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USDA to change release times of major reports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) will begin issuing several major USDA statistical reports at 12:00 p.m. EDT beginning in January 2013. The current USDA release time of 8:30 a.m. Eastern will remain in effect until January 1, 2013. USDA statistical reports affected are: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Acreage, Crop Production, Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings, and Small Grains Summary.

Between June 8 and July 9, 2012, USDA sought public comment on the release times for several major statistical reports in response to changes in market hours by major commodity exchanges.  Stakeholders submitted 147 comments through the NASS online response site and via letter and e-mail. The comments received may be viewed on the NASS website.

“USDA considered all comments and thanks everyone for their thoughtful suggestions,” said USDA Chief Economist Joseph W. Glauber. “The shift to a noon release allows for the greatest liquidity in the markets, provides the greatest access to the reports during working hours in the United States, and continues equal access to data among all parties.”… Continue reading

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Common deer virus found in a Portage County cattle herd

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) officials have confirmed the discovery of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) – a virus that commonly affects  white-tailed deer – in a Portage County cattle herd. Officials stress that EHD poses no threat to human health or to the safety of meat consumption.

The ODA Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Reynoldsburg confirmed EHD in cattle in northeast Ohio. The virus occurs annually in deer herds in some parts of North America but is less common in cattle. The disease in cattle may cause fever, lameness, and sore mouths. Most cattle recover within a few days. In deer, EHD is typically fatal.

Both cattle and deer contract EHD from gnats or biting flies. The virus cannot be spread from animal to animal or from animal to humans. Insects, however, can contract the virus from infected deer or cattle and pass it on to surrounding populations. This summer’s drought has forced animals and insects to common watering spots, increasing the spread of EHD.… Continue reading

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Purdue gets $5.2 million to develop new biofuel process

If Purdue University researchers have their way, the term “biofuel plant” will take on a whole new meaning.

A team received a $5.2 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to develop a plant that can make substances that could be used directly as a biofuel. The idea is to reroute carbon that plants currently use to make lignin — a barrier to cellulosic ethanol production – and turn it into a biofuel.

“Scientists have been focused on getting the sugars out of cell walls and using microorganisms to ferment those sugars into fuel,” said Clint Chapple, the grant’s principal investigator and a distinguished professor of biochemistry. “We want to take advantage of a plant’s metabolic pathways to make biofuel directly.”

Purdue acting President Timothy Sands said the work is an example of harnessing science to find solutions for global problems.

“Addressing our world’s energy needs will take multiple solutions, and Purdue researchers have long been a part of significant developments in this field,” Sands said.… Continue reading

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USDA clarifies extension of emergency grazing

The Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced a two-month extension for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres, freeing up forage and feed for livestock producers. FSA will allow all Ohio farmers to continue emergency grazing on CRP land through Nov. 30, 2012, without incurring an additional CRP rental payment reduction. The period normally allowed for emergency grazing lasts through Sept. 30. This extension of emergency grazing to November 30, 2012 is only applicable to producers who request emergency grazing under Fiscal Year 2012 emergency grazing authority before Sept. 30, 2012.

The extension of emergency grazing on CRP acres does not apply to these practices: CP8A – Grass Waterway-Non-easement; CP23 — Wetland Restoration; CP23A —Wetland Restoration-Non-Floodplain; CP27 — Farmable Wetlands Pilot Wetland; and CP28 — Farmable Wetlands Pilot Buffer.

Under emergency grazing at least 25% of each field or contiguous CRP fields must be left ungrazed for wildlife, or graze not more than seventy-five percent of the stocking rate as determined by NRCS.… Continue reading

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USDA announces purchase of 1.7 million pounds of lamb

The $10 million lamb purchase by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service as announced this summer as part of the department’s drought assistance to livestock producers showed major progress again with notification that awards were confirmed for 1.72 million pounds of lamb for a total $7.7 million. Bids were accepted for bone-in and boneless leg roasts as well as shoulder chops in nearly even volume between the three cuts for delivery to food assistance centers across the nation.

“Mountain States Rosen, LLC and Transhumance, Inc. (Superior Farms) were the companies winning bids,” said Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association. “The department of agriculture remains very aggressive in securing commitments for the full allotment of funds in an effort to strengthen the lamb market for sheep producers. Truckloads will actually be rolling out next week beginning deliveries of the first $2 million of purchases as awarded last month.”… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – September 17th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
The average temperature for the State was 64.2 degrees, 1.6 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, September 16, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.07 inches, 0.77 inches below normal. There were 95 modified growing degree days, 20 days below normal.

Reporters rated 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, September 14, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 24 percent very short, 39 percent short, 36 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
Recent rains have slowed maturing of corn and soybeans. Field activities for the week included tilling wheat stubble, applying fertilizer and manure, and baling hay. Corn and soybeans are being harvested in more parts of the state.
As of Sunday September 16th, corn dented was rated at 95 percent, compared to 63 percent last year and 82 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Soil health systems evolving

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

America’s Great Lakes — Erie, Michigan, Huron, Superior and Ontario — hold 21% of the world’s surface fresh water, host habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species of concern, and provide drinking water for more than 40 million people. Sport fishing, commercial fishing and Native American fishing are among the major industries that provide jobs in the Great Lakes region and impact its fragile ecosystem. Meanwhile, urban runoff and sprawl, sewage disposal, toxic industrial effluent and agriculture affect aquatic food chains, fish populations and human health.

Those issues were part of the conversation in Cleveland for Great Lakes Week in early September. This annual gathering of Great Lakes leaders showcases the challenges, urgency and successes of ecological restoration across the Great Lakes basin.

Agriculture agencies, including the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), have invested a lot of time and effort in the Great Lakes region.… Continue reading

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Three to be inducted into Farm Science Review Hall of Fame

The Farm Science Review Hall of Fame will welcome its 23rd class of inductees at the Vice President’s Luncheon on September 18. Jim Beuerlein, Michael Gahn and Bobby Moser have been selected for induction because of their contributions to the success of the Farm Science Review. The 50th Farm Science Review is September 18 to 20 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London.

Jim Beuerlein, Mt. Gilead

Jim was a professor, researcher, and State Extension leader with The Ohio State University and has become a nationally known expert in small grain production — particularly soybeans. Jim was very influential in the move to narrow row soybean production. He served on the Farm Science Review Program & Policy committee.

Mike Gahn, Worthington

As a representative of DuPont Pioneer, Mike built a partnership with the Review to provide in-kind donations of seed for the field demonstration plots. DuPont Pioneer’s gifts became a model by which other seed companies could contribute to the continuing education of the region’s farmers.… Continue reading

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CCA of the Year Award nominations being accepted

The Ohio CCA Board is also pleased to announce the 2013 CCA of the Year Award. Nominations are now being accepted and CCAs can be nominated by a peer, employer or farmer client. The winner of this prestigious award will be announced at the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada in March 2013, and will receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash award from an agribusiness and industry recognition. Click here for the application, and be sure to nominate a deserving candidate. Last year’s winner was Mike Dailey, an independent consultant from Mt. Vernon.… Continue reading

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EPA announces increase in biodiesel requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an increase in the biodiesel volume requirement under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) from 1 billion gallons in 2012 to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013, a move welcomed by the American Soybean Association (ASA).

“More than half of all biodiesel produced in the United States comes from soybean oil, which expands a growing market for soybean farmers,” said ASA President Steve Wellman. “We congratulate the Environmental Protection Agency on today’s announcement as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Secretary Vilsack for their continued strong support for the U.S. biodiesel industry. We look forward to helping the U.S. biodiesel industry hit the 1.28 billion gallon mark in 2013. By achieving the new requirement, we’ll help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and help increase soybean meal supplies to our valued partners in the livestock industry for use as feed.”

Wellman highlighted several benefits from biodiesel production that help U.S.… Continue reading

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Farm Science Review traffic detour

When traveling to the Farm Science Review use the state route 42 exit (exit 79) from Interstate 70 as a last resort. There will be limited access to U.S. route 40 from state route 42 due to a construction project so driving to the grounds from that exit will not be easy.

As alternatives from 70 west, take state route 29 (exit 80) or state route 142 (exit 85) and travel east on either road to reach U.S. route 40. U.S. route 40 is also in the midst of a construction project near the Farm Science Review grounds so allow extra time for that as well.

 … Continue reading

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Hay weight verses bale

By Clif Little, OSU Extension Educator Guernsey and Noble Counties

Recently, a local hay producer asked what hay was worth. Of course, each forage producer will have a different cost of production. After he told me his price, I asked the weight of his bales. He was not exactly sure but guessed 1,000 pounds. He went on to say that most hay is bought and sold by the bale. He stated that, most articles he reads mentioning price or cost are on a per ton basis. This farmer’s comment provoked a couple of pertinent questions. First, what is the cost of not knowing the weight of a bale? Second, what is forage value based on current feed prices?

To answer the first question I went to the USDA Farm Service Agency. In the past couple of years, they have been weighing many large round bales due to the forage quantity and quality loss programs and conducting yield checks.… Continue reading

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Ruff’s Seed Farm an exhibitor at every Farm Science Review

The agriculture industry has evolved tremendously in the last 50 years. While this evolution has modified exhibits seen at the Farm Science Review, one family seed corn company remains a staple in the exhibitor line-up year after year.

Ruff’s Seed Farms, located in Amanda, Ohio, was established in 1936 and is an early pioneer of hybrid seed corn development in Ohio. Ruff’s has attended the Farm Science Review regularly for the past 49 years. Part of Ruff’s exhibit has even traveled through those nearly-50 years with the company. The counter that is included in their display area today, where they have key conversations with attendees, is the original one that was used in 1963.

Allan Reid, General Manager of Ruff’s Seed Farms, whose father-in-law began the company, has attended every show with the exception of the 2001 show. Since he was traveling around the time of September 11, he was not able to fly home for days due to the terrorist attacks.… Continue reading

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Specialist hopes to demystify algal blooms during Farm Science Review session

Potentially harmful algal blooms, or HABs, have become more prevalent throughout Ohio in recent years. These blooms on public waters have drawn much attention in the media, but are still a mystery to many people, said Eugene Braig, Ohio State University Extension aquatic ecosystems program director.

The blooms, technically caused by blue-green algae/cyanobacteria, are not true algae at all, Braig said.

He will cover some of the problems that can be caused by HABs, the organisms that cause them, factors that contribute to blooms, and how to keep family and pets safe from possible HAB poisoning, during a session titled “Harmful algal blooms,” held Sept. 18 from 2 -3 p.m. during the Farm Science Review near London, Ohio. The program will be held at the Review’s Gwynne Conservation Area.

“HABs and their associated environmental problems are almost always directly linked to excessive nutrients in the water,” Braig said. “Factors contributing to HABs are complex, but will always involve nutrients to fuel them.“… Continue reading

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Farmers could profit from selling products to schools

A growing interest in locally raised and produced foods, along with new school meal requirements, could present great opportunities for Ohio farmers, said Julie Fox, Ohio State University Extension Farm to School program director.

“Ohio’s schools are quite diverse in size and scope, but one thing remains the same: students eat a lot of food,” she said.

Schools are increasingly purchasing a variety of foods from local farmers and distributors because new school meal guidelines require an increase in the quantity and diversity of fruits and vegetables, Fox said.

Local farmers can take advantage of this trend by knowing what products schools buy; finding out how products are packaged, priced and distributed; learning how schools operate; developing relationships with school decision makers; and putting together a plan that fits with their business goals, she said.

“By helping farmers understand how schools operate, the Farm to School connection can be easy,” Fox said.… Continue reading

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Leasing land for energy development to be discussed at Farm Science Review

With rising energy prices, increasing concern for the environment and new energy policy, Ohio landowners are being approached to lease their farmland for energy production. But there are many things to consider and discuss before signing any documents, said Eric Romich, Ohio State University Extension field specialist for energy development.

“Landowners are often presented with what is commonly referred to as a ‘standard energy lease,’ ” he said. “Typically, a lease provided to a landowner by a company representative will be a well-prepared document written from the company’s perspective.”

Many of the terms written in those leases are negotiable, he said. Before negotiating a lease, landowners should seek legal counsel and explore all options to maximize their economic potential while preserving their land and natural resources.

Romich and Clif Little, agriculture and natural resources educator with the Noble and Guernsey county offices of OSU Extension, will discuss this important issue for Ohio landowners during a session titled “Leasing land for energy development,” on Thursday, Sept.… Continue reading

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Minor adjustments made to corn in latest USDA report

What does Wednesday’s Supply and Demand Report from USDA mean for the markets in the short-term? Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics and Ty Higgins go over the numbers in detail.

WASDE Zuzolo 9.12.12

WHEAT: The 2012/13 U.S. wheat balance sheet is unchanged this month; however, small by-class adjustments are made to projected exports and stocks. Projected exports for Hard Red Winter wheat are lowered 25 million bushels with Hard Red Spring and White wheat exports raised 15 million bushels and 10 million bushels, respectively. Corresponding changes are made to projected ending stocks for these three classes. The projected range for the 2012/13 season-average farm price is lowered to $7.50 to $8.70 per bushel compared with $7.60 to $9.00 per bushel last month.

Prices reported for the summer months, when producers typically market nearly half the crop, have remained well below cash bids and futures prices, suggesting substantial forward pricing by producers earlier in the year.… Continue reading

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Second Annual Fall Classic Garden Tractor Pull at the Farm Science Review

After a successful inaugural year in 2011, The Ohio State University Quarter Scale Tractor Team will be hosting the Second Annual Fall Classic Garden Tractor Pull at the Farm Science Review on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm. The event is sponsored by the Quarter-Scale Tractor Design Team at The Ohio State University and sanctioned by Ohio Garden Tractor Pullers Association.

The Ohio State University Quarter Scale Tractor Team (QST) is a group of engineering students that build a tractor and compete against other university teams at a national competition. The Fall Classic is a garden tractor pull that was started by QST as a fundraising opportunity. The first year was a great success attracting nearly 30 different teams. QST is expecting this to be another fantastic event in 2012 coinciding with the Farm Science Review’s 50th Anniversary.

The weight classes for this year’s event are as follows:

850 pounds Youth Stock

850 pounds Stock

950 pounds Hot Stock Single

950 pounds Stock

950 pounds Youth Stock

1050 pounds Hot Stock Single

1050 pounds Hot Stock Twins

1050 pounds Stock Altered

1000 pounds Altered Twins

1100 pounds Hot Stock Twins

1100 pounds Stock Altered

1100 pounds Altered Twins

1000 pounds Pro Stock

1150 pounds Pro Stock Diesel

1100 pounds Pro Stock

1250 pounds Pro Stock Diesel

All pulling classes are to follow national quarter scale rules.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – September 10th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 73.3 degrees, 5.2 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, September 9, 2012. Precipitation averaged 1.95 inches, 1.31 inches above normal. There were 154 modified growing degree days, 26 days above normal.

Reporters rated 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, September 7, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 27 percent very short, 39 percent short, 33 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 9, 2012

Rain showers and cooler temperatures at the end of the week helped improve crop conditions. Field activities for the week included spraying for weeds and spider mites, tilling wheat stubble, applying fertilizer, seeding cover crops, and installing drainage tile.

As of Sunday September 9th, corn dented was rated at 88 percent, compared to 51 percent last year and 69 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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American Soybean Association launches soy action center

As Congress returns from recess this week, the American Soybean Association (ASA) announces the launch of the Soy Action Center, a grassroots communications portal through which ASA’s 21,000 farmer members can connect with their members of Congress, administration and federal agency officials, and state and local offices.

“The Soy Action Center will be a very valuable tool for our members moving forward,” said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb. “While the farm bill takes center stage right now, there is always a need for simple and straightforward communication between farmers and their representatives in Congress, in the administration, and in their state and local governments. The Soy Action Center enables farmers to keep those lines of communication open, and underscore to their elected officials why informed policy decisions are so important on the farm.”

Through the web-based system, farmers can enter their address or zip code to be connected with members of Congress and state and local officials representing their communities.… Continue reading

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