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EPA withdraws order in the face of farmer’s lawsuit

In a surprise about-face, the Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn an order demanding that West Virginia poultry grower Lois Alt obtain a Clean Water Act discharge permit for stormwater runoff from her farmyard or face up to $37,500 per day in penalties. While the action is a great victory for Alt, it leaves unresolved a major legal issue with serious implications for other livestock and poultry farmers that must be addressed, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled in October that AFBF and West Virginia Farm Bureau have the right to join Alt’s lawsuit. EPA had aggressively opposed the Farm Bureaus’ participation. EPA’s withdrawal of the order comes six months after Alt filed her legal action and a mere six weeks before Alt and AFBF are scheduled to file briefs challenging EPA’s interpretation of the law.

In withdrawing its order, EPA cited new management practices identified during a May 2012 re-inspection of the farm.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to host annual meeting and banquet

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet are set for Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, at the Marriott Columbus Northwest in Columbus. All OCA members are encouraged to attend the day’s events which include policy development sessions, an update on OCA events and programs and OCA’s annual awards banquet.

The annual meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and will feature Kent Bacus, Associate Director of Legislative Affairs in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Washington, DC office. Kent specializes on trade issues for NCBA and also handles tax, transportation and appropriations issues. The membership will also hear reports from OCA committee chairmen and take part in the association’s policy development session. Following the meeting, a hospitality hour is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The OCA Awards Banquet starts at 6 p.m., an event recognizing outstanding contributors to Ohio’s beef industry. Awards include: Outstanding County Affiliates, Young Cattleman of the Year, Industry Service Award, Industry Excellence Award, Seedstock Producer of the Year, Commercial Producer of the Year and scholarship presentations.… Continue reading

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USDA announces final rule establishing traceability for livestock

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a final rule establishing general regulations for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate.

“With the final rule announced today, the United States now has a flexible, effective animal disease traceability system for livestock moving interstate, without undue burdens for ranchers and U.S. livestock businesses,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The final rule meets the diverse needs of the countryside where states and tribes can develop systems for tracking animals that work best for them and their producers, while addressing any gaps in our overall disease response efforts. Over the past several years, USDA has listened carefully to America’s farmers and ranchers, working collaboratively to establish a system of tools and safeguards that will help us target when and where animal diseases occur, and help us respond quickly.”

Under the final rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates.… Continue reading

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Enter the FFA Week Video Contest!

Is your FFA chapter the best in the state?  Prove it! Show off your chapter’s creativity, passion for agriculture, and maybe even dance moves in the first ever Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net FFA Week Video Contest.

Although they are well past their FFA prime, these past members put together a…well…entertaining example of what we are looking for!

Get all of the contest details and we look forward to your chapter’s entry.… Continue reading

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Ohioans place well in National Corn Yield Contest

The National Corn Growers Association just released the 2012 National Corn Yield Contest results and there are a couple of national winners from Ohio.

Jim Herring, from Herring Farms in Harpster finished second the AA Non-Irrigated category with 292.9655 bushels from DEKALB DKC59-64. Ridge View Farm, from Clyde, finished third in the AA Strip-till Non-Irrigated category with 284.3954 with DEKALB DKC57-50.

The National Corn Yield Contest is in its 48th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. With 8,262 entries, the 2012 NCGA National Corn Yield Contest neared the participation record set last year of 8,425 entries. Notably, 2012 still marks a dramatic trend toward higher entry rates, far surpassing the previous entry record set in 2010 of 7,125 entries.

After Herring, Triple “M” Farms from Findlay finished next with 286 bushels with Pioneer P1018AM1. Herring’s brother, Phil, had 283 bushels with DEKALB (DKC63-84). In Ohio’s No-Till/Strip-Till category, Stewart Farms with 253 bushels (DKC62-97) and Kathy Snyder from Delta with 240 bushels with Pioneer P1012AM1 finished behind the top yield of Ridge View Farms.… Continue reading

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Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program funds FFA nutrition campaign

Ten Ohio FFA chapters won $500 and one Ohio FFA chapter will win $2,000 because of the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program’s (OSGMP) sponsorship of a nutritional-awareness campaign — The “Food for Thought Challenge.”

Introduced at the annual Farm Science Review, Food for Thought is a statewide competition among FFA chapters to increase awareness about the nutritional value of a diet with whole grains, among other healthy behavior changes, in their schools.

Participating FFA chapters submitted campaign entries in September and were selected in October based on the originality of their campaign ideas.

Food for Thought FFA chapters include: Ridgemont, Eaton, Fairlawn, CLear Fork, London, Miami East, Ridgedale, NOrth Union, Twin Valley South, and Benjamin Logan.

Many chapters have already begun implementing their campaigns, which include tactics such as promoting the use of student food logs, organizing educational fairs with health-related groups and providing healthy snacks between classes.

The FFA chapters will showcase their campaign efforts at the 84th Ohio State FFA Convention May 2-3 at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.… Continue reading

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Shocking Asian carp out of Midwest rivers not a viable option

One of the more promising ideas for controlling or eliminating troublesome Asian carp populations in the Midwest’s rivers is impractical and unsafe, according to a Purdue University researcher.

Scientists had hoped to modify or expand low-voltage electrical barriers like those used around Chicago waterways to direct fish from particular areas. Reuben Goforth, an assistant professor of aquatic community ecology in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, said the level of electricity needed to kill Asian carp eggs in the rivers where the invasive species has spread would be far too high.

“We were really hoping this would be a viable way to control these Asian carp,” said Goforth, whose findings were published in the early online version of Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. “We really need to look at other methods.”

The several species known as Asian carp — silver carp, black carp and bighead carp — are not native to U.S.… Continue reading

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CCA exam prep session offered by Extension

OSU Extension agronomics team to offer Certified Crop Adviser exam prep

People planning to take the Certified Crop Adviser exam can gain testing insight through a two-day CCA exam preparation session taught by members of Ohio State University Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team. The sessions are Jan. 16 and 17.

The course is designed to help participants understand the principles necessary to become a certified crop adviser and to assist in preparation for the state and international CCA exams, said Harold Watters, an OSU Extension agronomy field specialist and coordinator of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team.

While the exam preparation class wasn’t created to be a “crash course” covering all information on the CCA exam, the training session will offer participants information on performance objectives and provide direction for independent study, he said.

“Crop advisers are the folks who provide advice to producers on nutrient management, crop management, pest management, and managing soil and water issues,” Watters said.… Continue reading

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USB helps commercialize 45 new soy-based products

Various performance and environmental attributes have made U.S. soy popular among product manufacturers, which has helped rapidly increase industrial demand for soy. In the last year alone, the United Soybean Board (USB) partnered with manufacturers to commercialize 45 new soy-based products.

“We’re looking for innovative work that will lead to a great new use for soybeans,” said USB Director Russ Carpenter, a soybean farmer from Trumansburg, N.Y. “We collaborate with industry on research projects and form partnerships that add value for everybody, both the manufacturers and soybean farmers.”

USB provides funding to manufacturers of industrial and consumer products to research, develop and commercialize new products that contain soy. Partnerships like these have helped bring hundreds of new soy products to the marketplace and increase industrial use of U.S. soy oil by 482% in the last 10 years. And USB continues to look for new opportunities to create more partnerships that support both innovation and demand for U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit set for Jan. 17 in Columbus

Farmers, landowners, land-use planners and anyone else interested in preserving farmland in Ohio can get tips from the experts during a farmland summit on Jan. 17.

The 13th annual Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit is designed to teach various techniques, tools and methods to legally preserve farmland.

“This year, we’re looking to provide different ideas on enterprises and marketing strategies that can be used to help people generate income as a way to preserve farmland,” said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator and Small Farm Program coordinator. “In order to preserve Ohio farmland, we have to devise profitable alternatives for all varieties of farms to survive. The goal of the summit is to offer participants different ways to generate income on the farm.”

The summit is from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Ohio State University’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus.

Hogan and David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, will give opening.… Continue reading

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OARDC adds greener, bi-fuel vehicles to its fleet

The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) now has four environmentally friendly bi-fuel vehicles on the road as part of a new demonstration project.

Using $46,000 in grant funding from the nonprofit group Clean Fuels Ohio, the center recently had four of its fleet vehicles — three Ford Fusion sedans and a GMC Sierra pickup truck — converted to run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG), which is a less-polluting fuel that’s also cheaper.

Furthermore, OARDC officials expect most of the CNG burned in the vehicles to come from renewable biogas produced locally by one of the center’s industry partners, Cleveland-based quasar energy group.

The company operates a biogas-producing waste digester and CNG filling station on OARDC’s main campus in Wooster in northeast Ohio. It has similar facilities in Cleveland, Columbus and other locations.

“The whole idea is to get to a carbon-neutral environment, a carbon-neutral society,” said OARDC Associate Director Dave Benfield, one of the project’s leaders.… Continue reading

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4 R nutrient stewardship and Ohio resources for determining fertilizer rates

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

4R Nutrient Stewardship is an industry driven concept of looking at soil nutrient application. The program utilizes a science-based approach to nutrient use in crop production. The program has three goals that match to our goals in Ohio agriculture:

• Increase crop production & improve profitability

• Minimize nutrient loss & maintain soil fertility

• Ensure sustainable agriculture for generations to come.

Due to its common sense approach to define best management on the farm, this concept was quickly adapted in relation water quality concerns in Ohio’s waters, when the Directors of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Department of Agriculture met with the agricultural and environmental groups in the fall of 2011. From a farm standpoint, it considers economics of nutrient use, returns through harvested yield and incorporates practices to keep nutrients on the field for future crop production rather than leaving the field in water runoff.… Continue reading

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U.S. Grain Council’s Corn Harvest Quality Report having an impact

 

In just its second year, the U.S. Grains Council’s Corn Harvest Quality Report is scoring important points for U.S. producers with appreciative foreign buyers. Released on Dec. 7, the Harvest Report is available online and has already been presented to potential buyers and other interested parties in more than 10 major markets around the world, with more briefings on tap.

“The reaction has been very positive,” said Maryland farmer and Council Corn Sector Director Chip Councell. “In every one of our meetings, the turnout was higher than we had anticipated. Participants were relieved to hear that U.S. corn quality tests very high, despite the drought. U.S. exports will still face price and availability issues this year, but strong marks on quality are important and will help U.S. sales in a challenging marketing year.”

Councell joined the Council’s directors in Japan, Taiwan and Korea to present the U.S. farmer perspective, especially regarding the drought impact and future planting intentions.… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA and local chapter benefit from CASE IH auction

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

With the click of the mouse, a consortium of Central Ohio Case IH dealers bought one of the most unique skid steers around and became a major benefactor of the FFA at the national, regional and local levels. Their final bid of $77,000 won Evolution Ag, LLC the online auction for “Red Power” – a one-of-a-kind skid steer donated by Case IH to raise funds for the organization.

In fact, 89 percent of the sale proceeds with go to the National FFA Foundation and 10 percent to the Ohio FFA Foundation. One percent was recently awarded to Buckeye Valley FFA, the local chapter selected by Evolution Ag, LLC, which is the parent company of JR Equipment, Inc, Hill Implement Co., and Agri-Trac, all with Ohio locations.

AUDIO

Doug Loudenslager, co-owner of Evolution Ag, LLC talked about the reason behind being the highest bidder and the short and long term plans for “Red Power”.… Continue reading

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ForYourInFARMation teaching about ag to Ohio third graders

By David White, Ohio Livestock Coalition

There was a time when just about everyone knew where their food came from and how it was produced, because it was probably their dad, uncle or grandfather producing it on the family farm. But that’s not the case anymore.

The Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC) believes that as more and more families become generations removed from the farm, it is increasingly important to educate students at a younger age about where their food comes from and the critical role Ohio livestock farmers play in feeding Ohio and the world.

That’s just one of the many reasons that five years ago OLC created ForYourInFARMation (FYI), an educational outreach program designed for third grade students that seeks to teach them about the origins of the food they eat every day and the important role agriculture plays in Ohio’s economy. Through these materials, students learn about farmers, the economy, livestock farming, keys to safe and healthy food, careers in agriculture, and how farmers provide excellent animal care protect precious natural resources.… Continue reading

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Russia restricts U.S. pork

Russia announced late last week that any meat containing the feed additive ractopamine will be at risk of destruction or re-export because it violates Custom Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) regulations.

Russia will now require pork imports from the United States to show documentation that the pork does not contain ractopamine residues. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, however, does not have a testing and certification program in place to detect ractopamine residues in pork or beef because the feed additive has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a safe product. Ractopamine improves the feed efficiency, growth rate and lean carcass percentage of live hogs and cattle.

Earlier this year, the U.N.’s Codex Alimentarius, which sets international standards for food safety, approved a maximum residue limit (MRL) for ractopamine, which U.S. pork meets. Only 41 percent of U.S. pork plants are currently eligible to export to Russia because of the imposition of non-science-based trade barriers such as zero tolerance on pathogens in raw products, a standard no country in the world can meet.… Continue reading

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Dry Mississippi River concerns continue

This week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that two contractors have been selected to remove rock pinnacles on a portion of the Mississippi River and could potentially begin work next week. A pre-construction meeting with both contractors has been scheduled for Dec. 14.

In a response letter to members of the Senate, the Corps indicated that it would not release additional waters from the Missouri River, which had been requested to help ensure that commercial navigation on the Mississippi River is not disrupted or stopped completely.

The Corps cited concerns that releasing waters would deplete storage reservoirs on the Missouri River that are already low from the drought this year. The Corps also pointed to adverse impacts that would result if the storage reservoirs were further reduced, including reduced drinking water availability for tribes, higher irrigation costs for farmers, and impacts to wildlife. The Corps also said releasing the waters would not be enough to solve the low water problem and continue navigation on the Mississippi.… Continue reading

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Share your t-shirt idea!

The Ohio Ag Net is looking for slogan ideas to put on our 2013 t-shirt. We are looking for a short, positive agricultural message to grace the front of it.

Do you have a cool idea? Share it with us below and if your slogan is chosen we will send you a prize pack of Ohio Ag Net goodies!

*Deadline to submit an idea is January 10, 2012.
[si-contact-form form=’3′] … Continue reading

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GM reveals 2014 Chevy Silverado and GM Sierra

GM just unveiled the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.


Silverado

Under the hood, the 2014 Silverado 1500 features a family of three all-new EcoTec3 engines, a V-6 and two V-8s, engineered specifically for use in full-size trucks. All three engines incorporate direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing, a combination of advanced technologies not found on any competitors’ trucks. All three switch seamlessly to four-cylinder operation to improve efficiency during light load driving, and all three are engineered provide more power, more torque, and better fuel economy than the previous versions.

The engine family includes a new 4.3L V-6 that will have ample torque to power a crew cab pickup and tow a substantial trailer, and a new 5.3L V-8 designed for more power, more torque, and better efficiency than the current version, which is currently the V-8 fuel economy leader. The new 6.2L V-8 is engineered to be the most capable engine in any light-duty pickup.… Continue reading

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Trapping device is new tool in battle with insects

A new agricultural electronic insect trapping device has the potential to automatically monitor insect pest populations and reduce the amount of insecticides emitted into the environment.

The Z-Trap is an insect trapping device that automatically detects the number of target insects captured by the trap and sends the data wirelessly to the grower’s mobile phone or computer. The Z-Trap is a Purdue University discovery being commercialized in the Purdue Research Park by Spensa Technologies Inc.

“Tracking insect populations is a fundamental part of any pest management program and being able to track those numbers in real time electronically through a smartphone or a computer helps growers choose how to use insecticides more judiciously,” said Johnny Park, president and CEO of Spensa and a Purdue research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering. “This device enables growers to electronically monitor insect populations, reduces the amount of chemicals emitted in agricultural fields, lowers labor costs and reduces the amount of insecticides purchased by growers.”… Continue reading

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