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Biobased initiative announced

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced an initiative to boost the biobased products industry to expand markets and create jobs. The “Grow it Here, Make it Here” initiative would increase access to capital for biobased manufacturers, improve marketing of biobased products, and further the commercialization of new agricultural innovations to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and create jobs.

“We all know that Ohio farmers put food on tables, grow feed for livestock, and fill the tanks of vehicles across the nation. But increasingly, Ohio farmers grow products that are turned into plastics, lubricants and chemicals,” Brown said. “Ohio already has what it takes to lead the nation in this emerging field: a skilled workforce, strong agricultural sector, and culture of manufacturing and innovation. The ‘Grow it Here, Make it Here’ initiative will give Ohio’s small towns and agricultural communities an unprecedented opportunity to develop new jobs and promote economic growth though the biobased industry.”… Continue reading

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Control weeds early in wheat crop

Winter wheat growers need to start scouting their fields and planning to control weeds that have survived the mild Midwest winter, say two Purdue Extension weed scientists.

If not controlled early, common broadleaf weeds, such as dandelion, purple deadnettle, henbit, chickweed, Canada thistle and wild garlic can cause problems for the wheat crop as it comes out of winter dormancy.

“These winter annual species that emerge in the fall can remain relatively inconspicuous through the winter but become competitive and troublesome during spring, if they are not controlled early,” Bill Johnson said.

The severity of infestation will determine whether herbicide application is necessary and, if so, what type of herbicide should be used. Johnson and Travis Legleiter said producers need to scout entire fields and identify problem areas before making those decisions.

“Wheat fields that contain uniform infestations of at least one broadleaf weed or three grass weeds per square foot should be taken into consideration for a herbicide application, to avoid yield loss and harvest interference problems,” Legleiter said.… Continue reading

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Late March weather expectations

The outlook for the rest of March is for an active pattern with above normal temperatures, above normal rainfall and some risk of severe weather.

What will be quite different in 2012 versus 2011 is that the spring will not be as cool. It also will be wet but not as wet as 2011 and the wetness will likely end earlier than 2011. The threat for severe storms, however, is elevated due to the warm temperatures and active pattern.

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Ohio pork producers elected as national leaders

Ohio’s pork industry was well represented at the National Pork Industry Forum in Denver, CO, March 1-3. Two Ohio pork producers were nominated to serve as

leaders on the board of directors for the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council.

Pork Act Delegates, meeting at the National Pork Industry Forum, ranked eight candidates for the National Pork Board and submitted the list to the U.S. secretary of agriculture. Among the list of candidates is Carl Link of Fort Recovery. Link represents the Ohio Pork Producers Council through his participation in the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Environmental Permitting Program.

Additionally, Randy Brown of Nevada, OH was recognized for his service to the National Pork Board. Brown served six years on the National Pork Board, where he was active on many committees including serving as chairman of the Environmental Steward sub-committee.

At the National Pork Producers Council’s annual business meeting, also held at the National Pork Industry Forum, elections were held for new officers and members to the board of directors.  … Continue reading

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Will Goss's Wilt be a challenge in 2012?

By John Brien, CCA, AgriGold Regional Agronomist

Goss’s Wilt is one of the most devastating and feared leaf diseases a corn grower can experience.

There have been several “reports” of finding Goss’s wilt in Ohio corn fields in 2011, but no confirmed cases to AgriGold’s knowledge. All the cases have been a case of misidentification. Even though there are no cases of Goss’ Wilt in Ohio, nor does AgriGold believe there will be for several years, some background information and how to identify the pathogen should help extinguish any false rumors and/or fears.

Goss’s Wilt was first observed in Nebraska more than 40 years ago. For much of that time, the disease seemed to be content in Nebraska but beginning in 2008 it began to march eastward into Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Since that time Goss’s Wilt has continued to grow exponentially in the I-states, most notably Iowa and Illinois.… Continue reading

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Will Goss’s Wilt be a challenge in 2012?

By John Brien, CCA, AgriGold Regional Agronomist

Goss’s Wilt is one of the most devastating and feared leaf diseases a corn grower can experience.

There have been several “reports” of finding Goss’s wilt in Ohio corn fields in 2011, but no confirmed cases to AgriGold’s knowledge. All the cases have been a case of misidentification. Even though there are no cases of Goss’ Wilt in Ohio, nor does AgriGold believe there will be for several years, some background information and how to identify the pathogen should help extinguish any false rumors and/or fears.

Goss’s Wilt was first observed in Nebraska more than 40 years ago. For much of that time, the disease seemed to be content in Nebraska but beginning in 2008 it began to march eastward into Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Since that time Goss’s Wilt has continued to grow exponentially in the I-states, most notably Iowa and Illinois.… Continue reading

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Ohio FSA and RMA streamlines common acreage reporting dates

Steve Maurer, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, announced that FSA and the Risk Management Agency (RMA) have established common acreage reporting dates for producers participating in FSA and RMA programs.

“For Ohio producers, this means the number of acreage reporting dates will decrease from five to four,” Maurer said.

Beginning in 2012, burley tobacco, spring cabbage (planted 3/15-5/31), corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, popcorn, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets, tomatoes, and all other crops not listed elsewhere will have a July 15 acreage reporting date.  Summer cabbage (planted 6/01-7/20) will have an August 15 acreage reporting date.

Beginning in 2013, January 15 will be the acreage reporting date for apples and grapes. December 15 will be the acreage reporting date for fall barley, fall wheat, and any other fall-seeded small grains.

“These common dates between FSA and RMA will reduce some of the reporting burden on producers and allow USDA agencies to share similar data. … Continue reading

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ASA sets policy priorities for 2012

Ohio Soybean producers gathered at Commodity Classic in Nashville with other producers from around the country to review and revise the policy direction of the American Soybean Association (ASA). There were 133 producers from ASA’s 26 state affiliates who served as Voting Delegates in this annual process that guides the ASA as it pursues future initiatives to improve U.S. soybean farmer profitability.

The voting delegates session was held on Saturday, March 3, following conclusion of the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show that drew a record 6,014 attendees. What follows are some of the most significant additions and modifications covering a variety of important soybean issues.

Trade

ASA supports legislation that would graduate Russia from the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik amendment in order to establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia.

ASA opposes any proposal to merge the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) with other trade agencies. ASA believes that USTR should remain an independent agency within the Executive Office of the President, focusing on trade negotiations, trade agreements and trade enforcement.… Continue reading

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Pork Checkoff Honors 2011 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards

The National Pork Board today honored four farm families as recipients of the 2011 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards Award at the annual National Pork Industry Forum being held here. The award, now in its 18th year, recognizes producers who demonstrate a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and their local communities.

The 2011 award recipients are:

Golden Circle Pork – Woodward, Iowa — Rod and Missy Bice produce 6,600 wean-to-finish pigs annually on their farm set amid 1,400 acres of corn and soybeans. They and their children continue the farming tradition that began more than a century ago by both sides of the family. The Bices were also named Environmental Stewards for Iowa in 2010.

John M. Langdon Farms – Benson, N.C. — John and Eileen Langdon produce 20,000 finishing pigs per year on their 205-acre farm. They, together with their three grown children, also maintain 65 brood cows on the same farm that’s been in the family for 70-plus years.… Continue reading

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Ohio CRP signup to begin March 12

Steve Maurer, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, announced that general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin on March 12, 2012, and continue through April 6, 2012.  During the signup period, farmers and landowners may offer eligible land for CRP’s competitive general signup at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

“Over the past 26 years, CRP’s benefits have grown thanks to many improvements of our natural resources including cleaner water, improved air quality, better habitat for wildlife, and a large reduction in soil erosion,” said Maurer.

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. … Continue reading

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Early spring nitrogen likely won’t increase yields for wheat

Despite the fact that an unusually wet fall and planting delays kept many wheat farmers from applying starter nitrogen, an Ohio State University Extension educator says they shouldn’t rush to apply spring nitrogen earlier than needed.

Even though wheat has had less time to grow and tiller, applying nitrogen too early in the spring could not only cause farmers to lose money, but also present environmental concerns – and it isn’t likely to increase yields, said Ed Lentz, associate professor who specializes in crop production and agronomy.

Instead of applying nitrogen early, Lentz said farmers should wait until green-up, at the earliest, to maximize yield potential, save money and guard the environment.

“Producers have asked if applying nitrogen earlier would offset the low fall tiller numbers and would tiller number and growth benefit from a split application,” said Lentz, who also is an OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources.… Continue reading

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Early spring nitrogen likely won't increase yields for wheat

Despite the fact that an unusually wet fall and planting delays kept many wheat farmers from applying starter nitrogen, an Ohio State University Extension educator says they shouldn’t rush to apply spring nitrogen earlier than needed.

Even though wheat has had less time to grow and tiller, applying nitrogen too early in the spring could not only cause farmers to lose money, but also present environmental concerns – and it isn’t likely to increase yields, said Ed Lentz, associate professor who specializes in crop production and agronomy.

Instead of applying nitrogen early, Lentz said farmers should wait until green-up, at the earliest, to maximize yield potential, save money and guard the environment.

“Producers have asked if applying nitrogen earlier would offset the low fall tiller numbers and would tiller number and growth benefit from a split application,” said Lentz, who also is an OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources.… Continue reading

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Search for 2012 Farm Mom of the Year Underway

Monsanto’s search for America’s Farmers Mom of the Year is back for 2012, along with a $10,000 grand prize.

Anyone can nominate their favorite farm mom by visiting AmericasFarmers.com by April 23 and submitting a 300-word essay explaining how she contributes to her family, farm, community and agriculture. Five regional winners will be selected by a panel of judges from American Agri-Women and Monsanto.  Profiles of the regional winners will be posted to AmericasFarmers.com, where online voting will determine the national winner to be announced on Mother’s Day. All regional winners will receive a $5,000 cash prize from Monsanto; the national winner will receive an additional $5,000.

“Monsanto is thrilled to recognize the nearly 1 million female farmers in the U.S. who help provide food and fiber for our growing global population while raising the next generation of American farmers,” said Consuelo Madere, America’s Farmers Mom of the Year spokesperson and Vice President, Monsanto Vegetable Seeds and Asia Business.… Continue reading

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Seed Selection Key to Managing Soybean Disease, Achieving High Yields

As spring planting season approaches, soybean growers should be aware that one of the best ways to manage soybean disease is to make sure they plant the right varieties for their fields, said an Ohio State University Extension soybean expert.

In fact, seed selection is one of the most important decisions Ohio soybean farmers can make to ensure the best yield outcomes, said Anne Dorrance, a plant pathologist with joint appointments with OSU Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

“Growers have got to make sure they have the right resistance package, which is one of the best ways to manage soybean disease,” she said. “Growers should make sure that the variety they select has the right resistance package for their field, because soybean diseases can severely reduce yields.

“In the rush to plant last season, we had some fields where growers put in the wrong varieties. But now is the time to plan for spring planting in case we have a similar season this year as we did last season.”… Continue reading

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RFD TV spinoff Rural TV debuts

RURAL TV, the world’s first television network devoted to rural interests internationally, began broadcast operations debuting on DISH satellite TV  channel 232 February 15, 2012.  This is Rural Media Group’s (RMG) second 24/7 television network building upon the success of RFD-TV, which recently celebrated its 11th year anniversary in serving the needs and interests of rural America.

“The meaning of the word rural has no borders,” stated Patrick Gottsch, founder and president of RMG.  “The launch of a second network, RURAL TV, is in response to unprecedented audience growth and demand for RFD-TV programming, and it expands upon our popular format combining agriculture, equine and western lifestyle, along with traditional music and entertainment programming.”

The foundation for RURAL TV’s daily program schedule focuses on the business of rural America and includes international programming.  Each weekday morning, Market Day Report provides 5 hours of live coverage of agribusiness news, weather, and commodity market coverage in continually updated half-hour wheels. … Continue reading

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Boost for bioproducts benefits Ohio

The Obama Administration’s announcement that it plans to increase federal government purchasing of bio-based products could mean a significant financial boost for Ohio, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.

According to a statement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the announcement calls for the federal government to increase the purchasing of bio-based products over the next two years, which they project will create jobs and drive innovation where bio-based products are grown and manufactured.

Ohio ranks No. 1 nationally in terms of polymer employment, has a major bio-based product industry and is a strong agricultural producer. The announcement will also result in a 50% increase in the number of new products that are designated as bio-based, Vilsack said.

That means the potential for more jobs and a financial boost for Ohio growers, producers and manufacturers, said Dennis Hall assistant director of the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center at Ohio State University.… Continue reading

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Pork Checkoff makes progress on PRRS

Building on work originally funded by the Pork Checkoff, a consortium of scientists from around the country has discovered a genetic marker in pigs that identifies whether or not a pig has a reduced susceptibility to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) — a disease that costs the U.S. pork industry an estimated $664 million per year.

The researchers found a genetic marker, called a quantitative trait locus, on swine chromosome 4 that is associated with resistance to PRRS virus infection. According to Joan Lunney, a research scientist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, Md., this is especially important as this location also is associated with improved growth of pigs that are infected with the PRRS virus. She says results indicate a positive effect for PRRS resistance and higher weight gain.

“PRRS is one of the industry’s top ongoing issues, so this research discovery is a major step in the right direction,” said Lisa Becton, Checkoff’s director of swine health and information.… Continue reading

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Buying local the subject of upcoming conference

The “buy local” movement that has sparked increased demand for locally grown foods means that farmers who know how to market and sell their products directly to consumers can substantially increase their farm income, says an Ohio State University Extension agriculture educator.

One of the top food trends recently has been the demand by consumers who want to know where their food comes from and who is producing it, and who want to buy products from as close to home as possible, said Mark Mechling. But farmers who want to take advantage of the “buy local” movement have to follow a rigid and precise set of rules designed to ensure consumers purchase wholesome and safe products.

Mechling will discuss those rules and procedures during a presentation March 9 at the “Opening Doors to Success” Small Farm Conference and Trade Show. The conference, held March 9-10 at Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio, will feature 30 sessions from Ohio State and industry experts.… Continue reading

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Managing grain in storage

By John M. Smith, OSU Extension Educator, Auglaize County Agriculture and Natural Resources

If you had $20,000 to $50,000 in cash sitting in a grain bin, would you check it often? You know you would. Even though grain went into storage in excellent condition why not check your grain that is worth that much? Check it at least once a week.

With the wet fall harvest and high humidity in many areas, much of the grain that went into the bins in poor condition could be headed for trouble; especially when the weather warms up and stays warm.

Properly managing grain in your storage bins is important to maintain quality. Factors that can cause grain to go out of condition are:

• Presence of insects;

• The amount of fines and foreign-material left in the stored grain;

• Initial quality of grain going into storage;

• Grain moisture content;

• Grain temperature.… Continue reading

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In 2012, farmers can get more crop insurance coverage for less

As crop insurance purchase deadlines approach for the majority of the Corn Belt on March 15, the National Corn Growers Association urges farmers to explore how changes in policies can make coverage more affordable. With lower insurance premiums being offered for most coverage levels this year and adjustments to historical-yield trend calculations, many growers can take advantage of lower rates and increases in coverage.

“At NCGA, we constantly strive to improve the safety net for farmers and hope that in 2012 many will take advantage of the improved options that we have achieved,” said Garry Niemeyer, NCGA President. “We faced difficult weather conditions across much of the Corn Belt in 2010 and again in 2011. By reexamining crop insurance options, many growers may find that increased coverage is more affordable and will better guard against losses in 2012.”

Lower premiums are the result of adjustments that the Risk Management Agency made based on updated crop insurance actuarial data and partial implementation of proposed changes to the program’s rating methodology.… Continue reading

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