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Winterize your horse

By Katie Young, equine nutritionist, Purina Mills, LLC

Now that winter is approaching and temperatures are dropping, horse owners must consider winterizing their horses. During the cold season, owners must make sure their animals receive proper feed, water and shelter to stay healthy and comfortable.

Feeding

Many horse owners believe that when the weather is cold, horses need to be fed rations containing more corn, because they think of corn as a “heating feed.” However, corn and other cereal grains do not cause the horse to become warmer; they simply provide more energy (calories). Hay, which contains more fiber than grain, provides more of a “warming effect” internally as more heat is released during digestion of fiber than grain starches. Therefore, horses are better able to maintain body heat if adequate hay is provided in the diet.

Good quality hay is important during cooler weather when pasture grasses are short or not growing.… Continue reading

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Keep your eyes peeled for falling ears

By Dave Nanda, director of genetics and technology for 
Seed Consultants, Inc.

Some hybrids are more prone to drop ears than others. Now is a good time to walk your cornfields and notice if one hybrid is better than the others in this regard. This is an especially good year to make selections because of the heat and drought stress, which can also cause ear droppage.

• Check the shank attachment of each hybrid. Select those with the strong attachment with good ear retention characteristics.

• Select for hybrids which have greater tolerance to heat and drought stress. Yes, 2011 growing season was tough, but we can learn a lot from it for the future.

• Corn borers can also cause ear droppage in conventional hybrids. If you are going to use these types of hybrids for premium or other reasons, make sure to use the appropriate insecticides to control the corn borers during the first brood.… Continue reading

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Managing soil compaction: Part 3

By Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State soil management specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If fields are compacted this fall due to the wet conditions, there are some different strategies that can be taken to correct the problem.

If no ruts are seen, it is probably not necessary to do tillage. Instead, plant a cover crop to use the living root system to alleviate compaction.

Ruts need to be smoothed out to be able to plant the next crop successfully, however. If ruts are uniformly distributed across the whole field, some type of tillage may need to be done on the whole field. In many cases, however, ruts are localized and only need localized repair.

Remember the negative consequences of tillage. It will be necessary to till deeper than the depth of compaction. Shallow “vertical tillage” tools that only do tillage in the top 4 inches will not be sufficient to manage soil compaction.… Continue reading

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Update on Ike the rotten mini horse

After chasing Ike, my miniature horse, through the neighborhood a total of three times this spring, things started to settle down. It stopped raining and Ike and his brother, Mike, received regular turn-out, and Ike turned into quite the gentleman.
I talked my husband, Mark, and my parents, Ed and Bonnie Chatfield, into helping me show Ike and Mike at the Hartford Independent Fair. The boys behaved beautifully in halter; Ike competed in the single cart, and I drove the team in the wagon class. We placed well and everyone had a great time. Below are some photos and a video from the Hartford Independent Fair.

I was really looking forward to the Morrow County Fair, which was just a few weeks away. On Wednesday of the Morrow County Fair, I decided I should practice the single cart with Ike before the hitch show the next day. My dad helped me hook Ike to the cart, and Ike and I went for a practice drive in the arena.… Continue reading

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USDA September 30th Stocks & Small Grains Report

Old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2011 totaled 1.13 billion bushels, down 34 percent from September 1, 2010. Of the total stocks, 315 million bushels are stored on farms, down 35 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 813 million bushels, are down 33 percent from a year ago. The June – August 2011 indicated disappearance is 2.54 billion bushels, compared with 2.60 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Old crop soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2011 totaled 215 million bushels, up 42 percent from September 1, 2010. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 48.5 million bushels, up 37 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 166 million bushels, are up 44 percent from last September. Indicated disappearance for June – August 2011 totaled 405 million bushels, down 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushings, and farm program administrative data, the 2010 soybean production is revised down fractionally from the previous estimate.… Continue reading

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USDA September 30th Stocks & Small Grains Report

Old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2011 totaled 1.13 billion bushels, down 34 percent from September 1, 2010. Of the total stocks, 315 million bushels are stored on farms, down 35 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 813 million bushels, are down 33 percent from a year ago. The June – August 2011 indicated disappearance is 2.54 billion bushels, compared with 2.60 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Old crop soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2011 totaled 215 million bushels, up 42 percent from September 1, 2010. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 48.5 million bushels, up 37 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 166 million bushels, are up 44 percent from last September. Indicated disappearance for June – August 2011 totaled 405 million bushels, down 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushings, and farm program administrative data, the 2010 soybean production is revised down fractionally from the previous estimate.… Continue reading

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Managing soil compaction: Part 2

By Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State soil management specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been wet out there so far this fall and as the harvest gets later, there will be a growing temptation to get out into fields that may be a bit soggy. The push to harvest, though, could lead to soil compaction problems for years to come.

It is advised to stay off the field until conditions are fit for traffic, but sometimes we never reach those conditions. At least, try to avoid creating ruts. If you have different soil types on the farm, start harvest on the better-drained soil types first. Although this is a bit early yet, a little frost in the soil will also help to make the soil much less sensitive to compaction. I assume all of you Ohio farmers are aware of the great importance of increasing tire foot print by using flotation tires, duals and reducing tire pressure because key research in this area was done by Bob Holmes and Randall Reeder at OSU.… Continue reading

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Livestock Care Standards signed into effect

Today, Ohio Agriculture Director James Zehringer signed the final administrative order to put into effect Ohio’s comprehensive livestock care standards. It was only the 17th amendment to Ohio’s constitution since 1803.

“This is pretty historic,” Zehringer said. “I think we’ve given the farmers of the state of Ohio a good roadmap to follow. It will improve production practices, create consumer confidence and strengthen the foundation of our industry.”

Creating and implementing the livestock care standards is a constitutional requirement following the 2009 passage of Issue 2.

“I’m proud to be here to sign these standards that will give livestock producers clear vision and allow them to thrive and grow,” Zehringer said.

The 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) spent 18 months and 70 meetings obtaining industry and public input while developing livestock rules for alpacas, beef, dairy, goats, horses, llamas, pork, poultry, sheep and veal. The standards are the first of their kind in the nation.… Continue reading

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Managing soil compaction: Part 1

By Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State soil management specialist

Farmers are eager to harvest soybeans and corn but the fields are very soggy in much of Ohio. Therefore, the danger of causing soil compaction is high.  Here are some ways to increase the resilience of the soil to compaction, to avoid compaction, and ways to alleviate compaction.

Resilience is a term used by ecologists to describe the ability of an ecosystem to resist perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering rapidly. Soil can be made to resist compaction by eliminating tillage, increasing organic matter content, and maintaining a living root system in the soil for as much time as possible. Any long-term no-till farmer will testify to the fact that tires do not sink as deep as in tilled soil. Soil that was tilled this spring or even in last year’s spring will be more susceptible to compaction than a soil that has been in no-till continuously.… Continue reading

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Drying corn could be costly this fall

In a season marked by significant precipitation prior to planting and recent rains leading into harvest, farmers in the Eastern Corn Belt might expect corn coming out of the field at a higher moisture content than usual. Higher moisture corn could lead to higher energy costs for farmers this fall, according to Ohio State University Extension Production Business Management Leader Barry Ward.

“Last year we didn’t have to dry corn much at all, and this year we’re going to be taking as much as 10 percentage points of moisture out of this corn to get it to market,” Ward said. “Depending on the region, the planting date and summer moisture levels, we’re probably looking at a dry-down of 5 or 10 percent.”

Getting that additional moisture out of the grain will mean additional energy costs if weather conditions don’t provide ample opportunities for Mother Nature to aid in dry-down.

According to Extension corn specialist Peter Thomison, in typical years with normal planting dates between mid-April and late-May, the crop follows a general pattern of dry-down of up to a percentage point of moisture each day from physiological maturity, often called black layer, through early to mid-September when conditions are usually warm and dry.… Continue reading

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Exports add significant value to Ohio farm revenue

Amid a visit to Ohio by a Taiwan soybean and corn delegation to sign letters of intent to purchase corn and soybeans, Ohio State University agricultural economist Ian Sheldon said the export of agricultural products adds significantly to farm revenues.

“Look at Ohio itself, we exported over $2.5 billion of agricultural products in fiscal year 2010,” Sheldon said, citing data from the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “If you look at the data, exports are quite an important part of Ohio farmers’ revenues, particularly for soybeans, feedgrains, and to a lesser extent wheat and wheat products.”

Sheldon, the Andersons Professor of International Trade, received the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Presidential Recognition Award for Special Service earlier this year for outstanding leadership as inaugural editor of the AAEA journal Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, his appointment at the University also includes research on international trade for both OSU Extension and OARDC.… Continue reading

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Between the Rows-September 26, 2011

“It quit raining this morning but it is really wet. If there are any bare spots you can see pockets of water sitting around. This time of year when the days are getting shorter and it gets cooler, the ground just doesn’t dry out. We really don’t need any more water. It would have to be the weekend at best before we could get into the fields to chop silage, but the crop is still not quite there yet anyway. In 2009 we started chopping in October. This will be another pretty late start for chopping silage.

“There were a few beans we got in during May that are probably 10 days or two weeks away from harvest yet. The rest of the beans are close to four weeks away from doing anything yet. Even our early maturity corn that we planted in June, none of that is even close to black layer yet.… Continue reading

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Harvest underway around the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday afternoon that the 2011 corn harvest is 15% complete, one percentage point below the five-year average but lower than last year’s harvest by 11 points. At the same time, the corn condition is rated at 80% fair-to-excellent.

“This is such an important and busy time for our growers,” said NCGA President Bart Schott, who farms near Kulm, N.D. “I know a lot of us are looking to make the most of what has been a very challenging year, and we’re proud to be on track to bring home what the USDA estimates to be the third-largest crop ever produced.”

Schott noted some of the many challenges growers experienced, from floods to drought. While the Southern states have nearly finished their harvests, some of them — notably, Texas — were especially hard-hit this year. At the same time, Schott himself reports one of the best crops he has had in a long time.… Continue reading

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Soybean prices sliding

Soybean prices have been trending downward in recent weeks. The November CME Group futures peaked at $14.65 a bushel on the last day of August. The same contract traded more than two dollars lower on Sept. 26.

The sharp decline, thinks University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good, reflects the continuation of poor economic performance and concerns about financial conditions in Europe and the United States. He says the financial problems raise serious concerns about commodity demand. However, the 15% decline in soybean prices over the last four weeks may be too much.

The price decline appears particularly large when compared to losses of 8 to 10% in the livestock and livestock product prices from the highs made earlier this year.

“One might expect that demand concerns would result in larger price declines in the livestock sector than in the crop sector. It may have been that crop prices were pushed too high in August on the basis of crop concerns,” Good said.… Continue reading

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Farmers drive equipment to church for blessing

Members of Grace Lutheran church in Jackson Center know this harvest is going to be challenging. They held a harvest blessing service on Sunday morning outside the church. Farmer parishioners drove their tractors and combines to church.  A service was held inside the church and then more than 215 people gathered outside around the equipment for the special service that prayed for blessings on the harvest and farmers and for their safety this harvest season.

After the service the Jackson Center FFA held a breakfast that raised over $500.

The church hopes to make this an annual service each fall.


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Be a student reporter for the Ohio Ag Net & OCJ

Calling All Ohio FFA Members!

We’re looking for three Ohio FFA members to help serve as student reporters at the 2011 National FFA Convention and the 2012 Ohio FFA Convention for the Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal FFA Section on ohioagnet.com/ocj.com.

 

Student Reporters:

• Find newsworthy people and topics to cover

• Shoot video of newsworthy items and people

• Report on camera

• Possibly write post for the FFA section of our website

• Possibly take photos

To be considered:

• You must be attending both the National and State FFA Conventions

• Submit no more than a 2 minute video sharing your qualifications and why you should be selected

• Upload it to You Tube and email the link to heather@ohioagnet.com

• All entries must be received by Wednesday, October 5th

 

Those who earn a spot as a student reporter will be notified by email by October 7th.… Continue reading

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Be a student reporter for the Ohio Ag Net & OCJ

Calling All Ohio FFA Members!

We’re looking for three Ohio FFA members to help serve as student reporters at the 2011 National FFA Convention and the 2012 Ohio FFA Convention for the Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal FFA Section on ohioagnet.com/ocj.com.

 

Student Reporters:

• Find newsworthy people and topics to cover

• Shoot video of newsworthy items and people

• Report on camera

• Possibly write post for the FFA section of our website

• Possibly take photos

To be considered:

• You must be attending both the National and State FFA Conventions

• Submit no more than a 2 minute video sharing your qualifications and why you should be selected

• Upload it to You Tube and email the link to heather@ohioagnet.com

• All entries must be received by Wednesday, October 5th

 

Those who earn a spot as a student reporter will be notified by email by October 7th.… Continue reading

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Ramseyer Farms offers fun in the fall

By Matt Reese

Ohio has a rich history of famous people, fascinating places and interesting events that could take a lifetime to learn. Or, visitors could learn about Ohio by simply spending an autumn afternoon at Ramseyer Farms in their perennially popular Ohio Maze just outside of Wooster in Wayne County.

The maze is a map of Ohio carved into an 8-acre cornfield. Aerial photos of the maze reveal major Interstates and highways running through the state, major metropolitan areas and historical sites.

“If you know your way around Ohio, you can find your way out of this maze pretty easily,” said Karen Ramseyer, who designed the maze on her family’s farm. “The maze also has more than 250 signs highlighting Ohio facts and history.”

Maze-goers start in Kentucky just south of the Ohio River and cross into Cincinnati. From there, they travel via water or road to any destination in the state within a few minutes, learning about the history and people of Ohio along the way.… Continue reading

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Brown introduces legislation to overhaul farm subsidies

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) recognizes U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for his plan to present legislation to restructure the nation’s current agricultural-assistance structure.

“The Farm Bill has to be an energy bill, a conservation bill, a rural development bill, a food bill and provide a strong farm safety net to benefit Ohio farms and farmers,” said Brown in a statement.

Today, Brown introduced bipartisan legislation intended to overhaul federal farm subsidies that could save nearly $20 billion throughout the next decade to aid the federal deficit.

“It’s great that an Ohio representative is helping to shape and lead such a vital cause to our state and national agricultural community,” said Tadd Nicholson, OCWGA’s director of government and industry affairs and interim CEO.

Brown’s plan recommends that support will be directed to farmers when on-farm losses occur instead of support in the form of direct payments, often referred to as farm subsidies, that currently offer a fixed per-acre payment based on a farm’s historic production of eligible crops regardless of yield amount.… Continue reading

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Review review: FSR photo gallery

The final day of the Farm Science Review had the most cooperative weather and attendance was 28,774. The total attendance over three days was 134,734 visitors. Corn yields were in the 160- to 170-bushel range and moisture levels were generally around 33%. The harvest conditions and the grounds could best be described as soggy, but the damp conditions did little to dampen the show and the high spirits of those visiting.

Hopefully you got a chance to stop by and visit us at Ohio’s Country Journal and the Ohio Ag Net. Here are some photos for a review of the Review.… Continue reading

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