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Brazil headed for a bumper soy crop amid US-China deal

The 2019/20 soybean crop harvest has started with expectations for a record production in Brazil. Despite planting delays in some states due to irregular rains in the fourth quarter of 2019, production is pegged by consultancy AgRural at 123.9 million metric tons, 1.2 million up from the previous estimate and a new record for the country, above the 119 million metric tons produced two years ago.

By Jan 16, 1.8% of the soybean area had been harvest in Brazil, most of it in top producer Mato Grosso, where yield reports have been coming at the high end of expectations. In the rest of the country, soybeans still need beneficial weather conditions until at least the end of February to secure a bumper crop, since important states such as Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás had significant planting delays. All of them, however, have favorable weather forecasts.

Still at risk
In Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, and in the North/Northeast region known as “Matopiba” (Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia), hot, dry conditions seen in December reduced the yield potential.… Continue reading

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USDA moving forward with vaccine bank

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced recent progress on implementing programs funded by the 2018 Farm Bill, including moving forward with developing a Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank.

Specifically, APHIS is awarding $10.2 million to support disease prevention and emergency response training. As part of this funding, APHIS is moving forward with developing the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. The first priority of the bank is to increase the U.S. stockpile of FMD vaccines. Last year, APHIS’ 30-day sources sought notice for FMD vaccines closed, with seven responses reviewed by the agency.

APHIS is now issuing a request for proposals, and plans to have the initial FMD vaccine contracts in place by the end of the second quarter of FY2020. The agency’s goal is to invest between $15 million and $30 million on the vaccine by the end of this year. Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine to avoid devastating economic consequences to the U.S.… Continue reading

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Farming for cleaner water: Soil health sessions

American Farmland Trust (AFT) wants to help Ohio agriculture learn more about soil health. AFT is sponsoring a 2-hour session — same session offered three times over the course of 18 hours — in Ostrander, Mt. Victory and Waldo.

Hans Kok, Midwest Soil Health Specialist and Coordinator of the Indiana Cropping Systems Initiative and Indiana Conservation Partnership, will be the featured speaker at all three sessions. Hans will talk about the adoption of practices and cropping systems that can lead to improved soil health. Food will be provided at each stop.
The sessions are:

• Feb. 3, 2020 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Leb’s Pizza House 17 S. Main St. Ostrander

• Feb. 4, 2020 7:30 am – 9:00 am at Plaza Inn 491 S. Main St. Mt. Victory

• February 4, 2020 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at All Occasions Banquet Facility 6989 Waldo-Delaware Rd. Waldo.

RSVP by calling Mark Wilson at 614-506-7846.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep.136| Paylean, Water, Drones

It’s Dusty, Matt and Kolt this week with USMCA as a big topic of discussion- along with “River Monsters” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The team will be seeking information about what pork farmers and County fairs are anticipating in the future of Paylean. Matt talks to Jim Heimerl about his take on the issue. And pigs need water, which brings the next big topic of the week, Janelle Mead talks about H2Ohio. Dusty caught up with Mark Carter from Purdue University at the Fort Wayne Farm show, where they talked about the drones on display at the event and their use— so much to hear about on this week’s podcast!… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau’s ExploreAg wins national honors

The American Farm Bureau Federation presented awards to state Farm Bureaus at the organization’s 101st Annual Convention in Austin, Texas. The awards recognize excellence in implementation of outstanding outreach programs in 2019.

Ohio Farm Bureau was the recipient of the New Horizon Award, honoring states with the most innovative new programs. This year’s award recognizes the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s ExploreAg initiative, a weeklong experience for high school students, where scholars are introduced to careers in food and agriculture both in the classroom and through hands-on learning.

“Creating a future workforce for agriculture is vital to the industry,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “ExploreAg addresses that need by encouraging young people to think critically about the food and farm industry and the issues associated with providing safe and sustainable food and fiber.”

To accomplish the ExploreAg program, Ohio Farm Bureau worked with numerous community partners. In two years, more than 30 Ohio agricultural businesses and operations have been highlighted in the program.… Continue reading

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A look back at 2019 Crop Tour numbers

By Matt Reese

Rewind back to mid-August of 2019 when two groups from Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net took to the back roads of the state to take a peek at the yield potential following arguably the worst planting season in the state’s history. The 2019 Ohio Crop Tour was sponsored by AgroLiquid.

Of course, we found many fields (particularly in northwest Ohio) that were very late developmentally. This made estimating yields for the fields quite challenging. The corn yield potential was there in many fields, but the crop was in great need of a late frost and steady rainfall throughout the rest of the growing season to come close to achieving the yield potential we were seeing. Guess what happened…

Here is what we wrote at the end of the 2019 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour on Aug. 15: For corn, the average yield for the East was 175 bushels per acre, the average for the West was 167 bushels per acre and the overall average was 171 bushels.Continue reading

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Compaction: Where the rubber meets the road

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

It can be said that compaction occurs where the rubber meets the road, or in this case, the rubber meets the soil.

“If you think about how roads are designed and built, they are constructed to handle heavy loads. It comes down to a function of the axle weight,” said Ian McDonald, researcher from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture. “Why do we think it is alright to put heavy axle weight on top of a biological ecosystem?”

In research conducted at Bern University by Matthias Stettler, it suggests that the axel load on equipment in a field should ideally be less than 5 tons per axle and tire inflation pressure should ideally be less than 15 pounds per square inch. Common field equipment axle loads are 7.5 tons per axle for a 200 horsepower 4-wheel-drive tractor, 13 tons per axle for a 325 horsepower 4-wheel-drive tractor, 24 tons per axle for a combine with a 12-row head, and 35 to 40 tons per axle for a 1200-bushel grain cart.

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Heritage Cooperative recognized for excellence

When it comes to stewardship, farmers, in partnership with their local ag retailers, are leading the way. Driving stewardship is more than individual practices – it also takes innovation at the farm level and consistent storytelling and advocacy at the local, state and federal levels.

Each year at the Land O’ Lakes Partners in Excellence Summit, an inspiring group of farmers and ag retailers are recognized for driving stewardship on the farm, to the benefit of their operations, local communities, their states and our nation. At this year’s summit, Land O’ Lakes awarded the top farmers and ag retailers in four categories: Outstanding Retailer Award, Outstanding Sustainability Award, Advocacy Award and Innovation Award.

Ohio-based Heritage Cooperative was the recipient of the 2019 Partners In Excellence Outstanding Retailer Award. Heritage Cooperative is a key partner, along with local farmers, in the landmark initiative with global ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle to assess and accelerate sustainability on 1.5 million acres of U.S.-grown corn – the acreage equivalent of Tate & Lyle’s entire global corn purchases.… Continue reading

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Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Soybean Council energy study: Understanding the impact of demand charges and power factor in agriculture

Farmers have long explored options to provide energy savings associated with their agricultural operations. Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Soybean Council have partnered to provide research-based data driven tools to help Ohio farmers assess and navigate various energy infrastructure investment options for their farm. Specifically, the project team is interested in learning more about your experience and interest in implementing energy management strategies such as peak demand reduction, power factor correction, and/or the integration of solar generation systems to reduce electricity costs on your farm.

Farmers with commercial rate structures that charge for peak demand and poor power factor can implement equipment and management strategies to reduce electricity costs, thus increasing long-term profitability. However, very little is known about the economic feasibility of investing in equipment to reduce peak electric demand charges in agriculture. To determine the economic feasibility of implementing energy management strategies it is important to simultaneously study the real costs of installing new equipment, ongoing risks, challenges, as well as understanding how these improvements will influence the calculations of a farms electric bill a comprehensive manner.… Continue reading

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Develop a plan for the year ahead

By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

I’m glad the days are starting to be a fraction longer, even though it’s not much more yet. While I wait for some daylight, I can usually be found reading early in the morning. I’m certainly a morning person, just ask my wife. There is no other good reason to be up at 4 a.m. this time of year, especially if I don’t have to be. I am though, trying to catch up on reading while it’s a bit easier to stay inside.

There is always something to be learned, reviewed, or perhaps occasionally unlearned. I like to take a second look at old ways of doing things and reading very old agriculture books. You would be surprised to learn that things that most would think are new ideas are sometimes over a century old.

As new ideas or innovations come to light, there is always somewhat of an incentive to evaluate and try them.… Continue reading

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Is the third time the charm for farmer fair practice rules?

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

A new rule proposed by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) covers a topic that has been up in the air for more than a decade. The 2008 Farm Bill called on the Secretary of Agriculture to create regulations meant to guide the USDA in determining whether or not a packer, swine contractor, or live poultry dealer gave a person or locality “any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage” when purchasing livestock and meat products. The Secretary of Agriculture entrusted the rulemaking to USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). GIPSA did propose versions of the rule in 2010 and 2016, but neither ever went into effect due to congressional prohibitions on such rulemaking and a presidential transition, respectively. (The anticipated regulations have long been referred to as the “Farmer Fair Practice Rules.”) Once Trump came into office, his administration did away with GIPSA and gave its responsibilities to AMS, further delaying the rulemaking.… Continue reading

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Soil compaction, choices and patience

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Management requires measurement. There are two forms of soil compaction that can be measured and then managed, said John Fulton, associate professor at the Ohio State University in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at the recent Precision University 2020 meeting.

“To effectively manage compaction we need to both understand it and measure it. The first is surface compaction. This is the compaction that occurs at the upper soil layer.  It is considered to be within the tilled layer of soil. The second is subsoil or deep compaction. Subsoil compaction occurs below the tilled layer as a result of surface loading,” Fulton said. “There are four stages when dealing with compaction issues. They include: identifying areas of soil compaction,evaluating those compacted areas to determine both the cause and also severity, making plans to prevent future compaction, and developing plans to manage existing compaction.”

John Fulton, Associate Professor, Biosystems Engineering, The Ohio State University

Soil compaction can be defined as soil particles being compressed together and reducing the pore space.… Continue reading

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Beef exports (again) a key factor to watch in 2020

By Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

The latest Monthly Trade data for November 2019 was released by USDA Economic Research Service. The report continued the recent trend of lower monthly exports as compared to 2018. After three consecutive years of double-digit increases (2016-2018) in beef exports, current data show January-November 2019 exports to be down 4.6% compared to the same period in 2018. There are also new and hopeful trade deals to add to the mix with Japan, Canada, Mexico, and China. Needless to say, there are plenty of moving parts for 2020.

November 2019 beef exports were 8% below the same month of 2018 at just under 245 million pounds. For January-November 2019, exports to four of the top five destinations were lower (Japan, Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong) with the exception of South Korea which is up 6.3%. Japan is still the top destination for U.S.… Continue reading

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Senate passes USMCA

U.S. agriculture cheered today’s overwhelming support in Senate vote paving the way for the President’s signature of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“The Senate’s passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement is a huge win for our farmers in Ohio and across the country as it ensures the viability of agriculture’s trade partnerships in the global marketplace,” said Frank Burkett, Ohio Farm Bureau president. “Trade is vital to U.S. agriculture, and we applaud Senators Brown and Portman for their bipartisan work to continue and improve our relationship with our North American trading partners.”

The agreement has tremendous implications for agricultural exports from U.S. farmers. The dairy industry, in particular, will benefit significantly.

“USMCA makes important strides to break down trade barriers, opening the door to new opportunities and supporting the flow of high-quality American dairy products to two valuable export markets,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.… Continue reading

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Pig virus is easily transmitted among chickens and turkeys

Ohio State University researchers are taking a look at the potential for viral diseases to spread between livestock species, and potentially to humans. The first animal study of a pig virus’ potential to jump to another species shows that the virus, once introduced to a select group of birds, is easily transmitted to healthy chickens and turkeys.

The researchers who led this work were part of a team that previously found in a lab setting that the virus could infect cells from multiple species, including chickens and humans. In this study, birds that were given the virus developed diarrhea two days after infection. Healthy birds housed with infected chickens and turkeys also developed diarrhea two days after exposure.

That rapid spread of disease surprised the Ohio State University scientists.

“We weren’t even sure the virus would transmit from bird to bird. That’s a significant finding,” said senior author Scott Kenney, assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine based in Ohio State’s Food Animal Health Research Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster.… Continue reading

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Plenty to consider at OSU Extension farm bill meetings

Farmers who prefer planting over paperwork could gain a lot from a series of upcoming meetings that will guide them through the tedium of signing up for farm safety net programs and crop insurance.

Ohio State University Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are partnering to offer free meetings across Ohio to help growers of commodities decide on a government farm program that will help protect them against dips in farm income.

By March 15, farmers of corn, soybeans, and wheat have to decide which one of three government farm programs they want to enroll in. Each offers different benefits. Those who sign up for Agriculture Risk Coverage at the County Level (ARC-CO) receive a payment whenever revenue on a particular commodity in the county where their farm is located runs below a guaranteed level.

Another option is Agriculture Risk Coverage at the Individual Level (ARC-IC), which triggers a payment when revenue falls below the guaranteed level. … Continue reading

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DeWine announces availability of first $30 million in H2Ohio funds

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda announced that $30 million in H2Ohio funding will be available for Ohio farmers in more than a dozen counties beginning in February. The funds will be awarded as part of Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio plan to reduce agricultural phosphorus runoff and prevent algal blooms in Lake Erie.

“Since announcing the details of my H2Ohio plan in November, we’ve had a great deal of interest from farmers in the Maumee River Watershed who want to do their part to improve the health of Lake Erie,” said Governor DeWine. “H2Ohio will provide farm-by-farm support to help farmers minimize phosphorus runoff while increasing profit over the long-run.”

Farmers living in the following 14 northwest Ohio counties will be eligible to apply for funds at their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts starting on Feb. 1, 2020: Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Lucas, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension to host two winter beef programs

Mark your calendars now for the Ohio Beef Cattle Nutrition and Management School, targeted for anyone raising, feeding, or marketing any class of beef cattle.

Session 1 (6 to 9:00 p.m. Jan. 29 at Luckey Farmers Inc. main office in Sandusky County, and Jan. 30 at the OSU Newark Campus in Licking County) will feature former OSU research nutritionist and current University of Georgia Department of Animal Sciences Chair, Francis Fluharty discussing the use of small grains, by-product feeds, and cover crop forages in both feedlot and beef cow diets. Session 2 (Feb. 12 in Sandusky County, and Feb. 13 in Licking County, both 6 to 9:00 p.m.) will feature talks by OSU Extension educators on marketing strategies, feeding and managing for carcass quality, forage testing, and managing annual forages for grazing and hay, as well as discussion led by OSU Clinical Veterinarian, Dr. Justin Kieffer on herd health, parasite management, and vaccination protocols.… Continue reading

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CFAES dean addresses opportunities and challenges facing college

The legacy, impact, and people who make up The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) were celebrated Jan. 10 during the annual State of the College address.

Cathann A. Kress, vice president of agricultural administration and dean of CFAES, delivered the address at Ohio State’s Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. She noted that while Ohio State is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year, CFAES is also celebrating its remarkable 150-year history.

“We belong to the college which originally gave our institution part of its name and has been a critical force in shaping our comprehensive university,” she said. “But just as our university has changed and evolved in its 150 years, so have we.”

Kress said CFAES plays a critical role in improving the state of Ohio and will continue to play an important role in confronting the challenges of the future.

“Through our research, Extension, and teaching, our college is a contributor to our state’s economic development and social well-being.… Continue reading

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Northwest Ohio Corn & Soybean Day

By Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The annual Northwest Ohio Corn & Soybean Day is scheduled for Friday, January 17 in Founders Hall at Sauder Village in Archbold from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm. The program has a variety of speakers, farmer/retailer re-certification credits and 30 exhibitors sharing information on management practices for the 2019 crop production season.

Topics and speakers for the day include:

Drainage for Crop Production and Soil Health

Eileen Kladivko, Professor, Purdue University

Biology and Management of Pigweeds

Jeff Stachler, OSU Extension, Auglaize County

Farmer Attitudes and Behaviors in WLEB

Robyn Wilson, Professor, OSU School of Natural Resources

Corn Nematodes

Abasola Simon, PhD Candidate, OSU Plant Pathology

CORE Pesticide Update

Stephanie Karhoff, OSU Extension, Williams County

Farm Bill Decision 2019-2020

Eric Richer, OSU Extension, Fulton County

Fumigation: Caring for your stored grain

Curtis Young, OSU Extension, Van Wert County

The following continuing education credits for pesticide and fertilizer applicators are offered throughout the day:

Private Pesticide Applicator Re-certification: 3hrs in categories Core, 1, 2, and 6.… Continue reading

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