Top Headlines

Featured Posts (Posts shown below the “Top Posts” on the home page)

ODA Announces Five Livestock Care Sessions

Farmers, veterinarians and livestock haulers are encouraged to attend one of five informational sessions to be held in August and September by the Ohio Department of Agriculture which will provide an overview of the state’s new livestock care standards. The two-hour sessions will be held in Allen, Highland, Mercer, Muskingum, and Wayne counties.

The meetings are open to the public and will feature a presentation on the new livestock care standards as well as an opportunity to ask ODA staff questions about the new rules.
Date and locations for the information sessions are:

Wednesday, August 24    6:00 – 8:00    Hillsboro
Southern State Community College (Auditorium), 100 Hobart Drive

Wednesday, August 31    6:00 – 8:00    Wooster
Ohio State University OARDC (Shisler Center Ballroom), 1680 Madison Avenue

Wednesday, September 14    6:00 – 8:00    Lima
Independence Elementary School, 615 Tremont Avenue

Tuesday, September 27    6:00 – 8:00    Zanesville
Ohio University – Zanesville Campus (The Campus Center T430 & 431), 1425 Newark Road

Thursday, September 29    6:00 – 8:00    Fort Recovery
American Legion, 2490 State Route 49 N.… Continue reading

Read More »

Can the stressed corn crop beat the heat?

It is hot, really hot in Ohio, much of the Corn Belt and the southern U.S. To make matters worse, the high temperatures in the Corn Belt are occurring during the reproductive stage for a large portion of the crop, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good. Do the markets have reason for concern?

A number of factors combine each year to determine the U.S. average corn yield. Among those factors, temperature and precipitation during July are the most important, he said.

“Crop yield models have long confirmed the large yield impact of July weather. The most favorable weather conditions in July in the heart of the Corn Belt consist of temperatures that are modestly below average and precipitation that is about 25% above average,” he said.

These are the kind of conditions that were experienced in 2009 and contributed to the record high U.S. average yield that year. Historically, such conditions over large areas have been rare, he noted.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State Fair Ticket Giveaway!

The 2011 Ohio State Fair is almost here. The fair kicks off July 27th and runs until August 7th. The Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal will be there everyday bringing back the lastest news to share on air, in print and online.

We’re the home of Kalmbach Feeds Feeding You the Results First. We’ll have the latest results from the junior fair goat, chicken, sheep, hog, dairy and steer shows. Plus, we’ll be steaming the Sale of Champions LIVE, here on our site at 2:00 pm on August 7th.

In the comments below, tell us what your most looking forward to at this year’s fair. On Friday, July 22nd at noon we’ll randomly select three people who will each receive a family four pack of admission tickets to the fair!

Congrats to Marylin Fries, the Hiser Family and Suzy Sifrit would one the tickets.… Continue reading

Read More »

The Ohio Crop Progress Report – July 18th, 2011

As of Sunday July 17th, 7 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), 64 percent behind last year and behind the five-year average by 34 percent. Soybeans blooming were reported at 11 percent, behind last year and the five-year average by 50 and 42 percent points, respectively. Soybeans setting pods were rated at one percent, 12 points behind last year and seven points behind the five-year average. Ninety-five percent of the winter wheat has been harvested, compared to 98 percent last year and 89 percent for the five-year average. Oats were 95 percent headed, 4 percent behind last year and 5 percent behind the five-year average. Thirty-four percent of the oats were rated as ripe, 37 percent behind last year and 20 percentage points behind the five-year average. Eight percent of the oat acreage has been harvested, nine percentage points behind last year and four points behind the five-year average. The second cutting of alfalfa hay was 60 percent complete, compared to 85 percent last year and 74 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

Read More »

Woody biomass can help nation meet its energy needs

25x’25 released a Wood-to-Energy Policy Roadmap concluding that the focused use of woody biomass to help meet America’s energy needs could increase the nation’s forest land base and improve the environmental services that land provides. 

The findings are among the principal conclusions developed by a diverse panel of leading forestry, conservation, scientific and energy experts following two years of stakeholder discussion facilitated by 25x’25. The Roadmap offers a series of recommendations for policy makers and stakeholders to enhance the role of our nation’s forestlands in meeting U.S. energy needs while sustaining “forests as forests.”
The Roadmap shows the means by which woody biomass can be an important feed-stock for renewable energy, including:

• Promoting  the sustainable use of biomass with appropriate feedback mechanisms

• Rewarding efficient uses for woody biomass in energy production;

• Using market incentives to help private and public forestlands reach their productive potential for wood and other public benefits;

• Investment in needed research and technology development.… Continue reading

Read More »

OTCA Christmas Tree College

Those with years of experience or just considering the possibility of a Christmas tree business can benefit from attending the upcoming Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OTCA) Christmas Tree College at Kaleidoscope Farms in Hancock County on July 23.

“We have a great program that has something for everyone,” said Dave Reese, owner of the farm and one of the presenters. “The program has two parts. The first part is focused on the management of small trees and the second part features tips and tricks learned from Rod Hose’s lifetime of tree shearing experience. Rod is a very popular custom shearer from Lake City Michigan. This year his crew will shear around 70,000 trees just in Ohio.”

Hose will be giving demonstrations on shearing Scotch pine, white pine, fir and spruce. He will also provide tips on training shearers, shearing and he will be available for questions on specific shearing challenges. In addition, Reese and Bill Cackler, the current OCTA president, will be making the following presentations:

• Tree fertilization

• Staking young trees

• Early handles on young trees

• Pre-shearing

• Salvage and repair of damaged trees

• And the economics of planting trees.… Continue reading

Read More »

Can the 2011 corn crop catch up?

By Dave Nanda, 
Director of Genetics & Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc.

Can the corn crop planted in June catch up and mature? Maturity is a function of Heat Units or Growing Degree Days, also known as GDDs. It is a measure of the heat units accumulated each day and is based on a simple formula:

GDDs = Average daily temperature – 50. For example, if the high temperature of a day is 84 degrees F and low 68 degrees F, add the two to get 152. Now divide it by 2 to get the average temperature of 76 for that day. Subtracting 50 from 76 will give you 26. This number is the GDDs for that day. The stipulation in the formula is that we don’t count numbers above 86 and below 50.

Most of the corn hybrids planted in Indiana and Ohio require 2,400 to 2,800 GDDs to reach physiological maturity (about 32% kernel moisture) when planted in late April to middle of May.… Continue reading

Read More »

Marestail, oh my!

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension, Champaign County

Several years ago I attended a Montgomery County Extension Weed Tour and saw the marestail problem there. I saw their plots, saw the attempts to clean up the weed with glyphosate in Roundup Ready soybeans and recognized that it was virtually impossible.

Today our soybean fields look as bad in Champaign County (and surrounding areas in western Ohio) as I remember those Montgomery County fields. What our Extension weed specialists, Mark Loux, Jeff Stachler (was still here then), and Tony Dobbels learned was that once you have glyphosate resistant marestail plants, we can only kill about 50% or less with a glyphosate application. Other post products that once upon a time worked on marestail, such as First Rate or Classic lost their effectiveness in the mid-1990s for the most part. So a planned post program today to kill marestail in soybeans is foolish.… Continue reading

Read More »

OEFFA Advanced Season Extension Workshop

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy are offering a four day, two session workshop, “Raising the Salad Bar: Advanced Techniques and Season Extension for the Established Specialty Crop Grower.”

“This workshop is designed especially for experienced crop producers and will give them the tools needed to improve efficiency, utilize season extension, engage in sophisticated planning, and improve growing practices,” said Renee Hunt, OEFFA’s program director. “We have a number of growers currently doing an excellent job and producing at a high level.  These workshops are to help them take their skills to the next level,” said Beth Knorr of the Countryside Conservancy.

Session 1 (“Advanced Growing Techniques”) will take place on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6, and feature Josh Volk, a vegetable production expert, lecturer, and regular contributor to Growing for Market. Volk’s Slow Hand Farm in Oregon is home to his CSA, where he implements strategies for consistent yields of specialty crops.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA reassures farmers states affected by extreme weather

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers in states across the country that USDA offers a variety of resources for those affected by recent extreme weather, including floods, drought, fires and tornadoes. USDA also urges producers in need or those with questions to contact their local county or state USDA Service Center or Farm Service Agency office for assistance. In a recent tour of flooding in Iowa and Nebraska, as well as droughts and wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack promised farmers, ranchers and others that USDA would continue to work hard to deliver assistance to those in need.

“America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy and our values, and my heart goes out to all who are facing hardships because of severe weather and natural disasters,” Vilsack said. “In the past two months alone, I have visited with hundreds of Americans who have had to put their lives and livelihoods on hold to deal with floods, tornadoes, drought and wildfires.… Continue reading

Read More »

Crop Production Services Washington Court House honored on Capitol Hill

Crop Production Services, Washington Court House, Ohio, was honored as a Regional Environmental Respect Award winner for 2011, July, 14 at a special ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Building. Winners were selected May 5 in Willoughby, Ohio.

The Environmental Respect Awards, sponsored by CropLife magazine and DuPont Crop Protection, are the agricultural industry’s highest recognition for environmental stewardship among U.S. agricultural retailers, those who serve farmers and ranchers with the nutrients, pest control and agronomic information and services critical to effective crop production.  Each year a panel of industry experts gathers to recognize achievement in environmental stewardship, professional excellence, and community involvement.

Crop Production Services won the award based on excellence in site design, in-plant storage and handling procedures, proper application and leadership in safety and stewardship among customers and employees. Crop Production Services has taken many extra steps to ensure the environmental impact of their business is minimal. Some steps include having full contained indoor loading areas, collecting and field applying rain water runoff, and properly disposing of all pesticide containers.… Continue reading

Read More »

New triple-mounted mower-conditioner available from John Deere

To help producers mow and condition more hay in less time, John Deere introduces the Triple-Mounted Mower-Conditioner for 2012.  This three-machine system combines a 131 Front-Mount Mower-Conditioner with a Model 388 Twin Rear-Mount Mower-Conditioner to cut a swath more than 28 feet wide in a single pass.

“This mo-co combination allows the operator to cut and condition up to 40 acres of hay per hour depending on field conditions,” says Jeremy Unruh, baling and mowing product manager for John Deere. “The Triple-Mounted Mo-Co offers our large beef and dairy cattle customers and custom operators a wide cutting width of 28 feet, 8 inches and a narrow transport width of 10 feet, 2 inches.”

To operate the Triple-Mounted unit requires a tractor with greater than 190 rear PTO horsepower and equipped with front hitch and 1000 RPM PTO. The standard configuration uses a 1-3/8-inch front PTO, which can be adapted to 1-3/4-inch, and a 1-3/4-inch rear PTO connection.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Supreme Court sides with winery in zoning case

By Matt Reese

Growing grapes — even just a few — is still considered agriculture when it comes to zoning exemptions. This is at the crux of a recent decision made by the Ohio Supreme Court that adds a bit of clarity to the often-confusing legalities of the agricultural zoning exemption in the state.

The case addresses a longstanding debate about the role of zoning in regulating agriculture.

“When Ohio legislators granted zoning authority to townships and counties years ago, agricultural interests expressed concern that agricultural land uses would be ‘zoned out’ of many rural areas. The agricultural exemption addresses those concerns by limiting local zoning authority over agricultural land uses,” said Peggy Kirk Hall, Ohio State University senior researcher in Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. “The problem arises with the statute’s attempt to determine what is or is not an agricultural land use.”

This particular case revolves around the Sperry Family and their Myrddin Winery in Mahoning County.… Continue reading

Read More »

Determining the actual nutrient value of wheat straw

The question that is often asked is just how much nutrient is being removed with that baling of straw around the state?

From a pure fertilizer standpoint, wheat straw contains very little in terms of phosphorus (P2O5) but moderate amounts of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K2O), said Robert Mullen, director of agronomy, Potash Corp/PCS Sales. The actual amounts of N, P2O5, and K2O contained in a ton of wheat straw are 11, 3, and 20 pounds, respectively (or an analysis of 0.6-0.2-1 if it were printed on a fertilizer bag).

“These removal rates are based upon average nutrient removal estimates from various publications,” Mullen said.

Some estimates of nutrient removal can be based upon grain yield, but those estimates have an underlying assumption, he said. The Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations have a K2O removal of 0.91 pounds per bushel of grain.… Continue reading

Read More »

Care Board veal standards put on hold, for now

By Kyle Sharp

Standards of care for veal production approved by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) in April have been put on hold, at least temporarily, after intense questioning by members of Ohio’s Congressional Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) during a hearing on Monday, July 11. At the meeting, OLCSB and Ohio Department of Agriculture officials decided to pull the veal rules and re-file them at a later JCARR hearing after gathering and providing more supporting material.

“We have the chance to collect more information for the committee members, and our intent is to do that in the next couple of weeks and re-file at the Aug. 1 JCARR hearing,” said ODA spokesman Andy Ware. “The rules will be re-filed as submitted, and we are confident the committee will approve what we have submitted.”

Bob Cochrell, a Wayne County veal farmer and member of the OLCSB veal subcommittee, presented comments and information against the proposed standards at the hearing and does not believe JCARR will be so easily swayed.… Continue reading

Read More »

AFBF pushes for biofuels bill

The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging members of the Senate to support a bipartisan bill that would continue America’s transition to home-grown biofuels.

In a letter sent to senators, AFBF President Bob Stallman  called for passage of S. 1185, the Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act, sponsored by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that would end the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC).  Thune and Klobuchar, along with Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), recently reached an agreement to end the VEETC on July 31, instead of the current date of Dec. 31.

“One-third of the savings resulting from this change would be used toward providing tax credits for cellulosic biofuel production and building blender pumps—efforts that should result in better security for our nation and lower prices at the pump for consumers,” Stallman wrote.

“Farm Bureau believes that our nation should be focused on energy independence. We support transitioning from the VEETC to a program that builds biofuel infrastructure, including blender pumps and biofuel pipelines.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Refuge-in-the-bag saved precious time in 2011 planting season

By Matt Reese

This spring, farmers around Ohio experienced one of the most delayed plating seasons in history. With such a limited planting window, farmers had to make every minute count. A few farmers around the state got to save some time and experience the convenience of the refuge-in-the-bag of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn. Robert Earl, who farms in Huron County, was among them. He planted around 260 acres of the Channel Brand corn this spring.

“We started planting corn on June 2 and finished on June 7. I called in family members to help drive tractor,” he said. “The SmartStax made it easier. We didn’t have to worry about where we were planting the refuge. It was one thing we didn’t have to think about when we were busier than heck. We didn’t have to haul two different varieties out to the field, we just loaded it.”

The refuge-in-the-bag is also beneficial for preserving the insect resistance technology.… Continue reading

Read More »

Hog prices on the rise

Pork prices are on the rise as international exports increase and high feed costs are passed on to consumers, said a Purdue Extension agricultural economist.

Retail prices this year are averaging a record $3.35 per pound, up 14% from $2.93 per pound in early 2010.

Increases in exports to South Korea, Japan, Russia and China have led to stronger demand for U.S. pork, said Christ Hurt.  Meat designated for export comprised 22% of all U.S. pork in production this spring, and he said that is leaving less for U.S. consumers.

“While it now appears pork production will rise about 1% this year, the large sales to foreign customers mean tight supplies here at home,” Hurt said.

In recent weeks, corn prices have fallen after reaching a record high of more than $8 per bushel in some locations. Margins between hog revenues and feed costs are now positive, which is welcome news for the pork industry.… Continue reading

Read More »

Summer pasture management sets stage for extended grazing

By Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County and Buckeye Hills EERA

Summer pasture management generally requires a different mindset compared to the spring season. As both air and soil temperature increase our cool season grasses will grow slower and recover from a grazing pass slower. Just how much slower that growth and recovery is depends upon rainfall and grazing management. Up to this point at the end of June our rainfall has been good and we have even had some stretches of cooler temperatures so our pasture growth has remained good. If we get our typical July and August weather this could change quickly. I think that summer management should focus on meeting two goals: do not over graze pasture paddocks and provide some paddocks to stockpile forage for winter grazing.

The first management goal is to insure that pastures are not over-grazed. During the spring flush, pastures are growing so rapidly that the management strategy generally is to just top the grass off and keep moving quickly through the paddocks.… Continue reading

Read More »

A conversation with…Steve Hirsch, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) president

OCJ: First, could you share some background on your family’s fruit farm in Ross County?

Steve: Hirsch Fruit Farm is a diversified, multi generational fruit and vegetable farm. I am the fourth generation to raise fruit on this farm and work with my father, cousin and brother. We raise tree fruit (apples, peaches, nectarines) and small fruit (strawberries, raspberries, grapes) as well as asparagus, pumpkins, tomatoes and peppers. We also have about 50 acres of hay (grass hay and alfalfa/grass mix) and we produce our own apple cider here at the farm. We market most of our products directly to the consumer from an on-farm market and an off-farm market as well as participating in 4 farmers markets throughout the summer and fall.

OCJ: What OFBF experience do you have?

Steve: I started in Farm Bureau by participating in the youth programs while growing up on the farm. After returning to the farm, I became active in the Ross Co.… Continue reading

Read More »