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State corn grower leaders to Trump: Uphold commitment to farmers and RFS

State leaders of corn grower organizations in 23 states sent a letter to President Trump, calling on him to follow the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole. The letter to the President comes on the heels of the Trump Administration’s most recent approval of 31 new RFS waivers to big oil companies. The 85 total waivers approved under the Trump Administration amount to 4.04 billion gallons, resulting in reduced corn demand due to lower ethanol blending and consumption and a rising number of ethanol producers slowing or idling production.

The state corn grower leaders urge the President to stop the harm caused by waivers and restore integrity to the RFS by directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear President Trump,

We are writing on behalf of the more than 300,000 corn farmers across the country who are being negatively impacted by a perfect storm of challenges in rural America.… Continue reading

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Ohio State ATI professor named National Educator of the Year

Laura Deeter, professor of horticulture technologies at Ohio State ATI in Wooster, was one of three university educators named a 2019 Educator of the Year in a national program sponsored by the software company Instructure. Deeter turned her plant identification course into a game about plants and zombies and gave students a unique and exciting learning experience. She likes to test out new ways of teaching and incorporates nontraditional classroom activities, such as gamification, that will help her students in their future careers. By gamifying her course, student engagement with the course skyrocketed. Ohio State ATI is the two-year degree-granting unit of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).… Continue reading

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Getting the most out of tough 2019 for corn

By Matt Reese

There is no question that 2019 has been a tough year for corn production in many parts of Ohio. Planting conditions were far from ideal and for most of the fields in the state the crop got a late start.

“From what I’ve seen in my travels, we all have battled with late planted corn, but in the past 4 to 6 weeks the corn has grown rapidly with the heat we’ve had. Most places around Ohio have decent moisture, though some places are hurting some. Overall things look pretty good. The crop has been growing fast,” said Brad Miller, CCA, Technical Agronomist for DEKALB and Asgrow in northern Ohio. “Corn has experienced a rapid accumulation of heat units, but I’m afraid with the late start we are going to see a little slower dry down after black layer. At black layer we are probably going to be seeing greater than 30% grain moisture levels and it will take a little longer for dry down.… Continue reading

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NPPC looking at more export opportunities

The U.S. pork industry ships more product to the 20 countries covered by free-trade agreements than we do the rest of the world combined. Therefore, expanding export opportunities through trade agreements remains a top priority for U.S. pork producers, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Director of International Affairs Maria Zieba said today at a Global Business Dialogue event in Washington, D.C.

One of NPPC’s most pressing priorities is rapid congressional ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement, securing long-term zero-duty access to two of its largest export markets, Zieba explained. Last year, more than 40% of U.S. pork exported went to Canada and Mexico. USMCA will strengthen the strong economic ties with our North American neighbors and ensure tariff-free trade with the two countries, Zieba explained.

Unfortunately, the trade situation with China remains frustrating, Zieba said. The trade dispute with China has cost U.S. pork producers $8 per animal, or $1 billion on an annualized basis.… Continue reading

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Silage too wet or too dry?

By Bill Weiss, Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

Too wet?

For corn silage ideal moisture concentrations are between about 62 and 70%. They can be harvested a little wetter (maybe up to 72%) if it goes into a bunker. The wetter it gets the more seepage you get (loss of nutrients and potential environmental issues if seepage gets into a water source, example: fish kill). Wet corn silage also produces an acetic acid-based fermentation which means a loss of energy (1 mole of glucose is fermented to lactic acid and acetic and 1 mole of carbon dioxide is lost, which is energy). Clostridia is not a major risk for corn silage because pH drops quickly but it can be a major concern for wet grass or alfalfa silage.

Too dry?

Fires are caused when silage is chopped too dry. The silage doesn’t pack well, trapping oxygen which allows aerobic metabolism which produces a lot of heat.… Continue reading

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Producers to receive automatic prevented planting “top-up” payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that producers currently participating in federal crop insurance who had in 2019 a payable prevented planting indemnity related to flooding, excess moisture or causes other than drought will automatically receive a “top-up” payment. Producers will receive the payment from their Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) starting in mid-October.

Producers with Yield Protection and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion will receive a 10% top-up payment, while producers with Revenue Protection will receive 15%. They do not need to sign up to receive payments; all producers with a 2019 prevented planting indemnity will receive the top-up.

“It was a challenging planting season for many of our farmers,” said Bill Northey, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “We are doing everything we can to ensure producers receive the help they need.

“USDA is working with AIPs so that producers can receive additional payments as soon as possible, and we appreciate the AIPs for helping us help America’s farmers.”… Continue reading

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Drydown in corn: What to expect?

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

Many corn growers may encounter slower than normal drydown this fall due to late crop development associated with June planting dates. Much of Ohio’s late-planted corn may not achieve black layer until mid-October or later when drying conditions are less favorable for drydown. Once corn achieves physiological maturity (when kernels have obtained maximum dry weight and black layer has formed), it will normally dry approximately 3/4% to 1% per day during favorable drying weather (sunny and breezy) during the early warmer part of the harvest season from mid‑September through late September. By early to mid‑October, dry-down rates will usually drop to ½% to 3/4% per day. By late October to early November, field dry‑down rates will usually drop to 1/4% to 1/2% per day and by mid-November, probably zero to 1/4% per day. By late November, drying rates will be negligible.

Estimating dry‑down rates can also be considered in terms of Growing Degree Days (GDDs).… Continue reading

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Digital agriculture program celebrates Ohio State’s sesquicentennial

For the past 150 years, The Ohio State University has been a leader in advancements in agriculture and engineering. And now, using precision agriculture technology, Ohio State researchers are able to show how technology can be used to create an image of a logo commemorating the university’s 150th anniversary in a soybean field.

This is the fifth year that Ohio State’s Digital Agriculture program has demonstrated GPS-guided “smart planting” for multiple hybrids of corn and soybeans. This year’s specially planted field takes the shape of the symbol of Ohio State’s sesquicentennial.

The soybeans planted to create the logo matured faster than the brighter, greener soybeans that form the image’s background.

“This being our fifth logo, we have a pretty good system down,” said Ryan Tietje, research associate and graduate student in the university’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE). The department is part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the College of Engineering.… Continue reading

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Trade deal reached with Japan

The United States and Japan have reached a trade agreement on agricultural and industrial tariffs and digital commerce, signed by President Trump and Japanese Prime Minster Abe Sept. 25.

Under the agreement, Japan will place the same level of agricultural tariffs on U.S. goods as it places on other countries through trade agreements. By way of example, the 38.5% tariff on U.S. beef will fall to the 26% placed on beef from Australia, Canada and the European Union. Some other foods such as duck, geese, turkey peaches, melons and more would enter duty-free.

“Japan is a top export destination for Ohio grains and meat and we are encouraged that a deal has been made to expand access to their market,” said Jon Miller, president of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. “Japan is also an important market for future ethanol exports and we look forward to providing them a clean-burning, high-octane fuel.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation creates scholarship for large animal veterinary students

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) has created a new scholarship fund to benefit large animal veterinary students attending The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. OCF has committed $25,000 over five years to the new scholarship fund. The first scholarships generated from this fund will be awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Scholarship Fund will provide two scholarships each year to third or fourth-year veterinary students who have demonstrated interest in practicing large animal (food/farm) medicine and plan to practice in the state of Ohio. Preference will be given to candidates whose work, research or community involvement demonstrates interest in the beef industry, or to those who are involved with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. The College of Veterinary Medicine, in consultation with Student Financial Aid, will oversee the scholarship fund, application process and will determine the scholarship recipients each year.

It is commonly understood within the agricultural industry that the educational costs and subsequent debt load associated with a veterinary degree inhibit potential students from pursuing a career in the field or have long-term financial burdens for those who do.… Continue reading

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West Nile Virus confirmed in Ohio horses

The Ohio Department of Agriculture confirmed the first two positive cases this year of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ohio horses. A horse in Stark County confirmed with WNV was vaccinated once in the spring but did not receive a booster. The second horse’s county of origin and vaccination history are not yet known. The spread of WNV in horses is preventable with proper vaccination and horse owners are urged to ensure their animal’s vaccine and boosters are up to date.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV include flulike symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. Changes in mentality, drowsiness, driving or pushing forward (often without control), and asymmetrical weakness may be observed. The mortality rate from WNV can be as high as 30% to 40% in horses. Infection with WNV does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals.… Continue reading

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State approves funding for Grand Lake St. Marys

The State Controlling Board has approved the release of $584,186 for work at Grand Lake St. Marys, State Representative Susan Manchester (R-Lakeview) announced.

The funding is being used to contract with DLZ Ohio to provide design and construction administration services for rehabilitation of the west dam embankment, located near Celina. The contract also calls for an engineering assessment of the east dam spillway, located near St. Marys.

“I appreciate the support of the State Controlling Board for these important projects,” Rep. Manchester said. “Grand Lake St. Marys is a signature of the 84th District and valuable to our local economy. It is imperative that we continue to strive to address the state of the watershed with hope of restoration. Rehabilitation projects, such as the DLZ Ohio contract, support jobs, tourism and recreation.”

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the scope of work at the west dam embankment will include embankment fill placement, grading, tree removal, utility decommissioning and/or relocation, construction debris removal, topsoil placement and vegetation establishment.… Continue reading

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Ohio House of Representatives recognizes Hills Supply’s 40th anniversary

Ohio House of Representatives District 38 Representative Bill Roemer (R) visited Hills Supply on Sept. 9, 2019 to present a commendation recognizing the 40th anniversary of Hills Supply. The proclamation reads:

On behalf of the House of Representatives of the 133 General Assembly of Ohio, we are pleased to extend special recognition to: Hills Supply, Inc. on the auspicious occasion of its Fortieth Anniversary.

Hills Supply is deserving of high praise, for throughout forty years of operation, it has attained a remarkable record of accomplishment. This exemplary dairy supply company has earned the gratitude and appreciation of many satisfied customers, and its success is a justifiable source of pride and a fine reflection not only on the business itself but also on the astute management of its owners Frank Burkett and Mick Heiby, on its hard-working employees, and on the Canal Fulton community.

Since its establishment in 1979, Hills Supply has enhanced the quality of life within the surrounding area.Continue reading

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Bill Swank passes away

Bill Swank, age 88, passed September 21, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio, his home for 62 years.

He was born in western Ohio, Darke County to Ira and Pauline Swank. He is preceded in death by two brothers Wayne and Don, and his son Michael.

He is a U.S. Airforce veteran. Bill Received his bachelor of Science, Masters and Doctorate from The Ohio State University and remained a strong supporter of the university. He was recognized by the university in many areas, including the establishment of an endowed chair in Rural\Urban Policy. He was active nationally in the agricultural field and 28 of his 40 years with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation were as Executive Vice President. He also served on numerous boards nationally and internationally. He received many awards and commendations for his work, too many to list specifically. In addition, he did extensive travel with the AID program to foreign and third world countries promoting new approaches to agriculture.… Continue reading

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Dairy Margin Coverage program signup deadline extended

The National Milk Producers Federation is urging farmers to take advantage of a one-week extension in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program signup deadline to Sept. 27, announced by USDA.

“Dairy farmers have much to gain by signing up for this program, and another week to take advantage of this benefit can be nothing but helpful for them,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We urge producers to take advantage of this added opportunity to sign up.”

The USDA said more than 21,000 dairy farms have signed up for the new program, the main risk-protection tool for dairy farmers enacted in the 2018 Farm Bill, nearing the level that participated last year in the Margin Protection Program, which DMC replaced. DMC is guaranteed to pay all producers enrolled at the maximum $9.50/cwt. coverage level for every month of production through July, according to USDA data. DMC improvements from the MPP include:
• Affordable higher coverage levels that permit all dairy producers to insure margins up to $9.50/cwt.… Continue reading

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How AI and Unmanned Aerial Systems Could Change the Futureof Crop Scouting

Crop scouting may transition from a boots-on-the-ground job to an artificial intelligence endeavor in the sky thanks to research from The Ohio State University (OSU) and investments made by the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff. Dr. Scott Shearer, professor and chair of OSU’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and his team are testing the use of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) in Ohio fields to automate the scouting process with data collected directly from the crop canopy.

Drone flying over an Ohio soybean field with stinger platform suspended beneath.

To dig deeper, OSC talked with Dr. Shearer about the project and the impact it could have on Ohio agriculture.

Q: Tell us about your current work with AI and sUAS.

A: We have developed a stinger platform suspended beneath a multi-rotor drone, or sUAS, to insert sensors into the crop canopy. These sensors capture high-resolution imagery from within the plant canopy, which can be used for real-time plant stress classification.

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No vote on community rights in Williams County, yet

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

A proposed county charter for Williams County, Ohio containing language similar to the Lake Erie Bill of Rights may not make it on the November ballot. The Ohio Supreme Court recently refused to compel the Williams County Board of Elections (BOE) to include the charter on the ballot for procedural reasons.

The charter would have declared that the people of Williams County have the right to a healthy environment and sustainable community, and that the Michindoh Aquifer and its ecosystem have the right to exist, flourish, evolve, regenerate. Further, the aquifer would have the right of restoration, recovery, and preservation, including the right to be free from interferences such as the extraction, sale, lease, transportation, or distribution of water outside of the aquifer’s boundary.

Even though the petition to put the charter on the ballot had enough signatures, the BOE believed that the language of the charter violated Ohio law, and therefore exercised its power to reject the petition and keep it off the ballot.… Continue reading

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Managing take-all and other diseases in wheat after wheat

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

I never recommend planting a small grain crop after another small grain crop, as planting wheat after barley for instance or barley after wheat increases the risk of diseases such as head scab and take-all. However, this year, some growers do not have much of a choice; soybean will not be harvested in time in some fields for them to plant wheat, so they will either have plant wheat after corn harvested for silage or after wheat. If you do end up planting wheat after corn or wheat, here are a few tips that could help to reduce the risk of having major disease problems next spring:

  1. Select and plant the most resistant variety that you can find. Check the Ohio Wheat Performance Trials report (https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/wheattrials/table6.asp?year=2019), and select a variety with resistance to as many diseases as possible. Give priority to head scab, Stagonospora, and powdery mildew resistance.
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Listen to the Agronomy and Farm Management Podcast while driving to the 37th Farm Science Review

If you are heading down to the 37th Annual Farm Science Review, listen to the Agronomy and Farm Management Podcast on the way! We interviewed the FSR manager, Nick Zachrich, about what is new this year and also talked to the farm manager, Nate Douridas, on what will be featured in the field demonstrations. You can also learn about all the areas where Extension brings you resources, presentations, demos and more. Check it out https://agcrops.osu.edu/video/agronomy-and-farm-management-podcast.… Continue reading

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Corn observations can save harvest time

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

Walking corn throughout the past few weeks has revealed a significant number of fields showing nitrogen (N) deficiency. Several factors have contributed to these N shortages, but what is imminent is that stalk strength and standability will likely be compromised in these situations.

Contributing factors of N shortage include:

  • There were less than ideal planting conditions resulting in poor root structure.
  • Tillage performed in wet conditions has created a density layer for root restriction. This has also led to decreased aggregate stability and poorer water infiltration.
  • There were dry conditions during the rapid N-uptake period. Beginning at approximately V8-V10, N uptake is approximately 7 pounds per day for three weeks. The majority of N is mobilized into the plant with water.
  • There was the potential for significant N loss with pre-plant or early N applications.

Beginning at approximately the R2 growth stage (kernel blister), the corn plant begins to remobilize most of the necessary N for grain fill from the stalk and leaves.… Continue reading

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