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Talking turkey

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

Turkey is big business in Ohio. The Ohio Poultry Association states that Ohio ranks 9th nationally producing over 300 million pounds of turkey a year valued at over $220 million. The consumption of turkey in the U.S. has doubled since 1970 with 15.3 pounds per capita in 2021. That’s more turkey than just at your Thanksgiving table. 

Low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium, turkey is one of Ohio’s best kept agriculture secrets you can add to your plate. Turkey is one of our beloved comfort foods while keeping us satisfied. It fills your tank with some healthy protein to keep you feeling full. Look beyond the 25-pound Thanksgiving bird to the plethora of choices from ground, sausage, bacon, breasts, roasts, tenderloins, deli meats to pepperoni. My favorites are tenderloin, hot Italian turkey sausage and turkey pepperoni sticks. Turkey’s versatile mild flavor makes it a sponge for marinades and rubs.… Continue reading

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Boating is big business in Ohio

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

National Safe Boating Week is May 20-26, after which Ohio’s boating season unofficially kicks off on Memorial Day Weekend and is big business in the Buckeye State. A new study shows the state’s boating industry produced an economic impact of $6.4 billion in 2022. According to the study, published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft, the boating industry also accounted for 45,856 jobs here in Ohio.

“The boating industry lifts up the economy for local communities all across Ohio,” said Mary Mertz, ODNR Director. “The boost ripples out from the water and into local business, while supporting jobs all along the shores, from marinas and boat dealers on the coast, to restaurants and hotels further inland.”

The study was conducted through a survey of nearly 10,000 boating households and over 200 marine trade businesses.

Other boating habits revealed through the survey:

• In 2022, people spent 315 million hours boating in Ohio

• Fishing accounts for 33.6% of all boating time

• Women are the primary boat operators of 24.3% of all non-motorized boats and 5.4% of all motorized boats.… Continue reading

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A family’s forest: Managing for white oak

By Brooke DeCubellis, Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service

The white oak tree, found primarily in southeastern Ohio, is a versatile tree species sought after by humans and wildlife alike. Barrels made from its wood lends hints of caramel and vanilla to bourbon’s signature flavor. The tree’s durability and water-resistance is prized by both the lumber and furniture industries. Ohio wildlife flock to the nutrient-dense acorns that drop from its mighty branches, which also host a multitude of insects and birds. 

But the mighty oak is in trouble. Though mature trees still dominate southeastern Ohio woods, young white oak trees and saplings are not growing in the understory to replace the older generations, threatening the future of the tree species. 

“There are a lot of tree species that grow faster than white oaks,” said Cameron Bushong, Ohio Division of Forestry state service forester. “These trees will quickly overtop white oaks, blocking saplings from sunlight and competing for valuable nutrients.” … Continue reading

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West Central Ohio Hay Day

Please join Ohio State University Extension and Channel Equipment on July 6 for the West Central Ohio Hay Day, sponsored by the Champaign and Clark County Farm Bureau’s, and Americas Trusted Insurance Group. The event will take place on the Southeast corner of South St. Rt. 68 and W. Dallas Rd. Or, go to Channel Equipment at 338 W Dallas Rd, Urbana, OH 43078 and follow the signs.

The day will begin at 10 a.m. with talks from Extension personnel on various aspects of growing, making, storing, and feeding quality hay. Insurance representatives will also be speaking on some new offerings available to hay and forage producers. Lunch will be provided by Fresh Harvest food truck and will be free for those registered by July 1 thanks to the support of our sponsors.

The afternoon will be filled with equipment demonstrations from Krone and H&S company representatives. There will also be door prizes provided by generous donations from area vendors for those that register by July 1.… Continue reading

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OSU’s Alpha Gamma Sigma fraternity celebrating 100 years

Alpha Gamma Sigma Alumni will converge on The Ohio State University campus the weekend of July 15 for a “once in a lifetime” celebration of over 100 years of success. Members from all across the Midwest will enjoy a City Barbeque banquet followed by a brief program, then music and dancing. A cash bar will open at 5:30, followed by dinner at 6:30. The 4-H Center on the OSU campus is the party location at 2201 Fred Taylor Drive. 

The AGS House, at 1918 Indianola Avenue, was completely renovated in 2014. It will be open for free tours from 11:00 until 1:00 pm, followed by the Annual Meeting back at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.

Golfers can participate in a Celebratory Scramble event at the Bent Tree course in Delaware on Friday July 14 at 1:30 pm. Awards will be handed out at a buffet dinner after the scramble. … Continue reading

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Gaining a ‘Real World’ look at ag careers through GrowNextGen

School is out for the summer, but not before an in-depth look at the many possible careers in agriculture. GrowNextGen, a project funded in part by Ohio soybean farmers and their checkoff, recently teamed up with Ohio State Extension’s ‘Real Money. Real World.’ program to give students at Graham Middle School near St. Paris insight into possibilities for their not-too-distant future.

In this video, Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood catches up with Graham Schools Intervention Specialist Jody Bost to discuss the day’s activities, outcomes, and lessons learned in the ongoing conversation of careers in agriculture.… Continue reading

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Weed Science Field Day

The 2023 OSU Weed Science Field Day will be held on Wednesday, July 12 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston. Registration will start at 8:30 followed by a field tour. Studies can also be viewed at your own pace. Field day topics will include new corn and soybean products, waterhemp management, and cover crop trials. To register via email or for more information contact Alyssa Essman at

The Western Agricultural Research Station is located at 7721 S Charleston Pike, South Charleston, OH 45368. Registration is online at Register by July 5. Cost is $20 via cash or check, and includes a digital tour book and lunch.… Continue reading

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Two farm boys’ dreams come true: A farm transition success story

By Matt Reese

Two opportunities of two lifetimes have connected two hopeful farm boys, a generation apart, in a unique way for a mutual dream fulfilled. Here’s their story.

Gene Baumgardner

Gene Baumgardner grew up in northern Summit County in the late 60s with a love for farming.

“Dad milked 25 cows and farmed a couple of hundred acres. I was active in 4-H and enjoyed hogs. I had a purebred Duroc herd in the suburbs of northern Summit County on 6 acres. I loved being with dad on the farm but I realized even before I got out of high school that there was not enough there to go home to. I went to OSU in ag econ and did not take production ag courses, thinking I could go into sales,” Baumgardner said. “I met Johnita Ricketts and we were married in 1977 after I graduated from OSU in ’76.… Continue reading

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More rain this week for Ohio after moderate drought settled in

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

May 21 through June 10 was quite the dry spell across Ohio, with moderate drought conditions declared across 62% of the state by the US Drought Monitor on June 8.

These extended dry conditions compelled CFAES to activate its Rapid Response Team, which has created an early drought response resource site for Ohio’s farmers and communities. However, a change in the weather pattern this past weekend brought a strong cold front and Gulf of Mexico moisture to the region over the weekend. A wide swath of 1-2” of rain fell along and to the northwest of about I-71, with pockets of much heavier precipitation north of Dayton and in the Cleveland area.

A CoCoRaHS observer west of Troy reported 3.41” of rain during Sunday-Monday’s event, with Miami, Loraine, Cuyahoga, and Lake Counties reporting multiple locations with 2-3” of rain. However, northwest and southeast counties were not as lucky, and although lighter rain certainly was a joy to experience, much drier than normal conditions continue across these areas.… Continue reading

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Old crop bean futures price review

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

Corn prices are volatile despite that old crop stayed mostly between $6 and $6.10, while new crop values ranged between $5.20 and $5.45 the past week. 

It seemed that the evening 10-day forecasts were showing rain, so prices would go down and then, by morning forecasts shifted drier pulling prices back up. If weather could be predicted, futures prices could be predicted too.

June’s USDA WASDE report is one of the least important reports of the year because few changes are usually made, and this year was no exception. Typically, weather forecasts will be impacting prices more than the June USDA WASDE report this time of year.

Traders will now wait for the USDA’s June 30 Acreage and Stocks report. Arguably that report is one of the most important of the year, because it shows the planted acres and updates estimates for the remaining grain left in storage. … Continue reading

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OSU Drought Rapid Response team resources

The recent rainfall sure helped, but the previous stretch of warmer temperatures combined with scant rainfall in recent weeks has resulted in moderate drought conditions over 62% of the state, with nearly 98% of Ohio considered abnormally dry, according to the June 8 update from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“Moderate drought” is the initial level of drought, while “abnormally dry” means an area is moving in the direction of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

And while it isn’t time to panic, these are rapidly changing conditions that need to be monitored, said Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension’s field specialist in agriculture weather and climate and the State Climatologist of Ohio. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“Our lawns are feeling it, our gardens are feeling it and now we’ve got a couple of communities that have issued water-reduction requests,” Wilson said.… Continue reading

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Managing light: Kill weeds or stimulate crops

By James Hoorman, Hoorman, Soil Health Services

Every farmer spends a lot of time, energy, resources trying to find ways to reduce or eliminate troublesome weeds in their fields.  Weeds compete with crops for water, nutrients, and even sunlight; reducing crop yields by as much as 30% nationwide.  Chemical weed control has been the most commonly used weapon of choice.  Now farmers may have a completely different tool called blue wave light. 

A company located in Xenia, Ohio, called Global Neighbor, is run by Jon Jackson.  They have developed a weed inhibitor using mid-infrared blue light wavelengths to treat weed seed.  The weeds seed remains viable, but the weed seed can not germinate.  The blue wavelength damages the seed cells where germination occurs. A weed seed’s first root, called a radicle, does not grow so the seed eventually dies.  Global Destroyer calls their new invention a weed destroyer and it is mounted on the back of a combine. … Continue reading

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Planting season wraps up for 2023

Farmers nearly wrapped up corn and soybean planting during another mostly dry week, according to the USDA NASS, Great Lakes Regional Field Office. Dry conditions continued to dominate, with the latest U.S. Drought Monitor rating 97.9% of the State as abnormally dry or worse and 62.0% in moderate drought. However, a late-week storm system provided respite to crops in the central tier of the State. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 35% very short, 42% short, and 23% adequate. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on June 11 was 63.4 degrees, 4.0 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.22 inches of precipitation, 0.69 inches below average. There were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 11.

Field activities during the previous week included herbicide and fertilizer applications. Farmers in northern counties reported signs of drought stress in produce crops. Heavy haze last week in northern and central counties was attributed to the ongoing Canadian forest fires. … Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 304 | Soybean Diplomacy: Fields to Foreign Lands

The newest Ohio Ag Net Podcast welcomes world travelers, auction updates, and policy experts. Hosted by Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg, this episode starts with the Ohio Soybean Council to speak about some international market development missions that support Ohio soybean farmers. Madison Layman and Bill Bayliss discuss their recent trip and the value of beans abroad. 

Dale Minyo speaks with Dale Everman of Homan Inc. about egg packing automation. From packaging technology, sourcing labor, and automating production, he speaks to the many solutions for Ohio — the second leading state in egg production. Equipment is a year round business and Dave Cornish of RES Auctions updates with Matt about current market trends and the most popular purchases of the season. 

Ohio Farm Bureau’s Brandon Kern, Senior Director of State & National Policy, updates listeners on action in the state capitol. The upcoming state budget could be leaving out some important funding to H2Ohio programs.… Continue reading

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Corn growing degree days

By Stephanie Karhoff, Ohio State University Extension

Though we may not have a crystal ball to reveal how the growing season will unfold, we can use growing degree day (GDD) accumulation to guide management and marketing decisions. Corn growth and development are largely determined by temperature, and tracking GDD can help us predict growth stage. Corn GDD accumulation is the average daily temperature minus 50.

Growing degree day (GDD) formula. Source:  Ohio Agronomy Guide.

The 86/50 method factors in the upper and lower threshold temperatures for corn growth. For example, if the maximum daily temperature (Tmax) is greater than 86 degrees Fahrenheit, 86 is used to determine the daily average. If the minimum daily temperature (Tmin) is less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, 50 is used to determine the daily temperature. So, if 87F was the daily maximum temperature and 63F was the daily minimum temperature, the GDD accumulation for the day would be ((86 + 63) / 2) – 50 or 24.5 GDDs.… Continue reading

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Federal court approves Lake Erie settlement agreement for TMDL

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

What is the key to resolving disagreements over water quality issues in Lake Erie? Cooperation, according to the federal court judge overseeing a legal battle over Lake Erie. The judge, U.S. District Judge James G. Carr, recently approved a plan that is the result of cooperation between the U.S. EPA, State of Ohio, Lucas County Commissioners, and the Environmental Law & Policy Center. For almost six years, the parties have been in a legal battle over how to deal with water quality in Western Lake Erie. But at the encouragement of the court, the parties developed and agreed to a Consent Decree to settle the case. Judge Carr approved the Consent Decree on May 4, 2023. Time will soon tell if the cooperation approach will satisfy the parties holding interests in Lake Erie’s water quality.… Continue reading

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Much-needed rain breaks up lengthy dry stretch

Lawrence Onweller

We finally got a rain last night. We got 3.5 tenths. That was the first rain we’ve had in around 35 days. I think it is a local record for dry spell or having the driest May on record. It was starting to hurt crops. It was a very much appreciated rain. We’ve got another chance on Tuesday to get some more rain, maybe a 70% chance. Hopefully we can get more rain this week.

The crops are still about a week behind. I like to see corn knee high by the 15th of June and it’s not. I think we’re only going to have one field around that tall. This rain will really help it, but we’re going to have a cool day today too.

The early planted corn, some of that got crusted in and it’s not quite as good of a stand. The later planted corn is all there and it’s a really good stand.… Continue reading

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Ohio agriculture pushing back on Senate budget proposal

By Matt Reese

The complexities of property taxes — with a focus on residential property — have been one target of the Ohio Senate in the current Ohio state budget process. The Senate’s proposed effort to minimize the increases in residential property would potentially result in a significant shift in the property tax burden placed on agricultural properties.

Brandon Kern, senior director, state and national policy for Ohio Farm Bureau, and his team have been working with Ohio senators to try to ensure the property tax measures are uniformly applied to agricultural ground.

“We’re seeing the Senate rolling out their first set of changes to the state budget bill and one of the things that the senators are trying to tackle is a concern across the state about increasing property values and the impact that would have on property taxes. Of course, that’s not a new issue for farmers across the state, but one of the proposals to try and address this for residential ratepayers is to try and smooth out the increases,” Kern said.… Continue reading

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Corn planting depth and emergence problems

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Determining seed planting depth is one place to start when diagnosing corn emergence issues. We can use the corn plant’s pattern of emergence and root placement to determine the seed depth placement of the planter. The mesocotyl is the white tubular stem-like plant part located between the kernel and the base of the coleoptile is the key to determining planting depth. The mesocotyl pushes the coleoptile or “spike” toward the soil surface. 

Growers can diagnose seed placement problems by digging up and observing the mesocotyl length after emergence. Since the plant places the crown at three-quarters inch deep, measure the length of the mesocotyl from the crown to the seed and add three-quarters inch to determine seed placement. The mesocotyl is pretty resilient. I have dug up plants in mid-vegetative to early reproductive stages and found the mesocotyl with the empty seed attached to the crown.… Continue reading

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Planting soybeans in June: What agronomic practices should I adopt?

By Fabio Colet and Laura Lindsey, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-16

As planting continues into June, farmers may want to adjust their management practices to maximize soybean yield.

Soybeans planted in June tend to be smaller and have fewer nodes and pods than soybeans planted in April or May. Therefore, the recommendation is to increase the seeding rate when the planting date is delayed. A small-plot field study conducted at Western Agricultural Research Station (WARS) in South Charleston, Clark Co., and Northwest Agricultural Research Station (NWARS), in Custar, Wood Co. for two growing seasons identified the agronomic optimum seeding rate (the seeding rate where soybean yield is maximized). For the first half of June, seeding rates should be between 150,000 to 180,000 seeds/acre. For the second half of June, increase seeding rates to 170,000 to 200,000 seeds/acre.

For soybeans planted in June, the recommendation is to use narrow rows (7.5 to 15-inch row spacings).… Continue reading

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