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Auditor Yost’s biodiesel recommendations shortsighted says OSA

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) responds to the recent recommendations issued by Auditor of the State Dave Yost that the Ohio Department of Transportation eliminate its legislatively-mandated use of biodiesel and switch back to 100% petroleum diesel to save money as shortsighted.

“OSA agrees that the state must be cost-effective, but we also believe that the full range of biodiesel benefits — economic, environmental and energy security — more than compensate for the minimal cost difference between the two fuels,” said Bret Davis, OSA president. “Instead of recommending the repeal of the state mandate, the Auditor could have recommended that the Ohio Department of Transportation look into ways to find cost savings in the program.”

The benefits of biodiesel are significant. Biodiesel creates hundreds of Ohio jobs at farms, production facilities and fuel distributors, and is a vital part of improving U.S. energy security. Every gallon of biodiesel used in Ohio displaces a gallon of petroleum — reducing our dependence on foreign oil.… Continue reading

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OSA soybean yield contest

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) announced the launch of the state’s third annual Soybean Yield and Quality Contest for the 2012 growing season. An overall state yield winner will be awarded along with category prizes for the top placing entrants, including winners of the quality contest based on the percentages of oil and protein. The fee is $100 per entry.

The four yield categories include:

  • Conventional tillage
  • No-till
  • Non-GMO soybeans – Conventional tillage
  • Non-GMO soybeans – No-till.

Developed to promote the importance of oil and protein, the quality contest is optional to enter. However, a farmer must enter the soybean yield contest in order to enter the soybean quality contest. This contest is based on the overall highest percentage oil and percentage protein content in the state. Entrants in the quality contest must submit a two-pound sample of soybeans for testing.

All entry forms and entry fees for the 2012 Soybean Yield and Quality Contest must be postmarked by Aug.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair deadlines approaching

Entry deadlines for the 2012 Ohio State Fair competitions are quickly approaching. Categories of competitions include agriculture and livestock, food and beverage, arts, crafts and fashion, academics and sports. More than $75,000 in awards is offered. Interested Fairgoers can register online at ohiostatefair.com by clicking on “competitions”.

May 29

Fine Art and Short Film competition – categories are available for both amateur and professional filmmakers.

June 8

Spelling Bee – participating schools may recommend two students in each grade level, third through sixth (for the 2011-2012 academic year).

June 20

Creative Arts – hundreds of different categories include youth creative arts, baking, sewing, fashion, jewelry, leather, holiday, needlework and more.
Homebrew Competition – Ohio home brewers and members of any Ohio homebrew club may enter.
Livestock – classes include beef and dairy cattle, llamas, rabbits, sheep, poultry, goats and swine; anyone can enter the open competitions, but junior competitions are open to Ohio 4-H and FFA members only.… Continue reading

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Dust could hurt spray efficacy

Dry soil conditions have contributed both to accelerated crop planting and to spraying with postemergence herbicides.

“It is unusual at this point in the season that such a high percentage of corn acres have already been sprayed with postemergence herbicides,” said Aaron Hager, University of Illinois associate professor of weed science.

However, one potentially adverse consequence of the very dry soil is that large amounts of dust are often propelled into the air by equipment used to apply postemergence herbicides.

“While planting an on-farm research location last week, we noticed a large cloud of dust in the distance. Closer observation revealed that the dust cloud was being generated during the application of a postemergence corn herbicide,” Hager said.

He is concerned that herbicides applied under very dry, dusty conditions might have reduced effectiveness. Airborne dust reduces the activity of some foliar-applied herbicides, including glyphosate.

Greenhouse research conducted by researchers at North Dakota State University in 2006 found that control of nightshade species with glyphosate was reduced when dust was deposited on the leaf surfaces before, or within 15 minutes after, glyphosate application.… Continue reading

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Beck’s Hybrids reveals “Panther” for charity

For the second year in a row, Beck’s Hybrids is pleased to announce the We Care for Orphans Adoption Fund Sweepstakes. The Sweepstakes will kick off at the 2012 Indianapolis 500, where event goers will have the opportunity to win a 2012 Limited Edition Supercharged Camaro PantherTM by SLP. But it doesn’t stop there, the winner will receive the number one car out of only 100 Panther’s being produced.

“It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to raise money for a great cause, plus have the opportunity to win one of the rarest Camaros to ever be produced,” said Scott Beck, vice president of Beck’s Hybrids. “Last year, a total of $85,543 was raised for the charity and more than 20 families were helped. This year, with the help of farmers and car enthusiasts from across the United States, our goal is to reach $100,000.”

Painted black with gold accents, the supercharged Panther is a convertible and has a 6.2 liter, 427 cubic inch engine with aluminum short block and heads producing 600 horse-power.

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Don’t Fry Day May 25

To encourage sun safety awareness and remind everyone to protect their skin while outdoors, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has declared May 25 — the Friday before Memorial Day — as “Don’t Fry Day.”

Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. The American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. This year alone, ACS estimates there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than two million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in the U.S.

“Farmers and ranchers are fortunate to be able to spend much of their working lives outdoors,” said Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “The downside of prolonged exposure to the sun while on the farm or ranch is that it can lead to skin damage and cancer.”… Continue reading

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Don't Fry Day May 25

To encourage sun safety awareness and remind everyone to protect their skin while outdoors, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has declared May 25 — the Friday before Memorial Day — as “Don’t Fry Day.”

Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. The American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. This year alone, ACS estimates there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than two million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in the U.S.

“Farmers and ranchers are fortunate to be able to spend much of their working lives outdoors,” said Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “The downside of prolonged exposure to the sun while on the farm or ranch is that it can lead to skin damage and cancer.”… Continue reading

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NCGA online entry open for National Corn Yield Contest

The National Corn Growers Association opened online entry for the 2012 National Corn Yield Contest.  This format allows farmers to quickly and easily submit all necessary entry forms while taking advantage of the special early entry discount available until June 15.  With fees reduced to $80 until that time, NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer.

“The online entry option makes taking advantage of the early entry discount easier than ever,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Dean Taylor. “We have seen many consecutive years of significant contest growth.  With favorable conditions across much of the country, I encourage members to take advantage of the discount, use the easy online form and become a part of the contest.  Also, I encourage non-members to explore the many benefits that NCGA members enjoy and consider joining both the association and entering the contest.”

The online entry software allows growers to enter the contest and join NCGA and their state association.… Continue reading

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Ohio foodbanks receive $1.5 million egg commitment from Ohio farmers

For the fifth year, the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF) and the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) have joined forces in the fight against hunger as the two organizations partner with Ohio’s egg farmers to provide wholesome, nutritious food to Ohioans in need. Representatives from OASHF and OPA, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels, as well as egg farmers from across the state, gathered at an event held during National Egg Month in May at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in Grove City to celebrate the milestone 1.5 million egg donation by Ohio farmers.

Eight Ohio egg farmers have committed the 1.5 million eggs to be provided to local hunger charities through OASHF’s network of 12 regional Feeding America foodbanks. The contribution has an estimated retail value of $168,750.

“Our partnership with the Ohio Poultry Association and Ohio’s egg farmers is integral in helping us meet our critical mission to provide food to hungry Ohio families,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, OASHF executive director.… Continue reading

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Prevent coccidiosis losses in cattle with preparation

Plan ahead to win the battle against this parasite

All producers — from cow/calf to feedlot — could be compromising cattle health and performance because of an intestinal, protozoan parasite called coccidia. Coccidiosis is a disease that affects most species of domestic livestock and poultry and results in significant economic losses due to mortality and, more important, decreased growth and feed efficiency due to the damage to the intestinal tract.

“The parasite that causes coccidiosis is virtually impossible to eliminate from the bovine species just because it is so abundant and, in most cases, is a normal inhabitant of the intestine,” says Matt Cravey, Ph.D., Pfizer Animal Health, Cattle and Equine Technical Services. “Out of the 16 species that are found in cattle, generally only two species (Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii) will be responsible for causing much of the damage in the intestinal tract. However, in most cases, we don’t see or otherwise detect their presence in production situations like a feedlot until we see blood in the feces.”… Continue reading

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Gas prices to hold steady

Gasoline prices this summer could stay relatively steady provided that an already-tense Middle East doesn’t flare up and nothing else happens to disrupt supplies, a Purdue University economist said.

As long as market conditions remain basically as they are now, gasoline likely will remain between $3.50 and $4 per gallon, said Wally Tyner, an agricultural and energy economist. Because regional variability in gasoline prices has increased, motorists in California and much of the West Coast can expect to see prices above $4 for most of the summer, and the South and Southeast below $3.65.

But Tyner cautions that global instability and disruptions in supply could force prices upward.

As always, the political situation in the Middle East and U.S. relations with Iran will play a large part in what motorists pay for gasoline.

“Any disturbance in the Middle East or heightening of tensions with Iran could move crude oil up,” Tyner said, “and that would send gasoline higher.”… Continue reading

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Monsanto buys Precision Planting

In line with its vision of delivering yield to farmers sustainably, Monsanto Company today announced it reached an agreement to purchase planting technology developer Precision Planting, Inc., a proven leader in improving yields through on-farm planting performance.

The Precision Planting team will become part of Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems unit, which utilizes advanced agronomic practices, seed genetics and innovative on-farm technology to deliver optimal yield to farmers while using fewer resources.  Precision Planting has a long history of innovations that optimize planter performance and increase yield potential, including the new FieldView™ technology, which offers an application designed to monitor all critical aspects of planter performance and crop data analysis. That will complement Monsanto’s planned Integrated Farming Systems offering of science-based agronomic seed prescriptions combined with next-generation precision equipment to help farmers boost yields and reduce risk.

“This underscores our commitment to maximizing yield for farmers while optimizing crop inputs, which is central to our vision of sustainable agriculture,” said Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer. … Continue reading

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Alltech Cultivates Crop Science Division

Jon Carloftis, award-winning garden designer, garden writer, television guest, author, and lecturer

Natural nutrition is not just for the animals anymore as Alltech takes its technology out of the barn and into the field with the official launch of its Crop Science division. With industrial-use products and a consumer line backed by celebrity green thumb Jon Carloftis, Alltech Crop Science addresses the production of citrus to silage and everything in between. Fuelled by the power of yeast, Alltech Crop Science products offer a viable alternative to conventional agrochemicals.

“Consumers are increasingly discerning in their food choices, and are asking for more natural products. As a result, some traditional methods of production have become obsolete as more and more chemicals are being banned on a global scale,” said Geoff Frank, CEO of Alltech Crop Science. “As producers are looking for alternatives, our technology is integral to propelling the industry into the future.”… Continue reading

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OSA Concerned with ODOT Audit Conclusions

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) expresses concern regarding the conclusions of an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) performance audit released yesterday by Auditor of State Dave Yost. In the report, Auditor Yost recommends that the Ohio General Assembly revise the requirement that state agencies use a certain percentage of biodiesel fuel in state vehicles and equipment.

OSA believes that the economic, energy security and environmental benefits of using a percentage of biodiesel are more than worth a slight premium per gallon compared to 100 percent petroleum diesel.

“Biodiesel is a sustainable, more environmentally friendly fuel made from renewable resources grown right here in Ohio,” said Bret Davis, OSA president and Delaware County soybean farmer. “It reduces our dependence on foreign oil, while also adding jobs and significant economic impact. By using a product grown and produced in our state, we are keeping our taxpayer dollars here and in our rural communities.”… Continue reading

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Watch for seedling blights in corn

By John Brien, AgriGold agronomist

The spring of 2012 is shaping up to be another planting season to remember. Late March was warm and beautiful and got a lot of growers excited about planting corn, then April hit. The first portion of April was decent but after April 10, the temperatures were less than ideal. While the soil conditions were good in most areas, the less than ideal soil temperatures kept most growers wondering when to plant corn. Unfortunately the cool to cold soil temperatures were, in fact, a major hindrance in corn growth.

While most corn planted in Mid-April emerged, that emergence took 2 to 4 weeks and once it emerged, the growth has been less than ideal. The latest concern on the corn planted on April 17 through April 20 is a large and often devastating infestation of seedling blights. Seedling blights is a generic term for soil-borne pathogens such as Pythium and Fusarium attacking the struggling corn plant.… Continue reading

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OLC looking for Neighbor of the Year

The Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC), in partnership with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, is accepting nominations for the Neighbor of the Year Awards, which recognize two rural residents – one livestock farmer and one non-farmer – for their commitment to being environmentally responsible, courteous to others and respectful of private properties.

David White, OLC executive director, said the awards are one way to recognize rural neighbors who set a good example of how to work together to keep Ohio agriculture alive and well in the Buckeye state.

“Agriculture is Ohio’s number-one economic contributor, and in order to thrive, livestock farmers and their non-farming neighbors need to work together to help preserve the state’s agricultural heritage and rural landscape,” said White. “Recognizing these efforts through the Neighbor of the Year Awards is one way for us to honor those in our rural areas who exemplify the true meaning of being good neighbors.”… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress – May 21st, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY May 20th, 2012

The average temperature for the State was 63.9 degrees, 2.2 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, May 20, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.24 inches, 0.66 inches below normal. There were 107 modified growing degree days, 14 days above normal. Reporters rated 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, May 18, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 1 percent very short, 15 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

The state saw dry and warm weather for most of the week. Operators took advantage by completing a lot of field work. These activities included planting corn and soybeans, baling hay, spraying nitrogen on emerged corn, and applying herbicides. Reporters still indicated that field conditions were still slightly dryer than usual for this time of year and will need rain in the coming weeks for all the newly planted crops.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – May 21st, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY May 20th, 2012

The average temperature for the State was 63.9 degrees, 2.2 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, May 20, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.24 inches, 0.66 inches below normal. There were 107 modified growing degree days, 14 days above normal. Reporters rated 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, May 18, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 1 percent very short, 15 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

The state saw dry and warm weather for most of the week. Operators took advantage by completing a lot of field work. These activities included planting corn and soybeans, baling hay, spraying nitrogen on emerged corn, and applying herbicides. Reporters still indicated that field conditions were still slightly dryer than usual for this time of year and will need rain in the coming weeks for all the newly planted crops.… Continue reading

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What causes purple corn?

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

Many corn fields look purple during the seedling stage? The reasons for the young seedlings to turn purple are as follows:

• Purple leaves are caused by a pigment called anthocyanin. When the sugars produced by the chlorophyll cannot be deposited in roots, stalks and new leaves, sugars are converted to anthocyanin which is red to purple in color.

• Acidic soils with pH lower than 5.5 may cause seedlings purpling. Wet soils can inhibit the nutrient uptake.

• Purpling generally occurs between V2 to V5 stage of growth. By V8, purple leaf syndrome disappears and the color becomes healthy green.

• Any plant stresses which reduce the uptake of phosphorus may result in purple leaves. Root restrictions may cause phosphate deficiency.

• Early planting can cause stress and lead to purpling due to cool nights and warmer days.… Continue reading

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Dairy Farmers: Are you guilty of this cardinal sin?

Hot weather is just around the corner, if it’s not already starting to rear its ugly head in your part of the country. As we head into this time of year the biggest mistake you can make is to be unprepared, says Martha Baker, dairy nutrition specialist with Land O’Lakes Purina Feed.

“This past fall when you turned the sprinklers and fans off, everything probably worked just fine. But that doesn’t mean everything will work fine when you need it,” she says. Baker shares the following tips to be prepared and proactive:

  • Clean and service the fans. Take time to make sure the fans turn on and off at the correct times and/or temperatures.
  • Look at the nozzles and soakers. Ensure they turn on when you want them to, but also make sure enough water comes through when and where you want it too. Double check that you don’t have any broken water lines.
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