundamental to the financial health of production agriculture and the businesses that supply its inputs, transport its products, and market its commodities,” the letter explained. The letter focused primarily on the current proposal to eliminate the step-up-in-basis and impose capital gains taxes at death. These proposals have gained significant traction in recent weeks as the Biden administration proposed such measures to pay for upcoming infrastructure investment, with few details on how farms will be exempted.

The letter also emphasized coalition support for maintaining Section 199A deductions and “like-kind exchange” provisions as key to maintaining profitability amongst farm operations.… Continue reading

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Carbon markets are promoting healthier soils

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

No-till farming started in the 1960’s and gained steam in the 1970’s (fuel crisis) and the 1980’s (agricultural financial crisis).  Glyphosate (Roundup ®) and genetically modified organisms (GMO) innovations also increased no-till farming.  But true long-term no-till farming on every acre every year occurs on less than 4-5% of Ohio farms, with most farmers doing some tillage.  Farmers are decreasing their tillage intensity and are now considering ways to capture soil carbon for payment which may require they move to towards regenerative practices like no-till and cover crops.

Tillage breaks up soil aggregates and loses carbon dioxide to the atmosphere within 5-10 minutes; while long-term no-till with cover crops starts the slow process of recovering lost carbon.  Adding soil carbon is all about roots exudates (active carbon) and root turnover (building humus from microbes).  Crop rotation, moisture, climate, and soil characteristics all influence how quickly soil carbon stabilizes. 

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Weed control and delayed planting

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

It’s déjà vu all over again.  We have run this article every few years, and it seems like maybe the frequency is increasing as we deal with wet and cold weather that delays planting.  The questions about this have not changed much, and neither have the suggestions we provide here.  One of the most common questions, predictably, is how to kill glyphosate-resistant marestail and giant ragweed and generally big weeds in soybeans when it’s not possible to delay planting long enough to use 2,4-D ester (Enlist soybeans excluded since there is no wait to plant).  Overwintered marestail plants become tougher to kill in May, so this is an issue primarily in fields not treated last fall.  The good news is that we have more effective herbicide/trait options for help with burndown compared with a few years ago.  The bad news is that nothing we suggest here is going to be infallible on large marestail. … Continue reading

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Remember the basics when getting back to planting

By Andy Westhoven, AgriGold Regional Agronomist, CPAg, CCA

I realize it is now mid-May and plenty of corn and soybean fields have been planted, but the feeling of planting crops when the markets have rallied is a beloved feeling by all. Another common sentiment with higher commodity prices is the willingness to try something new or different. If you are willing to step outside the box, please remember some of these general basics.

The planter is the most important pass of the season and no one enjoys a redo. Make sure to focus on the three key principles for germination: 1) uniform soil temperature, 2) uniform soil moisture, 3) consistent seed to soil contact. Oh, and plant two inches deep! (Couldn’t help myself.) If you have not finished planting your crops, one lesson we have learned in recent years is the ability to plant late (into June) and still reach respectable yields.… Continue reading

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Walleye breach the century mark

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Great news for northwest Ohio anglers: a walleye has been found in the Sandusky River upstream of the recently demolished Ballville Dam near Fremont. University of Toledo graduate student Taylor Sasak has spent the last two springs searching for signs that walleye are moving past the site of the former Ballville Dam that was removed in 2018 on the Sandusky River near Fremont, and finally struck gold.

The fish was captured in late April while electrofishing in a boat as part of Sasak’s ongoing research project. She actually caught 13 walleye near Portage Trail Park and one walleye near Wolf Creek Park above the former obstacle, the first time walleye have accessed the habitat that had been blocked for more than a century.

“The Ballville Dam blocked migratory fish, such as walleye, from accessing upstream areas of suitable spawning habitat for over a century,” Sasak said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council launches website for carbon market resources

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) has launched a new website for Ohio farmers interested in learning more about carbon programs. The site will help farmers answer common carbon-related questions, compare carbon programs available in Ohio and compile the questions they need to consider before enrolling in a program. Interested farmers can also sign-up to receive bi-weekly email updates about the latest news affecting carbon markets. The new site is available at www.soyohio.org/CarbonMarkets.

“Right now, carbon markets are a lot like the Wild West,” said Ryan Rhoades, Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) president and Marion County soybean farmer. “Each program has its own requirements and ways of measuring success so the sheer amount of information that exists can be overwhelming for farmers who are just trying to make the best decision for their operation.”

That is where OSC stepped in.

“As we began to learn about the carbon programs available in Ohio, we realized there was not a ‘one-stop-shop’ resource for farmers to compare programs and answer initial questions,” said Bill Bateson, OSC chairman and Hancock County soybean farmer.… Continue reading

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Growing Degree Days vs. calendar days — How long will emergence take?

By Alex Lindsey and Greg LaBarge, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 13-2021

When we examine crop emergence post-planting, two factors can impact speed of emergence — soil moisture content and soil temperatures. If soil temperatures are lower, it can take more calendar days for emergence to occur meaning rowing corn may take a little more time. In the Ohio Agronomy Guide, emergence should begin to occur after approximately 100 air GDDs.

A difference in 10 degrees in temperature can dramatically affect how quickly crops will emerge. For example, at a temperature of 60 degrees F heat unit accumulation per day would be 60 F – 50 (base temperature for growth) = 10 GDDs. If it takes 100 GDDs to start to see emergence, at this rate it would take 10 calendar days to see the crop start to emerge. If temperatures are 70 degrees F, heat unit accumulation per day would be 70 F – 50 = 20 GDDs.

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Gov. DeWine ending supplemental unemployment aid

On Thursday, Governor Mike DeWine announced that on June 26 Ohio will be ending the supplemental unemployment aid from the federal government. The unemployment checks, totaling $300 per week, were part of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

“The unemployment supplement from the federal government helped many Ohioans get through a very challenging time, but it was intended to be a short-term solution,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “As businesses continue to do their best to respond to the growing demand across the food and farm sector, there are plentiful opportunities for the state’s workforce to get back on the job to help Ohio’s economy return to pre-pandemic levels. We appreciate Gov. DeWine taking the steps needed for the long-term success of Ohio’s employers and their employees.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards nearly $50,000 in scholarships

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently awarded nearly $50,000 in scholarships to students across the state. The foundation annually recognizes Ohio students for their academic effort, community engagement and career interests that link agriculture to community service, education or scientific research.

Bill and Helen Swank Scholarship

Kameron Rinehart of Jeffersonville is the recipient of this scholarship. Over the course of his 40-year career with Farm Bureau, Dr. C. William (Bill) Swank enriched countless lives in the farm and food community. This fund honors the legacies of Bill and his wife, Helen, with a scholarship for the next generation of agricultural leaders.

Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship

Receiving the scholarship is Haven Hileman of Stout. This fund was established in honor of Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy, who passed away in 2020, to provide support for the next generation of student leaders. The income from this endowment will provide scholarship assistance in perpetuity to students majoring in agricultural and environmental policy or agriculture-related fields, such as food production, scientific research, education/outreach, policymaking, advocacy, or leadership development for women.… Continue reading

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Understanding climate adaptation in the Eastern Corn Belt

In light of climate-induced risks and uncertainties, such as increasing extreme rainfall events and warmer temperatures, an interdisciplinary team of research, extension, and outreach professionals at Ohio State are working together to identify how to promote sustainability and resilience in the Eastern Corn Belt. 

The team seeks to understand how farmers’ can adapt to these changing conditions while supporting both agricultural production and the protection of critical ecosystem services. View these brief videos to understand the project focus, the past and expected future climate conditions, and how and what farmers plan to adapt. Our climate infographic demonstrates how mean daily maximum temperatures could increase as much as 10 degrees, while annual total precipitation could increase as much as 15 inches. These changes will impact the growing season and create challenges with water availability at different times of the year. 

Our farmer infographic demonstrates that the preferred adaptation strategies are installing more drainage tile, increased the use of conservation tillage, changing one’s crop insurance coverage, and retired land for conservation.… Continue reading

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Does wheat need more N with wet weather?

By Laura LindseyEd Lentz, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

We’ve had several days of extremely wet weather, and there are some questions regarding the need for additional nitrogen fertilizer. Last week, wheat was between Feekes 8 and 10.2, depending on the area within the state. At this point in the growing season, additional nitrogen fertilizer applied to winter wheat is unlikely to increase grain yield.

As a reminder, nitrogen should be applied to wheat between green-up and Feekes 6 growth stage. Between Feekes 5-6 growth stage, wheat plants begin to rapidly take-up nitrogen from the soil. Nitrogen fertilizer can be applied as late as Feekes 7 growth stage if wet weather prevented an earlier application, but mechanical damage can occur from applicator equipment.… Continue reading

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