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Ohio Farm Bureau has impressive showing on the national stage

Four Ohio county Farm Bureaus have been chosen as winners in the 2014 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) County Activities of Excellence Awards (CAE) program. They are the Carroll, Franklin, Highland and Marion County Farm Bureaus.

“Considering AFBF only chooses 24 winners total, the fact that Ohio has four makes a pretty strong statement about the quality of programming our county Farm Bureaus are carrying out,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President Jack Fisher.

The CAE program identifies programs that serve as models of innovation for local activities and display the value of volunteers working together to build and strengthen their communities. The competition focuses on county efforts in education and agricultural promotion, member services, public relations and information, leadership development and policy implementation. Counties compete along with Farm Bureaus of similar membership size.

All four Ohio winners will display their programs, which were conducted in 2013, at the AFBF annual meeting trade show in San Antonio in January.… Continue reading

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Agritourism safety tips

From apple picking at a pick-your-own operation to pumpkin patches complete with hayrides and corn mazes, consumer interest in agritourism is high this time of year. Farm operators need to make sure that they are not only prepared for the additional traffic, but that their operations are prepared for safety, according to safety experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Agritourism is a significant and growing industry for farmers, said Eric Barrett, an Ohio State University Extension educator.

Between wineries, fall pumpkin farms, pick-your-own farms and other types of agritourism operations, there are hundreds of thousands of visitors to Ohio’s farms each year, many of whom may not be as familiar with farms or farm safety, he said. And while visits to farm operations that also offer agritourism is a year-round activity for many farmers, October is typically the busiest time for the industry, Barrett said.… Continue reading

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Use care with frost and forage

We have had a beautiful fall so far, but Jack Frost will be visiting us soon. Now is the time to finish harvesting and grazing several forage species that can be extremely toxic soon after a frost. Those include primarily annual grasses in the sorghum family and other closely related species that contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides, which are converted quickly to prussic acid (i.e. hydrogen cyanide) in freeze-damaged plant tissues.

Other species that can develop toxic levels of prussic acid after frost are Johnsongrass, shattercane, chokecherry, black cherry, indiangrass, and elderberry. It is always a good idea to check areas where wild cherry trees grow after a storm and pick up and discard any fallen limbs to prevent animals from grazing on the leaves and twigs.

The potential toxicity after frost varies by species. Sudangrass varieties are low to intermediate in cyanide poisoning potential, sudangrass hybrids are intermediate, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and forage sorghums are intermediate to high, and grain sorghum is high to very high and is most likely to be toxic after a frost.… Continue reading

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Government shutdown ends, farm bill next?

After 16 days, the government shutdown ended, much to the relief of many.

The Oct. 16 House vote of 285-144, and the Senate’s 285-144 vote, followed by President Obama’s signature ended the shutdown and lifted the debt limit. The bill provides funding to keep the government running through Jan. 15, and allows borrowing to continue through Feb. 7. It also provides back pay for the roughly 800,000 furloughed federal workers.

“Last night’s action by Congress ended a shutdown of our government and will return agencies back to normal operating status. This is good news for family farmers, ranchers and rural residents who were left without critical services for far too long,” said Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union (NFU) president.

Now many in agriculture are hoping for some long overdue attention to the farm bill conference.

“It was promising to hear President Obama mention specifically the unfinished business that is the farm bill in his address to the nation last night.… Continue reading

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LAMB 509

LAMB 509 is a 2-day short course designed to address several factors associated with producing consistent, high quality, wholesome lamb at the farm, packing-plant and retail levels. This is a hands-on program that will enhance your understanding of quality attributes that affect consumer acceptability and ultimately consumer demand of lamb products. The objectives of the LAMB 509 are to:

  • Improve the competitive position of Ohio lamb producers through marketing high quality, consistent, wholesome lamb products.
  • Explain and teach through hands-on training the differences in value determining factors that influence prices received for market lambs and lamb products.
  • Provide an overview of muscle quality attributes affecting lamb and discuss the management, environmental, nutritional, and genetic factors that contribute to muscle quality deficiencies.
  • Enhance the understanding of the numerous links in the production chain between the producer and the consumer and the interaction among these links.

This program will provide necessary information and enhance your understanding of meat quality and marketing, enabling you to make informed decisions that will ultimately affect the profitability, competitiveness and wholesomeness of the food products you are producing.… Continue reading

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OCWGA intern opportunity

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association is offering a one-year paid internship opportunity for sophomores, juniors or seniors enrolled in any college level program.

This internship will provide real and practical work experience, by assisting with programs centered on education, communication and policy. Opportunities exist to gain experience with student initiatives, teacher professional development workshops, political coordination and membership programs, communication and press activities, exhibit design and development and other experiences based on the intern’s interests and skills.

The intern will have the opportunity to experience various job responsibilities in a professional environment and provide leadership for a least resume-building initiative. Attendance at various professional events such as regular Board meetings, Farm Science Review, Grain Symposium and National Corn Congress (July 2014, Washington, DC) will also be an important part of this experience.

This is a one-year paid internship position starting on November 11, 2013 through September 30, 2014. Interns will receive $1000 monthly and be expected to work 15-20 hours per week with flexibility to attend college classes as required.… Continue reading

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Purdue develops advances in detecting foodborne pathogens

Researchers have developed a system that concentrates foodborne salmonella and other pathogens faster than conventional methods by using hollow thread-like fibers that filter out the cells, representing a potential new tool for speedier detection.

The machine, called a continuous cell concentration device, could make it possible to routinely analyze food or water samples to screen for pathogens within a single work shift at food processing plants.

“This approach begins to address the critical need for the food industry for detecting food pathogens within six hours or less,” said Michael Ladisch, a distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University. “Ideally, you want to detect foodborne pathogens in one work shift, from start to finish, which means extracting the sample, concentrating the cells and detection.”

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates a lack of recent progress in reducing foodborne infections and highlights the need for improved prevention.… Continue reading

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What factors affect test weight?

Many things can affect test weight. Some of the important factors that can influence test weight are listed below:

• Genetics of the hybrid plays an important role in test weight of the grain. Planting hybrids with genetic potential for higher test weight will generally yield grain with higher test weight if the kernels are fully mature.

• Early planting helps hybrid maturity and leads to higher test weight. Our studies for several years indicated that corn planted before May 10 had 1 to 1.5 pounds higher test weight than late May or June plantings.

• Lower grain moisture will have higher test weight since the kernel dry matter is heavier than water. Test weight is a volume-weight relationship. Drier grain shrinks and has higher test weight because we can pack more kernels into a “bushel basket.”

• Higher temperatures after the physiologic maturity or black layer tend to increase the test weight if kernels are mature.… Continue reading

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Agricultural lender seminars

OSU Extension has scheduled four Agricultural Lender Seminars across Ohio in October. The purpose of the program is to update agricultural lenders on current agricultural issues and topics and to provide them with a knowledge base that will help them to understand potential clientele agricultural financing needs. The agenda is based on evaluations from previous seminars, input from lenders and Agricultural Extension Educators on high priority topics. Program locations and dates follow. All programs run from 9:30 am until 3:00 pm. Lenders, lending support teams and bank board of directors are encouraged to attend these informative and satisfying seminars.

Frankfort, OH – Ross County, October 23rd 
Ottawa, OH – Putnam County, October 25th
Urbana, OH – Champaign County, October 28th
 Wooster, OH – Wayne County, October 30th

Keynote speakers at all four 2013 seminars include Dr. William Edwards, Emeritus Professor, Iowa State University Department of Economics on Choosing Crop Insurance in 2014, Dr.… Continue reading

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“Chew on This Tour” educates Ohio State public on food supply

The world will need 70% more food by the year 2050.

This and other facts about the need of more efficient food production for the future were the center of the “Chew on This Tour” that recently visited the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environment Sciences at The Ohio State University. Nutra Blend and Elanco are sponsors of the traveling event, which was designed to present consumers and producers with accurate information regarding their food supply.

Wayne Pagel is a territory manager for Nutra Blend and one of the workers of the event. He said the presentation was created to help get accurate information about the food supply out to the public in a non-confrontational way and to combat negative publicity plaguing the food industry.

“The Chew on This Tour is basically a program to raise awareness of the need for more food production in the world and the problem of world hunger and the fact that we are only going to be able to address world hunger by producing more from less,” Pagel said.… Continue reading

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Blizzard relief efforts for South Dakota ranchers

Those in agriculture around the county watched the news with heavy hearts after seeing the tremendous loss of cattle in the sudden, early blizzard in South Dakota.

The record-breaking early-October storm dumped 4 feet of snow in parts of western South Dakota and left ranchers dealing with heavy losses, in some cases up to half their herds. The storm claimed the lives of maybe 10,000 to 20,000 cattle, based upon the most recent estimates, and many are wondering how they can help.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are suggesting that those interested in helping their fellow farmers to the west give to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund. The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and South Dakota Sheep Growers Association established the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund Oct. 8, 2013 with the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to provide support and relief assistance to those in the agriculture industry impacted by the blizzard.… Continue reading

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The Weekly Corn Belt Update – {October 14th, 2013}


Host:  Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities “Snapshot Tour”

This is a daily update on crop and weather conditions across  locations in the Corn Belt.  Listen to the audio report in full by visiting and clicking on the audio tab.

Maumee, Ohio

Northwest Ohio and Michigan had a beautiful run over the weekend.  The river elevator in Maumee was wall to wall with bean deliveries.Continue reading

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House farm bill conferees announced

The House of Representatives has named conferees for negotiations on the farm bill, providing some hope that a  finalized version of the bill could son be a reality.

“This has been a trying process, but we commend Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi for moving it along to the next stage. At this point, the necessary steps have been taken to bring all parties to the table, and now it’s time to set partisan divides aside and work together to craft a compromise that works for all farmers,” said ASA President Danny Murphy, president of the American Soybean Association (ASA).

House conferees include Ohio Democrat Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge.

“I am pleased that the House voted to move this process forward, and that Democratic Leader Pelosi views my input on the Farm Bill as valuable,” said Congresswoman Fudge. “Going to conference on this important legislation is long overdue.  While there have been several dividing issues affecting the Farm Bill, I look forward to working with my colleagues in both the House and Senate to find a solution.  … Continue reading

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Falling feed prices bringing back hog profitability

Hog production is returning to profitability as feed prices fall, and a reduction in slaughter numbers seems to show that producers are noticing, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt said.

Major drought in 2012 ransacked the nation’s feed crops, sending livestock feed prices sky high and driving hog producers to quickly send animals to slaughter. With a large-yielding corn crop expected this year, feed prices have been decreasing, which has turned around the outlook for hog profits.

“This year, the hog outlook is almost the opposite of what it was last year,” Hurt said. “Feed prices, especially corn, have been falling sharply. The hog outlook is profitable, so producers are more likely to be retaining or building the breeding herd and weights are expected to increase as producers hold onto market hogs longer to gain profits on every pound.”

The most recent hog numbers available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from the September Hogs and Pigs Report, showed that hog inventories are unchanged to somewhat larger compared to a year ago.… Continue reading

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Aquaculture Boot Camp sign ups

Aquaculture Boot Camp (ABC) transforms civilians into fish farmers. Recruits enlist in a one-year “Tour of Duty” that includes classroom and field training paired with mentoring from some of the industry’s top-ranked leaders. Upon graduation, participants will be armed with the knowledge and hands-on experience to successfully operate a fish farm.

Twenty-five recruits will be selected to participate in this year’s program which includes:

  • 12 one-day training exercises held the second Saturday of each month (most held in Piketon).
  • Participate in three aquaculture workshops throughout the year at various locations in Ohio.
  • Attend the Aquaculture Bus Tour of Farms.
  • Complete homework and study assignments on-line between monthly trainings.
  • A minimum of 16 days of the year will be required for this tour of duty plus travel time to base and for homework assignments. Most training is on Saturday or Sunday, with some on Friday.

To be eligible, participants must: submit an electronic application by Nov.Continue reading

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Pesticide application conferences

Commercial pesticide applicators will have multiple opportunities beginning in January 2014 to earn recertification credits to renew their pesticide licenses during a series of conferences sponsored by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The 2014 Ohio Commercial Pesticide Applicator Recertification conferences are designed to help applicators fulfill the Ohio requirement of five hours of training in a single day, said Mary Ann Rose, program director for Ohio State University Extension’s Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program.

The Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program provides training, education and outreach to pesticide applicators about the safe, effective and legal use of pesticides. The program works with farmers, businesses and public agencies to protect human health and the environment and serves as a critical part of job training and business growth in Ohio.

“Applicators will receive the most up-to-date, research-based information from Ohio State specialists while meeting the requirements to maintain their pesticide licenses,” Rose said.… Continue reading

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CAB seeking interns

CAB seeking interns

College sophomores or juniors who understand the cattle business and have a passion for effective writing could be the next interns with the world’s leading beef brand.

Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) offers paid positions for those who will be juniors or seniors during the internships from next summer into spring 2015. Students with a strong writing background majoring in agricultural journalism or animal science/communications may apply for the 10- to 12-week summer position or part-time school terms.

Specific dates will be determined to coincide with academic semesters and all internships are available for college credit. The fall position may be offered as renewable through spring but depending on applicants, a separate spring internship may be offered. Interns can work from home or from the CAB Supply Development office at 1107 Hylton Heights, in Manhattan.

Applications are due by Nov. 25, 2013 for the summer 2014 and/or school-year 2014-2015 positions.… Continue reading

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Marestail management in the fall

Widespread and often very dense populations of marestail (horseweed) in soybean fields last spring caught the attention of farmers and other weed management practitioners, with many coming to the difficult realization that marestail is a problem weed species , said a University of Illinois associate professor of weed science.

“It’s difficult to say with complete accuracy how far north these infestations occurred, but mature marestail was easily observed during recent travels through Kankakee and Will counties,” said Aaron Hager.

Earlier this year, Hager said many growers reported poor marestail control from herbicides applied prior to planting (primarily no-till soybean), especially when burndown applications contained only glyphosate or glyphosate plus 2,4-D.

“The increasing frequency of glyphosate-resistant marestail populations, the rush to plant whenever field conditions were conducive, and the less-than-ideal environmental conditions when many burndown applications were made contributed to a challenging situation for which a good solution was not always readily available,” he said.… Continue reading

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10 ways marrying a farmer will change your life

When I fell in love with my (NOW) husband, I never imagined what our life would look like on a day to day basis. I had an idea it would be hard, I’d be spending a lot of time alone, and that it was bound to be unpredictable. Being married is a feat in and of itself, being married to a farmer adds a whole other layer. 

There is no denying the fact that our relationship is an adventure. Just like farming, no two days are ever the same. It’s constantly changing, I’m constantly learning. I am finding out things about myself I didn’t know…. Like I CAN learn patience and I had no idea how strong I could be until I needed to be. There is NO denying that marrying a farmer changed my life in so many ways… Here’s 10 ways marrying a farmer WILL change your life..

10.… Continue reading

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A plea for conservation grant program funding

More than 1,600 organizations representing tens of millions of birders, hikers, hunters,

anglers, boaters and other conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts delivered a collective letter to

congressional appropriators recently urging them to restore funding to popular and effective fish and wildlife conservation grant programs. The letter was in response to efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to zero out funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, Forest Legacy Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund next fiscal year.

The grant-based programs have restored and protected millions of acres of habitat and supported thousands of projects to combat threats to fish and wildlife survival, including invasive species. By eliminating program funding, appropriators would significantly impact collaborative, on-the-ground conservation, resulting in new federal endangered species listings, fewer restored wetlands, more imperiled migratory birds, less protection for forests and other key habitats and diminished outdoor recreation opportunities.… Continue reading

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