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Bison designated the national mammal

On May 9, 2016, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law, officially making the American bison the national mammal of the United States.

Last week, private bison ranchers joined with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, congressional leaders, conservationists, and tribal representatives at a special celebration at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.  to celebrate the bison’s designation as America’s National Mammal.

Three bison business leaders were among the speakers addressing the roughly 150 individuals who gathered to celebrate the enactment of the National Bison Legacy Act.

“A combination of conservation leaders and individual ranchers pulled bison back from the brink of extinction in the late 1800’s,” said Roy Liedtke, president of the National Bison Association. “We are pleased that ranchers, conservationists and tribal leaders today are continuing to work together to restore bison on rangelands and pastures across the country.”

The celebration underscored the guiding principles that bison represent as Americans honor this national symbol: unity, resilience and healthy landscapes and communities.… Continue reading

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How will “Brexit” affect U.S. agriculture?

Britain’s departure from the European Union would have little direct effect on U.S. agricultural trade but could slow economic growth tied to manufacturing, Purdue University agricultural economists say.

Their greatest concerns are whether the current shakeup in the financial markets from Britain’s vote to leave the EU is short-term or longer, whether an already-strong U.S. dollar would continue to rise in value and how access to global markets might be affected.

“The indirect effects will matter the most,” said Philip Abbott, a professor of agricultural economics who researches international trade and agriculture. “The effects on agricultural trade will be through the exchange rate mechanism and through any negative business cycle effects involving global demand. How big those are depend on whether this is a temporary or longer-term situation and how long the very recent changes in exchange rates and interest rates persist.”

He pointed out that a strong dollar makes U.S.… Continue reading

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Nutrient management events

Field days on the best ways to use nutrients on farms are set for late July in northwest and western Ohio.

Both events aim to help farmers maximize yields of their crops while minimizing nutrient runoff from their fields, said co-organizer Greg LaBarge, an agronomic field specialist with Ohio State University Extension.

Successfully doing that, he said, can lower input costs, raise profits and limit water quality threats such as harmful algal blooms.

‘4R’ principles

Participants at both events, which will have similar agendas, will learn “how the ‘4R’ principles of the right rate, timing, placement and source of nutrients can be used for sustainability in production and can address environmental concerns,” LaBarge said.

Both events will have field activities, field demonstrations and talks by experts from the college. Keeping track of and managing nitrogen, phosphorus and water quality will be covered. The field demos will show various fertilizer and manure application equipment being used.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Roundup in Jackson County August 26 and 27

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) invites all who have an interest in Ohio’s cattle industry to Jackson County, Ohio for this year’s Roundup, August 26-27, 2016. This year combines two great events, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) annual beef and forage program and the OCA Roundup. It will feature a beef and forage night, farm tours, sessions with industry leaders, great food, and time with fellow cattlemen.

Roundup begins Friday evening, August 26, at the Jackson Agricultural Research Station in Jackson. Registration will occur from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. and OCA Allied Industry Council (AIC) representatives will be present to talk with cattlemen. Dinner will be served starting at 5 p.m. Following dinner at 6 p.m., the program and tour will feature speakers from The Ohio State University and OSU Extension Beef Team Members. Justin Kieffer, Clinical Veterinarian, Professional Practice, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University, will discuss the impacts of the upcoming Veterinary Feed Directive that is effective in 2017 and what producers should be doing to plan ahead.… Continue reading

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Nathan Louiso joins Axis Seeds and creates Axis Ohio

Axis Ohio is representing Axis Seed as an Independent Regional Company for all counties in Ohio. According to owner Nathan Louiso, his company will sell corn and soybeans with the most advanced and selected genetics available. This will be the first crop year for Louiso in selling Axis Seed. He is the 19th seed company to become affiliated with Axis.

Louiso has worked with the seed industry for 16 years and brings that experience to help farmers make the right decisions for their growing conditions and geography.

“I understand the unique and challenging environment that Ohio presents. Every farm is different. What works well in Iowa or Illinois might not be best for my customers. What works in Hancock County won’t necessarily grow well in Highland County,” Louiso said.

As an independent regional company for Axis Seed, Axis Ohio has access to all current trait and technologies. Complete information about the varieties that Axis Ohio carries is available on its web site at www.axisohio.comContinue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report — June 27th, 2016

Much Needed Rain Helped Crop Conditions

Rain throughout the state brought relief to many areas while pockets of dryness persisted, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending June 26th. Storms passed through the state midweek, boosting soil moisture levels on average, but farmers observed everything from parched ground to standing water, sometimes within the same county. Some wind damage was reported, and other local instances of severe weather was reported throughout the state. Producers are largely finished with planting, though some double crop soybeans will be planted after wheat harvest. Crop emergence is steady, and conditions improved with the much needed rain. With the planting finished, growers are focusing on applying nitrogen to corn, spraying herbicide, starting wheat harvest, and cutting hay.

Read the full report hereContinue reading

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Practice good grazing management this summer

Our recent period of above 80 degree days with no rainfall demonstrates how quickly we can go from saturated soils to looking forward to some rain.  For the livestock owner dependent upon pasture growth, our recent weather pattern of 80 degree plus days with no rainfall demonstrated how quickly growth rates of our cool season pasture grasses can be reduced.  Looking ahead to summer its likely we will see more of this kind of weather and even hotter and drier possibly.   There are management practices that can give the grass plant some advantages during hot, dry periods and help to keep cool season grass pastures productive during summer months.  Two big keys are leaf area or residue after a grazing pass and rest period between grazing passes.

The take half, leave half principle must be followed during the summer months.  The leaf area that remains after a grazing pass provides a photosynthetic base for plant regrowth, shades the soil to keep the soil temperature cooler, and it helps to reduce soil moisture loss. … Continue reading

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AgCredit announces 2016 election results

Three farmers have been elected to serve on the board of directors for one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders to farmers, agribusiness and rural home owners.

Dusty Sonnenberg of Hamler, Jerry Layman from Kenton and Deborah Johlin-Bach who resides near Elmore, have been elected to serve three-year terms on AgCredit’s board of directors.

Sonnenberg will be serving his first term on the board, representing members of the co-op in Region 2 which consists of Henry, Wood and western Lucas counties. He replaces former board chair Charles Bostdorff, from Wood County, whose tenure on the board expired after serving five consecutive three-year terms.

Layman and Ms. Johlin-Bach were each re-elected to serve an additional three-year term. Jerry was originally elected to serve on the board in 2004 and will continue to represent members in Region 3 (Hancock and Hardin counties). Deborah will continue to serve members who live in Region 4 (eastern Lucas, Ottawa and Sandusky counties).… Continue reading

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Stammen joins Farm Bureau staff

 Kelli Milligan Stammen of Grove City has been named director of publications for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. She will write and coordinate content for the organization’s two publications, Our Ohio and Buckeye Farm News, as well as Buckeye Farm e-newsletter and the website.

Previously Milligan Stammen worked for Ohio Farm Bureau as a freelance contributing editor. She has worked as a journalist with The Community Press in Cincinnati, This Week Newspapers in Columbus and contributed freelance writing to The Associated Press, Columbus CEO and The Columbus Dispatch. She also was development and communications coordinator for South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation. 

Milligan Stammen graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in writing and communications. She is active with the Grove City Rotary and is a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Grove City. She and her husband Ken have two children.Continue reading

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Deere announces allied distribution agreement with 360 Yield Center

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) has entered a multi-national allied distribution agreement with 360 Yield Center to sell and support 360 Y-DROP and 360 UNDERCOVER application products through the John Deere dealer channel in the U.S. and Canada.

“This innovative application technology from 360 Yield Center,” says John May, president, agricultural solutions and chief information officer, John Deere, “helps to improve timing and placement of nutrients with John Deere and Hagie application equipment, including self-propelled sprayers and toolbars. John Deere dealers will be able to provide sales and service support for these application products to help producers apply in-season nitrogen and plant health products where and when it’s needed.”

With the recent announcement by Deere of the joint venture with Hagie Manufacturing to sell and service Hagie high-clearance sprayers, the distribution agreement with 360 Yield Center will bring more alignment and innovative technology to the Deere and Hagie sprayer line-up.

Overall“Demand for the 360 Yield Center nitrogen utilization products is tremendous.… Continue reading

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Gorman Heritage Farm tour

Gorman Heritage Farm is a 122 acre working farm and outdoor education center with a history dating back to 1835. Tour the farm’s three original buildings (the Farmhouse, Spring House, and Bank barn), explore the gardens, and meet the farm’s friendly animals.
Before the tour, learn about biochar during a workshop that will include a visit to the farm’s biochar kiln to see how its produced and to the composting area and market garden to see the application steps. Discover the many benefits of biochar, including improving soil structure, water retention, and beneficial microbial growth.

Registration: Pre-registration is required for both both events and space is limited to 40 people each. To register for the free farm tour, email by July 1. The biochar workshop costs $15. To register, click here.… Continue reading

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Knowing livestock tampering laws helps maintain responsible food production at Ohio fairs

Summer marks the beginning of fair season — a time when thousands of 4-H youth all across the state showcase the animal projects they have spent so much time perfecting.

 As these hard working kids gear up to show their animals, I  want to encourage all exhibitors to be aware of livestock tampering rules so they do not accidentally disqualify their market animal projects.

Some key things to keep in mind as you prepare your animal for the show ring:

• If an animal is sick, the exhibitor should contact the veterinarian.

• Prescription medications must be prescribed by a veterinarian for a valid medical purpose.

• Extra-label use of any medication must be prescribed by a veterinarian and have an extended withdrawal time.

• Over-the-counter drugs must be used according to label directions for a valid medical purpose.

• Showing any livestock which has been administered a drug that exceeds the tolerance level, or a drug for which the withdrawal period has not elapsed, is prohibited.… Continue reading

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OSU Sustainable Ag Team’s farm tour series

Organizers say an upcoming series of farm tours will be all about innovation.

Starting in August, the Sustainable Agriculture Team at The Ohio State University will present 10 visits at Ohio farms to spotlight new crops and methods.

“It’s an opportunity for participants to kick the tires on other farm operations and see how other folks are addressing sustainability issues,” said Mike Hogan, who’s a co-organizer of the series and a member of the team.

The free tours will feature topics including hops, grapes, high tunnels, organic farming, direct selling to consumers and farm to school programs. Urban farming will be a special focus. The lineup is part of the wider Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, which the team is co-presenting with five other organizations.

The missions of both the team and its tours are to help farm families become more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable, said Hogan, who’s an agriculture and natural resources educator with Ohio State University Extension.… Continue reading

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Heritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op announce possible merger

In a Wednesday press release, agricultural incorporations Heritage Cooperative and Agland Co-op said they are pleased to announce that they have entered into negotiations to consider a possible merger of the two cooperatives. The boards of directors of both cooperatives Tuesday entered into a letter of intent to work toward an agreement of merger.

The release stated boards of directors of both cooperatives believe a merger provides increased opportunities to diversify risks and expand member benefits.

The announcement comes on the heels of an action earlier this year by Trupointe Cooperative and Sunrise Cooperative to merge their two member-owned businesses.

 About Heritage

Heritage Cooperative, Inc. is a member-owned cooperative founded in 2009 by the consolidation of Champaign Landmark, Inc. of Urbana and The Farmers Commission Company of Upper Sandusky. Heritage serves the agricultural needs of farmers and residents in a 20 county area in central Ohio, extending from Hardin and Wyandot counties to the North, and Pickaway and Madison counties to the South.… Continue reading

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Scrapie Free Flock Certification standards updated

The Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program standards have been updated effective May 1. A copy of the updated standards and a summary of the revisions are available on ASI’s site at

The basic structure of the program has not changed. There are still two categories in the SFCP: the Export Category (with Export Monitored flocks and Export Certified flocks), and the Select Category (Select Monitored flocks). The updates clarify:

  • Sampling requirements, advancement, and genotyping lambs/kids in genetically resistant flocks;
  • Veterinary inspection of cull animals;
  • Imported embryos/oocytes;
  • Animals originating from Inconsistent States;
  • Special circumstances involving “Lost to Inventory” and “Found Dead” animals; and
  • Reporting requirements for the use of milk/colostrum from a lower status flock.
Continue reading

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Rural Ohio students awarded Grow Ag Leaders scholarships

Twenty-two Ohio students have been awarded a total of $33,000 in college scholarships from America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The program raises awareness of the diverse career opportunities in the agriculture industry and provides scholarships to support students’ education in ag-related fields. Farmers play a vital role by promoting the opportunity to local students and endorsing their applications.

Garrett Stanfield, a 2016 Grow Ag Leaders scholarship recipient, exemplifies the quality of students who are a selected for Grow Ag Leaders scholarships because of his dedication to agriculture and leadership. He is from a third-generation Simmental farm in Manchester, Ohio and has served on National Simmental Board.

“Garrett is a true asset to the Agriculture Community and Industry. It is students like him that we need representing our industry and leading the next generation of agriculture,” said Andrew Sorrell, FFA advisor at Mason County High School.… Continue reading

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What is the value of wheat straw?

Wheat harvest will soon be underway; we often get questions about the nutrient value of straw. The nutrient value of wheat straw is influenced by several factors including weather, variety, and cultural practices. Thus, the most accurate values require sending a sample of the straw to an analytical laboratory. However, “book values” can be used to estimate the nutrient values of wheat straw.

In previous newsletters, we reported that typically a ton of wheat straw would provide approximately 11 pounds of N, 3 pounds of P2O5, and 20 pounds of K2O. Michigan State University reports similar numbers for a ton of wheat straw: 13 pounds of N, 3.3 pounds of P2O5 and 23 pound of K2O. A 2013 analysis of wheat straw collected at the OARDC farm in Wooster contained 14-18 pounds of N, 3-4 pounds of P2O5, and 20-23 pounds of K2O. These values were across four wheat varieties and three spring nitrogen application rates (60, 90, and 120 lb N/acre).… Continue reading

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Warm and dry trend for remainder of 2016 growing season

The overall trend, as we discussed earlier this year, was expected to be toward warmer and drier weather and this has been occurring.

Spring is in the books and it went down as warmer temperatures and near normal rainfall for Ohio as seen in the attached graphics. The exception was north-central Ohio which was wetter than normal.

What is in store for the rest of June and July you ask?

The trend is your friend. We expect warmer and drier to be the rule from late June through July.

The good news…even though we are expecting above normal temperatures through July, it does not appear to be extreme heat. This may not be far from ideal conditions for extra growing degree days.

The bad news…crops may feel the stress in July as rainfall will be hit and miss.

Rest of June Outlook…
Temperatures will average 4 to 8 degrees F above normal.… Continue reading

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Stress management during tough financial times

There is no doubt that the production agriculture sector is going through a tough financial period. In particular, low crop prices and low milk prices are severely impacting row crop and dairy producers. Financial stress in the farm business often equates to stress within the farm family and can extend to farm employees. Harmful stress needs to be recognized and managed for personal health, family health and health of the farm business.

Some stress is a normal part of life. Stress can motivate us to get things done or to make adjustments in our life that balance the stress or maybe remove the stress. However when stress events begin to add up or stress events are added that don’t allow us to adjust or that are beyond our resources to adjust then stress begins to be harmful. Symptoms of harmful stress as well as mechanisms and the ability to cope with stress will vary depending upon the individual.… Continue reading

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Village Bakery & Café of Athens recognized with national award

Village Bakery & Café of Athens was one of three small businesses nationwide recently recognized with the Green America’s quarterly People & Planet Award. The award highlights innovative U.S. small businesses that integrate organics and environmental considerations into their strategies and operations.

The winners receive $5,000 prizes and were selected by the public during a month-long online voting period.

“We are so thrilled to accept this award, as it will shine a light on the organic producers we depend on, in our local community and beyond. They are the foundation of our green economy,” said Christine Hughes, co-owner of the Village Café & Bakery. “We will use our winnings immediately to bring in our next pallet of organic olive oil, which we use for all our cooking and baking needs, and sell in our market for our customers to use at home. This windfall will put us in a good financial position to take the next step in our long-term renewable energy plans. … Continue reading

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