Search Results for: No days off

From the farm to the classroom (and back to the farm)

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

While students are the main focus of the project, a batch of hatching chicks in a third-grade classroom has captured the attention of many in Mayfield City Schools east of Cleveland in Cuyahoga County.

“When you tell an eight-year-old they’re going to hatch chickens, it really goes without saying they are excited. One of the perks of being an elementary school teacher is that the students love school and they want to do it. Every day they want to learn something new,” said Jennifer Hancock, a third-grade teacher at the school. “I livestream the eggs while they’re in the incubator and then after the chicks have hatched so that everyone can see. The whole school and the whole community get to watch. It’s a big thing. Kids that aren’t even in my class are asking to come see the chicks. Even the principal came in to see them.… Continue reading

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Togetherall brings mental health awareness and support to agriculture

By Sarah Covington, a Farm Bureau member from North Carolina who works as a physician associate in oncology, and also owns Hawfields Cattle Company, specializing in registered Scottish Highland cattle 

Throughout the years I have seen our agriculture community come together during times of need. Wildfires, floods, droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes, for example, all bring the appropriate awareness from news headlines but what about the mental health crisis affecting the people in our industry? The chronic, sometimes daily struggles of farmers and ranchers, whether financial, family, weather, economic, or regulatory in nature all play a role in our daily lives. Often, we are left to absorb the hardships alone.  

That is why I’m thrilled that the American Farm Bureau and the Farm Family Wellness Alliance recently came together to unveil a new resource that can help all of us in agriculture remember we are not alone. It is an electronic platform called Togetherall, a tool developed to bring mental health awareness and support to others.… Continue reading

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Hedging grain using futures in a hedge account versus HTAs

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC
I am often asked why I hedge my grain using a futures account instead of using HTA (Hedge To Arrive) contracts with an end user. The following are some of the pros and cons.   
Setting up a futures hedging account This is a one time “hoop” hedgers using futures must do that selling an HTA does not require. Including a hedge line with a bank to finance the hedge account is also a good idea.

Cost to finance a hedge account v. HTA fees
To compare HTA fees to the costs associated with selling through a hedge account, let’s assume you are holding your grain from now until October, or for 4 months. While HTA fees can vary, for a 4-month time period the cost would probably average around 4 cents per bushel based upon conversations I have had with farmers who have been using them. 
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Winter wheat harvest has started

Warm, dry weather last week dried soils and allowed for farmers to nearly finish planting, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 10% very short, 37% short, 49% adequate, and 4% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on June 16 was 67.4 degrees, 1.8 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.11 inches of precipitation, 0.85 inches below average. There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 16.

Farmers were side dressing corn and applied herbicides to corn and soybean fields. A few soybean fields were replanted due to slug damage. Winter wheat harvest began in earnest, and hay harvest was in full swing. Soybean planting reached 95% complete. Emergence reached 94% for corn and 85% for soybeans. Corn condition was rated 73% good to excellent while soybean condition was rated 70% good to excellent, each down from the previous week.… Continue reading

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Celebrating and selling Western-style and culture at (Mid)Western Second Hand

By Mike Ryan, OCJ field reporter

In 2003, Reid Curtis was looking for a place to live a quieter, more slow-paced life in rural Ohio that had open spaces and a close-knit community where he could raise some farm animals, in contrast to the environs of Columbus that he was leaving. He found Somerset.

With its quaint downtown featuring centuries-old buildings, brick sidewalks, and a statue of Civil War General and native son Philip Sheridan in the town center, the village of Somerset, nestled on the northern edge of Appalachia, was a perfect place to settle in and then later establish his business.

Coming from a high intensity retail work environment which he had been enmeshed in for decades, Curtis needed a change in work and lifestyle when he moved to Perry County and then opened (Mid)Western Second Hand in November of 2020 in downtown Somerset. His past experiences prepared him for running his own retail store and informed his philosophy for the store.… Continue reading

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Right foot, left foot

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

This was a column I never expected to write, or thought I could, sharing my grieving with the sudden loss of my wife Cindy in May.  

Cindy encouraged me immensely in writing the Ohio’s Country Journal columns. It allowed me the opportunity few writers have, just write. Her objective was to make sure the content made sense. If it didn’t make sense to her, I knew I needed to provide clarification. She did not want confused readers.

It has been my highest privilege to share thoughts about Ohio’s agriculture over numerous columns which have spanned 20 plus years. Some columns flowed easily when there was much to share about Ohio and U.S. agriculture, detailing that grain prices were intertwined with local and global events. Others came with great difficulty even staring at a blank screen at times.

Shortly, after my columns began, Cindy pointed out that other Ohio’s Country Journal columns would often begin with a personal story.… Continue reading

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Corn and soybean planting nearing completion

Planting progress continued despite occasional rain showers, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 5% short, 65% adequate, and 30% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on June 9 was 69.9 degrees, 3.3 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.87 inches of precipitation, 0.04 inches below average. There were 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 2.

Farmers reported some replanting of soybeans occurred due to slugs. Army worms were reported in some Northern Ohio wheat fields. Corn planting reached 95% complete. Soybean planting reached 88% complete. Emergence reached 85% for corn and 75% for soybeans. Corn condition was rated 80% good to excellent while soybean condition was rated 75% good to excellent, each down from the previous week. Winter wheat was 17% mature. Winter wheat crop condition was rated 69% good to excellent, down from the previous week.… Continue reading

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Planting season nearing completion statewide

Jeff Rea

We have had some nice weather. We got a nice window of opportunity to get some beans planted. We’re down to about 100 acres left, so I fully expect to be able to finish this week. We had some rain on Wednesday and we only got 1.5 inches here, but some of our other farms got upwards of 4 inches. Of course, those are the fields that we need to finish planting. We’re going to be checking them out probably this morning to see if they dried out so we can finish planting.

It’s becoming the new normal to have just a few precious days to get in and then just really hit it hard. We’ve increased the size of machinery and equipment so that we can get a lot done in a smaller window of time. That’s about par for the course now it seems. I think we’ve had 3 years that we haven’t got everything planted, which I think is pretty good.… Continue reading

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Soy meal is the right fit for hungry tilapia

By Matt Reese

Tilapia has become one of the most popular fish nationwide and there is a consistent and strong demand as a food source in Ohio, both from people and from other fish in farm ponds.

“They’re high demand in the food side, especially in Asian markets. They don’t want to be buying their tilapia from overseas. They want it as local and as fresh as possible, so that’s been very good, high demand,” said Curtis Gram, owner of Freedom Fish Farms in Muskingum County. “The other side is for pond stocking and tilapia have played a big role in Ohio where we can stock tilapia in residential waterways in Ohio. They eat a lot of algae and vegetation in people’s ponds and we stock males and females in the ponds. They breed about every 30 days so they produce a lot of foraging fish and a lot of new mouths to start eating all that algae and vegetation to keep up with that growth over the summer.… Continue reading

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Cover Crop Issues

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

A week of good weather has helped most farmers get crops planted.  However, there are issues dealing with fast-growing cover crops (e.g. cereal rye).  Due to a warm winter and spring, most crops including wheat are 2-3 weeks ahead in maturity.  Fall planted crops are all headed out and getting tall.  How viable is the seed and how do you manage those situations?

On seed viability, cereal rye seed is viable 30 days after heading and flowering.  Some cereal rye has been headed out for 2 weeks, so it is time to get it terminated.  Some rye is 4 to 6 feet tall, so shading is becoming another issue to consider.  Balansa clover seed can remain viable in the soil for 3 years and reseed itself. Balansa and Crimson clover seed is viable 30 days after blooming.  Hairy vetch seed can remain viable for 5 years in the soil (hard seed) and starts to mature around July 10, which may be July 1st this year. … Continue reading

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Biofuels update in Ohio

By Matt Reese, Dale Minyo and Dusty Sonnenberg

Biofuels have had a profound impact on markets for Ohio’s corn and soybean producers. Both corn ethanol and soy-based biodiesel have contributed to the state’s fuel needs and demand for the crops. Of course, Sustainable Aviation Fuel is a huge potential market moving forward, but there are plenty of other updates for ethanol and biodiesel as well.

Ohio ethanol update

In 2024, Ohio is celebrating 16 years of in-state, large scale ethanol production.

“The appropriate thing to do is to celebrate 16 years because that 16th birthday is when you get to start buying fuel and that’s what we’re talking about with corn ethanol and what it’s meant to the state,” said Tadd Nicholson, with the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association. “It was a long path. Back in 2008 when we first got our ethanol plant here, we were not the first state.… Continue reading

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Plant tissue testing (Part 1) — Best sampling practices

By Greg LaBarge

Plant tissue testing is a valuable nutrient management tool. We often use it to identify if off-colored plants have a nutrient deficiency. Another place tissue testing fits into management is to evaluate our fertility program. This use can help identify any hidden deficiencies that could limit yield. Combining soil testing, which predicts the soil’s available nutrients and fertilizer needs, with tissue testing, which measures plant uptake, is a robust data set to make nutrient decisions. Tissue testing also fills a gap in nutrient management, where soil testing is unreliable for determining sulfur and micronutrient needs. If you use plant tissue testing, use these best sampling practices.

Collect the appropriate growth stage and plant part to compare to established sufficiency standards. To know if your test result is “good” or “bad,” you must compare your result to a standard that includes the yield response at the end of the season.… Continue reading

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Prevent plant in 2024?

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

May 31 was the final planting date for all of Iowa, most of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and southeast North Dakota. So, now everyone wants to know how many acres will go into prevent plant. Some market participants claim prevent plant acres will be higher than normal, but I’m not so sure.

One, it is usually more profitable for farmers to push past the last planting date, if they can get crops planted within the next 10 days, because they only lose 1% coverage each of those days. However, if they take prevent plant, they only get around 55% coverage.

Two, farmers can only reduce some of their input costs when taking prevent plant. Obviously seed costs and the expense to plant and harvest fields are saved. However, many farmers still need to spray their fields two or three times, which means at least some chemical costs are unavoidable. Plus,… Continue reading

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Crop Progress: More rain, more delays

Rain slowed planting progress across Ohio last week, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 31 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on June 2 was 62.9 degrees, 2.0 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.17 inches of precipitation, 0.12 inches above average. There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 2.

Farmers reported concerns with emerged crops that have been under water possibly needing to be replanted. Where possible farmers were spraying and side dressing corn. Oat planting was winding down. Corn and soybean planting progressed to 90 and 79 percent planted, respectively. Oats were 93 percent planted. Winter wheat was 96 percent headed and winter wheat condition was 71 percent good to excellent. Oats condition was 86 percent good to excellent. Pasture and range condition was rated 88 percent good to excellent.… Continue reading

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Growing strawberries for two decades at Bapst Berry Patch

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

When you have vacation time, you could use it for trips. You could see a friend, hike in the mountains or swim in the ocean. But for Brad Bapst, vacation time is used for only one thing: strawberry season. 

Bapst Berry Patch is located in Beaver, a small village in Pike County. Every May, people from as far away as Kentucky, West Virginia, and beyond visit the farm to secure fresh strawberries. 

Brad Bapst has worked for The Ohio State University for nearly 30 years. When he first began his career, Bapst worked in agricultural research at the South Centers, where he was introduced to research trials focused on berries and small fruits. Today, his job as a business specialist with the Small Business Development Center has him out of the research world. Still, the information he learned about raising strawberries years ago stuck with him. 

“About 22 years ago, we saw an opportunity to grow strawberries on our farm.… Continue reading

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New rules for electronic ear tags for cattle

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Producers shipping certain types of cattle and bison across state lines might have to use electronic identification (EID or RFID) tags if a final rule developed by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) becomes effective. Federal funding is available to help producers obtain the EID tags. But efforts are underway to stop the EID rule from taking effect. As we’ve seen in the past, disagreements continue over animal traceability and EID mandates. Here’s an update on the current events surrounding the EID issue.

The APHIS final rule

The final rule announced by APHIS on April 26, 2024 will amend the animal traceability rule enacted in 2013. That rule requires “official identification” on certain cattle and bison moved in interstate shipment for the purpose of animal disease traceability. Under the rule, “visual” ear tags are a form of official identification, in addition to certain pre-approved brands and tattoos and group lots.… Continue reading

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Livestock and the farm bill

By Matt Reese

Of course, a large portion of the agricultural funding in the farm bill is directed at crop production, but as the farm bill debate continues many livestock producers and organizations are also heavily invested in the process. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released documents providing an overview of their farm bill priorities and plans this spring.

In terms of safety nets, a growing percentage of dairy producers have been benefitting from the updated Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC). The farm bill program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. DMC has been authorized through calendar year 2024.

DMC Sign-up for 2024 just wrapped up in April. It has been a good tool for Ohio diary producers, said Jason Hartschuh, Ohio State University Extension field specialist in dairy management and precision livestock.… Continue reading

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More progress in drier week; Apple losses reported

Drier conditions last week allowed many farmers to get back into their fields, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 3 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on May 26 was 72.1 degrees, 9.0 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.40 inches of precipitation, 0.52 inches below average. There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 26.

Farmers reported the warmer weather had helped to dry soils which promoted planting and hay harvest progress. Corn and soybean planting progressed to 79 and 67 percent planted, respectively. Oats were 88 percent planted. Winter wheat was 88 percent headed and winter wheat condition was 72 percent good to excellent. Oats condition was 73 percent good to excellent. Pasture and range condition was rated 88 percent good to excellent.… Continue reading

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War on the Western Front: Ohio and the War of 1812

By Mike Ryan, OCJ field reporter

After achieving independence from England, the upstart American government was tasked with a variety of conflicts that threatened the newly established nation. As the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and France raged on the European continent and on the seas of the Atlantic, tensions with Americans were provoked by the English maritime practices of commandeering American ships, forcing U.S. sailors into servitude with the British Navy and firing upon, boarding, and sinking any U.S. commercial ship suspected of contact with the French. 

Further, the British continued to occupy forts and establishments in territory ceded to the U.S. after the Revolution. Though the Brits abandoned the 13 colonies after the Revolutionary War, they still maintained possession of other parts of the continent, and some British loyalists would come to settle in the Northwest Territories along the southern shores of Lake Erie. The English allied with hostile Native American tribes in the Great Lakes region, supporting and arming them, further contributing to conflict and instability in the area.… Continue reading

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Storage added over 70 cents to bottom line this year

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

It looks like most corn throughout the U.S. will get planted by the end of May, or the first week of June. So, a repeat of 2019 seems unlikely. The northern Corn Belt was a concern, but producers there are now telling me they should be done within a few days or by next weekend.

There are pockets between I-70 and I-80 from Nebraska to Ohio that are delayed but should get planted within the next 2-3 weeks. The biggest delays are happening in Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio, where farmers have still been unable to start planting.

While this later planting pace increases the chance of below trendline yields, it is not a guarantee. In other years, planting pace has been this slow, but good summer weather still led to trendline yields. Basically, the weather in July will still determine what the final corn yield will ultimately be.… Continue reading

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