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Between the Rows kicks off summer

It is June 21, the Summer Solstice and the official start of summer. Most farmers are probably glad that spring is behind them after a soggy stretch that dampened many high hopes after a great early start to the planting season. Now we can only hope the rains continue now that most of Ohio’s crops have finally been planted for the first (and sometimes second) time. Here is today’s report from the “Between the Rows” farmers from around Ohio.

– Matt Reese

Jeff Roehm

Highland County

The crops have responded well to the high temperatures and plentiful moisture, but the rains have made field work challenging. “I think everybody has done the sidedressing they can do. Everybody was running late because of the wet weather. I know I was leaving ruts when I finished the sidedressing.”

Overall, through, the crops are in nice condition. “We’re getting a little dry, but things are still looking great.… Continue reading

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USDA Moves to Restore Competitive Markets in Livestock and Poultry Markets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released new rules today that propose a host of reforms necessary to help restore competitive markets and contract fairness to livestock and poultry markets.  The new rules directed by the 2008 Farm Bill, promise to outlaw preferential pricing, expand producer rights to sue over unfair and deceptive practices and compel greater contract fairness for poultry producers.

Under the proposed rules, independent family farmers who meet the same quality standards as mega feedlots must be paid the same price.   The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said those standards must be transparent and made publicly available.

“These rules are crucial to restoring a level playing field for independent family farmers” said Martha Noble, Senior Policy Associate with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.  “Undue and unjustified price preferences for industrial scale factory farms have caused substantial harm to markets, small and mid-sized farmers, and rural communities,” said Noble.

“Family farm advocates have called for an end to unjustified price preferences for decades and perhaps we have arrived at the point where the government will get serious about enforcing the law,” added Noble. … Continue reading

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Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board Launches Website

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board today launches its website, www.ohiolivestockcarestandardsboard.org. The website informs and educates Ohioans about the activities of the board.

The interactive site features meeting notices, past meeting minutes, frequently asked questions, updates, contact information and more. It also provides an opportunity for visitors to offer direct comment to the board.

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is charged with establishing statewide standards governing the care and well-being of livestock while promoting food safety, preventing animal and human diseases and encouraging local food production.

For more information about the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, visit www.ohiolivestockcarestandardsboard.org, or e-mail at livestockstandardsboard@agri.ohio.gov.Continue reading

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Western Bean Cutworm Among Insects to Monitor in 2010

Insects are always a problem in fields during the summer, but the best way to control them is by simply watching for them.

One, the western bean cutworm, fairly new the region, said Christian Krupke, a Purdue University entomologist. In addition to monitoring fields for western bean cutworm larvae, farmers can set pheromone traps to tell if female moths are in the area. Field scouting helps as well. Scouting should include at least 20 plants throughout the field, and if 5 percent of the plants scouted have been infected by the insect, Krupke advises spraying.

Farmers also should look for corn rootworm, the larvae of which can damage the roots of corn plants. The corn rootworm can harm cornfields if not controlled by using insecticides or Bt hybrids labeled for rootworm control.

The soybean aphid is the most likely pest to be in soybean fields this summer. The largest populations fly in from Wisconsin and Minnesota to colonize in Indiana and move into Ohio.Continue reading

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Learn How Drip Irrigation Can Boost On-Farm Profits at July 15th Workshop

 

Specialty fruit and vegetable crop producers looking to gain a better understanding of how drip irrigation can boost on-farm profits have the opportunity to attend an Ohio State University Extension drip irrigation workshop on July 15.

The workshop will be held from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at OSU South Centers in Piketon, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio. Registration is $5 per person.

Brad Bergefurd, an OSU Extension horticulturist, will discuss drip irrigation techniques, implementation and management. Topics include: why you should drip irrigate, the benefits of drip irrigation, what parts are needed for a system, what water sources work, how to install a system, how to fertilize with drip irrigation, and drip irrigation scheduling.

“Drip irrigation is an insurance against periods of dry weather or drought. Specialty crops are such short-lived crops that they cannot go without the necessary 1 inch of water per week or else quality and yield will be lost,” said Bergefurd.… Continue reading

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Soybean Rust Confirmed in Southern U.S.

Soybean rust has been reported on soybeans in the southern United States for the first time this year, but it’s unlikely that Ohio soybean growers will have to worry about the disease this growing season.

“The first find of soybean rust was reported in Texas on June 10, on the border with Mexico. Current predictions for other southern states is that they won’t begin to detect it for another 4 weeks at the earliest because of unfavorable weather conditions for the disease to spread,” said Anne Dorrance, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “As a result, for Ohio, we are at a very low risk for soybean rust to develop this season.”

Soybean rust has not yet been reported in Ohio. Last year was the closest it came to the state, with detections in Kentucky in early September, followed a month later on late-planted soybeans in southern Indiana.… Continue reading

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Stoller Farms displays commitment to quality eggs

By Matt Reese

Impeccable environmental stewardship, unparalleled animal welfare and unrivaled food safety are necessities in today’s egg production. They are all interconnected and successful egg producers know that no corners can be cut.

“The chicken does a wonderful job of producing eggs, but if we try to cut corners to save a buck we can ruin that egg,” said Gary Stoller, with Stoller Farms, this year’s environmental steward award recipient. “I have been in this business long enough to see where we came from, and our practices were far inferior back then. Today our food is safer, our birds are healthier and I don’t think there is a food system in the world that is safer than what we have for our eggs in this country today.”

Stoller’s grandfather had nine boys and raised numerous types of livestock to keep them busy on their Paulding County farm. He built one of the largest chicken houses of the era, 25feet wide by 160 feet long, in the early 1920s.… Continue reading

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New National Pork Board Members

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced five appointments to the 15-member National Pork Board.  The five appointees will serve three-year terms beginning July 1.  They were chosen from among eight pork producers nominated and ranked by the National Pork Act Delegate Body during its annual meeting in March.

The appointees are:

  • Everett L. Forkner, Richards, Mo. – Second term
  • Julie A. Maschhoff, Carlyle, Ill.– First term
  • Derrick D. Sleezer, Cherokee, Iowa – First term
  • Wathina M. Luthi, Gage, Okla.– First term
  • Steven R. Wuergler, Drain, Ore. – First term

Everett Forkner was recently elected vice president of the National Pork Board by his fellow board members.  He is the owner and president of Forkner Farms Inc., which has 500 purebred sows and markets 8,000 hogs per year. He has sold hogs in 27 different countries. He also raises corn, soybeans and wheat on 2,000 acres.

Julie Maschhoff, along with her husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, is the owner of The Maschhoffs LLC, as well as its vice president of communications. Continue reading

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Adam Wells-Morgan Wins Pork Checkoff’s National Taste of EleganceTM Competition

Adam Wells-Morgan, executive chef of The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, Mo., won top honors in the 21st annual National Taste of Elegance™ contest June 14 in Baltimore, Md.  The competition, sponsored by the Pork Checkoff, featured 18 chefs, all winners of state and regional Taste of Elegance culinary competitions. Wells-Morgan earned Chef Par Excellence honors and $5,000 with his winning entrée of Duo of Pork: Sumac and Rosemary Scented Pork Loin and Cider Braised Pork Shoulder served with white cheddar grits, crispy carrots and leeks, and apple spice gastrique.  He also was presented with the Media Choice Award, an honor given by representatives of foodservice media to the chef with the most creative application of a pork dish.

“The National Taste of Elegance event brought some of the nation’s best chefs together to share their talent using pork,” said Tim Bierman, a pork producer from Iowa and National Pork Board member. Continue reading

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Adam Wells-Morgan Wins Pork Checkoff's National Taste of EleganceTM Competition

Adam Wells-Morgan, executive chef of The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, Mo., won top honors in the 21st annual National Taste of Elegance™ contest June 14 in Baltimore, Md.  The competition, sponsored by the Pork Checkoff, featured 18 chefs, all winners of state and regional Taste of Elegance culinary competitions. Wells-Morgan earned Chef Par Excellence honors and $5,000 with his winning entrée of Duo of Pork: Sumac and Rosemary Scented Pork Loin and Cider Braised Pork Shoulder served with white cheddar grits, crispy carrots and leeks, and apple spice gastrique.  He also was presented with the Media Choice Award, an honor given by representatives of foodservice media to the chef with the most creative application of a pork dish.

“The National Taste of Elegance event brought some of the nation’s best chefs together to share their talent using pork,” said Tim Bierman, a pork producer from Iowa and National Pork Board member. Continue reading

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Keep Livestock Away From Poison Hemlock

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The carrot family, which boasts a variety of familiar edibles such as parsley, celery, carrots, anise, fennel and cilantro, also contains a highly poisonous plant that many people confuse for its nontoxic counterparts.

Stan Smith, an Ohio State University Extension program assistant in agriculture and natural resources, said people should learn to recognize poison hemlock. The noxious weed looks similar to and smells like other plants in the carrot family (Apiaceae, formerly known as Umbelliferae). Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) originated in Europe, but is now commonly found in Ohio, growing in wet, wooded areas and open fields, and along roadsides and railroad tracks.

“The population of poison hemlock along field edges, in fence rows, around barn lots, and now even growing throughout hay fields seems to have reached new proportions this year,” said Smith. “Producers should be especially mindful of poison hemlock growing in proximity to their livestock herds.”

Poison hemlock, most famous as the plant that was used to execute the Greek philosopher Socrates, can be fatal if ingested.… Continue reading

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Head Scab Hits Ohio’s Wheat


WOOSTER, Ohio – Hot, humid weather coupled with rain during a critical development stage of Ohio’s wheat has caused an outbreak of head scab in some areas of the state – the first major outbreak of the disease in the state in about a decade.

A statewide survey of Ohio wheat fields, which began two weeks ago, has found the incidence of head scab to be moderate to high in 70 percent of the73 fields surveyed in 16 counties.

“Incidence of head scab ranges from 3 percent to 61 percent, meaning that between 3 and 61 heads out of every 100 heads has some level of head scab,” said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist and small grains specialist.

Head scab (Fusarium graminearum), also known as head blight, is a disease that attacks wheat during the crop’s flowering stage when environmental conditions are just right. The disease not only affects yields, but the fungal pathogen that causes the disease produces several mycotoxins, the most common of which is known as vomitoxin, that is harmful the humans and animals if ingested.… Continue reading

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Head Scab Hits Ohio's Wheat


WOOSTER, Ohio – Hot, humid weather coupled with rain during a critical development stage of Ohio’s wheat has caused an outbreak of head scab in some areas of the state – the first major outbreak of the disease in the state in about a decade.

A statewide survey of Ohio wheat fields, which began two weeks ago, has found the incidence of head scab to be moderate to high in 70 percent of the73 fields surveyed in 16 counties.

“Incidence of head scab ranges from 3 percent to 61 percent, meaning that between 3 and 61 heads out of every 100 heads has some level of head scab,” said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist and small grains specialist.

Head scab (Fusarium graminearum), also known as head blight, is a disease that attacks wheat during the crop’s flowering stage when environmental conditions are just right. The disease not only affects yields, but the fungal pathogen that causes the disease produces several mycotoxins, the most common of which is known as vomitoxin, that is harmful the humans and animals if ingested.… Continue reading

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Final Acreage Reporting Approaching

COLUMBUS, June 14, 2010 — The State Executive Director for Ohio’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Steve Maurer, reminds producers of the acreage reporting requirements that must be met prior to receiving program benefits.  If producers miss the acreage reporting deadline dates, a late filing fee will be charged.

Maurer added, “Producers are required to file an FSA-578, Report of Acreage, certification for the farm by June 30 for small grains and by July 15 for all other crops except small grains.”  To be considered timely, acreage reports on crops are due in the county office by June 30 for small grains and July 15 for all other crops, or 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing of the specific crop acreage being reported.

Also, producers who participated in the ACRE program for 2009 have until July 15, 2010 to report the 2009 production for small grains and other crops.  … Continue reading

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Weekly Crop Progress Report-June 14th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY JUNE 13, 2010

The average temperature for the State was 69.1 degrees, 0.9 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, June 13, 2010. Precipitation averaged 1.73 inches, 0.81 inches above normal. There were 136 modified growing degree days, 7 days above normal. Reporters rated 1.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, June 11, 2010. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 42 percent adequate, and 58 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS
Wet weather continues to persist and farmers managed little field work in-between scattered showers and thunderstorms that moved through most of the state. Severe storm cells spawned dozens of tornados including an F4 tornado in northeast Ohio. Damage was extensive in those areas. Soybeans are still being planted, and some early planted acreage will require replanting due to excessive moisture. Most fields that were intended to be planted with corn will instead be replaced by soybeans.… Continue reading

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Before Activist Strike: Be Smart….

by Hinda Mitchell

Over the past decade, livestock and poultry farms across the United States have been under siege by animal rights groups who use a certain tactic – the shooting and release of undercover video – to advance their agenda of ending the consumption of meat, milk and eggs.  In the early years, they restricted their activities to breaking into farms at night and shooting video in one visit.  More recently, these groups have resorted to a modified approach – getting undercover workers hired at local farms, where they then work for extended periods  of time, engaging with on-farm workers and shooting undercover video.

While there has been much speculation about whether the animal abuse seen on much of the undercover footage is staged or is incited by the cameraman, the end result is still the same.  And for animal agriculture, it perpetuates the challenge we face each day – ensuring our consumer believes in how we farm, in how we produce food, and that we are firmly committed to responsible care of our animals.… Continue reading

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OSU Seeks Proposals for Ag Economic Development Grants

Ohio communities seeking to promote the viability of local farms and agricultural economic development are encouraged to apply for grant funding from Ohio State University’s Center for Farmland Policy Innovation.

Proposals are due by Sept. 24, 2010. The center expects to disburse $50,000 for two or three innovative projects that promote community-based agricultural economic development priorities in local communities, said Jill Clark, the center’s director. In addition, the center also expects to disperse a total of $10,000 for two or three smaller planning grants. These grants focus on community-based agricultural economic development specifically through the community planning process, including creating or revising a community plan to address local agricultural needs and facilitate solutions.

Community-based agricultural development involves community planning, organizing and acting to enhance the health of a community through viable local agriculture. It is a collaborative local effort to retain and grow the benefits of food and agriculture, and to advance sustainable farming.… Continue reading

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Nemechek Elected President of Pork Board

Gene Nemechek, a swine veterinarian from Springdale, Ark., has been elected president of the National Pork Board by his fellow board members. The board also elected Everett Forkner, a pork producer from Richards, Mo., vice president. Both will serve one-year terms effective July 1.

Nemechek is a swine quality assurance veterinarian with the live swine division of the Tyson Pork Group, Inc. for Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. Nemechek has a shared responsibility to work with the Tyson pork production units in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri as well as customer quality assurance for the Tyson Pork Group weaned pig and feeder pig customers.

Nemechek, the current board vice president, is serving his second three-year term on the National Pork Board and serves on the organization’s Budget Committee, Resolutions Committee, Pork Safety Committee and Swine Health Committee.  Previously, he served as president and vice president of the North Carolina Pork Council.

Forkner was nominated for a second three-year term on the board by Pork Act delegates at Pork Industry Forum in March and is awaiting the secretary of agriculture’s appointment of the 2010 National Pork Board members.

Continue reading

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Will Oil in the Gulf Affect Ag Shipping?

So far, the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has had relatively little impact on the Midwest, though many are wondering if agricultural exports could suffer as a result on an ongoing oil spill.

“Thus far the spill has not disrupted traffic into or out of the Mississippi River or Mobile, Alabama.  All scheduled freight deliveries have been made.  No ship calls have been cancelled due to the spill.  This is expected to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.

Congressmen Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) and Phil Hare (D-Ill.) sent a letter on June 10th to President Barack Obama and Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, urging them to fully evaluate the impact of the BP Oil Spill on Mississippi River shipping lanes. As oil continues to drift closer to the Southwest Passage, a critical shipping lane for farmers who rely on barge traffic to ship their crops overseas, Braley and Hare are concerned about the impact a slowdown in Mississippi River traffic could have on prices for farmers, producers and distributors.… Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair Deadlines Approaching

Deadlines are approaching for numerous contests and competitions for the 2010 Fair and the time to enter is now. Completed entry forms must be postmarked as follows:

June 11
Spelling Bee presented by the Ohio Lottery – The first 50 contestants for each grade level, 3rd through 8th – will be accepted into this annual competition. Monetary prizes provided by The Ohio Lottery.

June 20
Livestock Division – Some of the Ohio State Fair’s livestock classes include beef cattle, dairy cattle, llamas, rabbits, goats, sheep, poultry, wool and swine. Junior shows are open only to Ohio 4-H and FFA members, while anyone can participate in the open classes.

Junior Fair Division – Non-livestock junior competitions open only to Ohio youth include 4-H, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire USA, FCCLA, FFA, Girl Scouts, Ohio Grange and Time Warner Cable Technology and Engineering showcase.

Creative Arts Division – Hundreds of competition classes including youth creative arts, baking, sewing, antiques, jewelry, fashion, food preservation, needlework and more will distribute thousands of dollars in premiums to winners.… Continue reading

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