Featured News

Ohio’s farming community and Ohio State Fair release Digital Recipe Guide

Today, a day known by many as the opening day of the Ohio State Fair, Ohio’s farming community and the Ohio State Fair are pleased to release the Ohio State Fair Favorites Digital Recipe Guide. Organizations from Ohio’s agriculture community, including: American Dairy Association Mideast, Ohio Beef Council, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Poultry Association and Ohio Sheep Improvement Association have joined together with the Ohio State Fair to commemorate fair traditions during an unprecedented year.

“There are many reasons people come to the Ohio State Fair – animals, tradition, rides, and of course, food. Whether fairgoers are visiting the Taste of Ohio Café for a farm-fresh meal, sampling something deep-fried, or walking around with a food served on a stick, they are likely to leave with a full stomach and a smiling face,” said Virgil Strickler, CFE, General Manager, Ohio Expo Center & State Fair.

The digital recipe guide, which includes over 20 fair-inspired recipes and fan-favorites from the beloved Taste of Ohio Cafè, allows fairgoers to get a taste of the Ohio State Fair from the safety of their home, all while highlighting the work of Ohio’s farmers.… Continue reading

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RISE FFA Career Program

As part of a partnership with Ohio FFA, Sunrise has created the RISE FFA Career Program, which is entering its second year. The RISE FFA Career Program was developed in 2019 and serves two purposes: provide an avenue to reach the future leaders of agriculture, while supporting the Ohio FFA Association State President during their term in office.

Starting at the 2019 Ohio FFA Convention, Sunrise committed to providing the Ohio FFA with a new pick-up truck for three years for the state president to drive, and for three years Sunrise has committed to hiring a high school senior that was active with their FFA chapter as a full-time employee at Sunrise that is looking to enter the workforce after high school. As a signing bonus, the new employee would receive the year-old pick-up truck that the state president drove.

On July 23, Sunrise President/CEO George D. Secor presented the 2020-2021 Ohio FFA President Bethany Starlin with a new Ford Ranger pick-up truck.… Continue reading

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DeWine order limits Ohio fairs to junior fair only

By Matt Reese

Though there has been a decrease in emergency department visits and Ohio’s COVID-19 numbers are showing signs of starting to plateau, Governor Mike DeWine announced that all county fairs after July 31 must be junior fair only events.

“We have great fairs in the state of Ohio — independent fairs, county fairs — and our goal this summer was in spite of COVID-19 to try to hold these fairs. Our goal was to focus on the young people,” DeWine said. “To do that, we asked the fairs to discourage the congregation of large groups on the fairgrounds. We laid out some specific guidelines. We also provided each fair $50,000 to help them put on a much safer fair. We have worked with the fairs. We have also worked with the local health departments. Some fairs have done a very good job. As we head into the busiest part of the year with county fairs, it has become increasingly clear that we simply cannot have a safe fair.”… Continue reading

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OYLE market lamb results

Despite the heat (and then the rain), all those outside of the show ring were donning masks at Monday’s Ohio Youth Livestock Expo

market lamb show that featured over 600 entries. The show went (very) late into the night, but exhibitors and volunteers pushed through until the end. Here are the top five exhibitors.

Grand Champion: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co., with the champion black face cross

Res. Grand Champion: Clay Johnson, Wayne Co., with the champion Hampshire

Third: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co., with the reserve champion black face cross

Fourth: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co., with the reserve champion Hampshire

Fifth: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co., with the champion Oxford

Along with grand champion honors, Amstutz received a check for $3,500. Reserve champion was awarded $2,500. Third place received $2,000, fourth $1,500 and fifth overall received a check for $1,000. The exhibitors wanted to thank generous sponsors and the many volunteers who put on the effort.… Continue reading

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Late summer early fall cover crops

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Late summer and early fall are great opportunities to plant cover crops and improve soil health. Days are shorter,  but with ample sunshine left and a little rain, cover crops grow quickly.  Both summer annuals which die with the first frost and winter annuals can be grown.  Legumes and clover which add soil nitrogen, all types of grasses for carbon, and brassicas to reduce soil compaction and reduce weeds all grow well at this time.

After wheat, either bale or chop the straw and spray the weeds.  Baling straw makes you more money than chopping straw. The high carbon content in wheat straw can reduce cover crop establishment and the by-products upon decomposition may be toxic to germinating cover crop seedlings.  If possible, spray weeds with gramoxone (a dessicant) rather than glyphosate.  Glyphosate reduces soil health and biology for several weeks and causes oxidizing microbes to make manganese unavailable while promoting Fusarium root diseases and weed resistance. 

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Southwest Ohio Corn Growers Agronomy Field Day Aug. 18

The 9 a.m. kickoff session for the Southwest Ohio Corn Growers Agronomy Field Day features  Keynote Speaker Aaron Wilson,from Ohio State University with a Climate and Weather Update and Sakthi Subburayalu from Central State University talking about Water Quality and Edge of Field Research. Ryan LeGrand, the CEO of the U.S. Grains Council is another featured speaker for the field day and the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a “Business After Hours” event as well.

The event is at the Fayette County Airport and Demonstration Farm at 2770 Route 38 Washington C.H. Admission is free and lunch is included. There will be large equipment and table top displays.

For more information, contact Ken Ford, Ohio State University Extension, Fayette County at 937-335-1150 or ford.70@osu.edu.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 164 | OYLE starts strong

Marlene Eick of the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo join us on the Quarantine Chronicles. Matt, Dusty, and Kolt discuss the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo which is now underway at the Darke County Fairgrounds. Matt brings an update from both Patty Mann and Luke Heilman, two Between The Rows farmers. Dale gets a look at the beef industry with Glenn Feichtner of the Crawford County Cattlemen’s. Finally, Matt talks with Marv Ulmet of Bane Welker Equipment on all things sprayers.

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Rain welcomed around Ohio

Warm weather continued while timely rain events helped improve crop condition, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Approximately 79 percent of the state saw abnormally dry conditions or worse according to the latest Drought Monitor; however, rain events late in the week delivered between a half inch and two inches of precipitation to much of the state. Topsoil moisture increased from 24 percent adequate or surplus last week to 46 percent adequate or surplus this week. Weeds have begun to also increase on fields with teasel, milkweed, marestail, and ironweed being reported on fields. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 3.5 degrees above historical normals, and the entire state averaged slightly over 1 inch of precipitation. There were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 26.

Although precipitation moderately increased in some areas,
crop stress continued. Warm and dry conditions kept progress
for some crops ahead of average.

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Rain haves and have-nots showing up in Ohio

Patty Mann

Last week over a 3-day period we got 1.8 inches of rain. That only puts us up over 2.5 inches for July, so you can see how much on the short end we were. Everything has turned around. The corn grew and greened up and most of it is pollinating. We are really thankful that rain came when it did. It sounds like we have a good chance of more rain this afternoon and then some cooler nighttime temperatures, which will definitely help as well.

I don’t think we have anything quite to brown silk yet, but the early stuff is well along through pollination. Some of the later stuff planted in late May is just starting to poke a few tassels out. That corn has gotten more rain and just looks phenomenal.

We haven’t seen disease issues yet. The beans are approaching or are at R3 and we have been spraying some fungicide on the beans.… Continue reading

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Is the massive Chinese purchase of U.S. corn a sign of better things to come?

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

To date, the huge rains in the Yangtze River valley in China have been in the press very little. In early July, up to 30 inches of rain fell in a 7-day period. This region is not a major corn and soybean production area. The Three Gorges dam had been built mainly to generate electricity but was expected to mitigate catastrophic flooding.

However, on July, 14 a huge U.S. corn sale did grab lot of press headlines. On that day USDA announced China had bought 1.7 million tons of U.S. corn. It was the third largest U.S. corn sale in history along with the largest one-day sale to China. Disappointingly, corn closed down three cents.

Hot and dry weather in August could provide price fireworks for soybeans but less for corn.

The July 10 USDA Supply and Demand Report (WASDE) was a vanilla report with little fanfare.Continue reading

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What is soil health?

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Soil health is a term that everyone seems to be confused about or have their own opinion. Soil health is about three things: soil organic matter (SOM), soil microbes and organisms, and plants. Good soil and soil health are dependent upon the interaction of these three things. Active short-term organic matter are the root exudates, root carbohydrates (sugars) and microbial bi-products which produces good soil structure and is missing from most of our tilled soils. Soil microbes process nutrients to make them plant available and produce humus which is the long-term SOM. Plants and live roots supply the carbon, nitrogen and energy from sunlight to feed the microbes and to produce SOM. The end result is a rich fully functioning soil producing healthy dense food to feed livestock, humans and wildlife.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

What is the difference between good soil health and degraded soil health?

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Late summer establishment of perennial forages

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University forage specialist

The month of August provides the second window of opportunity for establishing perennial forage stands this year. The primary risk with late summer forage seedings is having sufficient moisture for seed germination and plant establishment, which is a significant risk this summer given the low soil moisture status across many areas.

The decision to plant or not will have to be made for each individual field, considering soil moisture and the rain forecast. Rainfall/soil moisture in the few weeks immediately after seeding is the primary factor affecting successful establishment.

No-till seeding in August is an excellent choice to conserve soil moisture for good germination. Make sure that the field surface is relatively level and smooth if you plan to no-till seed because you will have to live with any field roughness for several years of harvesting operations.

Sclerotinia crown and stem rot is a concern with no-till seedings of alfalfa in late summer and especially where clover has been present in the past.… Continue reading

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Court allows Enlist Duo registration but requires closer look at monarch butterflies

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

In a decision that turns largely on scientific methodology and reliable data, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed continued registration of the Enlist Duo herbicide developed by Dow AgroScience (Corteva). Unlike last month’s decision that vacated registrations of three dicamba herbicides, the two-judge majority on the court held that substantial evidence supported the EPA’s decision to register the herbicide. Even so, the court sent one petition back to the EPA to further consider the impact of Enlist Duo on monarch butterflies in application areas. One dissenting judge would have held that the science used to support the Enlist Duo registration violates the Endangered Species Act.

The case began in 2014, when the same organizations that challenged the dicamba registrations (National Family Farm Coalition, Family Farm Defenders, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network North America) and the Natural Resources Defense Council each filed petitions challenging the EPA’s registration of Enlist Duo.… Continue reading

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Ava Shroyer | OYLE Champion Market Goat Exhibitor

Ava Shroyer of Logan County exhibited the Grand Champion Market Goat at the 2020 Ohio Youth Livestock Expo. Our Matt Reese caught up with her moments after being named champion via video conference.
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OYLE market goat show results

Ohio youth livestock exhibitors may not enjoy the thrill of the Ohio State Fair this summer, but they will have a competitive arena to finish their beef, sheep, swine, and boer goat projects. Led by a group of agriculture industry volunteers and livestock show enthusiasts, the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo (OYLE) will host a show for junior exhibitors over a series of dates in July and August.

More than 900 Ohio 4-H and FFA members will exhibit nearly 3,280 individual entries at the inaugural event.

Beef cattle, sheep, and boer goat projects will show at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio, with shows beginning July 25 and ending August 5. The market goat show was held July 26. Here are the results.

  1. Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.
  2. Tiffany Sunday, Pickaway Co.
  3. Isaac Beal, Miami Co.
  4. Paige Pence, Clark Co.
  5. Anara Shroyer, Logan Co.
  6. Cadin Reveal, Clinton Co.


Champ. Lightweight Champ: Anara Shroyer, Logan Co.… Continue reading

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Grazing in dry pastures

By Matt Reese

Dry conditions are hit and miss around Ohio, but by mid-July areas of “moderate drought” were starting to show up in northwest (Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert) and west central (Hardin, Logan and Champaign) counties. Along with hurting corn and soybeans, pasture ground around the state was really starting to suffer.

“Once it gets dry, the best option you’ve got is to pull your stock off. Most farms have some woods or marginal areas you can graze that would help a little bit. You can de-stock and cull surplus livestock. Or, you can design your system so that you have got stock that can be sold off,” said David Barker, Ohio State University grazing specialist. “It all takes planning. Without planning, people will graze the pastures down to the dirt. Once the pasture is that short, the ability to recover isn’t there. If a rain does come there is no vegetation to hold the water there.… Continue reading

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U.S. EPA administrator visits Ohio demonstration farms

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler recently visited the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms in northwest Ohio. Administrator Wheeler learned about all of the testing being done to improve water quality for the Western Lake Erie Basin and all of Ohio.

“It’s impressive to see how farmers are taking a proactive approach to try to reduce nutrient runoff,” Wheeler said. “Our agency is working cooperatively with farmers instead of hitting them with a hammer, and I think that farmers have proven that they know their land and they know what it takes to reduce phosphorus loading. These demonstration farms have shown me how they can save money on nutrients with new technologies while, at the same time, producing greater yields.”

The first stop for Wheeler was Kurt Farms in Dunkirk, Ohio. There, he learned about how edge-of-field testing units sample the water coming from farm fields to determine the volume of nutrients coming off of the farm and how different nutrient management practices impact the data.… Continue reading

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It is time to scout for insects

By Kelley Tilmon, Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension

As the summer progresses we are receiving reports of insect problems often encouraged by hot, dry weather. Last week we reported on spider mites and especially if you are in an area of continued dry weather we recommend scouting your soybeans and corn. For more visit https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-22/watch-spider-mites-dry-areas.

Some areas are also reporting increases in young grasshoppers in soybeans, another insect favored by dry weather. Grasshoppers of often start on field edges so early scouting may allow for an edge treatment. Japanese beetles are another common defoliator of soybean that are starting to appear. Both of these pests fall into a general defoliation measurement, and we recommend treatment if defoliation is approaching 20% on the majority of plants in post-flowering beans. Download our guide to estimating defoliation in soybean at https://aginsects.osu.edu/sites/aginsects/files/imce/Leaf%20Defoliators%20PDF_0.pdf.

A weird problem being reported not just in Ohio but in parts of the Midwest as far-flung as Minnesota is the red headed flea beetle, which is being found in corn and soybean.… Continue reading

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Part II — The back story: A miraculous journey in Parkinson’s research

Dr. George Lopez had practiced internal medicine in California. But during a procedure, an intravenous catheter slipped out of the patient’s vein. As Dr. Lopez attempted to restore the IV, the patient crashed and subsequently died. Lopez never practiced medicine again.

He rebounded by forming a company and inventing an indwelling IV catheter that locks into place. And he developed several other medical devices, making his company very financially successful.

Then came another setback. An avid outdoorsman, Lopez fished, hunted, surfed and spear-fished — and held the trophy for landing the largest blue marlin off the California coast. But he noticed that he was progressively losing strength in his wrists. Eventually, all of his muscles were weakening. The diagnosis was Parkinson’s Disease. As a result, he had to give up mountain biking, then fishing and his other outdoor activities. Eventually, he could barely get out of a wheelchair. At the same time, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, became terminally ill and died.… Continue reading

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Black Swamp Conservancy to host drive-in theater event

Black Swamp Conservancy is inviting the public to come out for a drive-in screening of films highlighting local and national conservation efforts. The program will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at the Field of Dreams Drive-In Theater, Liberty Center. Gates will open at 8:00 pm, movies begin at 8:45 pm. The screening is free and open to the public. Donations to Black Swamp Conservancy are appreciated and can be made via the Conservancy’s website.

For more information about this event, visit Black Swamp Conservancy’s website at www.blackswamp.org, or call (419) 833-1025.

Resilience: The Story of the American Red Wolf examines the last wild population on the coast of North Carolina of an animal so secretive, many people are unaware that it even exists: the red wolf. Due to the species’ low numbers in the wild, biologists must work quickly to protect it from extinction. Directed by local two-time Emmy nominated wildlife filmmaker and photographer, Alex Goetz.… Continue reading

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