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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 160 | OYLE with a side of Dale

We take the Quarantine Chronicles on for another week with Matt, Kolt, and Dale Hosting our guest Megan Wendt from the Ohio Youth Livestock Expo. Interviews this week include an interview from Matt with Bane Welker intern Macel Stowers. Bart includes an interview with Kyle Halseman of Halseman Ag.… Continue reading

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Corn and soybeans emerged, wheat makes progress

Rainfall increased throughout the state at an opportune time, causing soil moisture to improve, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. While precipitation increased overall, dry weather continued in a few areas of the state. Topsoil moisture, however, increased from 53 percent adequate or surplus last week to 69 percent adequate or surplus this week. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 1 degree above historical normals, and the entire state averaged just over 1 inch of precipitation. There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 28. During the week, farmers side dressed nitrogen on corn and applied herbicides to corn and soybeans. Winter wheat continued to mature while reporters continued to anticipate the start of harvest. Soybean planting progress reached 100 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 5 percentage points, while soybeans blooming was 11 percent. Corn emerged progress was 100 percent, 4 percentage points ahead of the five-year average.… Continue reading

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USDA adds digital options to apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA’s Farm Service Agency will now accept applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through an online portal, expanding the options available to producers to apply for this program, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. FSA is also leveraging commercial document storage and e-signature solutions to enable producers to work with local service center staff to complete their applications from home.

“We are doing everything we can to serve our customers and make sure agricultural producers impacted by the pandemic can quickly and securely apply for this relief program,” said Richard Fordyce, FSA administrator. “In addition to working with FSA staff through the phone, email and scheduled in-person appointments, we can now also take applications through the farmers.gov portal, which saves producers and our staff time.”

Through the portal, producers with secure USDA login credentials—known as eAuthentication — can certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.… Continue reading

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U.S. lamb retail sales data released for first quarter 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for consumers to cook more meals at home and explore new products including lamb. The new retail data released by the American Lamb Board (ALB) quantifies the growth in retail sales for all lamb (domestic and imported) during the first quarter of 2020.

Retail sales data analyzed by IRI/FreshLook Marketing show pounds of all lamb sold at multi-outlet supermarkets in the U.S. in the 13-week period from Jan. 1 through April 19, 2020, increased 8.5% compared to the same period in 2019, hitting 16.4 million pounds and $133.9 million in sales. As previously reported by ALB, Easter week sales of fresh lamb were strong with more than $19 million in sales across the U.S.

Total dollars spent on all lamb at retail during the first 13 weeks of 2020 increased 13.4%. With prices on the increase for all meat categories, lamb held its own with consumers’ pocketbooks.… Continue reading

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Senators urge EPA to reject “gap” SRE petitions

A bipartisan group of 16 Senators urged Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler to immediately reject the 52 recently filed exemption petitions for prior compliance years. The letter expresses the Senators’ frustration and alarm that Administrator Wheeler is considering exemptions for refineries that either did not submit petitions or were not granted waivers in past years but are now seeking to circumvent a January 2020 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) led the bipartisan letter with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject petitions for Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for past compliance years. In the letter, the senators warn that granting these petitions would worsen the unprecedented economic challenges facing the biofuels industry and demand that the EPA apply the 10th Circuit decision nationally.… Continue reading

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FFA to host virtual National FFA Convention & Expo in October

The National FFA Organization announced today that the 2020 National FFA Convention & Expo will be held virtually. The organization also extended its contract with the host city of Indianapolis from 2031 to 2033.

“We wanted to ensure that our members and guests had the full convention experience. After a discussion with the National FFA Board of Directors, the decision was made to move forward with a virtual experience for 2020,” said Mark Poeschl, CEO of National FFA. “As we continued to plan for our national convention, it became clear that travel restrictions and public health concerns, among many other pandemic-related challenges, made hosting our in-person event impossible in 2020.”

The decision to hold a virtual event in place of in-person was recommended by National FFA staff and affirmed by the board of directors.

“The safety of our members and stakeholders is always top of mind,” said Dr. James Woodard, the organization’s national advisor and chair of the board of directors.… Continue reading

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Watch out for the pitfalls of meat processing at home

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

National headlines have repeatedly announced that COVID-19 has caused a disruption in the commercial meat system. The growing number of sick employees at major meat packers has caused a slowdown in the processing lines and even shutdown some entire facilities.

Over the years, the United States has created a highly efficient food supply, to the extent that the meat supply chain has become a “just-in-time” system. In the pork industry, efficiency is calculated down to the day. It takes 11 months (roughly 335 days) from the time a mother pig (sow) is bred, and then farrows (has the baby pigs), then those pigs are raised, and then butchered and delivered to the grocery store meat case. The entire system is dependent on every step of the process occurring on time and at the right time.… Continue reading

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The show must go on for Ohio’s livestock exhibition industry

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

Like the rest of the world, show pig and lamb breeders and exhibitors had to do some adjusting this spring after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation some of the biggest livestock shows and sales, including the biggest show of the year, the Ohio State Fair.

The word “adjusting” suits the show pig and show lamb industry well at this point. Some in the two industries feared they’d see a lower volume in sales this spring, but instead saw sales similar, or even higher than in the past. Allen Johnson said web-based sales helped him make the adjustment to have a successful sale season for his business, Johnson Show Lambs.

“Our live sales were cancelled all together. As a result, we scrambled around and got pictures up on our webpage and fixed up a web-based sale through ShowStockPlanet and that was the platform we used to sell all of our wethers,” Johnson said.… Continue reading

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CMP shooters compete locally

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

While interviewing one of the organization’s representatives on Buckeye Sportsman late last month, I learned that the popular Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has prepared a solution to allow participants to keep shooting and compete with one another during the summer months — from the comfort of their local range. The CMP Home Range Appreciation Series is a collection of rifle, pistol, CMP Games, small bore and air rifle competitions (open to both adult and junior athletes) which will be fired in local club matches and once scorecards are submitted the scores will be compared against overall scores from around the nation and prizes will be announced and awarded.

All matches adhere to social distancing rules and obey CDC and local/federal government guidelines for group settings while also complying with standard range safety practices. Although we are eager for our competitors to return to the ranges, demonstrating mutual respect and safeguarding the welfare of everyone remains the highest priority at all of our events.… Continue reading

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Farm groups launch free stress management course

Following the December 2019 announcement of a new farm stress management online training course for employees and members of Farm Credit, Farm Bureau and Farmers Union, these organizations have supported the launch of a free online training available to the general public.

“These are especially difficult times for farmers and ranchers, but because three in five rural Americans live in areas without enough mental health care providers to adequately serve the population, help isn’t always readily available. The pandemic hasn’t made things any easier; social distancing requirements have limited in-person care, and many farmers have lost off-farm jobs that provided their health insurance. These circumstances have made the community-led mental health strategies taught in this online training all the more critical,” said Rob Larew, National Farmers Union president.

Developed by Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) and University of Illinois Extension (Illinois Extension), the course will help farmers, their families and neighbors identify and cope with stress.… Continue reading

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National Pollinator Week highlights value of pollinators to crop production

By Terry Cosby, State Conservationist, Ohio Natural Resources Conservation
Service and Leonard Hubert, State Executive Director, Ohio Farm Service Agency

The next time you snack on almonds, add blueberries to your smoothie or eat pumpkin pie, thank a pollinator and thank farmers, landowners and private forestland owners who work hard to create and maintain their habitat.
Pollinators, such as honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies, birds, bats, flies and many others, play a critical role in crop production. Without pollinators, we wouldn’t have many crops.

During the week of June 22-28, the nation will celebrate these iconic and crucial pollinators during National Pollinator Week. This year’s theme is “Pollinators, Plants, People and Planet.” Thirteen years ago, the U.S. Senate unanimously designated the third week in June as National Pollinator Week to increase awareness about the importance of pollinators and the challenges many of them face, including serious population declines and habitat losses, often due to land use changes and excessive or improper pesticide use.… Continue reading

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Glyphosate developments

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) responded to two recent and significant legal developments concerning glyphosate that have occurred. First, a federal judge in California ruled that glyphosate cannot be labeled as “likely to cause cancer” under California’s Proposition 65, which requires businesses to provide warnings about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer. NCGA was a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the state’s plans to require all glyphosate products to be labeled with this warning.

The next day, Bayer announced that it has decided to settle thousands of lawsuits that accuse a link between glyphosate use and cancer.

“Corn farmers rely on glyphosate as an integral and essential part of their weed management, no-till and soil health plans. It has been on the market for more than 40 years and undergone extensive safety reviews in this time. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and numerous other regulatory bodies around the world have not found glyphosate to be carcinogenic, as was pointed out by the federal judge ruling that the product cannot be labeled as such in California.… Continue reading

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New bill helps agriculture participate in the carbon market

Legislation discussed in a recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing creates important elements needed to support a private carbon credit offset market. The bill would reward the valuable current and future contributions by agriculture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act, introduced by Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a program to provide transparency, legitimacy and informal endorsement of third-party verifiers and technical service providers that help private landowners generate carbon credits through a variety of agriculture and forestry related practices.

“The Growing Climate Solutions Act seeks to provide more clarity and guidance for farmers and ranchers who want to provide the ecosystem services that more and more consumers and businesses are demanding,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, in testimony to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.… Continue reading

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Bayer announces agreements to resolve major remaining Monsanto litigation

Bayer announced a series of agreements that will substantially resolve major outstanding Monsanto litigation, including U.S. Roundup product liability litigation, dicamba drift litigation and PCB water litigation.

The massive legal settlements total up to $10.9 billion to compensate roughly 125,000 people who have claimed to be harmed by products of its recently acquired subsidiary, the Monsanto Company. The company also is resolving dicamba drift litigation with a payment of up to $400 million. In addition Bayer is addressing most PCB water litigation exposure with a payment of approximately $820 million.

The funding for all of the measures will be sourced from free cash flow and Animal Health divestment. Cash payments related to the settlements are expected to start in 2020. Bayer currently assumes that the potential cash outflow will not exceed $5 billion in 2020 and $5 billion in 2021; the remaining balance would be paid in 2022 or thereafter. In order to finance these payments which are subject to tax treatment, Bayer can make use of existing surplus liquidity, future free cash flows, the proceeds from the Animal Health divestment, and additional bond issuances, which will provide flexibility in managing the settlement payments as well as upcoming debt maturities.… Continue reading

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Benefits of incorporating wheat in a three-crop rotation

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

Amber waves of grain (often pictured as fields of wheat, swaying in the summer breeze) are as much of Americana as baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie. Incorporating wheat in a cropping rotation, however, has more benefits than just a pretty summer picture.

“The farms we regularly raise wheat on have had slightly better yields in the

other crops,” said Brad Haas, Wood county farmer, and past president of the Ohio Wheat Growers Association. “Those farms have had a slightly better yield and also lower diseases levels.”

While Haas likes raising quality wheat, and has done so for the past several decades, the biggest challenge he has faced the last two years has been finding fields available to plant in the right window after the fly free date that were fit, and did not have late soybeans in them.… Continue reading

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New fact sheet series for specialty crop growers focuses on dicamba and 2,4-D drift

Dicamba-related drift is causing significant stress for agricultural regulators, and soybean farmers this year. For many specialty crop growers, though, this is familiar ground as their crops are especially sensitive to drift.

Since 2016, soybean farmers have quickly adopted dicamba- and 2,4-D-ready crops in their fight against herbicide-resistant weeds. However, the expanded use of these herbicides during the growing season has led to an increased threat of drift damage for specialty crop growers.

High-value crops such as grapes, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes can be damaged by concentrations of 1/300th the labeled rate or lower. While recent legal issues have limited the use of three dicamba products for this growing season, both dicamba and 2,4-D will continue to pose a risk in areas with diversified or organic production.

A new fact sheet series, co-written by agricultural specialists at The Ohio State University and Purdue University, is available to help specialty crop growers prepare for and respond to possible dicamba and 2,4-D drift.… Continue reading

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Watch for frogeye this season

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

Frogeye leaf spot is a disease that can impact soybean yields across this eastern Corn Belt. Typically, more prevalent in the southern growing regions, the disease can occur farther north as a result of weather favorable to its development.

The fungus that causes frogeye leaf spot (Cercospora sojina) survives in infected plant debris and can cause infections in growing plants when weather conditions are favorable. Frogeye leaf spot lesions produce spores that are easily transported by wind, acting as inoculum for leaf infections on other plants. The disease is promoted by warm, humid weather and will continue to develop on infected plants during patterns of favorable weather. With continued warm and wet weather patterns in the eastern Corn Belt during 2020, frogeye leaf spot could develop in some areas.

Frogeye leaf spot symptoms begin as small yellow spots that become larger lesions with gray centers and dark reddish-purple or brown borders.… Continue reading

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Grower coalition files amicus brief on behalf of soybean farmers

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

Soybean growers risk suffering significant harm if they cannot use existing stocks of dicamba products. This statement was the leading argument in the amicus brief filed by a coalition of agricultural commodity organizations, including the American Soybean Association (ASA), on Tuesday, June 16, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief was filed to inform the court that “granting the petitioners’ motion mid-growing season could have catastrophic consequences for growers and America’s agricultural community, which depend on being able to use the dicamba products for the next several weeks.  The Court should respect EPA’s expertise in managing existing stocks of formerly registered pesticide products and deny petitioners’ emergency motion,” the brief went on to say.

The grower coalition’s brief, makes a case for farmers caught in a highly frustrating and costly situation amid prime planting season and the narrow weed-control window.

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