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ASA expresses concern with combining federal trade agencies

President Barack Obama recently announced that he will ask Congress for the authority to merge federal agencies in the interest of streamlining government and reducing redundancies. First on the president’s proposed list of changes is a combining of six federal offices related to or in charge of trade and commerce: the Department of Commerce, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Trade and Development Agency and the Small Business Administration.

The American Soybean Association released the following statement in response to the president’s announcement.

“While the American Soybean Association (ASA) supports initiatives to improve government efficiency and eliminate redundancy, we have strong concerns about at least one aspect of the President’s proposal, and that is with the plan to merge the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) with other trade agencies. We believe that USTR should remain an independent agency within the Executive Office of the President (EOP), focusing on trade negotiations, trade agreements and trade enforcement.… Continue reading

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Cargill to award 350 scholarships

Cargill will award $350,000 in scholarships to U.S. high-school seniors who live in communities where Cargill has operations and plan to enroll in post-secondary education next fall. National FFA has administered the Cargill Community Scholarship Program for more than 20 years. 

Through the program, Cargill will award 350 national scholarships of $1,000 each. In addition, each recipient’s high school will receive a $200 grant from Cargill. National FFA will process the applications and select the scholarship recipients, although students do not need to be FFA members to be eligible for Cargill’s program. Students are chosen based on academic achievement and leadership in extracurricular and community activities.

“We are pleased to join FFA in recognizing outstanding students and supporting their educational goals,” said Mark Murphy, assistant vice president of corporate affairs for Cargill. “We recognize that our continued success depends on the growth and health of our communities and partners, including our local schools and young people.”… Continue reading

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New research finds higher octane level in ethanol

As automakers retool engines to maximize gas mileage while minimizing emissions to meet future Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards, a new study reveals that ethanol provides the higher-octane these high-efficiency engines require while remaining both affordable and environmentally friendly.

The study, conducted by AVL, a global leader in the development of powertrain engines with internal combustion systems, was funded in part by the National Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Committee and Research and Business Development Action Team. The goal of this research was to explore the role corn ethanol could play in meeting the new CAFÉ standards enacted by the U.S. federal government.

“The findings of this study further support our existing understanding of ethanol in that they demonstrate its inherent ability to meet our nation’s need for an affordable, sustainable domestically-produced fuel source,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chairman Chad Willis. “NCGA, together with the states that also contributed, funds studies such as this to add to the data on biofuel.… Continue reading

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RMA extends cover crop termination deadlines

The wet spring of 2011 did not only cause problems for getting crops planted, it also made it very challenging to terminate growing cover crops in a timely manner to meet crop insurance requirements. Changes from the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) have given farmers more time to terminate their cover crops this spring.

In order for grain farmers to insure their main crop, they previously had to terminate cover crops by May 15 and before the crop headed or budded. In December, the RMA changed those rules so that producers now must terminate cover crops by June 5 and regardless of the growth stage.

“Last year, with a very wet spring, the May 15 deadline was really problematic,” said Eileen Kladivko, Purdue University professor of agronomy. “There was a lot of effort on the parts of land-grant universities, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and partners like the National Wildlife Federation to get that changed because of the conservation benefits of cover crops.… Continue reading

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Professional Pork Producers Symposium at 2012 Ohio Pork Congress

The annual Professional Pork Producers Symposium will be held during the 2012 Ohio Pork Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus. The symposium will address many issues that Ohio’s pork producers face today.

The seminar will feature speakers from across the nation, and cover topics from pork industry challenges and opportunities to management and housing. Registration will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Feb. 8. The symposium will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until 4:00 p.m. Topics and guest speakers will be as follows:

• Pen Gestation: Finding the Option That’s Right for You — Thomas Parsons, VMD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

• Herd Management Factors That Influence Whole Herd Feed Efficiency — Dr. Omarh Mendoza, The Maschhoffs, Carlyle, Illinois

• What Does the Future Hold For Ohio Pork Producers? — Dr. Chris Hurt, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

• Packer Audits – Will Your Farm Pass?… Continue reading

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LG Seeds donates $1,000 to West Milton 4-H club

LG Seeds donated $1,000 to the Newton Blue Ribbon Livestock 4-H Club in West Milton after farmers registered for a chance to win $1,000 to be donated to their local FFA or 4-H Club of choice at the 2011 Farm Science Review.

Jan Strauser of Laura, Ohio was LG Seeds’ grand prize winner.  Strauser elected to donate the $1,000 to the Newton Blue Ribbon Livestock 4-H club, where his grandson, Jeffrey, is a member. LG Seeds Brand Supply Manager and Illinois 4-H Foundation Board Member, Eric Yoder, is thrilled that LG Seeds is giving back to the community, particularly ag-related organizations.

“The 4-H Club is a strong group that provides learning and leadership opportunities to students across the country.  It is also not your average youth organization,” Yoder said. “It’s a great fit to give back to the 4-H Club because LG Seeds is also not your average seed company.  We truly value our farming community and are excited to give back to such a valuable ag-related cause.”… Continue reading

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Soy checkoff partnering with clean city coalitions

Americans from the mid-Atlantic to the Northwest will soon be hearing a lot more about why they should use soy biodiesel — if they aren’t already.

The United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff have announced the participants in the 2012 biodiesel and Bioheat communications program, which helps cities across the United States spread the word about the only commercially available advanced biofuel.

The soybean checkoff will partner with nine U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-affiliated “Clean Cities” coalitions to increase the availability and use of soy biodiesel and heating-oil-alternative Bioheat through promotion and education. The Clean Cities program serves as a government-industry partnership sponsored by DOE and has more than 90 local chapters across the United States. These chapters work in their local areas to reduce petroleum consumption.

“Clean Cities coalitions are really great organizations,” said Mike Beard, USB director and soybean farmer from Frankfort, Ind. “This program helps them, and it helps us to get the word out about clean, efficient soy biodiesel.”… Continue reading

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Pork commercials airing in Cleveland

Beginning this month, the Ohio Pork Producers Council is featuring new television commercials, featuring the “bacon, ham and pork chop farmers” will start to air. This TV buy encompasses the Cleveland area market. The commercials will run the week of 1/16 and 1/23, be off one week and then back on for two weeks, 2/6 and 2/13.

The new commercials are designed to bridge the gap between farmer and consumer by drawing a direct line from farmer to product. Viewers can also log on to www.OhioPork.org and view the recipes featured in each commercial.… Continue reading

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Top no-till products highlighted at National No-Till Conference

A Precision Planting product has won the No-Till Product of the Year award for the third straight year. No-Till Farmer readers selected the 20/20 SeedSense/AirForce system as the best product of 2011, following on the heels of No-Till Product of the Year wins by Precision Planting’s Keeton Seed Firmer in 2009 and 2010.

The 20/20 SeedSense/AirForce system was also voted the top no-till product in the Precision Tools category, and was among 11 finalists entered in the overall Product of the Year voting.

Manufacturers whose products were voted the best in 11 individual categories were recognized before about 750 no-tillers at a special luncheon awards ceremony during the 20tth annual National No-Tillage Conference (www.notillconference.com) in St. Louis, Mo. They were also recognized in the Winter 2012 issue of No-Till Farmer’s Conservation Tillage Guide.

Following is a listing of 2011 award winners by category, along with honorable mentions:

• No-Till Product of the Year: 20/20 SeedSense/AirForce system, Precision Planting.… Continue reading

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Research takes broad look at Lake Erie Watershed

A new research project at Ohio State University integrates biological, physical and social sciences to develop a complete picture of what drives decision-making processes and environmental conditions in the Maumee River watershed. The four-year, $1.5 million project, funded by the National Science Foundation, will combine decision-making models with hydrological modeling and future climate change scenarios to examine how people’s actions in the watershed affect water quality in Lake Erie.

Researchers from six different departments at two universities – Ohio State and Case Western Reserve University – are working together to examine how watershed management practices like the application of agricultural fertilizers impact water quality in Lake Erie, how public perception of the health of the lake may influence those practices, and how these relationships are likely to change under climate change scenarios.

“Not many people have looked at different populations within a watershed and what drives some of their decisions about land use,” says Jay Martin, scientist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and associate professor of Ecological Engineering in Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering.… Continue reading

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Can I avoid paying taxes on oil/gas payments?

By Chris Zoller, Chris Bruynis & David Marrison, OSU Extension Educators & Peggy Hall, Extension Specialist, Agricultural Law

The leasing of land for oil and gas drilling throughout eastern Ohio has provided landowners with substantial revenue.  OSU Extension has received many calls from landowners asking how they can avoid paying taxes on these payments.  The quick answer is that there are very few ways to avoid paying taxes on lease bonus payments or royalty income.  Oil and gas revenue payments are classified as Miscellaneous Income and are subject to both federal income and Ohio taxes (and should be reported appropriately).
Taxation on Lease Bonus Payments: Cash payments received by the landowner prior to drilling, commonly referred to as lease bonus payments (typically paid on a per acre basis) are considered ordinary income for tax reporting purposes and are subject to ordinary income taxes. These payments might be made on an annual basis each year of the lease’s primary term, or could be made as a lump-sum payment that combines all annual payments into one payment made upon executing the lease. … Continue reading

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Honeybee deaths linked to seed insecticide exposure

Honeybee populations have been in serious decline for years, and Purdue University scientists may have identified one of the factors that cause bee deaths around agricultural fields.

Analyses of bees found dead in and around hives from several apiaries over two years in Indiana showed the presence of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are commonly used to coat corn and soybean seeds before planting. The research showed that those insecticides were present at high concentrations in waste talc that is exhausted from farm machinery during planting.

The insecticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam were also consistently found at low levels in soil — up to two years after treated seed was planted — on nearby dandelion flowers and in corn pollen gathered by the bees, according to the findings released in the journal PLoS One this month.

“We know that these insecticides are highly toxic to bees; we found them in each sample of dead and dying bees,” said Christian Krupke, associate professor of entomology and a co-author of the findings.… Continue reading

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Ohio winners of Amercia’s Farmers Grow Communities

Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities winners were selected in December and are now being contacted. The winning organizations will soon be contacted and check presentations will be scheduled over the next two months. The 2012 Ohio winners have been announced and can be found at www.growcommunities.com.

Sixty three Ohio counties were involved for a total amount of $157,000 being donated to local organizations.  Nationally to date, there are confirmed 1,112 winning farmers and over 200 organizations!

This is the second year for the national program and nearly 60,000 farmers signed up for the chance to win.

Heather Hetterick spoke with Dekalb/Asgrow Territory Sales Manager Janelle Brinksneader about the impact this program has on the local communities Monsanto does business in.

Heather Wrap for 1-16-12


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Ohio winners of Amercia's Farmers Grow Communities

Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities winners were selected in December and are now being contacted. The winning organizations will soon be contacted and check presentations will be scheduled over the next two months. The 2012 Ohio winners have been announced and can be found at www.growcommunities.com.

Sixty three Ohio counties were involved for a total amount of $157,000 being donated to local organizations.  Nationally to date, there are confirmed 1,112 winning farmers and over 200 organizations!

This is the second year for the national program and nearly 60,000 farmers signed up for the chance to win.

Heather Hetterick spoke with Dekalb/Asgrow Territory Sales Manager Janelle Brinksneader about the impact this program has on the local communities Monsanto does business in.

Heather Wrap for 1-16-12


Continue reading

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Custom rate survey

By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension

Custom farming providers and customers often arrive at an agreeable custom farming machinery rate by utilizing Extension surveys results. Ohio State University Extension collects surveys and publishes survey results from the Ohio Farm Custom Survey every other year. This year we are updating our published custom farm rates for Ohio. We need your assistance in securing up-to-date information about farm custom work rates, machinery and building rental rates and hired labor costs in Ohio.

Please download the Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2012 survey and respond even if you know only a few rates.  We want information on actual rates, either what you paid to hire work or what you charged if you perform custom work. Custom Rates should include all ownership costs of implement and tractor (if needed), operator labor, fuel and lube. If fuel is not included in your custom rate charge there is a place on the survey to indicate this.… Continue reading

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What’s soy doing for you? Find out in series of meetings

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff are hosting six regional meetings during January and February for farmers and industry stakeholders throughout the state. The What’s Soy Doing for You meetings will offer an update about soybean checkoff programs and initiatives, as well as regional issues that affect agriculture.

“These meetings will be a great way for local farmers to get a snapshot of targeted issues affecting their communities,” said John Motter, OSC chairman from Hancock County. “There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and network with local leaders and other farmers.”

Each meeting will include a keynote speaker about a local agricultural issue and a panel discussion featuring farmers, business leaders and other industry experts from the community.

All farmers and industry stakeholders are invited to attend.

What’s Soy Doing for You?
Monday, January 16
York Township Building
6609 Norwalk Road, Medina, Ohio
(8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.)… Continue reading

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What's soy doing for you? Find out in series of meetings

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff are hosting six regional meetings during January and February for farmers and industry stakeholders throughout the state. The What’s Soy Doing for You meetings will offer an update about soybean checkoff programs and initiatives, as well as regional issues that affect agriculture.

“These meetings will be a great way for local farmers to get a snapshot of targeted issues affecting their communities,” said John Motter, OSC chairman from Hancock County. “There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and network with local leaders and other farmers.”

Each meeting will include a keynote speaker about a local agricultural issue and a panel discussion featuring farmers, business leaders and other industry experts from the community.

All farmers and industry stakeholders are invited to attend.

What’s Soy Doing for You?
Monday, January 16
York Township Building
6609 Norwalk Road, Medina, Ohio
(8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.)… Continue reading

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WISHH reaches out to Pakistan fisheries with U.S. soy

The American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program and the Pakistan Fisheries Development Board have started the “FEEDing Pakistan” program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is supporting the three-year effort that will assist Pakistan in using U.S. soybean meal to make high-protein fish feeds.

Pakistan has an extensive system of fish farming but no commercial fish feeds are produced in the country. Soy-based fish foods are expected to allow the fish to grow 4-5 times faster. With approximately 187 million people, Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world. Therefore, FEEDing Pakistan is key for better nutrition and economic growth.

“FEEDing Pakistan represents another milestone for WISHH,” said WISHH Chairman David Iverson, an Astoria, S.D. soybean grower. “Our farmer-led 2011-2015 strategic planning identified aquaculture and livestock development as an important opportunity where WISHH can fulfill its mission.

“USDA’s support of FEEDing Pakistan is good news for U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohio Court of Appeals denies challenge to ODA anhydrous regulations

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

A claim that the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) anhydrous ammonia regulations are unreasonable and fail to protect public health and safety has again been rejected by the courts. A recent decision by Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals concluded that the challenge by Sharon Township’s Board of Trustees in Medina County failed to establish a valid legal claim.

The case raised considerable controversy in Sharon Township, where the owner of South Spring Farms requested ODA approval to install a 12,000-gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tank. Ohio law grants ODA the authority to adopt rules concerning the handling and storage of anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers and also prohibits any local regulation of fertilizers.  ODA created anhydrous regulations in the late 1970s; those regulations require ODA approval of the location and design of a stationary ammonia system.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s average corn yields down from 2010

Ohio’s 2011 average corn yield is estimated at 158 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from the November forecast, and down 5 bushels from the previous year. Producers harvested 3.22 million acres for grain this past year, compared to 3.27 million acres in 2010. Total State production of 508.8 million bushels is 5% below the 2010 total. Acreage harvested for silage is estimated at 140,000 acres, unchanged from the previous year. The average silage yield is estimated at 18.0 tons per acre.

Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2011 is estimated at 47.5 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from the November forecast. Growers harvested 4.54 million acres of soybeans in 2011 from the estimated 4.55 million acres planted. Total soybean production is estimated at 215.7 million bushels, down 2% from the 220.3 million bushels produced in 2010.

Alfalfa yields averaged 3.40 tons of dry hay per acre in 2011, while all Other hay averaged 2.00 tons per acre.… Continue reading

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