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South America headed for another big soybean crop

After a very busy January, when some of us believed that a world war could follow Iranian general Soleimani’s death, when all of us saw the US and China finally signing the “phase one” trade deal, and when the entire world started fearing the coronavirus outbreak, here we are already in mid-February.
 
For us here in Brazil, it is time now to wonder how many acres the US farmers will plant with soybeans in their 2020/21 crop, after the significant cut to the planted area seen last year, and to take a closer look to the South American 2019/20 crop, which is being harvested.
 
For Brazil, the 2019/20 soybean crop started with many problems. The spring rains, which are crucial for the beginning of the planting season, arrived later than normal and were very irregular in several states until November and, in some areas, until December. After that, however, weather conditions dramatically improved.
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Fighting the flu: how to protect yourself and your herd

While many choose to arm themselves against the flu virus with a vaccine, it is even more important for those who work around animals to protect themselves.

Influenza affects a wide range of animals, and flu among pigs poses a serious threat to people because flu in other livestock is not as transferable to people.

“The vast majority of influenza viruses circulating in pigs today has actually come from people,” said Andrew Bowman, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).

This is likely because producers or farmers sometimes go into the barn while they are feeling under the weather and are infected with the influenza virus, Bowman said.

Pork producers or people who deal with swine quite often are strongly advised to receive a flu vaccine. However, it is much more likely that people will pass the influenza virus to pigs rather than pigs infecting humans.… Continue reading

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Corn consumption showing improvement

By Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois

Uncertainties regarding the potential trade deal and coronavirus outbreak remain as negative forces for commodity markets. Corn prices came through the difficulty relatively well over the last couple of weeks. March corn futures prices continue to bounce around in a range between $3.75 and $3.95 seen since mid-December. Over this same period, consumption in some key use categories for corn picked up substantially and corn basis remains strong.

Corn exports remain behind last year’s pace. A recent uptick in export sales offers the promise of increased exports in the second half of the marketing year. In the previous three weeks, net export sales came in at 39.6, 48.6, and 49.1 million bushels, respectively. These net sales totals mark the first time all marketing year of three consecutive weeks over one million metric tons. Total commitments as of January 30 sit at 897 million bushels.… Continue reading

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House passes Ag Inspectors Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that authorizes funding for 740 new agricultural inspectors at land, air and sea ports to prevent African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases (FAD) from entering the United States. In October 2019, the Senate approved an identical version of the bill (S. 2017), which the House approved. Providing additional agricultural inspectors represents a top priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

“For more than a year, NPPC has advocated for more agricultural inspectors at our borders,” said David Herring, NPPC President , a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection have done much to mitigate risk to animal disease, but we must remain vigilant. Today’s vote represents a tremendous victory for our farmers, consumers and the American economy. We thank Congressional leadership, led by Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) and Sens.… Continue reading

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A million dollar response: H2Ohio meetings

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Last week, three H2Ohio informational meetings were conducted by representatives from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), Ohio Agricultural Conservation Initiative (OACI) and local county soil and water conservation district offices. Over 1,000 farmers and agribusiness people have attended so far according to organizers. The meetings were held in Perrysburg, Delphos, and Defiance, with every venue at capacity.

“This is a tremendous outpouring of farmers and the farming community who believe with all their hearts in the power of voluntary conservation efforts. It is a shame the general public cannot see everyone here tonight, this is tremendous,” said Dorothy Pelanda, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, addressing members of the agriculture community in attendance at the Defiance meeting last Wednesday evening.

Earlier in January, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and ODA Director Pelanda announced that $30 million in H2Ohio funding would be available to Ohio farmers in a 14-county area of the Maumee River Watershed to implement select conservation practices.

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Property protection program payout increases to $5,000

The Ohio Farm Bureau Property Protection Program, more commonly known as the $2,500 Reward Program, has been increased to $5,000.

The program started in 1971 with the purpose of deterring crime in rural areas. It initially began by offering a $500 reward. In recent years, there have been requests by members to consider another increase along with other updates to this popular program.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Board recently approved the following program updates:

  • Increase reward to $5,000
  • Expand the list of eligible property crimes to include arson, aggravated burglary, burglary, breaking and entering, criminal damaging or endangering, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, aggravated trespass, theft, vandalism, vehicular vandalism (all as defined in Ohio Revised Code)
  • Six-month deadline to apply for reward (after conviction or final disposition of appeal)

This new list includes both felonies and misdemeanors, and the list can be updated or expanded in the future as needed.

A $5,000 reward will be paid to anyone providing information to law enforcement that leads to the arrest and conviction of persons for eligible property crimes committed against a Farm Bureau member’s property.… Continue reading

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Pork Checkoff commits $500,000 to develop highly trained industry professionals

The National Pork Board has opened the application period for a new series of swine research fellowships to provide a pipeline of highly skilled employees for the pork industry. The Pork Checkoff has committed a total of $500,000 for the fellowships, which will fund professional student education and training in critical areas of impact, including animal science, feed science and management, engineering and human resources, among many others.

“Labor supply is a critical issue across the entire pork industry,” said David Newman, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “This fellowship program will develop highly trained professionals who possess skills and abilities with direct application to pork production now and in the future.”

According to Chris Hostetler, director of animal science for the National Pork Board, past Checkoff research funding supported graduate students based on specific research priorities.

“While results of swine-related research is not the desired outcome of these fellowships, the Pork Checkoff recognizes that research is a critical component of professional student training,” Hostetler said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation offering over $70,000 in scholarships

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation has more than $70,000 in scholarships available to Ohio students from rural, suburban and urban communities who are pursuing degrees connected in some way to agriculture.

Through 10 programs, approximately 50 scholarships will be awarded. The deadline to apply online at ofbf.org/foundation is Feb. 28 and all applications require letters of recommendation, an essay, school transcripts and photos.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Scholar award recognizes students for academic effort, community service and career interests that use agriculture to enhance the partnership between producers and consumers in rural, suburban and/or urban settings.

The foundation’s Women’s Leadership in Agriculture Scholarship Program is awarded to applicants who may not be majoring in agriculture directly, but whose chosen career field will benefit a field related to agriculture or community development such as food production, scientific research, education/outreach, marketing, policymaking, advocacy or leadership development. The program was established by an endowment from the Charlotte R.… Continue reading

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Mensing wins Farm Bureau Discussion Meet

Micah Mensing of Millersburg is the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals 2020 Discussion Meet competition. He won the contest’s final round Jan. 31 during the YAP Winter Leadership Experience in Columbus.

The Discussion Meet tests participants’ subject knowledge, problem solving abilities and personal and small group communications skills. It is designed for young agricultural professionals to work together to find solutions around issues facing agriculture today.

Mensing is a Wayne County Farm Bureau member. He is an Ohio State University graduate, where he studied production agriculture at OSU-ATI and agriscience education at the Columbus campus. He was named an Ohio State Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership (ACEL) Distinguished Senior in 2019. Mensing is a Growing Forward Specialist with Farm Credit Mid-America and is an active member of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals program.

He receives a $1,000 cash award from Nationwide, an expense-paid trip to the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December 2020 and an expense-paid trip to represent Ohio at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in San Diego in January 2021.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair announces ractopamine-free swine show for 2020

It has been announced that swine exhibited at the 2020 Ohio State Fair — and a growing number of county fairs — are required to be ractopamine-free.

Recently, ractopamine-free swine production became a market specification through much of the U.S. pork packing industry. Although ractopamine (sold under the trade names Paylean or Engain for swine) is an approved product used to increase lean growth rate, it has been banned in many international pork markets. In short, ractopamine-free means that a pig has never been fed or exposed to ractopamine from the time of birth to the time of market.

In response, the Ohio Pork Council, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Ohio State Fair have collaborated to put a comprehensive plan in place for a ractopamine-free swine project.

  1. Understand the ractopamine-free status of any pigs purchased or raised and comply by not feeding or exposing the pigs to ractopamine.
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Ractopamine bans at fairs mean changes for many hog exhibitors

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

As more fairs ban ractopamine — the active ingredient in products like Paylean or Optaflexx — some people in the show pig and 4-H community have questions about changes they will need to make in 2020.

Monty Alexander is not one of them. She is entering her last year as a Wood County 4-H exhibitor and has been no stranger to success with her livestock. She has only shown 4-H pigs for a few years, but she knows the stock show world well. She has won multiple market hog classes and the lightweight market gilt division in past county fairs. She has also done well in showmanship. Alexander credits her success with multiple factors, but she has never fed ractopamine to her pigs. Alexander instead relies on good feeding, good genetics and a unique

advantage over most of her competitors in the flatlands of Wood County — a hill in her backyard — for her success.… Continue reading

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Hoping for a rally while managing risk

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

For the first time in 7 weeks, March corn finished the week outside of the $3.85 to $3.90 range with a close at $3.81.

The market is being cautious with the coronavirus. After 2 weeks, the mortality rate is still around 2%, compared to the 2003 SARS outbreak which was near 10%. There is concern all over the world as many countries continue to report the spread of the virus. Some reports indicate that doctors and scientists need at least 45 days from the start of a new disease to truly understand the outbreak potential. This likely means another month of market uncertainty.

U.S. corn is competitive globally right now, which should support the current price level and could mean better prices down the road. Beans have had a difficult month, dropping nearly 90 cents. First, China hasn’t announced any major purchases since signing the Phase One trade deal.… Continue reading

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What does sustainable mean?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

This is the legal definition: “Sustainable agriculture” was addressed by Congress in the 1990 Farm Bill. Under that law, “the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

  • satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
  • enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

Above from the National Agriculture Library: https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/sustainable-agriculture-definitions-and-terms#toc2 and: https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/sustainable-agriculture-definitions-and-terms.

Is your operation sustainable based upon the points above:

  • Yes, we produce food and fiber to satisfy human needs
  • Enhance environmental quality — we are headed that direction, some are there already.
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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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