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Tips for reducing erosion

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Soil erosion is an annual problem throughout the Eastern Corn Belt. Recent research estimates that farmland across the Corn Belt looses close to 4 tons of soil/acre each year due to erosion. In addition, even under the best conditions topsoil buildup is very slow, if it occurs at all. Soil particles can be detached and moved out of a field by both wind and water. Wind can pick up small soil particles, transporting them long distances. Water moving along the ground surface can remove a thin sheet of soil, create small channels, or wash out large gullys.

Factors that Contribute to Erosion

1. Rainfall—soil erosion increases as length or intensity of rainfall increases

2. Slope Length/Grade—soil erosion is worse on longer/steeper slopes because water moves faster across the soil

3. Vegetation/residue—growing plants and residue protect the soil from rain impact, slow down flowing water and increase infiltration of water into the soil, as well as protecting the soil from wind erosion.… Continue reading

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Ag Land Easement programs enrollment open

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners and organizations interested in protecting farmlands and grasslands with financial and technical assistance available through the Agricultural Land Easements program (ALE). Applications for ALE are taken on a continuous basis. The deadline to receive fiscal year 2023 funding is December 16, 2022.

The ALE program provides funding to conservation partners to purchase conservation easements on private working lands.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.

“This valuable program helps maintain the agricultural viability of the land for future generations,” said John Wilson, NRCS State Conservationist in Ohio. “Ohio’s farmlands are an essential part of the state’s identity and economic makeup and we must do all that we can to preserve them.” 

Land eligible for agricultural easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forest land. NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.… Continue reading

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Dry conditions continue as harvest winds down

Late-week rains provided some much-needed moisture to dry fields, but accumulated precipitation totals for the season remained well below average, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Dry conditions continued to dominate in many counties, with U.S. Drought Monitor showing moderate drought in 42.6% of the State, up from 36.3% during the previous week. Abnormally dry conditions or worse were observed in 85.6% of the State, up from 73.4% during the previous week. Reporters in southwestern counties commented on continued enhanced fire risk due to persistent dry conditions. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 24% very short, 41% short, 34% adequate, and 1% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending November 6 was 57.6 degrees, 9.5 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.29 inches of precipitation, 0.42 inches below average. There were 6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Nov. 6. … Continue reading

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Harvest winding down

Ryan Hiser

It has been unbelievable how long the weather has held. We haven’t really experienced a whole lot of damp or wet conditions. I can’t believe that we were able to get the beans off as fast as we were for as late as they were planted. Corn is coming off pretty well. The ground is dry so we’re not worried about compaction issues or rutting up fields. We’ve got about all 290 acres to go roughly. 

Soybeans were kind of disappointing. Yields were just based on the conditions we had. We were just fortunate we had a crop, but in some ways exceeded a little bit of my expectations. I was preparing for the worst. Most of the crop managed to be in the mid 40s to low 50s so I think we did all right for what was there, the conditions and how many times we had to replant it.… Continue reading

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Soybean Production 2022, the year in review

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

Dr. Laura Lindsey serves as the OSU Extension State Soybean and Small Grain Specialist.  When she looks back over the growing season, her mind goes back to the spring of 2019. “We have had some rough springs in the past, such as 2019. This spring was pretty good as far as planting the soybean performance trial sites around the state. There was a nice window in the middle of May for planting, and then there was a wet period, and we were pushed back into the first part of June,” said Lindsey.

While some of the research Dr. Lindsey conducts looks at planting date, this is not the case with the soybean performance trials. “With our variety testing program, we don’t push the planting date too early since it is not possible to replant them,” said Lindsey.… Continue reading

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Crickets: More than summer chirping

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Companies like Cargill focus on producing protein from soybeans and other high-yielding sources. I don’t know if they have started growing insects as a protein source, but I have little doubt they are evaluating the possibilities.

Insects have the potential, in the gazillions, to be a major source of protein for mankind. Millions of metric tons of protein could be derived from insects, as they outnumber all other species. Scientists have identified one million insect species. Probably 4 million more are still to be discovered.  

One of the more appetizing insects that I have eaten are crickets. I can testify, from experience, that crickets are a popular food in other countries, where they’re a real delicacy. And they can enhance the flavor of your breakfast cereal. I discovered that little secret at breakfast at a client’s home in Bogota, Colombia. 

Crickets are best frozen. Before you add crickets to your breakfast cereal, I recommend picking off the legs.… Continue reading

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USDA announces funding to expand meat processing capacity

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack this past week announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $73 million in 21 grant projects through the first round of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). MPPEP delivers on President Biden‘s call to increase competition across the economy to help lower costs for American families. The announcement will expand meat and poultry processing capacity, which in turn increases competition, supports producer income, and strengthens the food supply chain to lower costs for working families and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. In addition, the Administration is investing $75 million for eight projects through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program, as well as more than $75 million for four meat and poultry-related projects through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan program.

These announcements support the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain, which dedicates resources to expand independent processing capacity.… Continue reading

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Water: The most important nutrient

By Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension

At a recent East Central Grazing Alliance pasture walk in Noble County I was invited to speak on the broad topic of water for livestock. Hopefully by now we all know that water is the most important nutrient for all living organisms and without water, production agriculture today would look very different.

Water Quantity

One of the first discussion points regarding water, is quantity – how much water do we need for animals to perform at optimal levels? Do we have enough flow rate from our source to maintain several animals drinking at once, and is our drinking tank large enough?

Water requirements for beef cattle depend on body weight, stage of production (gestation vs. lactation), and temperature.

Generally, cattle will consume 1 gallon of water per 100 pounds of bodyweight during cooler weather and nearly twice as much on hotter days.… Continue reading

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Mississippi River shipments down significantly

NAFB News Service

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) says the number of grain barges being unloaded in New Orleans during September and October dropped significantly.

An AMS report says the number of barges is 20-30 percent lower than in recent years. The slowdown coincides with river closures and restrictions on barge companies that reduced the bar tow. Typically, 30-40 barges can move down the river together, and the new restriction says no more than 25. The tonnage movement has been even weaker. Since September, tonnage going through locks was down more than 40 percent below recent years.

The significant decline in tonnage is consistent with reports of how barges have been forced to reduce their draft. Barges are normally loaded to an 11-12-foot-deep draft during the fall. However, companies started imposing nine-foot barge draft restrictions in October. That can lead to a reduction of 10,000-15,000 bushels per barge. Tonnage appeared to pick up in October.… Continue reading

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Drought pre-planning

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmer’s fear drought which leads to reduced crop yields and profits.  Worldwide, drought is affecting a number of countries: China, Argentina, European countries, and the USA.  California, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma have experienced severe drought soil conditions this year.  The Midwest is dry and experiencing drought problems, especially the Mississippi river with reduced barge traffic. Most farmer’s want to know what is the probability of a drought next year?

Currently, a strong La Nina for the past 3 years is transitioning to a El Nino, perhaps by late Summer 2023.  In most cases, strong El Nino’s signal an increased probability of a drought in the Midwest.  Coupled with La Nina and El Nino ocean currents, there are increased solar flares and sun spot activity expected to peak by 2025.  While droughts are hard to predict, the probability of dry soil conditions or a drought in the next couple of years. … Continue reading

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Ohio Supreme Court allows eminent domain case for bike trail to roll on

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

A landowner challenging the taking of land for a bikeway has lost in an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.  The decision by the state’s highest court doesn’t address whether Mill Creek MetroParks may take the land for the bike trail, but instead gives the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court the go ahead to continue the eminent domain proceeding.

The landowner’s argument.  Mill Creek MetroParks filed a case in 2019 to appropriate land from Edward Schlegel, who would not voluntarily consent to selling some of his land for the park district’s bike trail extension.  Schlegel sought to have the case dismissed when the Ohio General Assembly included a provision in the state’s budget bill in 2021 intended to address landowner opposition to the Mill Creek MetroParks bike trail.  The new provision prevents any park district in a county of between 220,000 and 240,000 people from using eminent domain for a “recreational trail” until July 1, 2026. … Continue reading

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Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway: An alternative worth exploring

By Mike Steenhoek, Soy Transportation Coalition

It’s always a good day to try to diversify your supply chain.  It’s particularly a good day to do so given the current supply chain challenges.  The low water levels throughout the inland waterway system, unreliable rail service – exacerbated by the threat of a railroad strike in mid-November, truck driver shortages, and port congestion are all seeming to conspire to impede the ability of farmers to connect with domestic and international customers.  One of the cardinal rules regarding supply chains is to avoid “putting all your eggs in one basket.”  When a shipper can access a variety of transportation modes and providers, the more competitive that shipper will often be in serving its customers.  

In the effort to continue promoting a more dynamic and diverse supply chain for U.S. soybean farmers, the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) has continued its partnership with The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) to encourage the greater utilization of the Great Lakes-St.… Continue reading

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Three fishing lines per angler allowed 

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

It’s official: Inland Ohio anglers will be allowed to use up to three lines at once in 2023 and beyond. The Ohio Wildlife Council voted to approve a proposal to allow a maximum of three fishing lines statewide and the rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. The change aligns statewide fishing regulations with those already in place in the Lake Erie Sport Fishing District, Ohio River fishing units, and Pymatuning Lake by increasing the limit to three lines per person.  

The council also voted to remove site-specific catfish regulations for Hoover Reservoir and align the popular central Ohio fishing destination with statewide rules for blue and channel catfish. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, catfish anglers can harvest one blue catfish 35 inches or longer and one channel catfish 28 inches or longer, with no restrictions on shorter fish.… Continue reading

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Supply chain issues continue

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood

While some of the challenges in the big-picture supply chain have been corrected since 2020, they have certainly not disappeared. As farmers look to the 2023 growing season and beyond, planning for the necessary inputs, supplies and equipment should begin sooner, rather than later. 

“Certainly, it has made growers look further and further out for everything. You’d better be planning at least a year out and it better be more the 2- to 3-year time horizon if you’re evaluating all the contingencies that you might have to deal with,” said Barry Ward, Leader for Production Business Management for Ohio State University Extension. “You are going to need to price and pay for some of this product early so that you have some guarantee, or take delivery earlier. We’re seeing some growers investing in a little bit more storage space for seed and chemical but also fertilizer storage and making some strategic choices.… Continue reading

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Bane-Welker hosting Toys for Tots drive

Bane-Welker Equipment is proudly supporting the 2022 toys for tots drive and will be collecting over toys at all Indiana and Ohio locations from now until Dec. 9, 2022.  

“We are proud to support this effort for a second consecutive year,” stated Jason Bane, president of Bane-Welker Equipment. “Last year, everyone really got into the spirit of it, and we had customers and employees who used 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. 

This year, the Toys for Tots project was initiated by two Bane-Welker employee Justin Butler, a former Marine, who benefitted from the program himself as a child. 

“My passion for helping came from when I was a child and once received toys from this same program,” Butler said.  “It meant a lot to me then, and I wanted to help make a difference in children’s lives now.… Continue reading

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Fishing tournament fiasco

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

If you were on social media in the last month you no doubt got wind of the Lake Erie walleye tournament cheating scandal that involved a popular two-man fishing team from Cleveland and Hermitage, Pa. It received significant national print and electronic coverage as well, and rocked the competitive fishing world, at least in the Great Lakes. The two guys put lead fishing weights and filets from other fish into their walleyes before weigh-in, to boost their weights and win the first place $20,000 prize. Well, they got caught red-handed when the tournament organizer smelled something fishy and cut into their walleye, finding the illegal ballast. The situation quickly escalated when fellow competitors surrounded the cheaters, and the pair was fortunate that police we nearby and escorted them to their truck, or else they might’ve eaten some lead themselves from the surly crowd.… Continue reading

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CFAES open new greenhouse of the future

The Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson, the Ohio State Board of Trustees, and several elected officials joined Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), in celebrating the completion of a new, state-of-the-art greenhouse research complex that will catapult the university, the state of Ohio, and all of North America to the forefront of controlled environment agriculture (CEA), an innovative, technology-based approach to farming that takes place inside a facility equipped to create the most optimal conditions for food production.

The Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex (CEARC) uses emerging technology to conduct research and control environmental factors such as light, humidity, temperature, and nutrients, which leads to an extended growing season, reduced waste, and more high-quality crops. The complex also enables CFAES to expand programs to prepare the future workforce and create a pipeline of experienced CEA growers.… Continue reading

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Check out OSU crop production resources online

By John Fulton, Elizabeth Hawkins, Stephanie Karhoff

Keeping up with the latest information to help with decision making on your farm can be easy. The Ohio State University Extension maintains several online resources related to crop production that offer timely and relevant information. These online resources include websites and social media maintained by OSU Extension personnel that focus on agronomy, precision agriculture, and farm management. There is also the Agronomy and Farm Management podcast released biweekly covering hot topics and current news. Videos sharing useful information and highlighting on-going research are available on both the Precision Ag and Agronomy YouTube channels.

Consider following the different social media accounts to keep up all the crop production and farm management news from Ohio State. Here is a listing of online resources to check out, follow and keep up with on your current crop production news from Ohio State University.  Please reach out with questions.… Continue reading

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Trade Commission lawsuit fighting for farmers

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth

We live in a fractured society these days. Republicans hate Democrats. Democrats hate Republicans. The rancor of discussion is worse than the interaction between my Border Collies and the barn cats. There seems to be little common ground, which is why a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission and 10 state Attorneys General caught my attention. It is a true bi-partisan effort. Six of the states are led by Democrat governors: California; Colorado; Illinois; Minnesota; Oregon and Wisconsin. Four of the states are led by Republican governors: Indiana; Iowa; Nebraska and Texas.

The case was filed on Sept. 29, 2022, in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of North Carolina. Let’s begin by identifying the parties.

• The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection.… Continue reading

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