Top Headlines

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

USDA works to develop international markets

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing in approximately 70 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for their goods. Vilsack made the announcement during a conference call with reporters from Vietnam, where he is meeting with officials to help strengthen trade relations in the Asia Pacific region.

“Under the Obama Administration, USDA has continued to expand markets for American goods abroad, worked aggressively to break down barriers to trade, and assisted U.S. businesses with the resources needed to reach consumers around the world,” said Vilsack. “The funding announced today will ensure that U.S. agriculture remains a bright spot in America’s economy and a driving force behind export growth, job creation, and our nation’s competitiveness.”

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) allocated $213 million for export promotion activities through two USDA international market development programs: the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP).… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Crop Progress – November 14th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 48.4 degrees, 6.0 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, November 13, 2011. Precipitation averaged 0.19 inches, 0.61 inches below normal. There were 38 modified growing degree days, 19 days above normal.

Reporters rated 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 12, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 36 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13th 2011

Farmers were harvesting corn and soybeans and planting winter wheat when they could in between rain. The northeast part of the state had some fields that were hard to get into because they were saturated with water. They were also doing fall tillage.

As of Sunday November 13th, corn harvested for grain was 51 percent complete, compared to 99 percent last year and 79 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio's Crop Progress – November 14th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 48.4 degrees, 6.0 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, November 13, 2011. Precipitation averaged 0.19 inches, 0.61 inches below normal. There were 38 modified growing degree days, 19 days above normal.

Reporters rated 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 12, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 36 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13th 2011

Farmers were harvesting corn and soybeans and planting winter wheat when they could in between rain. The northeast part of the state had some fields that were hard to get into because they were saturated with water. They were also doing fall tillage.

As of Sunday November 13th, corn harvested for grain was 51 percent complete, compared to 99 percent last year and 79 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

Read More »

AUDIO – NAFB Trade Talk 2011

The 68th Annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting Annual Meeting took place in Kansas City, Missouri this week. Dale, Heather and Ty were all there to not only attend many of the events of the week, but to also cover Trade Talk. This event corrals many major players in American agriculture so broadcasters from around the country can get the latest happenings from each organization.

Here are some of the interviews collected by The Ohio Ag Net crew.

Mike Hofer, BASF’s Corn Marketing Manager, talks about his company’s advantages for growers in 2012.

BASF Mike Hofer

BASF Fungicides Technical Market Manager, Nick Fassler, talks about Xemium. Xemium is a new ingredient found in both Priaxor and Merivon which expects EPA registration in 2012.

BASF Nick Fassler

Nate Weinkauf is the Marketing Manager for Case IH’s Axial-Flow Combines and Heads. The new 30 Series combines was his topic of discussion.

Case IH Nate Weinkauf

Case IH’s Mitch Kaiser shares how the Steiger 600 delivers the total tractor solutions.… Continue reading

Read More »

Biochars can benefit soils

ARS scientists are leading the way in learning more about “biochar,” the charred biomass created from wood, other plant material, and manure.

Soil scientist Jeff Novak in Florence, S.C., is coordinating the multi-location effort. In one project, he led a laboratory study to see if different biochars could improve the sandy soils found on the Carolina coastal plain, and Pacific Northwest silt loam soils derived from volcanic ash.

Novak’s team used peanut hulls, pecan shells, poultry litter, switchgrass and hardwood waste products to produce nine different types of biochars. All the feedstocks were pyrolysed at two different temperatures to produce the biochars. Pyrolysis is a process of chemical decomposition that results from rapid heating of the raw feedstocks in the absence of oxygen. Then the biochars were mixed into one type of sandy soil and two silt loam soils at the rate of about 20 tons per acre.

After four months, the team found that biochars produced from switchgrass and hardwoods increased soil moisture storage in all three soils.… Continue reading

Read More »

Sheep parasite research

Genetic resistance to a parasitic nematode that infects sheep has been discovered by a team of scientists with the USDA and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

The researchers are the first to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL), genetic locations on chromosomes, for resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in a double-backcross population derived from African native sheep. The parasites, common in tropical regions, cause significant economic and production losses in Africa each year. Sheep infected with parasites suffer from diarrhea, anemia, weight loss and sometimes death.

ARS geneticist Tad Sonstegard and researchers at ILRI in Kenya hope to identify genes that increase tolerance to parasites and improve production of grazing animals. ARS is USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports USDA’s priority of promoting international food security.

In one study, researchers mapped the regions of the genome that control resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in a sheep population bred by ILRI.… Continue reading

Read More »

U.S. exports face increasing global competition

While the U.S. has been the traditional powerhouse in terms of global crop commodity exports, there is more competition popping u around the world every year.

In the near future, U.S. exports are likely to face strong competition from Ukrainian corn and feed wheat exports, according to Cary Sifferath, a U.S. Grains Council regional director. 



“With a record corn crop this year and plenty of feed quality wheat to sell, I would now say Ukraine will have 10 million metric tons (394 million bushels) to as much as 12 million metric tons (473 million bushels) of corn and 7 million metric tons (257 million bushels) of feed wheat available for export,” he said.


Ukrainian farmers are using fertilizer and other inputs more aggressively to increase yields. Capital spending on port facilities and export capacity is also increasing as multinational exporters invest in the region, but Sifferath feels that rail and export facilities could still prove a bottleneck for moving such grain volumes.

… Continue reading

Read More »

Use caution when working with shale gas issues

Shale gas development in Ohio could mean thousands of Ohio jobs, windfalls for landowners leasing away their mineral rights, and economic development for struggling communities.

But landowners also need to fully understand the potential financial, legal and environmental ramifications of the highly complex leases, which could last for generations. And public officials often need guidance on the implications for their communities, as well.

Ohio State University Extension is providing such leadership, offering educational programs to landowners, public officials and other stakeholders to help them make informed decisions. And people are asking for more.

“I’ve been with Extension for 27 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Stephen Schumacher, an Ohio State University Extension educator in Belmont County. “You can’t go to the fair or to the coffee shop without talking about oil and gas.”

Schumacher and colleague Mike Lloyd coordinate the OSU Extension Shale Gas Workgroup, which gathers monthly to allow educators, researchers and state Extension specialists to meet with representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Farm Bureau.… Continue reading

Read More »

Turkey prices driving increase in Thanksgiving meal

The retail cost of menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings increased about 13% this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

AFBF’s 26th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.20, a $5.73 price increase from last year’s average of $43.47.

“The cost of this year’s meal remains a bargain, at just under $5 per person,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas. “The quality and variety of food produced for our dinner tables on America’s diverse farms and ranches sets us apart from our contemporaries around the world.  It is an honor for our farm and ranch families to produce the food from our nation’s land for family Thanksgiving celebrations.”

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA streamlines programs

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has streamlined a host of programs and processes in an effort to help farmers, ranchers and businesses continue to drive America’s productive agricultural economy. As USDA approaches its 150th anniversary, the changes — quicker disaster assistance, expedited reviews of pending product applications, and less reporting dates — will help build a better, stronger and more efficient Department. Improvements were announced by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Risk Management Agency (RMA), and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“As USDA continues to find ways to modernize our services, we remain committed to improving the customer experience by streamlining processes, accelerating delivery, and using innovative technologies,” said Vilsack. “The improvements announced today will help businesses respond more quickly to market demands, provide producers with a more responsive farm safety net, and help our customers create jobs. President Obama challenged USDA and other federal agencies to streamline operations, and today USDA is taking a big step toward answering that challenge.”… Continue reading

Read More »

OFBF announces winners of "My Ohio Agriculture" video contest

Four Ohioans have been named winners of $500 each in the ‘My Ohio Agriculture’ video contest, sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Center for Food and Animal Issues. The contest required entrants to submit a one- to three-minute video showcasing their connection to Ohio agriculture.

The Stearns Homestead Farm in Parma earned the “People’s Choice Award,” given to the contestant whose video earned the most views on YouTube during the contest period. Submitted by Dana Valensky, the “Stearns Homestead Agriculture Clip” showed the diversity of this community farm in the city and its benefits to the local youth programs and residents. The video was viewed 1,447 times on YouTube throughout the contest.

Lisa Gress of Shreve earned the “Most Creative” Judges’ Choice Award for her video “My Ohio Agriculture – What’s Our Connection?” which featured time lapsed hand drawn farm and agriculture scenes, and described the wide variety and diversity of agriculture in the state.… Continue reading

Read More »

OFBF announces winners of “My Ohio Agriculture” video contest

Four Ohioans have been named winners of $500 each in the ‘My Ohio Agriculture’ video contest, sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Center for Food and Animal Issues. The contest required entrants to submit a one- to three-minute video showcasing their connection to Ohio agriculture.

The Stearns Homestead Farm in Parma earned the “People’s Choice Award,” given to the contestant whose video earned the most views on YouTube during the contest period. Submitted by Dana Valensky, the “Stearns Homestead Agriculture Clip” showed the diversity of this community farm in the city and its benefits to the local youth programs and residents. The video was viewed 1,447 times on YouTube throughout the contest.

Lisa Gress of Shreve earned the “Most Creative” Judges’ Choice Award for her video “My Ohio Agriculture – What’s Our Connection?” which featured time lapsed hand drawn farm and agriculture scenes, and described the wide variety and diversity of agriculture in the state.… Continue reading

Read More »

New edition of veterinarian Johne's disease handbooks available

Dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who want to help prevent or control Johne’s disease in their herds often ask where they should start with the process. The answer: Begin by conducting an on-farm risk assessment, then develop and follow a management plan specific to the farm.

Three recently updated handbooks—“Handbook for Veterinarians and Dairy Producers,” “Handbook for Veterinarians and Beef Producers” and “How to do Risk Assessments and Develop Management Plans for Johne’s Disease”—are available for dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who are serious about addressing Johne’s disease and stopping the financial drain of this devastating disease. This fourth edition of the handbooks reflect the USDA’s updated Program Standards for the Voluntary Bovine Johne’s Disease Control Program and are significantly more user friendly.

“The team in charge of developing the 2011 edition of the handbooks brainstormed long and hard to develop easy-to-comprehend and easy-to-complete information and forms, and I think all three handbooks are homeruns,” said Elisabeth Patton, chairman of U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

New edition of veterinarian Johne’s disease handbooks available

Dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who want to help prevent or control Johne’s disease in their herds often ask where they should start with the process. The answer: Begin by conducting an on-farm risk assessment, then develop and follow a management plan specific to the farm.

Three recently updated handbooks—“Handbook for Veterinarians and Dairy Producers,” “Handbook for Veterinarians and Beef Producers” and “How to do Risk Assessments and Develop Management Plans for Johne’s Disease”—are available for dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who are serious about addressing Johne’s disease and stopping the financial drain of this devastating disease. This fourth edition of the handbooks reflect the USDA’s updated Program Standards for the Voluntary Bovine Johne’s Disease Control Program and are significantly more user friendly.

“The team in charge of developing the 2011 edition of the handbooks brainstormed long and hard to develop easy-to-comprehend and easy-to-complete information and forms, and I think all three handbooks are homeruns,” said Elisabeth Patton, chairman of U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Is 2011 the wettest year on record?

By Jim Noel, NOAA/NWS

The outlook from Nov. 8-22 calls for above normal temperatures and rainfall overall. Normal temperatures are highs near 50 and lows near 35. Temperatures will average several degrees above normal.

Normal rainfall is about 1.2 inches. Rainfall will average 1 to 3 inches with the greatest totals in the west. Weather systems will affect Ohio the first half of this week, the first part of next week and the beginning of Thanksgiving week. In addition, a few showers with a colder upper air system will move through later this week.



Longer range, the above normal temperatures of November will gradually turn to normal, then colder than normal as we go through winter. Rainfall will likely turn from above normal in November to normal in early winter before going back above normal later in winter.



As for 2011, it will go down as one of the wettest in Ohio.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio's Crop Progress Report – November 7th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 46.1 degrees, 1.9 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, November 6, 2011. Precipitation averaged 0.23 inches, 0.49 inches below normal. There were 34 modified growing degree days, 2 days below normal.

Reporters rated 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 4, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 41 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 6th 2011

Farmers were harvesting corn and soybeans and planting winter wheat.

As of Sunday November 6th, corn mature was rated at 95 percent, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 34 percent complete, compared to 94 percent last year and 67 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 96 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – November 7th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 46.1 degrees, 1.9 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, November 6, 2011. Precipitation averaged 0.23 inches, 0.49 inches below normal. There were 34 modified growing degree days, 2 days below normal.

Reporters rated 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 4, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 41 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 6th 2011

Farmers were harvesting corn and soybeans and planting winter wheat.

As of Sunday November 6th, corn mature was rated at 95 percent, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 34 percent complete, compared to 94 percent last year and 67 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 96 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average.… Continue reading

Read More »