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Hot dry weather pushes fast 2010 harvest even faster

The week ending Sept. 26 was unseasonably hot and dry throughout the state. The National Agricultural Statistics Service report said that 85 percent of corn was mature, compared to 23% last year and 52% for the five-year average. Corn harvest was 24% complete in Ohio compared to 1% last year and 5% for the five-year average. Corn silage was 95% harvested, compared to 66% last year and 80% for the five-year average. Eighty-eight percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 73% last year and 80% for the five-year average. Soybeans were 66% mature, which was 40% ahead of last year and 29% ahead of the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were reported at 29%, up 24 percent from last year and up 20% for the five-year average. Winter Wheat planted was at 8%, compared to 1% last year and 5% for the five-year average. The 4th cutting of alfalfa hay was 77% complete, compared to 54% last year and 65% for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Weekly Crop Progress Report Sept. 27

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 26, 2010

This week has been unseasonably hot and dry throughout the state. Producer’s main activities for the week were planting of winter wheat and harvest of corn and soybeans. Tobacco producers report that 95% of the tobacco crop is in the barn. Excessive hot and dry weather has caused the crop to dry rather than cure. Southern livestock producers report that they have begun feeding winter hay stocks, due to poor pasture conditions.

As of Sunday September 26, 85 percent of corn was mature, compared to 23 percent last year and 52 percent for the five-year average. Twenty-four percent of corn for grain has been harvested in the State, compared to 1 percent last year and 5 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 95 percent harvested, compared to 66 percent last year and 80 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Corn prices rising and hurting pork expansion opportunities

Hog producers were ready to expand this fall. That may have been appropriate when 2010 corn prices were expected to close at $3.50 in early July, but that is no longer an acceptable conclusion with expectations closer to $5.00, said Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt.

“Higher corn prices will cut margins over the coming 12 months, but hog producers can now avoid an expansion that would plunge margins deep into the red in late 2011 and 2012,” he said.

“The clear message for the industry is: Don’t expand and margins will be okay. The other important message is: The next two years will not be a repeat of the large losses of 2008 and 2009,” he added.

Fortunately, the September USDA survey indicates there are no signs of expansion yet. Producers report they have 2 percent fewer animals in the breeding herd than a year ago, he said.

The primary story is in North Carolina where breeding herd numbers were down 110,000 head over the past year.… Continue reading

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Ohio hog numbers down slightly

Ohio hog producers had 2.04 million hogs on hand September 1, 2010, down slightly from a year ago. The number of market hogs, at 1.88 million head, down 1 percent
from last year. Breeding stock, at 165,000 head, was unchanged from last quarter but up 3 percent from last year.
U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on September 1, 2010 was 65.0 million head. This was down 3 percent from September
1, 2009. Breeding inventory, at 5.77 million head, was down 2 percent from last year.  Market hog inventory, at 59.2 million head, was down 3 percent from last year.
Ohio pork production ranks ninth in the nation with 3,700 hog farms, the vast majority of which are family owned. With 10,860 jobs related to the pork sector in the state, which contribute more than 1.3 billion dollars annually to the economy.

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Ohio hog farmers discuss key pork issues in Washington

During the 2010 Fall Legislative Action Conference, hosted by the National Pork Producers Council, 16 Ohio hog farmers traveled to Washington D.C. where they discussed and educated Congressmen on agriculture legislation important to the pork community.

“Ohio hog farmers can take great pride in the OPPC leadership that participated in our trip to Washington,” said Dick Isler, executive vice president for the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC). “This group spoke with all 18 of our congressional members and two U.S. Senators, explaining the importance of these key issues and the impact they could have on Ohio’s pork community.”

Throughout each of the visits, farmers discussed key pork issues, such as the poor impact the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule could have on marketing hogs across the country. In addition, Ohio hog farmers stressed the importance of passing free trade agreements with Columbia, Korea and Panama, which would not only be great opportunities for continued pork exports, but would have significant positive impact on the U.S.… Continue reading

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4-H offers activities for day off school

In many central Ohio school districts, Friday, Oct. 15, is set aside for teachers’ professional development, giving students a day off. For the first time, Ohio 4-H Youth Development is offering a day of activities at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Ohio State University’s Columbus campus.

“I remember when my children were younger that I wanted them to have someplace and something to do on that day off when I couldn’t be home, they were too old for day care, but not old enough to be home alone,” said Sally McClaskey, program coordinator for Ohio State University Extension’s 4-H program. “A one-day, structured, supervised activity would have been great.”

McClaskey has planned “4-H for a Day” for Oct. 15 — a day of activities for students ages 8 rough 12 involving games, team-building, crafts — even making ice cream with students in the Buckeye Dairy Club.

The event is limited to 40 children, and registration is due to McClaskey by Wednesday, Oct.… Continue reading

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Don't jump the gun on fall N

After last year, no producer wanted to be late getting into the fields this fall. While it’s great to get the crop out early, collect soil samples while it’s still nice outside, and perform tillage while soil conditions are adequate, Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois Extension specialist in soil fertility and plant nutrition, said no one should be applying nitrogen yet.

“Last year’s harvest made it nearly impossible for many to properly fertilize their fields,” Fernandez said.

Every fall, producers who apply nitrogen worry that if they wait too long for temperatures to drop sufficiently, soils might become too wet to do the application. While the window of opportunity is small, it’s important to exercise good judgment to realize the benefit of such application.”

The management of nitrogen is important because this nutrient is both one of the most expensive inputs in today’s farming operations and one that can pose environmental concerns.… Continue reading

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Don’t jump the gun on fall N

After last year, no producer wanted to be late getting into the fields this fall. While it’s great to get the crop out early, collect soil samples while it’s still nice outside, and perform tillage while soil conditions are adequate, Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois Extension specialist in soil fertility and plant nutrition, said no one should be applying nitrogen yet.

“Last year’s harvest made it nearly impossible for many to properly fertilize their fields,” Fernandez said.

Every fall, producers who apply nitrogen worry that if they wait too long for temperatures to drop sufficiently, soils might become too wet to do the application. While the window of opportunity is small, it’s important to exercise good judgment to realize the benefit of such application.”

The management of nitrogen is important because this nutrient is both one of the most expensive inputs in today’s farming operations and one that can pose environmental concerns.… Continue reading

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Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program to provide funding to Ohio grape producers

Ohio grape producers can now apply for their share of $40,000 through the Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program, which is made available by monies secured by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

The program allows for a more stable source of high-quality, high-value grapes for Ohio’s wineries, farmers markets and other retail outlets. It also enables more Ohio wines to qualify for the Ohio Quality Wine Program, which identifies the best wines in Ohio made with 90 percent or more Ohio-grown grapes.

Reimbursement is offered to encourage growers to establish new grape vineyards or expand existing vineyards in Ohio. Growers may apply for up to $2,000 per acre, for a maximum of three acres. Applications must be completed and postmarked by Oct. 22, 2010.

The Ohio Grape Industries Committee, created in 1982 and operated in-part through the Ohio Department of Agriculture, provides marketing and research opportunities to Ohio’s wineries and vineyards.… Continue reading

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Monitor corn fields for stalk lodging and late season “intactness”

By Peter Thomison, Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

Recent storms accompanied by strong winds have resulted in stalk lodging in localized areas across the state. Late season water stress in parts of Ohio may have predisposed corn to greater potential for stalk rots and lodging. The rapid maturation and dry down of corn this year may affect crop “intactness” and we’ve received reports of kernels falling off ears, reduced shank strength, ears dropping, lose husk coverage and exposed ears in some corn hybrids

For a corn plant to remain healthy and free of stalk rot, the plant must produce enough carbohydrates by photosynthesis to keep root cells and pith cells in the stalk alive and enough to meet demands for grain fill. When corn is subjected to drought stress during grainfill, photosynthetic activity is reduced. As a result, the carbohydrate levels available for the developing ear are insufficient. The corn plant responds to this situation by removing carbohydrates from the leaves, stalk, and roots to the developing ear.… Continue reading

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Clean-up Continues at OARDC's Wooster Campus

WOOSTER, Ohio — Clean-up continues at Ohio State University’s Ohio
Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster following last Thursday’s (9/16) direct hit by an EF-2 tornado.

“We have made tremendous strides since last Thursday and will continue to do so throughout this week,” said OARDC Director Steve Slack. “I am always amazed at how people step up in times of emergency, and this situation has been no exception.

“We have received extraordinary assistance from the university and the state,” Slack said, “as well as more locally from the county and city.”

“We’ll overcome this,” Gov. Ted Strickland said on a tour of the devastated campus last Saturday (9/18). “We always bounce back. The people pull together. The very best in Ohio comes out.”

As of today (9/22):

• Workers have restored electricity to most of the campus’s buildings.

• Tree crews have removed most of the downed trees on the main part of campus, though that work continues, and have started to work in the campus’s heavily wooded Secrest Arboretum.… Continue reading

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Clean-up Continues at OARDC’s Wooster Campus

WOOSTER, Ohio — Clean-up continues at Ohio State University’s Ohio
Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster following last Thursday’s (9/16) direct hit by an EF-2 tornado.

“We have made tremendous strides since last Thursday and will continue to do so throughout this week,” said OARDC Director Steve Slack. “I am always amazed at how people step up in times of emergency, and this situation has been no exception.

“We have received extraordinary assistance from the university and the state,” Slack said, “as well as more locally from the county and city.”

“We’ll overcome this,” Gov. Ted Strickland said on a tour of the devastated campus last Saturday (9/18). “We always bounce back. The people pull together. The very best in Ohio comes out.”

As of today (9/22):

• Workers have restored electricity to most of the campus’s buildings.

• Tree crews have removed most of the downed trees on the main part of campus, though that work continues, and have started to work in the campus’s heavily wooded Secrest Arboretum.… Continue reading

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USDA Report highlights Increased Energy Efficiency for Corn-based Ethanol

Harry Baumes, Acting Director of USDA’s Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, says a report that surveyed corn growers in 2005 and ethanol plants in 2008 indicates the net energy gain from converting corn to ethanol is improving in efficiency. Titled “2008 Energy Balance for the Corn-Ethanol Industry,” the report surveyed ethanol producers about ethanol yield (undenatured) per bushel of corn and energy used in ethanol plants.

This report measured all conventional fossil fuel energy, 53,785 BTU used in the production of 1 gallon of corn ethanol. For every British Thermal Unit (BTU) (unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at one atmosphere) of energy required to make ethanol, 2.3 BTUs of energy are produced (energy output/energy input). The ratio is somewhat higher for some firms that are partially substituting biomass energy in processing energy (thermal and electrical energy required in the plant to convert corn to one gallon of ethanol).

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OCA and OBC offer winter internship opportunities

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Beef Council through their goal of providing great opportunities to young people interested in developing their potential for career success announce five winter internships beginning in January and continuing through the Ohio Beef Expo in late March. They will require approximately 20 hours per week and are flexible based upon course schedules. Each successful intern will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and résumé to the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Attn: Internship, 10600 U.S. Highway 42, Marysville, Ohio 43040 prior to Oct. 20, 2010. For further information call 614-873-6736.

Industry Relations Intern

The primary responsibility of this intern will include assisting with the preparation and implementation of the Ohio Beef Expo’s Trade Show. This intern will also assist with communications of the Ohio Beef Expo including advertising and event photography. This position will assist with preparation of the Ohio Cattleman magazine and the OCA Annual Meeting & Banquet including developing award winners’ press releases.

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Maintenance of farm equipment minimizes field fires

Farmers can greatly reduce the risk of starting field fires with proper, regular maintenance of combines and other equipment they use to harvest their crops, a Purdue Extension farm safety expert says.

Combines are especially vulnerable to fires because of the many hours they operate at a time and the dry crop fodder that can collect on them, said Gail Deboy.

“During hot, dry weather, very dry fodder provides an excellent source to fuel a flame whenever a fire is ignited,” he said.

This year’s early planting resulted in early maturing of crops and unusually dry foliage during harvest. The exceptionally dry weather has led to numerous field fires in recent days, and many counties have imposed restrictions on burning.

Combine fires can easily spread to crops or remaining corn stover, rapidly igniting acres of farmland. Field fires can spread to nearby farm equipment, trees and buildings, including homes. Smoke from fires can create health problems for nearby residents and reduce visibility on roads.Continue reading

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Wooster Campus Damaged by Storm; OARDC, ATI Closed Sept. 17

WOOSTER, Ohio – At about 5:30 p.m on Sept. 16, a severe storm went through the Wooster campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. One minor injury has been reported. One greenhouse and at least three buildings, including Research Services, Agricultural Engineering, and Stone House, were damaged.

Trees are down across the campus, including in Secrest Arboretum. The adjacent Agricultural Technical Institute did not sustain damage. Both OARDC and ATI are a part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in The Ohio State University. All OARDC-Wooster and ATI offices will be closed Friday, Sept. 17.

Trees are down across the campus, including in Secrest Arboretum. Both OARDC and ATI are a part of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

It has not been confirmed that the storm was caused by a tornado. Officials continue to assess damages. “We are grateful that our faculty, staff and graduate students are safe,” said Bill Ravlin, OARDC associate director.… Continue reading

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Biodiesel tax incentive still stalled

The American Soybean Association (ASA) expressed extreme disappointment and frustration with the United States Senate for its inability to extend the Biodiesel Tax Incentive that expired on December 31, 2009.

The Senate voted 41-58 against a motion to suspend the rules and accept an amendment offered by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) to enact a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax credit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the U.S. Senate would consider a motion to suspend the rules on the amendment to the Small Business Bill filed by Senator Grassley to retroactively extend the biodiesel tax incentive through 2010.

“Biodiesel has provided a significant market opportunity for U.S. soybean farmers, as well as jobs and economic development for rural communities,” said ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio. “ASA appreciates the efforts of Senator Grassley to include the long overdue extension of the biodiesel tax credit in this Bill.”… Continue reading

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Ohio farm custom rates

By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Ohio State University Extension, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics

A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment or lack of time or expertise for a particular operation. Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work.” A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid from the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

The custom rates reported in this article are based on a statewide survey of 242 farmers, custom operators, farm managers and landowners conducted in 2010.… Continue reading

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Atrazine found safe, again

In a scientific meeting convened by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists for Syngenta presented data that more closely replicate real-world exposure, supporting the safety of the trusted herbicide atrazine.
One of the studies measured the potential effects of atrazine on animals using two delivery methods: 1) after distributed doses or 2) after a large, single dose. Because the rats received atrazine in distributed doses over time, data from this study are more applicable to how humans may be exposed to minute quantities of atrazine in reality. Doses delivered in a distributed manner showed no effects up to and including the highest dose given (500 parts per million in the diet).

“This highest dose was tens of thousands of times higher than the current EPA water standards for atrazine. People would never be exposed to this level in the environment,” said Tim Pastoor, Ph.D., principal scientist with Syngenta. “Yet even at this extreme dose, atrazine had no effect.”
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House approves legislation to reauthorize the law requiring price reporting

The National Pork Producers Council applauded the House for approving legislation to reauthorize the law requiring meat packers to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the prices they pay producers for animals. The legislation, which previously was approved by the Senate, now goes to the president to be signed into law. It reauthorizes for five years the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, and includes new provisions requiring weekly reporting of pork exports – by price and volume – and of wholesale pork cuts. NPPC President Sam Carney said the addition of export and wholesale cuts reporting will further help producers like me make business and production decisions. “The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act is what provides transparency and certainty in the livestock markets and allows competition to thrive,” Carney said. “The new provision for wholesale pork reporting will make pricing data more fully reflect the marketplace today.… Continue reading

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