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USDA implements the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced that USDA is implementing the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative, releasing new information on rates and terms that will help lenders apply for loan guarantees to support rural businesses, infrastructure and community facilities and increase private investments in rural America.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to cutting red tape and streamlining investment, so we can be a better partner to America’s rural leaders in building prosperity.” Brand said.

Ahead of Fiscal Year 2021, USDA is providing guarantee percentages, annual fees, periodic retention fees, and optional construction fees to help lenders apply for the Agency’s four flagship loan guarantee programs. These programs are:

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Iowa trip planned to help farmers in need

Ted Blome and his wife were kicking around vacation ideas when she said, “How about we plan a trip to Iowa and help the farmers?”

Blome had been part of a similar effort back in the 80s on a trip to Missouri to help the flood victims with great success so they decided to give it a shot. The Blomes contacted the Iowa Farm Bureau and got in touch with a Linn County representative who told them they could essentially go down any country road and pull in a driveway and be received with open arms. They were told the destruction of buildings, homes, and fields was devastating.

This conversation led to a connection with Lana Robison from the area, who has been coordinating people from outside the community with places to go and help. Her small town of Atkins, Iowa lost roofs on their fire department, multiple schools, and more.… Continue reading

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Isons name Excellence in Ag winners

Drs. Josh and Sarah Ison of Clermont County have been named winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2020 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 Isons will receive a John Deere Gator courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America, a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by Nationwide and a $1,000 cash prize courtesy of Ohio Farm Bureau. Josh is the director of sales and tech services for a U.S.-based biotechnology company. Sarah is an animal scientist, food safety consultant and university instructor. The Isons own and operate a direct-to-consumer and retail sales meat business, Flourish & Roam, focusing on raising high-quality Angus beef that is direct-marketed to consumers, restaurants and retailers.

To support the grassroots policies of Farm Bureau, the Isons each have participated in multiple visits with local, state and national legislators. Sarah is an aspiring influencer on social media platforms, sharing positive messages about agriculture.… Continue reading

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Fairs are finding a way: Hartford Independent Fair

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

The Hartford Independent Fair has one of the largest junior fair programs in Ohio and finished up with their “junior fair only” event in mid-August. A junior fair of that size costs quite a bit, but the community really rallied.

“Within 48 hours we raised just over $100,000 $2,000 at a time in sponsorships. There are 57 total names at $2,000 apiece in sponsorship. We started in the hole — $104,000 was the estimated cost for the Hartford Independent Fair to run a junior fair. We are at $114,000 raised. The community just stepped up,” said Steve Jagger, who serves on the Hartford Fair Livestock Sales Committee. “Everybody in the business community wanted to allow the kids to showcase their junior fair projects. We are fortunate here to have some very large shows. We had over 800 rabbits present and over 400 hogs being shown.… Continue reading

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Deadline approaching for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers that the deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is Sept. 11, 2020. This program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

“FSA offers several options for farmers and ranchers to apply for CFAP, including a call center where employees can answer your questions and help you get started on your application,” said Richard Fordyce, Farm Service Agency administrator. “With only two weeks before the deadline, now is the time to check out the resources on our website and contact the call center or your local office for your last-minute questions.” 

Over 160 commodities are eligible for CFAP, including certain non-specialty crops, livestock, dairy, wool, specialty crops, eggs, aquaculture, and nursery crops and cut flowers. All eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations can be found on reading

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OABA and Ohio’s Country Journal partner to offer Agricultural Career Center

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association and Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net are partnering to offer an agriculture industry-focused Career Center. This free resource allows career seekers to explore available positions across Ohio, while allowing agriculture employers to post their open positions.

Through this new partnership, the Agricultural Career Center – formerly the OABA Career Center – will continue to be hosted on OABA’s website and will have a greater impact across the state of Ohio, reaching a larger and broader audience.

Job seekers as well as companies wanting to submit their open positions should visit Position details can also be emailed to Nicole Volk at nvolk@oaba.netContinue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 170 | Jr Fairs, tomatoes, but no Christmas Trees

Dusty, Matt, Dale and Kolt ring in the last day of August together this morning for the Ohio Ag Net Podcast! Dale has interviews from the Hartford independent Fair that goes along with the series that he, Kolt, and Dusty have created about county fairs this summer dealing with COVID challenges. Matt also has an interview with Andy Stickel from Wood County about his tomato crop this year.

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More rain needed for Ohio

Dry conditions continued despite increased precipitation, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Approximately 70 percent of the state was abnormally dry or worse early in the week, according to the most recent Drought Monitor. Precipitation increased this week, mostly towards the end of the week, causing topsoil moisture to increase from 40 percent adequate or surplus last week to 47 percent adequate or surplus this week. Average temperatures for the week were 4.5 degrees above historical normals and the entire state averaged approximately 1.4 inches of precipitation. There were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 30.

Farmers tiled fields, baled hay, and applied manure throughout the week. Soybeans setting pods was at 97 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 4 percentage points. Corn dough was 8 percentage points ahead of the five-year average at 91 percent. Alfalfa hay third cutting was at 86 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 7 percentage points.… Continue reading

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Why should you bump corn seeding rate in 2021?

By Dave Nanda, Ph.D., Seed Genetics Direct, Director of Genetics

What plant population do you want to get for your corn?  Suppose you just upgraded your planter with electric drives and all the bells and whistles. You want to wind up with 32,000 plants per acre at harvest, so you figure if you seed just over 32,000 seeds per acre, you will have all the plants you need for your desired yield.

However, no matter how much technology you have on your planter, some slippage will occur between the seeding rate and final population. If you plant 32,000 seeds per acre, you won’t always get 32,000 plants per acre at harvest. In fact, most of the time, you would more likely get closer to 30,000 plants per acre. Seed germination is not 100%, no matter whose seed you plant, so you can’t assume every seed will germinate. If you want 32,000 plants at harvest, you should consider seeding rates closer to 33,000 to 34,000. … Continue reading

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Fairs are finding a way

By Matt Reese, Dusty Sonnenberg, Kolt Buchenroth, and Dale Minyo

After planning, re-planning, and changing re-planned plans in the face of incredible obstacles, Ohio’s fairs are still managing to find a way to move forward with junior fair activities.

Since March, Ohio’s fair board members have been on a roller coaster of ever-changing rules and evolving health and safety guidelines. In late May, Gov. Mike DeWine released guidelines for fairs with a heavy emphasis on social distancing, limiting crowds, ensuring the health of people involved, and measures for animal care. The governor encouraged Ohio’s fair boards to work with local health departments on putting on the events within the guidelines at that time.

On Tuesday, June 9, a letter was sent to Ohio Fair Board members from the State government acknowledging the challenges COVID-19 has presented in conducting junior fair activities in a safe manner, and doing it in a way that “works financially.”… Continue reading

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USDA announces first-ever recipients of urban agriculture grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the selection of recipients for approximately $4.1 million in grants and cooperative agreements through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. Famicos Foundation in Cleveland was among the first-ever recipients of these grants and cooperative agreements, which will enhance urban agriculture efforts in their community.

“Ohio is certainly doing its part to support a sustainable food system including work being done in urban agriculture and community gardens,” said Terry Cosby, State Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Ohio. “I look forward to seeing the innovations in urban and other emerging agricultural practices that result from these efforts.”

The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program supports a wide range of activities through two grant types, which are Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. Activities include operating community gardens and nonprofit farms, increasing food production and access in economically distressed communities, providing job training and education, and developing business plans and zoning.… Continue reading

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Livestock and COVID-19

With the rapid spread of the new coronavirus believed to have started in bats, some people might be genuinely concerned about their farm animals. Could the animals catch COVID-19? 

The answer is murky. 

While there have been no reported cases of pigs, horses, sheep, chickens, or cows getting COVID-19, their susceptibility to the respiratory disease has yet to be studied.  

And though some pigs have been able to get COVID-19 in lab studies, it does not appear that they can catch or spread the virus very easily, said Scott Kenney, an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“There are a lot of unknowns,” Kenney said. 

What is known is that ferrets, minks, domestic cats, and some dogs have become infected with COVID-19. But neither pets nor farm animals are thought to play significant roles in transmitting COVID-19. 

Kenney, whose research focuses on viruses that spread from animals to people, is pursuing grants with colleagues to study whether various farm animals are susceptible to COVID-19.… Continue reading

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Ohio Association of Foodbanks receives pork donation from Hartford Fair youth

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks recently received a donation of processed pork from the Hartford Junior Fair youth livestock auction. The donation, more than 15,000 pounds of pork, will be split among several local charities, including the Food Pantry Network of Licking County, the Ronald McDonald House, Recreation Unlimited, and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective. The donation comes from the annual 4-H and FFA junior fair exhibitors’ livestock auction where Englefield Oil Company, Heartland Bank and Licking County Farm Bureau purchased livestock from the auction and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) processed the meat. This year’s donation from the Hartford Junior Fair youth livestock auction is the largest contribution to date.

“We sincerely appreciate the generosity of so many organizations that have stepped up to support our 4-H and FFA youth and to make this much-needed high-protein food donation possible,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.… Continue reading

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Beetle battle

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

In June, the Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Appellate District of Ohio decided Ohio Department of Agriculture v. Thomas Brown, 2020-Ohio-3316. The case is about the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) and the government’s eradication program. (At this point, I am anxious to think about something other than coronovirus, masks and death rates.)

The ALB is an invasive wood-boring insect that feeds on a variety of hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, ash, poplar, horsechestnut and willow, among others, and kills them. It is native to China and Korea and is 1.5 inches in length, shiny black with white spots on their wing cases and black and white antennae that can be twice as long as their body.

Trees attacked by ALB have wilted foliage and canopy dieback, round exit holes, round egg-laying sites or excessive sawdust at the base of the trees.… Continue reading

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Livestock and CFAP

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs. USDA is accepting applications now through Sept. 11, 2020. Learn more at

Eligible Livestock

CFAP assistance is available to livestock producers who have an ownership interest in eligible livestock that have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and face additional significant costs in marketing their inventories due to unexpected surplus and disrupted markets.

Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, hogs, and sheep. Specifically, eligible livestock are:

• Pigs < 120 lbs. Hogs 120 lbs.
Cattle (excluding beefalo, bison, and animals used for dairy production or intended for dairy production)
• Feeder Cattle < 600 lbs.… Continue reading

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Fishing participation on the rise

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

It’s been more than a dozen years since America has seen this many people fishing – and that is based on data compiled before social distancing raised the number of anglers to record numbers. The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) announced the findings of the 2020 Special Report on Fishing, noting participation is on the rise. The Outdoor Foundation and RBFF-produced report, in its 10th year, provides insights into demographics, the “leaky bucket,” perceptions of fishing and more.

“Thanks to the strong improvements in recruitment and reactivation, fishing participation is up again this year,” said Frank Peterson, RBFF president and CEO. “Better yet, the key audience segments we feel are tantamount to the future of fishing continue to see gains in overall participation and participation rate.”

Participation is up to the highest rate since 2007, with 17% of the total of the U.S… Continue reading

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New soybean offering from BASF

Soybean growers have a new seed option available for the 2021 growing season.

BASF announces the U.S. launch of Xitavo Brand soybean seed with Enlist E3 technology. Xitavo Brand soybean seed is owned by MS Technologies and exclusively distributed by BASF.

With weed resistance increasing, growers need new tools to improve soybean efficiency and productivity. Xitavo soybean seed delivers an innovative solution to growers seeking a new soybean seed option.

“At MS Technologies, we’re committed to providing leading solutions and better choices for soybean growers,” said Joe Merschman, President of MS Technologies. “We know that higher yields are always top of mind for growers, and we’re excited to collaborate with BASF to bring this new technology to market to help growers get the most out of every acre.”

Xitavo soybean seed includes the Enlist E3 triple-stack herbicide tolerant trait. Enlist E3 soybeans provide tolerance to Liberty herbicide, new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate.… Continue reading

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The politics of cow farts and Burger King’s Whopper

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Many of you have probably read about Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s advocacy for plant-based diets to eliminate global warming caused by cow farts. Now Burger King has gotten into the act with a real whopper. And I’m not talking about the Whopper, Burger King’s double-decker hamburger with all the trimmings.

What I’m writing about is Burger King’s new marketing whopper, an ad that is trying to convince consumers that by buying a Whopper, they’ll play a role in reducing global warming. That’s because Burger King is beginning to sell burgers made with beef from cattle fed lemongrass. Burger King claims that lemongrass makes the cows fart less and thus release into the atmosphere less methane. (No promises for their customers, from what I’ve seen.)

Let me give you some background on lemongrass. ‎Cymbopogon is the genus of the lemongrass family, which includes 52 species. Commonly called barbed wire grass, lemongrass grows in countries ranging from Vietnam to Australia.… Continue reading

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Making the most of unprofitable prices

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The market continues to go nowhere. Iowa’s storm damage doesn’t seem large enough to impact overall prices, and while dry weather pockets may hurt bean yields some, it’s unlikely to affect much of the corn this late in the growing season.

As harvest approaches, farmers will be clearing old crop out of bins, which may keep downward pressure on prices for another month.

With prices at unprofitable levels, I made 2 recent trades that helped me pick up some added premium that I’ll add to previous trades. These kinds of trades can help me maximize my profit potential in a down market.

Straddle trade

On 4/22/20 when September corn was trading at $3.27, I sold a $3.20 straddle (selling both a $3.20 put and a $3.20 call) on 10% of my 2019 production collecting 43 cents. As I was selling the straddle, I bought a $2.90 September put for 7 cents. These… Continue reading

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Preharvest herbicide treatments

By Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension State Weed Specialist. Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-28

Information on preharvest herbicide treatments for soybeans can be found in the “Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois”, at the end of these crop sections (pages 72 and 143 of the 2020 edition).

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

Some dicamba products are approved for preharvest use in soybeans, and some 2,4-D products are approved for use in corn, and these are not listed in the guide. The basic information for these follows:
Dicamba – soybeans: Apply 8 – 32 oz/A (4 lb/gal products) as a broadcast or spot treatment after soybean pods have reached mature brown color and at least 75% leaf drop has occurred; soybeans may be harvested 14 days or more after a pre-harvest application; do not use preharvest-treated soybean for seed unless a germination test is performed on the seed with an acceptable result of 95% germination or better; do not feed soybean fodder or hay following a preharvest application of this product.

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