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Show Pig Health and Management Clinics

New to Ohio this year are a series of four “Show Pig Health and Management Clinics” made possible by the Ohio Pork Producers Council, National Pork Board, the Ohio Swine Health Committee, and The Ohio State University Extension. The clinics serve as an opportunity for junior exhibitors and their families to learn more about caring for their swine projects, in terms of health, nutrition and overall animal well-being.

Topics to be covered are:

– Managing the Health and Well-being of Your Pigs Around Exhibitions

– Feeding Your Show Pig for Exhibition and Breeding

– Care and Well-being / Addressing Pig Structure and Lameness

– Strategies to Address Influenza SIV in Pigs and People

– WeCare Initiative / Representing the Swine Industry in Exhibitions


May 28 – ATI Wooster – Campus location to TBD

May 29 – Hancock County Extension Office

May 30 – Clinton County Extension Office

June 3 – Ohio Department of Agriculture – Bromfield Building

Each seminar will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.… Continue reading

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NFU joins coalition supporting limits on excessive commodity speculation

National Farmers Union (NFU), as a part of the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition (CMOC), a broad coalition of associations representing Main Street businesses, in filing an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia in support of a Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) rule that would limit speculative trading in commodities.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act required the CFTC to quickly adopt speculative position limits for all energy futures and swaps and report back to lawmakers on their impact after the limits had been imposed for one year. Accordingly, the CFTC approved a final rule on Oct. 18, 2011 that would have imposed speculative position limits on futures and swaps for 28 listed commodities.

Last September, a District Court judge, responding to a legal challenge by Wall Street groups, vacated the rule citing an “ambiguous” Congressional mandate and CFTC’s failure to determine if it should have made a finding of necessity before promulgating the final rule.… Continue reading

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NCBA files petition in Supreme Court against greenhouse gas regulations

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) along with the Coalition for Responsible Regulation filed a petition in the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court) challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) finding that greenhouse gases (GHG) endanger public health and welfare, its rule to limit GHG from passenger vehicles and its “timing” and “tailoring” rules that govern GHG permit applicability at stationary sources.

In December 2009, EPA issued a finding that GHGs are an “endangerment” to public health and the environment—providing EPA with a foundation from which to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act (CAA), from small and large sources throughout the economy, including farming and ranching operations. NCBA filed a petition with the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals and EPA challenging the science behind EPA’s finding. The D.C. court dismissed the challenge in June of last year. The court also denied challenges to EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases and subsequent emissions standards for cars and light-duty trucks.… Continue reading

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April 22nd Ohio Crop Progress Report

Two days were suitable for field work in Ohio during the week ending April 21 according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Rain throughout the State kept farmers from working in their fields for most of the week, particularly in the northern and western parts of the State where heavy rains and flooding occurred. Farmers in areas with less rain were able to do some field work, including planting oats and alfalfa.

The rain has been beneficial to winter wheat, which is in a rapid growth phase. Overall the crop is looking good. Although some field prep activities are ongoing, many producers are waiting for warmer and drier weather to start planting corn.

View the full reportContinue reading

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Watch for signs of slug feeding after planting

Crop growers should take extra precautions to scout their fields this spring for slugs to try to get control of these plant feeders before they attack corn and soybean plants and cause feeding injury, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist said.

Ron Hammond, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, offers his guidance in videos posted on the Plant Management Network, a nonprofit publisher of science-based crop management information for growers, consultants and other applied audiences.

“The gray garden slug is the most damaging slug in field crops across the county,” he said. “It’s also the No. 1 slug pest problem probably worldwide. And this is the one causing problems in corn and soybeans and other field crops, but especially soybeans.”

The majority of problems with the gray garden slug come at crop planting in the spring, Hammond said. That is when the eggs have hatched and the juvenile slug starts to grow and reaches a size to start heavy feeding.… Continue reading

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Cattle body condition monitoring important for producers

Monitoring condition in gestational and lactating cows is extremely important for successful reproduction, Purdue Extension beef specialist Ron Lemenager said.

Cows with less-than-ideal body conditions can have longer postpartum intervals, calve later or just fail to breed at all.

“If producers with spring calving herds have thin cows now, they need to put those cows on a diet that allows them to gain weight,” Lemenager said. “That’s challenging because those cows are approaching peak lactation, but if you don’t make adjustments, fertility can suffer.”

The best ways to help animals gain weight is to feed high-quality forages. If forages are of low quality, they can be supplemented with dried distillers grains, soybean hulls, corn gluten feed or grain.

At this point in the season, producers with fall calving herds who have thin cows have more time to make nutritional adjustments before calving season. They also have time to decide whether to wean calves early or wait until calves are 7-8 months old.… Continue reading

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Ag science school now accepting applications

The Global Impact STEM Academy (Global Impact) has begun accepting applications for their 2013-2014 school year, which begins on August 21 on the campus of Clark State Community College in Springfield. For their first year, Global Impact is accepting applications from upcoming freshman students.

Founded by state Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield, the Global Impact school is the first regional science, technology, engineering and math school in the state dedicated to a specific industry, in this case agricultural science. Agriculture accounts for one in seven jobs in Ohio.

“We’re looking for upcoming freshman who have a real passion for making the world better,” said Carl Berg, Interim Director of Global Impact. “This school’s curricula will take those interests and mold them into skills that can feed, clothe, power and protect the world.”

The school’s specialty focus in agricultural bio-science includes food science, energy and environment. Students from across Ohio are eligible to attend the school tuition-free, but officials expect most students to come from Southwestern Ohio.… Continue reading

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Scarlet and Gray Ag Day goes “AgRound The World”

Micki Zartman Scarlet & Gray Ag Day (SGAD), a one day educational activity on the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) campus at The Ohio State University, took place on Friday.

This educational outreach event of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences was planned and coordinated by a committee of OSU students.

About 400 Columbus area fourth and fifth grade students traveled to campus to spend the day attending sessions in tents, arenas, and classrooms. Escorted by OSU student guides, the children learned all about the world of agriculture through hands-on laboratory activities.

The laboratory sessions were presented by OSU faculty and staff, including professors, graduate students, and student organizations. Additionally, agricultural commodity organizations assisted as SGAD presenters

This year’s theme for the 15th annual SGAD was AgROUND the World. This theme was selected because agriculture is the underlying solution to many of the world’s dilemmas. Agriculture will be the solution to alleviating world hunger, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, improving the environment and curing diseases.

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Highlights of the 2013 Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Contest

It only happens once a year, but the impact of this experience can last a lifetime. It is said that the surest path to positive self esteem is one that must be earned and learned to achieve success. The Ohio 4-H Dairy Judging Contest affords youth the opportunity to be challenged in an arena of cows when confident decisions must be made in a short amount of time and then defended later before mentors. Coaches and volunteers are afforded “sneak peaks” at this process and can feel rewarded that their efforts have been recognized.

On March 30 during Spring Dairy Expo, an overwhelming crowd of aspiring judges stepped onto the tanbark to test their skills. The finest dairy animals that breeders and exhibitors could offer were on parade. Also registered for the contest were teams from three neighboring states who were welcome to participate in an open division.

Literally, more than 100 volunteers were on hand to manage the event with efficiency.… Continue reading

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New act would ensure vets can continue to care for animals on farms

By Heather Hetterick

As it currently stands, the Controlled Substance Act makes it illegal for veterinarians to take and use controlled substances to treat animals outside of the location where they are registered, which would be their office. This affects large animal veterinarians who treat animals on-site.

“The Controlled Substances Act was actually passed by Congress back in 1970,” said Jack Advent, Executive Director of  the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association. “About a year ago at a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in California someone said, ‘I’m not sure that vets, in the way the law is currently written, are really in a position to be transporting controlled substances outside of the area where they are licensed.'”

That led to conversations between the DEA and veterinary medicine. To make sure that it was clear and that veterinarians can continue to treat animals and carry drugs in their vehicle, the law needed to be changed.… Continue reading

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Fertilizer questions and answers after tragic Texas explosion

The recent and tragic explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant set the world talking about the dangers associated with products that are regularly used on farms throughout the country.

Incidents like the tragedy on April 17 are rare due to the high temperatures required to ignite fertilizers. Ammonia is suspected to be involved in the incident and ignites at more than 1,500 degrees. According the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Standard for Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia, ammonia is extremely hard to ignite and is a relatively stable compound. The conditions favorable for ignition are seldom encountered during normal operations due to the high ignition temperature required. Most states have adopted the ANSI Standard, including Texas.

More details in the situation are under investigation.

“The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has been deployed to the accident scene. The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has worked closely with CSB and will serve as a resource should we be asked to do so,” said Kathy Mathers with TFI.… Continue reading

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Lehman Catholic High School addresses farm safety

Students at Lehman Catholic will learn about farm safety on April 29. Meghan Bennett, Cargill outreach coordinator, will teach kids about various hazards in rural areas, including livestock and environmental safety from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
“Even if these students don’t live on a farm they probably know someone who does,” Bennett said. “They need to understand how to behave and react to the animals cues.”
Bennett partners with Farm Safety For Just Kids to offer safety education for youth. Farm Safety For Just Kids was founded 25 years ago by an Iowa farm wife after the death of her son in a gravity flow grain wagon accident. The organization promotes a safe farm environment to prevent injuries and death by educating our youth.
“Cargill is proud of our 25 year relationship with Farm Safety 4 Just Kids“ said Fred Oelschlaeger, Farm Service Group leader with Cargill AgHorizons.”
We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with Farm Safety 4 Just Kids to help keep our most valuable resource —our kids — safe on the family farm.”
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Wilmington College adds sustainable agriculture minor

The world is looking to American agriculture to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050 and American agriculture is counting on college students to bear a significant burden of the brainpower needed to meet that challenge.

Wilmington College has established a new minor, Sustainability, that will officially debut in fall 2013. It features an interdisciplinary curriculum with 12 hours in agriculture courses and a dozen hours of electives, from across the academic spectrum, designed to dovetail with a student’s career interests.

“It takes students on different paths,” said Monte Anderson, professor of agriculture. “This will be a minor that complements a lot of different majors.

“We have a great agriculture program at Wilmington College,” he added. “Our graduates understand horticulture, soil science and crop and animal science, but, with sustainability, it’s not all about agriculture — there’s a political and societal side to the subject.”

Michael Snarr, professor of social and political studies, teaches one of the electives, the Global Politics of Food course.… Continue reading

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Progress in farm labor policy

As a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation this morning dealing with comprehensive immigration reform, members of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC) highlighted the crucial stake American agriculture has in the debate.

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), which is a founding member of the AWC, has made fixing the broken immigration system one of its highest priorities over the past decade. NMPF’s President and CEO Jerry Kozak told press conference attendees that “what we’re working with lawmakers to do is not merely fixing a broken system, but scrapping an old set of unworkable rules and replacing it with something better.”

“The approach in this agreement is better for employers, better for employees, better for law enforcement, better for the economy – better for America,” Kozak said.

Kozak identified four key items essential to dairy farmers that any eventual deal on immigration reform must contain. These include:


1.      Establishing a blue card for experienced agricultural workers.… Continue reading

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Meat export trends continue from late 2012

February continued the trend set at the end of 2012 for U.S. beef and pork exports with higher values on lower volumes for beef and a continued slight decline for pork, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef exports managed a 5% increase in value ($430 million) over February 2012 despite a slight decline in volume (86,367 mt). February pork exports slipped 5% in volume (178,510 mt) and 6% in value ($494.6 million) compared to a year ago.

“The good news is that the long-awaited change in beef access to Japan came through in February,” said Philip Seng, USMEF President and CEO. “Conversely, trade barriers and other obstacles seem to be emerging at a rather alarming rate in 2013. Sluggish economic conditions in certain markets also create a challenge, but this is why we have made such a strong effort to diversify our destinations for red meat exports over the years.… Continue reading

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Bluegrass Pipeline

As the oil and gas industry continues to boom in Ohio, there are an increasing number of infrastructure development projects being considered as well. Among those is the Bluegrass Pipeline project running through southern Ohio.

On March 6, 2013, Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP announced that they are forming a joint venture to develop the pipeline project to transport natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to the Gulf Coast. The proposed “Bluegrass Pipeline” will be designed to initially transport up to 200,000 barrels per day of mixed natural gas liquids produced in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. By adding additional liquids pumping capacity, the proposed pipeline could be increased to 400,000 barrels per day. By combining new construction, with an existing pipeline interconnect in Kentucky, the goal of Bluegrass Pipeline is to be up and running in the second half of 2015. In order to meet this ambitious in service date, pipeline right of way land acquisitions will need to be initiated in 2013.… Continue reading

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Out smart weeds this season

Common ragweed, giant ragweed and marestail, confirmed resistant to multiple herbicide sites of action in Ohio, are part of a growing group of yield-reducing “watch-out” weeds that are top of mind for farmers across the state.

“To keep these ‘watch-out’ weeds in check, farmers should plan to use a herbicide program that effectively targets the weeds using herbicides with different sites of action,” said Luke Bozeman, Technical Market Manager, BASF. “Incorporating a diverse herbicide program – along with identifying local weed pressures and reviewing previous weed escapes on a field specific basis – will help farmers build an effective weed management plan specific to their farm.”

According to the Weed Science Society of America, weeds cause more yield loss and add more to farmers’ production costs than insects, diseases, rodents, birds, and grazers, such as deer. Experts recommend farmers carefully manage any weeds — resistant or not — with herbicides that offer multiple sites of action, ensuring they don’t turn into the next crop of “watch-out” weeds.… Continue reading

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Agricultural concerns with proposed Obama budget

President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget proposal recommends cuts of $37.8 billion from farm programs and crop insurance. If adopted, the USDA budget would be $146 billion dollars, which would be a $10 billion dollar cut from fiscal year 2013. And, despite all the talk of budget cuts, the President’s plan would increase government spending by 2.5% over this year.

The proposed $7.4 billion reduction in the federal crop insurance program is of particular concern to various farm groups, including the American Soybean Association.

“As ASA has said many times over, soybean farmers are willing to do our part to address the nation’s fiscal challenges, and we have a vested interest in ensuring that the cuts needed are made in a strategic manner, with all potential consequences taken into account. As many farmers still struggle to recover from the worst drought in generations, now is not the time to make such a deep cut to the federal crop insurance program,” said Danny Murphy, ASA president.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau algal bloom seminar

Farmers who need to know how they’ll be affected by outbreaks of harmful algal blooms can learn more at a members-only webinar from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF).

The session will be held April 24 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Members can register and submit questions by visiting and searching “nutrient webinar.” The registration deadline is April 23.

Recently, nutrient related water quality challenges have placed new expectations on farmers. The webinar will discuss agriculture’s contributions to the algal blooms and the short and long term steps farmers should be prepared to take.

The session also will discuss the potential impact on farmers as the issue is addressed by government, special interest groups and the media.

The webinar will feature Dr. Larry Antosch, OFBF’s senior director of environmental policy, and other nutrient and water quality experts.… Continue reading

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Antibiotic data distorted to place blame on farmers

Just days after the release of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report showing that medical doctors annually are prescribing enough antibiotics to give them to 80% of Americans, a group is issuing its own report, claiming that antibiotics use in food animals is the main cause for people developing antibiotic-resistant diseases.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is using selective and incomplete 2011 government data on retail meat samples to blame America’s livestock and poultry farmers for the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant illnesses in people.

In fact, 2000 to 2010 data from the federal National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System show a very low incidence of pathogenic bacteria on meat and stable to declining rates of those bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

The EWG report was set to be released ahead of congressional action on reauthorizing the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA). Many groups who support legislation to ban the use in food animals of antibiotics that prevent or control diseases and of ones that improve nutritional efficiency are weighing in on ADUFA, urging Congress to limit the animal health products available to livestock producers.… Continue reading

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