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RFD TV spinoff Rural TV debuts

RURAL TV, the world’s first television network devoted to rural interests internationally, began broadcast operations debuting on DISH satellite TV  channel 232 February 15, 2012.  This is Rural Media Group’s (RMG) second 24/7 television network building upon the success of RFD-TV, which recently celebrated its 11th year anniversary in serving the needs and interests of rural America.

“The meaning of the word rural has no borders,” stated Patrick Gottsch, founder and president of RMG.  “The launch of a second network, RURAL TV, is in response to unprecedented audience growth and demand for RFD-TV programming, and it expands upon our popular format combining agriculture, equine and western lifestyle, along with traditional music and entertainment programming.”

The foundation for RURAL TV’s daily program schedule focuses on the business of rural America and includes international programming.  Each weekday morning, Market Day Report provides 5 hours of live coverage of agribusiness news, weather, and commodity market coverage in continually updated half-hour wheels. … Continue reading

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Boost for bioproducts benefits Ohio

The Obama Administration’s announcement that it plans to increase federal government purchasing of bio-based products could mean a significant financial boost for Ohio, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.

According to a statement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the announcement calls for the federal government to increase the purchasing of bio-based products over the next two years, which they project will create jobs and drive innovation where bio-based products are grown and manufactured.

Ohio ranks No. 1 nationally in terms of polymer employment, has a major bio-based product industry and is a strong agricultural producer. The announcement will also result in a 50% increase in the number of new products that are designated as bio-based, Vilsack said.

That means the potential for more jobs and a financial boost for Ohio growers, producers and manufacturers, said Dennis Hall assistant director of the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center at Ohio State University.… Continue reading

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Pork Checkoff makes progress on PRRS

Building on work originally funded by the Pork Checkoff, a consortium of scientists from around the country has discovered a genetic marker in pigs that identifies whether or not a pig has a reduced susceptibility to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) — a disease that costs the U.S. pork industry an estimated $664 million per year.

The researchers found a genetic marker, called a quantitative trait locus, on swine chromosome 4 that is associated with resistance to PRRS virus infection. According to Joan Lunney, a research scientist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, Md., this is especially important as this location also is associated with improved growth of pigs that are infected with the PRRS virus. She says results indicate a positive effect for PRRS resistance and higher weight gain.

“PRRS is one of the industry’s top ongoing issues, so this research discovery is a major step in the right direction,” said Lisa Becton, Checkoff’s director of swine health and information.… Continue reading

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Buying local the subject of upcoming conference

The “buy local” movement that has sparked increased demand for locally grown foods means that farmers who know how to market and sell their products directly to consumers can substantially increase their farm income, says an Ohio State University Extension agriculture educator.

One of the top food trends recently has been the demand by consumers who want to know where their food comes from and who is producing it, and who want to buy products from as close to home as possible, said Mark Mechling. But farmers who want to take advantage of the “buy local” movement have to follow a rigid and precise set of rules designed to ensure consumers purchase wholesome and safe products.

Mechling will discuss those rules and procedures during a presentation March 9 at the “Opening Doors to Success” Small Farm Conference and Trade Show. The conference, held March 9-10 at Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio, will feature 30 sessions from Ohio State and industry experts.… Continue reading

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Managing grain in storage

By John M. Smith, OSU Extension Educator, Auglaize County Agriculture and Natural Resources

If you had $20,000 to $50,000 in cash sitting in a grain bin, would you check it often? You know you would. Even though grain went into storage in excellent condition why not check your grain that is worth that much? Check it at least once a week.

With the wet fall harvest and high humidity in many areas, much of the grain that went into the bins in poor condition could be headed for trouble; especially when the weather warms up and stays warm.

Properly managing grain in your storage bins is important to maintain quality. Factors that can cause grain to go out of condition are:

• Presence of insects;

• The amount of fines and foreign-material left in the stored grain;

• Initial quality of grain going into storage;

• Grain moisture content;

• Grain temperature.… Continue reading

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In 2012, farmers can get more crop insurance coverage for less

As crop insurance purchase deadlines approach for the majority of the Corn Belt on March 15, the National Corn Growers Association urges farmers to explore how changes in policies can make coverage more affordable. With lower insurance premiums being offered for most coverage levels this year and adjustments to historical-yield trend calculations, many growers can take advantage of lower rates and increases in coverage.

“At NCGA, we constantly strive to improve the safety net for farmers and hope that in 2012 many will take advantage of the improved options that we have achieved,” said Garry Niemeyer, NCGA President. “We faced difficult weather conditions across much of the Corn Belt in 2010 and again in 2011. By reexamining crop insurance options, many growers may find that increased coverage is more affordable and will better guard against losses in 2012.”

Lower premiums are the result of adjustments that the Risk Management Agency made based on updated crop insurance actuarial data and partial implementation of proposed changes to the program’s rating methodology.… Continue reading

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Farmland buying tips

ABA’s Agricultural and Rural Bankers Committee, responding to a boom in farmland values, has produced a tip sheet for farmers considering buying farmland during this hot market.

“Record prices are being paid for farmland in many parts of the country. Members of the ABA Agricultural and Rural Bankers Committee developed some practical financial tips to assist farmers and ranchers who are contemplating making land purchases,” said John Blanchfield, ABA’s senior vice president for Agricultural and Rural Banking. “In this hot real estate market, the need for buyer due diligence has never been higher, and bankers, who have deep experience in real estate acquisition and finance, are a great resource for producers to consult,”

ABA has also produced a video summary of agricultural credit conditions featuring the committee’s chairman Kim Greenland, market president of Great Western Bank, Mount Ayr, Iowa, and vice chairman Keith Geis, president of Platte Valley Bank, Wheatland, Wyo.… Continue reading

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Sweet maple recipes from the Herring family

By Shirley Herring


2-1/4 c.            flour

1 c.             packed brown sugar

¾ c.            shortening or cooking oil

¼ c.            maple syrup

1            egg

1 t.            baking soda

1 t.            ground ginger

1 t.            ground cinnamon

½ t.            ground cloves

¼ c.            sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine about half of the flour, the brown sugar, shortening, maple syrup, egg, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Beat with electric mixer on medium to high speed until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour.

Shape dough into one-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until set and tops are cracked.

Cool cookies on a wire rake.

Makes about 48.


Baked Beans

9            slices of bacon

1-1/2 c.            chopped onion

80-oz. can            pork and beans in tomato sauce

¾ c.            maple syrup

2 T.            mustard

1 t.           … Continue reading

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Dairy concerns with New Zealand trade deal

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said that a new report on the anti-competitive practices pervasive in the New Zealand dairy industry highlights why the U.S. dairy farmer sector is so concerned with including U.S.-New Zealand dairy trade in a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement (FTA). NMPF submitted comments to the Obama Administration on TPP, including in its 2010 testimony to the U.S. International Trade Commission. NMPF applauded the new report’s effort to shed more light on this critical concern.

A report was prepared by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and provided confidentially to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The accompanying letter notes that New Zealand’s largest company has been provided special privileges by the government that enable it to maintain a roughly 90% market share of the milk produced in New Zealand. This advantageous position has given this single dairy company direct control of more than one third of world dairy trade, without even accounting for the additional sales controlled through its many production and distributor relationships around the world.… Continue reading

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ARS research focuses in on corn disease resistance

Three corn diseases, southern corn leaf blight, northern leaf blight, and gray leaf spot, all cause lesions on corn leaves. In the U.S. Midwest Corn Belt, northern leaf blight and gray leaf spot are significant problems.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and university colleagues found a specific gene in corn that seems to confer resistance to all three of these leaf diseases. This discovery, published in 2011 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could potentially help plant breeders build disease-resistance traits into future corn plants.

The researchers examined 300 corn varieties from around the world, making sure to have a genetically diverse representation. No corn variety has complete resistance to any of these diseases, but varieties differ in the severity of symptoms they exhibit.

“We set out to look for maize lines with resistance to these three leaf diseases. But what we really wanted to know is which genes underlie disease resistance,” says ARS plant geneticist Peter Balint-Kurti, who is in the Plant Science Research Unit in Raleigh, North Carolina.… Continue reading

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Trade an important tool for the livestock sector

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced Tues., Feb. 21, 2012, that the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea (KORUS FTA) will be implemented on March 15, 2012.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President J.D. Alexander praised the announcement.

“When the KORUS FTA is implemented, our competitive advantage will be secured. The KORUS pact will phase out a 40% tariff on U.S. beef over the next 15 years, which will result in more Korean consumers buying more U.S. beef at a more affordable price,” Alexander said. “This may very well be the most monumental bilateral trade pact our industry has ever witnessed.”

Alexander said while the immediate effects of increased exports are positive for cattlemen, he urged them to think long term about the effects increased demand will have on already tight beef supplies.

“With increasing demand and tightening supplies, movement of the KORUS FTA should encourage cattlemen and women to think beyond the current prices for live cattle and think long term,” he said.… Continue reading

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USDA AgrAbility Grants expand access to farming for the disabled

Responding to the needs of a growing population of farmers and ranchers living with a disability, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded 23 grants to organizations to help thousands of people with disabilities continue their chosen agricultural professions. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded the grants, totaling $4.1 million, through the AgrAbility program. Fiscal Year 2011 grant recipients include Ohio State University that received $180,000

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all Americans devoted to agriculture, U.S. agriculture is a bright spot in our economy and provides a livelihood for 1 in 12 Americans,” said Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. “Nearly 2 million individuals working in agriculture in the United States live with a disability that affects their work and daily life. The AgrAbility program provides these producers with the training and resources they need to remain profitable, to maintain their quality of life, and to continue to contribute to our nation’s supply of food, feed, fiber and fuel.”… Continue reading

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Boosting the solar power of corn

By Dave Nanda, Seed Consultants, Inc.

These days we hear a lot about reducing the use of fossil fuels and producing more clean energy by solar panels or wind machines. However, I don’t know of a better system than the corn plant that not only captures sunlight efficiently and simultaneously reduces carbon dioxide and gives us oxygen so we can breathe. A very small percentage of the solar energy is captured by the plants; most of it is either wasted on the ground or is reflected back. So what can we do to make a more efficient use of this free energy?

Our corn breeders have been collecting germplasm from all over the world and developing superior hybrids for a long time. We have designed hybrids with upright leaves, which can capture more sunlight and also allow the lower leaves to receive and trap greater amounts of light. These hybrids may also be planted at higher populations.… Continue reading

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Zinc’s role in corn production

By John Brien, CCA, AgriGold regional agronomist

Zinc is a micronutrient, meaning it is needed in very small amounts by the corn plant. Actually the amount is measured in ounces per acre instead of the normal pounds per acre of other major nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium. A 150-bushel corn crop is known to remove only 0.25 pounds of zinc. Even though zinc is needed in small amounts, it has a huge impact on how a corn plant grows and ultimately how much yield is produced. In a study performed by the University of Nebraska on a low zinc testing soil showed a 53-bushel increase in yield by adding one pound of zinc to a starter.

Zinc plays a critical role in the following systems of a corn plant:

• Aids in the synthesis (production) of growth hormones and proteins.

• It is needed in the production of chlorophyll and carbohydrate metabolism.… Continue reading

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Zinc's role in corn production

By John Brien, CCA, AgriGold regional agronomist

Zinc is a micronutrient, meaning it is needed in very small amounts by the corn plant. Actually the amount is measured in ounces per acre instead of the normal pounds per acre of other major nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium. A 150-bushel corn crop is known to remove only 0.25 pounds of zinc. Even though zinc is needed in small amounts, it has a huge impact on how a corn plant grows and ultimately how much yield is produced. In a study performed by the University of Nebraska on a low zinc testing soil showed a 53-bushel increase in yield by adding one pound of zinc to a starter.

Zinc plays a critical role in the following systems of a corn plant:

• Aids in the synthesis (production) of growth hormones and proteins.

• It is needed in the production of chlorophyll and carbohydrate metabolism.… Continue reading

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U.S. and EU reach agreement on organic trade

A historic new partnership between the United States and the European Union announced last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture means that organic foods certified in the U.S. can be sold in Europe for the first time — a move that could provide new market opportunities for Ohio growers.

The agreement, which now makes the $26.7 billion U.S. organic market functionally equivalent to Europe’s organic market, means organic growers nationwide no longer have to comply with often-contradictory rules setting different organic standards for each country.

This important step is built upon years of progress in organic agriculture.

“Ten years have passed since the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its National Organic Program (NOP). You may recognize the ‘USDA Organic’ seal on thousands of fruits, vegetables, meat or other goods you can buy at the local market. The program combines detailed organic standards with a rigorous oversight and enforcement system. It also provides access to the U.S.… Continue reading

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2011 Ohio corn and soybean yield numbers by county

The Ohio office of the National Ag Statistics Service has released the 2011 production yield report for Ohio by county.

The top corn producing counties:

1) Darke
2) Wood
3) Madison

The top soybean producing counties:

1) Wood
2) Putnam
3) Hancock

Where did your county rank? Check out the complete reports for rankings and production totals.

2011 Ohio corn yields by county

2011 Ohio soybean yields by countyContinue reading

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Weed resistance on the rise

Weeds resistant to individual families of chemistry are commonplace and have been for more than 20 years, but how can farmers best manage the challenge when a weed is resistant to more than one herbicide?

Multiple-mode-of-action resistance is a challenge farmers could be facing when it comes to tough weeds like waterhemp and ragweed. Whether it is ALS or glyphosate, farmers are finding weeds that are resistant to multiple herbicide modes of action, making management a bigger challenge.

When a herbicide is used on any given weed population, there may be a few plants that have a natural resistance to it. When a herbicide is used in a repetitive manner without other herbicides or management tactics, farmers may be selecting for the weeds carrying the resistance, even if they don’t know it at the time. Once this has developed, you have to manage around the issue as if it were a “new” weed requiring different control practices.… Continue reading

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Long-term world wheat demand projected to rise

In the next few months, wheat markets look gloomy, at best. Longer term, however, many experts are painting a brighter picture for world wheat demand. In the next 10 years, developing countries with rising incomes and growing populations will drive wheat industry growth, but U.S. market share is expected to decline due to rising Black Sea wheat production and trade, according to USDA’s Agricultural Long-term Projections Report. In the annual report, USDA predicts that annual world wheat imports will reach 157 MMT by marketing year 2021/22, which is 15% greater than the 2011/12 estimate of 137 MMT.

According to USDA’s projections, the 15 countries of the Economic Community of West African States will have the largest increase in wheat imports for any region, growing 31% to 8.2 MMT. The report projects imports by Middle East countries, excluding Egypt, will rise 24% to 19.6 MMT. Together, the West Africa and Middle East countries will account for 51% of the total expected increase in world trade in the next 10 years.… Continue reading

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Beef Expo coming soon


March 16marks the first day of the celebration of the 25th Ohio Beef Expo. The three-day event takes place March 16 – 18 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, and is the premier event of Ohio’s Beef Industry. This year’s schedule includes breed sales, shows, educational seminars, trade show and a highly competitive junior show. Attendees will also be able to take part in a silent auction and social hour on Friday and Saturday.

The trade show, kicking off the Expo at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, will run throughout the event and features more than 100 exhibitors from 15 states. An array of educational seminars will also begin on Friday morning. The seminars will be offered throughout the day on Friday and Sunday, giving producers an opportunity to gain useful knowledge from industry experts about advancements and current trends. Information provided will allow producers to better their own operations in areas such as marketing and herd management.… Continue reading

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