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Just because we've always done it that way, doesn't make it right

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

One of the great strengths and at the same time, great weaknesses of the beef industry in this country is the wide diversity of genetics that we have at our disposal to utilize in a wide range of environments. We obviously have a wide range of climatic conditions where beef is produced ranging from the cold winters of upper Midwest, the arid conditions of the western states, the plentiful moisture and resulting mud in the eastern Corn Belt, to the heat of the southern states. When you compare these varying conditions to the controlled environments that species such as poultry, swine, and in many cases dairy utilize, you can understand why we see much more variability in the look of cow herds across the country. It certainly makes the job tougher for the beef industry to produce a consistent product for the consumer.… Continue reading

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H. R. 872 moves closer to a Senate vote

Congressional leaders from both parties have expressed interest in reining in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s expanding regulations. In one such effort, Ohio Representatives Bob Gibbs and Jean Schmidt took the lead on H. R. 872 that addressed the EPA’s duplication of regulations with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, passed the House earlier this year and was just passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee with a strong bipartisan vote. This legislation clarifies that NPDES permits are not required when applying pesticides according to their EPA approved label. Ohio Farm Bureau, American Farm Bureau, and the nation’s crop organizations were pleased with the bill’s progress one step closer to a vote on the Senate floor. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), voted in favor of the measure.

From a statement from the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association: “OCWGA is pleased by Sen.… Continue reading

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Executive order helps prevent spread of Asian longhorned beetle

Gov. John R. Kasich signed an Executive Order restricting the movement of hardwood logs, firewood, stumps, roots and branches out of Tate Township in Clermont County to help prevent the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).

The executive order is effective immediately and also restricts the sale of nursery stock, green lumber, and logs of the following trees: maples, horse chestnut, buckeye, mimosa, birch, hackberry, ash, golden raintree, katsura, sycamore, poplar, willow, mountain ash, and elms.

Working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Agriculture APHIS confirmed on Friday, June 17 the presence of ALB in Tate Township in Clermont County, which is located about 30 miles southeast of Cincinnati.

Executive Order 2011-11K can be viewed here: http://governor.ohio.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=t_kiJ0piYM0%3d&tabid=69Continue reading

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Cooling system may build eggs’ natural defenses against salmonella

Once eggs are laid, their natural resistance to pathogens begins to wear down, but a Purdue University scientist believes he knows how to rearm those defenses.

Kevin Keener, an associate professor of food science, created a process for rapidly cooling eggs that is designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as salmonella. The same cooling process would saturate the inside of an egg with carbon dioxide and alter pH levels, which he has found are connected to the activity of an enzyme called lysozyme, which defends egg whites from bacteria.

“This enzyme activity is directly related to the carbon dioxide and pH levels,” said Keener, whose results were published in the journal Poultry Science. “An increase in lysozyme would lead to increased safety in eggs.”

Freshly laid eggs are saturated with carbon dioxide and have pH levels of about 7. Over time, the pH level rises to 9 and carbon dioxide escapes, Keener said.… Continue reading

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Cooling system may build eggs' natural defenses against salmonella

Once eggs are laid, their natural resistance to pathogens begins to wear down, but a Purdue University scientist believes he knows how to rearm those defenses.

Kevin Keener, an associate professor of food science, created a process for rapidly cooling eggs that is designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as salmonella. The same cooling process would saturate the inside of an egg with carbon dioxide and alter pH levels, which he has found are connected to the activity of an enzyme called lysozyme, which defends egg whites from bacteria.

“This enzyme activity is directly related to the carbon dioxide and pH levels,” said Keener, whose results were published in the journal Poultry Science. “An increase in lysozyme would lead to increased safety in eggs.”

Freshly laid eggs are saturated with carbon dioxide and have pH levels of about 7. Over time, the pH level rises to 9 and carbon dioxide escapes, Keener said.… Continue reading

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Proper hay storage vital to protecting feed quality

After a wet spring and delayed hay harvest, a Purdue Extension beef specialist says it is vitally important for beef producers to store hay properly to reduce nutrient loss.

Much of the hay harvested now will be used as a main feed source this coming winter, said Ron Lemenager. Improper storage can lead to losses in weight or dry matter, as well as the nutrients required by animals, such as soluble energy, protein, vitamins and minerals.

“In an ideal world, producers would store hay bales inside,” he said. “But, with most producers using large, round bales, that’s often not possible.”

For outdoor storage, Lemenager said protecting hay quality starts with baling. The moisture level of the crop should be 15% to 18%. Anything above 22% poses a spontaneous combustion risk from bacterial growth. The same is true for bales with internal temperatures approaching 170 degrees, so producers making wet hay need to monitor bale temperatures, especially when hay is stored inside.… Continue reading

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Weekly Crop Progress Report-June 20th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY JUNE 19, 2011

The average temperature for the State was 66.7 degrees, 3.6 degrees below normal. Precipitation averaged 0.73 inches, 0.23 inches below normal. There were 107 modified growing degree days, 34 days below normal. Reporters rated 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, June 17, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 13 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

Temperatures and precipitation were lower than normal for most of the state, a departure from the previous two weeks. A break from the rainfall allowed farmers to finish planting corn and soybeans. Most field activities included cutting hay, spraying herbicide and side-dressing corn. Some wheat fields were showing indications of fusarium head blight due to high moisture levels. There were isolated reports of cut worm in corn, as well.

As of Sunday June 19th, corn was 92 percent emerged.… Continue reading

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Director of Ohio's Field Office for USDA/NASS to Retire

Jim Ramey, Director of the Ohio Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is retiring on July 2 after more than 46 years of service to NASS and its predecessor agencies. Ramey has been the Ohio Field Office Director for nearly 23 years. Prior to that he served in Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Minnesota and Wyoming.

Wayne Matthews, Deputy Director of the Ohio Field Office will serve as Acting Director until Ramey’s replacement is named later this summer.Continue reading

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Director of Ohio’s Field Office for USDA/NASS to Retire

Jim Ramey, Director of the Ohio Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is retiring on July 2 after more than 46 years of service to NASS and its predecessor agencies. Ramey has been the Ohio Field Office Director for nearly 23 years. Prior to that he served in Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Minnesota and Wyoming.

Wayne Matthews, Deputy Director of the Ohio Field Office will serve as Acting Director until Ramey’s replacement is named later this summer.Continue reading

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Double-cropping soybeans may be very profitable this year

By Matt Reese

With a frustrating growing season finished (or mostly finished) wheat growers will now be turning their attention to the wheat crop and harvest. And for many, double-crop soybeans could be a very profitable option in 2011.

“The growers who are harvesting wheat should consider planting double-crop soybeans after wheat, especially south of I-70 in Indiana and Ohio,” said Dave Nanda, Ph. D. 
Director of Genetics and Technology, Seed Consultants, Inc. “There is plenty of moisture available this year. With the current prices, planting double-crop soybeans could be quite profitable. It is very important to plant the second crop of soybeans as soon as possible after wheat harvest because the yield decreases everyday that planting is delayed. Soybeans planted late try to compensate for the shorter growing season. Realize that the aim of the plants is to produce viable seeds.”

Seed populations and varieties need to be adjusted based upon the specifics of the situation.… Continue reading

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Lightning Safety Awareness Week

In the annual coordinated effort with the National Weather Service and the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, Governor John R. Kasich recognizes June 19-25, 2011 as Lightning Safety Awareness Week, and encourages all Ohioans to practice lightning and severe weather safety and preparedness during this week and throughout the summer.

According to the National Weather Service, the number of annual lightning-strike fatalities is decreasing. Twenty-nine people died of lightning strikes in 2010, including one Ohioan. In 2009, 34 people died.

This year, one person has died from a lightning strike. On May 23, a 31-year-old Missouri police officer was struck while performing search and rescue efforts after a massive tornado destroyed the town of Joplin, Mo. He was one of a dozen emergency responders from Kansas City who volunteered to help with recovery efforts. The tornado killed more than 130 people.

Ohio averages 30-50 days of thunderstorm activity annually. But this year, with the eastern half of the nation experiencing extreme severe storms, flooding and tornadoes, Ohio has already exceeded record rainfall for the months of March, April and May.… Continue reading

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Pork Leadership Institute Educates Youth

Erica and Andrew Wilson of Columbiana County, Ohio; Megan Reisinger of Clark County, Ohio; and Adam McFarland of Wayne County, New Hampshire recently participated in the 2011 Youth Pork Leadership Institute held in Columbus, Ohio. Sponsored by the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) and the Ohio Soybean Council, the annual program gives high school and college youth hands-on experience in developing leadership, citizenship and communication skills.

“The Ohio Youth Pork Leadership Institute is a great opportunity for young pork enthusiasts to learn and experience all facets of the industry,” said Jennifer Keller, OPPC director of marketing and education. “From individual hog farms to local grocery stores, the program allows Ohio’s future leaders to learn about hog farmers’ commitment to providing safe, nutritious food for our consumers.”

During the three-day event, participants toured the Bob Evans Farms test kitchen and The Ohio State University (OSU) meat lab, where they learned about food service and pork quality, respectively.… Continue reading

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Officials working to find and eliminate Asian longhorned beetle in Ohio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announce that surveys are under way in Bethel, Ohio, after the June 9 detection and June 17 identification of the Asian longhorned beetle. Bethel is located 30 miles southeast of Cincinnati.

First discovered in the U.S. in 1996, Asian longhorned beetles attack several species of trees including maple, willow, horsechestnut, buckeye, and American elm. While in its larvae stage, the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) kills trees by tunneling into large branches and the trunk.

Ohio is the fifth state to detect ALB, which APHIS confirmed in Bethel after a citizen reported finding unusual damage in three maple trees to an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry service forester. Previous infestations sites, where the beetles are being successfully contained, include Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

APHIS and ODA inspection crews are surveying the southern portion of Bethel and the surrounding area to determine the extent of the ALB infestation.… Continue reading

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Mead named Chief of Markets at ODA

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director James Zehringer has appointed Janelle Teeters Mead chief of the department’s Markets Division.

In this capacity, she will oversee the department’s efforts to help Ohio agribusinesses market their products, provide Ohio’s Specialty Crop Block Grant payments to Ohio producers, and administer the department’s “Ag is Cool!” educational program for young Ohioans.  She adds these new duties to her role as agribusiness liaison for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Mead is a former Ohio Farm Bureau Federation organization director for Clinton, Fayette, Greene, Highland and Warren counties.  She also previously worked in communications for the Ohio State Alumni Association and Mycogen Seeds.  Mead is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in agricultural communications and grew up on a Fayette County farm.

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White wheat and floppy corn: Issues in the Eastern Corn Belt

By Ryan McAllister, CCA, Team Sales Agronomist, Beck’s Hybrids

In this agronomic update I want to take some time to discuss the two most common questions I am receiving from growers as of late. Those questions are…

1. Why are areas in my wheat field turning white?

2. Why is my corn leaning over? It looks like chemical injury.

First, there are several reasons why your wheat may be appearing to reach maturity early.

1. Nitrogen deficiency: with the abundant rainfall we received this spring, our wheat plants are running out of nitrogen. When a grass crop runs out of N it begins the process of cannibalization. It will cannibalize itself to make grain. Therefore, we are seeing wheat fields that are prematurely dying due to this nitrogen cannibalization.

2. Low areas or drowned out spots are dying sooner due to anaerobic conditions from waterlogged soils earlier in the season. These same areas also run out of nitrogen sooner as well.… Continue reading

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Spending measure puts ‘GIPSA Rule’ on hold

Livestock and poultry organizations praised House lawmakers for approving an agriculture funding bill that prevents the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from finalizing its proposed regulation on livestock and poultry marketing contracts.

The House voted 217-203 to pass legislation that funds USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and related agencies for fiscal 2012, which begins Oct. 1, but denies money for USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) to promulgate the livestock and poultry marketing regulation.

Known as the GIPSA rule, the regulation was prompted by the 2008 Farm Bill. But, as 147 House members recently pointed out in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the proposed rule goes well beyond the intent of Congress and includes provisions specifically rejected during debate on the Farm Bill. Lawmakers also criticized USDA’s failure to conduct an in-depth economic impact study of the proposal before it was published.

The livestock and poultry groups expressed strong support for the House action:

“The National Pork Producers Council is grateful that the House is requiring USDA to take a timeout on the GIPSA rule, which as proposed is bad for farmers and ranchers, bad for consumers and bad for rural America,” said NPPC President Doug Wolf.… Continue reading

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U.S. Senate votes to repeal VEETC

The U.S. Senate voted to pass the Feinstein/Coburn amendment that repeals the 45-cent per gallon Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) and the 54-cent per gallon tariff on imported ethanol is a giant step toward leveling the playing field for a bushel of corn. It was a 73-27 vote on the legislation introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

“The VEETC and the tariff on imported ethanol have put cattlemen and other end-users of corn at a competitive disadvantage to the corn-based ethanol industry when it comes time to buy a bushel of corn. Repealing the VEETC and the import tariff are important steps to fully leveling the playing field. We commend the 73 U.S. Senators who supported the Feinstein/Coburn amendment,” said Bill Donald, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president. “Cattlemen aren’t opposed to ethanol. In fact, we support our nation’s commitment to reducing our dependence on foreign oil.… Continue reading

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Bill to close a permitting loophole

By Matt Reese

Ohio Rep. Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) recently introduced a bill (229) to close a loophole used by local governments to block the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) permitting process for a poultry facility.

“We recently denied a permit for the Hi-Q egg facility permit. The current law says there has to be a meeting between the local government jurisdiction, township or county, and the company to discuss issues like traffic and roadways,” said Rocky Black, ODA deputy director. “In this case, the township refused to send the letter back to the company after that meeting. Effectively, they pocket vetoed the facility.”

The inaction from the township forced the State to deny the permit.

“Following a thorough review of the hearing officer’s report and recommendations regarding the Hi-Q permits, I’ve concluded that the Department of Agriculture has no other viable option but to deny the West Mansfield permits due to an incomplete application,” said Jim Zehringer, ODA Director.… Continue reading

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Tips for renovating strawberries

Strawberries, particularly the June-bearing types, tend to produce a lot of runners and daughter plants in a patch. This leads to overcrowded plants that compete for light, moisture, and mineral nutrients and leads to a reduction in the amount of berries produced in a strawberry patch, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

“In order to minimize competition among plants and maintain a productive June-bearing strawberry patch over an extended period of time, the patch needs to be renovated immediately at the end of harvesting season every year,” said Maurice Ogutu. “The patch can be renovated until the plants have had three to four fruitings or until the plants are not performing optimally. The plants that are not performing optimally may be destroyed and a new strawberry planting established on a different location,” he said.

Ogutu described renovation as the removal of the higher percentage of old strawberry plants from established plantings to allow natural replacement with new daughter plants that will produce more fruit.… Continue reading

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