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OABA Industry Conference Highlights

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) Industry Conference always features a diverse and interesting program and this year was certainly no exception. Thursday’s topics included an overview of the state’s livestock industries, a look at global grain markets, and regulations, just to name a few. The Friday program for the OABA event included consumer relation efforts, equipment hazards and safety, technology updates, herbicide challenges, and edge of field management.

One highlight was the recognition of this year’s OABA Industry Excellence Award winners: Jason Nowakowski, Centerra Co-op: Excellence in Safety & Stewardship; Kevin Brinkman, United Equity Inc.: Excellence in Customer Service; and Kevin Fall, Rosen’s Inc.: Achievement as an Emerging

Leader. In addition Chris Henney with OABA provided an update on the state of the agribusiness industry, future challenges and OABA’s new strategic plan. Keynote Speaker Tom Balzer of the Ohio Trucking Association kept attendees laughing when he shared leadership lessons found in YouTube videos.

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Super Bowl corn syrup controversy commentary

By Joel Penhorwood

Very few things in life can bring people together like a well done Super Bowl Commercial. The top topic on the Monday after the game each year is more often than not, “What was your favorite commercial??” Just look at that “So God Made a Farmer” commercial from Ram in 2013. They have enjoyed a very loyal customer base because of that commercial alone.

Well this year, you could say nearly the opposite happened.

I’ll be the first to admit, your social media feed is probably not the best place to equally hear opinions on a topic, but nonetheless the topic was forefront on my page Sunday night.

Early on in the game, Bud Light kicked off their latest installment of ‘Dilly Dilly’ commercials with a fairly funny concept. For the unfamiliar, these commercials revolve around a renaissance-era Bud Light kingdom that is very devoted to the beer.

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Practices for big corn yields highlighted at OABA Industry Conference

By Matt Reese

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference always features a diverse and interesting program and this year is certainly no exception. Thursday’s topics included an overview of the state’s livestock industries, a look at global grain markets, and regulations, just to name a few. Among the more popular presentations was the topic of striving for high corn yields with Fred Below from the University of Illinois.

“I talked about my seven wonders of the corn yield world. These are the management factors that each impact yield. This is not rocket science. I talked about how important weather is and how weather interacts with nitrogen, about getting the hybrid selection right, managing the rotation, and plant population. The plant population is a big factor that has changed and has to change in order to grow higher yields — narrower rows and more plants. Finally I try to put it together in a systems approach.

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What road salt means for plant health

Salty cars and salty roads are a hallmark of this time of year. With so much NaCl (salt) being spread, the question arises of what effect it has on nearby plants.

Pamela Bennett is an Ohio State horticulture educator and state master gardener volunteer program director. She is often asked what will happen to plants come spring as the result of salt. She said salt buildup in soil and salt spray on plants themselves are chief concerns.

“There are two different ways plants can be damaged. Number one is the salt spray. That salt spray if it’s on the foliage long enough if it’s on the bud, it could cause the buds to dry out and it could cause bud and stem damage,” she said. “It’s more common to see this on evergreen trees such as white pines or on boxwoods which are evergreen shrubs, and those plants that are susceptible to salt injury.

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Tri-state fertilizer recommendations changing

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Things are changing for the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for agronomic crops. We are giving these updates this winter in advance of the publication update likely to come at the end of winter, and maybe too late to put in your plans for 2019. First the work. Steve Culman our OSU soil fertility specialist coordinated much of it:

  • From 2014 to 2017, over 300 on-farm strip trials were conducted across Ohio.
  • Yield responses to P and K fertilizer in soils at or above the current maintenance range were very rare.
  • Long-term data shows that when Ohio soils are in the current maintenance range, they supply sufficient P and K to meet corn and soybean demand for many growing seasons without yearly fertilization.
  • Recommended corn N rates were updated and are based on maximizing farmer profitability, not maximizing yields (http://go.osu.edu/corn-n-rate).
  • Corn, soybean and wheat today yield more grain with less nutrients.
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Shutdown-delayed USDA market reports will be released Feb. 8

Even though the government is back up and running, the month-long government shutdown continues to have lasting effects, especially when it comes to commodity markets.

Over 60 reports were not released at their scheduled times due to the furloughed staff of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. USDA this week announced that many of those reports, including final harvest numbers for 2018, will be published on the next regularly-scheduled report day Feb. 8.

The February World Agriculture Supply and Demand (WASDE) report will also be released then. Some of the data, including the January WASDE report, will never be published, according to American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Veronica Nigh.

Some of January’s data will be rolled into the February report.

“USDA is generally considered to be the gold standard when it comes to reports and you got to remember how much we’re missing here. The obvious things we’re missing are weekly export sales reports, daily flash sale reports, your monthly WASDE report.

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2019 planter pre-season notes

By John Fulton and Jenna Lee

Spring planting is right around the corner and one wants to ensure the planter is at peak performance. Considering current seed costs and tight margins, getting seed placed right during planting is critical. Not getting it right at planting can impact yield, with university research on corn indicating:

  • 10 bushel per acre gain can be achieved from good seed-to-soil contact.
  • Uneven emergence can have a 5% to 9% yield impact.
  • Seeding depth and downforce management are critical for optimization of planter performance.

The goal of the planter should be to:

  1. Maintain the target seeding rate within a field,
  2. Obtain uniform seed spacing, and
  3. Achieve adequate and uniform planting depth without compaction, supporting immediate germination and uniform emergence.

The following provides a checklist for the planter and technology to consider before spring planting, along with suggestions for evaluating stands once crops are emerged.

Planter checklist

  1. Check all chains and sprockets, replace as needed.
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Anti-animal agriculture concerns raised in push to make animal abuse a felony

A new bill — the PACT Act — has been introduced in Congress that looks to make animal abuse a felony — a more serious punishment than the current state-by-state laws. Livestock farmers in general continue to be at the forefront of animal welfare, but this latest federal legislation is drawing some questions. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is pushing for the measure. Hannah Thompson-Weeman, vice president of communications for the non-profit Animal Agriculture Alliance, said the PACT Act seems to have animal agriculture as a target. Read More…

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Ohio Farm Bureau celebrates where it all began 100 years later

Monday, Ohio Farm Bureau employees, members, and supporters came together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the organization’s founding. On January 27th, 1919, prospective Farm Bureau members came together to form the organization. A century later, today’s Farm Bureau installed a plaque commemorating the organization in front of the very place it was founded.

In this video, Ohio Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett talks the exciting time for OFBF, while Dr. Cathann Kress, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State, comments on life in agriculture down the years.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood has more.

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2018 Ohio Crop Tour follow-up

By Matt Reese

After an almost ideal growing season for some and not so much for others, we were not sure quite what to expect on the 2018 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour in mid-August.

There were certainly some examples that showed up in fields on the 2018 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour displaying evidence of some challenging conditions, but for the most part what we found was a crop that might just meet what USDA has suggested, a record Ohio corn and soybean crop. The 2018 Ohio Crop Tour was sponsored by AgroLiquid.

In January, prior to the final yield report that has been delayed by the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was predicting an average yield in Ohio of 190 bushels. In August, the number we came up with for our tour average was 186.7 bushels. At the time, we thought that yield may be on the high side because there was a fair portion of the crop that had a long way to go yet in mid-August and there were still plenty of chances left in the season for yield reductions.

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Sec. Perdue comments on government reopening

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Friday issued the following statement in response to President Donald J. Trump’s announcement of reopening the federal government:

“President Trump’s announcement of the reopening of the federal government is welcome news, as it will bring thousands of our employees back to work and return us to our mission of providing our customers with the services they rely upon.  I extend my sincere thanks to the thousands of USDA workers who stayed on the job during the shutdown to offer as many of our normal activities as we could.  The President has already signed legislation that guarantees backpay for all employees, and we will move forward on that as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, we will prepare for a smooth reestablishment of USDA functions.

“There will now be sufficient time for Congress to come to an agreement with the President on his pledge to protect our national security by securing our southern border with a reliable, effective barrier.”

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Ohio is home to back to back six-horse hitch champions

By Kayla Hawthorne, OCJ field reporter

In 2018, All Star Farms earned several national and world titles within the draft horse six-horse hitch industry. The hitch qualified for and competed in the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series where they were crowned Classic Series Champions. Having won the same title the previous year, they are currently back-to-back North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series Champions.

In addition to the Classic Series title in 2018, All Star Farms was crowned World Champion Mare Six-Horse Hitch at the 2018 World Percheron Congress and also won the title of 2018 National Champion Mare Six-Horse Hitch at the Percheron Horse Association of America National Show.

All of these honors are spectacular achievements but winning the Classic Series two years in a row was very special and not often accomplished.

“It’s just as hard to make the finals as it is to win it,” said Ross Honsberger, who is the trainer and driver for the farm.

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Ohio Fall Weed survey follow-up

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

So I got some calls after our Extension Fall Weed Survey — if these are the problem weeds, then how do you deal with them?

It is becoming apparent that with the move to herbicide tolerant crops, we aren’t necessarily getting rid of all of our weeds — only 30% of our fields are weed free. Giant ragweed moved back into first place for worst weed, seen in 34% of fields overtaking marestail seen in 30% of fields. And then there is the pigweed problem — waterhemp appeared frequently, so did redroot pigweed and then there are the concerns about Palmer amaranth and its escape across Ohio.

 

Weed 2018 Ohio rank % of fields
Giant Ragweed 1 34
Marestail 2 30
Waterhemp 6 10
Redroot pigweed 10 5

 

So how do we deal with problem weeds? I look in the back of the Ohio, Indiana and Illinois Weed Control Guide — all of these weeds are there, so it’s not just a problem for you but these appear to be problems across the eastern Corn Belt as well.

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Plenty of market news to ponder

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

There is certainly plenty of news to mull over. Government shutdown, trade talks, USDA reports, snow, cold, South American weather, and charts are among the topics clamoring for significant attention.

The partial government shutdown is approaching 30 days at this writing. The partial shutdown is affecting farmers in numerous ways this winter. It means local FSA offices are closed and unable to process loan payments along with the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). Those soybean payments of $1.65 per bushel are being welcomed profusely across Ohio and the U.S. While we are now well past the Jan. 15 original deadline, USDA had already announced that deadline would be extended the number of days FSA offices were closed by the partial government shutdown. The FSA offices across the country were last open on Dec. 28 with some Ohio offices open Jan. 17, 18, and 22. Numerous conversations with producers indicate many are still waiting on their second round of MFP payments.

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No-Till news

By Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

The December Ohio No-Till Council conference in Plain City featured 14 speakers on diverse topics. It was a beautiful day, the sun shining, a rare occurrence in rainy 2018. The ground was reasonably dry so attendance was down because so many farmers were home harvesting corn and soybeans.

For those who missed it, here are a few highlights, provided by Vinayak Shedekar, an OSU Ag. Engineer working on water quality. Harold Watters, OSU Extension, discussed the new Tri-State Fertilizer recommendations, which include lower rates for Phosphorus. (Note: at the Conservation Tillage Conference a concurrent session on March 6 will go in depth on the revised recommendations.)

Jim Hoorman, Soil Health Specialist, NRCS, disclosed that for every ton of soybeans produced the average farm loses one to two tons of topsoil. Four principles of soil health are: minimize soil disturbance, maximize cover, maximize live roots, and maximize biodiversity.

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USDA to reopen FSA offices while shutdown continues

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.  Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since January 17, and will continue to do so through January 23.  Beginning January 24, however, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions they will accommodate.

Additionally, Secretary Perdue announced that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to February 14.  The original deadline had been January 15.  Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed.

“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working to alleviate the effects of the lapse in federal funding as best we can, and we are happy to announce the reopening of FSA offices for certain services,” Perdue said. 

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The case for corn price rally potential

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The March corn futures have been range bound for the last 150 days, usually staying within a tight trading range of $3.70 to $3.90. March corn was only above $3.90 for 3 days during that time, and over the last 100 days, March corn has traded below $3.70 for only 3 days.

This lack of movement is clearly illustrated in only a 10-cent range for the closing prices of March corn on the last 8 Fridays:

1/18 – $3.81

1/11 – $3.78

1/4 – $3.83

12/28 – $3.75

12/21 – $3.78

12/14 – $3.84

12/7 – $3.85

11/30 – $3.78.

Current corn fundamentals paint a picture from a macro level that suggests realistic expectations for higher corn price potential.

 

Global position: U.S. corn is the lowest priced corn globally based on prices today. U.S. corn is about 5 cents lower than Argentina and 15 cents below the Ukraine.

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Ohio results from the 100th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention

By Joel Penhorwood and Matt Reese

A number of Ohioans competed and found success at the 100th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention held in New Orleans in January.

Annie Specht, a professor of agricultural communication at the Ohio State University, and a member of the Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau, competed at the national level of the American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet.

“I was able to make it out of the first round, so we had two different rooms of discussion, and out of the 36 competitors, they ended up taking the top 16. I was lucky enough to make that sweet 16 round. Sadly, I did not move on to the final four,” she said.

She said though she was disappointed to not make it to the finals, she was happy to enjoy great discussion with ag professionals from across the country.

“The competition is structured the way that we would structure a committee meeting, so you’ve got in most of the rooms, four to five individuals, a moderator who introduces the topic, introduces the participants, and you give a 30-second opening statement.

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Gov. DeWine helps celebrate Young’s Jersey Dairy sesquicentennial

For 150 years, Young’s Jersey Dairy has been active in agriculture in southwest Ohio, near Yellow Springs. The family business continues today as a highlight of agri-tourism in the state. Newly elected Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was recently on hand alongside Ohio’s First Lady and their grandson to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the farm. Also commenting are Ohio Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda and Young’s CEO Dan Young.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood reports.

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New ODA director changes course of watersheds in distress rulemaking

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

Less than a week into the administration of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a new approach to watersheds in distress has emerged. Director Dorothy Pelanda assumed the helm of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in days ODA had changed the status of the proposed watersheds in distress rules in the Register of Ohio to “To Be Refiled.”

The change in status of the proposed rules signals that ODA plans to change its earlier proposal. The Register of Ohio, which is where state agencies post rules and proposed rules, defines a proposed rule with a “To Be Refiled” status as one “that has been temporarily removed from JCARR consideration by the rule-filing agency.” Until a sponsoring agency acts, the proposed rule remains in the “To Be Refiled” status and off of the agenda of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).

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