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Protecting yourself from heat and sun while working outdoors

By Dee Jepsen, PhD; Pat Brinkman, MA; and Jill Kilanowski, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN

When working outdoors the sun and heat can be our enemies. The heat during these hot summer months adds additional stress to our body’s coolant system, which can cause heat stroke, heat stress or heat exhaustion. Working in extreme heat lowers the body’s reaction time and increases risk to other illnesses or injuries.

Death from excessive heat can be explicit — meaning it is the underlying factor that caused the person to die. Besides the sun and heat, wearing additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can burden our body’s regulatory capacity and place workers at increased risk for heat illnesses. Persons with cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses can also be vulnerable to heat; making heart attacks, strokes and other circulatory system attacks more common during the summer months.

Steps to take reduce heat exposure:

  • Drink fluids before thirsty. During strenuous work, persons should have 1 cup (8 ounces) of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
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Rotisserie chicken addiction

Confession: I am now a member of the Costco Cult and addicted to their rotisserie chicken.

Four years ago, a Costco opened its doors a little over 9 miles from our house. Paul and I had just joined empty nesters and I was not sure we would reap the benefit of the “club.” Succumbing to the local cultural pressure, I joined. Paying a membership for the right to buy Costco stuff is crazy and has a cult like following. I am now a firm believer that I have a cult within my community. I drive by many times a week and it is always super packed with people exiting with their carts piled to overflowing. Even in pandemic times, mask wearing members would wait in line to be able to enter.

Are there deals to be had? Absolutely! The gas is well worth the membership alone. The eyeglasses are an incredible savings.… Continue reading

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Preventive controls for animal food course offers FSMA training for processing facilities

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires facilities processing any type of animal food (complete feed or ingredients) to comply with new current good manufacturing practices and to implement a written animal food safety plan developed and overseen by a “preventive controls qualified individual (PCQI).” In order to assist businesses in meeting the requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, in collaboration with the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), will offer the FSPCA Preventive Controls for Animal Food Course Sept. 8-10. Open to all facilities impacted by FSMA, this course is the standardized training developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA). Led by Gary Huddleston of AFIA, the course content will provide knowledge of the FSMA animal preventive controls rule and training for creation of an effective animal food safety plan. A certificate of completion will be given by the FSPCA to individuals that attend the course in full.… Continue reading

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Use of corn as an acceptable feedstock clarified by the Department of Energy

An important step forward to driving demand for corn was recently achieved, thanks to the work of state and national corn growers staff and members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Market Development Action Team (MDAT).

In the most recent Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) clarified that corn grain is an acceptable feedstock. This means that starch derived sugars, specifically starches from field/feed corn, were clarified as acceptable.

“This is an important evolution in how DOE interprets legislative intent,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “Given U.S. corn growers’ ability to efficiently produce, it is clear that corn can not only meet the needs of existing markets but can enable exciting new markets for renewable materials. We are excited to continue working with BETO and other government agencies to lay the groundwork and develop a solid foundation for future markets for corn.”

“We really appreciate the time that the senior leadership at DOE took to discuss policy with us, and we are looking forward to seeing new research focused on corn renewable chemicals,” said Dan Wesely, Chair of the Market Development Action Team.… Continue reading

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Scouting is worth the August effort

By Roy A. Ulrich, technical agronomist for DEKALB/Asgrow in Southern Ohio

This is the time of year when growers can learn a lot about the crop, the growing season, weather, and the impact of some of the management decisions made earlier in the year. Unfortunately, it also coincides with the time of year that most people despise scouting fields. It is August. It is hot in the Eastern Corn Belt, pollen maybe still shedding in corn fields, early morning dew drenches your clothes 12 rows into the first field, etc. — I’ve heard all the excuses from growers, dealers and interns. However, the knowledge and insights gained this time of year can be invaluable as we head into harvest and for future growing seasons and management decisions.

In this age of technology, do we really need to scout fields? There are satellites constantly circling the globe sending images of fields. Drones can capture information from fields with incredible resolution.… Continue reading

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Farm Science Review 2020: Online and free

Farm Science Review will be on a laptop or smartphone this year, and for free, virtual attendees can watch livestreamed talks and recorded videos featuring the latest farm equipment and research.

From Sept. 22 through Sept. 24, people from across the Midwest and the world can learn tips for increasing farm profits and growing crops from soybeans to hemp. Beginning in September, virtual visitors can find out about the show’s offerings by going to fsr.osu.edu and clicking on an image of the show’s site. Within that image, people can click on the various icons to find the schedules for talks and demos they’re most interested in, such as field demonstrations or “Ask the Expert” talks.

Among the livestreamed talks will be Ask the Expert presentations that feature the advice of staff from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) on various topics in agriculture. Viewers will enter the talks through a Zoom meeting link and be able to post their questions in chat boxes.… Continue reading

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Yield check…

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I think this is a year of “I’ll take what I can get” on yield, but still it’s good to know so you can plan ahead for grain sales or feed supplies. By Aug. 10 or so we should be far enough along in the crop season to get a reasonable yield estimate for corn and maybe some inkling for soybean. So how do we check crop yield?

For corn, this from the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Forages Field Guide page 14, by Peter Thomison retired OSU state corn specialist.

There are several techniques for estimating corn grain yield prior to harvest. A numerical constant for average kernel weight is figured into the equation. Weight per kernel will vary depending on hybrid and environment; yield will be overestimated in a year with poor grain fill conditions and underestimated in a good year.

Step 1.… Continue reading

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Big yield potential tempering soybean demand news

By Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

The prospect of an above-trend soybean yield in 2020 appears high and creates headwinds for soybean prices. USDA projected the national soybean yield at 49.8 bushels per acre in July. Better crop ratings point to significant improvements in this year’s crop.

Cooler and wetter weather across large areas of the Corn Belt holds the potential for ratings improving even more as we move into the critical period for soybeans in early August. While many areas saw advances in ratings, some key states show greater than 15% of acres in various levels of drought conditions. Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, and Ohio all meet this criterion.

An August soybean yield above current trend projections seems likely and only the magnitude remains in question. Personal yield forecasting models currently project national soybean yield at 51 bushels per acre. If a yield of this magnitude came to fruition, 2020-21 marketing year ending stocks move well above 500 million bushels under current USDA consumption and acreage projections.… Continue reading

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Managing pasture into fall, during a hot, dry summer

By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

According to the calendar and the weather, it’s August but it seems odd with no state fair. I won’t dwindle here but will state a familiar cliché that I look forward to being true; “this too shall pass.”

The last issue was a special edition and I want to thank all that emailed me afterwards. Your comments were greatly appreciated, and I have enjoyed them as they continue to trickle in.

Distribution of rain never seems fair, especially when you are on extreme ends of it. I greatly appreciate the rain that I’ve received and am pleased with good regrowth.

It certainly has been a good year for red clover and timothy. I thought I had a tremendous take where I had frost-seeded back in February, but fields not seeded were almost as good. The clover has rebounded after grazing events better than the grasses under the drier conditions.… Continue reading

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Time for a price rally is running out

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Time is quickly running out for soybean prices to rally prior to harvest. Hints of hot, dry weather in August often have the ability to rally soybean prices 50 to 70 cents in quick order. Prices for November soybeans continue to be broad ranged as they moved from $8.31 to $9.12 during April through July. Often factored into soybean prices has been the buying or lack of buying sprees from China. The Phase One trade deal reached earlier this year between the U.S. and China called for China to buy $36 billion of U.S. agricultural goods. Various publications have offered a plethora of opinions about the success of reaching that lofty level. China stated up-front and early on, it wants to buy U.S. agricultural goods only when it falls into their plan of necessary pricing of goods needed for import months into the future. In addition, their desire is to buy U.S.Continue reading

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Drought conditions expand but there is some relief

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

As of the Thursday July 30, 2020 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, 37% of the state was covered by D1- moderate drought conditions. Hot and mostly dry conditions continued through much of June and July, with only scattered areas of heavy rain throughout the state. This has depleted soil moisture and lowered stream flows. If you are seeing drought impacts in your area, consider submitting a report to the Drought Impact Reporter.

Over the last two weeks, the frequency and coverage of showers and storms have increased. West central, north central, and areas near the Ohio River have picked up widespread 2 inches to 4 inches over the last 14 days, with some local amounts greater than 5 inches. Coupled with cooler temperatures this past week, drought conditions have relaxed in these areas of Ohio. For more information on recent climate conditions and impacts, check out the latest Hydro-Climate Assessment from the State Climate Office of Ohio.… Continue reading

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Meet the 2020-2021 Ohio FFA State Officers

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter

This year during the Ohio FFA Celebration 11 students were elected to serve the Ohio FFA Association for the coming year. Although their year may look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these students are looking forward to connecting with FFA members, speaking with alumni and industry professionals and stepping up to the many challenges presented throughout the year.

Since elected in May, the officers have stayed connected with one another through an online version of Base Camp, a weekly training where National FFA facilitators prepare new officers for their year of service. The team spent a week at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum with 50 FFA members where they practiced social distancing, wore face masks and were able to meet and facilitate to members. They also participated in Ohio Leadership Camp with FFA, 4-H, Farm Bureau, DECA and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FFCLA) members.… Continue reading

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Let’s talk about Lepto

By Dr. Michelle Arnold, University of Kentucy Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

What is Leptospirosis or “Lepto”? Leptospirosis is a complicated bacterial disease commonly associated with abortions, stillbirths and drop in milk production in cattle. However, this bacterium also causes sickness and death in cattle, dogs, sheep and horses worldwide and is an important zoonotic disease affecting an estimated 1 million humans annually. Farmers and those working in meat processing facilities are at highest risk.

What causes leptospirosis? The disease is caused by a unique, highly coiled, Gram negative bacterium known as a “spirochete” belonging to the genus Leptospira. These “leptospires” are highly motile due to their spiral shape and, once inside a host animal, they enter the bloodstream and replicate in many different organs including the liver, kidney, spleen, reproductive tract, eyes and central nervous system. The immune system will produce antibodies that clear the organism from the blood and tissues except from the kidney.… Continue reading

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Deaf farmer finds ways to overcome

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

Riding next to his dad in the tractor, a young Matt Fry could tell there was a problem with the machine. He and his father were working ground on their farm in Bellville when Matt noticed a difference in the way the tractor was running. He could feel it in the vibrations of the engine that something was not right, even before the beeping alarms let his dad know there was an issue. Although Fry was unable to hear the alarms, his other senses alerted him to the problem.

Growing up, Fry never let his deafness discourage him from enjoying life on the farm. Today, he’s a husband, father and full-time farmer. Matt still works alongside his dad, Robert, as the fourth generation on their family farm, where they no-till oats, wheat, hay, corn, and soybeans. He also has his own small herd of beef cows.… Continue reading

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It’s in the science: court allows Enlist Duo registration but requires closer look at monarch butterflies

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

In a decision that turns largely on scientific methodology and reliable data, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed continued registration of the Enlist Duo herbicide developed by Dow AgroScience (Corteva). Unlike the June decision that vacated registrations of three dicamba herbicides, the two-judge majority on the court held that substantial evidence supported the EPA’s decision to register the herbicide. Even so, the court sent one petition back to the EPA to further consider the impact of Enlist Duo on monarch butterflies in application areas. One dissenting judge would have held that the science used to support the Enlist Duo registration violates the Endangered Species Act.

The case began in 2014, when the same organizations that challenged the dicamba registrations (National Family Farm Coalition, Family Farm Defenders, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network North America) and the Natural Resources Defense Council each filed petitions challenging the EPA’s registration of Enlist Duo.… Continue reading

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Research seeks to reduce breeding time for Miscanthus

Scientists are working to diversify and improve alternatives to fossil-fuel-based energy. Renewable bioenergy crops, such as the perennial grass Miscanthus, show promise for cellulosic ethanol production and other uses, but current hybrids are limited by environmental conditions and susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Breeders have been working to develop new Miscanthus hybrids for years, but the clonal crop’s sterility, complex genome, and long time to maturity make conventional breeding difficult. In a new study, University of Illinois researchers mine the crop’s vast genomic potential in an effort to speed up the breeding process and maximize its most desirable traits.

“The method we’re using, genomic selection, can shorten the time it takes to breed a new hybrid by at least half,” says Marcus Olatoye, lead author on the study and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Crop Sciences at Illinois. “That’s the overall goal.”

In conventional breeding, one typical approach is for researchers to grow individuals from a diverse set of populations and select those with the best traits for mating.… Continue reading

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OAC to release Hall of Fame videos Aug. 7

In lieu of an in person event, the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) will release the 2020 Hall of Fame inductee videos on Aug. 7 to recognize the four outstanding individuals of the 2020 induction class: Joe Cornely of Westerville, Dr. Tony Forshey of Hebron, Larry R. Gearhardt of Covington and Wendell L. Waters of West Lafayette.

The OAC invites everyone to visit the Ohio Agricultural Council website — ohioagcouncil.org — on Aug. 7 to view the 2020 videos. The videos will also be made available on the OAC YouTube channel (youtube.com/OhioAgCouncil) and Facebook page (facebook.com/OhioAgCouncil). On June 9, the OAC Executive Committee of the Ohio Agricultural Council announced the 55th annual Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony had been postponed to August 6, 2021.… Continue reading

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Rain, cooler weather improve crop conditions

Timely rain events and cooler weather continued to help improve crop conditions throughout the state, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Approximately 85 percent of the state was abnormally dry or worse, according to the most recent Drought Monitor, but rain later in the week provided much-needed moisture for crops. Topsoil moisture increased from 46 percent adequate or surplus last week to 64 percent adequate or surplus this week. Weeds, including ironweed, marestail, milkweeds, wild carrot, and teasel, were still visible on fields. Average temperatures for the week were 2 degrees above historical normals, and the entire state averaged slightly under 1 inch of precipitation. There were 5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 2.

Farmers applied fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides to crops while also harvesting hay. Soybeans blooming was at 88 percent, 11 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Corn silking was 7 percentage points ahead of the five-year average at 85 percent.

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OYLE market beef results

Haleigh Stephens from Ashland County had the Grand Champion Market Beef Animal at the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo with her champion crossbred.

The Reserve Grand Champion was the reserve champion crossbred exhibited by Savannah Holzen of Miami County.

Third overall was Calvin Trigg from Fairfield County with the third overall crossbred.

Fourth overall was Shayla Sancic from Stark County with champion Chianina.

Fifth overall was Caroline Blay from Portage County with the champion Maine-Anjou.

Here are more breed results.

Champion Angus Steer: Grace England, Portage Co.


Champion Charolais Steer: Madison Riley, Fayette Co.

Reserve Champion Charolais Steer: McKaylynne Helke, Tuscarawas Co.


Champion Chianina Steer: Shayla Sancic, Starke Co.

Reserve Champion Chianina Steer: Caroline Blay, Portage Co.


Champion Hereford Steer: Kalin Schrader, Putnam Co.

Reserve Champion Hereford Steer: Addie Sorgen, Van Wert Co.


Champion Maine-Anjou Steer: Caroline Blay, Portage Co.

Reserve Champion Maine-Anjou Steer: Colleen Minges, Butler Co.… Continue reading

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Commercially available cell line rapidly detects African swine fever

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.

“We have identified a cell-line that can be used to isolate and detect the presence of the live virus,” said ARS Scientist Dr. Douglas Gladue. “This is a critical breakthrough and a tremendous step for African Swine Fever Virus diagnostics.”

There are currently no available vaccines to prevent ASFV, and outbreak control has often relied on quarantining and removing infected or exposed animals. Until now, effectively detecting live ASFV required collecting blood cells from a live donor swine for every diagnostic test, because the cells could only be used once. The new cell line can be continuously replicated and frozen to create cells for future use, reducing the number of live donor animals needed.… Continue reading

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