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USDA announces extension to GIPSA comment period

In late July, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) responded to calls to extend the comment period for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) proposed rule on livestock marketing.

Concerns expressed by Congress, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and other leading agriculture organizations led to the 90-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule that suggests major changes to the way producers can market their livestock.

During a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing on livestock on July 20, 2010, both Democrats and Republicans expressed to USDA that the scope of GIPSA goes well beyond what Congress intended under the 2008 Farm Bill. Industry groups echoed the concern.

“Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle were very clear about the critical need to extend the comment period to allow stakeholders to thoroughly analyze the potential impacts of the rule,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs.… Continue reading

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Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Launches Agrisure Artesian Technology, First Water-Optimized Technology for Corn Hybrids

Syngenta Seeds, Inc., today unveiled its Agrisure Artesian technology, the new brand name for its range of water optimized hybrids and the newest addition to the Agrisure family of high-performance trait products. A limited quantity of hybrids with this technology, which has demonstrated the potential to deliver 15% yield preservation under drought stress, will be available through the company’s Garst, Golden Harvest and NK product brands.

Agrisure Artesian technology enables corn plants to use available moisture more efficiently, resulting in higher yields on drought-stressed acres including dryland and limited-irrigation farms in the western Corn Belt. Growers on rainfed acres in the central and eastern Corn Belt likewise can use Agrisure Artesian technology to help stabilize yields in years of inconsistent rainfall or in fields with variable soil types and moisture-holding capacity. In years of ideal rainfall, hybrids with Agrisure Artesian technology have demonstrated no yield penalty compared with hybrids without the technology.… Continue reading

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USB review reveals financial responsibility

The USDA recently conducted an 18-month review of the United Soybean Board (USB) and the soybean checkoff. The USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded that there was no basis for any of the allegations of wrong doing. The independent USDA report confirms that the United Soybean Board farmer directors are performing their duties in a financially responsible manner in accordance with the federal law that created the soybean checkoff.

“USB directors and staff are encouraged by the OIG’s report,” said Philip Bradshaw, USB chairman and soybean farmer from Griggsville, Ill. “The report confirms that, as farmer-directors, we’re doing our jobs as financially responsibly as the federal law that created the soybean checkoff set out for us to do.  USB will continue to move forward in achieving profit opportunities for every U.S. soybean farmer.”

A survey of U.S. soybean farmers conducted in February showed that 75 percent of U.S. soybean farmers support the soybean checkoff.  … Continue reading

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Weekly crop report

In Ohio, 92% of the corn was silking as of July 25, up from 75% a week earlier and well ahead of the 70% five-year average, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fifteen percent of Ohio’s corn crop had reached the dough stage compared to the 4% average. Ohio corn was 61% in good or excellent condition, compared to 72% nationally.

Nearly 80% of Ohio soybeans were in bloom and 36% were setting pods, both slightly ahead of the five-year average. Sixty percent of Ohio soybeans were in good or excellent condition.… Continue reading

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Opening Day at the Ohio State Fair

The 157th Ohio State Fair will celebrate Opening Day on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 with great savings. Experience all the traditional Fair favorites along with plenty of new attractions and exhibits.

“We are always excited to see friends and families come out to the Fair for opening day,” said Virgil Strickler, general manager. Annually the Fair begins with an Opening Day Ceremony to kick off the start of another Ohio State Fair.

The 2010 Opening Day Ceremony will take place at 9 am in front of the Cardinal Gate. Gov. Ted Strickland will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the official opening of the 157th Ohio State Fair. The All-Ohio State Fair Band & Youth Choir will also perform.

A ceremony will be held at 11:30 am on Opening Day at which the Coliseum will be dedicated to former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft.

Value is a key component of this year’s Fair and fairgoers can enjoy admission for only $3 until 3 pm on WBNS 10 TV & ONN Opening Day and Ohio Lottery Day.… Continue reading

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Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board special meeting notice

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will meet on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Bromfield Administration Building, Auditorium A, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, Ohio. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss non-ambulatory animals and draft care standards for euthanasia, as well as the agreement made between the Humane Society of the United States and Ohioans for Livestock Care and other recommendations. A public comment period will take place from 11:30 a.m. to noon.Continue reading

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U.S. Cattle on Feed Up 3 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for
feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.1 million head on
July 1, 2010. The inventory was 3 percent above July 1, 2009. The inventory
included 6.25 million steers and steer calves, up 4 percent from the previous
year. This group accounted for 62 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and
heifer calves accounted for 3.77 million head, up 1 percent from 2009.

Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.63 million, 17 percent above
2009. Net placements were 1.57 million head. During June, placements of
cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 440,000, 600-699 pounds
were 300,000, 700-799 pounds were 408,000, and 800 pounds and greater were

Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 2.00 million, slightly above

Other disappearance totaled 55,000 during June, 4 percent below 2009.

U.S. All Cattle on Feed Up 3 Percent

Cattle on feed July 1, 2010, from all feedlots in the United States, totaled
12.0 million, up 3 percent from the 11.6 million on July 1, 2009.… Continue reading

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Bee-ware of scams and vandals

By Barbara Bloetscher, State Apiarist, Ohio Department of Agriculture

Several incidents of vandalism and scams have been reported the last two months.  A group (most likely PETA) poured kerosene in some live hives and left a sign stating that they had “freed the bees of human domination.”  Of course beekeepers know that the group just murdered the bees in very heinous way and that beekeepers are doing their best to keep bees ALIVE.  Please keep an eye on your hives and do not let anyone handle the hives except for the County Apiary Inspector and friends whom you have authorized.

Another person or persons have reportedly written a list of violations against a beekeeper and left the “ticket” containing violations and fines for the beekeeper to pay.  NO ONE including the State Apiarist has the authority to write violations without first contacting the beekeeper and undergoing major paper work and legal transactions which takes months to undergo. … Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board announced

A team of exceptional individuals has been announced to represent Ohio’s renowned Junior Fair program at the 157th Ohio State Fair. Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board (JFB) members are nominated by their respective youth organizations to serve a two year term as an ambassador for the Fair assisting with daily activities. At the conclusion of the Fair, officers are elected from those who will be serving a second term to lead the board’s activities in the following year. Responsibilities of the JFB include assisting with the daily parade, delivering awards, the Monster Mural, assisting in the WCOL Celeste Center and providing support to Junior Fair programs and other events as needed. The JFB is made up of some of the most active Junior Fair members in the State. Below you can find out what keeps them busy when they’re not at the Fair. Cambell Parrish of Edon, Ohio, represents the Ohio FFA Association as this year’s JFB president.… Continue reading

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Ohio Volunteer Farmer-Leader Appointed to the United Soybean Board

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed 9 new farmer-leaders to the United Soybean Board (USB) in February, including John Motter of Jenera, Ohio. Motter grows soybeans, wheat and corn.

“The United Soybean Board has a history of developing many new products that increase the profitability of soybeans,” said Motter. “I want to do my part in helping U.S. soybean farmers increase their profitability.”

Motter is a member of the New Uses Committee and hopes to increase the demand for soybeans through upcoming new products.

“There are a number of projects in the new use pipeline,” said Motter. “Unfortunately, due to our relationship with industry partners, we have to maintain confidentiality in these projects. But trust that there is a long history of success in new uses. An example would be the partnership with Ford Motor Company and the Lear Corporation in developing soy-based foam for seats in Ford vehicles.”

Motter and the 12 other appointees from across the United States will serve three-year terms and will represent the interest of all U.S.… Continue reading

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Western Bean Cutworm Egg Masses and Larvae Found in Ohio


For the first time since the trapping of Western bean cutworm moths in corn began in 2006, Ohio State University Extension entomologists have identified egg masses and larvae. The find reveals that populations continue to increase and that growers will really need to monitor the pest in the future.

“The infestation of egg masses and larvae was light, but this just verifies that we won’t see this pest decreasing in the coming years and growers will really have to start scouting for it each season,” said Andy Michel, an OSU 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.Continue reading

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Do warm nights lead to lower yields?

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist

High night temperatures (in the 70s or 80s) can result in wasteful respiration and a lower net amount of dry matter accumulation in plants. The rate of respiration of plants increases rapidly as the temperature increases, approximately doubling for each 13 degree increase. With high night temperatures, more of the sugars produced by photosynthesis during the day are lost; less is available to fill developing kernels, thereby lowering potential grain yield. High night time temperatures result in faster heat unit (GDD) accumulation that can lead to earlier corn maturation, whereas cool night temperatures result in slower GDD accumulation that can lengthen grain filling and promote greater dry matter accumulation and grain yields.

Past research at the University of Illinois indicates that corn grown at night temperatures in the mid-60s outyields corn grown at temperatures in the mid-80s. Corn yields are often higher with irrigation in western states, which have low humidity and limited rainfall.… Continue reading

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Corn earworm could be a concern in 2010

Moth trap reports indicate an early start to the corn earworm (CEW) infestation window across the Corn Belt this growing season. In early July, CEW had already been identified in the south, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The trend could lead to significant corn earworm activity in the Midwest later in the growing season. Moth traps have identified Ohio as an area that may be at a higher risk of yield loss due to possible insect infestation, so growers are urged to scout fields to determine if treatments are needed to avoid yield-crippling damage.

Damage from corn earworm is caused by the larvae as they feed on leaves, silks and developing kernels.

“CEW is a serious pest that is present in Ohio every year. The pest overwinters in some parts of Ohio and is present throughout the state on many crops including field corn, sweet corn, popcorn and many vegetable crops.… Continue reading

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Corn Futures Climb on Wheat, Technical Buying

Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. corn futures climbed on Wednesday on support from a surging wheat market and technical short covering, traders and analysts said.

September corn ended up 5 3/4 cents to $3.79 3/4 a bushel, and December corn closed up 6 cents to $3.93 1/2. Despite the gains, the September contract is down 3.8% on the week.

The market climbed despite a lack of fresh bullish news, traders said. Traders and analysts mostly said the crop outlook remains good, although bulls point to reports of variability, with some areas too wet and others too dry for optimal yields.

The market lacks a clear weather threat in the forecast, however. Mike Tannura, meteorologist with T-storm Weather, said that while much of the corn belt will see a day or two of hot temperatures through the end of the week, beyond that temperatures will be more moderate.

He added that as of now, it appears that rains are likely to miss some of the wettest areas of the western corn belt, hitting north of areas of Missouri, Iowa and west-Central Illinois that have been saturated.… Continue reading

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Ag Panel Concerned With What They Heard


Members of a House Agriculture subcommittee expressed deep concern with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed rule on livestock and poultry contracts and marketing arrangements, a regulation that would limit pork producers’ options in selling pigs to processors, according to the National Pork Producers Council.
The chairman and ranking member, of the Agriculture Committee’s Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee, in a hearing said they are troubled that the  proposed rule amending the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) goes beyond the congressional intent of the 2008 Farm Bill. The legislation authorized USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) to issue rules clarifying certain provisions of the PSA and implementing new ones related to capital investments, arbitration and poultry contracts.
Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who attended the hearing, and other subcommittee members also voiced concerns with the broad scope of the rule and its likely adverse effects on the livestock and poultry industries. 
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Allendale Inc. Releases Estimates for Cattle Inventory Report

The Cattle On Feed Report will be released this Friday and Allendale expects that June Placements will be 9.1% smaller than last year. This would represent the fourth month in a row of lower placements. Feedlots continue to react to corn prices as well as the smaller supply of available feeders at this time. Cattle placed in June will be marketed from October through February.

Allendale expects a Marketing total that is 2.4% below June of last year. Market ready cattle numbers may begin to tighten as we transition to the lower supply period in the coming months.

Cattle on Feed total as of July 1 will be the smallest July 1 total in four years. Our placement model suggests slaughters from feedlot cattle may remain below last year levels from now through the remainder of the year. See all our estimates below.

Also scheduled for release at 2 p.m. on Friday will be the July 1st Cattle Inventory Report.… Continue reading

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New Morning Schedule for Aug. 5 Ohio Composting Tour

A central Ohio composting facility that takes in 150,000 cubic yards of yard trimmings and food waste every year, equal to the loads of nearly 40,000 pickup trucks, and makes sellable mulches and soil blends.

A new renewable energy system set to generate 1 million watts of electricity an hour from, among other things, sewage from the city of Columbus.

How to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for composting facilities, pass an inspection, and protect both your workers and business.

Learn about all that more at Composting in Ohio 2010: A Tour of the Industry, Thursday, Aug. 5, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., in and around Columbus.

Organizers say the program is for composting facility operators, researchers, educators, public-agency personnel, government officials and anyone else with an interest in large-scale composting and compost use.

Registration costs $40 per person, includes lunch and is due by July 30.

Call 330-202-3533 or e-mail wicks.14@osu.eduContinue reading

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Corn Production Techniques Showcased at SW Ohio Corn Growers Day

Corn production and management techniques will be the focus of the Southwest Ohio Corn Growers and Fayette County Agronomy Field Day on Aug. 18.

The free event, sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Fayette County Demonstration Farm, 2770 SR-38, Washington Court House, Ohio.

University and industry speakers will cover such topics as economic corn seeding rates, corn weed control options, diagnosing ear abnormalities, matching spray tips to products, N-cycle and inhibitors, disease and the environment, and changing the discussion on high fructose corn syrup.

There will also be an ATV safety program, corn hybrid plots, a trade show, and health screenings. Certified crop adviser credits will be offered.

For more information, contact John Yost at (740) 335-1150 or log on to… Continue reading

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USDA: Corn, Soybean Conditions Hover Around Average

by Jeff Caldwell

Corn conditions dipped slightly, though the crop’s progress remained well ahead of the normal schedule in the last week, according to Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report.

In general, 72% of the crop is in good to excellent condition, down just 1% from the previous week. Development’s still rolling right along; the crop made an almost 30% jump in silking progress (from 38% to 65%) in the last week. That’s 18% ahead of the previous 5-year average.

Soybean conditions improved over the last week. As of Sunday, 77% of the crop was in good to excellent shape, while 60% of the nation’s beans are blooming and 18% are setting pods, both a few percentage points ahead of the normal pace.

Weather extremes continue to taunt farmers in the Corn Belt, where though general crop conditions are okay, there are pockets where either too much or not enough moisture is wreaking havoc on fields.… Continue reading

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Agricultural Easement Purchase Program Helps Expand Farming Business and Conservation

State farmland preservation funds are doing more than preserving land, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation. Results revealed that Agricultural Easement Purchase Program funds are being used to help implement on-farm conservation measures and expand the farm business.

“These funds are going far beyond the physical aspects of preserving agricultural land,” said Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs. “They are also helping producers engage in more sustainable practices, which is good for the community, environment and economy.”

The Ohio State University Center for Farmland Policy Innovation performed the independent survey, of which 79 of the program’s 101 participants responded. A majority of respondents, 91.7 percent, reported that they are satisfied with the program.

More than half of the respondents indicated they are establishing new conservation practices on their farms since receiving funds from the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program. In addition, 23 respondents are diversifying their farming business, and 17 are establishing new or additional farm businesses.… Continue reading

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