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Spring pasture walk

By Victor Shelton, Retired NRCS Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I like to walk over the pastures in early spring for a number of reasons. First of all, to check plant density, diversity and soil cover. If there was extra soil disturbance in the past few months, it might mean that we have small gaps in the perennial plants that could give way for optimistic weeds to surface. Now is a good time to try and address that. Overseeding clover is probably one of the easiest and surest methods, especially if you lack sufficient legumes in the stand.

Gaps in the forage that are most optimistic for weeds are spaces where there is no cover and bare soil presents itself. If there are areas or spots that have been grazed tightly to the ground and only tolerable species are left, such as bluegrass and native white cover, it is generally a sign of a long-term issue and it stands out quite loudly when it’s adjacent to taller avoided forage species such as rank left-over summer growth of tall fescue.… Continue reading

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Managing controlled drainage structures in spring and fall

By Vinayak Shedekar, The Ohio State University

Controlled drainage structures are a common presence in Ohio’s drained landscapes. Oftentimes incentive programs through NRCS or H2Ohio help pay for the design and installation of water control structures. Some producers voluntarily invest in control structures given their benefits for water conservation and crop yield. Long-term research at The Ohio State University has shown a 6% yield increase for corn and 3.5% yield increase for soybeans within the elevation zone influenced by controlled drainage, compared to a free draining outlet. Naturally, one is inclined to manage the structures actively only during the growing season. However, if managed properly during the non-growing season, controlled drainage has tremendous benefits to water quality downstream. The non-growing season management becomes a requirement if you are enrolled into an incentive program. Simply raising the outlet elevation by stacking boards in the control structure after harvest in the fall and leaving the structure in “controlled drainage” mode throughout the winter and spring, can help reduce up to 50% of the drainage discharge from the tile outlet.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 338 | Howdy From Commodity Classic in Houston

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, host Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenburg of Ohio Ag Net talk with Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat and Jed Bower, a farmer from Fayette County and past president of Ohio Corn and Wheat about the Commodity Classic in Houston. They talk about the Corn Congress at Commodity Classic and the big tickets items such as ethanol, trade and the Farm Bill.  

More in this week’s podcast:   

  • Hilary Poulson, Farm Credit Mid-America: Poulson is the Growing Forward specialist at FCMA and she talks with Dale about the program goal and outlook.  
  • Dr. Aaron Wilson, The Ohio State University: Wilson is the State Climatologist of Ohio and talks with Dale about a look at the weather.  
  • Steve Gerten, Award Winner: Matt talks with Gerten who was named the National Land Improvement Association Contractor of the Year.
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Accessing your farm vehicles more conveniently and safely with Universal Design

By Dee Jepsen and Laura Akgerman   

The Ohio AgrAbility program works with farmers of all abilities. Our team provides outreach education about good body mechanics and safe lifting. We also make recommendations to farmers, agricultural businesses, landowners and gardeners about making their work environment safe and accessible.

A popular recommendation is to use equipment that is based on Universal Design (UD) concepts. The term Universal Design refers to the creation of products and systems that can be used by all people, without the need for adaptation or specialization. Using UD equipment and tools around the farmstead can be beneficial to all individuals and promotes independence for those with physical or mobility limitations. The UD products encourage farmers to maintain good ergonomics and body mechanics, which may make tasks easier and reduce the chance of injury.

Here are some Universal Designed examples that can be purchased or fabricated for accessing trailers, tractors and trucks.… Continue reading

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John Deere introduces new S7 Series combines

John Deere introduced the new S7 Series of combines at Commodity Classic, a family of harvesters designed for efficiency, harvest quality and operator friendliness. Harvest time is no time to let up in the chase for efficiency. The new S7 Series of combines helps farmers and custom operators perform at the maximum to make the most of the season’s efforts.

“While we’ve made very visible updates to the cab and exterior styling, the real performance, efficiency and harvest-quality improvements come from the new engines, updated residue-handling, grain-handling and loss-sensing systems, new automation options and more,” said Bergen Nelson, John Deere go-to-market manager for harvesters. “With the S7 Series, farmers can reasonably expect productivity gains of up to 20%, with 10% less fuel used.”

The new S7 Series combine family includes four models:

  • S7 600: 333hp/249kw rated power; 367hp/274kw max power
  • S7 700: 402hp/300kw rated power; 460hp/343kw max power
  • S7 800: 473hp/353kw rated power; 540hp/402kw max power
  • S7 900: 543hp/405kw rated power; 617hp/460kw max power

New engines, new grain-handling and new residue management features

New S7 Series combines will be equipped with either the JD14 13.6L engine, or the JD9 9L engine, both in Final Tier 4 configuration, from John Deere Power Systems.… Continue reading

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CFAES Wooster hosts Night for Young Professionals 2024

By Kelsie Mannasmith, ACELT at CFAES Wooster

The Agricultural Communicators, Educators, and Leaders of Tomorrow club (ACELT) hosted their second annual Night for Young Professionals event (NYP) at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Wooster campus (CFAES Wooster) on Feb. 15. Professionals across the agriculture industry offered their insight about development in the workplace. The event was sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Bill Bayliss, Ohio Soybean Council chairman from Logan County, wrote in a letter to the students, “The Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff is proud to sponsor this event. We want to do our part to ensure every segment of the value chain has a pipeline of driven, talented, and enthusiastic students looking to take agriculture to the next level.”

ACELT aims to connect students of the Wooster campus with valuable professional advice and tools from NYP. Students involved in the planning committee helped to develop the schedule, program, events, topics and speakers.… Continue reading

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ODA boosting local food supply chains with $12.6 million

From farm gate to the plate, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is offering financial support to businesses and producers who work in the middle of the food chain sector.

ODA has been awarded $12.6 million through the federal Resilient Food System Infrastructure (RFSI) Program to fund projects that support supply chain coordination activities, create more and better processing centers, and increase accessible, affordable, and efficient distribution of Ohio products. Projects may also include the construction, expansion, and modernization of supply chain facilities.

“A strong Ohio depends on a strong agriculture community,” said ODA Director Brian Baldridge. “The RFSI grant program will help ensure we’re thoroughly investing in local producers and supporting Ohio’s food system. These grants create more economic opportunities for our communities and the farmers who help feed our state.”

RFSI aims to support growth in the middle-of-the-food-supply-chain and strengthen local and regional food systems by creating new revenue streams for Ohio producers, keeping profits circulating in rural communities, and increasing diversity in processing options.… Continue reading

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Get ready for some wassailing

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician 

My memories of punch are either of pale pastel sherbet blobs floating in a sparkling party punch or that of my historic college years when my roommates made punch in our bathtub. The vessel of choice back in the day was filled with bottles and bottles of the cheapest alcohol, red fruit punch and if your budget allowed it, sliced fruit. Thank goodness today that same potion is now being served from Gatorade drink dispensers, which sounds a little more Health Department friendly. No matter your memories of punch, the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s contain the biggest partying season there is, and no gathering is complete without a signature beverage. Whether served from a punch bowl or a cocktail glass, today’s punch brings the festive season to the jolliest of the jolliest. 

Punch served either high test or regular has been a main attraction at dances, weddings, birthdays, parties of any kind, but especially Christmas for generations. Through… Continue reading

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HPAI hits Ohio’s poultry industry again

By Joel Penhorwood and Matt Reese

Over the past month, waterfowl migration in different parts of the country has led to a new spike in highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases and the depopulation of more than 7.6 million birds nationwide. In recent weeks there have been 94 confirmed cases of bird flu in 26 states, including Ohio, according to USDA. A Union County commercial layer facility and a Darke County commercial turkey facility with a combined nearly 1.4 million birds have been depopulated since Nov. 21, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. 

Unfortunately, Ohio already had some experience with the grim realities of poultry depopulation. Last winter, Dennis Summers, DVM, Ohio’s State Veterinarian, spoke at the Ohio Pork Congress and shared some lessons learned from the previous challenges with HPAI in Ohio. The depopulation process is emotionally, financially and physically challenging for everyone involved, but it is necessary to protect all the other livestock or poultry in the area.… Continue reading

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2023 Feeding Farmers in the Field

By Joel Penhorwood and Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Ag Net

Ohio Ag Net was once again Feeding Farmers in the Field this fall with cooperation from 92.1 The Frog, as well as AG Boogher and Son, RRR Tire, Fertilizer Dealer Supply, North Star Hardware & Implement Co., Farm Credit Mid-America, VTF-Sunrise, Homan Inc., and Golden Harvest. The program serves up lunch and prizes to four farms during the busy harvest season in the 92.1 listening area. Each of the farms was kind enough to offer a harvest update and insights into their operation.

King Family of Allen County, Sept. 27

The King Family of Allen County hosted the first week of the 2023 edition of Feeding Farmers in the Field. Andy King of T&D Enterprises farms with his father and uncle and recently bought into the operation.

Andy King in Allen County talked with Joel Penhorwood for the first Feeding Farmers of the fall.
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Autumn auctions aplenty

By Matt Reese

A new Ohio law took effect in 2022 to protect farmers from late lease terminations after resources have already been invested into the next year’s crop. According to the new law, if an existing farm lease does not include a termination date or method, landowners are required to provide termination notice to the tenant by Sept. 1. While considered positive for Ohio agriculture, the measure does have implications for the timing of farmland auctions.

Devin Dye

Lima-based Dye Real Estate and Land Co. has a very busy late 2023 schedule with farm auctions, in part due to the new lease law.

“We have five auctions coming up between now and Thanksgiving. We’re going to be all over northwest Ohio and west central Ohio in Defiance County, Auglaize County, Hardin County, Putnam County, and Henry County and we’re having conversations with some more families about other auctions that we may add.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers | R-Hart Farm, Auglaize Co.

Alan and Randi Rinehart joins the Ohio Ag Net as the second week’s winners of Feeding Farmers in the Field. They discuss the family operation, their past history as a dairy farm, and harvest results so far out of April-planted fields. Alan also stays busy in the custom hay business with fifth cutting hay this time of year.

Along with a broadcast from their operation, they won a free lunch at the farm and an assortment of other prizes thanks to 92.1 The Frog, as well as A.G. Boogher and Son, RRR Tire, Fertilizer Dealer Supply, North Star Hardware & Implement Co., Farm Credit Mid-America, VTF-Sunrise, Homan Inc., and Golden Harvest.… Continue reading

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Unverferth debuts six-wheel steerable header transport

Unverferth Manufacturing introduces new patent-pending 6-wheel steerable header transports for added maneuverability and increased flotation over uneven ground and through fields designed for today’s heavier corn heads and draper platforms.

The new design features a front axle with rubber-cushioned suspension for a smoother ride over any terrain. The rear, in-line walking tandem wheels follow the ground contour to better distribute the weight and increase flotation under load. New, high-capacity IF320/65×15 wheels and tires provide the carrying capacity needed.

These models also include patented, tool-free adjustable rest brackets and tie downs for dependably securing the load. The 16-foot long tongue, 12-foot on model ASWP 42, permits tighter turning for greater maneuverability and added clearance for header gauge wheels and other attachments. An optional 20-foot tongue with built-in drop provides hitching ease when pulled behind a combine and to accommodate flex draper heads.

For greater transport safety the two front and two rearmost wheels feature electric braking for sure-footed stopping power.… Continue reading

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Sugargrove Farm: 200 Years in Ashland County

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Since 1984, visitors to Sugargrove Tree Farm have been making special holiday memories picking out the perfect Christmas tree for their homes, enjoying horse and wagon rides, cookies and some hot chocolate in the process. This on-farm experience has been part of the most recent chapter in the rich family history on the land.  

The most recent chapter of the family history on the farm has provided many area families with fond holiday memories.

Current owner Blake Rafeld can only speculate what motivated his early ancestors to leave their successful farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to head West, to the unsettled lands of Ohio. His ancestors had to pass through native forests, over creeks and rivers, and traverse the Great Trail, a Native American trail, on horseback. It was a dangerous trek, full of unknowns, but his great-great-great grandfather, Benjamin Brubaker, took the risk and brought his family to what would later become rural Ashland County.… Continue reading

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One year of 988

By Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Program Coordinator for Ohio State University Extension

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. In September of 2023, there was a milestone marking one year since the launch of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Nationwide. This switch allowed for youth and adults to go from memorizing a 1-800 number to the easy-to-remember 988.

What is 988?

  • Think the equivalent of 911 only 988.
  • Simply call, text, or chat 988 when you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health challenge or thoughts of suicide.
  • A mental health professional will answer the call and it is completely anonymous, available 24/7.

What have the benefits been?

  • Almost 5 million people have contacted the line in the last year, 2 million more than the previous one.
  • The average answer time went from 2 minutes and 39 seconds to 41 seconds.
  • There are specialized options for Veterans, Spanish subnetwork, and LGBTQI youth.
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Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum’s most iconic spot undergoes renovation

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA Reporter

Dubbed “The Happiest Place on Dirt,” Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum has served Ohio FFA and its members with unique outdoor experiences since 1942.

Located in Carroll County on the banks of Leesville Lake, Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum is often noted as one of many past FFA members’ most treasured memories in the blue jacket. From high ropes to boating, and volunteer projects to leadership workshops, Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum has played an active role in shaping members’ experiences in FFA. Students step out of their comfort zones, try something new and bask in the fellowship of what it means to be an FFA member.

One of camp’s most iconic spots is an outdoor amphitheater that surrounds an enormous rock, also known as the beloved “Blue Gill Rock,” just off the lake’s shore. The spot hosts everything from state FFA officer campfires in the evenings to early morning Sunday services.… Continue reading

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ASA submits comments on Enlist draft biological opinion

This summer the American Soybean Association (ASA) submitted comments on the draft biological opinion on Enlist One and Enlist Duo registrations, underscoring how the crop protection tools are vital for U.S. soybean producers.

“As agricultural producers, we believe it is critical to have the availability of crop protection tools, like Enlist One and Enlist Duo, to continue the safe, affordable and sustainable production of food,” ASA states in the comments. “Having a broad array of pesticides and the guidance to use them safely will significantly contribute to our need to sustainably feed 9.7 billion people by 2050.”

ASA is generally supportive of the draft biological opinion conclusions and the steps it proposes for registration amendments. In the comments, the association highlights Enlist uses, benefits, risk management and mitigation. ASA urges EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider adding double cropping as an approved runoff mitigation on Enlist labels.… Continue reading

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Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybean in Ohio

By Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora and Jenna Moore, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-27

We are finding fields in Ohio affected by sudden death syndrome (SDS). These symptoms are showing up earlier than normal. SDS is caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium virguliforme. This species is the most prevalent in the region, however, other Fusarium species can cause SDS.

With support and funding from Ohio Soybean Council, we will process soybean plants with SDS symptoms from fields in Ohio to: 1) Determine the species and genetic diversity of Fusarium associated with SDS in Ohio, and 2) Determine the fungicide sensitivity of isolates in the culture collection. To successfully achieve these goals, we need your help.

If you are seeing SDS symptoms, we encourage you to submit a sample to the Soybean Pathology and Nematology Laboratory in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University in Columbus (read more HERE). If it is SDS, we want to determine what Fusarium species is the causal agent.… Continue reading

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CORN to Go

Managing your soil seedbank

By Stephanie Karhoff

Achieving clean, weed-free fields next spring requires acting now to prevent seed from being deposited into the soil seedbank. The weed seedbank is the reservoir of seeds in the soil that will serve as the source for seedlings next season. Exhausting this reserve of seeds can help prevent rapid population increases and slow herbicide resistance development.

Our most problematic weed species are prolific seed producers. Waterhemp can produce over a million seeds per plant if plants emerge early in the season and have adequate resources. Meanwhile marestail can produce about 200,000 seeds per plant.

Weeds that have either escaped POST herbicide applications or emerged afterwards are currently developing mature seeds. If we assume that one single waterhemp plant can produce 1 million seeds, and 20 percent of these seeds are viable, and only 25% germinate, 50,000 plants are generated in the span of one year from that single escape.… Continue reading

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August’s Stealthiest Insect Pest: Stink Bugs in Soybean

By Dr. Kelley Tilmon and Andy Michel, OSU Extension Entomology, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-25

Why are stink bugs the stealthiest insect pest near the end of summer?  It’s because their method of feeding is so subtle.  You won’t see damaged leaves or sickly-looking plants with stink bugs.  They have straw-like mouthparts which they poke through the pod directly into the developing seed.  If this happens early enough in seed development the seed will simply abort.  If it happens later, the seed will be shriveled and shrunken.  Either way, this reduces yield and/or reduces seed quality, though you will not see the damage unless you carefully inspect the pods for missing or damaged seed. The good news is that soybeans are relatively easy to scout and are susceptible to the insecticides labeled for them.  There are many species of stink bugs that feed on soybean including brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), green, red-shouldered, and brown stink bugs.… Continue reading

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