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ODA offering export seminar for Ohio companies to provide insight on South American market

Ohio companies can learn more about pursuing or expanding their export sales in the South American markets at a seminar offered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA on Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Food Export Association South American Market Representative Sonia Amadeo will familiarize Ohio companies with the market by providing an overview of the economy, export requirements, entry strategies and market opportunities. Food Export Helpline Manager Dennis Lynch will also speak about pricing and logistics, and he will answer exporting questions.

The seminar will take place at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Bromfield Administration Building, Auditorium A, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg. The cost to attend is $50 per company or $25 for Ohio Proud partners. Those who are interested must RSVP to the Office of International Markets at 614-728-4760 by Nov. 24.

The Food Export Association of the Midwest USA is a private, non-profit association of the Midwestern state agricultural promotion agencies that use federal, state and industry resources to promote the export of Midwestern food and agricultural products.… Continue reading

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Pioneer introduces new transgenic corn product, Optimum Intrasect

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel and Bruce Eisley, Ohio State University entomologists

Pioneer has just announced a new transgenic corn hybrid that will serve as an intermediate and technical step between Optimum AcreMax 1 (from the first family of Optimum AcreMax products) to Optimum AcreMax and Optimum AcreMax Xtra (from the second family of products).  While having Bt proteins for both corn borers and corn rootworm control, Optimum AcreMax 1 still needs a separate 20% refuge for the corn borer portion of the mix (refuge-in-the-bag is only for rootworms), whereas Pioneer’s intent for Optimum AcreMax (for above-ground pests) and Optimum AcreMax Xtra (for above- and below-ground pests) is to be truly refuge-in-the-bag for both pests.

Until that time comes, hopefully within a year or so, they have obtained EPA approval and released to the market an intermediate product called Optimum Intrasect which contains two gene proteins, Cry1F and Cry1Ab, for corn borer control (rootworm control is not part of Optimum Intrasect). … Continue reading

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Pellets reduce costs, but not enough for cellulosic ethanol producers

Despite reducing transportation and handling costs, pelletizing cellulosic biomass would not be cost-effective for ethanol producers, according to a Purdue University study.

Klein Ileleji, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Preethi Krishnakumar, a graduate research student, factored the costs and logistical requirements cellulosic ethanol producers would face using different types of biomass – corn grain, corn stover and switchgrass – in both bale and pellet forms.

Their findings, published in the current issue of the journal Applied Engineering in Agriculture, show that the denser cellulosic pellets would allow ethanol producers to save money by utilizing the same equipment used to transport and handle corn grain that flows using elevators, hoppers and conveyor belts.

“If a producer is switching from a corn ethanol plant to a cellulosic plant, they are starting with an existing grain system, and the storage and handling costs for pellets will be less since they are granular and flowable like corn grain,” Ileleji said.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Council Announce Staff Changes

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) recently welcomed Adam Ward as the new OSA executive director and OSC director of marketing and outreach.  Rocky Black, OSC director of bioproducts utilization, will now also serve as OSA senior policy advisor.  Jennifer Coleman, former OSC communications coordinator, has been promoted to OSC communications director.

These staff changes follow the departure of Jamie Butts, who had served as OSA executive director and OSC communications director.  After six years with OSA and OSC, Butts left the organizations to pursue an opportunity with Pioneer Hi-Bred.

As executive director of OSA, Ward will lead the state and federal policy efforts and statewide membership program, as well as OSA’s producer education initiatives.  As OSC director of marketing and outreach, Ward will manage domestic marketing initiatives including areas such as animal agriculture and soy biodiesel.  He will also coordinate OSC’s industry outreach activities.

Ward most recently served as the assistant to Gov.… Continue reading

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Ohio CAT to Open Location in Washington CH

The Ohio CAT Agri Business Division has agreed to lease a facility in Washington Court House, Ohio. The seven (7) acre site on Route #22 just east of Washington Court House will serve as a sales, parts, and service facility. Ohio CAT plans to open for business on February 14, 2011. Facility preparation for the operation will begin immediately.

Products sold and serviced by the Agri Business Division of Ohio CAT include Ag-Chem application equipment, Challenger wheel, track, and articulated tractors and combines, Lexion combines, White planters, Massey Ferguson tractors for governmental applications, and Sunflower tillage tools. In addition, Caterpillar® products typically utilized in agriculture are available at each of the Agri Business Division’s dedicated  locations.

Kelly Love, V.P. of Ohio CAT’s Agri Business Division, shares, “We are excited about our expansion into Fayette County. This critical location will position us to provide a superior level of support for customers.” Love further comments, “Our focus is on the professional producer, and Washington Court House is a major hub of Ohio agricultural production.”… Continue reading

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NPPC urges resolution of issues related to U.S.-South Korea FTA

The National Pork Producers Council expressed disappointment that a final deal has not been reached between the United States and South Korea on issues related to trade in beef and automobiles. An agreement would have paved the way for the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement to be completed.

The two sides had hoped to resolve the outstanding issues before the conclusion of the  G-20 economic meeting in Seoul, South Korea, which was held this week. The U.S.-South Korea FTA was signed on June 30, 2007. The FTA must be approved by the U.S. Congress as well as the South Korean National Assembly.

The FTA would be one of the most lucrative for the U.S. pork industry, according to NPPC, which has championed the pact for more than three years now. The organization is urging resolution of the outstanding issues so that congressional lawmakers can approve the trade deal as soon as possible.… Continue reading

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Workshop will help farmers meet the growing demand for organic food

The strong demand for organic food presents a growing opportunity for Ohio farmers. The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), a non-profit education organization, and the Ohio State University Organic Food & Farming Education and Research (OFFER) Program, a nationally recognized leader in organic farming research, will present “Organics 101: An Introduction to Organic Crop Production.” This educational workshop will be held at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, in Bowling Green, Ohio, on December 10, 2010, from 9:00am to 4:00pm. The Agricultural Incubator Foundation is located at 13737 Middleton Pike, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402.

All Ohio farmers who are looking for information on organic crop production are encouraged to attend this workshop. The program will include presentations by OSU research scientists and extension educators, organic farmers and organic certification representatives.

Participants will learn about the organic certification standard, the certification process, organic crop production practices, the economics of organic crop production, and the marketing opportunities for organic crop producers.… Continue reading

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Students help local award-winning distillery go green

This quarter, two groups of Ohio State University students are helping a new local microdistillery “go green.”

One group of students is in Victoria Chen’s “Green Building and Sustainable Construction” class, which takes on a special project each quarter. The class is helping Middle West Spirits, in the Short North, determine how much electricity the business could generate by putting solar panels on its roof.

The company, located at 1230 Courtland Ave., sold its first bottle of OYO Vodka in July 2010, made from soft red winter wheat from northern Ohio. Already, the product has met with success: The Beverage Tasting Institute recently rated OYO vodka as “Exceptional” in its 2010 International Review Of Spirits. With 92 points, OYO scored seventh in a category of 140 vodkas from around the globe.

Distillery owners Ryan Lang and Brady Konya decided early on to use electricity, rather than more economical gas, for the steam heat and cold chilling needed to make the spirits.… Continue reading

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Hybrid selection for 2011

Ohio corn harvest may not be quite wrapped up yet this season, yet growers are already making decisions about hybrids to plant in 2011.

Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension state agronomist, said that hybrid selection is one of the most important management decisions a grower makes each year.

“It’s a decision that warrants a careful comparison of performance data,” said Thomison, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “It should not be made in haste or based on limited data. Planting a marginal hybrid or one not suitable for a particular production environment imposes a ceiling on the yield potential for a field before it’s been planted.”

Thomison recommends that growers choose hybrids that are best suited to their farm operation.

“Corn acreage, previous crop, soil type, tillage practices, desired harvest moisture, and pest problems all determine the relative importance of such traits as dry down, insect and disease resistance, early plant vigor and plant height,” said Thomison.… Continue reading

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Input for head scab tool requested

Ohio State University Extension plant pathologists are asking wheat growers, millers, bakers, and grain handlers for their input on a multi-state web-based tool that evaluates the risk of the development of head scab, a serious disease of wheat that affected several acres throughout in 2010.

The Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/riskTool_2010.html) is one of the largest early disease warning systems in the nation that uses a combination of weather patterns, the type of wheat planted, and the flowering dates of a grower’s wheat to predict the level of risk a grower may face from head scab. The tool provides daily estimates of scab risk for 25 states east of the Rocky Mountains.

“Fusarium head blight or head scab of wheat has been an important problem in Ohio, with the biggest outbreak in the last 10-14 years occurring in 2010,” said Pierce Paul, an OSU Extension plant pathologist and wheat specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.… Continue reading

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Is there greener green in green?

Is there greener green in green?

Representatives of three Ohio businesses that turn algae, a form of plant life, into clean, sellable fuels will speak at Ohio State University’s 2010 Renewable Energy Workshop next week.

Organizers of the Nov. 18 program say algae fuels could cut our reliance on overseas petroleum, while a recent Newsweek article includes algae fuels among a dozen of “The Weirdest Green Technology Innovations.”

Speaking during an afternoon session on the topic will be:

Jeff Bargiel of Phycal, located in Highland Heights, on “An Integrated Algae Production System”;

Drew Spradling, Touchstone Research Laboratory, Wooster, “Using a Phase Change Material for Algae Production”; and

David Cohio, Algaeventure Systems, Marysville, “New Technologies for Algae Production and Harvesting.”

Hours for the workshop are 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m., the algae talks at 1 p.m.… Continue reading

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Ohio team wins Dairy Quiz Bowl at NAILE

NAILE dairyquiz

Young people who have set their sights on a career in the dairy business, or in some other aspect of agriculture, turned out in big numbers to compete at the 2010 Dairy Quiz Bowl in Louisville.

The Invitational 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl took place Nov. 5-6 at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE). Ohio brought home top honors in the event.

Teams of young people from 20 states competed by testing their knowledge on many levels of the dairy business. The contest began with a written test the evening of Nov. 5, and the teams competed in a toss-up question phase on Nov. 6.

The contest includes a double elimination. Ohio was advancing through the main bracket and then was beaten by the team from New York, so they went to the consolation rounds. They ended up being undefeated in the consolation rounds, resulting in them going against the winner of the main bracket — a rematch with New York that Ohio won.… Continue reading

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Ohio farm boy goes from Casstown to Columbus to DC to… Dakar, Senegal

A conversation with…

Russell Knight, assistant agricultural attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal

OCJ: You are originally from Casstown, Ohio. What is your Ohio farm background and how did you end up in Senegal?

Russell: I showed cattle and hogs as 4-H projects in Miami County and I was involved in my high school FFA program and eventually received my American FFA Degree.  Most importantly, since 1994, my family has been raising and showing Shorthorn club calves and I participated in several Shorthorn Junior National shows during my years of competition.  Even from Africa, I still try to maintain some connection with the activities that pertain to our Shorthorns.  But I’ve been involved in the agricultural community ever since I could swing a hammer working for my dad’s business, Knight Fence Company. I went to Ohio State and was in the Alpha Gamma Sigma Fraternity.

OCJ: What are your duties as the assistant agricultural attaché at the U.S.… Continue reading

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Crop Production report

The markets had been waiting on the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Production report and quickly responded to lower crop production levels.The grain markets were higher right out of the gate following the release of the report, but corn and wheat suffered from profit taking later in the day.

As of Nov. 1, U. S. corn production is forecast at 12.5 billion bushels, down 1% from the October forecast and down 4% from last year’s record production of 13.1 billion bushels. Yields are expected to average 154.3 bushels per acre, down 1.5 bushels from the previous month and 10.4 bushels below last year’s record of 164.7 bushels.

U.S. soybean production is forecast at a record high 3.38 billion bushels, down 1% from the October forecast but up slightly from last year. Based on Nov. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 43.9 bushels per acre, down 0.5 bushel from last month and down 0.1 bushel from last year’s record high yield.… Continue reading

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Midwest elevators offering growers premiums for low linolenic soybeans

Through a program with Bunge Oils, a select group of elevators in the Midwest is offering growers expanded options to earn a 55-cent-per-bushel premium for harvest delivery and a 60-cent-per-bushel premium for buyers call for Pioneer brand low linolenic soybeans. These elevators include key locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. A complete list of participating elevators is available by visiting www.pioneer.com/LLSoy, then selecting the “2011 Low Linolenic Soybean Program with Bunge” button on the left side of the page. 


“With food companies looking for 0g trans fat alternatives that preserve flavor and shelf life, the market for low linolenic soybeans continues providing contracting opportunities for growers,” says John Muenzenberger, Pioneer senior business manager for soybean output traits. “At the same time, Pioneer has provided a strong low linolenic soybean lineup to help growers meet that demand.” 


Following is an overview of Pioneer low linolenic soybean varieties available to growers for the 2011 season:

92Y50 (RR) – Mid-Group II variety, SCN resistance, excellent harvest standability

92Y71 (RR) – Ultra-low linolenic variety, SCN resistance, strong emergence, harvest standability

93Y03 (RR) – Early Group II variety, SCN and Phytophthora resistance, SDS tolerance

93Y50 (RR) – Ultra-low linolenic variety, strong emergence and harvest standability, Phytophthora root rot resistance, avoid planting where iron chlorosis is common

93Y71 (RR) – Contains 1k Phytophthora resistance gene, race 3 SCN resistance, good SDS tolerance… Continue reading

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Expanded tax options give farmers more flexibility

New and expanded tax incentives for farmers and small businesses provide more flexibility in tax management this year, said Purdue Extension agricultural economist George Patrick.

The “Creating Small Business Jobs Act of 2010” offers a larger Section 179 expensing deduction of up to $500,000 for tax years 2010 and 2011.

“Section 179 allows a taxpayer to deduct or expense part or all of the cost of an asset in the year of purchase, rather than depreciating the cost over several years,” Patrick said. “The Section 179 deduction is typically limited by the amount of qualifying assets acquired or the taxable income of the taxpayer, but it provides great flexibility in managing taxes.”

Most depreciable assets qualify for the 50% additional first-year depreciation, which was extended to include qualifying property placed in service between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010.

What this means, for example, is that farmers who purchased property for $50,000 can take $25,000 as additional first-year depreciation.… Continue reading

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ATI gets a new milking parlor to further an old work ethic

By Kyle Sharp

For years, I’ve heard about Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) in Wooster. I’ve driven past the teaching and residential campus while visiting the neighboring Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. I’ve known students who have gone there. I even wrote several stories about faculty and programs taking place there when I used to work for the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences prior to joining Ohio’s Country Journal.

But the reality of the institution was really driven home to me this month when I visited ATI’s Apple Creek Farm to learn about ATI’s new dairy parlor and renovated facility that has been shaving milking time and labor costs, improving milk quality, and providing a brighter and more inviting work environment.

Here’s what I knew about ATI before: “ATI is ranked number one in the nation among two-year schools awarding associate degrees in agriculture and related sciences.… Continue reading

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Corn prices and ethanol

Corn prices continue to be supported by expectations that the USDA will reduce the forecast size of the 2010 U.S. crop and by a rapid pace of ethanol production. The rate of exports and export sales has been somewhat disappointing, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.

“Reported expectations for the Nov. 9 USDA Crop Production report are for a slightly lower yield and production forecast, with the average yield guess reported at 154.4 bushels. The October forecast was 155.8 bushels. A smaller production forecast without any change in the consumption forecasts would further reduce the expectations for the size of year-ending stocks,” he said.

A 114-million-bushel reduction in the forecast of crop size, as implied by a yield of 154.4 bushels, would reduce the projection of year-ending stocks to 788 million bushels or 5.8 percent of projected consumption, he added.

Ethanol production during the first nine weeks of the 2010-11 corn marketing year averaged 36.344 million gallons per day.… Continue reading

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November 9th USDA Crop Report

Corn Production Down 1 Percent from October
Forecast Soybean Production Down 1 Percent

Corn production is forecast at 12.5 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the October forecast and down 4 percent from last year’s record production of 13.1 billion bushels. As of November 1, yields are expected to average 154.3 bushels per acre, down 1.5 bushels from the previous month and 10.4 bushels below last year’s record of 164.7 bushels. Forecasted yields decreased from last month throughout much of the Corn Belt, with the biggest decline forecasted in Missouri, down 7 bushels per acre. The expected yield in South Dakota declined 5 bushels from last month while the Nebraska yield dropped 4 bushels per acre. Record high yields are forecast in California, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Soybean production is forecast at a record high 3.38 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the October forecast but up slightly from last year.… Continue reading

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New weight limit for trucking containers levels the playing field for Ohio ag

By Matt Reese

As a result of its central location, access to major waterways and plenty of railways, Ohio has an abundance of empty shipping containers sitting around. More stuff comes in to be distributed than there is stuff that is going out.

Along with all of the empty shipping containers, Ohio is also blessed with abundant agricultural commodities including corn and soybeans that are in demand around the world. It is only logical that Ohio’s top commodity crops, especially high-end food-grade non-GMO crops, be shipped to the world via empty containers.

“A lot of the premium specialty soybean market is transported in containers. And when freight rates go up for overseas shipping, we start to see more of the commodity grains going into containers,” said Kirk Merritt, executive director of the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC). “We also see export buyers that do not want to buy in bulk, but are interested in a small number of containers instead of buying a tanker load.”… Continue reading

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