Featured News



Don’t roll your eyes at the discussion of force majeure

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

Twenty-nine years ago I recall sitting in my contracts class rolling my eyes at the discussion of force majeure. It seemed like such an impractical, academic concept that I doubted I would ever use it in practice. Wrong.

The term is French and means “superior force”or “unavoidable accident.” Force majeure is a common clause in contracts, including agreements for production agriculture, contract growers and custom feeding. The provision essentially frees both parties from performance when an extraordinary event or circumstance, beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, epidemic, pandemic or an event described by the legal term act of God, prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligation under the contract. The effects of the coronavirus on the food chain are likely force majeure under many legal situations.

Pillsbury Company, Inc. v Wells Dairy, Inc.Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s historic canal reservoirs provide present day recreational opportunities

By Mike Ryan, OCJ Field Reporter

During the heyday of Ohio canal construction, commerce, and travel in the middle 1800s, several feeder reservoirs were built to supply enough water to maintain a constant depth of 4 feet needed in the canals. As the era of the great canals waned, these feeder lakes lost their original purpose as water sources for canal traffic and were transformed into popular vacation and recreation destinations. These feeder lakes — Buckeye Lake, Indian Lake, Grand Lake, Lake Loramie, and Guilford Lake — are rich in human and natural history and offer diverse adventures for contemporary visitors.

 

Buckeye Lake

Ohio’s oldest state park is located at Buckeye Lake, a former feeder reservoir for the Ohio-Erie Canal. Spanning three separate counties — Fairfield, Perry, and Licking — this 3,100-acre lake was completed in 1830 and many vestiges of its history remain today.

On the lake in Millersport, Weldon’s Ice Cream, family owned and operated since 1930, still serves up old fashioned flavors from its quaint historic storefront.… Continue reading

Read More »

Pastures already short? Then stocking rate is too high!

By Victor Shelton, Natural Resource Conservation Service State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

Generally, by the first of June, most cool-season forages have peaked their growth and quite often have reached about two thirds of their production for the year. Clippings taken support that theory. Unfortunately, there just haven’t been enough warm sunny days for this to occur this spring until just recently.

With this being a major pivoting point for the growing season, it is usually a decent gage of stocking rate and grazing efficiency. If you are short of forage at this time of year, then the stocking rate is too high, unless you happen to be in a drought area. I don’t know of anywhere where that is an issue right now.

Think about this for a moment. If you are short on forages at the peak of the cool-season forage season, then where will you be when it turns hot and dry?… Continue reading

Read More »

Meat processing laws in Ohio and the U.S.

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

Meat sales have been subject to serious supply chain issues wrought by COVID-19, raising many questions here in Ohio about who can process meat and where meat can be sold. In my opinion, explaining meat processing laws is nearly as difficult as summarizing the Internal Revenue Code. But one easy answer to the meat processing questions we’ve been receiving relates to Ohio’s participation in the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Program established by the 2008 Farm Bill. Ohio was the first state to participate in CIS and is the largest of the seven approved state CIS programs. CIS participation means that a small Ohio processor can apply to operate as a “federally inspected” plant and sell meat across state lines, including through online sales.

To become a “CIS establishment,” the processor must have fewer than 25 full-time employees and meet specific food safety and sanitation standards that are verified through an inspection and assessment process.… Continue reading

Read More »

State to financially assist fairs, relaxes guidelines

By Dusty Sonnenberg

On Tuesday, June 9, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, along with Ohio Senate President, Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and Ohio Speaker of the House of Representatives, Larry Householder (R-Glenford) sent a letter to Ohio Fair Board members 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.”

To help offset the expense of necessary health and sanitation practices that must be implemented due to the coronavirus, each fair that conducts a junior fair this year will receive $50,000. Fairs that do not conduct a junior fair this year will receive $15,000 that can be used towards next year’s fair to help offset the cost of conducting it safely. They also announced that if a fair has been canceled, they can apply for a new date with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.… Continue reading

Read More »

Are crown rot and PMD looming in corn?

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

As I write this, the rain continues to inundate many corn and soybean fields throughout the state. Unfortunately, many Ohio farmers will likely find their corn crop in one the following scenarios:

  1. Those that could plant early but have since endured saturating rains.
  2. Those that were unable to plant early, but due to the calendar, may have had to push field conditions rather than wait for an ideal planting situation.

Either scenario presents the increased potential for the corn root system to be exposed to infections that challenge staygreen and natural maturation.

Crown rot in corn results in plants that prematurely die. Not only does this affect final yield but often standability is impeded as well. Crown rot is caused by various species of Fusarium and Pythium, which are commonly found in our soils. The crown area serves as the “highway” for transporting water and nutrients from the roots to the remainder of the plant.… Continue reading

Read More »

Celebrate June Dairy Month with yogurt

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietitian

Milk it’s what’s for dinner! Oops! I love slogans or catchy phrases and the marketing of commodities is no exception. Got Milk? was one of my favorites. It was created in 1993 and kicked off with a commercial named “Aaron Burr.” Google it if you are too young to remember. This nerdy guy is eating a peanut butter sandwich and gets a call from the radio station asking a $10,000 trivia question. He is a guru on the subject, knows the answer but cannot talk due to the dreaded sticky peanut butter mouth. Worse yet…he is out of milk. He has nothing to wash it down. The slogan took off with ads featuring sticky situations needing of course, milk!

“Got Milk” started a new campaign in 1988 with celebrities wearing milk mustaches. Celebrities from the music, TV, film, athletes as well as Batman, The Simpsons and other fictional characters starred in these fantastic ads.… Continue reading

Read More »

Farm Office Live Webinar slated for June 11 at 9:00 a.m.

Ohio State University Extension is pleased to be offering the a “Farm Office Live” session on Thursday morning, June 11 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. Farmers, educators, and ag industry professionals are invited to log-on for the latest updates on the issues impact our farm economy.

The session will begin with the Farm Office Team answering questions asked over the two weeks. Topics to be highlighted include:

• Updates on the CARES Act, Payroll Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Update
• Other legal and economic issues
Plenty of time has been allotted for questions and answers from attendees. Each office session is limited to 500 people and if you miss the on-line office hours, the session recording can be accessed at farmoffice.osu.edu the following day. Participants can pre-register or join in on Thursday morning at https://go.osu.edu/farmofficelive.… Continue reading

Read More »

Bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act introduced

The bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate, calling it an important step toward reducing agricultural carbon emissions.

The legislation, introduced by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), along with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), encourages sustainable farming practices by making it easier for farmers to participate in carbon markets.

“American family farmers and ranchers are ready to help fight climate change, but meaningful and sustainable changes are not inexpensive or easy to implement. Carbon credit exchanges can provide them with a market-based system to finance those improvements,” said Rob Larew, with the National farmers Union. “It is very encouraging to see legislators work across the aisle to provide certainty to those looking to participate in carbon credit marketplaces. In doing so, the Growing Climate Solutions Act is an important step toward strong and comprehensive climate policy that both provides farmers of all sizes with the resources they need to mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as recognizes the vital public good that comes from those efforts.”… Continue reading

Read More »

EPA provides clarification on Dicamba use

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Clarification and further guidance was provided on Monday, June 8th, by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for farmers and retailers, regarding the use of certain dicamba products that have been in question since June 3rd, when those product’s federal registration was vacated by a federal court.  According to the ruling, The EPA received a large amount of unsolicited comments regarding the courts decision and resulting impacts on agriculture.

Last Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the product registration of three dicamba-based products, incuding: Monsanto’s XtendiMax, DuPont’s FeXapan, and BASF’s Engenia; as conditional use pesticides for post-emergent applications. The court held that when the EPA conditionally amend the registrations for an additional two years, the process they used violated the provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (“FIFRA”).… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Soybean Council announces Board of Trustees election

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) Board of Trustees has four district seats up for election this year. All eligible candidates interested in running for the OSC Board must obtain at least 15 valid signatures on the petition available at www.soyohio.org/petition.

All petitions must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) by mail, and must be postmarked no later than July 6, 2020 and received by July 13, 2020.

OSC is the Qualified State Soybean Board for Ohio and manages state soybean checkoff dollars. The OSC Board is made up of farmer volunteers who direct the investments of checkoff dollars to improve the profitability of Ohio soybean farmers.

Districts up for election are:

District 3: Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Huron, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Summit, and Trumbull Counties
Incumbent Jeff Magyar is eligible to run for another term
District 4: Defiance, Paulding, and Van Wert Counties
Incumbent Mike Heffelfinger is eligible to run for another term
District 6: Crawford, Seneca, and Wyandot Counties
Incumbent Mike Mutchler is eligible to run for another term
District 11: Clark, Greene, and Madison Counties
Incumbent Bob Suver is eligible to run for another term

To be eligible for election to the OSC Board, you must live in a county in one of the districts listed and be a soybean producer engaged in the growing of soybeans in the State of Ohio who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of soybeans at any time during the three-year period immediately preceding November 15 of the current year.… Continue reading

Read More »

2020 Cab Cams showed unique spring conditions

By Matt Reese

In a spring that has been just about as strange as recent national events, corn and soybean planting progress was widely divergent, generating some head scratches along the way. Minnesota was a national leader in early 2020 corn planting progress for goodness’ sake!

Ohio has been behind nationally all spring. While northwest Ohio has been a regular recipient of wet, cold, delayed planting seasons in recent years, the region led the state in planting progress. At the same time, the farmers in central and southern Ohio, who have been blessed with some of the better planting seasons recently, really struggled in 2020. Those who were able to get planted in April and early May were plagued with temperatures more in line with February, though soil conditions were nearly ideal. In some areas, farms went straight from scouting for frost damage to scouting for flood damage after big rains swamped the dry fields.… Continue reading

Read More »

See something, say something: how to help someone that may be struggling with mental illness

By Brittany Olson, a Wisconsin Farm Bureau member, dairy farmer, writer, photographer and mental health advocate

Agriculture is commonly noted as being the last industry to make transactions on a handshake and an individual’s good word. Relationships are paramount, and — in general — we look out for each other. When tragedy strikes one of our own in the form of death, disability, or disease, we’re right there with a hot dish, a hug, and harvesting equipment depending on the time of year.

However, when the wounds are a little less visible — such as the scars that tear us apart on the inside — we clam up. Mental health is an uncomfortable topic both in and of itself, and how to address it. It should make us uncomfortable that our profession has a higher suicide rate than that of veterans and one of the highest overall. It should make us uncomfortable that one in four Americans will experience a major depressive episode at some point in their lifetime.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 157 | Send your county fair updates in

The Quarantine Chronicles go on another day. Kolt, Dale, and Dusty host the podcast this week and discuss a few topics as plant 2020 begins to come to a close. Matt features interviews with Tracy Dendinger with the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo, David Wilson from Bane Welker, and Patty Mann from Shelby County.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn planting nearing completion, soybeans not far behind

Dry weather and warm temperatures led to much field activity throughout the week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Due to improved weather and drier fields, farmers continued replanting corn and soybeans. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 5 degrees above historical normals and the entire state averaged close to a half inch of precipitation. There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 7. In addition to replanting crops, farmers side-dressed corn, sprayed herbicides, baled hay, and spread manure. Topsoil moisture decreased from 30 percent surplus last week to 12 percent surplus this week. Soybean planting progress was 83 percent, 8 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Corn planting progress was 94 percent, ahead of the five year average by 9 percentage points. Sixty-one percent of corn was considered good or excellent and 75 percent of pasture and range was considered good or excellent compared to 59 percent last year.… Continue reading

Read More »

There is still time to make up for lost hay

By Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Ag and Natural Resources, Morgan County

Some suggest hay yields are half of normal. Is that the result of late freezes, or more timely harvest this year?

I hope you are not having the hay season I am having. While the quality of my hay is good, my yields are extremely disappointing. With over half of my fields made, I am around 50% of a normal crop. The two late freezes killed back growing grass last month, and honestly, I am mowing hay earlier than most years. I am also doing it much faster with my youngest son not working this summer at the Wilmington College farm due to the virus and helping on the farm. Another thing I have noticed over the past few years is that some hay fields have less fescue and orchard grass, and more poor quality forages like cheat grass reducing quality and yields.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Soybean State of Soy Webinar

The Ohio Soybean Council will be sponsoring a Ohio Soybean State of Soy webinar on Tuesday, June 9 beginning at 10:00 a.m. Ben Brown, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Agricultural Risk Management in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University will be the featured speaker.

During this webinar, Ben Brown will speak on soybean market fundamentals, trade update and assistance programs. There is no cost to attend this program. For more information Click here.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Youth Livestock Expo moves forward with plans for 2020 junior shows

By Matt Reese

Many livestock shows have been canceled in 2020, including junior shows at the Ohio State Fair. In an effort to provide some opportunities for youth exhibitors to show their livestock in 2020, a group of volunteers teamed up to form the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE).

“The Ohio Youth Livestock Expo was created to provide the show opportunity for Ohio’s junior livestock exhibitors during the timeframe when their intended show may have been canceled,” said Tracy Dendinger, livestock judge, breeder, agricultural educator, and OYLE volunteer. “It is not only the Ohio State Fair. There are other difficult decisions being made within our 88 counties in Ohio where shows may have canceled.”

With this in mind, OYLE is planning multiple shows later this summer.

“The OYLE is a lineup of junior market and breeding shows for beef cattle, sheep, Boer goats, and pigs,” Dendinger said. “We are looking for 4-H and FFA members who would be eligible for junior fair exhibition.… Continue reading

Read More »

Crop price support challenges continue

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Producers continue to be upset with the price action in corn for 2020 as they hold much larger than normal inventories at the end of May. Gone for months are the hopes of exceeding the highs seen last summer. Instead, devastating demand destruction with the coronavirus has seen corn for ethanol decline 475 million bushels from February through May. When U.S. consumers drive less, gasoline demands shrink. While this is old news, it will haunt corn demand for many, many months into the future. Traders are expecting the corn for ethanol line to shrink an additional 300 million to 400 million bushels for old crop corn by the end of August. July CBOT corn fell below the 50-day moving average late in January. It finally moved above that line which was $3.2875 the last two trading days of May as it reached $3.31 but could not close above that line.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSIA LEAD Council update on sheep shows

For the 2020 show season, the OSIA LEAD Council is sponsoring two shows in order to bulk up the 2020 show season for our membership and Ohio 4-H and FFA members. In order for this to occur, sponsors are needed. Please go to this link to make a financial contribution via PayPal or print the donation form and send it to the OSIA office.  Thank you in advance.

Follow the OSIA LEAD Facebook page for the most updated OSIA LEAD Council Sanctioned Show Schedule. Currently these sanctioned shows are scheduled:

  • June 13, 2020 – Mid-Ohio Lamb Classic – Millersburg – Single Market Lamb Only Show
  • June 20, 2020 – OSIA LEAD Shows – Bucyrus –  Bratwurst Blowout/Crawford County Clash – Double Market Lamb/Single Breeding Sheep Show
  • June 27, 2020 – Buckeye Livestock Expo – Millersburg – Single Market Lamb Only
  • July 11, 2020 – OSIA LEAD Shows – Eaton – Border Bash – Market Lamb/Breeding Sheep

Those who plan to show at any of the OSIA LEAD Council Sanctioned shows should refer to the 2020 OSIA LEAD Council Exhibitor Rules.… Continue reading

Read More »