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Kasich talks agriculture in State of the State Address

During his State of the State Address on February 7, Governor John Kasich said the following in regards to agriculture.

Agriculture, it’s our base. We are on the cusp of becoming a worldwide leader of exporting animals. Whoever thought that we would be able to say that we’re exporting non-bluetongue cows to Turkey. Thank you—where is Rosenberger? I mean where did you ever come up with that and Jim Zehringer. See, we can ship this livestock all over the world. And we need to move into agribusinesses and find more markets. Let’s stop treating agriculture as a stepchild. It’s the base and foundation of our state it always has been.

 … Continue reading

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Wheat research still a priority

By Matt Reese

Private industry has taken corn and soybean breeding efforts and run with them, but the same trend

has not taken place with wheat. While private interest in wheat is on the rise, public efforts such as the wheat breeding program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster are still crucial to wheat variety improvement.

“We are seeing the USDA Agricultural Research Service dramatically cutting facilities and funding,” said Dana Peterson, with the National Association of Wheat Growers.

And, with the tight federal budgets, the funding situation does not look great for the necessary expanded continued research efforts in the future, but NAWG is speaking up for the nation’s wheat farmers about the continued importance of public wheat research in Washington, D.C.

“The message for the Hill on wheat research is that how vitally important these efforts are,” Peterson said. “It is hard for the staff people in Washington to connect the dots with this.”… Continue reading

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E-fill adds efficiency and convenience to on farm liquid fuels

By Matt Reese

No one wants to deal with the inconvenience of running out of propane in the winter months, but for some farm situations it could be disastrous.

In the case of John Waymire, who farms and operates a greenhouse, along with his son Chris, near Yellow Springs, running out of propane would have costly consequences.

“We can’t run out of propane,” he said. “If we did, we’d lose hundreds of thousands of dollars of flowers.”

Waymire is also the chairman of Trupointe Cooperative that has been using a new E-fill system to prevent any chance of such an occurrence.

“E-fill is a program we are using to monitor liquid fuel and propane tanks on farms,” Waymire said. “Trupointe can’t always tell when a tank is getting low or a farmer may run out so they tend to make more stops on a farm than is necessary. With E-fill, we are guaranteeing that a customer will never run out of liquid fuel or propane.”… Continue reading

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Ag in the Statehouse Update

By Matt Reese

Going into this week’s State of the State Address from Governor John Kasich on Tuesday, the Ohio Statehouse has been abuzz with a number of issues that directly or indirectly impact agriculture. Recommendations are being presented to the Governor regarding phosphorus and water quality and bills related to notorious puppy mills and exotic animals are being debated. In addition, a bioenergy bill and a bill that could benefit on-farm funding options have been part of the discussion in Columbus.  Beth Vanderkooi, with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, provides a brief overview of these issues heading into Tuesday’s State of the State speech. Ty Higgins has more.

Ty’s Wrap 2.7.12Continue reading

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OFBF grants distributed

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation continues to develop programs helping smaller, community-based groups and has awarded a series of Agricultural Action and Awareness Grants forthe 2012 program year.

The competitively awarded grants support programs and projects focusing on agricultural education and ecological and/or economic development. This year’s grant recipients and projects:
·        Clintonville Farmer’s Market, Connecting Farmers and Emerging Market Customer Population, $2,000; 
·        Community Food Initiatives, Dig in for Health, $2,500; 
·        Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Conservation From the Ground Up: From Soil to a Healthy Ecosystem, $2,266; 
·        Fairfield Soil and Conservation District, Soil Testing for Fields Receiving Municipal Biosolids and Digester Biosolids, $700; 
·        Ohio State University Scarlet & Gray Ag Day Committee, Agriculture: Superheroes in Our Fields, $3,000; 
·        Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District, Kids Farm Safety Day, $1,100; 
·        Ohio State University Ag Safety and Health, Farm Safety Round Up, $3,000; 
·        Preble County Farm Bureau, Preble County Grow It Know It Expansion Grant, $3,000; 
·        Rural Action, Developing a Local Food, Regional Distribution System, $3,000; 
·        Seneca Soil and Water Conservation District, Agriculture Technology for Youth by Soil and Water, $3,000; 
·        Southeastern Correctional Institution, The Green Zone Community Garden, $2,966; 
·        Stratford Ecological Center, Stratford’s Children’s Program, $3,000.Continue reading

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Ohio State anaerobic digestion technology being commercialized

Cleveland-based quasar energy group has broken ground on its first integrated anaerobic digestion system, a patent-pending technology developed by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) to increase the types of waste that can be converted to biogas for energy and fuel uses.

The integrated system, known as iADs, is currently under construction next to quasar’s Zanesville, Ohio, biodigester — which annually processes close to 30,000 tons of agricultural and food waste and can produce 7,800 megawatt-hours of electricity. The company operates additional biodigesters in Ohio and Massachusetts, including its flagship facility on OARDC’s Wooster campus.

The novel system is called “integrated” because it adds a solid-state or “dry” biodigester to quasar’s current liquid biodigester, allowing for the production of additional biogas from a number of organic materials with high solids content (such as yard trimmings, crop residue, corn silage and lignocellulosic food waste) that are not suitable to existing anaerobic digestion systems.… Continue reading

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Why early planting usually pays

By Dave Nanda, 
Director of Genetics & Technology 
Seed Consultants, Inc.

It has been proven by many tests conducted by the universities and seed companies over the years that earlier planted corn typically yields more than the later plantings. It has been demonstrated that in the central Corn Belt, you can lose about one bushel per acre per day if you plant corn after May 10th. However, they seldom explain why. The reasons are as follows:

North of the equator, June 21st is the longest day of the year. Plants can trap most sun light during May 21st to July 20th period. Earlier planted corn has more time to capture solar radiation. That’s the main reason for higher yield potential.

Is heat more important than light for yield and maturity? You can’t grow crops without either heat or light. Fortunately, both come from the sun. Heat provides the energy and light is required for photosynthesis, a process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, starches and proteins.… Continue reading

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New Ohio AgrAbility resources

Farmers, growers and any agriculture workers dealing with a disabling condition can find tips on how to cope with their condition while continuing to farm thanks to 15 new fact sheets from the Ohio State University Extension’s Ohio AgrAbility Program.

The fact sheets are designed to provide useful information and resources to any farmer or agricultural worker who has a disability, injury or illness, said Kent McGuire, Ohio AgrAbility program coordinator.

“Much of the focus of this series of fact sheets is on helping farmers prevent injuries, including secondary injury, and how to manage serious conditions such as arthritis or Parkinson’s disease while being able to continue daily farm activities,” he said.

The fact sheets also seek to provide farmers with tips on how to use assistive technology to be able to remain productive on their farms and can be useful to any grower or producer, McGuire said.

“They provide useful information on health and various strategies that can be used to help with a particular issue in farming,” he said.… Continue reading

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ASA advocates for infrastructure improvements

As the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee moves to mark up the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 7) released by Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), American Soybean Association President Steve Wellman underscored multiple high points within the bill’s initial language:

“ASA applauds Chairman Mica’s proposal, which included multiple soybean farmer priorities, including the renewal of an agricultural harvest time exemption from the hours-of-service rules that limit the number of hours truck drivers may operate, as well as the chairman’s proposed inclusion of provisions enabling states to allow increased truck weight limits if an additional axle is used. ASA is disappointed with efforts during the mark-up to block the provisions to allow increased truck weight limits.

“ASA is also particularly encouraged that the proposed bill includes stated support for the Realize America’s Maritime Promise Act, which will ensure sufficient funding for dredging of inland waterways and port maintenance activities.… Continue reading

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With Super Bowl party, food safety worth more than two points

As both the New England Patriots and New York Giants know, you win with defense. When it comes to planning a Super Bowl XLVI party, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) wants football fans to know how to play defense against potential foodborne illness.

“Great food, large groups of friends and cheering on your team are what make Super Bowl parties so much fun,” said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. “We want to give hosts a few easy tactics to reduce the chances that their guests will develop foodborne illness amidst all the excitement at their Super Bowl parties.”

 

First Down: Clean

Clean hands and surfaces with soap and water to avoid a “false start” before preparing food. Unclean hands are one of the biggest culprits for spreading bacteria, and finger foods at parties are especially vulnerable. Chefs and guests should wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food.… Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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