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FTA paying off

In early July, a large Colombian importer networked with U.S. grains exporters in Texas, Alabama and Louisiana resulting in the purchase of more than 787,000 bushels of U.S. corn. This was the importer’s first purchase of U.S. corn in more than two years. With seven plants in Colombia, this importer is the largest animal feed manufacturer in Colombia and, thus, the relationship could lead to an important increase in U.S. corn exports to the country.

In 2008, U.S. corn imports accounted for 80% of the Colombian corn market. The delay in ratification of the U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement contributed to a decline in U.S. market share. By 2011, U.S. corn accounted for only 21% of that market.

A broad spectrum of agricultural organizations pushed vigorously for passage of the FTA and, in late 2011, this important trade agreement was ratified by the U.S. Congress. For the past few years, the Colombian importer purchased grain from other South American countries but, as the quality and supply reliability did not meet his expectations, he now can return to purchasing U.S.… Continue reading

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Revised Scrapie Flock Certification Program

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice in Federal Register on May 3, 2013, of its intent to revise the Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) following a 30-day comment period. On June 3, the comment period closed. The revised SFCP is now in effect.

As before, the revised SFCP allows sheep and goat producers to increase the marketability of their animals by demonstrating a negligible scrapie risk in their flock. The revised SFCP also enhances APHIS’ scrapie surveillance strategy and will be helpful in the final push to eradicate this disease from the United States.

The Complete Monitored category has been eliminated from the SFCP. Flocks currently participating in this category, including Complete Monitored and Certified Flocks, have the option of converting to either the Export category or Select category of the revised SFCP. Complete Monitored and Certified Flock owners who want to convert to the Export or Select categories must inform their Veterinary Services area offices in writing of their intent to convert by Oct.… Continue reading

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OSU animal sciences professors honored

Steven Loerch, an animal nutrition professor at The Ohio State University, received the American Society of Animal Science Fellow Award at the American Society of Animal Science National Awards Program. He focuses on management strategies that can improve the efficiency, profitability and nutritional quality of beef production.

Throughout his career, Loerch enhanced understanding of basic biological processes through applied beef cattle and sheep research. His research focuses on the following topics:

•Nutrition and management strategies for newly weaned calves

•Manipulation of intake to improve production efficiency and carcass characteristics

•Low-cost winter feeding programs for beef cattle and sheep

•Use of alternative feedstuffs as a replacement for high-priced corn.

In addition, Ohio State nutrition professor Maurice Eastridge was recognized with the Nutrition Professionals Inc. Applied Dairy Nutrition Award at the American Dairy Science Association Awards program.… Continue reading

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Ohio Shorthorn Breeders Association Summer Picnic

The Ohio Shorthorn Breeders Association Summer Picnic will be held on Sunday Aug. 11 at the Turner Shorthorn Farm near Somerset in Perry County.

The event will feature ample opportunities to network with other Shorthorn breeders and meet with Montie Soules, the American Shorthorn Association executive secretary.

“It is a great opportunity for breeders to come together in one location and interact with one another. It gives them the opportunity to see different operations and learn new ideas,” said Mike Carper, the Ohio Shorthorn Breeders Association president. “This year we have the national executive coming in and Ohio producers will have the chance to meet him and bounce ideas off of him. We started this up again a couple of years ago and it is something we look forward to each year.”

The event starts at 11:30 and lunch is served at 12:30. RSVP for the event by Aug. 5 at 740-743-2939 or at reading

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New hours of service rule waived for livestock agriculture

In a victory for America’s livestock producers, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) indicated that it will grant a 90-day waiver of a new hours-of-service rule for drivers transporting livestock and poultry.

The waiver applies to new rules that went into effect July 1 that limit the maximum average workweek for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the current maximum of 82 hours, and requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift. For drivers hauling livestock, the hours of service would include time loading and unloading animals.

Several associations representing various segments of the livestock industry raised concerns about the risks to the health of animals from rising temperatures inside livestock trucks during a driver’s mandatory 30-minute break, especially in light of long-range weather forecasts for above-normal temperatures for July, August and September 2013. Additionally, the agency indicated it will be considering a permanent exemption from the rule for drivers transporting livestock and poultry.… Continue reading

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Ohio BWC rebates are in the mail

Earlier this year, Governor John Kasich and Steve Buehrer, the Administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), announced “A Billion Back” program. The program is a three-part proposal to help stimulate the state’s economy, improve worker safety and modernize the Ohio BWC.

“We operate like a large insurance company where we collect premium from the employers, we pay for claims cost for injuries in the workplace and ultimately we invest some of the money for the long-term costs of our system,” Buehrer said. “Over the last few years we have seen our assets grow to a point where we were at $8.3 billion in net assets. So, Governor Kasich wanted to do something really significant.”… Continue reading

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South Korea to resume wheat purchases

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) were pleased to learn that South Korea will resume purchasing American wheat, which had been temporarily suspended following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) May 29 announcement of the discovery of an unapproved genetically modified (GM) trait in volunteer wheat plants in one field in Oregon.

The Korean decision comes as a result of their extensive testing of American wheat, which found no GM material in commercial supplies. This reaffirms the USDA conclusion that this was a limited, isolated incident and that no GM wheat had entered commercial supplies.… Continue reading

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Precision agriculture day

Growers wanting to learn more about planter technology, variable rate seeding and data management can do so during the Northwest Ohio Precision Agriculture Day Aug. 6, offered by experts with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The field day will offer information on precision planter technology and will feature discussions and demonstrations from college researchers and farm equipment, seed and technology professionals, said Eric Richer, an Ohio State University Extension educator.

The event, which is geared toward producers, crop consultants and anyone interested in precision agriculture, will feature presentations from OSU Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center researchers.

OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.

“Planting is our most important step in order to achieve a successful crop come harvest,” Richer said. “Our hope is that people come away with management ideas and practices that will better help them incorporate seed, steel and technology into planting their crops.… Continue reading

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Regulatory harmonization hopes for T-TIP negotiations

The United States and the European Union announced the formal launch of the U.S.-EU negotiations on a trade and investment agreement during a G-8 meeting in Northern Ireland. Formal negotiations on the Transatlantic and Trade Investment Partnership (T-TIP) stated in early July in Washington, D.C. The negotiations strive for an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement.

According to the U.S. Grains Council, the agreement is an opportunity for U.S. agriculture to provide for improved market access and overcome significant barriers to trade, particularly sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions. In comments provided earlier this year to the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Grains Council noted the most significant barrier for U.S. market access for corn and corn co-products (distillers dried grains with solubles, corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal) is the EU asynchronous approval process for genetically modified (GM) events.

Floyd Gaibler, USGC director of trade policy and biotechnology, said T-TIP needs to ensure full and consistent implementation of existing European Union legislation governing approval of agricultural biotechnology products within the timeframes established by European laws and regulations.… Continue reading

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Andrew Allman OABA director of business operations

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has hired Andrew Allman as Director of Business Operations. The Director of Business Operations position is a new role within the OABA staff that will focus on financial management, day-to-day operations and overall member experience for the association.

“We are pleased to have Andrew on board,” said Chris Henney, OABA President and CEO. “The newly created position of Director of Business Operations will further enhance OABA’s ability to achieve strategic goals — and our members’ experience — and Andrew’s skills and experience are a perfect complement to that role.”

Andrew comes to OABA with extensive experience in public accounting. He spent more than seven years in public accounting, some of which focused on agribusiness. He began his professional career as a staff accountant with Bober, Markey, Fedorovich & Company. Most recently, he served as a senior assistant accountant with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs.

Andrew was born in Tallmadge, Ohio, holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Accounting & Business Pre-Law from Ohio University.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – July 15th, 2013

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There were two days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending July 14, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. It rained a significant amount this week, impeding progress on harvesting of winter wheat and hay for most producers. There were reports throughout the State of flash flooding in fields. While wheat condition is still fair to good, the continued delays in harvest due to excess moisture led to some sprouting. Producers will begin harvesting again in earnest as soon as the fields have dried and become accessible. Most producers are waiting for drier weather to finish their first or second cutting of hay, as well. Soybeans and corn are still in good condition, but there are reports of spot damage to both crops from storms this week. Oat harvest began in a few areas.

See what condition Ohio’s crops are in thus far in the growing season and how the state’s wheat harvest is progressing in the full report.… Continue reading

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FSA acreage reporting deadline extended

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia recently announced an extension of the FSA acreage reporting deadline. Farmers and landowners have an additional 18 calendar days to submit their annual report of acreage to their local FSA county office with the deadline extended from Monday, July 15, 2013, to Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. Only the FSA reporting deadline has been extended. The acreage reporting requirement for crop insurance has not changed and remains July 15.

“We want to ensure our producers maintain their program benefits by filing their reports accurately and in a timely manner for all crops and land uses, including prevented and failed acreage,” Garcia said.

Accurate acreage reports are necessary to determine and maintain eligibility for various programs, such as the Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP); the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE); the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP); and the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistant Program (NAP).… Continue reading

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Critical stages to scout your corn fields

Corn needs a lot of tender loving care throughout the growing season and to raise a successful crop, it needs special attention during the following critical stages:

• At seedling emergence, young plants face many hurdles such as nutrient deficiencies, seedling diseases like Pythium and Stewart’s bacterial blight, slugs and insects like black cutworms. Adequate stand establishment is crucial for a good crop.

• At V3-V4 stage, make sure that weeds are in control. Apply post-emergence herbicides, if necessary. Even small weeds can affect yield.

• At V6-V8 stage, be sure to side-dress with nitrogen before the plants are too tall, if you are going to apply additional nitrogen. Check for deficiency of nutrients like sulfur, magnesium, zinc and other micronutrients.

• Pollination is the next most critical stage. Make sure that insects like Japanese beetles, western corn rootworm beetles are not clipping the silks. Use insecticides if needed to control these pests.… Continue reading

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Ohio Lamb Jam highlights versatile meat

The Ohio Lamb Jam was held in Columbus at the North Market in conjunction with the Food and Ohio Wine Festival. Six of the top chefs in Columbus competed for a $500 first place prize.

“This is a tremendous promotion for the lamb industry,” said Roger High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program. “We have a chef’s cooking competition using American lamb and we have a number of activities going on here. Lamb is a product that pairs very well with lots of wines and it works well to come here with the Ohio wine producers.”

The winner of the chef competition was Kelby Muehlfeld of Molly Woo’s Asian Bistro with Lamb Two Ways, roasted Colorado Lamb Roulade with Spinach and Pine nut Mousse, Madera Glazed Farmer Jones baby carrots, and forest mushroom braised lamb belly with Fava bean ragout. The runner up was Paul Yow of Hae-Paul’s with Lamb Bulgogi. … Continue reading

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Weekly Cornbelt Crop Update {July 12, 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

NW Ohio has really been saturated with rains.  The wheat has been ready, but the soil has simply been too wet for equipment.  That should change this weekend.  Most will run, and by Monday we will likely have an update that it will be about wrapped up.  This part of the state really took a hit with the derecho winds that blew through on Wednesday.  Damage will continue to be assessed as the crop matures.  The crop, especially beans, took a step backwards this week – Simply too much moisture.

Henderson, KY

Wheat harvest has wrapped up and overall yields ranged from the 75-100.  It was a very good crop.  They are double cropping beans and with the moisture they are popping up quickly.… Continue reading

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Ohio grain indemnity legislation signed into law

With higher dollar amounts involved in recent years, many in Ohio agriculture feel that it is time to update the amounts in the pot of money for the grain indemnity fund. A bill doing just that has been signed into law by Gov. John Kasich.

“This will increase the grain indemnity fund to $15 million, with the lower end of the threshold being $10 million,” said Chris Henney, CEO and president of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. “That means that when the fund drops below $10 million, collection will occur. It is a farmer self-insurance program. The grain elevators collect it and turn it over to the Ohio Department of Agriculture and it is in a fund there to protect farmers if there is a grain elevator insolvency.”

The funds are collected on a per bushel basis and the program has been successful in the past.

“The Ohio Legislature originally created the Grain Indemnity Fund in 1983 to reimburse farmers when a grain handler becomes insolvent. … Continue reading

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Farm Safety for Just Kids at work in Ohio

With harvest season quickly approaching, farmers must remember to keep farm safety at the forefront, especially when there are children near. Hundreds of children are involved in agricultural-related accidents each year.

Farm Safety for Just Kids is an organization founded upon the mission of promoting a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to children and youth.

“It is our main goal to decrease the number of kids that are involved in agricultural accidents throughout our communities and the nation. Even if that means just saving one life, then we have done our job for the day. One accident is enough to have a program,” said Meghan Bennett, the Ohio Outreach Coordinator. “Ohio is the heartland of our country and we have a lot of agriculture and a lot of children growing up in agriculture. We are proud to have so many kids involved, but we need to step back and make sure that when we are involved with agriculture we are doing so safely.” … Continue reading

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Health care law postponed

On July 3, 2013 it was announced by the Obama administration that they will delay a crucial provision of the health-care law. One of the major components of ObamaCare was the requirement for employers to either provide health insurance or face a penalty. The insurance mandate applies to employers with 50 full-time equivalent employees and would have taken place starting January 1, 2014. If affordable insurance was not offered, than a business could face a fine up to $3,000 per employee. The enforcement of the employer mandate will now be delayed until 2015. For most Ohio farmers, this law will not apply, however many of our orchards, vineyard and related operations may have been dramatically affected by this mandate.… Continue reading

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House passes farm bill

This afternoon a paired down version of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, otherwise known as the Farm Bill passed through the House of Representatives and now moves to conference where it will be sure to see more changes.

“The farm bill is a bill that touches every American and it is vital we continue to move forward to get this bill passed,” said Brent Hostetler, president of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association. “Certainly the bill that passed off the House floor has many shortcomings and we look forward to the opportunity of working with the House and Senate to make significant improvements.

“We urge immediate action between the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate to come together to work out their differences to secure a comprehensive and bipartisan farm bill that will receive swift passage. The time has come to get this bill finished.”

The vote was 216-208 in the House.… Continue reading

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July USDA supply and demand report friendly to wheat, but not corn or soybeans

The monthly USDA supply and demand was released today at noon. Prior to the report, old corn down was down 1 cent with new corn down 5 cents. Old soybeans were up 8 cents while new soybeans were up 5 cents. Following the report at 12:20 pm, old corn was down 1 cent and new corn was down 3 cents, old soybeans were up 2 cents with new soybeans down 3 cents.

Trader reaction to both the U.S. and world grain numbers had corn as neutral, soybeans were bearish, while wheat was friendly. Ending stocks of new crop soybeans went up 30 million bushels when traders had expected little change.

All week long traders have been paying lots of attention to weather developments this week. The southwest part of the Corn Belt has been the largest area of stress for corn and soybeans. Reports indicate that the driest states are Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, and South Dakota.… Continue reading

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