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Harvest weather outlook

After a first half of September which was 5 to 10 degrees below average, the second half of September will average 5 to 10 degrees above average making September in the end a near average month but marked by significant differences in the month. Temperatures the week of September 19 through 25 will run 10 to 15 degrees above average with no risk of frost.

Rainfall will remain limited in most areas for the rest of September as well. Some rainfall will occur Tuesday Sept. 19 through Wednesday Sept. 20. Rainfall will average less than a tenth of an inch in the southeast half of the state to 0.10 to 0.50 inches in the northwest half with isolated higher totals. After Sept. 20, the next chance for rain does not come up until around Sept. 26 or 27.

October Outlook

Temperatures are likely to relax closer to normal in October after the warm late September.

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Ohio agriculture in a changing climate

Climate change may trigger images of polar bears falling off melting ice slabs in the Arctic, but the changes are relevant for Ohio farmers as well.

Winters in Ohio are warming quicker than summers are, while summer nighttime lows are increasing faster than daytime highs, said Aaron Wilson, climate specialist for Ohio State University Extension.

“Although it is warmer now on average, daytime highs in the summer are not as extreme as they were in the 1930s and 1950s when Ohio experienced prolonged droughts,” Wilson said.

However, at night in the summer, the weather isn’t cooling off as much as it had been for decades, he said. Along with that, the amount of rainfall in Ohio has increased, and extreme rain events are far more common, Wilson said.

With more water in the atmosphere and rising temperatures, weather prediction models anticipate Ohio’s climate by the end of this century to be 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer year round with more humidity and less snowfall, Wilson said.

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Ohio AgrAbility at FSR

Getting older or injured generally won’t stop a farmer from working.

But work does not have to be painful. Changes can be made to a tractor or a combine, such as adding a lift to get aboard them more easily or adding a camera to keep a farmer from having to turn his or her head to see behind.

Injured or aging farmers can find the technology they need to continue to work through Ohio State University Extension’s Ohio AgrAbility program. The program offers free on-site assessments for people with a disability, to help determine what assistive technology might enable them to continue to work. Ohio AgrAbility will offer three daily workshops at FSR to discuss what’s available for farmers who are injured or struggling with a physical disability and don’t want to give up farming.

Two of the workshops Ohio AgrAbility will offer are on modifications to farm equipment, and another workshop is for professionals who work with individuals with disabilities.

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Farm Science Review highlights

Ernst and McFarland 2017 FSR Hall of Farm inductees

The FSR will induct Stan Ernst and Louis McFarland into the 28th class of honorees for the Hall of Fame. Ernst and McFarland will join the 75 other individuals who have been recognized for their contribution to the FSR since its inception 55 years ago.

Ernst has been a champion of the FSR and The Ohio State University for 27 years, specifically of the educational efforts conducted by the college and Ohio State University Extension. He served as news and media relations coordinator, Extension outreach program manager, and specialty crop/food business program manager and marketing specialist during his tenure at Ohio State. The various positions and areas of responsibilities that fell under Ernst’s leadership provided him the opportunity to continually direct quality educational programming.

“This has helped shape and improve the standard of educational programming conducted by OSU Extension and others during the Review that continue to improve each year,” Zachrich said.

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Albers family tradition builds on rich German and agricultural heritage

While small towns and villages were forming in the wilderness of what is now western Ohio there was a steady stream of German immigrants coming to the area, regularly noted at the time for their hard work ethic and ingenuity. Part of that rich German tradition continues on the many farms in the region, including the Albers Ohio Century Farm in Shelby County, near McCartyville.

The family founder, Henry Albers, left his farm in the Minster area and settled on the farm in 1884 where his eight children grew up. The farm had a home and barns when he moved there. Henry raised hogs, dairy cattle, chickens and crops.

Henry died of a heart attack during planting season when his son, John, was 16. John eventually took over the farm and his son, Leonard Albers, grew up in the same house and has farmed the same ground. Leonard was the youngest of 13 children, and with his parents (John and Caroline) and two of his uncles (Herman and Ben, both Henry’s sons), there were 17 Albers living in the house for a few years during his youth.

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Map Your Show at the FSR

New for this year’s 55th Farm Science Review, visitors will be able to “Map Your Show” on a new mobile app in preparation for the three-day event. The app is available in app stores now. Visitors will be able to browse the interactive map and search for specific exhibitors or product categories.

“Visitors will be able to see over 4,000 product lines exhibited by 640 exhibitors,” said Nick Zachrich, Farm Science Review Manager. Educational presentations, demonstrations and displays are ongoing throughout the three days, Zachrich said. Research tours on water quality, nutrient management and other topics in partnership with Ohio State and Beck’s Hybrids will be available.

Visitors seeking credits for Certified Crop Advisors (CCA) or pesticide application recertification should check the event schedule, Zachrich said.

Shuttle wagons will take visitors to a variety of field demonstrations featuring different agronomic operations. Demonstrations include drainage installation, UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles), cornstalk baling and much more.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Episode 26 | From the Farm Science Review!

The crew of host Joel Penhorwood, Ty Higgins, Dale Minyo, and Matt Reese bring this week’s podcast from the 2017 Farm Science Review (recorded on Monday before FSR got underway, September 19-21).

The Farm Science Review always one of Ohio agriculture’s biggest events from year to year. For visitors to the 2017 Review, Ty talked with Matt Sullivan, general manager of the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, about this year’s FSR and what to know.

The Review is known as a key time to check out the latest innovations in agriculture, especially from the equipment side. In that spirit, Joel visited with Scott Brown, territory manager with Geringhoff, about the Truflex Razor draper combine header — just one of the amazing pieces of equipment in action during the field demonstrations.

And while agriculturalists from all around are visiting the FSR outside of London, Ohio, the event also serves as a good time to show non-agricultural folks the modern world of farming.

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Putting farm safety into practice

The National Farm Safety and Health Week is observed every third week of September. This commemorative week has been practiced for 73 years, with the first observation being in 1944 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in office. Ohio will celebrate this week on Sept. 17 though Sept. 23, 2017.

The theme “Putting Safety into Practice” reminds us that it is everyone’s responsibility to practice safety — on the farm and on the road. The U.S. Department of Labor calculates the death rate for agricultural workers to be higher than other workforces. Knowing that agriculture is a dangerous industry — this includes farming, forestry and fishing — it is important for workers to practice safety.

As the theme suggests, practicing safety is something we should do, not something we merely say. When safety is a part of our lifestyle and our workplace routine, it becomes a way of life.

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Legal battle over wetlands has broad implications

My favorite law professor, the late Morgan Shipman, used to love to refer to environmental cases as “birds and bunnies” law. While he felt strongly that the environment should be protected, he often pondered if the Draconian regulations protecting “birds and bunnies” were at the cost of human liberty and constitutional rights. I can only imagine his take on the recent settlement in the Duarte Case.

This matter is from California, often the source of confusing legal resolutions. The trouble all began when John Duarte, fourth generation owner of Duarte Nursery, an employer of over 400 and seller of rootstock (almonds, avocados, pistachios and grapes), purchased 450 acres of red clay ground for investment and potential future orchard development in 2012.

The acreage, near Modesto, had been wheat fields in the 1970s and 1980s and some of the ground was enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program at that time. Cattle grazed this land during the 1990s and early 2000s.

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4-H opioid display drug education

The traveling display created by 4-H members may seem innocuous enough – a simple pedestal sink with a mirrored medicine cabinet mounted above, similar to what could be seen in bathrooms in almost any home in the region.

But the question accompanying the display – “What’s in your medicine cabinet?” – may not be as easy for some Ohioans to answer.

Ohio now leads the nation in opioid-related overdose deaths with a record 4,050 drug overdose deaths reported in 2016, a 33 percent increase from 2015, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Experts say misuse of prescription opioids is one of the strongest risk factors for starting heroin use, with three out of four new heroin user reporting abusing prescription opioids.

The 4-H members who created the medicine cabinet display want to get the word out about prescription misuse to try to prevent the next potential user from adding to Ohio’s growing opioid crisis.

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Fall is tailgating time!

Tailgate: (noun) known in the English language as being a board or gate at the rear of a vehicle that can be removed or let down.

It wasn’t until 1958 that Webster recognized tailgate party: a social gathering in which food and drinks are served at or near the back end of a parked vehicle that usually occurs in a parking lot before or after a public event such as a football game or concert.

Football season is now kicking off and tailgating will turn ordinary picnics into picnics on steroids! Fans travel miles in support of their favorite teams. It all starts with a vehicle such as an ambulance, van, car, hearse or other vehicle painted in creative ways to showcase team spirit and colors. Party games, featured chefs, cocktail and food contests, even tailgater vs. tailgater battles have become part of the party. Tailgating associations, nations and even a commissioner of tailgating have emerged.

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Farm bill listening session coming to Wilmington

As Congressional committees begin prepping for the 2018 Farm Bill, the Ohio Farmers Union will hold a listening session and briefing in Wilmington on Sept. 18.

The event will be held at the Moyer Community Room, Wilmington Municipal Building, 69 N South St, Wilmington, OH 45177. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is expected to last two hours. The event is open to the public but will he geared to farmers. Light refreshments will be provided by the Clinton County Farmers Union.

“It’s essential that despite the current dysfunction in Washington, Congress crafts a reasonable, responsible Farm Bill that provides a strong safety net,” said Joe Logan, OFU President.

Logan said that the National Farmers Union is working with state organizations around the country to hold regional listening sessions where family farmers may come and share thoughts on what’s working and not working with current Farm Bill programs like Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).

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Young Ag Professionals recognized

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation recently recognized top Young Ag Professionals.

Christian Hoffman of Stoutsville has been named winner of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Outstanding Young Farmer Award. Greg and Rose Hartschuh of Sycamore have been named winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Excellence in Agriculture Award.

The Outstanding Young Farmer contest is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

Hoffman farms with his parents, raising beef cattle, grains and hogs. He serves on the Fairfield County Farm Bureau board of trustees, has been active in the local Young Agricultural Professionals program and has participated in numerous county and state Farm Bureau events. He also has been active in local and state Cattlemen’s Association activities. He is a member of the Amanda Clearcreek Alumni Association, served on the David Lutheran Church Council and supports the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

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Irma’s rains moving north

AccuWeather reports a fter blasting the Florida Peninsula over the weekend, Irma will track inland across the southeastern U.S., threatening flooding, damaging winds and severe weather over a large area.

Irma will put many lives at risk well inland from the coast. Residents in northern Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina should anticipate severe impacts from Irma.

Irma will continue to travel inland across northern Florida, Georgia and Alabama into Tuesday, continuing to weaken in the process. 


Wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph will spread from Florida to southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama Monday.

“The tropical-storm-force winds should expand outward, especially on the east side, to over 300 miles on Monday,” said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

Occasional gusts between 40 and 60 mph will be felt across eastern Tennessee, northern Alabama and Georgia, including the cities of Atlanta; Knoxville, Tennessee; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; and Augusta, South Carolina.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Episode 25 | Boat Racing at the Fair, a Korean Visit, and Century Farms

The Ohio Ag Net Podcast, courtesy of AgriGold, has the crew of host Ty Higgins, Matt Reese, Jeff Reese, and Joel Penhorwood bringing the latest in Ohio agricultural news. Clark County has been busy hosting the Ohio F1 Grand Prix a few weeks ago. Dana Potts spoke with Joel Penhorwood on the unique event at the fairgrounds. Ty Higgins visited with Tadd Nicholson from Ohio Corn and Wheat about a Korean trade visit to Ohio farms. Speaking of Ohio’s rich history with farms, Matt Reese spoke with Sandusky County’s Daryl Knipp about their Century Farm.

All that and a bit of a fun conversation here in the 25th episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast.

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F1 boat racing right at home on Ohio fairgrounds

They are akin to airplanes on the water, going from zero to 120 miles per hour in around three seconds. They can make hairpin turns and they dazzle Formula 1 boat racing fans around the world. This year, they made a stop at the Clark County Fairgrounds when the F1 Grand Prix — a world-class platform in motorsports — came to Springfield in late August.

The event was one of six nationally televised F1 boat races and it set the stage for what promises to be a lasting relationship moving forward.

“Back in 2016, we invited three F1 champions from the all around the country to come look at the site and they all raved about the course and how it was the perfect facility,” said Dean Blair, Clark County Fair director. “It is just the right size and depth and we have a launch area we call the lagoon that virtually eliminates downtime at the events, which they really like.

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Ohio hurricane relief efforts

This is not a comprehensive list, but here are some options for those wanting to help those dealing with hurricane damage.

CPS semi load from Mt. Gilead (Sept. 11)

In response to the devastating floods in Texas, Crop Production Services in Edison and Mt. Sterling, along with Jim Bartlett of Morrow County, are partnering up to send much needed supplies to Houston.

Crop Production Services – Mt. Sterling Distribution will be taking a semi load of supplies directly to Houston by Sept. 11 and is currently looking for donations to help fill up the truck.

“I couldn’t imagine going through what the folks of Texas are going through right now so I am asking you to please donate and show the Texas folks that Central Ohio cares, said Brandon Nace, Crop Production Services facility manager. “Thank you for your attention to this and any donations that you can provide.”

A CPS semi-trailer will be parked in the Drug Mart parking lot next to Kroger’s in Mt.

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Trapping sense

My most fragrant weekend ever occurred when I worked for the Columbus-based Sportsmen’s Alliance, at the time called the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America. The pro-trapping organization had me man an exhibit booth at the annual National Trappers Association convention at a county fairgrounds in Indiana, where I shared a long, hot September weekend with dozens of trappers displaying their home-brewed scents inside a poorly ventilated, oversized Quonset hut. After two 10-hour days confined with that crew and their pungent wares, it took multiple washings to get the stank of castor-based concoctions out of the clothes I wore, and even my car’s interior retained the scent for more than a week afterward. To this day, the slightest hint of skunk takes me back to those fragrant fairgrounds.

Similar scents, albeit less-concentrated than those I endured, may be on the breeze at the Holmes County fairgrounds early this month, during the annual gathering of Ohio State Trappers Association members in Millersburg.

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Agricultural and literary history at Louis Bromfield’s Malabar Farm

The legacy of Ohio native son, Louis Bromfield, Pulitzer-prize winning author, pioneer in agricultural conservation, and member of Ohio’s Agricultural Hall of Fame, is celebrated at Malabar Farm State Park in Lucas, Ohio.

A somewhat obscure name today, Bromfield was a prominent celebrity and artist in the first half of the twentieth-century, gaining international acclaim for his novels. The artist earned much of his fame whilst living abroad in India and France, and when World War II came to France and Bromfield returned stateside, he purchased several farm tracts in the Pleasant Valley area of Richland County and there established and nurtured his dream farm, Malabar Farm.

Upon purchase of these lands in 1939, Bromfield became somewhat disinterested in writing fiction when rejuvenating his farm and promoting new agricultural philosophies became some of his main passions and life’s works until the time of his death in 1956.

In his book Out of the Earth, Bromfield said that, like much of America’s agricultural lands in the early twentieth-century, at Malabar Farm, “These hills had been corned out, farmed out, pastured out, sheeped out, and abandoned.” And he wrote in the book Pleasant Valley that he “wanted to prove that worn out farms could be restored again.”

The Malabar Farm Foundation said that “Bromfield set out on a quest to restore rich fertility to Malabar Farm by applying conservation methods that were mostly unheard of or little used at that time.

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Major Hurricane Irma likely to strike Florida this weekend

AccuWeather reports after blasting the northern Caribbean, dangerous Hurricane Irma will turn toward the United States, potentially bringing life-threatening impacts from Florida to the Carolinas beginning this weekend.

“This hurricane has the potential to be a major event for the East Coast,” Evan Myers, AccuWeather expert senior meteorologist and chief operating officer, said. “It also has the potential to significantly strain FEMA and other governmental resources occurring so quickly on the heels of Harvey.”

“Because Irma is likely to move up along the east coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, people from the Florida Keys all the way to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, should prepare to be ready to evacuate coastal areas, starting with South Florida now,” Myers added.

The storm should be taken very seriously and preparations should be hurried to completion.

While Irma’s track beyond the Caribbean is not set in stone, AccuWeather meteorologists anticipate the southern Atlantic Seaboard will experience significant and possibly devastating impacts from Irma.

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