Top Headlines

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

USDA’s CAP deadline approaching

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers they have until close of business on Thursday, Dec. 9, to apply for assistance for 2009 losses under the Crop Assistance Program (CAP). Up to $550 million in disaster assistance will be issued to producers of rice, upland cotton, soybeans and sweet potatoes for eligible losses because of excessive moisture or related conditions in 2009.

Assistance is available to producers of eligible crops in counties that received Secretarial disaster designations as a result of excessive moisture or related conditions in 2009. A list of eligible disaster counties for CAP is located at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov. Producers of eligible crops on farms in disaster counties who certify to a 5% or greater crop loss in 2009 because of excessive moisture or related conditions may be eligible for compensation based on a predetermined payment rate multiplied by the planted and considered planted acres of the crop.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA's CAP deadline approaching

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers they have until close of business on Thursday, Dec. 9, to apply for assistance for 2009 losses under the Crop Assistance Program (CAP). Up to $550 million in disaster assistance will be issued to producers of rice, upland cotton, soybeans and sweet potatoes for eligible losses because of excessive moisture or related conditions in 2009.

Assistance is available to producers of eligible crops in counties that received Secretarial disaster designations as a result of excessive moisture or related conditions in 2009. A list of eligible disaster counties for CAP is located at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov. Producers of eligible crops on farms in disaster counties who certify to a 5% or greater crop loss in 2009 because of excessive moisture or related conditions may be eligible for compensation based on a predetermined payment rate multiplied by the planted and considered planted acres of the crop.… Continue reading

Read More »

NCGA and industry work together on Bt corn refuge implementation

To assist farmers in developing the right plan for refuge compliance, NCGA has joined forces with agribusiness to develop a next-generation Insect Resistance Management refuge calculator that is easy to use and represents the latest products available.

“Biotechnology is an important part of modern agriculture’s ability to sustainably meet the world’s increasing demands for food, feed and fuel, and its proper stewardship is essential,” said Chad Blindauer, Chair of NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “Given the benefits of Bt products, farmers and trait providers have a duty to keep this technology viable and on the market.”

In recent years, the introduction of new refuge systems has given growers more options in setting up their refuge. NCGA’s calculator was developed as a tool to clarify those options with growers and show them how to execute the requirements properly.

Industry experts from the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC), which is made up of representatives from Dow AgroSciences LLC, Monsanto Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.,… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA seeks applications for grants to help farmers improve rural environmental quality and energy efficiency

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is seeking proposals for grants to improve water quality, air quality and promote energy conservation. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $25 million through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to address natural resource concerns nationwide with a special emphasis on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Mississippi River Basin.

“The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring private lands are conserved, restored, and more resilient to environmental challenges, like climate change,” Vilsack said. “USDA is seeking grant applications from farmers, ranchers and our conservation partners to solve America’s natural resource challenges.”

Now in its eighth year, the CIG program offers funding dedicated to the adoption of technologies to address a broad range of agricultural issues. For example, the Michigan Department of Agriculture worked with Michigan State University and agricultural landowners to establish conservation practices for high-risk erosion areas, with a goal of reducing sediment and nutrient runoff. … Continue reading

Read More »

China, corn and cattle

The No. 1 factor in cattle feeding profit or loss is not fed or feeder cattle price, beef demand or the nation’s shrinking cowherd.It’s the price of corn.

“U.S. cattlemen, I can’t say it strong enough,” said Dan Basse, president of AgResource Company of Chicago.  “You’ve got to be focused on grain prices and your ingredient prices because it’s going to determine who stays in business, who makes money, who expands and who goes.”

Basse addressed crowds at the Feeding Quality Forum Nov. 9 in Grand Island, Neb., and Nov. 11 in Amarillo, Texas. The market analyst examined the interactions between corn and beef markets, starting with global factors that affect both.

“It used to be when I woke up in the morning, I would look at the weather forecast as one of the first drivers for grain markets,” Basse said. “Now I get up and the first thing I think about is, what are the Chinese markets doing?”… Continue reading

Read More »

2010 is the 500th Anniversary of the first decorated Christmas tree

By Matt Reese

Little is known about the first decorated Christmas tree in Riga, Latvia, other than the tree was placed in the public marketplace and decorated by members of a merchants guild to honor the birth of Christ. A ceremony was held and the tree was burnt at its conclusion.

The year of that first decorated Christmas tree was 1510, 500 years ago. A plaque now marks the spot where the first Christmas tree stood. This year, Christmas tree growers from around the world are commemorating the 500 years of the beloved holiday tradition.

“Christmas tree growers from Ohio are proud to be a small part of this long and cherished Christmas tradition,” said Dave Reese, president of the Ohio Christmas Tree Association. “Many of the Christmas tree farms in the state will being doing special activities and promotions to commemorate this occasion. It is not every year you get to be a part of a 500-year anniversary.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Central Ohio Agronomy Day-Dec. 16

Practicing twin-row corn production for potential higher yields, getting a handle on marestail, and reassessing fertility recommendations are just some of the ag production topics being covered during the Central Ohio Agronomy Day on Dec. 16.

The event will take place in Founders Hall at the Ohio State University/Central Ohio Technical College campus in Newark, Ohio. The program, sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, will run from 8:45 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

The Central Ohio Agronomy Day is tailored for crop producers, those in the agronomy service industry, Certified Crop Advisors and commercial pesticide applicators. Advanced registration is $20, paid by Dec. 10, and $30 at the door. The fee includes morning refreshments, lunch, program materials, and up to eight hours of CCA credits.

Session topics include adoption of precision agriculture, drainage water management, nitrogen rate field trial in continuous corn, corn after corn management, insect management, weed management, and water quality improvement.… Continue reading

Read More »

Animal Agriculture Alliance encourages people to prevent HSUS from capitalizing on Pepsi’s generosity

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is dismayed that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been deemed eligible to compete to win $250,000 in the online Pepsi Refresh Project.  


Pepsi began the project in January of 2010 with the goal of awarding grants to “innovative and inspiring causes”. Ideas are submitted by individuals, groups, non-profits and businesses with no more than $25 million in revenue. Each month, up to 10 grants are awarded for each denomination of $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000. Two grants of $250,000 are also given. Winners of the grants are selected by public votes on the Pepsi Refresh Project website and text messages. Each month, the projects and organizations competing change and voting restarts.

Past winners of $250,000 grants include the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, AIDS Research Alliance, Homes of Hope for Children, Inc., Teach for America and the American Legion.  Fourteen of the past 17 grants of $250,000 have specifically benefited children and eight of the 17 grants have gone toward medical research.

… Continue reading

Read More »

Animal Agriculture Alliance encourages people to prevent HSUS from capitalizing on Pepsi's generosity

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is dismayed that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been deemed eligible to compete to win $250,000 in the online Pepsi Refresh Project.  


Pepsi began the project in January of 2010 with the goal of awarding grants to “innovative and inspiring causes”. Ideas are submitted by individuals, groups, non-profits and businesses with no more than $25 million in revenue. Each month, up to 10 grants are awarded for each denomination of $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000. Two grants of $250,000 are also given. Winners of the grants are selected by public votes on the Pepsi Refresh Project website and text messages. Each month, the projects and organizations competing change and voting restarts.

Past winners of $250,000 grants include the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, AIDS Research Alliance, Homes of Hope for Children, Inc., Teach for America and the American Legion.  Fourteen of the past 17 grants of $250,000 have specifically benefited children and eight of the 17 grants have gone toward medical research.

… Continue reading

Read More »

Animal Welfare Symposium

The 2nd annual Animal Welfare Symposium featured Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and well-known animal handling expert and autism advocate. In addition, attendees got practical advice and answers to commonly asked questions about how to best handle and manage compromised animals, learned the latest consumer research on perceptions of animal agriculture and the implications for the livestock industry and heard an update on the activities of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

For posted presentations from the program, visit:

http://vet.osu.edu/preventive-medicine/AnimalWelfareSymposiumContinue reading

Read More »

ASA pushing important issues in DC this week

American Soybean Association (ASA) farmer-leaders will be in Washington, D.C. this week to participate in two events involving legislation crucial to U.S. soybean farmers.

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, ASA Executive Committee member Joe Steiner will be participating in a press conference at the National Press Club on the need for Congress to enact estate tax legislation before Dec. 31. On Jan. 1 of 2011, the estate tax rate will revert to the 2001 rate of up to 55% with only a $1 million exclusion.

If not addressed by Congress, the high estate tax rate of 55% and low exclusion level of $1 million will very negatively affect the ability to pass farms, ranches, and small businesses from one generation to another. Even small and very moderate-sized family farm operations would be negatively affected. With farmland in many regions of the country selling for $5,000 per acre, it takes only 200 acres of land to reach the exclusion value of $1 million.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio pumpkins could be seed of snack food industry

Most pumpkins grown in Ohio — one of the top producers of the gourd in the U.S. — are of the jack-o’-lantern type, but the state also produces pumpkins for pie. Now, Ohio could become famous for its pumpkin seeds.

Ohio State University researchers are working with growers and Innovative Farmers of Ohio to select pumpkin varieties that yield good seeds for roasting, which could lead to added income opportunities for farmers and a new niche market.

Supported by an Ohio Department of Agriculture specialty crop grant, the project began in 2009 with the planting of 15 pumpkin varieties. This year, the five varieties with the best traits for pumpkin seed production were selected and planted at the university’s Western Agricultural Research Station in South Charleston and at two grower sites in the area.

“We harvested the pumpkins and took them to the pilot plant (at the Food Industries Center on the Columbus campus), where the seeds were extracted, cleaned, dried, roasted and seasoned,” said Jim Jasinski, an OSU Extension educator with the Integrated Pest Management Program.… Continue reading

Read More »

OARDC establishes tornado relief fund for graduate student losses, landscaping

The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) has established a relief fund to assist graduate students affected by the Sept. 16 tornado that hit its Wooster campus and to help with landscaping and other beautification projects.

Individuals or businesses interested in contributing to this fund can mail their gifts to the Ohio State University Office of Development, 1625 Wilson Road, Wooster, OH 44691; or donate online at http://www.giveto.osu.edu. Please refer to the “OARDC Campus Tornado Relief Fund,” No. 313533. All gifts to the university are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

“We have been overwhelmed and pleased with the many offers of assistance we have received since the day of the tornado,” said OARDC Director Steve Slack. “This fund provides an opportunity for people at the university and in the community at large to help us get back on our feet.”

On Nov. 12, Newell Rubbermaid made the first gift to the fund, presenting OARDC with a $5,000 check.… Continue reading

Read More »

Poinsettias brighten greenhouses and homes for the holidays

For those that travel U.S. Route 33 on the southeast side of Columbus, Dill’s Greenhouse has been a landmark for decades with a big sign, a full parking lot and a reputation for quality nursery, garden and landscaping plants. And, this time of year, they are known for the red glow emanating from the 15,000 poinsettias filling the greenhouse.

“The only thing prettier than a greenhouse full of poinsettias is an empty one at Christmas,” said Jerry Dill, owner of Dill’s Greenhouse in Franklin County. “Poinsettias are one last push for the year before a nice break for us from after Christmas to around Jan. 15 or so when we start to get pretty busy again.”

Dill’s poinsettias range from 4-inch to 14-inch pots and there are around 50 different cultivars for customers to choose from, ranging from a standard red to pink and other novelty colors.

“Around 60% of our poinsettias are red and 40% are the novelty plants, and that is probably high compared to what most people sell,” Dill said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State University Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference

Corn University and Soybean School will once again headline sessions of conservation tillage topics at the 2011 Ohio State University Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference.

The event will be held Feb. 24-25 at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University in Ada. Sponsors include Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Northwest Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, and the Ohio No-Till Council.

Early registration is $50 for one day or $75 for both days. At the door, registration is $60 for one day and $85 for both days. Complete registration and program information will be available after Jan. 1, 2011 at http://ctc.osu.edu.

The Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference is the largest, most comprehensive program of conservation tillage techniques in the Midwest. About 60 presenters (farmers, industry professionals, and university specialists) from around the country focus on cost-saving, production management topics.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA issues wildlife habitat incentive program final rule

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) issued a final rule for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) that adds a new national priority for restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitat.

“WHIP helps our nation’s landowners address one of the biggest challenges of our day — restoring fish and wildlife habitats, and benefitting at-risk species,” said NRCS Chief Dave White. “In keeping with our new national priority, we’ll be focusing our efforts on filling in habitat areas to provide continuous habitat for migrating species.”

Read more about the WHIP final rule…Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

The 92nd annual meeting of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) will take place Dec. 1 – 3 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Battelle Grand in Columbus. 341 delegates representing all Ohio counties will establish the organization’s policies and elect state leaders. Farm Bureau is Ohio’s largest farm organization and represents its members’ interests on economic, environmental, social and political issues.

Delegates are expected to establish policies on balancing the state budget, farm animal care, pollution abatement, education and other subjects important to all Ohioans.

Officers for 2011 will be elected during the meeting as well as nine members of the state board of trustees.

Guest speakers include Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, Ohio Director of Agriculture Robert Boggs and American Farm Bureau national policy expert Mary Kay Thatcher. OFBF President Brent Porteus and OFBF Executive Vice President John C. (Jack) Fisher will address the members and Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen will offer remarks.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSU Extension Tax Webinar available

Ohio farmers are invited to attend a free webinar on managing income taxes in a prosperous agriculture climate many may be currently experiencing.

Ohio State University Extension will host “Tax Management 2010” on Dec. 2 from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. The workshop will feature University of Illinois Extension tax specialist Gary Hoff. Host sites for the workshop include OSU Extension offices in Clinton, Fairfield, Fulton, Morrow, Muskingum, Portage, Putnam, and Shelby counties, plus Fisher Auditorium at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wayne County.

Hoff will focus on the “good, bad and ugly of 2010 tax legislation.” Tax issues that will be addressed include estate taxes, the impact of health care legislation, retirement benefits, preparing for an IRS audit, 1031 exchanges, concerns surrounding delaying farm income and prepaying expenses.

For more information, or to register log on to http://fairfield.osu.edu/events/tax-management-2010, or contact the OSU Extension office at which you plan to attend.… Continue reading

Read More »

Optimism for hog prices

Hog producers have been feeling the bite of losses once again this fall, but there is reason for some optimism, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University Extension economist.

“First, hog prices are probably at their seasonal lows in late November as consumers are buying their Thanksgiving turkey rather than pork. Second, lower corn and meal prices provide an opportunity to lock in feed prices at levels that were not available a few weeks ago,” he said.

The 2011 outlook also provides some optimism for a year of positive margins on average. Producers may want to consider taking some of those positive margins now, he said.

Live hog prices fell from near $60 per hundredweight in September to the mid-$40s by mid-November. With costs of production in the mid-$50s, this means losses near $15 per head in the final quarter, he said.

“The saving grace is that profits were strong last spring and summer.… Continue reading

Read More »

AgriGold customer wins lease on grain trailer at Farm Science Review

One lucky visitor to the AgriGold tent at the Ohio Farm Science Review was selected at random to receive a 9-month lease on a 40-foot hopper bottom grain trailer. Roger Yocom of Yocom Brothers Farm in Cable, Ohio was the prize recipient.

“I’ve been able to park one of my trailers for the season and use this top of the line trailer, which has been great,” said Yocom.

The Yocom Brothers Farm is located in central Ohio and have been a valued AgriGold customer for many years. The Yocom Brothers utilize twin-row corn planting technology on their operation, which is split 50:50 corn and beans. They’ve grown AgriGold products for several years and have been very pleased with their experience.

Visitors who were current AgriGold growers or new customers were able to enter for a chance to win the lease. Multiple entries could be made based upon their current order of corn for the spring.… Continue reading

Read More »