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The final day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour takes scouts on the eastern leg from Iowa City, Iowa to Rochester, MN.

Stop 2 – Poweshiek County, IA

Corn: 217.8 bpa

Soybeans: 1,380 pods in a 3×3′ square.

Stop 1 – Iowa County, IA

Corn: A pretty terrible field of corn that had a lot of variability in it, though ears just weren’t up to snuff.

Soybeans: Plenty of space between rows, but a respectable number on very nice, clean field at 1,012 pods in a 3×3’ square.

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2019 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Rabbit Barn Sale of Champions

In a new record for the rabbit barn, the Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen exhibited by Preston Christman, from Miami County, sold for $7,000 to the Ohio Market Rabbit Producers Association. The Reserve Champion Rabbit Meat Pen, exhibited by Josey Meeks, of Preble County, sold for $4,700 to Show-Rite Feeds and their network of dealers.

The top 30 exhibitors from the show were awarded premiums. Third place received $750, fourth place received $400, fifth place received $275, places six through 15 received $250 and places 16 to 30 received $125.

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County fairs find relief in Clean Air Bill

By Kolt Buchenroth

Ohio House Bill 6, dubbed the “Clean Air Bill” passed out of the House of Representatives yesterday with a vote of 53-43. The act deals primarily with power generation and the creation of a clean air fund. However, the bill has a provision that will relieve Ohio’s county fair’s of nearly half of their electricity bills, said Representative Don Jones (R-Freeport).

“The problem is that county fairs are on a demand rate. Basically, they pay their electric bills for the week of the fair, but then they have to pay for what it costs to generate that power for the other 11 months. Typically, it’s double what that electric bill is for that one week,” Jones said.

Representative Jones cited the example of a fair that used $20,000 in power for the week of the fair. Utility companies, Jones said, were charging fairs $40,000 over the other eleven months of the year to maintain their equipment to provide that much power.

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Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, May 29, 2019

May 29, 2019 -- Plenty of moisture still in the short term forecast tonight, but we are getting a hint or two about some potential for drier air coming into the forecast farther out. We are not making major changes this morning, ...but let’s say we are tentatively hopeful going forward.

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Ohio industry leaders join together to denounce tariff increase

By Kolt Buchenroth, Zach Parrott and Joel Penhorwood

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland — the nationwide grassroots campaign against tariffs — in conjunction with the Council of the Great Lakes Region, hosted a town hall this week in Cleveland at the 2019 Great Lakes Economic Forum.

The event featured a discussion with Ohio business owners, manufacturers and farmers on the impact of tariffs on the state’s economy. The conversation came one day after President Trump announced that he will be increasing tariffs substantially this week.

The group released the following statement regarding the tweet announcement that tariffs on $200 billion of goods will increase from 10 to 25% on Friday.

“For 10 months, Americans have been paying the full cost of the trade war, not China. To be clear, tariffs are taxes that Americans pay, and this sudden increase with little notice will only punish U.S farmers, businesses and consumers,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland said in the statement. 

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Twins, best friends, teammates

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter

They had a pact to never compete, but twins Grant and Grace Lach broke that pact in May of 2018 for their individual efforts to earn a spot on the Ohio FFA State Officer Team.

“All throughout our time in the FFA we had a pact that we wouldn’t compete against each other and running for state office was the first time that we broke that pact,” said Grant Lach, 2018-19 State Vice President at Large.

With the bright lights, adrenaline pumping and the election results being announced, their broken pact made the big moment for anyone running for state office even bigger for the twins from the Bloom Carroll FFA Chapter. But, as it turns out, breaking the pact paid off. They are the first twins to ever serve together as state officers in Ohio.

Grant and Grace recently had the chance to reflect on what it was like to serve together on the 2018-19 state officer team.

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A corn market rally is hard to justify

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

There are so many negative factors affecting the corn market right now, it’s difficult justifying any market rally. Weather is always a wild card for the market in either direction especially this early in the season. The funds have a record short position right now, but farmers are really long, so a rally isn’t guaranteed. While no two market years are ever the same, I find it’s helpful to review historical trends to gain perspective or insight.

From this point forward in the year the market has eventually seen a nice rally over the last 4 years:

  • 2018 — December corn posted a low on 4/20, then rallied 27 cents until 5/24
  • 2017 — December corn posted a low on 4/21, then rallied 38 cents until 7/11
  • 2016 — December corn posted a low on 4/25, then rallied 70 cents until 6/17
  • 2015 — December corn went 20 cents lower from 4/20 until 6/15, then increased 70 cents by 7/11

Finishing up my final 2017 Cash Sales

Last August I still had 35% of my 2017 crop, stored at home but hedged with sales against the September futures.

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Data synthesis important for ag research

Agricultural researchers generate vast amounts of data. Little of it is shared with peers or accessible to the public. A diverse group of scientists led by Sylvie Brouder, a Purdue University professor of agronomy, is calling for change and proposing the infrastructure to make it happen.

Brouder led the creation of a commentary paper, “Enabling Open-Source Data Networks in Public Agricultural Research,” for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology with colleagues from the Environmental Defense Fund, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Washington State University, Texas A&M University, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Brouder presented the paper to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“The next generation of agricultural problem solving will require big science and forging linkages across data sets and disciplines,” the paper says. “Currently, a lack of data sharing and data accessibility is a major barrier for making better decisions in agriculture.”

Solving the world’s grand challenges — feeding nearly 10 billion people by 2050, reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and ensuring access to clean water — depends heavily upon agricultural research and advances.

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Morrow County Farm Bureau member appreciation breakfast

Morrow County Farm Bureau will celebrate Ag Week, local farmers and our rural community with its Member Appreciation Breakfast on March 23. Come, mingle and meet with Morrow County Farm Bureau volunteers and local farmers. Join us for table-top discussions and great fellowship.

We will be serving 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Handlebar Ranch, 6695 County Rd. 76, Mt. Gilead. The menu includes French toast sticks, ham, biscuits & gravy, potatoes, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee. Reservations are due by March 13. The price will be $3 for Farm Bureau members, $7 for non-members. If you become a member that morning, your breakfast will be on us! You can also renew your membership at the event.

We know that food and fiber doesn’t just arrive at the grocery or clothing store…or magically appear on our dinner table or in our closet. There’s an entire industry dedicated to providing plentiful and safe food for consumption.

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Selling straddles

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The biggest news of last week was when Agriculture Secretary Perdue announced that China agreed to buy 10 million metric tons (about 400 million bushels) of beans Friday afternoon from the Oval office after the markets closed. Earlier in the week President Trump said China would also buy more corn too. While both statements seem positive, the market has already heard rumors and predictions before, only to be let down by smaller numbers due to a variety of reasons. It will take follow through and actual purchases to get the market excited.

March corn closed again for the 13th straight Friday within the tight trading range of $3.74 to $3.85.

 

Market action

With corn trading within a very tight range the last 3 months, including straddle trades in my grain marketing plan was a good decision for my farm operation. Since late November, I placed three straddle trades that all expired on Friday that helped me generate 13.5 cents of profit on 30% of my corn production.

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Tough stretch for ethanol profitability

By Scott Irwin, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

The U.S. ethanol industry faced considerable headwinds in 2018, including the lowest prices over the last decade, policy setbacks in the implementation of the RFS, and political resistance to granting a year-round RVP waiver for E15. The impact of these headwinds on ethanol production profits is certainly of interest to those in the ethanol industry, as well as policymakers and legislators interested in the financial health of the U.S. renewable fuels industry.

A model of a representative Iowa ethanol plant was used to track the profitability of ethanol production. The model is meant to be representative of an “average” ethanol plant constructed in the last decade. There is certainly substantial variation in capacity and production efficiency across the industry and this should be kept in mind when viewing profit estimates from the model.

Ethanol prices started 2018 at historically low levels of $1.25 per gallon, rose to a peak of $1.43 in April, and then fell most of the rest of the year, reaching a low of $1.06 in late November.

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Award winners recognized at Ohio Pork Congress

Ohio is fortunate to be home to many outstanding leaders who work selflessly to make a difference in the pork industry. At yesterday’s Ohio Pork Congress Luncheon some of those individuals were recognized for their service with the presentation of the Swine Manager of the Year, Ohio Pork Council Service, Pork Promoter of the Year, Friends of Ohio Pork and Ohio Pork Industry Excellence awards.

Swine Manager of the Year Award: Nathan Isler, Prospect

Nathan oversees the sows and three full time employees in the sow barn for Isler Genetics.

“Commercially raising hogs for market is the way we are going and our future as I see it today,” Nathan said. “The vast majority of our hogs go to market, but we also sell breeding stock, show pigs, and pigs for medical research. We sell commercial semen as well. We also have three contract barns. Through the progression of things we are 70% pure York sows.

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Initial Brazil soybean harvest not record-breaking, still solid

Soybean harvest in Parana, Brazil, the country’s second-largest soybean-producing state, has reached 25%, well ahead of the 2018 pace.

Brazilian government forecasting agency DERAL says, although the state suffered through a mini-drought in December, early yield results show no material losses. Only 6% of the state’s soy fields are reportedly in bad condition. The number his still higher than last year’s zero ‘bad’ fields.

DERAL says 24% of fields are considered average, compared to 14% in the last cycle. The remaining fields are considered in good condition. As it stands currently, Brazil’s crop will be short of the record-high estimates of 122 million metric tons. Weather issues in Brazil are not widespread or significant enough to put a major dent in production.

Elsewhere in South America, harvest expectations in Argentina are nearing 53- to 55-million metric tons, coming off 38 MMT in 2018.

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National Farm Machinery Show Seminar Schedule and Featured Vendors

The National Farm Machinery Show will take place Feb. 13- 16, 2019 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY 40209. The hours of the show are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily (EST). Admission for the show is free. Parking is $10 for cars and $20 for buses.

At this year’s show, daily educational seminars will be held during the show and are outlined in detail below the featured vendors.

Check out these Featured Vendors while you are at the show:

Seminar Schedule

Wednesday, February 13

10 a.m. “The Future of Precision Ag Technology” – South Wing B 103
As the integration of precision agriculture into everyday farm operations continues to grow, new technologies and applications are emerging. Join this session to learn about the newest features in FARMserver™ and what future advancements you can expect that will help increase your efficiency and profitability. – Presented by Beck’s Hybrids

11:30 a.m.

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What road salt means for plant health

Salty cars and salty roads are a hallmark of this time of year. With so much NaCl (salt) being spread, the question arises of what effect it has on nearby plants.

Pamela Bennett is an Ohio State horticulture educator and state master gardener volunteer program director. She is often asked what will happen to plants come spring as the result of salt. She said salt buildup in soil and salt spray on plants themselves are chief concerns.

“There are two different ways plants can be damaged. Number one is the salt spray. That salt spray if it’s on the foliage long enough if it’s on the bud, it could cause the buds to dry out and it could cause bud and stem damage,” she said. “It’s more common to see this on evergreen trees such as white pines or on boxwoods which are evergreen shrubs, and those plants that are susceptible to salt injury.

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Shutdown-delayed USDA market reports will be released Feb. 8

Even though the government is back up and running, the month-long government shutdown continues to have lasting effects, especially when it comes to commodity markets.

Over 60 reports were not released at their scheduled times due to the furloughed staff of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. USDA this week announced that many of those reports, including final harvest numbers for 2018, will be published on the next regularly-scheduled report day Feb. 8.

The February World Agriculture Supply and Demand (WASDE) report will also be released then. Some of the data, including the January WASDE report, will never be published, according to American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Veronica Nigh.

Some of January’s data will be rolled into the February report.

“USDA is generally considered to be the gold standard when it comes to reports and you got to remember how much we’re missing here. The obvious things we’re missing are weekly export sales reports, daily flash sale reports, your monthly WASDE report.

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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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