Top Headlines

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

Ohio Court of Appeals denies challenge to ODA anhydrous regulations

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

A claim that the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) anhydrous ammonia regulations are unreasonable and fail to protect public health and safety has again been rejected by the courts. A recent decision by Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals concluded that the challenge by Sharon Township’s Board of Trustees in Medina County failed to establish a valid legal claim.

The case raised considerable controversy in Sharon Township, where the owner of South Spring Farms requested ODA approval to install a 12,000-gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tank. Ohio law grants ODA the authority to adopt rules concerning the handling and storage of anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers and also prohibits any local regulation of fertilizers.  ODA created anhydrous regulations in the late 1970s; those regulations require ODA approval of the location and design of a stationary ammonia system.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s average corn yields down from 2010

Ohio’s 2011 average corn yield is estimated at 158 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from the November forecast, and down 5 bushels from the previous year. Producers harvested 3.22 million acres for grain this past year, compared to 3.27 million acres in 2010. Total State production of 508.8 million bushels is 5% below the 2010 total. Acreage harvested for silage is estimated at 140,000 acres, unchanged from the previous year. The average silage yield is estimated at 18.0 tons per acre.

Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2011 is estimated at 47.5 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from the November forecast. Growers harvested 4.54 million acres of soybeans in 2011 from the estimated 4.55 million acres planted. Total soybean production is estimated at 215.7 million bushels, down 2% from the 220.3 million bushels produced in 2010.

Alfalfa yields averaged 3.40 tons of dry hay per acre in 2011, while all Other hay averaged 2.00 tons per acre.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio's average corn yields down from 2010

Ohio’s 2011 average corn yield is estimated at 158 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from the November forecast, and down 5 bushels from the previous year. Producers harvested 3.22 million acres for grain this past year, compared to 3.27 million acres in 2010. Total State production of 508.8 million bushels is 5% below the 2010 total. Acreage harvested for silage is estimated at 140,000 acres, unchanged from the previous year. The average silage yield is estimated at 18.0 tons per acre.

Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2011 is estimated at 47.5 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from the November forecast. Growers harvested 4.54 million acres of soybeans in 2011 from the estimated 4.55 million acres planted. Total soybean production is estimated at 215.7 million bushels, down 2% from the 220.3 million bushels produced in 2010.

Alfalfa yields averaged 3.40 tons of dry hay per acre in 2011, while all Other hay averaged 2.00 tons per acre.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio soybean and wheat stocks up from a year ago

Corn stocks in all positions in Ohio on December 1, 2011 totaled 398.1 million bushels, 1% below the 401.9 million bushels stored on December 1, 2010. On-farm stocks, at 280.0 million bushels increased 4% from the 270.0 million bushels on December 1, 2010. On-farm stocks accounted for 70% of the total stored. Off-farm stocks decreased 11 percent from a year ago to 118.1 million bushels.

Soybean stocks in all positions in Ohio totaled 165.9 million bushels on December 1, 2011 up 19% from the previous December. Off-farm stocks at 70.9 million bushels are 24% above the 57.2 million bushels on hand December 1, 2010 and accounted for 43% of total storage. On-farm stocks at 95 million bushels are up 16% from the 82.0 million bushels stored on farms at the same time last year.

All wheat stored in Ohio as of December 1, 2011 totaled 73.9 million bushels, up 1% from December 2010.… Continue reading

Read More »

Livestock supply will likely remain tight

Consumers should expect little relief in the price of a T-bone steak as cattle producers continue to decrease their herds because of soaring feed prices and a weak economy. James Mintert, professor of Ag Economics and assistant director of Extension at Purdue University, spoke today at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd Annual Meeting.

High demand for ethanol has forced the price of corn to nearly double in the past few years, driving livestock production costs up and putting cattle producers in the red. They’ve responded by raising fewer cattle, according to Mintert.

“Beef producers are recouping production costs by putting less meat on consumers’ plates,” Mintert said. “Fewer pounds of meat mean higher prices throughout the system.”

From 1925 to 1975 the beef industry was relatively healthy, Mintert explained, as demand and production grew with the population and income growth. The span from1975 to 2011 looks a lot different, as the number of cattle dropped from 132 million head to 90 million in 2011.… Continue reading

Read More »

Best to enact new farm bill this year

Farmers are better off if members of Congress can agree on a new farm bill this year, according to American Farm Bureau Federation farm policy specialist Mary Kay Thatcher, who spoke at the 2012 Farm Bill issue conference at AFBF’s 93rd Annual Meeting.

With Congress unable to agree on much these days and with a shrinking budget to work with, passing a new farm bill could be an uphill climb and get pushed to next year.

“There is no upside to that,” Thatcher said. “There will be even more budget cuts if that happens. There’s every reason to push it through this year if we can.”

Thatcher outlined the political situation surrounding the farm bill, including growing support in Congress for limiting eligibility by capping farmers’ income and increasing use of food stamps and other nutrition programs as the U.S. economy remains sluggish.

“The economy will be a tremendous issue going forward,” said Thatcher, “and one of the reasons it will be difficult to finish a farm bill in 2012.”… Continue reading

Read More »

AgriLabs announces 2012 NCBA Scholarship Program

For the fifth consecutive year, AgriLabs will donate $1500 to be awarded as scholarships to deserving youth by participating state cattle association affiliates.  Selection of the participating organizations will be made during the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) Convention in Nashville, TN, being held from February 1-3, 2012.

Each of the three days the convention’s trade show is open, one lucky attendee will be selected to choose the affiliate organization that will receive a $500 scholarship grant.  In turn, the organization-which must be a state affiliate of either NCBA or the American National Cattle Women (ANCW or the ANCW foundation)-will award the $500 educational scholarship to a deserving youth during 2012.

Convention participants can register to win and select their participating organization by registering at the AgriLabs booth (#436).

“Educating the youth of today who will be the leaders of our industry tomorrow is an important responsibility,” says Adam Yankowsky, business unit manager, AgriLabs. … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio USDA offices slated to be closed

On January 9, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA would be restructuring the department to meet budget restrictions. He is calling it USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service, which will streamline the department’s operations and cut costs.

Part of that plan calls for the consolidation and closure of offices across the country. In Ohio those offices include:

  • Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS, in Bowling Green, Wood County
  • Agriculture Research Service, ARS, Coschocton, Coshocton County
  • Farm Service Agency Offices, FSA
  • Brookville, Montgomery County
  • Pomeroy, Meigs County
  • Springfield, Clark County
  • Somerset, Perry County
  • Carrollton, Carroll County
  • Food and Nutrition Service, FNS
    • Cincinnati, Hamilton County
    • Columbus, Franklin County


    Continue reading

    Read More »

    Now is the time to make your estate plans

    Attendees of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd Annual Meeting picked up valuable advice from Christopher Hesse on how to protect their estates. Hesse is a CPA with LarsonAllen Firm-Wide Tax Resource Group and a partner in a family farm.

    According to Hesse, proper planning is critical to ensure an estate will be passed down to future generations, and not the government. The current death tax exemption for 2012 is $5 million. While Congress is expected to extend the current exemption to 2013, Hesse warns that if this is not the case, it will be reduced to $1 million. Any amount over the death tax exemption is subject to a taxable amount of 55% of the asset’s present value.

    “It’s important to start the estate planning process now, because no one has a crystal ball that can predict the future,” said Hesse.

    With the high price of farmland today, farmers and ranchers can easily find themselves having an estate worth more than $5 million.… Continue reading

    Read More »

    Scholarship programs

    United Producers Inc. (UPI) is excited to support the future generation of agriculture through its scholarship program.

    UPI is offering two $1000 scholarships in each of its 16 districts to deserving high school and college students pursuing agriculture degrees.

    “The future of agriculture depends on those who are currently considering and pursuing a career in this critical industry,” said Dennis Bolling, President and CEO, United Producers Inc. “We want to do all we can to encourage students who have an interest in agribusiness, farming, veterinary medicine or other agriculture-based industries to pursue their careers, and this is our way of helping them do so.”

    Applicants must be a Preferred Member of UPI or a child or grandchild of a Preferred Member, and a 2012 graduating high school senior enrolled in, or a student currently attending, a college or technical school studying an agriculture-related field. Completed applications and essays must be postmarked by April 1, 2012.… Continue reading

    Read More »

    Jersey production sets records in 2011

    The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) announced that new records for production by Registered Jersey cows were established in 2011.

    The official Jersey lactation average increased to 18,633 lbs. milk, 889 lbs. fat, and 676 lbs. protein. On a Cheddar cheese equivalent basis, average yield was 2,294 pounds. All are new category records.

    A record 91,028 lactations were processed by the AJCA, an increase of 51.4% in 10 years.

    The lactation average is calculated on a standardized 305-day, twice daily, mature equivalent (m.e.) basis.

    These records for Jersey production come on the heels of a study published in the January, 2012 issue of Journal of Dairy Sciencethat documents lower production inputs and reduced environmental impacts of Jersey milk production because of higher component levels and small body mass to be maintained.

    Using Jersey and Holstein data from the Dairy Records Management System (DRMS) database in 2009, researchers Jude Capper and Roger Cady determined that Jersey cows required 20% less total feedstuffs by weight and 32% less water to produce the same amount of milkfat and protein as Holstein cows.… Continue reading

    Read More »

    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

    Read More »

    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

    Read More »

    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

    Read More »

    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

    Read More »

    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

    Read More »

    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

    Read More »

    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

    Read More »

    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

    Read More »