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NW Ohio now home to a world class distribution hub

With more than 200 employees, 500 developed acres, and the capacity for handling nearly two million containers each year, CSX’s new intermodal facility in North Baltimore is an eye catcher. These containers have the capacity for transporting nearly anything that can be bought at a local retailer – from household electronic equipment to clothing to thousands of other consumer products. This world-class freight distribution hub is the nerve center of the nationwide intermodal network for CSX.

CSX terminal superintendent Peter Craig will present an insider’s view of the new facility in northwest Ohio, Thursday, June 16, from 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum. The program begins at 8 a.m. with informal networking prior, hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, north of Bowling Green.

Like an air cargo hub, freight trains will arrive directly from across the nation and its ports, then quickly and efficiently redistribute to a network of double stack trains to speed final delivery across the eastern US.… Continue reading

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It is time to start scouting emerging crops

Now is the time for grain farmers to scout fields at risk for insect infestations and potential pest problems, according to a Purdue Extension entomologist.

Corn planted into grass and wheat in areas of dense growth poses a high armyworm risk. Corn where weedy growth existed could potentially face cutworm troubles, and soybeans first emerging could face bean leaf beetle pressures.

“Corn that has been no-till planted into an abandoned wheat stand or a grass cover crop should be inspected immediately for armyworm feeding,” said Christian Krupke. “Hatched larvae will move from dying grasses to emerging or emerged corn.”

Armyworm feed from the leaf margin toward the midrib and give corn a ragged appearance. In some cases damage may be extensive enough that most of the plant, except the midrib and stalk, is consumed.

“A highly damaged plant may recover if the growing point has not been destroyed,” Krupke said.

If growers find that more than 50% of the corn plants show armyworm feeding damage and there are numerous live larvae less than 1.25 inches long, Krupke said a control method may be necessary.… Continue reading

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A late start to corn planting – Agronomic challenges ahead

By John Brien, AgriGold Regional Agronomist

Planting corn in 2011 has continually been hampered by frequent rain events that have dumped varying amounts of water across the Ohio region. According to the June 5 USDA Ohio cropping report, Ohio had 58% of the corn planted compared to the historical average of 99%. Of the 58% planted, 21% had emerged.  The late start to corn planting is not ideal and will present some unique challenges to corn growers throughout the growing season, but the late planting does not constitute a crop failure. Corn plants adapt very well to challenges and will produce the most grain as possible; the key to success is limiting the amount of stress the corn plant endures.

Late planted corn is more susceptible to weather stress than corn planted earlier in the season. Late planted corn is more likely to experience hotter weather during pollination and more moisture stress during grain fill.… Continue reading

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Weekly Crop Progress Report – June 6th, 2011



The average temperature for the State was 72.9 degrees, 7.3 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, June 5, 2011. Precipitation averaged 0.40 inches, 0.56 inches below normal. There were 752 modified growing degree days, 87 days above normal. Reporters rated 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, June 3, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 35 percent surplus.


The weekly temperatures were above normal, but the welcome news is that precipitation was below normal throughout the state. This allowed many farmers to get in their fields and begin planting corn and soybeans. Some of those who didn’t were attending crop insurance meetings. They also tilled, cut hay, and sprayed herbicides.

As of Sunday June 5th, corn was 58 percent planted, which was 39 percent behind last year and 41 percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Farmers Market Promotion Program funding available

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced approximately $10 million in funding for the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) to help increase availability of local agricultural products in communities throughout the country.

“These grants will put resources into rural and urba n economies to create and support direct marketing opportunities for farmers” said Merrigan. “Consumer and farmer enthusiasm for direct marketing has never been greater. This year we will place emphasis on food deserts because America’s low income and underserved communities need greater access to healthy, fresh food.”

In fiscal year 2011, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will competitively award grants to projects that develop producer-to-consumer market outlets, including but not limited to farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and road-side stands. Priority status will be granted to those projects that expand healthy food choices in food deserts. AMS will continue to target 10 percent of grant funding toward new electronic benefits transfer projects at farmers markets.… Continue reading

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FSA updates

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is extending the deadline to submit 2010 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) production reports for planted acres to September 1, 2011.

“Producers are reminded that the July 15th deadline is still in place to report the annual acreage and that the September 1st extension is only for reporting ACRE production reports,” said Steve Maurer, State Executive Director. “By following these deadline dates, compliance with current farm programs, and possible eligibility for future programs will be ensured.”

The production reports impact eligibility for potential ACRE payments in the current year and also impacts future years’ benchmark farm yields for covered commodities.

In addition, farmers are encouraged to report failed crop acreage that will not be brought to harvest to their local FSA office.  Failed acreage must be reported to FSA before destroying and replanting to allow time for a field check.

“It is very important that farmers report failed acreage that will not be brought to harvest to the FSA office prior to destruction,” said Maurer.… Continue reading

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E. Coli outbreak causing deaths in Europe

With 18 dead and 1,600 ill in Europe from an outbreak of what’s being called a “super-toxic” strain of E. coli bacteria, an Iowa State University professor who specializes in food-borne pathogens in livestock is stunned at the toll the rogue bacteria has taken.

“I don’t like to be alarmist, but this one’s off the charts,” said Dr. Scott Hurd, associate professor of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine. “I’m shocked and saddened by the deaths and serious illnesses that have resulted from this poisonous strain that frankly is surprising everyone.”

Hurd said the most notable E. coli outbreak in the U.S. occurred in the early ‘90s when four children died and hundreds of others became sick in western states after eating undercooked and contaminated meat from Jack in the Box restaurants. The European outbreak is remarkable in comparison, said Hurd, who believes this is a rare strain rather than new as some scientists believe.… Continue reading

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Syngenta signs agreement with Golden Acres Genetics, Ltd. to transfer sorghum seed inventory

Syngenta in North America announced an agreement with Golden Acres Genetics, Ltd., Waco, Tex., to transfer all existing Syngenta sorghum seed inventory to Golden Acres effective as of June 3, 2011. The agreement covers all Syngenta sorghum hybrids, including forage, grain and sudangrass products.

“We’re pleased that Golden Acres is acquiring Syngenta’s sorghum inventory and will continue to provide farmers with high-quality hybrid sorghum seed,” said Steve Sick, Syngenta sorghum product manager. “With our recently announced integrated business strategy, Syngenta remains fully focused on our products and technology platforms in core crops to fuel our company’s future growth through new and innovative crop solutions developed from our broad seeds, seed care and crop protection portfolio.”… Continue reading

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Ag is cool!

The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced its “Ag is Cool!” multi-media contest. Ohio school children can share their personal interpretation of why Ohio agriculture is cool for a chance to win free tickets to the Ohio State Fair, Brad Paisley concert tickets, and other prizes.

Video, photography, drawing, and painting entries will be judged in the following age categories, with one winner from each age group and category.

Grades K-2: Photography, Drawing or Painting

Grades 3-5: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting

Grades 6-8: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting

Grades 9-12: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting

Grades 2-12: Video as a group project

All entries will be judged by representatives from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Office of the Governor, the Ohio Expo Center, and professional consultants in the areas of video production, photography, drawing, painting and other visual arts.

Judging will be based on the visual representation of the “Ag is Cool” theme, if it accurately reflects 21st Century agriculture, creativity and use of Ohio images, and quality of work.… Continue reading

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Late planting tips

By Bill Mullen, Director of Agronomic Services, Seed Consultants, Inc.

With corn planting winding down in most areas, some time should be spent walking recent corn planted fields for any sign of damage from Black Cutworm. With the delayed corn planting and heavy weed mass worked into the soil prior to planting, black cutworm damage has been seen throughout Ohio and Indiana. Those hybrids with Herculex have an in-plant ability to suppress/control this pest. However in high cutworm pressure, one may need to spray an insecticide for control.

Loss of stand before emergence, due to above ground cutting of the young corn plant at the surface, usually indicates cutworm damage. In order for the Herculex to work, the cutworm has to ingest part of the young plant in order to die. Once this happens, other cutworms seem to get the message and find other non-Herculex fields to feast on. With the recent high temperatures from last week, corn will emerge faster than early May planted fields and the need to keep an eye on recently planted corn fields is very important.… Continue reading

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NItrogen loss is a concern after wet spring

Recent rainfall across much of the Corn Belt has some growers wondering if they have enough nitrogen left in the soil for their corn crop. Agronomy experts with Pioneer Hi-Bred say growers need to evaluate fields and, in some cases, develop a nitrogen rescue strategy. 

“Each year presents new environmental challenges,” said John Shanahan, Pioneer agronomy research manager. “Nitrogen is the single most expensive input, which means there are numerous reasons to get it right — the right amount, the right timing on the right acres. Growers who don’t apply enough risk reduced yields.”

Early-season nitrogen stress creates irreversible yield loss. According to the University of Kentucky, for each day of moisture saturation, 3 to 4% of nitrates in the soil are lost. “Corn requires nearly half of its total nitrogen supply between V8 and tasseling,” Shanahan said. “Pioneer recommends side-dressing nitrogen between V4 and V8, allowing a safety margin for weather and soil conditions that delay nitrogen application or the movement of nitrogen to the roots.” 
… Continue reading

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New Egg Farm Plan Nixed


Hi-Q Egg Products has dropped plans to build a 6-million-chicken egg farm in Union County, an attorney for the company said yesterday.

The news followed a decision announced yesterday by Ohio Department of Agriculture Director James J. Zehringer to deny the Iowa-based company a permit to build and run the farm near West Mansfield.

Though environmental advocates and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials feared manure from the farm would pollute a nearby stream, the farm’s permit application fell apart after county officials refused to inform the state that they had seen the company’s transportation plans.

State law requires a final, official response from local government officials before an application can be approved.

For more on the story, click here.

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Ohio FSA Announces Deadline Extension for Prevented Planting

Due to Ohio’s weather creating delays in planting, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) is extending the date to timely report prevented planting to July 15, 2011, to coincide with the crop reporting deadline.

“Ohio’s weather has created delays in planting, which may result in difficulty of timely reporting prevented acreage,” said Steve Maurer, state executive director. “With the extension, producers will be able to file form CCC-576, Notice of Loss for prevented planting of corn and soybeans at the same time as filing annual acreage reports which are also due by July 15th.”

Producers are reminded to file an FSA-578, Report of Acreage, certification for the farm by June 30 for small grains and by July 15 for all other crops.
Prevented planting acreage, or acreage that could not be planted because of wet field conditions or other natural disaster, should be reported to FSA by July 15th. This includes crops covered by crop insurance or the Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP) and crops without insurance coverage.
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The Ohio Soybean Council Seeking Board Member Nominations

Ohio Soybean Council to Elect Five Trustees

The Ohio Soybean Council Board of Trustee elections will be held in five districts this summer. Districts eligible for election include:

District 3            Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Lake, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Summit and Trumbull

District 4            Allen, Paulding and Van Wert

District 6            Crawford, Seneca and Wyandot

District 11            Clark, Greene and Madison

At Large

To be eligible, applicants must reside in a qualifying district and be a soybean producer engaged in the growing of soybeans in the state of Ohio, who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of such soybeans at any time during the three-year period immediately preceding November 15 of the current year. Those eligible producers (spouses who jointly produce soybeans are considered to be a “family” and are considered as an individual board member) who have contributed to the soybean checkoff and have submitted a petition with the signatures of 15 eligible soybean producers who reside in the respective district, shall be determined candidates for election.… Continue reading

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Hay making considerations

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

Rainy weather and saturated soils have meant a late start to the hay making season. Here are some things to consider when making hay:

Plant maturity: This is the largest determining factor regarding hay quality. The highest quality hay is made from plants in the vegetative to early reproductive stage. As plants mature, fiber levels increase, and crude protein and energy content decreases. This year it looks like there will be a lot of low quality first cut hay. The weather removed this factor from our control and now we have to deal with it.

Cutting Height: This can affect both hay quality and longevity of the stand. Cutting heights for primarily grass hay stands should not go below 3.5 inches, especially if the stand is orchardgrass. In the April 20th edition of the Beef Cattle Letter, Garry Lacefield had an article in which he talked about questions he was receiving from farmers asking why their orchardgrass hay fields were not lasting as long as in previous years.… Continue reading

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Aquaculture field day

Ohio State University’s South Centers at Piketon, located off State Route 32 in Pike County, may not look like the ideal place for yellow perch, lake sturgeon, largemouth bass and blue gill. But it’s full of surprises. The facility boasts the only aquaculture genetics lab in the Midwest and is the cornerstone of research and education for Ohio’s $6 million aquaculture industry.

Farmers, businesses, fish enthusiasts or just the plain curious are invited to OSU South Centers Aquaculture Field Day on Saturday, June 25, to learn more about the aquaculture program and how its research benefits the industry, and gain knowledge about aquaculture species from the popular (yellow perch) to the new (baitfish) to the unique (shrimp).

“The field day gives visitors the chance to see what we are all about and what we are doing in the aquaculture industry,” said Laura Tiu, an Ohio State University aquaculture senior research associate.… Continue reading

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4-H is preparing a workforce

Ohio 4-H isn’t billed as a workforce preparation program. But in many important ways, the youth development program helps Ohio’s children and teens build the skills they’ll need once they enter the working world.

“The 4-H program is designed to develop life skills that people really do need in today’s workforce,” said Tom Archer, Ohio State University Extension’s assistant director in charge of 4-H Youth Development. “As a result, 4-H members become more independent workers, and they tend to care about others they work with.”

In 2010, 317,286 young people in Ohio ages 5 through 19 were involved in 4-H activities in urban, suburban and rural communities statewide. Whether they participate in clubs, camps, or in-school or after-school programs, 4-H members take part in hands-on, experiential learning that emphasizes “learning by doing.” Along the way, they learn leadership, citizenship and life skills that stay with them for a lifetime.

Such characteristics are becoming more recognized as essential qualities in today’s workforce.… Continue reading

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USDA releases new plate icon to replace food pyramid

First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.

“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we’re already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it’s tough to be a nutritionist, too.… Continue reading

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Wet spring leaves fields full of untreated weeds

The abnormally wet spring in the Eastern Corn Belt has not only hampered planting, but it also has prevented timely weed burndown applications, said a Purdue Extension weed scientist.

A common problem has been yellow fields caused by cressleaf groundsel, commonly known as ragwort, senicio or butterweed. Rain kept farmers from controlling this weed with herbicides earlier this spring.

“Farmers have a lot of questions about controlling cressleaf groundsel because the excessively wet weather did not allow burndown applications to be made in late April,” said Bill Johnson. “Now we have fields with groundsel, plus chickweed, henbit, deadnettle and winter annual grass at the seed set stage. Not to mention the summer annuals, such as giant foxtail, giant ragweed, common lambsquarters, black nightshade, pigweeds and waterhemp that have started to emerge.”

Bolting horseweed, or marestail, emerged last fall, and seedling horseweed that emerged this spring also continues to be an issue.… Continue reading

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Yield expectations for June corn planting

By Peter Thomison and Allen Geyer, Ohio State University Extension

In previous articles we’ve noted that by the end of May, planting delays may result in yield losses as high as 2 bushels per acre per day but that the impact of late planting on yield can be highly variable. Information on the performance of corn planted in June is limited. When planting is delayed beyond June 1, many grain producers switch to soybean because it has generally been regarded as more profitable than late-planted corn.

What can we expect from corn planted for grain in June? Since 2005 we have conducted field studies to compare the agronomic performance of corn planted on “normal” Ohio planting dates in late April and early May with that of corn planted on dates in early-to-mid June. These planting date studies also included hybrid maturity, nitrogen, seeding rate and foliar fungicide treatments but for the purpose of this discussion we will focus on planting date effects.… Continue reading

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