Featured News

ODA presents awards highlighting water quality efforts

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) showed its appreciation for exceptional leadership and commitment to conservation by honoring the Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Sunrise Cooperative, and Ed Crawford of the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

The awards were presented by ODA Director Brian Baldridge at the 2023 Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annual Partnership Meeting.

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Brian Baldridge presents the H2Ohio Lifetime Conservation Advocate Award to Putnam SWCD for outstanding H2Ohio program delivery and administration.

The H2Ohio Lifetime Conservation Advocate Award recognizes those who exhibit exceptional leadership and commitment to water quality through H2Ohio. Recipients of this award are devoted stewards of water quality improvement and conservation who demonstrate innovation, partnership, enthusiasm, and a “get it done” attitude. The recipients were chosen from three categories:  agricultural retailers, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and conservation-minded individuals.

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Brian Baldridge presents the H2Ohio Lifetime Conservation Advocate Award to Sunrise Cooperative for being an outstanding agricultural industry H2Ohio partner.
Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 289 | Poppin’ in with Ohio FFA & Ohio Farm Bureau

On this week’s podcast Matt and Dusty sit down to chat all things Ohio FFA with Jessica Parrish, Executive Director at The Ohio FFA Foundation, and Hannah Saum, FFA State Vice President. They talk about what to expect this week in Ohio FFA as they celebrate National FFA Week. Matt attended Ag Day at the Capital with Ohio Farm Bureau where Farm Bureau members talked with legislators about important farm topics. At Ag Day at the Capital Matt talked with Brandon Kern, Senior Director of State and National Policy, Amanda Barndt from Wood County, and Jonathan Francis from Madison County. Leah Curtis and Ty Higgins of Ohio Bureau also talk about Current Ag Use Valuation deadline approaching. All this and more on this week’s podcast!

00:00 Intro and OCJ/OAN Staff Update

05:20 Brandon Kern – OFBF

11:40 Amanda Barndt – Wood County Farm Bureau

14:53 Jonathan Francis – Madison County Farm Bureau

19:07 CAUV – OFBF

20:56 Back with Ohio FFA… Continue reading

Read More »

The value of remaining silent….

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth

How did the fish get caught? He opened his mouth. That riddle is the essence of what I wish clients, both civil and criminal, understood about our country’s legal branch of government. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows Americans to refuse to answer questions from law enforcement. The presumption of innocence and the burden prosecutors bear to prove guilt, even when the accused remains silent, are the bedrock of America criminal law. 

The United States uses the adversarial system in its courts, for both civil and criminal cases. The opposing attorneys have primary responsibility for controlling the development and presentation of the lawsuit. The attorneys may not lie but have no duty to volunteer facts that do not support their client’s case. There is one exception. A prosecutor must disclose exculpatory evidence which is evidence that exonerates the defendant of guilt. Because of the adversarial approach, the plaintiff (or the government in a criminal setting) and the defendant each have lawyers that work to present their best side to persuade a judge and a jury.… Continue reading

Read More »

Upcoming conservation tillage events

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

Farmers interested in increasing their corn yields by 20 or 30 bu/acre will want to learn from David Hula of Charles City, VA. He has won the yield contest 4 times, and has the current record of 616 bushels per acre.

He will share major points about maximizing yield during the General Session, starting at 8:30 a.m., March 14. Then he will answer your questions for 2 hours after lunch. David assures us that he keeps no secrets; he shares his practices, including what has not worked and what works best. He will answer your questions honestly.

We could not have brought David Hula to CTC without major support from Calmer Corn Heads, Brandt Products, Meristem, and Pioneer.

Starting at 10:00 a.m., the conference breaks into 4 concurrent sessions. On Day 2, there are also 4 concurrent sessions, from 8:30 to ~4:30.… Continue reading

Read More »

Importance of uniform corn emergence

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA , Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Two aspects of stand establishment often discussed by agronomists are emergence and seed spacing. “Picket fence” spacing in corn helps plants grow efficiently and minimizes competition between them. Uniform spacing is an important part of stand establishment. More importantly, however, is uniform emergence. Plants that are just 1 leaf collar behind (due to uneven emergence) significantly reduce yield. According to Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska Extension ag engineer, “When a plant develops ahead of its neighbor, it hurts yield dramatically. It’s going to vary somewhat from year to year, but a plant lagging behind those around it becomes a weed.” To achieve uniform emergence, consistent planting depth is critical.

Field conditions, gauge wheel settings, unit down pressure, and planter speed all affect seeding depth. Set planter depth and check it regularly. A planter may have enough weight to apply the proper down force when full, but what about when it’s almost empty?… Continue reading

Read More »

The life of Paul Hall to be celebrated Feb. 25

Paul Edward Hall II of Williamsburg, Ohio, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. Paul was born to Paul and Margie Hall, on July 7, 1957, in Foster, Kentucky.

Paul was involved with Kentucky 4-H and went on to serve as President of Kentucky 4-H Teen Council and attend the University of Kentucky. After graduating, Paul married his sweetheart, Jill Conrad Hall, and went to work for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation for 10 years. In 1988, he opened an insurance agency with Nationwide Insurance in Mount Orab, Ohio with one employee. While receiving numerous awards over the years, the business now includes seven offices and nearly 40 employees. His faith in Jesus led him to a love of serving others. This gave him a passion for giving back to his community, especially the youth. He was involved in Kentucky 4-H Foundation (Chair), Brown County Republican Party (Chair), Brown County Board of Elections, Georgetown Church of Christ (Deacon), Brown County Jail Task Force (Chair), Southern State Community College (Chair), Brown County Junior Fair, Hospice of Hope Board and helped lead the Georgetown Church of Christ “God is Able” Campaign.… Continue reading

Read More »

A look at nutrient deficiency

Lee Beers

By Lee Beers, CCA, Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Trumbull County 

Q: Last year I noticed some discoloration in my corn crop. I suspect a nutrient deficiency was the cause, but how can I tell which nutrient was lacking?

A: Some nutrient deficiencies are rather easy to spot due to their unique symptoms, but others are more difficult to diagnose. Nitrogen deficiency of corn results in a pale green color that can be relatively uniform throughout the field or follow a pattern like when one anhydrous row unit is plugged. Pale green may also indicate a lack of sulfur, but since sulfur is not as mobile in the plant as nitrogen, you may see yellowing in the younger leaves first. Phosphorus deficiency can result in a purpling of the plant tissues, most seen in corn seedlings in cold soils. Yellowing of older leaves at the base of the corn plant followed by a browning at the leaf margins may indicate a lack of potassium.… Continue reading

Read More »

Soybean Defoliation Assessment

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off.

Photosynthesis takes place in the leaves of Soybeans. The amount of leaf surface area to absorb sunlight is an important factor in a soybean crop reaching its yield potential. Soybeans do a remarkable job compensating for reduced leaf tissue.  Regardless if it is from insect feeding or hail damage, a soybean’s ability to compensate should not be underestimated.  

The potential of defoliation from hail damage cannot be avoided. The ability to reduce leaf defoliation from insect feeding is possible, and it is an important management decision. The decision to treat soybeans increases the cost of production and may slightly reduce the yield depending on the time of application and equipment used.  It is important to consider the growth stage of the soybeans as well as level of defoliation when determining if a treatment should be made.… Continue reading

Read More »

CRP signup 2023

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that agricultural producers and private landowners can begin applying for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General signup starting Feb. 27 through April 7, 2023. CRP is a cornerstone voluntary conservation program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a key tool in the Biden-Harris administration’s effort to address climate change and help agricultural communities invest in the long-term well-being of their land and natural resources.  

“The Conservation Reserve Program is one of the largest private lands conservation programs in the United States, offering a range of conservation options to farmers, ranchers and landowners,” Vilsack said. “CRP has and continues to be a great fit for farmers with less productive or marginal cropland, helping them re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and support wildlife habitat. Under this administration, we have made several updates to the program to increase producer interest and enrollment, strengthen the climate benefits of the program and help ensure underserved producers can find a pathway to entry into CRP.”  … Continue reading

Read More »

Over-the-counter antibiotics will require veterinary oversight beginning June of 2023

By June of 2023, all medically important antibiotics currently available at most feed or farm supply stores will now require veterinary oversight (written Rx) to be used in animals, even if the animals are not intended for food production. Examples of affected antibiotics include injectable penicillin and oxytetracycline. In addition, some retail suppliers who were able to sell these drugs/products in the past may no longer sell them after June of 2023. This means that small and large animal veterinarians should be prepared for an increase in calls and visits from animal ownerswho previously may have purchased these drugs over the counter at their local farm supply store. To continue using medically important antimicrobials, you may need to establish a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR). Consult your veterinarian for more information.

By Gustavo M. Schuenemann, DVM, MS, Ph.D., Professor, Dairy Cattle Health and Management, Veterinary Extension Specialist, Ohio State University Extension

What is a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship?Continue reading

Read More »

Seeking Student Reporters for 2023 Ohio FFA State Convention

The 2023 Ohio FFA State Convention is right around the corner, May 4-5, and Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net is looking for outstanding Ohio FFA members to help serve as student reporters for this year’s event. 

Selected FFA members will get the opportunity to help cover the convention and work alongside our news staff. Ever wonder what it’s like to do our job? This is your chance! Reporters can expect to gain an early insight into a possible career in agricultural communication, and make some new connections along the way. 

The coverage of the Ohio FFA Convention will be posted on www.ocj.com and various social media outlets with reporters helping to host news coverage alongside our staff in addition to veteran student reporters. 

Students will assist in gathering information, shoot photos and video of newsworthy items and people, share their commentary of what happened in each session, and much more. … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s first female state officer reflects on FFA

By Bethany Starlin, OCJ FFA reporter

Diane (Pullins) Klingelhofer made history within the Ohio FFA Association when she became the first female state officer in 1973. Although not a triumphant feat in her personal opinion, the impact of her leadership would be felt for years to come.

“I never wanted to be singled out as the woman in the organization…I just wanted to be part of it,” she said.

In 1928, 33 delegates from 18 different states met in Kansas City, Mo. to officially establish the Future Farmers of America, now recognized as the National FFA Organization. In the years that followed its creation, the FFA grew exponentially, overcoming challenges in the economy and even navigating turbulent waters of World War II. For 41 years, the growth was evident and impressive, but the growth was only male.

The FFA is often praised for the way it offers young people endless opportunities, and rightfully so.… Continue reading

Read More »

Controlling slugs and voles in cover crops

Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-04, By Paige Garrabrant and Rachel Cochran, OSU Extension Water Quality

The OSU Extension’s Water Quality Team launched their annual webinar series with a two-part webinar on cover crops. The team works closely with producers throughout the Western Lake Erie Basin to implement practices that not only improve growers’ operational efficiencies and profitability, but also to promote soil health and reduce nutrient and sediment loss. Several producers that the team works with have requested more education specifically on cover crops.

The webinar last week focused on cover crops with a handful of different speakers. Tim Reinbott, Director of Field Operations at the University of Missouri’s Agricultural Research Stations, provided listeners with some insight and advice on controlling slugs and voles, which are common in no-till and reduced-till situations. His goal is to help growers control pests while maintaining progress they have made toward conservation. It is no surprise that the benefits of reduced tillage cannot outweigh the loss of crops that results from a devastating slug or vole infestation.… Continue reading

Read More »

Great Plains partners with Bayer in supporting regenerative agriculture

Great Plains Mfg. is teaming up with ForGround by Bayer to support the adoption of regenerative ag practices. Great Plains and ForGround by Bayer are committed to helping growers overcome barriers, reduce risks, and provide tools and resources to assist in the successful adoption of these practices. Great Plains was strategically selected to join ForGround by Bayer’s “grower support networks” alongside other innovative companies in the agriculture space. 

With over 45 years of experience manufacturing quality equipment, Great Plains has a strong focus on providing producers with a holistic, systems-based approach to soil management by offering innovative, agronomic solutions that support profitability, sustainability, and regenerative agriculture practices. Great Plains is helping producers adopt regenerative agriculture practices by: 

• Supporting soil health — Great Plains encourages producers to plant cover crops and companion crops to promote soil health and sustainable cropping systems. By utilizing tools such as the BD7600 Box Drill or the Turbo-Seeder attachment on a true vertical tillage tool like the VT1100 Turbo-Max, operations can successfully establish cover crops to sustain soil microbial life, armor the soil surface from extreme temperatures and intense rainfall, cycle nutrients, and begin to regenerate soils for future generations. … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio 4-H Spark EXPO back in 2023

Students have the opportunity to explore future careers at the 4-H Spark EXPO, held this summer on The Ohio State University campus.

From June 14-17, teens at the Spark EXPO will learn about agriculture and related STEM fields from industry experts, and faculty and staff of the Ohio State College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). 

“Providing students with experiences, like Spark, introduces them to a variety of educational and career opportunities they may not know about,” said Margo Long, 4-H Workforce Development and Pathways program manager. “Not all students find their way to a four-year college, so we want to ensure all young people know 4-H is a space to prepare them for wherever their path may lead them after high school.”  

As part of Spark EXPO, students visit Ohio State’s Columbus and Wooster campuses and learn from Ohio State students, teachers, scientists, and researchers. Students explore careers, hear from Ohio 4-H alumni who share their career stories, and learn about the college and career-readiness program: Ohio 4-H Pathways to the Future.… Continue reading

Read More »

Budget, eminent domain addressed in Ag Day at the Capital

By Matt Reese

In February, Ohio Farm Bureau members left their farms for the day to make the trip to Columbus and meet with legislators for the 2023 Ag Day at the Capital. Jonathan Francis from Madison County Farm Bureau enjoyed the chance to share the story from his farm. 

Matt Reese talked with Jonathan Francis from Madison County at Ag Day at the Capital.

“So being in Madison County, right next to Franklin, we’ve had some districting changes and our new senator is very urban focused. We were really excited to get the opportunity to meet with her staff and show her the importance of agriculture. She’s not really familiar with Madison County, but we’re excited to show her what we’re about and remind her of the different agricultural issues we face,” Francis said. “We talked a lot about solar with her staff — there’s quite a bit of solar pressure in Madison County so we’re trying to share the good and bad and the ugly of that.… Continue reading

Read More »

Update on automating the farm in Ohio

By John Fulton, Elizabeth Hawkins, Amanda Douridas, Ken Ford and Amanda Bennett

Autonomous farm equipment was a hot topic this past year here in Ohio and continues to be gaining some interest from farmers going into 2023.  One of the top reasons adoption of autonomous technology is being considered by farmers and even Ohio retailers has been the challenges around labor.  Labor shortages, along with retirements, leave a gap for how to complete tasks and field operations in a timely and efficient manner.  

While there has been plenty of farm press the last couple of years on farm equipment autonomy, there remains limited commercially available options here in the U.S. That may change soon as OEMs and agriculture technology companies are likely to provide commercial options to Ohio farmers within the next two to four years.  Drones are a step into autonomy with use in 2022 for scouting, spraying, and applying cover crops within Ohio. These… Continue reading

Read More »

Farmers’ Breakfast Series continues in Plain City

OSU Extension in Delaware, Madison and Union Counties, with support from the county Farm Bureaus presents the 2023 Farmers’ Breakfast Series at the Der Dutchman. 

Feb 28: 2023 Central Ohio Weather Outlook: 8:30am -Aaron Wilson, Assistant Professor, OSU Ag Weather and Climate Field Specialist. State Climatologist

Mar 28: Ag Law Update: 8:30am -Peggy Hall, Associate Professor, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Director and The Future of Rural Economies discussion on how development on and around farmland impacts the rural economy with Mark Partridge, Professor, OSU Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy.

The meetings are at Der Dutchman, 445 S Jefferson Ave, Plain City and are free to attend with pre-registration. To register go to https://go.osu.edu/2023breakfastseries or Call 937-644-8117 by the 22nd of each month.… Continue reading

Read More »

Stay safe during this filing season

By Brian Ravencraft

It is nearing the month of March, which means tax season is well underway. We call it “busy season” in the accounting biz, and let me tell you… it lives up to the nickname. 

As accountants we worry about many things on behalf of our clients. We want to keep them compliant, help them file on time or secure an extension. Of course, we want to save them as much money as we can. The list goes on and on. At the top of that list is always keeping their information safe and secure. From financial information to data related to their identity, it all must be protected from the scams we see not only during tax season, but year-round. 

For the purposes of this article, let’s take a look at the fraud you want to bypass during filing season. The IRS has a comprehensive list of tips on their website that all taxpayers should pay close attention to.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA announces grants to expand local food systems

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it is now accepting applications for this year’s Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP), with a total of $133 million available in competitive grant funds to expand and strengthen local and regional food systems and increase the availability of locally grown agricultural products.

The funding available for this year’s program includes $65 million in supplemental funding authorized by the American Rescue Plan, carry over funding from last year’s program and funds provided through the 2018 Farm Bill and annual appropriations. 

“Through LAMP, USDA is helping to maximize opportunities for economic growth and ingenuity in local and regional food systems,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Program Jenny Lester Moffitt. “Over the years, these grants have generated new income sources for small, beginning, and underserved farmers, increased local food access across rural and urban communities and provided platforms for value-added and new products to shine.” 

USDA’s LAMP is made up of the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) and the Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) grant program, all administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).… Continue reading

Read More »