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Mental health first aid training offered by OSU Extension

The wet weather of 2019 caused a great deal of stress for farmers and Ohio’s agricultural industry. While we don’t know what Spring 2020 will bring, there are indications that we may have another delayed start to the planting season. Ohio State University Extension educators and specialists responded last year with the creation of a website (https://u.osu.edu/2019farmassistance/home/) to address Ohio’s agricultural challenges. This website continues to be maintained with resources that address agronomic crops, financial management, and stress management.

Ohio State University Extension, with funding assistance from the USDA Farm Stress and Rural Assistance Network, is able to offer Mental Health First Aid Trainings for agricultural professionals.Within rural communities, there are many professionals that interact with the farm community, including agricultural businesses and service providers, financial planners and lenders, veterinarians, clergy, educators and others. Sometimes the best first aid is knowing how to connect people in a crisis with the appropriate professional, peer, social or self-help care.… Continue reading

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ODA hemp program to begin accepting applications

The Ohio Department of Agriculture Hemp Program will begin accepting license applications from potential cultivators and processors for the 2020 growing season on March 3 at noon. All cultivators and processors are required to obtain a license and can apply online at www.agri.ohio.gov at that time.

The Department created hemp rules, which passed through a review and public comment process, were approved by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR), and went into effect on Jan. 29. Ohio’s Hemp Program is one of just three approved by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Hemp is a cannabis plant, grown for its many industrial uses. It does not produce the intoxicating effects of the cannabis plant, marijuana. Hemp yields a strong fiber, used in textiles. The seed has nutritional value and can be eaten, and Cannabidiol, or CBD, can be extracted from the plant. CBD is now being used in food and dietary supplements.… Continue reading

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Wanted: 2020 Ohio FFA State Convention Student Reporters

The 2020 Ohio FFA State Convention is right around the corner and Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net is on the search for outstanding Ohio FFA members to help serve as student reporters for this year’s event.

In our tenth year of the student reporter program, selected FFA members will get the opportunity to help cover the convention and work alongside our news staff, including Matt Reese, Dale Minyo, and Kolt Buchenroth. Ever wonder what it’s like to do our job? This is your chance!

The live coverage of the Ohio FFA Convention will be posted on www.ocj.com and various social media outlets with reporters helping to host news coverage in addition to a couple veteran student reporters.

Students will assist in gathering information, shoot photos and video of newsworthy items and people, share their commentary of what happened in each session, and much more.

To be considered:

  • Applicants must be attending both days of the Ohio FFA State Convention April 30 and May 1, 2020.
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National FFA reaches milestone

The National FFA Organization’s GIVE THE GIFT OF THE BLUE program has reached a milestone. The program gifted it 10,000th jacket last week during National FFA Week when Allison Burns of North Miami High School in Indiana was presented with her own jacket.

The program was established in 2014 in response to a large number of members who do not own an FFA jacket. The FFA estimates more than half of its members do not have a FFA jacket to wear for official functions.

Individual donors and corporate sponsors fund the GIVE THE GIFT OF THE BLUE program.… Continue reading

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Farm State of Mind Campaign to expand impact in rural mental health

Bayer and the American Farm Bureau Federation announce the transition of Bayer’s Farm State of Mind campaign, an initiative to raise mental health awareness among the farming community, to Farm Bureau. The campaign aims to reduce stigma surrounding the topic of mental health in rural communities and to provide relevant information to farm families on this important topic. Farm Bureau plans to combine the Farm State of Mind assets with those of its ongoing Rural Resilience campaign, expanding the reach and effectiveness of its rural mental health initiatives.

Challenging weather, destructive pests, trade disputes, labor shortages and market volatility over the past few years have brought an unprecedented level of pressure on America’s farmers. A 2019 Farm Bureau survey shows that an overwhelming majority of farmers and farmworkers say financial issues, farm or business problems and fear of losing their farm negatively impact their mental health. In addition, 48% of rural adults said they are personally experiencing more mental health challenges than they were a year ago.… Continue reading

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New stewardship network celebrates growing momentum on conservation in agriculture

The National Corn Growers Association and Environmental Defense Fund launched the Success in Stewardship Network at Commodity Classic to celebrate and accelerate the use of agricultural conservation practices on U.S. corn farms.

The network will showcase success stories from the many farmers and state-level programs putting stewardship into practice, with the goal of building an ever-growing network of corn farmers who are also conservation leaders. NCGA and EDF recognized the Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program and the Illinois Corn Precision Conservation Management Program for their farmer-supported efforts to deliver clean water, healthy soils and farm profitability.

“The Success in Stewardship Network will break down the notion that conservation is only for an elite group of farmers,” said Callie Eideberg, director of agricultural policy and special projects at EDF. “Practices that protect the land and water and increase climate resilience are more prevalent than many thinks, and this network will bring farmers and agricultural organizations together to continue making conservation commonplace.”… Continue reading

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Vernalization requirements for winter wheat

By Laura Lindsey, Will Hamman, Ohio State University Extension

In the southern portion of the state, above-average temperatures have resulted in winter wheat remaining green (see picture). Will the vernalization requirement be met?

Winter wheat has molecular regulation preventing the transition to reproductive growth until a certain threshold of cold days has been reached. This regulation is called “vernalization.” In winter wheat, the vernalization period protects plants from breaking dormancy too early.

The vernalization requirement varies among cultivars and is temperature (and day length) dependent. In a study conducted on one winter wheat cultivar, it took 40 days for plants to achieve vernalization at 52°F while it took 70 days for plants to achieve vernalization at 34°F. Temperatures above 64°F were ineffective for vernalization. Although winter wheat is green and the winter temperatures have been fairly mild, winter wheat should meet the vernalization requirement.

Once the vernalization requirement has been met, growth is driven by growing degree units.… Continue reading

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LEBOR invalid: District judge rules in favor of farmer

By Matt Reese

On Feb. 27, 2019, Wood County farmer Mark Drewes filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality and legal status of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights. The previous day, Toledo voters had approved creation of LEBOR during a special election. On Feb. 27, 2020, U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary ruled LEBOR as “invalid,” ruling in favor of Drewes.

LEBOR granted rights to Lake Erie and empowered any Toledo citizen to file lawsuits on behalf of Lake Erie. It gave Toledoans authority over nearly 5 million Ohioans, thousands of farms, more than 400,000 businesses and every level of government in 35 northern Ohio counties plus parts of Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada. LEBOR was passed despite the prevailing legal opinion that many of its provisions were unconstitutional at the time. Those legal opinions were reiterated in Judge Zouhary’s conclusion: “Frustrated by the status quo, LEBOR supporters knocked on doors, engaged their fellow citizens, and used the democratic process to pursue a well-intentioned goal: the protection of Lake Erie.… Continue reading

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Big yield farmers talk shop

Record Breaking Yields. BASF hosted a panel discussion with some of the top corn producers across the country. Listen in as Randy Dowdy, David Hula, Cory Atley and Levi and Jenna Oshsner discuss pushing yields to the next level. The panel discussion includes new technologies, fertility, tissue sampling and the need for fungicide application on every acre. #behindthescience20… Continue reading

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Movie magic or Hollywood rubbish?

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

Recently, I coerced Paul into watching the Oscars. I love, absolutely love movies and watching the clips they show. To my dismay toward the end, the Joker climbed to the stage to accept his award and began to criticize agriculture. The joker continued and OMG! My thought was “this is not good”! Snuck a peek at my dairy farmer in the Lazyboy, he was in a trance. Rubbish! The war on agriculture seems to be thriving from politics to Hollywood. At some point you would think that people would remember the old saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

When Hollywood depicts farming, often it is either romanticized or turned into a horror movie. Maybe what we need are some good feature films that depict an authentic agriculture message. Get some actors/actresses sharing genuine agriculture points. The award-winning speech can include a thanks to all the farmers who feed America.… Continue reading

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Winter agronomy meetings

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

One of the last big meetings of the winter is the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada, Ohio. Find program and registration information at many county Extension and Soil & Water offices as well as the http://ctc.osu.edu website.

The CTC this year is March 3 and 4 at the Macintosh Center on the Ohio Northern University campus, 402 West College Avenue, Ada Ohio. The CTC is an annual 2-day program with speakers in four concurrent sessions, exhibitors, and a chance to visit with friends and co-workers. Session titles this year:

  • Crop School — Tuesday and Wednesday upstairs in Room A
  • Nutrient Management — a mix of manure talks and water quality
  • Cover crops, No Till and Soil Health
  • Hemp, plus forage cover crops
  • Managing cover crops
  • Building on 60 Years of no-till success
  • And water quality.

Attendance over the past 5 years has been over 800.… Continue reading

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Cover crop recipes for new users

By Sarah Noggle, Ohio State University Extension

Wondering how to do cover crops? OSU Extension, in collaboration with the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC), has produced cover crop “recipes” for two scenarios: Post corn, going to soybean and Post soybean, going to corn.

The recipes are intended to provide step-by-step guidance to some of the lowest-risk starting points for cover crops. They don’t cover the whole spectrum of possibilities, but they can help beginners get most pieces in place to incorporate cover crops into a farm operation. The two recipes were developed to address Ohio’s most common crop cropping system, the corn/soybean rotation.

The “Post corn, going to soybean” recipe suggests cereal rye, which provides an overwintering ground cover. Soybeans often thrive when planted into standing dead or living cereal rye residue. The “Post soybean, going to corn” recipe suggests an oats/radish mix, which will winterkill and leave a smaller amount of residue in the corn seedbed the following year.… Continue reading

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Fertilizer applicator record keeping rules are in place

By Harold Watters, Ohio State university Extension agronomist

I have done half a dozen fertilizer re-certification trainings this winter so far. There have been many questions — that’s good. It means you are thinking. When we first rolled out the required training, there was complaining about everyone else who also is contributing to the problem. Now that seems to have gone away and folks are looking for ways to reduce the problem on their own farm. I am hearing they forgot about some of the requirements that they need to follow. One big item that we hear from ODA inspectors is the need to record the application of fertilizer. Within 24 hours of any nutrient application, record:

  • Name of fertilizer certificate holder
  • Name of applicator working under direct supervision of certificate holder
  • Date of application
  • Location (field ID, farm)
  • Fertilizer analysis (such as 11-52-0)
  • Rate of fertilizer application (lbs/A), number of acres, and total amount applied
  • Fertilizer application method (surface-applied, incorporated, etc)
  • Soil conditions
  • For surface applications only: is ground frozen or snow covered?
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Reducing food waste in Ohio

By Mary Wicks

Remember “waste not, want not” and “clean your plate’” from childhood dinner time? Feel guilty throwing away moldy leftovers? Food waste is a much larger problem than not eating your peas. The USDA estimated that in 2010, 130 billion tons of the food produced for human consumption in the U.S. was wasted at the retail or consumer level. That’s 31% of the total food supply and valued at $161 billion, plus additional costs for the water, fertilizer and other inputs needed to grow, process and transport food. Plus, a lot of wasted food ends up in landfills, where it accounts for about 21% of all solid waste.

 

What’s the solution?

The U.S. has set a goal of reducing food scraps going to landfills by 50% by 2030. Doing that will take many approaches. The USDA and EPA have created the food recovery hierarchy that illustrates the effectiveness of these approaches.… Continue reading

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Had your auxin training yet?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I recently sat through my training for the season. I was told it’s “all online” but I prefer in person. Everyone now who uses a dicamba product on soybeans must attend auxin training from one of the manufacturers; contact your seed dealer or herbicide supplier to see when yours is happening. If you missed it for the product you are using, that’s OK, you can attend any of the manufacturers’ training sessions to get the update. You can see the list of restrictions for Ohio and online training specifics on the OSU Pesticide Education website: https://pested.osu.edu/DicambaRestricitions.

The goal is not just to reduce herbicide movement but also to reduce resistance weed development. So how do we reduce the potential of resistance development?

  1. Use a pre-emergent herbicide,
  2. Spray post to small weeds; 4-inches or less,
  3. Allow no seed production. “Go rogue” to remove those seed heads.
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USDA reminds producers of Feb. 28 deadline for Conservation Reserve Program general signup

Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 2020 general signup must make an offer of acres or schedule an appointment to do so with their local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) service center by Friday, February 28.

The general signup – which opened in December – is available to producers and private landowners who are either offering for the first time or re-offering acres for another 10- to 15-year term in the 35-year-old USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) conservation program.

“Call your FSA county office today to make an appointment to sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “As long as you have an appointment scheduled, your CRP offer will be able to compete in this general signup, even if the appointment is in the first week of March. This is the first opportunity for general sign up since 2016, and we want to make sure interested producers and landowners take advantage of this popular conservation program.”… Continue reading

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Decreases in air pollution result in surplus of $1.60 billion annually for corn and soybeans

As the global population increases, a critical issue is how the world will meet the growing demand for crops. One solution to increase land productivity is to reduce air pollution. In a recent study, MIT Sloan School of Management Visiting Prof. Konstantinos (Kostas) Metaxoglou quantified the crop yield increases attributed to the reductions in emissions in the U.S. and found that the changes resulted in significant benefits for consumers.

“Crops such as corn and soybeans are grown in a part of the country that also has a large number of electric power plants that are major nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitters. There hasn’t been a lot of research or discussion about the impact of NOx on crops. Our study brings attention to the effect of these emissions on agriculture in the U.S. and shows a strong benefit for consumers of U.S. crops,” Metaxoglou said.

He notes that U.S. agriculture productivity has grown substantially in the past 100 years, with average corn yield increasing 8-fold and average soybean yield increasing 5-fold.… Continue reading

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Commodity Classic kicks off in San Antonio

The 2020 Commodity Classic kicks off this week Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas. This year’s theme is “See Your Future Clearly.”

As farmers look to improve their profitability in an unpredictable agricultural environment, the educational sessions at the 2020 Commodity Classic are designed to provide farmers with the clarity and insight they need to make better-informed decisions that can have a powerful impact on their bottom line.

More than 40 educational sessions are on the schedule in San Antonio. They will cover a wide range of important topics including soil health, grain marketing, farm policy, farm succession planning, nutrient stewardship, weather trends, mental health, fertility programs, rural broadband access, on-road ag equipment regulations, ag technology, international trade, African Swine Fever and more.

“Every educational session is selected by the Commodity Classic Farmer Committee to ensure the content and the presenters provide high-quality, relevant content that matters to today’s growers,” said Bill Wykes, a farmer from Illinois and co-chair of the 2020 Commodity Classic.… Continue reading

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Nitrogen recommendations for wheat

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I hear wheat acres are up, to maybe 560,000. That’s good, but what about the one million acres we used to grow. Is there a need for that level of production anymore? Wheat makes our other two crops better and reduces weed, insect and disease problems for them. I know some had a rough fall to get wheat planted, with wet conditions and harvest delays. If you have wheat, it’s time to think about your nitrogen (N) application. The most recent Ohio Agronomy Guide has just a bit of an update on spring nitrogen recommendations for wheat in Ohio.

We do rely on yield potential to make the wheat N recommendation — not for corn anymore, but we still do for wheat. Once you have set a realistic yield goal, follow rates suggested in Table 1. These recommendations are for mineral soils with adequate drainage and 1 to 5% organic matter.… Continue reading

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