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OEFFA starts investment fund

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has partnered with a group of socially-motivated local investors who are making $500,000 available to launch a groundbreaking initiative: the OEFFA Investment Fund.  The purpose of the fund is to promote sustainable agriculture in Ohio by making flexible and affordable capital available to OEFFA member farmers and farm-related businesses.

The traditional sources of farm and small business financing are often not receptive to small- and mid-sized sustainable and organic farmers and entrepreneurs who may lack personal capital, an equity base, sufficient credit, and the needed tools and training to convert farm production plans to the kinds of business plans that many financial institutions require. These challenges are compounded by the national trends of agricultural lending over the last few decades, and the turmoil in the financial industry more recently.

Despite the increasing demand for local, healthy food and the economic opportunities it creates, many business ideas are not pursued because of a lack of financing.… Continue reading

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Palmer amaranth spreading to the west

Thus far, the much-feared Palmer amaranth has been found only in one field in Ohio and is being closely monitored. Unfortunately, though, the weed has become more prolific for Ohio western neighbor.

Populations of the fast-spreading Palmer amaranth weed have been confirmed in five counties in northwestern Indiana, said Travis Legleiter, a Purdue weed science program specialist Purdue Extension weed specialist. At least 50 corn and soybean fields of Jasper, Newton, Pulaski, LaPorte and Cass counties have verified infestations.

Palmer amaranth is a green, flowering plant that has caused widespread damage in cotton production in southern states. Most populations are glyphosate-resistant, and the weed thrives in summer heat, can grow upwards of two inches per day and reach heights greater than 7 feet.

Legleiter said the rapid growth and general hardiness of the weed makes it a problem in corn and soybean fields.

“Palmer amaranth’s competitiveness is what makes it a concern for us,” he said.… Continue reading

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Wool price on the rise

The wool market continued its positive autumn theme through October with a weekly rise of 4.4% late in the month. A stronger Australian currency failed to dent the momentum and, in U.S. dollar terms, the Australian market closed 52 U.S. cents higher for the week.

Europe emerged as the dominant buying force with additional strong support from Chinese and Indian buyers.

The Australian Wool Exchanges Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) increased by AUD$1.10 over the past four sales. The week closed with the EMI hitting 1,048 Australian cents per kilogram (clean), its highest level since July 12. In U.S. dollar terms, the EMI rose to 1,085 US cents per kilogram (clean).

Fine wools continue to head towards a more normal premium with the basis separating 18.5 and 21 micron having risen from its autumnal low of circa 50 cents to a more respectable 123 cents this week.

Reaction from overseas markets was relatively positive this fall with evidence of some large orders coming onto the market from spinners who had previously held back waiting for either lower prices or who have simply been waiting for more certainty from downstream.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – October 31st, 2012


The average temperature for the State was 58.6 degrees, 8.0 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, October 28, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.78 inches, 0.30 inches above normal. There were 68 modified growing degree days, 23 days above normal.

Reporters rated 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, October 26, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 7 percent very short, 24 percent short, 62 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.


Ohio farm operators are continuing the harvest of corn and soybeans. Producers are selling off some livestock inventory, because high hay prices and low hay inventories will not allow producers to retain current livestock inventory though this coming winter.

As of Sunday October 28th, 64 percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by 47 percent and the five-year average by 16 percent.… Continue reading

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ASA working to boost soy demand around the world

The American Soybean Association International Marketing (ASA-IM) has been hard at work exploring marketing opportunities around the globe.

ASA-IM in Europe recently contracted Paul Smolen, a grain and soybean meal trader, to identify emerging opportunities for U.S. soy in the European market. Smolen met with feed compounders, poultry, swine and dairy integrators, and soy importers in Poland and Denmark. ASA-IM Northeast Europe contractor Jerzy Kosieradzki accompanied Smolen in Poland and ASA-IM Europe Regional Director Mark Andersen joined Smolen in Denmark.

“We want Paul to evaluate the Northern EU key markets that have the most potential for U.S. exports on the levels of market characteristics, trade flow, competitiveness and customer profile,” Andersen said. “We want to better understand the opportunities and challenges in the individual customer’s business as well as the local markets.”

Smolen noted three approaches to achieve ASA-IM’s objective:
  • Improve customer recognition and utilize the market value of U.S. soy.
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EU approves Agrisure Vipterra

The European Union granted official approval of the Syngenta corn variety MIR 162 Agrisure Vipterra, opening the way for exports of U.S. corn co-products, including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed (CGF). The long-delayed decision came after years of industry leadership and efforts including COCERAL, a grain trade association, FEFAC, a feed millers association, and the Irish Feed Millers Association.

“This approval is a great success as it opens the window of opportunity for U.S. products, including DDGS and CGF, to enter the EU market. This is especially attractive in big markets like Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. Their ability to import these high-protein feed ingredients is critical at a time of crop shortage in Europe and high prices. Everyone is looking for alternatives,” said Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council senior regional director based in Tunis.

Sifferath noted, however, the opportunity may only exist for a limited amount of time as new crop biotech events coming down the pipeline are not yet approved in Europe.… Continue reading

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2013 Antibiotic Residue Prevention Manual now available to dairy producers

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has released a revised version of its Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual for 2013. As an area of focus for the National Dairy FARM Program, the manual can be found online.

The Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual is a concise review of appropriate antibiotic use in dairy animals. The manual is a quick resource to review those antibiotics approved for dairy animals and can also be used as an educational tool for farm managers as they develop their on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues.

Additions to the 2013 version include a section on avoiding potential residue violations from extra-label drug use in an unapproved class of cattle, cephalosporin extra-label use prohibitions, as well as an updated drug and test kit list. The 2013 manual includes a certificate of participation that can be signed by a producer and his/her veterinarian to demonstrate their commitment to the proper use of antibiotics.… Continue reading

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Make Your Land Work For You meeting to be held in November

The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension and the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will host a public meeting November 8 at 6pm.  The meeting will be held at the Licking County USDA Service Center located at 771 East Main St., Newark, Ohio 43055 to discuss local conservation and agriculture topics.

The discussion will begin with, “What is algae and why is there so much of it?”  As OSU Extension experts explain what’s happening with algae in our lakes and what that means to you.

“Why better soil grows better crops, and better pastures grow more nutritious food for grazing animals” as USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) District Conservationist explains how to make your land more productive.

Learn how USDA supports agriculture through conservation efforts and disaster relief as the NRCS State Conservationist and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director provide agency updates.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef farmers team up to donate one ton of beef

More than one ton of lean ground beef was donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank Oct. 25, 2012 by Ohio’s beef farmers and Kroger. Throughout the summer, Columbus Clippers, Kroger, the Ohio Soybean Council, Ohio Corn Marketing Program and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank partnered with Ohio beef farmers in Striking Out Hunger with Lean Beef. A donation of more than 2,000 pounds of lean ground beef is the result of that partnership.

Thanks to the skill of the Columbus Clippers’ pitching staff, every strike out they recorded during the 2012 baseball season resulted in a donation of two pounds of lean ground beef to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

The donation doesn’t stop there, as one pound of lean ground beef feeds a family of four while providing 10 essential vitamins and nutrients and accounting for only 150 calories. The successful program resulted in a donation of more than 8,000 lean beef meals.

“On behalf of Ohio’s beef farmers I would like to say how honored we were to be a part of this program,” said Bill Sexten, chairman of the Ohio Beef Council Operating Committee.… Continue reading

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Ohio Department of Agriculture Director appoints deputy directors

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels today announced appointments of Sereana Howard Dresbach and John Schlichter as new deputy directors to the department’s senior management team.

Dresbach will oversee the divisions of Animal Health, Consumer Protection, Dairy, Food Safety and Meat Inspection. Prior to her new appointment, Dresbach served as education director for the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine and the Center for Critical Care at Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University. In addition to her years of experience in education and research, she has been involved with agriculture and agribusiness at the state and national level with various organizations. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, with a doctorate degree in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, graduate degrees at the University of Wyoming and undergraduate degrees from Iowa State University.

Schlichter will be responsible for overseeing the divisions of Plant Health, Livestock Environmental Permitting, Weights and Measures and Amusement Ride Safety.… Continue reading

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Generators, water pumps and safety items in stock at J D Equipment & J.D. Power System

JD Equipment (with 8 stores in central Ohio) and J.D. Power Systems (Grove City) have generators ranging from portables to home standbys to larger units in stock and available for purchase at their stores.

Due to the forecasts for the high winds, flooding and potential power outages from Hurricane Sandy many other local retailers have announced that they have run out of stock of generators and power equipment, so check with a J D Equipment or J.D. Power Systems store for your emergency equipment needs.

J D Equipment and J.D. Power Systems stock generators, water pumps, chain saws and other related safety and emergency preparedness equipment. All stores have trained technicians who can perform service and maintenance work on all related equipment, as well as installations and maintenance on all sizes and brands of generators. The 9 stores stock many models of generators including Generac and Honda, with additional brands available at J.D.… Continue reading

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What should you do in 2013?

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

I have been asked by several farmers how they should make adjustments in their farming operations in response to the heat and drought of 2012. Here are some ideas you may want to consider for the 2013 crop:

• Don’t over-react to what happened this year. This was a once-in-50 year’s season. If I was a betting man, I would not bet on a repeat of similar conditions next year.

• Don’t pay too much attention to the yield data from only 2012. Look at multiple years and multiple locations data. Seed Consultants had 75 replicated test plot locations with 45,000 plots this year.

• Plant early but not too early. Some people got hurt by planting in March or early April, first by frost, followed by Pythium diseases, and later by very hot period during pollination.

• Don’t change your planting populations based on this year’s experience.… Continue reading

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Produce workshop this month

Ohio State University’s Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team will hold a workshop on preventing microbial contamination on fruit and vegetable farms on Nov. 14.

The program will focus on food safety and good agricultural practices, or GAPs. It runs 1-4 p.m. at Ohio State University Extension’s Mahoning County office, 490 S. Broad St., Canfield.

“The Food and Drug Administration should be releasing draft standards for safe production and harvest of fruits and vegetables as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, so it’s a good time to learn about GAPs,” said Ashley Kulhanek, the team’s coordinator.

The draft standards have been delayed in the Office of Management and Budget but are likely to be released after the November election.

OSU Extension educators and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center staff will lead the workshop. Participants will receive a resource workbook, paper handouts and a certificate of participation.

Attendees won’t become certified in GAPs by taking the course because certification comes only through a farm audit by the U.S.… Continue reading

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Four Ohio FFA members win national proficiency awards

Four Ohio FFA members were named national winners in their respective proficiency category at the 85h National FFA Convention on October 26.



Thomas Shaw spoke with Jakob Wilson of the Fairbanks FFA winner of the  Diversified Crop Production Placement proficiency

Jakob Wilson-Div. Crop Production








Elizabeth Hayes of the Marysville FFA talked to Thomas Shaw about winning the Equine Science, Entrepreneurship proficiency

Elizabeth Hayes-Equine Sci, Entre.










Thomas Shaw talks with Nick Rutschilling of the Versailles FFA, winner of the Swine Production Placement proficiency

Nick Rutschilling-Swine Production Placement








Thomas Shaw spoke with Garrit Sproull of the Harrison FFA  just after he won the Swine Production Entrepreneurship proficiency

Garrit Sproull-Swine Production Entre.Continue reading

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2012 schedule of Income Tax Schools

Ohio State University Extension has announced its 2012 schedule of Income Tax Schools, which last year drew more than 800 participants.

The schools are offered at eight locations around Ohio and are designed for people who prepare income tax returns.

The teaching team for the schools includes three OSU Extension faculty and two current and two retired employees of the Internal Revenue Service. Three of the seven will be at each location.

“We’re in our 49th year of offering these schools,” said OSU Extension’s David Marrison, the interim director and one of the instructors for the schools. “Our blend of Ohio State faculty and IRS professionals allows us to offer one of the highest-rated income tax continuing education programs in the nation.”

The schedule is:

* Nov. 13-14: Bridgewater Banquet and Conference Center, 10561 Sawmill Parkway, Powell (Columbus area).

* Nov. 15-16: Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed, 1375 State Route 590, Gibsonburg (Fremont area).… Continue reading

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Farm bill expiration has ramifications

The expiration of the 2008 farm bill on Sept. 30 brought with it the end of funding for the Foreign Market Development program and the Market Access Program.  These two programs leverage farmer and agribusiness investments to build an active outreach program in more than 50 countries.

“Agricultural trade continues to be a success story and one of the few bright spots among our nation’s economy,” NCGA President Pam Johnson said.  “The continuing growth in agricultural exports contributes to economic growth for our economy and consistently provides a positive balance to global trade.  The expiration of funds for MAP and FMD are yet another example of why Congress needs to pass a new, comprehensive five-year farm bill as soon as possible.”

MAP and FMD cooperators, like the U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Meat Export Federation, employ staff around the world, build and defend U.S. market share of corn and related co-products and directly foster sales opportunities for U.S.… Continue reading

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2012 National FFA Convention coverage

Thomas Shaw talks with Matt Reese

Thomas Shaw talks with Matt Reese

Shaw filed his first Ohio Ag Net report after day 1 wrapped up in Indy

Friday Morn OCJ

During the 2nd day of the Convention, Shaw checked in with this update

Friday Mid-Day OCJ

Shaw also visited with state officer Clay Parrish

OCJ 2PM interiew with Clay Parrish

 See the four Ohio FFA members who were national proficiency award winners.

See highlights from the convention in National FFA Convention photo gallery.

Meller named National FFA Alumni achievement winner

The Ohio FFA and Buckeye Valley FFA Chapter along with the National FFA benefited from the auction of a one-of-a-kind CASE IH skid loader that will be coming back to Ohio.




 … Continue reading

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HungerU visits Ohio State campus to discuss agriculture’s role in ending hunger

By Heather Hetterick, Ohio Ag Net

The Ohio State University was one of seven stops on the inaugural HungerU tour that travelled the country to raise awareness of hunger problems and generate solutions for the future.

“Our goal is to engage with college students in conversations about how advanced agriculture can end today’s world hunger problems,” said Amanda Stevens, one of four women who travel across the country with the HungerU tour, which is a project of Farmers Feeding the World.

The HungerU team along with Ohio State students enrolled in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences set up on the Oval to start a discussion and bring attention to the issue of hunger.

“We took free t-shirts, water bottles and information about HungerU. We created conversations all day long with students about world hunger, causes of hunger, and tried to get students thinking about how we can end hunger using advanced agriculture methods,” Stevens said.… Continue reading

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Iowa small farms use teamwork to compete

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

There has been a recent trend in agriculture, to not only turn a profit in the industry but to just plain survive, and that is to go big or go home. For some small farms that may mean expanding their operations by leaps and bounds, for others that may require finding other means of income or changing careers altogether.

That is why a group of small farmers in rural Iowa who call themselves FUN, or Farmers United Network, have taken matters into their own hands by combining efforts to create an atmosphere that can compete in today’s marketplace. Chris Barron is one of the Iowa farmers involved in this venture and he said that more than the profits are shared in this network. He and neighboring farmers also share information, over 8,000 acres of land and equipment.

“We’ve discovered that our strategy really improves efficiency for everyone’s operation,” Barron said.… Continue reading

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Patterson re-elected to Farm Credit Board of Directors

Five farmers were elected by customers of Farm Credit Mid-America as the newest members of the Board of Directors. Farm Credit’s Board is comprised of 16 elected directors and two independent directors who meet monthly to set policy and provide overall direction for the agricultural lending cooperative which spans four states and serves almost 100,000 customers-members.

“As a cooperative, Farm Credit offers customers the opportunity to vote for the individuals that will drive the decisions of the association, the members of the Board,” said Kevin Cox, chair of Farm Credit’s Board of Directors. “The results of the 2012 election are in and we are excited to welcome back three directors and introduce two new members.”

The newly elected and re-elected Board members include Bill Patterson (Incumbent) of Chesterland who will serve in Ohio’s four year position. Patterson owns and operates Patterson Farms, PFF, Inc. and Orchard Hills Inc. He received a degree in Agriculture Economics from the Ohio State University.… Continue reading

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