From Across the Field – FFA Week, Youth Opportunities, and Wild Weather

Happy National FFA Week! Designated a national week in 1947, the week of George Washington’s birthday, National FFA Week runs from Saturday to Saturday and gives FFA members an opportunity to educate the public about agriculture. During the week, chapters conduct a variety of activities to help others in their schools and communities learn about FFA and agricultural education.

If it weren’t for my experience in FFA, I don’t know that I’d be writing to you all today. For me FFA was instrumental in improving and developing communication, decision making, time management, and leadership skills. It was through Career Development Events, such as livestock judging and parliamentary procedure, where I honed those career and life skills. Continue reading

Increased Rainfall for Ohio Has Ag Implications

Previously Published on Ohio Ag Net

Ohio receives 10% more rain per year, on average, than in the 20th century.

“You can think of it as the ‘new normal,’ ” said Aaron Wilson, climate specialist for Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University.

Ohio’s current annual average is 42 inches, up 3 inches from the 39-inch average in the 20th century, Wilson said. Three inches may sound like just a drop in the, well, bucket, but “the problem is the intensity at which the rain is falling,” Wilson said. Continue reading

8 Ag Statistics to Know in 2018

By: Sara Schafer,Top Producer Editor

USDA looked into its crystal ball this week and released its first round of numbers for many key forecasts for agriculture in 2018.

“There are a lot of factors that could shift farm income higher or lower than our current forecast,” says USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson. “Prices may be higher due to growing global economic growth driving demand for agricultural commodities.” Continue reading

Crop Production Cost Analysis

By: Dianne Shoemaker and Haley Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension

Which number is closest to your total direct and overhead cost of production per bushel of corn: $3.08, $4.17, or $6.21? Do you know? Forty-two farms completed their 2016 farm business and crop enterprise analysis in 2017. Farm size ranged from 40 to more than 1,900 acres.The four lowest cost producers averaged $3.08 per bushel, the median COP was $4.17, and the four highest cost producers averaged $6.21 per bushel. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Meeting Season Continues

I owe a big thanks to all of the sponsors and attendees of NW Ohio Crops Day that braved the snowy roads last Friday morning. We had around 70 people in attendance at the Bavarian Haus, not bad for the Henry County agriculture extension meeting in a decade.  Based on the program survey, it looks like we may have a similar event in the years to come.

I have spent the past two days at Ohio Pork Congress in Columbus, an annual meeting where the pork industry networks, shares information, and recognizes those who have made significant contributions to promoting pork. This OSU Extension’s own Glen Arnold, field specialist for manure and nutrient management, was recognized for his service to Ohio’s hog farmers. Glen is a national leader in working to extend the manure application season. His research focuses on methods that aid in water quality protection by allowing for manure application on growing crops. Congratulations Glen! Continue reading

Wet Conditions Increase Cow Feed Needs

By: Sara Brown, Drovers

Challenges of winter weather is not just for the northern tier of the country, says Amy Radunz, University of Wisconsin beef Extension specialist. “Cattle can often handle frigid temperatures, as long as they remain dry.”

But Mother Nature doesn’t always play fair. When winter temperatures fluctuate greatly, snow and ice melt to create wet and muddy conditions that make it harder for cattle to stay warm.

That’s why mud and cold wet conditions are much more difficult to manage than just the bitterly cold, Radunz says. Continue reading

Trading for Water Quality

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

WICHITA, Kan. (DTN) — Cities looking to address water-quality challenges in watersheds leading into their drinking water supply may want to see how Wichita, Kansas, works with upstream farmers to reduce pesticide and sediment in the Little Arkansas River watershed.

Litigation over water quality, especially the federal case in Des Moines, Iowa, in recent years, has drawn a lot of attention. Meanwhile, some other more cooperative water-quality efforts have received less attention. Continue reading

Trying To Beat Buzzer, Ag Groups Sign Letter In Hopes of TPP Rejoin

By: Ashley Davenport, Farm Journal

Three days after President Trump was inaugurated, one of his first exercises of presidential power was withdrawing the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The remaining 11 nations are expected to sign the final trade agreement in March, and now U.S. farmers and ranchers are pushing for a last-minute rejoin. Continue reading

Rethink Your Grain Game

By: Nate Birt, Top Producer Managing Editor

Some producers grow organics and non-GMO crops because there’s a local market for them. Others do so in the belief the supply chain of the future will demand it.

Chief Executive Eric Jackson of Minneapolis-based Pipeline Foods thinks farmers should consider adding these crops for a far more practical reason: Producers will make more money in the long run, and they’ll be better diversified, too. Continue reading