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Doc's Talk: Making peace … what’s next?

By “Doc” Donald E. Sanders, DMV, OSU Large Animal Field Service

The livestock farmers I’ve visited lately are mad as Hades. They are frustrated over our ag leadership and governor entering a “kiss your sister” kind of agreement regarding animal welfare in Ohio.
Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), says the deal with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) makes good sense. And politically it may make good sense for Governor Strickland, too. He didn’t say so, but it
was clear he didn’t want a bunch of farmers going to the polls in November to vote on the HSUS initiative. That would have made it too convenient for them to also have given his re-election bid a thumbs down.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS, appears to be a happy camper. But is he really? The agreement delays full implementation of his animal rights agenda until 2025.… Continue reading

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Ohio and national yields look strong

Based on conditions as of August 1, Ohio’s average corn yield is forecast at 176 bushels per acre, up 2
bushels from last year’s yield of 174 bushels per acre. Total production is forecast at 595 million bushels.
Growers expect to harvest 3.38 million acres for grain in 2010, 240,000 acres more than in 2009.

Soybean yield is forecast at 46 bushels per acre, down 3 bushels from the 2009 state average. If this yield is
realized, Ohio’s production would total 215.3 million bushels, down 3 percent from last year. Harvested
acreage is forecast at 4.68 million acres, up 150,000 from 2009.

Winter Wheat yield is estimated at 61 bushels per acre, down 5 bushels from the previous forecast and 11
bushels below the previous year’s state average. Total production is estimated at 46 million bushels, 34
percent less than the 2009 production. Acreage for harvest is estimated at 760,000 acres, down 220,000
acres from the previous year.… Continue reading

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Ohio No-Till Field Day September 8

WEST MANCHESTER, Ohio – A full day of no-till technology, products and emerging trends will be the focus of the Ohio No-Till Field Day on Sept. 8.

“Farming Green Year-Round” is the theme of the event, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Keith Kemp Farm, 959 Georgetown-Verona Road, West Manchester, Ohio. Registration is $30 due by Aug. 30, or $35 on-site.

Topics being covered include success with no-till corn, emerging trends in corn and soybean-based bio-products, insect issues, manure and drainage management, grain handling systems, and plastic poly and fiberglass tank safety. Speakers include experts from Purdue University, Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center specialists, and industry representatives.

For a detailed agenda, log on to

Sponsors include OSU Extension, OARDC, Ohio No-Till Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Darke and Preble counties Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Oregon Ryegrass Commission, Kale Marketing, Farmer’s Commission, Ohio’s Country Journal, Monsanto, Pioneer, AGCO, and Ohio Corn Growers Association.… Continue reading

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Wheat Seed Treatments in 2010

By Pierce Paul, Dennis Mills, Ohio State University Extension

Seed treatments can play an important role in achieving uniform seedling emergence under certain conditions. Seed treatments can protect seeds or seedlings from early-season diseases, and fungicides are available to provide such protection. However, seed treatments should not be considered a cure-all for the selection of poor quality seed lots. Seed treatments will not increase poor germination due to excessive mechanical damage, poor storage conditions, genetic differences in variety, or other damage.

Head scab and Stagonospora glume blotch were at high levels in many fields this year, therefore growers need to limit losses due to these and other seed-borne pathogens by treating seed. In addition, be sure to use crop rotation and plant resistant or less susceptible varieties. Be especially concerned that saved seed may be contaminated. If head scab or Stagonospora was present at high levels in your wheat field do not use that grain for seed.… Continue reading

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USDA forecasts record corn and soybean crops

U.S. farmers are on pace to produce the largest corn and soybean crops in history, according to the Crop Production report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Corn production is forecast at 13.4 billion bushels and soybean production at 3.43 billion bushels, both up 2% from the previous records set in 2009. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, corn yields are expected to average a record-high 165 bushels per acre, up 0.3 bushel from last year’s previous record. Soybean yields are expected to equal last year’s record of 44 bushels per acre.

The August Crop Production report contains USDA’s first survey-based estimates of yield and production for corn, soybeans and other spring-planted row crops. Between July 25 and August 6, NASS surveyed approximately 27,000 producers and also took objective field measurements in the major crop-producing states. Crop Production is published monthly and is available online at http://www.nass.usda.govContinue reading

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Lessons learned in 2010

By Matt Reese

As Ohio’s crops work their way through another Ohio growing season, farmers should take some time to observe their fields and review the season while it is still fresh in their memory. Much can be learned from the successes and failures in the fields leading up to harvest this fall.


Some wheat growers had disappointing 50- to 60-bushel yields and poor quality, while others had a great year. What happened?

“On our own farm we had had very good wheat yields with a number of fields in the 90s and one field that broke 100 bushels,” said Brad Haas, a Wood County farmer who sits on the Ohio Wheat Growers Association Board. “We have really stepped up wheat management. We scout and invest in treatment when needed and it has paid off for us.”

Even when time is at a premium, Haas makes wheat a priority. He adjusts his seeding rate and plant population for the soil types and yield potential of the fields.… Continue reading

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Ohio Weekly Crop Progress Report

The average temperature for the State was 75.2 degrees, 3.3 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, August 8, 2010. Precipitation averaged 0.84 inches, 0.13 inches below normal. There were 164 modified growing degree days, 14 days above normal.
Reporters rated 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, August 6, 2010. Topsoil moisture was rated 3 percent very short, 28 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus.


Scattered showers moved through the state and provided needed rain to some areas, thus reducing heat stress for both crops and livestock. Farm activities included tillage, installing tile, spraying corn and soybeans, applying manure, and baling hay. There were isolated reports of insect pressure on soybeans including Japanese beetle and spider mites, but overall pressure was light. Early tobacco harvest began in the southern counties, however much of the crop was still behind normal.… Continue reading

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Precision Ag Technology A Focus of Agronomy Field Day, Aug. 25

Precision agriculture and the economics of technology will be the focus of the Ohio State University Extension East Central Ohio Agronomy Field Day on Aug. 25.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at David Miller Farm, 10750 Millersport Road, Millersport, Ohio. Registration is $10, payable by noon the day of the event.

Topics being covered throughout the day include corn and soybean disease and plant health reports, assessing fertility programs, identifying nutrient issues, yield monitor benefits, precision ag technology options, anaerobic digestion economic opportunities, and watershed management.

Certified crop advisor credits will be available.

The field day is sponsored by OSU Extension offices of Fairfield, Licking, Perry, and Pickaway counties. Additional sponsors include Farm Credit Services, Laurelville Grain, ADM Grain, Southwest Ohio Corn Growers, New Era Liquids, Agro-Chem East, Coschocton Grain, Wilmington Case IH Super Store, and Ohio Soybean Council.

For more information, log on to reading

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Self Guided Exhibit at Farm Science Review to Teach On-Farm Electrical Safety

Electricity from power lines near grain bins can arc to a conductor and farm equipment can be that target, putting the farmer, family, friends or farm hands at risk for electrocution.

Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program will have an exhibit at this year’s Farm Science Review explaining the dangers of overhead power lines and what those working on the farm should look for to stay safe.

“There is a misconception that as long as that equipment can clear the power lines then everything is OK,” said Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension state safety specialist. “But if you have, say a two foot clearance, that isn’t enough. Electricity can arc to the auger, wagon, combine, whatever equipment you may be operating at the time.”

Between 1990 and 2009, there have been 8 fatalities related to electrocutions in Ohio, 3 of which where grain bin related, according to the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program website.… Continue reading

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Task force nearing completion on new corn, wheat organization

By Ohio Corn Growers Association and Ohio Wheat Growers Association Executive Director Dwayne Siekman
Over six years ago, the Ohio Wheat Growers Association (OWGA) entered into a formal relationship with the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA).
The relationship began with shared staff, but grew over the years, with joint membership meetings, legislative visits, public campaigns, and policy development synergies.
As joint activities increased, the leadership of the two organizations started to ask themselves, should we be doing this a little differently?  Aren’t we really just the same person?  In Ohio, if you grow corn and beans, you probably grow wheat. Although you may be a member of one organization and may identify with that, the reality is that when you think about your operation, you are a farmer who looks at all the business opportunities from a variety of crops and decides what is best for you. You expect nothing less of an association that represents you.
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A conversation with … Gary Conklin, Conklin Dairy, Plain City

Editor’s note: Due to death threats received by the Conklin family, a photo has not been included. Conklin was recently cleared by a Union County grand jury in an animal-abuse case involving his farm and a video released by Mercy For Animals.

OCJ: What is your family’s history in the dairy Industry?

Gary: The business started in 1919 marketing all types of livestock. Over time the business evolved into just Holstein heifers and cows. Up until 1990 a large part of our sales were from public auctions. Since that point it has been primarily private treaty sales.

OCJ: Will you please describe your dairy operation?

Gary: We broker close up and fresh Holstein heifers. We freshen out 1,000 to 1,200 first calf heifers per year. Many of our customers prefer to acquire fresh heifers. But, we do have some that prefer to buy springing heifers 30 to 60 days from calving.… Continue reading

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4000th Operation Main Street Speech Helps Take We Care Message to Millions

Pork producers are more committed than ever to demonstrating how much they care about producing safe and nutritious food, the well-being of their animals and protecting the environment. Through some amazing efforts, they have reached another important milestone for the National Pork Board’s Operation Main Street (OMS) program. On Aug. 4, volunteer OMS speakers achieved the Pork Checkoff-funded program’s 4,000th speech.  

“Thanks to our volunteers, OMS has grown into a significant asset for the pork industry and an important voice for the pork industry’s We Care initiative,” said Perry Aasness, vice president of industry relations for the Pork Checkoff. “OMS speakers are now showing key decision-makers and influencers such as county commissioners, dietitians, and small animal veterinarians, how pork producers are working hard every day to do the right thing.”

We Care is a pork industry initiative designed to help producers demonstrate they are committed to established ethical principals and animal well-being practices.Continue reading

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Ohio Top Farmers Ag Tour for Northwest Ohio Aug. 17, 18, 19

We have put together 3 days packed with a variety of places to visit.  Please select which stops you would like to visit, so we can accommodate you.  A few of the stops want to provide refreshments.  You must RSVP to John Dixon at or mail to John Nixon, 15328 Wrestle Creek Road, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 45896 or by cell at 419-236-2516 on or before August 7th. Please don’t forget to include your guests.

8-17                 9:00 a.m.         Koenig Equip Shared Resource Center, 15213 St. Rt. 274, Botkins Succession Plans in Agriculture

8-17                 10:30 a.m.       Wildman Spice Barn, 29956 US 33 (New Hampshire) been in business since 1895

8-17                 11:00 a.m.       Tim Manchester, 29249 St. Rt. 385, Lakeview – Round Barn tour and Seed conditioning
plus farming 3800 acres

8-17                 11:00 a.m.       Martha’s open house for ladies plus mother’s doll houses

8-17                 12:00 p.m.       Lunch at Tim’s – BBQ chicken, potato salad, green beans, pop & coffee

8-17                 1:30 p.m.        … Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame inducts eight new members

Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame inducts eight new members

The Ohio State Fair inducted eight new Hall of Fame members on July 29 in the Rhodes Center Auditorium. Inductees are: Charles Cox, Columbus; Dennis Elliott, Columbus; Richard Falter, Osprey, Fla.; Opal Holfinger, Troy; Richard Indoe, Lodi; David Madison, Bexley; Jeff Milgrom, Columbus; and Rose Stough, Galion.

Charles Cox has been involved with the Ohio State Fair for approximately 50 years as a concessionaire. Beginning with the operation of ice cream concessions during the fair, Cox’s involvement has grown to provide year-round concessions and catering services at the Ohio Expo Center through Concessions by Cox, Inc.

Dennis Elliott has supported 4-H youth development for more than 50 years in the state of Ohio. He is a tireless supporter of fairs and 4-H. A past president and an active member of the State Fair 50 Year Club, Elliott contributes his time and financial support to Ohio State Fair 4-H and Junior Fair activities.… Continue reading

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NCGA disappointed, but hopeful on Senate energy legislation

National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Bart Schott released the following statement regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement that the Senate will not consider energy legislation before the Senate adjourns this week for its August recess:

“NCGA is disappointed that the Senate will not consider an energy package until at least September.  However, we are hopeful this will allow for future discussions on how ethanol can contribute to our nation’s energy policy and our energy security in a broader energy package.  NCGA urges Congress to include an extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit as they consider energy legislation when they return in the fall.

“The U.S. ethanol industry supports nearly 400,000 Americans across the nation. In the past year alone, ethanol added more than $50 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product and displaced the need for more than 360 million barrels of imported oil, valued at $16 billion. … Continue reading

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More Wheat Varieties Resistant to Head Scab Now Available

As wheat growers prepare to plant their crop this fall, they are encouraged to choose varieties that are resistant to head scab.

Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist, said that more varieties are available with good head scab resistance and high yield potential.

“In the past, there were very few Ohio-grown winter wheat varieties with decent scab resistance, and some of those varieties yielded poorly or did not grow well under our conditions,” said Paul, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “Today, we have far more varieties with very good scab resistance in combination with very good yield potential.”

Based on results of the 2010 Ohio Wheat Performance Trials, more than 20 percent of the varieties evaluated were considered resistant and more that 38 percent moderately resistant, for a total of 58 percent of the varieties rated at least moderately resistant.… Continue reading

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Ohio Department of Agriculture Announces Farm Pesticide Disposal Collection

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a collection for farmers to dispose of pesticides on Aug. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Hardin County Fairgrounds, 14134 Fairground Road, County Road 40, Kenton, Ohio.

The pesticide collection and disposal service is free of charge, but only farm chemicals will be accepted. Paint, antifreeze, solvents, and household and non-farm pesticides will not be accepted.

Pesticide collections are sponsored by the department in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To pre-register, or for more information, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987.… Continue reading

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Wet weather causes problems with hay harvest

Rainfall and high humidity this summer have made it hard for farmers to harvest hay, said a Purdue Extension forage specialist.

“Some farmers got their hay mowed, but then they lost yield and quality when it rained,” Keith Johnson said. “Others did not get it cut in timely fashion, so the quality of their hay went down.”

The heat and humidity have caused more problems than normal, Johnson said. Because high moisture can cause mold in the hay and other bacteria and fungi can form and cause combustion, it is important to monitor hay after harvest and to store it properly.

Part of proper storage means farmers need to monitor the crop’s moisture content. Small rectangular bales should have a moisture content of less than 20 percent, while large rectangular bales and large round bales should be closer to 18 percent moisture content when baled.

Hay can be packaged at slightly higher moisture levels if farmers have the proper equipment to apply propionic acid, a preservative, at baling.… Continue reading

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Ohio agriculture remains divided after the HSUS agreement

By Matt Reese

After the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced their plan to put an issue on the November ballot to implement restrictive measures on animal agriculture, Ohio agriculture united to thwart the efforts. The efforts from both sides of this contentious issue, however, ended in late June when HSUS announced that they would not pursue a ballot measure after an agreement was struck with Ohio agricultural leaders and Governor Ted Strickland.

This agreement is a list of recommendations that the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (put into place last fall with the passage of Issue 2) will consider as they formulate the animal care rules for the state. HSUS, in turn, agreed to acknowledge the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Boards as the authority on animal care in Ohio. Both sides say they can live with the agreement, but it still does not necessarily sit well with some in the livestock industry who were ready to fight HSUS.… Continue reading

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Strickland, State Directors Announce Action Plan for Grand Lake St. Marys

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, joined by several state agency directors, announced both short- and long-term action plans to help restore Grand Lake St. Marys, Ohio’s largest inland lake.

The governor announced the State’s latest efforts to assist the area from the Wright State University Lake Campus, and he and the directors emphasized the action plan can only be implemented thanks to the good partnerships the State has developed with the local community and the federal government.

“We know that our businesses and families have struggled with the loss of activity at the lake this summer. This crisis has been generations in the making, and it will take all of us working together to try to restore this lake to health and prosperity,” Strickland said. “This action plan provides a clear direction forward, and I want to thank this community for working with us as we all search for ways to bring this lake back to health.”… Continue reading

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