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2014 Farm Bill sign-up is not finished yet!

Many farmers have the belief that they have completed all the necessary steps needed to complete the sign-up for the 2014 farm bill programs. They made the yield update and base acre reallocation decisions and then they made the ARC/PLC decision for each farm. So what decision is left to make? Just as it has been in previous years, farmers still need to enroll in the farm bill program. The enrollment window has been announced and will begin June 17, 2015, and will end Sept. 30, 2015.

The concern is if farmers do not know they have one more paper to sign at FSA they will lose out on any potential benefits, especially since this enrollment period will include both 2014 and 2015. If farmers do not enroll their farms, then all the previous decisions on reallocations, updates, and program choice were all for nothing. Also if landowners or farmers choose not to update yield, reallocate base acres, and make a program election, they can still enroll a farm into the new farm bill program.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef and pork producers teaming up to reach consumer online

 It is no secret that, in today’s society, consumers have an interest in their food, where it comes from and what to do with it. In an effort to reach consumers where they spend their time and potentially seek information, the Ohio Beef and Pork Councils have turned to social media to engage in conversations and serve as a resource for positive useful information about food and farming. 
Ohio Beef and Pork invite consumers to participate in the #OHBaconBurger contest hosted on Instagram, an increasingly popular social media platform that allows more than 300 million registered users to “capture and share the world’s moments” via photo sharing. To participate in the contest, users must “follow” both the @OhioBeef and @OhioPork pages on Instagram and post a picture of a delicious bacon burger using the hashtag #OHBaconBurger. One contestant will be randomly selected to win $500 toward even more beef and pork.
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Flooding effects on corn

Recent rains have caused a lot of ponding in low lying areas of the fields. What effects would ponding or flooding have on corn plants? Below are some facts:

• Under flooded conditions plants can’t breathe and survive for long. Flooding interrupts the breathing and photosynthetic processes of plants. Obviously, plants which are completely covered by water are at higher risk than those which are partially submerged.

• Oxygen in the soil also gets depleted within 48 hours of flooding and the plant growth functions like nutrient absorption is affected.

• Duration of ponding or flooding is critical. Cooler temperatures after flooding will help the survival of the young plants. Warmer temperatures above 75-80 degrees F following flooding can kill the plants.

• Corn plants which are partially submerged may continue breathing, photosynthesizing and living. Obviously, the longer they are under water, the lower their survival rate.

• Plants older than V6 stage survive better because the growing point is above ground after this stage.… Continue reading

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House passes Mandatory Price Reporting Act

The full U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed by a voice vote the Mandatory Price Reporting Act along with the U.S. Grain Standards Act Reauthorization Act and the National Forest Foundation Reauthorization Act.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (Texas) said his first goal as chairman was to have all reauthorizations complete before the deadlines passed this fall.

“This completes our work in cleaning up the books of the House Agriculture Committee, addressing every item on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) list of unauthorized appropriations under the committee’s jurisdiction,” he said.

The Mandatory Price Reporting Act, HR 2051, which is designed to reflect what’s happening in the industry and bring fairness to the market, must be reauthorized every five years. The latest reauthorization was set to expire on Sept. 30, 2015.

For the first time, the reauthorization contained statutory language on lamb in order to direct action on the thresholds of lamb processing and importing companies to help ensure information is available for publication every week.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – June 15th, 2015

Widespread heavy rains last week brought most fieldwork to a halt in Ohio, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. There were 3.8 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending June 14th. Heavy rains through the state have brought many concerns for producers. Ponding has occurred in low lying areas, drowning out crops and favoring disease.  The muddy, wet fields have prevented producers from being able to spray and fertilize at ideal times causing concerns over disease, pest, and weed pressure. Hay producers are concerned that delays will adversely affect quality. Despite the predominantly wet conditions in the northern part of the State, dry conditions persist in many areas, mainly in the south. Southwestern, and parts of the south central and southeast Ohio were identified as abnormally dry on the Drought Monitor Report released June 11th. Rainfall over the past week was insufficient for relief, and many weather stations are still reporting cumulative deficits going back to April 1st.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Shultz named Staff Director of Senate Ag Committee

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced key changes to Committee leadership. After serving with Stabenow since 2007, Staff Director Chris Adamo is headed to the White House Council on Environmental Quality to be Chief of Staff.  Replacing Adamo as Staff Director will be Joe Shultz who has served with the Committee since 2011 as Chief Economist.

“As we move forward, I am really pleased with the professional team we have assembled,” Ranking Member Stabenow said. “Each member of my staff understands the complexity of issues facing our farmers and ranchers as well as our families and communities and are committed to their success. I am very confident that our new Staff Director, Joe Shultz, and our new Deputy Directors Jonathan Cordone and Jacqlyn Schneider will be a powerful leadership team to move us forward in addressing issues critical to farmers, families, and communities across our country.”… Continue reading

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More work needed to finalize Trade Promotion Authority

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to advance Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

“We applaud the strong leadership that many of Ohio’s Congressional delegation showed in trying to advance TPA to open the door for new opportunities to better trade deals around the world,” said Chad Kemp, President of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association.  “With 95% of the population living outside the United States, we have to look outside our borders for opportunities if we are going to sustain American agriculture.”

TPA will help set the framework between the President and Congress to advance trade agreements which ensures that American farmers remain competitive in meeting the world’s need for food, feed, fuel and fiber.

“We thank Speaker Boehner and Congressman Tiberi for managing this legislation and trying to move things forward,” Kemp said. “We remain extremely disappointed that members like Congressman Jim Jordan continue to play petty politics at the expense of Ohio’s farmers.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn Marketing Program awards first ethanol infrastructure grant

The Ohio Corn Marketing Program (OCMP) is pleased to announce Speedway LLC (Speedway) as the first recipient of The Ethanol Infrastructure Grant Program. Speedway, based in Enon, Ohio, will use the grant to increase ethanol availability in Franklin, Hancock, Lake, Cuyahoga, Warren and Clark counties.

The grant program creates the opportunity for fuel retailers to significantly expand the reach of ethanol in Ohio through financial support for the purchase and installation of dispensing equipment that is compatible with ethanol-blended fuels.

“Over 722,000 Ohio motorists are driving flex fuel vehicles, and they deserve access to efficient and clean burning ethanol,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn Marketing Program. “We are proud of our farmers’ dedication to ethanol demand expansion, as they continue to invest significant corn checkoff dollars to improving ethanol availability.”

OCMP is working in partnership with Guardian Energy to financially support the program. Guardian Energy operates an ethanol plant in Lima, Ohio. … Continue reading

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Ohio farmers endorse students for $25,500 in scholarships

Seventeen Ohio students were awarded a total of $25,500 in college scholarships this spring from America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The new program encourages rural youth to remain in agriculture and provides $1,500 scholarships to support their education. Farmers play a vital role by promoting the opportunity to local students and endorsing their applications.

By participating in the program, farmers are helping to develop new talent for the future of ag. The career paths most frequently cited by this year’s scholarship recipients are agronomy and farming, agricultural education and agricultural science and research. While many of the students come from farming families, some had little or no previous exposure to agriculture, but developed a strong interest in the industry through participation in FFA or other ag-related youth programs.

Recipient Tyler White of Germantown, Ohio, is representative of the students who are selected for Grow Ag Leaders scholarships because of his passion for ag and strong leadership qualities.… Continue reading

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Act now to control giant ragweed

Farmers who spot giant ragweed in their fields should apply a post-emergent herbicide before the infestation becomes unmanageable, even if no other weeds have appeared, two Purdue University plant scientists advise.

If left unchecked, giant ragweed could choke out emerging grain crops and even develop immunity to the herbicides used to control it, Bill Johnson, professor of botany and plant pathology, and Travis Legleiter, weed science program specialist, write in Purdue’s Pest and Crop online newsletter.

“A lack of residual herbicide at planting and farmers’ hesitation to spray when only the giant ragweed is at the appropriate height often leads to situations where post-emergent applications, regardless of the herbicide of choice, are being made to giant ragweed plants that are much larger than the labeled height,” the article states.

Giant ragweed sprouts early in the season and grows rapidly, blocking light from corn and soybean seedlings. Most manufacturers recommend applying post-emergent herbicide when giant ragweed is 4-6 inches tall.… Continue reading

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OPA seeking nominations to serve on American Egg Board

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is now accepting nominations to serve on the 2016-2017 American Egg Board (AEB), U.S. egg farmer’s link to consumers in communicating the value of the incredible egg. Members serve two-year terms on the national board.

“To serve as a member on a national level to help guide the egg community and further our commitment to provide a safe, wholesome egg supply to Ohioans and the world, is a prestigious honor,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “I encourage Ohio egg farmers to consider nominating themselves or another producer to serve in the vital role in overseeing and carrying out AEB’s mission to increase demand for eggs and egg products on behalf of all U.S. egg farmers.”

To be eligible for nomination, persons must be producers or representatives of producers and they must own 75,000 or more laying hens. Producers who own less than 75,000 hens are eligible provided they have not applied for exemption and are paying assessments to AEB.… Continue reading

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Ralph H. Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship Program

Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) is once again sponsoring the Ralph H. Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship to support future sheep farmers through its scholarship program. OSIA is offering a minimum of one $1,000 scholarship to deserving high school and college students pursuing college degrees.

“The sheep industry depends on young people who are currently considering and pursuing a career that will be beneficial to the sheep industry,” said Roger A. High, OSIA Executive Director.

Applicants or their families must be members of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and a 2015 graduating high school senior enrolled in, or a student currently attending, a college or technical school. Completed applications and essays must be postmarked by June 26, 2015.

Visit for more information and to download an application.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef farmers partner with Kroger to provide for local military families

Ohio beef farmers, through the Ohio Beef Council, in conjunction with Kroger, were able to donate 2,000 pounds of ground beef to the central and southern Ohio USO, all going to military famillies in need.

The six-day campaign was launched on May 26 via Facebook encouraging social media enthusiasts to “share” a post on Facebook, and “like” both Ohio Beef Council and Kroger Facebook pages. Each Facebook ‘share’ would result in another pound of beef being donated to the USO.

Beef farmers and Kroger respresentatives were overwhelmed with the amount of support they received. “This promotion is a great example of collaboration to achieve a common goal,” said Joe Grieshaber, President of Kroger’s Columbus Division. “Together, with our friends at the Ohio Beef Council, we were able to donate 2,000 pounds of ground beef to local military families. At Kroger, we are proud to support our troops and their families any way we can.”… Continue reading

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Supplemental forage options for early summer planting

Now that first harvest of forage crops is completed or in progress, some may be noticing the low yields in damaged forage stands, or they may realize the need for additional forage supplies this summer. There is always the temptation to no-till something into existing stands in an effort to produce more tonnage, but I believe that is a risky proposition this time of the year. The existing stand will compete heavily for moisture and regrowth of the existing stand will shade new seedlings struggling to get established. So at this point in the year, I think it is best to either kill a poor stand and seed an annual crop for summer forage production, or find open land available to seed an annual forage for supplemental feed.

There are several good options for producing supplemental forage from annual crops planted in June, which are discussed here. Additional options for supplemental forage exist for planting in late summer, particularly following wheat harvest.… Continue reading

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Over-the-counter antibiotics for livestock being phased out

Changes are coming for livestock producers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued the final rule that will phase out the use of feed grade and water soluble antibiotics for increased feed efficiency or to promote growth. FDA is also changing how producers can obtain these products to treat diseases, which will be by prescription only.

Craig Payne, the director of Veterinary Extension at the University of Missouri, says animal health companies have agreed to voluntarily change labeling to accomplish these goals. In order for producers to get a prescription – or Veterinary Feed Directive – they have to establish what’s called a Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR).

“Livestock producers now have to have a working relationship with their veterinarian before their vet can legally write a veterinary prescription,” Payne said.

Even though the target date for the changes isn’t until December 2016 – Payne encourages producers to begin discussing these changes with their veterinarian.… Continue reading

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Researchers look at lower-cost alternative protein source for pig diets

Threonine is an indispensable amino acid, which is often provided in supplement form in swine diets. With U.S. production of crystalline amino acids increasing, more co-products from amino acid production are becoming available, and these co-products can also be fed to pigs. Researchers at the University of Illinois are investigating a co-product of synthetic threonine as a lower-cost alternative protein source to fish meal.

“To create synthetic threonine, you ferment a carbohydrate substrate using selected strains of bacteria, then extract the crystalline L-threonine from the fermentation product,” said Hans H. Stein, a professor of animal sciences at U of I. “The biomass that’s left over, even though most of the threonine has been extracted, is still rich in amino acids. If those amino acids are well digested by pigs, this could be a good source of protein.”

Stein and his fellow researchers conducted two experiments comparing threonine biomass with fish meal.… Continue reading

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June weather outlook

It appears June will remain a warm and humid month overall. Most daytime temperatures will remain at or below 90 degrees but nighttime low temperatures will be much above average due to more clouds and humidity during June. Expect lots of lows in the 60s and even some 70s in June.

Even though there are pockets of dry areas, expect a wetter month of June. There are some scattered rain chances early and again the middle of the week but it will be scattered. Rain chances appear to increase into the week of June 14-21 with locally heavy rain possible.

See the latest week 2 outlook from NOAA at:

The 16-day rainfall outlook on NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center:

Normal rainfall is close to an inch per week.

The latest water resources outlook from the Ohio River Forecast Center can be found at:

Looking ahead into July, temperatures still look normal or slightly above normal with rainfall possibly drying out.… Continue reading

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Seedling blights of corn

We like growers to plant their corn early, however, we want them to wait until the ground is ready and soil temperatures are 50 degrees and above. When you have a lot of area to cover, you have to plant when the weather will let you. But this can create opportunities for disease organisms and insects to attack the newly emerging plants. This year after planting, it turned cold and the seedling blights had their chance to invade. There have been several reports of seedling root-rot in corn fields. Some of the causes for seedling blights are as follows:

• Seedling diseases are favored by wet and cool soil conditions (50-55 F) after planting. Corn planted early or in no-till ground is more susceptible to these diseases. Recent cool and wet periods were ideal for the pathogens that cause seedling blights.

• The disease organisms that infect corn seedlings are species of Pythium, Fusarium and Rhizoctonia.… Continue reading

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ODA announces 2015 agricultural easements approved for purchase

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) today announced approval for local sponsors to purchase agricultural easements on 54 family farms representing 7,512 acres in 26 counties.

Local sponsoring organizations, which include land trusts, counties, a township and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, receive funding from the Clean Ohio Fund to manage the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). The easement ensures farms remain permanently in agricultural production. The program supports the state’s largest industry, food and agriculture.

To be eligible for the program, farms must be larger than 40 acres or next to a preserved farm, actively engaged in farming, participate in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation program, demonstrate good stewardship of the land, have support from local government and not be in close proximity to development. Landowners may use the proceeds of the easement in any way they wish, but most reinvest it in their farm operation.

Communities wishing to participate next year can apply to be Certified Local Sponsors between September 15 and October 15, 2015.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn and Soybean Enterprise Budgets project slightly lower costs but low to negative returns

Production costs for Ohio field crops may be flat to slightly lower in 2015 but the profit picture looks poor, much the same as it did 2014. Variable costs for trend line Ohio corn and soybean production for 2015 will be slightly lower than 2014. Variable costs for corn (163 bushels per acre) for 2015 are projected to be $412 per acre. Variable costs for 2015 Ohio soybeans (48 bushels per acre) are projected to be $210 per acre. Lower energy and crop insurance costs and zero to slight increases for many other inputs have led to the slightly lower production cost projections for Ohio’s two major commodity crops.

With continued lower crop prices expected for 2015 returns will likely be low to negative for many producers. Projected returns above variable costs (contribution margin) range from $138 to $272 per acre for corn and $236 to $439 per acre for soybeans.… Continue reading

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