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Ohio Pork Producers honor several at Ohio Pork Congress

The Ohio Pork Producers Council honored award winners at today’s awards luncheon.

Blanche and Roger Lange, from Seneca County, are the Pork Industry Excellence Award winners. The award was presented by Elanco.


Bill Minton, DVM, from Chickasaw, was the Ohio Pork Industry Service Award Winner. The award was presented by OPPC president Jim Heimerl and Dick Isler.


Iain Harris, from Yellow Springs, is the Manager of the Year. The award was presented by OPPC president Jim Heimerl .

The Marion County Pork Producers, represented by Dan and Larry Criswell, received the Pork Promoter of the Year Award. The award was presented by OPPC president Jim Heimerl and Matt Reese, from Ohio’s Country Journal.

See more photos from the 2013 Ohio Pork Congress.Continue reading

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Yield contest boasts 75 entries beyond 300 bushels

Farmers participating in the National Corn Growers Association 2012 National Corn Yield Contest set a new record by submitting 75 entries that surpassed the 300 bushels-per-acre mark. Bucking trends and overcoming severe drought conditions, these entrants showed the incredible achievements that are possible in farming using advanced practices and state-of-the-art technology.

“NCGA’s corn yield contest continues to enjoy such popularity because it showcases what is possible for our industry moving forward,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Dean Taylor. “I applaud the level of achievement that this record number of entrants attained this year and thank them for their contribution to agriculture. Through knowledge acquired from entrants we learn practical techniques that can be applied on other farms thus enhancing our ability to continually improve as farmers.”

Despite higher average yields nationally among all farmers in 2011, only 10 entries achieved the 300 bushels-per-acre mark that year. Entries showing yields this high have not exceeded approximately 30 per year even under optimal weather conditions.… Continue reading

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Conference to help small-farm owners make the most of their operations

An Ohio State University Extension conference March 23 in Zanesville will help current and future small-farm owners make the most of their operations.

The “Living Your Small Farm Dream” conference and trade show are designed to help participants diversify their operations and reach new markets to improve farm economic growth and development, said Mark Mechling, an Ohio State University Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources.

“It might be a person who is new to agriculture, or someone who might have acreage that they aren’t using to the fullest, or even someone who has newly acquired land and might not know what to do with it,” he said. “What we try to do with this conference is to give participants a smorgasbord of ideas that may interest them by offering a wide variety of sessions in which they can learn more in-depth about an issue, gain resources and learn how to finance a new venture.”… Continue reading

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Winter snows recharging soil moisture

By Jeff Rectenwald, Asgrow/DEKALB Territory Agronomist

Winter in Ohio has been very good to growers who are wishing for re-charged sub soil moisture. The first big snowfall melted slowly and into ground that was not frozen. This was good for soil moisture accumulation. The very cold temperatures occurred while there was no snow cover. It was good to have one week of 10 degree temperatures at this time to gain a “cracking” of the soil profile. We get more fine cracks and benefits when the soil is fully loaded with water and then freezes. These “cracks” help with water infiltration and aeration during the growing season. They also provide the benefit of nutrient mineralization during the growing season by adding water and oxygen to the soil profile.

While we could have used another week of deep freezing temperatures, the last two snowfalls have been good for soil moisture accumulation and we are on our way to re-charging the soil from the 2012 summer drought.… Continue reading

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Ohio grower Gary Wolfe wins Beck 300 Challenge

Even with the extreme drought many farmers experienced across the Midwest, the top five participants averaged 265 bushels per acre. Gary Wolfe from Nevada, Ohio, is the winner of the 2012 Beck 300 Challenge, with a yield of 291.40 bushels per acre with BECK 6077HR.

“Not only was this my first year to participate in the Beck 300 Challenge, but it was my first year to plant Beck’s Hybrids,” said Gary Wolfe, 2012 Beck 300 Challenge winner. “Typically this field produced good yields, averaging between 180 bushels per acre to 200 bushels per acre, but I have never achieved a yield as high as 291 bushels per acre.”

“The goal of the Beck 300 Challenge is to provide farmers with an opportunity to challenge their own management practices and push the envelope in order to reach higher yields,” said Scott Beck, vice president of Beck’s Hybrids. “Then, they can take what they learned and apply it to the rest of their farm to increase their whole farm average.”… Continue reading

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Higher gross receipts may require an additional tax to be paid

By Larry Gearhardt, Director of OSU Tax Schools and David Marrison, Extension Educator, ANR, Ashtabula and Trumbull Counties

Some farmers may be surprised to find that they too are subject to the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) because of higher gross receipts.

The Ohio CAT tax was passed in 2005 in response to a lagging economy. In exchange for the CAT tax, businesses are no longer required to pay personal property tax and individuals pay a lower Ohio income tax rate. Ohio’s income tax rate is currently approximately 20% lower than it was in 2004.

The CAT tax is an annual tax that is imposed on most businesses in Ohio and is measured by the amount of taxable gross receipts from most business activities. A business with taxable gross receipts of more than $150,000.00 per calendar year is subject to this tax, which requires the person to register as a taxpayer with the Ohio Department of Taxation.… Continue reading

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Ohioans to compete at National Farm Machinery Show pulls

By: Heather Hetterick

Several Ohio drivers will be participating at the 2013 National Farm Machinery Pulls including Carlton Cope of Salem, the driver of Warpath.

“It’s certainly an honor just to get invited to go compete there because so many competitors send in an application to compete,” Cope said.

Fewer than 200 vehicles are chosen to compete from about 600 applications.

“Because it’s such a big event, we double check everything making sure its tight and set right. We spend alot of time just washing and cleaning it up due to the show,” he said.

Because of the indoor venue he’s had to make some adjustment to the tractor that will compete Friday night in the 10,200-pound Pro Stock tractor class.

“Usually on the indoor track we have to gear down, because of the shorter track. We also change the weight step a little bit and put the indoor exhaust pipe on,” Cope said.… Continue reading

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Hicks named Farm Bureau organization director

Tim Hicks has been named Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) organization director for Crawford, Marion, Morrow and Richland Counties.

Hicks will act as liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and OFBF. He will assist the county groups as they develop and implement programs to strengthen the organization and enhance its ability to serve its members and affect positive change in their communities.

A native of Wood County, Ohio, Hicks previously was employed by the Schuyler County (New York) Watershed Protection Agency, the Soil and Water Conservation District and as an erosion control manager. He served as a village trustee and was active in various community organizations including the regional planning board. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University with a degree in environmental science. He and his wife, Jenna, are the parents of two children.

“Tim’s experience in rural issues will be very valuable to Farm Bureau members, and he’ll be a great asset to the counties he serves,” said Keith Stimpert, OFBF’s senior vice president, organization.… Continue reading

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Incoming NCBA president talks goals, challenges

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president-elect Scott George will soon take the reins of the organization. As President, George says he is looking forward to the opportunity to travel around the country and visit with cattle producers in their home states.

“We have such a diversity across this country of segments that people are involved in and also the terrain that they live in and the environment that they work in, and it is really educational to get a chance to look at operations of all types,” George said.

After all, he will represent cattle producers from coast to coast during his year as NCBA president. He says there are a number of issues of importance to the industry, including keeping an eye on the EPA.

“We are really concerned about the agency’s attempt to take over the waters of the United States,” said George, who also said trade opportunities as a hot topic.… Continue reading

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Cover crops and crop insurance still a concern

A coalition of farm and commodity groups recently met with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) Acting Administrator Brandon Willis and other top RMA officials. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss cover crop rules in federal crop insurance.

As farmers increasingly adopt cover crops, often with encouragement and technical assistance from other USDA agencies like the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a few have found their cover crops bring them into conflict with crop insurance rules. RMA staff stressed Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s interest in expanding the use of cover crops, and innovations in cover crop usage including the planting of radishes and peas.

They also discussed the general rationale for cover crops, which is to get the maximum benefit for the cash crop from the farmer’s decisions on cover crops. RMA staff pointed out that they made changes in cover crop rules for 2010-11 and again in 2012-13; they will make more changes as they are needed.… Continue reading

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February USDA supply and demand report

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Today was the USDA February supply and demand report.  The report was viewed as neutral. Soybean production in Brazil went up one million tons while the production in Argentina went down one million tons. US soybean ending stocks went down ten million bushels due to an increase of crush by the same number. Corn ending stocks went up thirty million bushels, slightly above trade expectations. Bottom line, today’s reports are a non-event. Traders quickly returned to weather and demand issues.

Prior to the report corn was up 7 cents with soybeans down 1 cent. Ten minutes after report release, corn was up 5 cents while soybeans were down 5 cents.

This past week corn has dropped nearly forty cents. Corn prices have been suffering from poor technical action in recent days along with the weekly ethanol grind continuing to be disappointing. In addition, corn export loadings this week were only 5.3 million bushels.… Continue reading

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Extended muzzleloader season being considered

An October antlerless-only white-tailed deer muzzleloader hunting season, extended hunting hours and new bag limits were proposed to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Feb. 6, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The proposed antlerless-only muzzleloader hunting season would be Oct. 12-13 and scheduled for the second weekend of October in subsequent years. The proposal includes making the October muzzleloader season for antlerless deer only, regardless of the method of take, and eliminating both the bonus gun weekend in December and the early muzzleloader season at three public hunting areas (Salt Fork Wildlife Area, Shawnee State Forest and Wildcat Hollow).

Hunting hours are proposed to be extended 30 minutes past sunset for all deer firearms seasons, including the weeklong deer-gun season, youth season and muzzleloader seasons. This will make the hours the same as archery season.

County bag limits are proposed to replace deer zones. Proposed bag limits will be two, three or four deer, determined by county.… Continue reading

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NCGA says RFS is a priority

In a panel presentation this week, National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman highlighted the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard to help increase and guarantee a vibrant domestic renewable fuel market.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of the RFS,” Tolman said. “It cut imported oil and serves as the basis for investment in infrastructure growth. It’s the single biggest reason for the prosperity across all of agriculture since its inception. It also has lowered fuel costs for consumers and created hundreds of thousands of jobs across America.”

Tolman’s presentation, at the Renewable Fuel Association’s National Ethanol Conference, centered on five areas: the success of the RFS to-date, the importance of preserving the program, implementation challenges and opportunities, pathways to 36 billion gallons by 2022, and the future role of corn in the Renewable Fuel Standard.

NCGA is involved in several programs to protect the RFS and ethanol’s role in America’s fuel sector, such as the Fuels America coalition and the American Ethanol racing program with NASCAR, Tolman said.… Continue reading

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BEST Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST Program for youth ages 8-21 years will host the BEST Celebrity Showdown at the Clark County Cattle Battle to benefit Make-A-Wish.

The event will be held today at the Champions Center Expo.

The showdown will kickoff with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Honorary Wish Child Alexis. More than 75 children are registered to participate in this year’s battle.

A panel of celebrity judges will determine the winners. Judges include NFL players and Ohio natives Justin Boren, offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos and Jim Cordle. 

Through donations from family, friends, the community and members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, youth participating in the Celebrity Showdown hope to raise $8,000 to help grant the wishes of local children battling life-threatening medical conditions.

“We are excited to partner with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and are honored to be chosen as the charitable recipient this year for the BEST program,” said Development Officer Cathy DeLuca.… Continue reading

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USDA to release long-term projections for ag

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release new 10-year agricultural projections on Feb. 11, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. EST. USDA’s Agricultural Projections to 2022 will be posted to the Office of the Chief Economist’s (OCE) website at and available in MS Word and PDF formats. Projections data will be available as Excel spreadsheets here.

USDA publishes the projections each year in February. The projections are developed by interagency committees in USDA, with the Economic Research Service (ERS) having the lead role in the preparation of the report. The new projections cover crop and livestock commodities, agricultural trade and aggregate indicators, such as farm income and food prices, through 2022. The projections do not represent a USDA forecast, but a conditional, long-run scenario based on specific assumptions about farm policy (including extension of current farm law through 2022), weather, the economy and international developments. Normal weather is assumed throughout the projection period.… Continue reading

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Glyphosate Resistant Weeds


By Dave Nanda, Seed Consultants, Inc. 
Director of Genetics & Technology

Those of you who were able to attend our winter meetings heard from our Agronomy staff about the presence of glyphosate resistant marestail in Indiana and Ohio and how to control it. Listed below are some of the facts about glyphosate resistant weeds.

• Glyphosate resistant crops were introduced in 1996. It was a good technology which needed good stewardship to extend the use of this herbicide. It was adopted by the growers and quickly became popular because of the dramatic price decrease and ease of weed control in corn and soybeans.

• University Extension personnel and Crop Consultants advised the farmers against continuous use of glyphosate resistant corn and soybeans.

• However, trait, chemical and some seed companies were promoting it; growers liked the easy and cheap weed control system and everyone was trying to make quick buck.… Continue reading

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Cooper Farms honored by Meatingplace

Cooper Farms’ Gary Cooper received Meatingplace magazine’s industry leadership award, The Jewell, at the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta on Wednesday, January 30.

The Jewell award, named for poultry industry pioneer Jesse Jewell, was established to recognize a company that truly exhibits innovation in poultry processing.

“Cooper Farms represents everything that the Jewell award stands for. The company is a constant innovator whose products, processes and overall approach to business have raised the standard of excellence for the entire poultry industry,” said Bill McDowell, editorial director of Meatingplace and its sister publications. “We look forward to the innovations that Cooper Farms will bring to the industry in the coming years.”

In recent years, Cooper Farms has embraced many new technologies. Their most recent additions stand 279 feet tall and are located north of the company’s Cooked Meats location in Van Wert, Ohio. The three wind turbines, added in 2011 and 2012, provide up to 75 percent of the plants electricity.… Continue reading

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Corn yield progress depends on new practices

Increasing plant population density will be critical to growing yields in U.S. corn production, but increasing this density will be dependent on the economics farmers face as they seek to increase yields, according to a new report released today by researchers at the Rabobank International Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group. The report, titled “Crowding The Fields,” finds it likely we’ll see one to two years of stagnant plant population growth due to high input costs and dry soils in the U.S.

“Corn Yield growth in U.S. is reaching a key milestone as the trend of increasing plant population per acre is challenged by limitations of the current production processes,” said Sterling Liddell, Vice President with the Rabobank FAR. “We know the confines of current equipment and production techniques will eventually challenge the ability of U.S. farmers to sustain historic yield growth trends. Trends our global population is demanding.… Continue reading

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Beef sustainability assessed

Participants at the 2013 Cattle Industry Convention gathered today to hear the results of the first-ever Beef Industry Sustainability Assessment. The assessment, which was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, marks the first time any industry has ever measured the sustainability of its entire supply chain. This important work positions the beef industry to lead the conversations about industry sustainability.

“Sustainability is, in fact, a journey. This particular journey started two years ago when the Beef Promotion Operating Committee decided to fund the sustainability assessment project,” said Oklahoma cattleman and vice-chair of the checkoff’s Producer Communications Working Group, Richard Gebhart. “Raising cattle in a sustainable way has been important to the cattle industry for a long time, but this is the first opportunity we have had to use science to tell that story.”

The Beef Sustainability Assessment was conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program.… Continue reading

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USDA extends Census deadline

Farmers and ranchers across the country are heeding the call to have their voices heard and their farms represented in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. With 1.4 million Census forms returned, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is thanking everyone for speaking up for their communities, their industry and their future by sending in their Census form. For those who missed the deadline, USDA reminds producers that their farm is important and needs to be counted. As a result, Census forms are still being accepted.

“Information from the Census of Agriculture helps USDA monitor trends and better understand the needs in agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Providing industry stakeholders, community leaders, lawmakers and individual farm operators with the most comprehensive and accurate U.S. agricultural reports, we all help ensure the tools are available to make informed, sound decisions to protect the future of American agriculture.”

Conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census provides detailed data covering nearly every facet of U.S.… Continue reading

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