Top Headlines

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

Ohio grape and wine businesses contribute millions to Ohio economy

The Ohio wine and grape industry released its 2012 Economic Impact report, which finds that Ohio’s grape and wine industry has a significant impact of $786 million on the state’s economy, a 34% increase from the 2008 economic study released in 2010.

“Ohio’s wine industry is growing and represents a significant segment of the state’s $105 billion food and agriculture industry,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels. “Ohio grape growers and wine makers all over the state are creating quality, award-winning products that rival those produced in well-known wine producing areas like California and Europe. The newly released 2012 Economic Impact Study is a great illustration of their success.”

Highlights of the report include the following:


• The full economic impact of Ohio wine and grapes is $786 million, a 34% increase from 2008.

• Provide 5,291 full-time jobs, with nearly 1,200 additional jobs created since 2008.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ag group awarded research grant focused on cleaner Lake Erie

As agricultural retailers sign up for a voluntary certification to help farmers improve the long-term quality of Lake Erie’s water, new funding will help share the impact of the practices the program preaches.

The Great Lakes, despite many actions of farmers in recent years, has continued to experience water quality problems tied to fertilizer runoff and nutrients leaving fields and entering bodies of water.

The new 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program started in March provides a consistent, recognized standard for agricultural retailers to adopt proven best practices in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio where surrounding waters drain into Lake Erie. The framework for the program is based upon the 4Rs, which refers to using the Right Source of Nutrients at the Right Rate and Right Time in the Right Place.

Now the certification program’s governing body, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Council, will be able to demonstrate the impacts of 4R practices thanks to a $1.25 million research grant awarded by the 4R Research Fund.… Continue reading

Read More »

Early growth stages of corn

Farming is a very challenging profession. Every growing season presents different problems and opportunities. However, if we understand how our crops grow, we can try to do a better job of meeting the needs of our crops and improve yields. Let’s look at what happens as the young corn plants develop.

• The young stage of every organism is critical for development and productivity of the adults. It takes 110-120 Growing Degrees for corn seedling emergence.

• V1 to V2- First and second leaves develop six to seven days after the seedlings emerge. The first roots start to supply water and nutrients to the young seedlings.

• Roots are very small and banded fertilizer close to the roots at this stage should be very helpful in stimulating early growth.

• V3- V4 – About two weeks after emergence, third leaf starts to develop. Seedling roots stop at this stage and the secondary roots known as “Nodal Roots” start growing.… Continue reading

Read More »

WRRDA eases SPCC regulations for oil storage on farms

The passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act will ease the burden of the current EPA Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule for farms. The SPCC requires compliance if an operation has 1,320 gallons, or more, of aboveground fuel storage and allows self-certification up to 10,000 gallons. This not only includes fuel storage but requires aboveground feed storage to be included in the total if it meets the broad definition of “oil” which includes the base of many liquid cattle feeds.

“The SPCC rule is yet another example of the EPA’s regulatory scheme threatening the economic viability of rural America and family farms and ranches,” said Bob McCan, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president. “Cattlemen and women have been waiting too long for a permanent fix to the SPCC rule. Thanks to the efforts of Senators Inhofe and Pryor and Representative Crawford, this provision will ease the burden of this rule across the nation for many farmers and ranchers.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Some Ohio stores and consumers may be affected by tainted beef

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) announced earlier this week that approximately 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products are being recalled after possibly being contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The USDA has now released a list of retailers affected by the Wolverine Packing Company recall announcement, with some venders in Ohio. Buchtel Food Mart, 5220 SR 78 Buchtel, Ohio, along with Ohio’s Gordon Food Service Marketplace, have been identified by the FSIS as areas that are suspected to have received the tainted meat.

In addition of being aware of the list of retail stores, the public is encouraged to check meat or poultry products in their possession to see if they have been recalled.

A statement by the USDA says the ground beef products in question were produced between March 31st, 2014 and April 18th, 2014. Officials are in the process of removing the meat from store shelves but consumers should throw out meat themselves if it contains the code “EST.… Continue reading

Read More »

Why do my soybeans look like they are dying?

This week we have had numerous reports throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky regarding soybeans that are not looking as healthy as we like. The majority of soybeans have the outside of the cotyledons that look brown as well as the hypocotyl, especially when in the neck stage.This appears to be happening to all varieties from all companies, so it is not product specific.So what is going on?From what  I can tell there are two things happening.First, the vast majority of fields with this issue have been sprayed with a PPO inhibitor containing the active ingredient flumioxazin.These herbicides would include Valor®, Valor® XLT, Envive®,Enlight®, and Gangster®.
The herbicide label of Valor® actually states,“Crop injury may occur from applications made to poorly drained soils under cool, wet conditions.Risk of crop injury can be minimized by not using on poorly drained soils, planting at least 1.5 inches deep and completely covering seeds with soil prior to preemergence applications.”
Continue reading

Read More »

WRRDA moves through Congress

Numerous agricultural groups celebrated the passage by the Senate of the conference report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The report, which passed the House overwhelmingly earlier the same week, contains several key policy priorities.

“The Senate’s passage of the WRRDA conference report represents another important step toward improving and creating a more workable framework for increased investment in our waterways infrastructure. Soybean growers need a reliable and efficient waterways system to get our product to market and meet a growing global demand,” said Ray Gaesser, American Soybean Associatioin president. “Our waterways system helps take our soybeans from major growing regions to domestic processors and major exporting terminals, then on to valuable trading partners around the world, and is a big part of why soybeans lead the nation in agricultural exports. For too long we have ignored our infrastructure and this WRRDA is a strong step in the right direction.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Kasich signs water quality legislation

On May 22, Gov. John Kasich signed the much-discussed Ohio water quality legislation, Am. Sub. SB 150, into law.

“The bill itself was introduced on June 25, 2013 by senators Cliff Hite, who is also chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Bob Peterson. The sponsors and agencies willingly worked with Farm Bureau and the other agricultural groups as the bill underwent several drafts during the committee hearing process in the Senate,” said Tony Seegers, director of state policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “SB 150 is meant to be one component of a more comprehensive statewide nutrient reduction strategy. Ohio agriculture has and will continue to do its part to protect our state’s precious water resources.”

SB 150 will require some changes for farms with regard to nutrient management.

“If you, as a farmer, apply fertilizer on more than 50 acres, you, or the person applying the fertilizer, will have to be certified.… Continue reading

Read More »

Gas prices should hold below $4

Declining demand for gasoline coupled with increased oil refining capacity in the U.S. should help to keep the price of gas this summer below $4 per gallon in the Midwest barring any disruption of supply, Purdue University energy economist Wally Tyner said.

Tyner expects pump prices to run about 6 cents higher than last summer and typically range between $3.45 and $3.90 per gallon, except in the Chicago area, where gas prices are higher because of clean-air rules.

But he cautions: “As you might expect, it depends. There are no certainties.”

Prices could go higher over short periods if supplies are disrupted anywhere in the system, said Tyner, the James and Lois Ackerman Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics.

Tyner noted that prices of gasoline that motorists pay at the pump primarily are determined by crude oil prices, which have been running about $4 per barrel higher than a year ago.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSC announces GrowNextGen Contest winners

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff is pleased to announce that science instructor Rachel Sanders and social studies instructor Jamie Lesesky and their classes at the Global Impact STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy in Springfield were named the recipients of OSC’s first GrowNextGen Photo and Video Contest. In addition, Agriculture instructor Laura Deehr of Carrollton High School in Carrollton was awarded an iPad for winning the 2014 Spring GrowNextGen Membership Drive Drawing.

OSC launched the website, to provide Ohio’s agriscience and bioscience teachers with direct access to industry partners and a wide array of relevant soybean-related classroom materials, career videos, interactive e-learning courses and student research opportunities.

“More than 400 teachers, industry partners and students have profiles on GrowNextGen, making it the ideal place for learning and collaboration to occur around the topics of soybean production and agriculture,” said Patrick Knouff, OSC chairman and soybean farmer from Shelby County.… Continue reading

Read More »

Farmers may be eligible for Livestock Forage Disaster Program under new farm bill

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) was made a permanent program with the 2014 Farm Bill legislation. Additionally the legislation provided retroactive authority to cover eligible losses dating back to October 1, 2011. This is important because this loss program provides com­pensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire. Counties declared eligible due to the 2012 drought in Ohio include: Butler, Clinton, Darke, Defiance, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Henry, Montgomery, Paulding, Pickaway, Preble, Putnam, Ross, Van Wert, Warren, and Williams.

Producers are eligible for drought LFP payments equal to 60% of the monthly feed cost for up to five months. Livestock species that are eligible include: beef, dairy, buffalo, sheep, goats, deer, equine, swine, elk, poultry, reindeer, alpacas, emus, and llamas. A Ross County example for a farmer with 20 mature beef cows and 26 acres of improved pasture would be eligible for 60% of one month’s feed cost.… Continue reading

Read More »

New program targets invasive species in southeast Ohio

Several invasive plant species threaten the grasslands of southeast Ohio, degrading pastures and threatening the overall environmental health of the area. State Conservationist Terry Cosby of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) created the Southeast Ohio Noxious and Invasive Weed Treatment Program to help agricultural producers battle these invasive plants in seven southeast Ohio counties, including Belmont, Guernsey, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Washington.

Financial assistance from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is available to eligible agricultural producers to remove three invasive plants of concern, including spotted knapweed, autumn olive, and tree of heaven (ailanthus).


Spotted knapweed

Spotted Knapweed, a perennial forb common in the western United States, arrived from Europe in the 1800’s. Over the past 4 years, farmers in eastern Ohio started noticing it in and around their pastures. The plant has a tall, spindly appearance with purple flowers that appear in July.… Continue reading

Read More »

WRRDA passes House

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 with a 412-to-4 vote. Now, the bill goes to the Senate where many agricultural groups are hoping the bill moves quickly to pass this final reauthorization bill to improve the reliability and efficiency of the U.S. inland waterways system.

“We thank our representatives in the House for their near-unanimous support and work to ensure passage of this important legislation, which makes concrete steps toward repairing and improving our inland waterways,” said Martin Barbre, National Corn Growers Association president. “WRRDA is crucial to farmers as more than 60% of the nation’s grain exports are transported by barge. The locks and dams we depend upon to transport our cargoes today were built in the 1920s and 1930s. It is imperative that we improve this crucial infrastructure. The need is urgent; U.S. farmers and businesses rely upon this transportation channel.… Continue reading

Read More »

Scout wheat for disease

Wheat in Ohio was nearing the critical growth stage when heavy rainfalls and the forecast cooler temperatures set in throughout much of the state. As a result, growers should scout their fields for any indication of disease development, says a wheat expert from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The rainy weather helps to create conditions favorable for foliar disease to develop, producing spores and new infections, said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension wheat researcher.

The amount of moisture experienced recently favors significant foliar diseases that impact wheat crops near critical growing stages, said Paul, who is also a plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Foliar diseases such as Septoria blotch and powdery mildew are what growers should be on the lookout for, Paul said.

“Septoria blotch, which is typically the first disease to show up, has already been reported in some fields,” he said.… Continue reading

Read More »

BEST program concludes 15th year with annual banquet

The 2013-2014 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) Program wrapped up on May 10 with its annual awards banquet held at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus.

“The banquet is a time to celebrate the many achievements of our BEST participants, both in and out of the show ring,” says Stephanie Sindel, BEST coordinator. “Each participant is recognized for their hard work by family, friends and BEST supporters alike.”

Several representatives from program sponsors Bob Evans Farms, Burroughs Frazier Farms, Farm Credit Mid-America, Green Oak Farms, M.H. Eby, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Weaver Livestock were on hand to help present awards totaling more than $42,000 in belt buckles, furniture, show materials and other awards.

This year’s BEST program featured 17 sanctioned shows that weaved its way across the state with 380 youth participants showing 537 head of market animals and heifers.


Banquet Sponsors

The BEST program also receives tremendous support for awards and the awards banquet.… Continue reading

Read More »

NFU continues defense of COOL

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently heard argument en banc in AMI v. USDA. While a three-judge panel had affirmed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction on the implementation of the revised Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations, the panel had noted that one issue might warrant rehearing en banc.

The parties’ positions before the Court are essentially the same as what was presented to the panel although additional briefing was sought by the Court on the reach of a certain Supreme Court decision in the First Amendment area.

National Farmers Union (NFU), along with fellow intervenors the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, American Sheep Industry Association and Consumer Federation of America, has participated at both the district court and at the D.C. Circuit supporting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s revised COOL regulation and opposing the preliminary injunction request of the plaintiffs/appellants.

“The revised COOL regulation is an important step in providing consumers improved information on the origin of the meat products they buy, and it reduces consumer confusion,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.… Continue reading

Read More »

2014 Spring Buckeye Draft Horse Sale results

Official sale results as supplied by the Buckeye Draft Horse Sale Committee. This sale takes place twice a year in Dover, Ohio.

Photo courtesy of JW Wilcox – Amish Country Images.

179 horses entered • 22 outs • 7 no sales • 150 sold (catalogued and uncatalogued)

Horses entered from and sold into 14 states and Canada.
45 Belgian mares  average: $3,183
33 Percheron mares  average: $3,543
15 Belgian geldings average: $3,340
11 Percheron geldings average: $3,300
27 Belgian stallions average: $2,748
19 Percheron stallions  average: $1,834
47 yearling stallions (both breeds) average: $2,510
Uncatalogued horses average: $3,045
Total sale average: 150 head average: $3,038


Format: Lot number; Seller; Sale Price; Buyer

1          Martin M. Wickey, Jr., Decatur, IN 5,000 Oba Hershberger, Sullivan, IL
2           Nathaniel U. Byler, Bristolville, OH    5,500   Harley Schwartz , Akron, lN
3           Mystic Meadows LTD, Garee W. Earnest, Johnstown, OH      2,100   Aden D. Schlabach,Fredericksburg, OH
4           Eli L.

Continue reading

Read More »

What causes purple corn?

Cool and wet weather at early stages of corn development, as we are experiencing this year, are ideal for the appearance of purple plants. What causes the plants to become purple? Some of the reasons are given below:

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

• Acidic soils with pH lower than 5.5 may also cause seedling purpling.

• Wet soils can also inhibit the nutrient uptake and cause purple leaves.

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

• Any plant stresses which reduce uptake of phosphorus may result in purple leaves and stalks. Root restrictions may also cause phosphate deficiency symptoms.… Continue reading

Read More »

New agritourism legislation introduced in Ohio Senate

A new bill in the Ohio Senate addresses several legal issues for Ohio agritourism operators. Senators Jones (R-Springboro) and Peterson (R-Sabina) introduced S.B. 334 on May 7. The bill would impact Ohio agritourism operators in regards to civil liability, property taxation, zoning regulation and amusement ride standards.


Civil liability protection

Following a similar trend in other states, the Ohio legislation would grant agritourism operators civil liability protection from claims for injuries that occur during agritourism activities. An operator would not be liable for harm that an observer or participant sustains during an agritourism activity if the harm is a result of the following conditions, which the law defines as “risks inherent in an agritourism activity”:

(a) The surface and subsurface conditions of land;

(b) The behavior of wild or domestic animals;

(c) The ordinary dangers associated with structures or equipment ordinarily used in farming or ranching operations;

(d) The possibility of contracting illness resulting from physical contact with animals, animal feed, animal waste, or surfaces contaminated by animal waste;

(e) The possibility that a participant may act in a negligent manner, including by failing to follow instructions given by the agritourism provider or by failing to exercise reasonable caution while engaging in the agritourism activity that may contribute to injury to that participant or another participant.… Continue reading

Read More »

Stay safe as planting season drags on

Working fast to get crops in to beat incoming weather is just one instance in which farmers increase their risk of injury, a safety expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences says.

Knowing some simple safety precautions to take during spring planting is critical for farmers to reduce the potential for injuries, said Kent McGuire, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural health and safety professional.

Spring planting is a time when farm workers are continually moving from one piece of equipment to another and climbing on equipment to fill with seed or make repairs, McGuire said.  This is a time that farmers should take extra precautions to prevent falls when working around farm equipment, he said.

“During spring planting, there is a sense of urgency to get corn and soybeans planted,” McGuire said. “Farmers put in long hours, day after day. That’s when fatigue or complacency sets in, and a slip, trip or fall injury can happen very quickly.… Continue reading

Read More »