Slider

Relationships are to be treasured

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Some of you may have heard this story from years gone by, but one that is a favorite. Early in our veterinary career my wife, Judy, and I focused totally on building a practice that would provide the best service for our clients, their animals and a positive contribution to the community.

It was unusual for new grads to start a practice right out of vet school, so we were determined to prove ourselves by doing just that. We put in long hours while striving for excellence, providing vet emergency service at night and on weekends. We aggressively branded this style of totally dedicated veterinary medicine to our clients. Then several years into our practice we woke up and realized that smelling the roses was also important.

For most of our practice career we had the privilege to work alongside several fine associate veterinarians who gained their early career training under our tutelage.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 93 | Happy National FFA Week!

The Ohio Ag Net Podcast, brought to you by AgriGold, welcomes Ohio FFA State President Kolesen McCoy and State Reporter Bailey Eberhart alongside Joel, Dale, and Matt to talk National FFA Week.

The crew also hears from Kolt Buchenroth’s recap of Ohio Pork Congress as well as coverage with Jim and Mark Metzger of the Alcoholic Harvester Pulling Team from the National Farm Machinery Show.

Plus a special chat with cartoonist Earl Musick, the man behind “Dave the Seed Guy” featured in Ohio’s Country Journal.… Continue reading

Read More »

I was not a state officer (and that is why FFA is so great)

“When were you a state officer?”

That’s a common question I get when it comes to my time in the National FFA Organization. I take it as flattery that somebody thinks I have what it takes to have once been a leader in the state organization. The bar is high for the job and we see each year a new set of young people take on the roles with diligence and excitement.

Yes, I have gotten far because of FFA. It opened up opportunities for me (current job included), plus cemented life-long friendships through all the professional and personal development the organization advised.

Now before we go any farther, let’s understand that for many students, being a state FFA officer is viewed as the pinnacle of the FFA experience. You see your peers standing on stage talking to tens of thousands in the crowd, wearing the blue corduroy with pride and class, and being a leader for the premier agricultural youth organization in the world.… Continue reading

Read More »

Addressing rutted fields from the soggy harvest

By Matt Reese

Though it always seems the rutting is a bit worse in the neighbor’s fields, the soggy fall and winter harvest conditions have left no shortage of problem areas to address in Ohio’s corn and soybean fields before spring planting.

Seed Consultants, Inc. agronomist Bill McDonald has seen plenty of rutted up fields in his travels around the state and fears there are no easy answers as long as the wet conditions persist.

“It really concerns me because the closer we get to spring, we are still wet and saturated. I’m afraid the chisel plow is going to be out — with these conditions there is going to be no chisel plowing to get those ruts turned in. It would have been nice if we could have chisel plowed last fall and let this winter freeze take care of that and help with some of the compaction we caused out there this fall, but I don’t see that as an option.… Continue reading

Read More »

Dredging discussion and implications for Lake Erie

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

In 2015 Ohio’s lawmakers passed a bill that prohibits dredged materials from Lake Erie harbors or any other navigation maintenance activities to be deposited into the lake after June, 30, 2020. Called “open lake dumping,” that’s been the acceptable disposal method for uncontaminated siltation and other dredgings. With a five-year compliance window about to close, that option is about to change.

The impact of the new dredging regs will be greatest on the eight commercial ports along Ohio’s Lake Erie shorelines, where the US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the harbors that require regular dredging to maintain commercial traffic and recreational boaters and anglers enjoy the benefits. However, most of Ohio’s private and public small boat harbors and marinas along Lake Erie also require periodic dredging. As with the Corp’s commercial operations, those dredged materials have always been allowed to be put back in Lake Erie.… Continue reading

Read More »

Alcoholic Harvester Pulling Team seeing ‘dreams come true’ in Louisville

The Alcoholic Harvester Pulling Team, ran by brothers Mark and Jim Metzger of Shelby, Ohio, are among the select few tractor pulling teams that received an invitation to run at the 2019 National Farm Machinery Show.

The group made their rounds on social media after this year’s harvest with their video of the pulling tractor attached to a grain cart — and making a run with it.

The 2019 National Farm Machinery Show runs through Saturday, with the Alcoholic Harvester pulling Thursday night.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood caught up with Mark and Jim to talk about the “dream come true” of pulling in Louisville.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Pork Congress recognizes producers, future opportunity

By Kolt Buchenroth

Ohio Pork Council held their annual Pork Congress this week. The annual event provides the opportunity to connect producers to trade show venders and business partners. In addition to educational sessions and seminars, the congress also aims to recognize Ohio Pork Producers for their service to the industry and its future. Several awards were presented to Ohio Hog Farmers doing just that. Our coverage of the event, and a discussion with Ohio Pork Council leadership is in this video.… Continue reading

Read More »

Award winners recognized at Ohio Pork Congress

Ohio is fortunate to be home to many outstanding leaders who work selflessly to make a difference in the pork industry. At yesterday’s Ohio Pork Congress Luncheon some of those individuals were recognized for their service with the presentation of the Swine Manager of the Year, Ohio Pork Council Service, Pork Promoter of the Year, Friends of Ohio Pork and Ohio Pork Industry Excellence awards.

Swine Manager of the Year Award: Nathan Isler, Prospect

Nathan oversees the sows and three full time employees in the sow barn for Isler Genetics.

“Commercially raising hogs for market is the way we are going and our future as I see it today,” Nathan said. “The vast majority of our hogs go to market, but we also sell breeding stock, show pigs, and pigs for medical research. We sell commercial semen as well. We also have three contract barns. Through the progression of things we are 70% pure York sows.… Continue reading

Read More »

Passion for putting pigs first drives swine manager of the year

By Matt Reese

As all aspects of the hog industry have evolved, Isler Genetics has changed accordingly. This incredible Marion County family tradition in the Ohio pork industry is now in the capable hands of another generation, including Nathan Isler, who is the Ohio Pork Council swine manager of the year.

“We’re working on six generations farming here. My grandfather had a little bit of everything. My Dad and uncle really grew with the hog industry. Our farm was built off of breeding stock. We’ve been a closed herd since the 70s,” Nathan said. “My Uncle Don and my Dad, Bill, built and grew the farm. Uncle Gene had a hand in it too. Dad came back in ‘68 to the farm. At that time we had Durocs, Yorks, Landrace, Hamps and large Whites. When Dad’s generation came back they started raising more breeding stock. There were maybe 50 sows before Dad and Don came back and grew it into what it is today.… Continue reading

Read More »

New or replacement drainage in 2019 and drainage education

By Larry C. Brown

Now is the time to start checking your existing agricultural drainage system for any field conditions that may need your attention after the last crop season and certainly after the excessive rainfall in 2018. Check drainage outlets for damage or blockage, and clean the animal guard; check the field for drain blowouts or soil failures where excessive runoff and sediment may enter the subsurface drains; check areas that ponded last crop season, or where crop yields were reduced because of excessive rainfall and soil wetness to assess the need for additional drainage, etc.

You may be considering new subsurface drainage or replacing parts of older systems. When considering a new system, you might want to think about an alternative system design, a Drainage Water Management System. All of the benefits that come with a traditional subsurface drainage system can be achieved with a system that is designed for drainage water management, plus at least several important extras.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 92 | A visit with Leah Curtis on LEBoR and much more

The crew of Dale Minyo, Matt Reese, and Kolt Buchenroth join Leah Curtis of the Ohio Farm Bureau to get the latest legal updates regarding Ohio agriculture.

In addition to the in-depth chat with Curtis about the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, the crew also hears interviews with Jon Scheve about the recent USDA market reports, Mark Loux on the growing weed problems, and Victoria Popp on benchmarks for beginning crop producers.

All that and more in this podcast, sponsored by AgriGold.… Continue reading

Read More »

Hemp, Lake Erie water quality among several OFU policy priorities for 2019

The Ohio Farmers Union added hemp cultivation and specific recommendations for Lake Erie water quality woes in its 2019 statement of public policy proposals.

Adopted at its recent state convention in Lima, OFU’s “Special Orders of Business” outline the organization’s legislative and executive branch priorities on both the state and national level for the year.

Two topics new on OFU’s slate this year are industrial hemp production in Ohio and a call for state political leaders to lessen the tax burden on Ohio’s woodlands.

“While we are grateful for the recent changes to the CAUV formula, there still exists issues with some outlandish tax assessments on woodlands around the state. Woodlands provide immense environmental benefits and we’ll be talking to state leaders this year about tweaks to their valuation for tax purposes,” said Joe Logan, OFU president. “With harmful algal blooms and other water quality issues, we need to make sure we don’t negatively incentivize farmers and rural landowners regarding conservation.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Common sense about an uncommon frog

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

With all of the talk of the political divide in this country, it is nice to know there is still some common ground. On Nov. 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in a case about the dusky gopher frog, Weyerhaeuser Company v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service (2018). The common ground turned out to be 1,544 acres of private land in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. Let me explain.

The dusky gopher frog, Rana Sevosa, has dark coloring “dusky” and lives underground “gopher.” Adults are usually 3 inches long with a large head, plump body and short legs (sounds like half of the lawyers roaming the halls of the courthouse). Warts dot its back, and dark spots cover its entire body. The dusky gopher frog is noted for covering its eyes with its front legs when it feels threatened, peeking out periodically until danger passes.… Continue reading

Read More »

Taking a look at the February numbers

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

With the government shutdown eliminating the January USDA report, all the information the market wants to trade was moved to the February report, making it one of the biggest and most anticipated report of the year.

The final 2018 corn yield of 176.4 was surprising. This was slightly lower than 2017 and 2.5 bushels lower than the December report. This was one of the biggest yield decreases from December estimates to the final results in history. Those two bushels mean over 200 million fewer bushels, which should have had a bigger positive impact on futures. However, the report also showed a drop in overall demand.

The 125-million-bushel feed demand decrease surprised me. I’ve noticed high demand for corn in feed rations recently compared to other substitute ingredients, so I was actually expecting an increase. With the USDA livestock numbers showing a 2.36% year over year production increase, if feed rations stayed the same, it should have only meant a 75-million-bushel feed demand decrease (not 125 million).… Continue reading

Read More »

Big, but neutral, USDA report day

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Finally, the numbers.

It looks to be a neutral report. Corn and soybean production reduced as expected. Corn fed to livestock was reduced 125 million bushels while ethanol was cut 25 million bushels. Soybean exports are down 25 million bushels, crush up 10 million bushels.

The market and traders were thrilled with finally seeing some numbers from USDA today at noon. For weeks market participation has been reduced with daily volumes moving lower and narrow daily ranges. This past week corn has seen days with less than a two-cent range while soybeans could not muster a five-cent daily range. The market thrives on information. Today we get a massive dump of numbers.

USDA published both the January and February numbers that are found in the Supply and Demand Report. They included final 2018 corn and soybean yields and production, and quarterly grain stocks as of Dec.… Continue reading

Read More »

Initial Brazil soybean harvest not record-breaking, still solid

Soybean harvest in Parana, Brazil, the country’s second-largest soybean-producing state, has reached 25%, well ahead of the 2018 pace.

Brazilian government forecasting agency DERAL says, although the state suffered through a mini-drought in December, early yield results show no material losses. Only 6% of the state’s soy fields are reportedly in bad condition. The number his still higher than last year’s zero ‘bad’ fields.

DERAL says 24% of fields are considered average, compared to 14% in the last cycle. The remaining fields are considered in good condition. As it stands currently, Brazil’s crop will be short of the record-high estimates of 122 million metric tons. Weather issues in Brazil are not widespread or significant enough to put a major dent in production.

Elsewhere in South America, harvest expectations in Argentina are nearing 53- to 55-million metric tons, coming off 38 MMT in 2018.… Continue reading

Read More »

“Deal or No Deal” appearance yields big win and lasting memories for an Ohio family

By Matt Reese

In March of 2018, the Anderson family got more bad news. Randy Anderson, who had been fighting cancer for several years, found out it had spread. His daughter, Casey Heath, wanted to do something to help her father focus on something other than his pain and health issues. At the same time, Casey and her husband were contemplating selling their home in Sandusky so she could move closer to Bluffton to work at Anderson Tractor Supply, the family’s business in northwest Ohio.

The situation prompted Casey to do an unusual Google search to find out about the television game show “Deal or No Deal.”

“Dad was going through a lot of health issues and he is a tremendously big fan of the show. We had gotten some bad news about him and I thought, ‘I’m just going to Google this to see if we can get on the show.’… Continue reading

Read More »

Methods to improve cash flow

By Brian E. Ravencraft

A method to address the reduction of unnecessary costs is to first establish which activity of the farm operation generates those costs.

Step 1: Identify activities which generate costs and provide no added value.

Step 2: Decide if changes to that activity will affect business turnover

Answer: NO? Then is the activity necessary or adding value?

Answer: YES? Cost reduction techniques may have adverse effect on business profitability.

Beware: cost cutting can have a long-term negative impact. For some farmers, failure to invest in people, marketing and technology can leave you falling behind your competitors. You are increasingly likely to provide a product and service of inferior quality. You will also be likely to experience above-average team turnover. And ultimately, your customers have a choice, and you will cease to be it.

Deferring payments to suppliers and service providers helps you keep the cash in your pocket longer.… Continue reading

Read More »

Trump touches on ag issues in the State of the Union

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress and subsequently the nation this week in an hour and 21-minute State of the Union address. It was clear that border security was at the forefront of the President’s agenda, as he mentioned the quickly approaching deadline for government funding which, if an agreement isn’t reached, will end in a government shutdown.

Agriculture was mentioned when President Trump boasted his administration’s elimination of the estate or death tax, mentioning specifically family farms and U.S. ranchers. That comment received a roar of applause from those in attendance. The farm bill got a nod from the Commander in Chief in the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation. Trade was also a talking point, saying that the United States has placed tariffs on $350 billion of goods imported from China. President Trump also said that the negotiations will have to include a structural change to the deal that protects American jobs and ends the trade deficit, but there was no direct mention of how that will impact agriculture.… Continue reading

Read More »