Home / Featured News

Featured News



Agronomy Week 2020

Agronomy Week, a springtime tradition for farmers to show appreciation for the key support of their agronomic professionals, returns April 6 to 10, 2020. The DEKALB, Asgrow and Deltapine seed brands are offering the recognition program for the fourth year as an industrywide celebration.

During Agronomy Week, farmers can pay tribute to their agronomic team regardless of seed brand — including agronomists, seed dealers and crop consultants — by nominating up to three individuals at AgronomyWeek.com or by posting the professionals’ names on the DEKALB Asgrow Facebook page or Twitter with #AgronomyWeek and #contest.

Nominating farmers will be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win daily prizes, as well as an Ultimate Field Day grand prize this summer if public health conditions permit. A baseball-themed video to help promote farmer participation in Agronomy Week will be featured on social media.

“Agronomy Week this spring will showcase the dreams so many American youth have, whether that’s taking the field in a Major League Baseball uniform or taking over the family farm,” said Pete Uitenbroek, DEKALB, Asgrow and Deltapine brand lead.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSU Extension Farm Office is open!

Ohio State’s campuses and offices are closed. But we are all working away at home, and our virtual offices are still open for business. Starting April 6, the OSU Extension Farm Office Team will open our offices online and offer weekly live office hours from 8:00-9:30 pm EST.

We’ll provide you with short updates on emerging topics and help answer your questions about the farm economy. Each evening will start off with a quick 10- to 15-minute summary of select farm management topics from our experts and then we’ll open it up for questions and answers from attendees on other topics of interest.

Who’s on the Farm Office Team? Our team features OSU experts ready to help you run your farm office:

Peggy Kirk Hall — agricultural law
Dianne Shoemaker — farm business analysis and dairy production
Ben Brown — agricultural economics
David Marrison — farm management
Barry Ward — agricultural economics and tax
Each office session is limited to 500 people and if you miss our office hours, we’ll post recordings on farmoffice.osu.edu the following day.… Continue reading

Read More »

4-H events cancelled statewide through July 6

By Kolt Buchenroth

According to a letter penned by Dr. Kirk Bloir, Assistant Director of 4-H Youth Development with Ohio State University Extension, all Ohio 4-H events are cancelled through July 6, 2020. This closure does not include county fairs, which are governed by county agricultural societies. The letter reads:

It is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you. Due to ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to cancel all Ohio State University Extension in-person programming through July 6.

This includes all 4-H programs, activities, and events. Additionally, we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel all 4-H camps through August 31. Although in-person programming is canceled, we will continue to offer virtual 4-H experiences.

We know this is an incredible disappointment and recognize how much everyone looks forward to our cherished 4-H summer events. As 4-H professionals committed to providing positive youth development programming, we share your sense of loss.

Continue reading

Read More »

H2Ohio funds may fall victim to pandemic

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) applauds Ohio farmers’ demonstration of voluntary conservation through the overwhelming sign up of H2Ohio best practices to reduce phosphorus in the Maumee River Watershed. Nearly 2,000 farmers submitted applications to enroll more than more than 1.1 million acres. This far exceeded expectations for the agricultural portion of the H2Ohio program.

While the rollout of the program was very thoughtfully executed, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a necessary reevaluation of ODA’s budget for the H2Ohio Initiative. ODA is committed to working within the Administration’s budgetary guidelines and will communicate with farmers the status of H2Ohio going forward based upon those guidelines once they are known.

Ohio Farm Bureau issued this statement in response: “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions to state budgeting and it is likely that H2Ohio funds will be negatively affected. Despite this, Ohio Farm Bureau has been working with ODA and the DeWine administration to gain clarity on what dollars will be available for the H2Ohio program.… Continue reading

Read More »

2020 Ohio FFA Celebration announced

The Ohio Department of Education and Ohio FFA made the decision to cancel the 2020 Ohio FFA Convention, but there are still many member accomplishments to celebrate this spring. The newly announced 2020 Ohio FFA Celebration will highlight members from across the state during this timeframe including Proficiency Award Areas, Star State FFA Degrees, Agriscience Fair, National Chapter Awards, the 2020-2021 Ohio FFA State Officer Team, and more.

FFA members and supporters can tune into Ohio FFA social media channels throughout the week of May 4-8 for the online event. A full schedule of the student recognition and announcements to be made during the 2020 Ohio FFA Celebration will be released in the coming weeks. Be sure to join in the conversation May 4-8 and cheer on FFA members during these unprecedented times using #CelebrateOHFFA.

In addition, the Ohio FFA has made the decision that all placings including State Winner for Agriscience Fair, National Chapter, Proficiency Awards and Star State Degrees will be determined by application score for 2020.… Continue reading

Read More »

Buckeye Country Creamery meeting customer demand with high quality products

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Following a downturn in milk prices, Christy Hulse and her family were looking for new, innovative ways to remain on their family’s dairy farm.

“Milk prices were low, so we knew we had to start doing something different,” Hulse said. “We thought maybe bottling milk might be an option for us, to keep things on the farm rolling.”

However, it took a visit from a fellow dairyman and his wife to truly spark the idea behind Buckeye Country Creamery. Christy, co-owner of the creamery located in Ashland, Ohio, had spent a summer in college completing an internship on a dairy farm in Australia.

“I would drink milk every single day and the wife of the dairy farmer would just watch me and say, ‘I can’t do that, I

would be so sick,’” Hulse said. “She came to America to visit while we were building the creamery and came to the farm here and said ‘Hey, have you ever heard of A2 milk?… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 149 | Quarantine with a glass of milk

The Quarantine Chronicles bring Matt, Kolt, Dale, and Dusty together for this weeks Podcast discussion. Dusty and Matt talk about the Dairy industries milk dumping amidst COVID-19, and Matt includes an interview with President and CEO of the American Dairy Association Mideast, Scott Higgins. Matt also brings an interview with Dr. Mark Hardesty from the in Maria Stein Animal Clinic. They talk about how business practices have changed during COVID-19, and providing for their clients during a quarantine.… Continue reading

Read More »

Funding and phosphorus reduction

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

Analyzing the cost benefit ratio is a regular management function in agriculture. As farmers make decisions regarding the implementation of best management practices and fertilizer application rates, there is an economic benefit analysis that must be considered. The same applies as the government makes decisions regarding the allocation of resources to phosphorus reduction in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The USEPA is working to develop alternative approaches to achieving nutrient reduction without regulation. Studies have been conducted in the smaller yet similar and more intensely monitored East Fork Watershed in Southern Ohio to develop modeling by conducting bioassessments to determine impact and target levels for excess nutrients.

Watershed action planning involves evaluating the cost of reduction of total phosphorus (TP) levels. “In the modeled watershed, to make the improvements to waste water treatment plants (WWTP), to achieve a 1% reduction in phosphorus (P) load it would cost $5.4 million dollars.

Continue reading

Read More »

Using P removal structures to treat tile drainage water

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

Legacy phosphorus has been a buzzword among farmers and researchers concerned with the increased P loading recorded in water samples. Ongoing research has indicated that in spite of documented reductions in applied P, and the increased use of cover crops, the P loading in the water continues. The current thought is that particulate P is most often contained in surface run-off. Dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) primarily from legacy P is contained in water coming through the tile lines.

Chad Penn is a USDA–ARS National Soil Erosion Researcher in Indiana. He is investigating various phosphorus removal structures and their ability to remove dissolved P from tile drainage water.

Chad Penn, USDA-ARS

“We have a lot of BMPs to reduce particulate P. Most any practice to reduce erosion will also reduce particulate P,” Penn said. “One big problem with legacy P is that it takes a long time to draw down.”

Research being done by Penn is on tile drainage water specifically from soils with at least 100mg/kg Melich 3.

Continue reading

Read More »

Farm prices plummeting from virus shutdown

From dairy farmers with nowhere to send their milk and cattle ranchers reeling from plummeting beef prices, the impact of the coronavirus is rippling through farm country. Corn, cotton and soybean futures have tumbled, ethanol plants have been idled, and some fruit and vegetable farmers are finding their best option is leaving produce in the field.

Price forecasts for most agricultural products are bleak. In the past month, dairy prices have dropped 26% to 36%, corn futures have dropped by 14%, soybean futures are down 8% and cotton futures have plummeted 31%. Hog futures are down by 31%. A surge in demand for beef emptied grocery store meat aisles, but there is no lack of supply. Despite a rise in retail prices in some areas, the prices paid to cattle ranchers have fallen 25%.

Dairy producers were optimistic at the start of 2020 that it would be a turnaround year, with milk prices on the rise and feed costs holding steady.… Continue reading

Read More »

Addressing 2019’s lingering challenges

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

Following a wet growing season in 2019, some of the issues facing growers in 2020 are lingering from the previous growing season.

Due to the excessively wet weather in the spring of 2019, many fields have compaction that will impact crop development and yields for years to come. Growers should alleviate compaction when conditions allow. Tillage should be performed only when soil conditions are favorable. Tillage under wet or “marginal” conditions will only make compaction problems worse. Compaction is a huge yield killer, as Randall Reeder and Alan Sundermeier wrote in a recent C.O.R.N. Newsletter: “Years of OSU Extension research on Hoytville silty clay loam showed that through compaction, 10% to 15% of the potential crop yield was being left in the field.” Farmers should plan to alleviate compaction when possible and avoid traffic on wet soil this spring.

Weed control in soybeans will continue to be a challenge between herbicide tolerant weeds and the plethora of soybean herbicide traits available to growers.… Continue reading

Read More »

ADA Mideast urging stores to lift dairy purchase limits

American Dairy Association Mideast staff are diligently working with milk processors and their sales teams to ask Ohio and West Virginia grocery stores to lift their purchasing limits on milk and dairy foods.

As you know, there was a purchasing surge at the start of the COVID-19 crisis as Americans prepared to stay at home. This caused some dairy cases to be low and prompted grocery stores to set quantity limits on milk purchases. The dairy companies and processors, though have assured consumers that grocery stores’ increased needs during this time can be supplied.

These purchasing limits, as well as the recent decline in food service sales and school milk consumption, are contributing to the excess milk supply. To help address this, ADA Mideast is contacting grocery stores, supporting school feeding sites and working with foodbanks to help move more milk and dairy foods.

Those who find an Ohio or West Virginia store that is limiting milk purchases, please take a picture, note the location, date and time and send to Erin.Brown@Drink-Milk.com.… Continue reading

Read More »

Rapid sector demand shift leads to disposing of milk

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

For years, the milk truck pulling into the farm drive has been something the Hartschuh Dairy Farm in Crawford County planned their daily schedules around.

“Today was different, though. The milk truck didn’t come for its scheduled pickup. For the first day ever in 44 years, our milk hauler didn’t run their regular route taking milk from farms to the dairy processing plant,” said Rose Hartschuh in a Facebook post. “First, we heard a rumor from a neighbor who sends their milk to the same plant as we do. Then, later in the day, it was confirmed with a call to us. Every producer who sends their milk to our plant is dumping one to two days’ production, depending on the farm, down the drain — ourselves included.”

The Hartschuh milk goes to Dairymens in Cleveland, and due to a rapid and dramatic shift in the supply chain, Dairymens does not have room to take any more milk today.… Continue reading

Read More »

Day 17 of social distancing

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Navigating the extended homestays has been challenging for many. Teaching, entertaining and keeping kids occupied at home, while parents continue to work the best they can is taking a toll on everyone.

It’s still uncertain how long the restricted movements will last. I was hoping by Memorial Day people would be able to leave their homes again. Unfortunately, I may be having to wait a little longer if other states follow Virginia which issued an order for shelter in place until June 10. Regardless of when the restrictions end it’s still unclear how fast things will get back to normal. One possible scenario is that increased movement will be gradual, with large gatherings in the hundreds or even thousands not allowed for a much longer time period.

And in terms of the economy, it will likely take a while for it to get back to “normal.” It seems as though more aid packages will be needed from the federal government to get us through this difficult ordeal.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s agribusinesses committed to service through coronavirus outbreak

In the midst of an unprecedented health crisis, farmers across Ohio continue to operate to their fullest in order to keep Ohio’s food supply strong. Standing behind them are Ohio’s agribusinesses, which, as an essential industry, continue to diligently serve their farmer customers, while also managing the risks related to coronavirus.

Nearly all areas of the agriculture industry are considered essential, ranging from feed manufacturers and feed delivery, to agronomists and custom applicators, to support personnel such as IT, mechanics and operations. Due to the inherent seasonality of agriculture, agribusinesses have capacity to hire those individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of mandated business closures. Interested individuals should contact their local agribusinesses to inquire what seasonal positions may be available or visit www.oaba.net/careers for open positions.

“Our members understand the risk COVID-19 represents, but also know their importance to operating as an essential business,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO.… Continue reading

Read More »

Hawk takes new role as OACI project leader

The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) is pleased to announce Nikki Hawk as the new OACI Project Leader. In her new role, Hawk will work with producers, commodity groups, Soil and Water Conservation District professionals and other partners to achieve meaningful change to Ohio’s water quality into the future.

The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI) is an innovative, collaborative effort of the agricultural, conservation, environmental and research communities to improve water quality by establishing a baseline understanding of current conservation and nutrient management efforts and building farmer participation in a new certification program.

“We are excited to have Nikki in this position. Her education, experience and passion for conservation and agriculture make her the ideal leader for this initiative,” said Janelle Mead, OFSWCD CEO.

Hawk comes to the Federation having worked early in her career as an Organization Director with the Ohio Farm Bureau. For the past 18 years, she has served as the District Administrator/Education Specialist with the Mercer Soil & Water Conservation District.… Continue reading

Read More »

ASF still a major concern

As the nation battles COVID-19 in humans, though, veterinarians must also be concerned with diseases facing animals. The most notable right now is the threat of African Swine Fever. So far, the costly disease to the hog industry has not been found in the United States, but the prevention effort requires ongoing action. At the recent American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting, veterinarian Clayton Johnson, a partner with Carthage Veterinary Services, Carthage, Illinois, offered five things that producers and veterinarians can keep in mind to prevent ASF from entering the United States or from spreading once it arrives.

 

  • Contaminated pork. “The carcass is the biggest risk of transmission, whether a mortality or processed meat,” Johnson said. “For example, transmission could happen at one of our national parks if a foreign visitor brought in illegal meat products.”

 

  • He said that it’s a good idea to follow a no-pork-allowed policy on your pig farm when it comes to food items eaten on the premises.
Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio NRCS seeks new proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking new proposals for cutting-edge projects that will provide new conservation opportunities with its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Through the CIG program, Ohio will invest up to $300,000 for new projects in fiscal year 2020.

NRCS CIG emphasizes projects that have a goal of providing benefits within a limited geographic area. Ohio priorities in fiscal year 2020 will be Soil Health, Water Quality and Forestry-Based Sustainable Natural Ecosystem projects. Projects may be farm-based, multi-county, small watershed or Statewide in scope. For additional information about State CIG competitions, please contact Ohio CIG program manager Cheryl Rice or search for the latest postings at Grants.gov.

All non-federal entities and individuals are invited to apply, with the sole exception of federal agencies. Projects may be between one and three years in duration and the funding minimum for a single award is $25,000 and the funding maximum for a single award is $150,000.… Continue reading

Read More »