DUARTE – La Canada High School’s softball team appeared to have turned the corner after a rough 4-16 season a year ago. The Spartans were 3-0 and reached the championship game of the Duarte Tournament. A throwing error by Stenzel allowed the Knights to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Lexi Thomas’s RBI single and a towering two-run double by Hannah Harmon made it 5-0. Ontario Christian scored one run in the second, three in the third and six in the fourth to grab a commanding 15-0 lead. The Spartans, trailing 15-0, showed some life with four runs in the fifth on RBI singles by Devon Zerebko and Anna Brenner, and a two-run single by Abby Ulf. Brenner, Zerebko and Kylie Mulligan each had three hits to lead the Spartans. “The girls know that this is a learning tool and we’ve got to get better from it,” Valassidis said. Ronnie Alvarado’s booming two-run homer to center in the fifth closed out the Knights’ scoring. Kelsey Nanchy had three hits for Ontario Christian. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4456. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! They’re hoping Friday’s game against Ontario Christian was merely a misstep. Ontario Christian took advantage of seven La Canada errors in a 19-4 win at Duarte High. “It was tough for the girls and I feel for them,” first-year Spartans coach Justin Valassidis said. “I was hoping that the girls would wind up with a better game today, but after last year, 4-16, we’re looking for a great year and a year of redemption.” La Ca ada (3-1) didn’t find any redemption Friday as Ontario Christian (4-0) collected 11 hits. The only thing that went wrong for the Knights was the field lights went off while they were taking their victory photos. Not only did the Spartans suffer their first loss, they lost starting pitcher Jade Stenzel, who was hit by a line drive off the bat of Donie Thomas in the fifth inning. “It looks like it might be a possible fracture, but she’s being sent down to the urgent care to identify that,” Valassidis said.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We will make a few tweaks to the forecast this morning, not really adding or subtracting moisture over Ohio, but rather moving it around in terms of its timing. Today looks like it may end up with a little more rainfall action statewide, and we are increasing our rain potential for Wednesday as well. As a tradeoff, we are dropping rain chances for Thursday, and will trend Friday drier as well, although we can’t rule out a few scattered pop up showers Friday, mostly south. Same story Friday night into early Saturday morning. While moisture tries to pop up over the weekend off to our west in Indiana and Illinois, we may escape here too. Our next good chance of moisture waits to develop until later Sunday afternoon and evening, into the start of next week. Still, we will look for rains through the balance of this week (today forward) to be from .25” to .75” over 90% of Ohio. Next week is wetter. We have to put chances of rain and thunderstorms in each day, Monday through Thursday of next week. Now, the action may be geared toward 12-hour period in there, that allow for almost 24 hours in between the events, but still, on a daily basis, there is a chance every day. The rains can be substantial too, if thunderstorms do develop. Right now, we will put new rain totals in the .5”-1.5” range but may have to expand the upper end of the range as we get closer to the event, if instability points toward stronger and longer lasting thunderstorms. The map shows 7 day rain totals through next Tuesday morning. In the extended period, we have a front for late the 21st into the 22nd that brings .25”-1” of rain to kick off the 11-16 day window, and then another front around the 26th that can bring equal rains. Both will end up with coverage around 80%. Temps will begin to warm just a bit today, getting back to near normal, and we will be close to normal over most of the coming next 10 days. Well above normal temps are not expected (troublesome heat), but we can see some slightly above normal action into the weekend. Next week, if rains develop like we are seeing, that will keep temps down somewhat. This continues to be a great forecast for crop growth and development.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest April exports of U.S. pork, beef and lamb were sharply higher than a year ago in both volume and value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports set a new volume record, fueled by tremendous demand in Mexico, while beef exports posted the best-ever results for the month of April.April pork export volume was 230,049 metric tons (mt), up 13% from a year ago and topping the previous high set in November 2016. April export value was $584.1 million, also up 13%. For January through April, pork export volume was 4% ahead of last year’s record pace at 866,346 mt, while value increased 9% to $2.29 billion. (For pork muscle cuts, excluding variety meat, April was also a record volume month at 184,487 mt, up 18% from a year ago. Muscle cut export value was $480.6 million, up 14%.)Exports accounted for nearly 30% of total pork production in April, up from 28.4% a year ago, while the percentage of muscle cuts exported also increased significantly (25.8%, up from 23.5%). Through April, the percentage of total production exported was fairly steady with last year at 27.4%, while muscle cuts jumped from 22.8% to 23.5%.April pork export value averaged $58.45 per head slaughtered, up 6% from a year ago, while the January-April average increased 5% to $55.69.Beef export volume was 111,213 mt in April, up 11% year-over-year. Export value was $676.7 million, up 23% and the fourth-highest on record. Through the first four months of 2018, exports were up 10% in volume to 429,286 mt. Export value was $2.59 billion, 20% above last year’s record pace.Exports accounted for 14.1% of total beef production in April, up from 13.6% a year ago. For muscle cuts only, the percentage exported was 11.3%, up from 10.6%. For January through April, exports accounted for 13.4% of total production and 10.8% for muscle cuts, each up about half a percentage point from last year.Beef export value averaged $328.46 per head of fed slaughter in April, up 16% from a year ago. Through April, per-head export value averaged $318.91, up 17%.Even with growth in red meat production, both pork and beef exports have accounted for a larger share and contributed more dollars per head, indicating strong international demand.Huge month for pork to Mexico; exports to Korea continued to surgeMexico was again the pacesetter for pork exports in April, with volume reaching 79,019 mt – up 34% from a year ago and the second-largest on record. Export value to Mexico was $134.1 million, up 28%. Through the first four months of 2018, exports to Mexico were 7% above last year’s record volume pace at 282,675 mt, with value up 6% to $505.4 million.Maintaining this pace will be challenging, however, with Mexico announcing retaliatory tariffs on imports of most U.S. pork products effective June 5. The tariff rate on chilled and frozen pork muscle cuts is 10% until July 5, when it is set to increase to 20%.“The outstanding April performance for pork exports to Mexico really underscores the importance of this market to the U.S. industry and how it has been such a reliable trading partner for hams, picnics and other pork cuts,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “USMEF will continue to emphasize the quality and consistency of U.S. pork to red meat customers in Mexico and make every effort to help U.S. suppliers retain their business. But make no mistake about it, the U.S. industry is going to have to fend off competitors who suddenly have a significant tariff rate advantage and see a clear opening into the Mexican market.”Pork exports to South Korea continued to build momentum in April, with volume (25,370 mt, up 74%) and value ($74.1 million, up 81%) increasing significantly from a year ago. Through April, exports to Korea are on a record pace, climbing 44% in volume to 94,888 mt, valued at $276.1 million (up 55%). Strong growth in consumer demand and duty-free access under the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) have fueled a rapidly expanding presence for U.S. pork in Korea.While pork exports to the China/Hong Kong region were below year-ago levels in April, shipments remained relatively strong despite the additional 25% tariff on U.S. pork that took effect April 2. It is likely, however, that the trade impact will show up more dramatically in May export data and in coming months. The tariff increase essentially tripled China’s standard rate on frozen pork imports, taking it from 12% to 37% (the increase does not apply to Hong Kong, which still charges zero duty). April exports to China/Hong Kong were 41,567 mt, down 14% from a year ago, but slipped only slightly in value to $95.9 million. For January through April, exports to China/Hong Kong were 15% below last year’s pace in volume (153,248 mt) but steady in value at $356.6 million.“It is encouraging to see that pork volumes to China/Hong Kong held up fairly well in April, but the tariff disadvantage is still having a negative impact on the U.S. industry and has pressured prices for key export items,” Halstrom noted. “It’s another situation in which our competitors are capitalizing on the extra cost associated with importing U.S. pork.”For January through April, other highlights for U.S. pork include: Exports to leading value market Japan were 1% below last year’s pace in volume (132,534 mt) but increased 1% in value ($544.8 million). This included a 5% decrease in chilled pork volume (68,532 mt), valued at $330 million (down 1%).Strong growth in Colombia pushed pork exports to South America up 23% from a year ago in volume (39,520 mt) and 24% in value ($96.7 million).Led by mainstay markets Honduras and Guatemala and sharply higher shipments to Panama, exports to Central America climbed 23% from a year ago in volume (26,459 mt) and 27% in value ($63.3 million).Pork exports achieved solid growth in the Philippines and more than doubled from a year ago to Vietnam, as exports to the ASEAN region increased 20% in volume (15,435 mt) and 31% in value ($43.8 million). Asian markets and Mexico highlight strong April for beef exportsJapan maintained its position as the leading volume and value market for U.S. beef, with April exports totaling 25,650 mt (up 9% from a year ago) valued at $166.6 million (up 16%). Through April, exports to Japan were steady with last year’s volume at 98,090 mt while value increased 10% to $626.1 million. This included a 4% increase in chilled beef to 47,322 mt, valued at $375 million (up 17%). Frozen shipments have regained momentum now that the 50% safeguard duty rate has expired. But with a 38.5% rate in place for both chilled and frozen beef, the U.S. remains at a large disadvantage compared to its top competitor, Australia.U.S. beef continues to build tremendous momentum in South Korea, where April exports were up 62% from a year ago in volume (19,185 mt) and 72% in value ($134.8 million). For January through April, exports to Korea climbed 31% to 71,094 mt, valued at $501 million (up 45%). Chilled exports totaled 15,480 mt (up 29%) valued at $148 million (up 40%). In contrast to Japan, U.S. beef has a slight tariff advantage versus Australia, as KORUS was implemented earlier than the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.“The enthusiasm for U.S. beef in these markets may be at the highest level I’ve ever seen,” Halstrom said. “In nearly every segment of the retail and restaurant sectors, U.S. beef is attracting new customers with a wider range of cuts and menu items. It’s an exciting trend that’s not just limited to Japan and Korea, with U.S. beef’s popularity also strengthening in other Asian markets and in the Western Hemisphere.”For January through April, other highlights for U.S. beef include: In Mexico, exports were 5% ahead of last year’s pace in volume (78,435 mt) and 16% higher in value ($342.4 million). Demand was especially strong in April, as exports totaled 21,396 mt (up 22% and the largest since August), while value increased 33% to $92.1 million.Exports to China/Hong Kong increased 23% in volume (46,043 mt) and surged 51% in value to $352.4 million. China still accounts for a small portion of these exports, as shipments to China were 2,299 mt valued at $21.3 million. China reopened to U.S. beef in June of last year. While U.S. beef is not yet subject to retaliatory duties in China, it remains on the proposed retaliation list with a possible additional tariff of 25%.Taiwan continues to display a growing appetite for U.S. beef, especially for chilled cuts. Exports to Taiwan were 30% above last year’s pace in volume (17,500 mt) and 42% higher in value ($168.7 million). Chilled exports were up 43% in volume (7,605 mt) and value ($96 million), as U.S. beef captured 74% of Taiwan’s chilled beef market.Steady growth in the Philippines and a tripling of exports to Indonesia pushed exports to the ASEAN region 35% above last year’s pace in volume (14,865 mt) and 37% higher in value ($82 million).Exports to South America were up 14% in volume (8,971 mt) and 28% in value ($43.5 million), with the main destinations being Chile, Peru and Colombia. Leading market Chile was up 20% in volume (4,137 mt) and 14% in value ($22.5 million), though shipments slowed in March and April following a strong start to the year. Solid April for lamb exports as 2018 rebound continuesApril exports of U.S. lamb were well above last year’s low totals in both volume (973 mt, up 97%) and value ($1.9 million, up 48%). Through the first four months of 2018, exports climbed 39% in volume (3,457 mt) and 16% in value ($7.3 million). Growth was driven by stronger variety meat demand in Mexico and larger muscle cut shipments to the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Canada. Gabon and Angola also show promise as potential growth destinations for lamb variety meat.Complete April export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics web page.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Joel PenhorwoodThough Ohio is not a top state for wheat production, the state continues to be a hotbed for national leaders in agriculture. A pair of farmers in Ohio have taken their wheat expertise to the national level this year as they each are currently serving as chairs of their national organizations.Doug Goyings of Paulding and Rachael Vonderhaar of Camden are chair people of the U.S. Wheat Associates and Wheat Foods Council, respectively. They by no means selected an easy year for organization leadership in these groups as a multitude of issues face the industry nationwide, along with unique seasonal challenges here at home.“I’m a fourth-generation farmer,” said Doug Goyings, chair of the U.S. Wheat Associates. “My great-great-grandpa, he came here in 1886 — actually the farmstead where my son lives now. I followed my grandfather’s, great-grandfather’s, and my father’s steps, and I’ve grown the farm considerably since then. We’re approximately 4,500 acres now. My son works with me full time thank goodness because when I’m away doing U.S. Wheat business, I have to have somebody to work. Between my wife and my son, they do an excellent job of keeping up things when I’m gone.”A busy schedule for meetings with U.S. Wheat has coincided with a busy planting schedule, resulting in several nights without sleep.“It’s been a challenge. We’ve ran multiple nights over the nights and no sleep,” he said. “It’s not a good thing for anybody to run those hours, but we had to get it done.”Goyings has been on the USW board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. As chairman, Goyings is responsible for a number of things, one of them serving as a representative of the U.S. Wheat Associates near and far.“We interact with a lot of our buyers from around the world and that’s our number one job really is interact with the buyers to make sure they understand how to use U.S. Wheat because we’re one of the most reliable and quality wheats in the world,” he said. “We try to strive and let our customers know that and then they’ll keep coming back and that’s a key thing. You have to have return business. A one-time deal is something you don’t want. You want something year after year.”Though it can be difficult while maintaining a thriving operation back home in Paulding County, the role is a once in a lifetime experience.“I do enjoy doing this. My Dad says he deprived me when I was little because he didn’t let me travel much. I enjoy traveling, and it’s been interesting traveling to the different airports of the world and interacting with people. The world has gotten a lot smaller since I started traveling because most people in the world will speak English and that makes it a lot easier for us to travel,” he said. “I just got back after being gone for almost a month in South Africa and that’s a whole different world there. Basically when it comes down to it, every place in the world has poor areas and every place in the world has excellent cities and downtown areas that are just gorgeous. Every place I’ve been, I’ve seen both sides of everything.”Goyings’ connection to the family farm has helped him connect with international customers around the world.“It’s been interesting. I’ve been traveling quite a bit and I was in Malaysia talking to the buyers over there and what they enjoy is the fact you come from a family farm. They really like to see the pictures of the family farm because it’s important to those buyers around the world,” he said. “It was the same way when I was down in Mexico and Chile, they just enjoy talking to a farmer.”His tenure comes at an interesting time for American grain relations internationally. Several trade deals are of top priority for U.S. Wheat.“A lot of it’s trade. We do have competition now. Years ago, we had Russia that was a grain importer and now they’re the number one exporter in the world. They are a huge competition against us now,” Goyings said. “We just don’t sell anything hardly Europe anymore. Egypt is the number one buyer in the world and we don’t ship anything to them. I think one cargo went in there last year because Russia is competition now.”Just as weather in the heartland is affecting things greatly, it also has a major impact on world dynamics.“This year, Australia is not our competition because they had a drought,” he said. “We kind of hear about all these problems around the world and we try to be there to help our customers know that we are available and we always have wheat.”Goyings’ experience abroad has revealed some prospects for U.S. farmers.“I think Asia is a tremendous opportunity. Southeast Asia, there is a tremendous growth rate there. We’re shipping more wheat into that region so we are very heavily involved in that area,” he said. “We just have to go where we can move it and southeast Asia is a big one.“A difficult one is Africa because Europe and Australia come into there. We continue to work on it and let them know how to use our wheat. We’ve got specialists in all these different countries to show them how to use our wheat, because wheat is a little bit different around the world and we’ve got some advantages of blending our wheat when we ship it out to what the customer wants.”As far as goals go, Goyings has a couple as chairperson that stand out.“I’d definitely like to get things settled with TPP and Japan or whatever we want to call it when we get out agreement there. That’s a big one and also this thing with China, we need to get that trade,” he said. “If we could start shipping wheat in there, it’ll raise all the grain prices if we can get an agreement with them.”Rachael Vonderhaar of Preble County is representing the nation’s wheat growers in her role as chair of the Wheat Foods Council.Those goals if accomplished would change prices around the world, including for producers and consumers here at home. That is the audience focused on by Rachael Vonderhaar of Camden, Ohio, recently named chair of the Wheat Foods Council.“I farm with my husband Alan, my son Adam, and my father-in-law Lynn,” she said. “We raise wheat, malting barley, corn and soybeans, plus a little bit of cattle and sheep.”Vonderhaar has been heavily involved in the Ohio Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations in the past. It’s no different on the wheat side.“I’m in my second term with the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff and it’s been a great opportunity to explore leadership both within the state of Ohio and nationally. I represent the checkoff to the Wheat Foods Council, and I’ve done that for a few years now and this is my year to slide into Chair there,” she said. “I’m excited and look forward to what the opportunities are ahead and how I can promote wheat domestically across the country.”Different from the U.S. Wheat Council that Goyings is a part of, the Wheat Foods Council is focused on multiple aspects of the process from farm to dinner table.“The Wheat Foods Council is made up of the full supply chain with wheat from producer to elevator, miller, to baker. We’re all there having that conversation together about how we can share the quality wheat with the United States and our consumers and educate them on the types of wheat we have and each of the purposes that are utilized,” Vonderhaar said. “Here in Ohio, we grow soft red winter wheat, and I like to refer to it as the sweet wheat because it’s all the yummy stuff. Your cakes, your cookies, and your alcohols.”Vonderhaar said that last bit with a smile and a quick laugh, though it’s that fun connection that Vonderhaar said is essential to telling the story of wheat with today’s consumer.“The national side is a big place. It’s a big playground and understanding who all is in it is educational not only as a producer, but as a consumer,” she said. “I love to bake and so getting to talk to the millers and the bakers across the country and how that relates back to my personal use has been an amazing experience.”Telling that story as chair of the Wheat Foods Council is a big part of the job, Vonderhaar said, but figuring out exactly who to have that conversation with is another job in itself.“As I’ve worked with the Wheat Foods Council and we’ve done our research, we find that the majority of the public is getting nutritional information from their trainer. So for years, we’ve worked with registered dieticians about sharing the message about wheat and the value of it for health, but we’re realizing we need to talk to those trainers because that’s where most people are reaching out to,” she said. “Sharing the science and the facts and the importance of having grains in the diet just for function and endurance is knowledge that really needs to be shared with the general public.“With the Wheat Foods Council, we do support a triathlete, Michelle Tuttle, who’s also a registered dietician. It’s really neat to listen to her and the diet that she writes for herself. Then you can follow her on social media to understand how she gets her endurance from the grains that she eats.”That unique way of conversation for Vonderhaar has roots that are unique compared to most in agriculture. She did not come from a farm background, but her life experience has led her to her position today.“When I was younger, agriculture was nowhere in the plan I had before me, but I met a boy who stole my heart — he’ll tell you I met a man who won it — with that I was all in. He was a full-time farmer and when I said ‘I do,’ I stepped into it all. I’ve been blessed with an amazing life out on the farm, raising a family, participating in agriculture — but I had a good friend, Jane Marshall, at the county fair had a lunch with me and she said, ‘You know what, I think we have a lot in common and I’d like to invite you to an Ohio Agri Women meeting.’ From there I went to an American Agri Women’s meeting and I was pulled in. I just want to be part of having the conversation and translating the information from the farm to the consumer. How do we have that conversation? Because we all talk about food in a different way and so those of us that raise it and produce it, we use a lot of language that’s not common for the common consumer to understand. We’ve been really open our farm to host anyone that wants to take a look and talk about what we’re doing, but I think participating in those groups has really helped me understand the value of sharing that information and being open with it.”Whether it be far away or right down the road, both Vonderhaar and Goyings encourage farmers of all ages to get involved in having the conversation, both within the industry and outside of it, telling the story of agriculture at home and around the world.