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Advanced Biological Marketing Announces iGET™ Technology

Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) announces the next generation in seed treatments: iGET™ (Induced Gene Expression Triggers). The technology, now formulated into several new products for ABM, alters plant gene expression to change plant physiology and enhance biochemical pathways that will increase crop performance.

The technology, based on three decades of research at Cornell University and other international biological research programs, provides multifunctional and crop specific blends of beneficial strains of Trichoderma microbials.

“These changes are systemic,” Marty Robinson, Ag Division President, says, “so that root colonization by the seed treatment can affect the physiology of the whole plant, even the foliar or leaf biology. It will enhance the uptake of water, nutrients, especially nitrogen, and subsequent nutrient metabolism.”

ABM offers iGET products for corn, soybeans and wheat that can create bigger root systems and plant growth and increase yields. SabrEx™ Root Inoculant for Corn ( has the benefits of iGET Technology, with a typical yield response of 10 bushels per acre.… Continue reading

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Water quality, fuzzy math and the EPA

by Matt Reese

Yeeeeikes! We just got our heating bill and, although we have been setting our thermostat lower and lower in the last couple of years, it has been getting higher and higher. At the same time, unleaded fuel has been on a steady climb in the last few weeks and many people are still suffering from unemployment and an income that is going the wrong direction.

With so many numbers in our lives, wouldn’t things be easier if we could just fudge them one way or the other to get a more desirable outcome? Of course, no one can do that, except, apparently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

It is the job of the EPA to regulate, and the fine folks at the Agency in the current Administration seem to particularly love their work. In their quest to further regulate water quality through the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) permitting process, it seems that the EPA is working with numbers that favor their favorite pastime.… Continue reading

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Farmland values on the rise

Much of the U.S. economy has been slow to recover from the recession. That hasn’t been true of farmland markets, which have continued to climb, a group of Purdue University agricultural economists said.

Strong crop returns, very low interest rates and a growing expectation that both might continue have had a positive influence on farmland values, said Mike Boehlje, Chris Hurt and Brent Gloy.

“Even while some residential and commercial real estate values have been falling, that has not been the case for farm real estate,” Boehlje said. “Instead, we’ve seen some high prices for farmland in recent months, even exceeding $10,000 an acre in some extreme cases.”

Boehlje, Hurt, Gloy and fellow Purdue agricultural economist Craig Dobbins examine farmland value dynamics in their paper “Farmland Values: Current and Future Prospects.” The paper can be viewed online by going to and then clicking on the link.

Farmland values have risen steadily since 1987 but have shot up in recent years.… Continue reading

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Corn and Soybean Day

The annual Corn and Soybean Day from Ohio State University Extension will take place Jan. 27 in Archbold, Ohio (near the Indiana and Michigan borders) and will be packed with all the information you need to know to get off to a good start in the upcoming 2011 production season.

Sponsored by OSU Extension’s Maumee Valley Extension, Education and Research Area, the program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and will be held at Founder’s Hall at Sauder Village, 22611 State Rt. 2, Archbold.

Cost is $20 with registration postmarked by Jan. 18, or $30 at the door. Download the registration form at or contact the Fulton County office of OSU Extension at 419-337-9210. Registration and check payable to OSU Extension can be mailed to OSU Extension Fulton County, 870 St. Rt. 108, Suite A, Wauseon, OH 43567.

Topics for the day include:

* “What is going on with the weather and what to expect for 2011,” Jim Noel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Ohio River Forecast Center.… Continue reading

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DEKALB scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the  DEKALB Ag Youth Scholarship program, which will provide $2,500 awards to 10 students in 2011 in recognition of their commitment to agriculture.

“We are excited to once again sponsor the DEKALB Ag Youth Scholarship for the fifth straight year,” said DEKALB Marketing Manager Jason Hoag. “DEKALB has a strong history of investing in ag youth education by sponsoring a variety of scholarships and awards.”

This particular award is available to both high school and collegiate students who plan to pursue an agriculture-related degree and who have demonstrated strong leadership skills and community involvement.  It has already made a difference fordozens of students since 2007.

“The scholarship has helped me get the best education I can,” said 2010 DEKALB Ag Youth Scholarship winner Chelsea Ahlquist, 18, of Onaga, Kan., who is working toward an agronomy degree at Kansas State University.  “I’m really excited for the opportunity at Kansas State to pursue a career in crop development.”… Continue reading

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NSR reports litter recordings trend up in 2010

Accumulative litter recordings for the National Swine Registry in 2010 were up over 2009 totals, the National Swine Registry announced.

“This improvement halts a trend of slight decreases over the past several years, and is a positive sign for the purebred swine industry and our member-based organization,” Darrell Anderson, NSR CEO.

A total of 27,712 litters were recorded for the four breeds of Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire in 2010, with Duroc and Landrace litter registrations accounting for the boost. Both were up significantly, with Landrace recordings reflecting a 10% increase over 2009. Although down slightly compared to 2009, the Yorkshire breed still remains number one in total recordings with 11,846 litters cataloged in 2010. Yorkshire registrations have shown tenacity over time — dropping by only 522 litters since 1999 registrations.

Total litter recordings for all eight breeds in the National Association of Swine Records, which include the NSR breeds along with Berkshire, Chester White, Poland China, and Spotted, were also up in 2010, showing a 4.2% increase over 2009.… Continue reading

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Crop acreage will likely increase in 2011

Corn, soybean, wheat and cotton prices are at the highest levels in years which implies there will be more crop acreage in 2011, according to Gerald Bange, chairman of the Agriculture Department’s World Agricultural Outlook Board.

In a crops outlook report delivered at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 92nd annual meeting, Bange said as much as 10 million more acres could move into crop production this year.

“We won’t know until we get the planting intentions report. It won’t be until June until we know for sure,” Bange said.

Strong prices and strong demand for cotton should mean more acreage will be devoted to that crop, according to Bange, but it is still uncertain what kind of increases are seen for corn and soybeans.

High prices and very low stocks for corn should mean more corn acreage in 2011, but Bange said indicators right now are actually pointing to more soybean acres.… Continue reading

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Beck’s Hybrids to host 52 winter grower meetings

Beck’s Hybrids will host 52 grower meetings across Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan throughout January and February. The meetings will summarize key topics and findings from Beck’s 2010 Practical Farm Research, as well as discuss long-term management procedures.

PFR is focused with the farmer in mind and provides a comprehensive look at how different practices and new technologies perform in field environments. In 2010, Beck’s conducted more than 65 different studies across multiple locations.

“This year we’re bringing growers a very unique, visual presentation that focuses on the question…”If corn could talk, what would it say?,” said Scott Beck, Vice President at Beck’s Hybrids. “We’ll take growers through the corn plants growth stages and highlight practices that will ultimately increase their yield and bottom-line.”

Key topics to be addressed include timing of nitrogen, the importance of early season protection, the effects of fungicides, and post harvest residue management. For a complete list of meeting dates, times and to register, visit www.beckshybrids.comContinue reading

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New food safety regulation signed into law

In early January, President Barack Obama signed into law new food safety regulations that are the most dramatic changes to American food safety practices in over 70 years.

“The Food Safety bill will provide the Federal Government with improved tools to prevent foodborne illness and address challenges in the food safety system by promoting a prevention-oriented approach,” said Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary. “Protecting consumers from harm is a fundamental function of government and with passage of this landmark food safety legislation, USDA remains committed to keeping food safety a top priority.”

The changes have generated some concerns within the agricultural industry, however. “Food safety knows no size, and exempting some small producers and processors from the legislation, as the Tester/Hagan amendment will do, sets a dangerous precedent for the future our nation’s food safety system. Instead of including the Tester/Hagan language, Congress should have passed legislation to set appropriate standards for all products in the marketplace, no matter the size of the producing entity,” said Kristina Butts, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) executive director of legislative affairs.… Continue reading

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Tips for planning for the future of your family farm

A conversation with Robert Moore, with Wright Law Firm

OCJ: First, could you share with us about your background and how you got involved with the legalities of family estate planning?

Robert: I grew up on a dairy farm in Coshocton County. After graduating from Ohio State I worked for OSU Extension for 9 years. During my time with OSU Extension, I attended Capital Law School at night. I felt a legal career working with farmers would be both challenging and rewarding. After law school I joined Wright Law Co., which focuses on agricultural law, particularly estate and succession planning for farm families.

OCJ: How do you feel about the recent changes to federal estate tax?

Robert: It is definitely beneficial to farmers. The new $5,000,000 federal estate tax exemption will allow most farm families to be exempt from federal estate tax. If the exemption had gone back to $1,000,000, many farm families would have struggled to continue the farm due to federal estate taxes upon the death of a family member.… Continue reading

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Ohio residents honored for support of fairs

The individuals from across the state were recognized for their outstanding support of local fairs during ceremonies at the 86th Ohio Fair Managers Association Annual Convention at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs presented each recipient with a certificate.

The award recipients were:

District 1 – L.C. “Butch” Krauss, Fulton County

District 2 – Dave Jury, Wyandot County

District 3 – James A. Bell (posthumous), Greene County

District 4 – Jim Kirk, Fayette County

District 5 – Herbert J. Berry, Wayne County

District 6 – Joel D. Spires, Fairfield County

District 7 – James C. Rex, Morgan County

District 8 – Albert Young, Coshocton County

District 9 – James Bailey, Portage County

Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair support the local economy and help educate the public about the importance of agriculture and the many necessities it provides, including food, clothing, shelter, fuel and energy.… Continue reading

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A new “coffee shop” is born

By Matt Reese

A jingle announces when someone walks in the door and every head turns to see who it is. Golden oldies country music is playing in the background. Coffee is consumed by the pot and the food is good enough to accompany the bountiful conversation that flows freely, depending on who is sitting around the table.
Farmers have flocked to the local coffee shop for generations to learn the local gossip, talk about the weather and share their (often slightly exaggerated) crop yields. This is just the kind of place Bill Yeoman had in mind when he conjured up the idea of a new business for his Fayette County family farm.
The Yeoman family has been in the area since 1815 when their founder got a 1410-acre land grant for service in the Revolutionary War. In more recent years, the Yeoman family operation had evolved into corn and soybeans and freezer beef from an Angus herd.… Continue reading

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USDA's Risk Management Agency unveils proposed rule to reward farmers participating in Federal Crop Insurance Program

The Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced today that it has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would reward farmers participating in the federal crop insurance program for good performance.

“This proposed Good Performance Refund will benefit qualifying farmers and ranchers across rural America and strengthen the Federal crop insurance program,” said RMA administrator, William J. Murphy. “It encourages producers to use the best available management practices in order to qualify for the refund in future years and rewards good performance by returning a portion of the out-of-pocket costs paid for crop insurance premiums back to those who have paid into the program and have had limited or no losses.”

Under the proposed program, payment amounts would vary by producer and will be based on each qualified producer’s history in the program. RMA estimates that the average refund amount per producer this year will be about $1,000.… Continue reading

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USDA’s Risk Management Agency unveils proposed rule to reward farmers participating in Federal Crop Insurance Program

The Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced today that it has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would reward farmers participating in the federal crop insurance program for good performance.

“This proposed Good Performance Refund will benefit qualifying farmers and ranchers across rural America and strengthen the Federal crop insurance program,” said RMA administrator, William J. Murphy. “It encourages producers to use the best available management practices in order to qualify for the refund in future years and rewards good performance by returning a portion of the out-of-pocket costs paid for crop insurance premiums back to those who have paid into the program and have had limited or no losses.”

Under the proposed program, payment amounts would vary by producer and will be based on each qualified producer’s history in the program. RMA estimates that the average refund amount per producer this year will be about $1,000.… Continue reading

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Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program 2011 application period opens

The 2011 Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program application is now available on the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website. All applications must be submitted electronically no later than 5 p.m. on April 6, 2011. A hard copy of the completed application must also be sent by registered or certified mail to the department, postmarked on or before April 6, 2011.

The applications are used by the department to evaluate and purchase agricultural easements to preserve Ohio’s farmland. Agricultural easements are voluntary legal agreements restricting non-agricultural development on farmland, with the land itself remaining on the tax rolls and under private ownership and management. Landowners may undertake any agricultural activity permitted under Ohio law. They can sell their farm or pass it along as a gift to others, but the easement remains with the land, prohibiting any future non-agricultural development to make certain that it remains used for agricultural purposes.

The Clean Ohio Fund bond initiative won support from Ohio’s voters in November 2008 to preserve farmland and green spaces, improve outdoor recreation, encourage redevelopment and revitalize communities by cleaning up brownfields.… Continue reading

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Strickland issued executive order completing agreement between Ohio’s agricultural leaders and HSUS

Governor Ted Strickland issued an executive order that completes the governor’s responsibilities brokered in the agreement between Ohio’s agricultural leaders and the Humane Society to enhance animal care standards while maintaining a vibrant livestock industry in Ohio.

The emergency executive order allows for the immediate adoption of a new Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife rule that bans the private ownership of dangerous wild animals.

“This action fulfills my responsibilities within the agreement that will keep Ohio’s vital agriculture industry profitable while appropriately updating animal care standards,” Strickland said. “This rule will help protect Ohioans from deaths and serious injuries caused by attacks from dangerous wild animals held in private ownership.”

The agreement between the major organizations representing livestock producers and other agricultural interests and the Humane Society of the United States was first announced by Strickland on June 30, 2010. It resulted in the Humane Society not pursuing a ballot initiative this past fall, the initiation of several steps to enhance animal welfare and animal care standards including the adoption of rules, and preserved the integrity of the Ohio Livestock Animal Care Standards Board.Continue reading

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Parking lot gardening

An old asphalt parking lot might not seem like a good place for a garden, but in urban areas it can be. It tends to be cheap open land and an Ohio State University expert on intensive small-scale horticulture has started a three-year study on what works best there.

Joe Kovach, who specializes in maximizing fruit and vegetable production in limited spaces, is comparing three ways to do it in empty, abandoned parking lots: in giant-sized pots and in raised beds on top of the blacktop, and in trenches cut right through it.

“There are a lot of vacant parking lots in places like Cleveland and Youngstown,” said Kovach, who works at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster and holds a joint appointment with Ohio State University Extension. “We’re hoping to learn if the trenches work, if the pots are worth it and of all three techniques, which is the best?”… Continue reading

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Johnson Joins Ohio Beef Council Staff

Andrew Johnson of Wooster joined the staff of the Ohio Beef Council and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association in late December. He is serving as the Director of Programs and Industry Relations for OBC and OCA. This director position will focus largely on developing and implementing checkoff funded programs in the areas of consumer advertising, retail, foodservice, veal and nutrition. Johnson will also coordinate the OCA Young Cattlemen’s Conference, help plan district meetings, oversee the Foundation’s fundraising and scholarship program and is responsible for coordinating the Ohio Beef Expo Junior Show activities. Johnson is a graduate of Capital University with a degree in communications. Johnson has held previous internships with the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair and also with Certified Angus Beef.  Johnson can be reached via email at or by calling the OBC and OCA office at 614-873-6736.

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is an affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and is the state’s spokesperson and issues manager for all segments of the beef cattle industry including cattle breeders, producers and feeders.… Continue reading

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New beef position to focus on animal care, food safety and profitability

A newly created position in Ohio State University Extension will address animal welfare, beef management and production, and pre-harvest food safety for Ohioans.

“Animal care and food safety are key issues for Ohio farmers and consumers alike. This position will help promote practices recommended by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board,” said Keith Smith, associate vice president for agricultural administration and director of OSU Extension.

The OSU Extension Beef Coordinator position will be based out of The Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, Ohio, and will be funded in partnership with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) and the Ohio Beef Council (OBC).

“This position is about sharing information across all industry sectors to add economic value to Ohio’s beef production,” said Elizabeth Harsh, executive director of OCA and OBC.

“We are grateful to the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Beef Council for partnering with us to create this new position,” Smith said.… Continue reading

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Focus on food safety, current issues at OPGMA Congress

“Your Recipe for Success” is the theme for this year’s Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association Congress, Jan. 17-19 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio. The registration deadline is Jan. 7 and is available online at

Sessions cover a wide range of topics, including special sessions on Monday, Jan. 17, on food safety issues. Presenters include farmers, industry representatives and university specialists from across the nation, including Ohio State University Extension educators and researchers with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Among the sessions being offered by OSU Extension and OARDC faculty members are:

Strawberry and Tomato Production in High Tunnels, Jan. 17, 1:30-2:45 p.m., Matt Kleinhenz, Brad Bergefurd.

Apples: Thinning Trials and U.S. Apple Industry Activities, Jan. 17, 1:30-2:45 p.m., Allison Parker, Diane Miller, Jozsef Racsko.

Cucurbit Downy Mildew Control and Resources, Jan. 17, 3-4:15 p.m., Sally Miller.

Food Safety Part 3: Training, Education and Implementation, Jan.… Continue reading

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