NPPC questions EPA need for reporting rule

While questioning the need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposed Clean Water Act (CWA) reporting rule for large livestock operations, the National Pork Producers Council applauded the agency for at least acknowledging the concerns of livestock producers and for offering options to address them.

EPA’s proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule seeks to have CAFOs submit to the agency operational information so it “can more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality and human health.” The information includes basic facility facts, such as contact information, location of a CAFO’s production area, permit status, the number and type of animals confined and the number of acres available for land application of manure.

The agency is considering one of two reporting options: 1) require every CAFO to report information to EPA unless states with authorized CWA permitting programs choose to provide it on behalf of the CAFOs in their state; or 2) require CAFOs in “focus” watersheds that have water quality concerns associated with CAFOs to report information to EPA.… Continue reading

Read More »

For the fifth year Certified Angus Beef reports record sales

Certified Angus Beef LLC, for the fifth consecutive year, reported record sales for its signature brand of beef, with nine out of 12 months in fiscal 2011 hitting new heights. Efforts by the brand’s licensed partners led to sales totaling 807 million pounds, an increase of almost 4% over 2010’s previous record 777 million pounds.

The Certified Angus Beef ® brand’s sustained growth, particularly during a period of significant economic downturns and rising costs across all segments of the industry, shows its value to consumers and producers, said company president John Stika.

“The brand’s growth represents a wave of momentum that took more than 30 years to build,” said Stika. The success, he added, is a function of both demand and supply of the high-quality Angus beef.

Increased demand is not only proven by sales success, but also documented by new research from Kansas State University that shows since 2002, demand for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand has risen 56%, while demand for commodity Choice beef rose 20%.… Continue reading

Read More »

“Meat MythCrushers” campaign expanded

The American Meat Institute (AMI), in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association (AMSA), expanded its “Meat MythCrushers” campaign with the first of seven new myth-crushing videos that sets the record straight about myths associated with the use of ammonium hydroxide in some beef products.

“We’ve received tremendous feedback thus far on the campaign,” said AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Member Services Janet Riley.  “We want to keep the momentum going and continue to provide consumers with facts to make informed choices.”

The Meat Myth Crushers campaign is centered around the website,, and a companion Facebook page which feature science-based information and resources in response to some of the most popular meat and poultry myths held by consumers, covering topics such as food safety, production methods, nutrition and animal welfare.

“One of the more popular recent myths we’ve heard from consumers that has been spread by some movies and TV personalities is that ordinary household ammonia is used to make some hamburgers,” Riley added. … Continue reading

Read More »

Pork outlook back in black

Stronger hog prices and lower feed costs have put the pork outlook back into the black for the coming year, says a Purdue Extension agricultural economist. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hogs and Pigs report, there has been little increase in the country’s breeding herd.

With growing demand and a fairly stable-sized breeding herd, producers can expect to return to profitability in the next 12 months. The USDA also reported in its September Grain Stocks report that corn inventories now are higher than expected, reducing the cost of feed.

“Pork producers have largely settled for the status quo because of the uncertainty over feed prices,” said Chris Hurt. “As a result, the USDA says the breeding herd has expanded only slightly as producers awaited the corn and soybean yield and price outcomes of the 2011 growing season.”

According to the USDA, the breeding herd increased 0.6% nationwide in the last year.… Continue reading

Read More »

New Report Shows Conservation Practices Work

A new USDA study shows that farmers using combinations of erosion-control and nutrient-management practices on cultivated cropland are reducing losses of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous from farm fields and decreasing the movement of these materials to the Great Lakes and their associated waterways.

“The Great Lakes Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) study confirms that good conservation planning and implementation have reduced loadings of sediment and nutrients to waterways throughout the region,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today. “The Administration appreciates the actions of every farmer who is stepping up to implement conservation practices, protect vital farmlands and strengthen local economies. At the same time, we also see opportunities for even further progress.”

The CEAP study, prepared by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), estimates that the use of conservation tillage and other conservation practices has resulted in a 50 percent decline in sediment entering rivers and streams, along with 36 and 37 percent declines, respectively, in phosphorus and nitrogen loading.… Continue reading

Read More »

Feed challenges continue to plague dairy farms

In a crop year full of uncooperative weather, dairy producers across the region are struggling with feed problems and rising prices, a Purdue Extension dairy specialist said.

Forages, corn silage and corn grain are low in yields and quality, but high in price after a wet spring followed by a summer-long drought, said Mike Schutz. The combination is tough on animal health and on the bottom lines of dairy farms struggling to stay profitable.

“Because of the drought, corn and forage yields are down and silage is lower quality, but the costs remain high,” Schutz said. “The per-ton value of silage is based on yields and corn prices. With corn trading above $6.50 per bushel, delivered silage prices are about $65 to $75 per ton despite the frequent lower quality. This is in comparison with the $30 to $40 per ton prices producers were paying in recent years.”

Purdue Extension dairy specialist Tamilee Nennich said the fluctuating corn prices can make it difficult to determine fair prices for corn silage.… Continue reading

Read More »

Most new livestock standards are commonsense practices


Now that Ohio’s livestock care standards, as developed by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, are officially signed into law, what exactly does that mean on a daily basis for Ohio’s livestock producers? Aside from the well-publicized housing standards and related transition periods, and adjustments some people building new facilities will have to make, the standards change very little in terms of daily care for livestock and poultry.

“Most of the rest of the standards for swine are good management practices we expect our producers to follow anyway,” said Dick Isler, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Producers Council. “They’re basically just good, standard management practices.”

That sentiment is echoed by the leaders of all of Ohio’s livestock commodity groups.

“A lot of these standards are what beef producers have been doing for a long time with quality, everyday care of their animals,” said Elizabeth Harsh, executive director of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA).… Continue reading

Read More »

Precision diets can boost profits

Dairy producers shouldn’t get used to $7 corn, and should tailor diets to maximize productivity and profitability, an Ohio State University Extension expert says.

“There are two things to manage: feed costs and milk prices,” said Extension dairy specialist Normand St-Pierre. “On the feed cost side, there is nothing that says you have to feed corn and soybeans because ruminants, and dairy cows in particular, can take advantage of a wide variety of feeds.”

St-Pierre said producers could save as much as 50 cents per cow per day by adopting other feedstuffs in a more focused nutritional strategy. He offered several recommendations for alternative feedstuffs in the Buckeye Dairy Newsletter.

As to the income side of the ledger, St-Pierre said producers do not need to sit on the sidelines and grouse about the high cost of corn.

“We have a relatively highly regulated market,” he said. “Since the late ’90s, producers have sold milk on component pricing, where each of these components is priced separately.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohioans do well at World Dairy Expo

Two cows from Ohio farms took top honors at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin held Novemeber 4-8 2011.

Tanner Topp of Wooster exhibited the Grand Champion in the International Aryshire Jr. Show with Conebella Sarge’s Wendy.

David Riley of Williamsfield exhibited Mi-San Acres O Lust-ET  that won the Internatonal Jr. Milking Shorthorn Show.… Continue reading

Read More »

Oat harvest management considerations

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County Extension

With abundant and frequent rainfall over much of the State in recent weeks, vegetative growth of the oats planted this summer has been nothing short of remarkable. Considering the number of Ohio’s unplanted row crop acres which are presently standing in oats, there have been a number of questions and recent conversations regarding the post-November 1 harvest alternatives for this forage crop.

As oat harvest options are considered, grazing easily provides the most effective and affordable alternative. In 2002, locally the Wolfingers strip grazed oats all winter and actually began the calving season on them before the oats ran out in mid March.

Baling oats in the fall has been done around Ohio, but it’s a challenge considering that oats only dry about half as fast a grass hay. Cut in November, it would typically mean at least two weeks or more to cure them.Continue reading

Read More »

Pork outlook brightening

Finally pork producers have some positive news that has increased optimism for greater profitability in the coming year, said a Purdue University agricultural economist.

“That good news came from USDA in two forms. The first was the September Hogs and Pigs report, which indicated little change in the size of the breeding herd. The second was the feed-price lowering impacts of higher-than-expected corn inventories revealed in the September Grain Stocks report,” said Chris Hurt.

The combination of stronger hog prices and lower feed prices has put the pork outlook back into solid black for the coming year, he said. Pork producers have largely settled for the status quo because of the uncertainty over feed prices. As a result, USDA says the breeding herd has expanded only slightly as producers awaited the corn and soybean yield and price outcomes of the troubled 2011 growing season, he said.

“USDA indicated that the breeding herd has increased just 0.6% over the past year.… Continue reading

Read More »

Livestock Care Standards signed into effect

Today, Ohio Agriculture Director James Zehringer signed the final administrative order to put into effect Ohio’s comprehensive livestock care standards. It was only the 17th amendment to Ohio’s constitution since 1803.

“This is pretty historic,” Zehringer said. “I think we’ve given the farmers of the state of Ohio a good roadmap to follow. It will improve production practices, create consumer confidence and strengthen the foundation of our industry.”

Creating and implementing the livestock care standards is a constitutional requirement following the 2009 passage of Issue 2.

“I’m proud to be here to sign these standards that will give livestock producers clear vision and allow them to thrive and grow,” Zehringer said.

The 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) spent 18 months and 70 meetings obtaining industry and public input while developing livestock rules for alpacas, beef, dairy, goats, horses, llamas, pork, poultry, sheep and veal. The standards are the first of their kind in the nation.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSU Judging Team performs well at contest

More than 250 young livestock enthusiasts participated in the Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Judging Contests held on September 25, 2011 at the Sherman Berg Arena of the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The contest was hosted by the Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Stock Show for Senior College, Junior College, and 4-H participants.

Participants evaluated live classes of cattle, sheep, swine and goats for market and breeding. This is the first time that The Ohio State University Judging Team has attended this contest. Ohio State placed 4th overall as a team and 1st overall for class placings. A total of 10 universities from across the country competed in the event. Team members included John Heins, Sidney, OH; Katy Shircliff, Atwater, OH; Caitlin Bushman, Pemberville, OH; Lynette Sell, Hanoverton, OH; Tyler Lones, Somerset, OH; Arlis Young, Glenford, OH; and Ty McGuire, Eaton, OH.

Two Ohio natives did well in the junior college division. Jared Wynn of Ashland, OH was high individual for the sophomore’s.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Jersey wins at All-Amercian Dairy Show


An Ohio Jersey was named the best of the best of the 2011 All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, on Thursday.



Frederick 2783 Adventure, a six-year-old Jersey owned by Craig Walton, Emily Thornburg, Gene Iager, Shelby and Harold Rader, Jr., and Amy, Scott, Skip and Steve Lackey of Pleasant Plain, Ohio, was named Supreme Campion.



Cargill Animal Feed and Nutrition, Inc., sponsored the $3,000 cash award for the supreme champion. Adventure was chosen from among the top seven breed champions by the judges who placed 1,183 head of cattle in the open shows.



The judges are Eric Topp, Botkins, Ohio; Lee Barber, DeWitt, Iowa; Daniel Sivesind, Waukon, Iowa; Ronald Heffner, Middletown, Md.; Larry Schirm, Laurelville, Ohio, who judged ‘Adventure’ in the Open show; Ted DeMent, Kenney, Ill.; and Matthew Lawrence, Mercer, Pa.



Ayrshire: Sunny Acres Harmon’s Kennedy, Doug Evans and Family, Georgetown, N.Y.… Continue reading

Read More »

Organic Small Ruminants Workshop Oct. 14

Management Skills For Organic Small Ruminants Workshop  is scheduled at October 14, 2011 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio.   Sheep and goat producers who are certificated organic, in transition to being organic or just interested in organic methods will benefit from attending this event.

This workshop will focus on the management knowledge needed for organic small ruminant production.  Joan M Burke, PhD, Research Animal Scientist, USDA, Agricultural Research Service from Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center inArkansas will be one of the featured speakers.   Joan has done extensive work in small ruminant parasite management and organic practices for small ruminants.  Francis Fluharty, PhD, is a Ruminant Nutritionist Researcher at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, Ohio.  He will share the importance of nutrition on animal growth, as well as animal welfare concerns.  A staff person from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) will discuss the new NOP Pasture Rule and the record keeping associated with organic small ruminant production.… Continue reading

Read More »

FSR not the only thing happening this week

The Farm Science Review isn’t the only thing happening this week. The Delaware County Fair is in full swing.

Pictured below is Sheryl Johnson, John Davis, and Bart Johnson who all participated in the adult class of goat showmanship.

None of us placed but we swear it was rigged, and John claims it is the first time he held a goat.

20110920-042853.jpgContinue reading

Read More »

Ohio hog farmers traveled to Washington

The Ohio Pork Producers Council recently travelled to Washington D.C., as part of the National Pork Producers Council’s Legislative Action Conference. 16 pork producers, from across the state, represented Ohio’s pork industry; calling on senators and congressmen, and voicing both appreciation and concern regarding recent political issues, as well as hearing from National Pork Producers Council staff.

Main issues of concern for the group included free trade agreements, GIPSA and Mexican trucking laws.
Senator Rob Portman was on the docket as one of the 18 scheduled visits the pork producers made on “the hill”. The pork producers were invited to listen in on a session as Portman spoke, about the free trade agreements, on the senate floor.

”I will tell you, this morning we had one of our weekly coffees and the Ohio Pork Producers came, there were about 12 from around the State of Ohio. Do you know what the No.… Continue reading

Read More »

U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards seeking nominations

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, in affiliation with the Dairy Research Institute, announced the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, a new program to recognize dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships for efforts that deliver outstanding economic, environmental and/or social benefit, thus helping to advance sustainability of the dairy industry.

The awards are divided into three categories: dairy farm, dairy processing/manufacturing and energy conservation/generation. Nominations are being accepted at through Dec. 1, 2011.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in choosing nutritious, responsibly made products,” said Larry Jensen, president, Leprino Foods, and chair, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards highlight the dairy industry’s long-standing commitment to healthy people, healthy products and a healthy planet, while showcasing that sustainability makes good business sense, as well.”

Winners of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards will be announced in February 2012. In addition, honorees will share their stories and passion for sustainability on a national scale in forums and venues, and will be featured on reading

Read More »

Wuebker Farms win national honor for stewardship

The Pork Checkoff, along with its cosponsor, National Hog Farmer magazine, has selected four pork production operations to be honored as the 2011 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards. The award, now in its 17th year, recognizes producers who demonstrate a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and their local communities. This year’s national award recipients include Jeff and Alan Wuebker of Wuebker Farms from Versailles, Ohio, in Darke County.

The other three national winners are: Golden Circle Pork, Woodward, Iowa, John M. Langdon Farms, Benson, N.C., and Cleveland Pork, Elysburg, Pa.

The Environmental Steward award winners were selected by judges represented by pork producers and environmental organizations. The judges reviewed applications from pork producers who are committed to upholding the ideal relationship between pork production and the environment. Their operations were evaluated on their manure management systems, water and soil conservation practices, odor-control strategies, farm aesthetics and neighbor relations, wildlife habitat promotion, innovative ideas used to protect the environment and an essay on the meaning of environmental stewardship.… Continue reading

Read More »

Farmers get a closer look at Lake Erie algae issues














On Aug. 22, the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District held the “Lake Erie Ag Tour 2011.” With all the headlines about algal blooms on Ohio lakes the past two years, and farmers getting much of the blame, the goal of the tour was to get farmers on Lake Erie and let them see things firsthand.

About 40 farmers, local homeowners and government officials participated. They traveled on Ohio State University research vessels to sample the lakes water, then to Gilbralter Island, home of OSU’s Stone Laboratory and Ohio Sea Grant Program, to analyze their samples.

“I want to know what we have to do for our farms to push less phosphorus into the lake,” said Dave Fastinger, an Ottawa County hog producer who participated in the tour. “I like fishing in Lake Erie as much as anyone, so I came to hear the latest ideas of what we can do.”… Continue reading

Read More »