Wine is big business in Ohio

By Shelly Detwiler, OCJ food writer

Nothing attracts middle-aged women more than wine. A 2013 Gallup poll states that wine continues to rank as the top beverage choice for those 50 years and older, with women doing most of the buying. This is good news for the Ohio Wine Industry. Ohio Wine is big business producing over 5.93 million gallons of wine retailing for over 61 million dollars annually making us the sixth largest wine producer in the country. The Ohio Grape Industries says there are 265 wineries in the state and that continues to grow. A winery is where wine is produced. A vineyard is anywhere 1+ grape vine is planted. Agriculturally speaking, Ohio ranks ninth in grape production with over 1,500 acres of grapes growing creating 1.3 billion dollars annually.

Wine tourism plays a vital role in Ohio’s wine business attracting over 1.37 million tourists a year. and… Continue reading

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Dairy trip of a lifetime for Ohio FFA members

By Alex Zimmer, Agricultural Science Instructor Buckeye Valley High School-DACC

Because of their success at the 2016 National FFA Convention, members of the Buckeye Valley-DACC dairy team were invited to compete internationally, traversing seven european countries over the course of two weeks during June of 2017.

The FFA Dairy Evaluation contest requires students to judge classes of dairy cattle (cows and heifers), select appropriate sires, judge pedigrees, and take a test about the function of the dairy industry as a whole. Qualifying to travel and compete internationally was not a small feat for the Buckeye Valley-DACC FFA dairy evaluation team. The opportunity was borne of a tremendous amount of work and dedication put forth by four team members; Macee Burke, Hannah Edelblute, Sarah Lehner, and Donnie Smith. The group began preparing in the winter of 2016 studying external anatomy, learning to read pedigrees, and gaining knowledge on the dairy industry as a whole.… Continue reading

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As you go north in Ohio, things go south

By Ty Higgins

For the past two weeks, I have been contacted about the woes that farmers are facing in northern Ohio. Cold and wet conditions well into May have pushed back planting progress in a part of the state that is becoming use to this type of pressure.

“We are just about a week later than last year,” said Wood County farmer Kris Swartz on his Cab Cam video earlier this week. “We have seen this type of spring so much over the past 4 years that I think this is becoming our new norm.”

Swartz has made some nice progress since getting started with his planting season late last week. He is finished with corn and about halfway through with the soybeans. But as you drive around his area it is easy to see that many producers have not been so fortunate.

As I made my way to Swartz’ farm on May 30th, I decided to do a mini crop tour, of sorts, so I stopped in each county on the way up Route 23 and I-75 to compare just how things deteriorated the further north I headed.… Continue reading

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Bullish, bearish or both?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

There are several reasons why someone could be bullish or bearish today. Understanding marketplace variables that could affect prices can be helpful when developing a grain marketing strategies. Following are some recent variables that could potentially impact the market.


Reasons to be bullish

  • Parts of the Corn Belt are a little too dry and others are a little too wet.
  • Sorghum appears to have been removed from China’s no trade list.
  • There are rumors China will be buying more ag products from the U.S. Many think it will be corn, DDG, and ethanol.
  • Wheat prices have been increasing.
  • Globally, and especially Brazil, corn growing areas outside of the US are dry.
  • Potential ethanol sales to China, as part of recent trade talks, could encourage more corn usage.
  • Corn trendline yields would mean the lowest carryout in several years.
  • Weather forecasts indicate a hot and dry June.
Continue reading

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Fungicide considerations in corn

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

While it may seem far off, soon it will be time to make crop evaluations to determine whether or not to apply a fungicide application to your tasseling corn crop. As of today, several major yield determining growth stages have already passed. Emergence and potential ear size have been determined and pollination (actual kernel number) will take place very soon. The primary function of the corn plant post-pollination is to minimize kernel abortion and maximize kernel depth and weight. Many things can impact these three outcomes but nutrient availability, moisture, and sunlight capture are the most significant.

Many of the fungicide products available today consist of a class of fungicides known as strobilurins. These “strobi” class of fungicides provides multiple benefits. For many farmers, fungicides are considered mainly for their role in mitigating disease. While strobis do provide systemic activity on disease, they also help reduce respiration.… Continue reading

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29th Annual Buckeye Farm Antique, Inc. Show highlights

By Lea Kimley, OCJ field reporter

The Memorial Day weekend was marked with a tradition of traditions at the Shelby County Fairgrounds with the 29th Annual Buckeye Farm Antique, Inc. Show.

“From 1 to 101 there is something for everyone,” said Ester Geyer, the event coordinator. “There are nearly 500 antique tractors to see, free comedy entertainment, flea market hunting, and tractor pulls.”

International Harvester Chapter 6 was celebrating 25 years. The club originally formed at the antique show. Dennis Wilson, member secretary, brought a unique international truck that was built in Ohio at the Springfield plant. He will travel a few more places this summer anticipating the restoration of another one of his prized processions. Wilson has been an active member of the club for 15 years.

“These shows are great because of the people,” Wilson said. “That’s my favorite part.”

There were a few new attractions at this year’s show.… Continue reading

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Weeds have been slow to start off

By Harold Watters

With high winds, frequent rains and late snows we missed proper burndown timing, pre-emergent herbicide application and now are working on missing the proper timing for post applications. Consider adding a second component to that glyphosate application when you do post your corn or soybeans. The idea is to have a second method of attack on those weeds that may be resistant, have grown a little larger than planned or you have had problems with in the past. Yes, I know dicamba beans are now available, but that product works best in a pre-emergent situation for Ohio.

The Ohio, Indiana & Illinois Weed Control Guide is a great resource for getting management tips on how best to apply glyphosate. Also see the corn tables and the soybean tables to choose potential partners for post applications. The Guide is available free on-line from Mark Loux on his Weed Management website: reading

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It’s just $5 an acre…

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

It seems everyone has a “package” that gives an extra yield bump. Many of these packages contain micronutrients. In Ohio, because we generally have clay in our soil and reasonable levels of organic matter, we don’t usually see a yield impact from applying micronutrients. But should we be concerned about micronutrients?

Our soil tests are most reliable for pH, phosphorus and potassium and can work reasonably well for zinc, too. We usually use a combination of soil and tissue tests to determine micronutrient deficiencies. Soil pH can also help us know where to look for deficiencies. See your copy of the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Alfalfa Field Guide for descriptions and pictures of nutrient deficiencies by crop.

Typically we will see deficiencies occur in small isolated areas of a field first. When these are noted, pull both a soil and a tissue sample out of the “good” area and out of the “poor” area and compare the results.… Continue reading

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Is a family office right for you?

By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs

A family office isn’t what you might think it is. It is not the office you use at home to take care of family matters. It isn’t the office the you use to run your family business. A family office is essentially a private team of professionals dedicated to managing the finances of a wealthier family and high net-worth individuals. These wealth management entities help steer a family’s investments in the right direction and, in the United States, they are rapidly growing in popularity.

Family offices are typically classified into three different classes depending on which services they offer:

  • Class A: Comprehensive financial oversight, estate management and objective fiscal consulting for a flat monthly fee.
  • Class B: Investment advice and consulting for an as-needed fee, but does not directly manage illiquid assets.
  • Class C: Basic estate and administrative (bookkeeping, mail sorting, etc.)
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Red states, blue states and green water

By Matt Reese

I have been doing this writing/reporting/interviewing job for a while now. One of the first things I learned was, even at the risk of making myself sound dumb, I always try to admit my lack of knowledge about something and ask the questions needed to amend it. This is a good general policy and, in my case, it is important for very selfish reasons.

If I don’t know something and ask a dumb question to get the answer, I look silly to that person. If I do not ask the question and write about something I do not really know about, then I instead end up looking silly to thousands of readers. A lack of understanding has a way of compounding problems moving forward. In short, if you don’t know, do the leg work to find out the answers before you take action.

Thus far, Ohio agriculture has been pushing (fairly successfully) for this very strategy in terms of the ongoing water quality challenges in the state.… Continue reading

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Partial repeal of “Dodd Frank” welcomed by community banks

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, also known as Dodd–Frank, was made law in 2010 by President Obama. The law was in response to the financial crisis of 2007–2008, making major changes in all federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every part of the nation’s financial services industry including, and some would say unfairly, smaller community banks.

Since 2010, the number of community banks in the United States has decreased by 2,000, according to statistics from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It is argued by the Trump Administration that small community banks have been unfairly harmed by Dodd-Frank, compared to big banks, which can use their substantial resources to navigate Dodd-Frank’s costly and complex regulations.

This month, President Trump lifted some of those regulations on smaller banks by signing the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), in an effort make financial regulations more efficient, effective, and appropriately tailored.… Continue reading

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Teens go above and beyond to earn achievement awards

By Katerina Sharp, OCJ 4-H reporter

Along with the many projects, trips and other leadership opportunities available to Ohio 4-H members, teens can apply for achievement awards each year that recognize their hard work in specific project areas.

The Ohio 4-H achievement award application requires members to keep track of and record all their yearly 4-H activities, along with their work in a specific project category. There are 28 categories that cover project areas such as beef, environmental science, health and safety, leadership, photography, and food and nutrition. Counties select the top candidate from each category to go on to the state competition.

Selection for each category is based on what the 4-H member learned, project achievement, 4-H awards and honors. The first-place state winner from each project area receives an all-expenses paid trip to attend National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, where members network with other 4-H teens from across the country while engaging in leadership trainings and community service events.… Continue reading

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China and ag trade

There has been some positive progress with regard to China, tariffs and agricultural exports. Leading up to the latest round of talks, China lifted tariffs on U.S. sorghum and the U.S. eased sanctions on the Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp., allowing the company to stay in business.

In late May the U.S. and China issued a joint statement indicating that both “agreed on meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports” bringing some temporary relief to ongoing trade dispute concerns. Experts estimate a potential increase of $60 to 90 billion in Chinese purchases of U.S. goods, largely agriculture and beef especially.

“To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States’ goods and services,” the White House said in a statement.

But reports that China has agreed to import large amounts of U.S. ag goods as part of a tentative framework deal to resolve a trade dispute between the nations have prompted some lawmakers from both parties to express concern about what kind of concessions the administration may be offering China.… Continue reading

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Late planting corn considerations

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

With some “late” planting some folks are concerned already about whether or not we might be caught by a fall frost before maturity without a change in maturity selection. Not to worry. The corn plant has the ability to adapt to the later planting by advancing more rapidly through the growth stages. Work done at Purdue and Ohio State by graduate students of Bob Nielsen and Peter Thomison, show that the number of growing degree days (GDD) needed from planting to maturity decreases by about 7 GDD per day of delayed planting. As a result, a hybrid planted on May 30 needs about 200 less GDDs to achieve maturity than a hybrid planted on May 1.

Is there a reason to plant shorter season hybrids in Ohio? Yes, maybe. Peter Thomison has been looking at early maturing hybrids in Ohio as a way to get corn off early, maybe to have dry corn for early markets, or to harvest early to have a place for late fall forages.… Continue reading

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Progress with planting, Chinese trade and prices

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

What a difference a year makes! This year producers were unfortunately treated to cool, wet weather for much of April, following an extended winter. Corn and soybean planting progress for Ohio was virtually nil at the end of April. While producers were not pleased with weather conditions they certainly had time to get planters and tillage equipment even better prepared for the push that finally came in early May. The two-week delayed start, in a weird twist, seems to have improved producers’ attitudes compared to last year. Gone were the major frustrations of last spring that brought the unwelcome task of replanting corn and soybeans to reach desired plant population levels for optimum yields. Gone were the added stress levels brought about by replanting two or even three times as nagging rains continued to come out of nowhere. Instead, this year there was unexpected overall efficient planting progress made during the first two weeks of May.… Continue reading

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Providence in Ross County pastures

By Abby Motter, OCJ field reporter

In the eleventh chapter of Deuteronomy Moses wrote a phrase that is still being implemented on the land today by a family who holds those words in high esteem.

“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today — to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul — then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.”

These verses serve as a cornerstone for the Dorrance family in Ross County on their Pastured Providence Farmstead. Paul Dorrance along with his wife Heather and three children are fairly new to agriculture, but through the intertwining of faith and desire to be good stewards of the land they are providing high quality products to Chillicothe and the surrounding community.… Continue reading

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Thoughts about market analyses

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Generally I think grain marketing information directed to farmers is often too broad and general to be helpful. I suspect that’s because those discussing the markets don’t want to commit too far in one direction for fear of being wrong.

That is understandable and reasonable to a point, but being too general isn’t very helpful either. To minimize general statements or broad ranges there are a few easy questions one can ask that I think provides more focused and helpful information.


Be more specific when using the terms “Bullish” and “Bearish”

When I hear “I’m bullish today” or ” I’m bearish right now” I don’t know what they mean because the terms are too subjective. One bullish person may think corn will rally 25 cents, while another thinks $1. Both of these thoughts are technically bullish, but they are very different estimates. Instead, a better question would be, “How bullish or bearish are you?”… Continue reading

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Farm bill failure in the House

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

In what has traditionally been a pretty straightforward process, passing farm legislation out of the U.S. House of Representatives has been anything but status quo during recent attempts. The latest farm bill, very similarly to the one introduced on the House floor in 2013, was defeated by a 198 to 213 vote May 18.

Typically when a bill is brought to the floor, it is with the expectation that there will be enough votes to pass it. That was the case as amendments were being hashed out days before the final vote  — until some members of Congress decided to use their “Yea” vote on the farm bill as leverage to get the immigration bill to the floor sooner rather than later.

With non-existent support from the Democrats on this legislation due to changes to the food stamp program (otherwise known at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) the passage of this farm bill relies heavily on Republicans, but 27 of them decided to vote against it.… Continue reading

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