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Ag involvement is the best defense against excess regulation

Farmers need to commit their time, energy, money and best thinking if they want to stop the proliferation of federal regulations that threaten their businesses, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official said today at the American Farm Bureau Federation 93rd Annual Meeting.

“This isn’t academic folks,” said Reed Rubinstein, senior counsel for the Chamber of Commerce. “When the federal government exercises its authority, it can send you to jail. We are all one regulation away from being out of business.”

Most of the “hyper regulation” currently affecting farmers stems from expansion of environmental law, he said, but new health care regulations and financial reform will add to their regulatory burden in the next five to 10 years.

Increasingly, the Environmental Protection Agency is emphasizing ecological sustainability of agriculture in its regulatory programs, based on what it says are public concerns, Rubinstein said. “Translation: ‘You need somebody to tell you how to run your business because you’re not doing it in the right way,” he said.… Continue reading

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Does water quality affect pesticide performance

Dr. Fred Whitford with Purdue University Pesticide Program says he believes water quality plays a role in pesticide performance. He spoke with Heather Hetterick just before he presented at West Ohio Agronomy Day.

Impace of Water on Pesticide Performance

For more information you can view the complete publication, The impact of water quality on pesticide performance for free via the Pesticide Programs site.Continue reading

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North Central Ohio Dairy Grazing Conference

North Central Ohio Dairy Grazing Conference will be January 26 and 27, 2012 at the Buckeye Event Center in Dalton, Ohio. Jason Karszes will be sharing “Working the Numbers” and moderating a panel on “Farm Financials with the Money Folks” featuring local bankers.

Howard Straub from Michigan will be talking about “Keeping the Children Dairy Farmers” and “Grass and Robots: Do They Mix?” “Chores on the Farm” will have children of grazing dairy farmers on a panel moderated by Jerry D. Miller.  Leon Mast from Indiana and Robert Miller from Holmes County, Ohio will contrast their farms by looking at their differences and commonalities. “Maintaining Dairy Equipment: Key Ingredients” panel will look at common equipment issues.

Tony Rickard from Missouri will discuss “Strategy for Feeding Supplements on Grass” and “Evolving New Zealand/Missouri Grazing Model”. Mike Gessel from Wooster will talk about “The Gessel Family Farm 13 Years Transition”. This two day program is full of information and opportunity to network with dairy graziers across Ohio and the Midwest.… Continue reading

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Ohio families recognized as 2011 Century Farms

Fifty-two farms were recognized by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2011 as century farms.  Century farm status is awarded to families who have owned the same farm for at least 100 consecutive years. Ohio’s Country Journal highlights two Ohio Century Farms each year.

To commemorate this impressive milestone, each family received a special certificate signed by Governor John R. Kasich and the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture to keep with their historic documents and pass down to future generations.

 

County                         Name                                 Year Established

Adams                         Swearingen                         1875

Allen                            Badertscher                         1868

Allen                                     Bieln                                     1853

Allen                                     Sidey                                     1883

Ashland                         Elson                                     1908

Auglaize                         Albers                                     1835

Butler                                     Beeler                                     1901

Champaign                         Detwiler                         1904

Clark                                     Ackerman                         1888

Clark                                     Bowman                         1910

Clark                                     Goodfellow                         1902

Clark                                     King                                     1896

Clark                                     Stickney                         1805

Clinton                         Branstrator                         1904

Clinton                         Stephens                         1911

Columbiana                         Huston                         1842

Columbiana                         Little                                     1907

Crawford                         Pope                                     1885

Defiance                         Reagle                         1865

Defiance                         Steinberger                         1872

Defiance                         Weber                                     1908

Delaware                         Watkins                         1897

Delaware                         Watkins                         1881

Delaware                         Watkins                         1892

Fairfield                         Berry (2 farms)             1811

Fairfield                         McManus                         1850

Fairfield                         Solt                                     1909

Hancock                         Van Sant                         1877

Hardin                         Eibling                         1907

Hardin                         Sanders                         1865

Hardin                         Wagner                         1833

Henry                                     Bechtol                         1910

Hocking                         Brimner                         1910

Knox                                     Dudgeon                         1831

Lake                                     West                                     1891

Lorain                                     Greene                         1909

Madison                         Hunter                         1910

Mercer                         Moeder (2 farms)             1873

Mercer                         Thieman                         1869

Morgan                         Bragg                                     1902

Putnam                         Hoersten                         1908

Putnam                         Maag                                     1879

Putnam                         Pierman                         1910

Putnam                         Risser                                     1864

Putnam                         Verhoff                         1911

Sandusky                         Gerwin                         1900

Shelby                         Baumer                         1911

Union                                     Bouic                                     1906

Wood                                     Karns (2 farms)             1865

 

More than 850 farms in 85 counties across the state are registered as century farms. … Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen's Association accepting bull consignments

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is currently accepting bull consignments to the two Seedstock Improvement Sales held in April. The sales, held on Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at Muskingum Livestock in Zanesville, Ohio, and Saturday, April 16 at noon at Union Stock Yards Company in Hillsboro, Ohio, offer an affordable way to market bulls from multiple breeds in one location and on one day. Buyers have the assurance of buying bulls with known genetics, a completed vaccination regiment, and a breeding soundness exam.

The Seedstock Improvement Sales are open to consignments from all breeds of bulls. Consignors must be a current member of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to participate. Bulls are required to be registered and to have expected progeny differences (EPDs). The bulls will be placed in sale order based on a within breed evaluation star system using EPDs for birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, and milk. Bulls consigned to the sales can be from one to five years of age.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association accepting bull consignments

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is currently accepting bull consignments to the two Seedstock Improvement Sales held in April. The sales, held on Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at Muskingum Livestock in Zanesville, Ohio, and Saturday, April 16 at noon at Union Stock Yards Company in Hillsboro, Ohio, offer an affordable way to market bulls from multiple breeds in one location and on one day. Buyers have the assurance of buying bulls with known genetics, a completed vaccination regiment, and a breeding soundness exam.

The Seedstock Improvement Sales are open to consignments from all breeds of bulls. Consignors must be a current member of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to participate. Bulls are required to be registered and to have expected progeny differences (EPDs). The bulls will be placed in sale order based on a within breed evaluation star system using EPDs for birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, and milk. Bulls consigned to the sales can be from one to five years of age.… Continue reading

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Deadline for USDA Conservation Innovation Grant proposals Jan. 31

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminded applicants that January 31, 2012, is the last day to submit project pre-proposals for fiscal year 2012 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Pre-proposals support large-scale demonstration projects that test and prove original approaches to conserving America’s private lands.

“These conservation grants continue to generate exciting new ideas that help farmers and ranchers run sustainable and profitable operations and address high-priority natural resource concerns,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We are proud to encourage the advancement of innovative conservation methods that will benefit producers, the public and the economy for years to come.”

This year’s CIG projects focus on nutrient management, energy conservation, soil health, wildlife and CIG projects assessment. NRCS is especially interested in projects that demonstrate:

• Optimal combinations of nutrient source, application rate, placement and timing that improve nutrient recovery by crops.

• Procedures for refining the usefulness of the phosphorous index in reducing phosphorous losses.… Continue reading

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OEFFA Conference Feb. 18-19

Experts from Ohio State University will give a dozen of the 70-plus workshops at this year’s Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association annual conference.

Billed as the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, the program takes place Feb. 18-19 in Granville in central Ohio and will focus on “Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty.” More than 1,000 people are expected. The past two years have sold out.

Get full details — the schedule, all the speakers and registration information — at http://www.oeffa.org or contact OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt, 614-421-2022, ext. 205, or renee@oeffa.org

“Farmers, businesses, chefs and consumers are working together to reclaim our food sovereignty,” Hunt said in a press release. “(They are) rebuilding local food systems and Ohio’s rural farming communities, demanding access to healthy organic food and information about how that food is produced, and relearning sustainable agriculture practices that nourish our bodies, our communities and the environment.”… Continue reading

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2012 beef prices will be demand driven

By Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist

Beef and cattle prices increased to new record levels in 2011 and are expected to push even higher in 2012. Several years of declining cattle inventories culminated in late 2011 with a projected 3% decrease in slaughter that combined with lighter carcass weights to result in a 3.8% less beef in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to a year earlier. For 2012, slaughter is forecast to drop another five plus percent and, even with an expected increase in carcass weights, will result in a nearly four percent drop in beef production for the year. Decreasing beef production ensures that wholesale and retail beef prices will be pushed even higher in 2012. Cattle supplies that are even tighter, on a relative basis, likewise ensure that fed and feeder prices will be pushed to the limit and maintain strong negative pressure on feedlot, packing and retail margins.… Continue reading

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Big gains in voluntary land conservation despite recession

The first census of land trusts in five years found 10 million new acres conserved nationwide since 2005, including 113,000 new acres in Ohio.

The National Land Trust Census, released by the Land Trust Alliance, shows that voluntarily protected land increased 27% between 2005 and 2010. In the same time period, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, a major federal conservation program, added just over 500,000 acres and saw a 38% funding cut. The census is online at www.lta.org/census.

A total of 47 million acres — an area over twice the size of all the national parks in the contiguous United States — are now protected by land trusts. A greater percentage of the new acreage comes through local and state land trusts. In Ohio, land trusts conserved 113,146 acres between 2005 and 2010, a 132% increase in land protected.

“The people of Ohio value their land, and we are conserving it at the community level,” said Kevin Joyce, executive director of Black Swamp Conservancy.… Continue reading

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Less bedding can benefit in-transit market pigs

In a new study, funded by the Pork Checkoff, researchers at Texas Tech and Iowa State universities found that the pork industry can generally use less bedding year-round that it currently does while improving overall animal well-being — a breakthrough finding that could save the industry an estimated $10.1 million per year.

John McGlone, a swine researcher at Texas Tech University and principal researcher for the study, along with Anna Butters-Johnson an Iowa State University researcher, looked at various rates of bedding in semi-trailers at different times of year and in different locations throughout the Midwest. This approach provided data representing cold, mild and hot weather.

Specifically, the research trials showed that groups of pigs headed to market can experience lower mortality rates in warm weather and overall improved well-being year-round when less bedding is used in transport trailers. According to McGlone, the current standard in the industry is to use four bales of bedding per semi-trailer.… Continue reading

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Central Ohio Agronomy Day

The “The Nuts and Bolts About Corn & Soybean Production” is the theme for the 2012 Central Ohio Agronomy School is scheduled to begin on Monday evening Jan. 16 from 6:30 –9:00 p.m. This six-week program will provide the attendees with the most comprehensive, up-to-date crop production and agricultural technology information available. Here is the schedule:

Jan. 16 – Cover Crops – Jim Hoorman, OSU Extension

Jan. 23 – Weed Control – Mark Loux, OSU Extension

Jan. 30 – Precision Agriculture with Scott Shearer, The Ohio State University and Tim Norris, CEO AgInfoTech

Feb. 6 – Soil Fertility with Robert Mullen from the Potash Corp

Feb. 13 – Marketing & Outlook with Matt Roberts, The Ohio State University

Feb. 20 – Field Drainage with Larry Brown and Rob Clendening, Knox SWCD

This school provides 15 hours of continuing education credits (CEU’s) for Certified Crop Advisors and 2.5 hours of Commercial and 5 hours of Private pesticide recertification credits. … Continue reading

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Controversy Brewing over Poultry Cage Size

Several farm organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, have signed a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee calling for the rejection of additional, costly and unnecessary animal rights mandates proposed by the Humane Society of the United States. A bill is being prepared by Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader that would set federal standards for the welfare of egg-laying hens. 

The standards would allow for larger, enriched-colony cages and phase out smaller cages over 15 to 18 years at what the United Egg Producers has estimated to be a cost of 4-billion dollars. Opposing groups have estimated the cost to be 10-billion dollars. According to the letter, – the bill is based on an agreement between Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers and counters efforts to unshackle our economy from additional government regulation.

Speaking of the opposition, Chris Huckleberry, legislative director for Representative Schrader, says – this is pretty transformational so it will be a heavy lift regardless of the opposition.… Continue reading

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2012 Ohio county fair dates

Ohioans can start planning visits to all of their favorite fairs across the state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has released the official dates for the 2012 fair season, which includes Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair.
The Paulding County Fair will kick off the 2012 fair season on June 11, and the season will wrap up on Oct. 13 with the Fairfield County Fair.
In addition to setting and approving the dates for the independent and county fairs, the department is responsible for helping to assure the safety of fair amusement rides, monitoring livestock shows to help assure honest competition and coordinating animal health efforts with local veterinarian.
View the complete 2012 Ohio fair schedule


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ASA looks back on successful 2011

American Soybean Association (ASA) farmer-leaders recently reviewed some of the key accomplishments from a year that saw ASA serve soybean farmers by protecting and increasing the market value and opportunities for U.S. soybeans.

“ASA members play an effective role in domestic and international policy development,” said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean producer from Syracuse, Neb. “Working with our state affiliates and industry partners, ASA advanced soybean farmer interests in numerous areas in 2011.”

The essential elements of ASA’s 2012 Farm Bill proposal that would help farmers manage risk were included in the Farm Bill developed by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees in 2011.

“Even though the Super Committee process failed, ASA’s collaborative work with Ag Committee leadership and the progress made on a revenue program that complements crop insurance will be key to maintaining our forward momentum toward a Farm Bill next year,” said ASA Chairman Alan Kemper, a soybean producer from Lafayette, Ind.… Continue reading

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Trade potential in Vietnam

As the entrepreneurial spirit in Vietnam continues its rapid growth, U.S. farmers see increasing potential in this rapidly growing market. During a recent mission to the country, organized by the U.S. Grains Council, participants saw first-hand the opportunities in this market while also learning the importance of a carefully nuanced approach to the expansion of U.S. agricultural exports in this region.

The nine team members, all of which represent state corn marketing groups, met with international customers and key foreign government officials with whom they shared insight into the U.S. corn supply and quality in 2011. Vietnam, which has the fastest growing corn market in Asia, currently fills its corn needs with domestically grown crop and imports from nearby countries, but the group left meetings encouraged that this market has the potential to import U.S. corn.

“The dramatically changing consumer habits will increase grain demand in Vietnam. We need to continue to educate Vietnamese buyers and farmers on benefits of buying from the United States,” said Corn Marketing Program of Michigan President Pat Feldpausch, who participated in the mission.… Continue reading

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Winter preparations reduce headaches for beef producers

With La Niña’s arrival, the forecast is for another winter colder and wetter than normal, something a Purdue Extension beef specialist said livestock producers need to prepare for.

Taking simple steps to prepare equipment, facilities and feed supplies can help reduce headaches for cattle producers, Ron Lemenager said.

“When the blizzard hits or the wind chills are below zero, tempers might flare, but that won’t thaw water or get the tractor started to feed cows,” he said. “A little planning when the weather is mild could make things go a lot easier for both producers and the livestock.”

Part of that means taking the time to do simple things, such as winterizing water sources by insulating them and making sure heating elements are in working order. Lemenager also recommended checking tractor batteries to make sure they can handle cold weather and making sure diesel tractors needed to move feed or snow are plugged in and ready to go.… Continue reading

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Prepare for late gestation nutrition

By Rory Lewandowski, Extension educator, Athens County and Buckeye Hills EERA

Recently a first cutting hay test crossed my desk that had a crude protein value of 8% and a TDN level of 55%. This is similar to many first cutting hay quality results across the state. This hay will work for a mid-gestation cow under decent environmental conditions. It is certainly not going to meet the nutrient needs of a cow in late gestation. So, as a livestock manager, what is your plan to meet the late gestation nutritional needs? Now is the time to prepare for those nutritional requirements.

As I thought about this topic, I went back to the handout of Francis Fluharty’s presentation at last winter’s Ohio beef school that was titled “Late Gestation and Early Lactation: The Most Important Stages of Production.” One of the themes of this presentation was fetal programming. Essentially, late gestation nutrition sets up or programs to some extent how that developing calf will respond to its world after birth.… Continue reading

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SWCS meeting to focus on water quality

Several Ohio State University Extension experts in soil and water quality, agricultural production practices and nutrient management will present research and facilitate discussion on the issue of managing dissolved reactive phosphorus levels in Ohio’s fresh water bodies during the winter meeting of the All Ohio Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS), Jan. 17 in Reynoldsburg.

“We have a lot of different agencies and organizations working on this issue,” said Jim Hoorman, an assistant professor with OSU Extension and one of the conference’s organizers. “A report of recommendations on how to manage this dissolved phosphorus situation is due to Gov. Kasich in early February, so all of these stakeholders will be represented at this meeting.”

Hoorman said Extension personnel have been involved in the multi-agency working group from its inception, along with experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), among others.… Continue reading

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