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Hot, dry weather adding challenges to weed control

While the extended hot, dry weather in Ohio recently might mean that weeds aren’t growing as fast as they would in more moist conditions, the weather can still make weed management more challenging for corn and soybean growers, an Ohio State University Extension weed specialist says.

The abnormally dry conditions affect the germination, growth, hardiness and competitive ability of weeds, but they also complicate weed control efforts, Mark Loux said.

“The biggest thing that happens to weeds when the weather conditions continue to be hot and dry is that the weeds get tougher to control,” he said. “Under good moisture, weeds tend to be more sensitive to herbicides.

“Under extended dry conditions, weeds grow more slowly and also develop thicker cuticles on the leaf surfaces, which has the overall effect of reducing herbicide movement into and throughout the plant.”

While growers often wonder if they should wait for rain to treat weeds with herbicides, Loux said, the most important thing is to make sure they select the right herbicide treatment for the weeds they are trying to control.… Continue reading

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Financial burden a concern with health care ruling

Today’s Supreme Court decision regarding health care has many people talking about the potential implications down the road. This includes a number of agricultural organizations.

“Farmers, ranchers and rural residents need affordable and accessible health care. We remain concerned that mandating individuals and businesses to buy insurance will impose an expense that creates economic hardship, particularly for self-employed individuals and small businesses,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.  “We believe one of the primary goals of health care reform should be to reduce costs for participants. The plan reviewed by the Supreme Court would impose a new financial burden on our members. As the legal and political interpretation of this ruling is further analyzed and debated in the weeks and months ahead, it is important to remember that access to affordable health care eludes many American families across the country.”

There are a number of concerns about the costs of the health care mandates.… Continue reading

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Pest control an important part of livestock production

Successfully preventing and eliminating flies and mice in livestock and poultry operations is crucial to maintaining animal health and productivity, said a Purdue University entomologist.

Cattle in both pasture and confinement situations are affected by flies, as are poultry, said Ralph Williams. Bloodsucking flies literally drain animals’ lifeblood, and all flies can transmit diseases, cause discomfort and create a nuisance for neighbors.

Pastured cattle are mainly targeted by the face fly, which feeds on cattle’s mucous membranes and can transmit pink eye. Another pest in pastured cattle is the parasitic horn fly, which lives its entire adult life drinking the blood of one animal.

Control of pasture pests typically consists of self-application devices such as dust bags, oilers, pour-on products, and insecticide ear tags, Williams said. Ear tags have two types of ingredients — pyrethroid and organophosphate. Pyrethroid tags are most effective on face flies. Some horn flies have developed a genetic resistance to pyrethroid, and in this case, horn flies may respond better to organophosphate tags or to a pour-on insecticide.… Continue reading

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New fire code could impact livestock producers

Via the National Pork Producers Council.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) last week voted to amend its standards for animal housing facilities, requiring fire sprinkler systems in newly constructed and some existing facilities. The NFPA is a standard-setting organization, and its uniform codes and standards are widely utilized by state and local governments to set building and fire codes, by insurance companies as minimum standards to maintain coverage and by international organizations. Last week’s change is a substantial expansion of the standards for animal housing. In the past, the sprinkler requirement has applied only to facilities such as zoos, veterinary clinics and pet shops. But the new revisions would cover all barns and any other facilities where animals are kept or confined. NPPC believes the overbroad fire codes have the potential to significantly increase the cost of new barn construction and maintenance and could subject producers to biosecurity risks during annual sprinkler system inspections.… Continue reading

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House holds Superfund hearing

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee hosted a hearing today, June 27, 2012, to deliberate on the “Superfund Common-Sense Act” introduced by Congressman Billy Long (R-Mo.) According to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President J.D. Alexander, the legislation (H.R. 2997) would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the courts from imposing what Alexander called expensive liability and needless regulation on U.S. agriculture.

NCBA Deputy Environmental Counsel Ashley McDonald said the legislation would restore the original intent of Congress under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), more commonly called the Superfund Law, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

She said the Superfund Law was originally passed by Congress in 1980 to prevent toxic waste from polluting U.S. waters and was never intended to elevate extreme agendas by imposing liability on U.S. farmers and ranchers in the same fashion as toxic waste polluters. The legislation would exempt cattle manure from all liability under these laws.… Continue reading

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Farm Service Agency reporting deadline nears

The State Executive Director for Ohio’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Steve Maurer, reminds producers of the acreage reporting requirements that must be met prior to receiving program benefits.  If producers miss the acreage reporting deadline dates, a late filing fee will be charged.

Maurer added, “Producers are required to file an FSA-578, Report of Acreage, certification for the farm by July 2 for small grains and by July 16 for all other crops except small grains.”  To be considered timely, acreage reports on crops are due in the county office by July 2 for small grains and July 16 for all other crops, or 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing of the specific crop acreage being reported.

It is also very important that producers report crop losses, including those insured under Federal Crop Insurance (FCIC) and Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP) within 15 days of the date damage occurred or 15 days from the date damage is apparent. … Continue reading

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Closer look reveals vulnerability in wheat supplies

On a global scale, world wheat buyers appear to be in a very favorable position to begin the new crop year. In its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates 2012/13 world wheat supply will reach the second highest level on record at 868 million metric tons (MMT). However, a closer look reveals a more fragile wheat market. In fact, there will be less wheat available this year to meet higher global demand.

The difference is China and India. The two largest wheat-consuming countries will account for more than 30% of total world supplies and total wheat consumption in 2012/13. Despite their abundant supplies, the two countries together accounted for less than 1% of world exports on average the past five years.

In order to meet such high domestic demand, supplies inside these countries are effectively unavailable to meet demand in the rest of the world.… Continue reading

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Bank of America partners with HSUS

 

Bank of America recently announced another partnership with the Humane Society of the United States after releasing a new HSUS-themed credit card. This new credit card provides the radical animal rights organization with $60 for every new account opened and an additional 25 cents for every $100 spent. (The bank last partnered with HSUS in 2009.) The Animal Agriculture Alliance wrote to Bank of America’s President Brian Moynihan to request that the bank stop funding animal rights organizations such as HSUS that seek to eliminate animal agriculture.

 

The Alliance, a Bank of America customer, wrote to Mr. Moynihan on June 18 and explained it would be forced to reconsider its relationship with Bank of America if it continued to support groups that unfairly attack the way of life of America’s farmers and ranchers. The Alliance has not yet received a response.


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EWG's "Dirty Dozen" packed with misinformation

By the National Corn Growers Association staff

As temperatures rise and an array of fresh, vibrant produce options fills grocery baskets, the Environmental Working Group issued its annual summer scare list with. Deemed the “dirty dozen,” EWG again drags out its pseudoscience in the hopes of terrifying consumers, maligning nutritious foods and filling its coffers with donations from a frightened and misinformed public.

Almost any sound, reputable source stresses the incredibly important role that eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables plays in a healthy diet. Instead of promoting this, the EWG joins the ranks of similar charlatans who base fad diets on trendy tidbits.  Based more in sound bites than sound science, the misinformation found in the list pushes well-intentioned eaters off track.

Farmers value food safety for the same reasons consumers do. The food from their farms feeds their families as well as yours. Regular moms and dads with the same concerns, farm families strive to bring a broad variety of safe, nutritious foods to their tables and yours.… Continue reading

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EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” packed with misinformation

By the National Corn Growers Association staff

As temperatures rise and an array of fresh, vibrant produce options fills grocery baskets, the Environmental Working Group issued its annual summer scare list with. Deemed the “dirty dozen,” EWG again drags out its pseudoscience in the hopes of terrifying consumers, maligning nutritious foods and filling its coffers with donations from a frightened and misinformed public.

Almost any sound, reputable source stresses the incredibly important role that eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables plays in a healthy diet. Instead of promoting this, the EWG joins the ranks of similar charlatans who base fad diets on trendy tidbits.  Based more in sound bites than sound science, the misinformation found in the list pushes well-intentioned eaters off track.

Farmers value food safety for the same reasons consumers do. The food from their farms feeds their families as well as yours. Regular moms and dads with the same concerns, farm families strive to bring a broad variety of safe, nutritious foods to their tables and yours.… Continue reading

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Ohio weekly crop progress report-June 25, 2012

The average temperature for the State was 76.8 degrees, 6.1 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, June 24, 2012.  Precipitation averaged 0.60 inches, 0.27 inches below normal.  There were 168 modified growing degree days, 25 days above normal.

Reporters rated 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, June 22, 2012.  Topsoil moisture was rated 31 percent very short, 44 percent short, 24 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

Although some part of the state experienced a good amount of rain, reporters stated that there are drought conditions in other parts of the state.  The heat and dry weather has been putting significant stress on livestock. The heat and dry weather also hampered growth of corn, soybeans, and hay.  Field activities included harvesting wheat and baling hay.

As of Sunday June 24th, two percent of corn was silked.  The soybean crop was eight percent blooming, compared to two percent for the five-year average. … Continue reading

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Economics of nutrient runoff

Reducing nutrient runoff in Ohio waters may take more creative thinking than just instituting water conservation programs, according to an Ohio State University expert.

Farmers and producers may have to get by with fewer nutrients on crops in order to prevent more contamination to Ohio’s streams, rivers and lakes, said Brent Sohngen, an agricultural economist with Ohio State’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

“We can do better than what we’ve done,” he said. “We really haven’t gotten our money’s worth in terms of water quality with the current programs that we are using.

“It just may take different thinking if we really want to reduce the nutrient output on the landscape. That means we can’t just rely on trapping the nutrients using traditional conservation efforts, or changing the timing of our applications by holding manure in pits until the ground has thawed. Instead, we may just have to reduce the overall nutrient input.”… Continue reading

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