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Test Finds E. coli in Beef Faster, Could Better Trace Outbreaks

Infrared spectroscopy can detect E. coli faster than current testing methods and can cut days off investigations of outbreaks, according to a study at Purdue University.

Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science, detected E. coli in ground beef in one hour using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, much less than the 48 hours required for conventional plating technology, which requires culturing cells in a laboratory. Mauer said spectroscopy could be done in the same laboratories, just in much less time.

The spectroscopy method also differentiates between strains of E. coli 0157:H7, meaning outbreaks could be tracked more effectively and quickly. Current tests are multistep and take almost one week to get results.

“Even with all the other bacteria present in ground beef, we could still detect E. coli and recognize different strains,” said Mauer, whose findings were reported in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science.

Mauer demonstrated two methods for separating bacteria from ground beef for testing.… Continue reading

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MIchigan State Fair cancelled

The Michigan State Fair had been a state tradition for 160 years and held at Eight Mile and Woodward, within Detroit city limits, since 1905. But the fair had been running deficits and needed $360,000 from the state in 2008 to cover losses. Fewer than 220,000 people passed through last year. At its peak in 1966, the fair drew 1 million.… Continue reading

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Five-bean pods showing up in Ohio

With many farmers reporting five-bean pods in their Asgrow brand Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield fields last season, excitement has been building to see who would be the first to find a five-bean pod this season, and the wait is over! Bill Gartner of Lawrenceville, Ill., has become the first farmer to discover several five-bean pods in 2010.
Gartner planted about 425 acres of this advanced soybean technology, hoping to join the exclusive Team 5-Bean. Once a rarity, five-bean pods have now become a reality with the Asgrow brand Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield that gives farmers the opportunity to produce more soybeans per pod and more bushels per acre.
“Our Asgrow Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans were planted in mid-April so they have really taken off with the weather we have had,” said Gartner. “They are in full pod, and I have been seeing about 20 pods per plant already.”… Continue reading

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OSU ag professor honored for global commitment


On his way home from work every evening, Herbert Ockerman makes it a habit to stop at three outlets of Half-Price Books to purchase textbooks, literature or “anything that would fit into a school or university library.”

He boxes them up with other books he collects, including donations from retiring faculty members, and stores them in his garage, basement and living room. When he has enough for a shipment, he has a shipping container delivered to his neighborhood in northern Columbus and enlists the help of friends, family, students and other volunteers to fill it up. Then it’s ready to send overseas, primarily to universities where former international students are now faculty members or administrators. Ockerman, professor of animal sciences with Ohio State University’sCollege of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, has done this since 1984, coordinating more than 1,500 shipments to thousands of educational institutions in more than 350 locations around the world.… Continue reading

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Syngenta offers new blog and hybrids for 2011

Syngenta Seeds, Inc. has launched a new agronomy blog that gives growers local insights from nine Syngenta agronomists representing nine regions across the country. Posts will cover a broad range of corn producing states.

In addition, unlike many other existing grower blogs, encourages comments to posts that enable growers, farm managers, crop consultants and others involved in the industry to engage in an ongoing dialogue with each other and Syngenta agronomists.

“Syngenta prides itself on the relationships that we, as agronomists, have created with growers all across the country,” said Chris Cook, head of agronomy for Syngenta Seeds. “We hope this new blog will help strengthen and improve those relationships.”

American growers are increasingly going online to look for information to help them grow their operation. Syngenta Seeds is meeting this demand by bringing the expertise of the agronomy team, that has traditionally only been available in the field, and making it available online.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s President says agreement with HSUS was the right choice

By: Dave Felumlee, President Ohio Cattlemen’s Association

To all Ohio Cattlemen’s Association members and stakeholders,

After many phone calls, e-mails and discussions, I writing this to elaborate on the reasons why I believe the correct decision was made to reach an agreement with HSUS. There were many, many factors that contributed to this decision and it was made with much thought, and even some pain of conflict with my own emotions. I feel very fortunate that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association was at the table to express our concerns and thoughts throughout the process.

From the beginning, the commodity groups and Farm Bureau agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest to work together and be unified as one voice. This began in the issue 2 campaign, and has remained this way even today. This is Ohio agriculture’s fight! Each individual at the table had an equal vote and an equal voice.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen's President says agreement with HSUS was the right choice

By: Dave Felumlee, President Ohio Cattlemen’s Association

To all Ohio Cattlemen’s Association members and stakeholders,

After many phone calls, e-mails and discussions, I writing this to elaborate on the reasons why I believe the correct decision was made to reach an agreement with HSUS. There were many, many factors that contributed to this decision and it was made with much thought, and even some pain of conflict with my own emotions. I feel very fortunate that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association was at the table to express our concerns and thoughts throughout the process.

From the beginning, the commodity groups and Farm Bureau agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest to work together and be unified as one voice. This began in the issue 2 campaign, and has remained this way even today. This is Ohio agriculture’s fight! Each individual at the table had an equal vote and an equal voice.… Continue reading

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Southwest Landmark & Advanced Agri Solutions are now Trupointe

Trupointe Cooperative, Inc. is officially in operation today in 26 Ohio and 3 Indiana counties after the successful consolidation of two long-time area agriculture and energy cooperatives. Forty-five Advanced Agri-Solutions and Southwest Landmark branch locations throughout western and central Ohio and eastern Indiana make up the company.

“With the combined employee base, we are able to provide more resources and expertise for our more than 4,300 members,” said farmer and Chairman of Trupointe’s Board of Directors John Waymire. “It is not only a win for each of our companies, but for the customer as well.”

The cooperative will offer a full line of products, services and expertise in the areas of:
• Agronomy – fertilizer, crop protection and seed treatments
• Energy – propane and liquid fuel
• Farm and Home – lawn and garden, home and pet supply
• Feed – commercial, club livestock and horses
• Grain – marketing and risk management
• Turf – landscape and nursery

“It has been a smooth transition,” said Chief Executive Officer of Trupointe Larry Hammond.… Continue reading

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Southwest Landmark & Advanced Agri Solutions are now Trupointe

Trupointe Cooperative, Inc. is officially in operation today in 26 Ohio and 3 Indiana counties after the successful consolidation of two long-time area agriculture and energy cooperatives. Forty-five Advanced Agri-Solutions and Southwest Landmark branch locations throughout western and central Ohio and eastern Indiana make up the company.

“With the combined employee base, we are able to provide more resources and expertise for our more than 4,300 members,” said farmer and Chairman of Trupointe’s Board of Directors John Waymire. “It is not only a win for each of our companies, but for the customer as well.”

The cooperative will offer a full line of products, services and expertise in the areas of:
• Agronomy – fertilizer, crop protection and seed treatments
• Energy – propane and liquid fuel
• Farm and Home – lawn and garden, home and pet supply
• Feed – commercial, club livestock and horses
• Grain – marketing and risk management
• Turf – landscape and nursery

“It has been a smooth transition,” said Chief Executive Officer of Trupointe Larry Hammond.… Continue reading

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Win Your Community $2,500 Through Monsanto’s Farmers Grow Communities Project

The America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project sponsored by Monsanto gives eligible farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their local community. If the farmer is selected as a winner, Monsanto Fund will make a $2,500 grant to the community nonprofit organization they choose, such as FFA, 4-H, schools, fire departments and other civic groups.

For every farmer who registers, Monsanto Fund will donate $1 to the local United Way to help food banks, food pantries, Meals On Wheels and other charitable organizations dealing with hunger in that farmer’s county.

Registration begins August 31, 2010, and ends December 31, 2010. Apply and see rues and eligibility at www.growcommunities.com or call 1-877-267-3332.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project Details

Eligible Counties

See previous Ohio winners

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Win Your Community $2,500 Through Monsanto's Farmers Grow Communities Project

The America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project sponsored by Monsanto gives eligible farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their local community. If the farmer is selected as a winner, Monsanto Fund will make a $2,500 grant to the community nonprofit organization they choose, such as FFA, 4-H, schools, fire departments and other civic groups.

For every farmer who registers, Monsanto Fund will donate $1 to the local United Way to help food banks, food pantries, Meals On Wheels and other charitable organizations dealing with hunger in that farmer’s county.

Registration begins August 31, 2010, and ends December 31, 2010. Apply and see rues and eligibility at www.growcommunities.com or call 1-877-267-3332.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project Details

Eligible Counties

See previous Ohio winners

Continue reading

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August 30th Weekly Crop Progress

Ohio Numbers

The average temperature for the State was 69.1 degrees, 2.0 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, August 29, 2010. Precipitation averaged 0.03 inches, 0.82 inches below normal. There were 128 modified growing degree days, 18 days below normal.

Reporters rated 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, August 27, 2010. Topsoil moisture was rated 9 percent very short, 39 percent short, 51 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

As of Sunday August 29, 96 percent of corn was in dough, compared to 81 percent last year and 86 percent for the five-year average. Seventy-two percent of corn was dented, compared to 32 percent last year and 45 percent for the five-year average. Corn was 7 percent mature, which was five percent ahead of last year and four percent ahead of the five-year average. Corn for silage was 28 percent harvested compared to nine percent last year and 11 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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SDS showing up in soybeans

Sudden Death Syndrome has been showing up from late July into August, but it really got its start back on those cool damp days in May. X. P. Yang, an expert on the subject from Iowa State, says the plants actually got infected in after germination and during emergence when soil conditions are right. The fungus lives in the plant roots making its way into the xylem where it then gets transported throughout the plant.

Making the problem worse are soil compaction and the added stress of soybean cyst nematodes. The plant eventually looses its leaves and is unable to produce.

It will over winter in the crop residue and actually survives better on corn stalks than soybean residue so a corn beans rotation does not help.

Management practices include selecting tolerant varieties, improving soil drainage while managing soil compaction and SCN. It may also help to plant infected fields later to reduce risk of further infection of new crop.… Continue reading

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Now that the dust has settled, what does “the agreement” really do?

By Kyle Sharp

Many in Ohio agriculture reacted with disbelief on June 30 when Ohio’s agricultural leadership announced an agreement had been reached with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) regarding farm animal welfare measures.
After passage of Issue 2 last year created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) and the subsequent effort by HSUS to gather signatures for their own ballot initiative began, the battle lines appeared to be drawn.

“The initial response was surprise from people, because a lot of people, including many in leadership positions, were under the impression we were going to move forward and succeed as we did with Issue 2,” said Dick Isler, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) executive vice president.

But early poll numbers showed the HSUS ballot initiative passing by more than 60%.

“We realized we had to come up with another plan,” Isler said. “If the HSUS initiative passed, then in six years there could be no laying hen cages or gestation stalls, and that really would have hurt a lot of producers.”… Continue reading

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With crop fertilizer, there can be too much of a good thing

By Matt Reese

Nitrogen is a critical nutrient in corn production and farmers, crop consultants, the Joyce Foundation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) are teaming up to find out how much a productive corn crop really needs.
In the past, nitrogen applications have been based on the yield potential of the field.
In the past, when the N cost was very low, the safe bet was to add a little extra to make sure that it was not the limiting factor in corn production. High N cost and increasing awareness of the potential water quality impacts, however, have made that safe bet of the past not so safe anymore. But determining how much N is needed to maximize corn production while minimizing costs and environmental impact is not easy.
In the On-Farm Network of N research plots in part of the Lake Erie Watershed in northwest Ohio, crop consultant Joe Nester has been working extensively to target the ideal rate of the nutrient for the specifics of each unique situation in the field.… Continue reading

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Iowa’s grand champion steer a clone of 2008 grand champion

By Dale Minyo

This year’s Grand Champion Steer at the Iowa State Fair is a clone of the 2008 Grand Champion Steer. Yes it is legal, or at least no rules were broken.

The 1,320 pound steer was produced by Bovance, a joint venture between Trans Ova and the cloning firm ViaGen. The exhibitor’s dad is the president of Trans Ova Genetics, a livestock reproduction company in Iowa. Bovance bought the cloned steer for a record-setting $45,000 bid at the auction to keep the animal out of the food chain.

For more on this visit:http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do?symbolicName=/free/news/template1&product=/ag/news/topstories&vendorReference=0353b2fa-34a2-481b-912d-1cb46058ad3a&paneContentId=70109&paneParentId=70043 or http://brownfieldagnews.com/2010/08/25/iowa-grand-champion-steer-was-clone-of-2008-champ/… Continue reading

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Iowa's grand champion steer a clone of 2008 grand champion

By Dale Minyo

This year’s Grand Champion Steer at the Iowa State Fair is a clone of the 2008 Grand Champion Steer. Yes it is legal, or at least no rules were broken.

The 1,320 pound steer was produced by Bovance, a joint venture between Trans Ova and the cloning firm ViaGen. The exhibitor’s dad is the president of Trans Ova Genetics, a livestock reproduction company in Iowa. Bovance bought the cloned steer for a record-setting $45,000 bid at the auction to keep the animal out of the food chain.

For more on this visit:http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do?symbolicName=/free/news/template1&product=/ag/news/topstories&vendorReference=0353b2fa-34a2-481b-912d-1cb46058ad3a&paneContentId=70109&paneParentId=70043 or http://brownfieldagnews.com/2010/08/25/iowa-grand-champion-steer-was-clone-of-2008-champ/… Continue reading

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Ethanol program offers benefits to government and industry

A variable subsidy for ethanol producers could cost the government less and provide more security for producers than current fixed rates, according to a Purdue University study.

A variable subsidy rate would insulate producers from risk because as oil and ethanol prices drop, the subsidy for producers would increase, said Wally Tyner, a Purdue agricultural economist and an author of the study. The government would save money because it would not have to pay any subsidy when oil prices are high.

“There will be times when oil prices are high and the subsidy will be low or nothing at all,” Tyner said.

The current government subsidy for ethanol producers – a fixed rate of 45 cents per gallon of ethanol – will expire at the end of the year. Congress will have to decide whether to create a new fixed rate, implement a variable rate or go with no subsidy at all.… Continue reading

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Digester That Turns Manure into Methane Demonstrated at Farm Science Review

Farmers interested in alternative energy technologies for the farm can learn more about the small-scale biodigester developed by Ohio State University ecological engineers. The technology will be demonstrated at Farm Science Review, Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Jay Martin, a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, has developed a modified fixed-dome digester that can make methane from manure, which can either be burned as an alternative to natural gas or propane, or converted to electricity using a generator. The 300-gallon biodigester, installed at Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus, is designed specifically to cater to average-sized and smaller livestock farms – around 150 dairy cows on average.

“There are less than 200 digesters working on livestock farms in the United States, and those digesters are designed for large-scale industrial dairy operations in the range of 10,000 or 15,000 head.

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