Featured News



Irvin named vice president of public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau

Jack Irvin has been named vice president, public policy for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. He will be responsible for managing the organization’s policy development process and its legislative, regulatory, political and legal activities at the federal, state and local levels. He has been Ohio Farm Bureau senior director of state and national policy since 2016.

Prior to joining Ohio Farm Bureau, Irvin served as director of government and industry affairs with the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association where he directed development of public policy and legislative priorities at the state and national levels. He also served that organization by managing communications efforts and developing grassroots volunteers. He also previously served as legislative aide to several senators including Tom Niehaus, Larry Mumper and Doug White.

He received bachelor’s degrees from Miami University in human resources and organizational behavior. He is an active member in Vista Community Church in Worthington. He and his wife, Erika, reside in Columbus with their two daughters.… Continue reading

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Fliegl KDS 270 Muck Control shines in testing

Tested chain manure spreaders for true professionals are now available from Fliegl and the test results speak for themselves.

In addition to liquid manure, many farmers also use solid manure for organic fertilization. Fliegl has therefore expanded its spreading technology product portfolio to include chain manure spreaders. The first model type could already be seen at AGRITECHNICA 2019. Since then there has been more tinkering, development and testing so that the KDS spreader, from small to large, is now ready for the organic nutrient transfer. A DLG test of the “KDS 270 Muck Control Tandem” proves its ability in black and white.

The Fliegl KDS 270 Muck Control is a universal spreader with a scraper floor and a horizontal 2-disc spreader. The loading space of the KDS 270 with a height of 1.4 meters, a width of 2.15 meters and a length of 7 meters has an enormous capacity of around 21 meters.… Continue reading

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Positivity during the pandemic

By Matt Niswander, a Farm Bureau member in Tennessee and member of American Farm Bureau Federation’s Grassroots Outreach Team

I’ve been in the medical field for 15 years, and in my medical training I was taught that you should sing happy birthday twice while washing your hands to get off all the germs — high-level stuff that I learned at a very prestigious school. Well, now that we can’t get together for birthday parties then I suppose your next best choice is “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, because some days it feels like we are just trying to keep going. Even here in rural America, COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses in our homes, our communities and our country.

In the past, I might have taken care of one or two people a day for mental health issues, but now there are days that 90% of my patients want to discuss anxiety associated with the pandemic.… Continue reading

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Autumn means apples!

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician, RD, LD

American’s eat on average of one apple a week, about 16.82 pounds a year according to bestapples.com. Apples have always been a big part of the Mitchell-Detwiler house, always filling the fruit bin in the fridge to overflowing during the Ohio apple season. My visits to the local orchard are great memories of my earlier years during the fall months. Back in the day, the visit started out as we jumped off the school bus and into the car for the twisting, turning, up and down journey of the few hills in this normally very flat area to the Ohio Orchard. The excitement grew as the apple trees began to come into view. Pick your own apples were not a thing in the early 70s but the warehouse-like barn was cooled to perfection and filled with bags of apples with different tastes, hues and textures.… Continue reading

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Enjoy the autumn outdoors, but watch for ticks

With the great outdoors being a popular destination during the pandemic, it’s important to watch out for another potential threat you might not easily see: ticks. 

Be on the lookout for them through late fall. The warmest months are the most common times these tiny, blood-sucking bugs pass on diseases.

“I always tell people the outdoors is healthy for you. You need to be outdoors,” said Risa 

Pesapane, an assistant professor with the colleges of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University. 

Pesapane researches ticks in Ohio. She actually thrives on going through tick-infested areas and collecting ticks, even off of deer shot by hunters. In January, Pesapane launched a study tracking the frequency of ticks on Ohio deer, and another on stray dogs. 

Pesapane discussed tips on how to avoid tick bites as well as the risks associated with each of the four main ticks found in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Lal to speak at Borlaug Dialogue, receive World Food Prize, and be honored by Ohio State

Rattan Lal, one of the most decorated professors to teach and conduct research at The Ohio State University, will receive the 2020 World Food Prize on Thursday, Oct. 15, during the virtual Borlaug Dialouge streaming from Des Moines, Iowa. That same day, he will also be honored by Ohio State in a virtual ceremony to honor his legacy.

The renowned soil scientist and Distinguished University Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) was named recipient of the 50th World Food Prize in June. He will be honored on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony, set for 9 to 10 a.m. CDT and 10 to 11 a.m. EDT. The prize includes a prestigious $250,000 cash award and a sculpture by noted artist and designer, Saul Bass. Join in the special celebration at www.worldfoodprize.org/live.

Later that afternoon, friends and colleagues from Ohio State and around the world are invited to honor the 76-year-old Lal’s legacy by participating in a virtual side event hosted by CFAES.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 174 | Ohioans helping Iowans!

Matt, Dusty, and Kolt host this week and talk a little bit about what harvest looks like in their counties. Interviews include one from Matt and Don Bailey about farmland preservation. Matt also talked with Ted Blohm about his trip out to Iowa with his wife to help farmers that had been devastated by the damaging winds. More online at ocj.com!

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Corn harvest on track, soybeans ahead of last year

Light periodic rain occurred in some areas causing an increase in topsoil moisture but not enough to prevent increased drought conditions, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 52 percent adequate to surplus by week’s end, up 9 percentage points from the previous week. Approximately 36 percent of the state was abnormally dry or worse, according to the most recent Drought Monitor. Average temperatures for the week were 4.9 degrees below historical normals and the entire State averaged 1.27 inches of precipitation. There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 4.

During the week, farmers harvested corn and soybeans and planted wheat. Soybeans dropping leaves was at 85 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 2 percentage points. Soybeans harvested was at 21 percent while soybeans moisture content was at 13 percent. Corn dented was ahead of the five-year average by 1 percentage point at 96 percent.… Continue reading

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Variable soybeans in 2020

By Matt Reese

There is always variability from soil type to soil type, but this year it seems to be more pronounced.

“I think one of the words that is going to ring true this year is ‘variation.’ There is variation not only across the field but there is wide variation across the entire geography I cover in the southwest half of Ohio,” said Roy Ulrich, technical agronomist for DEKALBAsgrow. “We’ve got areas that caught timely rains and there are going to be some good yields. We also have areas that unfortunately did not catch those rains and they will be looking at depressed yields coming into harvest. There will be areas in some fields with higher moisture holding capacity that are going to yield considerably better than some of our droughtier soils. We have gone through a wide range of stress environments this summer, most driven by moisture or the lack thereof.”… Continue reading

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Auctions may look different, but still going strong in 2020

By Matt Reese

The global pandemic hit home for auctioneer Bart Sheridan when Governor Mike DeWine announced plans to ban mass gatherings in Ohio.

“Our first all online auction was sort of an emergency. We do the annual FFA alumni association auction here in Greene County to replenish their scholarship funds. On March 13 we were setting up. We had 82 consigners that had brought equipment into the Greene County Fairgrounds and Gov. DeWine said there could be no more crowds. On the fly, we converted it to an online auction and it went tremendously well. We have been doing online as the situation warrants for the past 12 or 15 years, but we went all online at that time,” said Sheridan, with Sheridan & Associates based in Cedarville. “When COVID raised its head we said, ‘We’d better get moving on this.’ And, to be honest, a lot of our clients prefer online.… Continue reading

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U.S. dairy exports to benefit from new USDA-FDA partnership

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will establish an interagency process to further support exports of U.S. dairy products. Both agencies play critical roles in facilitating foreign sales of American-made dairy products, which is recognized and appreciated by the U.S. dairy industry. This MOU will draw upon the expertise of FDA as well as USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to deepen and streamline their work together on the issues facing dairy exports to the benefit of U.S. dairy farmers and manufacturers. 

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) worked with both agencies to advance this new approach to dairy export collaboration.

“This new partnership ensures that the staff at USDA and FDA are working together in the most efficient way possible to lower barriers for our farmer’s dairy exports.… Continue reading

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USDA awards $495,000 to support wetland mitigation banking in Ohio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will award $495,000 for a new wetland mitigation banking project in Ohio through the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program. This program helps conservation partners develop or establish mitigation banks to help agricultural producers maintain eligibility for USDA programs.

“Ohio’s USDA wetland mitigation bank will provide agriculture producers an affordable mitigation option to remain in compliance for USDA Farm Bill programs while establishing banks that support wetland functions and values,” said Terry Cosby, Ohio NRCS State Conservationist. “Healthy wetlands help filter our water, sequester carbon, curb soil loss, and provide habitat for wildlife.” 

The environmental consulting firm EnviroScience, Inc. headquartered in Stow, Ohio is collaborating with the Hondros Family of Companies to restore an approximately 100-acre property ideally suited to wetland restoration located within the Upper Scioto River watershed. Approximately 35 acres of the restored property will be used in the USDA Wetland Mitigation Banking Program.… Continue reading

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House passes COVID relief bill

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $2.2 trillion COVID-relief bill with numerous provisions sought by the National Pork Producers Council including:

1) Compensation for hog farmers who are forced to euthanize or donate market-ready animals that can’t be processed into the food supply due to COVID-related packing plant capacity reductions;

2) $300 million to support animal health surveillance and laboratory capacity;

3) Amendment of the Commodity Credit Corporation charter so a pandemic-driven national emergency qualifies for funding; and

4) $350 million to address the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) program user fees funding shortfall that pay for U.S. agriculture inspectors at our borders and ports.

NPPC appreciates inclusion of these provisions, designed to help hog farmers weather this crisis. In particular, NPPC is grateful to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) for his continued efforts to ensure hog farmers receive much-needed assistance during this unprecedented crisis. While the bill has passed the House, its chances in the Senate remain uncertain.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Linder moves into role as NCGA president

By Matt Reese

John Linder, of Edison, in Morrow County, started in his new role as president of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association on Oct. 1.

“Harvest is upon us, combines are rolling across the country as we speak cutting beans or shelling corn. For the moment, the focus is safely getting this year’s crop safely in the bins and to the elevators, but soon all of us will be shifting our attention to the future,” Linder said. “For some, those plans might be to simply stay afloat while others see opportunities to expand their operations. Wherever you may be on that continuum, my pledge to you is that there will be no stone left unturned in our efforts to create opportunities for our industry to recover and grow beyond the current situation.”

On the state level, Linder is a past chair of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program Board of Directors and past member of the Ag Credit Co-op Board.… Continue reading

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The future of sustainable weed control

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

The year 1996 changed the mindset of many growers regarding their approach to controlling weeds in soybeans. The introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans allowed farmers to more adequately control weeds, and it allowed for post-emergence applications to occur without the crop response that had become expected. Because of this, the adoption of Roundup Ready soybeans took place very rapidly. 

Since then, many farmers have implemented a weed control strategy that relies heavily on post-emergence trips to perform much of the heavy lifting for weed control. For many years, this approach has worked successfully. However, 20+ years later, glyphosate-resistant weeds are once again changing the face of soybean weed control.

From the mid-1990s until recently, glyphosate has been a staple component to most soybean post-emergence programs. Moving forward, many soybean technologies and POST programs are now utilizing Liberty herbicide to control glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds. Not only is Liberty replacing or being applied in conjunction with glyphosate in many POST programs, but future and recently introduced soybean technologies are also providing tolerance to multiple sites of action (SOAs) POST to combat herbicide resistance. … Continue reading

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Precautions for feeding frosted and drought-stressed forages

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

Livestock owners feeding forage need to keep in mind the potential for some forage toxicities and other problems that can develop this fall. High nitrates and prussic acid poisoning are the main potential concerns. These are primarily an issue with annual forages and several weed species, but nitrates can be an issue even in drought stressed perennial forages. There is also an increased risk of bloat when grazing legumes after a frost.

Nitrate toxicity

Drought stressed forages can accumulate toxic nitrate levels. This can occur in many different forage species, including both annuals and perennials. Several areas in Ohio have been dry of late. Corn, oat and other small grains, sudangrass, and sorghum sudangrass, and many weed species including johnsongrass can accumulate toxic levels of nitrates. Even alfalfa can accumulate toxic nitrate levels under severe drought stress.

Before feeding or grazing drought stressed forage, send in a forage sample to be tested for nitrates.… Continue reading

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Farm Office Live scheduled for Oct. 7, 2020

David Marrison, Ohio State University Extension

Join the OSU Extension Farm Office team for discussions on the latest agricultural law and farm management news. The next session will be held on October 7, 2020 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Farm Office Live will be back for a review of the latest on round two of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), 2020 crop enterprise budgets, new custom rates and Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents survey summary, Ohio’s COVID-19 immunity legislation, and other current issues in farm management.

Join our experts for quick presentations and Q & A. Go to https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive to register or view past webinars and PowerPoint slides.… Continue reading

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2020 Farm Science Review Virtual Research Plot tour continued – Sulfur Deficiencies

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

The OSU Extension, Agronomic Crops Team and the e-Fields Program had a number of research plots once again at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in 2020. The online review gave guests a number of opportunities to take a virtual plot tour and learn more about the ongoing research. The virtual plot tour was sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council.

Harold Watters, OSU Extension, Field Specialist Agronomic Systems, presented a poster session discussing nutrient deficiencies and the current research being conducted across the state, particularly as it relates to sulfur deficiencies. To start the discussion, Watters pointed out that while there may be sulfur deficiencies in some fields, the broad application of sulfur to fields across Ohio is not necessary yet. “There are deficiencies in some fields out there, and they will probably be seen on the sand and gravel fields, and lower organic matter soils,” Watters said.… Continue reading

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Virtual Farm Science Review still adding content

Neither too hot nor rainy, this year’s virtual Farm Science Review allowed viewers to nestle into a recliner or tractor seat to learn about canning soups, butchering meat on the farm, and operating new technology to better manage their crops.

This was the 58th annual Farm Science Review, but the first one held solely online because of health concerns.

Overall, turnout was a success, FSR manager Nick Zachrich said. The FSR website recorded 40,000 visits, initial statistics show. That figure does not include visitors who were sharing their screens on their devices, Zachrich said.

“I do know of teachers who attended sessions and played them live to their class, so we know that one device could realistically have the potential of 20 views,” he said.

On social media, more than 33,000 users engaged with the FSR channels, and the show’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram accounts have reached more than 300,000 users in the month of September, Zachrich said.… Continue reading

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