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OFBF sets policy for 2012

Energy, water quality, farm policy and Ohio State University Extension services were the primary topics delegates discussed during the 93rd annual meeting of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). More than 340 delegates representing all of Ohio’s county Farm Bureaus established the policies for the state’s largest farm organization during its convention held Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in Columbus.

With Ohio facing great opportunities with shale oil and gas, wind and solar energy generation, Farm Bureau delegates said it is essential that Ohioans be assured of a transparent, inclusive public policy process through which they can obtain information and offer input.  Delegates said the infrastructure and resource needs of the community and individual farmers should be adequately addressed when energy projects are being developed. Farm Bureau delegates also strongly supported coordination and collaboration between federal, state and local governments and regulatory agencies to ensure sound policies on energy development.… Continue reading

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RMA streamlines Ohio acreage reporting dates

As announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) have established 15 common Acreage Reporting Dates for producers participating in RMA and FSA programs.  Brian D. Frieden, Director of the Springfield Regional Office, Risk Management Agency, states “For Ohio producers, this means the number of Acreage Reporting Dates will decrease from five to four.”

Spring and summer planted crops will be the first to be impacted by this change beginning with the 2012 crop year.  July 15 will be the Acreage Reporting Date for the following Ohio crops: burley tobacco, spring cabbage (planted 3/15-5/31), corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, popcorn, potatoes, soybeans, tomatoes, and any other crops not listed elsewhere.  The Acreage reporting date for summer cabbage (planted 6/01-7/20) will be August 15.

Perennial and fall-planted crops in Ohio will see Acreage Reporting Date changes beginning with the 2013 crop year. … Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair’s “Ag is Cool” receives recognition

The Ohio State Fair was recently presented with a first place Agricultural Award of Excellence from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) for the fair’s new “Agriculture is Cool” interactive education program held in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups.

The 2011 “Agriculture is Cool” program inspired by the initiative of Gov. John R. Kasich included several interactive education stations throughout the Ohio State Fair where students could learn about the many ways Ohio’s largest industry – agriculture – impacts many facets of their everyday lives. The program, which also offered scholarships to top participants, was recognized as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million.

The award was presented during a special awards ceremony held on November 29 during the 121st Annual IAFE Convention.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair's "Ag is Cool" receives recognition

The Ohio State Fair was recently presented with a first place Agricultural Award of Excellence from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) for the fair’s new “Agriculture is Cool” interactive education program held in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups.

The 2011 “Agriculture is Cool” program inspired by the initiative of Gov. John R. Kasich included several interactive education stations throughout the Ohio State Fair where students could learn about the many ways Ohio’s largest industry – agriculture – impacts many facets of their everyday lives. The program, which also offered scholarships to top participants, was recognized as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million.

The award was presented during a special awards ceremony held on November 29 during the 121st Annual IAFE Convention.… Continue reading

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Survey looks at carbon storage capacity in landscape

The Department of the Interior released the first in a series of regional studies measuring the amount of carbon stored in U.S. ecosystems. Published by Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the study examines the current and projected future carbon storage in the Great Plains region, as part of a nation-wide assessment.

“This is truly groundbreaking research that, for the first time, takes a landscape-level look at how our lands naturally store carbon and explores how we can encourage this capability in ways that enhance our stewardship of natural resources,” said  David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior. “Our landscapes are helping us to absorb carbon emissions that would otherwise contribute to atmospheric warming.”

This is the first regional report applying a comprehensive methodology designed by the USGS in 2010 to assess how much carbon is stored in various ecosystems, such as wetlands, forests and rangelands. The study covers an area of the United States that includes parts of fourteen states from eastern Montana to southern Texas and eastern Iowa.… Continue reading

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Watch out for flooded roads

This week, Ohio was soaked with nearly 1.25 inches of rain in one day on top of already saturated conditions. Cleveland received 1.5 inches of rain. Columbus, nearly 2 inches, and Cincinnati broke precipitation records with nearly 3 inches of rain in a day.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s BuckeyeTraffic.org, several major roadways are currently closed due to flooding. Safety experts urge motorists to be careful when approaching a flooded road. Never drive through flooded roadways and never drive around barriers warning of flooded roads. It only takes two feet of water to float away most vehicles, and many deaths have resulted from attempts to drive through flooded roadways.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency recommends the following safety measures during a flood warning:

* Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or television station to receive current weather and emergency information. If your area is advised to evacuate, do so immediately.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef schools look at “new normal”

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County Extension

 

“It’s a great time to be in agriculture.”

“We have more people to feed and a growing global economy. I don’t know of a better industry to be involved with than agriculture because the underlying fundamentals are strong.”

“If you’re in the cow-calf business you’ve got what everybody else wants. Prices will continue to move higher next year.”

Those words came from Randy Blach, president of Cattle-Fax, at the recent Kansas Livestock Association annual convention. More specifically he said 2012 and 2013 should provide excellent profit opportunities because declining inventories of stocker and feeder cattle will continue to support prices and keep cow-calf producers in the driver’s seat. In fact, Cattle-Fax projects average national prices for 550-pound calves to average $1.75 per hundredweight next year, and 750 to 800-pound yearlings to average $1.50 per hundredweight.

From a feeder’s perspective, consider Blach’s thoughts on marketing high quality fed cattle.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef schools look at "new normal"

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County Extension

 

“It’s a great time to be in agriculture.”

“We have more people to feed and a growing global economy. I don’t know of a better industry to be involved with than agriculture because the underlying fundamentals are strong.”

“If you’re in the cow-calf business you’ve got what everybody else wants. Prices will continue to move higher next year.”

Those words came from Randy Blach, president of Cattle-Fax, at the recent Kansas Livestock Association annual convention. More specifically he said 2012 and 2013 should provide excellent profit opportunities because declining inventories of stocker and feeder cattle will continue to support prices and keep cow-calf producers in the driver’s seat. In fact, Cattle-Fax projects average national prices for 550-pound calves to average $1.75 per hundredweight next year, and 750 to 800-pound yearlings to average $1.50 per hundredweight.

From a feeder’s perspective, consider Blach’s thoughts on marketing high quality fed cattle.… Continue reading

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Ohio No-Till Council recognizes conservation efforts

 
Martin Shipitalo, a USDA-ARS soil researcher, on the right, received the Educator/Researcher Award from the Ohio No-Till Council.
Roger Butts, left, representing Brookside Consultants of Ohio, accepted the Business Industry Award from the Ohio No-Till Council.
Bret (middle) and Gene (right) Margraf were recognized as the Outstanding No-till Farmers of the year. They have been working with no-till and cover crops for the last 10 years on their farm near Sycamore.

 

 

 

The Ohio No-Till Conference featured a mountain of information for attendees, most of which revolved around soil health and the value of a system including continuous no-till and cover crops.

The group took time to recognize the contributions of some leaders in no-till farming in Ohio.

Dale Minyo talks with Oustanding No-till Farmer of Year Bret Margraf.

Dale Minyo talks with Oustanding No TIll Farmer of the Year Bret Margraf Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – December 5th

Reporters rated 1.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, December 2, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 16 percent adequate, and 84 percent surplus.

Farmers were able to harvest some corn. However, continued wet weather prevented siginificant progress. Much of it will be harvested after the ground begins to freeze. As of Sunday December 4th, corn harvested for grain was 80 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 97 percent for the five-year average.

 

Livestock were 88 percent in fair-to-good condition, up two percent from last week. Sixty-five percent of range and pasture were in fair-to-good condition, down eleven percent from last week. Eighty-three percent of winter wheat was in fair-to-good condition, up two percent from last week.

The Complete ReportContinue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – December 5th

Reporters rated 1.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, December 2, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 16 percent adequate, and 84 percent surplus.

Farmers were able to harvest some corn. However, continued wet weather prevented siginificant progress. Much of it will be harvested after the ground begins to freeze. As of Sunday December 4th, corn harvested for grain was 80 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 97 percent for the five-year average.

 

Livestock were 88 percent in fair-to-good condition, up two percent from last week. Sixty-five percent of range and pasture were in fair-to-good condition, down eleven percent from last week. Eighty-three percent of winter wheat was in fair-to-good condition, up two percent from last week.

The Complete ReportContinue reading

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Navy making largest biofuel purchase ever

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) signed a contract to purchase 450,000 gallons of advanced drop-in biofuel, the single largest purchase of biofuel in government history. While the Navy fleet alone uses more than 1.26 billion gallons of fuel each year, this biofuel purchase is significant because it accelerates the development and demonstration of a homegrown fuel source that can reduce America’s, and our military’s, dependence on foreign oil.

The Defense Department will purchase biofuel made from a blend of non-food waste (used cooking oil) from the Louisiana-based Dynamic Fuels, LLC, a joint-venture of Tyson Foods, Inc., and Syntroleum Corporation, and algae, produced by Solazyme. The fuel will be used in the U.S. Navy’s demonstration of a Green Strike Group in the summer of 2012 during the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise.… Continue reading

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Container of Everris Micromax Micronutrients stolen

On November 22, 2011, police in Costa Mesa, California were notified by trucking company C.H. Robinson that one of their trucks had disappeared over the weekend.  According to Everris NA, Inc. based in Dublin, Ohio (formerly Scotts Professional) spokesperson Ryan Lewis, the truck was transporting a full container of its Micromax Micronutrients product. However, due to the bill of lading stating that the trailer’s contents were “fertilizers”, police were notified and subsequently the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security.

“While there was no danger of Micromax Micronutrients being used as an explosive we are extremely pleased to experience firsthand how well coordinated our law enforcement and homeland security agencies operated,” Lewis said. “We salute them for their vigilence.”

While the abandoned truck was quickly located using GPS tracking, as of December 5th the Micromax Micronutrients product had not been recovered.… Continue reading

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NTPA honors Ohio members and organizations at annual banquet

The National Tractor Pullers Association held their annual banquet on December 3, 2011 in Columbus. Several Ohio members were honored and recognized for achievements this year.

 WPI Higher Education Scholarship: Audrey Fisher, Wapakoneta

Unlimited Champion & Unlimited Puller of the Year: Kathy Schalitz of Marietta. Driver of Black Widow.

25th Anniversary Enderle Pull-Off Appreciation Awards:

Qualified every year for 25 years-Paul & Jim Homan, Wauseon

Qualified the most with the same vehicle: Rick Peters, Thornville

Super Semi Champion and Puller of the Year: J.R. Collins of Chardon. Driver of Buckeye Bulldog.

Regional National Pull of the Year: Fulton County Fair, Wauseon

Super National Pull of the Year: National Tractor Pulling Championship, Bowling Green

 

 

 

 

 … Continue reading

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AFBF responds to proposed child labor regulations

Responding to proposed child labor regulations, the American Farm Bureau Federation this week filed comments on behalf of more than 70 agricultural organizations in response to a proposal by the Labor Department that would limit youth employment opportunities on farms and ranches. AFBF also filed separate comments on its own behalf supplementing its views on the DOL proposal.

The coalition comments focused on what Farm Bureau and other agriculture organizations see as over-reaching regulatory efforts by DOL. Most prominent is the proposal’s potential impact on family farms. The coalition comments urged the department “to maintain the integrity of the family farm exemption approved by Congress.”

“Farmers and ranchers are more interested than anyone else in assuring the safety of farming operations,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “We have no desire at all to have young teenagers working in jobs that are inappropriate or entail too much risk.”

Stallman added that families, family partnerships and family corporations own 98% of the approximately 2 million farms and ranches in the country, and “their right to operate their farms with family members is specifically permitted by Congress.… Continue reading

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Soybean checkoff celebrates 20 years

U.S. soybean farmers aren’t spending much time recognizing the first 20 years of the United Soybean Board (USB) and the national soybean checkoff. They’re too busy planning for the next 20 years.



As the national checkoff’s 20th anniversary passes, the board will meet Dec. 6-7 in St. Louis to set its sights on making sure the checkoff reaches its goals and helps maximize U.S. soybean farmers’ profit opportunities in the future.

 The 69 farmer-leaders who serve on USB will observe the national checkoff’s 20th anniversary during their December meeting; they will also continue their focus on the checkoff’s new Long Range Strategic Plan.



“Now is no time to sit on our laurels and focus only on the past,” said USB Chairman Marc Curtis, a soybean farmer from Leland, Miss., whose successor will be elected at the December meeting. “Instead, we are focused on meeting our strategic objectives aimed at supporting our fellow U.S.… Continue reading

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PUCO extended hours of service exemption for agriculture

Earlier this week, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted an extension of the hours of service exemption for agricultural operations until Jan. 1, 2012 to account for this year’s longer harvest.

The extension resulted from a request the Ohio Agribusiness Association (OABA) submitted on Nov. 18, 2011 and a similar request submitted by the Ohio Farm Bureau on November 23. In its request, OABA stated that extreme and unpredictable weather conditions, including a much wetter than normal spring that delayed planting and a wet fall, have compounded an already delayed 2011 crop harvest and could extend Ohio’s crop harvest into at least the first few weeks of December.

This posed a problem for Ohio farmers and agribusinesses, because under current hours of service rules, agricultural operations are only exempted from hours of service requirements during planting and harvesting seasons, which the state of Ohio defines as March 1 through Nov.… Continue reading

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RMA outlines changes for insurance and cover crops

An announcement made by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) outlines changes that will provide producers more flexibility when insuring a crop that follows a cover crop in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Heavy spring rains last year delayed planting in parts of the Midwest raising concerns about the impact a cover crop may have on the insurability of a subsequent spring crop. Restrictions limited insurance coverage on crops that followed a cover crop that was harvested or reached the budded stage in the same crop year.

For 2012, crops planted following a cover crop are insurable as long as the cover crop is killed on or before June 5th. Whether the cover crop has headed, budded or has been harvested no longer effects insurability. These changes affect corn, popcorn, sweet corn, hybrid seed corn, pumpkins, soybeans, grain sorghum and processing beans. The cover crop practice is defined as a crop planted within 12 months of planting the insurable crop and is recognized as a sound agronomic conservation practice for the area.… Continue reading

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2012 Southern Ohio New and Small Farm Colleges

Are you a small farm landowner wondering what to do with your acreage? Are you interested in exploring options for land uses but not sure where to turn or how to begin? Have you considered adding an agricultural or horticultural enterprise but you just aren’t sure what is required, from an equipment, labor, and/or management perspective? Are you looking for someplace to get basic farm information? If you or someone you know answered yes to any of these questions, then the OSU Extension Small Farm College program may be just what you are looking for.

OSU Extension is offering a program targeted at the new and small farmer. The Southern Ohio New and Small Farm College is an 8-week program that introduces new and even seasoned farmers to a wide variety of topics. The program will teach participants how to set goals, plan, budget, and where to find resources available for them if they chose to start a small farming operation.… Continue reading

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