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Crawford County firefighters receive funding for grain rescue equipment

The Crawford County firefighters have taken a proactive role in farm safety with emphasis on grain handling and grain rescue issues.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor suffocation is the number one cause of death relating to grain handling on U.S farms.  The firefighters have recognized the urgency for better preparedness in assisting with grain rescue emergencies.

Local Bucyrus farmers, John and Norman Schiefer, applied for a grant on behalf of the Holmes Township Volunteer Fire Department from the Monsanto Fund, America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project, to acquire grain rescue equipment.  Local Monsanto DEKALB and Asgrow seed dealers Donovan Scott and Steve Reinhard assisted the Schiefers in the application process with the Monsanto Fund.

Under this pilot program, farmers throughout 298 eligible counties from seven states with heavy grain production could enter to win a $2,500 award for a local no-profit community group of their choice.  “We are pleased to present a check for $2,500 on behalf of the Monsanto Fund to the Holmes Township Volunteer Fire Department for their outstanding application with a worthwhile cause,” commented Keith Buckingham, Account Manager, Monsanto Company.… Continue reading

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HSUS, Missouri and Ohio's new ag director: HumaneWatching with David Martosko

A conversation with … David Martosko, director of research, Center for Consumer Freedom

OCJ: What is the Center for Consumer Freedom and what interaction does CCF have with the Humane Society of the United States?

David: The Center is a nonprofit food-issues “action tank.” We weigh in on matters of public concern related to food and beverage production and marketing, and on all the various political issues that surround what we eat and drink. For too long, anti-agriculture and anti-industry activists have presumed to wear the white hats — mostly because nobody spoke up to challenge them. When they’re wrong (which is pretty often), we go on the offensive.

Our relationship with the Humane Society of the United States would best be described as “watchdog.” There’s no one else focusing with any serious energy on what this group is doing, who’s running it, and what its goals are.

Much of what HSUS does is, we would argue, wrong-headed in the same way that PETA’s endgame is wrong-headed.… Continue reading

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HSUS, Missouri and Ohio’s new ag director: HumaneWatching with David Martosko

A conversation with … David Martosko, director of research, Center for Consumer Freedom

OCJ: What is the Center for Consumer Freedom and what interaction does CCF have with the Humane Society of the United States?

David: The Center is a nonprofit food-issues “action tank.” We weigh in on matters of public concern related to food and beverage production and marketing, and on all the various political issues that surround what we eat and drink. For too long, anti-agriculture and anti-industry activists have presumed to wear the white hats — mostly because nobody spoke up to challenge them. When they’re wrong (which is pretty often), we go on the offensive.

Our relationship with the Humane Society of the United States would best be described as “watchdog.” There’s no one else focusing with any serious energy on what this group is doing, who’s running it, and what its goals are.

Much of what HSUS does is, we would argue, wrong-headed in the same way that PETA’s endgame is wrong-headed.… Continue reading

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Free program to demonstrate livestock handling principles

Animal handling is an important component of an overall animal welfare strategy, and implementing low-stress practices are not only healthy for the animal, but also make things easier for the animal handler.

Ohio State University Extension will be offering a free livestock handling demonstration on Nov. 20 from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Scott Pfeiffer Farm, 4315 Marion Johnson Road near Albany, Ohio. OSU Extension beef cattle specialist Steve Boyles will discuss the moving and handling of livestock and demonstrate some animal handling principles.

“In today’s social environment and with agriculture under increasingly close scrutiny, it’s important that livestock producers and animal handlers apply low-stress animal handling principles,” said Rory Lewandowski, an OSU Extension educator in Athens County. “Additionally, evidence clearly shows it is a more productive way of handling livestock.”

During the handling demonstration, a number of animal handling principles will be discussed, including:

• Flight zone: The flight zone is how close one can get to the animal before it begins to back away.

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Western bean cutworm populations on the rise in Ohio

A staggering number of Western bean cutworm moths were trapped in Ohio corn fields this year compared to previous years, however, economic damage has yet to be recorded.

“The large increase of adult moths caught and the presence of the pest on infested corn suggests that producers will have to keep Western bean cutworm near the top of their list of important corn pests,” said Andy Michel, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Western bean cutworm is a common pest of Western corn-producing states that is rapidly expanding eastward and finding a niche throughout the Midwest. The number of adult moths trapped in Ohio each year has been steadily increasing.

In 2006, entomologists caught three moths in the traps. In 2007, six were caught. That number jumped to 150 in 2008 and to 566 in 2009. This year, that number has skyrocketed to 2,695.… Continue reading

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New Pioneer Web site

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, announced the launch of its newly redesigned web site, . The site is designed to  quickly link growers to local, relevant and timely crop production-focused information. “Our goal is to provide growers access to Pioneer’s industry-leading expertise more quickly and easily,” said Terry Gardner, North American product marketing director for Pioneer.
The most significant change is the convergence of two Pioneer websites: and the Pioneer GrowingPoint web site.

“Growers now will be able to access the information that was on the GrowingPoint website without having to sign in,” Gardner said.

Personal data, such as account access, online payments and online recordkeeping remains secure and still requires the user to sign in. Pioneer gathered extensive feedback from growers, customers, Pioneer sales professionals, employees and media to drive the evolution of its Web strategy. The site features a new navigation menu that efficiently organizes information. A rollover feature displays a list of all the topics for each section, making it quicker and easier to locate content with fewer clicks.… Continue reading

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Make sure conditions are fit for anhydrous ammonia application


After an early harvest and exceptionally dry fall, a Purdue University agronomist says it’s important for farmers to pay close attention to soil temperature and moisture levels before they apply anhydrous ammonia.

The rule of thumb is to apply anhydrous ammonia after soil temperatures at a depth of 4 inches fall below 50 degrees and are getting colder, said Jim Camberato.

“Low soil temperature hinders the bacterial conversion of ammonium nitrogen (NH4) to nitrate nitrogen (NO3),” he said. “Slowing this reaction is critical to the efficient use of anhydrous ammonia because ammonium nitrogen is retained in the soil, whereas nitrate nitrogen is easily lost through leaching to tile drains or denitrification to the air.

“The longer nitrogen remains in the ammonium nitrogen form in the fall, the lower the potential for nitrogen loss in the early spring when warm soil temperatures and excess soil moisture invariably occur.”

Soil temperatures have fallen below 50 degrees in most parts of Ohio.… Continue reading

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After harvest equipment checklist

By Jason the Mechanic

Now that harvest is over and we all have time to stop and catch our breath a little, it’s time to start the long task of cleaning everything to be put away for the winter. The first question is what to clean first. Taking advantage of this warm weather is nice to clean combines, carts and the grain dryer.

First, we begin with the combines. I always start out by giving them a good dusting with a large leaf blower. After the leaf blower, I use an air compressor and a long wand. We always try to blow out all the nooks and crannies and the air filters.

Once it is clean as it can be, then comes a good wash with the pressure washer. When washing any type of newer equipment always try to avoid directly spraying any electrical connections. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but try your best.… Continue reading

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Rep. James J. Zehringer to be new director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture

Gov.-elect John Kasich is naming another member of his cabinet today, state Rep. James J. Zehringer of Fort Recovery as director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Kasich had an 11:30 a.m. press conference at Wright State University Lake Campus in Celina to announce the selection.

Zehringer, 58, a former farmer and owner and operator of Meiring Poultry and Fish Farm, was appointed to the House in February 2007 and was unopposed for re-election this fall. His district covers Mercer and Preble counties and portions of Darke County.

The following statement was issued jointly by Ohio’s livestock and poultry organizations regarding the naming of Zehringer as Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture:

“In his selection of State Representative Jim Zehringer as the next Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Governor-Elect John Kasich has made an exceptional choice that will benefit all Ohioans, especially those who farm in the state’s rural communities. … Continue reading

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ODA offering export seminar for Ohio companies to provide insight on South American market

Ohio companies can learn more about pursuing or expanding their export sales in the South American markets at a seminar offered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA on Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Food Export Association South American Market Representative Sonia Amadeo will familiarize Ohio companies with the market by providing an overview of the economy, export requirements, entry strategies and market opportunities. Food Export Helpline Manager Dennis Lynch will also speak about pricing and logistics, and he will answer exporting questions.

The seminar will take place at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Bromfield Administration Building, Auditorium A, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg. The cost to attend is $50 per company or $25 for Ohio Proud partners. Those who are interested must RSVP to the Office of International Markets at 614-728-4760 by Nov. 24.

The Food Export Association of the Midwest USA is a private, non-profit association of the Midwestern state agricultural promotion agencies that use federal, state and industry resources to promote the export of Midwestern food and agricultural products.… Continue reading

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Pioneer introduces new transgenic corn product, Optimum Intrasect

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel and Bruce Eisley, Ohio State University entomologists

Pioneer has just announced a new transgenic corn hybrid that will serve as an intermediate and technical step between Optimum AcreMax 1 (from the first family of Optimum AcreMax products) to Optimum AcreMax and Optimum AcreMax Xtra (from the second family of products).  While having Bt proteins for both corn borers and corn rootworm control, Optimum AcreMax 1 still needs a separate 20% refuge for the corn borer portion of the mix (refuge-in-the-bag is only for rootworms), whereas Pioneer’s intent for Optimum AcreMax (for above-ground pests) and Optimum AcreMax Xtra (for above- and below-ground pests) is to be truly refuge-in-the-bag for both pests.

Until that time comes, hopefully within a year or so, they have obtained EPA approval and released to the market an intermediate product called Optimum Intrasect which contains two gene proteins, Cry1F and Cry1Ab, for corn borer control (rootworm control is not part of Optimum Intrasect). … Continue reading

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Pellets reduce costs, but not enough for cellulosic ethanol producers

Despite reducing transportation and handling costs, pelletizing cellulosic biomass would not be cost-effective for ethanol producers, according to a Purdue University study.

Klein Ileleji, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Preethi Krishnakumar, a graduate research student, factored the costs and logistical requirements cellulosic ethanol producers would face using different types of biomass – corn grain, corn stover and switchgrass – in both bale and pellet forms.

Their findings, published in the current issue of the journal Applied Engineering in Agriculture, show that the denser cellulosic pellets would allow ethanol producers to save money by utilizing the same equipment used to transport and handle corn grain that flows using elevators, hoppers and conveyor belts.

“If a producer is switching from a corn ethanol plant to a cellulosic plant, they are starting with an existing grain system, and the storage and handling costs for pellets will be less since they are granular and flowable like corn grain,” Ileleji said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Council Announce Staff Changes

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) recently welcomed Adam Ward as the new OSA executive director and OSC director of marketing and outreach.  Rocky Black, OSC director of bioproducts utilization, will now also serve as OSA senior policy advisor.  Jennifer Coleman, former OSC communications coordinator, has been promoted to OSC communications director.

These staff changes follow the departure of Jamie Butts, who had served as OSA executive director and OSC communications director.  After six years with OSA and OSC, Butts left the organizations to pursue an opportunity with Pioneer Hi-Bred.

As executive director of OSA, Ward will lead the state and federal policy efforts and statewide membership program, as well as OSA’s producer education initiatives.  As OSC director of marketing and outreach, Ward will manage domestic marketing initiatives including areas such as animal agriculture and soy biodiesel.  He will also coordinate OSC’s industry outreach activities.

Ward most recently served as the assistant to Gov.… Continue reading

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Ohio CAT to Open Location in Washington CH

The Ohio CAT Agri Business Division has agreed to lease a facility in Washington Court House, Ohio. The seven (7) acre site on Route #22 just east of Washington Court House will serve as a sales, parts, and service facility. Ohio CAT plans to open for business on February 14, 2011. Facility preparation for the operation will begin immediately.

Products sold and serviced by the Agri Business Division of Ohio CAT include Ag-Chem application equipment, Challenger wheel, track, and articulated tractors and combines, Lexion combines, White planters, Massey Ferguson tractors for governmental applications, and Sunflower tillage tools. In addition, Caterpillar® products typically utilized in agriculture are available at each of the Agri Business Division’s dedicated  locations.

Kelly Love, V.P. of Ohio CAT’s Agri Business Division, shares, “We are excited about our expansion into Fayette County. This critical location will position us to provide a superior level of support for customers.” Love further comments, “Our focus is on the professional producer, and Washington Court House is a major hub of Ohio agricultural production.”… Continue reading

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NPPC urges resolution of issues related to U.S.-South Korea FTA

The National Pork Producers Council expressed disappointment that a final deal has not been reached between the United States and South Korea on issues related to trade in beef and automobiles. An agreement would have paved the way for the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement to be completed.

The two sides had hoped to resolve the outstanding issues before the conclusion of the  G-20 economic meeting in Seoul, South Korea, which was held this week. The U.S.-South Korea FTA was signed on June 30, 2007. The FTA must be approved by the U.S. Congress as well as the South Korean National Assembly.

The FTA would be one of the most lucrative for the U.S. pork industry, according to NPPC, which has championed the pact for more than three years now. The organization is urging resolution of the outstanding issues so that congressional lawmakers can approve the trade deal as soon as possible.… Continue reading

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Workshop will help farmers meet the growing demand for organic food

The strong demand for organic food presents a growing opportunity for Ohio farmers. The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), a non-profit education organization, and the Ohio State University Organic Food & Farming Education and Research (OFFER) Program, a nationally recognized leader in organic farming research, will present “Organics 101: An Introduction to Organic Crop Production.” This educational workshop will be held at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, in Bowling Green, Ohio, on December 10, 2010, from 9:00am to 4:00pm. The Agricultural Incubator Foundation is located at 13737 Middleton Pike, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402.

All Ohio farmers who are looking for information on organic crop production are encouraged to attend this workshop. The program will include presentations by OSU research scientists and extension educators, organic farmers and organic certification representatives.

Participants will learn about the organic certification standard, the certification process, organic crop production practices, the economics of organic crop production, and the marketing opportunities for organic crop producers.… Continue reading

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Students help local award-winning distillery go green

This quarter, two groups of Ohio State University students are helping a new local microdistillery “go green.”

One group of students is in Victoria Chen’s “Green Building and Sustainable Construction” class, which takes on a special project each quarter. The class is helping Middle West Spirits, in the Short North, determine how much electricity the business could generate by putting solar panels on its roof.

The company, located at 1230 Courtland Ave., sold its first bottle of OYO Vodka in July 2010, made from soft red winter wheat from northern Ohio. Already, the product has met with success: The Beverage Tasting Institute recently rated OYO vodka as “Exceptional” in its 2010 International Review Of Spirits. With 92 points, OYO scored seventh in a category of 140 vodkas from around the globe.

Distillery owners Ryan Lang and Brady Konya decided early on to use electricity, rather than more economical gas, for the steam heat and cold chilling needed to make the spirits.… Continue reading

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Hybrid selection for 2011

Ohio corn harvest may not be quite wrapped up yet this season, yet growers are already making decisions about hybrids to plant in 2011.

Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension state agronomist, said that hybrid selection is one of the most important management decisions a grower makes each year.

“It’s a decision that warrants a careful comparison of performance data,” said Thomison, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “It should not be made in haste or based on limited data. Planting a marginal hybrid or one not suitable for a particular production environment imposes a ceiling on the yield potential for a field before it’s been planted.”

Thomison recommends that growers choose hybrids that are best suited to their farm operation.

“Corn acreage, previous crop, soil type, tillage practices, desired harvest moisture, and pest problems all determine the relative importance of such traits as dry down, insect and disease resistance, early plant vigor and plant height,” said Thomison.… Continue reading

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Input for head scab tool requested

Ohio State University Extension plant pathologists are asking wheat growers, millers, bakers, and grain handlers for their input on a multi-state web-based tool that evaluates the risk of the development of head scab, a serious disease of wheat that affected several acres throughout in 2010.

The Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool ( is one of the largest early disease warning systems in the nation that uses a combination of weather patterns, the type of wheat planted, and the flowering dates of a grower’s wheat to predict the level of risk a grower may face from head scab. The tool provides daily estimates of scab risk for 25 states east of the Rocky Mountains.

“Fusarium head blight or head scab of wheat has been an important problem in Ohio, with the biggest outbreak in the last 10-14 years occurring in 2010,” said Pierce Paul, an OSU Extension plant pathologist and wheat specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.… Continue reading

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Is there greener green in green?

Is there greener green in green?

Representatives of three Ohio businesses that turn algae, a form of plant life, into clean, sellable fuels will speak at Ohio State University’s 2010 Renewable Energy Workshop next week.

Organizers of the Nov. 18 program say algae fuels could cut our reliance on overseas petroleum, while a recent Newsweek article includes algae fuels among a dozen of “The Weirdest Green Technology Innovations.”

Speaking during an afternoon session on the topic will be:

Jeff Bargiel of Phycal, located in Highland Heights, on “An Integrated Algae Production System”;

Drew Spradling, Touchstone Research Laboratory, Wooster, “Using a Phase Change Material for Algae Production”; and

David Cohio, Algaeventure Systems, Marysville, “New Technologies for Algae Production and Harvesting.”

Hours for the workshop are 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m., the algae talks at 1 p.m.… Continue reading

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