Sunrise after election day: What did Twitter have to say?

If you are reading this, it is likely that the sun has risen this day after the 2016 election.

Surprise, victory, defeat, anger, joy, shock — no matter what you are feeling on this post-election day it was most likely expressed on Twitter in the last 24 hours with regard to the election.

Humor was not hard to find.

Poor Canada, their gonna be filled with a bunch of Americans #ElectionNight #RIPCanada

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The evening started off with plenty of Twitter posts about the expected voting outcome and a short night for news anchors — or so they thought. Many expressed surprise, though, as the map of electoral votes turned decidedly red.

Turns out jobs were more important to Ohio than Jay Z and Beyonce.

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As the surprise of a Donald Trump favored election began to settle in, so did the voices of rural Americans on social media. … Continue reading

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The livestock barn of the future

Almost every portrait, painting or portrayal of a farm over the last 100 years has included a big red barn as part of the landscape, but the reality is that those old bank barns are more nostalgic than they are useful in today’s livestock industry and even the barn door could soon be a thing of the past.

“Monoslopes are the barn of the future,” said Francis L. Fluharty, research professor in The Ohio State University’s Department of Animal Sciences. “The design has the high side of the barn facing south or southeast, which allows the sun to reach almost all the way through the barn in the winter, having a warming effect on the cattle and keeping the bedding pack drier.”

Then, in the summer, most of the barn is under shade and the slope to the roof creates constant airflow through the building to reduce heat stress.

“From an animal health standpoint, there is no way for gas to be trapped like it can be on hot humid days in normal barns,” Fluharty said.… Continue reading

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The election and the grain markets

After 18 months of build up that included rallies, debates and excessive political advertising, Election Day is finally near. Many were eyeing the polls through all of the rhetoric, accusations and spin, but after a new President is elected, on lookers will still have something to watch — the markets.

“I’ve been doing this since 1995 and I have never seen two candidates that wanted to take such a hard look at trade policy,” said Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics. “I don’t think the dollar and currency markets are going to like that very much no matter the outcome at the polls.”

After months of not messing with interest rates, the Federal Reserve will have a decision to make under a new administration.

“Based on who wins, traders are wondering if the Federal Reserve will feel compelled and even pressured to keep quantitative easing in place and keep the dollar and deflation elevation as a result,” Zuzolo said.… Continue reading

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Big ears means big yields in Miami East FFA corn contest

Members from the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter were recently challenged to participate in the annual Chapter Corn Contest. The rules of the contest were to bring in one ear of corn and earn a corn-related prize. All participants got a can of soda pop because corn syrup is a major ingredient. Overall winners were presented an FFA T-shirt from the FFA Chapter.

A winner is chosen based on the predicted yield of the corn. The grand prize winner was determined by the highest yield estimate, based on plant population per acre. Agriculture Education students in plant and animal sciences took time in class to figure the predicted yield of corn ears as part of their continuing education of agronomy.

The overall winner was Kearsten Kirby. Her corn was predicted to yield 327 bushels to the acre with a 34,000 seed population per acre. Second place went to Alyssa Westgerdes who presented an ear of corn that is predicted to produce 279 bushels per acre with a 30,000 seed population per acre.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers Week #2 — Homan Farm, Auglaize County

Week two of Feeding Farmers, fall edition, took the Ohio Ag Net crew southeast of Grand Lake St. Mary’s to the Howard Homan Farm.

The farm is a 200 cow dairy operation with around 700 acres of cropland, farmed and managed by Howard Homan and his three sons, Lee, Mark, and Darren.

Along with the usual harvest activities this year, the farm is finishing construction on a new dry cow and heifer barn, plus a dry stack barn for manure storage.

Watch the video below as Dale Minyo visits with Mark Homan on the operation that keeps he and his brothers quite busy.

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Extensive Ohio soil fertility tests show current levels of P and K

Balanced soil fertility management is critical for achieving crop genetic yield potential and maximizing profitability.

Recent evidence found in a new DuPont Pioneer soil fertility update for Ohio suggests that P and K fertilizer rates may not be keeping pace with higher nutrient removal rates that are accompanied by increasing crop yields in some fields.

“We wanted to capitalize on our on-farm trial efforts within Ohio and we felt that if we knew what the fertility status was that would give us a benchmark for what our corn hybrid performance would be for those trials as well,” said Kirk Reese, Agronomy Research Manager for DuPont Pioneer. “What we found was that about two-thirds of the state’s 750 samples that we collected were in either an optimum or high range for phosphorus and the remaining third was in a low range according to the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations.”

Capture Ohio KOn the potassium side of the testing, over 80% was rated in the optimum or high range.… Continue reading

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Changes coming for USDA’s largest conservation program

In response to customer and partner input, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced a significant update to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage. Beginning with the new enrollment period planned later this year, the updated CSP will leverage redesigned planning and evaluation tools and an expanded array of new enhancements to provide conservation-minded producers with more options to improve conditions on working lands.

“We are reworking the program to make it easier to understand not only from the producer standpoint, but also for our field staff,” said Mark Rose, Director of Financial Assistance Programs Division for USDA-NRCS. “We’ve tied the enhancements more directly with the conservation practices that the producer may already be implementing or could implement.”

These changes will make it easier for NRCS to describe to producers what outcomes are going to be, which was a bit of a challenge with the prior program.… Continue reading

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Crop profitability a bleak picture in 2016, 2017

Ohio State’s Barry Ward took a look at possible crop profitability in 2017, and as you may imagine, the picture isn’t too bright.

“It’s not as good of an outlook as what we would like. Obviously the numbers are pretty negative at this point,” Ward said. “We’ve got a cost structure that’s still a legacy of what we had during those real profitable years. And with prices being lower as a result of maybe bumper crops around most of the Midwest, not Ohio necessarily, we’re looking at some very low to negative returns on all of our major row crops.

“If we look at some of the variable costs that we’re expecting for our three major crops — corn for instance — we’re right around $360 an acre for next year, at least our projects right now. And that’s just slightly lower than last year. The only real mover that we’re seeing right now is slightly lower fertilizer prices.”… Continue reading

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Antibiotic resistance travels says research at FSR

The Farm Science Review’s “Ask the Experts” booth covers a wide range of topics affecting agriculture today. A popular subject this year is antibiotic resistance, especially with the impending Veterinary Feed Directive set to take place in January of 2017.

“Antibiotics are used often in medicine — human and veterinarian — and they’re great. They do wonderful things and cure lots of diseases. And we don’t want to not use them anymore, but the problem we’re seeing is more resistance developing and this resistance is really limiting our ability to use them, and we don’t want that to happen,” said Demi Mathys, veterinarian and Graduate Research Associate at the Ohio State University during her time on the mic at Ask the Experts. “Some of the things that have been implemented and guidelines that the government has put in place to try to make sure we’re using them appropriately so we can use them longer, in both veterinary medicine and human medicine.”… Continue reading

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Addressing cattle market volatility

After hearing concerns from membership nationwide, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is addressing the CME Group about volatility in the cattle markets. Increased volatility caught the attention of producers at the end of 2015 and it remains a concern.

“This volatility is absolutely killing our producers who are trying to use these tools to manage risk and we keep hearing from our members that because of the price swings, even the tool that’s used for risk management is not as effective as it once was,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA senior vice president of government affairs. “Our members have demanded that we move forward and try to find some sort of solution.”

The initial effort from NCBA was a letter to the CME Group asking for some significant changes. NCBA has asked CME to address specific areas of concern including implementing a delay between trading actions, greater enforcement against market spoofing, monitoring and reporting of market misuse, and the release of audit trail data.… Continue reading

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Lacrosse Boots Giveaway

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2016 Fall Feeding Farmers in the Field

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Heat dome to do approximately $2 billion in damage to U.S. corn

Late July’s heat dome—a high pressure system trapping heat and moisture over most of the continental United States—drove high temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in many places, sometimes for days. Can this much heat be good for corn? It turns out that the answer is “no.”

I know this because last week I completed a study of the effects of temperature on U.S. corn. My goal was not only to be able to estimate the effects of climate change on corn yields in the future, but also to understand the best way to apply temperature data to the analysis. One of the things I did was to follow the lead of other researchers and convert daily maximum and minimum temperatures to essentially hourly temperatures to be able to see the effect of an hour at each 1-degree interval on yields.

I discovered a number of interesting things over the course of my analysis, but one of the most relevant here is that corn is especially sensitive to heat in its third month of growth, somewhat in the fourth month, less in the second, and very little in its first and fifth.… Continue reading

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Using a biological approach to restoring soil function

Farmers that are looking to find the balance between a lower cost of production and better nutrient placement while maintaining the health of their soils may consider a strip-tillage system.

Many thoughts and ideas about this type if farming were shared in early August at The National Strip-Tillage Conference in Bloomington, Illinois.

“Farmers need to understand ecological principals and how to make their soil function properly, using biological approaches before we use a physical and chemical approach to restore soil function,” said Ray Archuleta, NRCS regional soil health specialist. “It’s not about strip-till, it’s not about no-till and it’s not about conventional-till, but it’s about understanding the whole ecosystem processes and how the soil works and how the soil wants to be approached to stimulate nutrient cycling, water cycling and solar energy capturing to help reduce inputs and enhance soil function.”

A paradigm has been formed in recent years where farmers look at their soils from a chemical and physical perspective.… Continue reading

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High oleic soy takes over Findlay

Ohio soybean farmers were the first to plant high oleic soybeans more than five years ago and recently they took their message to the streets of Findlay, Ohio. To showcase the many attributes of high oleic, the event featured local restaurants offering foods cooked in high oleic soybean oil and gave farmers the opportunity to learn more about adding high oleic varieties to their 2017 plans.… Continue reading

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Expanding areas of Ohio suffering from hot, dry conditions

We are very, very dry. The corn is rolled at the moment and the beans are starting to wilt. I am pretty concerned. Out in Hillsboro it has been wet. We had a two-inch rain where we farm over there and then another three inches within seven to 10 days. Here in the past month we haven’t even had a half-inch — maybe two tenths. We got a sprinkle Friday or Saturday but not enough to do anything. The ground is cracking really badly. The beans are still green and blooming but they are not putting anything in the pods.

Last week the corn didn’t look too bad yet but we are starting to get some tip-back already. If we would get a rain this week it would help immensely. There is a 60% chance for tomorrow afternoon. I am not holding my breath but I hope we get it.

If you go over to the Ohio-Indiana line the crops over there look phenomenal, but this area here in Warren, a little bit of Butler and some of Clinton counties is really dry.… Continue reading

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H-2A Worker Program a National Problem

The American Farm Bureau Federation calls the growing problem of not enough agriculture workers a national issue. Farmers across the United States continue to tell lawmakers there just aren’t enough workers to meet demand.

The federal government currently has the H-2A visa program, which allows short term visas, so crops can be harvested.

However, many growers say the U.S. Government is not keeping up with demand and that is a serious problem for farmers.

“If you have a crop ready to harvest, your harvest window is narrow and your workers show up late, you’re going to lose that crop,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau. “For rural America to not be able to bring workers here to harvest our crops is just really ridiculous.”

The H-2A issue is not only causing too many delays in its current form, but there’s also too much red tape. A concern for farmers, yes, but consumers should also be worried about the lack of movement to resolve H2-A slowdowns.… Continue reading

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Cicada invasion is the pits for Ohio peach grower, every 17 years

What is usually a quiet time on Apple Hill orchard as the apple, peach, cherry and pear crops develop had an eerie hum to it in June.

Russ Joudrey and his wife, Barbara, were at their orchard the last time the 17-year cicadas made an appearance, so they knew a little bit about what to expect.

“They were quite active the last time they were here,” Joudrey said. “Because of their life cycle we were expecting them to be active again this year and they certainly are.”

20160626_135030 (1024x632)Apple Hill orchard sits just off of a heavily wooded area in Lexington, Ohio and as the cicadas worked their way out of the soil in the woods, they were immediately drawn to the closest trees on the farm — the peach trees. They use the fruit tree’s branches to begin the next generation of cicadas, as they cut a small sliver into them to lay eggs.… Continue reading

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