Top Headlines

Featured Posts (Posts shown below the “Top Posts” on the home page)

Ohio Crop Progress report- June 24, 2013

[acm-tag id=”468x60_shortcode”]

There were six days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending June 23, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Producers made significant progress on fieldwork this week due to the combination of low precipitation and favorable temperatures throughout the State. Producers harvested a significant amount of first cutting hay, and some were even beginning their second cutting. Producers also sprayed for weeds and side dressed corn. Some were able to begin harvesting wheat, but most were preparing equipment with the expectation of harvesting wheat in the next couple weeks. Row crops all remain in good condition, but will need rain in the coming weeks to avoid moisture stress.

June 24 crop conditions

Continue reading

Read More »

Permanent repeal of estate tax introduced in Congress

Legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate that would permanently repeal the estate tax. Sen. John Thune’s (R-S.D.) bill, The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013, coupled with bipartisan legislation of the same title introduced by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), is welcomed by American agricultural organizations.

While significant tax relief was enacted last year to help farmers cope with estate taxes, many in agriculture are pushing for permanent repeal. The legislation introduced would repeal the estate tax, maintain stepped-up basis and make permanent a 35% maximum gift tax rate and $5 million lifetime gift tax exemption indexed for inflation.

“Individuals, family partnerships and family corporations own 98% of our nation’s 2 million farms and ranches,” said Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “When estate taxes on an agricultural business exceed cash and other liquid assets, surviving family partners may be forced to sell land, buildings or equipment needed to keep their businesses running.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Christmas Tree Association Summer Meeting

The Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OCTA) Summer Meeting will take place on July 12-13, 2013 at Twinsberry Tree Farm and Killbuck Tree Farm in Shreve. This years meeting will cover topics such as marketing Christmas trees, sprayer calibration as well as a new grower clinic.

Registration is $55.00 per day or $90.00 for the two day event. If you would like any further information on the OCTA or their activities, please contact the OCTA Office at 740-828-3331 or check us out on the web at

 … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Young Cattlemen’s Conference Aug. 22 to 24

The Ohio Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) and Tour will be held Aug. 22 to 24, 2013, in Columbus and the central Ohio areas. Coordinated by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, the purpose of the Ohio YCC Tour is to offer emerging Ohio beef industry leaders and young producers the opportunity to build their own leadership skills as they network with beef industry leaders, government officials, businesses and the media.

The three-day event will involve 25-30 young cattle producers from across the state. Designed to broaden their perspective by taking cattlemen beyond their individual beef operations, YCC focuses on the latest information from the financial, processing, and marketing segments of the beef industry as it exposes the participants to promotion, research, and public relations issues.

Any current OCA members over the age of 20, active in the cattle industry, and possessing leadership potential are encouraged to attend. The cost is $100 per participant and can be paid by either their county cattlemen’s association or the participant.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cornbelt Crop Update {June 21, 2013}

The Snapshot Tour is a daily call hosted by Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities covering crop progress and weather updates across the Corn Belt.. This is a summary of this week’s conversations. 

Maumee, Ohio

A dry week and warmer temps have seen crops pop.  Wheat harvest will be in the July 15-20 window.  For the week, crops have changed to “slightly better”, if possible.

Henderson, KY

Wheat harvest is starting along the Ohio River.  Early reports are yields ranging in the 70-90 bpa range.  With the hot temperatures and drier forecast, wheat harvest should be in full swing this weekend.

Greenville, OH

The Darke county area remained dry for the majority of the week, and warmer temps have made the crops just explode.  Wheat is really starting to turn, and the farther west you go in Ohio, and south, especially south of I 70…we will likely hear reports that wheat harvest has started. … Continue reading

Read More »

Meat export highlights from early 2013

Spring exports of U.S. beef and pork edged up but still lagged behind a year ago, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

While the overall trend for exports remains sluggish, driven by market access issues and oversupply of domestic product in key markets, several leading trading partners showed positive signs in April. Beef exports to Japan were up sharply as the island nation regained its ranking as the No. 1 market for U.S. beef for the first time since 2003. At the same time, Hong Kong maintained its rapid growth pace and Taiwan continued its rebound from beta agonist-related issues that slowed exports last year.

While the boost in exports to Japan is encouraging — up 49% in volume and 44% in value versus the first four months of 2012 — USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng cautioned that Japan has a safeguard in place that will increase tariffs if beef import volumes rise too quickly.… Continue reading

Read More »

MAP and FMD paying off in international markets

Thanks in large part to the U.S. government’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, approximately 775,000 metric tons of U.S. agricultural products, valued at more than $267 million, were sold and or negotiated at the 7th Southeast Asia Grain Transportation Conference.

Held in Bali, Indonesia, this past May, the U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Soybean Export Council once again brought together more than 100 agriculture companies covering the entire feed to food supply chain, including poultry and livestock integrators, feed and flour millers, soy food and beverage producers, regional and international trading companies, shipping companies, ship chartering companies and port handlers.

“The main objective of the conference is to bring together prospective buyers and sellers and provide a neutral environment in which to encourage networking and business discussions,” said Adel Yusupov, USGC director in Southeast Asia. “U.S. sellers benefit significantly by being able to meet with major Southeast Asian importers in one location.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Farm bill fails in the House

There was broad disappointment in agriculture around the country when the House version of the farm bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, failed on the floor with a vote of 195-234 this afternoon.

Both the National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau were quick to express their disappointment with the House vote.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation is highly disappointed the House did not complete work on the 2013 farm bill, the ‘Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013.’  It was a balanced bill that would have provided much needed risk management tools and a viable economic safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Bob Stallman, AFBF president. “A completed farm bill is much needed to provide farmers and ranchers certainty for the coming years and to allow the Agriculture Department to plan for an orderly implementation of the bill’s provisions.”

The top crop commodity organizations in the country were also disappointed.… Continue reading

Read More »

2013 World Food Prize winners announced

At the 2013 World Food Prize Announcement Ceremony held at the U.S. State Department, three distinguished scientists — Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, and Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley of the United States — were today named the winners of the 2013 World Food Prize during a ceremony at the U.S. State Department, where Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the keynote address.

Marc Van Montagu, is Founder and Chairman of the Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach at Ghent University in Belgium; Mary-Dell Chilton, is Founder and Distinguished Fellow of Syngenta Biotechnology; and Robert T. Fraley, is the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Monsanto. They be formally awarded the World Food Prize at the 27th Annual Laureate Award Ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol on October 17, in conjunction with the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, focused this year on “The Next Borlaug Century: Biotechnology, Sustainability and Climate Volatility.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Avian influenza has market consequences for the U.S.

The 2012 outbreak of avian influenza in Mexico is creating a number of issues in international markets and the agricultural neighbors to the north will be sure to feel the effects of the ongoing problem.

Mexico’s poultry industry has become one of the most important and strongest animal agricultural sectors in the country and is a significant driving force for feed grain demand, particularly U.S. sorghum and distiller’s dried grains with solubles. Poultry in Mexico is by far the largest feed grain consumer, demanding more than 10 million metric tons annually. Compared to other livestock industries, poultry represents 63% of the country’s total livestock output.

In a normal year, Mexico is the fourth-largest poultry producer in the world. However, due to the outbreak of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI) during the second half of 2012 and its continued spread in 2013, the Mexican poultry market has suffered a considerable loss in production.… Continue reading

Read More »

Genetically engineered wheat investigation continues

As of June 14, USDA announced that the investigation of the genetically engineered wheat from Monsanto discovered in an Oregon field has not found anything that would indicate that the incident amounts to more than a single isolated incident in a single field on a single farm.

“All information collected so far shows no indication of the presence of GE wheat in commerce. Investigators are conducting a thorough review. They have interviewed the person that harvested the wheat from this field as well as the seed supplier who sold the producer wheat seed; obtained samples of the wheat seed sold to the producer and other growers; and obtained samples of the producer’s wheat harvests, including a sample of the producer’s 2012 harvest,” said Matt Paul, USDA Office of Communications Director. “All of these samples of seed and grain tested negative for the presence of GE material. Investigators are continuing to conduct interviews with approximately 200 area growers.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Madison County Cattlemen’s Association formed

A group of local cattlemen have recently joined together to form the Madison County Cattlemen’s Association (MCCA). MCCA, an affiliate of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, the state’s beef industry association, will serve as leaders in Madison County’s agricultural community, helping to promote beef to consumers and encourage youth participation in agriculture.

“In particular, our efforts are to develop a more personal connection between consumers and the farmers in our community,” said Elizabeth Mead, the organization’s president. “Despite the fact that we have only had a few official meetings, we have had great participation and we all seem to have the same goals: to promote the beef industry, tell the story of agriculture, and help the youth of Madison County to develop the skills necessary to become the next generation of animal stewards.”

The newly founded organization welcomes any Madison County resident interested in the beef industry to join. Annual membership is $20 per family and MCCA meetings are held in the community building at the Madison County Fairgrounds the third Tuesday of each month.… Continue reading

Read More »

Meat demand strong in growing economies

Do societies that have a strong economy tend to purchase more meat? Well, it might not be true in all cases, but take a look at Peru, it seems that there is a clear correlation between a growing economy and a continued demand for beef, pork and poultry.

The country’s gross domestic product grew by nearly seven percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), making it an ideal target for more U.S. meat imports. A robust economy typically translates into increased food demand for protein-rich diets.

But it’s more than a Peruvian desire for meat.

“The U.S. label is well received in Peru,” said Joel Thorsrud, United Soybean Board (USB) Domestic Opportunities target area coordinator and a soybean, corn and wheat farmer from Hillsboro, N.D. “U.S. meat has a very good reputation in South America for being good quality and a safe product.”

It is proudly marketed in restaurants and supermarkets, and many consumers want to buy these U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

House Rules Committee to consider farm bill amendments today

The House Rules Committee will meet at 2:00 Eastern today to decide which amendments to allow to be offered to the Committee-passed farm bill, which could be taken up on the House floor later this afternoon. Chairman Lucas has been pushing very hard against allowing the amendment sponsored by Reps. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI) to be considered. He is also urging Members to oppose the amendment if it is given a vote.

The Ohio Soybean Association and other agricultural organizations are encouraging members to contact House Members this morning and ask them to:

1. Contact Members of the Rules Committee and urge them to allow the Gibbs-Kind amendment to be considered on the floor.

2. Contact the Gibbs (Republican) or Kind (Democrat) staff and indicate their support for the amendment.

3. Indicate continuing support for the House to pass a bill so Congress can finish the process this year and provide farmers certainty on farm policy for the next five years.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA announces support for advanced biofuels

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the availability of up to $98.6 million to support the production of advanced biofuels, and an opportunity for eligible producers to submit applications. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. The announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

“The United States is on the path to a cleaner, more secure energy future,” Vilsack said. “USDA provides payments to eligible producers to support and expand the production of advanced biofuels, which are a key component of President Obama’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy to reduce the Nation’s reliance on foreign oil.”

The payments are provided through USDA Rural Development’s Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, commonly referred to as the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program.  It was established in the 2008 Farm Bill to support the expansion of advanced biofuel production.  Payments are made to eligible producers based on the amount of biofuel produced from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch. … Continue reading

Read More »

New anti-RFS effort

The National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) will launch a new, coalition-based grassroots campaign aimed at repealing the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) at a Capitol Hill press conference this week.

The group claims the federal RFS mandate drastically manipulates the corn marketplace and increases commodity and food costs across the supply chain – from farmers and chain restaurants to consumers and diners. NCCR, along with other coalition partners and Members of Congress, will hold a press conference to launch “Feed Food Fairness: Take RFS Off the Menu.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Crop Progress – June 17th, 2013

[acm-tag id=”468x60_shortcode”]

Soybean planting is inching toward the finish line, according to the latest crop progress report for Ohio. Only 3% of that crop remains to be sown. Corn is almost all emerged and in mostly good to excellent condition.

There were three days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending June 16. In most areas of the State, farmers were able to work in the field in the first couple days of the week before storms moved through the area. Producers side-dressed their corn as well as sprayed their fields. Some producers replanted soybeans in areas where crops were lost due to flooding. The first cutting of hay progressed, but was somewhat limited by wetness. The rains have kept soil moisture in good shape, but there has been some localized flooding reported. There was some crop loss due to the flooding as well as wind and hail over the weekend, though damage was limited.… Continue reading

Read More »

Hay drying tips

While producers might find it challenging to get hay dry in early June due to changing weather conditions, there are steps they can take to get the crop up quickly and reduce the potential for rain damage.

“Proper tedding, raking, and equipment care are just some of the steps producers can take to reduce drying time and produce high-quality hay,” said Clif Little, a forage expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Although drying time for hay is affected by forage species, environmental conditions, cut height and swath width, Little said a good management plan can make a big difference in hay quality.

“Cutting and drying hay quickly is always important, especially with everything being a little behind this year because of the planting season,” he said. “Feed prices are high, so anything producers can do to produce quality hay is a benefit.

“We’re fighting rain as well as other work we’ve got to do around the farm.… Continue reading

Read More »

Hog operations should hold off on expanding

Although hog production has returned to break-even levels, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt advises producers to forego expansion for now because of delayed planting and uncertainty about this fall’s corn harvest.

Pork producers were among some of the hardest hit financially when the drought of 2012 decimated grain supplies and sent feed prices skyrocketing. But hog prices have rallied this spring, from the mid-$50s per hundredweight in March to the low-$70s, and feed prices have fallen somewhat on the heels of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s March Grain Stocks report that showed more grain than expected.

Even so, late spring planting has brought on some worries about hog production costs, Hurt said.

“Delayed planting has most recently sent corn and meal prices trending upward, raising concerns that hog production costs will not drop as much as some had anticipated,” he said.

Current production costs are about $67 per live hundredweight.… Continue reading

Read More »

Weekly Cornbelt Crop Update {June 14th, 2013}

The Snapshot Tour is hosted by Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities. This is a daily update on crop and weather conditions across ten locations in the Corn Belt.  It starts during spring planting and ends when harvest is wrapped up.  Jay has been the host of this update for 21 years.   You can listen to the daily conference call in full by visiting and clicking on the audio tab.

Maumee, Ohio

The northwestern Ohio and southern Michigan areas received rainfall amounts of 1-2” this past week.  Crop conditions remain unchanged, with very high prospects for outstanding yields.  The SRW looks very good, with no detectable mycotoxin issues as they have not had a wet spring.

Henderson, KY

The Henderson Kentucky area is still focused on getting the last of the beans planted.  They have rain in the forecast today through Monday.  The crop conditions are “not as pretty as they would like them to be”, but they remain hopeful that warmer temperatures will give a boost to growth.Continue reading

Read More »