Slider

March 22nd corn showing signs of stress {July 18 update}

On April 10, 2012 we reported on some of the first corn to come up in Ohio. It was planted on March 22, 2012 in Fayette County. We are going to follow that field along through to harvest. See the field’s complete progress from March 22nd up until now.

As you can see from the photos, the field is finally starting to show signs of stress from lack of rain.

Continue reading

Read More »

Will widespread drought affect food prices?

Matt’s answer: Yes, but not as much as you might think. The reduced supply of corn and soybeans that results from the drought will increase prices for those commodities, but commodity prices account for a very small portion of the food cost in the grocery store or a restaurant. The amount of corn in a box of corn flakes costs less than a dime. The bulk of food costs come from transportation, packaging and processing.

The higher corn and soybean prices will raise feed costs for livestock, poultry and milk producers. In response, these industries may be forced to cut back on production and that reduced supply could result in higher meat, egg, and dairy prices down the road, but these effects are very speculative at this point and uncertain.

Expert answer: Self-appointed pseudo-scholars use common misperception, not common sense, compiled from the National Corn Growers Association Corn Commentary blog

Lately, articles have flooded the Internet claiming that the drought will cause food prices to skyrocket.… Continue reading

Read More »

Event reaches urban customers with the taste of lamb

By Matt Reese

The weekend Lamb Jam held in conjunction with the Wine Festival at the North Market in downtown Columbus showed consumers how delicious and versatile lamb can be. Seven top chefs from around Columbus competed for a $500 top prize based on their best lamb dish.

The winner of the event was Aaron White with Columbus Brewing Company. His Lamb Adobo Enchiladas wowed judges with their flavor. The runner-up was the Fig Glazed Lamb Ribs with a warm Ferro salad from Phil Gulis with Luce. Chefs from the Refectory, Bodega, Gourmet Pizza Bistro, Renaissance Hotels and  MoJoe’s Columbus also competed with delicious lamb dishes.

“This was a great way to expose more urban customers to the delicious lamb produced right here in Ohio,” said Roger High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. “There was a great crowd here and plenty of opportunities for them to enjoy lamb.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Angry Birds may distract from drought

By Matt Reese

I am fortunate to have one of those fancy I-phones for work. On the phone, I can surf the Web, send and receive email, record interviews, take photos, check Facebook, monitor Twitter, add posts to the website, and even play Angry Birds. While all of these applications do come in handy very regularly, the most-used feature on my fancy phone this summer has been the weather radar as I watch the rain (or lack of) move across the state. I downloaded an app (fancy phone speak for “application”) from The Weather Channel that provides a handy daily weather update and an animated radar map with up-to-the-minute accuracy. In years like this, this kind of app can be pretty addictive.

The app also has a feature where you can target the locations of the most interest on the map, and I have plenty of areas around the state I’m very interested in watching.… Continue reading

Read More »

Gestation stall debate driving change

By Matt Reese

A picture of a sow in the tight confines of a gestation stall is tough for many consumers to see. And, while some consumers express unbridled outrage, animal rights groups drum up fund raising support and retailers demand change based upon that image, it seems that one thing is lost in the off-farm debate surrounding the animal welfare realities of gestation stalls — the welfare of the pigs.

With more retailers demanding gestation stall free pork, and the more concrete Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board requirements, hog farmers are grappling with what type

of housing system (group housing pens or gestation stalls) is really best for the animals. There are many opinions out there concerning the future of Ohio pork production. Pat Hord, who is based in Crawford County and among the largest hog producers in the state, is taking a proactive approach to this issue, but still acknowledges the challenges in the move away from gestation stalls.… Continue reading

Read More »

Between the Rows, July 16

 

 

 

 

 

Billy Pontius

Fairfield County

Another round of rains missed the farm. “We’re hoping for 100 bushels on corn. It has had two inches of rain since planting. You’ll see an ear that is really good and then you’ll see one that’s not good. A few ears are pollinated completely and then there will be one that only is 25% pollinated. It is all over the board depending on how much moisture the plant got.  The average of it is not good. That 100-degree heat got it. The later pollinating corn is no better off than the earlier corn because we just haven’t gotten any more moisture. The blacker dirt is holding the moisture a little better. The clay banks, though, pollinated but the some of the plants never shot an ear.

“I am surprised that, with less than two inches of rain since we planted, that this corn isn’t already dead.… Continue reading

Read More »

Dry pastures don't discourage attendance at Ohio Sheep Day

By Matt Reese

The rising level of interest in sheep production was readily apparent at the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association Ohio Sheep Day as a crowd of more than 175 people gathered at Buckeye Acres Farm west of Van Wert today.

The drought did little to discourage the enthusiasm, but was an important topic of discussion at the event. Knox County Extension educator Troy Cooper and retired NRCS specialist Bob Hendershot led a pasture tour to discuss a variety of pasture management options.

“With the drought, if we can get some rain in the next two or three weeks, you can get a no-till drill an inter-seed some winter annuals such as turnips or rye, which would provide some quick feed for this fall grazing as our pastures try to regain health and strength,” Cooper said. “For a longer-term solution, you can come in with some perennials this fall and re-seed some grass.… Continue reading

Read More »

Dry pastures don’t discourage attendance at Ohio Sheep Day

By Matt Reese

The rising level of interest in sheep production was readily apparent at the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association Ohio Sheep Day as a crowd of more than 175 people gathered at Buckeye Acres Farm west of Van Wert today.

The drought did little to discourage the enthusiasm, but was an important topic of discussion at the event. Knox County Extension educator Troy Cooper and retired NRCS specialist Bob Hendershot led a pasture tour to discuss a variety of pasture management options.

“With the drought, if we can get some rain in the next two or three weeks, you can get a no-till drill an inter-seed some winter annuals such as turnips or rye, which would provide some quick feed for this fall grazing as our pastures try to regain health and strength,” Cooper said. “For a longer-term solution, you can come in with some perennials this fall and re-seed some grass.… Continue reading

Read More »

Panama Canal provide exciting opportunities for U.S. ag

A conversation with David Blankenship, with the Ohio Soybean Council, who was on a recent trade mission to Panama.

OCJ: First, what was the purpose for your recent trip to Panama?

David: I recently took a trip to Panama representing the Ohio Soybean Council to see firsthand and learn more about projects that the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff helps fund in partnership with USSEC.

OCJ: What were some of the highlights from the trip?

David: Seeing the Panama Canal first hand and watching the efficiency of the operation was amazing for a canal that transits such large volume. It is not only important to the Panama economy but it is also very important to U.S. soybean farmers and Ohio soybean farmers. The Panama Canal allows for easy transit of U.S. grown soybeans to be shipped over 144 commercial maritime routes worldwide.

OCJ: What is the status of the new expansion of the Panama Canal?… Continue reading

Read More »

Product may be partially produced with Brussels sprouts

By Matt Reese

I came home a little later than usual from the office and dinner was almost ready. As I walked in the door, I heard my wife say to the children, “Are you guys ready for some French fries?”

My taste buds were then on high alert. While she doesn’t make them often, Kristin will occasionally cut up potatoes, glaze them with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake them — one of my favorite treats.

It smelled great. I reached into the refrigerator to grab some ketchup. I set the condiment on the counter in anticipation of the French fries and my wife gave me a funny look.

“Ok kids, eat your French fries,” she said as she handed the kids their plates.

My two-year-old son shares my enthusiasm for French fries and wore a huge smile, ready to tear into the delicious potatoes. It was at this point that I noticed the “French fries” looked kind of funny.… Continue reading

Read More »

House starts farm bill process

By Matt Reese

To say that the farm bill will be an uphill battle in the House may be an understatement, yet agricultural groups are holding out hope for some definitive action this year. Speaker of the House and Ohioan John Boehner does not have a track record of support for farm bills and the list of amendments for the House bill may make the bogged down process in the Senate look like a cakewalk.

With clear challenges ahead, late last night, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2012 by a vote of 35-11. From here, the bill will hopefully move to the House floor for debate. Then, if it passes the House, the differences will have to be hashed out between the Senate and the House versions of the farm bill in conference before going to the President for a final signature.… Continue reading

Read More »

Silage an option for drought-stressed corn

Farmers with drought-damaged cornfields could consider harvesting the crop for livestock feed to salvage some of its value and to help livestock producers supplement short forage supplies, says a Purdue Extension forage specialist.

Damaged corn can be harvested as either whole-plant silage or green chop, but, either way, growers and livestock producers need to be aware of how it can affect feed quality and animal health.

“Feeding value of drought-stressed corn is influenced by several factors but in general is higher than expected,” Keith Johnson said. “Most studies indicate feed value of drought-stressed corn to be 80 to 100% that of normal silage.”

Purdue University studies showed little or no difference in feedlot gain or milk production when beef and dairy cattle were fed normal or stressed corn silage. But, as a rule, Johnson said drought-stressed corn will have slightly more fiber and less energy, but 1-2% more protein than normal silage.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA report sets stage for “short crop, long tail”

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile 

USDA this morning estimated the 2012 U.S. corn yield at 146 bushels per acre. Many would call this a surprise when you look at the average trade estimate was 154. The range was 147 to 162. Last month the corn yield was estimated at 166 bushels per acre. Minutes before the report was released December corn was trading at $7.28, up 9.5 cents. At 8:45 am December corn was trading at $7.44, up 25.5 cents.

 

The U.S. soybean yield was estimated at 40.5 bushels per acre. The average trade estimate was 42.3 bushels per acre. The range was 41.3-43.9. The estimate last month was 43.9 bushels per acre. At 8:45 November soybeans were $15.70 up 31.5 cents. Just prior to the report soybeans were $15.54.

Weeks prior to this report many traders had a target of $7.40 for December corn. Today in early trading December corn had reached $7.48.Continue reading

Read More »

USDA report sets stage for "short crop, long tail"

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile 

USDA this morning estimated the 2012 U.S. corn yield at 146 bushels per acre. Many would call this a surprise when you look at the average trade estimate was 154. The range was 147 to 162. Last month the corn yield was estimated at 166 bushels per acre. Minutes before the report was released December corn was trading at $7.28, up 9.5 cents. At 8:45 am December corn was trading at $7.44, up 25.5 cents.

 

The U.S. soybean yield was estimated at 40.5 bushels per acre. The average trade estimate was 42.3 bushels per acre. The range was 41.3-43.9. The estimate last month was 43.9 bushels per acre. At 8:45 November soybeans were $15.70 up 31.5 cents. Just prior to the report soybeans were $15.54.

Weeks prior to this report many traders had a target of $7.40 for December corn. Today in early trading December corn had reached $7.48.Continue reading

Read More »

Soybeans reaching critical point for moisture

By Matt Reese

With hope gone for high corn yields in many parts of the state, attention has shifted to the needs of the soybean crop as it enters the time of the growing season when moisture is most needed. Soybeans have pushed through the tough conditions in many fields but will still need some rain to perform in 2012.

“With most of the state experiencing at least moderate drought conditions and high temperatures, soybeans are exhibiting

symptoms of water stress. A visual indication of soybean water stress includes flipped leaves,” said Laura Lindsey, the new Ohio State University Extension soybean specialist. “The flipped leaves expose a silver-green underside which reflects light. In more severe cases, the outer leaves of the trifoliate will close together to reduce the leaf area exposed to sunlight and reduce water loss. Water-stressed soybeans will grow slower and have smaller leaves compared to soybeans growing with adequate soil moisture.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn yield hopes hang on pollination success

Recent rains in some parts of Ohio may not be enough to stem the damage from high temperatures and drought conditions during corn pollination, according to an Ohio State University Extension specialist.

Pollination is the stage in corn development most sensitive to such stress conditions, said Peter Thomison, an OSU Extension agronomist.

Severe drought stress before and during pollination could cause a delay in silk emergence. If the delay lasts long enough, little or no pollen is available for fertilization when the silks finally appear, he said.

“When such delays in silking are lengthy, varying degrees of barrenness will result,” Thomison said. “This year it’s likely that silk emergence will be delayed in many drought-stressed corn fields unless we get some significant rain very soon.”

Thomison, who is also a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, said the drought may be the major headline of the 2012 corn crop.… Continue reading

Read More »

Risks of raw milk? Make mine pasteurized

By Donald “Doc” Sanders

While growing up I drank raw, unpasteurized milk harvested from my dad’s dairy cows. You could always bank on three inches of cream in the neck of my mother’s glass milk bottles.

Dad’s cows produced milk with cream so thick, that after it had been refrigerated, it took a knife to break through so it would pour. On the other hand, one of dad’s cows, Star, produced so little cream you could drop a quarter into the bottle and be able to read “In God We Trust,” assuming it landed heads. Star produced an incredible amount of “skimmed” milk. Her life was never in danger for being a loafer.

I like the taste of raw milk, but it poses too much health risk to be drinking it. My mother realized this, when I was a teenager, she purchased a home pasteurizer from Montgomery-Ward. She had us drinking pasteurized, non-homogenized milk.… Continue reading

Read More »

Between the Rows, July 9 update

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Thomas, Stark County

“We set a record high of 101 on Saturday. It was windy and there was no rain. We haven’t had any of the devastating stuff, but we are extremely dry. On July 5, we got less than a half a tenth and that is all we had in the last couple of weeks. Some of the crops are looking really stressed. We have some corn that has the gray pineapple look to it and there is no rain in the forecast. I am optimistic that, with these cool nights, we’ll get a good dew to help hold things over and back some of the stress off a little bit. We’re not to total devastation yet like some people are with hail and winds.

“Corn in the area has tasseled and is pollinating. Most of that corn is about 75% or 80%, but it needs moisture to pollinate.… Continue reading

Read More »

Creepy-crawly SAE earns honor for FFA student

By Kayla Weaver, OCJ field reporter

Many FFA students choose something more traditional such as growing corn and soybeans, raising cattle, or working at an agribusiness for their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project. However, one Genoa FFA member chose a less traditional route. Michael Snider’s SAE project consists of breeding and raising more than 15 different kinds of spiders in partnership with his father, in the attic of their garage.

The idea of raising spiders came out of a shared interest between Snider and his father.

“My dad did this before I was born, so we’ve really just got back into it. He’s always told me about spiders, but I never got to really see everything until we started raising them,” Snider said.

There are many advantages these non-traditional animals provide. Their small size is beneficial and allows for their housing to be built vertically, which is an important factor when there are anywhere from 200 to 300 spiders on hand at a given time.… Continue reading

Read More »

Assessing corn after a tough early growing season

By Jeff Rectenwald, Technical Agronomist for Monsanto

Recent strong storms in Ohio brought high winds and some much needed rainfall in several parts of the state. The rainfall was critical in many parts of Ohio where the corn and soybeans were showing strong signs of drought and heat stress. Since April 1, many parts of Ohio have received 5 to 10 inches of rainfall, which is 3 to 4 inches below the 5-year average. Growing Degree Days (GDD’s) for the same period have accumulated 1,200 to 1,300 units, which is 175 t0 200 GDD’s ahead of normal. We use the GDD’s to track the overall progress of corn development. I like to consult the numbers weekly to track the progress of rainfall and temperature in the state. You can also track these at the Ohio page on the National Agricultural Statistics Service website.

 

Why is my corn short?

Corn planted earlier in the season tends to be shorter than later planted corn because the daylength is shorter April 1 compared to May 1.

Continue reading

Read More »