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SCN plant resistance gets a boost

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) does hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage each year. Matt Hudson and Brian Diers, crop sciences researchers at the University of Illinois and Andrew Bent at the University of Wisconsin, think they may have found a way to strengthen plant resistance. The research has just been published in Science Express.

Diers and Hudson, with researchers at Wisconsin and the University of Nebraska, have been studying an area on chromosome 18 called Rhg1 (Resistance to H. glycines) that is known to be the location of the main source of SCN resistance. Rhg1 disrupts the formation and maintenance of potential nematode-feeding sites on plant roots.

Most SCN-resistant soybeans in the Midwest are bred to contain Rhg1, but no one knew the DNA sequence of the gene that was responsible for the resistance. Diers wanted to find it.

“You could say it’s a billion-dollar gene because it’s in many varieties, it’s widely used, and it’s protecting varieties against these nematodes,” he said.… Continue reading

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Section 179, Bonus Depreciation and Tax Strategies

By Chris Bruynis, Assistant Professor/Extension Educator, OSU Extension Ross County

Harvest is well underway, and even with the lower yields, farmers are starting to look at minimizing their tax liability for 2012. Farmers and their tax accountants are fully aware of the strategies and tools available to them, especially if they are using a cash accounting method. Farmers have historically delayed the sale of crops into the next calendar year and purchased inputs for the next year’s crop. In the past several years there have also been IRS policies that encouraged investment in equipment and buildings. Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation are the most common ones used by farmers.

The Section 179 tax provision allows businesses to deduct the full amount of the purchase price of equipment (up to certain limits). It can be elected for either new or used equipment purchased in fiscal calendar year of the business. In 2012, the deduction amount is $139,000 but is slated to be reduced to $25,000 in 2013.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – October 15th, 2012


The average temperature for the State was 46.5 degrees, 7.4 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, October 14, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.12 inches, 0.47 inches below normal. There were 32 modified growing degree days, 25 days below normal.

Reporters rated 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, October 12, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 5 percent very short, 25 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.


Ohio farm operators are harvesting corn and soybeans, and planting winter wheat. Dry field conditions have enabled operators to rapidly progress with the harvest of row crops and winter wheat planting.

As of Sunday October 14th, eighty-nine percent of corn was mature, which was 34 percent ahead of last year and 8 percent ahead of the five-year average. Thirty-one percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by 24 percent and the five-year average by seven percent.… Continue reading

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OFBF Young Ag Professional leaders named

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has named the newest members of its Young Agricultural Professionals Advisory Team.

They are Ron Burns of Milford Center, Latham and Katie Farley of Piketon, Aaron and Sarah Heilers of Anna and Duayne and Monica Wetherell of Mingo Junction.

As team members, they will help develop and conduct activities that provide opportunities for young people to become involved in Ohio Farm Bureau programs. 

Burns produces grain, hay and straw with his family and works as a supervisor for a logistics company. He is a graduate of Ohio State University where he majored in agricultural systems management and minored in horticulture and crop science. He is a member of Union County Farm Bureau.

Latham manages the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency office for Pike and Scioto counties and helps his father-in-law farm during planting and harvest. Katie works as a graphic designer. Latham earned a degree in biology from Mississippi State University and Katie graduated from Miami University with a degree in graphic design.… Continue reading

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Berg killed in farm accident

Bill Berg, a familiar face to many in Ohio agriculture, suffered a broken hip, serious lacerations and broken arms after being run over by a no-till drill. He passed away on Oct. 21.

Berg, 71, was a lifetime farmer in Auglaize County, and was active in numerous roles in the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association. He was a member of the National Corn Growers Association Growers Service Action Team.

He was transported by LifeFlight helicopter to St. Rita’s Medical Center shortly after the accident. Berg had just been working on the drill. It had been repaired when his brother, Jim, drove off and did not realize Berg had not left the area around the drill.

Please keep the Berg family in your thoughts and prayers.

 … Continue reading

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Don’t use drought as excuse for “revenge tillage”

Farmers should consider the short- and long-term effects of fall tillage on their fields and not just the effects of the drought on this year’s crop, a Purdue Extension agronomist said.

Tillage loosens and rearranges soil aggregates with the intent of establishing a better foundation for crop seed placement and root growth, but the drought itself has already accomplished deep cracking and loosening of some soils. The drought also reduced the post-harvest crop residue that is often used as an additional justification for tillage.

“Tillage decisions should never be based on one year’s crop yield,” Tony Vyn said.

A farmer’s natural reaction to a drought year is disappointment, and that may lead to what Vyn called “revenge tillage.”

“I don’t want farmers to overestimate the need for fall tillage just because of the 2012 drought and poor crops,” he said. “It’s important to adopt a tillage system that leaves topsoil uniformly in place to build up a whole field’s resiliency in root-zone water retention over time.”… Continue reading

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Schappacher named OFBF organizational director

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has named Ashley Schappacher organization director for Fairfield, Hocking, Perry, Pickaway and Ross counties.

As organization director, Schappacher will act as liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and OFBF. She will assist the county groups as they develop and implement programs to strengthen the organization and enhance its ability to serve its members.

Schappacher is a graduate of Ohio State University where she majored in animal science. She grew up on a farm in Warren County that produced beef cattle, turkeys, grain, summer produce and pumpkins.

“Ashley knows agriculture first hand and has been involved in many Farm Bureau activities,” said Keith Stimpert, OFBF senior vice president. “She’ll be an excellent resource for our members as they work to accomplish their goals.”… Continue reading

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Ohio beef producers vote down beef checkoff increase

The Ohio Department of Agriculture today certified the results of the 2012 Ohio Beef Marketing Program Referendum. The referendum, seeking to increase the state checkoff on cattle from $1 to $2, did not receive enough favorable votes to pass.

“It is disheartening to learn the referendum did not pass,” said Sam Sutherly, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association president. “The Ohio Beef Council has an outstanding history of leveraging Ohio beef producers’ checkoff dollars to the fullest extent to promote our product to Ohio’s 11.5 million consumers. These results indicate there is more work to do to effectively communicate how existing checkoff funds are used to increase beef demand.”

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s announcement, 674 votes were certified with 47% of producers representing 51% of the marketed cattle sold by all participants voted in favor of the increase. Voting against the increase were 53% of producers representing 49% of marketed cattle sold by all participants. … Continue reading

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Court allows AFBF to join farmer lawsuit against EPA

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia has ruled that the American Farm Bureau Federation has a right to join in a lawsuit over the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate poultry and livestock farms under the Clean Water Act. In July, AFBF asked for permission to join on the side of West Virginia poultry grower Lois Alt, who brought suit to challenge an EPA order demanding that she obtain a CWA discharge permit for stormwater runoff from her farmyard. The West Virginia Farm Bureau has also joined the lawsuit. EPA aggressively opposed the Farm Bureaus’ participation.

“The court clearly recognizes the importance of this case for thousands of other livestock and poultry farmers threatened by EPA’s unlawful restriction of the agricultural stormwater exemption,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “The court flatly rejected EPA’s argument that other farmers facing similar EPA demands should be forced to file their own lawsuits.… Continue reading

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U.S. Forest Service Awards $3 million in grants to protect Great Lakes

The U.S. Forest Service announced today nearly $3 million in grants to improve tree canopy, forest cover and ultimately, water quality in six Great Lakes states, including Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois and Indiana.

The grants are part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a cooperative effort between federal, tribal, state and local partners. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will improve the environmental health and economic vitality of the world’s largest freshwater system,” said USDA Undersecretary Harris Sherman. “The Forest Service, together with our partners, is working to improve America’s treasured landscapes in more than 7,000 communities across the country.”

The U.S. EPA-funded grants administered by the Forest Service will support community forestry efforts to improve the interception, evaporation, infiltration and storage of rainfall and storm water.

“Healthy forests and lands support healthy waters,” said U.S.… Continue reading

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Shale Energy Community Education Workshop planned for Nov. 10

Ohio State University Extension is hosting a community education workshop on shale energy development on Nov. 10.

“Shale and You: A Workshop for Landowners and Communities” will be held at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center, 7033 Glenn Highway, Cambridge, 1-6 p.m. Registration is $10 and must be received by Monday, Nov. 5, by the Guernsey County office of OSU Extension in Old Washington, Ohio. Registration forms with the office’s address and other details can be downloaded (PDF) at or by going to and clicking on the “Shale and You” event under “Upcoming Extension Events.”

“What we hope to do is help landowners and community leaders make the best decisions possible,” said Peggy Hall, assistant professor and OSU Extension field specialist in agricultural and resource law.

“We’re not attempting to discuss the pros and cons of such development — that’s something for individuals and policy-makers to consider,” Hall said. “As an educational institution, OSU Extension simply aims to provide relevant information to help inform those who are dealing with shale energy development.”… Continue reading

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Healthy soil delivers for Ohio farmer

Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Dave White visited a family-owned farm in Ohio to announce the start of a U.S. Department of Agriculture effort meant to highlight the benefits of improving and maintaining America’s soil.

“This initiative will help our farmers meet current and future demands for American-grown agriculture by encouraging good soil and natural resources practices that are beneficial to their operations,” said White. “We understand that soils and farms vary across the country, so our job is to provide farmers the very best information available to meet their unique needs and help their business thrive.”

White visited the farm of David Brandt, who experienced a successful harvest despite extreme weather and challenging growing conditions. Good soil conditions and management practices contributed to the surprising yield, though little precipitation fell across central Ohio over the summer.

Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) awareness and education effort features farmers from communities in numerous states—Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Indiana, Utah, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Montana and Kansas—where growers are increasingly interested in how improved soil health can benefit their operations.… Continue reading

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USFRA Food Dialogues focuses on antibiotics, biotechnology and the media

Americans continue to have questions about how food is grown and raised. In response, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, which was created to lead the dialogue and answer questions consumers have about food production will host The Food Dialogues: New York in November.

Recently, USFRA announced the panelists who will assemble at The TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan Nov. 15 for panel discussions on some of today’s most pressing issues concerning food — antibiotics, biotechnology and media, marketing and food.

The panel discussions, which will stream live at, will focus on three separate topics. USFRA has assembled a group of panelists who are experts in their respective fields with various points of view on the panel topics, including Tracie McMillan, author of “The American Way of Eating,” representatives from Consumers Union, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and farmers and ranchers from across the country.

The “Media, Marketing and Healthy Choices” panel will examine how the media’s coverage of food and its health benefits has impacted consumer choice.… Continue reading

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Ohio State wins livestock judging competition for the first time since 2004

The Ohio State University Livestock Judging Team won the Keystone International Livestock Exposition (KILE) Collegiate and Junior Livestock Judging contest on Oct. 6, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Exposition Center in Harrisburg, Penn.

Ohio State was among 10 university teams around the country to judge five cattle classes, four swine classes, and three sheep classes. The competitors presented oral reasons on eight of the 12 classes.

In addition to being named first place team, Ohio State showed an outstanding performance placing first in the sheep division, third in reasons and the swine division and fourth in the beef division.

Team members traveling to KILE included Nate Benich, Plymouth, Ohio; Jake Boyert, Seville, Ohio; Lindsey Grimes, Hillsboro, Ohio; Bailey Harsh, Radnor, Ohio; Linsey Howell, Danville, Ohio; Trey Miller, Baltimore, Ohio; Audrey Neal, Tiffin, Ohio; Kyle Nickles, Loudonville, Ohio; and Nick Wright, Brookville, Ohio.

Neal, Miller, Howell and Benich were the leaders for the team at this contest.… Continue reading

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Fall a great time to control weeds in hay

Farmers looking to grow highly productive pastures and hay fields still have time to control weeds to prevent reduced forage quality and quantity, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.

Fall can be a good time to eliminate hard-to-control perennial weeds because many of the plants are feeding their root systems, which allows applied herbicide to reach the root system to effectively kill the weeds, said Mark Landefeld, an OSU Extension educator in Monroe County.

“Farmers should monitor their fields regularly to identify weeds and deal with them in a timely manner,” he said. “Not only can weeds decrease forage quality, but some can be invasive and reduce the tonnage of the forage that you are trying to harvest.

“Getting rid of weeds while they are small and few in number can save time, money and effort.”

The savings are significant, considering that more than 95% of weeds can be controlled through good management practices, Landefeld said.… Continue reading

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Soybean rust making a late run in the south

By Anne Dorrance, David Dugan, Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Soybean rust is making a late breaking appearance in many of the southern states, both those that border the Mississippi river as well as Georgia and South Carolina (  Some of these developments were the result of Hurricane Isac back in early September and some were there before this storm.   have started to receive some samples of leaves — just to see if the spores could make it to Ohio on the back of a hurricane. This information is important to have for the year when a hurricane might hit in July, with the same level of rust in the south. It helps develop the models that can help us with management in the future. As of today, no soybean rust was found on these leaves collected from fields in Brown, Highland, Wood, Hardin, Hancock and Union counties. … Continue reading

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Armyworm issues

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel

A few weeks ago we mentioned reports of armyworms in forages and the need for growers to check their stands for signs of insect feeding.  Over the past week or so, this concern has grown considerable, and problems are occurring in rangelands, forages, cover crops including rye, and wheat fields. Not only is Ohio experiencing problems, but numerous Midwest states are reporting similar instances of large numbers of armyworms feeding in fields, especially in newer plantings. An excellent article on the problem is available at the Kentucky Pest News site that was written by our colleague, Doug Johnson, that discusses the problem and answers various questions ( Until we get a few hard freezes, expect much of this feeding to continue. Make special note of whether armyworm feeding is killing off pasture or forages, or any newly sown planting.  Those plants might still be alive and continue to grow.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – October 9th, 2012


Wet field conditions has limited planting, and subsequent emersion of winter wheat. In addition, the progress of the corn and soybean harvests has slowed due to rain.

As of Sunday October 7th, eighty-two percent of corn was mature, which was 47 percent ahead of last year and 11 percent ahead of the five-year average. Twenty-two percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by 18 percent and the five-year average by five percent. Sixty-eight percent of soybeans were mature, 43 percent ahead of last year and identical to the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 23 percent, compared to two percent last year and 30 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat planted was rated at 19 percent, compared to four percent last year and 32 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat emerged was rated at two percent, one percent ahead of last year, but four percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Complete calf weaning and consider marketing options

Now is the time for beef producers with spring-calving herds to complete weaning and consider calf marketing options, a Purdue Extension beef specialist said.

Timely calf weaning reduces cow energy needs and pasture stress, and allows pregnant cows time to gain weight heading into winter.

“Weaning helps stretch pasture resources, and longer grazing means using less harvested feed, such as hay or silage,” Ron Lemenager said. “If we wean calves and take them off of pasture, we can reduce cow pasture consumption by 25%, as well as eliminate the calves’ pasture intake and trampling losses associated with their hooves. Collectively, this should translate to a 30-40% stretching of pasture resources.”

Weaning a calf also reduces stress on the mother. When cows lactate, they have much higher energy needs and they gain less weight. The result is that they have to eat more and have a harder time improving body condition heading into the cold winter months, Lemenager said.… Continue reading

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Ohio team competes in National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest

Thirty-One teams from around the country competed in the dairy cattle evaluation contest judging 10 classes, and giving oral reasons on five classes at the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest on October 1 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisc. The Ohio team, coached by Bonnie Ayers, finished sixth overall.

Results are as follows:

Top 10 Teams Overall

  1. Michigan, 2,045, coached by Domecq and Sarah BlackTeam members: Megan Filhart, Hayleigh Geurink, Megan Bush and Savannah Katulski
  2. Minnesota, 2,001 coached by Scheffler and Pieper
Team members: Mary Liebenstein, Emily Pieper, David Trcka, Dennison Nelson
  3. New York, 2,001, coached by Doug Waterman
Team members: Miquela Hanselman, Andrew Chlus, Jacob Duppengiesser, Heidi Vanleishout
  4. Pennsylvania, 1,994,  coached by Chad Dechow
Team members: Caitlyn Pool, Dyllan Himmelberger, Tim Yoder, Elliot Elsbree
  5. Wisconsin, 1,952, coached by Behling/ Grosenick/ Sloan
Team members: Andy Sell, Janelle Remington, Carrie Warmka, Brad Warmka
  6. Ohio, 1,949, coached by Bonnie Ayars
Team members: Laura Bond, Emily Dudash, Hillary Hayman, Meghan Thurston
  7. California, 1,948, coached by Donny Rollin
Team members: Tony Garcia, Justin Bopp, Tristan Rollin, Brandon Carreiro
  8. New Hampshire, 1,940, coached by Jessica Chickering
Team members: Brooke Clarke, Jacob Blake, Lucas Deblois, Tristan Phillips
  9. Maryland, 1,930, coached by Jessica Little
Team members: Tessa Wiles, Carol Debaugh, Scott Debaugh, Derrick Zimmerman
  10. Illinois, 1,897, coached by David Fischer
Team members: Adrienne Brammeier, Jessica Telgamann, Morgan Wendling, Brett Woker


Top 10 Individuals Overall:

  1. Tony Garcia, 700, California
  2. Megan Bush, 690, Michigan
  3. Megan Filhart, 688, Michigan
  4. Dyllan Himmelberger, 686, Pennsylvania
  5. Emily Pieper, 680, Minnesota
  6. Miquela Hanselman, 677, New York
  7. Jacob Duppengiesser, 675, New York
  8. Kylie Ward, 671, North Carolina
  9. Hayleigh Guerink, 667, Michigan

Mary Liebenstein, 665, Minnesota

Top 10 Team Reasons:

  1. Michigan, 677, coached by Domecq and Black
  2. Minnesota, 677, coached by Scheffler andPieper
  3. Pennsylvania, 673, coached by Chad Dechow
  4. New York, 661, coached by Doug Waterman
  5. Wisconsin, 654, coached by Behling/ Grosenick/ Sloan
  6. Maryland, 635, coached by Jessica Little
  7. California, 632, coached by Donny Rollin
  8. Ohio, 630, coached by Bonnie Ayars
  9. Iowa, 628, coached by Lyons and Lovstuen
  10. Florida, 628, coached by Holcomb and Clements


Top 10 Individual Reasons:

  1. Tony Garcia, 234, California
  2. Dyllan Himmelberger, 231, Pennsylvania
  3. Mary Liebenstein, 230, Minnesota
  4. Jacob Duppengiesser, 228, New York
  5. Megan Bush, 227, Michigan
  6. Andy Sell, 227, Wisconsin
  7. Megan Filhart, 225, Michigan
  8. Hayleigh Geurink, 225, Michigan
  9. Laura Bond, 224, Ohio
  10. David Trcka, 224, Minnesota


Generous support from sponsors makes the 91st National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest possible.… Continue reading

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