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CAUV bills awaiting committee action

Legislation proposing changes to Ohio’s current agricultural use valuation (CAUV) program has remained on hold in the General Assembly since last fall. Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) and Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) introduced the companion bills on November 18, 2015. The Senate referred its bill, SB 246, to the Senate Ways and Means Committee on December 9, 2015 and House Bill 398 was referred to the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee on January 20, 2016. Neither committee has acted on its bill.

Taking up Ohio Farm Bureau’s recommendations, the bill sponsors target two aspects of the CAUV program — the formula used to determine CAUV values and the valuation of land used for conservation practices or programs. To create more accurate valuations, the legislation proposes several changes to the CAUV formula:

• States additional factors to include in the rules that prescribe CAUV calculation methods. Currently, the rules must consider the productivity of the soil under normal management practices, the average price patterns of the crops and products produced to determine the income potential to be capitalized and the market value of the land for agricultural use.… Continue reading

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Big Data confusion with ownership

According to the Privacy and Security Principles for Farm DataWe believe farmers own information generated on their farming operation.  However, it is the responsibility of the farmer to agree upon data use and sharing with other stakeholders that have an economic interest, such as a tenant, landowner, cooperative, agriculture technology provider (ATP), etc.  The farmer contracting with the ATP is responsible for ensuring that only the data they own or have permissions to use is included in the account with the ATP.”  While it seems that the utilization of data from a farm management aspect is a helpful idea, the problem occurs when it’s time to determine who owns that data and who can use it for their own benefit.  According to Farm Bureau, knowing who owns the data is not very straightforward or easy to determine.

A recent report from the online food and agriculture investment platform, AgFunder, indicated that 2015 agriculture technology investment was $4.6B nearly doubling the $2.4B in 2014.

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Wheat ahead of schedule

The calendar may say that this is just the first few days of spring, but some wheat crops aren’t paying attention to the dates on the page.

In some areas in central Ohio, wheat is already at Feekes growth stage 5, which in a typical year doesn’t happen until early April, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The earlier growth stages for some Ohio winter wheat crops is thanks to the warm-up experienced in many areas of the state recently, Lindsey said.

Ahead of schedule

“Wheat growers can’t look to the calendar date this year to judge their crop’s growth stages simply because it’s been so warm recently,” she said. “We haven’t seen a year like this in recent times, so our recommendation is for growers to go out and check their wheat plants to judge their growth stages.… Continue reading

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USDA launches $41 million initiative to improve water quality for Western Lake Erie Basin

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest $41 million in a three-year initiative to support the work of farmers in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). The initiative helps farmers and ranchers implement science-based conservation measures to reduce runoff from farms entering the region’s waterways.

NRCS Chief Jason Weller unveiled the initiative at an event with partners and stakeholders from the region at Maumee Bay State Park in Toledo. This initiative will expand conservation and financial assistance opportunities available to WLEB farmers and ranchers who want to take additional steps to improve the quality of the water feeding the Lake. This funding is in addition to the $36 million the Agency has already planned to make available in the basin through the 2014 Farm Bill, for a combined three-year investment of $77 million to improve water quality and support sustainable production in the Basin.… Continue reading

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Planning for high yielding soybeans

When planning for the upcoming growing season, it can be easy to focus more energy on corn production as it has traditionally been the more intensively managed crop. However, producers who put in the effort to manage their soybean crop have proven it is possible to attain high yields of 70+ bushels per acre. Below are some tips for planning to produce high-yielding soybeans in 2016.

• Quality seed: Planting the right seed sets the stage for the entire growing season. Growers should plant genetics with high yield potential. Choose varieties that have been tested at several locations and across multiple years. Growers should choose varieties adapted to their soil types and management practices. As with corn, choosing varieties with strong disease packages and agronomic traits with aid in achieving higher yields.

• Planting date: University research has proven that timely, early planting is one way to increase soybean yields. As with corn, planting soybeans by early May improves yield potential.  … Continue reading

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ODPA Spring Meeting April 11

Dairy farmers from across the state are invited to attend the ODPA Spring Meeting to hear from Domino’s Chief Marketing Offi­cer Joe Jordan about their success in partnering with your dairy promotion program, how dairy and pizza are intertwined, and how we have and must continue working together to grow dairy sales.

Why? We know that consumers today are further removed from agriculture, more interested in where their food comes from, and more confused than ever given the often conflicting information with which they are bombarded.

Click here to register by April 4, 2016 for a program you won’t want to miss!

  • Get updates from OARDC, ATI and the ODPA Dairy Research Fund
  • Hear a legislative update from Scott Higgins, ODPA, and have a chance to provide your input on issues like GMOs, manure management and water quality
  • Enjoy lunch catered by Des Dutch Essenhaus, compliments of our sponsors
  • Discover what is being done to address consumer confidence in dairy and the role dairy farmers play in its success
  • Learn more about the National Dairy FARM Program from Katy Proudfoot, Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Get practical ideas from Dr.
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Topdressing wheat with liquid manure

Research on applying liquid livestock manure as a spring top-dress fertilizer to wheat has been ongoing in Ohio for several years. There is usually a window of time, typically around the last week of March or the first week of April, when fields are firm enough to support manure application equipment. The wheat fields have broken dormancy and are actively pulling nutrients from the soil.

The key to applying the correct amount of manure to fertilize wheat is to know the manure’s nitrogen content. Most manure tests reveal total nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen and organic nitrogen amounts. The ammonia nitrogen portion is readily available for plant growth. The organic nitrogen portion takes considerably longer to mineralize and generally will not be available when wheat uptakes the majority of its nitrogen in the months of April and May.

Some manure tests also list a “first year availability” nitrogen amount. This number is basically the ammonia nitrogen portion of the manure plus about half the organic nitrogen portion.… Continue reading

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Grazing workshops March 29, April 5 and April 12

Livestock producers looking to improve the forage quality of their pastures, grow healthier forage plants and improve plant persistence should consider rotational grazing, says an agriculture and natural resources expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Not only does rotational grazing promote timely utilization, it also allows producers to conserve surplus and reduce inputs, said Mark Landefeld, an Ohio State University Extension educator in Monroe County. In addition, it has a positive impact on the environment.

“Rotational grazing is really about better management of grazing for livestock producers,” he said. “Rotational grazing reduces the size of the paddock and allows grass to have a rest period and for roots to have a better chance to regrow and replenish the root stocks to improve both the quality and quantity of forages.”

To provide more information on grazing management, Landefeld and co-workers are organizing a series of workshops for livestock producers March 29, April 5 and April 12.… Continue reading

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Note to Ohio growers: Don’t jump the gun on planting

In the past week, you may have seen that four of the six Beck’s Hybrids PFR locations have planted their first entries in our long-term corn and soybean planting date study. This, along with the good weather, may tempt you to plant as well.

However, Beck’s long-term data strongly suggests waiting until the optimum planting window to begin planting on your farm.

Beck’s decision to plant this study was solely for research purposes. They purposely planted early, when soil conditions were ideal, for continued evaluation of the optimal planting time.

In regard to your decision to plant, now is NOT the optimal planting window, according to Beck’s. PFR’s long-term, multi-location data clearly shows the optimum planting time frame, which is illustrated in the graph below.

Ohio Corn Planting Date — 3-Year Summary

Click here to access the report for full study results.

Before heading to the field, please take this additional information into consideration:

  • Soil temperature – A soil temperature of 50°F or greater is required for optimum germination and stand establishment.
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Hand soap top entry in soybean innovation contest

A Purdue University team that created a hand soap with a soy exfoliant took first place in the 2016 Student Soybean Product Innovation Competition.

The group of four students will share a $20,000 prize for their winning entry, SoyFoliate, in the annual contest sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance.

“Indiana soybean farmers, through their investments in the soybean checkoff, have a long history of supporting the innovative research into new uses for soybeans,” said Joe Steinkamp of Evansville, Indiana, president of the soybean alliance. “For the last 22 years, this competition at Purdue University has demonstrated this commitment and has encouraged a whole new crop of future researchers to work with soybeans for the benefit of farmers, the soybean industry and the general consumer.”

SoyFoliate soap is naturally degradable. Exfoliating soy beads replace plastic microbeads that are being banned in the United States. The current plastic microbeads in commercial consumer products are made of a variety of plastics.… Continue reading

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Lessons learned from the 2014 and 2015 cattle markets

The last couple of years have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for beef cattle producers. We saw prices rise to record levels and then fall as sharply as we have ever seen. A combination of factors such as cattle inventory, production of competing meats, increasing slaughter weights, and international trade were all at play in the market. At the same time, producers were making management decisions in a rapidly changing environment. If the old adage is right and history repeats itself, it’s worth taking a look back to reflect on some things that can be learned.


1) If calf prices seem too good to be true, they probably are

There is a long time adage by agricultural economists that the cure to high prices is high prices. The implication is that producers respond to high prices by increasing production, which then brings down prices. As basic as this may seem, it is easy to get caught up in the euphoria of historically high calf prices and try to find reasons why it is different this time.… Continue reading

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SCN sampling can be done in the spring

These fluctuating temperatures that we have had this spring where we go from snow days to short days provides some opportunities to get the crews out and enjoy some nice weather. Sampling for Soybean Cyst Nematode is fine to do in the spring, especially in years where the ground thaws early.

It is becoming increasingly important in Ohio to know your numbers. Sounds like a cholesterol warning doesn’t it? In the case of SCN, less than 500 eggs per cup of soil and keeping it under 1,000 is what we need to shoot for on some fields. Non-detectable levels are like gold.

If you haven’t tested in a while, here are some guidelines of fields to be sure to target:

1. Fields which are consistently low yielding, always below the county average

2. Continuous soybean fields

3. Fields with a healthy crop of purple dead nettle, shepherds purse, or planted to a legume cover crop.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Expo posts new records

Beef industry enthusiasts gathered in Columbus, Ohio, March 18-20, for the 2016 Ohio Beef Expo. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) hosted more than 30,000 participants and attendees at the Ohio Expo Center. The Expo provides an annual opportunity for those in the cattle industry in Ohio, and across the nation, to learn and enhance their operations through a tradeshow, cattle sales and educational events.

The Expo kicked off with a trade show featuring 140 vendors from 15 states and a nutrition seminar sponsored by Purina Animal Nutrition and Zoetis. This year’s trade show broke the event’s record in number of exhibitors. Armstrong Ag was selected as the premier large booth exhibitor; and K Buildings was selected as the premier small booth exhibitor.

Four breed shows and one breed parade were featured Friday, as well as numerous breed displays representing the Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Miniature Hereford, Murray Grey, Simmental and Shorthorn breeds.… Continue reading

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Assessing wheat progress

On March 16 and 17, we visited our wheat trials in Clark County and Pickaway County. Both locations were at Feekes growth stage 5 (leaf sheath erect). In northwest Ohio, wheat is at green-up to Feekes growth stage 4.

Generally, Feekes growth stage 6 occurs in southern Ohio during early April; however, with abnormally warm temperatures, Feekes growth stage 6 (jointing) may occur sooner. To evaluate wheat for growth stage 6 follow these steps:

1- Pull, or better yet, dig up, several clusters of tillers with roots and soil from multiple locations in the field;

2- Identify and select three to four primary tillers from each cluster – usually the largest tillers with the thickest stem, but size can be deceiving;

3- Strip away and remove all the lower leaves (usually small and yellowish or dead leaves), exposing the base of the stem;

4- Now look for the first node generally between 1 and 2 inches above the base of the stem.… Continue reading

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Early termination of cover crops

Cover crops provide multiple benefits with regards to protecting soil from erosion, improving soil health, and as a component of a nutrient management plan.  For those cover crops that over winter and resume growth in the spring, for example, cereal rye and annual ryegrass, an important question is when to terminate that cover crop.  That decision should consider the next crop, planting date of that next crop, the spring weather pattern and purpose of the cover crop.   For cover crops that have not been planted with the intention of providing a forage harvest, and that are on acres intended for corn grain production, this may be a year to consider early termination of that cover crop.

A driving factor for early termination of cover crops this year is the potential for a drier than average spring and summer.  On a recent OSU Extension Ag Crops team conference call, Jim Noel from the National Weather Service talked about weather patterns following an El Nino year. … Continue reading

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Marestail problems expected in spring fields

A mild winter was just right to create conditions for a higher incidence of the marestail weed on farm fields this year, a Purdue University weed specialist says.

Farmers need to do what they can to gain control of it early in the planting season, said Travis Legleiter, weed science program specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology.

“As we go into spring, I think farmers need to be aware of how much marestail is in their fields,” Legleiter said. “I think this spring we may have more marestail, or marestail that’s further advanced in its growth stage, than we’ve had in the past.”

An effective burndown is the best method to control a marestail infestation, said Legleiter, who advises farmers to use herbicides other than 2,4-D and glyphosate.

Along with marestail, farmers should be aware of giant ragweed, Palmer amaranth and waterhemp.

Identification is key to fighting weed infestation.… Continue reading

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Nineteen leaders graduate from AgriPOWER Institute

Nineteen select leaders and advocates recently graduated from Ohio Farm Bureau’s AgriPOWER Institute Class VII. The intensive, yearlong leadership training program was launched in 2008 to help farmers and agricultural professionals gain influence over public policy issues that impact their businesses.

Class VII graduates are Jeff Adams of Urbana, Elaine Beekman of Wellington, Libby Bender of Prospect, Sara Campbell of Ripley, Shelly Detwiler of Marysville, Jessica Elson of Ashland, Josh Henderson of New Concord, Kayla Jones of Newark, Chris Kick of Wooster, Stephanie Leis of Columbus, Jenny Meyer of Bloomingburg, Steven Ruggles of Findlay, Matt Schlegel of Shreve, Victoria Shaw of Medina, Angela Shoemaker of Louisville, Lara Staples of Hamersville, Mandy Way of Chillicothe, Heidi White of Lebanon and Jami Willard of Interlaken, NY.

Over the last year, AgriPOWER participants attended multi-day sessions where they learned about public policy issues facing local communities, the state of Ohio, the nation and the world.… Continue reading

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NCGA puts focus on building demand

At the recent Commodity Classic in New Orleans, the National Corn Growers Association finalized a new strategic plan that will focus NCGA’s work on a vision of sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world.
The new plan sets four major strategic priorities that reflect the concerns heard through listening to farmers and key stakeholders:
  • Increase Demand
  • Strengthen Customer and Consumer Trust
  • Enhance Productivity & Environmental Sustainability
  • Strive for Organizational Excellence
Increasing demand is vital, noted NCGA President Chip Bowling at a news conference held earlier this month.
“Most corn farmers are well past the point of prices being below the cost of production, and prices have been there for some time now,” Bowling said. “Facing this dramatic income drop, farmers have begun tightening their belts. We are already seeing the ripple effects of this on rural communities. Implement dealers are selling less equipment. Manufacturers are scaling back production. Agribusinesses have laid off employees.”
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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces historic agreements for U.S.-Cuba agriculture sectors

As part of President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba to further normalization of relations, advance commercial and people-to-people ties, and express support for human rights for all Cubans, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced several measures that will foster further collaboration between the U.S. and Cuban agriculture sectors. The two neighboring countries share common climate and agriculture related concerns, and the measures announced in Havana will mutually benefit the Cuban people and U.S. farmers and ranchers.

While in Cuba, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA will allow the 22 industry-funded Research and Promotion Programs and 18 Marketing Order organizations to conduct authorized research and information exchange activities with Cuba. These groups, which are responsible for creating bonds with consumers and businesses around the world in support of U.S. agriculture, will be able to engage in cooperative research and information exchanges with Cuba about agricultural productivity, food security and sustainable natural resource management. Secretary Vilsack called the announcement “a significant step forward in strengthening our bond and broadening agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba.”… Continue reading

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Reminder about winter wheat management for spring of 2016

Wheat Feekes

With recent warm weather, winter wheat has broken dormancy and begun to green up. With wheat plants no longer dormant, scouting and management of wheat fields is critical to producing high yields. As discussed earlier in the year, now is the time to plan for N applications where field conditions allow. Below is an excerpt from and a previous newsletter with recommendations for nitrogen application and rates:

Spring applications of N should be made after the plants break dormancy. Although in some situations field conditions may be favorable, nitrogen applied in the late winter before plants have broken dormancy is more likely to be lost before plants can utilize it. Spring N applications should not be made before wheat has broken dormancy and begins to green up. The University of Kentucky publication “A Comprehensive Guide to Wheat Management in Kentucky” recommends: “When making a single N fertilizer application the best time is when the crop growth stage is Feekes 4-5, (Zadoks 30, usually mid-March) just before the first joint appears on the main stem and when wheat starts growing rapidly.”

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