Search Results for: No days off

Recognizing Good Soil Health

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Dr. Alan Franzluebbers, North Carolina Extension has a U-Tube video showing farmers how to look for healthy soils and then improve it. There are several obvious soil health indicators like looking for earthworms, earthworm burrows, and their middens. Also, remove surface residue and look for white spiderweb like mats which are beneficial fungi.  Crop fields with small mushrooms growing are a good sign because those are beneficial fungi just spreading their spores.  However, the hardest to see are the soil bacteria which can be over 1 billion per teaspoon of soil.

Soil Biology has been understudied and is extremely important.  Soil biology can be measured by looking at the soil biological activity, measuring the total biomass of living organisms, and by looking at the diversity of these organisms.  The biology has four main functions: decomposers of crop residue, cycling of water and nutrients, controlling gasses like carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and oxygen for root respiration, and diversity of organisms (think reduce diseases, release nutrients, etc.)… Continue reading

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Temperamental weather highlights latest Ohio Crop Progress Report

This year’s weather has been temperamental, with temperatures fluctuating wildly between above average to below average over the past few months, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 32 percent adequate and 68 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 7 was 46.3 degrees, 0.3 degrees above normal.

Weather stations recorded an average of 2.67 inches of precipitation, 1.8 inches above average. There were 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 7. Precipitation last week left fields saturated and brought fieldwork to a stop. Drier weather settled in towards the end of the week, but most fields remained too wet to hold heavy equipment. Oats were 7 percent planted. Winter wheat was 16 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 67 percent good to excellent. Fruit trees began blossoming in the northern counties after last week’s light frost.… Continue reading

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Rule 34

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth     

A rule is one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere. An example is Rule 34, titled Killing of Game Animals, of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race that states, “in the event that an edible big game animal, i.e., moose, caribou, buffalo, is killed in defense of life or property, the musher must gut the animal and report the incident to a race official at the next checkpoint. Following teams must help gut the animal when possible. No teams may pass until the animal has been gutted and the musher killing the animal has proceeded. Any other animal killed in defense of life or property must be reported to a race official, but need not be gutted.”

In plain English, if a musher is forced to kill a moose in self-defense or in defense of the dog team, the musher must properly field dress the moose before continuing the race.… Continue reading

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Introducing the 2024 Between the Rows farmers

Matt Spillman

We farm corn, soybeans and wheat and make some hay. We’re usually about 50-50 on corn and beans and then we put in a couple hundred acres of wheat. Things are looking pretty good on the wheat. It survived through winter and looks really good. We got the first round of nitrogen on month ago and are looking forward to doing the second application here soon. It was really dry when the wheat was planted. We put it in deep and we seem to have a good stand. 

My dad and uncle started the farm and then dad passed away 2 years ago. Now my two brothers are farming too. We also feed out some freezer beef and sell some through auction.

Most of the winter was really nice. We had a February that was actually nicer than April has been so far. We’re just kind of waiting on things to dry out after the recent rain.… Continue reading

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What’s the plan for April 8 on your farm?

By Matt Reese

On April 8, there will be a rare total solar eclipse visible in the United States from southwestern Texas northeast through Maine. Among the very best viewing locations in the world is a 124-mile-wide swath across western to northern Ohio, which is expected to attract a half million visitors to the state on eclipse trips. 

Some farms are planning on hosting eclipse watchers from afar while others are doing everything possible to deter them.

How are you planning on managing the eclipse on your farm?

What precautions have you taken?

Are you hosting any unique farm specific events?

Let us know how you are spending your April 8 for the rare solar eclipse coming to your farm. Either way, farms need to be prepared for large potential crowds looking to view the eclipse in Ohio’s rural areas. In terms of the specific timeline, the 2024 total solar eclipse in Ohio will last less than five minutes, while a partial solar eclipse will be visible for much longer before and after the total eclipse. … Continue reading

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Prospective Plantings and bridge collapse

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Recently, I was doing some cleaning with a small stiff brush. Watching me, Cindy suggested a toothbrush might do a more thorough job unless I wanted to keep blundering along. Here’s to zero blunders in the weeks ahead as the planting of corn and soybeans take place now and into May. Be safe in those long days with no unforeseen brushes with trouble.

The March 28 USDA report of US Quarterly Grain Stocks, along with U.S. Prospective Plantings provided a huge bullish surprise for corn. U.S. corn acres for 2024 were estimated at 90.0 million acres. Last year was 94.6 million acres, a decline of 5%. Trader estimates for corn were 91.8 million acres. In addition, U.S. corn stocks were estimated at 8.350 billion bushels, 95 million bushels below trader estimates. Soybean acres were estimated at 86.5 million acres, up 4% from last year. The combination of corn acres and corn stocks below trade expectations were much welcomed by Ohio and U.S.… Continue reading

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Spring has sprung in Washington

By Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association

Spring is an important time in Washington. It’s when cherry blossoms bloom to the delight of city residents and tourists alike, and many outdoor activities, such as marathons, take off, shutting down city streets on the weekends.

This is also a time when congressional and administration officials begin to unveil their plans for the year ahead. We saw the beginnings of this on March 7, when President Biden gave his State of the Union speech. The president released his proposed federal budget for FY 2025 several days later, even as Congress and the administration are at an impasse on parts of this fiscal year’s budget.

If the tone and tenor of the president’s address and the Republican response to that address are any indication of what we should expect in the year ahead, we should all fasten our seatbelts because it is going to be a bumpy ride.… Continue reading

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Strip-till and sub-surface nutrient placement in Ohio

By John Fulton

Strip-till and subsurface fertilizer placement has become a common conservation practice for both no-till and conventional tillage systems here in Ohio. Programs like H2Ohio support subsurface nutrient placement since it can provide production and environmental benefits here in Ohio. Benefits for sub-surface placement of nutrients in Ohio could be:

  1. Place fertilizer in a position readily available for crop uptake,
  2. Potentially reduce pre-plant field passes to a single operation, thereby conserving fuel and reducing compaction,
  3. Strip-till sub-surface placement equipment creates a more uniform seed bed with better seed-to-soil contact and less trash in the furrow, improving planter performance and emergence,
  4. Sub-surface placement can reduce fertilizer loads in overland runoff, and
  5. Banded fertilizer increases the concentration gradient reducing soil absorption and improving P and K movement to crop roots through diffusion.

However, selecting the right tool and nutrient placement strategy is important for successful adoption on Ohio farms. There exists a variety of implements to inject fertilizer and perform strip-till.… Continue reading

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HPAI found in Ohio dairy cattle

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has received a presumptive positive test result of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in an Ohio dairy cattle herd and is awaiting confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL).

The dairy operation in Wood County received cows on March 8, 2024, from a Texas dairy, which later reported a confirmed detection of HPAI. Ohio’s animal health officials were notified when the livestock began showing clinical signs compatible with sick, lactating dairy cows in other states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state veterinary and public health officials, continue to investigate the emerging illness among dairy cows that is causing decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms.

On Monday, March 25, state animal health officials were notified when federal agencies confirmed the detection of HPAI in dairy herds in Texas and Kansas that had cattle exhibiting these symptoms.… Continue reading

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Which to plant first? Corn or soybeans?

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off

In an epic and ongoing “Battle for the Belt” with Ohio State University Extension, researchers are digging into the question gaining increasing attention among Ohio’s corn and soybean growers. Which crop should be prioritized for early planting to get the greatest yield benefit?

“We can also look at the other side of the question, which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting,” said Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist. “Can we adjust our management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting? We don’t want to plant late, but sometimes weather conditions in Ohio dictate when we plant, which can be later than we like to see.” 

Delayed planting incorporates considerations beyond the weather.

“We need to look at interactions with insects, diseases, weeds, and many other factors. When you alter your planting date, you also alter the problems you may encounter in the growing season,” Lindsey said.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s farms continue to rebuild after tornado damage

Ohio farms are known for their resilience, which also holds true for The Ohio State University Molly Caren Agricultural Center, home to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) annual Farm Science Review (FSR), after it was damaged by an EF2 tornado in the early morning hours of Feb. 28.

The aftermath of the storm left 46 of the 62 buildings on the grounds damaged or destroyed. This included 13 university-owned buildings and 33 privately-owned buildings. 

Like other local farmers impacted by the storm, the focus of the FSR and CFAES teams has been on recovery and rebuilding to ensure the show will continue as scheduled.

“We are fully committed to hosting this year’s show and coming back stronger than ever, which is in our nature as a farmer-focused facility and event. This is real life for farmers, and we’re right here experiencing it, too,” said Nick Zachrich, FSR manager.… Continue reading

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Your license to fun!

By Dan Armitage, outdoors writer

I recall when the first day that you could buy the coming season’s fishing license was, if not a big deal, at least circled on many Ohio anglers’ calendars. It usually fell on the first day in March, which was appropriate, seeing as a new season of angling was just over the horizon. You had to go to a bait store or ODNR offices to get the permit, which made it feel special for some reason. Then I would always head to a Kinko’s to make photocopies of the license to stash in wallets, tackle boxes and glove boxes to improve the odds of my having one available to show the authorities wherever I might be fishing.   

Licenses to enjoy both fishing and hunting in the Buckeye State during 2024-25 are available now and can be purchased without leaving your easy chair, at, on the HuntFish OH mobile app, or at participating agents statewide.… Continue reading

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Deciding when to plant

By Mike Hannewald, CCA, Field Agronomist, Precision Farming Field Advisor, Beck’s Hybrids

As spring approaches, we’ll soon be entering one of the most exciting seasons on the farm. There is nothing quite like the anticipation felt on those first few warm days of spring as the soil dries out and we make the final preparations to our equipment so that we are ready to start planting. Along with that excitement comes some decisions: deciding when to start planting and what field and crop to plant first.

Some years, we are blessed with long stretches of beautiful weather that make those decisions easy. However, in Ohio, we are more often faced with narrow planting windows, challenging weather, and marginal soil conditions. And of course, we can’t forget the ever-important factor of being influenced by what the neighbor might be doing. Over the years, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR) has conducted several studies that can help to navigate those challenging situations and make planting decisions at least a little bit easier.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo boasts big numbers

By Matt Reese

The current strong cattle markets were evident at the Ohio Beef Expo in many ways held in March at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. The multi-faceted event featured the final junior cattle show for the annual BEST show series, a huge trade show, breed sales, and the Genetic Pathway that featured some of the country’s best genetics and included live cattle displays, semen and embryos. Complete results can be found at

“It’s our 36th and it grows every year. This is one of the largest events here at the fairgrounds. This weekend is the second busiest weekend at the Expo Center, second only to the second Saturday of the Ohio State Fair. We’ve broken records this year. Because our sale cattle can actually show in the junior show, we were over 1,000 head there and we had 675 that were just competing in showmanship. We just saw tremendous numbers there and then in the judging contest we actually saw buses from a lot of different schools and that was up this year as well with 580 participants,” said Elizabeth Harshexecutive director of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.… Continue reading

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Thoughts regarding the hereafter

By Barb Lumley

The question as asked, “Have you given any thought to the hereafter?”

The reply was, “Oh, yes, I do it all the time. Wherever I am — upstairs, in the kitchen, or in the basement, I ask myself, ‘Now what am I here after?’”

As I stand with the refrigerator door open looking at the milk jug, the cheese, the carrots, I keep asking myself, “Now what am I here after?” And then I finally remember, the butter for my toast that is getting very cold as it waits.

There I am in the grocery store without my list, which is at home on the kitchen table. As I wander up and down the aisles asking myself  “Now what am I here after?” I keep dropping items in my cart, just in case they were on my list that I can’t remember. Pretty soon, I am pushing a cart out the door, full of groceries that cost almost $100 and I just hope in one of those bags is actually what I was “here after.”… Continue reading

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Trout releases underway!

By Dan Armitage, outdoor writer

One of my favorite annual spring events is underway: the release of 85,000 rainbow trout at 95 locations across Ohio. The stocking locations are chosen to give as many anglers as possible a chance to hook-up with the salmonids in March, April, and May. After that, any trout that remain become harder to locate and fool as waters warm into summer.

Some trout stocking locations feature a special event on the day of the scheduled release, including youth-only fishing. Fishing at state park youth ponds is only available for youth 16 years of age and younger for the first 7 days after trout are released. After that week, the waters are open to anglers of all ages through the end of April. On May 1, the ponds return to providing youth-only fishing for the rest of the year.

Rainbow trout are stocked throughout the state, and here are some of the most popular fishing locations:

• Central Ohio: Antrim Lake, Whetstone Park, Heritage Park Pond, Sunbury Upground Reservoir, and Delaware State Park Pond

• Northwest Ohio: East Harbor State Park Pond, Giertz Lake, Maumee Bay State Park Nature Center Pond, Olander Lake, Pearson Metropark Ponds, and Sleepy Hollow Park Pond

• Northeast Ohio: Beartown Lake, Brushwood Lake, Little Turtle Pond, Munroe Falls Lake, Rowland Nature Preserve Lake, and Westlake Nature Center Pond

• Southeast Ohio: Buckeye Park Lake, Forked Run, Penrod Lake, Rose Lake, St.… Continue reading

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5 management tips for early-planted soybeans

By Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

There is a yield advantage with early-planted soybeans if you focus on soil, seed and sulfur. It is no longer a question of whether to plant soybeans early, but what crop management practices will help the crop achieve maximum yield potential.

Farmers continue to push up the planting window for soybeans, often putting seed in the ground before corn. The benefit is increasing the time for the plant to produce more nodes on the stem, which increases pods and ultimately creates more seeds per plant. In other words, it leads to higher yields — as much as a half-bushel per acre, per day — according to the United Soybean Board.

Conversely, delayed soybean planting equates to yield loss, which varies by region. USB research notes that soybean yield loss from May 1 to May 31 ranges from 2.2% in Georgia to 42% in an irrigated system in Nebraska.… Continue reading

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