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Livestock and the 2018 Farm Bill

By Matt Reese

By most accounts, the 2018 Farm Bill was a big win for livestock producers. Effective policy for the sector has largely been left out of farm bills in the past, but that trend appears changing in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

The 2018 Farm Bill is expected to cost $867 billion over the next decade and features major changes with dairy policy with higher coverage levels in the new Dairy Margin Coverage program (DMC). The DMC allows all dairy producers to insure margins up to $9.50 per hundredweight on their first 5 million pounds of Tier 1 production history. The DMC features lower-cost $5 margin coverage, allowing farm operations wishing to cover more than 5 million pounds of production to have a higher level of affordable catastrophic protection and expanded access to additional risk management tools allowing producers to participate in options including the Livestock Gross Margin insurance program and the new Dairy Revenue Protection program.

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Rep. Dorothy Pelanda tapped to lead ODA

Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) was nominated Thursday to serve as the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Gov.-elect Mike Dewine. In addition, Laurie Stevenson has been nominated to head the Ohio EPA.

Pelanda will be stepping into the ODA director role occupied by Tim Derickson since October and previously held by David Daniels. Derickson will stay at ODA and return to his position as assistant director.Pelanda served on the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. Pelanda has been active on the state legislature, representing the 83rd House District, which includes Union and Logan counties, as well as most of Marion County.

Pelanda’s career in public service began in 2011 when she was appointed to the Ohio House of Representatives. She quickly distinguished herself as a leader in the General Assembly, eventually being selected by her collegues to serve as House Majority Whip and House Majority Floor Leader.

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Improving air conditions in poultry layer houses using an innovative ventilation system

By Xinjie Tong and Lingying Zhao

The Ohio egg production industry is a significant economic sector in the state and is responsible for creation of 12,503 jobs and $438 million in annual earnings. Technology advances in egg production facilities over the past decades have enabled very efficient operations of large-scale layer houses, that can typically host 100,000 to 250,000 hens with stacked cages, automated manure-belts, feed and water delivery, egg transport, and mechanical ventilation systems. In these larger layer houses, ventilation plays a crucial role in maintaining a proper indoor air conditions and for disease control for hen health and efficient egg production. However, it has been a challenge to achieve the comfort and health standards with existing ventilation systems. At The Ohio State University, an innovative ventilation system has been designed at the air quality and bioenvironmental lab, which can potentially improve indoor environment and limit disease outbreaks in layer houses.

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Daily business records offer numerous benefits

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

They say the older you are the faster time flies. Given that it is now 2019, I am not exactly feeling like a spring chicken. Where did 2018 go? And why are milk prices still so low?

Since we are starting a new year, it seems appropriate to discuss one practice that should be implemented by every farm or business, if they are not already doing it. Create a daily business record that includes basic information of what transpired that day. For instance, what vendors visited the farm? Were there any major purchases? What activities took place? What was the weather like? Did anything significant happen with the livestock or crops?

This record can be handwritten or on the computer; it makes no difference. Choose a method that is convenient and conducive to completing on a daily basis. The important aspect of this is that it becomes a daily business activity, every single day.

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China approves GM traits as trade talks proceed

By Matt Reese

As trade talks between the United States and China ramp up, China announced the long-awaited approval of five genetically modified crops. This is the first GM crop approval by China for import since July of 2017.

The approved products include two canola products, DowDuPont Inc’s DP4114 corn and DAS-44406-6 soybean, and the SYHT0H2 soybean from Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, but now owned by BASF. The Chinese approval of these GM crops is viewed by many as a positive sign in the ongoing trade war between China and the United States.

“The traits approval is a surprise. The talks in China involve a lot of people — it is not just one guy from each side sitting at the table. I think it is more than political posturing. That is what we have seen for months by both sides,” said Doug Tenney, with Leist Mercantile. “I expect that we will see an announcement of a trade deal sooner, not later.”

Tenney said U.S.

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Why create a business budget?

By Brian E. Ravencraft

Cash is king! For farmers, evaluating cash flow needs and budgeting are essential factors in the ongoing health of a business. Some of the key objectives of creating a cash flow plan are:

  • Cash flow must be positive, timely and available
  • Measure and monitor your plan on an ongoing basis
  • Use the plan to manage the business proactively and reduce business surprises
  • Prevent problems before they arise and develop strategies to prevent problems
  • Budgets are forward looking documents — they force you to think about the future
  • It’s the crystal ball. If you don’t like what you see, you have the opportunity to change
  • Significantly improves your chances to be successful .

Cash flow is an essential factor in the ongoing health of a business. Cash flow must be positive, timely, and available. The best way to ensure this, is to have a Cash Flow forecast. In order to stay in control, this plan needs to be measured and monitored on an ongoing basis so that you can manage the business proactively.

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Deer hunting fills on-farm void left by lost tobacco production

By Matt Reese

In 2005, Rick Crawford harvested the last tobacco crop from his family’s Adams County farm. His ancestors had grown tobacco on that land since at least the late 1800s. Tobacco was a part of Crawford Farms’ heritage, culture and, most importantly, its profitability.

“Tobacco used to be the main cash crop on this farm for many years. There is not very much of this ground that is tillable. Tobacco is a tremendous amount of hand labor but we made it work. We needed about six people extra to get the tobacco in the barn in the fall and we had to hire nine to make sure we had six. It was always a challenge,” Crawford said. “With tobacco, if everything goes right, you can net $1,000 an acre but it takes a tremendous amount of labor and there are about four times a year where the weather can take everything.

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Champaign County’s Current crowned 2019 Ohio Fairs’ Queen

By Joel Penhorwood

At the Ohio Fair Managers’ Conference in Columbus at the beginning of January, young people from across the state came together to represent their respective counties and communities as they vied for the title of 2019 Ohio Fairs’ Queen. Chosen as this year’s representative was Lora Current of Champaign County.

Current is a freshman at Mount Vernon Nazarene University studying social work and theology and represented Champaign County as their 2018 Fair Queen.

“It was definitely a surprise. Very exciting. I went in there to try and do my best and represent our county well. It was a shock because no one from Champaign County has ever won before,” she said.

She has been heavily involved at the county fair level.

“I am one of seven kids — the younger end of that — so I’ve kind of grown up in the 4-H realm of things. I’ve shown market hogs, market chickens and sewing along with other miscellaneous projects.”

A busy year lies ahead for Current.

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Kasich Hall dedicated at Ohio Exposition Center

By Matt Reese

The building formerly known as Cardinal Hall at the Ohio Exposition Center was re-named and dedicated in honor of Governor John R. Kasich on Jan. 4, 2019. The building first opened in July of 2016.

With the announcement of the re-naming of Kasich Hall, there has been some backlash in the agricultural community about Gov. Kasich and what many people consider to be his general lack of support for the Ohio State Fair. Though Gov. Kasich has been often criticized for his limited attendance at the Ohio State Fair and was at odds with agriculture on some issues in recent months, his Administration was fairly generous with financial backing of the Ohio Exposition Center and the Ohio State Fair. From 2011 to 2018, the Ohio Expo Center received a total of $67,400,000 in capital appropriations allocated by Gov. Kasich and the General Assembly. This was higher than amounts received during the term of any governor dating back to 1987, according to Alicia Shoults, marketing and public relations director for the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 87 | A New Year, A New Farm Bill

The Ohio Ag Net podcast, brought to you by AgriGold, starts off 2019 with Dale Minyo, Matt Reese, and host Joel Penhorwood. The three talk the warm temperatures, some unique food observations, and much more.

Guest interviews on the podcast include retired Ohio State economist Carl Zulauf, OSU extension’s Dianne Shoemaker, Adam Fennig of Fennig Equipment, and Ohio State’s Ellen Essman talking industrial hemp.

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Life and lessons at Laurel Valley Creamery

By Kayla Hawthorne, OCJ field reporter

Nick and Celeste Nolan operate a 25- to 30-cow dairy on their family’s homestead in Gallia County. The family of eight has been working on the farm for 13 years and making cheese for nine of those years, which is a full-time job for both parents.

The property was owned by Nick’s grandparents and was a dairy farm from 1947 until 1990. In 2001, Nick and Celeste moved their family back to the farm.

“Nick worked for General Mills in Wellston as a project engineer. And then in 2005, they outsourced his position and we had [already] bought the farm and [were] just kind of hobby farming,” Celeste Nolan said.

Their hobby farm included hay, Scottish highland beef cows and goats, which she called her “gateway animals.”

“We had just moved out here and were just kind of playing,” Celeste said. “We were buying what we could afford.”

After Nick lost his job, they decided to go all out and buy dairy cows to start milking.

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Looking back on Ty’s top parody music videos

Our own Ty Higgins is moving on from Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal to become the new director of media relations for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. Though we will miss him going forward, we are excited to see what he will bring in his new capacity at the Farm Bureau.

Ty is known for a lot of things at Ohio Ag Net, but he has especially put his signature on parody music videos and changing the lyrics to timely, agricultural topics.Here are what we think are his top “fun” videos. We hope you enjoy!

Ohio State Fan Mows Script Ohio Into Michigan Fan’s Yard

Show Kids Got Their White Pants On (A Dairy Parody)

I Still Think My Jacket’s Sexy (Produced by Ty)

Rain Is A Big Pain (Parody Song)

The #Plant16 Song

Some Farmers Just Need A Drink – A #Plant17 Parody Song

Where Corn Don’t Go (A Harvest Parody)

Kernals on the Cob (A Crop Tour Parody)

I Just Want to Plant (A #Plant18 Parody Song)

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Trade Mitigation Payments and the government shutdown

With the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has closed Farm Service Agency county offices across the country.

The county offices were among the last on the list to close. FSA was operating on funds they had stored up through Dec. 28, but those funds ran dry. The closure comes at a busy time with the recent announcement of Trade Mitigation Payments round two. Producers who have certified 2018 production are expected to still receive Market Facilitation Program payments. Those who haven’t certified 2018 acres will have to wait until the shutdown is over.

Producers who have already certified their 2018 production acres with FSA will continue to get their payments. For those who weren’t able to get the certification completed, they will have to wait until the government shutdown is over. Official signup for the program was scheduled to end on Jan. 15. Farmers can certify their 2018 production until May 1.

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Soggy 2018 sets records

By Matt Reese

Looking back on the previous year, I think I spent more time in 2018 outside in the precipitation than any year I can remember, probably more than the last 5 years combined. Remember those wild April snows? I do. Then, of course, there were steady rains with occasional deluges throughout the growing season and the soggiest autumn harvest in recent memory that kept combines out of the fields and the crops in them for much longer than usual. In 2018, there was not really a spring or a fall. It just went from long, cold, snowy winter to wet, muggy summer to soggy, muddy winter.

Vowing to avoid more time spent in the rain, I waited until fairly late in the day on Dec. 31 to go for one last 2018 4-mile run. The rain had finally stopped around 3:30 or so and it looked like the skies cleared a bit by around 4 p.m.

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Top stories of 2018

Our web site keeps track of the stories that generate the most interest and at the end of the year we like to review the top stories to gain insight into how to better serve readers of our web and print content and our radio listeners. Plus, it is always fun to see which story comes out on top. To revisit all of these favorite web stories and videos in the last year, look for “2018 top stories of the year” on the right side of this web page. In addition to these top posts, other noteworthy drivers of web traffic in 2018 included the Ohio and Pro Farmer crop tours, the Ohio State Fair livestock show results, and Between the Rows. Weather challenges, the tough farm economy, and all things draft horse also garnered major web traffic in the last 12 months. Here are the 10 most popular stories of 2018.

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The 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp and what it means for Ohio

By Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Hemp is one of the most talked-about provisions of the new Farm Bill. There’s plenty of excitement about the removal of federal restrictions on hemp production and the economic opportunities for growing hemp. But what exactly does the Farm Bill say about hemp? Can Ohioans now grow, use and sell hemp and hemp products? We dove into the 807 pages of the Farm Bill Conference Report to find answers to your questions about the new legal status of hemp and hemp cultivation.

 

What is hemp?

Before we go much further in this discussion, it’s important to understand that both hemp and marijuana are species of cannabis, but they have different properties. Of particular note is the fact that marijuana contains much more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than hemp. THC is the part of a cannabis plant that can cause a psychoactive effect in certain concentrations, but hemp plants generally do not contain enough THC to produce a “high.” Hemp has many uses — it can be used for construction materials, fabrics and clothing, and animal bedding.

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Top videos of 2018

Ty Higgins had the top video of the year with his “I just want to plant” (a #plant18 parody song) that laments the delayed 2018 planting season and looooong winter.

Joel Penhorwood had the second most popular video when he highlighted the Metzger family of Shelby who had some fun this fall trying out their pulling tractor “Alcoholic Harvester” in the fields. You may have seen it yourself as the video posted by Jim Metzger of the super-class tractor pulling a grain cart through a field.

The third most popular video in 2018 was “Zapping weeds with Jonathan Kramer, Madison County.”  The process of controlling weeds on his Madison County organic farm is time consuming and pricey, so Kramer tried something a little different with a tool that kills weeds with electricity.

Next on the list is a cab cam with Reggie Rose of Mercer County planting corn. 

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Top stories of 2018: No. 1

Update on Miami Valley Feed and Grain spill cleanup efforts

Late one Sunday night Sam Sutherly got a catastrophic phone call he never wanted.

“When I got the phone call I just said, ‘Oh that’s nice.’ I turned to my wife and said, ‘I really don’t want to go.’”

The Sutherly family owns Miami Valley Feed and Grain in New Carlisle where a grain tank collapsed late on Jan. 21, spilling around 365,000 bushels of corn worth over $1.25 million. The wave of corn washed over the grounds, leveled multiple buildings and buried Route 571. The road had to be closed. Power was lost but restored fairly quickly by Dayton Power and Light. After much hard work, things were up and running again for harvest this fall at Miami Feed and Grain.

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