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Hot weather roller coaster may continue

AccuWeather reports after a burst of July-like heat and humidity to end the week, conditions more typical of September will arrive in the northeastern United States later this weekend.

“Temperatures and humidity levels will become much more comfortable in the wake of a cold front this weekend,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.

Thunderstorms will erupt along the leading edge of the cooler air from west to east late Saturday into Sunday.

Prior to this weekend, batches of showers and thunderstorms will dot some areas of the Northeast into Friday night as a couple of weak systems move across the region.

Widespread severe weather is not expected, but a few of the strongest storms could be locally heavy and gusty over the next few days.

The weekend storms will usher in lower humidity and more seasonable temperatures from Sunday into Tuesday, Adamson said.

High temperatures are expected to plunge from the middle to upper 80s on Saturday to the low to middle 70s F on Sunday from New York to Cincinnati and Cleveland. … Continue reading

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Economic depreciation change for equipment

Deterioration in profit margins for major Midwestern field crops over the last three years has created a changing environment with respect to farm machinery and equipment investment. The strong returns for Midwestern field crops from 2006 to 2013 together with favorable tax incentives (bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing) led to strong demand for new and used farm machinery and equipment over this period. The subsequent period (2013 to present) of lower crop prices and profit margins has led to relatively weaker demand for farm machinery and equipment over this period. This weaker demand has led to softer markets for used equipment and trade-ins. These lower prices for farm machinery and equipment trade-ins has created a higher rate of implied economic depreciation for this machinery and equipment compared to the previous high profit period.

An analysis of farm machinery and equipment sales data from the online used farm equipment sales platform, Machinery Pete, allows us to examine the change in resale prices of used farm equipment over the period of profit margin change from 2000 through 2015.… Continue reading

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The cloud and the changing face of agriculture

Enterprises, non-profits, and startups around the world are using the cloud to accelerate innovations that are changing the face of agriculture.

In support of The Ohio State University’s Discovery Themes initiative, and in tandem with the 2016 Farm Science Review, Amazon Web Services and experts from around the country will demonstrate how massive public data sets of satellite photos and other earth-observation data can be used in precision agriculture. Coupled with advanced sensor technology and the Internet of Things, these data sets can be used specifically to increase crop yield, conserve natural resources, create a safer and more resilient food-supply chain and fight hunger.

Ohio State will host the daylong event — a series of six demonstrations — on Monday Sept. 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on the Columbus campus. The event is free but registration is required.… Continue reading

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Western bean cutworm issues

Reports of ear feeding by western bean cutworm (WBC) have come in at a steady pace over the last few weeks. This is the third consecutive year that we have seen a fair amount of feeding, some of it likely has led to an economic loss. The heaviest feeding has occurred in the Northwest and Northeast corners of Ohio.

While it is too late to spray or control at this point (since most larvae are protected in the ear and are getting ready to pupate anyway), growers may need to watch for the development of ear rots. WBC can leave entry or exit holes in the corn husk, which can then provide a nice wound for pathogens like Fusarium and Gibberella.  Some of these organisms can then be a further source for mycotoxins, including Fumonisins and deoxynivalenol, AKA vomitoxin.

In some cases, damaged kernels will likely be colonized by opportunistic molds, meaning that the mold-causing fungi are just there because they gain easy access to the grain.… Continue reading

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Baker promoted to executive director of Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation

Chris Baker of Hilliard has been promoted to executive director of Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, a 501 (c) nonprofit, public charitable organization. Established in 1985, the foundation strives for measurable agricultural community improvement in Ohio by supporting projects that focus on agricultural education, the environment and economic growth in rural, suburban and urban areas. 

In his position, Baker is leading the Strong Foundation campaign, which has a goal of building a stronger Ohio by supporting local programs, funding scholarships and driving economic development. Baker joined Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation in 2015 as its director of development and has been interim executive director since April. 

Previously, Baker worked as director of development and marketing for RiteCare of Washington in Seattle and in various executive roles with Boy Scouts of America. He is a 2003 graduate of Wittenberg University with a bachelor’s degree in Russian area studies. He also is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.Continue reading

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OCA hosting Beef Industry Update Meeting

A Beef Industry Update meeting provided by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will take place in Hardin County. Beef producers from Hardin and surrounding counties are encouraged to attend.  The meeting will be held Wednesday, September 28th at 6 p.m. at the Rolling Hills Farms Show and Sale Facility, 17838 Co. Rd. 67 Belle Center, OH 43310.

A complimentary dinner will be hosted by OCA Allied Industry Council (AIC) members Animal Profiling International and Multimin USA and door prizes will be provided. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Pete Hausser, Animal Profiling International and Multimin USA’s Midwestern representative, on keeping their cow herd profitable. OCA Staff will be in attendance to discuss OCA events and policy updates.

Contact the OCA office at 614-873-6736 or email for more information about the industry update meetings. More information can also be found at

The Beef Industry Updates are sponsored by the Animal Profiling International and Multimin USA.… Continue reading

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Experts review the status of the fight against harmful algae

Fourteen leaders in the fight against harmful algal blooms (HABs) will convene in Toledo on Sept. 15 to share the latest information on protecting water quality.

Scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Stranahan Center, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., registration for Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science Conference is $20, including lunch, and free for students.

Harmful algal blooms are caused by a combination of warm water temperatures and high concentrations of phosphorus in the water. The blooms can produce dangerous toxins, such as microcystin. Toledo residents lost access to drinking water for two days in August 2014 due to high microcystin levels.

Conference presenters will focus on how to prevent and predict HABs, and how to remove toxins from drinking water. Hosted by Ohio State University’s Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Ohio State University Extension, presenters include representatives from agencies, universities and environmental organizations.… Continue reading

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New corn disease confirmed in the western Corn Belt

The presence of Xanthomonas bacterial leaf streak disease has been recently confirmed in Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas. Although the disease has only been found in western Corn Belt states, pathologists are conducting surveys to determine if it is more widely spread.

Until recently, this disease has not been observed in the United States. Bacterial leaf streak causes typical leaf disease symptoms on corn such as elongated lesions that run with the leaf’s vasculature, water-soaked margins of the lesions, and lesions that turn tan to brown as tissue becomes necrotic.

It is important to remember that because this new disease is caused by bacterial infection (like Goss’ Wilt), fungicides will not be effective at controlling it.

Ongoing research will be conducted to determine the impact Xanthomonas bacterial leaf streak will have on corn yields, however, it is important to note that throughout the observation of this disease over the past several years, no yield loss has been documented.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – September 6th, 2016

Areas around the state had a break from the humidity and heat as crops approached harvest, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.9 days available for fieldwork for the week ending September 4th. Some rain showers at the beginning of the week reduced the moderate drought percentage on the U. S. Drought Monitor. A string of dry days that arrived mid-week provided opportunity for hay harvest. Mature corn was reported to be drying quickly and dropping ears. Corn silage harvest began to pick up. There were some reports of wind and rain damage to corn fields in Southwestern counties. Soybeans are improving but experiencing some yellowing. While hay, corn, and pasture conditions haven’t changed much, most remain in average shape across the state.

Click here for a look at the full reportContinue reading

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Hidden costs may be affecting the farm’s bottom line

Some hidden costs may be affecting the bottom line of your operation’s finances, but how do you look for costs that may be trickling down your balance sheet?

“If you are you using your tax return to track your operations expenses, you’re probably not getting the full picture,” said Vince Bailey, vice president credit – agribusiness, Farm Credit Mid-America. “There are non-tax-deductible costs that won’t appear on any end-of-year forms, but will still affect your bottom line, so pay special attention if you’re making money but your working capital position continues to decline. This can be a key indicator something isn’t adding up in your operation’s finances.”

One major hidden cost that farmers may not be thinking about is family expenses.

“Families need to keep an eye on large expenses, like home mortgages and car payments, but all costs of living should be tracked,” Bailey said. “Over time, these seemingly inconsequential costs can make a dent in your balance sheet; but are invisible, because they aren’t stated on the farm’s tax forms.”… Continue reading

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ODNR adds more than 900 acres to Shawnee State Forest

A Forest Legacy project in southern Ohio recently resulted in an addition of 929 acres of highly strategic forest land, an area known as the “Little Smokies of Ohio,” to Shawnee State Forest, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“By acquiring these ‘Little Smokies’ parcels, ODNR continues to show its commitment toward protecting and fostering the growth of Ohio’s forest lands,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “These additional woodland acres will fill many of the largest gaps in the Shawnee State Forest, and by using proper management, will provide Ohioans with healthy forests, which create ideal habitats for all of our wildlife, offer countless recreational activities and produce the timber products that contribute to our state’s continued economic growth.”

The 63,747-acre Shawnee State Forest includes Ohio’s only state-designated wilderness area and surrounds the 1,168-acre Shawnee State Park. Together, they are the largest contiguous protected forest in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Two Ohio Soybean Council funded technologies named 2016 R&D 100 awards finalists

Two technologies recently developed through Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff collaborations have achieved “finalist” designations for the R&D 100 Awards, with winners to be announced in November. Both technologies, Soy-PK Resin and Bio-YIELD bioreactor, leverage the natural properties of soybeans to increase the sustainability and improve health in modern industries.

Since the early 1990s, OSC has engaged in public and private collaborations that encourage rapid commercialization of new commercial and industrial uses of soybeans.

“It’s important that we continue to explore new ways to utilize our soybeans,” said Nathan Eckel, OSC Research Committee chair and soybean farmer from Wood County. “Seeing technologies that we’ve helped develop with some amazing partners receive this kind of recognition is fantastic.”


Soy-PK Resin

A finalist in the R&D 100 Materials category and Green Tech Special Recognition (i.e., innovations that help make our environment greener and our goal towards energy reduction closer), Soy-PK offers a safe alternative to epoxy resins containing bisphenol-A (BPA).… Continue reading

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Global analysis shows one-sixth of land on Earth is highly vulnerable to invasive species

One-sixth of the Earth’s land is highly vulnerable to invasive species, and most countries have a limited capacity to protect their natural resources from non-native animals, plants or microbes, a global analysis shows.

Invasive species can spread quickly and dramatically alter landscapes, ecosystems and human health and livelihoods, often with harmful consequences. Notable examples of invasive species in the U.S. include Burmese pythons, West Nile virus, emerald ash borers and tumbleweed.

Researchers from multiple institutions, including Purdue University, teamed up to create the first worldwide analysis of invasive species threats, providing a global-scale outlook on how the introduction and spread of invasive species could shift in coming decades as a result of increasing globalization and climate change. They also assessed individual nations’ abilities to manage existing invasive species and respond to new ones, the first country-level evaluation of its kind.

The analysis showed that invasive species will increasingly threaten developing countries and the last remaining biodiversity hotspots due to increased air travel to these areas and expansion of agriculture, factors that can provide opportunity for non-native species to gain a foothold.… Continue reading

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Organic research highlighted at event

The Ohio State University’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research (OFFER) program will hold a free public field day featuring new findings and projects related to certified organic research.

The event is from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 8 starting at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s West Badger farm in northeast Ohio.

The tour will then proceed to additional organic research plots located at OARDC’s Fry Farm and Horticulture Unit 1, which together represent more than 75 acres of certified organic research land.

OFFER and OARDC are both part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The field day will highlight various aspects of agronomic, specialty and cover crops. A featured topic will be soil management using the soil balancing philosophy, an idea described by William Albrecht in The Albrecht Papers which says that ideal soils contain 60 to 75% calcium, 10 to 20% magnesium and 2 to 5% potassium on their exchange sites, leaving them “balanced,” said Doug Doohan, acting director of the OFFER program.… Continue reading

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OSU Pumpkin Field night

Just in time for the upcoming fall harvest, pumpkin growers can learn more about 70 varieties of jack-o’-lanterns, colored pumpkins, pie pumpkins and specialty pumpkin cultivars during a Sept. 15 field night offered by horticultural experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at The Ohio State University South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, the Pumpkin Field Day will also offer growers the newest research on pumpkin pest and disease control, said Charissa Gardner, program assistant with South Centers.

“The workshop is designed for anyone that grows pumpkins currently, or anyone that is interested in starting to grow them,” Gardner said. “In addition to offering information on pumpkin crop management, we’ll also offer growers information on pumpkin disease screening for resistance to powdery mildew, downy mildew, anthracnose and white speck.”

Brad Bergefurd, an Ohio State University Extension educator, will lead the field night.… Continue reading

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The decision to expand or sell

The beef industry has certainly experienced a bit of an economic “roller coaster” over the past few years. The historically high prices for all classes of beef cattle during 2014 and the first half of 2015 encouraged an expansion phase to begin. As beef cattle prices have moderated over the past year, expansion has continued but at a slower pace. The outlook for beef cattle prices for the next several years still remains positive. The current beef economy has created an interesting dynamic where you can hear producers debating the merits of expanding their herds and also merchandising females.

Depending on your situation, the current beef economic climate provides a unique opportunity for both buyers and sellers of breeding cattle. Both groups can take advantage of this situation by participating in the upcoming Ohio Cattlemen’s Association fourth annual Replacement Female Sale on Friday evening, Nov. 25. The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock facility in Zanesville and will start at 6 p.m.… Continue reading

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Farmer-led movement for soil health receives $4 million boost

A revolutionary effort to support on-farm conservation has added a new partner representing major agricultural companies, food companies and environmental groups. The new collaboration will accelerate the Soil Health Partnership‘s leadership in helping farmers adopt practices that protect natural resources while potentially increasing profits.
At the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, the industry-leading companies and environmental organizations today announced the launch of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative. Its goal is to support, enhance and accelerate the use of environmentally preferable agricultural practices.
The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative’s founding members include Cargill, the Environmental Defense Fund, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Monsanto, PepsiCo, The Nature Conservancy, Walmart and the World Wildlife Fund.  The overall shared goal is to help achieve a 45% nutrient loss reduction by 2035 across the Upper Mississippi River Basin – chiefly nitrogen and phosphorus.
As part of this effort, the Collaborative has committed to raise $4 million over five years to augment the Soil Health Partnership, a farmer-led initiative of the National Corn Growers Association established in 2014.
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Warm dry weather to return in September

August continued the warmer than normal trend. However, Ohio did get some beneficial rain which helped some. June to August will go down as about 2-3 degrees above normal and precipitation 60% to 100% of normal (below) north half of Ohio and 100% to 125% of normal (slightly above) in the south half. It was the tails to two states that can be seen in the graphics attached form the Midwest Regional Climate Center.

As discussed a few weeks ago, it looks like the helpful rain in many areas was a pause in a preferred warmer and drier than normal pattern. All indications are September will be warmer and drier than normal for much of the state. It may turn wetter again toward the end of September.

September will start the first few days with a fall-like shot of cooler air with lows mostly in the 50s and highs in the 70s.… Continue reading

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OFBF announces 2016 Young Ag Professionals contest winners

Aaron and Sarah Heilers of Anna have been named the winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2016 Excellence in Agriculture Award. The award recognizes successful young agricultural professionals who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture.

The Shelby County Farm Bureau couple have a corn, soybean, wheat and wine grape operation. Aaron is project manager of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farm Network Project, a $1 million, five-year project supported by Ohio Farm Bureau, USDA NRCS and other groups that showcases innovative and standard agricultural practices that help reduce and prevent nutrient runoff. Sarah is an agricultural educator and FFA adviser at Anna High School.

The Heilers will receive an expense-paid trip to compete in the national Excellence in Agriculture contest during American Farm Bureau’s annual convention in January. They also will receive a John Deere Gator courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America and a $1,000 technology package sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau.Continue reading

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Kernel red streak in corn

One common occurrence observed by growers and agronomists as corn begins to mature is a red coloring of the normally yellow pericarp of corn kernels. Kernel Red Streak (KRS), pictured top left, results from the development of red pigment in corn kernels caused by wheat curl mite feeding on the kernel seed coat. According to Purdue’s John Obermeyer and Christian Krupke in the 2015 issue 25 of the Pest and Crop Newsletter; “There are two suspected mechanisms causing the red streaking. One is the triggering of anthocyanin, a red pigment, in the pericarp as a response to mite feeding. Hybrids vary greatly in how much and where anthocyanin accumulates (e.g., purple seedling corn under cool, wet conditions). The other is the elicitation of another red pigment, phlobaphene, that determines cob (white vs. red), pericarp (great variability as shown with Indian corn), and silk (yellow vs. pink) coloration”

Just like purpling of a corn plant itself during the growing season varies by genetics, so does KRS.… Continue reading

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