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USDA resources available for 2018 and 2019 disasters for farms

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced this week that agricultural producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019, including Hurricane Dorian, can apply for assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). Signup for this U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program begins Sept. 11, 2019.

“U.S. agriculture has been dealt a hefty blow by extreme weather over the last several years, and 2019 is no exception,” Perdue said. “The scope of this year’s prevented planting alone is devastating, and although these disaster program benefits will not make producers whole, we hope the assistance will ease some of the financial strain farmers, ranchers and their families are experiencing.”

More than $3 billion is available through the disaster relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in early June. WHIP+ builds on the successes of its predecessor program the 2017 Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) that was authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.… Continue reading

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Viral disease limits All American Quarter Horse Congress participation

In an effort to protect horses and other livestock in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is not allowing the import of horses from counties within states with confirmed and suspected cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VSV). This restriction includes the All American Quarter Horse Congress, which is scheduled to begin in Columbus on Oct. 1.

“VSV has not been detected in Ohio and we are taking every precaution possible to keep it that way,” said ODA State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “With the All American Quarter Horse Congress coming, we thought it was important to restrict further movement to prevent the disease’s potential spread.”

VSV is a viral disease that primarily affects horses, but can also infect cattle, swine, sheep, and goats. The disease causes blister-like lesions, which burst and leave open wounds. It is extremely painful to animals and can result in the inability to eat and drink and even lameness.… Continue reading

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Farm Science Review to offer career fair

Looking for a job in agriculture?

Come to Farm Science Review and you just might find one.

For the first time, the annual agricultural trade show, sponsored by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), will offer the Career Exploration Fair for anyone interested in working in agriculture.

On Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon, visitors to the career fair can discuss jobs and internships with representatives from a variety of companies, many of them exhibitors at FSR, which is held at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.

“With the hundreds of exhibiting companies, it’s a great place to look for another job or new career,” said Nick Zachrich, manager of FSR.

At a financially challenging time for many farmers, the career fair could offer a boost for individuals seeking additional work opportunities in agriculture.

“There are jobs available and people looking for jobs,” Zachrich said.… Continue reading

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Reminders about pre-harvest herbicide treatment

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

Information on pre-harvest herbicide treatments for field corn and soybeans can be found in the “Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois” at the end of these crop sections (pages 74 and 141 of the 2019 edition). Products labeled for corn include Aim, glyphosate, and paraquat. Products listed in the guide for soybeans include Aim, paraquat, glyphosate, and Sharpen. Some dicamba products are also approved for preharvest use in all types of soybeans, which escaped our notice until now, so it is not listed in the guide.

The basic information for pre-harvest dicamba (for 4 pounds per gallon products) is: apply 8 to 32 ounces per acre as a broadcast or spot treatment after soybean pods have reached mature brown color and at least 75% leaf drop has occurred. Soybeans may be harvested 14 days or more after a pre-harvest application. Do not use pre-harvest-treated soybean for seed unless a germination test is performed on the seed with an acceptable result of 95% germination or better; do not feed soybean fodder or hay following a preharvest application of this product.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau committee lays groundwork for future policy votes

Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2019 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Policy Development Committee. The committee collects and organizes public policy recommendations from county Farm Bureaus and presents the final policy suggestions to be voted on by Ohio Farm Bureau’s delegates during the state annual meeting in December.

In its initial session, the committee heard from government leaders, subject matter experts and Farm Bureau staff on topics such as climate change, mental health, water quality initiatives, farm leases, trade, risk management, foreign ownership in U.S. agriculture, education, school funding and rural broadband.

The policy committee consists of 10 members from Ohio Farm Bureau’s board of trustees and 10 representatives of county Farm Bureaus.

The committee is chaired by Ohio Farm Bureau First Vice President Bill Patterson of Chesterland and includes OFBF President Frank Burkett III of Massillon and Treasurer Cy Prettyman of New Bloomington. State trustees on the committee are Matt Bell of ZanesvilleMike Bensman of SidneyMike Boyert of SevilleJenny Cox of DresdenPaul Harrison of FostoriaRose Hartschuh of Sycamore and Chris Weaver of Lyons.… Continue reading

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Changes on the horizon for H-2A temporary agricultural labor rules

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) says that it has found a number of inefficiencies in the H-2A temporary agricultural labor visa program, and the department has a solution: change the program’s rules. The DOL has proposed a number of administrative rule changes that it believes will make the approval process move along quicker, relieve burdens on U.S. farms, and create a more level playing field with regards to pay. Before we talk about the rule changes, let’s recap what the H-2A program is.

 

H-2A is a visa program for seasonal agricultural laborers from other countries

Labor shortages have plagued farms across the United States for decades. Congress first created a visa program for non-immigrant labor in the early 1950s, but it wasn’t until 1986 that Congress established the H-2A visa program for temporary agricultural workers.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association launches Cattlemen’s Academy

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will launch a new producer education program in the fall of 2019, the OCA Cattlemen’s Academy. OCA recognizes the importance of serving individual members across the state, and the goal of the Cattlemen’s Academy is to offer informative, hands-on learning experiences as part of a current OCA membership. Each year, the program will focus on a different aspect of the cattle industry with a new meeting series that is important to producers in the state of Ohio.

As its first series, the Cattlemen’s Academy will host calving clinics at multiple locations throughout Ohio in conjunction with the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University. Producers will learn how to determine calf presentations and more about calving assistance techniques and calving facilities design. They will also be instructed on nutritional management of the prepartum cow and bull selection for calving ease. Various experts from Ohio State and the cattle industry will be on-hand to instruct attendees and answer questions throughout the clinics.… Continue reading

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Wooster’s BioHio Research Park to be transitioned

A decision has been made by the BioHio Board of Directors to transition the work of the BioHio Research Park, an affiliate of The Ohio State University, in Wayne County to the auspices of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences’ (CFAES) at The Ohio State University.

As an affiliate of Ohio State, BioHio was envisioned in 2010 and was created to facilitate the movement of discoveries from the college into the commercial sector. It is located on the CFAES Wooster campus.

Additional goals of BioHio were to advance, encourage, and promote the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of the Wooster area and to serve as a research park for the benefit of The Ohio State University, the City of Wooster, and Wayne County.

“While the original goals of BioHio are still relevant and part of the CFAES mission, the separate legal entity was not providing the benefits originally envisioned,” said Cathann A.… Continue reading

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Back-to-school means different laws apply to youth farm workers

By Peggy Kirk Hall, Ohio State University Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law

When kids head back-to-school, it’s time for farmers to do some homework and recall the rules that apply to youth working on farms during the school year. Once school is in session, Ohio labor laws place restrictions on the times of day and number of hours that youth under the age of 18 can work on a farm. The laws don’t apply to parents, grandparents, or legal guardians, however. For other farm employers, be aware that the laws vary according to the age of the minor and some require written parental consent. Here’s a quick refresher.

 

16 and 17 year olds

    Cannot work before 7:00 a.m. on school days, with the exception that they can work starting at 6:00 a.m. if they were not working past 8:00 p.m. the night before.

    Cannot work after 11:00 p.m.Continue reading

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Cattle markets and the Tyson fire

By Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

The market is down one large harvest facility and cattle feeders cannot feed the same animal for infinity and beyond. As a result, availability of feeder cattle will increase in the near term. Packers continue to put the squeeze on cattle feeders as they appear to be holding all of the leverage. It is difficult to identify any leverage point cattle feeders control in today’s market, but this situation will not last forever. Similar to leverage slipping into the abyss, live cattle basis may or may not be favorable to cattle feeders as regional differences are the story on this subject. The kindest way to summarize the cattle feeder’s situation is that better days have to be on the horizon, but it is difficult to tell how far off the horizon is.

Since the Tyson fire was reported on Aug.… Continue reading

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604 R-Series balers offer versatility

Most forage producers share the same goal: produce consistent, high-quality bales. But there’s no perfect one-size-fits-all baler that will fit every producer’s needs. Some want simplicity and ease-of-use while others demand smart features, high speed and maximum output.

That’s why the new Vermeer 604 R-series balers feature a range of components, features and options. Three 6- by 4-foot models — Classic, Signature and Premium — offer unique combinations that provide the right levels of sophistication, performance, speed and versatility to meet the needs of just about every hay producer.

The 604 R-series balers start with a common foundation that offers every operator the longevity and durability he or she has come to expect from Vermeer equipment. In the new 604 R-series baler lineup, the platform includes features common to all three models, including a camless pickup and rotor design, a hydraulic density system and new netwrap system.

“The 604 R-series balers were designed to provide the features and functions that every hay producer needs,” said Bret Julian, Vermeer Director of Sales.… Continue reading

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Farmers are mitigating climate change: Partners needed

By John Newton is chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

When the question arises of how we are going to feed the world’s 9 billion people in a climate that seems increasingly volatile and extreme, all eyes turn to U.S. agriculture, and rightfully so. The answer to this question lies ahead of us, but important lessons can be gleaned from the long-time efforts of farmers to promote soil health, conserve water and efficiently use nutrients.

Agriculture Department data reveals that over the last 70 years, U.S. farmers have boosted agricultural output by 270% while the use of resources such as land, fertilizers, chemicals and energy has remained mostly unchanged. They’ve done so in the face of droughts, floods, excessive heat and plant diseases by developing new technologies that allow them to be more productive on the farm. At the same time farmers are growing their productivity, they’re shrinking their carbon footprint.… Continue reading

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Time to take a last cutting

By Mark Sulc and Rory Lewandowski, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The best time to take a last harvest of forages is this week and next in Ohio, for the least risk to the long-term health of the stand. This is especially true for alfalfa and other legumes that need the fall period to replenish carbohydrate and protein reserves in the taproots that are used for winter survival and regrowth next spring. This fall rest period is particularly important this year, because our surviving stands have suffered a great deal of wet soil stress this year. Adding the stress of fall cutting will be like adding insult to injury, in our opinion carrying a higher degree of risk this year than normal.

Unfortunately, many fields this year may not be at a reasonable harvest stage during the next two weeks, because the rainy weather early this season blew apart our normal harvest schedules.… Continue reading

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Attracting more farmers to participate in water quality efforts

Skepticism, more than anything else, is keeping farmers from changing how they apply fertilizer to their fields, according to a behavioral scientist at The Ohio State University.

Many farmers question whether the conservation measures they are being asked to do, such as applying fertilizer underground rather than on the surfaces of fields, will actually improve water quality in Lake Erie, said Robyn Wilson, a professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

And they also question whether they can carry out those measures on their farms, particularly small farms that typically have less equipment and fewer workers and financial resources than larger farms have, Wilson said.

So, offering farmers more evidence about the link between fertilizer runoff and the degraded water quality in Lake Erie — or even offering them funding to help pay for conservation measures — doesn’t necessary inspire more farmers to change their ways, Wilson said.… Continue reading

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Exercise in a combine?

With all the bending, lifting, and repetitive moves that farming demands, the career can exact a toll on a person’s body — young or old.

Pain might seem unavoidable, the inevitable cost of cultivating the land. However, there are ways to prevent long- and short-term injuries, in part through exercises that can be done while sitting in a tractor or a combine.

More exercise?

“When you’ve already worked 14 hours a day, you don’t want to work out. But there is a way to fit some exercises and stretching into your routine without having to go to the gym,” said Laura Akgerman, disability services coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility.

The program, which is offered by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), offers free assessments for people with disabilities, to help determine which kinds of assistive technology they might need.

When farmers sit idle in a tractor or other vehicle, they can use that time to stretch, just like people who work in offices can do from their desks, Akgerman said.… Continue reading

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Ohio barns (and barn paintings) featured on Hancock County tour

While staying at a bed and breakfast in Licking County in the early 2000s, a deteriorating barn captivated the eye of Cincinnati artist and retired dentist, Robert Kroeger. This first barn would ignite Kroeger’s “Ohio Barn Project,” which has taken the artist to more than half of Ohio’s 88 counties to paint, research, and write about historic barns. In nearly every county, Kroeger has donated the proceeds from the sale of his paintings to a local historical organization.

In 2018, Robert Kroeger approached the Hancock Historical Museum in Findlay about painting Hancock County barns. The museum provided historical information for dozens of barns that have appeared on the museum’s Historic Barn Tour since its inception in 2013. Kroeger reviewed the information and chose several barns to visit, in person, on a day-trip to the area. Ultimately, he painted 13 Hancock County barns in 2018 using the impasto oil technique. He applies the paint quickly and in very thick layers with a palette knife, creating texture and dimension.… Continue reading

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Axis and Meristem team up on crop inputs

Axis Seed of Ohio, LLC and Meristem Crop Performance, LLC announced today a strategic alliance agreement that will disrupt traditional inefficient marketing channels by bringing more crop input options to Ohio farmers. Axis is an independent direct-to-farm genetics company that has the unique ability to bring corn hybrids and soybean varieties to market that deliver exceptional performance in soil types specific to key Ohio counties. Meristem is a direct-to-farm supplier of micronutrients, seed treatments, nitrogen stabilizers, spray adjuvants and plant growth regulators widely used across the corn belt with proven results.

“The farmers that I have served in Ohio over the last 20 years are aggressively seeking solutions to produce more output per unit input,” said Nathan Louiso, Axis of Ohio president. “The Meristem leadership team and proven product portfolio will allow farmers and organizations in Ohio that choose to align with Axis to remove costly inefficiencies in their operations.”

In late 2018, Meristem and Axis established a preliminary co-marketing agreement to put select Meristem products to work in Ohio farm fields.… Continue reading

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Vending machine now providing bacon fix for Buckeye football fans

After grabbing international media headlines last winter, the Ohio Pork Council is pleased to launch their new-and-improved Bacon Vending Machine at Ohio Stadium just in time for football season. The Bacon Vending Machine was available for the first home game of the season for Buckeye fans to purchase ready-to-eat bacon, while supplies last, at Ohio Stadium all season long.

“The Ohio Pork Council is proud to support Ohio State Athletics and could not think of a more fitting location to launch our new Bacon Vending Machine than Ohio Stadium,” said Nathan Schroeder, District 1 Director, a pig farmer from Putnam County, Ohio. “Thanks to the Bacon Vending Machine, fans can cheer the Buckeyes on to victory with a classic game day favorite — bacon.”

Developed in collaboration with Innovative Vending Solutions, the custom machine features a variety of ready-to-eat bacon for fans to enjoy at an affordable price. The modern machine also features a touch screen interface with educational videos and facts about Ohio’s pig farming community on display — enabling consumers to learn more about responsibly raised pork.… Continue reading

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Penhorwood signs off and moooves on

Joel Penhorwood has accepted a job with Select Sires and will no longer be contributing his considerable talents with the OCJ/OAN team. We are sad to see Joel move on but wish him well as he takes on a new chapter in his career. Thanks Joel for your hard work and best of luck in your future endeavors. Here are some of our favorite posts from Joel:

Super Bowl corn syrup controversy commentary

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Soil Health Social in Defiance

A free Soil Health Social Sept. 4 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. targets any farmer interested in improving their soil health. The event will be held at the Defiance Ag Service Center 06879 Evansport Rd. Defiance.

The featured speaker, Rick Clark, is a Williamsport, Ind. farmer who uses no-till with diverse cover crop blends on his 7,000 acre operation. He has 20 years of data to help tell his story.

Other speakers include Bruce Clevenger (OSU Extension), Tyler Miller (Defiance SWCD), Steve Snyder (NRCS) and Jim Hoorman (NRCS). Equipment dealers will be on hand with cover crop seeding tools, crimpers and fertilizer placement tools. The evening meal and Ice cream are complementary.

Please click Register or call 419-782-1794.… Continue reading

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