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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Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) damage are often linked together. SDS is a soil borne fungal pathogen (Fusarium virguliforme) that invades the roots and lower stems of soybeans producing a toxin. SDS can devastate soybean fields causing aborted flowers and yellow-dying plants. SDS has two major phases. In the first phase, it attacks the roots then in the second phase, it attacks the leaves causing leaf scorch. SDS infection occurs early in the season and then the SDS symptoms show up later in the season. SDS and SCN symptoms are more prominent in hot dry years.

Foliar SDS symptoms include small to pale green leaves early on with small circular spots in the late vegetative stages to early reproductive soybean stages. The area between the leaf veins turn bright yellow then brown as the disease progresses. When the infection gets severe, on roots, blue fungal masses can be seen.… Continue reading

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USDA asking Ohio for help in controlling the Asian longhorned beetle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declares August as “Tree Check Month” for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). USDA and its partners are asking the residents of Ohio, particularly Clermont County, to check their trees for this invasive insect and the damage it causes and limit the movement of ALB-host materials, such as firewood. August is the most important time of year to look for the beetle because it is when people are most likely to see adult beetles.

“You can help us protect more trees and eliminate the beetle from the United States. If you take a walk, take a look,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ National Operations Manager for the ALB Eradication Program. “The sooner we spot the beetle, the sooner we can help stop its spread.”

The ALB is an invasive, wood-boring beetle that attacks 12 types of hardwood trees in North America, such as maples, elms, buckeyes, birches, and willows.… Continue reading

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Shenandoah FFA’s Green Acres Farm is the place to be

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA Reporter

Deep in the rolling hills of southeast Ohio is Shenandoah High School, home of the Zeps and the first entirely student-operated farm in the Appalachian region.

It’s called Green Acres Farm, and it sits on almost 140 acres down the road from Shenandoah High School. Students become involved with Green Acres when they enroll in an agricultural education course doing everything from livestock vaccination to harvesting hay. While their peers sit in a classroom, the agricultural education students hop on a bus every day to spend 90 minutes on the farm getting their hands dirty.

Green Acres Farm is located off of Seneca Lake Road in Sarahsville, which is down the road from the K-12 campus. Photo taken by Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA Reporter.

But for some, they spend even more time on the farm.

Eliza Carpenter, a junior and the Shenandoah High School FFA chapter president, said she would do everything from vaccinating cattle to feeding piglets in a typical school day.… Continue reading

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Preparing for silage harvest

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Soybean Lead/Field Agronomist, Seed Consultants, Inc.

As fall approaches many farmers will prepare to chop silage to use as a feed in their livestock operations. There are several key factors affecting silage harvest and storage that will ensure the efficient fermentation and production of high quality feed. Taking time to correctly harvest and store corn silage will allow producers to maximize their feed value.

It is important to chop corn silage at the correct moisture content and stage of development. The corn plant should be from 65 to 70% moisture when chopped (moisture requirements vary depending on the type of silo or storage to be used) and the “milk line” should be 1/3 to 2/3 of down the kernel. Corn silage that is harvested when it is too wet can result in loss of nutrients through seepage and ultimately poor quality feed. Corn silage that is harvested when it is too dry will not ferment correctly and can cause mold to develop.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards Workforce Development & Ag Literacy Grants

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation recently awarded grants to fund efforts in agriculture-related programming created to enhance agricultural literacy efforts while creating pathways for young people to learn about the variety and viability of careers in agriculture. The new Workforce Development & Ag Literacy grants are designed exclusively for county Farm Bureaus.

“We believe that the key to a vital agricultural industry in the next decade and beyond that is helping young people understand all the growth opportunities agriculture has to offer,” said Kelly Burns, executive director of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation. “By helping young people gain a better understanding of agriculture, we introduce them to the educational and employment possibilities related to farming.”

A total of four grants were awarded to county Farm Bureaus in the amount of $5,000 each. This funding may be used for new education programs or to expand existing programs that focus on grades 6-12.… Continue reading

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Sign-up available for CRP upland bird and pollinator practices

John Patterson, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director in Ohio, announced that landowners and operators in designated counties throughout Ohio will have the opportunity to offer cropland for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) upland bird practice and pollinator practice titled State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE).

Upland Bird SAFE

The Upland Bird SAFE is available on a continuous (ongoing) basis in the following counties: Adams, Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Fulton, Gallia, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Highland, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miami, Morrow, Paulding, Pickaway, Pike, Preble, Ross, Seneca, Shelby, Union, Williams, and Wyandot. 

The Ohio Upland Bird SAFE utilizes a wildlife management practice specifically developed by conservation organizations and agencies located within Ohio to establish and restore habitat for ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, and other upland birds on eligible cropland. The program specifically targets declining quail and pheasant populations in areas of greatest impact.… Continue reading

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2023 Ohio Virtual Crop Tour

The 2023 Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net Crop Tour is being sponsored by Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff. The 2023 Ohio Crop Tour includes both in-person and a virtual option in cooperation with Ohio State University Extension to let everyone in on the yield estimating fun. A good deal of variability is expected on this year’s tour given the weather this growing season.

The in-person tour will be held Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 with one group heading north and one group heading south. Each group will sample a representative corn and soybean field in 14 counties. 

We will be reporting our findings as we go and are interested to see what we may find out there after what has been a challenging growing season so far statewide. Be sure to follow along on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 at ocj.comContinue reading

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Layers of sustainability for a better future

By Matt Reese

The term sustainability has been closely tied to agriculture for many years, but to be truly sustainable, farms rely upon a broad network of agribusinesses focused on sustainability for their businesses as well as the farms they serve.

This summer, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) is working with member businesses highlighting the benefits of these layers of sustainability for Ohio agriculture as a whole.

Chris Henney, president and CEO of OABA, has put significant organizational emphasis on sustainability.

“Sustainability probably means a little something different to almost everyone, but when I think about sustainability, I think about a three-legged stool. I think about it in terms of what most people think of as the traditional environmental sustainability. We want to be good stewards of our environment, but it also has to make economic sense from a business standpoint. You have to be able to stay in business to be sustainable,” Henney said.… Continue reading

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Improving Soil Conditions

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Some cooler temperatures are coming and some rain has occurred.  Most farmers are hoping for more rain to get their crops out of the ground and growing.  One thing, where ever the soil had higher amounts of soil organic matter (SOM), the crops emerged and are growing much better.  Every 1% SOM holds about 0.5 to 0.8 inches of rain, which helps crops germinate and grow until they get their roots established.  Building SOM requires getting more roots in the soil.  No-till and cover crops are two ways to build SOM and reduce adverse weather.

As wheat harvest approaches, farmers may be considering double cropping soybeans.  In a dry year, soybeans may not be the best option, but letting wheat stubble remain bare promotes weeds.  Many cover crops can grow and thrive with little soil moisture including buckwheat, cowpeas for nitrogen, and teff (forage crop). … Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 304 | Soybean Diplomacy: Fields to Foreign Lands

The newest Ohio Ag Net Podcast welcomes world travelers, auction updates, and policy experts. Hosted by Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg, this episode starts with the Ohio Soybean Council to speak about some international market development missions that support Ohio soybean farmers. Madison Layman and Bill Bayliss discuss their recent trip and the value of beans abroad. 

Dale Minyo speaks with Dale Everman of Homan Inc. about egg packing automation. From packaging technology, sourcing labor, and automating production, he speaks to the many solutions for Ohio — the second leading state in egg production. Equipment is a year round business and Dave Cornish of RES Auctions updates with Matt about current market trends and the most popular purchases of the season. 

Ohio Farm Bureau’s Brandon Kern, Senior Director of State & National Policy, updates listeners on action in the state capitol. The upcoming state budget could be leaving out some important funding to H2Ohio programs.… Continue reading

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Done with planting? Collect soil samples for SCN test and learn how samples are processed in the lab!

By Horacio Lopez-Nicora, OSU Extension Nematologist and Pathologist, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-17

The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) remains the most devastating and yield limiting soybean pathogen in Ohio and North America. SCN can cause over 30% yield reduction with no visible symptoms, therefore, early detection of this pathogen relies on testing your fields to know your SCN numbers!

Spring is a good time to sample for SCN. A soil test in spring will reveal if SCN is present and if so, at what levels. If you are planning to participate in an on-farm trial that requires soil sampling, a subsample can be used for SCN testing. Additionally, if you planted corn, a soil sample from that field will reveal if you have SCN but most importantly, how much SCN. Knowing your SCN numbers will help you determine the best management strategy.   

With funding from the Ohio Soybean Council and promoting the mission of The SCN Coalition we will process up to TWO soil samples, per grower, to be tested for SCN, free of charge.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 303 | Ohio’s Favorite Flavors and Breeds

National Dairy Month kicks off this week’s episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosted by Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg. Scott Higgins joins the conversation to talk about the visions of the American Dairy Association Mideast, and favorite dairy products of the season. They will discuss challenges with slim dairy margins, along with product processing opportunities in the state. 

Middle school students are practicing utilizing their wallets at Graham Middle School. Joel Penhorwood interviews Principal Nick Guidera, discussing the GrowNextGen program in his school. Real Money Real World for youth financial literacy was giving hands-on experiences with the dollar. 

Matt checks in with WJ Fannin, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Commercial Cattleman of the Year, in Fayette County. From stockyard sales to individual cuts of meat, his business meets the needs of consumers. They will talk about cattle barn technology and operating a data-driven herd. 

0:00 – Intro and opening discussion
6:15 – Nick Guidera on Real Money Real World 
13:53 – Cattleman of the Year: WJ Fannin 
18:28 – Dairy Outlook with Scott Higgins … Continue reading

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Reminders about residual herbicides

By Dr. Mark Loux, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-15

It’s always fun when rainfall is feast or famine.  Dry periods such as the coming week are great for about everything except weed management.  From the perspective of making sure residual herbicides work, we like to see a decent rain about once a week.  Residual herbicide treatments need to be applied and receive a half to one inch of rain within a week or so after tillage or an effective burndown treatment, to control weeds that will start to emerge at that time.  More time than this allows for weeds to emerge before herbicide can be moved down into the soil, reducing the degree of control that residual herbicides are capable of providing.  This is especially important for shoot uptake herbicides, such as group 15 – acetochlor, metolachlor, pyroxasulfone, and dimethenamid.  Weeds are germinating and emerging more rapidly now compared with a month ago, so timeliness of the rain is more important. … Continue reading

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