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Damron named Ohio FFA Alumni Association Outstanding Member for 2013

Jason Damron of the Talawanda FFA Alumni Affiliate was awarded a clock trophy for being named the Outstanding Member of the Ohio FFA Alumni Association during the 42nd Ohio FFA Alumni Convention held in Columbus on Jan. 25, 2014. The FFA Alumni Association appreciates members that go the extra mile to support agricultural education programs and the FFA in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Senate passes farm bill that now awaits President’s signature

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the bipartisan Farm Bill  — the Federal Agriculture Act of 2014 — by a vote of 68-32. The bill represents rare bipartisan agreement on legislation that would boost a major sector of the U.S. economy and create jobs across the country.

“This day has been a long time coming as farmers from all corners of Ohio have spent years tirelessly advocating for a new farm bill to ensure a safety-net is in place for those years we are faced with circumstances far beyond our control. I join my fellow farmers in thanking Ohio’s congressional delegation who supported a bill to help protect one of Ohio’s greatest resources, our agriculture industry, which helps to maintain the most secure and affordable food supply in all of the world,” said Brent Hostetler, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association president. “Time and again Ohio’s farmers have told us that crop insurance is one of the most important tools they can use to help preserve their farm’s future.… Continue reading

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Refuge report shows increased compliance in 2013

In order to preserve technology, insect resistant crops have always required a refuge area.

The National Corn Growers Association enhanced Compliance Assurance Program (CAP) that has had strong success. The program, which includes on-farm refuge assessments, an online survey and IRM education and awareness, has documented an increase in both the overall number of growers planting proper corn refuge and use of integrated refuge products.

The CAP aims to improve compliance with Insect Resistance Management requirements. The Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC), a consortium of Bt corn registrants, submits an annual CAP report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describing industry-coordinated compliance assurance efforts for Bt traits.

Highlights of the survey indicate a strong adoption of integrated refuge products, which include Bt and refuge seed interspersed in a single bag or container.

“We are pleased to see that the number of growers planting integrated refuge products on their entire farming operation has more than tripled this year and the percent of those who planted at least one integrated product increased from 50% in 2012 to 75% in 2013,” said Mike Smith, ABSTC IRM subcommittee co-chairman.… Continue reading

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Groups pushing for immigration reform

The Agriculture Workforce Coalition, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and more than 70 of the largest American agriculture groups joined with the Partnership for a New American Economy to launch #IFarmImmigration, an agriculture campaign to support renewed efforts to enact immigration reform this year.

The campaign will stress the agriculture sector’s critical need for immigration reform with activities online and on the ground, in Washington D.C. and in key districts. The month starts with a Capitol Hill Briefing on Wednesday, Feb. 5,where Congressional staff will hear from farmers and ranchers about the need for immigration reform. The campaign will also release new research on labor shortages and throughout the month, farmers and ranchers will be on the ground telling their stories through farm tours, social and traditional media, videos, and community events for members of Congress in their districts.

“Immigration reform is critical for the agricultural industry,” said Bob Stallman, AFBF President.… Continue reading

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New soy products

Various performance and environmental attributes have made U.S. soy increasingly popular among product manufacturers, which has helped boost industrial demand for soy.

Last year, the soy checkoff  partnered with manufacturers to commercialize 38 new soy-based products and ingredients.

The list of products developed with soy checkoff support in 2013 includes new additions to some popular soy-based product categories, such as coatings, adhesives and plastics. It also includes soy-based ingredients that could be used in countless new products.

“USB is helping discover other products that can be made from soy to add to farmers’ bottom lines,” said Dale Profit, a soy checkoff farmer-leader and soybean farmer from Van Wert.
 “These products are good for the farmer, the customer and all the people in between.”

Soybean meal’s primary use remains animal feed, while most soybean oil goes to human food, Profit said. But versatile soy can also help manufacturers replace petrochemicals and possible carcinogens in their products.… Continue reading

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What is soil health?

“Soil health” has become a popular term during the last few years. Some people even refer to soil as a “living organism.” Particles of sand or clay are not living organisms but the composite of soil particles, organic matter and all the living creatures like earth worms, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and viruses that make it their home constitute “soil” which is so important for growing crops.

• The health of the soil is the physical health, porosity, water retention qualities, drainage capacity plus the health of all the organisms that live in it. This may be compared with the health of a city with buildings, homes and factories, etc. When a city is not properly taken care of by its residents, it begins to suffer. The same thing can happen to a farm.

• I am glad to see that more farmers are becoming interested in improving the health of the soils on their farms.… Continue reading

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OCA celebrates a great year

Ohio beef producers and industry leaders met to develop policy, learn about consumer preferences and demand for beef and to celebrate the many achievements of cattlemen at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, Jan. 25, 2014, at the NorthPointe Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. More than 250 attended the event in which an expanded format offered a county affiliate leaders’ meeting and two breakout sessions in addition to the annual meeting and evening banquet. Sponsors who contributed to the success of the event include COBA/Select Sires, CompManagement, Inc., Farm Credit Mid-America, United Producers, Inc. and Steve R. Rauch.

The day’s events began with a meeting hosted for county affiliate leaders to learn about opportunities available and to share with other county leaders. Following a luncheon, the first “Around the Water Tank” breakout session hosted a four-person panel. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Scott George; John Lundeen, NCBA Senior Executive Director of Market Research; Pam Haley, OCA Board of Directors member; and Bev Roe, Ohio Beef Council Operating Committee member, shared with attendees on the positive impact the beef checkoff has had on the beef industry.… Continue reading

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Legal considerations for farmland leasing

A farm lease is a valuable transaction for landowners and farm operators alike, so it is important to ensure that the lease conforms to Ohio’s legal requirements.

The lease must be in writing. Enforcing a verbal farm lease is very difficult in Ohio due to our “Statute of Frauds.” The statute states that a lease of land must be in writing to be legally enforceable in Ohio. Despite this law, many verbal farm leases do exist. If a problem arises under a verbal farm lease, the law would not uphold the verbal lease unless a party could prove that the court should grant an exception from the Statute of Frauds writing requirement. This is a risky position and forces a party to go to court simply to try to prove that there is a valid lease.

The lease must identify the land. Include the legal description, address and acreage of the land parcel.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn Marketing Program and Small Grains Program elect new officers

The Ohio Corn Marketing Program (OCMP) Board of Trustees elected officers for 2013-14 during their January meeting. These executive committee positions include the offices of chairman, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary. Those elected to these positions are responsible for the implementation of board policies and procedures, as well as carrying out the roles for their respective office.

John Linder, a corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Morrow will take leadership as OCMP chairman. He previously served on the executive committee as OCMP secretary and has served on the board for two years. Linder is also active at the national level as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology action team.

Pickaway County farmer, Les Imboden, was elected as vice-president. He previously served on the executive committee as OCMP treasurer and is active in agriculture at both the state and national level.

Gail Lierer, beginning her second year on the board, will serve as secretary.… Continue reading

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Fresh Foods Corridor workshops

Running along U.S. Highway 23 from Columbus to Portsmouth and through Pickaway County, the Ohio Fresh Foods Corridor helps people experience the connection with their food by promoting homegrown entrepreneurship, new investment and the value of Pickaway County’s existing strengths in food and agriculture.

The Ohio Fresh Foods Corridor will be holding two workshops in February for those interested in specialty crop production to help strengthen individual marketing efforts and engage consumers.

“These workshops are great opportunities for those looking to get into the local foods scene, grow their own specialty crops, and learn new ways to promote their businesses and reach new audiences,” said Mike Estadt, Pickaway County Extension educator and Pickaway County Competitiveness Ag Committee member. “Great experts and local farmers will share their experiences and help attendees make the most out of their specialty crop endeavors.”

The first workshop will be held Feb. 11 from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.… Continue reading

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Corn, Soybean and Wheat Connection Webinar

The second of 3 webinars for Ohio farmers and industry offered by Ohio State University Extension called Corn, Soybean and Wheat Connection is scheduled for February 11, 2014. This program will focus soybean production. The final program on February 25th has weed control as the topic. There are three options to for individuals to participate in these sessions.

Full agenda for the 2/11 program is:

February 11th Soybean Production from 7:00-8:30 pm

Everything but the Kitchen Sink: High Input Soybean Production

Dr. Laura Lindsey, State Specialist Soybean & Small Grains Production, Ohio State University Extension

Updates on Fungicides and Resistance, Soybean Cyst Nematode and Seed Treatments

Dr. Anne Dorrance, State Specialist Plant Pathology Soybeans, Ohio State University Extension

There are three viewing options for individuals to participate in these sessions.

Option 1. At county locations live. Ashtabula, Carroll, Clinton, Darke, Hancock, Hardin, Knox, Morrow, Muskingum, Wayne, Williams and Wood Counties will host sessions in the series.… Continue reading

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Zero tolerance for weed control

Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth — their reputations as tough-to-control weeds only increased as weed shifts evolved and they developed increasing resistance to glyphosate.

Bob Hartzler, Extension agronomist with Iowa State University, explained what kinds of circumstances cause the shifting populations of weeds in the field.

“Each member of the weed community has different optimum growing conditions and responds differently to control practices,” Hartzler said. “The community within a field is a direct result of current and past management practices.”

Mismanagement of glyphosate is commonly blamed for causing weed shifts in addition to the development of herbicide resistance in key weeds. Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth are two of the most commonly discussed weeds when it comes to weed shifts and resistance because they reproduce rapidly and prolifically. A single plant can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds.

“These are two very aggressive weed species in terms of growth habitat and seed production,” said Jim Bloomberg, product development manager, Bayer CropScience.… Continue reading

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What may be floating around in your barn?

Winter Means Increased Respiratory Problems for Some Horses

Winter brings cold temperatures and inclement weather. We want to keep our horses as comfortable as possible, which to us, means keeping them warm and snug indoors when the wind is howling outside. So, we blanket them, put them in a warm stall, close all the doors and windows and feed them extra hay…they will be so warm and happy won’t they? Well, they may be warm but they may begin to have trouble breathing.

Barns are often built for warmth and protection more than air flow and ventilation.  Measurement of respirable organic particles or particulate matter in horse barns has shown potential danger for horses housed in barns. Combine structure design with the potential for hay and bedding being stored in or near the barn, tractors and equipment running through from time to time, activities like sweeping aisles and cleaning stalls, then connect to an indoor arena and the level of airborne organic dust can reach damaging levels.… Continue reading

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ASA pushes EPA to amend RFS proposal

American Soybean Association (ASA) President Ray Gaesser, a farmer from Corning, Iowa, urged Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to amend EPA’s proposed 2014 and 2015 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements for biomass-based diesel that, if left unchanged, would significantly damage the nation’s growing biodiesel industry and adversely impact soybean growers.

In comments submitted to the agency yesterday, Gaesser emphasized that EPA’s proposed biomass-based diesel and total Advanced Biofuels levels “are unnecessarily low, will stifle the growth and job creation potential demonstrated by the biodiesel industry, and squander an opportunity for greater emissions reductions and energy diversity.”

Gaesser also noted that the levels are “… entirely inconsistent with this Administration’s clear position over the past five years supporting renewable and Advanced Biofuels for their energy, environmental, and economic benefits.”

ASA urged that EPA adjust the requirements to be consistent with production levels in 2013, which exceeded 1.7 billion gallons.

“As was demonstrated in 2013, the U.S.… Continue reading

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Agriculture responds to the State of the Union

The President spoke last evening and agriculture was generally supportive of many parts of the State of the Union.

The National Corn Growers and American Soybean Association agreed that there should be an “all of the above” energy policy, but questioned how the EPA’s proposed changes to the RFS align with that philosophy. The President’s “year of action” also gets support from most in agriculture, particularly with the farm bill and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). One exception in the Farm Bill is some livestock groups that are not supporting the current Farm Bill because it doesn’t fix issues with Country of Origin Labeling. Most of agriculture is also asking Congress to continue the President’s “year of action” by moving forward with Trade Promotion Authority.

Here are some responses from agriculture to last night’s State of the Union.


Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation

“The American Farm Bureau Federation welcomes President Obama’s call in his State of the Union address for Congress to pass immigration reform.… Continue reading

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Preparing for farm emergencies can reduce impact

Storms, power outages, traumatic injuries and fires are just some of the incidents that can lead farmers to need assistance from emergency first responders, but preparedness planning can help reduce the impact, says a safety expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Planning by farmers as to what steps they can take in the event of such emergencies or similar events can help to lessen the potential for extensive damage or injuries, said Kent McGuire, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural health and safety specialist. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

With the increased potential hazards on farms, it’s a good idea for farmers to have some kind of emergency management plan in place. One way to be prepared, McGuire said, is for farmers to ask a local fire department to visit the farm operation to get familiar with the overall layout and better understand the potential problems that might arise when responding to an emergency.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Congress to highlight industry information

The 2014 Ohio Pork Congress will be held on Feb. 11-12, 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. 12, those involved in the pork industry 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 also features a trade show offering 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 anyone involved in the pork industry 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, Executive Vice President, Ohio Pork Council.… Continue reading

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92-year-old receives OSU degree

A little more than 73 years after enrolling at The Ohio State University, Ted Chandler received his Bachelor of Science degree Jan. 23 from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Sporting gray socks with scarlet block O’s, a graduation cap and gown, and a cane featuring Brutus Buckeye, Chandler moved his golden tassel from right to left during a ceremony in the college’s Agricultural Administration building.

“It’s with a huge measure of pride that we take these steps to recognize your successes in life,” said Bruce McPheron as he conferred the degree to Chandler. McPheron is Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES.

“Commencement day is one of the best days of the year. It’s a reflection of what is the university’s most valued product – our graduates.”

A horticulture major, Chandler entered Ohio State in the fall of 1940, when he pledged Alpha Zeta fraternity.… Continue reading

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