Featured News



Beef sector looks at potential in Russia

Russia was one of the hottest markets for U.S. beef during the first half of 2012, a trend upon which the beef checkoff has capitalized through trainings and promotions. Coming off a record performance in 2011, beef and beef variety meat exports to Russia were up 17% in volume (84.2 million pounds) and 57% in value ($162.2 million) year-on-year through the first half of 2012.

Looking ahead, prospects for continued export growth are bolstered by Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Though Russia’s invitation to join the WTO became official in December 2011, the Russian Parliament just recently (in late July) passed legislation to complete its accession to the WTO. This means that many of the trade commitments Russia agreed to as part of its WTO accession on Aug. 23, 2012.

“The duty on frozen beef muscle cuts will remain unchanged at 15%,” said Thad Lively, senior vice president for trade access for the U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Awareness key to preventing H3N2 illness, minimizing impact on pork industry

Minimizing the risk of human disease and any potential impact on the country’s pork industry from the outbreak of the influenza A H3N2 variant virus can best be accomplished through education about the nature of influenza viruses and how to prevent infection along with stepped-up efforts to keep sick pigs away from agricultural fairs, Ohio State University animal virologists said.

According to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the H3N2v virus — called “variant” because it has some unique genetic changes compared with typical swine H3N2 viruses — has infected 153 people since July. All but two of the cases occurred in Ohio and Indiana. The majority of those who have contracted the virus had direct contact with pigs, mainly at state or county fairs. Most of the cases have been reported in children.

So far, no one has died from the virus. The severity of illnesses associated with it in humans has been similar to the severity of illnesses commonly seen with seasonal flu, the CDC reported.… Continue reading

Read More »

Extended drought could lead to Aspergillus ear rot in corn, an unusual problem for Ohio growers

The ongoing drought afflicting most of Ohio has created conditions that are ripe for the development of a fungal disease corn growers in the Buckeye state typically don’t have to worry about — Aspergillus ear rot, according to an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist.

The concern is that drought-stressed corn is more susceptible to infection by Aspergillus flavus, an ear rot fungus that produces a very potent group of carcinogenic (cancer-causing) toxins called aflatoxins that can be harmful for animals and for humans if used in corn for grain and human food consumption, said Pierce Paul, who is also is a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Already, the disease has been spotted in some corn in Indiana, which is experiencing severe and extreme drought over much of the state, so Ohio growers should start looking for signs of it in their corn fields, he said.

“Normally, aflatoxin contamination of corn is not a major issue in Ohio, but the dry conditions experienced across the state could lead to such a problem this year,” Paul said.… Continue reading

Read More »

NCGA supports greenhouse gas study

The National Corn Growers Association has supported a study that will be released this fall, reporting that supplementing cattle feed with corn stover actually decreases the amount of greenhouse gases created during corn ethanol production. This study, by Life Cycle Associates, was designed to assess the impact on the carbon intensity, as measured by greenhouse gas emissions, of a corn ethanol pathway by taking into account the replacement of a portion of corn grain for feed with corn stover. The project received NCGA funding as part of a greater organizational effort to help find the answers farmers need in order to run the most efficient, environmentally friendly operations possible.

“It only makes sense that farmers place an incredible priority of caring for the environment,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chair Chad Willis, a grower from Willmar, Minn. “Natural resources, such as healthy soil and clean air and water, enable us not only to make a living but also to continue what, for most, is a family tradition.… Continue reading

Read More »

2012 fall corn “watch-outs”

By Jonah T. Johnson, MS, CPAg, CCA, Southern Ohio Field Agronomist for DuPont/Pioneer

As many of you read farm related publications this fall, the common theme will probably allude to something of “how did we begin with such a good start and end up where we are today?” No one can foresee the future unfortunately, or no one would have planted corn in March and April. The 2012 drought has created quite the predicament for growing corn in Ohio.

As I walk corn fields in southern Ohio, the long-term excessive heat and lack of available water has paved the way for extreme variability in yield, test weight, and ear and kernel size within fields spatially.

 

 

Weak ear shanks

Many of the fields that were extremely stressed are exhibiting weak shanks and pinched ear butts. As husks are pulled back on ears, these weak shanks break, dropping ears to the ground.… Continue reading

Read More »

Stink bugs showing up in soybeans

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel, OSU Extension entomologists

We have become aware of some soybean fields with much higher numbers of stink bugs than are normally seen, with some fields reaching a level that might need treatment. We have had reports of brown marmorated stink bug from a few of fields. With support from the Ohio Soybean Council, scouting trips have confirmed brown marmorated stink but in soybean. At this time only adults are being seen, but observations last year suggest that larger numbers of nymphs will start occurring within a few weeks. But we are also seeing greater numbers of the green stink bug and a smaller stink bug that is also green but with a reddish shoulder, this latter one being called the red shouldered stink bug. This is a new stink bug that has not been seen very much in Ohio. It is not the red banded stink bug that is causing significant concern in southern states, but it nevertheless might be a potential problem.… Continue reading

Read More »

Study shows need for infrastructure improvements

U.S. farmers depend on a 50-year-old highway system, a 70-year-old inland waterway system and a railway network build in the late 1800s to move their products from the fields to end users. This aging transportation system has been providing U.S. soybean farmers a competitive advantage in the global market, but a recent study funded by the United Soybean Board’s (USB’s) and soy checkoff’s Global Opportunities (GO) program supports the growing evidence that this advantage continues to be threatened by the deterioration of U.S. highways, bridges, rails, locks and dams.

The study, “Farm to Market – A Soybean’s Journey,” analyzed how soybeans and other agricultural products move from the farm gate to customers, highlighting weaknesses found in the system along the way. The study was recommended by the checkoff-funded Soy Transportation Coalition.

“The entire transportation network has been vital to the U.S. soy industry, not only in moving our product to domestic processors but also in delivering U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

August 20th weekly crop progress report

The average temperature for the State was 70.0 degrees, 1.5 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, August 19, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.35 inches, 0.47 inches below normal. There were 125 modified growing degree days, 23 days below normal. Reporters rated 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, August 17, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 29 percent very short, 39 percent short, 32 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

This week’s multiple rain storms and cooler temperatures reduced stress to crops and livestock. Most crops responded positively to the isolated showers, however, at this point corn development is past the point where rain will have much of an effect outside of very late planted acreage. Field activities for the week included spraying for weeds and spider mites, tilling wheat stubble, applying fertilizer, and installing tile drainage.

As of Sunday August 19th, 86 percent of corn was rated in the dough development stage, compared to 50 percent last year and 66 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cover crop day Sept. 4

Learn how cover crops can improve yields, reduce soil compaction and improve soil health all while fitting into a crop rotation. On Tuesday, September 4, the Darke and Miami Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices will be hosting a cover crop field day at Batdorf Farms near Covington. A free meal will be provided for all attendees, but only the first 100 registrants will receive a free copy of the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide.  Registration opens at 4:45 p.m. with the speakers starting at 5:00 p.m.

Hans Kok, Coordinator of the Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, will talk about how you can improve soil health through the use of cover crops.  Representatives from Byron Seeds and Center Seeds will be on hand to talk about types of cover crop varieties and mixes, along with cover crops that can be used for forage by livestock farmers. Attendees are invited to tour the cover crop plot to see 20 varieties and mixes available for maximizing soil health.… Continue reading

Read More »

Poverty in America measured on a relative scale

By Tim Reeves, The Country Chaplain

When I was ordained into the United Methodist Church, during the ordination ceremony, we carried a large three- by five- foot banner to the altar area. Each banner featured a Scripture passage and an image, which reflected our personal journey of life and ministry. These banners are made by the local church we serve at during the time of our ordination.

My banner (which still hangs in my church office) features the Matthew 25: 40 passage, which reads: “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’” It’s from the Jesus parable about people who neglect to care for their needy brothers and sisters by not serving the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, and not visiting the prisoner and the sick.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio hay directory

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels is urging Ohio farmers to take advantage of resources that will help connect farmers who may have grown more hay than they need to farmers who don’t have enough to feed their herds.

Ohio’s Hay Directory, along with other drought-related information, is now available at:

www.agri.ohio.gov/TopNews/DroughtInformationAndResources/.

The directory is the result of an Executive Order signed by Governor John R. Kasich in July to help farmers through what is being called the worst agricultural drought in 50 years.  ODA is also scheduling informational meetings around the state to provide crop and livestock farmers with information on farming in a drought and on accessing available relief resources.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Ohio Field Office, 53 percent of the state’s corn crop and 34 percent of the soybean crop is currently rated in poor or very poor condition.… Continue reading

Read More »

NRCS announcing grants to help farmers, ranchers adapt to drought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of up to $5 million in grants to evaluate and demonstrate agricultural practices that help farmers and ranchers adapt to drought. NRCS is taking applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to help producers build resiliency into their production systems so they can adapt to climatic extremes, such as the historic drought impacting the nation.

NRCS is offering the grants to partnering entities to evaluate innovative, field-based conservation technologies and approaches. These technologies and/or approaches should lead to improvements such as enhancing the water-holding capacity in soils and installing drought-tolerant grazing systems, which will help farms and ranches become more resilient to drought.

“Severe drought conditions across the U.S. have greatly impacted the livelihood of our farmers and ranchers,” said NRCS Chief Dave White. “Conservation Innovation Grants allow us to generate and deploy as soon as possible cutting-edge ideas that help farmers and ranchers run sustainable and profitable operations.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Awareness key to preventing H3N2 illness, minimizing impact on pork industry

Minimizing the risk of human disease and any potential impact on the country’s pork industry from the outbreak of the influenza A H3N2 variant virus can best be accomplished through education about the nature of influenza viruses and how to prevent infection along with stepped-up efforts to keep sick pigs away from agricultural fairs, Ohio State University animal virologists say.

According to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the H3N2v virus – called “variant” because it has some unique genetic changes compared with typical swine H3N2 viruses – has infected 153 people since July. All but two of the cases occurred in Ohio and Indiana. The majority of those who have contracted the virus had direct contact with pigs, mainly at state or county fairs. Most of the cases have been reported in children.

So far, no one has died from the virus. The severity of illnesses associated with it in humans has been similar to the severity of illnesses commonly seen with seasonal flu, the CDC reported.… Continue reading

Read More »

McPheron named Dean of OSU's CFAES

Bruce McPheron, dean, College of Agricultural SciencesBruce McPheron, dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been named vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, his undergraduate alma mater.

He will replace Dr. Bobby Moser and report directly to Joseph A. Alutto, executive vice president and provost. McPheron’s appointment is effective Nov. 1, pending approval by the board of trustees of Ohio State.

“Bruce brings a unique set of qualifications to his new position”, said Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and vice chairman of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees. “His Ohio roots are deep; he was raised here, graduated from Ohio State and served as an Ohio county Extension agent. His experience in higher education engaged him in research, teaching, Extension and the highest levels of administration. He has proven abilities in connecting with students, faculty and staff as well as colleagues across campus and throughout the nation.… Continue reading

Read More »

McPheron named Dean of OSU’s CFAES

Bruce McPheron, dean, College of Agricultural SciencesBruce McPheron, dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been named vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, his undergraduate alma mater.

He will replace Dr. Bobby Moser and report directly to Joseph A. Alutto, executive vice president and provost. McPheron’s appointment is effective Nov. 1, pending approval by the board of trustees of Ohio State.

“Bruce brings a unique set of qualifications to his new position”, said Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and vice chairman of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees. “His Ohio roots are deep; he was raised here, graduated from Ohio State and served as an Ohio county Extension agent. His experience in higher education engaged him in research, teaching, Extension and the highest levels of administration. He has proven abilities in connecting with students, faculty and staff as well as colleagues across campus and throughout the nation.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn ethanol waiver's affect on corn prices uncertain

Corn prices pushed higher by the worst U.S. drought in half a century would not necessarily moderate if the federal government’s corn ethanol mandate were temporarily suspended, according to a report by Purdue University agricultural economists.

The report, “Potential Impacts of a Partial Waiver of the Ethanol Blending Rules,” suggests that corn prices could fall under some scenarios should the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard’s corn ethanol provision – but only under certain market conditions. The EPA received a request by a consortium of livestock industry organizations to waive part of the mandate that effectively requires corn ethanol be blended with gasoline.

The Purdue report will be available Aug. 15 on the Farm Foundation website at http://www.farmfoundation.org/.

Farm Foundation NFP is an Oak Brook, Ill.-based not-for-profit organization conducting public policy education for food, agriculture and rural communities. The authors will discuss their report during a live webcast.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn ethanol waiver’s affect on corn prices uncertain

Corn prices pushed higher by the worst U.S. drought in half a century would not necessarily moderate if the federal government’s corn ethanol mandate were temporarily suspended, according to a report by Purdue University agricultural economists.

The report, “Potential Impacts of a Partial Waiver of the Ethanol Blending Rules,” suggests that corn prices could fall under some scenarios should the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard’s corn ethanol provision – but only under certain market conditions. The EPA received a request by a consortium of livestock industry organizations to waive part of the mandate that effectively requires corn ethanol be blended with gasoline.

The Purdue report will be available Aug. 15 on the Farm Foundation website at http://www.farmfoundation.org/.

Farm Foundation NFP is an Oak Brook, Ill.-based not-for-profit organization conducting public policy education for food, agriculture and rural communities. The authors will discuss their report during a live webcast.… Continue reading

Read More »

2,4-D resistance found in weeds could limit the herbicide’s future usefulness

Even as crops resistant to 2,4-D herbicide are being developed, populations of weeds are also developing a resistance. A 2,4-D–resistant variety of the waterhemp weed has been found, and its spread could lessen the impact of an herbicide widely used in grassland and crop production. Despite worldwide use of 2,4-D since the 1940s, only 17 weeds were previously known to be resistant to it.

The journal Weed Science reports the discovery of 2,4-D–resistant waterhemp by a grower in Nebraska. Although scarce 30 years ago, waterhemp is now a major problem for crop production in the midwestern United States. This is the sixth mechanism-of-action herbicide group to which waterhemp has developed resistance.

After 10 years of treatment with 2,4-D, waterhemp was no longer effectively controlled in a Nebraska native-grass seed production field. The highest doses of 2,4-D that were used in an on-site field study, 33 lb ai/A, were insufficient to control 50 percent of the waterhemp population.… Continue reading

Read More »

National Corn Growers responds to RFS petition

National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer released the following statement in response to formal petitions filed this week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“We are in the midst of a historic and devastating drought.  Its impact will be felt well beyond the farm sector.  We have great concern and empathy for not only our members who are suffering, but all who we supply.  This includes the domestic livestock sector, our export customers, the domestic food industry and the ethanol industry.  All are suffering because of the drought.

“We continue to believe in the value and efficacy of the open market system.  It is the most efficient and effective way of allocating resources.

“There currently is a lot of public discussion about the role and impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Unfortunately most of this discussion is unencumbered by facts and reality. … Continue reading

Read More »

Little Seeds, Big Tractors takes over COSI

This week, COSI will once again host Little Seeds, Big Tractors. The annual event will run through August 19th. There is something for all ages at this exhibit. Come out and learn where our food comes from and how it is produced. There will be tractors to see upclose and other interactive exhibits!

Franklin County Farm Bureau’s Neal Webber gave Dale Minyo all of the details about the very popular event.

Neal Webber Little Seed and Big tractors at COSIContinue reading

Read More »