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Golden Butter lawsuit

By Jeffrey K. Lewis, Attorney and Research Specialist, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law

Hawa Kamara decided to file a lawsuit against Pepperidge Farm, Inc. after purchasing “Golden Butter” crackers at a local Target store in New York. According to the ingredients list attached to Kamara’s complaint, the crackers were made with butter but also included vegetable oils. Kamara asserted that the presence of vegetable oils makes the “Golden Butter” packaging misleading and/or deceptive because a reasonable consumer would conclude the crackers were “all or predominantly made with butter.” 

A Federal District Court in New York, however, did not find the packaging misleading or deceptive. The court reasoned that “the packaging accurately indicated that the product contained butter, and the ingredients list confirmed that butter predominated over other oils and fats.” Further, the court argued that a reasonable consumer could believe the “Golden Butter” labeling described the product’s flavor and not the ingredient proportions.… Continue reading

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Soybeans are still the star, and that’s why the second corn crop continues to be Brazil’s “little crop”

By Daniele Siqueira, AgRural Commodities Agrícolas 

Christmas lights are everywhere once again and that is a reminder for Brazilian farmers: it is December already and time to make or break the soybean crop. I am writing this article early in the month, while the crop in central states (such as top producer Mato Grosso) develops in very good shape, already heading into the pod-filling stage with abundant rain and excellent yield prospects.  

Daniele Siqueira

Things have been good too in the Southeast and in the North/Northeast of the country, where most of the soybeans are still in vegetative stages. In the South, on the other hand, a drier and warmer pattern has slowed the soybean planting in Rio Grande do Sul, our third largest producer, and made farmers concerned about areas in reproductive stages in parts of Paraná, Brazil’s second-largest producer, especially because forecasts for the first half of December show little rain and high temperatures. … Continue reading

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2021 fall soybean weed survey results

By Stephanie Karhoff (OSUE Williams County) and Chris Zoller (OSUE Tuscarawas County)

What are the most troublesome weed species in Ohio soybean fields? OSU Extension Educators sought to answer this question by surveying an estimated 204,641 soybean acres as part of the annual Fall Soybean Weed Survey.

Since 2006, OSU Extension has recorded weed escapes in soybean fields across the state to monitor weed population shifts and potential for herbicide development. Results also inform future weed management research and programming efforts. This article outlines results of the 2021 fall soybean weed survey.

Prior to soybean harvest, each participating Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Extension Educator drives a circular route in their county observing on average, 100 fields. Species of weeds present, and to what extent, are recorded for each observed field. Infestation level is measured as either low, moderate, or severe. 

This year, 36 counties participated in the survey and observed an estimated 3,625 fields with an average field size of 56 acres (Table 1). … Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting to be held Dec. 9 -10

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation members will be “Together Again” as the organization holds its 103rd annual meeting Dec. 9 and 10 in Columbus. 

Nearly 385 delegates from all Ohio counties will establish the organization’s policy goals for the coming year, elect leaders, recognize county Farm Bureau and individual achievements and honor industry leaders.

Keynote speeches will be delivered by Ohio Farm Bureau President Bill Patterson and the organization’s Executive Vice President Adam Sharp. Attendees also will hear from Nationwide Chief Executive Officer Kirt Walker. 

County Farm Bureaus will be recognized for innovative local programming, and individuals will be honored for their work to build membership and their contributions to the farm and food community.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee will name their new leadership and the 2021 YAP award winners will be recognized.  

The inaugural Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Breakfast takes place Dec. 10 in conjunction with the annual meeting.… Continue reading

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AgCredit awards $125,000 in grants to 14 local organizations

AgCredit, one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders for farmers, rural homeowners and agribusiness, announced that it is awarding a total of $125,000 in Mission Fund grants to 14 community organizations in support of their efforts to improve the quality of life in communities primarily within the cooperative’s 18-county service territory. 

Now in its fourth year, the Mission Fund supports AgCredit’s commitment to investing in the future of agriculture and positively impacting the quality of life in rural Ohio. Recipients were selected based on their proposals to meet criteria in one or more of four key areas: Education, environment, technology and quality of rural life. 

Following are AgCredit’s 2021 Mission Fund grant recipients and their projects:

  • Portage Fire District Firefighters Association, $5,000, Ottawa County
    Buy grain-bin entrapment rescue equipment and provide crew training.
  • Pemberville-Freedom Fire Department, $15,000, Wood County
    Replace the department’s outdated brush truck to meet current National Fire Protection Association standards. 
  • Franciscan Earth Literacy Center, $14,911, Seneca County
    Buy a new greenhouse for the center’s Seeds of Hope program, which teaches disabled students about gardening, composting and nutrition. 
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Ongoing wheat disease research

Wheat and barley growers know the devastating effects of Fusarium head blight, or scab. The widespread fungal disease contaminates grain with toxins that cause illness in livestock and humans, and can render worthless an entire harvest. As Fusarium epidemics began to worsen across the eastern U.S. in the 1990s and beyond, fewer and fewer farmers were willing to risk planting wheat. 

But the battle to eliminate Fusarium head blight never went away. Public breeding programs, with support from the USDA-supported Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, have been doggedly tweaking soft red winter wheat lines in hopes of achieving greater resistance to the disease.

In a new analysis, University of Illinois researchers say those efforts have paid off. Over the past 20 years, critical resistance metrics have improved significantly. And, they say, if breeding efforts continue, vulnerability to Fusarium head blight could be eliminated within 40 years.

“I don’t think anybody realizes it’s possible we could eliminate Fusarium head blight as a problem.… Continue reading

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Miss Ohio’s roots in boots

By Brianna Gwirtz OCJ field reporter
Ohio agriculture is about to be nationally represented in an uncharacteristic place: the stage at the Miss America competition. Lora Current, 2021 Miss Ohio, will be competing for the coveted title of Miss America Dec. 12 through Dec. 16 in Uncasville, Conn. Current grew up on her family’s farm in Rosewood, Ohio, a small rural town in Champaign County. Both her parents, Dana and Chad Current, are veterinarians. 

“I grew up on our family’s cattle farm. We raise Angus cattle and have a few horses as well,” Current said. “I grew up in a big family, I’m the sixth of seven kids. I was basically born into 4-H. My parents were club advisors and I showed just about everything. Pigs and sewing were my main projects.”

Lora Current, 2021 Miss Ohio, will be competing for the coveted title of Miss America Dec. 12 through Dec.
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Fall tillage and soil compaction

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Agricultural field practices seem to be like our national politics, very much divided.  Maybe 25% more fields planted to cover crop due to H20 Ohio funds.  On the other hand, there appears to be more vertical tillage, chisel plowing and plowing. Green fields surrounded by bare fields.  The wet fall weather, soggy soils, and tillage has created hard pans and poor soil structure. Perhaps winter freezing and thawing will mellow out our soils but tilling soils wet almost always creates more problems; especially with soil compaction, drainage, and soil structure.   

Farmers have many reasons for fall tillage.  Eliminating ruts, burying diseased plant residue, and burying weed seed are common explanations.  Stale seed beds (light fall tillage) create spring soil conditions for good seed to soil contact and slightly warmer soils  which allow plants (especially corn) to germinate quickly. Corn is a warm season plant that also benefits from nutrients released during tillage.

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Managing fertilizer costs on dairy operations

By Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Tuscarawas County; and Greg LaBarge, Field Specialist, Nutrient Management, Ohio State University Extension

Fertilizer prices have been increasing rapidly. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has tracked bi-weekly fertilizer prices in Illinois since 2008. Prices of anhydrous ammonia, urea, and 28% are all up. The average price of anhydrous ammonia was $1,135 per ton, up by $278 per ton from the price reported Oct. 7, 2021. 

The University of Illinois Farmdoc Daily, in their October 26 Weekly Farm Economicsnewsletter ( identified the following reasons for increasing nitrogen fertilizer prices:

  • Hurricane Ida’s landfall in September closed anhydrous ammonia plants in Louisiana, leading to supply disruptions.
  • Natural gas prices, a significant cost of producing nitrogen fertilizers, have been increasing in recent months. Natural gas and anhydrous ammonia prices are correlated.
  • Corn prices have been rising. Fertilizer prices are positively correlated with corn prices, particularly since the rise in corn use for ethanol.
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Pork producers lobby lawmakers

Preventing foreign animal diseases, addressing a shortage of agricultural workers and reauthorizing a livestock price reporting law are the primary issues pork producers will lobby their congressional lawmakers over the next two days, during the fall Capitol Hill fly-in of the National Pork Producers Council. More than 100 producers from across the country are expected to participate virtually in NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference.

“These are critical but by no means the only issues of concern to U.S. pork producers,” said Jen Sorenson,NPPC President and communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Failure to address even one of these matters could make it very difficult for hog farmers to continue producing safe, nutritious pork for consumers around the globe. Our fly-in is an opportunity for producers to urge Congress to take action on important issues.”

Producers will ask their members of Congress to support funding for efforts to prepare for and prevent foreign animal diseases, particularly African swine fever (ASF), which recently was detected in the Western Hemisphere for the first time in more than 40 years.… Continue reading

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A successful wheat harvest begins at planting time

By Dusty Sonnenberg, Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

It has been said that the greatest yield potential a crop has is when the seed is in the bag. Once a crop is planted, everything that occurs after that point impacts yield. For Doug and Jeremy Goyings of Paulding County, that means intensive management of the winter wheat crop: from a timely planting in the fall immediately after soybean harvest, to the split application of topdress nitrogen in March and April, to the use of fungicides and insecticides to protect the crop in the late spring and early summer. The Goyings had the top yield in Ohio’s 2021 Wheat Yield Contest with an entry of 138.4 bushels.

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association is pleased to congratulate this year’s Ohio Wheat Yield Contest State and District winners.

“Wheat can be a very profitable crop if you do the little extras and give it the necessary management attention,” said Doug Goyings.… Continue reading

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Lessons learned from the 2021 growing season

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

Every new growing season presents its own set of challenges and gives growers an opportunity to learn and improve their management practices, 2021 was no different. From the wet weather and adverse conditions early in the season to diseases and agronomic problems there is a great deal to be learned from this year.

One critical management practice that 2021 highlighted is the timing of planting operations. In many areas of the eastern Corn Belt there were large rain events that included cold temperatures and created adverse growing conditions for seeds and seedlings. The first 24 to 48 hours a seed is in the ground are critical to seedling development. In that time period the seed is taking in moisture and beginning the germination process. When planted directly before a cold/wet weather event, seeds are at risk of imbibitional chilling injury. Agronomists and farmers observed chilling injury in corn and soybean fields that resulted in seedling damage, seedling death, and reduced stands.… Continue reading

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2021 OCA Replacement Female Sale results

By Garth Ruff, OCA Replacement Female Sale Manager

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) held their ninth annual Replacement Female Sale on Nov. 26 at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company in Zanesville. A large crowd was on hand to bid on 80 high quality females in the sale. The sale represented an excellent opportunity for cow-calf producers to add quality females with documented breeding and health records to their herds.

Buyers evaluated 80 lots of bred heifers and bred cows at the auction. The sale included 56 lots of bred heifers that averaged $1,701, and 24 lots of bred cows that averaged $2,155. The 80 total lots grossed $152,875 for an overall average of $1,910. The females sold to buyers from Ohio and West Virginia. Col. Ron Kreis served as the auctioneer.

Sales prices for quality females were slightly higher year over year, as the 2021 sale represented a $66 per head price increase over the2020 sale.… Continue reading

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NPPC hires Humphreys as new CEO

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) announced Bryan Humphreys has been chosen as the organization’s new chief executive officer, effective Dec. 21, 2021, following the retirement of long-time leader Neil Dierks. Humphreys brings with him years of experience in the pork industry, including as a former NPPC employee, state association executive and National Pork Board senior vice president, as well as outside the industry as a campaign operative, lobbyist and business owner. 

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead NPPC as its CEO and continue the great work Mr. Dierks has done on behalf of America’s pork producers,” Humphreys said. “This role is not one to take lightly. As CEO, I will strive to advance the industry and protect producers’ freedom to operate through innovative strategies and new partnerships. I look forward to working alongside producers, stakeholders, state associations and the entire team at NPPC to make a lasting impact for farmers across the country.… Continue reading

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Antibiotic stewardship in calves: Knowing the signs

By Haley Zynda, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Wayne County, Ohio State University Extension

Fun fact, a “disease symptom” is something you are personally feeling, while a “disease sign” is something you observe in someone else or in animals. In order to better score potential disease, it is necessary to understand what a healthy calf looks like, so a sick calf stands out and is appropriately treated. So, what factors need to be observed? 

Calves are naturally playful; sometimes I see them referred to as “grass puppies” on social media because of their bouncy and curious personalities. Healthy calves also have bright eyes and alert ears, paying attention to the world around them. They will typically stretch upon rising. On the flip side, sick calves may seem lethargic or disinterested in their surroundings. Dull eyes or mucus coming from the eyes and nose is a clear sign of illness.… Continue reading

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2021 straddles

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Last week the markets dropped due to concerns over the new COVID variant throughout the world. Wheat, beans, crude oil, and the stock market opened lower and didn’t rebound throughout Friday’s trading session. On the other hand, corn, oats, and spring wheat started lower but rebounded higher during the shortened trading day.
Until more is known about the new strain’s effects, how it spreads, and if current vaccines offer protection, market direction is unknown.

Market action

In early August after watching the market swing between $6 and $5 throughout July, I was uncertain of market direction from August through November. I thought if corn was at or above $6 once harvest was over, it would be a good price to start selling more of my 2021 crop. However, at that time it seemed like a sideways corn market through November was the most likely outcome.
Therefore, on 8/2/21 when December corn was trading $5.45, and before the August USDA yield estimate was released, I made the following 2 straddle trades. … Continue reading

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Egg nog blog!

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

Move over pumpkin spice latte, it is egg nog time! Hallmark Christmas movies have arrived, so it is time for a new drink of the season. Egg nog is it! 

Breaking news on the latte scene is that egg nog Latte is being replaced on menus across the country with some kind of sugar cookie almond milk (nut fluid) concoction. The horror of it all! If egg nog latte is one of your favorites, have no fear, look below for a recipe you can make. It embraces authentic dairy and egg products to create your own egg nog coffee beverage at home. Destined to be spectacular this holiday season!

      Americans are passionate about their egg nog. There appears to be no middle ground; you either stalk the dairy case until it arrives on the shelf or you avoid it like COVID. The Detwiler house was split with Luke drinking egg nog by the carton and Jake ecstatic not to get even a drop.… Continue reading

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Valuing bedded-pack manure

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Due to the increase in fertilizer prices, there is renewed interest in the nutrient value of manure, including bedded-pack manures that involve straw, sawdust, or wood chips to absorb moisture. The nutrients and organic matter in pen-pack manure are an excellent addition to farm fields.

The most common types of bedded manure are beef, dairy, and sheep or goats. Small ruminant bedded pack manure contains the most nutrients per ton followed by beef manure and dairy manure. 

Pen-pack manure contains the macro nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash along with a host of micronutrients. The nutrient content can vary depending on species, feed products fed, and the amounts of straw or sawdust used for bedding. The farm’s manure handling and storage practices also impact the nutrient content of manure. Manure stored under roof will usually maintain a higher nutrient value than manure exposed to rainfall.… Continue reading

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Waiver from trucking federal rule extended

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extended a waiver for commercial truckers from the federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulation to Feb. 28, 2022.

The HOS rule limits truckers to 11 hours of driving time and 14 consecutive hours of on-duty time in any 24-hour period and requires prescribed rest periods. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and prompted by efforts from national livestock organizations to ensure producers could continue transporting animals, the FMCSA included livestock haulers in an initial emergency declaration that provided an exemption from the HOS regulation for commercial truckers hauling essential supplies, including livestock. The waiver subsequently was expanded to cover the delivery of livestock feed. 

“We’re pleased the FMCSA recognized the challenges COVID still presents and the problems it has created, including supply chain issues, for the livestock industry and acted accordingly,” said Jen Sorenson, National Pork Producers Council president.… Continue reading

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