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Walnut pest found in southwest Ohio

The Ohio Department of Agriculture last week announced more detections of the walnut twig beetle in Butler County in southwest Ohio. The insect carries a fungus that causes deadly, incurable thousand cankers disease (TCD) in walnut trees, although at this point the disease itself hasn’t been found in the county.

The beetles were found in traps set by department officials near walnut trees in Butler County, officials said. Beetles were found in nine of 26 traps. This is the second time walnut twig beetles have been detected in Butler County. In late 2012 the beetles were found in traps set by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry officials near a wood processing business. ODA officials have quarantined walnut products that have the potential to spread the pest from leaving the site of discovery, the agency said.

The following experts in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences can offer insight on the fungus and its implications:

* Nancy Taylor is program director of the C.… Continue reading

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Start scouting for leafhopper

Now is the time to be on the lookout for the potato leafhopper, a pest that can cause significant economic losses for alfalfa growers by reducing yields and quality, says an entomologist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The bright green, wedge-shaped insects can cause hopper burn on leaves, stunting alfalfa plants. That can result in yellowing of alfalfa leaves and could cause significant yield loss and impact the plants’ nutritional value, said Ron Hammond, who also has appointments with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

OSU Extension and OARDC are the college’s statewide outreach and research arms, respectively.

Potato leafhoppers are an annual pest problem in Ohio in the spring as the pest migrates north from Gulf Coast states, carried on winds in storm systems.

“In alfalfa, potato leafhopper is definitely our No. 1 pest,” Hammond said. “It’s an insect that, if allowed to go past threshold and develop young population, can lead to damage such as stunting.… Continue reading

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Immigration reform progresses in Senate

After agreeing on a farm bill, the U.S. Senate moved right on tackling the massive issue of immigration reform. The progressed quickly on this important agricultural issue, which is a good sign for progress.

“We commend the Senate for deciding today to limit debate on its immigration reform measure, which demonstrates that they want to move forward and get a bill passed by July 4th.  America’s farmers need action on the immigration issue.  Thanks to the vote on cloture Tuesday, the chances are much better now that it will get resolved,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation.

Previous attempts at creating a comprehensive solution have failed, but the Senate vote sends a strong signals that a critical mass of the Senate also believes that immigration reform is key national priority. The Senate bill contains an entirely new visa program for farm workers that has has the support of agricultural organizations.… Continue reading

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Kalmbach Feeds building first rural public CNG fueling station in Ohio

Kalmbach Feeds, Inc., has contracted with TruStar Energy to build a public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fast-fill station near its Wyandot County manufacturing plants and distribution center. Kalmbach Feeds is a leading innovator in the animal feed industry, producing and distributing nutritional products throughout the eastern half of the United States.

The station is part of a new venture, Kalmbach Clean Fuels, LLC, and will support Kalmbach’s new CNG-powered feed distribution trucks. Strategically located near the intersection of US 30 and US 23, the new station will allow other CNG fleets and individual vehicle owners to take advantage of the benefits of the clean-burning, domestically produced fuel. Kalmbach Clean Fuels will be the first public CNG station in rural Ohio and will also host a maintenance garage for all CNG vehicles.

Kalmbach’s Director of Distribution, Tim Rausch, was charged with the task of developing a fueling strategy that best utilizes company resources, with the intent of transitioning away from foreign oil.… Continue reading

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New biodiesel ad campaign debuts this week

Making the point that consumers and taxpayers are better protected by a diverse supply of transportation fuels, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) unveiled a new television advertising campaign this week. The thirty-second commercial is airing on national television networks and on Washington, D.C., broadcast and cable news outlets.

“Biofuels are helping to diversify America’s transportation fuels, which protects consumers by freeing the market from the instability of a single liquid energy source” said Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. “And because it is diesel engines that move the freight that drives the economy, it begins a positive ripple effect for the prices of just about everything we buy.”

Baltimore residents may recognize at least one scene in the commercial filmed at the George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University. Produced by Northern Virginia-based PCI, a leading provider of creative communications services for Fortune 500 corporations, national associations, and federal agencies, the ad shows what it would be like to be in a world lacking in options as the narrator intones, “Without choice, we’re at the mercy of chance. … Continue reading

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June 12 USDA report offers some surprises

This USDA report was a surprise when they did not make any changes to 2013 corn and soybean acres.

The report is considered a bearish report. Both U.S. corn and soybeans had no changes made with 2013 acres. The corn yield was reduced from 158 to 156.5 bushels per acre. No change was made with the 2013 soybean yield. In addition bearish numbers for soybeans appeared as both Brazil and Argentina had higher soybean production. After the report was released corn was trading 7 cents lower for old corn (2 cents lower before the report) and 15 cents lower for new corn (10 cents lower before the report.) Soybeans were trading 1 cent lower after the report, while trading 4 cents lower before the report. New soybeans were 16 cents lower after the report while at 17 cents lower before the report.

Today’s USDA supply and demand report would normally be a pretty boring event.… Continue reading

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Check stands for seedling blights

Every season is different and has different challenges and opportunities. Most farmers in northern Ohio were able to plant early but southern areas remained overly blessed with too much rain. After planting, it turned cold and the seedling blights had their chance to attack. Early planting has benefits but also risks if it turns wet and cold during emergence. Corn seedling blights can cause considerable stand losses as we saw in some areas last year. Recent cool and wet weather patterns create ideal weather conditions for the seedling fungal diseases.

• Seedling diseases are favored by wet and cool soil conditions (50 to 55 F) after planting. Corn planted early or in no-till ground is more susceptible to these diseases. Recent cool and wet periods were ideal for the disease organisms that cause seedling blights.

• The pathogens that infect corn seedlings are species of Pythium, Fusarium and Rhizoctonia. These fungi over-winter in the soil or plant debris.… Continue reading

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Appeals court binds Monsanto to promise not to sue organic farmers

Recently, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought against Monsanto by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and 82 other plaintiffs after the biotech giant made binding assurances that it will not sue organic farmers if the company’s genetically engineered (GE) seeds contaminate their fields.


The case, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al. v. Monsanto, was originally in March 2011 by organic farmers, seed growers, and agricultural organizations representing more than 300,000 farmers. The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs to seek protection for farmers whose fields can become contaminated by Monsanto’s GE seed and then be sued by the company for patent infringement.


In the ruling issued yesterday the Court of Appeals judges affirmed the Southern District of New York’s previous decision. The lower Court ruled that the plaintiffs did not present a sufficient controversy to warrant adjudication, given that throughout the lawsuit Monsanto “made binding assurances that it will not take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes.”Continue reading

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Online tool helps forecast insect pressure

Above and below ground insects are continual challenges for farms across the Corn Belt. The Insect Forecast Tool is a website that forecasts the daily migration of crop damaging insects up to five days in advance May through September. The tool can help farmers understand their current pest pressures and make more accurate predictions for the following year.

By logging onto, you can learn when corn rootworm larvae are hatching, and track the migration and moth flights of two damaging above-ground insects, corn earworm and western bean cutworm, throughout the growing season.  The Insect Forecast tool analyzes this trapping data and weather patterns to issue one, two and three-to-five day forecasts for corn earworm and western bean cutworm. Farmers in the Corn Belt can also sign up to receive email alerts from May through September to learn when these insects pose a rick in their area. In 2012, more than 5,000 farmers visited the Insect Forecast site to identify when damage may occur to their corn crop and to make vital decisions for the following year.… Continue reading

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Monsanto announces findings of Roundup Ready wheat investigation

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s investigation into the genetically modified Roundup Ready wheat found in an Oregon field continues, Monsanto has been conducting an investigation of its own.

The corporation released a statement on the investigation:

“Monsanto is taking the matter seriously and is cooperating with the USDA fully. We are conducting a rigorous investigation to validate the scope of and to address any presence of a Monsanto Roundup Ready trait in wheat.

“We are confident about the safety of Roundup Ready wheat and all of our products. The USDA has also underscored the Food and Drug Administration’s position that there is no public health concern related to this report.

“We are committed to working with the USDA, wheat growers, and other members of the wheat value chain to address the questions raised by the USDA’s recent announcement so that the U.S. wheat industry remains strong.”

On June 5, Monsanto announced the completion of validated tests on a broad set of more than 50 wheat seed varieties that were available to wheat farmers throughout Oregon and Washington state regions, as well as tested the seed stock for the two varieties the farmer reportedly planted  — WestBred variety WB528 and a USDA-WSU variety (ROD).… Continue reading

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OSC elections this summer

The Ohio Soybean Council Board of Trustee elections will be held in five districts this summer. Districts up for election include:


  • District 7 – Auglaize, Mercer, Miami and Shelby Counties
  • District 8 – Champaign, Hardin and Logan Counties
  • District 10 – Butler, Darke, Miami, Montgomery and Preble Counties
  • District 12 – Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Fairfield, Franklin, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Stark,  Tuscarawas and Wayne Counties
  • District 14 – Athens, Fayette, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton and Washington Counties


To be eligible for election to the Ohio Soybean Council, you must live in a county in the districts listed, be a soybean producer engaged in the growing of soybeans in the State of Ohio, who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of such soybeans at any time during the three year period immediately preceding November 15 of the current year.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – June 10th, 2013

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The 2013 planting season is just about wrapped up for Ohio. Corn planting is all said and done and well on its way with 94% now emerged. Only 6% of the soybeans have not yet been planted and of the 94% in the ground, 75% is emerged.

There were five days suitable for field work in Ohio during the week ending June 9, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Producers took advantage of the continued warm weather and completed the planting of corn and oats, and neared completion of soybean planting. Some producers also replanted crops lost due to frost. Nitrogen application to corn also moved quickly, with some counties reporting that it was nearly finished. Producers baled hay, but many are behind their usual pace due to rain in previous weeks. Winter wheat appears to be in good condition, and farmers are preparing equipment for harvest.… Continue reading

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New record price for farmland in Greene County

Farm ground in Greene County, Ohio set a new record on June 5, when a 60-acre vacant farmland tract sold for $484,000, or $8,031 per acre.

According to Matt Sheridan, Auction Manager for Sheridan & Associates, this is a record price for farmland in this area of Greene County. Scarcity of available land in the general area contributed to the price.

“With farmland prices at record highs, we would expect land owners to take advantage of this continuing upward trend and liquidate some farmland. However, many land owners are choosing to ride the wave of high land prices, which is creating a significant sellers’ market,” Sheridan said.

The final selling price for the entire property tallied $627,000 ($8,525 per acre).

The real estate auction, conducted at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio, included the sale of four tracts of land contained within a 74-acre farm owned by Winston Bahns (deceased) and Lois Bahns since the early 1930’s.… Continue reading

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Dairy reform program reasonable compromise

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said that a House Judiciary Committee vote requiring the Farm Bill’s dairy reform program to go through regular government rulemaking was a reasonable compromise to get the reform program approved.

“This is the latest attempt at compromise by Congressman Goodlatte on a program that has been approved twice by the House Agriculture Committee and that dairy farmers overwhelmingly support,” said NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak. “It’s time to end the divisiveness and approve reform of the federal dairy program. For that reason, we see today’s vote, which appears to accept that the Dairy Security Act  (DSA) will become law, as a good compromise.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) tried unsuccessfully to modify the DSA in the Agriculture Committee both this year and in 2012. That amendment would have eliminated the program’s market stabilization provisions, which give farmers the option of temporarily scaling back their milk production or contributing a portion of their milk check to purchase dairy products to feed the needy in order to bring supplies more in line with demand.… Continue reading

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Emergence problems could lead to replanting

Cool, wet, muddy conditions in May slowed planting and crop growth for soybeans in much of Ohio, while hot, dry soil conditions this month have contributed to uneven soybean emergence, said a field crops expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

But unless growers with uneven soybean emergence are able to determine that their seedlings are dead, they may want to hold off on replanting decisions as forecasted rainfall could help more soybeans begin to break through, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with the college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension.

“When considering replanting soybeans, make sure to take into account the existing stand, yield loss due to late planting, and the cost of additional seed,” Lindsey said. “Soybean yield is decreased by approximately half a bushel per acre every day when planting later than mid-May.”

Statewide, soybeans are 89% planted and 58% emerged, according to the June 3 U.S.… Continue reading

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Livestock producers should look out for poison hemlock

While poison hemlock isn’t likely to be as prominent a problem this year as it was in last year’s drought-stressed pastures, Purdue Extension specialists still encourage livestock producers to be on the lookout for the toxic plant.

Poison hemlock is often found along roadsides, edges of cultivated fields, stream banks and pasture fencerows. Its most defining characteristics are purple spots or blotches on the plant’s hairless, ridged stems. If eaten, all parts of the plant can be fatally toxic to cattle, horses, swine, sheep and goats.

“If there is adequate pasture growth, poison hemlock isn’t as big a deal because animals typically won’t eat it unless it’s all they have, but livestock producers still need to be on the lookout for it and think about how to control it,” said Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef specialist. “They also need to be especially cautious when making hay.”

Control methods are most effective when applied at an early plant growth stage, said Travis Legleiter, Purdue Extension weed scientist.… Continue reading

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REAL Seal moving forward to promote dairy

In celebration of June Dairy Month, efforts by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to revitalize the REAL Seal are taking a big leap forward this month. A new campaign is being launched that allows consumers to learn more about the benefits of real, American-made dairy products and foods made with them, using a new Facebook page, blogger outreach, and digital advertising.

The REAL Seal Facebook page ( creates a new voice and visual feel to engage target audiences, especially moms and heads of households, encouraging them to buy dairy products and foods containing dairy products. The page’s content includes interactive updates, multimedia presentations, contests, polls, and quizzes. One of the elements of the launch later in the month will be a “Name the Character” contest for a new, animated REAL Seal cartoon character. It can be viewed on the REAL Seal website.

Reaching out to bloggers writing about the mom/parenting, food/cooking, health/wellness, and lifestyle topic areas will generate online conversation and awareness surrounding the REAL Seal campaign and lead consumers to official REAL Seal web pages.Continue reading

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Contract considerations for pipeline agreements

Farm owners must carefully consider the specifics of their land, but there are also a number of considerations with regard to the contract itself when making a decision about a pipeline easement on the property.

“There is no such thing as a group contract. Each one of these agreements is with an individual landowner and an energy service company,” said said Dale Arnold, director of Energy Services for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “You can group negotiate, but there is no group easement. You still have the opportunity to negotiate the contracts based on the individual needs of the farm. The ability to negotiate separate agreements is much greater than it was just a couple of years ago. You can tweak the agreements to fill your unique needs. I would not sign anything until I see an exact map of where this right of way is going to go, including GPS coordinates.”… Continue reading

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Beloved OSU professor passes away

The most memorable final exam that I ever took happened at a dinner party over thirty years ago. Dr. William Tyznik invited his Ruminant Nutrition class to his home for dinner and conversation. He believed that a student who truly understood the principles of feeding ruminants should be able to discuss them in a social setting.

Now this was a course that many who were gunning for admission into vet school took, so the competition was fierce. I often wondered what I was thinking enrolling in such a class. I was an ag econ/ag ed major, but I quickly figured out that I preferred taking classes from professors who loved to teach. The art of learning critical thinking, analyzing and problem solving could be developed in any subject. But only the truly gifted professors really understood how to teach this. And Dr. Tyznik was special, the absolute best that Ohio State University had to offer.… Continue reading

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Weekly Cornbelt Crop Update {June 6, 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

The northwest Ohio and southern Michigan regions have had one of their best springs in quite a while.  The crop continues to thrive, and they are “okay” for moisture today.  They certainly won’t turn down a rain, but it is really hard to find a complaint with this crop.  The only possible risk is that the majority of their corn crop all went in within a 5 day window.

Henderson, KY

The northern Kentucky-southern Indiana river location has certainly had a “year like no other”.  They were off to a good start with corn planting, but corn that was planted in a May 1-3 window was just about all replanted.  Some got in, and some acres are lost, although not a huge amount. … Continue reading

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