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Over half of Ohio soybeans harvested

Most of the State received cooler than normal temperatures and less than normal rainfall last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 20.

Conditions were ideal for harvest across much of the State, although corn maturity and percent harvested continued to lag behind normal levels. This resulted in an average harvested corn moisture content of 21 percent, compared to 18 percent last year. Soybeans continued to come off the field very quickly as percent harvested, at 55 percent, was one percentage point behind last year. Average soybean moisture content was 13 percent compared to 14 percent last year.

Winter wheat planters worked quickly amidst the favorable weather, staying ahead of the 5-year average pace. The crop continued to emerge ahead of the 5-year average as well. Pastures rated in good to excellent condition increased by 6 percentage points as fields dried out, although regrowth had slowed considerably.

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A heavy handful of soil: Considerations for fallow fields

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader

It is hard to imagine that a single handful of soil can contain more living organisms than there are people on the Earth. Kathy Merrifield, who is a retired nematologist from Oregon State University, said a single teaspoon of rich soil can hold up to one billion bacteria, several yards of fungal filaments, several thousand protozoa, and scores of nematodes, not to mention other archaea, algae, protozoa, and larger soil fauna. Healthy soil is full of life, and those organisms living in it often have a close symbiotic relationship in which the survival of one is dependent on the survival of many others. Under normal weather conditions, the organisms thrive in their environment, and the crops that are grown in these healthy soils also have their needs met.

Mycorrhizae are a type of fungi found in the soil that grow in close association with roots of a plant in a symbiotic relationship.

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Low-cost treatment of meat processing wastewater protects the environment

By Karen Mancl

In 2000, a small, family owned meat processor was facing closure. They were under orders from Ohio EPA to change the way they handled their wastewater. Abandoning the smelly lagoon system they were permitted to use for years to connect to the city treatment plant was too expensive.

Through industry, university and government cooperation, a new way to treat their wastewater was developed and it saved the company. The Ohio EPA agreed to allow the company to work with Ohio State University to study using sand bioreactors to treat the high-strength, high-fat content wastewater. After a 2-year lab study in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at OSU using the meat processing wastewater, the simple technology was tested in a small pilot plant built by the meat processor.

The pilot plant success led to obtaining a permit to construct a full-scale sand bioreactor treatment plant in 2010.

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Are robotic milkers failing to live up to promises?

robotic-milker-on-cow

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

In a likely attempt to reach every dairy farmer in the U.S. who purchased robotic milkers, plaintiffs lawyers have been mailing information to every dairy farmer in the nation. The first post card arrived at my house several months ago from usfarmlaw.com, the website for Cullenberg & Tensen, a New Hampshire law firm. Attorney Arend Tensen looks more like the beef farmer he also is in his website pictures. There is more farm equipment pictured on his website than legal resources. Obviously, Tensen’s perceived strength is his agricultural background and current investments.

The card that arrived last week came from Steuve. Siegel. Hanson, LLP, trial lawyers and no one in their website wears anything but power clothes, and I do not mean winter weight Carharts or hunting gear camo. This was one of the firms front and center in the Syngenta class action, so they are used to slaying Goliath, even if they look a little Goliathy to me.

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EPA’s proposed RFS small refinery measures under fire

On Oct. 15, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, signed the supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking for the Renewable Fuels Standard.

The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.

Specifically, the EPA is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions.

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Do you know your number?

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

What’s your number? While this question sounds like the latest campaign to monitor your cholesterol or blood pressure, it is actually talking about a different health measurement. The health of future soybean crops will be impacted by the level of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) present in your fields. SCN damages soybeans by feeding on roots. This takes nutrients from the plant, and creates wounds for fungi to enter. The past few years the SCN Coalition, funded by the soybean checkoff, has been running the “What’s your number?” campaign to renew attention to soybean cyst nematode. Presentations about SCN were common on the agenda of many farm programs in the mid to late 90’s. The relative ease of round-up ready soybean production increased the common practice of no-tilling soybeans back to beans which created a wonderful environment for SCN populations to grow. In the years following, thanks in part to an increased awareness of SCN associated yield losses and the development of resistant varieties, SCN saw a decline in many Ohio fields.

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Balancing the risks and benefits of animals in agritourism

By Matt Reese

With crisp fall weather, ripening apples, plump orange pumpkins, and autumn breezes rustling through dried corn leaves, it is the peak of Ohio’s agritourism season. There are numerous unique farm attractions around the state that entertain, educate and help connect consumers with agriculture in creative ways. Many include livestock, which can be a valuable component of the operation, but also a significant source of legal liability.

“Farm animals can be a valuable attraction for an agritourism operation, but having people and animals on the farm creates liability risks,” said Peggy Hall, associate professor for Ohio State University’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program. “Whether feeding, riding, petting, observing, or just being near farm animals, visitors could be harmed and agritourism operators could be liable for that harm.”

Hall is most concerned with the potential for transmission of zoonotic diseases from the animals to humans visiting the farm who may have little to no other exposure to farm livestock.

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Dry weather allow corn, soybean harvest to continue

Most of the State received warmer than normal temperatures and less than normal rainfall, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 13.

Weather stations in the south and southeastern portions of the State reported almost 2 inches of rainfall on average, while the rest of the State received less than half an inch on average. Pasture condition rated good to excellent fell 4 percentage points, due to mostly warm, dry weather while 3rd cuttings of hay wrapped up and 4th cuttings of hay progressed rapidly.

A majority of corn reached mature status although harvest moved slowly, advancing only 5 percentage point increase from last week. Harvest progress trailed the 5-year average by 11 points. Soybeans harvested jumped 18 percentage points and trailed the 5-year average by 12 points. Corn saw a 1 percentage point increase in good to excellent condition rating while soybeans saw a 1 percentage point decrease.

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 124 | Frost and the Fairfield County Fair

Dale, Matt and Kolt in today on the Ohio Ag Net Podcast powered by AgriGold. Matt gives us an update on his thirty animals that his two kids exhibited at the Fairfield County Fair. In between his estimated 70 miles walked, Matt found time to catch up with Trish Preston of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The crew talks about the frost and what that means for the crops. We get an update from Dale who visits with Corey Cockerill of Wilmington College on their visit day. Matt and Dale catch up with two ladies from John Deere on the opportunities for ladies in Agriculture.

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Fake food: Is it better for you and the environment?

By Don “Doc” Sanders

Many activists proselytize how bad animal agriculture is for the environment. Most of them operate on the premise that big is bad and that we should return to small family farms — or eliminate food animal agriculture altogether.

They also advocate a vegan diet. But I’m not concerned about people who choose that lifestyle for themselves, so long as they don’t mess with my getting a steak once in a while. Regardless of what they say, I’m convinced that we can’t rely solely on small family farms if agriculture has any chance of providing worldwide food security. This leads me to my topic for this month: the recent introduction of fake foods. Namely, the increasing presence and popularity of plant-based alternatives to dairy and meat. Are these fake foods based on good or bad nutrition? Well, it depends.

Promoters’ claims of health benefits are common for alternative foods.

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Fallow ground syndrome

By Andy Westhoven, AgriGold agronomist

Doesn’t that title sound a lot better than prevent plant ground syndrome? The words prevent plant (PP) send shivers down many growers’ backs. For those with PP acres, the season just keeps on offering new challenges. Many growers have worked the ground, sprayed the weeds, chopped the weeds, worked them again… you get the point. Let’s face it, the PP acres are more work to keep clean than the planted acres. In addition to those challenges, the title implies that idle farmland has some more work to do and there is more to watch for with PP acres leading up to next spring.

Fallow syndrome can occur when a corn (or wheat) crop is planted the year after no crop was planted in a field. These grass crops might exhibit a phosphorus (P) or zinc (Zn) deficiency early in the growing season. Plants will appear to be stunted, pale, and purple in color.

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Waterfowl hunting underway in Ohio

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

Ohio’s waterfowl hunting seasons are underway, or will be by month’s end, statewide. According to a study last spring, the duck population across North America declined, but most species remain above long-term averages, according to the 2019 Waterfowl Population Status Report released late last month, so biologists are calling for numbers that hunters are likely to see to be similar to the past few seasons across Ohio.

The annual survey, conducted jointly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service since 1955, puts the breeding duck population at 38.90 million, a 6% decrease from last year’s population of 41.19 million, but still 10% above the long-term average. The 2019 survey marks the first time since 2008 that the estimated breeding duck population has fallen below 40 million.

There is good news to be found in the survey, however: Ohio waterfowl hunters’ most popular targets — mallards — increased 2% to 9.42 million, 19% above the long-term average.

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Bearish corn, bullish soybeans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Today’s USDA WASDE report will be closely watched to see what direction grains will take. A surprise from USDA could easily be in the numbers today. Many are expecting a friendly report, especially since the grain stocks report September 30 was bullish for both corn and soybeans. Acres for corn and soybeans could also be changed.

Today’s USDA report had corn production at 13.779 billion bushels, yield of 168.4, and ending stocks at 1.929 billion bushels. Soybean production was 3.550 billion bushels, yield was 46.9, and ending stocks of 180 million bushels.

Corn production lowered, yield up .2 bushels, ethanol lowered 50 million bushels, exports down 150 million bushels, and ending stocks down 261 million bushels. Soybean production lowered, yield down 1 bushel, crush up 5 million bushels, ending stocks down 180 million bushels. Corn acres lowered 100,000 acres, soybean acres down 200,000.

Shortly after the report release, corn was down 9 cents, soybeans were up 8 cents, and wheat was down 2 cents.

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Long fall needed to maximize soybean yields

By Matt Reese

The extended wet conditions through much of the state this spring resulted in soybean planting dates ranging from timely to double-crop. The wide variation in planting dates has resulted in an Ohio soybean crop heading into fall all across the board in terms of development and yield potential.

“The record-breaking rains of spring delayed planting across the Eastern Corn Belt to mark the slowest planting progress on record,” said Roy Ulrich, a technical agronomist for DEKALB Asgrow. “This delayed spring shortened our growing season and has delayed some of our normal management decisions later into the summer.”

Compounding the potential problems this year were challenges with insects in some fields.

“Stink bugs pierce through the pod wall to feed causing the bean inside to not develop or become shriveled and malformed reducing the number of beans per pod,” Ulrich said. “Bean leaf beetles are the other major insect of concern when it comes to pod feeding.

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Space age crop production on planet Earth

By Peter Ling and Mary Wicks

Growing crops in a completely controlled environment would appear to address many of the challenges farmers face from variability in temperature and rainfall to infestations of insects and weeds. However, replicating the “bioregenerative support system” that is Earth, is not easy. As engineers and scientists work to create such a system that would allow for long-term space travel or living, they are developing technologies that are being used to increase crop production at home.

 

What is needed for a bioregenerative support system?

This artificial ecosystem needs to provide everything required by humans to sustain life. Plants are the crucial component. They produce the oxygen we breathe, assimilate the carbon dioxide we exhale, transpire the water that can be collected for drinking and other uses, and process wastewater and absorb nutrients through their rootzone. Finally, as a result of all these functions, plants produce the food and fiber we need.

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Corn re-ownership strategies

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Last March the corn market lost 30 cents after the USDA surprisingly increased stock levels. Last week the USDA surprised again but with a big drop in corn stock levels, resulting in a 20-cent market rally. The reason for the adjustment isn’t clear. Some think it was because last year’s yield was lower while others say more animals were on feed. Regardless, it’s keeping prices from going lower until yields are determined, which won’t be for a month or two.

Corn re-ownership strategies
I’ve described how to choose which crop should be stored at home during harvest and if farmers should pay for commercial storage. When making those storage decisions I explained that futures shouldn’t be included in the evaluation because farmers can reown grain using futures or an option strategy. While there are countless ways for farmers to re-own grain, the following shows two strategies most often used and the pros and cons of each.

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Happy Porktober! Celebrate with great pork recipes

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

This little piggy went to market. Traditionally, pigs went to market this time of year. October became National Pork Month. Today every month is pork month with pigs going to market continually throughout the year. We take time in October to thank pork producers as well as sit at the table to talk about the safe, healthy, delicious products with consumers being produced on Ohio farms today.

There is more to Ohio’s pork industry than bacon alone! Ohio ranks eighth in pork production. Stats say there are almost 3 million pigs in the state, producing over $580 million in revenue. Pigs are big pig business! Animal emissions get a lot of PR these days. No problem, pigs are earth friendly! The National Pork Checkoff states that pigs are only responsible for .33% of U.S. emissions. Manure goes back to the dirt to turn it into rich soil for crop production.

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