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Monitoring signs of a changing climate

By Matt Reese

Heat waves, droughts, windstorms and other weather extremes seem to be increasingly common. The weather seems to be changing, but it can often be hard to quantify and actually compare those changes. And, after the drought this year, many are wondering about the future of weather and rainfall trends.

“It is hard to look at a single year and make decisions. We have to look at trends,” said Sam Custer, with Ohio State University Extension in Darke County. “Over the past 100 years, we are trending to a warmer environment with more weather extremes. Research from Ohio State indicates that we will probably average close to what we have seen in terms of average rainfall, but we will see more extremes.”

While the change is a concern for a number of reasons, agriculture in Ohio could actually benefit significantly with the changes.

“In Ohio, we will probably not be hit by extremes like the western Corn Belt,” Custer said.… Continue reading

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Farm bill prioritized in the Senate

The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has introduced in the 113th Congress the same version of the farm bill that was passed by the Senate last session.

“We are also encouraged to hear that Sen. Reid is making the farm bill one of several privileged, top priority legislative actions this year. This represents real hope for farmers and ranchers that the Senate, like last session, will aggressively move forward on a long-term farm bill to give farmers the risk management certainty we need,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “It will ultimately take real bipartisan cooperation to get the farm bill to the finish line, and we are confident the House Agriculture Committee will craft a compatible bill. We are hopeful that Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and the committee’s new ranking member, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.),… Continue reading

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Produce industry gathers at OPGMA Congress

Nearly 800 attended the 2013 OPGMA Congress this week in Sandusky, Ohio. This 2.5-day convention and marketplace brought together produce growers and marketers to share ideas, find products and services to help their business, and network with colleagues.

Industry suppliers from across the country exhibited at the 100-booth trade show to showcase the latest in produce varieties, equipment, products, and services. Attendees saw some of the latest innovations designed to help businesses grow and become more profitable.

Food safety and our industry’s responsibility to ensuring safe food was a priority at this year’s OPGMA Congress. Ten sessions were offered that shared GAP best practices, common food safety issues and farm deficiencies, environmental testing, managing listeria survival in agriculture environments, certification through the Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement, and an update from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) representatives on the proposed food safety rules that will affect the industry.

In addition, 40 sessions were offered on topics like tree fruit, vegetable production, pest and disease management, small fruit, merchandising and marketing strategies, and business management.… Continue reading

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Media sales job opening

Ohio’s Country Journal and the Ohio Ag Net are looking to fill a media sales position.   This position will be working with Agri Business located in the northwest half of Ohio.  The job entails working directly with clients to develop marketing plans that utilize print, radio and web advertising offered by Ohio’s Country Journal and the Ohio Ag Net.

The candidate should have direct sales experience and be familiar with agriculture. Experience in media sales is a plus.  Travel will be limited to the northwest part of the state, calling on clients, and prospecting.  This position comes with a current list of active clients with the expectation of growing that list as well as prospecting for new clients.

Salary and commission will be based on experience.

If you are interested in this position please contact:

Bart Johnson
Owner/Publisher
bjohnson@ocj.com
614.519.3009… Continue reading

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Prepare for larger soybean seed size this spring

Soybean seed size is influenced by both genetics and the environment. Genetic effects on seed size are largely predictable but weather conditions and their effects on seed size are not. Given the atypical growing season in 2012, it is important to understand the impact on soybean seed size and shape.

In response to drought, soybean plants typically drop flowers and pods, reduce seeds per pod, abort seeds within a pod, and reduce the size of the seed. The specific response depends on the soybean stage of development and severity of the drought stress. The onset of late season rains caused seeds remaining in drought-stressed pods to swell, resulting in larger than normal soybean seed size.

To help growers manage larger soybean sizes, DuPont Pioneer conducted plantability tests of 2012-produced soybean seed using seven different planter metering units. In collaboration with equipment providers, Pioneer offers management tips to help growers maximize planter performance and ensure the highest possible planting accuracy with larger soybean seed.… Continue reading

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Biodiesel production exceeded 1 billion gallons in 2012

The U.S. biodiesel industry broke the 1 billion gallon mark in 2012 for the second consecutive year, according to year-end production figures released this week by the EPA. The total volume of nearly 1.1 billion gallons was roughly flat over 2011 production, exceeding it by just 6 million gallons.

“These numbers reflect the ongoing growth and development of our industry and represent real jobs at plants across the country,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board, the industry trade association. “Biodiesel continues to account for the vast majority of the nation’s Advanced Biofuel production and is playing a significant role in diversifying our energy supplies with clean, American-made fuel.”

The figures show that production for the month of December totaled just 59 million gallons, the lowest monthly volume of the year. The December total marked the close of a year-end slump in which biodiesel production dropped significantly as Congress failed to renew the biodiesel tax incentive.… Continue reading

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2013 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference

Grape growers, wine producers and anyone interested in learning more about the wine industry will have several opportunities to learn from local and national professionals during the 2013 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference.

The conference, held Feb. 18-19 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Dublin, is anticipated to attract some 250 participants throughout the region, said Imed Dami, a state viticulture (grape growing) specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Ohio State University Extension.

The conference is offered jointly by Ohio State’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, OSU Extension, OARDC, the Ohio Grape Industries Committee and the Ohio Wine Producers Association. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The conference will offer sessions that focus on viticulture and enology with themes focused on vineyard innovations, fruit wine and specialty production among other topics, and is designed to help growers and winemakers, as well as to boost Ohio’s wine industry, Dami said.… Continue reading

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DuPont Pioneer Launches Next Generation T Series Soybeans

A new series of Pioneer® brand soybean products, developed through the innovative DuPont Pioneer Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT™) process, will bring soybean growers across North America a broad range of high yielding varieties. The new line of soybean products – named the T Series – includes 39 new products and will be introduced in this year.

Signaling an exciting new era in soybean production, the T Series supports soybean growers committed to seeking the right product for the right acre on their soybean fields. Available in seven maturity groups, T Series products represent the largest number of soybean varieties advanced in a single year by Pioneer. The new T Series varieties succeed the popular  Pioneer Y Series soybeans introduced several years ago.“The next generation T Series soybean products provides growers a total package that helps them gain the most from every acre,” says Don Schafer, DuPont Pioneer senior marketing manager – soybeans.
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Northern Ohio Crops Day

February 14, 2013 is this year’s date for the Northern Ohio Crops Day to be held at Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed, 1375 N. State Route 590, Gibsonburg, Ohio. Featured on this program will be: “Pesticide Safety, Reminders on Common Situations”  “Wood Lots, Now what after the Emerald Ash Borer” “Weed Control Strategy” “Tools in Soybean Production” and “ Ponds and Water Issues”. These are topics that have been suggested by area producers. This year’s presenters are new to Northern Ohio Crops Day. We are very fortunate to have our new soybean and small grain specialist, Laura Lindsey, presenting at this year’s program.

Program has been approved for Private and Commercial pesticide recertification credit. Participants can obtain all private recertification credits, and commercial credits are 1 hour each in Core, 2D plus ½ hour in 2C, 6A, and 3A. We have also received 4 CEU’s for Certified Crops Advisers. Due to support from our Ag sponsors pesticide recertification credits for private applicators is $30. … Continue reading

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Beck’s Hybrids purchases Imboden Farms

Beck’s Hybrids is pleased to announce the purchase of more than 4,000 acres along the Scioto River from Imboden Farms in Ross and Pickaway counties. The Beck-Imboden Ohio Farm includes fields south of Columbus and extends just north of Circleville to south of Waverly. As a large irrigated grain producer in the Midwest, Les and Carol Imboden founded Imboden Farms nearly 30 years ago and have been instrumental in designing and installing irrigation systems.

“Establishing the best succession plan for Imboden Farms was extremely important to Carol and I,” said Les Imboden, owner of Imboden Farms. “After being a 100% Beck’s Hybrids customer for several years, we approached the Beck family because of the outstanding business environment they’ve created.”

The Chillicothe Gazette reported that the deals with Imboden were for $20 million each in Ross and Pickaway counties. Imboden will remain as general manager of the Beck-Imboden Ohio Farm and become an employee of Beck’s Hybrids.… Continue reading

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IRS announces extension for March 1 filing deadline for Farmers

The Internal Revenue Service announced that it will issue guidance in the near future to provide relief from the estimated tax penalty for farmers and fishermen unable to file and pay their 2012 taxes by the March 1 deadline due to the delayed start for filing tax returns.

The delay stems from this month’s enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The ATRA affected several tax forms that are often filed by farmers and fishermen, including the Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization (Including Information on Listed Property). These forms will require extensive programming and testing of IRS systems, which will delay the IRS’s ability to accept and process these forms. The IRS is providing this relief because delays in the agency’s ability to accept and process these forms may affect the ability of many farmers and fishermen to file and pay their taxes by the March 1 deadline. The relief applies to all farmers and fishermen, not only those who must file late released forms.… Continue reading

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Meat export outlook for 2013

By Philip Seng, President and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)

After a year of challenges – highlighted by the worst drought in more than a half-century – the U.S. red meat (beef, pork and lamb) industry is focusing on 2013 as a year of great opportunities to increase the value those agricultural exports bring to exporters, processors, producers and the broad American agricultural industry that supports them.

The impact of the 2012 drought — which continues into 2013 — cannot be minimized. An estimated 80% of U.S. agricultural land was affected, according to USDA reports. Corn production dipped nearly 13% below the 2011-12 crop year and was the smallest since 2003-04 with the lowest yields since 1995-96. Soybean production was down 2.5% with yields down 6%. A shortage of livestock feed and the high cost of what was available contributed to herd culling and reduced product availability.

With that dismal scenario as a backdrop, the international markets carried their weight in 2012 in terms of returning value to the red meat production chain.… Continue reading

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Revisiting metribuzin – It’s back and with more utility then ever

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

Several years ago a dealer commented to me that he didn’t know why he would ever need to recommend metribuzin to a grower. I remember thinking that there was a need somewhere for almost every residual herbicide available to us, and that some would likely become more important due to herbicide resistance issues. We seem to have arrived at that point with metribuzin. This is of course not news to those readers who never stopped using it, but for the rest of us, this article hopefully provides the reason to use or recommend metribuzin in some soybean fields.

Metribuzin is a triazine herbicide and photosynthetic inhibitor that has been used in soybeans since the mid 1970s, and it was a primary component of soybean herbicide programs prior to the introduction of ALS-inhibiting herbicides in the late 1980s. Sold by Bayer under the name Sencor for several decades (but no longer), generic metribuzin is currently available from several companies (e.g.… Continue reading

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Clear sailing for DDGS

It’s official. The classification of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) as a non-hazardous cargo became final and mandatory under the code of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Jan. 1, 2013. This was the culmination of a process initiated by the U.S. Grains Council in 2010 in coordination with DDGS producers and shippers and the U.S. Coast Guard, which is the official U.S. representative to the IMO.

Actually, the recommendation of the relevant IMO subcommittee and acceptance of that recommendation by the responsible committee of the IMO were obtained in 2010 and 2011. But turning a proposal into a mandatory classification is a multi-year process, said Erick Erickson, USGC director of global strategies.

“Previously, DDGS had not been classified by the IMO. But as DDGS trade grew, several insurance organizations communicated their opinion that DDGS was a hazardous cargo, raising the prospect that DDGS cargoes would be required to be shipped on vessels equipped with special fire suppression equipment – thus raising the cost of DDGS shipments,” Erickson said.… Continue reading

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South Charleston farm equipment auction results

At a farm action in South Charleston on Friday, January 18, 2012 these were the top 12 items sold according to Schrader Auction who handled the sale.

  1. JD 1790 planter 16/32 row $100,000
  2. JD 8530 tractor $190,000
  3. JD 8760 tractor $52,000
  4. JD 8640 tractor $26,500
  5. JD 4020 tractor $11,000
  6. JD 4700 sprayer $86,000
  7. JD 9760 combine $128,500
  8. J&M Grain Cart $32,000
  9. Kenworth W900 $18,000
  10. KenworthT600 $17,500
  11. 40′ Timpte grain trailer $33,000
  12. 40′ Timpte grain trailer $32,750

There were 335 live regular bidders and 80 online bidders.

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Conference offers training, education for grape growers, wine producers

Grape growers, wine producers and anyone interested in learning more about the wine industry will have several opportunities to learn from local and national professionals during the 2013 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference.

The conference, held Feb. 18-19 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Dublin, is anticipated to attract some 250 participants throughout the region, said Imed Dami, a state viticulture (grape growing) specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Ohio State University Extension.

The conference is offered jointly by Ohio State’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, OSU Extension, OARDC, the Ohio Grape Industries Committee and the Ohio Wine Producers Association. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The conference will offer sessions that focus on viticulture and enology with themes focused on vineyard innovations, fruit wine and specialty production among other topics, and is designed to help growers and winemakers, as well as to boost Ohio’s wine industry, Dami said.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s corn farmers achieve successful crop despite extreme weather challenges

Ohio’s corn farmers experienced extreme weather during the 2012 growing season, yet in spite of historic challenges a plentiful yield was produced, according to the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA). The results of the 2012 season are borne out in the annual crop report released recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Facing what published reports cited as the broadest and most intense drought since 1956, corn farmers in Ohio and across the Midwest faced significant obstacles. In Ohio, the USDA declared an emergency state of drought for 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

“Ohio’s corn growers are resilient and work hard from planting to harvest to produce a quality, bountiful crop each year,” said Brent Hostetler, OCWGA president. “Corn growers met obstacles along the way, but best farming practices and improved technology helped them contribute to our nation’s eighth-largest crop in recorded history despite the drought.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit celebrates permanent preservation of 50,000 acres

Director David T. Daniels addressed the 13th annual Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit  and presented awards to three individuals who have dedicated themselves to building local farmland preservation programs. This year’s summit marks a decade of partnership between the state and local partners, which has resulted in the permanent preservation of 50,000 acres of productive farmland in 55 counties.

“Farmland preservation is important to everyone because it is the basic ingredient that provides food on our tables and keeps our economy strong,” Daniels said. “Governor Kasich has been laser-focused on creating jobs and improving Ohio’s economy, and recognizes the tapped — and untapped — power the agriculture industry holds for the state. But to do this we need land.”

Following his comments, Daniels honored three individuals with the Ohio Farmland Preservation Ambassador Award. This is the highest recognition for preservation efforts given in the state. The recipients are: Larry Frimerman, Three Valley Conservation Trust, serving Butler, Darke, Hamilton, Montgomery and Preble counties; Dan Jackson,Montgomery Soil and Water Conservation District; and Roger Wolfe, a Fairfield County farmer.… Continue reading

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Ohio farmers can support local schools through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education

For the second consecutive year, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will give Ohio farmers the opportunity to enhance math and science programs in their communities. Now until April 15, 2013, farmers can nominate a local public school district to compete for a merit-based grant of up to $25,000. Administrators of nominated school districts may then submit grant applications through April 30, 2013. This year, the program expands to 26 new counties, for a total of 1,271 eligible counties across 39 states.

The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to society.  Following a successful pilot in Minnesota and Illinois, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education debuted nationally last year, awarding $2.3 million to school districts coast to coast.

“We believe engaging rural youth in their math and science studies lays the foundation for a bright future,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president.… Continue reading

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E15 lawsuit dismissed

Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of E15. The suit, brought by anti-ethanol groups, was dismissed on the grounds that none of the petitioners had standing to bring the action.

“The decision of the U.S. appeals court reinforces what we have known for years that continued attempts to block consumer choice will eventually fail,” said the National Corn Growers Association in a statement. “The EPA has tested E15 extensively and concluded that it is safe for use in cars in 2001 and newer. The science is on our side, and we firmly believe that consumer choice will prevail in the end.”

The suit alleged that 15% ethanol blends harm engines and push up the price of both food and gasoline. While much data to the contrary exists, the lack of subject matter jurisdiction ensured the claim did not proceed.… Continue reading

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