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DeWine signs Capital Budget

In early June, Governor Mike DeWine has signed the two-year $3.5 billion Capital Budget (HB 687) into law.

There were several agricultural highlights. Funding from this budget will support $71.5 million for a new state-of-the-art Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“Funding for this project is critical to the success of animal agriculture in Ohio and to the safety of the food system for all Ohioans. We appreciate that the legislature and Gov. DeWine understood the needs for an updated ADDL at ODA in order to take vital animal disease testing capabilities to the next level,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau.

In addition, nearly $21.5 million in the budget is provided for much-needed renovations the Ohio Expo Commission and Expo Center.

“Although the long-term needs of the Ohio Expo Center will require significantly more funding in order to obtain a viable plan for the future of the facility and events like the Ohio State Fair, this is a great down payment to get the process of revitalizing the grounds started,” Sharp said.… Continue reading

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Wilmington College celebrating 75 years of agriculture

As many as 150 alumni and friends of Wilmington College’s agriculture program are expected to attend the Diamond Jubilee on Saturday, June 18 in a celebration of ag’s 75 years as one of the institution’s most distinct areas.

Alumni ranging from recent graduates to those in their 90s and from as close as Wilmington and as far away as Kansas, Florida and New Hampshire have made plans to attend. Also, included among those who’ve registered are former agriculture faculty and staff members.

Planned for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event will include a picnic lunch on Collett Mall and an ice cream dessert at the Academic Farm on Fife Ave., where guests will be able to explore the Equine Center, World Crop Museum, Hoop House and view an example of regenerative agriculture. Also, there will be opportunities to meet WC’s 19th president, Trevor Bates, as well as the “new guard” in the Agriculture Dept.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 257 | CCA Board Update

Clint Nester, Chairman of Ohio CCA Board and crop consultant with Nester Ag talks with Matt, Dusty, and Kolt about crop progress and updates within the CCA. Kolt then catches up with Adam Goodwin of Bane-Welker Equipment to talk about maintenance, protection, and everything in-between when it comes to hay equipment. The intern crew at GrowNetGen talks with Dale about their outreach when it comings to teaching students about agriculture and soybeans in particular. Lastly, Dale catches up with Tadd Nicholson, Executive Director of the Ohio Corn and Wheat to talk about E-15. All this and more thanks to AgriGold!… Continue reading

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Make sure your farm insurance has a strong foundation

By Aaron Bickle, CEO, Bickle Farm Solutions

If you’re sitting in your farm office, I want you to reach into the cabinet, pull your farm insurance policy out and dust it off! The fancy insurance jargon filled folder isn’t just some pile of paper, it’s your “security” to keep farming. If the goal is to pass the farm to the next generation, or keep the assets you have built so you can maintain your lifestyle, your farm insurance plan might as well be bullet proof, right?

Just like a house, a barn, or a grain complex, a good farm insurance plan starts with a good foundation by a “builder” not only with experience, but a builder who is a master of their craft. A master builder uses materials that are superior, top-notch vendors that are responsive, and a crew who cares and takes pride their work. As we dive into building a strong farm insurance plan, I want you to think of your agent as the builder, your insurance carrier as the vendor, and the agency team as the builder’s crew.… Continue reading

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H2Ohio conservation practices to be assessed through new partnership with Blanchard River Demonstration Farms

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is excited to announce a new agreement with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) and Blanchard River Demonstration Farms to assess the agronomic and economic impacts of H2Ohio Best Management Practices (BMPs), the program’s agricultural measures implemented to reduce nutrient runoff into Ohio’s waterways.
BMPs are the core of ODA’s portion of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative to improve water quality in Ohio. They are being implemented on farmland across the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). The goal of the agreement is to evaluate the practices to allow for more informed farmer and policy-making decisions.

“Collaborating with the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms will provide essential research and data that allows H2Ohio to continue to grow and evolve,” said Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director. “These efforts are imperative for the long-term health of our program.”
Five of the seven H2Ohio BMPs will be assessed: Manure Incorporation, Subsurface Placement, Nutrient Management Planning, Cover Crops, and Variable Rate Technology.Continue reading

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Billion dollar beef

U.S. beef exports maintained a remarkable pace in April, topping $1billion for the third time this year, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). April pork exports were well below the large totals posted a year ago, while lamb exports continued to trend higher. 


Record exports to Taiwan highlight huge month for beef exports

Beef exports totaled 124,408 metric tons (mt) in April, up 3% from a year ago and the fifth largest on record, while export value soared 33% to $1.05 billion — second only to the record $1.07 billion posted in March. April exports to Taiwan and the Philippines were record-large and exports increased to Japan, China/Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Middle East and the Caribbean. For January through April, beef exports increased 5% from a year ago to 478,260 mt, valued at $4.05 billion (up 38%). For South Korea, the leading value destination for U.S.

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Crop progress remains just ahead of average, trails last year

Farmers made strides towards completing key plantings while they contended with wet conditions, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent short, 57 percent adequate, and 42 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending June 12 was 67.5 degrees, 0.4 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.74 inches of precipitation, 0.79 inches above average. There were 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending on June 12.

Excessive rains brought weekly precipitation levels as high as 300% of weekly average totals across the State’s northwest and south. Reporters in the State’s east indicated that waterlogged soils may necessitate some corn and soybean replanting. Livestock enjoyed good pasture conditions. Other fieldwork activities for the week included herbicide application, side-dressing corn, and mowing. Corn was 93 percent planted, and 80 percent of corn had emerged. Soybean planting progress was 80 percent complete, while 63 percent were emerged.… Continue reading

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Wuebker joining Ohio Ag Net team

Laura Wuebker is joining our team as an intern. This summer her responsibilities will include producing the weekly podcast and joining the afternoon broadcast team as an afternoon farm broadcaster.

Wuebker resides in Versailles, Ohio in Darke County. She grew up on her family’s diversified livestock and grain operation, where her passion for the agriculture industry was first established. Her love for the agriculture world developed as she learned the importance of sharing the story of each person involved in it. Her interest in radio developed during high school, where she worked at WTGR Radio Stations as a Co-Farm News Director. In this role, she broadcasted agriculture-related stories with the grain markets to four counties in Ohio and two in Indiana.

During high school, she was also involved in FFA, 4-H, National Honor Society, Darke County Fair Queen, and served as a State Vice President at Large for the Ohio FFA Association.… Continue reading

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Gov. DeWine requests EPA to allow E15 sales year-round

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan asking that the EPA permanently remove restrictions around the sale of 15% ethanol (E15) fuel.

“E15 offers Ohio consumers cleaner emissions, more fuel from renewable sources, and, perhaps most critically, a less expensive fuel option,” DeWine said. “By permanently removing unneeded summertime E15 regulations, we can encourage more Ohio gas stations to offer E15 and give Ohioans an option that provides real gas price relief.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. EPA issued an emergency waiver for 2022, allowing for the sale of E15 during the summer months when environmental regulations typically prohibit its use. Governor DeWine is requesting that the summer waiver become permanent beginning in the summer of 2023.

The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association is celebrating the action.

“Today was a tremendous day for Ohio fuel consumers and the state’s corn farmers alike,” said Ben Klick, president of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.… Continue reading

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USDA report neutral

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Old crop soybean exports jumped 30 million bushels. Old corn exports dropped 50 million bushels.

Traders were looking for a pretty boring report with little changes compared to last month. US old soybean exports were expected to increase from last month’s estimate at 2.170 billion bushels. While there is lots of talk about Ukraine still having in excess of 400 million bushels of unshipped grain sales yet to take place, it is anybody’s guess as to when shipments will take place.

Barring a drastic change in the Russian invasion, the market still needs to account for grain deficits in multiple regions in the world.

Continue to watch what Russia does, not what they say. For example, last weekend they bombed a major Ukraine grain export facility. But the news prior to the bombing was focused on the potential of export corridors taking place.

Following the noon report release, corn was up 1 cent, and soybeans down 7 cents.… Continue reading

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Growing beer at Barn Talk Hops

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

No matter where you travel in Ohio these days, you’re not far from a craft brewery. According to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, the state has 398 craft breweries, ranking fifth in total production in the United States. The rise in craft breweries has led to an increase in demand for local hops.

Hops are an essential ingredient in beer, adding bitterness to counteract the sweetness of the malt. USDA records from the late 1800s show that hops were grown across many counties in the state, but their popularity waned in the early 1900s due to Prohibition and plant disease pressure. A re-energized interest in local brews and local products over the last decade has resurged the demand for hop production in Ohio.

Barn Talk Hops in Medina County, owned by Mike and Jenny Napier, is working to fill the need for locally grown hops.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s brewery boom

By Matt Reese

Ohio has a unique history with breweries and the agricultural production to supply them.

OCJ field reporter Brianna Gwirtz wrote a great story about hops production — a formerly fairly common crop in the state to supply a once prolific brewing industry. The ups and downs of Ohio breweries and growing conditions often ill-suited for quality hops production eliminated commercial hops in Ohio (though I will say my mother always had a hops plant in the garden when I was a kid). That has changed though, in recent years as Ohio’s brewing industry has seen a remarkable resurgence.

In doing her research for the story, Brianna also talked with Mary MacDonald, the executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association and wrote up the following: When McDonald started her job in 2013, the state had a total of 58 breweries. Today there are 398 breweries in Ohio and today’s craft brewing industry employs around 9,000 people in the state.Continue reading

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Warmer June ahead

By Jim Noel, NOAA

May worked out as forecast with a wet start followed by a gradual planting window.

Looking forward, the variable weather pattern continues in the short-term with temperatures continuing to fluctuate.

June outlook

For June, we expect slightly cooler than normal temperatures to persist until mid-month (-1 to 3F). Temperatures are likely to switch to above normal for the second half of the month (+1 to +4F). Confidence in this is medium to high.

Rainfall will be much more variable and scattered ranging from 0.50 inches to over 3 inches through June 20th (see attached rainfall forecast map for the next two weeks) You can also see this on the NOAA NWS Ohio River Forecast Center webpage at:

Normal is about 1.5 to 2.0 inches. Confidence on where it will be drier or wetter is low as thunderstorms will drive the details of the outcome.

Rest of growing season outlook

The outlook for July is for a warmer month with rainfall near normal (but the normal rainfall will be made up of anything but normal).… Continue reading

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Machine learning and soy plant health

Using a combination of drones and machine learning techniques, researchers from The Ohio State University have recently developed a novel method for determining crop health and used it to create a new tool that may aid future farmers.

Published in the journal Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, the study investigates using neural networks to help characterize a crop defoliation, or the widespread loss of leaves on a plant. This destruction can be caused by disease, stress, grazing animals, and more often by infestations of insects and other pests.

If left unchecked, whole crop fields can end up damaged, drastically lowering an entire region’s agricultural productivity. To combat this, researchers chose to analyze a cash crop considered to be one of the four staples of global agriculture: soybeans. 

Between August and September of 2020, Zichen Zhang, lead author of the study and a graduate student in computer science and engineering at Ohio State used an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or a drone, to take aerial images of five soybean fields in Ohio.Continue reading

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Plan now for the OCA Replacement Female Sale

The 2022 date for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) tenth annual Replacement Female Sale will be Friday evening, November 25. The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Co. in Zanesville, Ohio and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

The tenth edition of OCA Replacement Female Sale will provide an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to meet the need for quality replacements in the state. Consignments may include cow-calf pairs, bred cows and bred heifers. Females must be under the age of five as of January 1, 2023 and may be of registered or commercial background. Bred females must be bred to a bull with known EPD’s and calves at side of cows must be sired by a bull with known EPD’s. Pregnancy status must be verified by an accredited veterinarian through traditional palpation, ultrasound or by blood testing through a professional laboratory. Analysis must be performed within 60 days of sale.… Continue reading

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Auction price discovery driving used farm equipment markets to record levels

By Matt Reese

In what seems to be a strange development, the prices for used farm equipment are actually going for higher prices at auction than when the equipment was purchased new several years ago.

A unique set of market conditions are at play and auctions seem to be driving the market.

“I think most people following the market are seeing that supply and demand is certainly the catalyst for what the markets are doing. There’s still a restriction in supply as the new equipment is really not opened up yet as far as production and orders catching up. We’ve been fortunate to see a lot of equipment come through the marketplace on the used side and I really think people are able to upgrade right now and find good selections and, at the end of the day, they’re paying top dollar for it,” said Andy White, owner of RES Auction Services in Wooster.… Continue reading

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Boaters be fuel-aware

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

There’s been a lot of pain at the pump lately with gas prices. The Biden administration’s recent move to give a waiver from the Clean Air Act to allow the sale of gasoline containing 15% Ethanol (E15) during the summer months is intended to lower costs and stretch the nation’s fuel supply. However, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) says the unintended consequence of the waiver could inadvertently put a harmful fuel prohibited for use in recreational vessels into your boat’s gas tank.

BoatUS notes recreational vessels are never compatible with E15 (15% ethanol). It is not permitted by federal law to use E15 fuel in boats (as well as motorcycles, off-road vehicles and power equipment), voids the engine warranty, and it has been proven to cause damage to marine engines. It also causes engines to run hotter and contains less energy than E10.… Continue reading

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Eminent domain reform bill introduced to protect Ohio landowners

Ohio lags behind most states in protections for landowners. In fact, when Ohio landowners are faced with losing property rights through eminent domain, the present law makes it difficult for them to defend their own interests and they often find themselves at a disadvantage.
House Bill 698, introduced by State Rep. Darrell Kick (OH-70) and State Rep. Rodney Creech (OH-43), would create a more direct legal route for a landowner to receive compensation when property is taken by the government without compensation, using a court action called inverse condemnation. In most states, when a property owner files an eminent domain case in court, the court starts by determining if there was indeed a taking of land or property value and if the owner is owed compensation. If so, the same court handles the trial to set the amount of compensation to the landowner.

“This legislation would give safeguards to landowners across Ohio to protect them from government and utilities taking property,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Ag Net Communications Job Opening

Position: Marketing Specialist for Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net

Hours: Part-time Position – flexible hours

Pay: Commission based

Location: Works remotely – home based

Deadline to apply: June 24, 2022

Start date: Flexible

Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net are looking for a highly motivated individual to add to our advertising sales department. Ideal candidates should have experience in sales and knowledge of agriculture products and be team oriented.

To apply for the job, email us your resumé and cover letter.

 … Continue reading

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