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Pioneer offers resources to help growers improve profitability

Customers of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, will now have access to more local agronomic research information through a new program focused on evaluating innovative production practices on a local basis. A national network of agronomy trial managers (ATMs) currently is being added to the existing Pioneer agronomic team to help growers identify improved crop production practices, using Pioneer brand products that could enhance growers’ profitability. 

A number of ATMs are already working on agronomic testing programs today. The goal of the ATM program, a complement to the Pioneer “Right Product, Right Acre” strategy, is to have ATMs in all regions of the U.S. within three years, evaluating the best practices to help growers get the greatest value from each acre. There are currently 20 ATMs nationwide, but Pioneer is looking to more than double that number. 

“Offering growers localized agronomic information – through Pioneer’s extensive national network of agronomists – has long been part of what the company provides customers with each bag of seed,” says Curt Clausen, Pioneer agronomy sciences director.… Continue reading

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Northern Ohio Wheat Day

Farmers, seed dealers, fertilizer and chemical dealers, and members of the milling industry are invited to the Northern Ohio Wheat Day on Sept. 7.

The free event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Wendalin Parish Hall, 323 N. Wood Street, Fostoria. It’s cohosted by the Mennel Milling Company and will include updates on university research and cultural issues impacting wheat production in the region.

To get an accurate lunch count, attendees are asked to RSVP to 419-562-8731 or by Sept. 5.

“Very high corn and soybean futures market prices, coupled with strong seasonal basis bids, have led to a decline in the farm crops mix that included wheat,” said Steve Prochaska, an Ohio State University Extension educator and member of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team. “Additionally, there has been grower frustration with significant levels of Fusarium head scab disease that in some years has resulted in certain grain delivered to elevators being discounted.… Continue reading

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OFBF supports passage of Issue 2

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has announced its support for passage of State Issue 2. The measure, which will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, will retain the reforms to public employee collective bargaining laws passed by the General Assembly in March. OFBF’s board of trustees announced its endorsement following extensive study and deliberation.

OFBF determined that Ohio taxpayers, families and communities would be best served by passage of Issue 2, according to John C. (Jack) Fisher, Farm Bureau’s executive vice president. Provisions of the issue are consistent with the policies established by Farm Bureau’s grassroots membership.

“If we are to preserve jobs and services, local governments need flexibility to manage ever increasing labor costs. Issue 2 allows public employees to collectively bargain for hours, salaries, terms and conditions, just like they have for more than 25 years,” Fisher said. “But now, taxpayers have equal footing when it comes to the negotiating process.”… Continue reading

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Confined spaces, teen challenge highlight FSR safety demos

Helping farmers and rural youth understand the implications of farm safety is the goal of several demonstrations, displays, and interactive events at Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center outside London.

“We provide relevant safety education opportunities to farmers attending the Review,” said Kathy Henwood, Ohio State University Extension program coordinator for Agricultural Safety and Health. “We try to have something new each year that highlight current concerns in production agriculture.”

This year, two demonstrations deal with management issues in confined spaces on farms, including combustible dust explosions and manure storage ventilation.

Combustible dust in grain handling and storage facilities can be extremely dangerous. Extension and industry experts will discuss the causes of dust explosions, as well as tips and techniques for prevention. Sessions, occurring daily on the half-hour between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., include explosion demonstrations of various types of agricultural products.

In addition, a new demonstration this year focuses on how to deal with ventilation issues in manure storage facilities.… Continue reading

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The August 29th Ohio Crop Progress Report


The average temperature for the State was 70.0 degrees, 1.0 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, August 28, 2011. Precipitation averaged 1.40 inches, 0.55 inches above normal. There were 141 modified growing degree days, 4 days below normal.

Reporters rated 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, August 26, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 6 percent very short, 13 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus.


Recent rains have been welcome, but the crops are still behind. Spider mites and aphids have been reported in soybean fields. Soybeans fields have been sprayed for aphids.

As of Sunday August 28th, corn in dough was 71 percent, which was 24 percent behind 2010 and 15 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 21 percent, compared to 70 percent last year and 47 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Short husks could create quality concerns

A period of extremely dry weather followed by later-season rain has left some corn with husks shorter than their ears, exposing kernels and portending reduced grain quality at harvest.

The phenomenon, often described as “ears outgrowing their husks,” is the result of stunted husk leaf development combined with fairly normal ear or cob elongation, said Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension agronomist.

“Periods of severe stress can do all sorts of strange things to crops,” he said.

In the case of short husks and exposed ears, husk leaves are about two-thirds the length of the ears themselves and about half the size of husks on normal ears. Ear lengths of normal and stressed plants usually are similar, but kernel number and size tend to be smaller on stressed ears.

The main symptom farmers see is the ears elongated beyond the end of the husk leaves, which leaves kernels exposed to insects, birds and weathering.… Continue reading

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Yield monitor calibration tips

By John Barker, Ohio State University Extension

GPS-based yield data has proven to be an extremely valuable management tool on many Ohio farms. However, improperly calibrated yield monitors can essentially generate difficult to interpret or useless data … Garbage In = Garbage Out.

Economic risk in agriculture has increased dramatically. Considering the amount of economic risk involved in each decision, taking the time and patience to properly calibrate a yield monitor is essential if the yield data will be used to make future agronomic decisions for your farming operation.

Most yield monitors operate on the same basic principles. Yield monitor manufacturers strive to build accuracy into their units; however, each machine has its sources of errors. Proper calibration requires harvesting 3 to 5 separate calibration loads. Each load should represent different flow rates. This can be easily accomplished by harvesting at different speeds (i.e. 3 mph, 3.5 mph, 4 mph, 4.5 mph, 5 mph, etc.)… Continue reading

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Conversion Program is saving FCS customers $13.6 million annually

Thanks to a program, which allows farmers and rural residents to convert their existing loans to lower interest rates, almost 15,000 Farm Credit Services of Mid-America customers have saved significant interest dollars in 2011. That’s the number of customers who took advantage of FCS’s Conversion Program, converting $2.72 billion in loans to lower interest rates, and slicing an average of .50 percent off their interest costs. Estimated customer savings is $13.6 million annually.

“More than 50% of our conversion activity has occurred in August,” said Bill Johnson, president and chief executive officer stating that interest rates have once again dropped to near all-time lows. “This month alone, staff has converted almost 7,500 customer loans.”

That represents $1.37 billion in loan volume saving customers an estimated $6.8 million annually. The Loan Conversion Option gives customers the ability to quickly and easily change the interest rates on their Farm Credit loans during the term of those loans.… Continue reading

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World Dairy Expo deadline

Cattle exhibitors wishing to compete at World Dairy Expo 2011 should log on to World Dairy Expo website now and submit their entries.  According to Dairy Cattle Show Manager, Laura Herschleb, entry fees will increase at midnight (CDT) on Thursday, September 1.  Paper applications must also be postmarked by that date to avoid late entry fees.

Animals may still be entered after September 1 and until check-in for the show.  Late entries made between September 2 and September 6 may be made online or by paper at $50 per animal.  After September 6, all late entries must be submitted on paper entry form at a cost of $100 per animal.

To enter online, visit  Click on the Dairy Cattle Show & Sales tab and follow the online entry instructions under the Entry Information link.  Entry forms, International Futurity Entry Forms and accompanying information, along with the 2011 Premium Book, are available on the website.… Continue reading

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Seed Consultants holds field day

Friday, the folks at Seed Consultants held their annual field day to say thank you to their loyal clientel and to let them know about the exciting new products they have to offer for 2012. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins was there to cover the event.

Chris Jefferies is one of the co-founders of Seed Consultants and he tells Ty that he has been pleasantly surprise with the outcome of the 2011 corn crop in his area.

SCI Chris Jefferies

SCI Co-Founder Dan Fox tells Ty that he is excited about the growth of the company.

SCI Dan Fox

Bill Mullen is the Director of Agronomic Services and he says this year’s corn crop is not out of the woods quite yet.

SCI Bill Mullen

Director of Replecated Research Mike Earley gives the details on some of the disease pressures in some of the plots.

SCI Mike Earley

Area Seedsman James Jacobs descibes this growing season as difficult.… Continue reading

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Win up to $1,000 in the “My Ohio Ag” contest

Ohioans can demonstrate their connection to Ohio agriculture and win up to $1,000 cash in the “My Ohio Agriculture” video contest. Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) Center for Food and Animal Issues invites farmers, county Farm Bureaus, 4-H and FFA youth and all Ohioans to submit a video, which communicates a positive and informative message about Ohio agriculture and food.

Contestants must record and submit an original 1- to 3-minute video that must be uploaded to by Oct. 14. The video also must be submitted on the official contest site featured at between Sept. 30 and 5 p.m. on Oct. 14.

Winners will be chosen in two categories. The People’s Choice winner will be determined based on the amount of views a submitted video has on YouTube. This winner will receive a $500 cash gift card. Multiple Judges’ Choice winners will be selected by judges with each receiving a $500 cash gift card.… Continue reading

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Protect alfalfa from winter injury

As the hot days of summer give way to cool fall temperatures, alfalfa growers are encouraged to consider winter injury risk when thinking about fall cutting.

“Growers really need to assess the risk versus the gain when it comes to fall cutting of alfalfa,” said Charles Scovill, Syngenta field agronomist. “While it may be tempting to take a final cutting late in the fall, you could be ultimately risking winter stand injury.”

To increase their potential for winter survival, alfalfa plants should get five to six weeks of growth to accumulate root carbohydrates and proteins before going dormant for the winter. A killing freeze, or the temperature that will stop further top growth for the season, normally occurs between September 1 and October 15 in northern states. Therefore, it is important to manage fall harvests to give the plants the best chance for strong winter survival.

When considering fall cutting, Scovill suggests the following management tips:

·         Select winter tolerant varieties.… Continue reading

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Three USDA conservation grants will improve Ohio’s natural resources

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Terry Cosby announced three 2011 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) involving Ohio today. An investment of over $2.5 million to three organizations will advance innovative conservation technologies and approaches that address a broad array of existing and emerging natural resource issues.
“I’m very excited about the opportunities these grants bring for addressing some of Ohio’s most pressing natural resource issues,” Cosby says. “Water quality degradation from excessive nutrients has had a major impact on Grand Lake St. Marys. The $1 million grant to the Quasar Energy Group to construct an anaerobic digester in the Grand Lake St. Marys Watershed has great potential to benefit all of the people who depend on the land and the lake for their livelihood.”
The Quasar Energy Group grant will demonstrate the effectiveness of cutting edge technology to remove phosphorus from manure and export the concentrated phosphorus recovered in the process from the watershed.… Continue reading

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American Chopper Dekalb bike to be auctioned for Red Cross

DEKALB® brand will kick off its 100th anniversary celebration with the design, build and auction of a custom-built, commemorative DEKALB 100th Anniversary Bike by Paul Jr. Designs of Discovery Channel’s “American Chopper- Senior v. Junior.” All proceeds from an auction of the bike will go to the American Red Cross.

The DEKALB 100th Anniversary Bike, which will be unveiled at the 2011 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., will travel across approximately 10 states on a 14-20 stop Chopper Tour around rural America following the Farm Progress Show reveal. Stops along the tour include farm shows and industry meetings and conventions where attendees can see the DEKALB 100th Anniversary Bike first-hand. The internet auction for the DEKALB 100th Anniversary Bike will launch in January 2012 to coincide with the DEKALB brand anniversary month, and the DEKALB 100th Anniversary Bike will be presented to the winner at the 2012 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.… Continue reading

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Conklin AgroVantage Field Day

Learn how to maximize profits and increase yields up to 20% with a world-class crop management system at the Conklin AgroVantage Field Day on Aug. 26. The field day will demonstrate the system that was used to achieve over 400 national yield contest winners.
The event will be held at Beachy Farms 4060 AW Wilson Road in Plain City starting with registration at 9:30 a.m. The event include lunch and fields tours. The cost is $10.
From Columbus take I-71 North to I-70 West to U.S. Route 42, turn right to AW Wilson Road, and turn left at 4060 Michael Beachy’s Farm. From Plain City, take U.S. Route 42 South to AW Wilson Road, turn right at 4060 at Michael Beachy’s Farm.
For questions, call Art Walkden at 740-504-2768.… Continue reading

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NASS Describes its use of Farm Service Agency crop acreage numbers

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service describes in a new document how it uses USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) crop data in its crop acreage estimating process. The agency uses the FSA data to supplement the vast array of detailed survey data it collects from producers to make reliable crop acreage estimates. The FSA data are incorporated into the estimating process along with other variables. In doing so, NASS takes account of variations between the two USDA agencies in definitions, categories of data collected, and the time of reporting.
The full description of how NASS uses the FSA acreage data is available at:
The following is a link to FSA crop acreage information posted on line on August 15, 2011:… Continue reading

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Pork producers' ability to pay for corn

This year’s corn crop is not big enough to meet the entire consumption base that has been built. Prices will have to be high enough to convince some end users to reduce consumption from current levels. Can the pork industry compete with other end users? asked Purdue University economist Chris Hurt.

“The answer is complex and will depend on many factors, including how small the U.S. corn crop is and production in the southern hemisphere this winter,” he said. “Ultimately, the question is how high corn prices have to be to get a sufficient number of end users to reduce consumption.”

The largest competitor for corn in the coming year will be the ethanol industry where USDA analysts currently estimate 5.1 billion bushels of corn use, he said.

“To meet the mandated domestic Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) will require about 4.7 billion bushels with nearly 400 million additional bushels used to make ethanol that will be exported.… Continue reading

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Pork producers’ ability to pay for corn

This year’s corn crop is not big enough to meet the entire consumption base that has been built. Prices will have to be high enough to convince some end users to reduce consumption from current levels. Can the pork industry compete with other end users? asked Purdue University economist Chris Hurt.

“The answer is complex and will depend on many factors, including how small the U.S. corn crop is and production in the southern hemisphere this winter,” he said. “Ultimately, the question is how high corn prices have to be to get a sufficient number of end users to reduce consumption.”

The largest competitor for corn in the coming year will be the ethanol industry where USDA analysts currently estimate 5.1 billion bushels of corn use, he said.

“To meet the mandated domestic Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) will require about 4.7 billion bushels with nearly 400 million additional bushels used to make ethanol that will be exported.… Continue reading

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Dow seeks approval of first three-gene herbicide-tolerant soybean

Dow AgroSciences LLC, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and M.S. Technologies LLC announced a collaborative submission to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the approval of the first-ever, three-gene herbicide-tolerant soybean.

This new soybean event developed by the companies includes, for the first time, three herbicide tolerance genes stacked as part of a single genetic event in the soybean genome. These genes provide tolerance to Dow AgroSciences’ new 2,4-D product, glyphosate, and glufosinate, which combined make-up the Enlist™ Weed Control System.

“Dow AgroSciences continues to break new ground in both trait and herbicide technologies, and this soybean submission illustrates how our company continues to raise the bar for our entire industry in innovation,” said Antonio Galindez, president and CEO, Dow AgroSciences. “For growers, this Dow AgroSciences scientific breakthrough will provide a new choice for the best traits in the best germplasm to enhance soybeans. For Dow AgroSciences, this technology significantly accelerates our growth and position in the soybean business and beyond.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress Report – August 22nd, 2011

As of Sunday August 21st, corn in dough was 58 percent, which was 32 percent behind 2010 and 17 percent behind the five-year average. Corn dented was 9 percent, compared to 55 percent last year and 28 percent for the five-year average. Corn for silage was 4 percent harvested, which was 9 percent behind last year and 2 percent behind the five-year average. Ninety-nine percent of soybeans were blooming, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average.

The full report, including crop conditions, is here.Continue reading

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