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Keep an eye out for the laternfly

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) needs help in keeping an eye out for the late nymphsspotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive insect that can cause significant damage to some plants and crops. The insect has not yet been confirmed in Ohio but has been spotted in Pennsylvania.

SLF is a great concern to the grape and wine industry. The insect is fond of grape and fruit trees, hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut. Adult SLF mainly feed on grapevines and tree of heaven, while nymphs feed on a wide range of hosts. Both adults and nymphs feed on stems and leaves, causing sap bleeding and reduced photosynthesis, which can eventually kill the plant.

Now through November is the best time to spot the SLF because it is in its most recognizable stages as adult slf a nymph and a moth. After hatching in the late spring, the SLF goes through four nymph stages.… Continue reading

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Corn silks, beans bloom despite dry conditions

Warm and dry weather prevailed throughout the week, allowing small grain harvest to progress quickly, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture decreased from 43 percent adequate or surplus last week to 24 percent adequate or surplus this week. Approximately 59 percent of the state saw abnormally dry conditions according to the latest Drought Monitor, and several reporters observed crop stress due to lack of soil moisture. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 2 degrees above historical normals, and the entire state averaged less than .5 inches of precipitation. There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 19. Farmers harvested wheat, baled straw and hay, installed tile, conducted tillage, and hauled manure. Winter wheat harvested was at 95 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 12 percentage points. Soybeans blooming was at 64 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 14 percentage points.… Continue reading

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A new era of victory gardens

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

When the United States entered World War I nearly a century ago, citizens were asked to do their part to support the troops by planting gardens.

Propaganda and pamphlets were distributed across the country, encouraging everyone to plant gardens to aid in the war. School yards, parks, backyards and more were all converted into gardens. Again, following the start of World War II, these “victory gardens,” as they were named for their wartime efforts, began to reemerge. Food rations led to many families producing their own fruits and vegetables. Gardens boosted morale and brought a sense of collectiveness to the country.

As the world has gone to war in a new battle in the form of a pandemic, there appears to be another wave of these “victory gardens.” For the first time in a very long time, Americans went to the grocery store and were met with empty shelves.… Continue reading

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GPS concerns for agriculture

By Matt Reese

There has been much discussion about the importance of improving rural broadband and cellular connectivity. As efforts to address this challenge move forward, new potential challenges are emerging.

“We know there are places where there is no cellular connectivity in Ohio making it very hard to get a connection to the Internet. The Internet has become a necessity for production agriculture today. Cellular services have advanced to 5G but that is limited to large cities and making that accessible to rural communities is very important,” said John Fulton, professor in the Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “The federal government has taken initiatives on the finding solutions to rural broadband coverage. One of the more debatable discussions currently is about the Ligado Company. Many people in the ag sector would recall LightSquared back in the 2011 era trying to deliver rural broadband via satellite.… Continue reading

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Mid-season weed management in soybeans

By Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Specialist, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-21

A few weed-related observations while we try to stay cool and hope for a day of rain or at least popup thunderstorms.

One of the frequent questions during extended dry weather is — do I wait for rain before applying POST herbicides, or just go ahead and apply before the weeds get any larger and tougher to control.  Our experience has been that it’s best to go ahead and apply when weeds are still small, even if it’s dry, and herbicides will usually do what they are supposed to.  Letting them get larger without any sure forecast for rain can make for a tough situation that requires higher rates or a more injurious mix.  On the other hand, waiting to apply can be fine if there is a good chance of rain within the next few days.  It’s not always an easy decision.

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Soy in diet protects hogs from viral pathogens

Pigs that eat soybean as a regular part of their diet may be better protected against viral pathogens, a new study from University of Illinois shows. The researchers attribute the effect to isoflavones, a natural compound in soybeans.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a widespread disease that costs U.S. swine producers around $650 million every year. There is evidence that feeding soy helps protect pigs against the disease, but it’s not clear why or how it works, said Ryan Dilger, co-author on the study and associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, Division of Nutritional Sciences, and Neuroscience Program at U of I.

Dilger and his collaborators previously pointed to dietary soy isoflavones as the active ingredient, and they wanted to explore that hypothesis further.

“In this study, we’re looking specifically at isoflavones and whether they have a beneficial effect on the immune response,” Dilger said. “We wanted to understand how we can take a primary protein source in a diet that’s already used for pigs and provide a practical way for producers to combat the endemic PRRSV.”… Continue reading

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From FFA jackets to PPE, Universal Lettering is “Living to Serve”

By Dusty Sonnenberg

The last line in the FFA Motto is “Living to Serve.” That motto is being lived out in real time during COVID-19 by Universal Lettering of Van Wert, maker of the official blue corduroy FFA jacket.

Little has changed from the original FFA jacket that J.H. “Gus” Lintner had Van Wert Manufacturing/Universal Uniform Company design in 1933. The Fredericktown FFA Chapter Band wore the jacket when they played at the national FFA Convention in Kansas City that year. The blue corduroy jackets were later adopted as the official dress for all FFA chapters.

A good deal has changed, though, with the company producing those iconic blue and gold jackets over the years. The original jackets had snaps instead of zippers and embroidered emblems instead of sewn on patches. Today a state-of-the-art process at Universal Lettering, which includes a chenille machine to create the patches and computerized sewing machines to stitch each individual member name on the front of the jacket, replaces hand-operated machines.… Continue reading

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Western bean cutworm numbers starting to increase

By Amy Raudenbush, Mark Badertscher, Jordan Beck, Frank Becker, Lee Beers, CCA, Bruce Clevenger, CCA, Sam Custer, Tom Dehaas, Craig Everett, Allen Gahler, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Andrew Holden, Stephanie Karhoff, Alan Leininger, Ed Lentz, CCA, Rory Lewandowski, CCA, Cecilia Lokai-Minnich, David Marrison, Sarah Noggle, Les Ober, CCA, Eric Richer, CCA, Garth Ruff, Beth Scheckelhoff, Clint Schroeder, Jeff Stachler, Mike Sunderman, Curtis Young, CCA, Chris Zoller, Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Matthew Lorentz, Ohio State University Extension

We are in the third week of monitoring for Western bean cutworm (WBC) in Ohio. Numbers of WBC moths doubled from the previous week; however, overall numbers across the state remain low. Trap counts for the week of July 6 – 12 resulted in a total of 117 WBC adults (1.3 average moths per trap). A total of 27 counties monitored 91 traps across Ohio. Sandusky County reported capturing more than 1 moth per day over the 7-day monitoring period; therefore, scouting for egg masses should begin in this county.… Continue reading

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Polymers: Everywhere from DNA to tires and more!

By Carin A. Helfer and Kristof Molnar

Polymers? Do you mean plastics? Many people do not know the term polymer, but this material is literally everywhere and a major part of our daily life. Plastics are polymers, but rubbers and fibers are polymers, too. Probably the most recognized biological polymer (biopolymer) is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Carbohydrates, proteins, cellulose, silk, and cotton are biopolymers, also. Life would not be possible without biopolymers.

Some man-made (synthetic) polymers are silicone rubber, which can be used in caulk; polyethylene (PE), which is used to make milk jugs; nylon, which is used in clothing and parachutes; and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make soda and water bottles. Even your white glue and other adhesives are polymers. If you look around, you will find many polymers throughout your day.

Large quantities of both synthetic and natural rubber, usually a combination for optimum performance, are used in tires.… Continue reading

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Ohio No-Till events canceled

The Ohio No-Till Council had three events planned in August that have been canceled.

“With Farm Science Review canceled, it became clear we had to cancel our three half-day events,” said Randall Reeder, Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired).

The events were:

Aug. 19: Ohio No-till (Summer) Field Evening, Nathan Brown Farm, Hillsboro

Aug. 20: Ohio No-till (Summer) Field Morning, Fred Yoder Farm, Plain City

Aug. 20: Ohio No-till (Summer) Field Evening, Keith Kemp Farm, W. Manchester.… Continue reading

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USMCA benefits agriculture

By Tyler Davis, Arizona Farm Bureau.

On July 1, the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement was officially implemented. The USMCA offers a fair free trade agreement that focuses on modernization and impartiality.

Under its predecessor trade agreement, NAFTA, many agricultural products that were exported from the U.S. to Canada suffered from an unfair pricing scheme, poor market access and protective regulations. The USMCA provides new market access for all U.S. agricultural products, a fair non-discriminatory pricing plan, and improved grading standards for products going forward.

Over the past 20 years, there have been many technological advancements, especially in the agriculture sector. Unfortunately, the provisions in NAFTA were no longer up to date with these advancements and the agreement was quickly becoming obsolete.

USMCA includes provisions that enhance science-based trading standards among the three nations as the basis for sanitary and phytosanitary measures for ag products, as well as progress in the area of geographic indications.… Continue reading

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Jed Bower elected to the NCGA Corn Board

Delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress, which was held virtually, elected five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board. This included newly elected Ohioan Jed Bower from Fayette County. Bower lives and farms near Washington Court House and will take office Oct. 1.

“I am humbled by the vote of confidence delegates had in casting their vote for me. I look forward to representing both Ohio and national corn farmers as we work to advance an industry we love,” Bower said.

The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations. Board members represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokesmen for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.… Continue reading

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Moderate summer harmful algal bloom predicted for western Lake Erie

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its research partners predict that western Lake Erie will experience a moderate harmful algal bloom this summer. This year’s bloom is expected to measure 4.5 on the severity index — among the smaller blooms since 2011 — but could possibly range between 4 and 5.5, compared to 7.3 last year. An index above 5 indicates the more severe blooms.

Lake Erie blooms consist of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, capable of producing the liver toxin microcystin which poses a risk to human and wildlife health. Such blooms may result in higher costs for cities and local governments that need to treat drinking water, prevent people from enjoying fishing, swimming, boating and visiting the shoreline, and harm the region’s vital summer economy. These effects will vary in location and severity due to winds that may concentrate or dissipate the bloom.

“A smaller bloom forecast for Lake Erie and the surrounding coastal communities is encouraging, but we cannot be complacent,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.… Continue reading

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Watch for frogeye leaf spot in beans

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

Frogeye leaf spot is a disease that can impact soybean yields across this eastern Corn Belt. Typically, more prevalent in the southern growing regions, the disease can occur farther north as a result of weather favorable to its development.

The fungus that causes frogeye leaf spot (Cercospora sojina) survives in infected plant debris and can cause infections in growing plants when weather conditions are favorable. Frogeye leaf spot lesions produce spores that are easily transported by wind, acting as inoculum for leaf infections on other plants. The disease is promoted by warm, humid weather and will continue to develop on infected plants during patterns of favorable weather. With the warm and wet weather patterns that have existed in the eastern Corn Belt during 2017, it is expected that frogeye would be observed in some fields.

Frogeye leaf spot symptoms begin as small yellow spots that become larger lesions with gray centers and dark reddish-purple or brown borders.… Continue reading

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Scouting for spider mites

By Andy Michel and Kelley Tillmon, Ohio State University Extension Entomology, C.O.R.N. 2020-22
Hot, dry weather encourages certain pests in field crops, in particular spider mites in soybean and occasionally corn. Spider mites are a sporadic problem that most often occurs in August, but infestations in July are possible with sustained periods of hot, dry weather like some parts of Ohio are experiencing. Crop scouts in areas that have not received rain recently should be on the lookout for this problem; spider mites are easy to miss in early stages and can build quickly.

Look for light-colored stippling damage which is easier to spot than the mites themselves. In areas with heavy stippling you can confirm the presence of mites by tapping vegetation over a black piece of construction paper. (Many sources will say to use white paper; but insider tip: they are actually easier to see against a dark background.)… Continue reading

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Opinion: Ag Twitter grills Burger King over methane reduction campaign

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

Ag Twitter — the term given to the larger agricultural community on the popular social media app — practically melted down Tuesday after fast food brand Burger King announced that they were changing their “#CowMenu” to reduce their methane emissions.

Burger King included a (rather strange) video features Mason Ramsey, the yodeling boy, singing about none other than bovine flatulence. The twittersphere leaped to life blasting the burger joint for its video and it’s stance.

Much of today’s society is developing into a cancel culture which refers to boycotting public figures or companies after they do something controversial.… Continue reading

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Is fungicide the right move for corn and soybeans in 2020?

By Alexandra Knight, Ph.D., Field Agronomist, Pioneer

Late season fungicide and insecticide applications to corn and soybeans is a management decision growers will be making rather quickly but, does it appear this year will pay?

In many parts of Ohio, 2019 left fields unplanted. In many cases, cover crops were planted to preserve mycorrhizal fungi. While this left an opportunity for beneficial organisms to thrive, it also provided an opportunity for insects and diseases to maintain a home. This combined with the mild winter, would lead us to suspect 2020 to be a strong year for both insects and disease.

In both corn and soybeans, the leaves serve as “solar panels” to capture sunlight and turn that sunlight into sugar to produce grain. When leaves remain healthy and undamaged more sugar can be produced and ultimately more yield obtained.

When fungicide applications occur, the leaf is protected from further disease development for a period of approximately 2 to 3 weeks.… Continue reading

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Take action: Pesticide resistance management

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

Production threats facing soybean farmers are constantly changing. Weeds, insects, and diseases create stress on crops that can contribute to reduced yields throughout the growing season. Take Action: Pesticide Resistance Management is an initiative of the United Soybean Board to help growers better identify and understand these production challenges and find solutions to protect their crops while reducing the threat of resistance developing in the pest.

Take Action is both a website and an app for smart phones and tablets that gives farmers the tools needed to follow an integrated pest management strategy with the resources to correctly identify pests, determine thresholds, and select treatment options the reduce the chances of developing pesticide resistance.

The Take Action website is divided into a resources section and a management section. Both sections are broken down into three key areas: Herbicide-resistance management, Disease-resistance management, and Insect-resistance management.

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New job board for Ohio’s pork industry

To keep up with the ever-growing pork industry, members of the Ohio Pork Council have made it their mission to bridge the gap between rising unemployment and a deficit workforce. This summer, the Ohio Pork Council is pleased to launch Ohio Pork Careers – a job board website that farmers can use to inform jobseekers about entry-level job opportunities available on Ohio’s pig farms.

“It is super easy to add a job in minutes with this website. If a farmer wants to post jobs on our site they have to go through a short application process. We are actually fielding all of those registrations here in house to make to ensure this website is only being used by farmers. As far as the hiring process, we turn that over to farms themselves, but we are doing an extra level of security as far as the employee registration process to make sure we are not having any issues,” said Meghann Winters, with the Ohio Pork Council.… Continue reading

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Soybean weed management in hot, dry conditions without dicamba

By Mark Loux Ohio State University herbicide specialist

Here are a few weed-related observations while we try to stay cool and hope for a day of rain or at least popup thunderstorms.

  • One of the frequent questions during extended dry weather is – do I wait for rain before applying POST herbicides, or just go ahead and apply before the weeds get any larger and tougher to control.  Our experience has been that it’s best to go ahead and apply when weeds are still small, even if it’s dry, and herbicides will usually do what they are supposed to.  Letting them get larger without any sure forecast for rain can make for a tough situation that requires higher rates or a more injurious mix.  On the other hand, waiting to apply can be fine if there is a good chance of rain within the next few days.  It’s not always an easy decision.
Continue reading

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