Featured News



Ohio Sheep Day focused on expanding the flock

By Kyle Sharp

The U.S. sheep industry is experiencing a historic time. Lamb prices are at an all-time high, the wool market and wool pelt prices are setting historical records, and the cull ewe market is strong. That reality made for a happy gathering of roughly 130 sheep enthusiasts from across the state and beyond at the 2011 Ohio Sheep Day, held July 16 on a hot, clear day on the rolling hills of Blue Heron Farm in Columbiana County.

Yet despite the current prosperity within the U.S. sheep industry, there is concern that the U.S. sheep flock is not large enough to keep up with the demand for lamb and wool production.

Nationally, the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has started a campaign to encourage shepherds to expand their flocks, with information available at www.growourflock.org. And Ohio Sheep Day carried out that trend, with a number of the day’s sessions focusing on ways to increase sheep production, either through new farms or expanded flocks.… Continue reading

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The dog days of summer

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

So just what are the “Dog Days” of summer? According to Wikipedia, the “Dog Days” are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. Based on our latitude in the northern hemisphere, these days usually fall between early July and early September. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather. I wasn’t sure of the actual definition of the term “Dog Days of Summer” so now we can all consider ourselves more informed!

All jokes aside, the weather that we are experiencing in Ohio this week truly qualifies as the “Dog Days of Summer.” Actual temperatures are well into the nineties and heat indexes are very high. The current weather conditions can provide high levels to humans, crops, and cattle alike. Producers need to consider their daily management practices in order to minimize the stress resulting from current weather patterns to their beef herd.… Continue reading

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Late planting herbicide considerations

Ohio crop growers faced numerous challenges planting corn and soybeans this spring, and with the crop progressing through mid-July, they now face an interesting weed control scenario, as well.

“The late planting presents challenges and makes weed control easier at the same time,” said Mark Loux, Ohio State Extension weed specialist. The unusual planting season resulted in an abnormal timeline for producers’ weed control systems.

Because farmers couldn’t get into fields as early as they would have liked to this spring, Loux said farmers saw significant weed pressure throughout June in both no-till and conventional tillage fields. In addition, some producers were not aggressive enough with their application of a burndown herbicide in no-till, and some weeds simply survived tillage this year.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to producers’ weed control strategies boiled down to simple logistics.

“When we’re planting that late, everyone gets jammed up and some missed applications,” Loux said.… Continue reading

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Ohio's corn crop suffering from heat, dry conditions

Late-planted Ohio corn may show signs of heat stress and reduced yield potential as extremely hot, dry days plague the state this week, said Ohio State Extension corn scientist Peter Thomison.

When corn is planted in wet soils, root systems often don’t develop as well as they would have in drier conditions. And in years with a significant number of abnormally hot, dry days, wet conditions at planting can be very troubling for farmers and yield potential.

Thomison, a professor in OSU’s Department of Horticulture & Crop Science, said lack of rain may be the major headline of the 2011 corn crop.

“There are parts of the state, areas in Brown County for example, that got 8 inches recently, while other areas in the same county didn’t get a drop,” Thomison said. “In a lot of the northwestern counties that needed rain, some areas got an inch and others didn’t get any.”… Continue reading

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Ohio’s corn crop suffering from heat, dry conditions

Late-planted Ohio corn may show signs of heat stress and reduced yield potential as extremely hot, dry days plague the state this week, said Ohio State Extension corn scientist Peter Thomison.

When corn is planted in wet soils, root systems often don’t develop as well as they would have in drier conditions. And in years with a significant number of abnormally hot, dry days, wet conditions at planting can be very troubling for farmers and yield potential.

Thomison, a professor in OSU’s Department of Horticulture & Crop Science, said lack of rain may be the major headline of the 2011 corn crop.

“There are parts of the state, areas in Brown County for example, that got 8 inches recently, while other areas in the same county didn’t get a drop,” Thomison said. “In a lot of the northwestern counties that needed rain, some areas got an inch and others didn’t get any.”… Continue reading

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ODA Announces Five Livestock Care Sessions

Farmers, veterinarians and livestock haulers are encouraged to attend one of five informational sessions to be held in August and September by the Ohio Department of Agriculture which will provide an overview of the state’s new livestock care standards. The two-hour sessions will be held in Allen, Highland, Mercer, Muskingum, and Wayne counties.

The meetings are open to the public and will feature a presentation on the new livestock care standards as well as an opportunity to ask ODA staff questions about the new rules.
Date and locations for the information sessions are:

Wednesday, August 24    6:00 – 8:00    Hillsboro
Southern State Community College (Auditorium), 100 Hobart Drive

Wednesday, August 31    6:00 – 8:00    Wooster
Ohio State University OARDC (Shisler Center Ballroom), 1680 Madison Avenue

Wednesday, September 14    6:00 – 8:00    Lima
Independence Elementary School, 615 Tremont Avenue

Tuesday, September 27    6:00 – 8:00    Zanesville
Ohio University – Zanesville Campus (The Campus Center T430 & 431), 1425 Newark Road

Thursday, September 29    6:00 – 8:00    Fort Recovery
American Legion, 2490 State Route 49 N.… Continue reading

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Can the stressed corn crop beat the heat?

It is hot, really hot in Ohio, much of the Corn Belt and the southern U.S. To make matters worse, the high temperatures in the Corn Belt are occurring during the reproductive stage for a large portion of the crop, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good. Do the markets have reason for concern?

A number of factors combine each year to determine the U.S. average corn yield. Among those factors, temperature and precipitation during July are the most important, he said.

“Crop yield models have long confirmed the large yield impact of July weather. The most favorable weather conditions in July in the heart of the Corn Belt consist of temperatures that are modestly below average and precipitation that is about 25% above average,” he said.

These are the kind of conditions that were experienced in 2009 and contributed to the record high U.S. average yield that year. Historically, such conditions over large areas have been rare, he noted.… Continue reading

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Between the Rows – July 18

“We got four-tenths last Monday and we’re sure not complaining about it, but we could’ve used  2 inches and four-tenths and it wouldn’t have hurt a thing. The clay soil holds the moisture but does crack in the summer. The tile was running after that four-tenths because the rain went right through those cracks and out through the tile. It gave us a little more time, but boy we are really dry.

“The corn that was planted in May is firing and getting really uneven. Luckily we only have 100 acres of that. The corn that was planted in June is waist to chest high and is uniform and is green, but it sure looks tough in the afternoon though. It sounds like we’re going to be in the 90s clear through Sunday. There is always a chance of a pop-up shower when we get conditions like this.

“The beans seem to be holding on pretty well.

Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair Ticket Giveaway!

The 2011 Ohio State Fair is almost here. The fair kicks off July 27th and runs until August 7th. The Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal will be there everyday bringing back the lastest news to share on air, in print and online.

We’re the home of Kalmbach Feeds Feeding You the Results First. We’ll have the latest results from the junior fair goat, chicken, sheep, hog, dairy and steer shows. Plus, we’ll be steaming the Sale of Champions LIVE, here on our site at 2:00 pm on August 7th.

In the comments below, tell us what your most looking forward to at this year’s fair. On Friday, July 22nd at noon we’ll randomly select three people who will each receive a family four pack of admission tickets to the fair!

Congrats to Marylin Fries, the Hiser Family and Suzy Sifrit would one the tickets.… Continue reading

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The Ohio Crop Progress Report – July 18th, 2011

As of Sunday July 17th, 7 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), 64 percent behind last year and behind the five-year average by 34 percent. Soybeans blooming were reported at 11 percent, behind last year and the five-year average by 50 and 42 percent points, respectively. Soybeans setting pods were rated at one percent, 12 points behind last year and seven points behind the five-year average. Ninety-five percent of the winter wheat has been harvested, compared to 98 percent last year and 89 percent for the five-year average. Oats were 95 percent headed, 4 percent behind last year and 5 percent behind the five-year average. Thirty-four percent of the oats were rated as ripe, 37 percent behind last year and 20 percentage points behind the five-year average. Eight percent of the oat acreage has been harvested, nine percentage points behind last year and four points behind the five-year average. The second cutting of alfalfa hay was 60 percent complete, compared to 85 percent last year and 74 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Woody biomass can help nation meet its energy needs

25x’25 released a Wood-to-Energy Policy Roadmap concluding that the focused use of woody biomass to help meet America’s energy needs could increase the nation’s forest land base and improve the environmental services that land provides. 



The findings are among the principal conclusions developed by a diverse panel of leading forestry, conservation, scientific and energy experts following two years of stakeholder discussion facilitated by 25x’25. The Roadmap offers a series of recommendations for policy makers and stakeholders to enhance the role of our nation’s forestlands in meeting U.S. energy needs while sustaining “forests as forests.”
The Roadmap shows the means by which woody biomass can be an important feed-stock for renewable energy, including:

• Promoting  the sustainable use of biomass with appropriate feedback mechanisms

• Rewarding efficient uses for woody biomass in energy production;

• Using market incentives to help private and public forestlands reach their productive potential for wood and other public benefits;

• Investment in needed research and technology development.… Continue reading

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OTCA Christmas Tree College

Those with years of experience or just considering the possibility of a Christmas tree business can benefit from attending the upcoming Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OTCA) Christmas Tree College at Kaleidoscope Farms in Hancock County on July 23.

“We have a great program that has something for everyone,” said Dave Reese, owner of the farm and one of the presenters. “The program has two parts. The first part is focused on the management of small trees and the second part features tips and tricks learned from Rod Hose’s lifetime of tree shearing experience. Rod is a very popular custom shearer from Lake City Michigan. This year his crew will shear around 70,000 trees just in Ohio.”

Hose will be giving demonstrations on shearing Scotch pine, white pine, fir and spruce. He will also provide tips on training shearers, shearing and he will be available for questions on specific shearing challenges. In addition, Reese and Bill Cackler, the current OCTA president, will be making the following presentations:

• Tree fertilization

• Staking young trees

• Early handles on young trees

• Pre-shearing

• Salvage and repair of damaged trees

• And the economics of planting trees.… Continue reading

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Can the 2011 corn crop catch up?

By Dave Nanda, 
Director of Genetics & Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc.

Can the corn crop planted in June catch up and mature? Maturity is a function of Heat Units or Growing Degree Days, also known as GDDs. It is a measure of the heat units accumulated each day and is based on a simple formula:

GDDs = Average daily temperature – 50. For example, if the high temperature of a day is 84 degrees F and low 68 degrees F, add the two to get 152. Now divide it by 2 to get the average temperature of 76 for that day. Subtracting 50 from 76 will give you 26. This number is the GDDs for that day. The stipulation in the formula is that we don’t count numbers above 86 and below 50.

Most of the corn hybrids planted in Indiana and Ohio require 2,400 to 2,800 GDDs to reach physiological maturity (about 32% kernel moisture) when planted in late April to middle of May.… Continue reading

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Marestail, oh my!

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension, Champaign County

Several years ago I attended a Montgomery County Extension Weed Tour and saw the marestail problem there. I saw their plots, saw the attempts to clean up the weed with glyphosate in Roundup Ready soybeans and recognized that it was virtually impossible.

Today our soybean fields look as bad in Champaign County (and surrounding areas in western Ohio) as I remember those Montgomery County fields. What our Extension weed specialists, Mark Loux, Jeff Stachler (was still here then), and Tony Dobbels learned was that once you have glyphosate resistant marestail plants, we can only kill about 50% or less with a glyphosate application. Other post products that once upon a time worked on marestail, such as First Rate or Classic lost their effectiveness in the mid-1990s for the most part. So a planned post program today to kill marestail in soybeans is foolish.… Continue reading

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The Country Chaplain

By Tim Reeves

As just about everyone reading this magazine knows, it’s been a tough year to try and grow anything in Ohio. Patience has been more than a desired virtue; it’s been a way of life. Someone once said patience is the ability to throttle your engine when you feel like stripping your gears. We’ve experienced a great deal of “throttling” this year, haven’t we?

My experience with patiently trying to grow something centered around grass, and I’m talking the legal kind of grass, even though over the past year, Logan County has had more than its share of the illegal kind of grass.

We moved to a different parsonage last year when we were appointed to a different church, and the lawn immediately behind the parsonage was a mess. It appeared that when the house was built, the builders simply backfilled around the rear foundation, not paying any attention to the type of soil or what was in it when they leveled the ground.… Continue reading

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OEFFA Advanced Season Extension Workshop

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy are offering a four day, two session workshop, “Raising the Salad Bar: Advanced Techniques and Season Extension for the Established Specialty Crop Grower.”

“This workshop is designed especially for experienced crop producers and will give them the tools needed to improve efficiency, utilize season extension, engage in sophisticated planning, and improve growing practices,” said Renee Hunt, OEFFA’s program director. “We have a number of growers currently doing an excellent job and producing at a high level.  These workshops are to help them take their skills to the next level,” said Beth Knorr of the Countryside Conservancy.

Session 1 (“Advanced Growing Techniques”) will take place on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6, and feature Josh Volk, a vegetable production expert, lecturer, and regular contributor to Growing for Market. Volk’s Slow Hand Farm in Oregon is home to his CSA, where he implements strategies for consistent yields of specialty crops.… Continue reading

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Legal Lingo

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

Once upon a time, there was a Grandma and a Grandpa who retired in Ohio. They owned a farm in Indiana, where their Grandson and another Minor Relative went to ride ATVs. Apparently confusing the agricultural terrain with a demolition derby track, Minor Relative drove her ATV straight at Grandson, failed to turn in time and fractured Grandson’s legs, ankle and skull.

So, Grandson and his parents sued Minor Relative and her mother and stepfather (who were at the farm when the accident occurred). Grandson and his parents also sued Grandma and Grandpa. I assume that holiday gatherings were never the same.

The complaint alleged negligent entrustment regarding Minor Relative’s mother and stepfather. Regarding Grandma and Grandpa, the complaint alleged that they knew of Minor Relative’s “reckless and/or negligent tendencies” and that they had the duty and ability to exercise control over Minor Relative, breached that duty, and as a proximate and foreseeable result of their negligence, Grandson was injured.… Continue reading

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USDA reassures farmers states affected by extreme weather

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers in states across the country that USDA offers a variety of resources for those affected by recent extreme weather, including floods, drought, fires and tornadoes. USDA also urges producers in need or those with questions to contact their local county or state USDA Service Center or Farm Service Agency office for assistance. In a recent tour of flooding in Iowa and Nebraska, as well as droughts and wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack promised farmers, ranchers and others that USDA would continue to work hard to deliver assistance to those in need.

“America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy and our values, and my heart goes out to all who are facing hardships because of severe weather and natural disasters,” Vilsack said. “In the past two months alone, I have visited with hundreds of Americans who have had to put their lives and livelihoods on hold to deal with floods, tornadoes, drought and wildfires.… Continue reading

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Crop Production Services Washington Court House honored on Capitol Hill

Crop Production Services, Washington Court House, Ohio, was honored as a Regional Environmental Respect Award winner for 2011, July, 14 at a special ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Building. Winners were selected May 5 in Willoughby, Ohio.

The Environmental Respect Awards, sponsored by CropLife magazine and DuPont Crop Protection, are the agricultural industry’s highest recognition for environmental stewardship among U.S. agricultural retailers, those who serve farmers and ranchers with the nutrients, pest control and agronomic information and services critical to effective crop production.  Each year a panel of industry experts gathers to recognize achievement in environmental stewardship, professional excellence, and community involvement.

Crop Production Services won the award based on excellence in site design, in-plant storage and handling procedures, proper application and leadership in safety and stewardship among customers and employees. Crop Production Services has taken many extra steps to ensure the environmental impact of their business is minimal. Some steps include having full contained indoor loading areas, collecting and field applying rain water runoff, and properly disposing of all pesticide containers.… Continue reading

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