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Custom farming rates in Ohio

By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Ohio State University Extension, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics

A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work.” A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

The custom rates reported in this publication are based on a statewide survey of 122 farmers, custom operators, farm managers and landowners conducted in 2012.… Continue reading

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Even with DOL withdrawal, young farm workers need training

While the U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to withdraw proposed farm youth labor rules means farm families won’t have to take on new requirements for minors to work on their farms, previous legislation still requires young farm workers to have some training, said Ohio State University Extension’s state safety leader.

The proposed rules would have banned children younger than 16 from using most power-driven farm equipment without first taking a specific training course. But even with the legislation shelved, Dee Jepsen said all of the discussion has raised awareness of current regulations and likely will mean organizations such as OSU Extension will see more young people signing up for existing training.

“The people have spoken and they don’t want the new regulations, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any youth safety regulations,” she said. “Even though the Labor Department rescinded the stronger proposal, there is still legislation for 14- and 15-year-old students wanting to work outside their parents’ farms.… Continue reading

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CSAs on the rise

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farmers markets nationwide increased by 54% between 2008 and 2011. As the desire for local products grows, the need to help local farmers has also increased. However, farmers markets are not the only way to obtain locally grown products. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a program more than 20 years old, is an additional way to merge these two aspects.

Through a CSA program, customers purchase memberships, or shares, in the farm in exchange for fresh produce throughout the growing season. CSA’s have become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a grower, enabling benefits for both parties.

Jessica Nagel, agriculture project specialist, Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities, will educate and prepare those looking to join (or start) a CSA program during her presentation, “Community Supported Agriculture: Connecting the Producer and Consumer” at the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum, Thursday, May 17 from 7:30 – 9 a.m.… Continue reading

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Grazing management reminders

By Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator Wayne County, Crossroads EERA

 

Timely and ample precipitation and favorable temperatures is a combination for rapid grass growth. May is generally the month when graziers struggle to manage the spring flush and stay ahead of the growth and seed head development. Here are some management reminders and thoughts related to this early season period.

• Manage beginning and ending grass height. In beginning level grazing schools we say to start grazing when plants are around 8 inches in height. Follow the take half, leave half principle and remove livestock from a pasture paddock when grass height is about 4 inches.

• When grass is growing fast, rotate fast. Under the good growing conditions experienced in the spring of the year, a healthy grass plant will begin to re-grow within a couple of days of being grazed or cut off. This new growth should not be grazed again until the plant has recovered back to the target beginning grazing height.… Continue reading

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CBOT grain trading times to be extended starting May 14th

CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it will expand electronic trading hours in its CBOT grain and oilseed futures and options beginning Monday, May 14, 2012. This will expand market access to CBOT Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Oats and Rough Rice futures and options on CME Globexto 22 hours per day.

“As we’ve grown our customer base in agricultural commodities around the globe, we’ve received increased interest in expanding market access by providing longer trading hours,” said Tim Andriesen, Managing Director, Agricultural Commodities and Alternative Investments, CME Group. “In particular, customers are looking to manage their price risk in our deep, liquid markets during market-moving events like USDA crop reports. In response to customer feedback, we’re expanding trading hours for our grain and oilseed products to ensure customers have even greater access to these effective price discovery tools.”… Continue reading

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It is still a long time until crops canopy

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

We have high expectations of herbicide programs anymore, and we have a lot of good herbicides to choose from. Something that can get overlooked as herbicide programs are planned, however, is the effect of early planting on the duration of weed control that is required. We plant earlier on average than we did 25 years ago, and then we have years like this one, where we plant even earlier. Within the time frame of about mid-April through mid-May, crops planted earlier do not necessarily develop more rapidly, so the time until crop canopy may not vary much with planting date. Herbicide programs are intended primarily to control weeds until the crop canopy has developed sufficiently to shade out later-emerging weeds. So the net result of early planting can be an extension of the duration of control that needs to be provided by herbicides.… Continue reading

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J D Equipment donates $10,000 to Spielman Fund

J D Equipment is proud to announce it has already reached a $10,000 commitment to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research for 2012. J D Equipment will donate a portion of each sale of John Deere riding lawn mowers sold during 2012 to the Stefanie Spielman Fund.

J D Equipment began this commitment to the Stefanie Spielman Fund in 2011. A $26,000 check for the company’s 2011 donation was recently presented to Chris Spielman by J D Equipment’s CEO Jeff Mitchell, and Vice President John Griffith.   The Company is anticipating its 2012 contribution will exceed $30,000.

All donations made to the Stefanie Spielman Fund are used to support vital breast cancer research and patient assistance at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. The fund just reached a milestone of $10 million raised amongst the community to support breast cancer research.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – April 30th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 47.6 degrees, 5.8 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, April 29, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.78 inches, 0.05 inches above normal. There were 29 modified growing degree days, 30 days below normal.

Reporters rated 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, April 27, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 3 percent very short, 19 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY APRIL 29th 2012

Temperatures for the State were below normal, while precipitation was slightly above normal for the week. Reporters indicate that field conditions are dryer than usual for this time of year, which has negatively affected germination of planted crops. Growth of hay and wheat fields has slowed down due to lack of rain and cool nights. Other field activities for the week include field application of fertilizers and manure, tilling ground, and corn and soybean planting.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – April 30th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 47.6 degrees, 5.8 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, April 29, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.78 inches, 0.05 inches above normal. There were 29 modified growing degree days, 30 days below normal.

Reporters rated 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, April 27, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 3 percent very short, 19 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY APRIL 29th 2012

Temperatures for the State were below normal, while precipitation was slightly above normal for the week. Reporters indicate that field conditions are dryer than usual for this time of year, which has negatively affected germination of planted crops. Growth of hay and wheat fields has slowed down due to lack of rain and cool nights. Other field activities for the week include field application of fertilizers and manure, tilling ground, and corn and soybean planting.… Continue reading

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Uneven corn emergence issues

By Jeff Rectenwald, Monsanto territory agronomist

Several factors can contribute to uneven corn emergence and growth early in the season. Replanting is not often justified due to uneven stands; however, understanding why uneven emergence occurred can help minimize the risk in the future. Additionally, consideration should be given to how uneven early growth can affect the implementation of some management tools the rest of the growing season.

Potential causes of uneven growth:

• Soil Moisture Variability in Seed Zone — a corn kernel imbibes approximately one third of its weight in water during germination. When kernels within a row are exposed to different amounts of soil moisture, the rate of germination and emergence can vary from plant to plant, resulting in uneven emergence and early growth, or possibly stand loss. Small differences in soil moisture within a row can lead to considerable differences in germination and emergence. Planting deeper to reach uniform soil moisture, managing residue to minimize trash getting wedged into the seed trench, and reducing additional loss of soil moisture can help achieve more uniform emergence and early growth.… Continue reading

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Domino’s Pizza says No to HSUS

From NAFB News Service

While Burger King has pledged to only purchase pork products from producers who don’t use gestation-sow stalls by 2017 – Domino’s Pizza shareholders have rejected a resolution proposed by the Humane Society of the United States to require its pork suppliers to stop housing gestating sows in stalls. In fact – 80-percent of shareholders voted against the resolution. The company’s Board of Directors reportedly said the issue should be addressed directly with producers and suppliers – not customers.

The Board’s proxy statement cites statements from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians that indicate there are advantages and disadvantages to both cage-free and caged pork production methods. A Domino’s spokesperson says the company relies on animal experts to determine the best way to raise an animal that’s used for food. But HSUS will try again – the Food Policy Director for HSUS says they will resubmit a resolution to the company next year if it fails to address the gestation crate issue by that time.… Continue reading

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Domino's Pizza says No to HSUS

From NAFB News Service

While Burger King has pledged to only purchase pork products from producers who don’t use gestation-sow stalls by 2017 – Domino’s Pizza shareholders have rejected a resolution proposed by the Humane Society of the United States to require its pork suppliers to stop housing gestating sows in stalls. In fact – 80-percent of shareholders voted against the resolution. The company’s Board of Directors reportedly said the issue should be addressed directly with producers and suppliers – not customers.

The Board’s proxy statement cites statements from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians that indicate there are advantages and disadvantages to both cage-free and caged pork production methods. A Domino’s spokesperson says the company relies on animal experts to determine the best way to raise an animal that’s used for food. But HSUS will try again – the Food Policy Director for HSUS says they will resubmit a resolution to the company next year if it fails to address the gestation crate issue by that time.… Continue reading

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Interscholastic Equestrian Association

By Kim Lemmon

Recently, I was asked to steward a horse show for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA). IEA teams host team-oriented horse shows for students in grades 6 through 12. I am sometimes asked to judge or steward some their western events because of my history as a member and a coach of college equestrian teams. The format of equestrian team shows is very different from that of a traditional horse show.

I am always happy to help with these events because I often see former students, competitors and even my former coaches. It is fun and flattering for me to serve as an official for former coaches and colleagues plus I am always paid for it, which makes it even more inviting.

As a college coach, I taught and readied students between the ages of 18 and 23 for the show ring. IEA is an organization that was created 10 years ago to allow students between the ages of 11 and 19 to compete as individuals and teams against other students.… Continue reading

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Cover crop field guide available

By Matt Reese

There is a new resource out for those who are interested in using cover crops on their Ohio farms.

The 136-page “Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide” was recently released by the Midwest Cover Crop Council.

“The Midwest Cover Crop Council, which Ohio State is part of, has put together different resources. The latest one is the Midwest Cover Crop Field Guide. It fits in your coat pocket and we’re selling it for $5,” said Alan Sundermeier, with OSU Extension. “It is designed to highlight specific cover crops for the Midwest area for our use. There are recommendations, identification, seeding rates — all the information you need.“

Sundermeier said more farmers are looking into the many benefits of cover crops to address real production needs in their operations.

“Any time we can hold nutrients in living, growing roots, we’re going to do a much better job of keeping those nutrients in the field and helping crop production as a result of that.… Continue reading

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Ohio responds to the initial look at the Farm Bill

By Matt Reese

Ohio agriculture is getting its first look at the initial form of the 2012 Farm Bill after the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry passed its proposal. The legislation is now being referred to the full Senate for consideration.

In general, there is fairly broad support for this first step.

“We like the new safety net, but it is a radically different change from the current safety net. We are encouraging farmers to look at this and understand it,” said Adam Sharp, with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “They are eliminating things like direct payments and consolidating down to a crop insurance-based option and a revenue-based option. These are two programs that have a lot of support from agriculture, especially in the Midwest. We think these are good options.”

OFBF, though, is closely review the support caps that were included in the initial farm bill proposal.

“They are looking to lower the caps of support that an individual farmer can get if there is a problem,” Sharp said.… Continue reading

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Beef market rebounding from BSE

On uncertainty over just what the information would be and concern of potential loss in consumer confidence in beef, futures prices fell by the one-day limit of $3 per hundredweight by closing bell on the day of the USDA’s BSE announcement. But by the close of trading two days later, the futures markets had recovered about 25% to 50% on nearby contracts, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University economist.

“USDA has generally tried not to supply new information when the futures market is trading, but rather supply that before the day’s opening or after the day’s close,” Hurt said.

That policy allows USDA officials to make sure they have all of the necessary information before making an official announcement to the public. When the market got wind that an announcement was coming, however, traders made decisions based on worst-case scenarios.

But not only does Hurt expect little decline in domestic beef demand.… Continue reading

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Department of Labor withdrawls rule dealing with children working on farms

The U.S. Department of Labor today issued the following statement regarding the withdrawal of a proposed rule dealing with children who work in agricultural vocations:

“The Obama administration is firmly committed to promoting family farmers and respecting the rural way of life, especially the role that parents and other family members play in passing those traditions down through the generations. The Obama administration is also deeply committed to listening and responding to what Americans across the country have to say about proposed rules and regulations.

“As a result, the Department of Labor is announcing today the withdrawal of the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations.

“The decision to withdraw this rule – including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ – was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms. To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.… Continue reading

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Ohio oil and gas interest moves westward

By Matt Reese

As the oil and gas boom is in full force in many parts of eastern Ohio, words like shale, Marcellus, directional drilling, seismic testing and deep wells have almost become part of the regular vocabulary in many of those communities. These terms may sound somewhat more foreign, though, to landowners in other parts of the state as Ohio’s energy resource boom marches westward.

“We are seeing this in the northwest part of the state now and not just the northeast,” said Dale Arnold, director of energy services for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “We have been seeing this movement quite a bit in the last year or two. A number of farmers have been calling from Delaware, Richland Crawford, Morrow, and Wyandot Counties. We’re seeing a tremendous amount of leasing activity in southwest Wood County as well. Williams, Fulton and Henry are seeing oil and gas land agents talking to farmers about leasing activity.… Continue reading

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Burger King to support cage-free systems

Burger King is the latest fast food giant to announce that it is responding to pressure from animal rights extremists by supporting only cage free facilities.

By the year 2017, Burger King will get all of its eggs and pork from cage-free chickens and pigs. The Humane Society of the United States has been pushing U.S. food corporations to consider animal welfare in purchasing policies. HSUS President Wayne Pacelle says the Burger King announcement is significant because the food chain is such a big purchaser of these products. Burger King uses hundreds of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork each year.

The National Pork Producers Council claims that it seems Burger King was bullied by an animal rights group whose ultimate goal is the elimination of food-animal production. NPPC says HSUS has no concern for the hog farmers who care for their pigs every day, for families struggling to purchase food or for the hog farms that likely will go out of business due to its campaign against America’s farmers and ranchers.… Continue reading

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OSU enterprise budgets available to help farmers with decision making

As farmers decide what resources to commit to achieving the most profitable enterprises on their farms, devising a budget can be one of the best ways to help streamline the decision-making process, said a pair of Ohio State University Extension experts.

OSU Extension has a long history of developing enterprise budgets that can be used as a starting point for producers in their budgeting process. Farmers can find enterprise budgets for 2012 at http://aede.osu.edu/programs/farmmanagement/budgets

The website is offered by Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Budgeting helps guide farmers through the decision-making process and can help farmers begin to answer questions about raising livestock and growing crops, said Barry Ward, production business management leader for OSU Extension.

“Without some form of budgeting and some method to track your enterprise’s progress you’ll have difficulty determining your most profitable enterprise or enterprises and if you’ve met your goals for the farm,” Ward said.… Continue reading

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