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Obama Announces Initiative to Spur Biofuels and Enhance America’s Energy Security

President Obama today announced that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will invest up to $510 million during the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation.  The initiative responds to a directive from President Obama issued in March as part of his Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future, the Administration’s framework for reducing dependence on foreign oil. The biofuels initiative is being steered by the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and Rural Council, both of which are enabling greater cross-agency collaboration to strengthen rural America.

“Biofuels are an important part of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs here at home,” said President Obama. “But supporting biofuels cannot be the role of government alone. That’s why we’re partnering with the private sector to speed development of next-generation biofuels that will help us continue to take steps towards energy independence and strengthen communities across our country.”… Continue reading

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U.S. beef, pork exports close big first half with solid June results

If the trend established in the first six months of the year holds up, U.S. beef and pork exports are likely to set several new records in 2011 and each could eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time ever. According to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), June beef exports achieved the second-highest value ever at $461.8 million. This was 23 percent higher than June 2010, and has been surpassed only once – by the March 2011 value total of $475.2 million.

In terms of volume, June beef exports reached 111,362 metric tons – an increase of 15 percent over June 2010. This brought the cumulative 2011 total to 620,851 metric tons valued at $2.55 billion, which was 25 percent higher in volume and 40 percent higher in value than last year’s pace. For the first half of this year, beef exports equated to 13.8 percent of total production with an export value of $192.42 per head of fed slaughter.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 15th, 2011

As of Sunday August 14th, 95 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 31 percent, which was 49 percent behind 2010 and 29 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 3 percent, compared to 31 percent last year and 13 percent for five-year average. Corn for silage was 1 percent harvested, equal to the five-year average. Ninety-three percent of Soybeans were blooming, compared to 99 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Forty-six percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 81 percent last year and 84 percent for the five-year average.

The Complete Ohio Crop Progress Report for August 15th, 2011Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – August 15th, 2011

As of Sunday August 14th, 95 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 31 percent, which was 49 percent behind 2010 and 29 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 3 percent, compared to 31 percent last year and 13 percent for five-year average. Corn for silage was 1 percent harvested, equal to the five-year average. Ninety-three percent of Soybeans were blooming, compared to 99 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Forty-six percent of soybeans were setting pods, compared to 81 percent last year and 84 percent for the five-year average.

The Complete Ohio Crop Progress Report for August 15th, 2011Continue reading

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Pricing standing corn for silage harvest in 2011

By Dianne Shoemaker, Bill Weiss and Normand St-Peirre, Ohio State University Extension

 

How to price corn for silage as a crop standing in the field is a perennially challenging question. The optimal answer will vary depending on your point of view. Are you buying or are you selling?

This corn silage pricing discussion is based on a corn crop standing in the field. The owner’s goal is to recover the cost of producing and harvesting the crop plus a profit margin. Their base price would be the price they could receive for the crop from the grain market less harvesting/drying/storage costs. Hopefully, this would meet their goal of covering production costs and generating a profit. During price negotiations, it should also be recognized that harvest risk is also being shifted from the grower to the buyer.

To the grain farmer, the corn crop may have some value beyond the income from the sale of grain.… Continue reading

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Cattle to car parts: Beef byproducts use to make plastic

University of Alberta professor David Bressler has filed a patent on a new thermal process that can turn beef byproducts into plastics. By finding a way to convert these animal by-products into plastics for industrial use, Bressler and his team hope to divert protein waste from landfills across North America, shift to using renewable resources instead of petrochemicals to make plastics, and boost flagging profit levels in the cattle industry.

Using the throwaway parts of beef carcasses that were sidelined from the value-added production process after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) devastated the industry in 2003, Bressler, an associate professor in the U of A’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, has collaborated with industry, government and other researchers to forge cattle proteins into heavy-duty plastics that could soon be used in everything from car parts to CD cases.

The University of Alberta is the only post-secondary facility to be approved by the Canada Food Inspection Agency to conduct research involving turning high-risk proteins into safe, sustainable materials.… Continue reading

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Taste terrific tomatoes at NightCrawler Gardens

By Matt Reese

Fresh lettuce is fine, sweet peas are great, and hot peppers can add flair to summer fare, but many gardeners especially yearn for the first, ripe, delicious tomato from the garden each year.

“Whether it is a couple of plants in the garden or in a pot on the back porch, if people grow one thing, it’s a tomato,” said Jason England, who owns and operates NightCrawler Gardens in Fairfield County with his wife, Sheri. “Here we try to focus on quality and customer service and we try to be diverse and offer unique things. This year we had 85 different varieties of tomatoes. Peppers have been really big for us too. There are a lot of chili-heads out there who want hot peppers.” Word of mouth has been great, but advertising efforts have been lackluster. They send out regular e-mail updates about the farm and have an extensive Web site (managed by England’s mother), but it is often hard to keep up to date amid all of the other demands on the farm.… Continue reading

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Challenger adds MT500D Series tractors to high horsepower lineup


Challenger is pleased to introduce the all-new MT500D Series High Horsepower wheeled row crop tractors to North American professional producers. The Challenger MT500D Series tractors, made up of four entirely redesigned models ranging from 170 to 225 engine horsepower (140–180 PTO HP), package unmatched quality and innovation with new comfort features to help producers handle the most challenging jobs. Optional factory-installed auto-steering and telemetry technologies available on these new models offer a never-before-seen level of control and help improve productivity and operational efficiency for any size farming operation.
“These new tractors from Challenger boast some of the most innovative features as they relate to emissions compliance, versatility, work management and operator comfort,” says Mike Alvin, product marketing manager, high horsepower tractors. “When there’s work to be done, professional producers need a tractor they can count on to finish a multitude of jobs, and that’s what we’ve created with the MT500D Series.… Continue reading

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Livestock Care Standards Take Effect September 29

By Kyle Sharp

On Aug. 1, the Ohio Department of Agriculture resubmitted the veal standards of care as developed and passed by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) to Ohio’s Congressional Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). Unlike a previous hearing on July 11, when intense questioning by members of JCARR prompted ODA to withdraw the standards for later re-filing, this time the standards were approved.
No changes were made to the standards, and they were submitted exactly the same as at the July hearing, said Andy Ware, an ODA spokesman. However, a more thorough job of presenting testimony on behalf of the standards was done, including testimony by Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher, Gaylord Barkman with Buckeye Veal Services, veal farmer Jason Warner and Dr. Brad Garrison with the Ohio Veterinarian Medical Association.
Ohio Agriculture Director James Zehringer announced on Aug. 11 that animal care rules developed by the Livestock Care Standards Board will become effective on September 29, 2011.… Continue reading

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Pumpkins already?

Pumpkin season arrives early in South Charleston courtesy of Ohio State University’s annual Pumpkin Field Day, which this year will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the Western Agricultural Research Station.
 
The event is sponsored by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Ohio State University Extension, and the OSU Vegetable Team. Registration (taken at the door) costs $5 per person and includes liquid refreshments. 
 
The program consists of a wagon tour of research plots, including information on the station’s 16-entry variety trials, angular leaf spot trial, fungicide demonstration trial, and fungicide- and insect-management updates.
 
For more information, contact Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension educator, at 937-484-1526 or jasinski.4@cfaes.osu.edu.
 
Part of OARDC, the Western Agricultural Research Station is located at 7721 South Charleston Pike (SR 41), 3.5 miles northwest of South Charleston and just east of Springfield.… Continue reading

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USDA seeks comments on the proposed rule for animal disease traceability

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a proposed rule to establish general regulations for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate when animal disease events take place.
“Through the past two years, I have listened carefully to stakeholders throughout the country about how to reach effective animal disease traceability in a transparent manner without additional burden,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We are proposing a flexible approach in which states and tribes can develop systems for tracing animals that work best for them and for producers in their jurisdiction. This approach offers great flexibility at the state and local level and addresses gaps in our disease response efforts.”
Under the proposed rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates.… Continue reading

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Hesston by Massey Ferguson introduces DM1300 Series Butterfly Mower System

The all-new Hesston by Massey Ferguson DM1300 Series Butterfly Mower System being unveiled this fall provides professional producers with a reliable, smooth-cutting disc mower configuration that can be best suited to fit their needs. The system is comprised of a single DM 1340 model front-mount mower and two DM1398 model rear-mount mowers, which may be combined to provide cutting widths up to 30-feet, allowing producers to quickly and efficiently cut and condition more acres per day. The mowers are designed to gently cut and condition forage for quick drying and optimum quality of the final product.
“These new mowers further expand the Hesston lineup of hay and forage products tailored to just about any hay and forage need,” explains Dean Morrell, product marketing manager for hay and forage. “And, the all-new DM1300 Series Butterfly Mower System is perfect mower combination for producers who need to cut even the biggest jobs down to size.”… Continue reading

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Direct marketing meat

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County and Buckeye Hills EERA

As the interest in locally produced and marketed food grows, livestock owners may find non-farm neighbors and friends asking if they can purchase meat products from them. Possibly livestock owners are wondering how they might add value to their livestock and market some of their livestock as meat to the public. Some basic factors that need to be considered include: regulations regarding meat processing and sales, finding a processor, pricing your product, risk management, and customer relations. In this article I will cover the regulations governing meat processing and sale to the public.

With regard to the regulations regarding meat processing and sale of meat to the public, there are two primary government agencies that are involved. These are the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the county Health Department. Meat sold into a public market must come from an approved source.… Continue reading

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Insights To 300 Bushel Corn

Fred Below of the University of Illinois has spent his career researching how farmers can grow 300-bushel-per-acre corn. Below is a Plant Physiology Professor at the university and has categorized the results of his research into seven management practices – or wonders – that can result in high yielding corn. He says his study helps growers answer the question of what the latest products and practices contribute to yield.

According to Below – the most important factor is weather – followed by nitrogen/fertility, hybrid selection, previous crop, plant population, tillage and growth regulators. Each factor interacts with the others to produce an average bushel-per-acre yield. Below says when combined – all of these factors contribute to big-yield gains.

Below’s unique omission plots allowed him and his team to see the bushel impact when an individual high tech practice or input was added or subtracted – then compare it to other plots in which all high tech actions were in place in the same plot.… Continue reading

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Harvest-time yield assessments dictate insurance indemnities

Farmers with corn or other crops damaged by this summer’s thunderstorms or dry weather will have to wait until harvest to know whether they will qualify for crop insurance indemnity payments.
Multiple peril crop insurance compares final production levels to a guarantee level determined by historical yield averages. So, whether growers chose individual farm or county-based policies, Purdue Extension agricultural economist George Patrick said it’s impossible to know if an indemnity is due until this year’s yields or revenues are known.
“For multiple peril crop insurance, it is the yield or revenue actually obtained relative to the coverage level that determines whether there is a loss for insurance purposes,” he said. “There may be a complete loss on part of the insurance unit, but if the production or revenue for the entire unit is greater than the coverage level, there is no insurance indemnity.”
For example, if a farm is insured at a guaranteed level of 150 bushels of corn per acre and a disaster happens, but at harvest the yield still averages 150 bushels per acre, there would be no payment.… Continue reading

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