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USDA: Corn, Soybean Conditions Hover Around Average

by Jeff Caldwell

Corn conditions dipped slightly, though the crop’s progress remained well ahead of the normal schedule in the last week, according to Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report.

In general, 72% of the crop is in good to excellent condition, down just 1% from the previous week. Development’s still rolling right along; the crop made an almost 30% jump in silking progress (from 38% to 65%) in the last week. That’s 18% ahead of the previous 5-year average.

Soybean conditions improved over the last week. As of Sunday, 77% of the crop was in good to excellent shape, while 60% of the nation’s beans are blooming and 18% are setting pods, both a few percentage points ahead of the normal pace.

Weather extremes continue to taunt farmers in the Corn Belt, where though general crop conditions are okay, there are pockets where either too much or not enough moisture is wreaking havoc on fields.… Continue reading

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Agricultural Easement Purchase Program Helps Expand Farming Business and Conservation

State farmland preservation funds are doing more than preserving land, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation. Results revealed that Agricultural Easement Purchase Program funds are being used to help implement on-farm conservation measures and expand the farm business.

“These funds are going far beyond the physical aspects of preserving agricultural land,” said Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs. “They are also helping producers engage in more sustainable practices, which is good for the community, environment and economy.”

The Ohio State University Center for Farmland Policy Innovation performed the independent survey, of which 79 of the program’s 101 participants responded. A majority of respondents, 91.7 percent, reported that they are satisfied with the program.

More than half of the respondents indicated they are establishing new conservation practices on their farms since receiving funds from the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program. In addition, 23 respondents are diversifying their farming business, and 17 are establishing new or additional farm businesses.… Continue reading

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OCGA board members receive legislative support for ethanol tax credit

With the future of corn ethanol hanging in the balance in Congress, the Ohio Corn Growers Association’s (OCGA) recent grassroots lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., garnered crucial support for an ethanol-blender’s tax credit, known as VEETC (Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Extension). The legislation continues the current tax credit for entities that blend ethanol with gasoline.

This week, U.S. Representative Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), of Ohio’s 15th congressional district, signed as a co-sponsor for the Renewable Fuels Reinvestment Act (HR 4940) that would extend key ethanol tax incentives until the year 2015, including the $0.45 per gallon blenders credit for ethanol use.

“Current ethanol tax policies are working to build out the industry, expand infrastructure and provide the foundation for new technologies to thrive,” said OCGA President John Davis, a Delaware County farmer.

Davis was among a group of farmer board members in Washington, D.C., the week of July 14.… Continue reading

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State Fair Ticket Giveaway

The Ohio State Fair is quickly approaching. We want you to come share in the fun. We’re giving away (2) family four packs of admission tickets along with coupons for a free sandwich at the Ohio Pork Producers Pork Stand, one of the most popular food stands on the fairgrounds!

Tell Us: What makes the Ohio State Fair Fairtastic!

To Enter: Submit your thoughts in the comment section below (only one comment per person)

Contest Ends: July 20th at 8:00 pm

Winner: Will be randomly chosen and contacted via email.


Winners were chosen randomly through Comment Contest. Congrats to our winners Jill Tyson and James Harding.

Jill said the Ohio State Fair is Fairtastic because, “The Ohio State Fair is such a great opportunity to celebrate outstanding performance. From livestock to cake decorating, youth, teens and adults are able to showcase their projects. So many great companies are represented and the staff and fair board work hard to make sure everyone has a good experience.Continue reading

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Horticulture Field Night Features New Trials and Compost Sock Demo


A new trial for currants and gooseberries at Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon will be featured at the upcoming OSU South Centers Horticulture Field Night Aug. 12, along with a demonstration of compost socks that are producing encouraging results for growing crops without soil.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. with a wagon-tour program following at 6 p.m. Derma scan viewings for sun damage will be available until 6:30 p.m.  Dinner will be served at 8:30 p.m. when specialists will be available for questions. Registration is $10 per person. OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio.

The highlight of the wagon tour will be the newly established Ribes trial where currant, gooseberry and jostaberry plants are being studied as a possible new commercial crop for Ohio’s small fruit growers. Ribes were grown in the state in the early 1900s, but were banned due to the serious threat to the white pine industry from white Pine blister rust. … Continue reading

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Commodity prices are cyclical, but unpredictable

What goes around comes around, even with commodity prices.

Prices climb unusually high and then drop quickly about every 30 years, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist. The price spikes often are brought on by wars and currency devaluation – unexpected events that are difficult to predict, he said.

Hurt will discuss price spike cycles during a session of Top Farmer Crop Workshop. The 43rd annual workshop, hosted by Purdue Extension and Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, will take place July 18-21 in the Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus and at Purdue’s Agronomy Center for Research and Education, located west of campus.

Annual U.S. corn prices rose from $2.08 in 2005 to $4.29 a bushel in 2007, before falling this year to $3.60, in prices adjusted to reflect 2010 dollars, Hurt said. The 2007 high price filled many in the agricultural industry with optimism that demand for crops will continue to exceed supply and farmland values can only keep rising.… Continue reading

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Start scouting for western bean cutworm

Purdue University entomologists predict western bean cutworm to peak in egg laying over the next couple of weeks.

The insect is relatively new to Indiana and Ohio, said Christian Krupke. The pest originates in the Great Plains states, but has been increasing in the region since 2006. So far, 2010 looks to be the worst year for infestation.

The pearl-like eggs are found in clusters of 50 to 100 and turn deep purple before hatching. Once hatched, larvae quickly enter into the corn whorl and eat until ears form. Molds often form where worms have eaten.

Krupke expects the northwest corner of the state to experience greater populations of western bean cutworm because the soils are sandy, making it easier for the insect to dig into the soils to overwinter.

“We know eggs are present in many fields in northwestern Indiana,” he said. “There will be many more deposited over the next couple of weeks, so scouting is essential in high-risk areas of the state.”… Continue reading

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The 2010 wheat season: A look back as we move forward

By Pierce Paul, Dennis Mills, Katelyn Willyerd, Alissa Kriss, Ohio State University Extension

The 2010 wheat harvest has finished and, as we plan for the 2010-2011 season, let us take a quick look back and learn from this past crop. We had everything this year — head scab and vomitoxin, Stagonospora leaf and glume blotch, powdery mildew, leaf rust, head smut, cereal leaf beetle, plus a very hot late-spring-early-summer. The big problem this year was head scab and vomitoxin, with incidence ranging from 3% to 60% and vomitoxin from less than 1 to 18 parts per million (ppm). Both Stagonospora and powdery mildew were also very severe, with a severity score of 7 out of 10 this year. Diseases combined with a short grain fill period resulted in low to moderate yield and grain quality, with average yield ranging from 40 to 90 bushels per acre and test weight from 45 to 60 pounds per bushel.… Continue reading

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Researchers Taking Three-Pronged Approach to Flooding/Disease Impacts on Soybeans

Farmers’ hands are tied when it comes to managing soybean injury related to soil flooding and water-loving root rot diseases, but after several years of research at Ohio State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, some promising solutions are on the horizon.

To combat the yield impacts associated with standing water, disease development and poor soil structure during heavy rains and flooding situations, Ohio State University plant scientists are taking a three-pronged approach to improving soybean health: molecular plant breeding, transgenics and soil management.

Over the past three years, USDA-ARS and Ohio State plant scientist Tara VanToai and her colleagues with the University Missouri—Delta Center have been analyzing 196 soybean lines that carry the genes of a flood-tolerant Asian variety and a flood-prone variety. The goal is to identify molecular markers in lines that exhibit flood tolerance to aid in developing flood-tolerant soybean varieties by molecular plant breeding.

“Out of that work, we have identified a handful of lines, less than 10, that show sufficient flood tolerance – 60 percent to 70 percent tolerance in standing water after 10 days,” said VanToai.

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Agritechnica and AG CONNECT Expo Announce Coordinated Dates

The two global agriculture trade exhibitions — Agritechnica in Europe and AG CONNECT Expo in North America — have coordinated the timing of their show dates for 2011 and 2013 for the convenience of exhibitors and attendees with global business interests. Show organizers said this schedule allows those interested in global agriculture to attend both events in those years. The shows are held biennially.

Agritechnica is the world’s largest agriculture machinery show while AG CONNECT Expo is North America’s global exhibition, both featuring the latest innovations in production agriculture.

In 2011, AG CONNECT Expo will be held January 8-10, 2011 (Preview Day January 7) at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The 2011 Agritechnica will be held at the end of that year — November 15-19, 2011 at the Exhibition Grounds in Hanover, Germany (Preview Days November 13-14). The shows will next be held in 2013 — AG CONNECT Expo 2013 is scheduled for January 8-11, 2013 in Orlando, Florida and Agritechnica 2013 is slated for November 2013.… Continue reading

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A conversation with Jack Fisher, executive vice president Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, about the HSUS Agreement

OCJ: How does this agreement affect Issue 2 and the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board?

Jack: The work farmers put into passing Issue 2 is paying off. Farmers said the Care Board was the proper way to handle complex questions about farm animal care. Ohio voters agreed. Now, HSUS acknowledges this. Without the Care Board, the only option to deal with animal issues would be costly, damaging ballot fights. That hasn’t worked out too well in other states.

Farm groups will now make recommendations to the Board that are believed to be acceptable ways to deal with some very contentious issues. The Board will consider recommendations from others as well. HSUS has committed to get in line with everyone else who wants to share an opinion. The Board will make its own decisions, just as intended under Issue 2.

OCJ: If the board doesn’t follow the recommendations, won’t HSUS just come back with its ballot initiative?Continue reading

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Local Foods, Natural Gas Extraction Topics for Oct. 21 Land-Use Conference

Land-use implications regarding everything from the extraction of natural gas from the vast Marcellus Shale to policy decisions geared to strengthen local food systems are on tap as topics for the 2010 Ohio Land Use Conference, set for Thursday, Oct. 21.

Sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the annual land use conference typically attracts up to 150 elected officials, economic developers, local planners and community leaders, said Nancy Bowen-Ellzey, community development educator for OSU Extension and coordinator of this year’s conference.

“We always try to identify current, emerging issues so the sessions are relevant for participants,” Bowen-Ellzey said. This year’s sessions, some of which run concurrently, include:

Land Use Planning for Local Food Systems, with Holly Mattei, director of the Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission, and Katie Myers, farmland programs coordinator, Countryside Conservancy.

Regional Efforts to Mitigate Climate Change, with Matt McCauley, director for regional planning, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.… Continue reading

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Fly Control Essential for Beef, Dairy Herd Health


Whether in the pasture or the barn, fly control is an essential part of keeping healthy dairy and beef cattle herds, said Purdue entomologist Ralph Williams.

In pasture cattle the two primary fly pests are horn flies, which are a biting fly, and face flies. Face flies do not bite, but they feed around the eye tissue and can transmit bacterial conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

“Horn flies are the number one fly pest in the United States,” Williams said. “The threshold at which we recommend control is when those flies reach 200 per animal. It is not uncommon to see a thousand or more horn flies per animal.”

While horn flies do not transmit disease, they can cause economic loss by reducing weight gain, feed efficiency and calf weights.

For cattle in confinement, the stable fly is a biting fly that breeds in the accumulating feed waste and soiled bedding.… Continue reading

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Time to park the pickup and walk the fields

By Bill Mullen

Jr., Director of Agronomic Services for Seed Consultants Inc.

Until we park the truck and walk our fields, we will never fully know the issues affecting crop development today. Walking fields of soybeans now will give us information on how the crop is actually handling the stress. There are various disease and insect issues to be aware of while walking fields, such as soybean cyst nematode, soybean aphids, sudden death syndrome, frogeye leaf spot, and white mold.
Now is the time to be scouting for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) in your fields. SCN injures soybean roots, and leads to stunted plants. There are not good above ground symptoms to indicate the presence of SCN in a field, especially when moisture is adequate. The cyst is found on the roots are filled with eggs which penetrate the roots and develop into adults in 14 to 21 days. As they develop, the cysts rupture the root, later die and then fall off into the soil.… Continue reading

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USDA Receives Signed Standard Reinsurance agreements from crop insurance companies

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac announced that as of July 12, 2010, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) received signed 2011 Standard Reinsurance Agreements (SRA) from all 16 private insurance companies who participated in the federal crop insurance program during the 2010 crop year, formally ending the negotiation process which has been underway since December 2009. The new SRA negotiated by USDA is projected to achieve $6 billion in savings over the next 10 years, two-thirds of which will go toward paying down the federal deficit while the remaining third will support high-priority risk management and conservation programs.

“The new agreement that we have now finalized lays the foundation for a more sustainable federal crop insurance program, reduces the federal deficit, and improves the farm safety net for producers by providing incentives for companies to sell policies in all areas so that farmers and ranchers across the country can access these critical risk management tools,” Vilsack said.… Continue reading

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July Weather Outlook

By Jim Noel, CORN Newsletter
Not much change from a few months ago.

Above normal temperatures and near normal rainfall are forecast to continue for the rest of July.

As discussed in May, the trends and guidance supports near normal rainfall for the growing season after pre-growing season indicated some minor drought risk mainly in the northeast, but that quickly went away. We discussed in May that even though near normal is forecast for rainfall this growing season that the risk was to the wet side in the southwest and drier side in the northeast.

Overall, it has been wet in the western and southwest part of the state with average to slightly below average rainfall in the northeast this growing season:

With plenty of soil moisture alone, this will continue to support rainfall chances with not much longer than a week between rains seen anytime soon.… Continue reading

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Weekly crop progress numbers

Nationally, wheat harvest is 63% complete, compared to 61% this time last year and five year average of 65%. Corn is 38% silking compared to 19% last week. Seventy-three percent of corn is in good to excellent condition, up 2% from last week. Forty percent of soybeans are blooming, compared to 23% a week ago. Sixty-five percent of soybeans are rated good to excellent

In Ohio 95% of winter wheat is harvested. Forty-four percent of corn tasseled, compared to 10% last year. One percent of corn is in dough. Forty-three percent of soybeans were blooming, 20% ahead of last year an 8% ahead of the five-year average. Seventy-two percent of corn is rated good to excellent and 76% of soybeans.… Continue reading

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Monsanto Committed to Maintain Export Market Registrations for RR trait

The American Soybean Association (ASA), the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union (NFU) are pleased that Monsanto has committed to maintain export market approvals for the first biotech soybean trait “Roundup Ready” or “RR1” through 2021. Monsanto will officially communicate this commitment to all of its licensees. With the patent on RR1 due to expire in 2014, and patents on other traits expiring in future years, ASA has been actively working to develop pathways that will facilitate the continued availability of traits to soybean farmers as single generic traits or as part of stacked traits after patent expiration.
“Agriculture is blazing a new trail as the patents on first generation of biotech-enhanced seed traits begin to expire,” said Rob Joslin, ASA President and a soybean farmer from Sidney, Ohio. “While supporting patent protection for traits as a key driver for continued soybean seed industry investment and innovation, ASA desires competition to flourish, generic traits to be available in the marketplace, and prices for seed containing generic traits to decline once trait patents expire.”… Continue reading

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Carl Rittberger Sr., Inc. Issues Precautionary Recall for Product produced without Inspection

Carl Rittberger Sr., Inc. of Zanesville, OH announces a voluntary recall of approximately 15 pounds of Sliced Bacon due to the fact that the product was produced without the benefit of Sate Inspection by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Meat Inspection.

“As defined by the Class II category of the recall, the possibility of a food safety hazard is remote. It was simply a mistake on my part to not notify Meat Inspection of minimal production on that specific day of production.” said Andy Rittberger, President, Carl Rittberger Sr., Inc.

The product subject to recall include: 20 – 12 oz. packages of Sliced Bacon

Product: RITTBERGER Sliced Bacon 12 oz package

Identified by: Produced by Carl Rittberger Sr., Inc., Zanesville, Ohio.
The packages include Ohio Establishment #13, they include 12 oz. packages with the sell by date of 8/28/10

Manufacture date: 7/09/10

The packages were sold exclusively at the Zanesville Farmer’s Market on 7/10/10.… Continue reading

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EPA still stalling on ethanol decision

By Matt Reese

When it comes to making the decision about increasing the non-mandated ethanol blend limit from the current 10% to 15%, the U.S. EPA continues to fumble the ball. Ethanol supporters are thinking now may be the time for Congress to pick it up.
“EPA promised in June, they promised in July and now they’re talking about late fall to announce the decision,” said Dwayne Siekman, CEO of the Ohio Corn Growers Association. “There are two pieces of legislation in DC on this issue, one in the Senate and one in the House. Right now in the Ohio Congressional Delegation, we have one co-sponsor and that is Marcy Kaptur.”
With increased support of lawmakers, the ethanol industry is poised to take the country to a future of increased renewable fuel use.
“Corn growers believe a strong commitment to domestic energy production can supply the nation’s thirst for dependable, safe and abundant energy.… Continue reading

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