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H2Ohio signup deadline extended

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The deadline to enter into a contract with the H2Ohio program for farmers in the 14-county, Maumee River watershed is being extended. The original deadline was March 31, but due to COVID-19, more farmers and Soil and Water Conservation District personnel are conducting information exchanges through phone calls and e-mails.

The H2Ohio deadline is expected to be extended to June 2, tentatively. Contact the local Soil and Water Conservation District for more details.… Continue reading

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Optimizing soybean planting decisions

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

Adjusting management practices and optimizing soybean yields based on the planting date was the topic of a presentation by Manni Singh, Assistant Professor of Cropping Systems from Michigan State University at the Conservation Tillage Conference.

“We set the yield potential of soybeans when we plant them, and then we work the rest of the season to protect that yield potential,” Singh said. “We manage the planting date, we manage insects, and we manage diseases.”

Manni Singh, Agronomic Cropping Systems Specialist, Michigan State University

According to data collected by the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center (GLISA), over the last 100 years, total rainfall has gone up by 11%. Of that rainfall, 37% occurs in heavy storm precipitation events.

“These extreme weather events in the spring cause poor field conditions and a variable planting window that farmers need to manage,” Singh said.

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U.S. halts visa application processing in Mexico

U.S. agriculture is working diligently to maintain the stability of our food supply as concerns over COVID-19 lead to increased consumer purchases of groceries and other items. At the same time, the United States is suspending routine immigrant and nonimmigrant processing visa services in Mexico beginning March 18, 2020 to combat the spread of the virus. This is a serious concern, said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president.

“Farmers and ranchers remain committed to doing the work in the fields, orchards and barns across the country to ensure Americans have access to healthy, affordable food. Particularly now, during these challenging times, an assured food supply allows families to focus on the safety and well-being of their loved ones. We commend the good work being done to protect families and our population and appreciate all the workers focused on ensuring food gets from our farms to grocery stores, and of course we are grateful for the health care workers ensuring we can treat those who are ill and contain the pandemic,” Duvall said. … Continue reading

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Sunrise Cooperative hosted FFA Career Day

Sunrise Cooperative, Inc. hosted a Sunrise FFA Career Day on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at its Uniopolis facility in Uniopolis, Ohio. The event was attended by 72 junior and senior FFA students from the following local high schools: Anna, Botkins, Indian Lake, Minster, St. Marys, Upper Scioto Valley-OHP, Wapakoneta and Waynesfield-Goshen.

The career day was designed to give students an opportunity to interact with employees and learn about different careers within the cooperative. Each of the four divisions, agronomy, energy, feed and grain at Sunrise were represented.

“Sunrise is a strong supporter of the FFA Association, and we were glad to have these students visit our Uniopolis facility,” said Morgan Niedermier, Vice President of Marketing at Sunrise. “We are growing the future of agriculture together through our career day. The FFA has some of the best leaders in the agriculture industry and we were glad to share career opportunities with them, as well as give them a tour of our state-of-the-art facility.”

The Sunrise grain division was represented by Chris Hager, Merchandising Assistant and Skylr Timbrook, Operations.… Continue reading

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As the world panics about coronavirus, Brazil sells soybeans

The coronavirus hysteria was, at least for a while, just a distant freak show that we were watching on TV and, for those who work with financial and commodity markets, on price charts too.

Since last week, however, COVID-19 is already part of our daily life here in Brazil. First with a few Brazilians who had been to Europe and tested positive after coming home; a couple of days later with people who have never been abroad getting ill; and now with almost everybody in line at supermarkets and drugstores, buying tons of toilet paper, food and, last but not least, alcohol to disinfect the hands and lift the spirits.

And let’s not forget that our President, Jair Bolsonaro, might be ill too, amid all the confusion around the results of his test. Positive? Negative? Who’s lying? Who’s telling the truth? Why was he wearing a mask? Has President Trump been infected too, since he met Bolsonaro in Florida just a few days ago?Continue reading

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Check with auction protocol/status before hauling or unloading livestock

Measures are being taken in Ohio and throughout the country to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and these measures will impact the state’s livestock auctions.

Effective immediately and until further notice, livestock auction facilities are limiting spectators at all auctions, per the CDC requirements regarding gatherings. At this point, livestock auctions across the state will continue to provide livestock marketing services during this time of uncertainty, but Farm Bureau is encouraging farmers to unload their livestock at the docks and then leave the auctions.

“We understand these auctions are often utilized as a social gathering, but during this time, we recommend only active buyers attend the auctions,” said Roger High, Ohio Farm Bureau director of livestock. “By implementing these changes, these auction facilities can still continue the livestock marketing processes while honoring the ‘social distancing’ mandates from public officials.”

These measures are being taken to protect farmers marketing livestock and their families, as well as the employees of the livestock auction facilities.… Continue reading

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Polls closed for March 17 election

The election is off for Tuesday March 17.

The effort to postpone the election due to health concerns started in a March 16 afternoon press conference with Governor Mike DeWine.

“We can’t tell people it’s in their best interest to stay home and at the same time tell people to go vote,” DeWine said.

Following up on the announcement, two Franklin County voters filed a lawsuit Monday evening seeking to delay the election over risking their health. Shortly after 7 p.m., Franklin County Judge Richard Frye denied the effort to postpone the election in his ruling. So, for a little while, the election was back on for March 17.

Just three hours later, DeWine’s Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order closing all polling locations on March 17. Governor DeWine issued this statement: “During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus.… Continue reading

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U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program

The Ohio Development Services Agency is working to submit necessary information to qualify the state for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This program will enable small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million dollars.

Non-profit organizations are also eligible. Small business owners who have been impacted should send their contact information to BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov.… Continue reading

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D.C. trip about relationships

By Dave Russell and Matt Reese

Believe it or not, there were issues other than the coronavirus discussed on the late March trip to Washington, D.C. for the Ohio Farm Bureau county presidents. In many ways it was still business as usual with policy to discuss, on-farm stories to share and relationships to build, said Frank Burkett, Ohio Farm Bureau president.

“This is a trip of opportunities that come with relationships our leaders have built over the course of time,” Burkett said. “We spoke with the group and told them they need to share their experiences. When you are here and actually experience it and actually have the conversations, you see that it is really critical that we have the ability to come to D.C. and have that dialog. That means a lot. As we become less of a percentage of the population, it is important that lawmakers understand what farmers are doing and that what they are doing impacts what we are doing on the farm.”

One common topic was the importance of rural broadband infrastructure.… Continue reading

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Ohio suing Army Corps of Engineers related to overcharges at Caesar Creek Lake

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in federal court to recoup improper charges billed to the state for the upkeep of Caesar Creek Lake.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, contends that the Corps of Engineers has jacked up costs without providing complete itemized receipts to support the price increases. Receipts that have been provided list questionable charges.

“The Army Corps of Engineers has kept tight-lipped when pressed about these excessive and unreasonable charges,” Yost said. “Some of the receipts we have seen are unbelievable — like charges for attending a boat show. We want our money back.”

Under an agreement reached in 1970, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) pays the Corps of Engineers for maintaining and operating the reservoir, a water source for the City of Wilmington. ODNR bills the city for reimbursement.

According to the contract, the maintenance and operational charges are supposed to be limited to those involving flood control and water supply.… Continue reading

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Ohio pig farmer hosts Virtual Field Trip for Springfield Rotary Club

Darke County farmer Jeff Wuebker opened his pig farm up to members of the Springfield Rotary Club during a recent meeting for a live Virtual Field Trip and Q&A session. The Virtual Field Trip, hosted by the Ohio Pork Council (OPC), is part of Springfield-based Shiftology Communication’s Virtual Farm Trips program.

OPC began hosting Virtual Field Trips in 2014 with the mission to transparently educate students about modern animal agriculture. Through the Virtual Farm Trips program, OPC has hosted Virtual Field Trips for hundreds of classrooms and organizations — including the Springfield Rotary Club.

“Through our Virtual Field Trip program, our farmers enjoy sharing the story of Ohio agriculture with large groups of consumers — whether they’re students or members of an organization,” said Ohio Pork Council President Dave Shoup. “It was an honor to showcase our Virtual Field Trip program to the Springfield Rotary Club during their weekly meeting.”

During the meeting, the Rotarians received a behind-the-scenes look at Wuebker’s modern pig barn.… Continue reading

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Memories left hanging

By Kolt Buchenroth, Ohio Ag Net

It can be argued that the world is in a state of unrest. Social Media is very rapidly becoming “here’s where you can find toilet paper.” The authorities are being called over a jar of peanut butter in the grocery store. Our county’s Emergency Operations Center is open and activated for the first time since I learned of its existence. After 35 consecutive runs (one of which during a Level 3 snow emergency), the Hardin County Fair cancelled the annual consignment farm machinery sale — a true sign of the times.

Perhaps the most gut wrenching outcome of all of this is the time the students aren’t spending together. I write this blog post on the way back from a spring break spent in North Carolina with family. My cousin is a senior in high school. I watched a look of sadness and disappointment as their principal announced her soccer season was suspended until the beginning of April.… Continue reading

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Soybean research recap

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

Soybean fertility studies, relative maturity, row width, seeding rates, and the benefits of adding wheat to the rotation were just a few of the topics covered by Laura Lindsey in a presentation given at the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada last week.

“A study conducted from 2013-2015 with 199 farmers in Ohio looked at cultural practices, and measured soil fertility and

Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean and Small Grains specialist

soil cyst nematode levels in 600 fields,” said Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension soybean and small grains specialist. “The study investigated both the highest yielding areas of the field and lowest yielding areas of each field and compared them. Soil fertility was a primary factor that accounted for yield differences.”

When evaluating soil test phosphorus (P), 65% of the fields had at least a portion of the field that needed P fertilizer.

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COVID-19 makes for a different trip to D.C.

By Dave Russell, Ohio Ag Net

So, I’ve been coming on the Ohio Farm Bureau’s County Presidents’ trip to Washington, D.C. since, gosh I don’t remember the exact year, but it was the late ‘70s or early ‘80s. What I do know is that I’ve been coming on this trip longer than some of this year’s participants have been alive.

This year’s trip, though, was a little different. Well, I mean other than all of the talk about coronavirus it seemed to me that it was pretty much business as usual in our nation’s capital. There were still plenty of people walking the halls of Congress, cab drivers waiting for their next fare, Uber drivers pulling up and taking said fare.

But then, of course you should probably consider the numerous conversations about running out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. That’s definitely different from previous trips. Evidently this is a big deal when you go to the store and the shelves are bare and Johnny just used the last roll.… Continue reading

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Last chance for farm bill program sign-up March 16

Agricultural producers who have not yet completed their 2019 crop year elections for and enrollment in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs must schedule an appointment to do so with their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) by Monday, March 16.

“To date, more than 1.4 million contracts have been signed for the 2019 crop year. This represents 89 percent of expected enrollment with less than a week left for producers to get on FSA’s appointment books,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “If you’ve not completed your elections or enrollment, the clock is ticking, and your program eligibility is at stake; so please call FSA today and request an appointment.”

Producers who do not contact FSA for an appointment by close of business local time on Monday, March 16 will not be enrolled in ARC or PLC for the 2019 crop year and will be ineligible to receive a payment should one trigger for an eligible crop.… Continue reading

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Ohio agricultural events postponed and cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

On March 12, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH gave an update on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ohio when there were five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state (as of around 2:00 p.m. EST). The fourth case involved a hospitalized man, age 53, in Stark County who has no travel history outside of the United States. Because this individual has had no known contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient, this is the first instance of “community spread” in Ohio —meaning there is no known source of infection. The local health department is investigating the individual’s contacts.

During his news conference on March 12, DeWine said the state will be ordering that no mass gatherings of more than 100 people will be allowed in the state. The order will include auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms, meeting halls, cafeterias, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.… Continue reading

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2020 Ohio Beef Expo cancelled

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association announced that the 2020 Ohio Beef Expo will be cancelled.

“We understand the significance of this decision that impacts so many involved with the event,” OCA said in a Facebook post.

OCA also issued the following statement:

The safety and health of our producers, families, youth, and allied industry supporters is of great importance to our organization. Consistent with that commitment and in accordance with orders from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Beef Expo, which was scheduled for March 19-22, will be cancelled.

Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health have issued an order prohibiting any mass gatherings in the state as a preventative measure to address the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) In addition, as you know, our event is held at the Ohio Expo Center, which is a State Government location, so it is directly impacted by the order.

OCA will be convening calls with Ohio Beef Expo sale managers to determine how to best assist them in marketing the cattle consigned to the seven Expo sales.Continue reading

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Uncertainty impacting grain markets

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Fear of the coronavirus seems to be spreading faster than the actual disease and this is impacting the grain markets.

 

Meat consumption uncertainty

Some are fearing people won’t want to leave home and will dine out less, resulting in less overall meat consumption. However, there are also stories of supermarkets running low on meat, as people prepare for possible extended home stays. So, the market may be overreacting to the fear of the unknown. Until more is understood about how the virus spreads, the recovery time, and the mortality rate, the market will likely select the direction that seems less risky.

 

Tight corn spreads

Because the markets have dropped so much and so quickly many farmers are simply not selling their grain. This has contributed to the narrowest May/July corn spread since the spring of 2013. Typically, a tight spread indicates a supply shortage where the market wants grain now instead of waiting.… Continue reading

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Labor concerns with COVID-19 could impact pork supply chain

The fallout from an ongoing labor shortage facing the U.S. pork industry and other agriculture sectors could significantly worsen due to the impact of COVID-19, the National Pork Producers Council said in a letter to U.S. government officials. NPPC’s concerns regarding COVID-19 are labor specific. There is no evidence that pigs can contract the virus.

In a letter to the president and other administration officials, members of Congress, and state governors, NPPC called for expedited solutions addressing the need for more workers on hog farms and in pork plants. It also called on federal, state and local governments to work together to develop a response to COVID-19 that protects public health and, whenever possible, supports animal care and minimizes disruptions to the U.S. pork production supply chain and consumers. NPPC also called on the administration to develop support plans for hog farmers if labor-related bottlenecks in the supply chain prevent hogs from being marketed.… Continue reading

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