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CRP land signed up

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will accept 4.3 million acres offered by landowners under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. The selections preserve and enhance environmentally sensitive lands, including wetlands, while providing payments to property owners.

“Interest in this open enrollment period was high, and I’m pleased that producers and landowners across the nation continue to realize the environmental benefits of enrolling land in the CRP,” said Secretary Vilsack.

For this 39th general sign-up more than 50,000 offers were received on more than 4.8 million acres, nationwide. Enrollment of the 4.3 million acres will keep the program enrollment close to the 32 million acre statutory cap, which will maintain and enhance the significant environmental benefits the program has already achieved. CRP’s 39th signup will bring the total enrollment in the program to 31.2 million acres, leaving sufficient room under the 32 million acre cap to continue enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, continuous signup and other CRP initiatives through FY 2011.… Continue reading

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Time to Wrap Up the Last Cutting of Alfalfa

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

It is time to take the last cutting of alfalfa and red clover in Ohio. Cutting this week will allow plenty of time for the stand to regrow and store energy and proteins in the taproots, which are important for winter survival and early growth next spring.

It may be tempting to wait to cut the alfalfa because of low yield due to the recent dry weather, in hopes that rains will come and more growth will occur. But delaying the last cutting of alfalfa to late September into mid-October can carry serious risk to the health of the stand. Cutting later will interrupt the process of storage of energy and proteins in alfalfa taproots. When cut during the fall rest period, the plants will regrow and utilize precious taproot energy and protein reserves without sufficient time to replenish them before a killing frost.… Continue reading

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Social media from the farm

A conversation with Mike “farmerhaley” Haley, a farmer and social media (Twitter and Facebook) user

OCJ: First can you tell us a little about your farm and your background?

Mike: I am a fifth generation farmer from Wayne County, Ohio. My father and I raise corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. My wife, Pam, and I are continuing my grandfather’s love of beef cattle by raising purebred Simmental cattle on our farm.

OCJ: How did you get started with using social media?

Mike: About a year and a half ago I attended an Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professional Conference where one of the sessions was talking about how social media can help connect with the growing amount of people wanting to learn more about how their food is raised. The importance of individual farmers telling their stories rather than leaving it to associations or critics really hit home. Pam and I both decided to get involved.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association sets membership record

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association closed its books for the 2010 membership year with a new membership record. Membership numbers for 2010 broke the previous record that was set in 2009. This new record was set thanks to the dedication of past members renewing their memberships as well as the 386 families that joined OCA for the first time in 2010.

“We are very excited that so many of Ohio’s beef producers have again recognized the importance of belonging to OCA,” said Dave Felumlee, OCA President. “Membership is the lifeblood of any organization and our members have done a great job ensuring that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is a strong and viable organization for years to come.”

The membership committee is working on securing additional member benefits and incentives for 2011. The committee is proud to announce that the TSC coupon will be continued in 2011, which will give an OCA member 10 percent off a purchase at one of Ohio’s 68 TSC stores.… Continue reading

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Weekly Crop Progress Report, Sept. 13th

Cooler weather provided relief for livestock and crops. Farm activities included tillage, installing tile, hauling grain, hay bailing, and field application of fertilizer, lime and manure. Corn and soybeans are drying well throughout the state, the harvest has begun at some operations. Pest worms were reported in both corn and soybeans. There were also reports of corn stalk disease.

As of Sunday September 12, 90 percent of corn was dented, compared to 64 percent last year and 80 percent for the five-year average. Corn was 50 percent mature, which was 40 percent ahead of last year and 34 percent ahead of the five-year average. Three percent of the corn has been harvested throughout the state, this is the earliest recorded corn harvest in the past five-years. Corn for silage was 78 percent harvested compared to 29 percent last year and 43 percent for the five-year average. Fifty-two percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 22 percent last year and 33 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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September 10th USDA Crop Report

Ohio Report

Based on conditions as of September 1, Ohio’s average corn yield is forecast at 173 bushels per acre, down 3 bushels from the August 1 forecast and 1 bushel below last year’s state yield of 174 bushels per acre. Total production is forecast at 585 million bushels, up 7 percent from 2009. Growers expect to harvest 3.38 million acres for grain in 2010, 240,000 acres more than in 2009.

Soybean yield is forecast at 48 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels from the August 1 forecast but down 1 bushel from the 2009 state average. Total soybean production for Ohio is forecast at 224.6 million bushels, up 1 percent from the previous year. Harvested acreage is forecast at 4.68 million acres, up 150,000 from 2009.

National Report
Corn Production Down 2 Percent from August and Forecast Soybean Production Up 1 Percent

Corn production is forecast at a record 13.2 billion bushels, down 2 percent from the August forecast, but up from the previous record of 13.1 billion bushels set in 2009.… Continue reading

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Some Ohio Corn Ready for Harvest

 

Ohio’s corn crop may be ready for harvest sooner than anticipated.

Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist, said that a warmer-than-average summer has hastened the development of the crop. Add the dry spell parts of the state are experiencing and the crop has dried down to levels ready for harvesting.

“The crop is at moisture levels right now that we would have been dying for last year. Much of the corn is already in the low 20s,” said Thomison. “Growers should consider preparing for harvest now. We typically don’t like to drop below 20 percent moisture because of the risk of yield losses.”

According to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, 24 percent of the crop is mature, 17 percent higher than the five-year average and 21 percent higher than this time last year.

Thomison said that some growers are already harvesting their crop, but others may wait for the crop to dry down further.… Continue reading

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Certified Crop Advisors Can Earn Continuing Education Credit at Farm Science Review

The Certified Crop Adviser program at Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review is one way crop consultants can receive their yearly complement of continuing education credits.

The CCA College will be held on Sept. 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and will cover a wide variety of topics related to conservation programs, corn hybrids, fungicide applications, and nitrogen fertilizer management. Farm Science Review will take place Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Registration is $80 and includes breakfast, lunch, program materials, an entry ticket to Farm Science Review and a parking pass. Registration deadline is Sep. 10. Registration is limited and there will be no registration the day of the event.

Harold Watters, an Ohio State University Extension educator, said that the CCA College is specifically tailored to CCAs not only in Ohio, but also across the Midwest.

“Things in agriculture are constantly changing. What new information was introduced five years ago may no longer be valid,” said Watters.… Continue reading

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Green policies may not create many jobs

Like many states, Ohio is banking on green energy technology to put residents back to work. Yet, a new Ohio State University analysis examining the economic development impacts of green policies suggests that the state’s current efforts are unlikely to generate large numbers of new jobs.

However, on a more positive front, the analysis also indicates that related proposals such as cap-and-trade are unlikely to be the massive “job killers” that opponents fear.

The analysis is laid out in a policy brief titled, “Green Policies, Climate Changes, and New Jobs: Separating Fact from Fiction.” In the document, Ohio State agricultural economist Mark Partridge and his colleagues Amanda Weinstein and J. Clay Francis discuss why environmental policies, such as green energy subsidies and cap-and-trade, do little to affect job growth.

“The overriding weakness for alternative energy to create jobs, even in the short run, is that virtually all green energy technologies are capital intensive, meaning that they require few workers to get started or maintain,” said Partridge, the Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy and a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.… Continue reading

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USDA announces loan program and Organic Program Handbook

USDA announces loan program and Organic Program Handbook

USDA has made two recent announcements regarding tools to help U.S. farms.

The launch of a Conservation Loan (CL) program that will provide farm owners and farm-related business operators access to credit to implement conservation techniques that will conserve natural resources.

“This will give farmers who want to implement conservation measures on their lands a chance to do so by providing assistance with their up-front costs,” said Vilsack. “In return, these producers will help to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and promote sustainable and organic agricultural practices.”

CL funds can be used to implement conservation practices approved by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), such as the installation of conservation structures; establishment of forest cover; installation of water conservation measures; establishment or improvement of permanent pastures; implementation of manure management; and the adaptation of other emerging or existing conservation practices, techniques or technologies.… Continue reading

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Wind energy becoming a breeze

Wind energy could supply about 20% of the nation’s electricity, according to the federal research lab, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, which in turn could lessen dependency on fuels and reduce emissions in the air. Although much of the wind resources in the U.S. are still largely untapped, the American Wind Energy Association estimates that wind is the fastest growing energy source in the world – expanding at a rate of 25-30% every year.

Closer to northwest Ohio, wind energy remains a popular point of discussion. Homes, cabins, boats and farms are utilizing systems to produce electrical power for on-site use. Of course, there are numerous factors to consider before generating such power: different characteristics of wind turbines, net metering agreements, sizing the right turbine, permits needed, and even available grants to fund a turbine.

Glen Ginesi, president of Engineered Process Systems (EPS), will present “Understanding Distrbuted Wind Systems” on Thurs., Sept.… Continue reading

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CLARIFIDE now available from Pfizer Animal Genetics

CLARIFIDE, a new genomic test for comprehensive evaluation of dairy females, is now available from Pfizer Animal Genetics, a business unit of Pfizer Animal Health.

CLARIFIDE is a 3,000-marker (3K) DNA panel that was developed through collaboration between USDA-ARS and Illumina. CLARIFIDE delivers Genomic Predicted Transmitting Ability (GPTA) values for 30 production, health and type traits, and nine composite indexes. These predictions provide insights into animals’ future genetic potential early in an animal’s life.

“CLARIFIDE provides a cost-effective way for commercial dairy producers to take advantage of the many benefits of genomic testing,” says Nigel Evans, vice president of Pfizer Animal Genetics. “Genomics has been available in the dairy industry for the past few years, but has only been practical for a small number of elite animals. CLARIFIDE now puts genomic testing into the hands of commercial dairymen.”

With CLARIFIDE, commercial dairy producers can optimize selection, mating and management of Holstein, Jersey and Brown Swiss females.… Continue reading

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Trade safeguards would hurt, not help, developing countries

Allowing developing countries to increase import tariffs based on price and supply triggers under proposed World Trade Organization rules would actually harm those countries, according to a Purdue University economic analysis.

A major factor in the breakdown of the Doha Development Agenda, which aimed to set new rules for agricultural trade under the WTO, was disagreement over whether a special safeguard mechanism should be included to allow developing countries to increase tariffs if imports surged or world prices dropped past certain trigger points. Developing countries lobbied for those safeguards, believing the measures would protect producers from cheap commodities flooding their markets.

But Thomas Hertel, a Purdue distinguished professor of agricultural economics and executive director of the Global Trade Analysis Project, said those safeguards actually would increase price volatility with developing countries faring the worst.

“Rather than stabilizing domestic producers’ incomes, it could destabilize them. It would also raise food prices faced by the poor,” said Hertel, who ran an economic analysis on the effects of the proposed safeguards.… Continue reading

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Latest undercover “animal abuse” video more fabrication than fact

On Aug. 31, Mercy For Animals (MFA), the same group that released the footage from the Conklin Dairy in Plain City earlier this year, released hidden video taken from Buckeye Veal

Farm in Apple Creek. The animal rights group claimed the video showed “cruel” behavior and hoped it would prompt action by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

“As the appointed body to create minimal standards for Ohio’s agricultural

community, it is your responsibility to ensure that farmed animals in Ohio are not forced to suffer egregious cruelty; however, the Board has yet to implement a single standard,” said MFA in a letter sent to members of the OLCSB the day the Buckeye Veal footage was released. “MFA urges you to immediately implement standards phasing out crated veal production.”

MFA called on the OLCSB to honor an agreement reached in June by leaders of Ohio’s farm community, humane organizations and Governor Ted Strickland that would, among other

things, phase out the confinement of calves in veal crates by 2017.… Continue reading

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Harvest is here for some Ohio farms

If harvest has not already started, it is rapidly approaching on farms around the state. the dry conditions, early planting and heat through the summer really pushed the crops to early maturity. Here is what the farmers from between the Rows had to say:

Kevin Miller
Williams County
“It was really dry up until yesterday when we got between .75 and 1.25-inches of rain in certain places. It will help the late beans that were planted in late June. The earlier beans, I believe, will be OK too.”
Corn is maturing ahead of schedule and harvest is coming soon. “Of course, silage has been harvested. I will probably try shelling some corn next week. I hand shelled some the first of this week and it was at 22% moisture. I never have shelled corn this early.”
Yield could be highly variable based on the conditions this growing season. “I believe the yield is going to vary quite a bit in the field, but I think some fields will average 200 bushels.… Continue reading

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Consumers Are Key Focus of Proposed 2011 National Pork Board Budget

Consumer perspectives of pork and pork production are the central focus of the National Pork Board’s proposed 2011 budget that will be debated next week in Des Moines. More than 50 pork producers will gather from across the country to help guide the investment of Pork Checkoff dollars into consumer information, research, and producer education programs. The programs are designed to help pork producers provide consumers with safe, affordable, quality pork products.

The board’s planning and budgeting process began earlier this summer when producer-led committees identified action steps for achieving the board’s new five-year strategic plan. These objectives fall under one of three major goals:

• Refresh and reposition pork’s image to increase domestic and international consumer demand.

• Protect the rights and ability of U.S. farmers to produce pork in a socially-responsible and cost-competitive manner.

• Pursue strategies to enable U.S. pork producers to remain highly competitive, long term, on a global basis.… Continue reading

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Test Finds E. coli in Beef Faster, Could Better Trace Outbreaks

Infrared spectroscopy can detect E. coli faster than current testing methods and can cut days off investigations of outbreaks, according to a study at Purdue University.

Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science, detected E. coli in ground beef in one hour using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, much less than the 48 hours required for conventional plating technology, which requires culturing cells in a laboratory. Mauer said spectroscopy could be done in the same laboratories, just in much less time.

The spectroscopy method also differentiates between strains of E. coli 0157:H7, meaning outbreaks could be tracked more effectively and quickly. Current tests are multistep and take almost one week to get results.

“Even with all the other bacteria present in ground beef, we could still detect E. coli and recognize different strains,” said Mauer, whose findings were reported in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science.

Mauer demonstrated two methods for separating bacteria from ground beef for testing.… Continue reading

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MIchigan State Fair cancelled

The Michigan State Fair had been a state tradition for 160 years and held at Eight Mile and Woodward, within Detroit city limits, since 1905. But the fair had been running deficits and needed $360,000 from the state in 2008 to cover losses. Fewer than 220,000 people passed through last year. At its peak in 1966, the fair drew 1 million.… Continue reading

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