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Beef industry looking at massive financial losses

A recent study estimates cattle industry losses as a result of the cornonavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will reach $13.6 billion. The study was commissioned by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and its state affiliated and conducted by a team of industry-leading agricultural economists led by Derrell Peel, Professor of Agribusiness and Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist at Oklahoma State University, to assist the United States Department of Agriculture in determining how best to allocate relief funds to cattle producers.

The study shows cow-calf producers will see the largest impact, with COVID-19-related losses totaling an estimated $3.7 billion, or $111.91 per head for each mature breeding animal in the United States. Without offsetting relief payments, those losses could increase by $135.24 per mature breeding animal, for an additional impact totaling $4.45 billion in the coming years.

Stocker/backgrounder segment losses were estimated at $159.98 per head, for a total economic impact of $2.5 billion in 2020, while feeding sector losses were estimated at $3 billion or $205.96 per head.… Continue reading

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COVID-19 creating tensions between protecting public health versus respecting individual rights

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

Did you hear about the 53-year old Kentucky man who contracted Covid-19? He was the first coronovirus case in Nelson County, and he checked himself out of the hospital, against medical advice, to return home. Apparently, the authorities were concerned he would not properly self-isolate, so Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear ordered deputies from the local Sheriff’s Department to surround the man’s house to ensure his compliance. Gov. Beshear explained that he “can’t allow one person who we know has the virus to refuse to protect their neighbors.”

Meanwhile, up in the Maine island town of Vinalhaven, four construction workers, who had rented a home for a month for a job they had been working since September, reported that neighbors cut down a tree and dragged it to block the road to their house so that the four were unable to leave.… Continue reading

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Create a strong soybean weed control strategy

By John Schoenhals, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Northern Ohio

Springtime in Ohio is an exciting time — color returns to fields, lawns, and landscapes, outdoor activities (with appropriate social distancing) can begin, and the sound of birds fills the early morning air. When it comes to fieldwork, spring is a pivotal time for setting corn and soybean yield potential.

While seed genetics, weather, planter calibration, and overall uniformity have a high impact on yield, it is important not to lose sight of the challenges of weeds to a grower’s operation.

The challenges that weeds pose to growing crops has increased drastically in recent years, and 2020 will bring even more challenges. Large amounts of prevent plant ground in 2019 allowed tough-to-control weeds such as marestail, ragweed, and waterhemp to produce enormous amounts of seeds. These seeds can very quickly be spread to new areas.

Waterhemp is the newest weed threat in many parts of the state, especially in soybean production.… Continue reading

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Nematologists eager to study a new soybean variety with SCN resistance

A new soybean variety with resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN) derived from the breeding line PI 89772 is being released by Syngenta in small quantities in 2020. Syngenta is sharing seed with university researchers and farm cooperators now, and full commercial launch is expected in 2021. “We’re excited about a new soybean variety with a source of SCN resistance derived from breeding lines other than PI 88788 and Peking,” said Melissa Mitchum, molecular nematologist at the University of Georgia and co-leader of The SCN Coalition. “If the new variety has the right combination of resistance genes, it could offer a novel mode of action that shifts SCN populations in a different direction than the PI 88788 breeding line and possibly the Peking breeding line, too.”

USDA researchers originally discovered PI 89772 on an expedition in China back in 1930. Ninety years later, and after nearly 25 years of work by breeder Jose Aponte, Syngenta is releasing the variety under two brand names: Golden Harvest GH2329X and NK Brand S23-G5X.

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Hog farmers face COVID-19 financial crisis

The impact of COVID-19 has caused hog values to plummet, creating a financial disaster for pork producers nationwide who face a collective $5 billion loss for the remainder of the year. At a press briefing today, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) outlined the crisis as described by producers and the immediate relief they are requesting from the administration and Congress.

“We remain committed to supplying Americans with high-quality U.S. pork, but face a dire situation that threatens the livelihoods of thousands of farm families,” said Howard “A.V.” Roth, NPPC president, a pork producer from Wisconsin. “We are taking on water fast. Immediate action is imperative, or a lot of hog farms will go under.”

The suspension of pork packing plant operations and rising employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing harvest facility capacity challenge due to a labor shortage in rural America. With limited harvest capacity, a surplus of pigs exists, causing hog values to plunge.… Continue reading

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Meet one of the Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net Between the Rows Farmers: Willie Murphy

Willie Murphy farms in Clinton county Ohio with his father, brother and uncle. The Murphys are what you would call a diversified operation, producing row crops, feeder cattle, brood cows, and hogs. Along with a traditional rotation of corn, beans, and wheat they also grow barley, spelt and hay.

Between the Rows is presented by Seed Genetics Direct. Value. Knowledge. Performance,  IT’S IN OUR GENETICS.… Continue reading

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Will farmers social distance themselves from corn?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The April 9 USDA report seemed to factor in a 50% ethanol grind reduction for at least March and April. There may need to be more reductions in future reports if shelter in place continues. The USDA also increased feed usage, likely to make up for reduced DDG production and consumption. With what we know today, these adjustments appear reasonable.

Reduced gas consumption due to shelter in place orders will likely impact corn prices for the rest of the year. Normal gas consumption is unlikely for quite some time, and many are hopeful it will be back to at least 80% by the end of summer.


Planted acres

With potentially less ethanol consumption, demand for corn will fall. The estimate from the March 31 USDA report of 97 million planted corn acres could lead to nearly 3.7 billion bushels of carryout next season.… Continue reading

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Tips for keeping food fresh for longer between grocery trips

With less frequent grocery shopping, how can foods be stored longer? It is a question question is on the minds of many people nationwide, as the majority of the country continues efforts to flatten the curve and lessen the spread of COVID-19. In Ohio, for example, on April 2, the Stay at Home Order was extended to May 1.

With that in mind, many grocery retailers are or have implemented regulations to manage social distancing measures, including making grocery aisles move in one direction and lessening the number of shoppers in the stores at the same time.

With these limitations, consumers should first shop their cupboards and develop recipes that use up foods that are the oldest but still safe eat, said Brian Roe, a professor of agricultural economics for The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“Then, turn to create a list of all the foods that you need to buy before you get to the store,” Roe said.… Continue reading

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Solar development expanding in rural Ohio

Despite what you might think in the winter or even early spring, Ohio gets enough sunshine year-round to fuel solar energy facilities — massive ones.

The smallest solar energy project being planned in the state is 610 acres, and the largest is more than five times bigger, a facility slated to stretch across nearly 3,300 acres — over 5 square miles — in Hardin County.

“We’re not talking about a few panels here and there,” said Peggy Hall, agricultural and resource law field specialist for The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

In total, the 12 solar energy facilities being built or in the planning stages will cover about 16,000 acres — primarily in southern Ohio (Brown, Clermont, Highland, Madison, Pickaway, Vinton, and Preble counties) and in northwest Ohio’s Hardin County. They will span about 25 square miles of what’s now mostly farmland. That’s about the size of the city of Canton, Ohio.… Continue reading

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Be on the lookout for alfalfa weevil

Though it seems like spring has been slow to come this year, we have actually accumulated enough degree days to see potential outbreaks of alfalfa weevil in some locations. Ohio experienced its 5th warmest winter on record (1895-2020) and March temperatures averaged 2 to 8 degrees F above average. Overwintered adults begin laying eggs when temperatures exceed 48 degrees F. Peak larval activity and feeding damage occurs between 325 and 575 heat units (based on accumulation of heat units from January 1 with a base of 48 degrees F). Current (Jan. 1 – Apr. 11, 2020) heating units range from near 100 in far northeastern Ohio, 100 to 200 across much of northern Ohio, and 200 to 300 units across much of central, southwest, and southeast Ohio. South central Ohio has currently eclipsed 300 units as evident at OSU South Centers in Piketon.

In short, now is the time to start scouting.… Continue reading

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Emergency funding granted to procure milk, dairy and other food for Ohio foodbanks

Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order to provide nearly $5 million in emergency funding to respond to an unprecedented need for emergency food created by the COVID-10 pandemic.

This funding, requested by the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, would allow Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and its statewide pantry network of 3,600 local organizations to immediately procure nutritious milk and dairy products, as well as other food and essential items, to feed families in need.

The Ohio Dairy Producers Association and the American Dairy Association Mideast, who represent the state’s 1,750 dairy farm families, thank Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services for their leadership and swift action to provide hunger relief to millions of Ohioans.

“Milk is one of the most requested items for food banks, and Ohio’s dairy community is grateful that the state is taking the necessary steps to help get nutritious milk and dairy foods to those in need,” said Scott Higgins, CEO for both ODPA and ADA Mideast.… Continue reading

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AFBF urges close examination of livestock markets

Extreme volatility in livestock markets is raising red flags across the country, leading the American Farm Bureau to urge the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to leave no stone unturned as they monitor and analyze market activity.

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall applauds Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for expanding USDA’s investigation into market activity surrounding the Holcomb fire to include the volatility and disparities surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

“The level of frustration with market volatility among livestock producers has never been higher,” Duvall said. “I applaud Secretary Perdue for his commitment to expand USDA’s investigation. It won’t bring back lost income for producers, but it will help to restore confidence in our pricing system.”

Duvall spoke with both Secretary Sonny Perdue and CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert about the rising concern and frustration among livestock producers. Duvall followed up with a letter to Chairman Tarbert.… Continue reading

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Crop Progress: Wheat jointing, Oats being planted

Rain fell and fields remained too wet for most equipment, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Temperatures averaged 4 degrees higher than historical normals and the entire State averaged about an inch of rain. There were 2.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 12. Oats planted progress jumped to 24 percent complete last week despite the short window for fieldwork. Other field activity was limited and ranged from manure hauling, spraying weeds, to tiling fields. Top dressing of winter wheat with nitrogen continued although consistent rain threatened to wash away application effectiveness. Hay fields and pastures continued to slowly green up even as soil moisture levels remained mostly surplus.… Continue reading

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Between the Rows kicks off the 2020 season

Jake Heilmann

We farm corn, beans and a little bit of wheat. We used to have a large hog operation but we got out of that around 20 years ago. We strictly do row crops now and we have a lot of on farm storage. We find we grow our best corn on our sandier ground and we’ve gotten pretty accustomed to corn-after-corn. We plan our corn acres to the amount we can do with one combine in the fall and the remaining acres get put to beans. We get wheat into the rotation when we want to install tile and we do that ourselves. We have a third party bale straw and we do some double-crop beans if we can make it work logistically.

Drainage certainly is showing its benefits like it does every year. We have been able to get on fields that are better drained. We have some fertilizer spread and some anhydrous ammonia applied on maybe a quarter of our corn acres.… Continue reading

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Survey gauging impact of COVID-19 on Ohio agriculture

COVID-19 has caused many disruptions to daily life, agriculture and the entire food chain. The global pandemic has resulted in negative consequences for every sector of Ohio’s food production system in a vast amount of ways.

With the help of insightful conversations with members about what they are experiencing on their farms as well as what they are seeing in their agricultural community, Ohio Farm Bureau has left no stone unturned. Those discussions have shed light on immediate issues members are realizing, as well as their concerns about the long-term burdens their livelihoods may shoulder because of the coronavirus outbreak. Farm Bureau has put in countless hours on many fronts to find answers for those affected.

To take efforts a step further, Ohio Farm Bureau created a Farm, Food and Agribusiness COVID-19 Impact Survey. The goal of this survey is to gauge, in a broader scope, the uncertainties and concerns being felt across Ohio agriculture.… Continue reading

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Farmers are responding to food banks in need

There have been numerous efforts of agriculture to provide food for those in need in the past and they are especially important right now. A recent donation from the Ohio Pork Council highlights these efforts. The OPC effort provided over 9,600 wholesome meals to those in need amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, just in time for Easter.

This year, as part of OPC’s annual Pork Power program, Ohio pig farmers donated over 2,400 Sugardale hams to benefit the West Ohio Food Bank, which serves community members in Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert and Wyandot counties.

“For Ohio’s pig farmers, providing a safe, wholesome food supply is our livelihood — and giving back to community members is at the core of our values,” said Ohio Pork Council President-Elect Ryan McClure, a pig farmer from Paulding County.

During spring 2020, Ohio pig farmers provided over 9,600 meals to western Ohio families through OPC’s annual Pork Power program.… Continue reading

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Kalmbach Feeds launching campaign to provide half a million meals

In response to the unprecedented challenges being faced by Americans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kalmbach Feeds is launching a campaign to support Feeding America by donating funds to supply 500,000 meals to friends and neighbors in need.

The campaign, named “Feed the Need,” has been created in response to the Covid-19 crisis which has caused massive unemployment due to businesses being forced to close their doors for the health and safety of every individual. Many people, suddenly without wages, are finding themselves relying on food banks for the first time ever. For each bag of Kalmbach Feeds, Tribute or Formula of Champions branded feed sold, Kalmbach Feeds, Inc. will donate one meal to Feeding America, with the mission of providing a half million meals.

“So many people are in need right now, due to circumstances completely out of anybody’s control, and we want to be a part of helping our neighbors in the communities we serve,” said Paul Kalmbach, Jr.,… Continue reading

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