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A look at fall calving

By Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Fall is my favorite time of the year, hay making is done, the feeder cattle are being marketed, college football is in full swing, and for some calving season is well underway.

This summer at our field day in Muskingum County we heard from a family who discussed incorporating a fall calving cow herd into their beef operation. While there are disadvantages to fall calving, there are several advantages that can be capitalized on if we can evaluate and adapt current production systems. Let’s look at how fall calving can be a viable and profitable system.

Cattle prices are seasonal 

As with most things in agriculture, supply and demand have a great impact on prices. Andrew Griffith from the University of Tennessee in 2017 analyzed several studies comparing spring and fall calving systems. After comparing the systems on a 205-day weaning age and two separate feed resource scenarios they concluded that even though spring-calving cows had heavier calves at weaning and lower feed costs than the fall-calving cows, the higher prices of steer and heifer calves captured by fall-born calves were able to cover the higher feed expenses and lighter weaning weights by the fall-born calves.… Continue reading

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Celebrating National Co-op Month

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Celebrated by cooperatives nationwide during the month of October, National Co-op Month is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of a proven way to do business and build resilient, inclusive communities. The 2022 theme is “Co-ops Build Economic Power,” this year’s Co-op Month was chance to highlight the cooperative business model as a way to build an economy that empowers everyone. 

While the benefits of cooperatives are showcased all year long, Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) took some extra time in October to highlight the value to their members of being part of a cooperative.

“We do celebrate Co-Op Month because it is something very unique to us in our market,” said Rudi Pitzer-Perry, FCMA Regional VP of Ag Lending. “Most of the other lenders out there are, of course, not cooperatives and it sets us apart as far as what we offer our customers because they are also our owners.… Continue reading

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Partnerships continue nematode education for the second annual SCN Action Month

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) continues to be the leading cause of soybean yield loss in North America. BASF Agricultural Solutions and The SCN Coalition have joined forces for the second consecutive year to promote SCN Action Month, a monthlong initiative to provide growers with the tools and information they need to defend against this devastating pest.

Throughout October, BASF will once again provide free soil test kits to the first 500 growers who request online by October 31.

“We’re finding there are still growers who either aren’t aware of SCN or just don’t believe they have it in their field,” said Troy Bauer, BASF Senior Field Technical Representative for Seed Treatment – Western Corn Belt. “Soil testing during the month of October is key to this effort. When growers know their numbers, they can make a solid management plan for next year.”

Dan Ory, a grower in Earlham, Iowa received a free soil test kit from the SCN Action Month campaign last year and was surprised by his results.… Continue reading

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Building soils for the future

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA (Adapted from Crop & Soils Magazine, May-June 2022 by Jerry Hatfield and Wayne Fredericks)

It is often recommended to farmers when adoption a new practice that they start on a small scale so they can make mistakes and learn on a small scale before adopting it across a large number of acres. Over time, much is learned about the practice they are implementing and ways to modify it to best fit the operation. Over that same time period, the soils will also exhibit changes. While not all the changes are understood, many can be explained and managed.

Understanding the soils on your farm is the first step to measuring any change. Soil health and weather work in tandem to produce crops. We cannot control the environment, however as we improve soil health we can mitigate the risk of adverse weather conditions, and hopefully increase crop yields.… Continue reading

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Fall sprayer maintenance

By Erdal Ozkan, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-36

It is very likely that you will not be using your sprayer again until next spring. If you want to avoid potential problems and save yourself from frustration and major headaches next spring, you will be wise to give your sprayer a little bit of TLC (Tender Loving Care) this time of the year. Yes, there may be still crop to be harvested, and you may still be a busy time of the year for some of you. However, do not forget about winterizing your sprayer. Do not delay it too long, if you already have not done so. You don’t want a pump that is cracked and/or not working at its full capacity because you did not properly winterize it before the temperature falls below freezing.  Here are some important things you need to do with your sprayer this time of the year.… Continue reading

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Classic hats at FSR!

By Matt Reese

It was a year of traditions and anniversaries at the Farm Science Review.

First, the event itself celebrated an impressive 60 years of highlighting the latest in agricultural innovations.

“The Ohio State University has been involved in the development and research of many practices — including no-till planting and implementation of the round bale — that are widely adopted on farms today,” said Nick Zachrich, FSR manager. “While many attending Farm Science Review this year will not remember farming as it was 60 years ago, we hope this is a year to reflect on how much the industry has advanced so that excitement will build for the future knowing how rapid technology is shaping many areas of our industry.” 

I would think attendees at the first FSR could scarcely image the technology on display including an amazing flying ATV, a giant variable rate application manure spreader and innovative seed treatment technology (highlighted in some of the Latest Videos on ocj.com).… Continue reading

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USDA announces Dairy Margin Coverage Program

With rising costs eroding dairy margins despite high farm milk prices, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is urging farmers to sign up for maximum 2023 coverage under USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, an important component of federal dairy risk-management programs supported by NMPF. 

USDA has announced that DMC signup began, with a deadline of Dec. 7. Despite record prices this year, accompanying record costs resulted in DMC payments for August for farmers enrolled at the maximum coverage level.

“The current combination of high prices with costs that can be even higher illustrates the basic value of DMC for producers who can benefit from the program,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “By calculating assistance via a margin rather than a target price, DMC offers a measure of protection against the current cost volatility that’s challenging many milk producers.”

Farmers should also consider signing up for federally backed risk-management programs appropriate to their operations, Mulhern said.… Continue reading

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How no-till improves land values

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

No-till Farmer (farming magazine) recently put together a report: How No-till Improves Land Values.  This report put an economic value on conservation farming practices that improve the environment, but also preserves our soil.  While farmers own the land and have the right to farm it how they choose; long-term, society has an interest in preserving the land for future generations.  Here are some results of research on the benefits of no-till to society.

An organization called Rural Investment for Protecting our Environment (RIPE) came up with $112 per acre as the value associated with no-till farming.  This included $7 for increased carbon sequestration, $16 for improved air quality and human health, $25 for better water quality, and $44 for improved soil nutrient management; all on a per acre basis.  No-till Farmer has been documenting farmer benefits for 25 years with farmers indicated they saved $25-$90 per acre in reduced production costs. … Continue reading

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Autumn harvest beauty

By Matt Reese

What a beautiful, almost unprecedented stretch of nearly ideal harvest weather! After a late start to harvest, great weather through most of the first half of October allowed Ohio’s farmers to make up the difference and catch up to the 5-year average harvest progress for Ohio. By Oct. 16, 24% of Ohio’s corn was harvested for grain, compared to the 5-year average of 25%. On the same date, the state’s soybeans were 51% harvested in 2022 and the 5-year average was 52%, according to the USDA NASS Ohio Field Office. The timing of this big push for harvest progress coincided with some stunning fall foliage around Ohio. With so much potential for beautiful autumn harvest photos out there (and many cell phones handy for capturing them), we asked for folks from around the state to send us some. There was a tremendous response with so many beautiful photos! I wanted to share a few on this page.… Continue reading

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Demand scenarios moving forward

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Following are the highlights of last week’s USDA report that provided more information on the U.S. grain supply.

Corn

While the USDA decreased the average national yield, most of the country’s best corn areas still need to be harvested. Right now, it is uncertain if yields in the east that have not been harvested will make up for the disappointing yields in the west that have been picked.

Considering the value of U.S. corn compared to the rest of the world, it seems reasonable that the USDA decreased export demand. However, their feed estimate is almost 7% lower than the last 4-year average, which may be too low. While the trade still believes exports could decrease a few more bushels, the feed category may have room to offset further export reductions.

The chart below shows current USDA estimates with several different demand scenarios (highlighted in blue) and a range of potential outcomes to the carryout.… Continue reading

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Using plot data to make decisions

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

As harvest is completed across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is important to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring.

Look for Replicated Data

Don’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn Marketing Program public notice of nomination and election

Pursuant to Section 924.07 of the Ohio Revised Code, Dorothy Pelanda, Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture will conduct an election of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program Board on December 6, 2022. 

The Ohio Corn Marketing Program is designed to increase the market for corn and enhancing opportunities for Ohio corn producers. The program provides funds for corn research, education, and market development and promotion. 

The election to the Board will include these five districts. 

District 1: Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Williams

District 4: Allen, Paulding, Putnum, Van Wert

District 7: Carroll, Columbiana, Holmes, Jefferson, Stark, Tuscarawas, Wayne

District 13: Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Warren

The Nomination Procedure is as follows

  • Nominating petitions may be obtained from 

Dorothy Pelanda, Director 

Ohio Department of Agriculture
Legal Section
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-3399
Telephone 1-800-282-1955 or 614-728-6390

  • Petitions require at least twenty-five (25) valid signatures from Ohio corn producers who reside within the district in which the candidate seeks election. 
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Ag groups concerned about Mexican produce imports

In response to the recent petition requesting that the U.S. Trade Representative initiate a Section 301 investigation on fresh produce imports from Mexico, the American Soybean Association joined fellow agriculture organizations to urge the agency to deny the request. In October the groups sent a letter to USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai outlining the negative impact a 301 investigation would have on the current relationship with Mexico, one of the U.S.’s largest trading partners.   

While the petition only asks USTR for “relief,” the groups assert that the context of the petition seeks tariffs on imports of produce from Mexico. Imposing a tariff could further exacerbate economic uncertainty and, driving higher prices, reduce access to healthy domestic and imported fresh produce that U.S. families expect year-round. Another concern the groups emphasize is that if Mexico decided to impose retaliatory tariffs, the U.S agricultural industry, which supports more than 22 million jobs and 20% of the U.S.… Continue reading

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Assessing the value of a farm

By Matt Reese

In the current market, there are a number of important factors to consider when determining the best way to sell a rural property and its potential in terms of farmland, residential and recreational value.

“Recreational property, farmland and rural properties are our specialty. We sell farmland via the auction format or in the traditional listing format. It just depends on the specific situation. The first thing we do when we sit down to look at a farm that we’re going to sell is to think about who our buyers are. If it is all tillable farmland, we’re going to have an investor or a local farmer buy it and we may end up splitting it up into a few tracts to try to give an opportunity to someone who maybe can’t afford the full acreage. If there’s a house or there’s recreational or timberland on it, we always try to split those off,” said Devin Dye, with Dye Real Estate & Land Co.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 273| Weeds, Weeds, and More Weeds

Matt and Dusty sit down with Mark Loux, a recently retired herbicide specialist from Ohio State University Extension. They discuss his retirement and the weeds found within Ohio’s fields. Devin Dye, from Dye Real Estate and Land Co. chats with Matt about how to best split up rural properties for sale. Dale interviews the team at Farm Credit Mid-America about National Co-Op Month. All this and more thanks to AgriGold!

00:00 Intro and OCJ/OAN Staff Update  

12:00 Devin Dye – Dye Real Estate and Land Co

24:43 Farm Credit Mid-America – Co-Op Month

50:52 Mark Loux – OSU Extension… Continue reading

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Challenging hay quality in 2022

By Stan Smith, Ohio State University Extension

In a year like this when, according to the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) estimates, barely half of Ohio’s first cutting hay harvest was completed by mid-June, it is apparent that Ohio cattlemen will again be faced with finding ways to make “feed” from forages that were harvested way past their prime.

As an example of the hay quality we are seeing, a recent forage analysis on some Fairfield County mixed grass hay that was mowed in mid-June and baled shortly after shows less than 7% crude protein and less than 40% TDN (total digestible nutrients) on a dry matter basis. I could tell you that’s not good feed, but perhaps a better way is to compare it to wheat straw. Book values I found for the feed nutrient content of wheat straw show a TDN of 43% and crude protein of 4.2% — not a lot different than the hay we tested.… Continue reading

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Harvest considerations for corn

By Osler OrtezAlexander Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

Despite a late start in many areas on the 2022 crop season, during the last days of September and early October, combines started to roll around the state.

Despite 2022 being another challenging year, yield forecasts show a high probability of near or above long-term average yields in Ohio (between 207 and 250 bushels per acre for the analyzed locations). Certainly, this would apply if adequate conditions persisted in the growing season. Fields planted too early, too late, or affected by other factors (e.g., replanting, soil crusting, dry periods, pest, disease) would not be expected to yield that well.

Whichever is the case, the field season is not complete until harvest is done.
Here is a list of considerations as corn harvest decisions are being made.

Physiological maturity
The R6 growth stage happens approximately 55 to 65 days after silking (R1 stage).… Continue reading

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Soils dry as harvest progresses

Modest midweek precipitation during the previous week did not halt growers’ harvest progress, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Reporters in southwestern counties continued to observe abnormal dryness last week, with consequences for pasture quality and wheat emergence. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 21% very short, 31% short, 47% adequate, and 1% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending Oct. 16 was 53.5 degrees, 0.3 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.49 inches of precipitation, 0.03 inches below average. There were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Oct. 16.

Corn was 84% mature and 24% of corn was harvested for grain. The moisture content of corn grain at harvest was 20%. Corn harvested for silage was 95% complete. Corn condition was rated 62% good to excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves reached 96% and 51% of soybeans were harvested. The moisture content of soybeans at harvest was 12%.… Continue reading

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