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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 181 |It’s Thanksgiving, Editor Matt!

Dusty, Matt, and Kolt host this week, and talk about what their Thanksgiving’s will look like this year! Charlie Kail, and Willie Murphy- two of the Between the Rows farmers, wrap up their harvest with an interview with Matt. Dusty talked to Alex and Laura Lindsay about the 2020 growing season and wrapping up harvest. We at OCJ & OAN wish you a safe and gracious Thanksgiving!… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Fudge on USDA Secretary short list

Ohio Democrat Rep. Marcia Fudge is on the short list of contenders for Secretary of Agriculture in the Biden Administration.

Congresswoman Fudge, from Warrensville Heights, has served on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee since 2011, she has demonstrated her ability to tackle complex issues. In 2019, Fudge served as chair of House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations. She has long been a proponent of food aid programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She is garnering support from consumer groups, environmental groups and the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA).

“Congresswoman Fudge is respected by her peers for her work ethic and ability to bring people together. Her openness and availability to producers and farm groups speaks volumes, and we look forward to working with her as Secretary of the USDA,” said Patty Mann, President of OCWGA. 

Rep. Fudge recently endorsed Georgia Democratic Rep. David Scott for chair the House Agriculture Committee, another position she could have pursued.… Continue reading

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Spotted lanternfly a growing concern in Ohio

A group of spotted lanternflies, which feed on grapevines, hops, and fruit trees, was recently discovered in Ohio, triggering concerns the pest could become established and spread quickly.

In October, adult lanternflies were found outside a business in Jefferson County, adjacent to the Pennsylvania border.

Adult lanternflies won’t be seen during the winter months because they die off as temperatures drop below freezing. But before dying, the females typically lay 30 to 50 eggs, and come spring, their offspring could begin feeding.

“If there’s anything I’m personally losing sleep over, it’s this insect,” said Maria Smith, outreach specialist in grape production at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Native to Asia, spotted lanternflies were first found in the United States in 2014 in Pennsylvania.

“It’s a ticking time bomb,” Smith said. “They’re taking out acres of grapevines in Pennsylvania. That’s why we’re so concerned about this insect.”… Continue reading

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United Producers, Inc. announces hiring of Beef on Dairy Manager

United Producers, Inc. (UPI), the Midwest’s largest livestock marketing cooperative, is pleased to announce that Clay Fredericks has joined its team as the beef on dairy manager.

The new position was created to expand services for UPI members following significant growth in breeding beef on dairy across the country. In 2020, approximately 2 million “beef on dairy calves” were born in the U.S., with 2021 estimates at 2.7 million.

“We are pleased to welcome Clay to our team while expanding new, services for our UPI members who are involved in, or interested in beef on dairy initiatives,” said Mike Bumgarner, UPI president & CEO. “Clay’s extensive experience in this specific area will be a great benefit to our members, and we look forward to seeing him put his skills to work.”

Fredericks’ responsibilities in his new role will include overseeing beef on dairy initiatives, creating new opportunities for dairies, growers and end-users.… Continue reading

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Corn, soybean harvest wind down

Harvest continued to approach completion as some farmers prepared for next spring, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 89 percent adequate to surplus by week’s end. Average temperatures for the week were 2.3 degrees above historical normals and the entire State averaged 0.52 inches of precipitation. There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 22.

Soybeans were 96 percent harvested by week’s end, while soybeans moisture content was at 13 percent. Corn harvested was 2 percentage points behind the five-year average at 87 percent. Corn moisture content was at 19 percent, the same percentage as the previous week. Winter wheat emerged was virtually complete, ahead of the five-year average. Seventy-two percent of winter wheat was rated in good to excellent condition compared to 73 percent the previous week.

You can read the full report here.Continue reading

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A look back at 2020 from Between the Rows

Charlie Kail

No two growing seasons are alike. That’s the fun part of this game we play. We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect the same result, but when it comes to rain it gives you a different result and sometimes you don’t like it. It was wet early so the root systems weren’t deep. Then it dried out in some places and the roots weren’t deep enough to chase the water.

A successful 2020 was about getting the rain. We planted the corn in ideal to too wet conditions. It stayed wet long enough to get the corn going and then it got dry. There is just nothing you can do to fight that.

We lost control of marestail in the beans late in the season around here. That was mainly because of a lack of residual, either not putting down residual at all or not putting down enough too early to survive the summer.… Continue reading

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Pandemic worsening food insecurity

Bringing higher rates of unemployment and poverty, the pandemic has also pushed more people into a struggle to buy the basics, including food. 

Grocery store food prices have gone up only about 5% since January 2019, but with so many people out of work, food banks have seen a surge in demand, said Zoë Plakias, an assistant professor of agricultural, environmental, and development economics at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

While facing an increasing demand, food banks have also received fewer food donations from grocery stores that give their excess products. When stores can’t keep their shelves stocked, there can be less available for donation, Plakias said.

With many incomes reduced during the pandemic, more people are taking advantage of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps, and new food aid programs have been started. 

But that’s enough to meet the need, Plakias said.… Continue reading

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Illinois waterway system reopens to traffic

A major rehabilitation project on the Illinois River has been completed, allowing for the 12 million tons of food and ag commodities that leave the state to resume. This past summer, the Illinois River was shut down to go through necessary infrastructure upgrades with all of the newly completed work accompanied by a price tag totaling roughly $200 million. 

Back in September, corn growers and NCGA staff toured four active construction sites along the Rock Island District including LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, and Marseilles. The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to the export market, with more than 60% of the grain produced in the U.S. being transported by barge.

Illinois corn grower Terry Smith pointed out that waterways transportation isn’t just more efficient, it also makes the roads safer.

“If you know some of the numbers from just Illinois, Illinois in 2018 had a little over 83 million ton of product move up and down the river.… Continue reading

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Cornely inducted to farm broadcasting hall of fame

By Kolt Buchenroth

Joe Cornely is a name synonymous with Ohio farm broadcasting. Now, it’s a name “in its rightful place” among the rest of the greats in the industry association’s hall of fame. The National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) convention, usually held in Kansas City, MO, was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornely gave his remarks virtually.

“NAFB has been the source of unbelievable friendships for me. The kind that last a lifetime. I think, too, one of the most important parts of about NAFB from a professional standpoint is the important work that farm broadcasters do. Your listeners and viewers know you, they trust you. To have that trust is something that all of us need to appreciate every single day,” Cornely said.

He says the helping young farm broadcasters get their start in the industry was the high point of his career.

Cornely cut his teeth in farm broadcasting at WKTN-FM in Kenton, Ohio.… Continue reading

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Trade Talk virtual style | NAFB 2020🎙

By Dale Minyo and Kolt Buchenroth

Each year, our broadcast team travels to Kansas City, Missouri to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual convention. It’s here we get to connect with and interview representatives from ag companies and organizations from across the country. We also get to catch up with our farm broadcasting colleagues from across the country and eat far too much food. The signature day is the “Trade Talk” trade show where the nation’s farm broadcasters carry their microphones and recorders to interview the different exhibitors. This year, we traded in our airplane tickets, luggage and Kansas City BBQ for our laptops as we attended the first ever virtual convention. We spent Thursday bouncing between Zoom calls to conduct nearly 30 interviews with companies across the country. While portions of these interviews will air on Ohio Ag Net radio programming in the coming days, the full interviews are posted here.… Continue reading

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2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference highlights – Day 4

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

The 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference concluded with topics focused on consumer demand and commodity outlooks. Zoe Plakias, Assistant Professor in Agriculture and Food Economics, presented an outlook on consumer demand heading into 2021.

Plakias shared that in light of COVID-19 there have been some notable changes in consumer spending habits.

“There have been some key changes in how people buy and shop since the onset of COVID-19,” Plakias said. “There have been key changes in how much people buy, and what they are buying. There have also been key changes in where and how people shop.”

Total food spending was down by 8.6% in the last year. Not surprisingly, total food spending was lowest in April, but rebounded slightly over the summer. The monthly food sales data comparison between food consumed at home versus food consumed away from home noted a dramatic decline in the sales of food consumed away from home, but a slight increase in sales of food consumed at home.… Continue reading

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Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program provides grant money to 14 Ohio grape growers

Fourteen grape growers in Ohio will receive up to $3,000 per acre in grant money to create new or expand existing vineyards, allowing for more wineries to use Ohio-grown grapes. The Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program (VEAP) allows wineries to invest in and plant high-quality, high-value grapes onsite instead of purchasing them from other states. VEAP is an incentive program created and funded by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC).

The grant recipients are:

• Breezy Vines LLC, Bellaire, Belmont County
• Buccia Vineyard, Conneaut, Ashtabula County
• Clark Farms, West Milton, Miami County
• King Vineyard (name TBD), Lancaster, Fairfield County
• Das Weinhaus Vineyard and Winery, Litchfield, Medina County
• Five Roots Vineyard, Croton, Licking County
• Folck Family Farm, Mechanicsburg, Champaign County
• Overton Valley Vineyards, Burbank, Wayne County
• Quinstock Farm, Port Clinton, Ottawa County
• The Vineyards at Pine Lake, Columbiana, Mahoning County
• Vinoklet Winery, Cincinnati, Hamilton County
• White Timbers, Wadsworth, Medina County
• William White Family, Jackson, Jackson County

Ohio is the sixth largest wine producer in the country, with just over 1,500 acres of vineyards producing and selling 1.2 million gallons, or 500,000 cases, of wine annually.… Continue reading

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New H2Ohio program being offered

As part of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering a new incentive program to encourage farmers to aid in conservation and improve water quality. ODNR will be accepting applications for its Water Quality Incentive Program (WQIP) from Dec. 1, 2020 through Jan. 29, 2021.


“Improving Ohio’s water quality is incredibly important,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Giving farmers an incentive to participate in this conservation process is another step toward clean water for future generations.”

The new program is being offered in combination with the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). CREP is a USDA conservation program that offers farmers and landowners financial compensation for taking cropland out of production and establishing conservation practices.

The H2Ohio Water Quality Incentive Program will offer a one-time payment of $2,000 per acre for new Lake Erie CREP wetlands and forested riparian buffers (buffer strip with trees) to help improve water quality in the Lake Erie watershed.… Continue reading

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Squirrel hunting: An autumnal rite of passage

By Mike Ryan, OCJ Field Reporter

With their spirited scampering and high-energy acrobatics, squirrels certainly are a source of pleasure and admiration for Ohioans.

“The elegant creature, so cleanly in its habits, so graceful in its carriage, so nimble and daring in its movements, excites feelings of admiration…His presence adds to the pleasure of a saunter in the October woods,” said American naturalist John Burroughs, in his Squirrels and Other Fur Bearers.

Squirrels are also an excellent quarry to use for introducing our youth to hunting sports; many an experienced big game hunter has fond memories of time spent in the squirrel woods with his/her mentors. 

“Squirrel hunting was the first hunting I was exposed to and what turned me on to hunting to begin with as a kid. I can still remember what a big deal it was to me when I killed my first few squirrels,” said outdoorsman Shawn Skaggs of Marysville.… Continue reading

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Don’t let varmints chomp into your income this winter

By Don “Doc” Sanders

This column addresses a subject that I haven’t previously covered. I’ll warn you: My wife, Kris, got the heebie-jeebies when I told her what I’d be writing about … RATS!  I don’t intend to write anything crude. But I must confess that my former boss sent me to sensitivity training — three times — for graphically describing such stuff as this.

Rats, according to a report by AgWeb ( https://www.agweb.com/article/rat-bomb-farmings-death-thousand-bites), are sex-crazed, eating monsters. Their modus operandi is to breed multiple times a day and eat to maintain their energy.

Given the chance, they will gobble up significant profit from any farm, feed mill or grain terminal on earth. Cities are also vulnerable to these varmints. Rats cause an estimated $20 billion in damages to the U.S. economy every year.

If you have a rat problem on your farm and don’t implement aggressive measures to contain and eliminate the critters, it won’t be long before they’re also your neighbor’s problem.… Continue reading

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New, free mobile app helps farmers protect Ohio’s waterways

This fall, the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI) announced the launch of its mobile app to enroll farmers in its new certification program. 

“OACI was created to bring together new partnerships to create a certification program that’s valuable to farmers and protects Ohio’s water quality,” said Kris Swartz, northwest Ohio farmer and OACI chair. “Enrolling only takes a few minutes and the mobile app makes it easy for farmers to enroll when it is most convenient for them. After enrolling, farmers will be part of the OACI Certification Program and will be eligible to become certified in 2021.”

The OACI Certification Program will allow farmers to voluntarily self-report information about their farm’s soil testing, nutrient application, nutrient placement, on-field management and structural practices, with the number of acres in each category. Participants will be given a score for each category and an aggregated overall score to determine their certification level. Enrollment is the first step in engaging with the OACI certification program and takes just minutes to complete.… Continue reading

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The most used crop insurance product

By Gary SchnitkeyNick Paulson, and Krista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University

There has been a great deal of innovation in the crop insurance industry since the early 1990s. New products have been introduced, subsidy rates have been increased, and farmers have increased crop insurance use. We summarize trends in crop insurance use for corn, soybeans, and wheat in Illinois with a focus on the multi-peril products that are Federally subsidized and administered through the Risk Management Agency (RMA). In Illinois, over 85% of the corn and soybean acres are insured in recent years. The most popular product is Revenue Protection (RP), a revenue product with a guarantee increase.

Crop Insurance Plans Available for Multi-peril Coverage

In 2011, RMA introduced the COMBO product, which consolidated predecessor plans for providing crop insurance based on farm yields.… Continue reading

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Fennig Equipment adds location

Fennig Equipment’s main location is just outside of Coldwater and has added a second location in Norwalk, Ohio.

The Norwalk location is managed by Seth Reisinger and his wife Tammy. Seth came to Fennig Equipment after working seven years in sales at a tractor dealership where he sold the Salford line of equipment as well as tractors and hay equipment. Prior to working for the dealership, Seth managed a fuel bulk plant that served a large farm community. Seth has farmed with his father for most of his life. Tammy graduated college with a degree in accounting. She worked in the accounting field for eleven years. The last six years she worked at a tractor dealership as the Service Writer and eventually moved up to Service Manager. Fennig Equipment is very excited to have the two of them join our team at the Norwalk location.

Fennig Equipment is known for delivering exceptional customer service our customers can rely on based on in-depth product knowledge and hands-on experience.… Continue reading

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New year, new business?

By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAs

Does the approaching new year have you thinking of starting a new business? New businesses with impressive, innovative ideas and products enter the marketplace all the time, but they are often short-lived and end up closing their physical or digital doors. According to the SBA (The U. S. Small Business Administration), almost 80% of new businesses started will survive their first year. That sounds wonderful until you research further and find that only about half of new businesses survive for 5 years, and only about one-third last 10 years or more. Those numbers can seem daunting when considering whether or not to start a new business.

There are several reasons why new businesses fail — failure to research the market, business plan problems, not enough capital, etc. To lessen the risk of closing prematurely, there are several steps that a potential new business owner can take.… Continue reading

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