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.

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University of Cincinnati buys Kettering Health reproductive practice

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 5:39 PM


            Michael Thomas, MD, executive vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and chief of the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a UC Health physician. CONTRIBUTED
Michael Thomas, MD, executive vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and chief of the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a UC Health physician. CONTRIBUTED

Kettering Health Network’s reproductive health practice has been acquired by UC Health.

The academic health system run by University of Cincinnati will manage the Kettering fertility practice starting Oct. 1.

UC Health Center for Reproductive Health – Kettering will maintain its current location in Kettering Medical Center’s Physician Office Building.

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The acquisition will combine two prominent Greater Cincinnati fertility practices — UC Health’s Center for Reproductive Health and Kettering Reproductive Medicine — into one full-service reproductive health practice with locations spanning the Interstate 75 corridor from Kettering, to Florence, Ky., UC said in a statement.

“We are proud to bring together these two well-respected reproductive health centers. Both centers have served their respective communities for many years, and this merger will allow us to combine resources to expand access to advanced fertility care for more patients across the tri-state region,” said Dr. Michael Thomas, UC’s chief of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, in a statement.

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“It also builds upon Kettering Medical Center’s existing relationship with UC in the areas of maternal-fetal medicine, and an established shared embryologist and lab director for reproductive medicine,” Terry Burns, president of Kettering Medical Center, said in a statement.

Beginning Oct. 1, Kettering’s Dr. Mark Bidwell and Erin Yontz, a nurse practitioner, will join UC Health.

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Ohio Burger King restaurant gives free burgers to dog dying of cancer

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 11:34 AM

TOMS King, a Burger King franchisee, is expanding in the Dayton area, starting with a new restaurant on Hoke Road in Clayton.

A Burger King location in Ohio wanted to help a dog dying of cancer enjoy his last days.

A Toledo man’s post on Twitter went viral after he shared the story of his dying dog, Cody. The dog was diagnosed with cancer, and was given one to three months to live. The owner has gone to Burger King every day to get the dog a plain hamburger to eat along with his many medications.

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When an employee heard about Cody’s story, they decided to give the dying dog free hamburgers for the rest of his life.

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Harry Potter festival coming to Ohio

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

Real-Life Diagon Alley Gets Magical Holiday Touch

The magical world of Harry Potter is coming to Ohio.

Ohio-Made Getaways is hosting “A Magical Getaway: Celebrating Potter Palooza” in Lancaster on Aug. 3 and 4. Fairfield County District Library’s community-wide celebration of 20 years of Harry Potter is a two-day getaway with plenty of fun activities for wizards and muggles of all ages.

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Lancaster is less than two hours from Dayton. Guests pick up a Marauder’s Map at the visitors center at 205 W. Main St. The festival includes:

• A wizarding costume contest at the library on 2 p.m. at 219 N. Broad St.

• Wizard Rock Band Tonks & the Aurors concert at 3 p.m. at the Downtown Bandstand at 3 p.m. on Friday

• Quidditch Demonstration at Rising Park at 203 E. Fair Ave. at 10 a.m. on Saturday

• Hogwarts Herbology class, where you will create and tend to your very own magical mandrake plant to take home and watch grow

• Visit Ollivander’s Wand Shop at the First Presbyterian Church (222 N. Broad St.)

• Art and Clay offers a“Mischief Managed” dinner plate painting project with a fun and simple design

• Two Broke Artists lead a Harry Potter Youth Painting Class.

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Taking flight: Air taxi and delivery drone research awards are made

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 9:23 AM

Andrew Shepherd (left), chief scientist and executive director of Sinclair Community College’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Department, and Jeffrey Miller, the department’s chief operating officer, say university research is steadily helping to advance commercial UAV applications. Sinclair will be part of new research into air taxis and delivery drones. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Andrew Shepherd (left), chief scientist and executive director of Sinclair Community College’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Department, and Jeffrey Miller, the department’s chief operating officer, say university research is steadily helping to advance commercial UAV applications. Sinclair will be part of new research into air taxis and delivery drones. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

A research network that includes Wright State University, the University of Dayton Research Institute and Sinclair Community College awarded $6.3 million to four teams to support research into air taxis and delivery drones, the network has announced.

Funding was awarded under the network’s “Sustaining Ohio’s Aeronautical Readiness and Innovation in the Next Generation (SOARING) initiative,” the Ohio Federal Research Network said in an announcement.

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The SOARING initiative is designed to develop and sustain unmanned air systems (UASs), personal air vehicles, and logistics delivery air vehicles.

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The four awarded projects are:

• Autonomous/ Remote Piloted “Air Uber” System, led by Dayton’s Persistent Surveillance Systems.

• Regional Unmanned Traffic Management System led by the University of Cincinnati.

• UAV Detect-and-Avoid Sensor Fusion, led by Ghostwave Inc. in Columbus.

• Brushless Doubly-Fed Machine and Drive System, led by The Ohio State University.

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Sinclair College, the University of Dayton Research Institute, Wright State University, business Autonodyne (which is expected to open an office in Ohio), Bosma Technical Services, of Tipp City, are expected to participate in the project.

Springfield’s Demeter UAVs, Akron’s Event 38 Unmanned Systems, IS4S (which is expected to open an office in Beavercreek), Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies (of Vineyard, Utah), MacAir Aviation and MacNauchtan Development, both of Xenia, will also take part, as will Simlat Inc., of Miamisburg.

Projects must focus on priority research initiatives of the Air Force Research Lab, the Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration’s Glenn Research Center.

Each project includes at least two Ohio universities, an industry member and engagement with an Ohio-based arm of a federal partner, the network said.

Applicants must also propose a live flight demonstration for the technologies they develop.

These awards “will drive innovation,” said Ricky Peters, chair of the network’s executive review board. “Each requires an actual demonstration at the end of the project which is very exciting.”

Peters added: “I think our only concern is that we were only able to award funding to four of the five recommended projects. We are hopeful that we’ll be able to identify additional funds because all of the recommended proposals are of such caliber they deserve to move forward.”

In three years, the network said it has leveraged $32 million in state funds to attract nearly $120 million in new research awards, with $350 million more in its funding pipeline.

The network’s research projects include 11 universities and community colleges throughout the state and 56 industry partners.

“Because of (the network), we are now seeing groups of researchers from both the public and private sector working together with our federal partners to leverage Ohio’s research assets, in ways that had never occurred before,” said network Executive Director Dennis Andersh.

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