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Beef Expo coming soon

 

March 16marks the first day of the celebration of the 25th Ohio Beef Expo. The three-day event takes place March 16 – 18 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, and is the premier event of Ohio’s Beef Industry. This year’s schedule includes breed sales, shows, educational seminars, trade show and a highly competitive junior show. Attendees will also be able to take part in a silent auction and social hour on Friday and Saturday.

The trade show, kicking off the Expo at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, will run throughout the event and features more than 100 exhibitors from 15 states. An array of educational seminars will also begin on Friday morning. The seminars will be offered throughout the day on Friday and Sunday, giving producers an opportunity to gain useful knowledge from industry experts about advancements and current trends. Information provided will allow producers to better their own operations in areas such as marketing and herd management.… Continue reading

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OFBF seeking comments on child labor

For many, farming is a family tradition, involving two, three or more generations as well as extended family. But proposed Department of Labor requirements for farm employers and restrictions on what youth can do on the farm would put that tradition at risk. According to the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Department of Labor’s proposed rules will:

• Severely narrow a decades old exemption that allows your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and neighbors to work on their family farm. The Department of Labor is trying to narrow the application of the parental exemption by preventing any family-owned corporation, LLC, or partnership from qualifying for the exemption.  Unfortunately, this limitation ignores how modern agriculture is structured.  Oftentimes, to keep the farm in the family, families will structure the farm in such a way so nieces, nephews, and siblings own a substantial share of the farm.

• Eliminate the opportunity for our youth to learn essential skills through 4-H, FFA, and cooperative extension training and certification programs.… Continue reading

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Expert panel reviews “hidden camera” video

Hidden camera investigations at livestock farms have heightened public attention on animal care issues. In an effort to foster a more balanced conversation and to provide credible feedback to promote continuous improvement in farm animal care, the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) has created an Animal Care Review panel.

The Panel, made up of recognized animal well-being experts, will examine video footage and report back to the public. The process has been established initially for the pork industry but CFI is willing to engage with other sectors of animal agriculture as they show interest.

The Panel will include an animal scientist, a veterinarian and an ethicist to assure various perspectives are represented. CFI is recruiting several experts to participate in the process, but for the video investigation at a swine operation in Iowa released last week by Compassion Over Killing, the panel is comprised of Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University; Dr.… Continue reading

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Federal agencies seek to boost rural economy

Obama Administration officials announced three significant actions directed at rural America: expand the government’s purchase of biobased products, promote regional rural job creation efforts, and develop a rural healthcare workforce.

“My Administration is committed to using every tool available to promote economic growth and create good jobs in rural America,” said President Barack Obama. “Today’s announcements reflect our continued focus on expanding opportunity for rural Americans and all Americans, including supporting new and innovative businesses, and improving rural health care and education.”

The bioproducts portion of the announcement is a significant move to examine federal purchasing procedures to ensure the use of bio-based products. With the announcement, the Obama Administration is calling on federal agencies to follow Executive Order 1314, which requires sustainable acquisition goals and milestones to be reported annually and also requires agencies to ensure that 95% of new contracts for products and services advance sustainable acquisition.

Additionally, the announcement directs the Secretary of Agriculture to increase bio-based products in the program by 50% in one year and requires the U.S.… Continue reading

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Land conservation could get a boost from Congress

Richard and Nancy Montgomery and their son, Jeff Montgomery, have conserved 653 acres of productive farmland in Knox County’s Milford Township where they have been involved in dairying and productive row cropping since 1968. The Montgomerys worked with the Owl Creek Conservancy to develop land-protecting conservation easements for their four farms to assure the permanent use of their land for agriculture.

The Montgomerys granted conservation easements to the Conservancy on more than a square mile of productive farm fields in the past year.

“Our kids and grandkids cannot have the life we have had, if our productive agricultural land is used for houses,” Richard Montgomery said.

Similar efforts could be more viable in the future for Ohio farms with some help from the Conservation Easement Incentive Act that over 300 U.S. Representatives, including Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), have co-sponsored. H.R. 1964 makes permanent a recently expired tax incentive that helps land conservancies work with modest income landowners to conserve important natural resources in our community.… Continue reading

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Tips for contending with emergence issues this spring

As spring emerges, so can emergence issues if growers don’t focus on mitigating the stresses of early planting and high residue, according to experts from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. 


Early planting can be appealing to growers with many acres to plant who want to get ahead of spring rains like those in 2011. In addition, early planting can provide potential benefits, such as more time for crop development and the potential to help reduce the effects of mid-summer droughts in some years.

“Predicting the best time to plant can be tricky, as each growing season provides unique environmental challenges,” said Imad Saab, Pioneer research scientist in crop genetics, research and development. “Emergence can be delayed or reduced if planting conditions are less than ideal, and this commonly leads to yield loss for the grower.” 


To maximize emergence, Saab recommends growers avoid planting until soil temperatures are 50 degrees or more, and preferably with a near-term warming trend.… Continue reading

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IPM workshop for specialty crops

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Ohio State University’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program are teaming up to offer a workshop on IPM conservation plan writing for specialty crop growers, March 14, in London.

“This workshop is designed for certified crop advisors, independent crop consultants and technical service providers who have an interest and preferably some experience working with vegetable, tree fruit or small fruit production,” said Jim Jasinski, an OSU Extension educator and IPM specialist. “Once trained, these individuals will be hired by and work directly with the producer to develop a site- and crop-specific IPM conservation plan for that operation.”

For the past three years, specialty crop growers have been eligible to compete for NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funds, which provide financial assistance to help them adopt specific IPM practices on their farms. NRCS is encouraging more specialty crop growers to apply for these funds and have an IPM conservation plan written to accompany their EQIP applications.… Continue reading

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OEFFA recognizes Peach Mountain Organics

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has bestowed its highest honor, the Stewardship Award, to Doug Seibert and Leslie Garcia of Greene County. The announcement was made on Saturday, February 18 as part of OEFFA’s 33rd annual conference, Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community.”

Doug and Leslie have farmed organically at Peach Mountain Organics since 1992, growing certified organic mixed vegetables, microgreens, fresh-cut flowers, mushrooms, hay, and greenhouse plants. They sell their products at the Yellow Springs Farmers’ Market, local restaurants, and grocery and health food stores.

The Greene County-based Peach Mountain Organics currently has two farm sites and one half-acre greenhouse location in Spring Valley, Ohio. Altogether, the operation is 43 acres, more than 25 of which are certified organic.

“Leslie and Doug’s energy and skill with commercial-scale, organic growing is an inspiration for many of us,” said Steve Edwards, who serves on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees and presented the award at the Saturday

evening ceremony.… Continue reading

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OABA meets with nation’s lawmakers

Ohio AgriBusiness Association president and CEO Chris Henney and Board Chairman Herb Mayer joined other state and national organizations in Washington, D.C. for the 2012 State Agribusiness D.C. Fly-In.

Henney and Mayer joined other state and national organizations — including the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), CropLife America (CLA), National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) — in discussions with our nation’s elected leaders.

Henney and Mayer met personally with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, as well as senior majority and minority staff from the Senate Agriculture Committee. While in D.C., Henney and Mayer also participated in the ARA Board Meeting, during which U.S. Rep. Gibbs was awarded the Agricultural Retailers Association Legislator of the Year Award.

“We are really fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with our U.S.… Continue reading

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OABA meets with nation's lawmakers

Ohio AgriBusiness Association president and CEO Chris Henney and Board Chairman Herb Mayer joined other state and national organizations in Washington, D.C. for the 2012 State Agribusiness D.C. Fly-In.

Henney and Mayer joined other state and national organizations — including the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), CropLife America (CLA), National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) — in discussions with our nation’s elected leaders.

Henney and Mayer met personally with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, as well as senior majority and minority staff from the Senate Agriculture Committee. While in D.C., Henney and Mayer also participated in the ARA Board Meeting, during which U.S. Rep. Gibbs was awarded the Agricultural Retailers Association Legislator of the Year Award.

“We are really fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with our U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohioans win at National Farm Machinery Show tractor pull

At the tractor pulls at the 2012 National Farm Machinery Show three Ohio drivers won their classes.

On Thursday evening in the 6,200-pound 2-WD Super Modified Truck class Jeff Whitsel of Orient won with At It Again pulling 239.56. In the 9,300-pound Super Farm Tractors with a pull of 246.20, Julia Conny of Beloit took first place honors with Mac Daddy. They were each awarded $2,000 in prize money and a trophy.

On Saturday night Danny Schmucker of Louisville won the 10,200-pound Pro Stock Tractor Class with Rampage with a full pull of 248.15. He was awarded $4,200 and a crystal cup.

Others from Ohio placed well, which you can see in the complete results.Continue reading

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EPA decision on study clears hurdle for higher ethanol blend

The U.S. ethanol industry came one step closer today to seeing low-cost, renewable E15 sold into the American fuels marketplace with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s evaluation of the health effects of E15, as part of Growth Energy’s three-year-old petition to approve sale of the mid-level ethanol blend.


“For three years Growth Energy has led the effort to clear the way for consumers to have access to affordable, renewable and cleaner-burning fuel. Now it is up to the retailers and individual fuel companies to register for approval to sell E15. With ethanol selling an average of 76 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline and $4 a gallon gasoline on the horizon, we’d encourage all Americans to ask their local filling station how soon they will see more-affordable E15,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

Growth Energy first filed its petition seeking federal approval to increase blends of ethanol in fuel from the current 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15) in March 2009.… Continue reading

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New Farmland Network site dedicated to farmland market

Farmland Network has announced the debut of its site, http://www.farmlandnetwork.com, designed to provide quality content to those interested in the farmland industry and to help them connect with others sharing a similar interest. For buyers, sellers, operators and service providers in the farmland and agriculture markets, Farmland Network is an easy and fast way to stay ahead of the most current news and farmland opportunities.

The dynamics of farmland ownership continues to evolve at a rapid pace. This shift is being driven by such factors as the current age of landowners and farmers, more landowners living away from the farm, and the continued trend of fewer and larger farming operations. All of these factors are evident in a 2010 USDA study that estimates 70 percent of all farmland will change hands in the next 20 years.

Visit http://www.farmlandnetwork.com for more information on pricing plans, which are available to fit various types of businesses.

Continue reading

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Fierce herbicide receives EPA registration in corn

Fierce Herbicide, the newest residual from Valent U.S.A. Corporation, has received EPA registration and is now available to no-till and reduced-tillage field corn growers looking for a long-lasting preemerge solution to tough weeds. Fierce is also pending EPA registration for use in soybeans and is anticipated to be registered in time for the 2013 season.

Fierce is a combination of Valor Herbicide and a new active ingredient, pyroxasulfone. Trial results from 2011 showed this combination to provide dependable, long-lasting control of the broadest spectrum of weeds and grasses.

“Growers know and believe in the excellent control Valor brings to their weed programs,” said Trey Soud, Valent product marketing manager. “By combining Valor with pyroxasulfone, growers will now have a single herbicide to tackle even the toughest weeds and grasses.”

In a series of university and private trials over 2010 and 2011, Fierce provided as much as eight weeks of residual control.… Continue reading

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USDA Announces start2farm.gov

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA’s National Agricultural Library, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announcedStart2farm.gov, a new online portal that helps to provide assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers. The portal includes links to training, financing, technical assistance and other support services specifically for beginning farmers and ranchers as well as successful case studies about new and beginning farmers and ranchers.

“America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy, producing the food, feed, fiber and fuel that continue to help us grow,” said Secretary Vilsack. “USDA is working to provide opportunities for the next generation to get into agriculture in order to continue the record success of America’s farmers and ranchers who are seeing record farm incomes and record exports. Start2Farm.gov will help us protect and sustain these successes, so that we continue to build an agriculture industry diverse and successful enough to attract the smartest, hardest-working young people in the nation.”… Continue reading

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Learn strategies & tips on ECO farming at Conservation Tillage Conference

Ohio crop growers looking to increase the organic matter content in their soil to the tune of $900 per unit increase in organic matter, may want to consider a move to ECO Farming, advises an Ohio State University Extension educator, who says that switching to the technique could result in raising soil organic matter levels by several percentage points depending on soil type.

ECO Farming, which stands for Ecological Farming and includes using eternal no-till, continuous living cover and other best management practices, is not only economically viable, it is also ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable, said Jim Hoorman, an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, who is based in Mercer County.

It uses a combination of cover crops and no-till worked into a corn/soybean/wheat rotation to more efficiently use the inputs farmers add to their soil, “reducing the amount of nutrients they may need to buy in the future,” he said.… Continue reading

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Learn strategies & tips on ECO farming at Conservation Tillage Conference

Ohio crop growers looking to increase the organic matter content in their soil to the tune of $900 per unit increase in organic matter, may want to consider a move to ECO Farming, advises an Ohio State University Extension educator, who says that switching to the technique could result in raising soil organic matter levels by several percentage points depending on soil type.

ECO Farming, which stands for Ecological Farming and includes using eternal no-till, continuous living cover and other best management practices, is not only economically viable, it is also ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable, said Jim Hoorman, an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, who is based in Mercer County.

It uses a combination of cover crops and no-till worked into a corn/soybean/wheat rotation to more efficiently use the inputs farmers add to their soil, “reducing the amount of nutrients they may need to buy in the future,” he said.… Continue reading

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Bills pass in House & Senate that define algaculture and expand Ag Link program

House Bill 276

State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate amendments on House Bill 276. The bill will now become law pending the signature of Governor Kasich.

House Bill 276, which was jointly sponsored by Buchy and Gentile, clarifies the definition of agriculture as it pertains to Ohio zoning laws for on-farm energy production facilities, such as on-farm anaerobic digesters—a change that will enable farmers to use byproducts for bio-energy production without cumbersome regulations that currently deter this environmentally friendly activity.

The bill also defines algaculture—the farming of algae—in the Ohio Revised Code, clarifying it as an agricultural process under Ohio law.

“The combination of on-farm energy production and algaculture will reduce nutrient run-off from our farms,” Buchy said. “Using the products we have available at our farms will solve problems that occur when there is a shortage of storage for farm byproducts, hence assisting farmers with manure management programs.”… Continue reading

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Bills pass in House & Senate that define algaculture and expand Ag Link program

House Bill 276

State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate amendments on House Bill 276. The bill will now become law pending the signature of Governor Kasich.

House Bill 276, which was jointly sponsored by Buchy and Gentile, clarifies the definition of agriculture as it pertains to Ohio zoning laws for on-farm energy production facilities, such as on-farm anaerobic digesters—a change that will enable farmers to use byproducts for bio-energy production without cumbersome regulations that currently deter this environmentally friendly activity.

The bill also defines algaculture—the farming of algae—in the Ohio Revised Code, clarifying it as an agricultural process under Ohio law.

“The combination of on-farm energy production and algaculture will reduce nutrient run-off from our farms,” Buchy said. “Using the products we have available at our farms will solve problems that occur when there is a shortage of storage for farm byproducts, hence assisting farmers with manure management programs.”… Continue reading

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FCC blocks LightSquared Network, farmers relieved

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Tuesday its decision to block the planned development of a nationwide wireless network by communications company LightSquared over concerns that it cannot be fixed to coexist with global positioning systems (GPS). The American Soybean Association (ASA) has been at the forefront of the discussion of this planned network’s significant and adverse effects on farmers. ASA President and Syracuse, Neb.-based soybean farmer Steve Wellman issues the following statement on the FCC’s decision:

“Tuesday’s decision by the FCC is certainly a great relief for more than 600,000 soybean farmers across the country who use GPS technology to precision-apply seed and fertilizer; to test fields for fertility and to monitor yields; to reduce chemical and fuel use; and to map field boundaries, roads, irrigation systems. In short, GPS technology has enabled farmers to produce more food for a growing world population with fewer inputs.

“Farmers invest thousands of dollars in high-precision GPS equipment and applications to run more efficient, sustainable, cost-effective and productive farms.… Continue reading

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