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U.S.A. soil erosion

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services 

The following article was adapted from an article entitled “More than 50 billion tons of topsoil have eroded in the Midwest” (Elizabeth Gamillo). The estimate of annual soil loss is double the rate of erosion USDA considers sustainable.

Soil scientist estimates that 57.6 billion tons of  topsoil has been lost in the USA in the last 160 years.  During the Dust Bowl era (1930’s), over 20 tons of topsoil per acre were lost annually in the Midwest due to wind erosion.  Due to soil conservation efforts, erosion rates declined to around 7.4 tons nationwide and new estimates are closer to 5 tons per year.

However, these are only estimates and sometimes the way these numbers are calculated differs.  In many cases, they are looking at only sheet, rill, and wind erosion; ignoring the gully erosion which is the most severe.  Sheet erosion is the thin layer of topsoil that erodes across the whole field and is barely noticeable. … Continue reading

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What to watch for in pastures and hay fields in 2023

By Clifton Martin, Ohio State University Extension, Muskingum County

As we kickoff 2023 it has me thinking of what has been accomplished and what goals lie ahead. It’s a new year and a great time to think forward into what we might expect in the new year. Here are three things I am watching for in pastures and hayfields in 2023.

Asian longhorned tick

The Asian longhorned tick (ALHT) has been making slow but steady progress across pastures and fields from the Eastern Mid-Atlantic through the Appalachian regions and into Ohio. It has the potential to become a productivity-limiting factor in many operations if left ignored and the time to plan for it in your fields is now. This tick population is increasing and spreading around the eastern half of the United States and management of ticks is developing into a predominant limiting factor in more operations. It could present a few management conundrums in your pasture.… Continue reading

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Addressing agal blooms

By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman

Lake Erie anglers, boaters and environmentalists are among those in favor of a landmark proposed consent decree that will serve as a roadmap for federal and state regulators to address western Lake Erie’s chronic algal blooms.

This case was brought against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the Environmental Law Policy Center on the grounds that the EPA has failed to live up to the goals of the 1972 Clean Water Act by not exerting pressure on Ohio for repeated violations of the act. U.S. District Judge James Carr has been hearing arguments in the case, filed on Feb. 7, 2019.

“While we believe the timelines in the proposed settlement should be tighter as the provisions should have been realistically completed a long time ago,” said Michelle Burke, president of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association. “We are in favor of Judge Carr’s actions and the prospect that this will finally lead to the necessary corrective actions to protect our lake.”… Continue reading

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Pastures for profit

New to pasture management? Join the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council for Pastures for Profit Mondays, Feb. 13, 27 and Mar. 13 at three eastern Ohio locations. Call 740-264-2212 to register or to learn more.
Pastures for Profit classes look at topics such as management intensive grazing, goal setting, improving soil fertility and forage growth, meeting animal needs, water quality, paddock design, grazing economics, and year-round grazing. Cost of the course is $55 per person, which covers meals for the 3 sessions and a course manual.
This Pastures for Profit Course is a partnership between the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council, USDA-NRCS, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Dept. of Agriculture and the Eastern Ohio Grazing Council.… Continue reading

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A look at “greenwashing”

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth

Greenwashing occurs when a company misrepresents its sustainability or eco-friendly policies. Consumer activists are filing legal actions, greenwashing litigation, against the company. These lawsuits often involve allegations based on state and federal claims of unfair and deceptive trade practices, fraud and false advertising.

There is a federal case pending in Texas, Usler v. Vital Farms, Inc., that illustrates greenwashing litigation in agriculture. Nicholas A. Ulser is the lead plaintiff, a resident of Michigan, and a consumer. In the 40-page complaint, filed on May 20, 2021, Ulser states that he purchased Vital eggs on a regular basis because he believed Vital employed unique humane and ethical farming practices. Ulser and other named plaintiffs are represented by an animal rights organization and several civil litigation firms.

Vital Farms, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Austin, Texas. The company’s website, www.vitalfarms.com, describes how Vital Farms began “with a husband and wife, 20 Rhode Island Reds, an Austin pasture and a commitment to animal welfare.… Continue reading

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Could this be a new marketing strategy for milk?

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Demand for milk continues to decline despite dairy farmers’ stepped-up efforts to produce high quality milk while striving towards a carbon neutral environment. Several reasons, I believe, contribute to this problem in milk consumption.

High on the list is rising popularity of non-dairy milk alternatives, like oat milk, almond milk, soy milk — you name it. Companies are continually trying to glean higher profits with these products that offer the advantage of lower production costs compared to real milk. 

Foodie activists have helped raise the popularity of milk alternatives by presenting them to consumers as a way to save the environment. Activists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, better known as AOC, promote false narratives that cow farts are a major contributor to global warming. 

Another reason for real milk’s loss of beverage market share is the continuing growth of the massive soft drink industry. But, interestingly enough, soft drink giant Coca-Cola is getting a piece of the real milk action.… Continue reading

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Fort Wayne Farm Show this month

The Fort Wayne Farm Show is back in full force for its 34th year!  The Tradexpos team works diligently every year to meet the evolving needs of America’s livestock producers, row crop farmers, and other agricultural professionals. The Fort Wayne Farm Show has been distinctively curated to provide real time value and opportunity to the industry. Whether it’s the first time attending the Fort Wayne Farm Show or the thirtieth, you’re certain to love the fantastic variety of exhibitors and educational seminars that the Fort Wayne Farm Show provides as Indiana’s largest indoor agricultural expo. 

With free admission, attendees can expect to enjoy the innovations and wares of over 1,000 booths as well as ample opportunities to attend seminars to learn more about current topics in agriculture from our partners and trusted experts, Purdue Cooperative Extension, and Northeastern Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The Fort Wayne Farm Show in Fort Wayne, Ind.Continue reading

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OSU ATI adding a livestock judging team

The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (Ohio State ATI) is launching a livestock judging team and has taken a crucial first step: hiring a team coach. Jeromesville native Seth Ebert is joining the ATI faculty as coach and lecturer in animal sciences. Ohio State ATI has an established dairy cattle judging team that has placed highly in state and national competitions, including World Dairy Expo, and hopes to achieve similar success in livestock judging.

Livestock judging involves evaluating market or breeding beef cattle, sheep, goats and swine against a set of commonly accepted criteria for an ideal animal (placing) and then defending those evaluations to a panel of judges (oral reasons). As did Ebert, many young people begin judging as part of 4-H and FFA activities and seek to continue judging at the college level.

Ebert was successful enough in 4-H and FFA to garner a scholarship from Casper College in Wyoming.… Continue reading

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ODA rolls out long-awaited Beginning Farmer Tax Credit

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is helping to ensure the next crop of Ohio producers has the resources to provide for their families and those across the state.

The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit is now available to those who’ve recently entered the field and those who help beginning farmers.

“Agriculture and food is Ohio’s number one industry,” said Tracy Intihar, ODA Interim Director. “The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit will help keep costs down for new producers and encourage others to help them. This incentive ensures that our state will continue to provide for local communities, the country, and even the world.”

To qualify, a beginning farmer is someone who:

  • Is a resident of Ohio.
  • Is seeking entry to or has entered farming within the last 10 years.
  • Farms or intends to farm on land in Ohio.
  • Is not a partner, member, shareholder, or trustee of the assets the individual is seeking to purchase or rent.
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When will Brazilian farmers sell their bumper soybean crop?

By Daniele Siqueira, AgRural Commodities Agrícolas

I am writing this article in late December, a time of the year when Brazil is starting to harvest the very first soybean fields of the season — although more significant progress is expected to be seen only in mid-January, as it normally happens. Despite some losses caused by spotty rains in western Paraná, where harvest starts in January, and concerns about below-normal rains in Rio Grande do Sul, where most of the crop is still in vegetative and early reproductive stages, the expectation is for a bumper 2022-23 production.

BRAZIL – ACCUMULATED PRECIPITATION IN DEC 2022

INMET Millimeters.

If weather conditions improve in dry areas in the south of the country and remain favorable in other states, production will easily surpass the 150 million metric tons mark — 25 million up from last year. Less than one-quarter of the potential production, however, has been sold by producers so far, in the slowest farmer-selling progress since 2008/09, according to AgRural.… Continue reading

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Which direction are corn prices heading?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

As the market moves into 2023, there are many reasons corn prices could go up or down. The following provides rationale for both.

Reasons the corn market may go higher

  • Ukraine produced around 45% less corn in 2022 compared to 2021, a drop of 800 million bushels.
  • Europe also produced nearly 500 million fewer bushels than expected.
  • Argentina has had limited precipitation so far, and forecasts indicate dry weather may continue for at least another 2 weeks. This may mean 250 million fewer bushels will be produced than expected.
  • Brazil is nearly done exporting corn until their second crop is harvested in June. Ukraine has logistical issues due to the war. This leaves the U.S. as the main corn supplier globally over the next 5 to 6 months.
  • China appears to be opening again, which could lead to more feed demand.
  • Year over year animals on feed estimates indicate feed demand may be understated by the USDA.
Continue reading

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Bane-Welker hosts successful toy drive

Bane-Welker Equipment’s 2022 toy drive was a major success. The entire Bane-Welker complex with 9 stores in Indiana and 6 stores in Ohio collected 5,556 toys for children in their communities. This is a significant increase from the 1,800 collected last year. 

It was a shared labor of love. Everyone from friends to employees and customers got into the spirit. 

“This was such a rewarding project for everyone,” said Jason Bane, president of Bane-Welker Equipment. “We had so much community support this year. And for the second year in a row, we even had customers and employees use their Red Zone Rewards points to buy more toys for the children.” 

This type of project aligns well with the Bane-Welker mission of making a positive impact on the communities they serve. The Toys for Tots project was initiated by Bane-Welker employee Justin Butler, a former Marine, who benefitted from the program himself as a child. … Continue reading

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WOTUS rule disappointing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers released a final rule on Dec. 30 that determines what constitutes Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, under the Clean Water Act.

The rule was released as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide a case, Sackett vs. EPA, which will provide more clarity on the issue.  

“We are disappointed that EPA moved ahead with its final rule when the Supreme Court will soon render a decision on this matter,” said Tom Haag. National Corn Growers Association president. “The Court’s ruling could negate major elements of this WOTUS rule and will create even more uncertainty for farmers.”
This year, NCGA submitted comments to EPA and encouraged corn growers to do the same as the rule was being considered. The group also participated in regional hearings held by EPA.

NCGA has made it clear that farmers are committed to the objectives of the Clean Water Act and the protection of water quality around agricultural operations and downstream.… Continue reading

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Top 10 of 2022

By Matt Reese

Per tradition, I love to take a look at the top posts online from the previous year. It offers many insights into the hot topics, concerns and interests of Ohio agriculture. Top videos for the year were the National FFA Proficiency Awards, Cab Cams and Ohio State Fair interviews. 

Here are the top web stories from 2022.

  1. Grand champion steer shatters all Sale of Champions records

I have been attending the Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions for more than 20 years and auctioneer Johnny Regula has said it every year. He wants $100,000 for the Grand Champion Steer. Going into Sunday, Aug. 7, the record sale for the Grand Champion Steer at the Ohio State Fair was $85,000 from 2011. Every year Regula has said it, and every year he has come up short. The 2022 Sale, though, was different. 

“I’m going to get this out the way early,” Regula said as he took the microphone after Ryleigh Egbert from Auglaize County entered the sale ring with her Grand Champion Steer. “He… Continue reading

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McKalip appointed Chief Ag Negotiator

Late in 2023, the Senate confirmed of Doug McKalip to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Many agricultural groups were pleased with the announcement.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased that, after several months of delay, Doug McKalip was finally confirmed as chief agricultural negotiator for USTR. Doug has proven he is more than qualified for the position with more than three decades of agricultural experience,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau president. “There is much work to be done. Current disagreements over exports to Mexico and potential new trade relationships with the European Union and Great Britain require the leadership Doug brings to the position. We look forward to working with him to create more opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers to feed families around the globe.”… Continue reading

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Friend of Extension honors presented to five Ohioans

A lifetime 4-H supporter, an Ohio State Fair general manager, and three Darke County judges are being honored for their work, commitment, and dedication to Ohio State University Extension.

Pat Brundige, the biggest individual benefactor in the history of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), along with Virgil Strickler, the longest-running general manager in the history of the Ohio Expo Center & Ohio State Fair, and Darke County judges Jonathan Hein, Julie Monnin, and Jason Aslinger, are each being honored with a Friend of Extension award from the Ohio chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) for their outstanding support and personal involvement in Extension efforts.

The award is the highest state-level recognition for non-Extension laypersons, companies, or organizations presented by chapters of ESP, the national Extension fraternity. Part of the mission of Epsilon Sigma Phi is to foster standards of excellence in the Extension system. Every state in the United States has an Extension program through the land-grant university system.… Continue reading

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Check-off dollars and the next generation — GrowNextGen

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off.

As a new year begins, it is natural to look to the future. The Ohio Soybean Council is looking to the future far beyond 2023 with help from the soybean check-off to fund the GrowNextGen project.

The concept of GrowNextGen is to bring agriculture science to the classroom by providing real-world educational tools to engage the next generation workforce. Jane Hunt serves as Director of Education, at Education Projects. That organization administers the GrowNextGen project for the Ohio Soybean Council. They work with educational partners to develop lessons with the goal of getting soybeans into every classroom in Ohio. Their vehicle of delivery is hands-on lessons and activities utilizing soybeans and soy products that align with current elementary and high school standards.

The GrowNextGen project started 10 years ago focusing on creating content that could be used by a traditional science teacher and easily implemented in their classroom.… Continue reading

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Top 10 of 2022: No. 1

Per tradition, we love to take a look at the top posts online from the previous year. It offers many insights into the hot topics, concerns and interests of Ohio agriculture. Between Christmas and New Year’s we’re counting down the top 10 web stories from 2022.

Here’s No. 1!

Grand champion steer shatters all Sale of Champions records

By Matt Reese

I have been attending the Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions for more than 20 years and auctioneer Johnny Regula has said it every year. He wants $100,000 for the Grand Champion Steer. Going into Sunday, Aug. 7, the record sale for the Grand Champion Steer at the Ohio State Fair was $85,000 from 2011. Every year Regula has said it, and every year he has come up short. The 2022 Sale, though, was different. 

“I’m going to get this out the way early,” Regula said as he took the microphone after Ryleigh Egbert from Auglaize County entered the sale ring with her Grand Champion Steer. “He… Continue reading

Read More »

Top 10 of 2022: No. 2

Per tradition, we love to take a look at the top posts online from the previous year. It offers many insights into the hot topics, concerns and interests of Ohio agriculture. Between Christmas and New Year’s we’re counting down the top 10 web stories from 2022.

Here’s No. 2!

Farmers pushing back on fertilizer prices

Fertilizer prices, of course, were a huge issue for crop production in 2022. Through the National Corn Growers Association, state organizations (including Ohio) commissioned two studies taking a look at fertilizer prices — one focused on nitrogen and the other on phosphorus. In response to the phosphorus study, NCGA and Ohio Corn & Wheat members (including the organization’s president Ben Klick) had multiple conversations with fertilizer industry leaders concerning the issue. 

“When farmers are talking about 300% cost increases from a year ago, it raises red flags. We just can’t let this go without looking into this,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat.… Continue reading

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