High oleic soybeans gaining traction in the food industry

Though it has been slow going, high oleic soybeans continue to gain traction as the food industry becomes increasingly interested in the oil they produce.

“The food industry is very excited about high stability liquid oils. When trans fats were removed from food formulations several years ago due to the health concerns, food companies have been looking for a high stability oil to replace some of the partially hydrogenated oil they had used previously. High oleic soybean oil is the first domestically produced, affordable high stability oil that food companies can use in large quantities. Prior to this they have been using palm oil, sunflower and safflower and high oleic canola imported from Canada,” said Richard Galloway, a high oleic soybean consultant for the United Soybean Board. “High oleic soy provides oil for frying or baking with high heat for products that need long shelf lives. It is a domestic oil with a manageable supply chain that the food companies can rely on.”… Continue reading

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12 things you need to know about the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo

12 things you need to know about the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo

Here are a few things you need to know to kick-start your National Convention planning from the National FFA.

1. Louisville, Ky., dubbed the city of possibilities, will be the host of the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo Oct. 30 – Nov. 2. “Our city will roll out the red carpet for you and do everything possible to make you feel at home,” said Mayor Gregory Fischer in his welcome letter to FFA Advisors.

2. FFA will literally take over the entire city of Louisville this fall. Several convention and expo events and activities, including the National FFA Expo and general sessions, will take place in the 1.3-million-square-foot Kentucky Exposition Center (formerly known as the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center). Six hotels will also host events: The Galt House Hotel – nominating committee, Farm Business Management and Marketing Plan CDEs; The Marriott Hotel — Agricultural Sales and Prepared Public Speaking CDEs; The Hyatt Hotel — Creed Speaking CDE and Star Awards; The Seelbach Hilton — National FFA Foundation events; The Brown Hotel — Job Interview CDE; The Crown Plaza Hotel (formerly known as Executive West) — National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education and Agricultural Issues CDE.… Continue reading

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Driving draft horses is still a thrill for Buckeye native

Though Jason Honsberger of Defiance has driven draft horses most his life and has been a professional driver for nearly 20 years, he still finds holding the lines of a large hitch of draft horses thrilling.

Honsberger started driving horses around the age of 8, but moved up from smaller hitches to driving much larger hitches at a young age. By the time he was 16, he was driving his family’s six-horse hitch in the show ring. Most of his summers as a kid were spent showing horses with his family.

“That is what we pretty much did as a family from the day we got out of school,” he said. “We would go to all the county fairs in Ohio and in Michigan until the day we went back to school.”

Though Honsberger did graduate from The Ohio State University with a degree in business administration, his plans to pursue a career in that field were put on hold when he was offered a job driving draft horses professionally.… Continue reading

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OFBF Sponsors Ohio Leadership Camp Scholarships for AC FFA Members

Members of the Amanda-Clearcreek FFA Chapter were part of over 92 FFA members, advisors, and Ohio Farm Bureau Youth who recently attended Ohio Leadership Camp, held in Carrollton, Ohio at FFA Camp Muskingum from June 21st through the 24th.

The students were able to attend camp through a scholarship sponsored by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Inc. of Columbus. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has been a sponsor of the Ohio FFA for 53 consecutive years. On hand to present the scholarships were Maddy Buschur, President of the Ohio FFA Foundation and Darrell Rubel, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Director of Learning Delivery.

Scholarship recipients from the Amanda-Clearcreek FFA Chapter include: Kaylee Reed, Susan Householder, Kayla Luft, and Adrian Wymer. These members were four of many to fill out and complete an application. Scholarships were then presented to each of these four AC FFA members at the Amanda-Clearcreek FFA Awards Banquet, which was held on May 14th.… Continue reading

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Rural Ohio is home to the paranormal

A conversation with…

Daniel Schneider, an Ohio paranormal investigator and member of Ohio Gothic Paranormal from Columbus, Ohio

OCJ: You have been interested in the paranormal for a long time. Why do you find this so fascinating and what kinds of work have you done in this area of study?

Daniel: The paranormal history of Ohio goes back to before Europeans set foot here and continues to present time. You get an insight into actual people and their daily lives and the lives of those in different eras.

As far as work in the area, it involves a lot of reading, especially older books and newspapers. Contacting local historical societies is also a must. I like to experience the locations I have read and researched first hand. I use the typical “tools of the trade” including night vision cameras, Electromagnetic field meters, audio recorders and even “old school” items like a compass and dowsing rods to collect data.… Continue reading

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Between the Rows, Oct. 28





“We got all of the beans cut in six days. We just got in the cab and didn’t slow down. We don’t have a big range in maturity and they were all pretty much the same. There was a lot of water damage and most of the beans were only knee high. As much water damage as there was, I thought we did pretty well. We ended up somewhere over that 50-bushel per acre mark. We used high management on them and tried to get the right stuff on them when they needed it.  We had no weed pressure either. There were a lot of troubles with controlling weeds in many areas this year. I am glad my chemical program is working.

“We’ve gotten about 350 acres of corn done. There are good spots and bad spots. The first corn we shelled was 200 plus bushels. The corn in the good black ground was not as good as I was hoping it would be.… Continue reading

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Logging with Belgians begins journey to show ring

Craig and Chris Hammersmith of Defiance weren’t always interested in draft horses. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Hammersmiths resided in Vermont where they owned a logging operation. They didn’t own any horses at the time and had no plans to change their situation.

“I had a skidder and bull dozer, and I was commercially logging,” Craig said.

But Vermont is full of sugar woods and an irresistible opportunity to expand the logging business in a new direction was presented to Craig.

“A friend of mine was president of the Vermont Maple Syrup Association had 3,000 acres of sugar wood with roads in it and everything,” Craig said. “It had beautiful saw logs in it. He said, ‘Hammer if somebody had a pair of horses I’d just about give them those logs.’”

Though Craig had no previous experience owning or working with horses, he was never one to turn down a challenge so he and a buddy decided to try their hand at logging with horses.… Continue reading

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Lower prices likely as harvest answers yield questions

The pleasant surprises in the fields for farmers across the country are painting a gloomy picture for those looking for higher prices in the near future.

“The crop is bigger than we think and the grower came in with less hedge than what he normally would. The good news is that he has a big crop, the bad news is he doesn’t like the price,” said Mike Mock, a grain buyer with The Anderson’s, Inc. “If you have 200-bushel corn and you can put it in the bin and sell a forward slot in February and you can get $4.50, that is $900 gross and guys are going to be fine with that for this year. They don’t like the price but we’re trying to get them focused on the revenue.”

The lack of price protection for so many bushels this fall is a real concern.

“It seems like everyone is putting corn in the bin with limited price protection and delayed pricing.… Continue reading

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Life after the shutdown for Farm Service Agency offices

A conversation with…

Darin Leach, Executive Director of the Logan County Farm Service Agency, about how the government shutdown affected his office.

OCJ: What are some of the major changes since the restart of the FSA after the shutdown that ended last week? Are there any?

Darin: The biggest change is that as of Oct. 1, 2013, we currently do not have a farm bill. The extension of the 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, 2013. This means we do not have any programs to sign up for fiscal year 2014 at this time.

OCJ: How backed up are office workers on work to where they should be if there were no shutdown?

Darin: October is a busy month for us. All of the 2013 direct payments for the DCP program as well as CRP annual rental payments are made during the month of October. The county offices usually spend a good portion of the month making those payments to producers in a timely manner.… Continue reading

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A John Deere combine that is anything but green

I am at the age now that if you have attire older than me, your neckties have been in and out of style a time or two and you really need to clean out your sock drawer. That is why I had to slow down and then completely turn around as I passed a 1976 John Deere 4400 combine cutting beans in Bradner, Ohio (Wood County).

4400 2After waiting a little while for Carl Bierksheide to make his way back from the far side of the field to the side shared with the road, I was able to jump up into the cab for a looksee and a short visit. Before I even introduced myself I asked him where his buddy seat, fridge and monitor were. He smiled and stuck his hand out and we got to talking about this relic that started working in the field almost 40 years ago, back when the average corn yield was below 90 bushels.… Continue reading

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Yield surprises showing up across the Corn Belt

As crop prices have been creeping steadily downward, frustration is setting in for many farmers who have grown accustomed to small national corn crops in recent years and the resulting pricing patterns. As more yield monitors around the country are starting to reveal, 2013 did not produce a small corn crop.

There has been talk for months now of a strong corn crop in Ohio, but there were many questions left about the yields to the west. The harvest is providing some answers. Steve Eickhoff farms in Minnesota and has been pleasantly surprised with his crops this fall.

“We’re closer to the Mississippi and our land is rolling and well drained. We had half of our crop planted by the middle of May and that is all going over 200 and soybeans are averaging about 50,” he said. “We had a great September and October and we got most of our corn mature.… Continue reading

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National Corn Husking Contest comes to Ohio

The Ohio Corn Huskers Association recently hosted the 2013 Ohio and National Cornhusking Contest at Magie Wonder Acres Farm in Darke County. The Ohio contest was held on Oct. 19 and the national contest was the following day along with a tractor show, flea market and craft, corn games and more.

“It went very well. It is really the only agricultural specific sport that just anybody can go and do with minimal preparation. You just need a little practice and a husking hook to participate — it is not limited to big farmers, big money or big equipment. It is a neat part of history that goes back a long ways,” said Tim Calvin, who participated in the year’s event and will be hosting next year’s event on his farm in Delaware County. “Anyone can just show up and do it for the first time. There are people to help you learn how to do it so you can just show up, enter and compete.… Continue reading

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Hocking County Fair helped a family in need

Seven-year-old Westley McKinley, from Hocking County, was diagnosed with a relatively rare disorder called Batten Disease in 2010. Since then, his family has been dealing with the horrors of the disease that is fatal and debilitating — trying to help Westley get the most out of life while he still can. There is no known cure for Batten’s Disease.

The stress of the situation, mounting medical bills and long and regular trips to Cincinnati for treatment have created challenges that are hard for many to imagine, but the family is working to make the best of the terrible situation. Westley’s mother, Tracee, was quoted in the “Logan Daily News:”

“When Westley was still talking, he said he wanted to be a teacher. Westley will never become an actual teacher, but he doesn’t have to because he teaches everyone on a daily basis,” she said. “He teaches how to love unconditionally, be accepting of others and to always be thankful for what you have in life.”… Continue reading

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Bt soybeans announced by Dow

Last week Dow AgroSciences announced the development of soybeans containing two different Bt genes for control of lepidopteran pests, basically caterpillars of various moth species.

The company’s insect-resistant soybean trait is the first to be submitted for approvals that expresses two Bt proteins. This will provide broader in-plant protection of lepidopteran pests, as well as improve sustainability of the technology compared to other soybean technologies being advanced in the market with only one Bt protein. Extensive research has shown that the company’s trait provides broad in-plant protection against lepidopteran pests such as fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), soybean looper (Pseudoplusia includens), velvetbean caterpillar (Anticarsia gemmatalis), soybean podworm (Helicoverpa gelotopoeon), and tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens) as well as Rachiplusia nu.

“Our insect-resistant soybean trait is a major advancement of outstanding technology that will help farmers who struggle more every season to control significant lepidopteran pests,” said Rolando Meninato, global leader, Seeds Traits, and Oils, Dow AgroSciences.… Continue reading

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I was having a pretty good day. I was interviewing a possible horse sitter, and I was excited because she seemed to like the horses and has the time to feed for me several times a month. Although this young woman was an adult with a full-time job, she still seemed happy about helping me with occasional feedings.

We were on our way back to the barn from the house and about finished up when I noticed a snake literally under my feet. I started screaming and dancing around to get away from the snake — not exactly a great impression to leave on a potential new helper.

I tried calling my husband several times to help with snake extermination, but he didn’t answer his phone. The young woman declared that she couldn’t walk by the snake as it was in a narrow aisle, and I just didn’t think I could kill it while both she and the snake were watching me.… Continue reading

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2013 was a scary year for some pumpkin growers


The wet year made for a number of scary challenges for pumpkin production around Ohio in 2013, with some pumpkin growers faring better than others.

“There has been everywhere from total crop losses to one of the best crops in many years, area and farm dependent. Overall I think Ohio has an average crop, fruit size may be down a little, especially down south here where we had many areas with little rainfall in September when the fruits were enlarging,” said Brad Bergefurd, with Ohio State University Extension horticulture specialist at the South Centers at Piketon. “Phytophthora hit many northern and central Ohio areas, mainly north of Columbus, that received those heavy July rains. There was more Downy Mildew pressure in some areas this year so growers had to manage that disease too.”

The pumpkin market is looking strong heading into the spookiest time of year.

“Price and demand seem to be good so far,” Bergefurd said.… Continue reading

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