Top Headlines

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

“I Never Met a Farmer I Didn’t Like”


Would you like to read a good book? “Will Rogers: I Never Met a Farmer I Didn’t Like” is funny, entertaining and provocative. Will died in 1935, but his wit and wisdom still make sense today.

The farm bill is still being debated in Congress. Here’s Will in 1928: “I have always claimed that the farmer will get no relief by legislation, for there is more people eating than there is raising, so he is a minority before he starts.”  Also: “Tax relief, farm relief… none of these have been settled, but they are getting them in shape for consideration at the next session of Congress with the hope that those needing relief will perhaps have conveniently died in the meantime.”

The book includes a wide range of Will’s quotes selected from his newspaper columns and radio broadcasts between 1923 and 1935. Topics include: cattle, poor soil, tenant farmers, Dust Bowl, soil erosion, horses, hogs, crop rotation, veterinarians, mules, sheep, big ranches, tractors, combines, co-ops, mortgages, Secretary of Agriculture, optimism, and many more.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio beef producers team up to feed the hungry

More than one ton of lean ground beef was donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in early October by Ohio’s beef farmers and Kroger. Throughout the summer, Columbus Clippers, Kroger, the Ohio Soybean Council, Ohio Corn Marketing Program and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank partnered with Ohio beef farmers in Striking Out Hunger with Lean Beef. A donation of 2,478 pounds of lean ground beef is the result of that partnership in 2013 with a total of more than 4,500 pounds from the duration of the program which started in 2012.

Thanks to the skill of the Columbus Clippers’ pitching staff, every strike out they recorded during the 2013 baseball season resulted in a donation of two pounds of lean ground beef to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

The donation doesn’t stop there, as one pound of lean ground beef feeds a family of four while providing 10 essential vitamins and nutrients and accounting for only 150 calories.… Continue reading

Read More »

Guidance for reseeding pasture in pipeline rights-of-way

Farmers who are negotiating easements across their property for shale oil and gas pipelines may want to consider including a clause about when the company should reseed their pastures, a forage expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences said. Reseeding at the wrong time of year, which appears to be happening frequently, often results in failure, he said.

Farmers need to be aware of the impact that the construction, maintenance and long-term presence these pipelines can have on their property, particularly when it comes to reseeding pipeline right-of-way pasture and hay areas, said Clif Little, an educator with the college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension.

Little and Mark Sulc, an OSU Extension forage specialist, recently wrote a paper, distributed to county Extension educators across the state, that said farmers should be involved in decisions regarding reseeding of pipelines. The paper is online at… Continue reading

Read More »

NCGA hosts Chinese delegation

The National Corn Growers Association hosted a Chinese agricultural delegation for a morning of informative presentations and discussions about the U.S. corn crop, agricultural associations and the seed and biofuels industries. The group, organized by Monsanto, included officials from China’s Seed Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture and 16 officials from provincial seed administration stations.

“While NCGA hosts a number of teams interested in biotechnology and the corn crop outlook, this breadth of topics in which this team showed interest was somewhat unique,” said Joe Hodes, NCGA marketing manager. “Working together, our staff was able to provide them with insight into a number of sectors which influence U.S. corn production and markets.”

Team members initially requested this meeting in order to gain a better understanding of how agricultural organizations benefit farmers. Following a in-depth examination of NCGA’s history, mission and structure, they also had an opportunity to examine U.S. harvest conditions in 2013, the role corn plays in the U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

American character the force behind the future of farming

Farming looks quite different in America than it does in Europe. While many offhandedly write off the modernizations that allow American farmers to produce such an abundant, affordable food supply by characterizing U.S. farmers as passive pawns of agribusiness, the reality of American farming is a product more of a forward-looking, achievement-driven national character. A character carefully cultivated in young farmers very much by design.

The history of the New World necessitated farmers find ways to feed a fast growing, wide spread population. The attitudes embraced by immigrants, forward-thinking and innovative individualists, led American farmers to more easily embrace changing technology and science. The New World looked forward. The Old World embraced the past.

Today, organizations aimed at developing a scientifically minded, industrious generation of new farmers, such as 4-H, mold young agriculturalists to embrace science. Through programs such as these, America continues to push forward in farming, as it does in many other areas.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cattle prices continue to climb

Expectations of tight beef cattle supplies and strong demand are pushing cattle prices higher this fall — a trend that could continue for the foreseeable future, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt said.

Finished cattle prices hit their summer lows in early August at slightly below $120 per hundredweight, but have climbed back toward $130 in anticipation of small beef supplies in the coming year.

According to Hurt, per capita beef supplies, or the amount of beef available per person in the U.S., likely will be down by about 5% for the rest of this year and on into next.

High cattle prices combined with low feed prices — corn hit $4.32 per bushel on Oct. 14 — likely means the small number of available calves could be placed on feedlots at lighter weights than a year ago when feed prices were high.

“Lower priced feed and the expectations for increasing finished cattle pries over the next four to five months should also encourage feedlot managers to feed to heavier weights,” Hurt said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Fact sheet on soil sampling

Agronomists from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences have created a fact sheet designed to provide growers guidance on soil sampling to develop nutrient recommendations.

The fact sheet helps outline the steps needed to better ensure a quality soil sample is achieved, which is key for growers to accurately manage fertility input costs and promote environmental stewardship, said Greg LaBarge, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist and one of the leaders of Ohio State’s Agronomic Crops Team. The team also includes scientists from the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

“The major goal of soil testing is to measure the soil’s ability to provide what levels of the vital nutrients phosphorous and potassium are needed for crop production,” LaBarge said. “Growers use fertilizer applications to make up the difference for what nutrients aren’t already present in the soil for what is needed for crop production.”… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA issues payments and MILC announcement

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has begun distributing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) annual rental payments to participants across the country. USDA also will distribute 2013 direct payments and 2012 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program payments beginning Oct. 24. Payments originally were scheduled to be issued earlier in the month, but were delayed by several weeks due to the lapse in Federal funding.

“Farmers, ranchers and rural landowners across the country count on USDA programs and the payment delays due to the shutdown were an unnecessary burden,” Vilsack said. “USDA has prioritized making these scheduled payments without any further delay and Farm Service Agency staff have worked hard to get this assistance out the door as quickly as possible.”

Producers will receive payments on almost 700,000 CRP contracts on 390,000 farms covering 26.8 million acres. In exchange for a yearly rental payment provided by USDA on contracts ranging from 10 to 15 years, farmers and ranchers enrolled in CRP agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant grasses or trees that will improve water quality and improve waterfowl and wildlife habitat.… Continue reading

Read More » covers expiring Roundup Ready patent

The last U.S. patent covering the original Roundup Ready soybean trait expires in 2015. As U.S. farmers begin thinking about purchasing their soybean seed for 2014 planting, they have a new resource to answer their questions about the expiration of Monsanto’s original Roundup Ready soybean trait —

“Even though the original Roundup Ready soybean trait is covered by a patent in the United States until the start of the 2015 planting season, we’re already getting questions from farmers about what they can and cannot do with Roundup Ready soybeans. can help answer questions growers may have about patents as they pertain to planting and saving original Roundup Ready varieties, as well as the benefits of new seed. It’s a great resource for farmers as they plan for next year,” said Norm Sissons, Monsanto’s U.S. Oilseeds Product Management Lead.

The site outlines Monsanto’s commitments regarding the original Roundup Ready trait patent expiration, explains the different patents and breeders’ rights typically covering soybean seed, and includes frequently asked questions and a decision tree on saving seed.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn dry down considerations

Leaving corn to dry in the field exposes a crop to unfavorable weather conditions, as well as wildlife damage. A crop with weak plant integrity is more vulnerable to yield losses from stalk lodging and ear drop when weathering conditions occur. The widespread root lodging that occurred as a result of wind storms in July is contributing to this problem. Additional losses may occur when ear rots reduce grain quality and can lead to significant dockage when the grain is marketed. Some ear rots produce mycotoxins, which may cause major health problems if fed to livestock.

Several years ago we conducted a study that evaluated effects of four plant populations (24,000, 30,000, 36,000, and 42,000 plants per acre) and three harvest dates (early-mid Oct., Nov. and Dec.) on the agronomic performance of four hybrids differing in maturity and stalk quality. The study was conducted at three locations in NW, NE, and SW Ohio over a three-year period for a total of eight experiments.… Continue reading

Read More »

Green energy solutions at workshop

A growing number of agribusinesses are turning to green energy solutions to meet their power needs, manage waste and boost sustainability. Farmers and others in the agriculture industry can learn more about this trend and the opportunities it offers at Ohio State University’s 2013 Renewable Energy Workshop, Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Wooster.

The event will feature presentations by university and industry experts as well as tours highlighting a variety of alternative energy sources, including biogas, wind, solar and biomass, said Yebo Li, workshop organizer and a biosystems engineer with the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The morning portion of the workshop will take place at Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, Ohio, on the campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). The afternoon program will feature tours of Wooster area companies, schools and government entities that have implemented on-site renewable energy projects.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – October 21st, 2013

[acm-tag id=”468x60_shortcode”]

There were four days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending October 20, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Producers spent the majority of the week harvesting corn and soybeans, hampered only by intermittent rains. The moisture content of harvested corn averaged 20 percent, and the moisture content of harvested soybeans averaged 14 percent.Continue reading

Read More »

The Weekly Corn Belt Update – {October 21st, 2013}


The Snapshot Tour is hosted by Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities. This is a daily update on crop and weather conditions across  locations in the Corn Belt.  Listen to the audio report in full by visiting and clicking on the audio tab.

Maumee, Ohio

Northwest Ohio will likely wrap up bean harvest this week. Corn is estimated at 25%.  Weather moved activity from bean to corn harvest and once they get past tonight’s chance of rain, bean harvest should return to full throttle.  Yields are above average so far on beans.   

Henderson, KY

Weather has also slowed bean harvest north and south of the river.Continue reading

Read More »

Tips for protecting stored grain

The lowest corn prices in recent years mean farmers are likely to store a large portion of the crop on the farm into the late spring or summer of 2014, a Purdue Extension grain handling specialist said.

Anytime growers decide to put corn into storage, and especially when they plan to store it for several months, they need to manage the grain properly to keep it from spoiling. That includes drying corn to a safer moisture level when it comes out of the field and then properly cleaning, loading, aerating and monitoring it.

“This will require adequately drying to 14 to 14.5% for long-term storage,” Klein Ileleji said. “Think of grain in the bin as cash in the bank. Without good management, this ‘cash’ can go out of condition, quickly eroding your investment.”

Ileleji offered some tips for farmers to keep their grain in top shape:

* Sanitation: Growers need to remove all of the food sources and harboring spots for rodents and insects around their storage facilities.… Continue reading

Read More »

Preliminary 2014 Ohio field crop enterprise budgets

Budgeting helps guide you through your decision making process as you attempt to commit resources to the most profitable enterprises on the farm. Crops or Livestock? Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Hay? We can begin to answer these questions with well thought out budgets that include all revenue and costs. Without some form of budgeting and some method to track your enterprises’ progress you’ll have difficulty determining your most profitable enterprise(s) and if you’ve met your goals for the farm.

Budgeting is often described as “penciling it out” before committing resources to a plan. Ohio State University Extension has had a long history of developing “Enterprise Budgets” that can be used as a starting point for producers in their budgeting process.

Preliminary Enterprise Budgets for 2014 Ohio field crops have been completed and posted to the Farm Management Website of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. Updated Enterprise Budgets can be viewed and downloaded from the following website:
Continue reading

Read More »

Stink bugs can damage corn and soybeans

Field crop growers might already be aware that stink bugs could cause injury to soybeans, but it seems the smelly pests could also cause problems for both sweet and field corn, say entomologists with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Although the damage stink bugs can cause to soybeans in Ohio has the potential to be a significant problem, fewer growers might be aware that the insects can also cause corn injury, said Andy Michel, an Ohio State University Extension pest expert.

While there have been few reports in the Buckeye state of stink bug damage in some northern Ohio corn fields, growers who have found discolored, shrunken or missing kernels, might find that stink bugs are indeed the culprit, said Michel, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Stink bugs, known for their “sweaty feet” smell when squashed or irritated, have made their way into Ohio soybean fields and now some Ohio corn fields, in addition to invading homes statewide, he said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Farm Bureau has impressive showing on the national stage

Four Ohio county Farm Bureaus have been chosen as winners in the 2014 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) County Activities of Excellence Awards (CAE) program. They are the Carroll, Franklin, Highland and Marion County Farm Bureaus.

“Considering AFBF only chooses 24 winners total, the fact that Ohio has four makes a pretty strong statement about the quality of programming our county Farm Bureaus are carrying out,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President Jack Fisher.

The CAE program identifies programs that serve as models of innovation for local activities and display the value of volunteers working together to build and strengthen their communities. The competition focuses on county efforts in education and agricultural promotion, member services, public relations and information, leadership development and policy implementation. Counties compete along with Farm Bureaus of similar membership size.

All four Ohio winners will display their programs, which were conducted in 2013, at the AFBF annual meeting trade show in San Antonio in January.… Continue reading

Read More »

Agritourism safety tips

From apple picking at a pick-your-own operation to pumpkin patches complete with hayrides and corn mazes, consumer interest in agritourism is high this time of year. Farm operators need to make sure that they are not only prepared for the additional traffic, but that their operations are prepared for safety, according to safety experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Agritourism is a significant and growing industry for farmers, said Eric Barrett, an Ohio State University Extension educator.

Between wineries, fall pumpkin farms, pick-your-own farms and other types of agritourism operations, there are hundreds of thousands of visitors to Ohio’s farms each year, many of whom may not be as familiar with farms or farm safety, he said. And while visits to farm operations that also offer agritourism is a year-round activity for many farmers, October is typically the busiest time for the industry, Barrett said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Use care with frost and forage

We have had a beautiful fall so far, but Jack Frost will be visiting us soon. Now is the time to finish harvesting and grazing several forage species that can be extremely toxic soon after a frost. Those include primarily annual grasses in the sorghum family and other closely related species that contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides, which are converted quickly to prussic acid (i.e. hydrogen cyanide) in freeze-damaged plant tissues.

Other species that can develop toxic levels of prussic acid after frost are Johnsongrass, shattercane, chokecherry, black cherry, indiangrass, and elderberry. It is always a good idea to check areas where wild cherry trees grow after a storm and pick up and discard any fallen limbs to prevent animals from grazing on the leaves and twigs.

The potential toxicity after frost varies by species. Sudangrass varieties are low to intermediate in cyanide poisoning potential, sudangrass hybrids are intermediate, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and forage sorghums are intermediate to high, and grain sorghum is high to very high and is most likely to be toxic after a frost.… Continue reading

Read More »

Government shutdown ends, farm bill next?

After 16 days, the government shutdown ended, much to the relief of many.

The Oct. 16 House vote of 285-144, and the Senate’s 285-144 vote, followed by President Obama’s signature ended the shutdown and lifted the debt limit. The bill provides funding to keep the government running through Jan. 15, and allows borrowing to continue through Feb. 7. It also provides back pay for the roughly 800,000 furloughed federal workers.

“Last night’s action by Congress ended a shutdown of our government and will return agencies back to normal operating status. This is good news for family farmers, ranchers and rural residents who were left without critical services for far too long,” said Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union (NFU) president.

Now many in agriculture are hoping for some long overdue attention to the farm bill conference.

“It was promising to hear President Obama mention specifically the unfinished business that is the farm bill in his address to the nation last night.… Continue reading

Read More »