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Assessing N applications

The early spring and accompanying early planting, together with last fall’s dry conditions in many areas, may present unique management challenges to growers planning nitrogen (N) applications. These conditions can mean nitrogen loss and impact corn yields.

“For a successful corn crop, it’s important to factor in the uncertainties of weather and the dynamic nature of the nitrogen cycle,” said John Shanahan, Pioneer agronomy research manager. “After all, a sound corn nitrogen plan sets the stage for a high-yielding crop.” Last fall’s dry soil conditions led to anhydrous ammonia applications on many of the acres in the Corn Belt. In the spring, excessive rain can threaten these soil nitrogen reserves and hinder resupply by ground equipment. Excessively dry conditions in the spring also can prevent applied nitrogen from moving from the point of application to the root zone of plants. Temperature and moisture conditions also can impact the amount of nitrogen mineralized from the organic matter fraction of soils.… Continue reading

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Farm Service Agency proceeds with Ohio office closures

Steve Maurer, Ohio State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that USDA Secretary Thomas A. Vilsack has approved the closure of 5 FSA county offices in Ohio, a process that will begin immediately. The county offices confirmed for closure in Ohio are: Carroll, Clark, Meigs, Montgomery and Perry counties.

After the required notifications have been provided to producers, FSA employees and office landlords, closure dates will be established and made publicly available.

“FSA places the utmost priority on ensuring that our services to producers remain strong as this consolidation process begins,” said Bruce Nelson, FSA Administrator.

The agency will provide farmers and ranchers affected by closures an opportunity to choose the most convenient neighboring county office with which to conduct their future business with the agency. In addition, all employees in a closing office will be provided an opportunity to continue their work with FSA.

The Carroll County office will be consolidated with the Tuscarawas County FSA office and located in New Philadelphia.… Continue reading

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Bob Evans to close Ohio plants

Bob Evans announced that it would close food production plants in Springfield and Bidwell, Ohio, in summer 2013 and focus on boosting production at its Texas facility as it focuses on convenience foods, packaged side dishes and other higher-growth opportunities.

The move will affect about 110 employees. The company said that it will try to place some of them in other jobs with Bob Evans. Others will be offered comprehensive packages with severance pay and benefits.

It’s also investing more than $23 million for additional lines and boost production of ready-to-eat foods at their plant in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Chairman and CEO Steve Davis says Bob Evans remains committed to investing and growing in its home state.… Continue reading

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New video series offers livestock producers access to grazing school

A new video series produced by Ohio State University Educators offers livestock producers detailed information about a wide variety of grazing management techniques taught by OSU Extension livestock and forage experts.

The videos, which were produced this spring as part of OSU Extensions’ “Pastures for Profit” grazing school, offer an in-depth look at ways livestock producers can improve their management of their pastures, said Jeff McCutcheon, an OSU Extension educator.

“We’ve been offering these classes since 1994, but this is the first time we’ve recorded them and are offering access to the videos free online,” he said. “Producers can always improve the efficiencies of their land resources and forages.”

The videos offer instruction on some of the basic considerations of grazing systems, from fence and water set-up and how it impacts plant growth, to pasture layout and design, to forage species selection and alternatives, McCutcheon said.

“Produced by the OSU Extension Forage Team, the curriculum setup allows people to mix and match different parts of the videos for their own needs,” he said.… Continue reading

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Wine month is almost here

June, now signed into law as Ohio Wine Month, is a time to celebrate Ohio’s wines, known as some of the best in the country, and their significant impact on Ohio’s economy.

Ohio’s 162 wineries incorporate 1,600 acres of grapes that produce more than 1 million gallons of wine each year. Wineries, located all over the state, offer wine tastings, educational day trips, and tours to educate about the art of wine making and the top quality of Ohio wines.

Consumers can also find Ohio wines at their favorite retail stores across the state, including Giant Eagle, which will be hosting their six for $6 wine tasting featuring all Ohio wines on Friday, June 1. For more information about this event, or more information about Ohio’s award-winning wines, visit www.tasteohiowines.com.

Over the last 10 years, Ohio’s wine industry has grown significantly. According to a 2008 Economic Impact report, Ohio’s grape and wine industry generates more than $580 million in economic activity that supports local communities while producing a superior agricultural product.… Continue reading

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New products available for drought-stressed environments

Seed Consultants, Inc. is releasing two new Supreme EXbrand Optimum AQUAmax hybrids for drought-stressed environments for 2013.

Optimum AQUAmax hybrids offer growers additional choices to help minimize risk and maximize their productivity and profitability on every acre by delivering a yield advantage in water-limited environments and offering top-end yield potential under more favorable growing conditions.

“Our new Optimum AQUAmax hybrids will allow our growers to become more profitable on their drought prone and variable soils. These hybrids have the potential to make unproductive ground much more profitable by providing stress protections in times of severe drought,” said Stuart Yensel, Director of Sales and Marketing for Seed Consultants.

Optimum AQUAmax hybrids are equipped with strong agronomics and the latest technology package. Drought tolerance is controlled by a large number of genes and heavily influenced by environmental factors (for example, heat, water stress, soil types). There is no one single solution for drought tolerance.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – May 29th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY May 27th, 2012

The average temperature for the State was 71.7 degrees, 8.7 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, May 27, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.16 inches, 0.82 inches below normal. There were 149 modified growing degree days, 50 days above normal. Reporters rated 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, May 25, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 8 percent very short, 42 percent short, 46 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

The state continues to experience warm and dry conditions. The heat is beginning to put some stress on livestock, and rain is needed to improve growth in row crops. Field activities included side-dressing corn with nitrogen, spraying herbicides, installing drainage tile, and baling hay. Some soybean growers were forced to replant due to soil crusting from previous rains.

As of Sunday May 27th, corn was 93 percent emerged, compared to seven percent last year and 54 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – May 29th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY May 27th, 2012

The average temperature for the State was 71.7 degrees, 8.7 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, May 27, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.16 inches, 0.82 inches below normal. There were 149 modified growing degree days, 50 days above normal. Reporters rated 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, May 25, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 8 percent very short, 42 percent short, 46 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

The state continues to experience warm and dry conditions. The heat is beginning to put some stress on livestock, and rain is needed to improve growth in row crops. Field activities included side-dressing corn with nitrogen, spraying herbicides, installing drainage tile, and baling hay. Some soybean growers were forced to replant due to soil crusting from previous rains.

As of Sunday May 27th, corn was 93 percent emerged, compared to seven percent last year and 54 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Atrazine lawsuit settlement affirms safety of the herbicide

The settlement of a lawsuit against Syngenta related to the herbicide Atrazine ensures that corn farmers who depend on the important product continue to farm efficiently and safely, the National Corn Growers Association said. While NCGA is concerned about the longer term impacts of unmerited class-action lawsuits against agricultural production, it is important that this case was resolved with an acknowledgement of the safety of atrazine.

“We’re relieved that a settlement has been reached that will allow our farmer members to use this proven and safe tool on their farms,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “Atrazine safety has been verified by thousands of studies and numerous reviews by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and we’re happy to have this nuisance lawsuit behind us so our growers can move forward and do what they do best — help feed and fuel the world, sustainably.”

According to the settlement, the scientific evidence continues to make it clear that no one ever has or ever could be exposed to enough atrazine in water to affect their health when the product is used according to its label.… Continue reading

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Ohio State tours to showcase urban farming on parking lots

Joe Kovach, an Ohio State University scientist who is studying the best ways to grow food crops on old, asphalt parking lots, will hold free public tours at his test plots in Wooster this spring and summer.

The tours are aimed at urban agriculturists and will take place at 4 p.m. on May 31, June 28, July 26 and Aug. 30.

“We’ll cover two main points: the basic ecological principles involved, and that you can actually do this,” he said. “People say parking lots are barren, but you can get more production off of a back parking lot than you ever thought you could.”

Kovach is growing apples, peaches, green beans, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and more on an asphalt parking lot behind an old, closed dormitory at Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute.

He’s testing several growing methods: in pots and raised beds sitting on top of the pavement; in pots suspended on wire mesh fencing, a form of “vertical gardening”; in beds set in trenches cut right through the asphalt; and all three ways both inside and outside of high tunnels.… Continue reading

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USDA seeking comments on report times

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Chief Economist Joseph W. Glauber announced today that USDA is reviewing release times for several major statistical reports due to recent changes in market hours by major commodity exchanges. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB), the USDA entities responsible for the reports, will seek public comment on the release times and procedures of their key statistical reports. In the coming weeks, USDA expects to publish a notice in the Federal Register advising the public of the comment period. USDA is reviewing release times of the following statistical reports: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Acreage, Cattle, Cattle on Feed, Crop Production, Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings, Quarterly Hogs and Pigs, and Small Grain Summary.

The current USDA release times of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET will remain in effect until further notice.

“It is important that USDA continue to ensure the integrity of its report release process, particularly as global exchanges move closer to 24-hour trading,” Glauber said.… Continue reading

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Auditor Yost’s biodiesel recommendations shortsighted says OSA

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) responds to the recent recommendations issued by Auditor of the State Dave Yost that the Ohio Department of Transportation eliminate its legislatively-mandated use of biodiesel and switch back to 100% petroleum diesel to save money as shortsighted.

“OSA agrees that the state must be cost-effective, but we also believe that the full range of biodiesel benefits — economic, environmental and energy security — more than compensate for the minimal cost difference between the two fuels,” said Bret Davis, OSA president. “Instead of recommending the repeal of the state mandate, the Auditor could have recommended that the Ohio Department of Transportation look into ways to find cost savings in the program.”

The benefits of biodiesel are significant. Biodiesel creates hundreds of Ohio jobs at farms, production facilities and fuel distributors, and is a vital part of improving U.S. energy security. Every gallon of biodiesel used in Ohio displaces a gallon of petroleum — reducing our dependence on foreign oil.… Continue reading

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OSA soybean yield contest

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) announced the launch of the state’s third annual Soybean Yield and Quality Contest for the 2012 growing season. An overall state yield winner will be awarded along with category prizes for the top placing entrants, including winners of the quality contest based on the percentages of oil and protein. The fee is $100 per entry.

The four yield categories include:

  • Conventional tillage
  • No-till
  • Non-GMO soybeans – Conventional tillage
  • Non-GMO soybeans – No-till.

Developed to promote the importance of oil and protein, the quality contest is optional to enter. However, a farmer must enter the soybean yield contest in order to enter the soybean quality contest. This contest is based on the overall highest percentage oil and percentage protein content in the state. Entrants in the quality contest must submit a two-pound sample of soybeans for testing.

All entry forms and entry fees for the 2012 Soybean Yield and Quality Contest must be postmarked by Aug.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair deadlines approaching

Entry deadlines for the 2012 Ohio State Fair competitions are quickly approaching. Categories of competitions include agriculture and livestock, food and beverage, arts, crafts and fashion, academics and sports. More than $75,000 in awards is offered. Interested Fairgoers can register online at ohiostatefair.com by clicking on “competitions”.

May 29

Fine Art and Short Film competition – categories are available for both amateur and professional filmmakers.

June 8

Spelling Bee – participating schools may recommend two students in each grade level, third through sixth (for the 2011-2012 academic year).

June 20

Creative Arts – hundreds of different categories include youth creative arts, baking, sewing, fashion, jewelry, leather, holiday, needlework and more.
Homebrew Competition – Ohio home brewers and members of any Ohio homebrew club may enter.
Livestock – classes include beef and dairy cattle, llamas, rabbits, sheep, poultry, goats and swine; anyone can enter the open competitions, but junior competitions are open to Ohio 4-H and FFA members only.… Continue reading

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Dust could hurt spray efficacy

Dry soil conditions have contributed both to accelerated crop planting and to spraying with postemergence herbicides.

“It is unusual at this point in the season that such a high percentage of corn acres have already been sprayed with postemergence herbicides,” said Aaron Hager, University of Illinois associate professor of weed science.

However, one potentially adverse consequence of the very dry soil is that large amounts of dust are often propelled into the air by equipment used to apply postemergence herbicides.

“While planting an on-farm research location last week, we noticed a large cloud of dust in the distance. Closer observation revealed that the dust cloud was being generated during the application of a postemergence corn herbicide,” Hager said.

He is concerned that herbicides applied under very dry, dusty conditions might have reduced effectiveness. Airborne dust reduces the activity of some foliar-applied herbicides, including glyphosate.

Greenhouse research conducted by researchers at North Dakota State University in 2006 found that control of nightshade species with glyphosate was reduced when dust was deposited on the leaf surfaces before, or within 15 minutes after, glyphosate application.… Continue reading

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Beck’s Hybrids reveals “Panther” for charity

For the second year in a row, Beck’s Hybrids is pleased to announce the We Care for Orphans Adoption Fund Sweepstakes. The Sweepstakes will kick off at the 2012 Indianapolis 500, where event goers will have the opportunity to win a 2012 Limited Edition Supercharged Camaro PantherTM by SLP. But it doesn’t stop there, the winner will receive the number one car out of only 100 Panther’s being produced.

“It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to raise money for a great cause, plus have the opportunity to win one of the rarest Camaros to ever be produced,” said Scott Beck, vice president of Beck’s Hybrids. “Last year, a total of $85,543 was raised for the charity and more than 20 families were helped. This year, with the help of farmers and car enthusiasts from across the United States, our goal is to reach $100,000.”

Painted black with gold accents, the supercharged Panther is a convertible and has a 6.2 liter, 427 cubic inch engine with aluminum short block and heads producing 600 horse-power.

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Don't Fry Day May 25

To encourage sun safety awareness and remind everyone to protect their skin while outdoors, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has declared May 25 — the Friday before Memorial Day — as “Don’t Fry Day.”

Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. The American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. This year alone, ACS estimates there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than two million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in the U.S.

“Farmers and ranchers are fortunate to be able to spend much of their working lives outdoors,” said Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “The downside of prolonged exposure to the sun while on the farm or ranch is that it can lead to skin damage and cancer.”… Continue reading

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Don’t Fry Day May 25

To encourage sun safety awareness and remind everyone to protect their skin while outdoors, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has declared May 25 — the Friday before Memorial Day — as “Don’t Fry Day.”

Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. The American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. This year alone, ACS estimates there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than two million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in the U.S.

“Farmers and ranchers are fortunate to be able to spend much of their working lives outdoors,” said Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “The downside of prolonged exposure to the sun while on the farm or ranch is that it can lead to skin damage and cancer.”… Continue reading

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NCGA online entry open for National Corn Yield Contest

The National Corn Growers Association opened online entry for the 2012 National Corn Yield Contest.  This format allows farmers to quickly and easily submit all necessary entry forms while taking advantage of the special early entry discount available until June 15.  With fees reduced to $80 until that time, NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer.

“The online entry option makes taking advantage of the early entry discount easier than ever,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Dean Taylor. “We have seen many consecutive years of significant contest growth.  With favorable conditions across much of the country, I encourage members to take advantage of the discount, use the easy online form and become a part of the contest.  Also, I encourage non-members to explore the many benefits that NCGA members enjoy and consider joining both the association and entering the contest.”

The online entry software allows growers to enter the contest and join NCGA and their state association.… Continue reading

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