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Federal judge says Lake Erie itself can’t participate in LEBOR lawsuit

By Joel Penhorwood

A federal judge on Tuesday made a notable announcement regarding the ongoing Lake Erie Bill of Rights lawsuit brought forward by farmers in Ohio.

U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary said he would not allow Lake Erie to participate in the lawsuit.

Cleveland.com reported he called the request “unusual” and “meritless.”

The Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) looks to give the body of water itself legal rights, allowing Toledo residents to sue on its behalf. It stems from the ongoing tension from the Harmful Algal Blooms which forced the City of Toledo to shut down its drinking water system for three days in 2014.

LEBOR was passed by Toledo voters in February, and Wood County farmer Mark Drewes immediately countered the move with a lawsuit of his own the day after LEBOR was passed, questioning its constitutionality.

The proceedings regarding the case continued this week and the environmental advocate group Toledoans for Safe Water had asked to be included in the legal action, along with Lake Erie itself, in order to better represent those in favor of LEBOR.… Continue reading

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Delayed planting effects on corn yield: A “historical” perspective

By Allen Geyer, Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

According to the USDA/NASS, for the week ending May 5, only 2% of Ohio’s projected corn acreage was planted — compared to 20% last year and 27% for the five-year average. Persistent rains and saturated soil conditions have delayed corn planting. The weather forecast this week indicates the likelihood of more rain, so it is probable that many soggy fields may not dry out soon.

Long-term research by universities and seed companies across the Corn Belt gives us a pretty good idea of planting date effects on relative yield potential. The recommended time for planting corn in northern Ohio is April 15 to May 10 and in southern Ohio, April 10 to May 10. In the central Corn Belt, estimated yield loss per day with delayed planting varies from about 0.3% per day early in May to about 1% per day by the end of May, according to Bob Nielsen at Purdue University.… Continue reading

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CFAES names new chief advancement officer

Keith DiDonato has been appointed as the new chief advancement officer of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Starting on May 20, DiDonato will lead and develop the CFAES Office of Advancement, which includes fundraising, alumni relations, and marketing communications.

Currently the associate vice president for development at The College of Wooster, DiDonato oversees the major and planned giving programs, annual giving, and the parents and family giving program. In that role, he is directly involved with the largest fundraising year in the history of the institution, adding $40 million to the school’s campaign.

DiDonato also worked as the director of leadership giving at Oberlin College, where he was directly responsible for approximately $60 million added to the Oberlin Illuminate campaign, which ended in 2016 with a record $317 million. Prior to that, he worked at Cargill Corporation in the Animal Nutrition Division.

DiDonato received a Bachelor of Science from Ohio State, served on the Emerging Leaders Campaign Committee for CFAES, and was elected to the Conference for Developing the Future of Agricultural Education in Ohio for the Ohio Department of Education.… Continue reading

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Pioneer Field Report: Stay the course

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood catches up with Pioneer Field Agronomist John Schoenhals to discuss what has been on everybody’s minds – delayed planting concerns. Stay the course is his advice to Ohio farmers at this point. Though we’re behind schedule, Schoenhals says there’s economic reasoning to not changing up the plan, which he details in the discussion below.… Continue reading

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Guidelines for employing youth on your farm

By Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR in Tuscarawas County

Students will be wrapping up their school year soon and you may have a young person contact you about a summer job. Young people often have an interest to work on a farm and many are excellent employees. However, as an employer, there are rules and regulations you must understand before hiring minors to do work on your farm.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has established certain provisions to protect the safety of minors. In 1967, the U.S. Secretary of Labor determined certain agricultural jobs as hazardous to youth less than 16 years of age. There are two exemptions to these regulations:

  1. The list of hazardous agricultural occupations does not apply to youth under 16 years of age working on a farm owned by their parents or guardians; and
  2. The list of hazardous agricultural occupations does not apply to youth under 16 years of age who have completed an approved Tractor and Machinery Certification course.
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National Corn Yield Contest entries open for 2019

Farmers have from May 6, through Sunday, July 31, 2019, to enter the National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC). This year marks the 55th year for the contest that began with 20 entries from four states. Last year 7,258 entries from 46 states made NCYC the premier event of its kind in the nation.

“NCGA wants to challenge you to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new ideas and production techniques while gleaning knowledge to enhance your future yield potential,” said Linda Lambur, NCYC manager. “It’s not just about big yields but promoting innovative production methods and sharpening management skills. It’s about being more precise in how we grow each bushel of corn and that ultimately will make corn production more sustainable.”

A farmer must have an NCGA membership number to have an entry in the contest which can only be obtained from NCGA. Please call 636-733-5512 or email ncyc@ncga.com to obtain your membership number or to create a new membership number.… Continue reading

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No need to switch hybrid maturities yet

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

In many areas of the Eastern Corn belt planting has been delayed due to wet spring weather. With the continued planting delays some growers may begin to wonder if they should switch to earlier maturing hybrids.

When considering late-planted corn, it is important to keep in mind that hybrids can adjust the amount of Growing Degree Days required to reach maturity. In this C.O.R.N Newsletter Article, Ohio State’s Peter Thomison states: “In Ohio and Indiana, we’ve observed decreases in required heat units from planting to kernel black layer which average about 6.8 growing degree days (GDDs) per day of delayed planting. Therefore a hybrid rated at 2800 GDDs with normal planting dates (i.e. late April or early May) may require slightly less than 2600 GDDs when planted in late May or early June, i.e. a 30 day delay in planting may result in a hybrid maturing in 204 fewer GDDs (30 days multiplied by 6.8 GDDs per day).” Because hybrids can adjust their required GDDs, late-planted hybrids can still reach physiological maturity before first killing frost in the fall.… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress: Rain continued to stall planting

Little to no fieldwork was completed last week due to the continued extremely wet weather, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 0.6 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending May 5. There were multiple reports of zero days suitable for fieldwork last week. There had been some additional flooding and soils were extremely saturated, causing more delays in the planting season. Winter wheat condition remained mostly fair and there were concerns of weed pressure due to the wet weather. There was very little opportunity to get any corn or soybean planting done last week. Oat planting and emergence was slowly moving along. Despite wet weather, pastures condition were mostly fair to good.

Click here to read the full reportContinue reading

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A few final thoughts…

By John Grimes, Ohio State University Extension Beef Coordinator, retired

I have had the pleasure of writing articles regularly since 2011. Over the years, I have written about several wide-ranging beef management topics and timely industry issues including a few “editorials” along the way. I hope you have found them worth the time it took you to read them and gained some useful information along the way. Since I retired yesterday from over 33 years of employment with OSU Extension, I want to thank you for allowing me to work with you through many OSU Extension and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association programs over the years.

I have tried to think of an appropriate way to wrap up this column. I really could not think of a single topic that I thought would make a fitting conclusion. Rather than focusing on a single topic, I thought I would touch on a few of the subjects that I admit that I am passionate about relating to beef industry.… Continue reading

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Goals achieved in 2019 Ohio Farm Bureau membership campaign

The membership team of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and volunteers throughout the state set some lofty goals at the start of the 2019 membership campaign. After a full year of countless events, meetings, phone calls and contacts, those efforts culminated into goals being met and exceeded, as the final tally for membership gain came in at 107.2%, year over year.

“These accomplishments would not be possible without the leadership of our county membership coordinators and the commitment of their dedicated teams of volunteers that invite their family, friends, neighbors and local businesses to join them as a member of our organization,” said Paul Lyons, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of membership. “Achieving these goals has even greater meaning, as we celebrate 100 years of doing the important work of our organization.”

An impressive 81 counties received the Milestone Award for achieving a gain in farmer and ag professional members, and 14 volunteers won the Murray Lincoln Award for signing up at least 50 new members to Ohio Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

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Excessive rainfall as damaging to corn yield as extreme heat, drought

Recent flooding in the Midwest has brought attention to the complex agricultural problems associated with too much rain. Data from the past three decades suggest that excessive rainfall can affect crop yield as much as excessive heat and drought. In a new study, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Illinois linked crop insurance, climate, soil and corn yield data from 1981 through 2016.

The study found that during some years, excessive rainfall reduced U.S. corn yield by as much as 34% relative to the expected yield. Data suggest that drought and excessive heat caused a yield loss of up to 37% during some years. The findings are published in the journal Global Change Biology.

“We linked county-level U.S. Department of Agriculture insurance data for corn loss with historical weather data, letting us quantify the impact of excessive rainfall on yield loss at a continental scale,” said Kaiyu Guan, a natural resources and environmental sciences professor and the study’s principal investigator.… Continue reading

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Switching from alfalfa to soybean…Should I inoculate?

By Laura Lindsey and Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

Alfalfa stands were negatively affected by this winter’s weather. Some farmers may be converting their alfalfa fields to soybean. Does the soybean seed need to be inoculated?

While there is very little information on this topic, we believe yes. You should inoculate soybean with Rhizobia when converting an alfalfa field to soybean. Here’s why… Both alfalfa and soybean plants have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in which the bacteria fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into a plant-available form of nitrogen. However, different species are associated with alfalfa and soybean. In soybean, nitrogen fixation is associated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum. While in alfalfa, nitrogen fixation is associated with Sinorhizobium meliloti (also called Ensifer meliloti). The bacteria associated with nitrogen fixation in alfalfa will not form the same association with soybean.
Generally, fields with a history of soybean production have a large population density of Bradyrhizobium japonicum.… Continue reading

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Legislation aimed to help livestock haulers

The U.S. Senate introduced legislation aimed at reforming federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules in a way that ensures animal welfare, highway safety, and the well-being of livestock haulers. S. 1255, the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, was introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) with a bipartisan group of original cosponsors, including Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jim Risch (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Doug Jones (D-AL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and James Lankford (R-OK).

“The current Hours of Service rules for livestock haulers present major challenges for our industry and can often jeopardize the health and well-being of livestock,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA’s senior vice president of government affairs. “Hauling livestock is inherently different than hauling typical consumer goods, like paper towels or bottles of water.… Continue reading

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2019 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and its partners invite guests to stroll through organic vegetable fields, learn about pastured livestock production, consider a career in farming, savor farm-to-table feasts, and take advantage of other learning and networking opportunities during the 2019 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series.

In addition to OEFFA’s 20 summer farm tours, workshops, and special events in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, 26 other events are being presented by The Ohio State University, Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, Clintonville Farmers’ Market, and the Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance.

“This year’s series is unique because we’re offering many special events celebrating OEFFA’s 40th anniversary — from field to fork meals, a craft beer social, and an OEFFA open house for members to stop in and get to know our staff and board a little better,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.

OEFFA members and the public are invited to celebrate OEFFA’s 40th anniversary during these special events:

  • Sunday, August 4: The Farmers’ Table — Jorgensen Farms Oak Grove, Franklin Co.
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Push continues for E15 as June looms

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) submitted comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to allow year-round sales of 15% ethanol blends, or E15, by eliminating the outdated barrier that currently requires retailers in many areas of the country to stop selling E15 during the summer months.

“By allowing E15 to receive the same summer volatility adjustment EPA permits for E10, retailers will be able to offer drivers E15 year-round, providing choice to their customers without an interruption in sales between June and September,” NCGA President Lynn Chrisp wrote in the submitted comments. “Corn growers have advocated for this change for several years, and we agree with EPA’s assessment that the conditions that led EPA to provide the original volatility adjustment for E10, at a time when 10% was the highest ethanol blend available, are ‘equally applicable to E15 today.’”

In addition to being beneficial for farmers, higher blends of renewable fuels such as E15 also lower fuel prices for drivers and reduce emissions, improving air quality and providing greater greenhouse gas reductions.… Continue reading

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USDA releases report on rural broadband’s role in precision agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue unveiled a report, A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies. The report finds that deployment of both broadband e-Connectivity and next generation precision agriculture technology on farms and ranches throughout the U.S. could result in at least $47 billion in national economic benefits every year.

“Broadband and Next Generation Precision Agriculture are critical components for creating vital access to world-class resources, tools and opportunity for America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers,” Secretary Perdue said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to doing our part to clear the way for nationwide broadband connectivity that will allow the next generation of precision agriculture technologies to thrive and expand.”

The report also finds that if broadband infrastructure and digital technologies at scale were available at a level that meets estimated producer demand, the U.S. economy could realize benefits equivalent to nearly 18% of total agriculture production.… Continue reading

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USDA announces new decision tool for new Dairy Margin Coverage Program

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the availability of a new web-based tool — developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin — to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

“With sign-up for the DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program,” Secretary Perdue said.  “Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry.”

The University of Wisconsin launched the decision support tool in cooperation with FSA and funded through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist.… Continue reading

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Adapting burndown herbicide programs to wet weather delays

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

The wet soils and weather have limited field work and questions about how to deal with burndown herbicide treatments in delayed planting situations are rolling in. One of the most common ones, predictably, is how to kill glyphosate-resistant marestail and giant ragweed and generally big weeds in soybeans when it’s not possible to delay planting long enough to use 2,4-D ester (Enlist soybeans excluded). While marestail populations may on the decline, this does not mean it’s gone by any means. Overwintered marestail plants become tougher to kill in May, and the fact that fall weather was not conducive for herbicide applications makes the situation worse in some fields. The good news is that we have some additional herbicide/trait options for help with burndown since the last time we wrote an article covering this in 2016, although our experience is that nothing we suggest here is infallible on large marestail.… Continue reading

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Exports below 2018 levels for U.S. pork, beef

February exports of U.S. pork and beef fell below last year’s levels while lamb exports trended higher, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Pork export volume was down 9% from a year ago in February to 186,745 metric tons (mt), while export value dropped 17% to $455.9 million — the lowest monthly value total since February 2016. For January through February, pork exports were 5% below last year’s pace in volume (388,580 mt) and 13% lower in value ($950 million).

Pork export value averaged $45.12 per head slaughtered in February, up slightly from January but 21% lower year-over-year. The January-February average was $44.93, down 16%. Exports accounted for 24% of total February pork production and 21% for muscle cuts only, down from 27.8% and 24%, respectively, a year ago. For January-February, the ratio of total production exported was 23.8% (down from 26.1% a year ago) and 20.6% for muscle cuts only (down from 22.7%).… Continue reading

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