Top Headlines

Featured Posts (Posts shown below the “Top Posts” on the home page)

OSU gets grants to study food safety

An Ohio State University scientist and colleagues have garnered two food safety grants totaling $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The first is a $1.8 million four-year grant on “Reducing the Transmission of AMR (antimicrobial-resistant) Organisms by Wildlife within the Food Supply — A Research, Control and Outreach Strategy.” The goal is to determine the extent to which wildlife contribute to antimicrobial-resistant bacteria colonization in livestock, and how much that can spread to humans.

The problem is significant: Overall, the economic health-care burden caused by AMR bacteria is more than $4 billion annually, according to some estimates.  

“In this study, we’re looking at food safety with a ‘one-medicine’ approach where you take into consideration not just animals, not just people, not just the environment, but everything that can have an effect on food safety,” said Jeff LeJeune, the study’s principal investigator and a microbiologist and veterinary scientist with the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster.… Continue reading

Read More »

USB elects new leaders

The national soybean checkoff just wrapped up its first 20 years, but the work doesn’t end there. As the United Soybean Board (USB) launches into the next 20 years, new U.S. soybean farmer-leaders take the reins and plan to continue the focus on creating profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers.

USB farmer-directors elected Vanessa Kummer (Koo-mer) as chairperson on Dec. 6, during the checkoff’s annual meeting. The Colfax, N.D., soybean farmer will have a busy agenda leading the soybean checkoff’s implementation of a new strategic plan. Kummer looks at addressing recommendations from a farmer-driven assessment of USB and help lead the U.S. soybean industry. She will continue to shepherd the checkoff as it looks to increase soybean farmers’ profitability in an ever-evolving industry.

“It is our vision to make U.S. soybeans the leader in the global oilseed industry,” Kummer said. “We plan to create and maintain partnerships to keep U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

POET producing corn oil for biodiesel

With its patent-pending technology expanding to a total of 6 plants, POET will produce corn oil as feedstock for 12 million gallons of biodiesel per year by the end of 2011.

Under the name, Voilà, POET has been selling corn oil separated from DDGs into biodiesel and feed markets since January, and new capacity is now coming online as the company continues to roll out the technology to more plants.

A South Dakota POET plant was the first to produce Voilà. Since then, the technology has been installed in five more POET plants, with more on the way in 2012. There are plants producing corn oil today in Iowa and a plant in Missouri is just starting. There are plans to bring the technology to Ohio in the future. The oil is separated from around 40% of the nation’s DDGs currently and will be closer to 60% by 2013.

“Voilà has been a very strong part of POET’s business this year, and I’m excited to see more plants getting this technology,” said Jeff BroinPOET founder and CEO Jeff Broin said.… Continue reading

Read More »

OEFFA conference registration open

Registration is now open for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 33rd annual conference, Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty, February 18-19, 2012 in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

The state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, the event draws more than 1,000 attendees from across Ohio and the Midwest, and has sold out in advance the past two years. This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Woody Tasch and Andrew Kimbrell; more than 70 informative, hands-on workshops; two featured pre-conference events on February 17; a trade show; a fun and educational kids’ conference and child care area; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment.

“Our conference title says a lot about what we believe and what we’re trying to accomplish,” says OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “Farmers, businesses, chefs, and consumers are working together to reclaim our food sovereignty—rebuilding local food systems and Ohio’s rural farming communities, demanding access to healthy, organic food and information about how that food is produced, and relearning sustainable agriculture practices that nourish our bodies, our communities, and the environment.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Senator Brown’s Call for Action Heard

Following action taken by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would begin to update its methodology for setting crop insurance premium rates to ensure that corn and soybean producers throughout the Midwest pay lower, more-fair rates. The move follows a letter sent by nine senators, led by Brown, calling on the USDA to follow the recommendations of a 2011 independent study commissioned by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). The study recommended changes to the methods used to calculate crop insurance premiums for corn and soybean producers, who pay a higher premium than they should in the Midwest when compared to relative risk.

“Crop insurance is a critical risk management tool for Ohio farmers, but Midwest producers have been shouldering more than their fair share of the burden for too long,” Brown said. “Beginning to update how crop insurance premiums are calculated is a huge win for Ohio farmers, but the USDA’s Risk Management Agency can and must do more. … Continue reading

Read More »

Senator Brown's Call for Action Heard

Following action taken by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would begin to update its methodology for setting crop insurance premium rates to ensure that corn and soybean producers throughout the Midwest pay lower, more-fair rates. The move follows a letter sent by nine senators, led by Brown, calling on the USDA to follow the recommendations of a 2011 independent study commissioned by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). The study recommended changes to the methods used to calculate crop insurance premiums for corn and soybean producers, who pay a higher premium than they should in the Midwest when compared to relative risk.

“Crop insurance is a critical risk management tool for Ohio farmers, but Midwest producers have been shouldering more than their fair share of the burden for too long,” Brown said. “Beginning to update how crop insurance premiums are calculated is a huge win for Ohio farmers, but the USDA’s Risk Management Agency can and must do more. … Continue reading

Read More »

FCS scholarships

Farm Credit Services of Mid-America – a $17.5 billion agriculture lending cooperative serving farmers and rural America in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee – is allocating more than $100,000 in scholarships to students studying agriculture and other business related majors during 2012.

In addition to offering scholarships through the 4-H and FFA and several universities across the association’s four-state territory, Farm Credit will be awarding 42 scholarships to FCS members or children of members who are attending college.  The values of the FCS scholarships are between $1,000 and $1,500 and are awarded based on academic record, leadership qualities, and community involvement.

“We offer scholarships to youth as a way to demonstrate our commitment to help prepare them for tomorrow’s world.  As agriculture continues to grow and evolve, we want to make sure that the next generation of rural community leaders are at the forefront of the industry, and grow with it,” said George Stebbins, chair of the Farm Credit Services of Mid-America board.… Continue reading

Read More »

OFBF sets policy for 2012

Energy, water quality, farm policy and Ohio State University Extension services were the primary topics delegates discussed during the 93rd annual meeting of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). More than 340 delegates representing all of Ohio’s county Farm Bureaus established the policies for the state’s largest farm organization during its convention held Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in Columbus.

With Ohio facing great opportunities with shale oil and gas, wind and solar energy generation, Farm Bureau delegates said it is essential that Ohioans be assured of a transparent, inclusive public policy process through which they can obtain information and offer input.  Delegates said the infrastructure and resource needs of the community and individual farmers should be adequately addressed when energy projects are being developed. Farm Bureau delegates also strongly supported coordination and collaboration between federal, state and local governments and regulatory agencies to ensure sound policies on energy development.… Continue reading

Read More »

RMA streamlines Ohio acreage reporting dates

As announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) have established 15 common Acreage Reporting Dates for producers participating in RMA and FSA programs.  Brian D. Frieden, Director of the Springfield Regional Office, Risk Management Agency, states “For Ohio producers, this means the number of Acreage Reporting Dates will decrease from five to four.”

Spring and summer planted crops will be the first to be impacted by this change beginning with the 2012 crop year.  July 15 will be the Acreage Reporting Date for the following Ohio crops: burley tobacco, spring cabbage (planted 3/15-5/31), corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, popcorn, potatoes, soybeans, tomatoes, and any other crops not listed elsewhere.  The Acreage reporting date for summer cabbage (planted 6/01-7/20) will be August 15.

Perennial and fall-planted crops in Ohio will see Acreage Reporting Date changes beginning with the 2013 crop year. … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State Fair's "Ag is Cool" receives recognition

The Ohio State Fair was recently presented with a first place Agricultural Award of Excellence from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) for the fair’s new “Agriculture is Cool” interactive education program held in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups.

The 2011 “Agriculture is Cool” program inspired by the initiative of Gov. John R. Kasich included several interactive education stations throughout the Ohio State Fair where students could learn about the many ways Ohio’s largest industry – agriculture – impacts many facets of their everyday lives. The program, which also offered scholarships to top participants, was recognized as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million.

The award was presented during a special awards ceremony held on November 29 during the 121st Annual IAFE Convention.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State Fair’s “Ag is Cool” receives recognition

The Ohio State Fair was recently presented with a first place Agricultural Award of Excellence from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) for the fair’s new “Agriculture is Cool” interactive education program held in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups.

The 2011 “Agriculture is Cool” program inspired by the initiative of Gov. John R. Kasich included several interactive education stations throughout the Ohio State Fair where students could learn about the many ways Ohio’s largest industry – agriculture – impacts many facets of their everyday lives. The program, which also offered scholarships to top participants, was recognized as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million.

The award was presented during a special awards ceremony held on November 29 during the 121st Annual IAFE Convention.… Continue reading

Read More »

Survey looks at carbon storage capacity in landscape

The Department of the Interior released the first in a series of regional studies measuring the amount of carbon stored in U.S. ecosystems. Published by Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the study examines the current and projected future carbon storage in the Great Plains region, as part of a nation-wide assessment.

“This is truly groundbreaking research that, for the first time, takes a landscape-level look at how our lands naturally store carbon and explores how we can encourage this capability in ways that enhance our stewardship of natural resources,” said  David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior. “Our landscapes are helping us to absorb carbon emissions that would otherwise contribute to atmospheric warming.”

This is the first regional report applying a comprehensive methodology designed by the USGS in 2010 to assess how much carbon is stored in various ecosystems, such as wetlands, forests and rangelands. The study covers an area of the United States that includes parts of fourteen states from eastern Montana to southern Texas and eastern Iowa.… Continue reading

Read More »

Watch out for flooded roads

This week, Ohio was soaked with nearly 1.25 inches of rain in one day on top of already saturated conditions. Cleveland received 1.5 inches of rain. Columbus, nearly 2 inches, and Cincinnati broke precipitation records with nearly 3 inches of rain in a day.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s BuckeyeTraffic.org, several major roadways are currently closed due to flooding. Safety experts urge motorists to be careful when approaching a flooded road. Never drive through flooded roadways and never drive around barriers warning of flooded roads. It only takes two feet of water to float away most vehicles, and many deaths have resulted from attempts to drive through flooded roadways.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency recommends the following safety measures during a flood warning:

* Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or television station to receive current weather and emergency information. If your area is advised to evacuate, do so immediately.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio beef schools look at "new normal"

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County Extension

 

“It’s a great time to be in agriculture.”

“We have more people to feed and a growing global economy. I don’t know of a better industry to be involved with than agriculture because the underlying fundamentals are strong.”

“If you’re in the cow-calf business you’ve got what everybody else wants. Prices will continue to move higher next year.”

Those words came from Randy Blach, president of Cattle-Fax, at the recent Kansas Livestock Association annual convention. More specifically he said 2012 and 2013 should provide excellent profit opportunities because declining inventories of stocker and feeder cattle will continue to support prices and keep cow-calf producers in the driver’s seat. In fact, Cattle-Fax projects average national prices for 550-pound calves to average $1.75 per hundredweight next year, and 750 to 800-pound yearlings to average $1.50 per hundredweight.

From a feeder’s perspective, consider Blach’s thoughts on marketing high quality fed cattle.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio beef schools look at “new normal”

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County Extension

 

“It’s a great time to be in agriculture.”

“We have more people to feed and a growing global economy. I don’t know of a better industry to be involved with than agriculture because the underlying fundamentals are strong.”

“If you’re in the cow-calf business you’ve got what everybody else wants. Prices will continue to move higher next year.”

Those words came from Randy Blach, president of Cattle-Fax, at the recent Kansas Livestock Association annual convention. More specifically he said 2012 and 2013 should provide excellent profit opportunities because declining inventories of stocker and feeder cattle will continue to support prices and keep cow-calf producers in the driver’s seat. In fact, Cattle-Fax projects average national prices for 550-pound calves to average $1.75 per hundredweight next year, and 750 to 800-pound yearlings to average $1.50 per hundredweight.

From a feeder’s perspective, consider Blach’s thoughts on marketing high quality fed cattle.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio No-Till Council recognizes conservation efforts

 
Martin Shipitalo, a USDA-ARS soil researcher, on the right, received the Educator/Researcher Award from the Ohio No-Till Council.
Roger Butts, left, representing Brookside Consultants of Ohio, accepted the Business Industry Award from the Ohio No-Till Council.
Bret (middle) and Gene (right) Margraf were recognized as the Outstanding No-till Farmers of the year. They have been working with no-till and cover crops for the last 10 years on their farm near Sycamore.

 

 

 

The Ohio No-Till Conference featured a mountain of information for attendees, most of which revolved around soil health and the value of a system including continuous no-till and cover crops.

The group took time to recognize the contributions of some leaders in no-till farming in Ohio.

Dale Minyo talks with Oustanding No-till Farmer of Year Bret Margraf.

Dale Minyo talks with Oustanding No TIll Farmer of the Year Bret Margraf Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – December 5th

Reporters rated 1.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, December 2, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 16 percent adequate, and 84 percent surplus.

Farmers were able to harvest some corn. However, continued wet weather prevented siginificant progress. Much of it will be harvested after the ground begins to freeze. As of Sunday December 4th, corn harvested for grain was 80 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 97 percent for the five-year average.

 

Livestock were 88 percent in fair-to-good condition, up two percent from last week. Sixty-five percent of range and pasture were in fair-to-good condition, down eleven percent from last week. Eighty-three percent of winter wheat was in fair-to-good condition, up two percent from last week.

The Complete ReportContinue reading

Read More »

Ohio's Crop Progress Report – December 5th

Reporters rated 1.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, December 2, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 16 percent adequate, and 84 percent surplus.

Farmers were able to harvest some corn. However, continued wet weather prevented siginificant progress. Much of it will be harvested after the ground begins to freeze. As of Sunday December 4th, corn harvested for grain was 80 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 97 percent for the five-year average.

 

Livestock were 88 percent in fair-to-good condition, up two percent from last week. Sixty-five percent of range and pasture were in fair-to-good condition, down eleven percent from last week. Eighty-three percent of winter wheat was in fair-to-good condition, up two percent from last week.

The Complete ReportContinue reading

Read More »