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The foresight Genghis Kahn

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Mongolia in 1206 was inhabited by numerous tribes. They lived on the steppes (plains with virtually no trees), surrounded by the Altai, Khanghai and Khentii mountains on the Russian border. (I was on those steppes last winter while in Mongolia with the V.E.T. Net mission project of the Christian Veterinary Mission. The steppes are huge, surrounded by sky, mountains and, when I was there, -40degrees F air.)

Now back to the 13th century — or just before the turn of that century — when a boy named Temujin and his brother were growing up fatherless. Because of this, they and their mother were shunned from their Mongolian tribe. They scavenged for food, picking through garbage, digging root vegetables and hunting for game while trailing behind the nomadic Mongol warriors.

As a teenager, Temujin became a member of the Mongolian raiders on horseback. By the age of 40 he had worked his way up to major general.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau policy committee begins work

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Policy Development Committee. The committee collects and organizes public policy recommendations from county Farm Bureaus and presents the final policy suggestions to be voted on by Ohio Farm Bureau’s delegates during the state annual meeting in December.

In its initial session, the committee heard from government leaders, subject matter experts and Farm Bureau staff on topics such as rural broadband, climate change, timber harvesting, alternative conservation funding, livestock processing capacity, state disaster response and sustainability.

The policy committee consists of 10 members from Ohio Farm Bureau’s board of trustees and 10 representatives of county Farm Bureaus.

The committee is chaired by Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Bill Patterson of Chesterland and includes OFBF President Frank Burkett III of Massillon and Treasurer Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington. State trustees on the committee are Wyatt Bates of Wheelersburg, Adele Flynn of Wellington, Katherine Harrison of Groveport, John Mossbarger of Washington Court House, Michael Videkovich of Ashville, Jesse Whinnery of Coshocton and Craig Pohlman of Venedocia.… Continue reading

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NFU urges FTC, USDA to strengthen meat labeling standards

For years, beef and pork that was born, raised, and slaughtered in another country but processed in the United States has legally been labeled as a “Product of the U.S.A.,” a claim that misleads consumers and puts American ranchers at a disadvantage.

National Farmers Union (NFU) has long advocated clear and accurate labeling, for the sake of farmers and consumers alike. As part of those efforts, the organization supports a rule proposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that would strengthen voluntary U.S. origin claims on labels and penalize those who incorrectly label products. In comments submitted today and in a subsequent statement, NFU President Rob Larew urged the FTC to swiftly finalize the rule and “vigorously enforce it.”
“American consumers want to know where their food comes from — and farmers want to tell them. When mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) was the law of the land, it was easy to determine where meat had been born, raised, and processed, to the benefit of both parties.… Continue reading

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EPA denies of gap-year waiver petitions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied 54 of 68 pending past-year (2011-2018) small refinery exemptions (SREs), or waivers, to oil refiners. An additonal 14 gap-year waivers remain under required review at the Department of Energy (DOE). The EPA also has 31 waivers under consideration for 2019 and 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance years.

“Asking for waivers for nearly ten years ago was a new low by the oil industry to undermine the RFS and rewrite history. Denying these petitions was the obvious answer and farmers are pleased to begin to move past this distraction. We thank our bipartisan supporters in Congress, including Senator Ernst, for their advocacy in upholding the RFS,” said the National Corn Growers Association in a statement. “While denial of these past-year waivers is obviously positive news for farmers and biofuel producers, we’re never going to have the certainty we need until the underlying waiver issue is fully resolved.”… Continue reading

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Challenges from limited rainfall continue

An ongoing increase in precipitation this week continues to slowly work towards reducing the effects of the dry weather that occurred in August, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture increased from 52 percent adequate or surplus last week to 67 percent adequate or surplus this week. Approximately 19 percent of the state was abnormally dry or worse, down from 37 percent last week, according to the most recent Drought Monitor. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 4 degrees above historical normals and the entire state averaged 1.49 inches of precipitation. There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 13.

During the week, farmers harvested silage, made hay, and seeded
cover crops. Soybeans dropping leaves was at 33%, ahead
of the five-year average by 5 percentage points. Corn dough
reached 100%, ahead of the five-year average by 5
percentage points.… Continue reading

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Cool weather delaying early start to harvest

Willie Murphy

It had been 9 days since we had a measureable rain. Early Sunday morning we got some rain. That was the first time we went for more than 7 days right here on the south side of Wilmington without a measurable rain since we planted.

Our double-crop beans are still filling some pods and that rain probably helped them. A couple more rains this week will still help them along.

We are not quite done with third-cutting hay. We got a bunch of the alfalfa cut last week. We had a stretch of weather where we could bale hay for 7 days in a row, but we only got about 3 hours a day to bale by the time it got dry and then the dew started coming back up. We need to get the rain to get the alfalfa going again as we head into fall.

I think our crops around here are going to be really good, though I think there will be some pockets that were hotter and drier during pollination that won’t be so good.… Continue reading

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Soil moisture and 2020 corn

By Matt Reese

Ohio’s corn crop has faced everything from a little too wet to hot and dry this growing season and evidence of those challenges is likely going to be showing up in some fields during harvest, said Brad Miller, technical agronomist for DEKALB Asgrow.

“This spring we had some wet conditions after planting that persisted. The good news is that many of the places that were unable to plant last year were able to get a nice, early start and got their acres planted. In some of those instances, though, wet ground conditions persisted after planting which led to some stand establishment issues,” Miller said. “We have had some dry conditions through July, and for corn planted a little too wet, those root systems could be compromised. That may impact yield potential.”

High temperatures and long stretches with limited rainfall in July also set some fields up for pollination challenges.… Continue reading

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Scout now for cressleaf groundsel in hayfields, or pay the price in May

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

Some hay producers have been unpleasantly surprised in the past when cressleaf groundsel infestations became evident in their hay fields in May prior to first cutting. Cressleaf groundsel in hay or silage is toxic to animals, and infested areas of the field should not be harvested and fed. Groundsel is a winter annual, emerging in late summer into fall, when it develops into a rosette that overwinters. Growth restarts in spring, with stem elongation and an eventual height of up to several feet tall. The weed becomes evident in hay fields when in becomes taller than the alfalfa/grass and develops bright yellow flowers in May. The problem with passively waiting until this point to discover that the hay is infested with groundsel is that: 1) it’s too late to control it with herbicides; and 2) hay from infested areas has to be discarded instead of sold or fed, and large plant skeletons are still toxic even if herbicides were effective on them.… Continue reading

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Victory Gardens program expands

A tremendous response to the just launched Victory Gardens campaign has resulted in an immediate expansion of the program. The program took off immediately and demand was so high for seed packets, four more counties were added: Fairfield, Licking, Mahoning, and Summit. Seed pick-up days and times for each office are available on the Ohio Victory Gardens website. The collaboration between the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Ohio State University (OSU) Extension Offices has delivered more than 2,600 seed packets to 10 counties across the state.

Victory Gardens originated during World War I, an answer to a severe food shortage at the time. The idea was wildly successful, growing an army of amateur gardeners and serving to boost morale and patriotism. Although there’s no food shortage now, ODA and OSU Extension are reviving the effort and once again encouraging people to plant seeds, realize the fruits of their labor, and share with others if inspired.… Continue reading

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September report neutral to bullish

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

A plethora of numbers were released today with the USDA WASDE report at 12 noon ET.

No major surprises today.

Key numbers to watch today included the U.S. corn and soybean yields as well as corn and soybean imports into China.

USDA projects the U.S. corn yield at 178.5 bushels with the U.S. soybean yield at 51.9 bushels. On grain imports into China, soybean imports are pegged at 99 million tons and corn imports of  7 million tons.

Traders were already expecting a volatile day hours before the report. Shortly after the report was released, corn was up 3 cents, soybeans up 16 cents, and wheat down 2 cents. At the 8:45 a.m. grains pause, corn was up 2 cents, soybeans up 6 cents with wheat up 1 cent. Just before the report release corn was up 2 cents, soybeans up 10 cents, and wheat down 1 cent.… Continue reading

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USDA seeks input on ready-to-go technologies and practices for agriculture innovation agenda

To further the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) work on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA), USDA announced it is seeking public- and private-sector input on the most innovative technologies and practices that can be readily deployed across U.S. agriculture.
USDA is looking for ready-to-go technologies and practices to achieve its goal of increasing agricultural production by 40% to meet global population needs in 2050 while cutting U.S. agriculture’s environmental footprint in half.

“Across America, we have seen significant advances in agricultural production efficiency and conservation performance during the past two decades,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary, who leads USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “We want to keep the momentum. As part of our Agriculture Innovation Agenda, USDA wants to continue helping farmers access new approaches.”

To help identify and accelerate adoption of ready-to-go innovations, USDA is currently accepting public comments and written stakeholder input through its Request for Information (RFI) offsite link image through Nov.… Continue reading

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Will beans hit $10?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

This week a bean trader told me, “it’s not a matter of if beans hit $10 but when.” With a little 2019 futures position left to sell, and all of my 2020 bean crop unsold, this was music to my ears.  However, it brings back memories from 14 months ago, when the potential for $5 corn seemed like only a matter of time.

How realistic are $10 beans?

There are so many factors affecting prices, that it’s impossible to accurately predict when the high will occur.  Instead, I prefer to make a list of why prices could go either direction, and then evaluate the likelihood of each scenario happening.  This helps me when making grain marketing decisions for my farm.

Reasons to be bullish are:

Inflation

The Fed said keeping the economy running and bringing unemployment levels down were a higher priority than keeping inflation in check right now. … Continue reading

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September means Farm Science Review…

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

…But it’s going virtual this year. The dates stay the same as planned for the in-person show – September 22 to 24. I for one am looking forward to seeing how the staff, exhibitors, and OSU educators pull this off. There has been a lot of shuffling since the decision was made to go virtual but most details will be in place by about Sept. 1. Go to the website http://fsr.osu.edu after the first of September and start to put your plan for your virtual visit together. And FYI, there will be field demos, looks like there could be better visuals than you typically see because the camera can get closer to the combines, tillage tools, etc. than you could in the past.

I have some old memories of the Farm Science Review. I began work in June of 1975 as a student worker for Dale Friday, FSR Manager and Craig Fendrick, Assistant Manager.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation invites students to apply for college scholarships

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) is offering several college scholarships for students involved in the beef industry. These scholarships are administered through OCF in conjunction with the following organizations and individuals.

Tagged for Greatness

Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to college students enrolled in an agricultural program or graduating high school seniors who plan to study agriculture at a college or university. These scholarships are made possible by the sale of Ohio’s beef specialty license plates.

Cattlemen’s Country Club

Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to college students enrolled in a two-year or four-year program or graduating high school seniors who plans to attend a college or university majoring in an agricultural or non-agricultural program. These scholarships are made possible by proceeds from the beef putt-putt golf course at the Ohio State Fair.

Saltwell Expo Scholarship

One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a college student who is enrolled in an agricultural program or a graduating high school senior who plans to study agriculture at a college or university.… Continue reading

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OAC scholarships awarded

Each year, the Ohio Agricultural Council offers up to three $1,500 scholarships annually to Ohio high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in agriculture and up to three $1,500 scholarships to undergraduate college students from Ohio who are currently pursuing a degree in agriculture.

The OAC is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipients of the Scholarship Program:

• Rachel Barrett of Rockford

• Cora Dorman of Croton

• Faith Hagelberger of Minster

• Mekenzie Jolliff of Kenton

• Ethan Kaper of Baltimore

• Ryan Patton of Logan

Scholarships are selected based on academic record, leadership qualities, community involvement and responses to application essay questions. Scholarship recipients are also provided a one-year complimentary student membership in OAC.

Scholarship applications for the 2021-22 school year will be available at www.OhioAgCouncil.org in fall 2020. Completed applications must be returned to the Ohio Agricultural Council by February 15, 2021.… Continue reading

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China ramps up corn and soybean purchases

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

China was an active buyer of U.S. corn and soybeans during August. That trend continued into the first week of September. It appears their appetite for U.S. grains is large. The concern of China meeting their Phase 1 trade deal agreement of $36 billion of U.S. agricultural goods in the first year of the agreement garners significantly less attention than it did earlier this summer. The amount of U.S. corn China will purchase in the current marketing year ending next Aug. 31 continues to increase. Current USDA estimates had China purchasing 7 million tons of U.S. corn. Yet, just days into the new marketing year the first week of September, they had already purchased a total of 9 million tons of U.S. corn. Estimates of total corn imports into China are as high as 15 million to 20 million tons. The U.S. share could reach 12 million tons. … Continue reading

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September is the time to get ready to plant wheat

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I will admit I have not done much wheat work since the 1980s but I observe that many producers who do grow wheat are happy with their results — from the economic side by having three crops in a rotation and from the ability to do additional practices in the field after wheat harvest. Some benefits to having a summer fallow field are:

  • the application of manure,
  • to install tile,
  • the opportunity to do some deeper tillage or some levelling, and maybe to do some fertility adjustments along with that tillage,
  • to cleaning up perennial weeds (although this has been accomplished with RoundupReady crops too),
  • add a cover crop in the rotation and really have an impact on nitrogen accumulation or to build soil health,
  • or even to double-crop soybeans.

What are best management practices for growing wheat in Ohio?

Variety selection is of utmost importance.… Continue reading

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September – A time to remember, find hope and have faith

By Robin Kinney, senior director of member engagement for the American Farm Bureau Federation
This time of year brings beautiful memories of fall colors, the hope for a safe, bountiful harvest and for me, the remembrance of friends gone too soon. But as someone once said, “As long as we are being remembered, we remain alive.”

I’m acutely aware that Sept. 10 is National Suicide Awareness Day. My life changed forever two years ago when I learned one of my best friends made the decision to end his life and others I know are making that choice. It still troubles me daily that they believed it was their only option. It is hard for me to imagine that feeling of isolation, the weight of the decision, the pressures they were dealing with. In my view, there was an alternate path and other options.

Our rural families are resilient, enduring and overcoming overwhelming odds time and time again.… Continue reading

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Drought and herbicide carryover

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

The 2020 summer was hotter and drier than normal for most farms, so herbicide carryover will be a major issue for planting cover crops.  Herbicides degrade based on soil temperature, rainfall, time of application, organic matter, soil type, soil pH, and sunlight.  Generally, microbially active soils break down herbicides quickly.  Moisture is critical for microbe activity, so drought or dry summers means slower herbicide breakdown.  High soil temperatures can also reduce microbial activity and herbicide breakdown.  High soil microbial activity occurs between 75-850F but once soil temperatures get above 900F, generally microbial activity declines.  On bare soils, the soil temperatures in the top inch may reach 110-1400F on a hot sunny day, greatly reducing microbial activity and herbicide breakdown.

Mark Loux OSU Extension Weed Scientist
Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Scientist

Herbicide application timing also determines herbicide degradation.  Herbicides applied in the spring or early summer have a longer time to break down. 

Continue reading

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