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Survey gauges Ohioans views on water resources

Safe drinking water is Ohioans’ No. 1 environmental priority, according to a survey sponsored by Healthy Water Ohio (HwO). Water quality outweighs all other environmental concerns including air quality, waste disposal, quantity of water supplies, land use and coping with weather extremes.

The survey of 1,000 Ohio voters aimed to identify the issues citizens care about relative to the quality, quantity and health of the state’s water resources.

HwO is a statewide coalition committed to developing a long-range plan to sustainably meet current and future water needs while enhancing the economy and quality of life for all Ohioans. Stakeholders include individuals and organizations connected to conservation, business and industry, universities, water suppliers, agriculture and others. The survey was conducted by Saperstein Associates, Inc.

When asked to rate the importance of several water issues, 88% of respondents said safe drinking water was very important, ranking it higher than protecting fish and wildlife habitat, repairing aging water systems, providing adequate water for commerce and industry, dealing with natural disasters and preserving water for recreation and tourism.… Continue reading

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Farmland values due for a slight decline

With crop prices at multiyear lows and interest rates expected to inch up over the next few years, a Purdue University agricultural economist believes the decade-long increase in farmland values might soon be over.

But Michael Langemeier, associate director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture, said any decline should be relatively slight and spread over more than one year.

“We are looking at about a 5% to 10% correction over each of the next three years,” he said. “It’s normal for a market that has been so strong to take a little breather.”

Langemeier said the rally was due in large part to the increased production of corn-based ethanol and strong export markets for soybeans, which drove crop prices higher and made farmland a more attractive investment.

But corn and soybean prices have been in a tailspin recently, falling to their lowest levels in five years on expectations of a record yield and a large global grain surplus.… Continue reading

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Nutrient management plan workshops

Four workshops designed to teach Certified Crop Advisers how to help farmers develop nutrient management plans will be offered by agronomists with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The daylong Software for Development Nutrient Management Plans workshops were devised to assist CCAs in learning software to help them develop nutrient management plans for their clients that meet the criteria for the Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS-EQIP), said Greg LaBarge, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist and one of the leaders of Ohio State’s Agronomic Crops Team.

With water quality issues a high priority in Ohio, developing effective nutrient management plans is one way in which farmers can help, he said. These plans can also help farmers boost farm profits, LaBarge said.

“Nutrient management plans are valuable for farmers because they take soil fertility recommendations one step further,” he said. “The management plans assess the environmental concerns of field sites to nutrient runoff/loss via nutrient indexes as well as assess erosion and other resource concerns on the farm.”… Continue reading

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German study outlines benefits of biotech

The United States is the world’s leader in developing and adopting biotechnology to enhance the yield and quality of agricultural commodities. Despite the rapid adoption of genetic modified (GM) crops by farmers in many countries around the world, however, controversies about this technology continue.

To help evaluate the evidence about GM crops, a German report was recently published outlining the results of a meta-analysis of agronomic and economic impacts of GM crops.

The report examined 147 original studies that built on primary data from farm surveys or field trials anywhere in the world reporting impacts of GM soybean, maize, or cotton on crop yields, pesticide use and/or farmer profits.

“This report is important for the U.S. Grains Council because 93% of all U.S. corn acres were planted with biotech varieties in 2014,” said Andrew Conner, USGC manager of biotechnology. “Therefore, all exports of U.S. corn and corn products — except for cargoes specifically contracted and identity preserved as non-biotech — must be assumed to contain biotech varieties.”… Continue reading

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Questions for your seed rep

Seed Consultants spends a lot of effort in training our Seed Reps about products, soils, populations, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and insecticides so they can be helpful to you in your operations. If you’re ready to think about 2015 and have the chance to pick the brain of a seed salesman or saleswoman, whether you buy from Seed Consultants or not, what kind of questions should you ask?

• What hybrids are you recommending for next year? Any Seeds Rep should have some hybrids in mind that might fit your soils before arriving. They should know those hybrids inside and out.

• Why should I switch from what I’m growing now? Especially, if you’ve got your own seed test plot.

• Do you have yield data on these varieties from university tests, your own tests or third party tests? Make sure you plant hybrids or varieties adapted to your area.

• Why should I buy a hybrid I’ve never seen?… Continue reading

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MarketMaker links producers and potential buyers

There are nearly 8,000 farmers markets in the U.S., an increase of more than 150% since 2000. Direct-to-consumer agriculture sales produce $1.2 billion in annual revenues. To be successful in your agricultural business an important thing is to have a good marketing plan. The Ohio State University South Centers leads Ohio’s Direct Agricultural Marketing program and has many resources available to assist producers with resources and educational opportunities to assist with their direct agricultural marketing plans.

Launched in 2008, one very important resource is Ohio MarketMaker, which currently hosts one of the most extensive collections of searchable food industry-related data in the country. The web based program contains demographic, food consumption, and business data that users can search to find products to buy, or find a place to sell their products.

MarketMaker currently links producers and consumers in 19 states plus the District of Columbia. As the exclusive licensee, Riverside Research plans to invest in additional research and development to expand MarketMakers capabilities to new markets and regions, both nationally and globally.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s BEST Program begins 16th year

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is pleased to announce the 2014-15 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program sponsoring partners that include Bob Evans Farms, Burroughs Frazier Farms, Farm Credit Mid-America, Franklin Equipment LLC, M.H. Eby, Inc., Ohio Farm Bureau and Weaver Livestock. BEST is a youth development program that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors through a series of sanctioned steer and heifer shows held throughout Ohio that include showmanship competitions, Beef Quality Assurance sessions, leadership opportunities, photography competitions and scholarships. Juniors who participate in these sanctioned shows earn points for their BEST nominated animal’s placings. Points are tabulated throughout the year by the BEST nomination’s breed, as well as showmanship, a bred and owned division as well as a novice division for BEST participants in their first or second year of the program. Participant’s points are tracked on the OCA website The program concludes with an annual awards banquet held in May where over 185 awards will be presented valued at over $50,000.… Continue reading

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Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Program accepting nominations for 2015 Ohio CCA of the Year Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year award. The Ohio CCA Program is sponsoring this state award, which is designed to recognize an individual who is highly motivated, delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management, and crop production, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio.

The winner for this year’s award will be recognized at the 2015 Conservation Tillage Conference on March 3 in Ada, Ohio. The winner will receive a plaque, recognition in industry publications, and a $1,500 cash award from the agronomic industry.

To view previous award winners, visit… Continue reading

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CAB writing internship

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 2016. Students with a strong writing background — proven with writing samples — and majoring in agricultural journalism or communications may apply for the full-time summer position or part-time school semester positions that start next fall.

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 2016 internship may be offered. Interns generally work from home or from the CAB office in Wooster, Ohio, accountable to supervisors in Kansas and Nebraska.

Applications are due by Dec.… Continue reading

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Farm building rental prices

Farmers, producers and landowners who have agricultural buildings on their property they are no longer using can turn the vacant space into extra farm income, according to experts with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Whether it is a farm building or livestock facility, farmers who want to put unused space into service to generate additional farm income first need to know how to go about creating a leasing arrangement and how to determine an appropriate rental price, said David Marrison, an Ohio State University Extension educator.

“Many farmers may want to rent out buildings on their properties, but sometimes it’s hard to put a number on that, so it’s good to know what the going rates are on buildings in the region,” Marrison said. “Farmers need to know how to utilize those old buildings, whether it be to rent them out to another farmer or producer for extra hay space or to milk dairy cows.”… Continue reading

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Diverging views on climate change

Crop producers and scientists hold deeply different views on climate change and its possible causes, a study by Purdue and Iowa State universities shows.

Associate professor of natural resource social science Linda Prokopy and fellow researchers surveyed 6,795 people in the agricultural sector in 2011-2012 to determine their beliefs about climate change and whether variation in the climate is triggered by human activities, natural causes or an equal combination of both.

More than 90% of the scientists and climatologists surveyed said they believed climate change was occurring, with more than 50% attributing climate change primarily to human activities.

In contrast, 66% of corn producers surveyed said they believed climate change was occurring, with 8% pinpointing human activities as the main cause. A quarter of producers said they believed climate change was caused mostly by natural shifts in the environment, and 31% said there was not enough evidence to determine whether climate change was happening or not.… Continue reading

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OFBF suggests improvements to farmland tax rules

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has presented its official recommendations to the Ohio General Assembly and Ohio Tax Commissioner Joseph W. Testa that will improve and modernize the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program.

Under CAUV, farmland is taxed on its agricultural productivity rather than its development value.

“There are a lot of farmers and landowners facing huge increases in their tax bills at the same time their incomes have fallen drastically,” said John C. (Jack) Fisher, Ohio Farm Bureau’s executive vice president.

Because Farm Bureau constantly reviews and evaluates the CAUV formula to ensure that farmland is being accurately valued. The process intensified this year.

“Our primary goal is preserving the integrity of the CAUV program,” Fisher said. “But we also know there are areas where the CAUV formula could be modernized and improved.”

Following extensive research and meetings with tax experts, state and local tax officials, accountants, attorneys, appraisers, farmers, landowners and other stakeholders, Farm Bureau identified and recommended a number of specific adjustments to the formula that will improve and strengthen the program.… Continue reading

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Acorn poisoning can be a threat for cattle and sheep

The increase in this year’s fall acorn crop means that livestock producers who have oak trees in their pastures need to be on the lookout — acorns from these trees could cause kidney failure in their animals, particularly in cattle and sheep.

Acorn poisoning can be a significant issue for producers, especially in feeder calves that are more susceptible to developing kidney failure after ingesting acorns, said Stan Smith, an Ohio State University Extension program assistant in agriculture and natural resources.

In fact, producers with oak trees in their pastures may want to consider moving their herd away from the dropped acorns or consider fencing off larger areas that are covered with acorns, said Smith, who is a beef cattle expert.

“Feeder calves weighing from 400 to 700 pounds are susceptible to kidney failure when they consume acorns,” he said. “This is when they are about to be weaned from mothers and are looking for more to eat because pastures are getting thin, and it seems they’ll eat acorns out of curiosity and hunger.… Continue reading

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Ohio No-Till Conference Dec. 3

With water-quality issues a high priority in Ohio, managing fertilizer and planting cover crops are some of the ways farmers can help improve the condition of the state’s water, according to experts with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

That will be the focus of the Dec. 3 Ohio No-Till Conference that will feature presentations from farmers and crop consultants, along with researchers and educators from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

The conference will allow farmers to hear in-depth discussions from experts in the field who will draw upon their years of on-farm research and practices, said Randall Reeder, emeritus agricultural engineer with Ohio State University Extension.

The issues surrounding water quality in Ohio and elsewhere are not only an environmental concern, but also one of economic impact to farm operations, Reeder said.

“With water quality issues in Lake Erie, the Gulf of Mexico and other bodies of water, keeping fertilizer and manure in the field is becoming more critical,” he said.… Continue reading

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Enlist Duo launched for 2015

Dow AgroSciences announced it will launch its innovative Enlist Duo herbicide for the 2015 crop season. Enlist Duo is part of the Enlist Weed Control System, a herbicide-tolerant trait technology for corn and soybeans. The herbicide will provide new advantages for the management of hard-to-control and resistant weeds. It will be launched in conjunction with a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn, and seed production of Enlist soybeans in 2015.

As resistant weeds have increased, so has grower demand for new solutions. Acres with resistant weeds doubled in the U.S. between 2009 and 2013, now numbering 70 million. Enlist Duo, a proprietary blend of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline, will be a powerful tool. It will control the toughest weed species in a long application window, protecting farmers’ crops and helping them maximize their yield.

The herbicide has been engineered to offer benefits beyond weed control. With proven reductions in volatility and off-target movement, improved handling characteristics, and reduced odor, Enlist Duo with Colex-D Technology will be unique to the market.… Continue reading

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Purdue economists advise grain producers to keep an eye on the bottom line

Grain producers should consider cutting costs to prepare for what could be several years of lower crop prices, Purdue University agricultural economists said.

“The message right now is to maintain your liquidity and protect your working capital,” said Michael Boehlje, a specialist in agricultural finance. “That means holding onto your savings and keeping a very close eye on your bottom line.”

A good first step, he said, would be to restructure any outstanding debt.

“If you have short-term loans, leases or purchase agreements, talk to your lender and see if you can extend the term to reduce your monthly payments,” he said. “Many lenders have become risk-averse in this environment and might not be willing to refinance, but it would be a good idea to look into the possibility as soon as possible.”

Chris Hurt, a marketing specialist, said there were plenty of other ways for farmers to tighten their belts, including streamlining their operations to become more efficient and avoiding any unnecessary purchases.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm and Food Leadership Forum

The second annual Ohio Farm and Food Leadership Forum will be held Dec. 10 in Columbus and will focus on how Ohioans can effectively engage and improve their local communities.

The event brings together members of farm and food organizations, civic groups, business, government and other sectors for a day-long event that features four themes: leadership development, community development, technology in agriculture and current issues. The event will be held 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Columbus Convention Center.

Keynote speaker is Dr. Lowell Catlett, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. Catlett is a futurist with positive and upbeat predictions and has worked with the World Bank and U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Interior, Defense, Education and Energy. He has written numerous books and articles and works nationally and internationally with corporations and organizations on future planning.… Continue reading

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New membership year underway for Ohio Cattlemen’s

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) kicked off the 2015 membership year with member only opportunities and member benefits that are better than ever. Outstanding membership partner, New Holland Agriculture, has given top recruiters extra incentive to encourage their friends, neighbors and fellow cattlemen to become members. Any member that recruits 10 new OCA members will earn a ticket into the drawing for a New Holland Rustler 125 UTV. You can increase your odds with a drawing ticket for every five additional members recruited. The drawing to determine the lucky winner will be held at the Ohio Beef Expo, March 20-22, 2015.

2015 also hosts a special incentive to long-time OCA members through an exclusive drawing for an AgriLabs VetGun. Anyone that has been an OCA membership for the past 10 years will be placed into an exclusive drawing during the OCA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on January 24, 2015. OCA appreciates the support of the long-time members and is pleased to offer this great member benefit!… Continue reading

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New partnership between Ohio Proud marketing program and Homegrown by Heroes

State officials announced a new partnership between the state’s Ohio Proud marketing program and Homegrown by Heroes, a program that certifies agricultural products from farmers, ranchers, and fishermen who have served or are still serving in any branch of the U.S. military.

“I’m proud to sign this agreement to help promote the Homegrown by Heroes program alongside our successful Ohio Proud program. These farmers have given much to defend our country and now we are working to give something back to them. This new partnership will allow us to help support veterans by purchasing their farm products in the same way the Ohio Proud program allows us to support other local producers,” said Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels.

The program combines two of Ohio’s strengths.

“Agriculture is one of the major industries in Ohio, and generations of Ohioans have left the farm, served honorably in our Armed Forces, and then returned home to take up this work that all of us depend on,” Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Tim Gorrell said.… Continue reading

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Mississippi River closure could hinder grain shipments

In a letter sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Corn Growers Association urged the Army Corps to delay its planned mat-laying work along the Mississippi River and reopen the river to traffic.

In early November, the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division closed the Mississippi River to daylight traffic for a three-mile stretch near Memphis. The closure is expected to last 14 days. According to the Corps, the resulting delays of barge traffic were running about 10 hours over the weekend.

“This comes at a terrible time for U.S. corn farmers,” said Chip Bowling, NCGA President. “We produced a record crop in 2014, much of which will be transported along the Mississippi River. It is imperative that barge traffic not be impeded, and as much grain as possible is transported before winter.”

In the letter, NCGA notes that the closure is being done with little notice, and it will result in significant delays of grain shipments.… Continue reading

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