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Ohio Livestock Care Board Meets; Goeglin named new director

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board held their first meeting since November. It was also the first meeting under new Ohio Director of Agriculture, David Daniels.

The board spent time reviewing the standards they set last summer.

“We went through all the areas and suggested a few small changes, primarily in the euthanasia area,” Jeff Weubker, a farmer who sits on the board said. “We’re waiting on a report on euthanasia that is coming out in the next month or two from the American Veterinary Medical Association.”

After reviewing that report the board will see if they need to make any significant changes to euthanasia standards. The goal will be to submit any changes to the care standards to the J-Carr process in November.

Dr. Tony reported their have been 38 investigations and 18 violations.

“None of those have resulted in any fines. ODA has worked with those in violation and then come back to make sure that they have been corrected,” Wuebker said.… Continue reading

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J D Equipment adds new store in Zanesville, Ohio

J D Equipment, of London, Ohio, has announced they will be expanding to their eighth John Deere store in Zanesville, Ohio. J D Equipment has worked with Finton Equipment to purchase their existing store in Zanesville, and became the new owners effective March 19, 2012. Due to John Deere’s dealership realignment, Finton Equipment will close their John Deere store in Coshocton, Ohio on the same date.

The new J D Equipment store sells agricultural, commercial and consumer equipment, offering products and services for farmers, commercial mowers, construction customers and homeowners. They sell and service multiple product lines including John Deere, Honda, Stihl, Generac and many more.

Finton Equipment has had had its doors open for over 45 years, with their home and base in Coshocton. Their decision to sell to J D Equipment was based upon J D’s ability and commitment to continue to serve the entire Finton customer base in Zanesville and Coshocton while only have facilities in Zanesville.… Continue reading

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Farming Film Festival Video Contest

How will we feed 9 billion people? What will the world look like in 2050? Alltech wants to hear from you. With the launch of the 2nd Farming Film Festival, it’s time to get out your camera and tell your story for a chance to win $2,000. The winning videos will be shown at Alltech’s 28th Annual International Symposium May 20 – 23 in Lexington, Ky.

“With the overwhelming success of the first Farming Film Festival, we knew we had to do it again. Social media outlets have been telling stories to the world. We want to use these new media forms to tell stories to the world. We want to use those outlets to tell the story of agriculture,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech.

Participants in the Farming Film Festival may enter by uploading their video to www.farmingfilmfestival.com. Winners will be chosen by a panel of science and agriculture journalists based on creativity, quality of video, story interest and number of views.… Continue reading

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ODA accepting submissions for "Ag Is Cool!" contest

The Ohio Department of Agriculture  announced it will begin accepting submissions for the 2012 “Agriculture is Cool!” Creative Expressions contest. Ohio children enrolled in school or home schooled during the 2011-2012 academic year have until July 9, 2012, to capture their personal interpretation of why Ohio agriculture is cool for their chance to win two tickets to see The Band Perry at the Ohio State Fair.

Entries, which can include an original video, photograph, drawing, or painting, will judged in the following age categories. One winner from each age group and category will be chosen:

Grades K-2: Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 3-5: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 6-8: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 9-12: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting

All entries will be judged by a panel of judges that may include representatives from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Office of the Governor, the Ohio Expo Center, and professionals in the areas of video production, photography, drawing, painting and other visual arts.… Continue reading

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ODA accepting submissions for “Ag Is Cool!” contest

The Ohio Department of Agriculture  announced it will begin accepting submissions for the 2012 “Agriculture is Cool!” Creative Expressions contest. Ohio children enrolled in school or home schooled during the 2011-2012 academic year have until July 9, 2012, to capture their personal interpretation of why Ohio agriculture is cool for their chance to win two tickets to see The Band Perry at the Ohio State Fair.

Entries, which can include an original video, photograph, drawing, or painting, will judged in the following age categories. One winner from each age group and category will be chosen:

Grades K-2: Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 3-5: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 6-8: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 9-12: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting

All entries will be judged by a panel of judges that may include representatives from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Office of the Governor, the Ohio Expo Center, and professionals in the areas of video production, photography, drawing, painting and other visual arts.… Continue reading

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USDA gives assistance to Ohio for phosphorus prevention

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $2 million in financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help farmers in designated parts of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana prevent phosphorus from entering Western Lake Erie Basin waterways.  The announcement is part of an effort to improve water quality and support jobs in the region that are generated through the hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation industry. Secretary Vilsack was joined by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Sherrod Brown (OH), and Representatives John Dingell (MI) and Marcy Kaptur (OH) for the announcement.

“Our nation’s farmers and ranchers are a tremendous partner in helping protect the environment and this initiative gives them an additional opportunity to help address the challenges phosphorus poses to water quality in the basin,” Vilsack said. “This funding will help farmers take necessary steps to improve and protect the environmental health of the Lake Erie Basin, preserve habitat for the region’s fish and wildlife, and protect over 100,000 jobs that Lake Erie helps support.”… Continue reading

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Handle treated seeds with care

By Sharon Covert, International Marketing Committee Chair for the United Soybean Board and soy checkoff.

Each day keeps getting a little bit longer and warmer, which means it will soon be that time of year again—planting season. Farmers will soon be back in the field sowing this year’s soybean crop.

Many farmers have complex management decisions to make each spring, but deciding which soybean variety to plant has become an increasingly difficult one. In the past few years, soybean seed treated with crop protection products have become very popular.

These brightly colored seeds can help protect seedlings from pests and diseases, but farmers need to remember the importance of keeping treated seed and harvested oilseeds or grain separate. Soy customers beyond the elevator have become increasingly sensitive to this issue, and negligence can threaten our relationship and income.

For example, if a treated seed shows up in a shipment of soybeans in China, customers there will reject the entire load.
 
… Continue reading

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Nematode presence low in Ohio Corn Performance Trials

Amid growing questions of nematodes’ effect on corn yields in Ohio, a recent sampling in the 2011 Ohio Corn Performance Test locations found no visible evidence of nematode injury, an Ohio State University Extension specialist says.

Several seed companies submitted hybrid entries in the performance test that included nematicide seed treatments, said Peter Thomison, an OSU Extension agronomist. Soil samples were collected to assess whether nematodes may be present at test sites. Two bulk samples of 20 cores each were taken from each test site, all of which have a history of some form of conservation tillage, he said.

“Nine of the sites followed soybeans, one followed corn,” Thomison said. “There was no visible evidence of nematode injury, such as uneven growth or stunted plants, in sampled plots.”

The purpose of the test is to evaluate corn hybrids for grain yield and other important agronomic characteristics. Results of the test can assist farmers in selecting hybrids best suited to their farming operations and production environments.… Continue reading

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Ag groups express more concern with LightSquared

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) International Bureau, the American Soybean Association (ASA) and other organizations representing farmers and agribusinesses in all 50 states today declared that “high-precision GPS technology is vitally important to American agriculture, and would be gravely harmed by LightSquared’s plans.”
In the petition, the groups urged the International Bureau “to adopt without delay” the bureau’s proposals to withdraw the conditional waiver it granted LightSquared and prohibit it from building a ground-based wireless network.
In addition to ASA, the petition was signed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sugar Cane League, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Potato Council, National Sunflower Association, US Canola Association, USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, and the USA Rice Federation.
The groups described the benefits of high precision GPS to American agriculture as “immense and diverse,” saying that, “By enabling farmers to make precise applications for planting, irrigation, and crop protection, GPS technology has been responsible for remarkable growth in productivity, farm income, and improved environmental sustainability.”
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Optimum AcreMax XTreme receives registration

DuPont announced that it has received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Optimum AcreMax XTreme insect protection for corn. Optimum AcreMax XTreme adds to DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred’s lineup of single-bag solutions to deliver insect control and simplified refuge management for growers. “Optimum AcreMaxXTreme is the right product for growers who need enhanced above- and below-ground insect control and simplified refuge management on their acres,” said Paul E. Schickler, Pioneer president. “Growers need proven technology to defend their crop against insect damage, while receiving overall agronomic performance. OptimumAcreMax XTreme joins a very successful lineup of other simplified refuge Pioneer brand products.”

Optimum AcreMax XTreme products integrate 95% of a trusted, high-yielding Pioneer brand corn hybrid containing Herculex XTRA insect protection. This is combined with YieldGard Corn Borer insect protection and the Agrisure RW trait and 5% of a similar non-Bt hybrid with herbicide tolerance to serve as the integrated refuge.… Continue reading

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Nominations sought for conservation farm family award

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Conservation Farm Family Awards, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Soil and Water Resources. The awards program through ODNR is co-sponsored by Ohio Farmer Magazine and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Since 1984, the Conservation Farm Family Award program has recognized Ohio farm families doing an outstanding job of managing natural and human resources in meeting both production and conservation goals.

Individual farmers, partnerships or family farm corporations are eligible for nomination, provided a substantial portion of their income is derived from farming. Judging is based on the nominee’s use of new and traditional conservation techniques, comprehensive management, individual initiative in applying conservation measures and the nominee’s willingness to share conservation information, experiences and philosophy with others.

Five area finalists will be chosen from around the state, and they will be recognized at the annual Farm Science Review in September.… Continue reading

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ASA urges permanent normal trade relations with Russia

In advance of Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing on the implications of Russia’s accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the United States, the American Soybean Association (ASA) joined more than 150 organizations from across the business community in submitting a letter urging the committee to establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia.

“The pork and poultry industries, which use soybean meal in animal feed, are poised to see great success in Russia as income levels rise and the demand for meat increases. What benefits these industries benefits soybean farmers,” said ASA First Vice President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “Those potential positives, however, hinge on further expansion of trade to Russia. The establishment of PNTR with Russia is critical to our ability to increase soybean exports into Europe’s largest consumer market and the world’s 11th largest economy.”

As part of the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade, which comprises businesses from a wide range of industries, ASA advocates the graduation of Russia from the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, enabling Congress to approve PNTR before Russia’s expected entry into the WTO later this summer.… Continue reading

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NCBA Pushes for Beef Checkoff Reform

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today, March 14, 2012, submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service proposed rule  pertaining to the Beef Checkoff Program. The proposed rule would expand contracting authority by eliminating the requirement that only allows organizations active and ongoing since 1985 to contract with the checkoff. The proposed rule would allow national non-profit, industry-governed organizations that have been representing the cattle industry for at least two years to be eligible to contract for the implementation of checkoff programs.

NCBA President J.D. Alexander said the rule is good for the industry and good for the checkoff. He said the proposed rule would ensure cattlemen are getting the best return on their investment.

“NCBA supports an open and transparent checkoff program that is producer driven. This proposed rule would simply enhance this quest,” said Alexander. “We support a competitive checkoff contracting system that ensures producers are getting the absolute best return on their investment.… Continue reading

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Meat exports holding strong

U.S. red meat exports have a tough act to follow after a record-setting year in 2011, but the early indications for 2012 are good. January pork exports jumped 28% in volume and 43% in value while beef exports were even in volume but rose 14% in value, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

“There is a challenge to follow a very successful year like 2011 and sustain the momentum,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “The good news is that there are opportunities to expand the presence of U.S. red meat by exploring new market niches as well as increasing access with several key trading partners.”

Several key measurements also showed continued growth: export value per head and percentage of total production exported. For pork, January’s export value equated to $59.44 per head of commercial slaughter compared to $43.59 a year ago, and 29.6% of total production (including variety meat) was exported in January versus 24.2% last year.… Continue reading

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Nominations open for Ohio Agriculture Women of the Year

Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich and Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels today announced they are now accepting nominations for the 2012 Ohio Agriculture Women of the Year Awards.  The award program is administered through the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Office of the First Lady.  The 2012 recipients will be announced at the Ohio State Fair.

“Director Daniels and I are excited for the opportunity to honor the impact of Ohio women on our state’s largest industry,” said Mrs. Kasich, who announced the creation of the award during last year’s fair. “We are looking forward to what we hope becomes an annual Ohio State Fair tradition for many years to come.”

Nominations will be submitted online and reviewed by a diverse committee of industry leaders. Winners will be selected on the basis of their outstanding contributions to Ohio agriculture, leadership and advocacy in the agricultural community and significant impact on the agriculture industry as a whole.… Continue reading

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AFBF supports farm truck measures in transportation bill

Although the Highway Bill (S.1813) has been a victim of partisan politics, according toNational Cattlemen’s Beef Association Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reached an agreement on the consideration of a series of amendments to the Highway Bill. Two of those amendments, which passed, are of particular importance for farm and ranch families. Specifically, an amendment brought forth by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) will exempt drivers of farm vehicles from having to acquire a commercial driver’s license. Another amendment, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), will waive hours of service restrictions during harvest seasons.

“Farmers and ranchers are not professional truck drivers and shouldn’t be treated as such. Hauling livestock to market two times a year is hardly the same as hauling goods across the country on a daily basis. Subjecting family farmers and ranchers to costly and requirements is an unnecessary burden we cannot afford,” said Bacus.… Continue reading

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Can corn keep up?

Key shifts in U.S. corn production are decelerating yield growth, according to a new report released today by researchers at the Rabobank International Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group. The report, titled “Can Corn Keep Up?” finds that yields are likely to grow at a much slower rate than historical and trendline analysis would suggest and anticipate 2012 growth will be below current USDA estimates.

The Rabobank International Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group’s “Can Corn Keep Up?” report notes that increased corn acres on less productive land, and reduced crop rotation make it unlikely that U.S. corn yield will increase significantly enough to move world grain stocks out of historically low levels. The report also notes only a 50% probability that U.S. corn production will keep up with worldwide demand.

“We’ve known for some time that corn yield increases will not be able to keep up with the surging global consumption,” said Sterling Liddell, Global Strategist with the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory team.… Continue reading

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Obama announces Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator

The Obama Administration announced a $15 million multi-agency Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator challenge to spur job creation and economic growth in distressed rural communities.This competition, which is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), was designed by the Taskforce for the Advancement of Regional Innovation Clusters and the White House Rural Council.

President Obama recently announced the challenge as part of the Administration’s “We Can’t Wait” efforts to strengthen the economy, create jobs and support business growth, particularly expanding opportunity for rural Americans and supporting new and innovative businesses nationwide.

The national effort will support rural partnerships by identifying and leveraging local assets and strengthening linkages to industry clusters. Strong industry clusters promote robust economic ecosystems and the development of a skilled workforce, both of which are critical to long-term regional success in rural areas.… Continue reading

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HSUS targets Bob Evans

HSUS press release

The Humane Society of the United States submitted a shareholder proposal encouraging Columbus, Ohio-based Bob Evans Farms restaurant chain and food manufacturer to develop a plan that would ensure its sausage, bacon and other pork products no longer come from pigs bred using gestation crates — cages used to virtually immobilize breeding pigs for nearly their entire lives. This practice is one of the most cruel and inhumane abuses in the agriculture industry.

In the pork industry, most breeding pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates, then are placed into another crate to give birth. They are re-impregnated and put back into a gestation crate, pregnancy after pregnancy, until they are slaughtered. These crates are barely larger than the pigs’ own bodies.

“Consumers are opposed to confining pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around,” said Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for The HSUS’ farm animal protection division.… Continue reading

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Atrazine not likely to exceed drinking water standard in agricultural groundwater

A new model predicts that atrazine, plus its breakdown product deethylatrazine, has less than a 10% chance of exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for public drinking-water supplies in shallow groundwater in about 95% of the nation’s agricultural areas. Atrazine is a commonly used herbicide for weed control in corn and sorghum production.

“With the intensive, widespread use of the herbicide atrazine in agricultural production, some communities will need to carefully monitor the risk to groundwater and human health from this contaminant and its residues,” said Marcia McNutt, U.S. Geological Survey director. “The advantage of this new research is that it reveals the spatial variability of risk for atrazine contamination in groundwater across the United States, allowing communities to make wise decisions on allocating scarce financial resources for water-quality testing.”

These findings are based on new statistical models developed from almost 20 years of nation-wide water-quality monitoring data collected by the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA).… Continue reading

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