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Farmer’s perspective part of climate conversation

National Corn Growers Association Corn Board member Paul Taylor, a farmer from Esmond, Ill., participated in the inaugural meeting of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture. The meeting brought together partners of the alliance to discuss the organization of the alliance in its inception year and a program of work.

The meeting followed the official launch of the alliance on Tuesday at the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Summit.

“With increasing public focus turning to the climate, farmers must take a seat at the table to ensure our interests and concerns on this topic are accurately represented,” said Taylor. “American corn farmers have a dynamic story of constant improvement to share. We have a long history of finding innovative ways to meet ever-evolving challenges and activities such as this help us engage in a productive dialogue about this issue.”

As currently established, Global Alliance for CSA members recognize the urgent need to act at scale and to contribute towards three “aspirational outcomes”: sustainable and equitable increases in agricultural productivity and incomes; greater resilience of food systems and farming livelihoods; and reduction and/or removal of greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture (including the relationship between agriculture and ecosystems) where possible.… Continue reading

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Ag Credit Donates to Attica Fair Building Fund

The Ag Credit Board of Directors donated $17,092.50 to match funds already raised by the Attica Jr. Fair exhibitors to help replace the small animal barn destroyed after a July 2013 windstorm.

During the storm, the small animal barn was torn from its foundation and it was later condemned by the insurance company. A temporary tent was erected to house the animals at fair time after the barn was torn down.

Three exhibitors – Amy Martin, Phillip Martin and Nathan Snavely came up with the idea to donate money back to the fair from their livestock sales. They went into the sale ring together and more kids joined the cause raising approximately $15,000 that day.  After the fair a “Raise the Roof” committee was formed to continue fund-raising efforts.

“In all, twenty two kids have donated all, or part of, their fair money back to the fund in a ripple effect.  … Continue reading

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EPA abandons key farm case in West Virginia

The EPA’s decision not to appeal a key federal ruling in favor of West Virginia farmer Lois Alt highlights the cynicism that drives the agency’s water agenda, the American Farm Bureau said.

The U.S. Court for the Northern District of West Virginia earlier ruled against EPA and in favor of farmer Lois Alt in October 2013. The court rejected EPA’s contention that the Clean Water Act regulates ordinary stormwater runoff from the farmyard (non-production areas) at large livestock or poultry farms.

Since no federal court had ever addressed the question of stormwater runoff from farms such as Alt’s, the lower court’s ruling carries implications for tens of thousands of poultry and livestock farms nationwide. An appellate court decision upholding that ruling would make it even harder for EPA to persist in imposing wide-scale federal permitting requirements on large animal farms (known as “concentrated animal feeding operations” or “CAFOs”). EPA’s voluntary dismissal of its appeal signals the agency’s desire to avoid a likely loss in the appellate court.… Continue reading

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Assessing yield losses due to frost in corn

With scattered frosts predicted in parts of Ohio this week, it may be time to consider the impact of frost injury to corn that has not yet achieved kernel “black layer.” Black layer is the stage at which kernel growth ceases and maximum kernel dry weight is achieved (also referred to as “physiological maturity”). According to the USDA/NASS ( as of Sunday, Sept. 21, 27% of Ohio’s corn was mature, compared to 29% for last year and 38% for the five-year average.  Two percent of corn acreage was harvested, 1% behind last year and 3% behind the five-year average.

For those growers with questions on the impact of frost damage on grain yield and maturation, one good source of information is “Handling Corn Damaged by Autumn Frost” NCH-57 by P.R.Carter and O. B. Hesterman available online at This publication includes information on the effect of frost on grain development and describes options for handling damaged corn.… Continue reading

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Ohio farmers help schools enhance math and science programs

Ohio school districts have received $125,000 in grants this year from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The program partners with farmers to support rural public school districts with innovative approaches to teaching math and science. Given the technological progress in agriculture over the past 20 years, farmers are very aware of the need for superior math and science education, especially for students in their rural communities.

“I think agriculture is a backbone for our society and it’s important to have kids have an interest in it,” said Brad van Loben Sels, a Grow Rural Education Farmer Advisory Council member from California. “This grant program is a great way to keep them involved or point them in that direction.”

Winning districts have designed many innovative programs supported by the grant funds, including the Food for Today, Sustainability for Life project at Marling Local in Ohio. This project will allow the school district to provide fresh produce to the schools and community year-round, and create small business opportunities for students to learn the work skills necessary to be successful after graduation.… Continue reading

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Industry leaders to present at the Inaugural Bioproducts World Showcase & Conference

OBIC Bioproducts Innovation Center is proud to announce the list of confirmed speakers and topics that will be presented at the inaugural Bioproducts World Showcase & Conference to be held October 5 to 8, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.

Confirmed speakers include: Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Yalmaz Siddiqui with Office Depot, Mike Schultheis of Coca-Cola, Christophe Luguel with IAR (France), Joel Stone of Green Biologics, Laurence Eaton with the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. Ramani Narayan of Michigan State University, David Saltman with Malama Composites, Richard Maksimoski of Maximum C/Q, LLC, David Schwantes of b4 Branding, George Kay with Kay & Associates, Bhima Vijayendran of Redwood Innovation Partners, Doug Haughn with Team Gemini, Ron Buckhalt with USDA BioPreferred ®, Brad Mohr of the Cleveland Browns, and Dr. Cynthia Flanigan of Ford Motor Company.  The showcase will also feature an office supplies pavilion, mini informational sessions, the Bioproduct Innovation of the Year award, and multiple networking opportunities.… Continue reading

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Factors affecting corn dry down in the field

Growers like to have hybrids with high yield potential, excellent disease tolerance, great standability, faster dry down and lower grain moisture at harvest. Well there seem to be a contradiction here. Hybrids that live longer are not going to die earlier and dry fast. Management decisions such as planting date, plant population, amount of nitrogen used, and use of foliar fungicides all affect the rate of dry down and grain moisture at harvest.

• Corn breeders have to constantly compromise to find hybrids with the right combinations that will produce the highest income for the growers. What are the agronomic and genetic characteristics of corn hybrids that affect rate of dry down?

• Hybrid relative maturity, thickness of pericarp or skin of the kernel, ear angle after maturity can all affect dry down rate. Hybrids with thinner cobs tend to lose moisture faster.

• As corn matures, moisture is lost through cob and ear shank, exposed ear tips and husks.… Continue reading

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House passes Jobs Bill

The House passed The Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4) by a vote of 253 to 163. Bob McCan, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president and Victoria, Texas, cattleman said this was a positive move for cattle producers and a solid step toward stabilizing the economy.

“The Jobs bill passed by the House contains a number of priorities for our producer members including some key tax provisions,” McCan said. “The passage of this legislation brings our producers one step closer to having the certainty they need to make financial preparations and needed investments in this tax year.”

Included in the Act is the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act and other provisions directed toward the Internal Revenue Service, which makes section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation permanent. The bill also contains the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, requiring Congress to take an up-or-down vote on all new major rules that would have an economic impact of more than $100 million annually before they can be enforced.… Continue reading

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Farmers willing to do more for water quality

Most farmers in the Maumee River watershed that drains into Lake Erie are willing to take at least one additional action to reduce nutrient loss on their farm if they feel like the action will benefit their farms as well as water quality.

That’s according to new research from Robyn Wilson, associate professor of risk analysis and decision science in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Most farmers, she said, are willing to adopt a new conservation practice if they believe that nutrient loss from their fields will have a negative financial impact on their crop production and if they believe that if they put best management practices in place on their farms, the techniques will work.

“If you want to motivate farmers to take actions on their farms to lessen nutrient loss, you should be talking about how not taking action can impact their farm profits as well as how it will impact local water quality,” Wilson said.… Continue reading

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Legal considerations for leasing land for hunting

With hunting season starting soon, now is a good time to consider whether you should lease your land for hunting. Leasing your land for hunting can be beneficial by giving you an extra source of income as well as managing wildlife populations and decreasing crop damage. However, there are some considerations to make before granting that lease to someone.

Your first concern should be whether or not you would be liable for hunting accidents on your property. You likely wouldn’t be, thanks to Ohio’s Recreational User Statute. In certain situations, Ohio’s Recreational User Statute provides immunity from legal liability for someone harmed on your property during recreational activities. The types of recreational activities included in the Recreational User Statute include: hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, hiking, swimming, operating a snowmobile, all-purpose vehicle, or four-wheel drive motor vehicle, or engaging in “other recreational pursuits.”

Under the Recreational User Statute, those who lease nonresidential property for hunting do not have any duty to keep the premises safe, do not give any promises of safety by granting permission, and do not assume responsibility or liability for injuries caused by any act of the hunters.… Continue reading

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Construction underway for Beck’s new London, Ohio facility

As farmers and ag enthusiasts made their way to the 2014 Farm Science Review heading west on Route 40, it was hard to miss Beck’s Hybrids’ big screen highlighting the Why I Farm messages and even harder to miss the major construction that is now underway for their new London, Ohio facility.

“We are excited to have started construction on our new facility in London, Ohio,” said Scott Beck, vice president of Beck’s. “Once complete, the facility will provide closer access for Beck dealers and customers in central Ohio to pick up seed. The location will also be a resource for Ohio farmers to learn and make decisions from the Practical Farm Research being conducted at this site.”

Plans for the new 53,000 square-foot facility include multiple offices and meeting rooms, two loading docks, an equipment shop, and storage area. In addition, the facility will provide Ohio farmers with a place to come for field days and agronomic meetings, as well as to view Practical Farm Research (PFR)® studies.… Continue reading

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OSU announces new cooperative effort for Ohio water quality

Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) announced a wide-ranging water quality initiative at the Farm Science Review.

Called Field to Faucet, the initiative will seek end-to-end solutions to hazardous algal blooms and water quality issues, said Bruce McPheron, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean for the college, speaking to a crowd of 700 people at the Review’s opening day lunch.

“Toledo was a wake-up call,” McPheron said. “Just over a month ago, the city of Toledo awoke to the news that parents could not draw water from their taps for their children. Restaurants were shuttered, parks were closed, citizens wondered whether to eat food washed in tap water and whether to shower.”

McPheron pulled together a university-wide group to address the source of the problems and to ensure clean drinking water across Ohio.

“Ohio State University, with its comprehensive capacity, is well positioned to lead the way in providing answers,” he said.… Continue reading

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NCGA gets Conservation Innovation Grant

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the National Corn Growers Association was among the recipients of the Conservation Innovation Grants. The National Corn Growers Association CIG award will be utilized to support the Soil Health Partnership. The Soil Health Partnership represents a cooperative effort among several organizations working together with farmers to demonstrate and communicate the benefits of soil health to agricultural production.

“The Soil Health Partnership is identifying, testing and measuring management practices that improve soil health and benefit farmers’ operations,” said Martin Barbre, NCGA president. “NCGA believes projects that share information from farmers to farmers provide platforms that create greater understanding and facilitate broader implement agricultural best practices. This grant will allow the Soil Health Partnership to reach more growers in a shorter period of time than we could do otherwise.”

NCGA will receive almost $1 million to evaluate the linkages between soil health and on-farm management practices over the next three years.… Continue reading

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Increasing corn yields requires improving nutrient balance

Ensuring that corn absorbs the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is crucial to increasing global yields, a Purdue and Kansas State University study finds.

A review of data from more than 150 studies from the U.S. and other regions showed that high yields were linked to production systems in which corn plants took up key nutrients at specific ratios — nitrogen and phosphorus at a ratio of 5-to-1 and nitrogen and potassium at a ratio of 1-to-1. These nutrient uptake ratios were associated with high yields regardless of the region where the corn was grown.

“The agricultural community has put a lot of emphasis on nitrogen as a means of increasing yields, but this study highlights the greater importance of nutrient balance,” said Tony Vyn, Purdue professor of agronomy. “We will not be able to continually boost global corn yields and achieve food security without providing adequate and balanced nutrients.”… Continue reading

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Crop insurance sales closing date for fall crops in Ohio

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Ohio producers of wheat and winter barley that they have until sales closing on Sept. 30 to purchase crop insurance or make a change to their existing policy.

Crop insurance protects against yield and revenue losses. Producers have a number of coverage choices, including yield coverage, revenue protection and area risk policies.

RMA also recently announced the availability of the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) in select counties for winter and spring wheat for the 2015 crop year. SCO is a county-level policy endorsement that can be added to an underlying crop insurance policy, and covers a portion of losses not covered by the same crop’s underlying policy. Producers electing to participate in the Farm Service Agency’s Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) for a crop on a farm cannot buy SCO for the same crop on the farm.

Producers applying for SCO for the 2015 winter wheat crop may withdraw coverage on any farm where they have elected, or where they intend to elect, ARC for winter wheat by the earlier of their acreage reporting date or December 15 without penalty.… Continue reading

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Long awaited ENLIST system deregulated by USDA

The National Corn Growers Association applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s approval of Dow AgroSciences 2,4-D and glyphosate-resistant corn, a part of the ENLIST system. This approval, which will still require U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval of the accompanying pesticide before the system comes to market, represents the first time in which USDA approved a crop modified to be resistant to more than one herbicide.

“Gaining approval for this important technology has been a long, hard fought battle,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman, a farmer from Rosendale, Wis. “It is important that farmers continue to gain access to the tools that they need in the field through a science-based, timely regulatory system. We look forward to similar results for other herbicide systems in the future.”

The decision, which posted to the regulatory docket, states that USDA finds no issues with the release of the crop.… Continue reading

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Exhibit honoring the contributions of women in agriculture at FSR

An exhibit honoring the contributions of women in agriculture will be displayed at this year’s Farm Science Review.

“Women now make up 1 out of every 3 agricultural producers across the U.S.,” said Gigi Neal, Ohio State University Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources and co-leader of OSU Extension’s Ohio Women in Agriculture team. “We want to recognize the women who are often the backbone of agriculture across the state of Ohio.”

Neal asked Extension educators across Ohio to nominate women for the display, which will be housed in the Firebaugh Building at 384 Friday Ave. at this year’s Review.

“We have women represented who are anywhere from their mid-20s to one woman who is 100 years old — her birthday was Aug. 21,” Neal said.

In addition, some women are being honored posthumously, she said.

“Some of them are involved on the farm, in grain and livestock production,” Neal said.… Continue reading

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Farm Science Review app launched for 2014

Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review, sponsored by The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Sept. 16 to 18 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio, can now download this year’s customized mobile app complete with a full schedule, comprehensive maps and general exhibitor and show information.

This is the third year for the FSR app, which allows users to access a variety of information about the Review from their mobile devices.

The app has been popular among attendees and exhibitors of the annual, three-day show, said Matt Sullivan, assistant manager of the Farm Science Review.

“The convenience of the FSR mobile app is the main reason why it’s been so popular these past couple of years,” he said. “You have anything and everything you need to know about the show in the palm of your hand.”

With the app, users can:

* View the complete show schedule and create a personal schedule.… Continue reading

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OCA Young Cattlemen’s Conference provides industry learning experience


The 2014 Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) hosted 16 cattlemen and women for a 3-day leadership development program in Columbus and the central Ohio areas, Aug. 21 to 23. The conference was made possible by Farm Credit Mid-America and the Ohio Soybean Council.

YCC kicked off Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus with a beef dinner and participants were present for the 2014 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show carcass contest awards presentation. Guest speaker, Kent Bacus, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Associate Director of Legislative Affairs discussed challenges and opportunities facing the future of the beef industry. He encouraged the next generation to engage with elected officials and to get involved in organizations like the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and NCBA

Friday morning at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) office, attendees participated in a spokesperson training program by Brandi Frobose, NCBA Issues Management. Frobose led participants through a social media training session that strengthened their digital communication skills, helped them to tell their beef production story, and to become a more effective cattle industry leader.… Continue reading

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