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LG Seeds donated $1,000 to the Franklin-Monroe FFA Chapter

LG Seeds donated $1,000 to the Franklin-Monroe FFA Chapter. At this year’s Ohio Farm Science Review, farmers registered for a chance to win $1,000 to be donated to the local FFA chapter of their choice.

Ryan Denniston of Arcanum was LG Seeds’ grand prize winner. Denniston selected the Franklin-Monroe FFA Chapter to receive the $1,000 donation in order to help support future generations of agriculture.

LG Seeds Resource Manager, Kyle Seaburn, says giving back to the FFA is a great way to support future generations of agriculture.

“These kids are the future, and there is no better cause to donate money to than investing in them,” Seaburn said. “The FFA has led me to many opportunities in my career and it’s a great thing to be able to give back to these same programs. If we can give even one kid an opportunity that might have been the opportunity they needed to succeed.”… Continue reading

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OSC launches education website to provide resources, e-learning courses and networking

Ohio soybean farmers understand that today’s youth is the future of the soybean industry and all of agriculture. For this reason, the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff have launched a new website to provide educators with a wide array of relevant classroom materials and direct access to industry partners.

The site was specifically developed to bring real-world situations into the classroom focused on chemistry, biology, biotechnology, environmental science and agriscience.

“For almost two decades, OSC has been investing in the development of curriculum and educational materials focused on the science of soybeans, as well as cultivating strong education networks of teachers throughout Ohio,” said John Motter, OSC chairman and soybean farmer from Hancock County. “Through the development of this new, interactive website, Ohio soybean farmers have created a centralized location where all of these and future materials can be accessed.”

In addition to relevant curriculum materials related to soybean production and agriculture, the site also houses:

  • Career videos
  • Interactive e-learning courses
  • Background information
  • Networking and sharing abilities

“When we began this process, we spoke with teachers about what information and resources were out there to educate students about soybeans, agriculture and the many careers that are available in these fields.… Continue reading

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Rising world income will drive agriculture and the food system in the future

Per capita income is set to eclipse population growth as the dominant driver of change in the global food system, says a Purdue researcher noted for his work on the economic impacts of global trade and environmental policies.

Thomas Hertel said that while population and income will remain the two most influential factors in determining global food demand and cropland expansion, their relative importance will be altered.

“For the first time in human history, income will have a greater influence than population growth on food security,” said Hertel, distinguished professor of agricultural economics. “While the global population is estimated to jump from 7 billion people to 9 billion in the next four decades, the rate of population growth rate is slowing. Meanwhile, individual incomes are increasing in many parts of the developing world, and with that growth will come more demand for richer, more nutritional diets.”

Hertel is the founder and executive director of the Purdue-based Global Trade Analysis Project, known as GTAP, a network of more than 10,000 researchers and policymakers in 150 countries that aims to improve the quality of global economic analysis.… Continue reading

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ODNR announces new chief of the Division of Soil and Water

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer announced that Mike Bailey has been named chief of the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources. Bailey has served as deputy chief of the division since 2012.

“His agricultural background and experience in the field of soil and water made Mike the ideal candidate for this job,” Zehringer said. “Behind his leadership, I anticipate the division will make great strides in furthering ODNR’s efforts to improve the health of Ohio’s waters and lands.”

Karl Gebhardt, former chief of the division, has been serving as division chief and deputy director. He will continue to serve in his role as deputy director of the department.

As chief of the division, Mike will be responsible for day-to-day operations, including issues related to agricultural nutrients, soil and water conservation districts, watershed programs, water resource issues and dam safety.

Previously, Bailey worked at the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) for eight years in various capacities.… Continue reading

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2013 farm bill update

As the farm bill progresses through Congress’ legislative process, several major differences exist in the House and Senate versions of the bill, an economist with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences said.

Carl Zulauf, an agricultural economist in the college’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, recently offered a comprehensive update of the 2013 farm bill process in a policy brief that he co-authored with Jonathan Coppess, clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The conference process involves select members of the House and Senate working together to resolve differences in their two versions of a bill, Zulauf said. These differences must be resolved because the U.S. Constitution requires that the House and Senate pass the same bill before it can be sent to the president for approval or veto.

In the brief, Zulauf and Coppess highlight some of the key differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill, including:

  • Nutrition assistance programs: The biggest spending difference between the House and Senate versions of the farm bill is in relation to nutrition benefits, mostly in the form of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.
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Earthquake shakes up SE Ohio

A few children may have thought Santa had come early and was dropping a really big bag of toys on the roof when their houses started shaking around 1:00 this afternoon.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a 3.5 magnitude earthquake shook things up in the Nelsonville area. There were no damages or injuries reported. The earthquake’s epicenter was 4.9 miles deep about 2.5 miles southeast of Nelsonville. There were calls about the earthquake from residents as far north as Columbus and into West Virginia.… Continue reading

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Agriculture is Cool scholarship winners announced

The Ohio Expositions Commission has announced that four fifth-grade students from across the state are the winners of the “Agriculture is Cool” scholarship competition.

Representatives from the Ohio Expositions Commission, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups will be presenting each scholarship winner with a $500 check and commemorative trophy during a special ceremony at his or her school next week.

  • Dylan Bryan (Elida)
  • Shelby Jones (Marysvillle)
  • David Leeth (Springfield)
  • Reese Shull (Toledo)

These outstanding students were among dozens to submit essays or creative stories about the “Agriculture is Cool” education program held during the 2013 Ohio State Fair in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups. Scholarships are funded by the Ohio State Fair Youth Reserve Program.

The “Agriculture is Cool” program has been recognized by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million.… Continue reading

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Grum attends Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference

Frankie Grum from Thornville joined more than 550 of the top collegiate agriculture students on Nov. 7-10 in Kansas City, Mo., to engage in career preparation training at the Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference.

For four days, Grum, who studies agricultural systems and technology at the Ohio State Ag Tech Institute, participated in soft skill training provided by agriculture, education and facilitation professionals. In the conference environment, Grum was surrounded by like-minded students, who are passionate about agriculture, and by agriculture professionals, who have invested financially as well as relationally in these students’ lives.

Cargill is one organization that partners with AFA to make this training possible. The company specifically invested in developing a relationship with Grum. While at the conference, Grum was invited to a special breakfast hosted by Cargill. During this breakfast, Cargill representatives and Grum were able to connect and discuss Cargill’s career opportunities and Grum’s interests.… Continue reading

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2014 Ohio Commercial Pesticide Applicator Recertification Conferences

The 2014 Ohio Commercial Pesticide Applicator Recertification Conferences have been set and announced by the Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program of OSU Extension ( The dates and locations of the conferences are Jan. 30 — Dayton Convention Center; Jan. 31 — Sandusky, Kalahari Conference Center; Feb. 19 — Akron, John S. Knight Center; and March 6 — Columbus Convention Center.

For driving directions, the agenda for each day, pre-registration fees, on-site registration fees, a list of categories offered, and on-line registration link or a download link for a printable registration form visit the above website of the Pesticide Safety Education Program. Remember that one needs to attend the entire day to meet the five hours required for an Ohio commercial license. Plan ahead and register early to avoid missing these convenient opportunities to acquire recertification all in one day.

Reciprocity is available for licensed commercial pesticide applicators who hold licenses in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.… Continue reading

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Kalmbach Clean Fuels ribbon cutting ceremony

On November 19th, the new Kalmbach Clean Fuels compressed natural gas station was officially open for business. Attendees included representatives from Ohio agriculture and agribusiness, energy groups, truck manufacturers and members of the Upper Sandusky community.

“It’s exciting to be providing compressed natural gas for vehicle fuels,” said Tim Rausch, Director of Distribution with Kalmbach Feeds. “We truly believe this is the best way to support American businesses and the American economy.”

Find out more about the new facility and about Kalmbach Clean Fuels, LLC.… Continue reading

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Antibiotic resistance complex and misunderstood

The sharing of science-based antibiotic use and resistance information continued among experts and leaders from the animal, human and public health communities during the “Bridging the Gap Between Animal Health and Human Health” symposium sponsored by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture and conducted Nov. 12-14, in Kansas City, Mo. Adding to the symposium’s insightful, transparent discussions were presentations by media and consumer advocacy group representatives as well as questions generated by symposium attendees.

“Antibiotic resistance has been called the single most complex problem in public health, and this symposium provided respective health communities and disciplines a platform where they shared their latest research findings,” said Nevil Speer, co-chair of the symposium and a professor at Western Kentucky University. “This year’s antibiotic use and resistance symposium not only shed additional light on this often polarized topic but we identified common ground so a collective path forward that serves the best interests of all parties can be forged.”… Continue reading

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Corn and soybean exports holding a strong pace

In the September WASDE report, the USDA forecast 2013-14 marketing year exports at 1.225 billion bushels for corn and 1.37 billion bushels for soybeans. The strong pace of exports and especially export sales so far this year has created expectations of larger forecasts in the future.

As of October 31, the USDA reported that cumulative corn export inspections for the marketing year that began on Sept. 1 totaled 206.7 million bushels. Cumulative inspections were 30% larger than those of last year and represented 17% of the current USDA projection for the year. Cumulative export commitments — exports plus unshipped export sales — as of October 24 were reported at 808 million bushels. Those commitments were 88% larger than commitments of a year earlier and represented 66% of the USDA projection for the year.

Compared to commitments of a year ago, commitments this year are 138 million bushels larger for China, 125 million larger for Mexico, and 88 million bushels larger for unknown destinations. … Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – November 18th, 2013

There were five days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending November 17, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Producers largely finished up harvesting of the remaining double-cropped soybeans this week, and made significant progress harvesting corn before snow and moist soil slowed progress in many regions. The moisture content of harvested corn averaged 19 percent. Heavy winds from the storms that swept through the State Sunday night may have damaged remaining corn, but it is too early to know if there was significant damage anywhere. Producers also spent the week on fall tillage, but the moist ground hampered efforts.

The Full ReportContinue reading

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NAFTA celebrating decades of success for agricultural trade

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect Jan. 1, 1994, which makes Jan. 1, 2014, the 20th anniversary of the landmark trade agreement that has served as an example for many trade deals that followed.

In the years since NAFTA took effect, Mexico grew to become the second largest market for U.S. corn, the top market for U.S. sorghum and the premier market for distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Growth in demand for feed grains continues to be driven by a steady expansion in livestock and poultry production in the country.

“NAFTA paved the way for Mexico’s agricultural trade,” said Julio Hernandez, U.S. Grains Council director in Mexico. “In the beginning, Mexico brought in new technologies that helped improve their efficiencies to become more profitable. With the support of the Council’s office in Mexico, Mexican importers became more efficient grain buyers, through direct contacts with U.S. suppliers and as livestock production practices improved, the Mexican consumer benefited from cheaper and better quality meat, milk and eggs which in turn stimulated rapid growth of the Mexican livestock industry.”… Continue reading

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Take time to winterize cattle operations

Now is a good time for beef producers to assess their pastures and facilities and take care of some routine tasks to prepare their cattle operations for winter, a Purdue Extension beef specialist said.

Cattle are healthier, have more successful pregnancies and have better rates of gain when they have access to quality nutrition and facilities during the cold winter months.

One of the first recommendations from Ron Lemenager is to assess pastures and hay fields and have forages analyzed as soon as possible. Once producers know what they have in terms of forage, they can start to plan their supplemental feeding strategies based on animal protein and energy needs.

Common supplements include corn and grain byproducts, such as soybean hulls, corn gluten feed and distiller’s grains.

“The market’s somewhat lower now, and it’s a good time to start checking supplement prices,” Lemenager said.

While corn might be an economical energy supplement this year, Lemenager said producers need to compare prices and evaluate energy requirements for their herds before deciding.… Continue reading

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Simple steps to up your cow herd’s profitability

Each fall, cattle veterinarians from North America and beyond gather for the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) annual conference. As always, there were many excellent talks at this year’s meeting in Milwaukee to help herd health DVMs stay current on cattle health and production.

One particularly useful talk was a small-group discussion in which 20 of us discussed how we, as herd health DVMs, can help our clients improve herd profitability. The goal of the session was to learn from the collective wisdom of the group, and that mission was accomplished.

A recent National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) report indicated that cows are checked for pregnancy in only 20% of all U.S. beef herds each year. However, NAHMS says 71.7% of large herds (those over 200 cows) undergo preg checks annually. Thus, this means that about 60% of all beef cows in the U.S. are preg-checked each year.

Our AABP discussion group was in agreement that this number is still too low.… Continue reading

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Ohio Phosphorus Task Force releases updated report

The Ohio Phosphorus Task Force II issued its final report on findings to support reduction of phosphorus loading and associated harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and surrounding watersheds.

The report was released Nov. 13.

Recommendations include the development of loading targets for the Maumee River watershed and other Lake Erie tributaries, expansion of current phosphorus monitoring programs, and working with area stakeholders to improve soil health, nutrient retention, and proper timing and placement of applied fertilizers, the report said.

The report was created by a diverse working group of industry professionals including experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Ohio State University Extension; Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab; the Ohio Department of Natural Resources; the Ohio Department of Agriculture; the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; and the Lake Erie Commission.

In addition to improving water quality throughout the Lake Erie watershed, recommended measures could lead to cost savings for farmers due to reduced need for fertilizer, improve public health as combined sewer systems are updated to reduce overflows, and build on previous successes in reducing phosphorus content in commercial lawn care products, organizers said.… Continue reading

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Ag Outlook and Policy meeting

The annual Ag Outlook and Policy meeting is scheduled for Dec. 12, 2013 at Fisher Auditorium North exhibit area.  Fisher Auditorium is located on the OARDC campus  at 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster. Come and hear what experts from the OSU department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics as well as others, have to say as they look ahead to issues, prices, and policies for 2014.

Topics that will be covered include: Farm Bill Update, Dairy Market and Dairy Policy Outlook, Grain Market Outlook, Dairy Farm Business Summary, Nutrient Management Legislative Update.

The meeting will begin with registration at 9:30 a.m.  The program begins at 10:00 a.m. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Farm Credit Services of Mid-America and First National Bank, registration cost remains at $10 per person. Registration includes morning refreshments, noon lunch and handout materials. Pre-registration is requested by December 5th to help with planning the noon meal and handout numbers. … Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female sale

The 2013 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female sale is coming up on Friday, November 29, at 7:00 p.m. The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company located at 944 Malinda St., Zanesville, OH 43701. Producers from around the state have stepped up to consign 88 bred heifers for the sale.

The primary purposes of the Replacement Female Sale are to: 1. Provide Ohio cow-calf producers with a viable source of quality replacement breeding stock; 2. Encourage beef cattle operations to consider the purchase of replacement breeding stock as a viable alternative to keeping small numbers of replacement females and hopefully reduce management and production difficulties; 3. Offer a marketing option to producers as a membership benefit to OCA members; and 4. Demonstrate that the principles of beef herd female replacement which have been taught in recent years via Ohio State University Extension and the OSU Beef Team are cost effective and viable alternatives for Ohio’s cattlemen.Continue reading

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Crop insurance deadline for apples and grapes coming soon

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Ohio apple and grape growers interested in buying a new federal crop insurance policy, or making changes to an existing policy, to do so by the November 20 sales closing date.

Apple insurance is available in Columbiana, Erie, Fairfield, Fulton, Jackson, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Ottawa, Ross and Scioto counties. Grape insurance is available in Ashtabula, Lake and Lorain counties.

Brian Frieden, Director of RMA’s Springfield Regional Office, urges producers to contact a crop insurance agent for details. Agents can help new producers determine which policy works best for their operation and review existing coverage to ensure the policy meets their needs.

“Crop insurance protects growers from many different types of risk. For example, apple and peach producers can be protected from losses resulting from frost, drought or summer storms,” Frieden said.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents.… Continue reading

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