From Across the Field – Keeping Safe and Warm this Winter

It has been a frigid start to 2018 across much of the country, with temperatures hovering around zero here in our corner of the Buckeye State. That being said, it if often a hazardous time for both people and pets once temperatures drop.

Managing the cold weather for our pets can become a challenge. If possible allow them to seek shelter in a barn, garage, or consider bring them into the home if house trained. At the very least we should provide some insulation to them in there pen or box. Straw makes a good winter insulation for multiple species, both pets and farm animals alike. Continue reading

How Did the Soybean Become Such a Common Crop in The U.S.?

By: Anna Casey

Chris Murray is a fifth-generation farmer in Champaign County, Illinois.  Like most farmers in the heartland, he grows both corn and soybeans, but says it was a particularly good year for the bean.

“We’re still probably going to be in one of our top five best soybean years we’ve ever had,” Murray said.

Farmers in the U.S. grew more soybeans in 2017 than ever before, according to USDA data. Nearly 89.5 million acres were planted this year, an increase of more than 25 million acres over the last decade.  The plant, native to Asia, has become ubiquitous across the American Corn Belt, but the crop was virtually unknown to the region until the middle of the 20th century. And the soybean’s rise can be traced back to one enterprising Illinois industrialist, A.E. Staley. Continue reading

Farm Groups Launch “Farm Town Strong” Campaign to Address Rural Opioid Epidemic

From Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net

As farming communities face mounting challenges with the nation’s opioid epidemic, the nation’s two largest general farm organizations are teaming up to confront the issue. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Farmers Union (NFU) announced a new campaign, “Farm Town Strong,” to raise awareness of the crisis’ impact on farming communities. The campaign will also provide resources and information to help farm communities and encourage farmer-to-farmer support to overcome the crisis.

The groups have launched a new website, FarmTownStrong.org, to provide easy access to information and resources that can help struggling farm families and rural communities. Continue reading

McDonald’s Testing Fresh Beef Burgers

By: Wyatt Bectel, Drovers

Move over frozen beef patties, here comes fresh beef at McDonald’s.

On Jan. 2, McDonald’s announced that it was testing a new burger, called Archburger. The burger is being tested at seven McDonald’s restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma and a restaurant in Plano, Texas. The Archburger is made with fresh beef and being offered in a limited run to seek both consumer and franchisee feedback. Continue reading

Make Skid Steer Safety A Priority For All

By: Sara Brown, Farm Journal
Livestock and Production Editor

Safety on the farm is a year-round worry. And livestock operations often carry the most risk—with humans and livestock—so much so that equipment companies are making an effort to promote equipment safety with livestock producers.

“Most accidents happen from trips and falls. That’s why we have safety steps—to prevent those accidents from happening,” says Craig Reidhead, training services representative at the Empire dealership in Mesa, Ariz.

The second most common cause of skid-steer accidents is operator error. “Any time you make direction changes, ease into a stop before going forward or reverse. You don’t want to operate this machine without putting on a safety belt, either,” adds Tony Newlin, who also works at the Empire dealership in Mesa. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Time to Think About Recertifications

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward into beginning a new year in the coming days. Well 2017 was certainly an exciting year both in the world of agriculture and for myself on a personal note. It has been great to be able to meet so many people and learn so much about agriculture here in Henry County. I look forward to continuing to do so in 2018.

Here in the next couple of months I will be highlighting the different Extension meetings and programs that will take place here in the county and NW corner of Ohio, so stay tuned for that information going forward. Continue reading

N Prices on the Rise

By: Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — The recent rise in anhydrous prices comes as a big lump of coal in farmers’ stockings right at the holiday season. With already tight crop margins, higher anhydrous prices were not on any farmer’s Christmas list.

The average retail price of anhydrous was $461 per ton the third week of December 2017, up 12% from $410 the third week of November 2017, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. Continue reading

2018 Outlook: Regional Economics to Influence Hay Prices Most

By: Anna-Lisa Laca, for Drovers

For many livestock species, alfalfa is a critical component of the diet. As we look to 2018, national hay prices aren’t expected to soar, but look for regional economics to play a heavy role in the price you pay at the farm gate.

Rising highway costs are making the expense of delivering hay more of a consideration, which is resulting in very regionalized hay prices, according to Dan Undersander, a member of the University of Wisconsin Madison forage team. The latest Agricultural Prices Report from USDA shows the national average price for alfalfa was $152 per ton in October. While it’s important to note that price is representative of all quality levels, let’s compare it to the average price in several states: $185/ton in California, $205/ton in Kentucky, $219/ ton in New York and $215/ton in Tennessee. Continue reading

Farm Service Agency Highlights from 2017

Through the work of dedicated staff in over 2,100 county and state offices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides vital farm safety-net assistance to agricultural producers across America.

“We’ve seen recent challenges in farm income and commodity prices,” said Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “The ‘safety net’ provided in the 2014 Farm Bill has helped producers withstand economic losses as well as losses resulting from natural disasters. Loans for operating expenses, farm purchases and other purposes help current producers stay in business and allow a new generation of farmers and ranchers get their start.” Continue reading

USGC Rolls Out 2017/2018 Corn Harvest Quality Report

By AgWeb Guest Editor

An excellent growing season resulted in record yields and good quality for the 2017 corn crop, according to the U.S. Grain Council’s (USGC’s) latest corn quality report, released recently.

The 2017/2018 Corn Harvest Quality Report is the seventh in the Council’s annual corn quality survey. The report revealed that the majority of 2017 corn crop conditions were rated as good or excellent during the growing season, leading to strong plant health, good kernel size and a projected record yield of 370.3 million metric tons (14.58 billion bushels), the second-largest crop on record. Continue reading