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Ohio Sheep Day to be held July 16, 2011 at Blue Heron Farm

By Roger A. High, State Sheep Extension Associate and Ohio State University, Executive Director, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program

The 2011 Ohio Sheep Day is scheduled for Saturday, July 16, 2011.  It will be held at Blue Heron Farm, home farm of Cynthia Koonce, located outside of Lisbon, Ohio in beautiful Columbiana County. Blue Heron Farm, under the direction of shepherdess, Cynthia Koonce, is a commercial oriented sheep operation, concentrating on marketing a variety of types and sizes of commercial lambs.  Blue Heron Farms is located in the upper part of the Ohio Appalachian region where the terrain is rolling and hilly, making it an ideal location for sheep production.

The 2011 Ohio Sheep Day at the Blue Heron Farm operation will focus on programming that will increase and improve the profitability of sheep operations, Richard Ehrhardt, Small Ruminant Specialist at Michigan State University, will be the keynote speaker. … Continue reading

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Fuel prices impacting farms

This year’s unexpected rise in fuel prices is certain to impact farmers in Ohio and across the nation, but the extent of the impact will vary across agricultural sectors and will depend on other variables, such as the weather and the fate of already record-high grain prices.

Barry Ward, production business management leader with Ohio State University Extension, said that the effect of fuel and energy costs on grain farmers — while significant — will be softened this year by the high profit potential expected for row crops in Ohio and the Midwest.

“Projected corn budgets for this year show the highest net profit outlook I have ever done in six years, and safely you could say this is the highest net profit potential in recent history,” said Ward, who is also an assistant professor in Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE). “Because of that, the high fuel prices we are seeing now are not going to significantly impact the bottom line of grain farmers this year.… Continue reading

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Flying on fungicides now will not prevent vomitoxin

By Pierce Paul and Dennis Mills, Ohio State University Extension


2 – The head scab fungus infects when the wheat crop is flowering i.e., when anthers are seen sticking out of the heads, causing scab to develop and producing vomitoxin.

3 – Therefore, fungicides need to be applied to protect the flowering head to reduce infection, scab development, and vomitoxin production.

4 – Between flag leaf emergence and boot, the head is in the leaf sheath of the flag leaf where it is protected from the head scab fungus, so scab will not cause a problem while the head is hidden, even during these constant rains.

5 – Between flag leaf emergence and boot, the head is in the leaf sheath of the flag leaf where the fungicide will not reach it.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Council Announces Inductees to Hall of Fame


Four Ohioans who committed their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community will be honored Friday, August 5, 2011, by the Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC), when they are inducted to the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The Ohio Agricultural Council (OAC) will induct the late Edwin J. Carey of Marion, Lester Lynd of Pataskala, Dr. Thomas B. Turner of Somerset and Fred Yoder of Plain City, into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame during a special breakfast ceremony held during the Ohio State Fair, Friday, August 5, in the Rhodes Youth Center at the Ohio Expo Center. The 46th annual event will attract 500 guests to honor these four professionals for their lifetime of service and dedication to Ohio’s agriculture community.

“Our Board is extraordinarily pleased to be honoring such a diverse group of inductees into this year’s class,” said Tom Schlenker, president of the Ohio Agricultural Council. … Continue reading

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Watch wheat closely for disease

By Ryan McAllister, CCA, Team Sales Agronomist, Beck’s Hybrids

Do you remember playing Capture the Flag when you were a kid? Well, diseases in your wheat field still like to play that game. They never grew up. Your job is to protect the flag — flag leaf that is. Most wheat fields in our eastern marketing area are in the boot stage and quickly on their way to heading. Once heading occurs, it generally takes 3 to 5 days before flowering begins. There are two considerations that you have when deciding to spray a fungicide on your wheat.

1.    Protect the flag leaf from leaf disease.

2.    Reduce the risk of head scab infection, which can lead to vomitoxin.

Fungicides with good control of head scab must be applied during flowering to be effective! With most of the wheat in our eastern marketing area as close to flowering as it is, it is wise to hold any fungicide application off until then to determine the risk for head scab rather than spraying now for leaf disease and possibly having to spray again shortly to control scab.… Continue reading

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The Weekly Crop Progress Report – May 16th

As of Sunday May 15, corn was 7 percent planted, which was 76 percent behind last year and 63 percent behind the five-year average. Corn emerged was 1 percent, compared to 57 percent last year and 39 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans planted were 3 percent, compared to 44 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Winter wheat was 88 percent jointed, which was 3 percent behind last year and 4 percent behind the five-year average. One percent of winter wheat was headed, 15 percent behind last year and 10 percent behind the five-year average. Thirty-five percent of the oats were planted, compared to 95 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Oats emerged were 13 percent, 71 percent behind last year and 68 percent behind the five-year average. Two percent of alfalfa hay 1st cutting was complete, compared to 9 percent last year and 2 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Crop Insurance Flood Claim Reminders

Heavy rainfall and flood conditions across the Midwest have caused crop damage and slowed planting this spring. Brian Frieden, Director of the Springfield Regional Office of the Risk Management Agency, reminds producers faced with questions on prevented planting, replant or crop losses this spring, to contact their agent for more information.

Producers who are unable to plant an insured crop by the final planting date due to an insurable cause, such as excess moisture and flooding have a number of options. Producers may plant the insured crop during the 25 day late planting period with a reduction in the production guarantee of 1 percent a day for each day planting is delayed after the final planting date. Producers may leave the acreage idle and receive a full prevented planting payment or the insured may be able to plant the acreage to another crop after the late planting period and receive a reduced prevented planting payment.… Continue reading

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Planting updates from around Ohio

With drier weather at the end of last week, Ohio farmers took advantage of the sunshine and heat and worked for hours on end spraying fields and planting corn. Typically most farmers would like to be done planting or nearly done planting by now, but they’ve adapted to changing weather patterns.

The wheat crop in Ohio seems to have suffered a little damaged in waterlogged areas. Some farmers are spraying fungicide in case the weather, which is now cold and wet, becomes hot and wet as the wheat is flowering, making it susceptible to diseases such as head scab and vomitoxin. Here are some updates from around the state.

Northeast Ohio: John Wallbrown, Deerfield, Ohio (Portage County)

We’re have planted about 20% corn and 20% beans. We don’t know if that 20% will make it or not. The weekend was very wet; we’re fully saturated since it rained all weekend. The wheat looks much worse than average — we’re waiting to put a nitrogen fertilizer on it — it’s very soggy.… Continue reading

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Conditions may favor wheat disease

Cool, wet weather in the past few weeks and warmer weather expected in the next few days may spell trouble for wheat growers in some parts of Ohio, as conditions become favorable for head scab and vomitoxin as well as a host of foliar diseases such as powdery mildew, Ohio State agronomic crops experts reported.

Pierce Paul, wheat disease specialist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), said that despite a relatively slow start due to cool, wet conditions, the wheat crop in Ohio has developed well and is now between the jointing (in the north) and boot (in the south) growth stages.

“At this rate of development, and with warmer weather in the forecast, flowering should begin within the next 10 to 20 days,” Paul reported in this week’s issue of Ohio State’s C.O.R.N. Newsletter ( “More rain is also forecasted for later this week and early next week (May 13-18).… Continue reading

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Scarlet and Gray Ag Day 2011

The 2011 Scarlet & Gray Ag Day was held on Friday on the campus of The Ohio State University – specifically, The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.
The Scarlet & Gray Ag Day Committee is a student organization of The Ohio State University that plans an annual agricultural education outreach event for central Ohio 4th and 5th graders. The theme: Ag = Food x Fiber x Fuel.

Ty Higgins covered Scarlet and Gray Ag Day for The Ohio Ag Net and he talked to the namesake of the event, Micki Zartman.

Hannah Thompson is one of the ag students that put together this year’s Scarlet and Gray Ag Day.

One of the Scarlet and Ag Day Advisors is Leslie Risch.Continue reading

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Algae research is building a new industry in Ohio

Visit Yebo Li’s Ohio State University lab and you will find an array of glass tubes filled with a light-green substance, endlessly bubbling inside a growth chamber. It’s algae. The same algae that later this summer will be growing in ponds at a Wooster farm, generating thousands of gallons of oil that will be turned into renewable fuel. Down the road, this green stuff may just be the building block of a new green industry in Ohio.

Li, a biosystems engineer with the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), is working with West Virginia-based Touchstone Research Laboratory in the development of innovative technology for efficiently and profitably growing algae in open ponds for production of fuels and other high-value, bio-based products. Also partnering in this unique research and business-incubation venture is Cedar Lanes Farms, a nursery and greenhouse operation located just a few miles from OARDC’s Wooster campus. Other project participants include engineering firm GZA GeoEnvironmental of Cincinnati and SRS Energy of Dexter, Mich.… Continue reading

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Spring tree and perennial planting workshop

Learn what to plant and how to do it in Secrest Arboretum’s Spring Planting Workshop. It’s a hands-on, rain-or-shine, get-your-hands-dirty practice session. Trees, shrubs and perennials are the focus. It’s next Wednesday, May 18.

“We’ll work with woody and herbaceous plants,” said Ken Cochran, the arboretum’s program coordinator and one of the workshop’s instructors. “We’ll look at plant selection ideas for different sites, and techniques for improving the survivability and sustainability of the plants. That’s something we’ll emphasize.”

There’s a $50 fee to participate. Participation is limited to 12. Pre-registration is required. Call 330-464-2148 to register. Call the same number for more information.

Secrest Arboretum is part of Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster.

Meet at the arboretum’s Seaman Orientation Plaza on Williams Road. It’s about 1.7 miles from OARDC’s main entrance. Follow the signs to the arboretum.

Bring a shovel and hand pruners if you have them.… Continue reading

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Take steps to reduce herbicide drift

Crop farmers need to take precautions to reduce off-target drift when applying herbicides this spring, said Purdue Extension weed scientist Bill Johnson.

“Drift reduces product efficacy on the intended target and can result in damage to sensitive plants” he said. “It also can deposit illegal residues on edible crops, especially organic or processed crops that are checked for contaminants.”

There are two types of herbicide drift — vapor and particle. With vapor drift, the application reaches its target but at some point moves off-target after application. With particle drift, the portion that moves off-target never reaches is target.

Particle drift can occur with any pesticide application, regardless of product formulation, and is directly associated with droplet size, sprayer boom height and wind speed.

“Injury symptoms from drift will depend on the product used, environmental conditions and sensitivity of the plants in the path of air flow,” Johnson said. “Low concentrations of glyphosate may or may not show injury symptoms, while low concentrations of 2,4-D or dicamba may show major symptoms on sensitive plants such as tomatoes, grapes, and roses.”… Continue reading

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Record agricultural exports for first half of fiscal year 2011

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on data released showing that U.S. farm exports reached an all-time high of $75 billion during the first half of fiscal year 2011:

“Today’s trade data demonstrate that, once again, America’s farmers and ranchers are helping lead the way to recovery from the worst economic recession in decades. The gains in U.S. agricultural exports are particularly encouraging news for those who live in rural America or earn a living in farming, ranching and agriculture-related industries, because exports are creating jobs here at home. Farm exports alone will support more than one million jobs in America this year. Strong U.S. farm exports will be a key contributor to building an economy that continues to grow, innovate and out-compete the rest of the world.

“At $75 billion, U.S. agricultural exports for FY 2011 are 27% higher than the same period in last year. This puts us on track to reach the current USDA export forecast of $135.5 billion by the end of the year.… Continue reading

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Independent firm releases assessment of civil rights at USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released an independently produced report that provides a Civil Rights Assessment of USDA’s field-based program delivery and makes recommendations intended to ensure that all Americans have fair and equal access to USDA programs.

“From the day I took office as Secretary, I made it a department-wide priority to ensure that all eligible Americans receive equal access to USDA programs, and this report provides a roadmap that will help us continue moving forward in this effort,” Vilsack said. “USDA employees and our partners throughout the country are to be commended for the commitment being made to diversity, inclusion, and accessibility and that they realize our work must continue.”

The Civil Rights Assessment report released today was promised in Secretary Vilsack’s April 2009 memorandum to employees that detailed an aggressive plan to promote equal access and opportunity at the department. The report makes department-wide recommendations that will help USDA improve service delivery to minority and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and also suggests agency-specific changes to enhance program delivery and outreach to promote diversity, inclusion and accessibility.… Continue reading

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NCGA supports FTAs

National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman released the following statement in support of the pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama.  Tolman testified before the House Agriculture Committee.

“Increased production and a consistent product make the United States a reliable supplier of corn in the world market. NCGA strongly supports passage of the three-pending Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama. Beyond increasing domestic and international demand for corn, passing these FTAs also benefits our customers in the livestock and poultry industries. Developing new markets for our country’s agricultural products will help our sector lead the nation in economic growth and international competitiveness.

“The United States is the largest corn producer and exporter in the world, and exports of corn and corn co-products are essential to producer income. During the 2009-10 marketing year, the United States exported 50.4 million metric tons of corn worldwide. Corn co-products such as distiller’s dried grains (DDGS) represent a growing export market for domestic producers.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association announces 2011 Soybean Yield and Quality Contest

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) is announcing the launch of the state’s second annual Soybean Yield and Quality Contest for the 2011 growing season. An overall state yield winner will be awarded along with category prizes for the top-placing entrants, including winners of the quality contest based on percentages of oil and protein. The fee is $100 per entry.

The six different yield categories available include:

conventional tillage


low-linolenic soybeans – conventional tillage

low-linolenic soybeans – no-till

non-GMO soybeans – conventional tillage

non-GMO soybeans – no-till

Developed to promote the importance of oil and protein, the quality contest is optional to enter. However, a farmer must enter the soybean yield contest to enter the soybean-quality contest. This contest is based on the overall greatest percentage of oil and percentage of protein content in the state. Entrants in the quality contest must submit a two-pound sample of soybeans for testing.

All entry forms and entry fees for the 2011 Soybean Yield and Quality Contest must be postmarked by August 31, 2011. … Continue reading

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ACRE deadline approaching

Steve Maurer, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, would like to remind Ohio producers who have not contacted their local FSA Office about DCP or ACRE enrollment to do so before the sign-up deadline ends.  “It is important producers contact their local FSA office to set up appointments well before the June 1, 2010, deadline,” stated Maurer.
All signatures of producers receiving a share in DCP/ACRE payments are required by the June 1, 2010, deadline.  USDA may accept late-filed applications through September 30.
For more information about the DCP/ACRE programs please visit your local FSA office.
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Grazing management reminders

By Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator Athens County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Plenty of moisture and favorable temperatures is a combination for rapid grass growth. May is generally the month when graziers struggle to manage the spring flush and stay ahead of the growth and seed head development. Here are some management reminders and thoughts related to this early season period.

* Manage beginning and ending grass height. In beginning level grazing schools we say to start grazing when plants are around 8 inches in height. Follow the take half, leave half principle and remove livestock from a pasture paddock when grass height is about 4 inches.

* When grass is growing fast, rotate fast. Under the good growing conditions experienced in the spring of the year, a healthy grass plant will begin to re-grow within a couple of days of being grazed or cut off. This new growth should not be grazed again until the plant has recovered back to the target beginning grazing height.Continue reading

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The shorter the better

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The title of this article could apply to many things in our everyday life if you think about it. Nobody likes a long wait at our favorite restaurant, a long visit at the doctor’s office, long lines while attending an amusement park, or the long number of days waiting on a potential tax-refund from the IRS. You get the idea. Something else that should fall in the “shorter the better” category for beef producers is the breeding season. Regardless of the size and scope of your operation or your preferred time of year to calve, there is little economic justification for a lengthy calving season. This topic has been addressed through countless articles in popular press and Extension meetings. The arrival of breeding season for many herds seems like an appropriate time to revisit this issue.

Regardless of whether you use a natural service sire or artificial insemination in your breeding program, there is little justification for a lengthy breeding season.… Continue reading

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