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Farm bill outlook for 2018

The farm bill debate has already started in farm shops and in Congress. With a tough agricultural economy and the fear of rising federal budget deficits after the recently signed tax bill, tensions will be running high on both sides of spending decisions.

“I think there is every reason to believe that we will do a farm bill next year, certainly at least an extension and the odds are that it will be re-written. The current tone is for limited change in all farm bill titles. A constrained budget is the key reason,” said Carl Zulauf, with the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University. “It will depend on how things evolve from here. I think there is a lot of political momentum and economic momentum for a new farm bill. It probably won’t get done until close to the election if not after, but I do expect us to get a new farm bill.… Continue reading

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The real scoop on Roundup

Most of you are probably familiar with Roundup, the trade name for the Monsanto herbicide glyphosate. You may use it in your fields or to control broadleaf weeds and crabgrass in your lawn, on the edges of your flowerbeds, along your sidewalks, and around tree trunks.

If you’ve used it, you know it works. And tests show that its residues are very short-lived, as it decomposes into natural compounds, including carbon dioxide, phosphoric acid and ammonia. So, it poses no environmental threats.

However, in the world of concerned citizens, fear mongers, activists and the Internet, not everyone believes the science-based information that backs glyphosate. According to the naysayers, Monsanto, the developer and manufacturer of glyphosate, is part of an evil Darth Vader empire that makes boatloads of money selling their poison to anyone and everyone. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that glyphosate may cause cancer. They acknowledge science doesn’t support their conclusion, but just to be on the safe side…

The WHO operates on the philosophy of the precautionary principle, which means approaching new products with a “better safe than sorry” attitude, regardless of what science may say.… Continue reading

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Whitetail hunting habits evolving

The woods were relatively quiet in my hunting areas during deer gun week last month, especially during the final weekend. That’s when, traditionally, hunters often light up forest and field with gunfire as they organize drives to push deer from the places the whitetails have sought refuge since the barrage began earlier in the week. Having taken bucks with archery gear earlier in the fall during the past several seasons, it has been several years since I was in the field for the firearms opportunity. I was surprised by the audible changes.

“Drives are not as popular as they were even as recently as a decade ago,” said Dr. Mike Tonkovich, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s (ODOW) deer program specialist as my guest on the “Buckeye Sportsman” radio show recently. “Deer hunter habits have changed considerably with advent of highly effective, easy-to-use archery gear. More deer are harvested before the gun season that ever before.”

He added that not only is hunter participation overall down during deer gun week, but people aren’t organizing drives like they used to.… Continue reading

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It’s cold here, but what is the weather in South America?

The first major story line for 2018 has to be the ongoing frigid temperatures across Ohio and the Midwest so far this winter. Those cold temperatures seem to affect human temperament as well as that of farm equipment, which makes for challenges in getting grain moved to final destinations. Not only do the trucks need to be operating at peak performance in these frigid temperatures, the driver has to be constantly aware of road conditions. Road conditions and temperatures could easily see some facilities needing grain moved today, not tomorrow in order to meet train shipping deadlines. Prolonged weeks of these conditions could cause ongoing headaches for those needing enough grain to keep facilities operating at optimum efficiency. The worst case scenario would see soybean crushing or corn ethanol facilities shutting down due to insufficient inventories on hand.

Weather, prices, and demand will be major factors for grain prices in the next three to six months.… Continue reading

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Setting basis on beans

Largely due to great weather in South America, soybeans have steadily declined every day since their high on Dec. 5 losing nearly 65 cents. However, there is still plenty of time left in South America’s growing season. If there is a weather issue, $10 is possible again, if good weather continues, sub $9 could be likely.

 

Setting basis on beans

Many farmers just concentrate on the cash value of their crop when selling, without realizing the three major variables that make up that price — futures, basis and carry. All three of these variables actually move independently of each other, and the most profitable marketing plans take into consideration each separately to maximize profit potential. Basis is often discussed as something farmers should be considering when selling their grain, but often the practical applications and detail in understanding how to actually do that is not provided. That’s a shame, because having a basis strategy as a part of a farmer’s overall marketing plan is important in optimizing profit and minimizing farm operation risk.… Continue reading

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Lighting solutions for the dark days of winter

Does your workload get lighter as the days get shorter and darker? Probably not. Animals still need fed and tended to, work needs to get done, and equipment needs fixed.

A well-lit work space is important to ensure that you can work safely and effectively. Task lighting makes work safer and easier, allowing you to see your equipment and workspace. Task lighting can be portable, permanently attached, or you can even wear it.

LED lights are one solution for lighting a poorly lit area, or upgrading older, expensive to use lights.

 

Task lighting

Task lighting is the lighting available in a workspace, or the area where a task will be performed. Poor lighting, such as only overhead lights, can cause shadows, and make work more difficult and dangerous by hiding sharp edges and other hazards. Inadequate lighting can cause eyestrain, blurred vision, dry and burning eyes, and headaches.

Task Lighting safety practices (from Task Lighting, Fact Sheet, Jepsen & Suchy, 2015)

  • Provide lighting with adjustable intensity to meet the needs for different tasks
  • Provide portable lighting at the task location as appropriate
  • Keep walls, ceilings and floors clean, and use lighter colors on them to reflect light
  • Replace and clean lights regularly
  • Allow enough time for the eyes to adapt from a well-lighted to a low-lighted area and vice versa
  • Use filter to diffuse overhead lighting.
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Top 10 stories of 2017

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 “2017 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 2017 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 2017.… Continue reading

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Top videos of 2017

Here are the most viewed videos of 2017. Enjoy.

1. Farmers helping farmers (from Ohio to Kansas)

2. Crop Duster Full Field Ride-Along

2017 Cab Cam: Crop Duster Edition

3. 2017 Wheat Harvest Cab Cam – John Deere S700 Series Combine

4. Ohio State Fair Governor’s Cup 

5. Matt Reese is headed to Kansas! 

7. 50th Sale of Champions live

2017 Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions 50th Anniversary

2017 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Champions Reflection

Ohio State Fair Market Beef Final Drive

Ohio State Fair Market Barrow Final Drive

8. Some farmers just need a drink — A #Plant17 Parody Song

9. 2017 Corn Harvest Cab Cam – Farm Science Review

10. 2017 Soybean Harvest Cab Cam – A 1967 John Deere 55 EB

 

 

 … Continue reading

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Top 10 stories of 2017: #1

1. Clinton County Fair swine flu frustration, misinformation and lessons learned

After long hours of work and extensive investment in time and money to get to the show ring, emotions can run high, especially when things do not go as planned. That was certainly the case when, unfortunately, swine influenza was lab confirmed at the Clinton County Fair in July.

The Clinton County Fair Board worked closely with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Clinton County Agricultural Society and local and state health officials to stop further spread of this virus in the hog population by making it a terminal show. State Veterinarian Tony Forshey said it was a tough, but necessary, decision. And, as the story described, the decision was not without controversy.… Continue reading

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Top 10 stories of 2017: #3

3. Tragedy sparks heroism in rural Ohio

Featured on the news, far too often, are horrifying glimpses of evil at work in the world, but even so, the relative safety of day-to-day life can be easily taken for granted. So it was in the rural west-central Ohio community of West Liberty where residents never expected something so bad to happen so close to home. But the community got a ghastly reminder of the fragility of life the morning of Jan. 20, 2017.

According to the WPKO-WBLL website peakofohio.com, the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office reported the following, students were preparing for class at West Liberty-Salem schools, about an hour’s drive west of Columbus when at just after 7:30 a.m., 17-year-old Ely Serna allegedly snuck a disassembled Mossberg 500 12-gauge, pump action shotgun into the high school. Serna reassembled the gun, firing several shots, including shooting fellow student Logan Cole, 16, twice at random in the bathroom.… Continue reading

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Top 10 stories of 2017: #4

4. 50th Sale of Champions

Fifty years ago, it started with a dream to support the Ohio State Fair’s youth livestock exhibitors. Gov. Jim Rhodes was the mastermind behind the event that would help build the legacy of Ohio livestock exhibition on a national and international stage — the Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions. Rhodes recognized the hard work, long hours and vast leadership potential of the top livestock exhibitors at the Ohio State Fair and he wanted everyone else to do the same. He also wanted to establish a way to help those young exhibitors benefit from their incredible achievements financially. With these goals in mind, Rhodes teamed up with the Ohio Expositions Commission and well-known auctioneer Merlin Woodruff. The first Sale of Champions in 1968 was designed to provide a one-stop event to showcase the fair’s top youth livestock exhibitors, provide an attraction to promote agriculture and attract the interest of buyers who could afford the type of funding required to reward excellence.Continue reading

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Top 10 stories of 2017: #5

5. A first generation farmer’s perspective: 25 years of chances given and lessons learned

When thinking about a typical farmer in Ohio, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to find out that they might run a couple thousand acres of corn, soybeans and wheat. One would also expect that there is a barn full of livestock right alongside a barn even fuller of machinery and implements. Brent Pence of Lynn Alan Farm fits of all of these ag-centered stereotypes, but the one characteristic of this New Carlisle producer that may be a surprise is that he is a first generation farmer. It took luck, opportunity and many hours of hard work to build a first generation farm.… Continue reading

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Top 10 stories of 2017: #6

6. A barn full of Internationals and not a tractor in sight

Ty Higgins often drives through rural Ohio wondering what is hiding in the old barns in the countryside. There are surely stories those structures could tell and who knows what treasures that might lie within — most with more value of sentiment than monetary.

But never judge a barn by its cover. That is a lesson Ty learned in northwest Ohio when he found an incredible collection of vintage International cars and trucks in a barn owned by Rich Kleinoeder. The 60-car collection spans from the first International cars made in 1908 to the manufacturer’s last efforts with trucks in 1980. Now, they are all tucked away in a barn made just for them.… Continue reading

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Top 10 stories of 2017: #7

7. Where are the “You Been Farming Long” boys now?

Do you ever wonder what happened to the subjects of one of the most iconic pictures in the history of agriculture? So did Ty Higgins. Back in the early 80s you couldn’t go to a farmhouse, implement dealer or sale barn without seeing this poster somewhere on the wall. Seeing it recently for the first time in a long time piqued Ty’s curiosity and he wanted to know what ever happened to these two boys (who are in there 40s now). So he Googled it.… Continue reading

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Top 10 stories of 2017: #9

9. Ohio to Kansas photo highlights: Farmers helping farmers

In March of 2017 Ohioans got together through Facebook to lend a helping hand to the folks in need in Ashland, Kan. after devastating wildfires burned the area. Matt Reese got to tag along and so did everyone monitoring this photo post back in Ohio. It was a great privilege to be a part of something like this and to have the opportunity to share the journey with those back in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Top 10 stories of 2017: #10

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 “2017 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 2017 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.

As we count down the last days of the year, we’ll also count down the 10 most popular stories of 2017

10.… Continue reading

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Christmas unexpected

Franklin had a far off look in his eyes as he sat there amid the wrapping paper piles from his Christmas morning present opening frenzy. While he had certainly gotten a good haul, the big present — the pinnacle of his Christmas gift hopes for the whole year — was not what he’d been wanting.

At the top of his wish list had been the newest video game system. He already had one, but it was for kid games and in Franklin’s estimation he was beyond ready to move to the next level of video games. After all, he was 10 now, not just a kid. He’d been less-than-subtle with the hints dropped to his parents.

When he’d scanned the offerings under the tree he spotted what he thought was a box just the right size for the video game. He wasn’t allowed to open that one until last.

Finally after opening packages of socks, underwear, some books, new pants, and a video game for his old game system, and watching his younger brother and sister open all of their presents, Franklin’s dad (with an excited gleam in his eye) pointed to that last package.… Continue reading

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Congress sends a tax plan to the White House

Yesterday Congress passed the final tax bill, sending it to President Donald Trump for a signature in a much debated, high-priority goal for the Administration.

“This is a once-in-a-generation reform of the federal tax code and it comes just in time to be an eagerly awaited Christmas present for taxpayers. Having traveled through our nation’s heartland for most of this year, I know that the hard-working, tax-paying people of American agriculture need relief,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Most family farms are run as small businesses, and they should be able to keep more of what they earn to reinvest in their operations and take care of their families. Simplifying the tax code and easing the burden on citizens will free them up to make choices for themselves, create jobs, and boost the overall American economy. I thank President Trump for his leadership, and commend Congress for being responsive to the people.”

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a sweeping tax system overhaul that has very divided support nationally and in agriculture.… Continue reading

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