Search Results for: No days off

The art of disagreeing without being disagreeable

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last month at the age of 87. She famously advised “in every good marriage it helps to be a little deaf.” She attributed the advice to her mother-in-law. Ruth and Marty Ginsburg, a respected tax attorney, were married 56 years, until his death in 2010.

            Regarding marriage, Justice Ginsburg noted “if you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it. I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his, and I think that made all the difference for me.” She added that “Marty was an extraordinary person. Of all the boys I had dated, he was the only one who really cared I had a brain. And he was always, well, making me feel that I was better than I thought I was.”… Continue reading

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Corn harvest picks up, behind average

Seasonally warm and dry conditions helped push harvest progress but also increased the number of acres seeing moderate drought, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 41 percent adequate to surplus by week’s end, down 11 percentage points from the previous week. Approximately 43 percent of the state was abnormally dry or worse, according to the most recent Drought Monitor, up from 36 percent last week. Average temperatures for the week were 3.3 degrees above historical normals and the entire State averaged 0.14 inches of precipitation. There were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 11.

Farmers harvested soybeans and corn, planted wheat, and applied lime. Soybeans dropping leaves was at 93 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 2 percentage points. Soybeans harvested was at 49 percent while soybeans moisture content was at 12 percent. Corn mature was at 77 percent, behind the five-year average by 3 points while corn moisture content was rated 23 percent.… Continue reading

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Farmers taking full advantage of beautiful harvest weather

Willie Murphy

We finally got started on Oct. 1. We ran some of the very first corn that was planted on May 13. It was 105-day corn and it was 21% to 22% moisture, which is drier than we thought it would be. The yield was pretty good for being early corn. We ran that and moved to corn we’d planted on May 16 and it was a fuller season corn. We thought the moisture would be in the mid-20s and it was 30%. We ran about four loads of that and decided that was enough. That was a little too wet to handle.

We have been hearing around the area that a lot of corn moisture has been in the mid- to upper 20s. The ethanol plant in Bloomingburg is paying around $4 for dry corn because everyone is cutting beans, so there has been some corn run around here that is pretty wet.… Continue reading

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A local meat pandemic

By Dusty Sonnenberg and Matt Reese

Willie Murphy works with his family on their diverse Clinton County operation that includes crops, cattle and a booming 2020 freezer beef business.

“The freezer beef has had a huge increase in demand. Normally we do 50 to 60 a year and so far we have sent over 60 head to the butcher shop and have another 50 head yet this year and another 20 head sold into next year. It doesn’t matter what butcher shop you talk to, they are all booking into this time next year. We have appointments all the way through 2022 just to fill the demand. A lot of people who are buying are asking me to just put them down for next year. That is good for us and good for the people we are selling to so we can cut out the middle man and sell direct,” Murphy said.… Continue reading

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Short-Bean Questions

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — As summer 2020 advanced, a common question surfaced in parts of the Corn Belt this summer: Why are my beans so short?

The effect was clearly on display when Pioneer field agronomist Ryan Van Roekel laid out some soybeans in south-central Iowa at Corteva Agriscience’s Virtual Media Event on Oct. 6. The plant’s nodes were clustered tightly together at the bottom of the plant, before spreading out to a more normal distribution higher up the stem.

That’s the tale of two months, Van Roekel explained.

For many parts of the Corn Belt, May was a chilly slog, marked by occasional dramatic cold snaps. For soybeans just emerging, that was a signal to slow way down.

“Soybean vegetative growth is largely related to heat,” Van Roekel explained. Later on, when soybean plants hit reproductive stages (flowering and podding), the length of the day has a bigger effect on the plant’s progress.

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Cover crops enhance soil health

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Fall harvest has started but farmers also need to think about planting cover crops.  USDA-SARE publication (10 Ways Cover Crops Enhance Soil Health) states “Cover crops lead to better soil health and potentially better farm profits.”  Here is a 10-point summary.

Cover crops feed many soil organisms. Most soil fungi and bacteria are beneficial to crops, feeding on carbohydrates that plants exude (release) through their roots. In return, fungi and bacteria supply nutrients, such as nitrogen or phosphorous, to the crop roots. While cover crops directly feed bacteria and fungi, many other soil organisms eat fungi and bacteria, including earthworms and beneficial arthropods (soil insects). Cover crops support the soil food web throughout the year. Beneficial soil insects eat weed seed, devore crop predator eggs and larva, and consume or outcompete many crop disease organisms.  Good soil health means that all soil organisms are kept in balance so no one organism becomes a pest.

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Fliegl KDS 270 Muck Control shines in testing

Tested chain manure spreaders for true professionals are now available from Fliegl and the test results speak for themselves.

In addition to liquid manure, many farmers also use solid manure for organic fertilization. Fliegl has therefore expanded its spreading technology product portfolio to include chain manure spreaders. The first model type could already be seen at AGRITECHNICA 2019. Since then there has been more tinkering, development and testing so that the KDS spreader, from small to large, is now ready for the organic nutrient transfer. A DLG test of the “KDS 270 Muck Control Tandem” proves its ability in black and white.

The Fliegl KDS 270 Muck Control is a universal spreader with a scraper floor and a horizontal 2-disc spreader. The loading space of the KDS 270 with a height of 1.4 meters, a width of 2.15 meters and a length of 7 meters has an enormous capacity of around 21 meters.… Continue reading

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Positivity during the pandemic

By Matt Niswander, a Farm Bureau member in Tennessee and member of American Farm Bureau Federation’s Grassroots Outreach Team

I’ve been in the medical field for 15 years, and in my medical training I was taught that you should sing happy birthday twice while washing your hands to get off all the germs — high-level stuff that I learned at a very prestigious school. Well, now that we can’t get together for birthday parties then I suppose your next best choice is “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, because some days it feels like we are just trying to keep going. Even here in rural America, COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses in our homes, our communities and our country.

In the past, I might have taken care of one or two people a day for mental health issues, but now there are days that 90% of my patients want to discuss anxiety associated with the pandemic.… Continue reading

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Proposal Draws Cattle Industry Interest

OMAHA (DTN) — USDA asked for input and received a mixed response to a proposal to require radio frequency identification, or RFID tags, to be the official tag for interstate movement of cattle, following the end of a 90-day public comment period on Monday by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The now-closed comment period asked for input on a proposal to conduct a rulemaking to require RFID tags on cattle and bison that are: (1) sexually intact at least 18 months of age; (2) used for rodeo or other recreational events, regardless of age; (3) used for shows and exhibitions. On the dairy side, those animals affected include all female dairy cattle and all male dairy cattle born after March 11, 2013.

The proposal is designed to help APHIS efforts to expand animal disease traceability. Final implementation of the traceability program begins Jan. 1, 2023, when RFID ear tags would be required.

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Enjoy the autumn outdoors, but watch for ticks

With the great outdoors being a popular destination during the pandemic, it’s important to watch out for another potential threat you might not easily see: ticks. 

Be on the lookout for them through late fall. The warmest months are the most common times these tiny, blood-sucking bugs pass on diseases.

“I always tell people the outdoors is healthy for you. You need to be outdoors,” said Risa 

Pesapane, an assistant professor with the colleges of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University. 

Pesapane researches ticks in Ohio. She actually thrives on going through tick-infested areas and collecting ticks, even off of deer shot by hunters. In January, Pesapane launched a study tracking the frequency of ticks on Ohio deer, and another on stray dogs. 

Pesapane discussed tips on how to avoid tick bites as well as the risks associated with each of the four main ticks found in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Review Weed Failures

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — In keeping with the theme of 2020, a lot of things went wrong with weed control this year.

Between large weed seedbanks lurking on prevented planting acres, growing herbicide-resistance issues, weather complications, herbicide antagonism and a sudden court decision vacating dicamba labels, farmers have a lot of problems to choose from when reviewing the year.

Here’s a breakdown of each of these weedy challenges, along with recommendations on how to make sure 2021 weed control goes more smoothly.


The consequences of the record number of prevented planting acres in 2019 were on vivid display in many fields this year, particularly soybean fields. Where fields sat fallow and weeds went to seed last year, farmers battled unusually dense and persistent weed infestations this spring and summer, explained Bill Johnson, Purdue University Extension weed scientist.

“We had over one million prevent plant acres in Indiana alone last year, so a lot of waterhemp went to seed,” he noted.

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Corn harvest on track, soybeans ahead of last year

Light periodic rain occurred in some areas causing an increase in topsoil moisture but not enough to prevent increased drought conditions, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 52 percent adequate to surplus by week’s end, up 9 percentage points from the previous week. Approximately 36 percent of the state was abnormally dry or worse, according to the most recent Drought Monitor. Average temperatures for the week were 4.9 degrees below historical normals and the entire State averaged 1.27 inches of precipitation. There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 4.

During the week, farmers harvested corn and soybeans and planted wheat. Soybeans dropping leaves was at 85 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 2 percentage points. Soybeans harvested was at 21 percent while soybeans moisture content was at 13 percent. Corn dented was ahead of the five-year average by 1 percentage point at 96 percent.… Continue reading

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Precautions for feeding frosted and drought-stressed forages

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

Livestock owners feeding forage need to keep in mind the potential for some forage toxicities and other problems that can develop this fall. High nitrates and prussic acid poisoning are the main potential concerns. These are primarily an issue with annual forages and several weed species, but nitrates can be an issue even in drought stressed perennial forages. There is also an increased risk of bloat when grazing legumes after a frost.

Nitrate toxicity

Drought stressed forages can accumulate toxic nitrate levels. This can occur in many different forage species, including both annuals and perennials. Several areas in Ohio have been dry of late. Corn, oat and other small grains, sudangrass, and sorghum sudangrass, and many weed species including johnsongrass can accumulate toxic levels of nitrates. Even alfalfa can accumulate toxic nitrate levels under severe drought stress.

Before feeding or grazing drought stressed forage, send in a forage sample to be tested for nitrates.… Continue reading

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Harvest weather outlook

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio’s weather has been dominated by high pressure of late, bringing with it a pattern of warm, sunny days and cool nights for the last couple of weeks. During this time, little to no rain has fallen across the state. As daylight hours are growing shorter, evaporation is not as strong as it is during the summer. Therefore, drought conditions are not rapidly expanding across Ohio. However, persistent dryness is evident across areas of northwest, southwest, and far northeast Ohio, where soils remain dry. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates about 18% of Ohio is still experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. For more information on recent climate conditions and impacts, check out the latest Hydro-Climate Assessment from the State Climate Office of Ohio.

The first in a series of cold fronts is crossed Ohio on Monday evening, with light to moderate rain showers.… Continue reading

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Grand opening for new biosolid storage facility at Molly Caren Agricultural Center

The Molly Caren Agricultural Center (MCAC) and City of London held a grand opening reception for a new Biosolid Storage Facility, a result of the long-time partnership between the two entities.

To be more efficient in the storage of Exceptional Quality Biosolids produced by the city’s wastewater plant, London officials met with MCAC staff in November 2018 to propose the idea of constructing a storage facility on the agricultural grounds. MCAC has long used the city’s biosolids in its farming operations, applying the product to its farm ground during the month September, after crops are harvested during the annual Farm Science Review show. Per Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requirements, if these biosolids are not applied to agricultural land within 90 days of the initial storage date, they must be stored at a regional storage facility, where they can remain for up to two years.

Nearly two years after commencement of the project, the Exceptional Quality Biosolid Storage Facility located at MCAC is ready for operational use, with close proximity to the City of London, allowing other approved biosolid applicators to have access to storage facility during normal business hours.… Continue reading

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Derecho-Damaged Crops Slowly Disappear

By Matthew Wilde
Progressive Farmer Crops Editor
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

Madrid, Iowa (DTN) — The Ihle family have been playing an unnerving game of hide-and-seek this harvest.

Tin, wood 2x4s with nails, mailboxes, a traffic cone and what seemed like half the town of Madrid, Iowa, was deposited in one of Brian and Mike Ihle’s soybeans fields just east of town by the Aug. 10 derecho. Unfortunately, the brothers’ Case-IH combine found hidden debris all too often despite their best efforts to find it first.

Cody Ihle, Brian’s son, and his first cousin, Ben Gilbert, looked for troublesome trash as they shuttled soybeans from the combine, operated by Mike, to a semi. They would stop and collect small pieces from rows or throw it off to the side. For bigger storm scrap, the tandem would alert an employee in a Bobcat skid steer with a grapple bucket to remove it.

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Harvest begins in Ohio

Dry weather persisted under warmer than normal temperatures last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 43 percent adequate to surplus by week’s end, down 15 percentage points from the previous week. Approximately 18 percent of the state was abnormally dry or worse, according to the most recent Drought Monitor. Average temperatures for the week were 2.5 degrees above historical normals and the entire State averaged 0.00 inches of precipitation. There were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 27.

Farmers applied manure, harvested wheat, and tilled land during the week. Soybeans dropping leaves was at 75 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 5 percentage points. Soybeans harvested was at 13 percent while soybeans moisture content was also at 13 percent. Corn dented was at 93 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 3 percentage points. Corn mature was at 46 percent and corn moisture content was 24 percent.… Continue reading

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Harvest underway around the state

Charlie Kail

We have had two weeks of beautiful hay making weather. I think we have covered every acre that was standing high enough to mow. We ran a bunch of square bales on Saturday. The air is moving, the temperature has been good and there have been half decent sunny days. We haven’t had any rain, though, in 14 days and the ground is dried out.

There are a few guys starting on corn and beans. Moisture on the corn has been 17% to probably 45%. So far, yields have been average around here, whatever that would be. Most people are just nosing the combines in to make sure everything is running right.

The guys who believe in the fly free date are getting ready to plant wheat. The guys that say fly free date isn’t important already have their wheat in the ground. The research I’ve seen out of Ohio State over the years says Oct.… Continue reading

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We need to reflect back on what we learned this year

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

I think we screwed up the 2020 cropping season in 2018 and 2019. I hope the yield estimates we saw in OCJ in August hold up. Matt always goes back and checks with the growers at harvest, this year with the virtual tour I hope we can still check those actual yields against the estimates. At any rate the screw ups we did in 2018 and 2019 were a bit out of our control… meaning we were too wet when we harvested in 2018 and too wet when we planted in 2019 — and that led to a lot of surface compaction, and probably some deeper compaction, too. To follow that up we had a mild winter in 2019-2020 so we saw limited freeze-thaw to take away some of those compaction issues. I do not suggest tillage this fall, generally, to solve the problem.… Continue reading

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With Ohio’s deer archery season beginning Sept. 26, it’s important to realize that Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) typically affects some white-tailed deer in the late summer and is not all that unusual. In fact, EHD is the most common ailment affecting deer in the eastern U.S., and the disease occurs annually in the late summer and fall in deer herds across North America. Ohio has documented some cases of EHD this summer, mostly in northwest Ohio.

The EHD virus is not infectious to people and is not spread from animal to animal, but is transmitted by the bite of small insects called midges, so EHD-associated deaths in deer can occur until the first frost of the year causes a decline in midge activity. Once infected, deer show symptoms within five to 10 days, and many deer die within 36 hours of the onset of symptoms. There is little that can be done to protect wild deer from the virus.… Continue reading

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