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Iowa’s grand champion steer a clone of 2008 grand champion

By Dale Minyo

This year’s Grand Champion Steer at the Iowa State Fair is a clone of the 2008 Grand Champion Steer. Yes it is legal, or at least no rules were broken.

The 1,320 pound steer was produced by Bovance, a joint venture between Trans Ova and the cloning firm ViaGen. The exhibitor’s dad is the president of Trans Ova Genetics, a livestock reproduction company in Iowa. Bovance bought the cloned steer for a record-setting $45,000 bid at the auction to keep the animal out of the food chain.

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Iowa's grand champion steer a clone of 2008 grand champion

By Dale Minyo

This year’s Grand Champion Steer at the Iowa State Fair is a clone of the 2008 Grand Champion Steer. Yes it is legal, or at least no rules were broken.

The 1,320 pound steer was produced by Bovance, a joint venture between Trans Ova and the cloning firm ViaGen. The exhibitor’s dad is the president of Trans Ova Genetics, a livestock reproduction company in Iowa. Bovance bought the cloned steer for a record-setting $45,000 bid at the auction to keep the animal out of the food chain.

For more on this visit: or… Continue reading

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Ethanol program offers benefits to government and industry

A variable subsidy for ethanol producers could cost the government less and provide more security for producers than current fixed rates, according to a Purdue University study.

A variable subsidy rate would insulate producers from risk because as oil and ethanol prices drop, the subsidy for producers would increase, said Wally Tyner, a Purdue agricultural economist and an author of the study. The government would save money because it would not have to pay any subsidy when oil prices are high.

“There will be times when oil prices are high and the subsidy will be low or nothing at all,” Tyner said.

The current government subsidy for ethanol producers – a fixed rate of 45 cents per gallon of ethanol – will expire at the end of the year. Congress will have to decide whether to create a new fixed rate, implement a variable rate or go with no subsidy at all.… Continue reading

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Digester That Turns Manure into Methane Demonstrated at Farm Science Review

Farmers interested in alternative energy technologies for the farm can learn more about the small-scale biodigester developed by Ohio State University ecological engineers. The technology will be demonstrated at Farm Science Review, Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Jay Martin, a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, has developed a modified fixed-dome digester that can make methane from manure, which can either be burned as an alternative to natural gas or propane, or converted to electricity using a generator. The 300-gallon biodigester, installed at Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus, is designed specifically to cater to average-sized and smaller livestock farms – around 150 dairy cows on average.

“There are less than 200 digesters working on livestock farms in the United States, and those digesters are designed for large-scale industrial dairy operations in the range of 10,000 or 15,000 head.

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Crop insurance options

Farmers who want to insure this fall’s and next spring’s crops will have some decisions to make regarding crop insurance choices according to Amy Jackson, vice president of insurance for Farm Credit Services of Mid-America. “The new guidelines combine previous yield and revenue plans into one standardized plan and will be known as the COMBO plan,” she said.

For example, the new program combines Crop Revenue Coverage and Revenue Assurance policies into a new Revenue Protection policy. Actual Production History coverage is now called Yield Production. Additionally, price-setting methods and recordkeeping requirements also have changed.

Farmers will still be able to purchase individual policies for their farms. The new plan merely simplifies the process. The important thing to keep in mind, notes Jackson, is a policy automatically converts to the like-kind policy for 2011 if no action is taken. “However, farmers have the opportunity to make changes to their policy type and coverage levels through September 30, 2010 for fall wheat and March 15, 2011 for spring crops,” she said.… Continue reading

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USDA and FFA team up to create lesson plans just in time for school

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the National FFA Organization have partnered to develop new educational tools to help promote agricultural and statistical literacy among kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

“By including these materials in the classroom curriculum, teachers can help students better understand statistics and their importance to the farming community, rural America and society as a whole,” said Dr. Cynthia Clark, NASS administrator. “These lesson plans contain relevant information to give students a realistic view of statistical processes used to track trends and changes in U.S. agricultural production, economics and demographics.”

The classroom-ready resources, which include lesson plans and supporting materials, are aligned with national curriculum standards for science, math and social studies.

The materials use current Census of Agriculture data to teach a variety of concepts including discovering new trends in population subsets and evaluating diversity among farmers.

The materials are available online via the NASS website (… Continue reading

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Harvesting, storing and pricing corn silage

It is that time of year again (though a little early this year). Here are a couple of silage related articles from Ohio State University Extension experts on the CORN Newsletter.

By Bill Weiss, Ohio State University Extension

Several important decisions regarding corn silage harvest must be made in the next few weeks and these decisions will affect the dairy herd for the next 12 months. Corn silage that is made and stored correctly is an excellent feed and one of the cheapest sources of nutrients in the Midwest. On the other hand, silage that is not made correctly can adversely reduce milk production when fed to cows and will have lower nutritional value resulting in higher supplementation costs.

The decisions that must be made (in order of importance) are:

1. When to chop the corn.
2. Everything else.

The “Everything else” category includes cutting height, chop length, kernel processing, use of inoculant, and how long the silage should be left before feeding.… Continue reading

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Pioneer Field Day on Corn and Soybean Progress

Dale Minyo visits with Pioneer Agronomist Jonah Johnson at the Pioneer Field Day in Wilmington, OH.  Pioneer Jonah Johnson

Dale Minyo visits with Pioneer Agronomist Jerron Schmoll about Pioneer’s Triplestack varieties and the new Optimum AcreMax 1 Insect Protection product. Jerron Schmall -Pioneer

Dale Minyo visits with Pioneer Non-GMO Manager Dan Jones about the need for non-GMO products inside and outside the U.S. Dan Jones- Pioneer

Dale Minyo visits with Jim Trybaum, Pioneer Soybean Agronomic Research Scientist about innovations in soybean varieties.  Jim Trybaum- Pioneer Agronomy ResearchContinue reading

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U.S. Agriculture Paying Price for Inaction on Mexican Trucks

Mexico’s trade retaliation against the United States is expanding in size and scope due to the U.S. government not meeting obligations to allow Mexican trucks to operate in the United States. Due to this inaction, America’s farmers and ranchers are paying a steep price and the American Farm Bureau Federation is calling for immediate action to correct the matter.

The updated retaliation list published by Mexico includes tariffs that take effect today against U.S. pork, certain types of U.S. cheese, pistachios, a wide range of U.S. fruits and vegetables and other farm and non-farm goods.

“Mexico is one of our best trading partners and allowing this retaliation to continue for a provision we are obligated to meet is simply unacceptable,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “The economic impact from this growing list will be significant to many farmers and ranchers.”

Mexico has taken this action because under NAFTA, Mexican motor carriers are allowed to transport international cargo within the U.S.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau, Bob Evans® Announce Money-Savings Promotion

Members of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) can now save 10 percent on every meal at Bob Evans Restaurants. The new, money-saving program applies to both dine-in and carry-out meals.

“This is exciting news for current Farm Bureau members and a great reason for lots of folks to join our organization,” said Janet Cassidy, OFBF senior director, marketing communications. “Our members tell us time and again they enjoy Bob Evans’ food and hospitality, so we’re very pleased to announce this great promotion.”

Ohio Farm Bureau members can access unlimited discount coupons at A coupon and current Farm Bureau membership card must be presented to obtain the 10 percent savings. People who are not yet Farm Bureau members can learn about joining the organization and securing additional member benefits by visiting

“Our two organizations share a commitment to providing Ohioans with high quality food. So this partnership between Bob Evans and Ohio Farm Bureau just makes a lot of sense,” said Cassidy.Continue reading

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Ohio Projects Receive an Additional $118 Million in Broadband Recovery Act Awards

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today welcomed the announcement by Vice President Biden that three Ohio broadband projects received more than $118 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to extend broadband access throughout Ohio and create more than 430 jobs, and likely many more through indirect job creation.

“These awards support our plan to create a seamless broadband infrastructure throughout Ohio,” Strickland said. “Comprehensive Internet access is one part of our strategy to lay the groundwork for Ohio’s long-term economic growth and improve Ohio’s business environment. Because access to high-speed Internet is increasingly essential for businesses and is a gateway to connecting our students with the world. I want to thank the Obama administration and our Ohio Congressional leaders for their continued support of our goal to make sure that every part of Ohio has access to high-speed Internet services.”

The Ohio awards are below:

Horizon Telecom, $66.5 million: The project, with nearly $28.5 million in matching contributions, will allow Horizon Telecom, a Chillicothe company, to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in 34 southern and eastern Ohio counties.… Continue reading

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Seed Consultants Celebrates 20 Years

When Chris Jeffries and Dan Fox started Seed Consultants Inc. (SCI) in the corner of a farmer’s implement building, they never dreamed the company would become one of the largest independent seed companies in the U.S.
Fox’s and Jeffries’ backgrounds were both in production agriculture and the seed industry. In the ‘90s they were working for major seed companies but felt the western-based companies lacked adequate Eastern Corn Belt testing and strong regional products. “I was disenchanted with the way companies were treating our customers,” Jeffries recalls. “The companies we worked for were not going to add regionalized products, and we were told to basically sell whatever we were given.”
Fox and Jeffries wanted to give customers the best genetics for the region, so in 1990 Jeffries, a Purdue Universitygraduate with majors in Animal Science and Agricultural Education, and Fox, a Wilmington College graduate in Ag Business, started testing, selecting and selling genetics for the Eastern Corn Belt.… Continue reading

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Weather Update

by Jim Noel
The last two weeks saw temperatures much above normal with rainfall near normal. However, as was discussed two weeks ago, rainfall was highly variable, from less than 0.50 inches to over 5 inches. Normal for the 2 week period is around 1.75 inches.

The outlook for the remainder of August calls for much above normal temperatures to continue. Temperatures this week will start cooler the first half but temperatures 4-10 degrees above the normal (normals are lows 80s and low 60s on average across the state plus or minus 3-4 degrees from north to south) will return thereafter. Rainfall now looks below average the rest of this month. There will still be pockets of heavier rain, but the heaviest rains look north and south of the state. The northeast and far south stand the best chances for rainfall. Average for the rest of the month is near 1.75 inches.… Continue reading

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Corn Silage Harvest is Imminent

by Mark Sulc, Peter Thomison, Bill Weiss, Ohio State University Extension

Corn development has been progressing at a rapid pace with the recent warm temperatures. Early planted corn is already being harvested for silage in some parts of Ohio. So it is time to check the whole plant moisture content now, if you haven’t done so already.

Ensiling corn at the proper dry matter content provides high quality preservation resulting in good animal performance and lower feed costs. Harvesting corn too wet (low dry matter content) results in souring and seepage of the silage and reduction in animal intake. Harvesting too dry (high dry matter content) promotes mold development because the silage cannot be adequately packed to exclude oxygen. Harvesting too dry also results in lower energy concentrations and reduced protein digestibility.

Harvest Moisture Guidelines

Corn silage preserved between 30 and 38% dry matter (62 to 70% moisture) generally provides good silage fermentation and animal performance.… Continue reading

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