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Soybean seeding rates should be adjusted for cool, wet soils

As farmers take advantage of the extra time from a long spell of rain to tune up planting equipment, one Purdue Extension soybean specialist says growers need to pay attention to seeding rates – especially with the cold, wet weather in the Midwest.

“April 2011 has been much cooler and wetter than this time last year, so as farmers take advantage for final equipment tune-ups, I want to remind them that planting should be based on soil and environmental conditions,” Shaun Casteel said. “As farmers tune up their planters, drills and air-seeders, they need to consider seeding rates.”

Casteel said that many of the soybean lots planted in 2010 were large seeds. That isn’t the case this year.

“Soybean seeding rates need to be adjusted by seed size rather than weight,” he said. “Planter settings used last year will probably drop more seeds per acre with this year’s seed lots and germination scores fluctuate, as well,” he said.… Continue reading

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EPA Releases Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Guidance

The Obama administration yesterday, April 27, 2011, essentially rewrote two U.S. Supreme Court cases and ignored concerns from Congress and industry by issuing a guidance, which dramatically expands the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Deputy Environmental Counsel Ashley Lyon said the Obama administration has once again acted as an “activist” administration rather than simply implementing laws as intended by Congress and required under the U.S. Constitution.

“EPA and the Corps have attempted to make an end run around two Supreme Court decisions that limited their authority under the CWA by issuing a draft guidance document giving field staff a plethora of approaches to make jurisdictional determinations,” said Lyon. “Through vague definitions and broad interpretations laid out in this draft guidance, EPA and the Corps have once again shown little regard for the practical implications of their actions or Congress’ intentions under the CWA.… Continue reading

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Biomass Crops Assistance Program

Steve Maurer, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, announced the deadline for project area proposals for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP).  To be considered, proposals must be submitted to the Ohio FSA State office by close of business, May 27, 2011.

“I encourage all those interested in participating in this program to contact the Ohio FSA State office for details,” said Maurer.

BCAP was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill and provides payments to eligible farmers, ranchers and forest landowners for the establishment and production of biomass crops for heat, power, bio-based products and biofuels.  BCAP project areas are specific geographic areas where producers grow eligible biomass crops.  Producers then receive annual payments during the life of the contract period for those crops.

For more information, visit the USDA FSA website at: www.fsa.usda.gov/bcap or contact the Ohio FSA State Office Conservation Section at 614-255-2447.… Continue reading

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Saturated soils can threaten drinking water

Heavy rains mean more than an increased risk of flooding. They also can pose a threat to drinking water, said Ohio State University Extension‘s water quality specialist.

Many residents in rural areas get their drinking water from wells rather than municipal systems, and have septic systems rather than sewers for household wastewater.

“Normally, soil does a fantastic job of removing pathogens and other pollutants from wastewater,” said Karen Mancl, who also is a scientist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

“But when it’s saturated, soil loses its ability to remove pollutants. If your well or your neighbor’s well is near your septic system, drinking water could be unsafe.”

Properly constructed and grouted wells protect drinking water against this type of problem, Mancl said. But it’s estimated that 40 percent of the nation’s well water is contaminated.… Continue reading

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Prevented planting reminder

Steve Maurer, State Executive Director for Ohio’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) would like to remind producers to report the acreage to your local FSA office within 15 days of the final planting date of the crop, when bad weather prevents planting or damages crops.  This applies to all crops, whether covered by crop insurance, not covered by insurance, or covered by FSA’s Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP).  Final planting dates vary among counties and crop types.

Producers who have their crops insured through a private crop insurance company should contact the insurance agent immediately and advise them of the damaged crops.  Additionally, for those crops covered under FSA’s NAP, producers should immediately contact their local FSA office to report the acres and file a CCC-576, Notice of Loss Application. “Producers with NAP coverage should report their losses within 15 calendar days of crop damage from natural disaster, so the loss can be appraised and production counted before the crop is put into another use, abandoned or destroyed,” said Maurer.… Continue reading

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How to spot, stop invasive species: May 13 workshop

You may have invasive species on your land and not even know it. Learn about the harm they do, how to spot them and how to fight them in a workshop in Dayton May 13.

The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program’s Invasive Species Workshop looks at such banes as purple loosestrife, common buckthorn and hemlock woolly adelgid — plants and pests that aren’t native to Ohio but are here now and causing problems.

“Invasive species come in all shapes and sizes and include insects, woodland plants and aquatic plants,” said Kathy Smith, coordinator of the Stewards Program and one of the workshop’s speakers.

“We’ll cover the identification of those species that are giving landowners the most difficulty along with some control options — from mechanical removal to the more complex chemical options,” Smith said.

Troublemakers also include common reed, tree-of-heaven, emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, Japanese honeysuckle and some looming new threats.… Continue reading

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Dairypalooza 2011

The Ohio Dairy Programs present Dairypalooza 2011, a learning and growing experience for 4-H dairy members of all ages. The event will be held April 30 at the Grammer Jersey Farm at 11810 Johnson Rd. in Beloit.

Highlights of the day include:

* Dairy JudgingClinic/Contest where we will give you pointers to help your succeed in judging and improve your oral reasons skills. Prizes will be awarded for the top individuals in each age category.

* Dairy Quiz Bowl Demo with a demonstration of dairy knowledge from the 2010 National 4‐H Dairy Quiz Bowl Champs.

* And a Showmanship Clinic covering what you should do once you are in the ring with your animals.

In addition, animal health experts will be on hand to talk with members about important nutrition and health topics. There will also be washing, clipping and fitting clinics and a career expo. Registration is $3 per person.… Continue reading

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Ag-LINK Program Offers Millions in Reduced Rate Loans

State Treasurer Josh Mandel announced approval of $68.9 million in Agricultural Linked Deposit (Ag-LINK) funds awarded to over 800 farmers from all corners of the state.

“Ag-LINK is a great program that offers Ohio’s farmers reduced rate loans to provide needed funds for a successful season. Through the Ag-LINK program the state invests in our agriculture community and helps provide farmers with important financial tools to help weather the up-front costs of their farming operations,” said Treasurer Mandel. “This translates into real money that farmers can use to invest in their operations, which is very important in an era when many are struggling to make ends meet.”

This annual program provides an interest rate reduction on operating loans and lines of credit to Ohio’s farming community. Every year before the planting season, many farmers finance their operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, and fuel. The Ohio Treasury places deposits with Ohio’s banks at below market rates when the bank agrees to reduce the interest rate on a farmer’s loan.… Continue reading

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Challenging decisions for forage producers

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

At the risk of stating the painfully obvious, it has been a very wet spring in the state of Ohio and most surrounding states. The cool, wet weather has put nearly every farming enterprise behind schedule thus far and this week’s weather forecast offers little immediate relief. Corn planting is well behind schedule and soybean planting may soon join the same trend. Poor field conditions have also prevented forage producers from making seedings for permanent pastures or hay fields.

The poor field conditions are particularly troubling for beef producers wanting to improve their forage situation. Even though it seems like a distant memory, the fall of 2010 was abnormally dry in many locations, which resulted in many substandard or delayed seedings. This fact combined with the current field conditions has put many forage enterprises in a precarious situation.

This week’s weather will push the earliest opportunity to return to the field into next week which puts us at the first of May.… Continue reading

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Making adjustments for later corn planting

By Peter Thomison and Robert Mullen, Ohio State University Extension

As of Sunday April 24, only one percent of Ohio’s corn crop was planted, which is 38% behind last year and 13% behind the five-year average (http://www.nass.usda.gov/oh). Weather forecasts indicate more rain this week possibly continuing through Thursday. As prospects for a timely start to spring planting diminish, growers need to reassess their planting strategies and consider adjustments. Since delayed planting reduces the yield potential of corn, the foremost attention should be given to management practices that will expedite crop establishment. The following are some suggestions and guidelines to consider in dealing with a late planting season.

Although the penalty for late planting is important, care should be taken to avoid tillage and planting operations when soil is wet. Yield reductions resulting from “mudding the seed in” are usually much greater than those resulting from a slight planting delay.… Continue reading

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Delayed planting isn’t always a problem

While the sky literally has been falling in the form of rain for the past month, many farmers aren’t panicking about getting their corn into the ground.

“You have to keep it all in perspective,” said Delaware, Ohio, farmer and Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) Chairman John Davis.  “In 1995, for instance, we didn’t even plant soybeans until the third weekend in June.”

Davis is also a seed dealer for Pioneer. He said farmers are not yet calling him to say that they want to switch from planting soybeans to planting corn because the planting dates for corn extend into May.

“The optimum planting dates for corn in Ohio is April 20 until May10. If the corn is planted in that time period with good weather, most of the yields will be okay,” said Davis. “This is not the time to panic. If we get dry and hot weather, we can have the corn in the ground in eight days.… Continue reading

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New USDA rule encourages the purchase of local agricultural products for Critical Nutrition Assistance Programs

Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon announced that USDA’s child nutrition programs are implementing new rules designed to encourage use of local farm products in school meals. The final rule, published in the Federal Register, will let schools and other providers give preference to unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products as they purchase food for the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable, and Summer Food Service programs. The rule is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama and one of the key provisions to bolster farm to school programs across the country.

“This rule is an important milestone that will help ensure that our children have access to fresh produce and other agricultural products,” said Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. “It will also give a much-needed boost to local farmers and agricultural producers.”… Continue reading

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Harvest Land Co-op names new CEO

Harvest Land Co-op, Inc. Board of Directors recently named Scott Logue to serve as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Logue has served Harvest Land since 2007 as a Region Manger, Crop Nutrient Manager and Transportation Manager.  He has spent his 14-year career at Harvest Land in a range of positions including agronomy specialist, operations, fuel contracting and management positions. Prior to his current responsibilities, he was Harvest Land’s Liquid Fuel Contractor and Crop Nutrient Manager, responsible for procurement and distributions of products while managing employees and assisting in developing customer contacts. Previously, Logue served seven years as the Hagerstown, IN location Ag Center Manager.  Logue also has experience as an Agronomy Sales Specialist, custom applicator, and with accounts payable.

Gene Tapalman, Harvest Land’s Board Chairman, said that the Harvest Land Board selected Logue based on this track record of being a visionary leader and service-focused manager.

“Our search for a new leader to continue Harvest Land’s success in the industry has been focused and thorough,” said Tapalman.… Continue reading

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Bat disease could cost Ohio agriculture up to $1.7 billion a year

Ohio farmers could suffer more than $740 million a year in agricultural losses, and possibly as much as $1.7 billion, if the new deadly disease called white-nose syndrome wipes out the state’s bats, according to a recent study in the journal Science.

Especially hard hit, the study said, would be the rich farming counties in the state’s west and northwest, such as Darke, Wood, Mercer and Putnam, where typical losses could range from $18 million to $23 million per county per year.

“Simply put, bats eat a lot of insects — insects that bother us around our homes, and insects that can damage crops and forests,” said Ohio State University Extension wildlife specialist Marne Titchenell, who was not part of the study but gives bat conservation workshops around the state and studied southern Ohio bat populations in graduate school. “It’s logical to assume we’ll lose a significant amount of the pest-control services that bats provide us as the disease spreads through Ohio and potentially the Midwest.”… Continue reading

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Planting factors in 2011

By Steve Prochaska, Ohio State University Extension

The weather conditions this year have not favored very early planting of corn and soybeans. However, both corn and soybeans can yet be planted with full yield potential.  When soil conditions become favorable, both crops can be planted without great risk to cold weather injury. There are, however, certain attributes associated with each (corn and soybeans) that should be considered if only one crop can be planted at a time. What follows below is risk/benefit analysis to corn and /or soybean planting given the possible time and field constraints that are very possible in 2011.

Risks to early planted orn

1.   Uneven or reduced plant emergence due to extended periods of wet, cold weather can significantly reduce corn yields.

2.   If need to replant, there is a loss of growing season and corn yield potential.

3.   Cost of replanting in the event of failure.… Continue reading

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ODA’s Forshey re-elected to National Institute for Animal Agriculture Board

Five Newly Elected to NIAA’s Board of Directors

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.— Members of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture elected five members to their first three-year term on its Board of Directors and re-elected three to their second term. Newly elected to NIAA’s Board were Linda Campbell, American Dairy Goat Association; Colin Forster, Y-TEX Corporation; Dr. Karen Jordan, Dairy Farmers of America; Erika Rachal, Alltech, Inc.; and John Saunders, IMI Global. Re-elected to NIAA’s 21-member Board were Dr. Tony Forshey, Ohio Department of Agriculture; Stan Mannschreck, National Livestock Producers Association; and Dr. David Meeker, National Renderer Association.

“The expertise, passion and experience of these individuals fit well with other members currently serving on NIAA’s Board,” stated Dr. Robert Fourdraine, Chairman of NIAA’s Board. “We have a well-rounded Board that can take a 360-degree look at challenges and opportunities within animal agriculture and help us advance proactive solutions for the industry.”

NIAA’s Board guides the organization’s members that include national and state livestock organizations, poultry and equine organizations, producers, veterinarians, government regulatory personnel, academia, researchers, extension specialists and allied industry businesses.Continue reading

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ODA's Forshey re-elected to National Institute for Animal Agriculture Board

Five Newly Elected to NIAA’s Board of Directors

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.— Members of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture elected five members to their first three-year term on its Board of Directors and re-elected three to their second term. Newly elected to NIAA’s Board were Linda Campbell, American Dairy Goat Association; Colin Forster, Y-TEX Corporation; Dr. Karen Jordan, Dairy Farmers of America; Erika Rachal, Alltech, Inc.; and John Saunders, IMI Global. Re-elected to NIAA’s 21-member Board were Dr. Tony Forshey, Ohio Department of Agriculture; Stan Mannschreck, National Livestock Producers Association; and Dr. David Meeker, National Renderer Association.

“The expertise, passion and experience of these individuals fit well with other members currently serving on NIAA’s Board,” stated Dr. Robert Fourdraine, Chairman of NIAA’s Board. “We have a well-rounded Board that can take a 360-degree look at challenges and opportunities within animal agriculture and help us advance proactive solutions for the industry.”

NIAA’s Board guides the organization’s members that include national and state livestock organizations, poultry and equine organizations, producers, veterinarians, government regulatory personnel, academia, researchers, extension specialists and allied industry businesses.Continue reading

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Marestail control essential to protect soybean yields

No-till practices save soil and offer many other benefits, but soybean producers know there’s at least one big disadvantage: Not tilling gives weeds, particularly problematic marestail, a chance to thrive.

“The biggest challenge we have in no-till soybeans across Ohio and surrounding states is control of glyphosate-resistant marestail in the spring,” said Ohio State University Extension weed specialist Mark Loux.

Marestail emerges in fields from late March through June, and again in late summer through fall. Spring-emerging marestail competes with soybeans throughout the growing season, eventually bolting to a height of 3 to 6 feet, enough to interfere with harvest. It’s more of a problem in the southern two-thirds of the state, though it’s moving north, Loux said.

Loux said a one-two punch is necessary for marestail control in no-till fields: An effective burndown herbicide treatment to ensure planting is done in weed-free fields, and a residual treatment controlling the growth of any new weeds until early to mid-June, when the leaves of the soybean plants are large enough to form a canopy that provides plenty of control.… Continue reading

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