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Manure application opportunities limited by wet weather this winter

Rain falls, and that might make some farmers happy, depending on the time of year.

Then, a lot of rain falls, off and on, for months, and not only do fields fill up with water, but so do manure ponds and lagoons, and that might make some farmers a bit nervous.

Ohio had the third wettest year ever in 2018, and there’s been little letup since then, leaving farm fields across the state saturated. For farmers with a lot of livestock, spreading manure onto wet land as fertilizer is not an option right now, and manure ponds are filling up fast.

Because manure ponds and lagoons are outdoors and uncovered, they collect not only animal waste from livestock housed inside, but they also collect rainwater. Indoor pits located under livestock holding facilities, such as hog barns, also collect manure; those are also reaching capacity.

“Week after week and month after month have gone by, and there have been very few opportunities to get the manure applied,” said Glen Arnold, a manure management specialist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

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A deeper look at the Lake Erie Bill of Rights

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

Lake Erie once again made headlines when the Ohio Supreme Court recently decided that a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” (LEBOR) initiative could be placed on the Toledo ballot on February 26, 2019. The decision raised alarm in Ohio’s agricultural community and fears that, if passed, the measure will result in litigation for farmers in the Lake Erie watershed.

The OSU Extension Agricultural and Resource Law Program took a close look at LEBOR. Specifically, we wanted to know:

What does Toledo’s Lake Erie Bill of Rights petition mean?
What does the petition language say?
What happened in the legal challenges to keep the petition off the ballot?
Have similar efforts been successful, and if not, why not?
Who has rights in Lake Erie?
What rights do business entities have?
We examine all of these questions, plus a number of frequently asked questions, in a new format called “In the Weeds.” While many of our readers know of our blog posts and law bulletins, explaining this issue required something different.

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Young farmers should keep balance sheet, credit report top of mind

By Joel Penhorwood and Kolt Buchenroth

Finances are on the mind of all producers, but even more so for those just getting started. At the recent Young Ag Professional’s Winter Leadership Experience, Jessica Draganic with Heartland Bank said credit awareness should be high on the priority list.

“We really promote people making sure they are aware of their credit score and their credit situation. A good balance sheet is the most important thing in our opinion, especially doing an end of year balance sheet where you’re looking from year-to-year on your operation or even your personal financial situation. It’s so important for any banker or lender that you’re working with,” Draganic said. “Making sure that you are aware of a business plan or what you want to do with your operation — what you see now in the current situation, in five years and 10 years — and how do you get to that point.

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New Young Ag Professionals leaders announced

Bennett and Liza Musselman of Orient are the new chaircouple of Ohio Farm Bureau’s State Young Ag Professionals Committee. Emily Krikke of Greenwich is the new vice chair.

Young Ag Professionals are 18 to 35, singles and married, who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills. The group includes full- and part-time farmers, OSU Extension agents, teachers, consumer educators, former Ohio Farm Bureau Youth members, FFA and 4-H alumni, farm media communicators, livestock and equine enthusiasts, seed representatives, green industry employees, gardeners, foodies and more.

The Musselmans farm with Bennett’s father. Liza is an accounting manager at WillowWood, owns a photography business and is active in Ohio Agri-Women and as a school volunteer. Bennett is a vice president and agribusiness banker at HeartlandBank, is president of Pickaway County Farm Bureau, on the ag committee of the Pickaway Competitiveness Network and a Pickaway County Farmers Club member.

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Lake Erie Bill of Rights issue to go to Toledo voters

By Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The Ohio Supreme Court recently decided that a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” initiative could be placed before Toledo residents in a special election Feb. 26, 2019. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) is a proposed amendment to the Toledo City Charter. Josh Abernathy, an opponent to the initiative, brought the lawsuit, seeking a “writ of prohibition”— meaning he wanted the Ohio Supreme Court to determine that the Lucas County Board of Elections must remove LEBOR from the special election ballot.

The Supreme Court began its analysis in the case by explaining that in order to obtain a writ of prohibition in an election case, the party bringing suit must prove all of the following:

  • The board of elections exercised quasi-judicial power,
  • The exercise of that power was unlawful, and
  • The party bringing suit has no adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
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Determining the right corn plant population

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

One factor that greatly influences corn yields is plant population. Determining the correct plant population may take some effort, however, it is a critical factor that every corn grower needs to get right in order to maximize yields. Recent research performed by universities and seed companies has determined that that yields increase significantly as populations are increased up to a point of 34,000 seeds per acre. In general, yields begin to level off at planting rates around rates 36,000 seeds per acre. Recent studies have also determined that even in low yield environments planting rates of 31,000 seeds per acre maximize yield and economic return. In very productive, 250 bushels per acre yield environments, research results show that higher populations (38,000+ seeds per acre) maximize yields. Breeding and advances in genetics have improved the modern corn plant’s ability to yield at higher populations when compared to corn hybrids from the past.

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Ohio’s numbers from USDA Feb. 8 reports

We’ve heard about the national and world side of crop and livestock production from the Feb. 8 USDA reports, but what about Ohio?

Ohio Annual Crop Summary

Ohio’s 2018 average corn yield was 187 bushels per acre, a new State record, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Growers harvested 3.30 million acres for grain, up 5 percent from 2017. Total production of corn for grain was 617 million bushels, up 11 percent from the 2017. Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2018 was 58 bushels per acre, also a new State record. Growers harvested 4.98 million acres, down 2 percent from 2017. Production, at 289 million bushels, was also an all-time high.

The full report.

Winter Wheat Seedings

Ohio winter wheat seeded area for 2019 is estimated at 460,000 acres, a decrease of 6 percent from last year, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician of the USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office.

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NFU applauds Green New Deal Congressional action on climate change

U.S. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts and U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York today released a framework for what they call a “Green New Deal.” The resolution is meant to kickstart broad discussions on how the U.S. will both mitigate and adapt to climate change, which is current projected to drastically alter the U.S. economic and social stability.

“Farmers Union members understand the need for action on climate change, and they will be active in ensuring farmers have the tools and incentives they need to both adapt to and help mitigate climate change,” said Rob Larew, National Farmers Union (NFU) Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications. “American family farmers are primary stakeholders in the battle against climate change, as they’ve been withstanding increasingly devastating natural disasters, including floods, drought, wildfires and hurricanes. The impacts on not only their individual bottom lines, but also on their communities, have already been significant, and they will be exacerbated by more severe disasters.

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Double-crop soybean yields after barley in Northwest Ohio

By Eric Richer, CCA, Sarah Noggle, Garth Ruff, Ohio State University Extension

Several growers across the state had the opportunity to grow winter malting barley in 2018. We had the opportunity to work with eight of those growers from Northwest Ohio, in particular, to learn more about the viability of growing this newly, re-introduced crop. As a learning cohort of sorts, these growers agreed to share their yield and quality data results while participating in a simple, field-scale research project with these two objectives:

1) Determine the field-scale, simple averages for yield (grain & straw), harvest date and quality characteristics for barley grown in Northwest Ohio.

Simply put: Can we grow barley with high yield and good quality?

2) Compare the yield and plant/harvest dates for the same variety soybean as a i) first crop system, ii) double crop after barley system and iii) double crop after wheat system.

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Anti-dumping investigation into Mexican tomatoes

The Commerce Department has indicated the United States will withdraw from a previous agreement with Mexico and resume an anti-dumping investigation into imports of Mexican fresh tomatoes. The measure is supported by the American Farm Bureau.

“The renewed anti-dumping investigation against Mexican fresh tomato imports is a necessary action. Despite a previous accord that banned artificially low prices, Mexican producers have found ways to exploit the agreement and increase their market share,” said  Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Farm Bureau believes in free and fair trade. North American agricultural trade has been an enormous boon for the United States, Mexico and Canada, but the United States must take action when that trade ceases to be fair.”

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Weather outlook into spring

muddytires

By Jim Noel, NOAA

The weather and climate pattern has been on a real roller coaster ride and it is expected to continue right into spring.

Currently, the climate models are struggling to deal with the ocean conditions in the Pacific Ocean. Most models have been forecasting an El Nino this winter into spring and it just has not happened as of this time. In addition, without an El Nino or La Nina going on, this creates greater uncertainty in our weather and climate. It appears this may at least last into early spring.

February is shaping up to be wet with significant temperatures swings. Rainfall is forecast to range from about 2 inches in far northern Ohio to possibly 6 in southern Ohio over the next two weeks. Combine the rain with recent snowmelt and icemelt and conditions will be very wet and muddy.

Many climate models are suggesting a warmer and drier than normal spring but based on recent trends, it appears to be shaping up to be normal or wetter than normal into April but uncertainty is high.

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The LL-GT27 soybean — what’s legal?

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension weed control specialist

We are starting to see the availability of soybean varieties with more than two herbicide resistance traits, which can expand the herbicide options, improve control, and allow multiple site of action tank mixes that reduce the rate of selection for resistance. One of these is the Enlist soybean, with resistance to glyphosate, glufosinate, and 2,4-D. As of this writing, full approval for the Enlist soybean is still being held up by the Philippines (because they can apparently).

The other is the LL-GT27 soybean, which has resistance to glyphosate, glufosinate, and isoxaflutole (Balance). There is no label for use of isoxaflutole on this soybean yet, but it is legal to apply both glyphosate and glufosinate. In Ohio, as long as neither label prohibits applying a mixture of two herbicides labeled for a specific use, it’s legal to apply the mixture. So, it’s also legal to apply a mixture of glyphosate and glufosinate to the LL-GT27 soybean.

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Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference March 5 and 6

By Randall Reeder, Ohio State University Extension

CTC at Ada, March 5-6 (Tuesday-Wednesday), will feature about 75 speakers on a wide range of topics. Here are a few highlights.

Bob Nielsen, Purdue U., returns, speaking about on-farm research. The session on Precision Ag & Digital Technologies includes several of our County Extension Educators discussing their on-farm research results (published in the 2018 eFields book).

Nutrient Management is a hot topic to be covered by 11 speakers. A Water Quality session on Wednesday includes results of several research projects. Many of the speakers both days are intent on keeping P and N on the farmland and out of waterways leading to Lake Erie or the Gulf of Mexico. This session starts at 8:00 am.

The Soil Health and Cover Crops session also starts at 8:00 am, in the Chapel. Featured speakers include NRCS Soil Health Specialists, Barry Fisher and Jim Hoorman. Jason Weller, formerly Chief of NRCS and now with Land O’Lakes, will speak on “Venture Conservation: Public + Private Solutions for Healthier Soils.”

In addition to Bob Nielsen, Corn University includes Kurt Steinke of Michigan State and Emerson Nafziger, Illinois.

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USDA launches high-speed broadband e-Connectivity resource guide

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a new toolkit to help support the deployment of high-speed broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities.

“High-speed broadband e-Connectivity is becoming more and more essential to doing business, delivering health care, and, for schoolchildren, doing homework in rural communities,” Hazlett said. “This user-friendly tool will help rural customers find the many resources USDA has available to support the expansion and use of e-Connectivity in rural America.”

The e-Connectivity Toolkit (PDF, 4.3 MB) features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The easy-to-use resource is a simple guide that allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. Resources such as grants, loans and technical assistance are available from multiple Mission Areas at USDA, including Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Forest Service.

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Kuester Implement newest addition to Ag-Pro acquisition list

The list of Ag-Pro Companies farm equipment dealer acquisitions in Ohio continues to grow with the purchase of Kuester Implement, a three-location John Deere dealership based in eastern Ohio.

According to the dealership’s website, the Bloomingdale-based Kuester Implement Company is a third generation John Deere Dealer that has served the tri-state area for more than 70 years. In 2003, Kuester Implement expanded operations by purchasing the John Deere dealership in New Philadelphia to expand in the areas of agricultural, turf, and small construction needs. In 2006, Kuester Implement opened up operations in St. Clairsville.

In January, Shearer Equipment signed a letter of intent to sell their company’s assets to Ag-Pro Ohio LLC, a subsidiary of Ag-Pro Companies. Prior to that, Ag-Pro bought the assets of JD Equipment in late 2018. With the newest purchase, Ag-Pro Companies will include 82 locations in seven states.

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Ohio hunters harvest more than 172,000 deer during 2018-2019 season

Hunters checked 172,040 white-tailed deer throughout Ohio’s 2018-2019 deer season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Last year, 186,247 deer were checked during the 2017-2018 season.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

Deer hunting regulations over the past four seasons have been designed to allow for moderate herd growth throughout most of the state. Herd growth is achieved by reducing harvest and protecting female deer.

Hunting Popularity

Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.

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AFBF Foundation’s Feeding Minds Press publishes first book

Feeding Minds Press announces the publication of its first book, “Right This Very Minute: A Table-to-Farm Book About Food and Farming” by award-winning author Lisl H. Detlefsen. The book, stunningly illustrated by Renée Kurilla, explains to children how every minute of every day, someone, somewhere, is working to bring food to their table.

“Right This Very Minute” is geared toward children in kindergarten through third grade. The 32-page picture book follows children through an entire day of meals and snacks, with each one emphasizing how critical farmers and agriculture are to society.

“We’re pleased to launch Feeding Minds Press with the publication of ‘Right This Very Minute,’” said Christy Lilja, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. “This book is the first of many titles from Feeding Minds Press that will bring modern agriculture to life for young readers.”

Hardcover copies of “Right This Very Minute” may be ordered online at https://www.dmsfulfillment.com/FarmBureau/DMSStore/Product/ProductDetail/26233 for $17.99 each.

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Agricultural Trade Promotion Program funding

On Jan. 31, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of a key component of the Trump administration’s trade mitigation package designed to address the effects of retaliatory measures impacting exports of U.S. agricultural products. The Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) provides additional funding to help U.S. exporters develop new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ tariff and non-tariff barriers.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is one of 57 organizations that will receive ATP funding through the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

“USMEF appreciates the Trump administration’s recognition of the extremely competitive environment U.S. agricultural products face in the global marketplace, and how changes in trading partners’ tariff rates can put these products at a significant disadvantage,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO. “As authorized by FAS, this funding will help USMEF and other organizations defend existing market share and develop new destinations for U.S.

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Can “ag-gag” prevent secretly filming at livestock facilities?

By Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Nationwide, it seems as though “ag-gag” laws are being challenged and overturned left and right. “Ag-gag” is the term for laws that prevent undercover journalists, investigators, animal rights advocates, and other whistleblowers from secretly filming or recording at livestock facilities. “Ag-gag” also describes laws which make it illegal for undercover persons to use deception to obtain employment at livestock facilities. Many times, the laws were actually passed in response to under-cover investigations which illuminated conditions for animals raised at large industrial farms. Some of the videos and reports produced were questionable in nature — they either set-up the employees and the farms, or they were released without a broader context of farm operations. The laws were meant to protect the livestock industry from reporting that might be critical of their operations — obtained through deception and without context, or otherwise.

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Crop rotation and second year soybean yields

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

As spring approaches and plans for the 2019 crop are finalized, growers will determine what crops to plant and plant crop rotation across their acres. When considering crop rotations and yields, many focus on continuous corn and the yield penalties associated with that practices. However, there is one possibly overlooked benefit of crop rotation: avoiding a soybean yield penalty.

In this article, the University of Kentucky’s John Grove discusses soybean yields for first year and second year soybeans from 2009 to 2016. Grove’s research data shows an average yield penalty of 2.3 bushels per acre across that 7-year period, with some years being showing yield losses greater than 10 bushels per acre. In another article from No-Till Farmer, Greg Roth shows data that predicts a four- to six-bushel per acre yield penalty for second year soybeans.

Yield loses from continuous soybeans (and other continuous crops) are usually associated with increased disease presence as well as pests.

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