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Will there be a soybean aphid problem in 2012?

By Ron Hammond and Andy Michel, OSU Extension entomologists

We had reported the lack of eggs at most buckthorn sites last fall, but we did find lots of eggs on buckthorn at Mirror Lake on the OSU Campus in Columbus.  We sampled these various sites  over the past few weeks and did not find any aphids following the leafing-out of the buckthorn, including the Mirror Lake buckthorn where masses of eggs were found.

However, in looking at the eggs that were still there, it was observed that the eggs, while still present, were all shriveled. Having talked with people more in the know, these eggs were perhaps not fertilized last fall, maybe from a lack of males.

Based on these observations and past history, we predict that Ohio, and only speaking for Ohio, will experience a “low aphid” year.  We expect aphids to be hard to find through most of the summer, and will only rise in numbers in late summer/early fall prior to migrating to buckthorn. … Continue reading

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KSU study finds antibiotic use overestimated

A study conducted by Kansas State University shows that opponents of antibiotics use in livestock production wildly overestimate the amount given to food animals.

Using data from a 2006 U.S. Department of Agriculture swine survey and a 2009 survey of swine veterinarians, KSU found that annually about 1.6 million pounds of antibiotics are used in pork production for growth promotion/nutritional efficiency and disease prevention. A 2001 report, “Hogging It,” from the Union of Concerned Scientists claimed that 10.3 million pounds a year are used.

“The UCS report should have been titled ‘Fabricating It,’” said National Pork Producers Council President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C. “Pork producers do not overuse antibiotics. We work with veterinarians to carefully consider if antibiotics are necessary and which ones to use.”

The KSU study, which was published in the March issue of Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, found that 2.8 million pounds of antibiotics were used for growth promotion/nutritional efficiency, disease prevention and disease treatment.… Continue reading

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Beef industry concerned with FDA measures for antibiotics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its intent to publish in the Federal Register on Fri., April 13, 2012, its final Guidance 209 and a draft proposed rule on veterinary feed directives. Tom Talbot, a California beef producer, large animal veterinarian and current chairman of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee, issued the following statement.

“Raising healthy cattle is the top priority for cattle farmers and ranchers. They work with veterinarians and animal health experts to implement comprehensive herd-health plans, which include the judicious use of antibiotics to prevent, control and treat any cattle health issues. NCBA is pleased that FDA has resisted unscientific calls to completely ban the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials in cattle and other livestock species. However, we remain concerned with regulatory actions that are not based on peer-reviewed science or that set the precedent to take animal care and health decisions out of the hands of veterinarians.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agriculture Director Daniels Announces Senior Staff Appointments

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director David Daniels today announced several new appointments to the department’s senior management team: Howard Wise, assistant director; Michael Bailey and Janelle Mead, deputy directors; Denise Franz King, executive director of the Office of Farmland Preservation; Traci Orahood, human resources chief; Erica Pitchford, communications director; and Erin Honnold and George McNab, legislative liaisons.

“We have assembled a great executive team of professionals who have wide array of experience in agriculture, public administration and public policy,” said Daniels. “I look forward to working with everyone to continue our daily work of assisting farmers and protecting consumers in the State of Ohio.”

Wise will oversee the department’s day-to-day regulatory operations and laboratories, in addition to the department’s policies and procedures. Prior to his this recent appointment, Wise served as the department’s assistant director from 2004 through 2006.  From July 1999 to June 2004, he served as the executive director of the department’s Office of Farmland Preservation. … Continue reading

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Buying local getting more popular

Buying local is a fast moving trend across the U.S., but no other industry has experienced the benefits of this recent movement more than agriculture. Within Ohio, countless roadside stands, farmers markets, wineries, garden centers and U-pick locations all face strong competition from larger operations, but they have a big advantage by providing some of the freshest fruits and vegetables around. The distance food travels, or simply, food miles, is almost irrelevant when buying local.

To explain more about the buy local movement, the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum will host Janet Cassidy, senior director, marketing communications, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), Thursday, Apr. 19 from 7:30 – 9 a.m. The program begins at 8 a.m. with informal networking prior, hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, north of Bowling Green, Ohio.

OFBF has some excellent tools to link consumers with local growers.… Continue reading

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Eighth-grader makes grain elevator music video

By: Heather Hetterick

Eighth-grader Spencer Channell had to choose an invention from the Industrial Revolution and make a presentation out of it for his history class at Olentangy Orange Middle School. Having no agricultural background, he choose the grain elevator, because it sounded neat to him. He didn’t make a presentation though, he spent two weeks writing, recording, filming and editing a music video about the grain elevator. He even went to a Heritage Cooperative location to film in front of their grain elevator.

Channell tells us it’s exciting to see all the attention the video is getting. Even for those who do have an agricultural background its educational and entertaining.

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Spring insects of concern

By Ron Hammond and Andy Michel, OSU Extension entomologists

Black cutworm – We have had heavier weed growth because of earlier warm weather, especially chickweed growth.With this extra growth comes the potential for greater black cutworms problems. Added to this is that adult cutworms are already being collected in the Midwest. When corn gets planted and starts to emerge, cutworms might already be at damaging stages. Thus, there is a greater need to pay extra attention in those fields conducive to cutworms problems, namely no-till and/or weedy fields.

Slugs – Warmer weather and soil temperatures will be causing slugs to hatch earlier and will result in slugs beginning their heavier feeding earlier. If planting times are normal, slugs will be a bigger and larger threat than normal. If planting early, perhaps the slug feeding will be more similar to normal conditions. If planting is late, slugs will be relatively larger and capable of even heavier feeding.

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Corn is up in Ohio!

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

As of this week, 2 percent of Ohio’s corn crop is in the ground.

After planting his corn on March 21st and 22nd, Fayette County farmer Greg Bentley’s corn is up!

“I knew that the extended forecast was for above normal temperatures,” said Bentley. “I was just taking a chance and then they changed the forecast on me.”

That they did, as forecasters are now calling for cooler temperatures in April than what we had in March. Bentley knew planting so early was a gamble, but he still thinks it will pay off.

“I’m not sure if I have a perfect stand everywhere or not,” said Bentley. “I know corn can have a frost on it and as long as it doesn’t kill the growing points in the ground it should be okay.  I am not afraid of it being frosted a time or two.”… Continue reading

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DDGs gain foothold in Saudi Arabia

In a country largely dependent on oil exports, the ethanol industry is often maligned and a large target of contention and discomfort in Saudi Arabia. However, as Venezuela overtook Saudi Arabia to become the owner of the largest share of the world’s known oil reserves in 2011, Saudis are now focusing on the need to diversify their economy, with agriculture garnering significant interest as a new revenue stream.

Already home to the largest dairy integrations in the world, the country once opposed to ethanol now cooperates with the U.S. ethanol industry to satisfy feed demand with ethanol co-product distiller’s dried grains.

The U.S. Grains Council, which has operated in Saudi Arabia for decades, recently undertook a unique challenge as it launched efforts to expand market access for U.S. DDGS, which are derived from the prohibited alcohol production industry. While initial efforts were met with trepidation, the Council persevered, successfully gaining placement for distiller’s dried grains with solubles on the much desirable “feed ingredient subsidy list.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress Report for April 9th


The average temperature for the State was 49.4 degrees, 3.6 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, April 8, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.18 inches, 0.75 inches below normal. There were 40 modified growing degree days, 8 days above normal.

Reporters rated 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, April 6, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 21 percent surplus.


Temperatures were above normal and precipitation below normal throughout the state. There were freezing temperatures recorded throughout the state on Friday and Saturday nights, which may negatively impact this year’s apple and peach crops and set back the growth of hay and winter wheat crops. Other field activities for the week include field application of manure, anhydrous, and fertilizers. Fields are much drier than normal for this time of year, which allowed operators much earlier access to fields with farm machinery.… Continue reading

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Should Ag break away from food companies?

An influential food policy commentator has some advice for advocates of conventional agriculture: disassociate yourselves from food companies.

Wellesley College political scientist Rob Paarlberg says a lot of the critics of modern farming are scoring points with consumers by pointing to the processing practices of food companies.

“When agriculture commodities leave the farm they are not laden with excess sugar and excess salt”, said Paarlberg. “Those bad things done to our national food supply aren’t being done on the farm, they are being done downstream by food companies.”

But Paarlberg – the author of “Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know” – says consumers don’t make the distinction.

“If I were in agriculture I would want to create some safe distance between my conduct on the farm and upstream from farms versus the companies that are formulating unhealthy foods,” said Paarlberg.

Speaking to an audience of food activists and researchers in Washington – Paarlberg said conventional agriculture is paying too heavy a price in the culture war over farming for what he calls the misdeeds of the food industry.… Continue reading

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FDA ordered to act on antibiotic use in livestock

A New York Federal Judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administration to complete a regulatory course of action it set in motion 35 years ago to discontinue the use of penicillin and tetracycline in livestock feed. FDA says it’s studying the Judge’s opinion and considering appropriate next steps.

 Ironically – the ruling comes as the agency prepares to implement industry-supported steps to curb antibiotic use in food-producing animals.

“For two years the FDA has been working on a collaborative process with stakeholders to eliminate some therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics and increase vet oversight,” said Ron Phillips of the Animal Health Institute. “What this does is distracts FDA from that process.”

Back in 1977 – FDA notified the public of its intent to hold hearings on proposals to ban penicillin and tetracycline as growth promoters in cattle, hogs and chickens. No hearings were ever held and the agency took no action until last December – when it withdrew the original notice.… Continue reading

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Growth regulator herbicides for burndown applications

Weeds can be controlled prior to planting corn or soybean by using preplant tillage, herbicides, or both, according to Aaron Hager, associate professor of weed science at the University of Illinois.

Weed control may be improved when more than one active herbicide ingredient is included in the burndown application. Burndown applications often include growth-regulator herbicides, such as 2,4-D. Both amine and ester formulations of 2,4-D are labeled for preplanting burndown applications, but the ester formulation is usually preferred over the amine formulation.

“The low water solubility of an ester makes it less likely to be moved into the soil by precipitation, where it could injure germinating crop seeds,” he said.

Also, esters are better able to penetrate the waxy surfaces of weed leaves, so they provide better control of large weeds, especially when air temperatures are cool. Some 2,4-D ester formulations can be applied without a waiting period before planting corn, while a seven-day wait is recommended for others.… Continue reading

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NASS discontinues Dairy Products Prices Report

Effective this month, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is no longer releasing its weekly Dairy Products Prices report. Going forward, these data will be collected and published by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as outlined in the amended Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting Program, required by the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010.… Continue reading

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Forage growth is exploding

By Victor Shelton, NRCS Grazing Specialist

Forage growth, soil temperatures and even mushrooms are all early this year. The warm weather and soil have many producers scratching their head trying to figure out what is best to do. Weather patterns are certainly a lot different than they were last year and at least for the moment, it is a dry spring.

Forage growth is just exploding. It is at least three weeks early in most of the state and pushing us in making decisions about getting livestock grazing earlier than ever on new growth. Forages seem to be denser than normal. Most of region did not have the normal freezing depths this winter and I’m not sure that some areas ever did freeze up completely; that is most likely having an impact on the growth also.

Most pasture fields that had good residual left over winter and sufficient fertility have rebounded extremely well and are ready for some early grazing.Continue reading

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Multiple verses effective modes of action

Interest in using multiple modes of herbicide action in weed management programs is increasing, according to Aaron Hager, University of Illinois associate professor of weed science.

However, each component of a herbicide premix or tankmix with multiple modes of action is not necessarily effective for every weed or under all application conditions. For example, giant ragweed, a large-seeded, summer annual, broadleaf weed species, can be difficult to control with a single herbicide. Because of its extended germination and emergence characteristics, farmers may have to use more than one herbicide or multiple herbicide applications.

While herbicide resistance has been found in giant ragweed populations, it is not as common or widespread as herbicide resistance in other weed species. Many soil-residual herbicide premixes containing two or more active ingredients are available to farmers who want to be proactive and use multiple modes of action to reduce the selection for herbicide resistance in giant ragweed.… Continue reading

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FSA CRP general signup deadline extended to April 13

Steve Maurer, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, announced that general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will be extended to April 13, 2012. During this extended signup period, landowners may offer eligible land for CRP’s competitive general signup at their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this signup provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring on September 30, 2012, may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this signup are scheduled to become effective October 1, 2012.

FSA, which administers the CRP, will evaluate and rank eligible CRP offers using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that shows the environmental benefits of enrolling land in CRP. There are six factors that make up the EBI: wildlife, water, soil, air, enduring benefits and cost. Decisions will be made following the end of the sign-up period and after analyzing EBI data on all of the offers.… Continue reading

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Broin steps down as POET CEO

Jeff Lautt was named CEO of POET, the ethanol company announced today. Lautt has been with POET since 2005, serving most recently as President of the company. Company founder Jeff Broin will step down after 25 years as the CEO but will continue managing and leading the company’s board as Executive Chairman.

“For the past 25 years, Jeff Broin has led POET and the entire ethanol industry,” said Lautt. “He has grown POET from one small plant to a leadership position in the global renewable fuels industry. With the help of the entire team at POET, I will do my best to continue building on the success the company has achieved.”

Jeff Lautt has been with POET since early 2005 and has served as its President since 2011. Prior to that, he was the Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations. In that position, Lautt was responsible for all operational business units within POET.… Continue reading

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