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PEDv spread may be slowing

The National Pork Board is reporting that there are signs that indicate Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) is quieting down

An outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea first identified in the U.S. in mid-May has spread to 18 states. At first, roughly two thirds of the infections were reported on finishing floors and a third in sow farms. PEDv is the greatest challenge in sow farms where there has been up to 100% mortality in young pigs.

“Right now all we have is anecdotal information from the field and it sounds like the spread of the virus has decreased,” said Dr. Paul Sundberg, the vice president science and technology with the National Pork Board. “We don’t have good data on that. The data that we get from the diagnostic labs contains re-testing from positive farms and we can’t parse that out so we don’t have good data but the anecdotal information we get from the field is that it appears that the virus is quieting down somewhat.”… Continue reading

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Efforts aimed at eliminating PEDv

The National Pork Board’s Board of Directors has committed a total of $800,000 toward research, education and coordination of efforts to better understand Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv). The goal of this effort is to contain and eliminate PEDv from the U.S.

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) reports that there is no timeline, but veterinarians and producers are concerned about the potential impact colder weather may have on the severity and spread of this disease.

The National Pork Board, in collaboration with AASV and the National Pork Producers Council, has initiated the following groups to address activities associated with the industry response to PEDv:

  1. A PED Strategic Task Force that is charged with helping to review and direct the overall effort. This task force is comprised of representatives of the three groups in addition to numerous members and advisors with particular expertise or involvement with the disease.
  2. PED working groups, under the direction of Dr.
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Is your farm over or under equipped?

As the profit margins appear to be tightening again for the for grain producers with lower market prices, farmers and lenders are examining balance sheets to determine if there are any strategies that might improve a farm’s financial position.

One of the areas that often appear to grow during times of significant cash inflows, similar to what grain farmers have experiences during the past few years, are intermediate assets. Intermediate farm assets have a useful life of more than one but less than 10 years. Examples of assets in this category include tools, vehicles, machinery, equipment and breeding livestock.


Valuing assets

A value is placed on assets on the day the balance sheet, also called the net worth statement, is created. Assets can be valued either on a cost basis or market basis on the balance sheet. The market value is the most common approach and the method preferred by most lenders.… Continue reading

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Ohio Youth Capital Challenge

Engaging young people in democracy was the goal of the first ever Ohio Youth Capital Challenge. The contest, sponsored by Ohio 4-H, Ohio FFA and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation brought together youth ages 14 to 18 from around the state to discuss community issues and concerns then to work together to propose policies and programs to solve the issues.

The winning team’s project was called Ohio Agricultural Education Development Policy. Group members were Madison Campbell of Archbold; Britta Fenstermaker of McComb; Matthew Klopfenstein of Haviland, and Kalyn Swihart of Perrysburg. Each team member received a $100 scholarship.

The group advocated that Ohio students should have a basic understanding of agriculture as it relates to food, nutrition, economic growth for Ohio and workforce development. They proposed that a basic knowledge of agriculture be included through existing STEM education for grades K-12.

Second place went to the project Pasture to Plate, advocating agricultural literacy.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 19th, 2013

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There were six days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending August 18, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Cool temperatures and clear skies throughout most of the State allowed hay and oat harvest to continue at a steady pace this week. Although a few areas received a modest rain shower, overall dry conditions were the norm. Corn and soybeans continue to look good, although some worry the recent weather conditions have favored the plant stalk and leaf growth over grain fill. Most agree that warmer temperatures and some additional rain would help the crop along. Livestock are doing well, as the cooler morning and nighttime temperatures have been easing the normal summer stress.

See the data in more detail.Continue reading

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The Weekly Corn Belt Crop Update {August 19th, 2013}


The Snapshot Tour is hosted by Jay Calhoun of Colgan Commodities. This is a daily update on crop and weather conditions across ten locations in the Corn Belt.  It starts during spring planting and ends when harvest is wrapped up.  Jay has been the host of this update for 21 years.   You can listen to the daily conference call in full by visiting and clicking on the audio tab.

Maumee, Ohio

The NW Ohio region continues to believe they will have a very good crop in both corn and beans.  They need one last rain to “make the bean crop” this month.  They are really doing  “just fine” on soil moisture.Continue reading

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Sheep shearing school

The Statewide Sheep Shearing School will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20-21, 2013 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. each day at the Dave Cable Farm, 10491 Canal Rd., Hebron, OH 43025.  There is no class size limit and the cost is $40 per student, which must be returned with registration form by Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. In order to obtain the best training, it is recommended to attend both instructional days.

Lunch will be provided to those registrants that we have registered by the deadline. The Statewide Sheep Shearing School is sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and OSU Animal Sciences Extension.

Registration forms can be obtained on the website. To register after that date, please call Roger A. High at (614)246-8299.… Continue reading

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Watch for heat stress in cattle as temperatures rise

With the return of summer heat and humidity predicted in the forecast after a lengthy stretch cool weather that has been enjoyed in Ohio, there is potential for heat stress in livestock.

Heat stress in cattle is a particular concern because it can reduce breeding efficiency, milk production, feed intake and weight gain. Extreme cases can be fatal, said Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef specialist.

Heat stress affects all cattle, but hide color plays a role in determining which cattle might be more susceptible. Black-hided cattle absorb light, making them more prone to heat stress, whereas cattle with lighter colored hides, such as cream or red, might not become heat stressed as quickly.

“The good thing is that here in the eastern Corn Belt, we’ve actually had some pretty cool temperatures through the early part of the summer,” Lemenager said. “We don’t have the heat stress we had a year ago when we were experiencing the 2012 drought.”… Continue reading

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Improved water quality means greater profitability

The Field to Market alliance is preparing to release a water quality metric to its Fieldprint Calculator. This update includes the integration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Water Quality Index and can help growers better understand how their farming systems and practices affect the quality of water flowing off their fields.

“The time, landscape and community in which farmers grow their crops, along with their management decisions and skills regarding inputs and production practices, all play a part in the profitability of a farming operation,” said Keith Alverson, the National Corn Growers Association’s board representative to Field to Market. “No farmer wants to leave dollars on the field, and the water quality metric in the Fieldprint Calculator will help determine if we are boosting yields enough to cover things like extra fertilizer costs or soil loss. While profitability is import, longevity is a greater priority.”… Continue reading

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India’s poultry industry offers potential for corn exports

India’s poultry industry currently sells 95% of its product through wet markets, fresh food markets where animals are sold live and then processed either onsite or in the consumer’s home. These wet markets pose numerous sanitary risks and are inaccessible to long-distance consumers.

Moving to a processed poultry market would give India better control of food safety and quality, and would over time increase consumer confidence. It would also enhance the ability to transport processed poultry products to distant markets and ultimately expand poultry consumption — all of which would lead to a higher per capita poultry consumption.

“India’s poultry production is just as efficient as the United States, but they have yet to convince Indian consumers to purchase processed poultry meat,” said Adel Yusupov, U.S. Grains Council regional director in Southeast Asia. “Even though India’s government has yet to enforce food safety standards, the Council believes that though a series of seminars and discussion with other Southeast Asia poultry companies the Indian poultry industry will take it upon themselves to sell a good, safe product to the consumer.”… Continue reading

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Pasture management in the fall

The fall period, particularly the months of September and October, is an important time to manage pastures. Specifically, pastures must be managed to insure that the desirable grass and legume plants are able to build up and store carbohydrate reserves for the winter period. It is this ability to store carbohydrate reserves and thus keep a root system living over the winter months that distinguishes a perennial plant from an annual plant.

It is during the short day, long night periods in the fall of the year that flower buds are formed/initiated on the crown of the plant. While the leaf tissue dies during the winter, the buds and roots of the plant remain as living tissues over the winter and continue to respire and burn energy. If root reserves are insufficient the plant may die over the winter. If the plant survives but root reserves are low, spring re-growth and vigor of the plant is reduced.… Continue reading

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BQA certification available through OSU

Ohio cattle producers looking to earn Beef Quality Assurance certifications or those looking to become re-certified can take advantage of a new online course and exam offered by experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The certification is part of a national program that offers sound management practices and guidelines for beef cattle production, said Steve Boyles, an OSU Extension beef cattle specialist.

While the certification isn’t a requirement for beef producers, it’s valuable for them to have because it lets consumers know that the producer’s beef is a safe, quality product, Boyles said.

“The real value in having this certification is that it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “The beef industry wants to provide consumers with a safe, quality product that consumers can be assured is not only good food but also is a safe product.

“That’s because the certification process teaches producers information including how to properly administer vaccines and how to handle animals in terms of animal welfare.… Continue reading

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BWC highlights the importance of grain storage safety

Each year farmers in Ohio and across the nation face serious injury and even death due to the hazards involved with grain storage and handling operations. At least 26 workers on U.S. farms were killed in grain engulfments in 2010 — the highest number on record. Three farm workers have been killed in grain-bin-related accidents this year in Ohio, most recently a Butler County man who suffocated in a grain silo.

“Workers perform dangerous job duties every day here in Ohio, and farming can be among the most dangerous. The nature of the business requires extra vigilance and attention to potential dangers and never overlooking preventative measures like using proper safety equipment,” said Steve Buehrer, Administrator/CEO of Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). “BWC is stepping up efforts statewide to improve workplace safety, and offers a number of tools and training that can help keep workers safe both on and off the farm.”… Continue reading

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“USDA Tender” — A cooperative effort with the U.S. beef industry

Tenderness is one of the most significant factors affecting the overall consumer acceptance of beef cuts. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Beef Quality Grading program is a useful tool in predicting overall consumer acceptance of beef, other factors besides those assessed by the USDA Quality Grading System affect beef tenderness. In other words, beef that may not grade to the highest USDA Quality Grade (USDA Select or Choice vs. USDA Prime) may in fact be rated just as tender by consumers. Similarly, certain cuts of beef, no matter how high their USDA Quality Grade, may not be as tender for some consumers.

To address these issues and provide consumers with a more useful purchasing tool, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) worked with academia and industry to develop an accurate system to determine when consumers perceive beef cuts to be either tender or very tender. Based on an objective scale, the system ensures that specific beef cuts consistently meet these established thresholds. … Continue reading

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August weather outlook

After some scattered early week rain into early Tuesday across the state, the rest of the week of August 12 will feature below normal temperatures and below normal rainfall. Little rainfall is expected from Tuesday through early weekend across the state. Highs will mostly be in the upper 60s north and 70s elsewhere with lows in the 50s. Some mid to upper 40s in low lying areas are possible later in the week especially Thursday.

The week of August 19 will see a return to slightly above normal temperatures (especially on low temperatures) and rainfall near normal (slightly below west and north and slightly above southeast).

Through August 25, overall, temperatures will average near to slightly below normal and rainfall will average near to slightly below normal. Normal rainfall for the 2 weeks is about 1.5 inches for this time of the year. Again, remember, August rains are variable due to the convective nature (thunderstorms) of the rainfall.… Continue reading

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Monitor trees for signs of invasive pests

In an effort to protect the trees of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is encouraging Ohio citizens to check their trees for signs of the Walnut Twig Beetle and Asian Longhorned Beetle.

Both of these tree pests have been detected in southwest Ohio and threaten the health and viability of the state’s hardwood forests, as well as some of the state’s leading industries. Signs and symptoms of both the Walnut Twig Beetle and Asian Longhorned Beetle are visible in August.

The Walnut Twig Beetle is a small beetle known to carry a fungus that causes Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), which can kill walnut trees. TCD is caused when the Walnut Twig Beetles bore into the branches and trunk tissue of walnut trees, thereby introducing the fungus. Repeated attacks by the insect lead to multiple individual infections by the fungus and the tree eventually dies. There is no known treatment for TCD.… Continue reading

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Faulkner will represent Ohio as National FFA officer candidate

When she first joined the A.B. Graham FFA Chapter in eighth grade, Shelby Faulkner was a timid girl with no agricultural background. However, she soon discovered a passion for the industry and began her FFA story.

Faulkner became involved in her chapter by competing on teams, serving as chapter treasurer and president and completing Supervised Agricultural Experiences in livestock and crop entrepreneurship. Her excitement for the organization grew and she wanted to do more. In 2011, she became state sentinel on the Ohio FFA Officer Team. Faulkner’s love for the FFA evolved and she knew her time was not finished. She continued a consecutive year to serve the Ohio FFA Association as the 2012-2013 State FFA President.

Her term has concluded after attending first session of Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum earlier this summer. What is next? Faulkner has just completed her Early Field Experience at Miami East FFA Chapter and is taking summer classes at The Ohio State University, where she is pursuing a degree in agriscience education.… Continue reading

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Winners of SCI wheat yield contest announced

The winners of Seed Consultants‘ Project 150 Wheat Yield Contest were recently announced. By choosing the right genetics and implementing sound management practices, these winners have achieved impressive wheat yields. The top three contestants are as follows:

1st Place: James Rodman 
Delaware, Ohio 
SC 1302, 125.72 bushels per acre

2nd Place: Bill Koch 
Middletown, Ohio 
SC 1341, 112.58 bushels per acre

3rd Place: Marlon Corwin 
New Palestine, Indiana 
SC 1341, 109.05 bushels per acre

Congratulations to these winners and thanks to all who participated. There is still time to enter 2013’s Project 300 Corn Yield Contest, Project 100 Soybean Yield Contest, and Double-Crop Soybean Yield Contest.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 12th, 2013

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There were four days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending August 11, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. The weather throughout the state was cool and cloudy, with scattered rainfall and storms. While there is concern that corn and soybeans are maturing slowly due to the cool weather and moisture, both are still in very good condition. The rains are increasing insect and disease pressure. Hay-making continued between the rains and producers harvested oats as well. Sweet corn is doing well, but other vegetable crops are suffering due to the continued rainfall.

See how crops are progressing in this week’s report.… Continue reading

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Tyson announces that it will not accept cattle fed with Zilmax

Last week, Tyson Foods announced that it will not accept cattle fed with Zilmax after Sept. 5.

The announcement boosted cattle prices the following day and may have a slight bullish influence for corn. It is still early, but if this type of decision were to expand to other processors or other supplements, more corn would be required to bring cattle to their target weight.

“Cattlemen and women believe in the right of farmers and ranchers to responsibly use FDA-approved technologies. We also believe in Tyson’s right to make individual company decisions that they feel are in the best interest of their business. We do not have all the details regarding the animal welfare concerns cited by Tyson in the letter to their cattle suppliers. However, we take every report of animal welfare issues very seriously,” said Forrest Roberts, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “We have expended significant resources to address questions about the use of beta-agonists relative to animal welfare concerns.… Continue reading

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