Top Headlines

Featured Posts (Posts shown below the “Top Posts” on the home page)

OFU adopts 2012 policy

In their recent 2012 public policy discussion, members of the Ohio Farmers Union (OFU) approved language on a number of pertinent topics for this year.

Included in the discussion was the support of a limited moratorium on the issuance of permits by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for new instances of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the state. The OFU supported moratorium differs from those supported by some Democrats in the Ohio General Assembly and by some Ohio environmental groups in that it is tied to a preliminary U.S. EPA report due on fracking later this year – rather than the final study results due in 2014.

U.S. EPA is currently studying what, if any, effects fracking has on ground and surface water, according to Ron Sylvester, OFU’s director of external relations. He said that OFU members from the eastern and northeastern areas of Ohio are being inundated with information, both pro and con, about the gas industry and the effects of fracking in places like Pennsylvania.… Continue reading

Read More »

Six Ohio agribusinesses receive USDA grants

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that USDA has selected 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico to receive business development assistance through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Merrigan made the announcement in Chicago after keynoting the “Local/Regional Food System Conference” hosted at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Six Ohio agri-businesses were among the awardees, including Wood County’s Egg Tech Ltd., Pickaway County’s Van Strohm Fiber Processing Mill, Auburn Twin Oaks Winery in Chagrin Falls, The Ohio Soybean Council in Worthington, Mercer Landmark in Celina, and Loudonville’s Tea Hills Gourmet Meat Products.

“USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grants acknowledge the entrepreneurial spirit of Ohio’s farming and small business communities,” said Tony Logan, USDA Ohio Rural Development state director. “This money provides working capital to support emerging markets in areas such as food production and safety, environmental impact and renewable energy. We at Rural Development are proud to play such a positive role in strengthening Ohio’s agronomy.”… Continue reading

Read More »

ASA pushing two critical measures for biodiesel

Now is a critical time for two American Soybean Association (ASA) biodiesel policy priorities. ASA is asking members to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support the retroactive reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit.

The biodiesel tax credit lapsed on December 31, 2011.  Retroactive extension of the biodiesel credit is a top priority for the ASA for continued development of the biodiesel industry. We urge enactment of a tax extenders package as soon as possible, including as part of the payroll tax relief package currently being negotiated by a Senate-House Conference Committee.

Also in December, Congress passed a short term extension of the payroll tax reduction.  That extension expires on February 29, 2012 and a formal House-Senate Conference Committee has been convened to negotiate a longer-term extension. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and other Members have called for the Conference Committee to add the expired tax provisions, including the biodiesel tax credit, to the package.… Continue reading

Read More »

Workshops help growers make products 'MarketReady'

Ohio food producers looking to sell through different marketing channels are invited to attend one of three MarketReady training programs. The day-long workshop teaches what is required to sell to grocers, restaurants and other wholesale buyers.

Programs will be held on Feb. 15 at the UFCW Hall in Cincinnati, Feb. 23 at the Center for Innovative Food Technology in Toledo, and Feb. 28 at the Mustard Seed Market and Cafà in Akron. Each program will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $75 per person and $25 for each additional person from the same business. Registration should be completed one week prior to the workshop. For details or to register, contact Julie Moose at 740-289-2071, ext. 223, or email moose.14@osu.edu.

The MarketReady program was initially developed by the University of Kentucky and was piloted in cooperation with OSU Extension and the Ohio Direct Marketing Team.

“MarketReady workshops and resources guide producers through the decisions needed for entering various direct marketing channels,” said Julie Fox, direct marketing specialist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.… Continue reading

Read More »

Workshops help growers make products ‘MarketReady’

Ohio food producers looking to sell through different marketing channels are invited to attend one of three MarketReady training programs. The day-long workshop teaches what is required to sell to grocers, restaurants and other wholesale buyers.

Programs will be held on Feb. 15 at the UFCW Hall in Cincinnati, Feb. 23 at the Center for Innovative Food Technology in Toledo, and Feb. 28 at the Mustard Seed Market and Cafà in Akron. Each program will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $75 per person and $25 for each additional person from the same business. Registration should be completed one week prior to the workshop. For details or to register, contact Julie Moose at 740-289-2071, ext. 223, or email moose.14@osu.edu.

The MarketReady program was initially developed by the University of Kentucky and was piloted in cooperation with OSU Extension and the Ohio Direct Marketing Team.

“MarketReady workshops and resources guide producers through the decisions needed for entering various direct marketing channels,” said Julie Fox, direct marketing specialist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.… Continue reading

Read More »

10th annual youth pork leadership institute announced

Pork enthusiasts from around Ohio will have a chance to learn about all aspects of the pork industry at the 2012 Youth Pork Leadership Institute, a three-day seminar to be held in Columbus in June.

Young men and women will be selected to participate in the event, which is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Producers Council, the Pork Check-off, and the Ohio Soybean Council. Last year, six individuals participated in the event. As an alumnus of the institute, participants will have the opportunity to be youth ambassadors for Ohio’s pork industry.

One goal of the institute is to introduce young people to the many facets of the pork industry; including packing, retail, food service, research and communications. In addition, the institute will teach leadership and communication skills that will assist participants in their future careers.

At last year’s event, the participants benefited from such unique experiences as touring a packing plant, learning about commercial hog farms, taste testing in Bob Evans test kitchen, and meeting with a legislative aide.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA pilot program offers lower mortgage interest rates

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching a pilot program to help rural borrowers refinance their mortgages to reduce their monthly payments. This initiative is part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to help middle class families, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Rural Refinance Pilot Program will operate in 19 states for homeowners who have loans that were made or guaranteed by USDA Rural Development. These states are among those hardest hit by the downturn in the housing market.

“Through initiatives like the one we are announcing today, the Obama Administration is taking aggressive steps to fight for middle class homeowners who have played by the rules and are trying to get ahead,” said Vilsack “This pilot program will help homeowners’ to take advantage of historically low interest rates, and by working closely with lenders, we are helping rural homeowners protect one of the most important investments they will ever make.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio cattlemen in Nashville for National Cattlemens Convention

Heather Hetterick spoke with Ohio Cattleman’s Association President Sam Sutherly who one of almost 100 Ohio cattle producers in Nashville for the National Cattleman’s Convention.

Heather Wrap 2-3-11

A recording-breaking crowd of nearly 7,000 cattlemen and women from across the country jockeyed for a seat at the second general session of the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn. NCBA President-Elect J.D. Alexander painted a picture of regulatory chaos in Washington, D.C., but pointed to grassroots advocacy as the primary reason the cattle industry was able to “weather the storm.”

“Because of the partnership between our state affiliates and your national organization, we managed to prevent ourselves from being the main course at the big government café,” said Alexander, who is also a cattleman from Nebraska. “This partnership – this grassroots policy process – is the shining star of this industry. You have a voice and it is being heard loud and clear.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Junk feed = Thin cows, weak calves

By Stan Smith, Ohio State University  Extension, Fairfield County

“My cows are eating all they want, and they are full . . . but it appears they keep getting thinner.”

“I’ve got some cows that act like they are open.”

“My fall born calves seem unthrifty, and some are week. I’ve lost a few.”

“I had a cow that could hardly get back up after she calved . . . just seemed weak.”

“I just got this forage analysis back . . . it’s not very good, is it?”

No, it most cases it’s not. Yet, those quotes are representative of the recurring statements I’m still hearing and receiving. While I know many are tired of hearing it, it’s apparent the poor quality hay that was harvested and ‘stored’ over much of Ohio in 2011 is now coming back to haunt some of us. In most cases, cows and calves are weak because momma isn’t getting enough energy.… Continue reading

Read More »

Child ag labor issue re-visited

The U.S. Department of Labor‘s Wage and Hour Division has announced that it will re-propose the portion of its regulation on child labor in agriculture interpreting the “parental exemption.” The decision to re-propose is in part a response to requests from the public and members of Congress that the agency allow an opportunity for more input on this aspect of the rule. Following the president’s historic executive order on regulation, issued in January 2011, this re-proposal reflects the department’s careful attention to public comments and its conclusion that it is appropriate to provide the public with further opportunities to participate in the regulatory process.

The parental exemption allows children of any age who are employed by their parent, or a person standing in the place of a parent, to perform any job on a farm owned or operated by their parent or such person standing in the place of a parent.… Continue reading

Read More »

Coverage of the Alltech North American Lecture Tour

Shaping tomorrow’s world: Path to a profitable future was the theme of the Alltech North America Lecture Tour series which was in Columbus Wednesday afternoon. The meeting explored how the latest technical developments can move the ag industry forward.

Dale Minyo was there and talked with Alltech’s Elizabeth Bagby about what her company is all about.

Alltech Company profile

Bagby also fills Minyo in on Alltech’s Ag Network.

Alltech Elizabeth Bagby

Alltech’s Tyler Bramble tells Dale about his topic of dicussion on the Tour…Solutions.

Alltech Solutions Tyler Bramble

Kaitlyn Murray is a current student and Ohio State and an Alltech Ambassador. She gives Dale details about Alltech’s Young Scientist Program.

Alltech Ambassador Kaitlyn Murray OSU studentContinue reading

Read More »

NCBA beefing up knowledge at the meat case

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Beef Checkoff Program partnered with Merck Animal Health to launch Better Beef Sales, a new web-based retail training program to help boost knowledge about today’s beef and how it’s produced.

These organizations recognized the need for more training of meat-counter employees after Merck Animal Health conducted a series of consumer panels. The panels found that consumers identify the staff behind the counter as experts. Carrie Thomas, account manager for food chain affairs for Merck Animal Health, said the need for training was quickly confirmed during retailer discussions.

“We conducted four panels in two cities. One of the key take away messages from those meetings was consumers still identify the person in the “white coat” behind the meat counter — the ‘butcher’ — as the beef expert,” said Thomas. “And, we want them to be beef experts. To do that, we need to arm them with information about today’s beef supply and how it’s produced.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Mild January not in top 10 warmest

AccuWeather.com reports that, while January has been unusually mild across the Northeast and Midwest, this month will not go down in the record books as one of the top 10 warmest in major cities such as New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.



A lack of long-duration cold was the theme for January.



“The jet stream was located far to the north for much of January, which allowed for some occurrences of snow and cold across the far northern tier, but the jet did not plunge very far to the south,” according to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.



However, two fairly strong shots of cold air across the Midwest and Northeast around the middle of January helped to keep monthly temperatures from approaching records. Despite mild weather for the last day of January, most of the Midwest will still end up cooler than the top 10 warmest Januaries on record.

Chicago, for example, had an average temperature of 29.5 degrees F, which is 5.8 degrees above normal.… Continue reading

Read More »

MF Global update

MF Global failed on October 31, 2011,resulting in the eighth-largest bankruptcy in US history and the largest commodity brokerage collapse of all time. While this is not the first time a major brokerage firm has failed, what sets MF Global apart is the fact that $1.2 billion in customer funds were missing at the time of the failure, and still remain missing three months later. This shortfall affects approximately 38,000 futures brokerage accounts, a large percentage of which were held by individuals and entities in the agricultural sector.

The Commodity Exchange Act and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulations require funds in customer futures and options brokerage accounts to be segregated from all other money, securities or other property owned or controlled by the brokerage firm. The funds from all customers can be commingled in a single account, but they must be separately accounted for, and must be treated as belonging to the customer.… Continue reading

Read More »

HSUS releases undercover video

 

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released an undercover video taken at Oklahoma pig breeding facilities owned by two leading U.S. pork producers. HSUS is also encouraging consumers to take action to ban the use of gestation crates.

Video is one of the most powerful tools used by animal rights groups. Combined with the credibility that a national news outlet holds, this story is likely to evoke strong emotions and response by viewers. Also, consumer print outlets are likely to do follow up stories, bringing the issue front and center to millions of consumers across the U.S.

The Ohio Livestock Coalition points out that it is important that the animal agriculture community talks openly and honestly about animal well-being and many programs used to ensure livestock is raised in a humane way.  The Center for Food Integrity encourages producers and leaders in the food system to pro-actively engage in values based discussions about modern production methods.… Continue reading

Read More »

Bayer product gets a name change

By Mark Loux, OSU Extension herbicide specialist

Bayer recently made changes in the name, price, and some rates for glufosinate products.  The product “Ignite 280SL” has been renamed “Liberty” (it’s deja vu all over again).  The formulation has not changed — just the name. The price of Liberty has increased by about 20%, but there are apparently some rebates associated with the purchase of LibertyLink soybeans that make it more economical to use.

While the current label does not reflect this yet, Bayer is also recommending a minimum rate of 29 ounces per acre for POST applications in LibertyLink soybeans. The rates for burndown use or POST use in corn have not changed.

In our research with LibertyLink soybeans, the 22-ounce rate has often been adequate for POST applications where a broad-spectrum residual herbicide has been applied at planting. The higher rate should provide more effective control of giant ragweed and annual grasses, although it is not likely to overcome the weakness of Liberty on barnyardgrass, yellow foxtail, and certain other grasses.… Continue reading

Read More »

FCS scholarships

A February 29 deadline is rapidly approaching to submit applications for the Farm Credit Services of Mid-America (FCS) customer scholarship program.

FCS, an $18 billion agricultural lending cooperative serving farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, is offering scholarships to college students enrolled in agricultural and business programs. Forty six scholarships ranging in value from $1,000 to $1,500 will be awarded.

“We are invested in the future of agriculture and that future sits with today’s youth,” said George Stebbins, chair of the FCS board. “The winners will be scholarship recipients today and agriculture leaders tomorrow – these scholarships are an investment in the future of our industry.”

The scholarships are available to customers, their dependents, and spouses of the ag lending cooperative. Scholarships will be awarded in April based on academic record, leadership qualities and community involvement. To apply, visit www.e-farmcredit.com, select “Community”, then “Scholarships” or call 1-800-444-3276 to talk to the nearest office about obtaining an application.… Continue reading

Read More »

2011 NW Ohio silage trials

By Rich Minyo, Allen Geyer and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

In 2011, 50 corn silage hybrids representing 12 commercial brands were evaluated in a joint trial with Michigan State University (MSU). One Ohio location is combined with Michigan’s two southern (Zone 1) silage locations. The Ohio test site was located in our Northwest Region at Hoytville (Wood County). The two MSU sites are located in Branch and Lenawee counties, which are on the Ohio/Michigan state line. The test results from the three locations are treated as one region.

The 2011 silage plots were planted with 4-row air type planters and maintained by each respective state utilizing standard production practices. The center 2 rows were harvested with MSUs self-propelled forage harvester. Silage tests were harvested uniformly as close to half milk line as possible. Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) Quality Analysis was performed by MSU using their current procedures. Silage results present the percent dry matter of each hybrid plus green weight and dry weight as tons per acre.… Continue reading

Read More »

Research confirms benefits of crop rotation

 

Recent research add strength to the long held belief that corn grown in rotation with soybeans requires less nitrogen fertilizer and produces better yields than continuous corn.

“Our research shows that corn residue acts like a ‘sponge’ immobilizing the fertilizer, making it temporarily unavailable to the corn plant,” said John Shanahan, Pioneer agronomy research manager. “Growers working with continuous corn need to be mindful of crop residue from the previous year and adjust (and likely increase) their nitrogen fertilizer rates accordingly.”

These findings are part of a long-term, multi-location study by Pioneer that began in 2006 to examine the response of corn in limited nitrogen environments. Evaluations have been conducted yearly at Pioneer research stations in Johnston, Iowa; Champaign, Ill.; Windfall, Ind.; and York, Neb.

“While many studies have tested corn response to nitrogen fertilizer, there has been limited information on corn hybrid performance in nitrogen-deficient environments,” Shanahan says.

The nitrogen treatments in the study were standardized to five rates as a percentage of university economic optimum recommendations (from 0 to 130%), applied to corn in continuous production as well as corn in rotation with soybeans, and positioned on the same plots from year to year.… Continue reading

Read More »

AFBF, plaintiffs file for judgment in Chesapeake Bay case

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Total Maximum Daily Load regulation (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay watershed establishes new controls on land use that trespass into territory Congress legally reserved for state governments, according to the opening brief for summary judgment, filed Friday, Jan. 27 by the American Farm Bureau Federation in the case, “AFBF vs. EPA.”

The TMDL will impact all economic activity in the watershed with potentially devastating impacts for agriculture within the watershed, according to AFBF.

“We all want a clean and healthy Chesapeake Bay,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “This lawsuit is about how we reach that common goal. Farm Bureau believes EPA’s new regulation is unlawful and costly without providing the environmental benefit promised. Farmers in the watershed have clearly delivered a documented track record of continuous improvement, through conservation and sound stewardship and will continue their dedicated efforts.”

The TMDL dictates how much nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment can be allowed into the Bay and its tributaries from different areas and sources.… Continue reading

Read More »