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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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Syngenta petitions court to protect grower access to grain outlets

Syngenta in North America today filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa against Bunge North America (“Bunge”) for having violated a number of Federal and State laws.  Syngenta alleges Bunge is attempting to block the legal merchandising of the Agrisure Viptera trait which was launched in compliance with all U.S. regulatory requirements as well as industry guidelines for commercialization.

“We are taking this action to remove the illegal impediment Bunge imposed on growers when they announced mid-season that they would not accept grain enhanced by the Agrisure Viptera trait,” said David Morgan, President, Syngenta Seeds, Inc. “When a product has been legally approved, growers should be able to use that technology without subsequently being subjected to arbitrary actions.”

“Our first priority is growers,” said Morgan.  “Growers inherently face a myriad of risks and Bunge’s decision to change grain specifications when farmers had already planted their corn is unacceptable.  … Continue reading

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Companies accepting Agrisure Viptera trait

China has increased their orders for U.S. corn this year, including the 2011 crop. While the orders are above historic levels, using U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast estimates, China will still only import approximately 1 to 2 percent of the total bushels of U.S. corn crop that goes to domestic and foreign markets.

Even with this small order size, Bunge and Consolidated Grain & Barge (CGB) indicate they will not accept grain containing the Agrisure Viptera trait from Syngenta.

Syngenta has approval of the Agrisure Viptera trait in all key import markets recommended by both the National Corn Growers Association and Biotechnology Industry Organization. The company expects Chinese approval in late March 2012.

In the past, technology providers have not delayed commercialization of new traits due to absence of Chinese approvals, nor have those traits been denied by grain companies. Needless to say, Syngenta is disappointed with the decision of some in the grain trade.… Continue reading

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Value-added food uses gain Japanese attention

The U.S. Grains Council’s ongoing efforts to promote value-added food applications in Japan gained significant Japanese media attention in July when a Japanese cable TV station featured a downtown Tokyo noodle shop that uses 10 percent corn flour in its soba noodles.

The ten-minute program showcasing the cold tomato-flavored noodle menu aired on four consecutive weekends, reaching approximately 180,000 Tokyo households.
The corn noodle menu was developed in collaboration with the Council and Japanese corn millers. It builds on the Council’s May taste tests that rolled out the corn noodle and follow-up efforts to distribute the noodle formula and recipes to 270 ramen shops in Tokyo.

Japanese manufacturers turn out 600,000 metric tons of noodles annually.

The Council’s Japan office also saw progress in sorghum promotion, as sorghum cookies with almond chips and maple syrup hit the shelves of an organic vegetable market in Tokyo’s fashionable Omotesando shopping district.

The shop’s customers are primarily health- and diet-conscious young women, according to the shop manager, who said the delicate cookies go out of stock very quickly. 
… Continue reading

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Zipper ears in corn may be more prevalent this year

By Brian Essinger, Monsanto Territory Manager, N. Ohio

Here is a phenomenon, zipper ears, that we are going to see more often this year.  It is caused by a variety of reasons, all environmental stresses during pollination, and not hybrid/germplasm related.

Most is caused by high heat or lack of moisture during pollination.  But delayed pollination, nitrogen deficiency, and defoliation after pollination (hail) can cause it as well.  Remember the bottom side of the ear is last to pollinate so that is why you find it there.

Here is a related article from Bob Nielsen, with Purdue University Extension.

The process of estimating yield potential in corn fields prior to grain harvest includes an assessment of the success of “kernel set” on the ears. Poor tip fill on ears, resulting from a combination of pollination failure and kernel abortion, is not uncommon in fields where severe crop stress has occurred during pollination or in the early weeks following pollination.… Continue reading

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History of corn featured at Farm Science Review

The history of corn, from ancient grasses to modern marvel, will be on display at Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center outside London.

Farmers across the Corn Belt produce millions of bushels of the crop from which the region derives its name, thanks in no small part to centuries of evolution in plant breeding, farming practices, and biotechnology. It’s that evolution that event organizers want to highlight.

“We’re trying to tell the story of technology in corn,” said Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension educator and coordinator of Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team. “From teosinte on through to the most modern quad stack, we’ll talk about plant breeding and technology development. “Corn is a wonderful example of a modern plant that we’ve developed from a simple grass into a major crop.”

The “antique corn display,” as Watters called it, is a key feature of the Agronomic Crops Team’s demonstration plots, located near the main entrance on the east end of the Review’s exhibit area.… Continue reading

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Be on the lookout for soybean aphids

By Ron Hammond and Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension entomologists

We received our first reports of soybean aphids being treated in northwest Ohio, with levels in most fields, while not being at threshold, are noticeable and rising.  Growers throughout the state, especially in the north, should consider scouting their fields for the remainder of the summer.   We suggest scouting throughout the state because in 2009, the last year that we had aphids, we saw large populations in southern Ohio.  While we cannot predict whether any area or field will have populations reaching threshold, the possibility exists.

Remember that the threshold for spraying is an average of 250 aphids per plant with a rising population ( ).  This is the threshold for taking action, not the economic injury levels which is in the vicinity of 700-900 aphids per plant.  So there is no need to spray prior to an average of 250 aphids per plant. … Continue reading

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Rootworms show resistance to Bt corn in Midwestern fields

Isolated findings of resistant rootworms in Iowa emphasize that planting a refuge is more critical than ever for maintaining the durability of Bt corn, a Purdue Extension entomologist says.

Bt corn does not kill all larva that feed upon it, and very slight feeding damage from corn rootworm is typical, said Christian Krupke. But after researchers at Iowa State University were alerted to high levels of feeding damage in some fields, they began to test Bt corn hybrids that expressed the Cry3B1 toxin. They found that rootworms from those fields were able to survive exposure in the lab.

“This is not a cause for alarm for Indiana producers, and it was something that we suspected would occur eventually,” Krupke said. “Producers should keep doing what they are doing for now as the vast majority of Bt continues to perform well for producers. This is more of a warning to be vigilant”

Currently, other Bt toxins appear to be effective against the pest.… Continue reading

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