Top Headlines

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

Wins and challenges highlighted at 94th Annual AFBF Meeting

Farm Bureau members faced the challenge of drought in 2012, but scored major policy victories, including permanent estate and capital gains tax changes. With a new five-year farm bill and needed reform in key areas such as fiscal, environmental and labor policy hanging in the balance, agricultural unity will be essential in 2013, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.

“Lest anyone wonder why we need a farm bill, we should remember the drought of 2012,” Stallman told more than 6,000 Farm Bureau members who gathered in Nashville for AFBF’s 94th Annual Meeting. “More than half of the country was in a severe drought last summer. Crops withered, hay supplies disappeared, feed costs soared and wildfires blazed. Thankfully, our crop insurance program worked as intended and we lived to fight another day.”

Beyond the farm bill, Stallman said it is also time for America’s elected leaders to put political differences aside for the good of the nation. … Continue reading

Read More »

USDA report shows Ohio corn, soybeans and wheat stocks & corn yields all down in 2012

Per the January 11th USDA Report:

Ohio’s 2012 average corn yield is estimated at 123 bushels per acre, down 2 bushels from the November forecast, and down 35 bushels from the previous year. Producers harvested 3.65 million acres for grain this past year, compared to 3.22 million acres in 2011. Total State production of 449.0 million bushels is 12 percent below the 2011 total. Acreage harvested for silage is estimated at 200,000 acres, up 60,000 acres from the previous year. The average silage yield is estimated at 16.0 tons per acre.

Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2012 is estimated at 45 bushels per acre, down 2 bushels from the November forecast. Growers harvested 4.58 million acres of soybeans in 2012 from the estimated 4.60 million acres planted. Total soybean production is estimated at 206.1 million bushels, down 5 percent from the 217.9 million bushels produced in 2011.

Alfalfa yields averaged 2.80 tons of dry hay per acre in 2012, while all Other hay averaged 1.80 tons per acre.

Continue reading

Read More »

Algae farming technology boosts yields for renewable fuel

Right next to a commercial nursery and greenhouse operation on the outskirts of Wooster, paddlewheels keep water constantly moving in four 30-by-200-foot ponds shaped like automotive raceway circuits. The water is deep green and murky.

That’s just how Phil Lane likes it.

Lane is a program manager for Touchstone Research Laboratory, a West Virginia-based company that operates this unusual facility on a stretch of farmland where the remnants of corn and soybean fields are now buried under snow.

And the stuff making the ponds green is another type of crop that could one day grow alongside the more traditional fare occupying Ohio fields: algae.

“Algae can be grown just about anywhere, so we are not competing with farmland for growing food crops,” said Lane, who manages the Wooster algae pilot facility. “Algae can add value to marginal lands, generating a crop that can be turned into biofuel and a variety of bioproducts.”… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA releases most important report of the year

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Have you watched the grain markets in recent weeks with the same attitude as watching paint dry? It takes forever. Well it’s finally here. The long awaited January 11 USDA crop reports were released today at noon. Corn production for 2012 was estimated at 10.78 billion bushels with a yield of 123.4 bushels per acre. Soybean production was pegged at 3.015 billion bushels and a yield of 39.6 bushels per acre.

Traders had expected today’s price reactions to be violent, swift, and volatile. Traders viewed corn as bullish, soybeans negative to neutral, and wheat bullish.

The trade has been talking about this report heavily for the past month. Many view today’s report day as the most important one for the entire year. It consists of four major reports; final corn and soybean production numbers for 2012, Dec. 1, 2012 quarterly grain stocks, the normal monthly supply and demand report, and lastly, estimated 2013 U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio agriculture unites for water quality

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Dairy Producers Associations, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Farmers Union, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Livestock Coalition, Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, Ohio Pork Producers Council, Ohio Poultry Association, Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, Ohio Soybean Association, Ohio Soybean Council, Ohio State University and United Producers, Inc. have joined forces for a common goal — water quality. These Ohio organizations recently co-wrote and endorsed the following statement emphasizing the importance of a proactive approach to nutrient management and water quality on the farms of the state.

As a farmer in Ohio you have a significant challenge bearing down quickly. Government, special interest groups, the media and the public all expect you to help clean up the state’s water resources.… Continue reading

Read More »

Gypsum could fight Lake Erie algae

An Ohio State University scientist says an abundant byproduct from coal-burning power plants, if spread on farmers’ fields, could help control Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.

Warren Dick, a soil biochemist in the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), said applying fluidized gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum to crop fields can keep soluble phosphorus, the main nutrient feeding the algae, from getting washed from the soil by heavy rains, then running off into streams and rivers and eventually into the lake.

“And FGD gypsum, which is a synthetic form of gypsum, can improve both the soil and the crops,” he said. “Naturally occurring, mined gypsum has a long history as a soil amendment and fertilizer for farming.”

A professor in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), Dick is part of a national program to develop agricultural uses for FGD gypsum, which comes from the air-emission scrubbers at coal-burning power plants.… Continue reading

Read More »

Update on Saflufenacil herbicides

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

There are some changes with regard to herbicides that growers should be aware of in the coming year. Here is an overview of Saflufenacil herbicides.

Major changes with saflufenacil products within the past year or so include the addition of higher soybean burndown rates and planting restrictions, and one new product. Sharpen can now be applied at rates up to two ounces per acre in soybean burndown programs, and higher rates can improve burndown and residual broadleaf weed control. As Sharpen rates increase above one ounce per acre, the minimum interval between application and soybean planting increases. For soils with more than 2% organic matter, the minimum delay between Sharpen application and planting: one ounce — anytime before emergence; 1.5 ounces — 14 days; two ounces 30 days. Similar changes have occurred for Verdict use rates in soybeans. The five-ounce Verdict rate can be applied anytime before crop emergence, while rates of 7.5 and 10 ounces per acre must be applied 14 and 30 days before planting, respectively.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Meeting

The Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Meeting will be held Feb. 8, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg. The program focuses on “Adapting to our Changing Climate” featuring Dr. Chris Teutsch, the Forage and Livestock Specialist at Virginia Tech’s Southern Piedmont Research and Extension Center near Blackstone, Virginia. An Ohio native and an outstanding speaker, Dr. Teutsch has very practical advice on how to make pasture and forage systems more resilient to weather extremes.

Do you know how often we face water deficits for pasture production? Come and find out — the statistics may surprise you. Teutsch will discuss management that will improve pasture production by more than 33% while also increasing drought tolerance of pastures through a stronger plant root system.

You will also learn how to plan ahead for filling in the cool season grass summer slump and other periods of forage deficit with alternative forages.… Continue reading

Read More »

OABA Crop Production and Seed Technology Conference

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is excited to announce the new 2013 OABA Crop Production and Seed Technology Conference, which will take place January 29-31, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. This is the first OABA event of its kind, and combines two long-time successful events – the Crop Production Conference and the Seed Technology Seminar – with invaluable networking opportunities for agronomy and other agribusiness professionals.

This event provides valuable networking opportunities each day, including an Industry Networking Reception on Jan. 29, and an Industry Networking Reception and Dinner on Jan. 30. This three-day event provides 19 continuing education credits – almost half of the Certified Crop Adviser CEUs needed in a two-year period – at less than $16 per CEU, and four Pesticide Applicator Certification credits. By registering for this three-day event, participants will also receive complimentary admission to the Industry Networking Receptions and Dinner, and the breakfast panel discussion on Jan.… Continue reading

Read More »

Soy checkoff examines options for locks and dams

The U.S. shipping industry received a reminder of how much a lock closure can cost when Lock 27 on the Mississippi River closed for five days this fall due to emergency repairs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that an unscheduled closure at this lock can cost up to $2.8 million per day. Emergency fixes and unscheduled maintenance cost shippers and those using shippers to move products. Additionally, the inadequacies of the aging U.S. lock and dam system can add burden, time and costs due to inefficiencies.

A recent study funded by the United Soybean Board’s (USB’s) Global Opportunities program in coordination with the Soy Transportation Coalition examined these inefficiencies and potential maintenance solutions for this vital part of U.S. infrastructure. The U.S. inland waterways serve as important and economical routes to transport U.S. soy to global markets. Nearly 60% of total 2011 soybean exports passed through Mississippi River ports in southern Louisiana.… Continue reading

Read More »

Update on soybean herbicide premixes

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

There are some changes with regard to soybean herbicide premixes that growers should be aware of in the coming year. Here is an overview.

Soybean herbicide premixes

Intimidator (Loveland/CPS) is a premix of s-metolachlor, fomesafen (Reflex), and metribuzin for preplant or preemergence use in soybeans. Activity is similar to a mixture of Prefix plus metribuzin. Intimidator provides broad-spectrum weed control but will be generally less effective for residual control of giant ragweed compared with other broad-spectrum soybean herbicides (Valor XLT, Gangster, Sonic, Authority XL, etc). The addition of a few ounces of metribuzin 75DF will improve marestail control, especially where the lower rates of Intimidator are used.

Matador (Loveland/CPS) is a premix of metolachlor, imazethapyr (Pursuit), and metribuzin for preplant or preemergence use in soybeans. A use rate of two pints per acre would be typical in a planned preemergence followed by postemergence soybean herbicide program.… Continue reading

Read More »

Changing soil pH on your farm

By Dave Nanda, Seed Consultants, Inc.

We have discussed what pH is and the importance of having balanced pH during the last three weeks. Many physical, chemical and biological processes necessary for crop survival, growth and yield are affected by soil pH. I would like to discuss how you can adjust the pH in the soils on your farm.

• For high yields we must balance soil pH depending on the crops we intend to grow. For growing corn, beans, wheat and alfalfa, we need to have a soil pH values of 6.0 to 6.8. Balanced pH is critical because it can affect nutrient availability, soil-applied herbicides and their degradation, potential for aluminum or iron toxicity, as well as nitrogen fixation by legumes.

• Some soils have a tendency to become acidic over time due to weathering of soil minerals and release of acidifying metals, leaching away of calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium, decomposition of organic matter, and application of ammonia-based fertilizers.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio honors century farms

Seventy-eight farms were designated as Ohio Century Farms in 2012 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Century farm status is awarded to families who have owned the same farm for at least 100 consecutive years.

To commemorate this milestone, each family received a certificate signed by Governor John R. Kasich and the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture to keep with their historic documents and pass down to future generations.

First-ever registrations occurred in Athens, Noble, and Pike Counties in 2012. With these additions, at least one Ohio Century Farm is now registered in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. More than 950 Ohio farms are registered across the state.

Families registering their farm in 2012 were:













Champain  Johnson






















FultonBeam/Neorr/Deese                     1877


























































PutnamBrinkman Kreinbrink












































Van WertEvans


Van WertHertel


Van WertMorris


Van WertRecker


Van WertSawmiller















Anyone who can verify that a currently-owned farm has remained in their family for at least 100 years may register.… Continue reading

Read More »

Update on Mesotrione herbicides

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

There are some changes with regard to Mesotrione herbicides that growers should be aware of in the coming year. Here is an overview.

Mesotrione herbicides

Major changes here include two new mesotrione premixes from DuPont, and some reformulating and renaming of Syngenta products. Lexar and Lumax have been subject to minor reformulating, and are now Lexar EZ and Lumax EZ. Camix, the premix of mesotrione and s-metolachlor, has been renamed Zemax. New Dupont mesotrione products include the following:

Instigate, a mixture of mesotrione and rimsulfuron, is labeled for preplant, preemergence, and early postemergence use in field corn. Instigate provides residual control or suppression of annual grass and broadleaf weeds, and has activity on emerged weeds. Application of this product alone will generally not be adequate in either a total preeemergence or preemergence followed by postemergence herbicide program. A mixture of Instigate plus an atrazine premix should have burndown activity that is similar to Lexar and Lumax, as well as similar residual weed control.… Continue reading

Read More »

Pork Congress coming soon

The 2013 Ohio Pork Congress will be held on Feb. 12-13 in Columbus at the Crowne Plaza North. Those involved in the pork industry across the state will want to attend the Ohio Pork Congress to view and learn about the latest pork industry technologies.

On Feb. 13, pork producers are invited to attend the Professional Pork Producers Symposium, a set of educational seminars featuring experts from around the U.S. The Ohio Pork Congress trade show will offer the latest information from agribusinesses throughout the nation. The trade show will be open on Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

“We encourage all pork producers to attend the Ohio Pork Congress and the Professional Pork Producers Symposium this year. Congress will be very educational, presenting valuable information for all of those involved in the industry,” said Dick Isler, OPPC executive vice president.

On Wednesday, the pork industry will recognize and honor leaders and outstanding pork producers at the OPPC Awards Luncheon at 12:00 p.m.… Continue reading

Read More »

Update of Pyroxasulfone herbicides

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

There are some changes with regard to Pyroxasulfone herbicides that growers should be aware of in the coming year. Here is an overview.


Pyroxasulfone Herbicides

Pyroxasulfone is a new active ingredient for residual control of annual grasses and certain small-seeded broadleaf weeds. It can be found in several products that were recently labeled for use in corn, and several of these will be labeled for use in soybeans in the near future as well. Mode of action of pyroxasulfone is similar to the acetamides — a group 15 seedling growth inhibitor. Pyroxasulfone controls most annual grasses, pigweed, waterhemp, lambsquarters, and black nightshade, and also has fair activity on common ragweed and velvetleaf at higher rates. The spectrum and length of control is dependent upon rate, as with most herbicides.

The premix products that contain pyroxasulfone are geared for use in a planned preemergence followed by postemergence program.… Continue reading

Read More »

OLC sets direction for 2013

The Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) Board of Directors (Board) recently elected new officers and identified three key focus areas to guide its direction for 2013. Dick Isler, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Producers Council, will serve as president of OLC. He will lead the organization as it addresses its priority issues, including antibiotics in food producing animals, nutrient management and water quality issues, and maximizing resources available from national farm organizations working on similar issues.

“The use of antibiotics in livestock and environmental management at farms are important issues for farmers and all Ohioans,” said David White, OLC executive director. “The Board prioritized these focus areas that will advance our ability to engage in public dialogue and support our mission to assist Ohio’s livestock farm community in expanding its positive contributions to the state by advancing environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable farming. ”

The focus areas were approved at the December 19, 2012, Board of Directors meeting.… Continue reading

Read More »

Mississippi River water level still a concern

Low water levels continue to be a concern for shipping on the Mississippi River. A supply chain disruption on the Mississippi River could affect 7.2 million tons of commodities valued at $2.8 billion in January alone.

The waterways industry, agriculture industry partners, and other stakeholders continue to closely watch water levels on the Mississippi River and work to prevent a severe disruption in barge traffic.

In response to concerns raised by industry stakeholders, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expedited issuance of contracts to begin removing rock pinnacles in the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill. Due to the drought and historical low water levels on the river, the rock pinnacles have emerged, reducing the depth and width of the shipping channel used by barges. Normally, the Corps would not have started the rock removal work until January and would not have finished until late February. The expedited process is expected to result in the first phase of work being completed in 30 days and provide 1.5 feet of additional depth in the shipping channel.… Continue reading

Read More »

Who do Moms trust for food info?

A recent survey of moms shows they trust food and mom blogs for information about food issues like pesticides, genetic modification and additives. Food and blogs by other moms were ranked higher than government sources, medical sites and corporate sources for gathering information on food. On the issue of genetically modified organisms – for example – the poll of one-thousand moms found that 39-percent trust food and mom blogs. Just 24-percent rate the government as a good source and 18-percent listed medical sites. The numbers vary a bit when it comes to pesticides and artificial flavors and colors.

The poll was conducted by Fleishman-Hillard and TheMotherhood dot com and also looked at the sources moms turn to for food information. The first-ranked source was food programs on television. More than three-quarters of moms – 78-percent – said they are watching food programs on TV. Food media websites came in second at 77-percent.… Continue reading

Read More »

Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 — What does it mean to farmers?

By David Marrison, OSU Extension Associate Professor & Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension Assistant Professor

The United States Congress worked overtime over the New Year’s Holiday to pass the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and was signed into law by President Obama. There are many provisions that are allowing members of the agricultural community to breathe a sigh of relief as they head into 2013.

The bill permanently retains the 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, and 33% income tax brackets. The 35% tax bracket ends at $400,000 for single filers and $450,000 married filing jointly. Above this threshold, there’s a new 39.6% tax bracket. Likewise, the bill permanently retains the 0% and 15% tax rates on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains, and adds a new 20% tax rate that would apply to taxpayers who fall within the new 39.6% tax bracket. Which capital gains tax rate will apply depends on what tax bracket a person is in.… Continue reading

Read More »