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Weekly Crop Progress Report-April 11th

Temperatures were below normal throughout the state, and most areas were too wet for field activities. Producer field activities for the week include hauling grain, spreading fertilizer and manure on hay fields, top dressing application to wheat, and preparation of equipment and fields for planting. Producers in the Northwest and North Central districts have temporarily ceased top dressing applications due to wet field conditions.

As of Sunday April 10, winter wheat was 6 percent jointed, which was 5 percent behind last year and 2 percent behind the five-year average. Five percent of the oats were planted, compared to 26 percent last year and 19 percent for the five-year average. Peaches green tip or beyond were 16 percent, which was 23 percent behind last year and 12 percent behind the five- year average. Fifteen percent of the apples were green tip or beyond, compared to 44 percent last year and 29 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Questions remain about demand

The USDA’s monthly update of prospective supply and demand for U.S. corn and soybeans released on April 8 contained some changes from the March report, but reaffirmed the tightness of supply, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.

“For corn, the USDA increased the projection of use for production of ethanol and byproducts by 50 million bushels, to a total of 5 billion bushels. The increase is consistent with the current pace of use and the strong economic incentive for ethanol consumption provided by high gasoline prices,” he said.

The projection of feed and residual use of corn during the current marketing year was reduced by 50 million bushels, so that the projection of year-ending stocks was unchanged at 675 million bushels. At 5.15 billion bushels, feed and residual use is expected to be about equal to use of last year, he added.

“The USDA will provide an estimate of feed and residual use during the second quarter of the marketing year in the Feed Outlook report to be released on April 12.… Continue reading

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Truck weight reform introduced in Senate

The U.S. Senate recently introduced the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2011 (SETA). The bill, S 747, sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), with co-sponsoring Senators Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), would give any state the option to allow semi-trucks weighing up to 97,000 pounds access to its Interstate highways, provided owners equip trucks with a sixth axle, to preserve braking distances and pavement wear patterns, and agree to pay a supplemental user fee.

An identical bill, HR 763, introduced February 17 in the House by Reps. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), has already attracted 27 co-sponsors.

“The haulers of raw agricultural and forest products are pleased that a bipartisan group of Senators has recognized the importance of improving truck productivity and safety on our nation’s Interstate system, by introducing Senate Bill 747,” stated Richard Lewis, President of the Forest Resources Association. “We must now move quickly to ensure that the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill adopts the terms SETA sets forth.… Continue reading

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Nine new AgrAbility fact sheets are now available online

The Ohio AgrAbility Program has produced nine new fact sheets designed to assist disabled farmers who may be dealing with paralysis, arthritis, diabetes or who have developed age-related issues.

“Once someone gets back to farming after experiencing an injury, they’re at higher risk because of issues regarding range of motion, mobility or reaction time,” said Kent McGuire, Ohio AgrAbility program coordinator. ” Most of the new fact sheets are designed to help those farmers prevent secondary injuries, although they include important safety information for any farmer.”

Fact sheet topics came from the organization’s work with farmers who have asked for information on these issues.

This group is the first in a series of 40 new fact sheets the Ohio AgrAbility Program plans to produce over the next year. This first set is available for download now as PDF files at

Fact sheet topics are:

* Secondary Injury Caused by Lifting, AEX-981.1-10: About 25 percent of Ohio work-related injuries are caused by overexertion when lifting objects.… Continue reading

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Think twice about planting soybeans in cold ground

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist (from the OSU CORN Newsletter)

One of these weeks it will actually warm up and we will get to plant the 2011 crop! If you start getting anxious and want to put soybeans into cold soil, you may want to rethink this option. A very nice study was just published by Iowa State Researcher, Leonor Leandro, which compared inoculations of soybean seed with the sudden death syndrome pathogen, Fusarium virguliforme. Seeds which were inoculated at the day of planting developed symptoms at all of the temperatures tested. Seedlings that were three and seven days old developed more root rot and greater severity of foliar symptoms at cooler temperatures (62 and 73) than those inoculated at warmer temperatures (82).

Their conclusions were that soybean seeds are more vulnerable to infection than seedlings, but seedlings grown in cold soils are also vulnerable. For Ohio producers that must manage sudden death syndrome, this study indicates that it may be best to wait until the soils are warmer and plant at optimum conditions for seed germination.… Continue reading

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OSC Foundation offers technical assistance to the bioproducts industry

The Ohio Soybean Council Foundation (the Foundation) announces a technical-assistance opportunity for select small businesses in northern Ohio that manufacture or distribute soy-based bioproducts.

As a result of the recently passed Senate Bill 131 and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred Program, an increasing number of government entities are seeking bio-based options to replace the chemical-based products that they currently use, creating market opportunities for bioproduct manufacturers and distributors in Ohio.

In response, the Foundation is hosting a series of workshops to help bioproducts companies and distributors in rural northern Ohio grow their businesses and workforces by better marketing and selling their products to federal, state and local governments. This workshop series will assist bioproducts companies and distributors to expand their marketing and sales efforts to include government markets, ultimately growing their respective businesses and creating more jobs for state and local economies. The project is supported in part by USDA Rural Development.… Continue reading

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State, Ohio Fresh Eggs settle violations and contempt charges

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) announced that the State of Ohio has entered into a proposed consent order with Ohio Fresh Eggs, LLC (OFE) of 11212 Croton Road in Croton, Ohio.

The consent order was lodged on April 6, 2011, with the Licking County Common Pleas Court that resolves 71 allegations of violations of ODA and Ohio EPA laws, regulations and permits for OFE’s facilities in Licking, Hardin and Wyandot counties issued by each Agency.

The charges in contempt include failure to comply with required barn renovation schedules and were based on the 2001 Buckeye Egg Farm consent order in Licking County, which was applicable to OFE as the entity that bought the former Buckeye Egg Farm in 2003.

The new proposed consent order will replace the Buckeye Egg Farm consent order and resolves both the complaint and charges in contempt.… Continue reading

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Rising plant populations for corn

Today’s generation of corn hybrids can withstand more stress — and therefore more crowding — than farmers have ever seen. And that means farmers often can plant more seeds per acre and have a good expectation of high yields, at least up to a point, says an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

“Just 10 years ago in Ohio, we were looking at final stands of about 24,000 plants per acre,” said Peter Thomison, corn specialist for OSU Extension. “There’s been a steady trend toward higher plant populations. Now, many Ohio farmers are planting more than 30,000 seeds per acre, and seed companies are asking us to test up to 42-50,000 plants per acre — if only to see how the plants handle the stress.”

Genetic improvements in hybrids have bettered corn in a number of ways, including stabilizing yields across a range of environmental conditions; increasing plants’ tolerance to drought and higher plant populations; enhancing stalk and root strength; and increasing resistance to disease and insects.… Continue reading

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Columbia FTA progresses

There are three free trade agreements that, if implemented, would represent nearly $2.5 billion in additional U.S. exports. The stalling trade agreements with Panama, Columbia and South Korea are costing U.S. agriculture huge losses in potential exports and lost market share. For this reason, there was cause for celebration with the recent progress in the FTA with Columbia.

President Barack Obama and his team of negotiators successfully completed an Action Plan to resolve the issues that have been holding up the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This will now allow Congress to move forward with consideration for approval. The FTA will create new opportunities for American farmers and ranchers in the Colombian market.

“U.S. farmers and ranchers have been losing market share in Colombia to our competitors who have trade agreements with the country. It’s time to turn the tide and recoup our losses. Colombia has duty-free access to the U.S.… Continue reading

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Maximizing wheat yield potential

By Jerron T. Schmoll, Agronomy Research Manager, Pioneer Hi-Bred

Much of the wheat in the state has been topdressed at this point, though applications were made a little later in the season than many producers would have liked. As long as the wheat was in the early stages of green-up there should not be any yield loss.

Actually, in many years we apply nitrogen (N) much earlier in the season than is ideal (January and February) in order to avoid rutting fields and to spread out the spring workload. Research indicates that March N applications are often the highest yielding as there is less time for leaching and run-off losses that may occur with early spring rains. Late N applications can still be made in early April, though yields may be reduced relative to March applications, especially if the wheat has already entered the stem extension phase of growth. The appropriate nitrogen rate can be calculated as follows: N rate = 40 + [1.75 x (yield potential – 50)].… Continue reading

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Get ready for scouting soybeans in 2011

It is important to be aware of the pests that will be working against plans for record-breaking yield this season. Each year, soybean yields are threatened by various insect pests that can cause significant damage and yield loss. Insect pests like soybean aphid, bean leaf beetle and stinkbugs are just a few of the pests that can quickly take over fields and reduce crop yields and quality as well as profits. For this reason, it is crucial for soybean growers to regularly scout and properly identify these destructive insects.

Soybean aphids have quickly become one of the greatest potential threats to soybean fields. According to the Ohio State University Extension, aphids can have up to 12 generations per year. When populations become large in size, a winged generation of female aphids occurs, which will spread across fields, counties and even states on wind currents. Researchers from the Midwest have established an action threshold of 250 soybean aphids per plant for when an insecticide treatment is warranted.… Continue reading

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Ag Credit borrowers celebrate record $14.5 million return

Ag Credit is distributing a record $14.5 million in profit sharing to stockholding borrowers.

The refunds amount to about 27 cents on every dollar of loan interest accrued last year. At an average rate of 5.29 percent, that would reduce a borrower’s interest for 2010 to 3.86 percent.

Ag Credit, part of the national Farm Credit System, is a financial co-op that provides loans to farmers, agricultural businesses and rural communities. As a cooperative, Ag Credit’s borrowers are its stockholders. When the cooperative earns a profit, it puts a portion back into the pockets of its stockholders. Each receives a check twice a year containing their share of annual profits.

“Profit sharing is a key part of the value proposition of our cooperative,” said Ag Credit President Neil Jordan. “By focusing on sound lending and strong capital we continue to be a reliable financial partner to farmers and agricultural community in 18 Ohio counties.”… Continue reading

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Volunteers needed for milk study

More people are choosing to drink raw milk these days, and Ohio State University researchers are hoping to find out why.

They are looking for people who live on farms who drink either raw or pasteurized milk to take part in a study. Volunteers will be asked to meet with researchers to complete a written survey, and take part in a 1.5-hour-long focus group session. They will be paid $25 for their time and trouble.

“We truly do not know very much about how farmers make the choice to drink raw or pasteurized milk — there’s just nothing in the literature,” said Lydia Medeiros, a scientist with the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and Ohio State University Extension, and a professor of human nutrition in the College of Education and Human Ecology. The study of farm families is part of a broader project on raw milk consumption in Ohio.… Continue reading

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EPA registration approval for the Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack

Syngenta in North America announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted registration approval for the Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack, which offers corn growers dual modes of action against above-ground (lepidopteran) insect pests.

“With this approval, Syngenta offers growers more control of above-ground insects with a reduced five% structured refuge,” said David Morgan, Syngenta region director of North America and president of Syngenta Seeds, Inc. “Not only do growers enjoy greater productivity through reduced refuge, they also will get more yield benefits from the Agrisure Viptera trait and its superior control of the multi-pest complex.”

The revolutionary Agrisure Viptera 3220 trait stack includes the breakthrough Agrisure Viptera trait, a completely new mode of action in corn as the first Vip3A insect control protein. In 2010 Syngenta trials, triple stack hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait outyielded competitive triple stack hybrids by more than 9 bushels per acre on average.… Continue reading

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Care Board votes to put “turn around” language back in veal standards

By Kyle Sharp

In February, more than 30 Ohio veal farmers representing roughly half the veal production in the state presented a petition to the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) stating they “do not anticipate continuing to raise veal in the State of Ohio” after 2017, if the drafted veal regulations at that time were made final. As a result, the Board voted March 1 to amend its proposed veal production standards by removing a requirement for veal calves to be able to turn around in their individual pens during their first 10 weeks of age after Dec. 31, 2017.

At the April 5 OLCSB meeting, more than 100 animal activists, many of them bused by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) from Cleveland and Cincinnati, came to the meeting wearing shirts that read “Let Them Turn Around” and featured an image of veal calves. They called for the Board to overturn the March 1 amendment and restate the requirement for veal calves to be able to turn around.… Continue reading

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Hirsch Elected President of Ohio Farm Bureau

Steve Hirsch of Chillicothe has been elected president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). He became the organization’s 23rd president during a special election by OFBF’s board of trustees April 5. He holds the highest elected office in the state’s largest farm organization.

Hirsch, 46, replaces Brent Porteus, who stepped down after three years as president in order to stand for election to the Nationwide board of trustees.

Hirsch has been OFBF’s first vice president for three years and has served on the board for 10 years as the trustee for District 15, which includes Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties. He will remain the district’s board representative. He is an 18-year member of Ross County Farm Bureau and served as its president and chairman of the membership, public policy and safety committees.

Hirsch farms with his father, brother and cousin producing apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries and other crops.… Continue reading

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AgChat celebrates one year of connecting through social media

AgChat Foundation celebrates one year of connecting consumers
with farmers and ranchers using social media

Americans may have noticed a new social media trend this past year: more Facebook posts from the farm, more tweets from the tractor and more blogs from the back forty.

The timing of this social media “stampede” couldn’t be better, says Jeff Fowle, president of the AgChat Foundation. Celebrating its one-year anniversary today, the AgChat Foundation is a 100-percent volunteer organization formed to empower farmers and ranchers to effectively tell their stories using social media. He says in one 2010 study1 conducted by the Hartman Group, 59 percent of consumers purchasing local said they wanted a “connection to the farmer.”

In just 12 months, AgChat Foundation has successfully inspired farmers to add tweets and posts to their daily chores. It even earned a coveted spot on the 2011 SXSW® Interactive Festival program, last month, presenting alongside the country’s brightest in emerging technology.… Continue reading

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Focus remains on corn demand

The USDA’s March 1 Grain Stocks report revealed a surprisingly small inventory of corn, said a University of Illinois Extension agricultural economist.
“The smaller-than-expected inventory implies that consumption during the second quarter of the 2010-11 marketing year was larger than expected. It appears that consumption is progressing at a rate that cannot be sustained by available supplies,” said Darrel Good.
At 6.523 billion bushels, the estimate of March 1 inventories was 1.171 billion bushels smaller than stocks of a year earlier and 165 to 170 million bushels smaller than the average trade guess, he said.
The ease of originating grain from producers at generally normal basis levels had led some to believe that March 1 stocks would be much larger. The report revealed that on-farm stocks were 1.164 billion bushels smaller than those of a year earlier. Off-farm stocks were only 7 million bushels smaller, he said.
“Producers have moved larger quantities of corn to market than they did last year in response to higher prices, not a stronger basis.
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Coverage of The Ohio Livestock Coalition Annual Meeting

On Monday, Ty Higgins took the Midday Report on the road to cover The 2011 Ohio Livestock Coalition Annual Meeting and Industry Symposium, emceed by The Ohio Ag Net’s Dale Minyo.

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Jim Zehringer shares the importance of The Ohio Livestock Coalition and about this week’s Care Board meeting with Ty.

The Center for Food Integrity’s Charlie Arnot talks with Ty about communicating with consumers.

Larry Antosch with The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation tells Ty about issues affecting some key Ohio watersheds.

OSU’s Peggy Kirk Hall and Ty discuss the legal issues behind animal welfare.

Dr. Joy Mench is from The University of California-Davis and her topic at The OLC Annual Meeting was a holistic approach to animal welfare.Continue reading

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OSU conference on state budget’s impact on local government

As the ongoing debate about Ohio’s economy intensifies during the legislature’s budgeting process, Ohio State University is hosting a conference focusing on the budget’s impact on local government.

“Death by Deficit? Is the Future of Local Government Really All Bad?” is planned for Thursday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, the conference will be held at the university’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive.

“We are receiving many questions related to the impact of Ohio’s budget woes on local government, infrastructure and related programs,” said Stan Ernst, Ohio State University Extension outreach program leader for the department. “We thought this was a natural topic for our annual educational session about public policy and the economics behind it. We’ll be looking at the economic challenges to local government as well as to state programs.”… Continue reading

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