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Atrazine not likely to exceed drinking water standard in agricultural groundwater

A new model predicts that atrazine, plus its breakdown product deethylatrazine, has less than a 10% chance of exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for public drinking-water supplies in shallow groundwater in about 95% of the nation’s agricultural areas. Atrazine is a commonly used herbicide for weed control in corn and sorghum production.

“With the intensive, widespread use of the herbicide atrazine in agricultural production, some communities will need to carefully monitor the risk to groundwater and human health from this contaminant and its residues,” said Marcia McNutt, U.S. Geological Survey director. “The advantage of this new research is that it reveals the spatial variability of risk for atrazine contamination in groundwater across the United States, allowing communities to make wise decisions on allocating scarce financial resources for water-quality testing.”

These findings are based on new statistical models developed from almost 20 years of nation-wide water-quality monitoring data collected by the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA).… Continue reading

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Do homework before buying a bull

Beef producers who want to purchase bulls or semen for their spring breeding herds should be doing their homework now, says a Purdue Extension beef specialist.

Cow-calf producers can take advantage of high market prices by selecting healthy bulls that will produce calves with more growth potential.

“If we can buy bulls that will produce offspring that will be born with a minimum of dystocia, grow a little bit faster, will produce a little bit higher-quality carcass and produce replacement females that perform above average, I think our cow-calf producers have the opportunity to capitalize,” Ron Lemenager said.

Producers can do this by looking at what will affect offspring and doing plenty of research before investing.

“Good bulls come from good cows,” Lemenager said. “So if producers can take a look at mom before they purchase that bull, I think it helps minimize some of the risk.”

But even if the dam looks good and is healthy, a bull’s own merit still needs to be evaluated, starting with reproductive soundness.… Continue reading

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Wilmington College partners with CIFT & Sensus in producing natural food coloring

By Randy Sarvis, Wilmington College

Wilmington College’s Dr. Monte Anderson and two students hauled 200 pounds of unshelled Bloody Butcher corn to a Cincinnati area ingredient research and development company several weeks ago.

Bloody Butcher is a deep purple-hued corn that Sensus Corp. of Hamilton is using to conduct research on extracting color for use in foods.

Many consumers are demanding that food contain naturally derived products for color, taste and scent. More and more, they are seeking out natural replacements for artificially produced food enhancements.

Indeed, they want the purple color in their energy drink to come from agriculture rather than a concoction produced in a chemistry lab.

Sensus produces essences from natural, agriculture based products with a keen interest in using those produced locally in southwest Ohio. That’s where Wilmington College comes in.

WC and Sensus are member organizations of CIFT, the Center for Innovative Food Technology, which has a regional office at the College headed by Rob Jaehnig, agribusiness development specialist.… Continue reading

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Wilmington College partners with CIFT & Sensus in producing natural food coloring

By Randy Sarvis, Wilmington College

Wilmington College’s Dr. Monte Anderson and two students hauled 200 pounds of unshelled Bloody Butcher corn to a Cincinnati area ingredient research and development company several weeks ago.

Bloody Butcher is a deep purple-hued corn that Sensus Corp. of Hamilton is using to conduct research on extracting color for use in foods.

Many consumers are demanding that food contain naturally derived products for color, taste and scent. More and more, they are seeking out natural replacements for artificially produced food enhancements.

Indeed, they want the purple color in their energy drink to come from agriculture rather than a concoction produced in a chemistry lab.

Sensus produces essences from natural, agriculture based products with a keen interest in using those produced locally in southwest Ohio. That’s where Wilmington College comes in.

WC and Sensus are member organizations of CIFT, the Center for Innovative Food Technology, which has a regional office at the College headed by Rob Jaehnig, agribusiness development specialist.… Continue reading

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AgReliant Genetics receives USDA accreditation

AgReliant Genetics recently received the “USA Accredited Seed Conditioning Program – Process Verified” certification at its production facilities. This certification from the USDA recognizes the company’s Quality Management System (QMS) for the conditioning and blending of Refuge in the Bag (RIB) seed products as well as the company’s ability to meet the stringent standards necessary to receive this prestigious certification.

“The seed business continues to increase in complexity,” said Craig Anderson, AgReliant Genetics’ Vice President of Operations. “We see the USDA Process Verified Program as one more way we can ensure that the products being delivered to the customer are of the highest quality and uniformity.”

The AgReliant Genetics QMS process was implemented as a tool to assist the company in maintaining its commitment of continual product improvement to its customers.

“The single-bag refuge solution is a very efficient way for farmers to meet the refuge requirements,” said Jim Shearl, Director of Quality Assurance at AgReliant Genetics.… Continue reading

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2012 Census of Ag lets farmers share their story

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is  calling on America’s farmers and ranchers to sign up for the 2012 Census of Agriculture and to share stories about how Census data benefits them. Recognizing the central role of agriculture in Americans’ lives, USDA wants to make sure it counts all farmers and ranchers in the upcoming Census. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years and is currently preparing to send the Census form to all agricultural producers in December.

“Census data can help us to better tell the amazing story of American agriculture, but that story will be incomplete if farmers aren’t all counted,”  said Renee Picanso, director of NASS’ Census and Survey Division.

To put together a complete list of agricultural producers, NASS sent out the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) early in 2012. This initial survey helps identify all potential agricultural activities in the United States and who should receive the Census form later this year.… Continue reading

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Farm Safety 4 Just Kids commemorates 25 years

2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids (FS4JK). The organization has promoted farm safety to more than 6 million people through local programs and education since 1987.
Over the past 25 years, FS4JK has established a network of more than 120 chapters across the United States and Canada that offer farm safety presentations on a local level. In that time, 35,600 volunteers donated 280,000 hours of their time to help promote safety on the farm.



Marilyn Adams founded the non-profit organization in 1987 after the death of her 11-year-old son in a gravity flow grain wagon accident. Its mission is to promote a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries and fatalities to children and youth. What started as a tribute to her son has touched nearly 6 million people so far.



“I didn’t really know what to expect when I started FS4JK,” Adams said. “The organization has grown and evolved so much in the past 25 years.… Continue reading

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U.S. to challenge India’s prohibition of U.S. poultry

The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), National Chicken Council (NCC) and National Turkey Federation (NTF) applaud announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the United States will initiate dispute settlement proceedings against India before the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge its longstanding prohibition on the import of U.S. poultry.

For years, India has used a variety of non-tariff trade barriers to deny access U.S. poultry to the Indian market. Although international health standards, in particular those of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), identify only highly pathogenic stains of avian influenza as warranting trade restrictions, India has long ignored those international norms and has banned poultry imports from the United States or any country that reports any incident of avian influenza, even cases of low pathogenicity. This is a protectionist policy that is inconsistent with accepted international standards, and has no health or safety justification. This policy is particularly problematic in the case of the United States, which is the most efficient poultry producer in the world and the world’s leading exporter of poultry products.… Continue reading

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U.S. to challenge India's prohibition of U.S. poultry

The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), National Chicken Council (NCC) and National Turkey Federation (NTF) applaud announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the United States will initiate dispute settlement proceedings against India before the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge its longstanding prohibition on the import of U.S. poultry.

For years, India has used a variety of non-tariff trade barriers to deny access U.S. poultry to the Indian market. Although international health standards, in particular those of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), identify only highly pathogenic stains of avian influenza as warranting trade restrictions, India has long ignored those international norms and has banned poultry imports from the United States or any country that reports any incident of avian influenza, even cases of low pathogenicity. This is a protectionist policy that is inconsistent with accepted international standards, and has no health or safety justification. This policy is particularly problematic in the case of the United States, which is the most efficient poultry producer in the world and the world’s leading exporter of poultry products.… Continue reading

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White House clears way for BSE rule

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared the way for a comprehensive rule for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which has been a work in progress since 2004.

The proposed rule would reportedly level the playing field for U.S. beef in the global marketplace by appropriately addressing risk related to BSE. According to National

Cattlemen’s Beef Association Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus, the lack of a comprehensive rule has harmed U.S. beef trade. He said having a comprehensive BSE rule in place will show the United States is willing to talk the talk and walk the walk with regard to following standards developed by the International Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

“It is very difficult for the United States to demand our trading partners follow OIE standards when we are not here at home. The comprehensive BSE rule will change that and will solidify the United States’ commitment to basing our trade relationships on internationally-recognized, sciencebased standards,” Bacus said.… Continue reading

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Dailey recognized as 2012 Ohio CCA of the year

The Ohio CCA Board is proud to announce the winner of the 2012 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award is Mike Dailey, independent consultant from Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Dailey was named the winner

on March 6 at the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada.

The CCA of the Year Award is a state award designed to recognize an individual who is highly motivated, delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio.

Dailey has contributed to the growth and development of countless CCA’s over the years, as well as helping his farmer clients to thrive and prosper with their businesses by making his recommendations based on science and fact. Dailey has taught Sunday School, volunteered as agricultural educator at Kenyon College Environmental Center, and served as former chairman of the CCA board.… Continue reading

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Workshop to address legal risks for livestock and dairy producers

Livestock and dairy producers can learn more about legal risks and what they can do to reduce them in a workshop hosted by Ohio State University Extension and the National Agricultural Law Center.

“Livestock farmers today face increasing legal risks,” said Peggy Hall, OSU Extension’s agricultural attorney. “Our goal is to focus on some of the new and most pressing legal risk areas to help our producers minimize potential liability.”

The workshop will be offered 6:30-9:30 p.m. on two dates in two locations:

* March 13 at Ohio State University’s Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, Piketon.

* March 20 at OSU Extension’s Morrow County office, 871 W. Marion Road, Mt. Gilead.

Speakers for the workshop are Hall and Elizabeth Rumley, attorney with the National Agricultural Law Center. The two attorneys have collaborated on a workshop handbook and presentation that will include such topics as animal cruelty law; Ohio Livestock Care Standards; farm security laws and issues; animal identification requirements; and Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration regulations.… Continue reading

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Report reveals sound U.S. corn quality from 2011

U.S. corn farmers harvested a high-quality crop in 2011, according to a report released by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). With good test weights, low damage and relatively high protein concentrations, the crop will require little drying and store well. The first report of this kind issued by the Council, this initial edition sets a baseline for subsequent annual updates while establishing credible criteria and processes through which to assess the crop.

“The global corn market is increasingly competitive, and the Council believes that the availability of accurate, consistent, and comparable information is in the long-term interests of all concerned,” said Wendell Shauman, USGC Chairman. “Improved information will facilitate increased trade – and when trade works, the world wins.”

This report, created to answer buyers’ questions about the quality of the current U.S. crop and assist in making well-informed decisions.

“We are extremely pleased not only by the positive analysis of the crop, but also by the launch of the publication itself,” said Garry Niemeyer, NCGA president.… Continue reading

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Kasich requests federal disaster designation for tornado damage

Governor John R. Kasich asked President Barack Obama to issue a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Clermont County so that the maximum level of federal relief can quickly begin flowing to families hard-hit by last week’s storms.

Kasich asked the President to approve the request by Monday, or at the same time as the requests from other states impacted by the storm, so that relief can begin flowing as soon as possible. Kasich wrote that if the President didn’t decide by Monday that, in order to see relief flowing as soon as possible, he would have to withdraw his request and resubmit a request for disaster assistance from the Small Business Administration. SBA relief is less generous than that provided through a Presidential Disaster Declaration, but Ohio’s degree of damage likely already qualifies for it so it could begin flowing relatively quickly.

In his letter, Kasich wrote:

“While the level of damage sustained in this disaster may fall below the levels sustained by Kentucky and Indiana, the significant shortage of housing alternatives creates a unique need that cannot be solved without supplemental Federal assistance.… Continue reading

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Pioneer announces plans for new Ohio corn research unit

By Matt Reese

At the temporary Pioneer research center in Plain City, Randy Minton, Pioneer Business Director for the Northeast Business Unit, announced the plans for a new permanent Pioneer corn research facility in Ohio.

“We just got approval to build a permanent site in Urbana,” Minton said.  “We will be breaking

ground this summer. A lot of our other research is focused on the western Corn Belt, but this will be here to serve customers in Ohio and our Northeast Business Unit.”

Plans for the 20,000-square-foot facility have recently been finalized. The Ohio facility will play an important research role in the development of products crafted for the Eastern Corn Belt.

“We want to be the world’s most innovative plant genetics business. A significant part of our effort is reliably supplying seed for increased production. We have a worldwide year round production system. There is a lot of work that goes into this,” Minton said.… Continue reading

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What are you doing for Ag Day?

The National Ag Day program was started in 1973 by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) to increase the public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in society.

The ACA feels that every American should understand how food and fiber products are produced and appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. As a part of National Ag Day, ACA announced the 2012 National Ag Day written essay and video essay contest winners. Ohio teen Diane Gress, from Shreve, won the video portion of the contest.

ACA called upon ninth- to 12th-grade students nationwide to submit an original written essay of 450 words or an original, two-minute video essay about the importance of agriculture in the U.S. Using this year’s theme, “American Agriculture: Feeding the Future, Filling the Gaps.” students addressed how the agriculture industry continues to feed a growing population while acknowledging the many ways today’s farmers continue to provide a safe, stable food supply and sustain the significant role agriculture plays in everyday life.… Continue reading

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4Rs: A simple concept and challenging reality

By Matt Reese

With regard to managing phosphorus, the 4Rs are easy to talk about, but it is much harder to actually implement the right source, at the right rate, in the right place at the right time.

“No matter what you do, there are times where there will be run-off and enough water to lose dissolved phosphorus,” said Tom Bruulsema, with the International Plant Nutrition Institute. “Even with great practices like waterways and buffer strips, if water is flowing right through, the dissolved phosphorus is moving right along with the water. The 4Rs are very simple to say and a lot harder to do. What is ‘right?’ The 4Rs take place in the context of the cropping system.”

Right source

“Science has shown that all plants require 17 essential nutrients and we need to apply plant available forms in the amounts needed. We need to credit nutrients from composts and manure for phosphorus and choose a source that you can get placed in the soil rather than on top of the soil,” Bruulsema said.… Continue reading

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Carefully consider the alternatives for improving damaged pastures

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County and Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County


Starting with a late summer drought in 2010 that led to overgrazing of some pastures, and then proceeding to the wettest year in recorded Ohio history in 2011, many forage fields have suffered from excessive traffic, trampling and reduced and damaged stands. As we head towards a spring full of renewed promise, one key decision many are facing regards whether or not to reseed the pasture or hay fields that have suffered from Mother Nature’s abuse in recent years.

Like every other input cost, the price of grass and legume seed has increased. What are the options to get these abused pasture paddocks back into a productive forage? Let’s look at several options and management strategies you might consider.

One low cost option, at least in terms of out-of-pocket expenses, is to do nothing.Continue reading

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Biobased initiative announced

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced an initiative to boost the biobased products industry to expand markets and create jobs. The “Grow it Here, Make it Here” initiative would increase access to capital for biobased manufacturers, improve marketing of biobased products, and further the commercialization of new agricultural innovations to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and create jobs.

“We all know that Ohio farmers put food on tables, grow feed for livestock, and fill the tanks of vehicles across the nation. But increasingly, Ohio farmers grow products that are turned into plastics, lubricants and chemicals,” Brown said. “Ohio already has what it takes to lead the nation in this emerging field: a skilled workforce, strong agricultural sector, and culture of manufacturing and innovation. The ‘Grow it Here, Make it Here’ initiative will give Ohio’s small towns and agricultural communities an unprecedented opportunity to develop new jobs and promote economic growth though the biobased industry.”… Continue reading

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Control weeds early in wheat crop

Winter wheat growers need to start scouting their fields and planning to control weeds that have survived the mild Midwest winter, say two Purdue Extension weed scientists.

If not controlled early, common broadleaf weeds, such as dandelion, purple deadnettle, henbit, chickweed, Canada thistle and wild garlic can cause problems for the wheat crop as it comes out of winter dormancy.

“These winter annual species that emerge in the fall can remain relatively inconspicuous through the winter but become competitive and troublesome during spring, if they are not controlled early,” Bill Johnson said.

The severity of infestation will determine whether herbicide application is necessary and, if so, what type of herbicide should be used. Johnson and Travis Legleiter said producers need to scout entire fields and identify problem areas before making those decisions.

“Wheat fields that contain uniform infestations of at least one broadleaf weed or three grass weeds per square foot should be taken into consideration for a herbicide application, to avoid yield loss and harvest interference problems,” Legleiter said.… Continue reading

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