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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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Global warming, climate change and hot air

By Don “Doc” Sanders

You likely are aware of former Vice President Al Gore’s book An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, published in 2006. Whatever you want to call it — global warming, climate change, changing weather — there is no denying that the seasons are changing from what all of us oldsters, including Al Gore, knew growing up.

The term “global warming” morphed into “climate change” in the mid-2000s after the alleged warming seemed to stop and weather patterns became more extreme. And now climate change is the scapegoat for every unusual weather event. Gore’s “inconvenient” truths are not sound science-based conclusions. They come from a group of scientists who are imposing their opinions, which they base on severely flawed science.

Their foundational flaw comes from using California tree ring data to predict carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. Their hypothesis that wider tree rings means higher CO2 levels has ultimately been proven false.

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Certain Farm Service Agency offices to reopen temporarily

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday that many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18, in addition to Tuesday, January 22, during normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 21.

In almost half of FSA locations, FSA staff will be available to assist agricultural producers with existing farm loans and to ensure the agency provides 1099 tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline.

“Until Congress sends President Trump an appropriations bill in the form that he will sign, we are doing our best to minimize the impact of the partial federal funding lapse on America’s agricultural producers,” Perdue said. 

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Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program can help set the stage for farm profitability

By Matt Reese

There is hope for better prices in 2019 for some agricultural sectors, but there is no doubt that there are still challenging times ahead for the farm economy. Understanding the details of farm profitability (or lack of) can make the difference between a vibrant future for individual farms and no future at all.

To help with this endeavor, Ohio State University Extension has created the Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program. The goal of the program is to help farms understand what all the numbers behind profits or losses mean, and learn how to improve farm businesses based on analysis of specifics. The program covers all aspects of the farming business, including crops, livestock and much more.

“This program is a way for farmers to take a very in depth look at where they are at business wise. We look at the whole farm and for the farms that want to put in the time, we can do enterprise analysis so they can drive it down to, ‘What is my cost of production for each of my enterprises,’” said Dianne Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension field specialist who heads up the program.

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Capturing carry and paying for storage

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Due to the government shutdown this month’s USDA report, arguably one of the top three reports of the year, wasn’t published. There will likely be more market volatility until an impartial number can be released by the government again.

Many in the trade are assuming the national corn yield has decreased up to 1 bushel per acre on corn. Plus, demand is likely to be steady, which would mean a slight carryout reduction. Carryout hasn’t been this tight in 3 years and the stocks-to-use ratio, which is carryout / demand, is at a 4-year low. All of this should mean higher corn values, but the market isn’t trading those type of levels.

 

Corn verses bean acres

With Nov beans around $9.50 and Dec corn around $4, it’s not clear if as many acres will switch from beans to corn for 2019. Corn needs to buy 3 to 4 million acres from beans and that might not be as likely right now.

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association 2019 Meeting and Awards Banquet

By Matt Reese

The 2019 installment of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet featured a wide array of topics and a great crop of award winners.

The Outstanding County Affiliate Award was presented to Clark County Cattle Producers; the Environmental Stewardship Award was presented to Andy, Erin and Brian Stickel of Wood County; the Young Cattleman of the Year Award was presented to Brad Thornburg of Belmont County; the Commercial Producer of the Year Award was presented to Allan and Kelly Robison and Thad and Amanda Robison of Champaign County; the Seedstock Producer of the Year Award was presented to the Lee Miller family of Paint Valley Farms in Holmes County; the Industry Service Award was presented to Tom Price of Delaware County; and the Industry Excellence Award was presented to Bob Agle of Clark County.

Among the discussion topics was the fair amount of criticism recently regarding sustainability in the beef industry.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 88 | New Things

The 88th Ohio Ag Net Podcast brought to you by AgriGold, starts with host Matt Reese talking about some new things on the team, including the newest team member Kolt Buchenroth. Bart Johnson, Dale Minyo, and Joel Penhorwood join in alongside the two to talk the ongoing government shutdown, wintry weather, and other happenings.

Guests include NCBA’s Sara Place and Allison Rivera, Ohio hop producer Dave Volkman, Holly Gates of Ag Credit of Ohio, and more. Tune in!

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Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal welcomes Buchenroth

Kolt is from Kenton and is a second-year student at The Ohio State University where he is majoring in Agricultural Communication. In addition to his studies, he is active in the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter.

“We are excited to welcome Kolt to the team,” said Bart Johnson, owner of Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal. “He brings a fresh set of eyes, new talent and diverse skills to our company.”

He got his start in radio at WKTN in Kenton, where he served in several capacities including the Agriculture News Director position. He left his post at WKTN in August of 2018 to move to Columbus and attend The Ohio State University.

“I am extremely thankful to have the opportunity to return to broadcasting while continuing to study at Ohio State,” Buchenroth said. “I am excited to keep telling agriculture’s story with this excellent team.”

In addition to his role telling Ohio agriculture’s stories at Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal, he serves as the Marketing and Communication Director at the Hardin County Fair.

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Busy sport show weekend on tap

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Ohio’s popular winter sports show season gets underway this month peaking with a busy four-event extended weekend Thursday through Monday, Jan. 17 to 21.

The annual outdoor expo action actually started Jan. 11 in Columbus, with the Ohio RV & Boat Show at the Ohio Expo center January 11 to13, an event that continues Jan. 16 through 20. Visit ohiorvandboatshow.com for details.

The five-day Cleveland Boat Show at the airport IX Center in Cleveland opens its doors at noon on Thursday, Jan. 17. Ohio’s largest and longest-running boat show, the Cleveland event has a huge selection of watercraft and related vendors and activities. The show’s popular fishing area offers angling seminars on the Hawg Trough, including my kids fishing program on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as well as hands-on programs presented at the Ohio Sea Grant stage by area fishing experts and biologists.

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No-till a fit for first generation farm

By Matt Reese

Starting out as a first generation row-crop farmer offers plenty of challenges. To help overcome some of those, Nathan Brown — the 2018 Ohio No-Till Council Outstanding No-Till Farmer —started no-tilling on his Highland County farm.

Though he did not grow up on a farm, Brown began working for a nearby farm when he was young, which allowed him to get started on his own. In 2012, he started no-till to help make the transition to farming on his own a little easier.

“Originally we started working everything but I realized really quickly that tillage wasn’t going to be feasible if I was going to expand the operation. I remember chisel plowing ground in April or May when I was back in high school and watching the neighbors who were no-tilling out planting. I realized that as much as I love to do tillage, I really hate to do tillage,” Brown said.

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