Top Headlines

Featured Posts (Posts shown below the “Top Posts” on the home page)

Ohio Farmers Union supports efforts to repeal S.B. 5

The Ohio Farmers Union came out in support of efforts to repeal S.B. 5 — the unfair attack on Ohio public worker rights.

“I would urge every Ohio voter to vote ‘no’ on State Issue 2 in the fall. Senate Bill 5 was an over-reach on the part of the governor and the Ohio General Assembly. Police, fire fighters, teachers, and other public workers are not the source of Ohio’s economic problems,” said Roger Wise, OFU president. “It’s really incredible that supporters of S.B. 5 would use economic arguments to attack the rights of workers to collectively bargain when we live in the context of an American economy that has been brutal on workers and the middle class for the past several years. Our state and our nation suffer from a complex set of challenges, including destructive trade policy, inadequate regulation of Wall Street, and the general failure of multinational corporations to reinvest in America.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Farm income looking up in 2011

High worldwide grain demand coupled with lower-than-expected yields means U.S. farmers can look forward to a record-high farm income total from the 2011 crop, according to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

In the Farm Sector Income Forecast released in late August, USDA’s Economic Research Service projected the total U.S. farm income will reach $103.6 billion – up 31% from last year’s total. The previous farm income record was $84.7 billion in 2004.

“These are not just records, but records that are substantially higher than we’ve seen before,” said Chris Hurt, Purdue Extension agricultural economist.

Both crop and livestock revenues are up in 2011, but Hurt said, the income totals don’t tell the whole story. Input costs are on the rise, as well.

“USDA estimates producers have put 15% more into the cost of inputs,” he said. “So, we have crop revenues up 20% and livestock up 16%. That says profit margins expanded in 2011.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Crop Progress Report – September 6, 2011

As of Sunday September 4th, corn in dough was 85 percent, which was 14 percent behind 2010 and 7 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 37 percent, compared to 79 percent last year and 64 percent for the five-year average. Corn mature was 3 percent, which was 19 percent behind last year and 6 percent behind the five-year average. Corn for silage was 12 percent harvested, which was 37 percent behind last year and 17 percent behind the five-year average. Ninety-seven percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Soybeans dropping leaves were 3 percent, which was 23 percent behind last year and 12 percent behind the five-year average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 89 percent complete, compared to 94 percent last year and 90 percent for the five-year average. Twenty-five percent of the fourth cutting of alfalfa hay was complete, 11 percent behind last year, and 1 percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

Read More »

Sheep shearing school

Do you want to learn to shear sheep or know someone who does?  Do you want to learn to shear sheep so that you can either shear your own flock or you want to learn for a little extra cash? Here is your opportunity.  A Statewide Sheep Shearing School will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2, 2011 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Dave Cable Farm, 10491 Canal Rd., Hebron, OH 43025.  There will be no class size limit and the cost is $40 per student to help defray the costs of the school.  Payment must be returned with registration form by Friday, September 23, 2011.  If you decide to register after that date, please call Roger A. High at (614)246-8299 or via email at  If you have questions, please call Roger A. High at (614) 246-8299 or via email at  The instructor for the sheep shearing school is professional sheep shearer, Bob Taylor. 
Continue reading

Read More »

Logan County Top of Ohio ag tour

Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 18, 2011, for the Top of Ohio Drive-It-Yourself Ag Tour to be held in Logan County, Ohio. This is a free event open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. featuring the southeast quadrant of the county.

Start your day off at the Logan County Farm Bureau’s “Taste of Logan County” which will take place at the Logan County Fairgrounds (Grange Building) between 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Cost of the lunch is $.50 which represents the amount the farmer would receive for production of the food.

From there, feel free to visit as many or all of the stops on the tour. In no particular order, the stops are as follows:

Warne Farms. Jim & Leslie Warne raise registered Shorthorn cattle on their farm, The Oaks, located on County Road 1, Bellefontaine. In the 80’s, they got started in beef cattle by way of their children’s 4-H projects.… Continue reading

Read More »

Research boosting productivity of cellulosic ethanol

Adding a pretreatment step would allow producers to get more ethanol from switchgrass harvested in the fall, according to a Purdue University study.

Michael Ladisch, a distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Youngmi Kim, a research scientist, compared switchgrass based on growing location, harvest time and whether it was given a pretreatment step. They found that location wasn’t important, but the other two factors could significantly increase the amount of ethanol obtained from the feedstock.

“Switchgrass harvested in the spring had more cellulose, but also more lignin,” said Kim, whose findings were published in the early online version of the journal Bioresource Technology. “You do not get the advantage of the increased cellulose content because it’s more difficult to extract those sugars because of the lignin.”

Lignin, a rigid substance found in plant cell walls, is one of the most significant problems with cellulosic ethanol production. Besides the harvest time, a pretreatment step – cooking switchgrass in hot water under pressure for about 10 minutes – would also help work around lignin.… Continue reading

Read More »

FSA informs producers of SURE eligibility on 2011 and 2012 Crops

Steven Maurer, State Executive Director for Ohio’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), would like to inform eligible producers which may and may not suffer loss because of disaster events occurring on or before September 30, 2011, about how the 2008 Farm Bill provisions that authorized SURE will be administered for 2011 and 2012 crops.

The SURE Program was authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) to provide assistance to producers suffering crop losses because of disasters on or before September 30, 2011.  To receive SURE payments; an eligible producer on a SURE farm must have a qualifying loss.  A qualifying loss is defined as a loss of 10 percent or more on at least 1 crop of economic significance because of disaster on a farm that is either:
·         located in a disaster county; or
·         if not located in any disaster county or county contiguous to such a county, but has an overall loss greater than or equal to 50 percent of normal production on the farm (expected revenue for all crops on the farm) because of disaster.… Continue reading

Read More »

Labor Department updates child labor regulations for young ag workers

The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing revisions to child labor regulations that will strengthen the safety requirements for young workers employed in agriculture and related fields. The agricultural hazardous occupations orders under the Fair Labor Standards Act that bar young workers from certain tasks have not been updated since they were promulgated in 1970.

The department is proposing updates based on the enforcement experiences of its Wage and Hour Division, recommendations made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and a commitment to bring parity between the rules for young workers employed in agricultural jobs and the more stringent rules that apply to those employed in nonagricultural workplaces. The proposed regulations would not apply to children working on farms owned by their parents.

“Children employed in agriculture are some of the most vulnerable workers in America,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Ensuring their welfare is a priority of the department, and this proposal is another element of our comprehensive approach.”… Continue reading

Read More »

FSR events help farmers with finances

The 2011 Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22 will include a series of presentations to provide financial strategies, tools and resources to help farmers achieve stability and success in the agricultural industry.

One presenter, Ohio State University agricultural economist Luther Tweeten, says continued demand for agricultural products has kept agriculture more financially stable than other sectors of the U.S. economy. “Farmers will play a key role in getting the country back on track,” he said.

But, while he’s optimistic, Tweeten’s presentation, “Income and Employment,” is geared toward helping larger farming operations make cautious decisions in light of recent financial volatility. It will take place Sept. 20 at 11:30 a.m. on the stage in the OSU Area on Friday Avenue.

“The positive agriculture economy yields opportunity for farms to become more profitable and financially stable,” said Chuck Gamble, Farm Science Review manager. “At the same time, farmers will have to be more diligent in their planning and preparation than ever to ensure they get the most out of advantageous market conditions and invest in the right technologies for their operations.”… Continue reading

Read More »

September is Whole Grains Month

Ohioans are reminded of the positive influence of the state’s grain industry in September as the month is designated as “Whole Grains Month.”

The economical impact of grains production, particularly wheat production, in Ohio is significant — $253 million is generated from this sector each year.

“Everyone is familiar with the nutritional advantages of whole grains, but no one stops to think about the businesses responsible for producing the staple grains that end up in our food,” said Doug Goyings , Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program Chairman.

Here are some Ohio Grains Production Facts to ponder:

  • No. 1 producer of Soft Red Winter Wheat in the U.S.
  • Produced more than 46 million bushels in 2010
  • Home to 12 flour mills
  • Home to 358 grain elevators
  • Wheat yields average 61 bushels per acre.

Though much of the Midwest has experienced extreme weather conditions to threaten the viability of its grains production, Ohio is fortunate.… Continue reading

Read More »

AUDIO – OFBF’s Jack Fisher on Issue 2

Ealier this week, The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation announced its support for passage of State Issue 2. The measure will retain the reforms to public employee collective bargaining laws passed by the General Assembly in March.

Ty Higgins talked with OFBF Executive Vice President Jack Fisher about his organization’s stance on this very controversial issue.

Jack Fisher Issue 2

For more information, see The Ohio Farm Bureau’s press release.… Continue reading

Read More »

AUDIO – OFBF's Jack Fisher on Issue 2

Ealier this week, The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation announced its support for passage of State Issue 2. The measure will retain the reforms to public employee collective bargaining laws passed by the General Assembly in March.

Ty Higgins talked with OFBF Executive Vice President Jack Fisher about his organization’s stance on this very controversial issue.

Jack Fisher Issue 2

For more information, see The Ohio Farm Bureau’s press release.… Continue reading

Read More »

Asian Longhorned Beetle the focus of talk at FSR

Ohio State University forestry expert Kathy Smith will present “The New Forest Threat: Asian Longhorned Beetle” at 11 a.m. on Sept. 20 at the university’s Farm Science Review near London.

Native to China, the Asian longhorned beetle, which kills trees, was found for the first time in Ohio this spring.

“ALB poses a huge threat to our trees, both rural and urban, since it attacks so many different species,” Smith said. “That’s why we hope to be able to eradicate it from the infestation site,” which is in Clermont County in southwest Ohio.

Smith, who’s part of a multi-agency effort to stop the pest, will speak on how to identify it, what it does and how to help spot infestations.

“Landowners should always be concerned when new threats are on the horizon,” she said. “Paying attention to what’s going on with your trees is always a good thing.”

Her talk, which is free with paid admission to the Review, takes place in the Gwynne Conservation Area. … Continue reading

Read More »

Pioneer offers resources to help growers improve profitability

Customers of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, will now have access to more local agronomic research information through a new program focused on evaluating innovative production practices on a local basis. A national network of agronomy trial managers (ATMs) currently is being added to the existing Pioneer agronomic team to help growers identify improved crop production practices, using Pioneer brand products that could enhance growers’ profitability. 

A number of ATMs are already working on agronomic testing programs today. The goal of the ATM program, a complement to the Pioneer “Right Product, Right Acre” strategy, is to have ATMs in all regions of the U.S. within three years, evaluating the best practices to help growers get the greatest value from each acre. There are currently 20 ATMs nationwide, but Pioneer is looking to more than double that number. 

“Offering growers localized agronomic information – through Pioneer’s extensive national network of agronomists – has long been part of what the company provides customers with each bag of seed,” says Curt Clausen, Pioneer agronomy sciences director.… Continue reading

Read More »

Northern Ohio Wheat Day

Farmers, seed dealers, fertilizer and chemical dealers, and members of the milling industry are invited to the Northern Ohio Wheat Day on Sept. 7.

The free event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Wendalin Parish Hall, 323 N. Wood Street, Fostoria. It’s cohosted by the Mennel Milling Company and will include updates on university research and cultural issues impacting wheat production in the region.

To get an accurate lunch count, attendees are asked to RSVP to 419-562-8731 or by Sept. 5.

“Very high corn and soybean futures market prices, coupled with strong seasonal basis bids, have led to a decline in the farm crops mix that included wheat,” said Steve Prochaska, an Ohio State University Extension educator and member of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team. “Additionally, there has been grower frustration with significant levels of Fusarium head scab disease that in some years has resulted in certain grain delivered to elevators being discounted.… Continue reading

Read More »

OFBF supports passage of Issue 2

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has announced its support for passage of State Issue 2. The measure, which will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, will retain the reforms to public employee collective bargaining laws passed by the General Assembly in March. OFBF’s board of trustees announced its endorsement following extensive study and deliberation.

OFBF determined that Ohio taxpayers, families and communities would be best served by passage of Issue 2, according to John C. (Jack) Fisher, Farm Bureau’s executive vice president. Provisions of the issue are consistent with the policies established by Farm Bureau’s grassroots membership.

“If we are to preserve jobs and services, local governments need flexibility to manage ever increasing labor costs. Issue 2 allows public employees to collectively bargain for hours, salaries, terms and conditions, just like they have for more than 25 years,” Fisher said. “But now, taxpayers have equal footing when it comes to the negotiating process.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Confined spaces, teen challenge highlight FSR safety demos

Helping farmers and rural youth understand the implications of farm safety is the goal of several demonstrations, displays, and interactive events at Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center outside London.

“We provide relevant safety education opportunities to farmers attending the Review,” said Kathy Henwood, Ohio State University Extension program coordinator for Agricultural Safety and Health. “We try to have something new each year that highlight current concerns in production agriculture.”

This year, two demonstrations deal with management issues in confined spaces on farms, including combustible dust explosions and manure storage ventilation.

Combustible dust in grain handling and storage facilities can be extremely dangerous. Extension and industry experts will discuss the causes of dust explosions, as well as tips and techniques for prevention. Sessions, occurring daily on the half-hour between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., include explosion demonstrations of various types of agricultural products.

In addition, a new demonstration this year focuses on how to deal with ventilation issues in manure storage facilities.… Continue reading

Read More »

The August 29th Ohio Crop Progress Report


The average temperature for the State was 70.0 degrees, 1.0 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, August 28, 2011. Precipitation averaged 1.40 inches, 0.55 inches above normal. There were 141 modified growing degree days, 4 days below normal.

Reporters rated 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, August 26, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 6 percent very short, 13 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus.


Recent rains have been welcome, but the crops are still behind. Spider mites and aphids have been reported in soybean fields. Soybeans fields have been sprayed for aphids.

As of Sunday August 28th, corn in dough was 71 percent, which was 24 percent behind 2010 and 15 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 21 percent, compared to 70 percent last year and 47 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

Read More »

Short husks could create quality concerns

A period of extremely dry weather followed by later-season rain has left some corn with husks shorter than their ears, exposing kernels and portending reduced grain quality at harvest.

The phenomenon, often described as “ears outgrowing their husks,” is the result of stunted husk leaf development combined with fairly normal ear or cob elongation, said Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension agronomist.

“Periods of severe stress can do all sorts of strange things to crops,” he said.

In the case of short husks and exposed ears, husk leaves are about two-thirds the length of the ears themselves and about half the size of husks on normal ears. Ear lengths of normal and stressed plants usually are similar, but kernel number and size tend to be smaller on stressed ears.

The main symptom farmers see is the ears elongated beyond the end of the husk leaves, which leaves kernels exposed to insects, birds and weathering.… Continue reading

Read More »

Yield monitor calibration tips

By John Barker, Ohio State University Extension

GPS-based yield data has proven to be an extremely valuable management tool on many Ohio farms. However, improperly calibrated yield monitors can essentially generate difficult to interpret or useless data … Garbage In = Garbage Out.

Economic risk in agriculture has increased dramatically. Considering the amount of economic risk involved in each decision, taking the time and patience to properly calibrate a yield monitor is essential if the yield data will be used to make future agronomic decisions for your farming operation.

Most yield monitors operate on the same basic principles. Yield monitor manufacturers strive to build accuracy into their units; however, each machine has its sources of errors. Proper calibration requires harvesting 3 to 5 separate calibration loads. Each load should represent different flow rates. This can be easily accomplished by harvesting at different speeds (i.e. 3 mph, 3.5 mph, 4 mph, 4.5 mph, 5 mph, etc.)… Continue reading

Read More »