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Drought and herbicide carryover

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

The 2020 summer was hotter and drier than normal for most farms, so herbicide carryover will be a major issue for planting cover crops.  Herbicides degrade based on soil temperature, rainfall, time of application, organic matter, soil type, soil pH, and sunlight.  Generally, microbially active soils break down herbicides quickly.  Moisture is critical for microbe activity, so drought or dry summers means slower herbicide breakdown.  High soil temperatures can also reduce microbial activity and herbicide breakdown.  High soil microbial activity occurs between 75-850F but once soil temperatures get above 900F, generally microbial activity declines.  On bare soils, the soil temperatures in the top inch may reach 110-1400F on a hot sunny day, greatly reducing microbial activity and herbicide breakdown.

Mark Loux OSU Extension Weed Scientist
Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Scientist

Herbicide application timing also determines herbicide degradation.  Herbicides applied in the spring or early summer have a longer time to break down. 

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A shocking solution to weed control

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

The annual task of getting effective weed control is a challenge every farmer is familiar with. Each year millions of dollars are spent in the United States on herbicides to manage weed pressure in fields. As a boy, Seth Stutzman got tired of pulling and hoeing weeds on his family farm. The Stutzman family farms around 350 acres of organic corn, soybean and wheat near Plain City. Those involved in organic crop production realize one of the greatest production challenges they face is getting consistent weed control, largely due to a much smaller number of approved chemical options for certified organic crops.

Two years ago, Stutzman found what he thought was a good solution to his hours of hand labor in the fields. Stutzman purchased The Weed Zapper and began using it to clean up his fields, and those of neighboring farms.

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Cover crop driving tour

Those interested can drive themselves to three different fields to view cover crops planted in August. The farmers will be on hand to answer questions and discuss their challenges and opportunities in using cover crops. Refreshments will be served at each location. There is no cost to attend. Total drive time is just under 30 minutes and farms can be visited in any order.

The event will be held Thursday, Sept. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. The field locations are:

• Hosted by Jack Sommers: Hoffman Farm, Hammond Rd, Cable near Mingo

• Hosted by Tom Smith: 2684 Mt. Tabor Rd., West Liberty

• Hosted by Tim Lyden: near 5745 St Rt 47 E Bellefontaine.

Contact Amanda Douridas at or 937-484-1526 for more information. This event was paid for by a grant from the National Wildlife Federation.

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Ohio FFA member serves as Ohio’s Fair Queen

Across the state Junior Fair King and Queen Contests serve as staple events during county fairs. For reigning county fair queens, they then have the chance to compete to serve as the Ohio Fair’s Queen. This year a Valley View MVCTC FFA member and the 2019-2020 Ohio FFA State Reporter, Mackenzie Hoog is serving as the Ohio Fair’s Queen. Hoog represents the Montgomery County fair.

Hoog began her reign as the Ohio Fair’s Queen in January during the 2020 Ohio Fair Managers Association (OFMA) Conference. She competed against 79 other queens vying for the position. To be considered, Hoog submitted an application and proceeded through a series of interviews. After the first round of interviews, the top 15 answered a question on stage. Those 15 were narrowed down to five and interviewed once again. On Saturday morning of the OFMA conference in front of other junior fair board members and fair directors, the new Ohio Fair’s Queen was crowned.… Continue reading

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Ask the expert sessions to be held live during 2020 Farm Science Review

By David Marrison, Jeff Workman and Chris Bruynis, Ohio State University Extension

For the first time in its nearly 60 year history, Ohio State’s Farm Science Review scheduled for September 22 -24 will not be held in-person.  Instead, a virtual show will be held and the Review will come to you on your laptop or smartphone this year, and for free.  You can watch live streamed talks and recorded videos featuring the latest farm equipment and research to pique your curiosity.

Virtual visitors can find out about the show’s offerings by going to and clicking on an image of the show’s site. Within that image, people can click on the various icons to find the schedules for talks and demos they’re most interested in, such as field demonstrations or “Ask the Expert” talks.

Among the livestreamed talks will be Ask the Expert presentations. Viewers will enter the talks through a Zoom meeting link and be able to post their questions in chat boxes.… Continue reading

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Innovative state approaches to the hemp regulations Under the 2018 Farm Bill

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

Our newest report for the National Agricultural Law Center examines the different approaches states are taking to regulate hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill. Innovative State Approaches to Hemp Regulations under the 2018 Farm Bill is available on our website at:

Over the last few years, the agricultural sector has been buzzing with excitement about the potential of a new crop — industrial hemp. For years, hemp was increasingly regulated across the country because it was legally classified the same as marijuana, another type of cannabis.

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act completely illegalized hemp production. This criminalized approach to hemp changed with the 2018 Farm Bill, however, which removed hemp from the definition of “marijuana” and gave states a chance to create their own hemp regulation programs. Many states seized the opportunity.… Continue reading

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Low iodine diet tips

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

You have heard about my aging knees and more recently my pandemic induced changing hair color. Effects of aging happen whether we like it or not. Let’s back up to pre-pandemic times, April 2019. I was headed to the Doc to talk about a recent lab, my lipid levels. To my dismay, it was not my lipid levels that became the topic of discussion, but my TSH. TSH is a snapshot of your thyroid function. Mine was a little elevated and my thyroid a “little puffy.” Symptom-free, after repeating some labs, an ultrasound and ruling out a common culprit in women, Hashiomotos, an autoimmune hypothyroid disease, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Ground Hog Day had arrived as I began to hear a repetitive phrase “If you are going to get cancer, this is one of the best ones to get.” It was still heartbreaking and no matter how many docs and people tell you this….the… Continue reading

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A tail-selling tradition

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

As one of my all-time favorite “win-win” PR efforts in the outdoors industry, Mepps fishing lures continues its popular Squirrel Tail Recycling Program this month. The tails are used for the hand-tied, dressed hooks of their world-famous, fish-catching lures, a program that has been ongoing for more than half a century.

“Squirrels are good eating and we can reuse their tails for making the world’s No. 1 lure,” said Josh Schwartz, Mepps Communications Director.

Antigo, Wisconsin-based Mepps buys fox, black, grey and red squirrel tails and will pay up to 26 cents each for tails, depending on quality and quantity. Plus, the cash value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.

“We do not advocate harvesting of squirrels solely for their tails,” Schwartz said.

For details on the Squirrel Tail Recycling Program, visit… Continue reading

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The good and bad about Ohio’s jobless rate

The news is mixed about the rate of Ohioans out of work.  

The state’s unemployment rate has rebounded from late spring’s rates, and it’s below the national rate.

But, in July, Ohio’s jobless rate of 8.9% topped that of many nearby states. Across the Midwest, only one state had a higher rate than Ohio’s: Illinois. 

Keep that in perspective, said Mark Partridge, an economics professor with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). During a recession, Ohio typically takes a bigger hit, he said.

Jobs in manufacturing make up the largest portion of Ohio’s economy, and typically manufacturing sharply declines during a national recession. So far, dips in manufacturing have not been significant, he said. 

“We’re actually doing relatively well compared to what we normally do,” Partridge said. “Usually we’re one of the worst in the country during a recession, and it often takes us a while to climb out of it.”… Continue reading

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Harvest weather outlook

By Jim Noel, NOAA

The cooler than normal blob of water in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator tends to push the first autumn freeze later than normal in our region. Therefore, there is no indication of an early freeze in September this year. It appears the first freeze for Ohio will not come until October either on schedule or a bit later than normal.

September looks to have the first half start cooler than normal followed by a return to normal temperatures for second half of the month.  Precipitation will be normal or slightly above normal for September. Normal rainfall is currently 1 inch to 1.5 inches per two weeks dropping to about an inch per two weeks for the second half of September. Even though we expect rainfall at or slightly above normal in September, there is a great deal of uncertainty due to the tropics and where those systems will travel.… Continue reading

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Managing your fall farm operations through COVID-19

By Lisa Pfeifer and Dee Jepsen

In big or small ways, COVID-19 has impacted most aspects of farming and agribusiness. Safety, health, and wellness have become necessary concerns for farm operations.

Health officials have provided guidance on frequent hand washing, physical distancing, and staying home when sick. These practices should be in place for the farm operation, not just those businesses with public interaction. Consider these additional measures as you prepare your workforce for staying healthy through the fall season.

Teams or workforce pods

Look at the functions of your total farm operation. Creating workforce teams or “pods” can help ensure an operation minimizes the impacts should a worker become ill or test positive for the coronavirus. Pods of workers that had no interaction with the affected employee will be safely able to continue working.

For example, do you have livestock to care for as well as harvesting activities?

  • If so, can you manage employee schedules so those that feed, milk or care for livestock can do tasks without overlapping with the harvesting crew?
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Steiners of Wayne County named the winners of 2020 Outstanding Young Farmer Award

Nathan and Lynn Steiner of Wayne County have been named the winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2020 Outstanding Young Farmer Award. The contest is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.
The Steiners won 250 hours free use of an M-series tractor provided by Kubota, $1,000 in Grainger merchandise sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America and a $1000 cash prize courtesy of Ohio Farm Bureau.

The Steiners are partners in their family dairy and grain farm with Nathan’s father, grandfather and uncle. Nathan grew up working on the family farm and after high school was offered a full-time position. He and Lynn later took over the responsibility of the farm’s herd management, including the calf program, and worked to make it more efficient.… Continue reading

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First-ever Ohio USDA CARES Act Loan Guarantee bolsters rural business during pandemic

U.S. Department of Agriculture Ohio Rural Development State Director David L. Hall announced the agency is awarding its first-ever Business & Industry Loan Guarantee using targeted CARES Act funds through USDA’s Business-Cooperative Services program.

“In uncertain times, efforts to help stabilize rural business and manufacturing take on special significance,” Hall said. “The B&I Loan Guarantee program puts the backing of the federal government behind local lenders and boosts their confidence in investing. As we grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this truly is the time for ‘all hands on deck,’ and we’re proud to work with Ohio’s hometown banks in support of the rural businesses that keep America running.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Ohio in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”… Continue reading

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OABA launches Women Leading in Ohio Agribusiness program

Even though women have been working in agribusiness for decades, there are particular challenges that face women in professional agribusiness roles. Through small group discussions and input from members, OABA is pleased to offer a forum for women who are looking for resources from experts and peers alike to face these challenges. To meet this need, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association is launching the Women Leading in Ohio Agribusiness program.

“Through the Women Leading in Ohio Agribusiness program, Ohio’s female leaders will have a dedicated environment to discuss with their peers the challenges unique to women in agriculture,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. 

The new program will offer professional development, networking opportunities and more to OABA’s female leaders. Women new or seasoned in the industry are invited and encouraged to participate and share with one another. To kick off the program, OABA is hosting a three-session webinar series this fall:

  • Developing a mindset of career confidence
  • Working through uncomfortable/offensive situations
  • When “he” doesn’t want to work with a woman

Sessions are $75 each or $150 for the series.… Continue reading

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Fairs are finding a way: Hardin County

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

The Hardin County Fair is getting ready for their junior fair only show this month and the board is thankful that youth will have the opportunity to exhibit the time, money and hard work they’ve invested in their livestock projects this year.

“We are thankful for the financial support from Ohio Department of Agriculture waiving the matching portion of the facilities improvement grant, the legislature providing financial support for fairs and local support from our county commissioners in the form of the CARES act,” said Corey Ledley, Hardin County Fair board president.

The fair is using the various funding sources to provide the youth an opportunity to show this year, but also to keep the gates open for next year, too.

“We are taking the restrictions very seriously,” Ledley said. “We are utilizing the CARES act funding in to purchase PPE for our exhibitors and to live stream our shows for our community.… Continue reading

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When the art and science of grazing may not match

By Chris Penrose, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Morgan County (originally published in The Ohio Cattleman)

I remember the first forage presentation I did in Perry County back in 1989 and I have spent my life professionally and personally working with forages. When we started teaching grazing schools in the early 90s, one of the foundational topics taught was the basics of Management Intensive Grazing and those principles include no seed heads, rest periods, and short duration grazing.

That is the science, how about the art? I remember Lorin Sanford, our OSU Extension Beef Specialist saying to me almost 40 years ago that: “It is the eye of the master that fattens the cow.” That is the art. In our environment with so many things that go on, sometimes the art is more important than the science and sometimes the science even supports the art.

For example, we talk about rotating from one paddock to the next, but not all are created equal.… Continue reading

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2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting to combine virtual, local in-person options

Due to orders from the Ohio Department of Health limiting indoor gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is going remote this year.

The new format will enable many Ohio Farm Bureau delegates to join together in small groups throughout Ohio and connect with other delegates around the state through a virtual platform as they vote on policies and leadership.

This year’s remote experience also will recognize the organization’s exciting accomplishments and will give even more Farm Bureau members an opportunity to take part in the programs.

“We know for so many of our members, the annual meeting is much more than just a meeting. It’s a celebration of our organization,” said Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president. “This year will be much different than our delegates and members have enjoyed over the past century, but like many things happening this year, we had to adapt to today’s challenges.”… Continue reading

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JobsOhio names new Director of Food and Agribusiness

JobsOhio today announced the hiring of Tim Derickson, a longtime agribusiness entrepreneur and former state legislator, as its new Director of Food and Agribusiness. In his new role, Derickson will oversee a sector that includes hundreds of companies that cultivate, process, package, distribute and market foods and beverages enjoyed around the world.

“Tim understands Ohio and the incredible impact that the food and agribusiness sector has on our economy,” said Dana Saucier, JobsOhio vice president and head of economic development. “There is incredible opportunity to continue growing food and agribusiness jobs and investment in every corner of the state, and we are fortunate to have a person with Tim’s experience to move these critical efforts forward.”

Derickson comes to JobsOhio from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), where he worked as the Assistant Director since 2017. He formerly served as ODA’s Interim Director. 

“JobsOhio has proven its ability to retain Ohio business as well as attract new investment to Ohio,” Derickson said.… Continue reading

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Egg producers seeking new balance in a post-COVID market

By Matt Reese

When many people think of egg production, the packages of shelled eggs in the grocery store immediately come to mind. The reality, though, is egg producers supply a diverse array of egg-based products to meet very specific industry needs and consumer demands. The radical and rapid shift in the way consumers were buying eggs back in March caused food chain-wide turmoil.

Cooper Farms, based in western Ohio, certainly faced challenges when the nation changed forever in March of 2020.

“We all saw back in March a big spike in demand at the grocery store and as an industry we did our best to respond to that, but we saw a lot of empty shelves during that time. That had a very brief market impact on shell eggs. At the same time the food service industry was shut down. During that time, grocery demand spiked around 50% and restaurants went to zero.… Continue reading

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