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Late start on planting might not hurt yields much

Despite rain that has stalled the planting of corn and soybeans across the state, yields might not be reduced, according to two grain specialists at The Ohio State University.

That’s because weather later in the growing season can have a bigger impact on yields than the date the seeds go in the ground, said Peter Thomison and Laura Lindsey, both agronomists at Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

During July and August, too much or too little rain or really hot temperatures can be detrimental because that’s when corn plants form kernels and soybean plants form beans, Thomison and Lindsey said.

Only 4% of this year’s corn crop has been planted compared to 50% this time last year; 2% of the soybean crop has been planted compared to 28% this time last year, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released May 13.

During the week that ended May 12, only 1.5 days were suitable for fieldwork due to rain or ground saturation.

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National Pork Board uncovers what diners crave

The National Pork Board released its latest findings from the comprehensive Insight to Action research, this time examining trends in consumer behavior related to dining out. With a shifting dining out landscape and multicultural cuisine trends on the rise in the U.S., the Pork Board set out to understand the needs, considerations and motivations that impact out-of-home dining decisions.

The Pork Board’s All About Dining Out: What’s on Trend report uncovers why consumers decide to eat the proteins they do and explores tactics so that foodservice operators can meet those needs, such as exploring new flavors, dishes and menu formats. Similar to the Pork Board’s findings from the previous report, Dinner at Home in America, there is an overarching high level of consumer satisfaction with dishes that feature pork, pointing to opportunity for incorporating pork in new ways on menus.

“With rapidly changing innovations, technology and competition, foodservice providers who truly understand what diners want — and deliver on it — will stand the test of time,” said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board’s board of directors.

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MADE on the Farm returns to Ross County

The Ross County Farm Bureau will once again host MADE on the Farm to benefit the nationally recognized program MADE (My Attitude Determines Everything), a group of Ross County students that is part of the regional Drug Free Clubs of America organization.

“MADE has been hugely successful on a local level teaching kids about drugs and bringing awareness to the community, and the community has stood behind their efforts,” said Greg Corcoran, president of the Ross County Farm Bureau. “We saw this as an opportunity so we reached out to them and asked how we can take part and help and that is why the very first MADE on the Farm event was organized last year. We are excited to continue this partnership.”

The 2018 MADE on the Farm effort was recognized with an Achievement Award from the Ohio Farm Bureau, showcasing the most outstanding county-led outreach programs in the state.

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Ohio Crop Progress: Slow and Wet

Very slow planting progress continued this week as rains hindered spring progress, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 1.9 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending May 19. Soils started to dry out at the beginning of the week, however, significant rain fell at the end of the week which stopped planting. Producers continued to have problems getting into the fields to plant due to wet soil conditions. Some corn and soybean planting and field preparation was done where conditions allowed, but for most, dryer, warmer weather was needed. Other activities included manure, fertilizers, herbicides application along with more air fertilizer applications for winter wheat.

Ohio Crop Progress coverage on Ohio Ag Net sponsored by Bane-Welker.

Click here to read the full report

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Agriculture cheers rollback of tariffs that bolsters USMCA chances

On May 17 the Trump administration announced plans to lift the 25% tariff on steel and the 10% duty on aluminum imports imposed last year on Canada and Mexico. Both countries subsequently retaliated against a host of U.S. products. The turmoil has slowed passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“Today’s lifting of steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexican and Canadian imports and the elimination of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products by Mexico and Canada is welcome news,’ said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Retaliatory tariffs are a drag on American farmers and ranchers at a time when they are suffering more economic difficulty than many can remember. Elimination of these tariffs should help pave the way for approval of the USMCA by Congress. Likewise, keeping an eye on today’s deal should address concerns about dumping and unfair subsidies.

“With this milestone reached, we urge negotiators to continue their work toward re-opening markets with the European Union, China and Japan.

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USDA announces full access for U.S. beef in Japan

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that Japan has agreed to eliminate longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports, including the 30-month cattle age limit for the first time since 2003.

“This is great news for American ranchers and exporters who now have full access to the Japanese market for their high-quality, safe, wholesome, and delicious U.S. beef,” Secretary Perdue said. “We are hopeful that Japan’s decision will help lead other markets around the world toward science-based policies.”

At the G-20 Agriculture Ministerial Meeting in Niigata, Japan, Secretary Perdue met with Japanese government officials and affirmed the importance of science-based trade rules. The new terms, which take effect immediately, allow U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that this expanded access could increase U.S. beef and beef product exports to Japan by up to $200 million annually.

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USDA enhances African Swine Fever surveillance efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is furthering its overall African Swine Fever (ASF) preparedness efforts with the implementation of a surveillance plan. As part of this plan, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will work with the swine industry, the states, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for ASF.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs. It does not affect human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. ASF has never been detected in the United States.

“African Swine Fever is an area of high interest among the veterinary community and our swine industry, and we continue to take action to prepare for this deadly disease,” said Greg Ibach, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “While we are confident that our overlapping safeguards will continue to keep ASF out of the United States, an enhanced surveillance program will serve as an early warning system, helping us find any potential disease much more quickly.

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Ohio Farm Bureau launches new online safety program for farmers

Nearly everyone in Ohio’s agriculture community knows someone who has been seriously injured or who has perished from an on-farm related incident. While fatalities in farming activities have declined over the last few years, the ultimate goal is to eliminate farm-related accidents altogether. That’s the vision of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Cultivating Safe Farm Operations eLearning Safety Series, a new, interactive, engaging and accessible online education program developed for a broad audience of farmers, workers and on-farm youth to make real changes in their farm safety habits.

Developed in partnership with Nationwide and Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science’s Ag Safety and Health Program, the online safety series offers three 40-minute modules for learners and covers several basic agricultural risks. Each module integrates an assessment into the online platform to assure basic comprehension, which will help cultivate on-farm behavior modification.

To access the modules, prospective learners must create an account through the Farm Bureau University platform, which is provided in partnership with American Farm Bureau Federation and includes additional self-directed learning opportunities.

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Windows for planting expected in coming weeks

By Jim Noel, NOAA

After a wet spring was forecasted since January, it appeared in April that a window would open in May. The rain total window has however, the frequency window has not. The rainfall the last two weeks in Ohio has averaged 1.5 to 2.5 inches with some streaks above 3 inches and some below 1.5 inches. Normal for this period is 1.5 to 2.0 inches. The reality is the ground is just so wet from the wet period up to May. The other BIG key is the frequency of the wet weather.

Often, when it is wet in say the eastern U.S., it is dry in the western U.S. The opposite also holds true. However, we have a very active and progressive weather pattern all around the northern hemisphere. This means a lot of weak to moderate storms on a continuous basis. It is not just Ohio either.

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Trade assistance must help all affected farmers

Following the recent escalation of trade tensions between China and the United States that will likely exacerbate the erosion of agricultural export markets and further depress commodity prices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to announce a trade assistance package to support struggling family farmers and ranchers.

In a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, National Farmers Union (NFU) provided recommendations for how best to “craft a package that will adequately address the broad, long-term impacts to all of American agriculture.”

“Family farmers and ranchers have borne the brunt of the trade war with China, which has intentionally targeted American agricultural products with retaliatory tariffs. We appreciate the administration’s recent efforts to relieve the immense economic pressure those in the agriculture industry are feeling as a result,” said Roger Johnson, NFU President Roger Johnson. “Though China’s tariffs have specifically targeted soybeans, pork, and sorghum, many other commodities have been impacted, both directly and indirectly.

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Lake Erie water levels high

With the amount of rainfall that Ohio has received this spring, the Lake Erie water levels continue to rise. Lake Erie water levels are currently at near record highs, will remain high and are anticipated to peak in the month of June. Lake levels will then begin to subside due to a normal seasonal decline, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

All of the Great Lakes are at near record highs due to increased precipitation across the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Region. Lake Erie is 2.5 feet above long-term average water level for the month of May. The May 10, 2019, water level is 4 inches above the record highest average level for May, which occurred in 1986.

High water levels increase the chance of flooding in low-lying coastal areas, especially during wind-driven seiche events. The combination of waves and high water can cause severe coastal erosion during these events.

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Beef and pork exports down and lamb trending higher

For the first quarter of 2019, U.S. beef exports were slightly below last year’s record pace while pork exports continued to be slowed by trade barriers, according to March data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. lamb exports were a first quarter bright spot, trending significantly higher than a year ago.

March beef exports totaled 107,655 metric tons (mt), down 4% year-over-year, while value fell 2% to $678 million. For the first quarter, exports were down 3% at 307,306 mt valued at $1.9 billion (down 0.8%).

March beef exports were very strong on a per-head basis, with export value per head of fed slaughter averaging $335.81 — up 1% from a year ago and the highest since December. The first quarter average was $309.32 per head, down 2% from a year ago. March exports accounted for 13.6% of total U.S. beef production and 11% for muscle cuts only, which was fairly steady with last March.

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Farm accident claims life of an Urbana man

Michael E. Russell, 78, of Urbana, was killed in a farm accident on May 15.

According to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Russell was checking a planter for an airline leak in a field off of Route 36 East. The equipment released when Russell was under the planter. Russell was pronounced dead at the scene.

Urbana EMS, Mechanicsburg EMS, and the Champaign County Coroner assisted at the scene.

For more, visit peakofohio.com.

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Diverse stakeholder group to benchmark nutrient management efforts and create farmer certification to improve water quality

A unique collaboration of stakeholders representing the agriculture, conservation, environmental, and research communities have joined forces to develop and deploy a statewide water quality initiative. This unprecedented partnership brings together diverse interests to establish a baseline understanding of current on-farm conservation and nutrient management efforts and to build farmer participation in a new certification program.

The Agriculture Conservation Working Group recently held a two-day retreat in Ostrander, Ohio, where sub-committees focusing on best management practices, education development, governance, data management, certification and public outreach engaged in robust dialogue around strategies for introduction and implementation of the program. Much of the conversation centered on identifying the path to healthy waterways in the state, and the complex approaches necessary to understand existing practices and successfully engage farmers in education and certification.

“A group with a farm-level focus and representation from across the environmental, academic and agricultural communities has never come together before with a commitment to the shared objective of improved water quality,” said Scott Higgins, CEO, Ohio Dairy Producers Association and co-chair of the working group.

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Forage shortage: Considering early weaning

By Garth Ruff, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Henry County

Low hay inventory this past winter combined with poor pasture stands due to excessive moisture have led to a greater proportion of thin beef cows both across the countryside and on the cull market. As we evaluate the toll that this past winter took on forage stands, especially alfalfa, hay is projected to be in short supply as we proceed into next winter as well.

For a beef cow to be efficient and profitable, we must meet her nutritional requirements for maintenance in addition to those for reproduction and lactation. As a reminder, the hierarchy of nutrient use is as follows: maintenance, development, growth, lactation, reproduction, and fattening. This applies to all nutrient categories, not just to energy alone. As we conclude calving season, we are entering the most challenging time in production cycle when it comes to providing adequate nutrition.

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Ohio soybean farmers call for an end to damaging trade war

The ongoing escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China is threatening the livelihood of Ohio soybean farmers. Since tariffs were put in place last year, soybean prices have dropped 20 to 25%. The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has been fighting against the use of tariffs from the beginning because farmers want to be able to compete in a free market. When they do, they thrive.

“This is simply unacceptable,” said Scott Metzger, OSA president and Ross County soybean farmer. “We understand the reasons for bringing China to the negotiating table to address technology transfer and intellectual property issues. However, there are other tactics that can be used to accomplish that without harming farmers and our rural economies.”

On May 10, the U.S. increased tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, from 10 to 25%. It is also taking steps for an additional 25% tariff on the remaining $325 billion in annual imports from China.

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Planned trade relief package getting NPPC support

The Trump administration indicated it is planning a trade relief package in response to the U.S. trade dispute with China. President Donald Trump tweeted that he would use money raised from the recently increased tariffs on China to purchase $15 billion in agricultural products for humanitarian aid to help the ailing farm sector.

“U.S. pork has suffered from a disproportionate share of retaliation due to trade disputes with Mexico and China. This retaliation turned last year — which analysts had forecast to be profitable — into a very unprofitable time for U.S. pork producers. The financial pain continues; the 20% punitive tariff on pork exported to Mexico alone amounts to a whopping $12 loss per animal,” said David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council. “While there is no substitute for resolving these trade disputes and getting back to normal trade, NPPC welcomes the offer of assistance from President Trump.

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Cold, wet weather can lead to purple corn

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

For much of the eastern Corn Belt, it has been too wet to plant this spring. However, in some areas corn has been planted is emerging or in the early growth stages of development. One phenomenon that commonly occurs at the early stages of the growing season is the appearance of purple corn plants. Corn plants can turn purple for several reasons related to environmental factors such as:

  • Sunny days and cool nights (temps in the 40s to 50s F)
  • Soil pH lower than 5.5
  • Cool temperatures
  • Wet soil
  • Stresses that hinder the uptake of phosphorus
  • Herbicide injury
  • Soil compaction.

Because many fields have saturated soils and the forecast includes cooler nights and continued wet weather, producers may see some purple plants in their fields. Purpling in corn due to cooler weather most often occurs when plants are in the V2 to V5 growth stages.

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Ohio Crop Progress: Wet Conditions Hindered Progress

Rainfall continued to stall planting progress and kept producers out of the fields, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 1.5 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending May 12. Soils were saturated and some standing water was present in fields. Fields have been too wet for tillage equipment in some areas. Some corn and soybeans were planted but progress was still well behind last year and the five-year average. There was also a little progress in oat planting despite less than ideal planting conditions. Winter wheat condition remained guarded as wet soils have drowned out some wheat and prevented herbicide application in fields. There were some reports of producers applying fertilizer by airplane. Wet and cold weather was inhibiting field dry out and preventing fieldwork.

Ohio Crop Progress coverage on Ohio Ag Net sponsored by Bane-Welker.

Click here to read the full report

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