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Summer sweet corn

Most midwest summer top 10 bucket lists wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a meal including delicious, fresh from the farm sweet corn. Sweet corn is how we started out our produce farming back in the day. Paul had grown sweet corn and decided it would be a fun way to get some extra income, get back into “farming” and the boys could help. We sold dozens out of an old bathtub in an old corncrib using the honor system. Life was good.

Sweet corn varieties, maturity, color and cooking method are very customer driven. These days we don’t sell much sweet corn, but my favorite variety is Ambrosia. It is a sugar-enhanced, bicolor sweet corn. Our few rows we have are treated like the Star of Africa diamond. Once it starts to tassel, it’s time to put up the solar powered electric fence. Last year it provided great security from the dreaded racoons, who are known for destroying entire plots of sweet corn.

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2019 Feeding Farmers | Rob Wilson, Hardin County

For the final week of Feeding Farmers 2019, thanks to AgriGold, the Ohio Ag Net crew traveled to Hardin County where the rains from a night-before rain were variable, just like the crop progress in the area.

Rob Wilson and his family raise crops plus a bit of livestock while staying involved in the local community. Dale Minyo catches up with him on how this year has been treating their operation in this video.

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Mmmmm…Buckeye state BBQ

By Mike Ryan, OCJ Field Reporter

Few meals rival the tastes, aromas, and visual pleasures offered by good barbecue.

Famed American writer and food aficionado Jim Harrison once said that the sensory experience provided by authentic barbecue makes him “rethink food as a sacrament and those who man the barbecue pit as priests of a holy substance.”

The barbecue establishments featured here are a testament to Harrison’s observation. These purveyors of smoked meat from across the state each have their own distinct personality and style, which is reflected in the mouth-watering barbecue that they serve up in their unique restaurants.


Velvet Smoke BBQ, Cincinnati

Todd Wernicke is Velvet Smoke BBQ’s Executive Pitmaster, serving up high quality meats such as Duroc pork and Angus Beef to hungry restaurant patrons throughout the Cincinnati region. The folks at Velvet Smoke got their start in the barbecue business as competition cooks and judges on the Kansas City Barbecue Society circuit.

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Keeping a focus on beans

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

It’s important to remember that recent USDA report was based upon surveys from early June. The USDA said they will resurvey the 14 Midwest corn states and provide an updated planted acre estimate on August 12th. I expect a lot of debates on potential outcomes until then.


Focus on beans

While most people have been discussing corn, I’ve been focused on the bean numbers. The report showed 5 million fewer bean acres planted than previously estimated, which is good for bean prices. This could mean a potential 250 million bushel decrease in carryout next year. 600 million bushels is probably needed, but it’s a great start.


Drop in total acres planted

Friday’s report was based upon numbers from around June 1, when corn was $4.40 and beans were below $9.20. The market was highly incentivizing farmers to plant corn not beans. The report also showed 6 million less acres of total crops being planted for the year than the March planting intentions, so at least some prevent plant acres are likely being considered.

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A heartbreaking early June wedding…

By Matt Reese

It was an early June wedding in central Ohio. The brother of the beautiful bride was, of course, in attendance, though his troubled mind was a couple of hours away. He was thinking about his still unplanted farm fields at home.

He had been fortunate last fall that he and his parents had been able to get the crop out of the fields in a fairly timely manner. Since then, though, the precipitation had been relentless. The window to plant will always come, his father had said. This year, though, it hadn’t. Other than a few test passes with soybeans in early April (none of which emerged) no crops had been planted. No hay had been baled. No fieldwork had been done in his northwest Ohio fields of his family’s farm. He had waited. He had hoped, prayed, prepared, planned, and re-planned. None of it had worked out.

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Make the best of a bad spring

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

Spring of 2019 is one everyone would soon like to forget. However, as the growing season progresses, there are several areas of crop growth and development that could be impacted because of the wet field conditions and delayed field work.

In many areas field conditions were marginal at best for the duration of April, May, and June. As a result, field work was performed in wet soils. Although many growers feel they never had adequate conditions and to perform field work, it is important to keep in mind that throughout the growing season we are going to see why agronomists warn against field work in wet soils. Root-restricting compaction is a concern this growing season and evidence of compaction’s significant impact on crop development appeared shortly after emergence of corn this year. In fields where corn was planted under wet conditions, sidewall compaction is evidenced by roots that can only grow in the direction of the seed furrow because they are unable to penetrate the sidewall of the furrow.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 111 | A week of dry bales and wet field concerns

This jam-packed episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, sponsored by AgriGold, covers the wide-ranging concerns of farmers in a time of prevented plant and cover crop questions, among others.

On this week’s podcast, Matt, Dale and Joel talk about the recent meeting by the Ohio No-till Council at Ohio Northern, chatting with Jan Layman, Gary Wilson, and Bob Hendershot in the process. The third week of Feeding Farmers brought a talk with farmer Willie Murphy and his diversified operation. It’s also a busy time for listening sessions between the Ohio Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda and farmers around the state. Pelanda, as well as farmer Christy Leeds, talks about the tough time had so far this year. All that, plus we hear from grain merchandiser Jon Scheve on the surprising June acreage report, in the Ohio Ag Net Podcast.

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Elevated phosphorus study progressing in Maumee Watershed

By Matt Reese

Farmers do not enjoy spending money on nutrients to have them float down the creek. They also do not enjoy being the subject of the blame for water quality issues in Lake Erie. For years, Ohio agriculture has seen trends of decreasing phosphorus (P) application and increased conservation tillage, yet the water quality problems persist and in some cases seem to be getting worse. Why?

There are hundreds of potential factors from the watershed scale down to the specific zones of a single field that influence the answer to this question. One of those factors is the high P levels in portions of some fields from years of over application of nutrients. These elevated P zones are the subject of an ongoing study led by Jay Martin, an ecological engineering professor with The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Martin said the study has four main parts: recruit the partner farmers; measure phosphorus runoff on the farmers’ fields; use and evaluate best management practices on the fields to reduce the fields’ phosphorus runoff while maintaining yields; and then form further public-private partnerships to expand the adoption of the practices throughout the watershed.

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Corn bearish, soybeans bullish

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Shock and awe with acres numbers today. Corn bearish, soybeans bullish. USDA did it again, it’s called a surprise!

At a time when traders, producers, and end users are starving for information on acres and yield, today’s acres report falls far short. There is a vast amount of irony today due to what many have expected and what the numbers should reveal but likely won’t.

The corn acres were 91.7 million acres while soybean acres were 80 million acres. Shortly after the report corn was down 11 cents, soybeans were up 12 cents.

Shortly before the report, corn was up 2 cents, soybeans up 4 cents, wheat up 1 cent. The average corn acres estimate was 86.7 million acres with a range of 82 to 89.8 million acres. The average trade estimate for soybean acres was 84.4 million acres with a range of 81 to 86.5 million acres.

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What a weird year for getting crops planted

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

The sun is almost shining at my office as I write this edition of C.O.R.N to go. That hasn’t happened much in the past eight or 10 weeks, or heck even since last October. I did finally get four days in the field last week. As I look at my rain gage numbers in Union County since April 1, I see 38 days with measurable precipitation out of 73 total days. With a total 12.5 inches of rain – it actually doesn’t sound that terrible but it’s the fact that there was so little drying in between the showers. By comparison in 2011, another rain delayed start to the season I had 16.6 inches of rain by this date. My rainfall records are available on the CoCoRaHS network, I also encourage you to get a gage and participate too: www.cocorahs.org/.

Regarding 2011, the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Annual Report crop planting progress for 2011 for corn was at 25% at the end of May and 89% on June 10.

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VIDEO: Cover Crops for Prevented Planting Acres special meeting

Sponsored by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, here is full coverage of the special Ohio No-Till Council “Cover Crops for Prevented Planting Acres” event held June 27, 2019 at the Ohio Northern University.

To jump to certain aspects of the show, go to the times listed below.

3:15 : Randall Reeder Introduction

7:05 : Mark Badertscher (General control)

11:05 : Jeff Stachler (Weed control)

16:52 : Joe Nester (Fertility management)

32:02 : Brad Wingfield (Crop insurance)

35:40 to End: General Questions and Discussions

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Learning to do through SAE programs

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter

From growing crops to managing a herd of livestock, students have a range of projects for their supervised agricultural experiences (SAE). These projects allow students to engage in real-world agricultural activities and gain career ready skills outside of the classroom.

From the inspiration of her agricultural education instructor and with the help of her grandpa, Lauren Wright, from the Miami East MVCTC FFA Chapter, markets and manages one acre of sweet corn.

“My SAE experience has made me realize what an awesome community that I live in. The support from family, friends, and community members has been so supportive in many ways,” Wright said.

Wright set the goal to make the business the best it can be.

“I have started working towards this goal by fixing every error that has popped up so far and by sometimes just being one step ahead,” Wright said.

She really enjoys the opportunity to meet new customers at her house or at the farmer’s markets.

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

He was supposed to bond with me. That was the plan. Over nine years ago, Kent’s dog, Barney, passed and the house and farm were just too quiet. It was the sad time only people who lose beloved pets understand.

Kent left for Chopper School at K & L in Fort Recovery. I headed to the Auglaize County Humane Society. Just that morning, they had posted a new dog available for adoption, Buster, who looked to be part Australian cattle dog and part black labrador. He was a year old and had just been turned in by an older couple who could no longer care for him.

When I first met the dog, all I could think was that he was a black version of Mack, the brown Heeler X Border Collie mix that Kent had when we got married and one of the finest dogs ever.

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ODA listening sessions bring 2019 concerns front and center

Ohio Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda visited Leeds Farm near Ostrander Tuesday, where area farmers gathered to voice their concerns and more on what is turning out to be one of the worst years on record for farming. Christy Leeds was on hand to share the struggles their farm is seeing, including a yet-to-be-planted pumpkin crop and hay yet to be baled.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood has more in this video.

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Stay healthy while traveling when you can’t drink the water

By Karen Mancl, Professor Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering

It is a shame to get sick on vacation. Camping and hiking spots in remote areas may have unsanitary water supplies. Most importantly traveling outside the United States poses a risk to travelers, since water treatment is not as reliable in other countries. What can you do to protect yourself and your family from getting sick?

Boil water before drinking is the standard recommendation. Boiling water for just a minute is extremely effective at killing bacteria and parasites that can make people sick. When is doubt – drink boiled water! Any heat source – electric or gas range, camp stove, wood fire and even a microwave oven – heats water to boiling temperatures and kills disease-causing microbes.

What if you can’t boil the water? If boiling water might not be feasible. Other disinfection options are available.

Disinfection tablets containing chlorine or iodine are available for campers and travelers to disinfect a small volume of water.

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Grim conditions from Between the Rows

Lamar Liming – Trumbull/ Mahoning County

I am driving around checking fields right now. I am thinking about planting beans and sidedressing, but all it has done here is rain for the last two weeks. The last three days the sun came out and it did start to dry. I’ll plant beans up until the first week of July if I can.

There is a lot of stuff that hasn’t been sprayed around here. It has been tough to do anything. There are drowned out spots and a lack of oxygen for the plants in the fields. I think it might even be too wet for the disease problems.

For the area, I don’t think the prevented planting will be that much. More has been planted than not planted, but it is all over the board. I have heard guys talking about still planting corn yet this week if they can get it in.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 110 | Wet weather & Magnum P.I.

The 110th episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, sponsored by AgriGold, includes hosts Joel Penhorwood, Matt Reese, Dale Minyo, and Zach Parrott. Intern Zach Parrott talks about his Magnum P.I. look, and the crew discusses how Governor DeWine saw for himself how bad the weather has affected Ohio’s agriculture, and we hear his comments. Dale and Zach come back from Pickaway County Fair. Dale also interviews our second Feeding Farmer Jeff Shawhan. Matt gave an update from our Between the Rows farmers Dylan Baer, Nathan Brown, and Andrew Armstrong on how the weather has hindered their crop progress.

If you are still interested in being a part of Feeding Farmers, you can nominate yourself or a neighbor at agrigoldohio.com.

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Fighting resistance with brains and brawn

By Don “Doc” Sanders

You can’t escape reading or hearing about disease-causing microorganisms — with exotic names like MRSA and E. coli OH:157 — that develop resistance to drugs. There are also plenty of reports about resistance to antibiotics in livestock and people or weeds’ resistance to crop chemicals.

There is another kind of resistance in cattle, swine, sheep and goats: internal worms that develop resistance to deworming agents. On this subject, I offer you this true story about a couple of cattlemen and their herd of 200 brood cows out on Cowpath Road.

Lowell was a retired local factory manager. His son, Jimmie, had returned home from Ohio State with a degree in animal science. I enjoyed talking with them and listening to their unconventional observations. And I was impressed by their astute management of their herd. They used frequent pasture rotations, a computerized heat detection system to determine when a cow was cycling, and artificial insemination, followed up with “natural cover” breeding with bulls for those cows that didn’t conceive and were back in heat.

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Feeding Farmers Week Two | John & Jeff Shawhan

The Ohio Ag Net team traveled to Clark county for the second round of Feeding Farmer events for the year. Dale visited with father Jeff and son John Shawhan who farms corn, and soybeans. Notably, the Shawhan’s grow waxy corn. Dale has more in this video.

An astounding 60 people turned out to the celebration where the group talked about their wet growing season and the crops of the area. Indigo Ag also had a demonstration on field mapping with drones.

You can nominate yourself or a neighbor at agrigoldohio.com.

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