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National Pesticide Safety Education Month – Learn and practice principles of safe pesticide handling and use

February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month, a reminder for everyone to review their pesticide safety practices. The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), American Phytopathological Society (APS) and Entomological Society of America (ESA) are among the many organizations in the public and private sector that promote pesticide safety during February and throughout the year.

Everyone must focus on safety to protect themselves, others, and the environment, during pesticide transport, storage, application, and disposal.

“There is no ‘downtime’ in the safe handling and use of pesticides,” said Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., Executive Director of Science Policy for the Weed Science Society of America.

The National Pesticide Safety Education Month webpage contains a quiz to check your knowledge of some basic pesticide safety principles and a self-assessment to review some of your own pesticide safety practices at home and at work. You can also view a sample of educational resources produced by land-grant university Pesticide Safety Education Programs and learn the importance of these programs.… Continue reading

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2020 Conservation Tillage Conference coming March 3

By Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

The main program for the Conservation Tillage Conference starts with the General Session, March 3, at 8:50 a.m. (10 minutes earlier than usual). At the start of the session, the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser of the Year will be announced.

Lee Briese, an award-winning Crop Consultant from North Dakota will be our General Session speaker. Topic: Details Matter. He will present two additional talks in the Chapel: Herbicide/Cover Crop Interactions and Transitioning to a No-Till System.

For early arrivals, two full-day concurrent sessions will begin at 8:00 a.m. Cover Crops, No-till and Soil Health will be in the Chapel, and Nutrient Management in Room B.

New for 2020, Crop Management and Precision Technology sessions both days replace our previous Corn University and Soybean School. Also new on the first day is a session on Hemp, plus Forage Cover Crops. Sessions will end about 5:30.… Continue reading

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Ohio Machinery Co. marks 75th anniversary in 2020

Ohio Machinery Co. celebrates 75 years of equipment sales and service to customers throughout its business territory beginning February 2020. As a privately held, locally owned and operated company, Ohio Machinery Co. gained strength and size over time through its representation of premium products, ongoing dedicated leadership, and a strong commitment to customer service and product support excellence. Ohio Machinery Co. serves its product territories under several brand names, including Ohio CAT, The Cat Rental Store, Ohio Peterbilt, Ohio Ag Equipment, SITECH, Complete Hydraulic Service, International Fuel Systems, and Thomas Built Bus by Ohio CAT.

Founded in February 1945, Ohio Machinery Co. initially operated out of one location in Columbus with 39 employees. The following year, with 109 employees, the headquarters moved to Independence, Ohio in the Cleveland area. In 1971, due to continued growth and the need for more space, the headquarters moved to its current location in Broadview Heights.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal Podcast | Ep. 139 | Bonus: YAP

In this special edition of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast brought to you by AgriGold, Matt and Kolt are joined by Intern Madi Kregel at the 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals Winter Leadership Experience. They visit with the chairs of the committee, keynote speaker Jay Hill, workshop presenter Gracee Workman, and a panel on succession planning.… Continue reading

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High oleic soybean opportunity for Ohio in 2020

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Ohio farmers now have increased availability of high oleic soybean contract opportunities and more delivery locations and options to grow high oleic soybeans for the 2020 season. High oleic soybeans earn an average premium of 50 cents per bushel. High oleic varieties also offer a sustainable, highly stable, U.S.-grown oil product for the food industry and other customers, expanding the market for U.S. soy.

For farmers, high oleic soybeans are backed with over a decade of research to ensure they meet expectations in the fields. Farmers growing high oleic soybeans report that high oleic yields on par with their other varieties. For end-use customers, high oleic soybeans offer higher-functioning soybean oil that meets the needs of a growing number of food and industrial customers. This added functionality allows farmers to add market potential.

“On my farm, high oleic soybeans have proven to be hearty.… Continue reading

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OABA conference focuses on opportunities of 2020 and beyond

More than 400 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and networking at the organization’s annual Industry Conference, January 29-31 at the Renaissance Columbus Westerville.

Through a variety of sessions presented by well-respected speakers from across the country, the conference allowed attendees to focus on the opportunities available in 2020 and beyond.

“After a challenging 2019, industry professionals came together to focus on the issues impacting Ohio agriculture and discover innovative solutions,” said Christopher Henney, OABA president and CEO. “It was energizing to be surrounded by our members and other industry professionals who have such great vision and passion for investing in a successful agricultural industry.”

The conference addressed key topics in today’s agriculture industry, such as crop and pest management, economic and trade outlook, workforce challenges, changing industry trends, crisis management and more. Attendees were also able to take advantage of two conference enhancements the Safety & Risk Management Pre-event Day on Jan.… Continue reading

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2020 Ohio agricultural fair dates

Ohioans can start planning visits to all of their favorite fairs across the state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture released the official dates for the 2020 fair season, which includes Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair.

The Paulding County Fair will kick off the 2020 fair season on June 13, and the season will wrap up on Oct. 17 with the Fairfield County Fair.

 … Continue reading

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Winter is a great time to complete the farm balance sheet

By Eric Richer, Ohio State University Extension Fulton County

The balance sheet is a “snap shot” in time of your farm’s financial position, including what assets you own and how they are financed. The balance sheet is also known as the net worth statement. When completed precisely and timely, the balance sheet and corresponding ratios can be a very valuable tool to determine farm financial health. The balance sheet objectively measures farm business growth, liquidity, solvency, and risk capacity.

 

Categorizing balance sheet items

The assets and liabilities on the balance sheet (including the financing of the assets) are used to determine the equity, or net worth, of the farm owner. The owner’s equity is used by lenders and insurers to determine a farm business’ value.  There are two ways to calculate the owner’s equity, or net worth. The first simply subtracts the liabilities from the assets:

Assets – Liabilities = Owner’s Equity

The second calculation adds the owner’s equity with liabilities to determine the assets:

Liabilities + Owner’s Equity = Assets

 

Terms of assets and liabilities

Beyond the broad categories of either an asset or liability, a balance sheet categorizes items into “time compartments” or terms of useful life.… Continue reading

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USDA issues third tranche of 2019 MFP payments

At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the third and final tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. The payments will begin to show up in farmers’ bank accounts by the end of this week.

“It’s been a great start to 2020 for American Agriculture with the signing of the historic Phase One Deal with China and the signing of USMCA,” said Secretary Perdue. “While these agreements are welcome news, we must not forget that 2019 was a tough year for farmers as they were the tip of the spear when it came to unfair trade retaliation. President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America’s farmers and ranchers and this third tranche of 2019 MFP payments is proof. President Trump is following through on his promise to help and support farmers as he continues to fight for fair market access just like he did with China.”… Continue reading

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500th farm signed into Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Farmland Preservation Program

Farm number 500 will be preserved through the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Farmland Preservation Program on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. The Anderson-Douglas farm, located in Big Prairie, received the distinction of the 500th farm to be signed into the Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP).

“Ohio’s farmland is a resource we must protect,” said ODA Director Dorothy Pelanda. “By putting properties like the Anderson-Douglas farm into Farmland Preservation, farmers are guaranteeing that future generations will have access to productive farmland where they can continue feeding people around the world.”

The Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP) provides funding to farmland owners for placing an agricultural easement on their property. Monies are issued for up to 75% of the appraised value of a farm’s development rights. All easement transactions are recorded on the property deed and transfer with the land to successive owners.

“Agriculture is vital to Ohio, the state’s largest economic engine generating billions of dollars annually and employing one in eight workers statewide,” said Rich Cochran, president and CEO of Western Reserve Land Conservancy.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau names Young Ag Professionals leaders

Charlie and Casey Ellington have been named the 2020 chaircouple of the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals Committee. Serving as committee co-chair is Aaron Harter and serving as secretary is Megan Brannon.

Charlie is the Director of Feed at Heritage Cooperative, Casey is the Executive Director for the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Ellington’s own and operate Ellington Farms, raising beef, pork, chicken, hay and grain crops, balancing direct to consumer and commercial sales. The Ellington’s also have three children.

Harter, an environmental manager for Denali Water Solutions, is an active Farm Bureau member from Preble County. He attended the Young Ag Professionals’ Washington, D.C. trip in 2017, has served as residuals committee chair of the Indiana Water Environment Association and as a volunteer of the Preble County Pork Festival.

Brannon resides in Tuscarawas County with her husband, Tyrone, where they have poultry, raise produce and herbs and specialize in microgreens.… Continue reading

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Got a hankering to grow hemp?

Consider the gamble: The crop could generate hundreds, even thousands, of dollars per acre. Or, quite possibly, nothing at all.

The market price for CBD oil, which is derived from hemp flowers, has declined recently because of an oversupply on the market. Farmers in some states are awaiting payment for hemp they grew but could not sell. Some other growers are finding it can be very easy for hemp to exceed the legal limit of 0.3% THC; when this happens, the plants must be destroyed.

“Don’t jump in,” said Peggy Hall, an agricultural and resource law field specialist for Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “There are a lot of lawsuits already, and we can learn from those if we proceed with caution.”

Now that it’s legal to grow hemp in Ohio, a lot of people are interested in growing the crop, particularly to turn it into CBD oil, lured by high profit potential.… Continue reading

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Film showcases the need for farm safety

By Risë Labig, OCJ marketing specialist

Last weekend my husband and I, along with many others from the local agricultural community, were invited to a screening of the film SILO, a film inspired by true events. It focuses on grain entrapment — a serious safety risk on farms across the U.S.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of going to see this film. Yet, I knew we needed to. All of us in the ag community know that safety is a huge risk every single day on the farm. Yet, herein lies something we all know to be true: it’s very easy to get comfortable with the risks.

Please go see this film. Is it easy to watch? No. Yet, it was comforting to know that we were sitting amongst a very special group of people who would understand every conversation in this film. People need to understand the risks and need to be reminded that it is so easy for an accident to happen.… Continue reading

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EPA reaffirms safety of glyphosate

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s favorable conclusion in late January about the safety of glyphosate in its Interim Registration Review Decision, based on the agency’s expert review over a 10-year period, reaffirmed that the extensive body of science continues to support the safety of herbicides containing glyphosate and that the active ingredient is not carcinogenic.

Registration review is EPA’s program for reviewing pesticides every 15 years; the glyphosate registration review began in 2009. In its Interim Registration Review Decision, EPA concluded that it “did not identify any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.” The decision included measures to address glyphosate spray drift and glyphosate resistance in weeds.

“This is a win for sustainable agriculture,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau president. “Today’s decision means farmers can continue to use conservation tillage and no-till methods on their farms to conserve soil, preserve and increase nutrients, improve water quality, trap excess carbon in the soil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.… Continue reading

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OABA Industry Conference focused on 2020

The annual Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference is underway, inspiring attendees to look forward into 2020 and beyond to the opportunities and challenges ahead.

To kick off the event on Jan. 30, Michael Swanson, an economist with Wells Fargo Bank, talked about how the three-point line changed the strategy of the game of basketball with the addition of an arbitrary line added to the court. Coaches, players and teams all had to adjust their game plans to account for the change and those who adapted most quickly and effectively had the advantage. Agriculture certainly has some similarities.

“Every day someone is drawing a new three point line on our court. It could be a regulatory three-point line. It could be a technology three-point line. Either way, it changes the game,” Swanson said. “Agriculture used to be a labor intensive industry and now it is an input driven industry. You used to be able to get up earlier, work later and out produce your neighbor.… Continue reading

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Why should you know your soybean disease rating numbers?

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Anne Dorrance, OSU Extension Plant Pathologist, says farmers should do some homework.

“Farmers need to take some time this winter and go back and look at their soybean seed varieties and see what the scores were for resistance to common diseases that they regularly see each year depending on what the environmental conditions are,” she said.

Anne Dorrance OSU Soybean Researcher Field Leader
Dr. Anne Dorrance, OSU Extension Plant Pathologist

Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) is a pest that is frequently talked about. Recently, and a multi-state campaign known as “What’s your number? Take the test. Beat the Pest.” funded by the soybean checkoff and SCN Coalition has been attempting to raise awareness of the soybean yield losses as SCN populations rise. Nematodes are becoming “resistant to the resistance,” said Dorrance. Farmers are encouraged to sample their fields for soybean cyst nematodes to know what levels they are actually dealing with on each farm and in each individual field.

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Will Walmart’s new beef packing facility influence cattle prices?

By Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

A couple of questions came in this week concerning Walmart opening a beef packing facility and how the new facility would influence cattle prices. The short answer is that the opening of this facility is not likely to change cattle prices much at all. The reason prices are not expected to change much is because it does not really change supply and demand of beef.

Walmart is partnering with a single seedstock operation, a specific feedlot, and a specific slaughter facility at which time the Walmart facility will take delivery and perform further processing and packaging for the Walmart brand. Thus, the processing facility will create competition with other processing facilities and at the retail level. However, it is not likely that this will shift demand or supply enough to really influence cattle prices at the calf and yearling stages of production.… Continue reading

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Managing stored grain in the winter

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Managing stored grain throughout the winter is an important part of your grain marketing plan for farm profitability. This winter we are already receiving reports of stored grain going out of condition, which can lower the value and be a hazard to those working around the grain facility. At a minimum, stored grain that has gone out of condition can cause health hazards, especially when grain dust contains mold and bacteria. Out of condition grain can also form a crust or stick to the bin walls and if someone enters the bin for any reason an entrapment could occur. For more information on safety when working around grain visit http://go.osu.edu/AFM and listen to episode 41 of the podcast on grain bin safety.

Too many of us know the scare of a close call with grain entrapment but lived to tell the story. Even if it was just in a wagon or a truck while unloading wet grain, the fear is real.… Continue reading

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$30 million allocated to agriculture in the lower Maumee River Watershed

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Sign-up for farmers to participate in the H2Ohio initiative, and receive incentives for implementing approved nutrient management practices begins in February at the local Soil and Water Conservation District offices. A series of meeting have been scheduled in Northwest Ohio to explain the application process for farmers in the 14 county area of the lower Maumee River Watershed who wish to participate in the H2Ohio program. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has announced that $30 million of funding designated for Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio program is available and a total of eight meetings have been scheduled during the month of February to explain the application process for H2Ohio funds and answer questions about the program’s conservation practices.

“In conjunction with details about H2Ohio, these meetings will also introduce the brand-new Ohio Agricultural Conservation Initiative (OACI) Farmer Certification program. This program is focused on conservation.

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Ohio Department of Agriculture suspends operations at Vista Grain, LLC

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) suspended all operations at Vista Grain, LLC in Washington Court House after discovering it was unable to cover its outstanding obligations to farmers. Vista Grain, LLC is located at 5738 Greenfield Sabina Road, Washington Court House, Ohio, with branch locations in Buena Vista and Lyndon. The grain handlers’ license, #6721, was suspended on Jan. 28 in order to prevent more outstanding obligations to be incurred and to facilitate a possible remedy via the Grain Indemnity Fund.

If you believe you have outstanding grain obligations with Vista Grain, LLC, please call ODA at 614-728-6410 or toll free at 800-282-1955. Ohio’s Grain Indemnity Fund was created in 1983 to reimburse farmers when a licensed handler becomes insolvent. Since the fund was established, it has reimbursed farmers more than $16 million and is funded through a half-cent per bushel assessment on grain marketed at licensed elevators. Claims to the indemnity fund are handled through ODA’s Grain Feed & Seed Section in conjunction with the recommendation of the Ohio Commodity Advisory Commission.… Continue reading

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