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Area farmers struggle with harvest following strange weather

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 6:30 AM

Watch a soybean harvest in the autumn twilight from the air

The weather in recent weeks has been strange and difficult for area farmers. Brisk September days. Warm, humid October nights. Drought — then almost constant rain.

The temperature last Sunday afternoon dropped some seven degrees in just one hour.

“Harvest has slowed down significantly in the last 10 days,” said Sam Custer, educator for the Ohio State University Extension in Darke County. “We have had rain events every day for the last ten days. This has brought the soybean harvest to a standstill and greatly slowed down the corn harvest.”

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In Darke County — a rural community of about 52,000 residents and nearly 1,700 farms, according to the U.S Census — Custer estimated that farmers are about 45 percent harvested on soybeans and 15 percent so far for corn.

Darke County has nearly 340,000 acres devoted to farming, according to the Census. That’s more farmland than Miami County (which has more than 184,000 acres devoted to farmland), Montgomery County (over 124,000 acres), Butler (over 146,000 acres) and Warren (over 106,000 acres).

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Strange weather this fall really has been nothing new — at least this year, Custer said.

“The harvest window was going to be long anyway because of the long planting season that was driven by a wet spring,” he said. “Many acres of corn and beans were being either planted or replanted in June.”

An issue with the long harvest will be the “standability” of the crop, he added. Any corn with a weak stalk coming into the harvest because of the spring conditions is very susceptible to weather events. Evening winds have blown some corn over. Wind events in the future will have an effect on the harvestability, he said.

The bottom line? Harvest will be affected, he believes.

“For the harvest that has taken place soybean yields and corn yields across the county I predict will be slightly below average,” he said. “There will be some places that will have very good corn yields.”

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That’s bad news for farmers who are already expected to get low prices for corn and soybeans. Prices are expected to be at $2.80 to $3.60 per bushel for corn and $8.35 to $10.5 per bushel for soybeans.

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Progress report, issued Oct. 16, indicates just 28 percent of the corn crop is harvested in the nation, but well behind the five-year average of 47 percent at the time.

In Montgomery County, farmers are mostly corn and soybean growers. There are some wheat fields and some hay is grown in the southern part of the county, said Suzanne Wasniak-Mills, agricultural and natural resources educator with the OSU Extension in Montgomery County. But the area around Dayton is mostly corn and soybean country.

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Farmers are harvesting now, she said. “So the devil will be in the details — in the yield monitors.”

A yield monitor is a piece of equipment in most combines, calculating the yield farmers get as grain goes through combine machines, she said.

“Things are just all over the board — you don’t know where they’re at,” Wasniak-Mills said. “It depends on the farm and the rain and the variety.”

Weather has been a difficulty for many farmers, she said. Extended soakings and morning fogs all delayed harvest. Last spring presented its own challenges, she said.

Autumn’s first killing frost will stop crop growth, but that doesn’t worry Wasniak-Mills right now. What farmers need more than anything else is to dry out.

“Every season has its own challenges,” she said.

Macy’s ‘fine-tuning’ staffing at some stores

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:59 AM


No Macy’s stores will close in the Dayton region in the near future, but staff changes could occur, according to a company spokeswoman.

“We are fine-tuning our staffing needs in some of our smaller stores to better tailor our in-store resources with business needs and expectations, while providing the best possible customer service experience. This includes increasing associates in some areas of store operations and reducing associates in others. We have not provided a breakdown of these changes by store or region,” the Macy’s spokeswoman said.

Earlier this month, the company announced the closure of 11 Macy’s stores — including one in downtown Cincinnati. It’s part of the retailer’s plan to close approximately 100 stores, which was announced back in August 2016.

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The following Macy’s stores will be closing in early 2018. In most cases, clearance sales started Jan. 8 and run for approximately 8 to 12 weeks. Macy’s has closed a total of 124 stores since 2015.

  • Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills, CA
  • Westside Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
  • Novato (Furniture), Novato, CA
  • Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco, CA
  • The Oaks, Gainesville, FL
  • Miami (Downtown), Miami, FL
  • Magic Valley Mall, Twin Falls, ID
  • Honey Creek Mall, Terre Haute, IN
  • Birchwood Mall, Fort Gratiot Township, MI
  • Fountain Place, Cincinnati, OH
  • Burlington Town Center, Burlington, VT


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Walmart reportedly cutting more than 1,000 jobs

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:11 AM

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Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reportedly cutting more than 1,000 corporate jobs.

The Wall Street Journal reported the retailer is cutting jobs at its headquarters, which comes as Walmart announced its store workers will receive raises and bonuses. Walmart employs more than 1.5 million people in the U.S., plans to cut more than 1,000 corporate jobs, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

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“We’ve been looking at our structure for some time as we explore ways to operate more effectively,” a Wal-Mart spokesman told the WSJ, without confirming that job cuts are planned this month.

Sam’s Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., suddenly shuttered 63 stores across the U.S. late last week. Two Sam’s Club stores in Cincinnati have permanently closed without notice. The Loveland store on Fields-Ertel Road and the Oakley store on Marburg Avenue both permanently closed Thursday, WCPO reported. No locations in the Dayton region have been impacted. Sam’s Club has locations in Dayton, Beavercreek and Centerville.


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• Allegiant to add new flights at local airport

• German grocery chain Lidl halts plans to open local store

• At Home store to open in Dayton area this month

Foundation announces $26.4M in grants in past six months

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:37 AM

The Crayons to Classrooms non-profit was among the organizations that have benefited from Dayton Foundation-managed grants in recent months. Here, Saville Elementary School 2nd grade teacher, Amanda Gant, left and her assistant, Bridget Boyce shop for classroom material at Crayons to Classrooms in this 2010 photo. FILE.
The Crayons to Classrooms non-profit was among the organizations that have benefited from Dayton Foundation-managed grants in recent months. Here, Saville Elementary School 2nd grade teacher, Amanda Gant, left and her assistant, Bridget Boyce shop for classroom material at Crayons to Classrooms in this 2010 photo. FILE.

In the past six months, Dayton Foundation fund holders awarded 10,515 grants totaling $26.4 million to not-for-profit organizations locally and beyond.

That’s a seven percent increase compared to the same period last year, the foundation said in an announcement Tuesday.

Grant awards amounting to $398,250 were made in the areas of arts and culture, health, education, human services, philanthropy and other community-building endeavors, the foundation said.

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Discretionary grants totaling $357,500 were awarded to an array of organizations, including $75,000 to the Greater Dayton Union Cooperative to assist in building a new cooperative grocery store in a designated food desert area, the foundation said.

Other recent grants have included:

CityWide Neighborhood Development Corp., $25,000, to help fund the final phase of the Lakeside Lake restoration project.

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Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc., $50,000.

Agape for Youth, Inc., $7,000.

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, $22,000.

Omega Community Development Corp., $75,000, toward building a center that will host poverty reduction programs.

Partners in Hope, Inc., $25,000, to help build a new facility to expand relief, education and development services for families in need.

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The foundation’s “Greenlight Grants” program is aimed at organizations seeking “quick, small grants for special projects, program expansions, capital improvements or capacity building,” the foundation said. Those grants went to the Crayons to Classrooms organization, the Beavercreek Wetlands Association, Daybreak and others.

The Dayton Foundation is the regional community foundation for the Dayton area. Since its establishment in 1921, the foundation has managed more than 3,500 charitable funds that have provided more than $867 million in grants to nonprofits locally and nationwide.

Ohio-built Accord named car of the year

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:47 AM

The company employs more than 1,400 workers from Clark and Champaign Counties.

A sedan built by workers in Marysville was named the 2018 Car of the Year, the third year in a row a Honda model has received the award.

The 2018 Honda Accord, which began rolling off the assembly line in Marysville last year, beat out the Kia Stinger and Toyota Camry to claim the honor.

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The Japanese automaker invested about $220 million in the Marysville facility as part of its redesign of the Accord, the company’s flagship sedan. About 1,400 workers from Clark and Champaign counties work for the manufacturer, and it employs about 14,500 Ohioans overall.

“We’re especially proud for the production associates in Ohio where Accord has been built to the highest quality standards for over 35 years,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of the Automobile Division and general manager of Honda Sales in a news release.

Last year Honda’s Ridgeline won in the truck category in the car and truck awards. Honda’s Civic model won the car of the year honor in 2016.


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