Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey Launched for 2024: Responses Requested

OSU Production Business Management Team

The Ohio Farm Custom Rates Survey data collection has launched once again. The online survey for 2024 is available at:  www.go.osu.edu/customratesurvey

A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Custom farming providers and customers often negotiate an agreeable custom farming machinery rate by utilizing Extension surveys results as a starting point. Ohio State University Extension collects surveys and publishes survey results from the Ohio Farm Custom Survey every other year. This survey will result in a new Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey Summary for 2024.

Custom work providers or customers are asked to Continue reading

The Small Ruminant Toolbox

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
(Previously published online with SARE: Resources and Learning, 2014)

Sheep and goat enterprises offer diversification opportunities for small and limited-resource farmers. This Small Ruminant Toolbox was developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in order to provide a collection of information for small ruminant producers and educators. The Small Ruminant Toolbox includes many publications, presentations and other resources that will be helpful to small ruminant producers.

All Toolbox materials can be downloaded from this page.

Continue reading

Finding Your Joy – Reasons To Be Thankful

Haley Campbell, Lecturer, The Ohio State University ATI

During the week that I wrote this, I was able to create and give a presentation to a local Rotary Club on preparing landscape beds and selecting flowers for the garden. Not even close to being a dairy topic, but it gave me joy. From the content shared to the photos used to the people listening, I had so much fun with this program. In the state of agriculture today, with input prices skyrocketing and uncertainty for the future, it can be incredibly hard to find the joy in what we do. However, finding the joy and clinging to that joy is what will bring you through hard times.

In fact, finding the joy has some health benefits, too (UC Berkeley). As if we don’t need another thing to worry about with a wet and cold spring and the price of soybean meal, our health and wellness need to come first. Without a farmer, there is no farm.

One way that happiness can physically affect our well-being is through heart health. Happy people tend to have lower heart rates and blood pressure. Additionally, happy people may have better immune systems. Studies have shown that when individuals are exposed to the cold virus, those that reported happy emotions leading up to exposure were more likely to

Continue reading

2023 eBarns Report Now Available

eBarns – Connecting Science to Farmers

2023 eBarns Report

eBarns is a program at The Ohio State University dedicated to advancing production agriculture through the use of field-scale and applied research. The 2023 eBarns Report is a combination of the research conducted on partner farms and Ohio State agricultural research stations throughout Ohio. Current research is focused on enhancing animal production, growing high-quality forages, precisions nutrient management and to develop analytical tools for digital agriculture.

In this second addition of eBarns we have included research studies not only from the past year, but studies from previous years that have yet to be summarized in a producer friendly manner. It is our goal to continue to share result from applied livestock, forage, and manure nutrient management in this publication for years to come.

2023 Research Recap:
25 Total Studies 

  • 4 Forages
  • 4 Dairy
  • 3 Beef
  • 6 Small Ruminant 
  • 5 Manure Nutrients
  • 2 Equine
  • 1 Poultry

eBarns – Putting Data in Producers’ Hands

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension

In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act called for establishment of Extension program within land grant universities. The Act spells out that Extension is to disseminate “useful and practical information on subjects related to agriculture” and to disseminate reach being conducted at the experiment stations (OARDC – Ohio Agriculture, Research, and Development Center – here in Ohio).

Over the year’s this “translation” of research has been done in a variety of ways including field days, seminars, one-on-one instruction, and via printed or digital newsletters. Traditionally, faculty who had Extension responsibilities on campus led research efforts, wrote academic journal articles, and then it was up to someone to share and interpret data that was meaningful to clientele in the counties across the state. eBarns, much like Ohio State Extension’s eFields publication does just that, putting the data of applied research into the hands of producers who can then interpret the research to make production decisions.

eBarns in new in 2022, focusing on applied livestock, forage, and manure management research across Ohio. The report can be found online at go.osu.edu/ebarns2022. Continue reading

Livestock Fencing and Watering Systems

As my family and I spent part of our weekend mending and building new fence, I was sure to reference this video from OSU Extension’s very own Ted Wiseman. Did you know that staples can be either right or left handed? Or that they should be put in at a specific angle in order to work properly? Do you know how deep a corner post should be in relation to the length of the horizontal brace post? Let’s not forget about water! Do you know the maximum distance livestock should travel to get to fresh, clean water? To save yourself many headaches this spring, this video is well worth the listen as you begin turning livestock back out to pasture this spring.

American Lamb Board Connects Consumers and Chefs with American Lamb Sources

American Lamb Board
(Previously published in the American Lamb Board Newsletter, December 16, 2021)

The American Lamb Board (ALB) aims to connect American Lamb producers with consumers and chefs who are seeking local sources of American Lamb.

“ALB receives emails and calls daily requesting information about where to buy American Lamb,” says Gwen Kitzan, ALB chair. “We want to know the online stores, farmers markets, and butcher shops that carry local American Lamb across the country to help consumers and chefs who only have access to imported lamb or no lamb at all in their grocery stores.”

ALB has a survey for American Lamb producers to submit information about their direct marketing efforts.

Furthermore, LambResourceCenter.com has many useful tools for direct marketers such as a pricing calculator called the Direct Marketing Lamb Business Management Tool and Continue reading

Rangeland Sheep Research

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County

On the border of Southwestern Montana and Eastern Idaho lay the rangelands that comprise the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) U.S. Sheep Experiment Station. My interest in sheep production and my nephew’s enjoyment of road trips, led us on the three-hour trek from Bozeman, Montana to Dubois, Idaho last week to set foot on the influential sites where many American sheep research and rangeland management discoveries originated. After catching up over lunch at an old-fashioned soda fountain in Ennis, Montana, we crossed the Idaho border, and continued on through beautiful stretches of native rangelands peppered with cattle grazing as we followed winding gravel roads to Dubois.

The Sheep Experiment Station Headquarters is located about six miles north of Dubois, although the grazing lands under station management total over 48,000 acres in two states, Idaho and Montana. Station Research Leader- Dr. Joshua Bret Taylor met us upon arrival at headquarters and gave us a whirlwind tour of the main facilities located on the 28,000-acre site surrounding the station office. Some of the earliest research on Continue reading