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Educational meetings for Beef producers set for February and March

As a service to its membership, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in part with the OCA Allied Industry Council is holding a series of district meetings located across Ohio during the months of February and March. Anyone with an interest in the cattle industry is invited and encouraged to attend. The meetings will begin between 6:30 and 7 p.m. with a complimentary dinner followed by educational speakers.

According to OCA President David Felumlee of Licking County, “OCA’s district meetings are designed to take OCA to the cattlemen, making it even easier for OCA members to have a voice in directing their organization and to encourage members to recruit other members and to give them some valuable management information in the process.”

Meeting locations and topics for 2011 include:

February 24, 2011 – OCA District 7 Meeting (Counties: Belmont, Carroll, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, Noble and Tuscarawas), 7 p.m., Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, 1509 County Rd.… Continue reading

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ASA concerned about ag cuts

The American Soybean Association is concerned with the disproportionate cuts in agriculture spending in H.R. 1, the Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011. ASA believes the proposed cuts to agriculture are more than double the amount proposed to be cut in overall non-defense discretionary spending. H.R. 1 would cut 5.21-billion dollars, or 22.4 percent, from agriculture-related programs and operating budgets during the remaining seven months of FY-2011. This is more than double the 10.3 percent cut proposed in overall non-defense discretionary spending.

ASA President Alan Kemper, a soybean farmer from Lafayette, Indiana, says – while we understand the bill’s efforts to decrease discretionary spending, we are concerned that agriculture is being required to absorb a disproportionate amount of the cuts.  Given the importance that agriculture plays in America’s food security and economic recovery, it is unclear how such disproportionate cuts are warranted or wise.  ASA is strongly encouraging Congress to reconsider the balance of funding cuts for the remainder of FY-2011.… Continue reading

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The battle for acres in 2011

By Matt Reese

As spring planting draws near, the demand-driven market has put crop producers amid as hotly a contested acreage battle as there has ever been. The stakes and the risks are high for the 2011 growing season.

“When you’re talking to the banker, the volatility we’re seeing in the markets is a challenging thing,” said Mitch Welty, grain manager for the Blanchard Valley Farmers Coop. “There are a lot of unknowns still out there, and I think volatility is going to be here to stay. I think this is something we’re going to have to deal with from here on out and it will be a challenge for everybody. I think guys are getting very nervous about if they sell today what they are giving up tomorrow. It makes people want to start micro-managing things instead of looking at the big picture and locking in a profit.”

Welty said the weather, the conditions in South America, cotton acres, the quality of wheat stands, and the growing appetite of China are all important factors to consider as the acreage battle plays out this spring.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau support of Feeding America breaks record

The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau last year raised more than $273,000 and donated more than 18 million pounds of food to hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program through Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations provided the equivalent of more than 16 million meals.

The money raised, food donated and meal equivalents in 2010 all shattered program records. The Harvest for All Program was established in 2003.

In fact, the 18 million pounds of food donated by Farm Bureau families in 2010 was nearly three times as great as the 6.7 million pounds donated in 2008, the previous record. The $273,000 in funds donated in 2010 surpassed the 2009 level of $213,000, which was also a record. And the number of meal equivalents served at 16 million exceeded the previous high of 6.4 million, also set in 2008, by nearly 10 million meal equivalents.… Continue reading

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The Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative leads Ohio delegation to Israel

The Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative (OIAI) of the Negev Foundation is taking a wide representation of Ohio’s agricultural and agri-business experts to the prestigious AgroMashov tradeshow in Israel this March, where they will speak on their areas of expertise. The Initiative also will present a booth at the tradeshow featuring Ohio companies.

AgroMashov—— is one of the largest international agriculture tradeshows in the Middle East, with 20,000 visitors expected from around the world. One focus of the tradeshow will be enhanced, sustainable production in the face of population increases and climate change.

The Ohio booth is sponsored by OIAI, with the support of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Department of Development’s Global Markets Division, and its Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.

OIAI fosters agricultural trade opportunities and collaboration between Ohio and Israel,” said Sarah Horowitz, OIAI’s program director, who will accompany the delegation. “Our presence at AgroMashov will help Ohio agribusinesses both with the exposure needed to attract international buyers and the opportunity to explore international markets.”… Continue reading

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Syngenta Seeds submits EPA applications for two refuge-in-a-bag products

Syngenta Seeds, Inc., announced it has submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an application for the registration of its Agrisure Viptera 3220 E-Z refuge trait stack and its Agrisure 3122 E-Z refuge trait stack, both featuring a blended 5% refuge or “refuge-in-a-bag” component.

Once approved, the Agrisure Viptera 3220 E-Z refuge trait stack will offer growers dual modes of action on above-ground lepidopteran corn pests. This revolutionary stack includes the breakthrough Agrisure Viptera trait, featuring a completely new mode of action in corn with the first Vip3A insect control protein.  The Agrisure Viptera trait is the industry’s first “non-Cry” (non-crystalline) insect control protein. In addition, the stack contains the trusted and tested Agrisure CB/LL trait, the Bt11 event, which has been protecting corn from European corn borer for more than 10 years. The Agrisure GT trait for glyphosate tolerance and the Herculex I trait for corn borer round out this stack, which is designed specifically for areas where corn rootworm is either negligible or can be managed through crop rotation.… Continue reading

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Watch that water flow and keep nutrients in the fields

By Justin Petrosino, Darke Ag and Natural Resources Extension educator

The other day I noticed here in the office a little drip of water coming from the ceiling. The cause was ice thawing on the flat roof. Water melting from underneath that frozen layer of snow and ice was percolating its way into my office.

The water from above that snow and ice layer is running off to the gutter and out into the parking lot.

Out in our fields much of the ground underneath that layer of snow and ice is thawed. It is taking up a portion of that snowmelt just like our porous roof here in the office. However some snowmelt on top of that frozen snow pack is running off. With the heavy infiltration of water some of those fields have become saturated and we are seeing runoff. We are no more than a few days into the thaw and reports of manure moving off the field and into the creek are already coming in.… Continue reading

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OFBF legislative priorities discussed at Ag Day at the Capital

By Matt Reese

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s director of state policy Beth Vanderkooi covered some of the important state agriculture-related issues that need to be discussed with legislators during Ag Day at the Capital.

“There are some really exciting things going on at the Ohio statehouse,” she said. “We have a very aggressive state priorities list this year, but we cannot do it without you. There are big issues being discussed.”

Elimination of the estate tax is among the top issues being debated.

“It will be a few weeks before the House sends this bill over to the Senate. That is a few more weeks for us to get out there and send our message loud and clear,” Vanderkooi said. “We have a rare opportunity to get this done in Ohio, but it will not happen if we sit back and let someone else speak.”

Other important issues include the business climate and taxes in Ohio.… Continue reading

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OPPC Names Overholt as Director of Communications

Margo Overholt was named the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) Director of Communications. She will be responsible for managing producer communication initiatives to increase awareness and understanding of pork-related programs throughout Ohio.

“I look forward to Margo joining the OPPC team to tell about all the great contributions the pork producers of Ohio are making,” said Dick Isler, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) executive vice president. “She will be responsible for the Ohio Porkline, social media, OPPC’s web page and provide a positive image of pork producers.”

Overholt is completing a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications at The Ohio State University with emphasis in meat science. She was recently the Risk Management and Communications Intern for United Producers Inc., a farmer-owned and operated livestock cooperative providing agricultural services throughout the Midwest.

She was actively involved in 4-H and on her family’s farming operation outside Glenmont, Ohio. Currently, she serves as the Treasurer of the Ohio State University Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Chapter.… Continue reading

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BioHio Research Park links business and OARDC

At a time when the Buckeye state is trying to dig out of the recession and re-engineer its economy to boost job creation, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) is collaborating with forward-thinking industry to do just that.

The Wooster center — part of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences — is looking beyond the classroom and lab to commercialize technology that can lead to startup companies or attract businesses to invest and build their workforces right here in Ohio.

This initiative has given birth to BioHio Research Park, a first-in-the-state business and technology center whose aim is to link OARDC scientists with business and industry partners interested in the growing and promising field of agricultural biosciences — which includes high-impact areas such as renewable energy and materials, food safety, and environmental remediation.

“BioHio is a truly unique asset,” said Rod Crider, president of the Wayne Economic Development Council, a key partner of OARDC in this endeavor. … Continue reading

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Utica and Marcellus Shale Gas and Oil Lease Terms Program

Leasing activity of land for gas from Utica and Marcellus shale formations has been on the increase in Licking County and surrounding counties in recent months.  As a result landowners have many questions on terms in a lease and what are reasonable expectations.  With that in mind OSU Extension in Licking County has arranged for a program on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Newark Campus of Ohio State University and Central Ohio Technical College.  The program will be held in Hopewell Hall South, Room 68.

J. Richards Emens, an attorney with Emens & Wolper Law Firm, LPA, Columbus, Ohio will resource the program.  He is a specialist in dealing with leasing contracts for mineral rights.  There will be some time for questions.  No advance reservations are needed.  Handouts will be available that will provide additional information on shale gas formations and exploration. A fee of $5 per family is asked to cover the cost of the handout materials.… Continue reading

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Crop insurance deadline approaching

Brian D. Frieden, Director of the Springfield Regional Office, Risk Management Agency, reminds producers that the sales closing date for 2011 crop insurance is March 15, 2011, for spring-planted crops. The sales closing date is significant because it is the deadline for taking out insurance, making a change to the crop insured or level of protection, changing insurance providers, or cancelling a policy. Crops impacted by the March 15th deadline include corn, soybeans, hybrid seed corn, grain sorghum, green peas, barley (MI only), dry beans, forage seeding, oats, popcorn, cabbage, mint, sweet corn, sugar beets, tomatoes, potatoes, processing beans, and processing pumpkins.

One of the most notable changes for the 2011 crop year is the introduction of the new 2011 Common Crop Policy Basic Provisions. The old insurance plans, Actual Production History, Crop Revenue Coverage, Revenue Assurance, and Income Protection are now available as either Yield or Revenue Protection. The new policy simplifies the insurance process by offering choices instead of separate policies and is easier to understand.… Continue reading

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Mixed news for corn and soybean exports

The USDA’s weekly Export Sales report and weekly reports of export inspections provide timely information about export demand for U.S. agricultural commodities. The U.S. Census Bureau, however, is the official source of export estimates. The monthly Census Bureau reports are not as timely as USDA reports, but provide an opportunity to reassess export progress during the marketing year, said University of Illinois economist Darrel Good.

“For the marketing year that began on September 1, 2010, the USDA forecasts U.S. corn exports at 1.95 billion bushels, 37 million bushels less than were exported last year. Through the first 23 weeks of the marketing year (Sept. 1, 2010 through Feb. 10, 2011) the USDA’s weekly export inspections report showed cumulative export inspections of 737 million bushels, 7 million more than the total of the previous year,” he said.

Inspection estimates for the week ended Feb. 10 will likely be revised higher, as has been the pattern all year, so that the actual difference is likely closer to 10 million bushels, he said.… Continue reading

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Several From Ohio Competing in Championship Tractor Pull in Louisville

Several people from Ohio will be competing in the Championship Tractor Pull during the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville this week.

8,200 Super Stock Tractors

Mike Beck                          Napoleon                              High Tech Redneck
David Siefert                     New Washington                Renegade Deere

7,500 Modified Tractors

John Evans                       Wilmington                         Double Stuff
Keith HuKeith                  Ansonia                                The Fury

10,200 lb Modified Tractors

Larry Shope                      Bellville                                 Iron Dragon

9,300 lb Super Farm Tractors

Julia Conny                      Beloit                                      Mac Daddy

6,200 lb 2-WD Super Modified Trucks

Jessie Petro                     Camden                                  2 Timin’
Jeff Whitsel                      Orient                                    At It Again

8,000 lb Super Stock Alcohol Tractors

Jeff Hirt                             Port Clinton                        Runnin’ Bare
Tim Howell                       Wilmington                        Ryans Toy II
Frank Keener                    Ashland                               XXX
Larry Roberts II               Wilmington                         The Big Toy

9,300 lb Super Farm Tractors

Larry Sheets Jr.                 Williamsport                    Red River
Dean Wildermuth              Lewistown                       The Replacement Deere II

6,200 lb 2-WD Super Modified Trucks

Randy Petro                        Camden                             Kathy’s Komplain

10,200 lb Pro Stock Tractors

Carlton Cope                        Salem                               Warpath
Mike Linder                          Edison                              Linder Brothers

7,500 lb 4×4 Super Stock Diesel Trucks

Carl Atley                               Xenia                              Lethal Weapon
Cory Atley                              Cedarville                      Agstremely Hooked
Wayne Greier                       Salem                              Resurrected Ram
Shane Kellogg                      Forest                              Gotta Have It
Erik Stacey                            Winchester                    Smoknya HD

10,200 lb Pro Stock Tractors

Monte McCoy                     Warsaw                            Dusk Till Dawn
Kevin Schmucker               Louisville                         Rampage

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James Bower of Bower Trading, Inc. to speak in Pickaway County

The Pickaway County Farm Bureau invites you to a special risk management event with Bower Trading on Monday Feb. 28. Learn how to set yourself up for success in 2011 with the latest information in today’s volatile market.

James Bower is Owner and President of Bower Trading, Inc., a full service commodities futures and options brokerage firm specializing in trading the global agricultural markets. James has more than 30 years of experience in the commodities and futures business, and has been featured on Fox News, CNN, Wall Street Journal, US Farm Report, Bloomberg and many more.

In addition, we will hear from guests Phil Altstaetter, Crop Nutrient Manager for Trupointe, to learn about input and fertilizer purchasing, Todd Ruff from Ruff & Associates to learn about crop insurance, and Hank Bartholomew from Nationwide Agribusiness to talk safety on the farm.

Members who need to earn a safety meeting credit for being enrolled in the OFBF BWC group rating program through CompManagement can earn their credit by attending Hank Bartholomew’s program that begins after lunch.… Continue reading

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Managing manure for profit

A workshop next month in western Ohio aims to clean up Grand Lake St. Marys — and in doing it, give farmers a new source of income.

“Turning Manure into Ca$h” features new technologies for turning livestock waste into sellable fuel, fertilizers and bioresins. It’s on March 8 in Maria Stein, about 10 miles south of the lake. Five state organizations that work in agriculture and natural resources are behind it.

“We have new manure rules in place for Grand Lake, but we still have the same amount of manure, so we need to look at ways of reducing our nutrient loads,” said Jim Hoorman, one of the speakers and an Ohio State University Extension educator in Mercer County.

“Farmers can adopt these technologies, sell their manure for a profit, and reduce their nutrients,” Hoorman said.

Grand Lake St. Marys has been hit hard the past two summers by toxic algae blooms, which caused boating, fishing and swimming closures and threaten the lake’s tourism industry.… Continue reading

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Composting livestock the topic of a workshop

What do you do with a dead cow the size of a Smart Car? A dead pig as big as a washing machine? More and more, the answer is composting — it saves farmers money, protects the environment and returns animals slowly to the earth — and two programs next month will feature it.

Livestock Mortality Composting Workshops are being offered March 7 in Carey, about 60 miles south of Toledo, and March 8 in Newark, about 40 miles east of Columbus. Registration costs $10 and can be done at the door. A composting manual is included.

Proper composting — done without odors, vermin or objectionable gases — is the focus. The program will be the same at both places.

“The livestock industry is faced with discovering innovative and economical ways to dispose of mortality losses,” says the flier for both events. “This need has been brought on by the disappearance of rendering plants, concerns over groundwater pollution from burial, and the economic and environmental issues of incineration.… Continue reading

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New rules for estate taxes

By Jim Skeeles & Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension Educators

Congress passed new legislation in December affecting estate taxes, but only for 2011 and 2012, reducing federal taxation of large estates. This legislation affects families with an individual who dies in 2011 or 2012 and has assets more than one million ($1M) or an individual that gifts more than $1M dollars during this period.

With this law change, an individual can pass on a total of $5M worth of assets with no federal estate or gift tax due. Further, if the net worth of an individual’s estate combined with the total counted amount given exceeds $5M, the federal estate and/or gift tax rate has been reduced to 35%.

Also upon the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse now receives the unused $5M exclusion of the deceased spouse. Since the surviving spouse also has her exclusion of $5M she now can transfer assets totaling $10M, either by giving them away, the assets going through her estate, or a combination of the two.… Continue reading

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NCGA pleased with full deregulation of corn amylase

The National Corn Growers Association is pleased with the decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to fully deregulate corn amylase (Event 3272) for all markets. APHIS had not found a plant pest risk associated with this event and reported a positive Environmental Assessment.

“Corn amylase is the first processing output trait to be scrutinized by our regulatory system,” said Bart Schott, NCGA president and a grower from Kulm, N.D. “The potential importance of output traits to growers and industry will only increase as other output traits are developed.”

Biotechnology has emerged as a key tool that allows growers and now processors to provide more food, feed, fuel and fiber to the world with fewer resources.

“All output traits will be valued-added crops that have the potential to allow growers to raise a product that could be beneficial to their farms in ways that are not possible right now,” said Chad Blindauer, chairman of NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team and a farmer in Mitchell, S.D.… Continue reading

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Small farm conferences in March

Farmers who want new ways to grow, sell and stay in business can find them at two events coming next month. The “Opening Doors to Success” Small Farm Conference and Trade Show runs March 11-12 at Wilmington College in southern Ohio. The “Living Your Small Farm Dream” Northeast Ohio Small Farm Conference and Trade Show takes place March 26 at the R.G. Drage Career Center in Massillon.

“‘Small’ is relative, almost a mindset,” said Mike Hogan, one of the organizers and an Ohio State University Extension educator in eastern Ohio. “It’s hard to draw a line to say what’s small and what isn’t.

“The main focus either way is to help farm families identify ways to become more profitable and sustainable — economically, environmentally and socially.”

Alternative enterprises, such as blueberries and freshwater shrimp, will be among the topics. So will alternative production systems — reduced tillage, grass-based livestock and others — and alternative marketing systems, including CSAs (community supported agriculture), farmers’ markets and direct online selling.… Continue reading

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