Featured News

Complete calf weaning and consider marketing options

Now is the time for beef producers with spring-calving herds to complete weaning and consider calf marketing options, a Purdue Extension beef specialist said.

Timely calf weaning reduces cow energy needs and pasture stress, and allows pregnant cows time to gain weight heading into winter.

“Weaning helps stretch pasture resources, and longer grazing means using less harvested feed, such as hay or silage,” Ron Lemenager said. “If we wean calves and take them off of pasture, we can reduce cow pasture consumption by 25%, as well as eliminate the calves’ pasture intake and trampling losses associated with their hooves. Collectively, this should translate to a 30-40% stretching of pasture resources.”

Weaning a calf also reduces stress on the mother. When cows lactate, they have much higher energy needs and they gain less weight. The result is that they have to eat more and have a harder time improving body condition heading into the cold winter months, Lemenager said.… Continue reading

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Ohio team competes in National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest

Thirty-One teams from around the country competed in the dairy cattle evaluation contest judging 10 classes, and giving oral reasons on five classes at the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest on October 1 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisc. The Ohio team, coached by Bonnie Ayers, finished sixth overall.

Results are as follows:

Top 10 Teams Overall

  1. Michigan, 2,045, coached by Domecq and Sarah BlackTeam members: Megan Filhart, Hayleigh Geurink, Megan Bush and Savannah Katulski
  2. Minnesota, 2,001 coached by Scheffler and Pieper
Team members: Mary Liebenstein, Emily Pieper, David Trcka, Dennison Nelson
  3. New York, 2,001, coached by Doug Waterman
Team members: Miquela Hanselman, Andrew Chlus, Jacob Duppengiesser, Heidi Vanleishout
  4. Pennsylvania, 1,994,  coached by Chad Dechow
Team members: Caitlyn Pool, Dyllan Himmelberger, Tim Yoder, Elliot Elsbree
  5. Wisconsin, 1,952, coached by Behling/ Grosenick/ Sloan
Team members: Andy Sell, Janelle Remington, Carrie Warmka, Brad Warmka
  6. Ohio, 1,949, coached by Bonnie Ayars
Team members: Laura Bond, Emily Dudash, Hillary Hayman, Meghan Thurston
  7. California, 1,948, coached by Donny Rollin
Team members: Tony Garcia, Justin Bopp, Tristan Rollin, Brandon Carreiro
  8. New Hampshire, 1,940, coached by Jessica Chickering
Team members: Brooke Clarke, Jacob Blake, Lucas Deblois, Tristan Phillips
  9. Maryland, 1,930, coached by Jessica Little
Team members: Tessa Wiles, Carol Debaugh, Scott Debaugh, Derrick Zimmerman
  10. Illinois, 1,897, coached by David Fischer
Team members: Adrienne Brammeier, Jessica Telgamann, Morgan Wendling, Brett Woker


Top 10 Individuals Overall:

  1. Tony Garcia, 700, California
  2. Megan Bush, 690, Michigan
  3. Megan Filhart, 688, Michigan
  4. Dyllan Himmelberger, 686, Pennsylvania
  5. Emily Pieper, 680, Minnesota
  6. Miquela Hanselman, 677, New York
  7. Jacob Duppengiesser, 675, New York
  8. Kylie Ward, 671, North Carolina
  9. Hayleigh Guerink, 667, Michigan

Mary Liebenstein, 665, Minnesota

Top 10 Team Reasons:

  1. Michigan, 677, coached by Domecq and Black
  2. Minnesota, 677, coached by Scheffler andPieper
  3. Pennsylvania, 673, coached by Chad Dechow
  4. New York, 661, coached by Doug Waterman
  5. Wisconsin, 654, coached by Behling/ Grosenick/ Sloan
  6. Maryland, 635, coached by Jessica Little
  7. California, 632, coached by Donny Rollin
  8. Ohio, 630, coached by Bonnie Ayars
  9. Iowa, 628, coached by Lyons and Lovstuen
  10. Florida, 628, coached by Holcomb and Clements


Top 10 Individual Reasons:

  1. Tony Garcia, 234, California
  2. Dyllan Himmelberger, 231, Pennsylvania
  3. Mary Liebenstein, 230, Minnesota
  4. Jacob Duppengiesser, 228, New York
  5. Megan Bush, 227, Michigan
  6. Andy Sell, 227, Wisconsin
  7. Megan Filhart, 225, Michigan
  8. Hayleigh Geurink, 225, Michigan
  9. Laura Bond, 224, Ohio
  10. David Trcka, 224, Minnesota


Generous support from sponsors makes the 91st National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest possible.… Continue reading

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October is pork month

October is Pork Month and Ohio’s bacon, ham and pork chop farmers have worked hard all year long to raise quality pork products and promote their industry. Now is the time to reflect upon industry achievement.

“Pork Month is a time to tout the achievements that farmers have made in helping make quality pork available for all of us to enjoy,” said Todd Stickley, President, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC). “The Ohio Pork Producers Council works on behalf of Ohio’s farmers to share new recipe ideas, proper cooking information and help open up barns and farms on YouTube and social media to help show how farms have changed.”

OPPC has increased efforts to engage conversations about where food comes from by way of social media. Ohio Hog Farmers, OPPC’s Facebook page, is running promotions during Pork Month and is becoming an increasingly popular place to share information about pig farming, recipes and all things pork related.… Continue reading

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American Lamb Board announces changes to 2013 grant programs

The American Lamb Board (ALB) kicks off its new fiscal year with changes to its fiscal year 2013 industry outreach cooperative funding programs. The board’s Industry Matching Grant Program has been replaced by an Annual Sponsorship Program. $20,000 will be available annually to support local lamb events, fairs and festivals to help offset the cost of lamb for sampling and demonstrations, event advertising and publicity, promotional materials, etc. Applications will be due in January 2013.

ALB has also approved an increase to the Supplier Co-op Program budget from $60,000 to $80,000 to help American lamb suppliers and direct marketers develop and implement branded retail, foodservice or consumer promotions. The funding cycle will remain the same for this program with applications due for the first round on Oct. 31 ($40,000 available), and the second round on April 30, 2013 ($40,000 available). This program requires a dollar for dollar match.

“Both programs are designed to expand ALB’s efforts to promote American lamb and further the goals and objectives of ALB’s strategic plan,” said ALB Chairman Nick Forrest.… Continue reading

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Strong corn crop in China

The U.S. Grains Council 2012 China Corn Harvest Tour projects another good Chinese corn crop, driven both by higher yields and an increase in planted acreage. Persistent reports of weather and pest problems in some areas this summer, plus recent typhoon impacts in northeastern China, had raised concern about potentially significant yield reductions. The Council’s survey, however, suggests that the impact of these events is relatively small. While the final harvest will fall short of best-case expectations, it will be another record year for China corn.

“The U.S. drought and short 2012 crop is pressuring buyers in all sectors,” said USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight. “But corn trades in a global system, and the safety net is the capacity of other producers to step up.

“The United States is by far the world’s largest corn producer and exporter, but in a tough year for U.S. corn, it is a relief that the world’s number two producer is having a good year.… Continue reading

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Ohioans do well at World Dairy Expo

International Ayrshire Show

Junior Champion Female:
Topp-View Poker Verity
Gene Iager, Craig & Emily Walton, Pleasant Plain

Reserve Junior Champion Female:
Topp-View Bendig Wannaplay
Keaton & Kinley Topp, Botkins

International Milking Shorthorn Show

Grand Champion Female:
Mi-San Acre O Lust-ET
David Riley, Williamsfield

Junior Champion of Junior Show:
Blue Spruce  RR Myers-EXP
Ashley Hawvemale, Wooster

Reserve Junior Champion of Junior Show:
Buckeye Knoll Plmamzing EXP-ET
Sarah Rhoades, Greenville

Reserve Grand and Senior Champion of Junior Show:
Redien Acres Jr.
Jacob Baker, Homeworth

International Red & White Show

Reserve Grand and Reserve Senior Champion Female:
Starmark Ad Hotstuff-Red-ET
Nathan Thomas, Mike Heath & Will Iager, North Lewisburg, Ohio

Sale Highlights

At the 2012 World Premier Brown Swiss Sale, heldOctober 4, 2012, xceeding all in the 2012 sale was Top Acres Supreme Glow-ET, selling for a grand price of $10,250. Supreme Glow was consigned by Wayne E. Sliker from St. Paris, Ohio and bought by Lee Anns Swiss LLC of DeWitt, Iowa.… Continue reading

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USDA releases results of the 2011 certified organic production survey

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified organic growers in the United States sold more than $3.5 billion organically grown agricultural commodities in 2011, according to the results of the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey, released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS conducted the survey for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to help refine federal crop insurance products for organic producers.

“This is the first time we have conducted a survey focused solely on the USDA-certified organic producers,” said Hubert Hamer, Chairperson of NASS’s Agricultural Statistics Board. “With this survey’s results, policymakers will be able to better assess the Federal Crop Insurance program and its impact on the organic industry.”

Mirroring its conventional counterpart, corn leads organic field crops in sales and accounted for more than $101.5 million in 2011. The only other field crops to have more than $50 million in sales were alfalfa dry hay and winter wheat, accounting for $69.5 million and $54 million in sales respectively.… Continue reading

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Beware of mental health costs of drought

Farming is stressful enough in a normal year, but add a months-long drought and many producers could be vulnerable to mental and behavioral health problems, says a mental health expert and former Purdue University assistant professor of nursing.

The emotional strain of watching their crops wither and livestock feed prices soar could cause farmers to slip into deep depression, substance abuse and even thoughts of suicide, said Roberta Schweitzer. She urged farmers to get help dealing with their stress if they feel helpless and hopeless.

“I grew up on a family farm, and you get used to the stressful times of the year, and then it relaxes a bit,” Schweitzer said. “But when you have a big trauma like the drought, it makes it that much harder on a farmer because more and more stress is piled on top of what they already have to deal with, and it challenges their coping skills.”… Continue reading

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Aquaculture supporting soy demand in Pakistan

An innovative Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)-funded program in Pakistan is not only improving local diets, but is creating jobs, training workers and helping create a thriving aquaculture industry with U.S. soy.

The American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program began a three-year program last September called “FEEDing Pakistan.” ASA/WISHH is collaborating with the Pakistan Fisheries Development Board on portions of the program, which aims to enhance the country’s growing aquaculture sector through trial fish feeding using high–protein, floating fish feed produced from U.S. soybean meal. The program also provides valuable training to fish farmers, including those in rural areas.

Mohammed, a 23-year-old from a village in the Punjab province of Pakistan, was hired to serve as a FEEDing Pakistan field research officer for one of the program’s tilapia feeding trials. Mohammed was the only member of his family — and one of the few from his village —  to attend high school and college.… Continue reading

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International grain customers watching short crop closely

Despite an expected lower crop this year, the United States remains open for business to international customers. The U.S. Grains Council understands the challenges faced by international customers due to the short crop and is working aggressively to help customers through a challenging year.

According to Daniel O’Brien, an extension agricultural economist with Kansas State University, “it is likely that grain buyers will weigh the net cost of grain buying plus logistical procurement costs across a full spectrum of grains they could buy to accomplish their goals,” whether that is for feeding livestock, food use or building up grain stocks. As for strategies for buyers to lower costs, the options are relatively few — simply because grain futures and markets have already adjusted to the expected smaller U.S. corn crop.

Darrel Good, an economist at the University of Illinois, said buyers can work to reduce the quantity of grains they may need at this time by purchasing substitutes, operating more efficiently or by scaling back.… Continue reading

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Controlling volunteer corn before wheat

The relatively early beginning to corn harvest provided a good environment for the emergence of volunteer corn, said University of Illinois associate professor of weed science Aaron Hager.

“Emerged volunteer corn at this time of year is normally not a problem because the plants will winterkill,” Hager said. “However, if a killing frost does not occur soon, these volunteer plants could be an impediment to farmers who would like to sow wheat this fall.”

To provide a better environment for small grain establishment, volunteer corn plants should be controlled before sowing. Preplant tillage is effective, but what about using a herbicide to control established plants?

Glyphosate is very effective for controlling existing stands of sensitive corn. There is no waiting interval between application and sowing small grains, but overall control may be improved if at least 24 hours elapse between application and replanting.

Glyphosate will not control glyphosate-resistant volunteer corn. Alternative herbicides such as Gramoxone SL can be used.… Continue reading

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The costs of nutrients, comparison of feedstuffs prices and the current dairy situation

By Normand St-Pierre, Ohio State University Extension Dairy Management Specialist

In early June of this year, I wrote: “the USDA’s expected yield of 166 bushels per acre is about two bushels per acre above the estimated trend. This, my friends, would require near ideal corn growing conditions over most of the Corn Belt. We had very good weather for planting, but some dryness has settled over some pretty large growing areas of the Midwest. We could be looking at a rough summer on the feed markets.” Was I smart or just lucky?

I would rather just call it experience. The first half of the year was marked by an over-exuberance regarding the expected corn crop. My experience has been that the growing season never goes quite as well as the forecasts when the expectations are flying way high. Likewise, the situation is generally not quite as bad as the “reports” when the season is bad.… Continue reading

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Disaster designation reminder

Steve Maurer, the State Executive Director for the USDA Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers about the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretarial designation on Sept. 5, 2012. All of Ohio’s counties were designated as primary or contiguous agricultural natural disaster areas due to drought and excessive heat that occurred from February 1, 2012 and continuing.

This gives all qualified farm operators in the designated areas the opportunity to file an application for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

USDA FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. … Continue reading

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Ohio FFA Foundation Receives Grant from DuPont Pioneer

DuPont Pioneer recently presented a $10,000 Community Betterment grant to the Ohio FFA Foundation and the state officer team for leadership development activities.  The grant will support leadership training for the Ohio FFA state officers in three programs – Blast-Off, the national leadership conference and state leadership training.

“As members of the agricultural community, DuPont Pioneer is committed to the youth of Ohio and the vital impact they will have on our industry’s future,” said Melissa Bell, executive director of the Ohio FFA Association. “DuPont Pioneer believes in FFA, agricultural education and the students enrolled in the program. This support will ensure we are able to fulfill our mission of premier leadership, personal growth and career development.”

Founded in 1928, the FFA organization represents over 300 careers in the food, fiber and natural resources industry. In Ohio there are nearly 24,000 active participants in agricultural education and the FFA. Over 600 professional teachers, teacher trainers and state leaders are committed to agricultural education and the FFA programs in Ohio.… Continue reading

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Pacelle seeking seat on Tyson board of directors

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), announced that he has filed paperwork as a candidate for election to the board of directors of Tyson Foods. Pacelle says he will urge the company to commit to a definite time frame to phase out the confinement of sows in gestation crates. Equity investor Carl Icahn has agreed to serve as an advisor in Pacelle’s efforts to join the board.

“It’s certainly unusual for a lifelong animal advocate to run for the board of the second-biggest meat company in the world,” Pacelle said. “Nonetheless, it is imperative that a voice on Tyson’s board speak for the company’s many customers, partners, and investors who are demanding the end of gestation crates and more humane treatment of animals.”

It will be difficult for Pacelle to get on the board.

“When Wayne Pacelle reached out to me as a long-time supporter of HSUS to advise HSUS on the possibility of seeking a board position at Tyson, I told Wayne that given the existence of A/B (low vote/high vote) stock at Tyson, it would be extremely difficult to elect him as a director through a proxy fight,” Icahn said.… Continue reading

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Pork producers advised to get flu vaccination

As in previous years, the Pork Checkoff recommends producers, farm personnel and others who have contact with pigs get the seasonal flu vaccination as soon as possible to help protect human and pig health.

“It’s always a smart decision for producers and swine farm workers to reduce the risk of getting sick and bringing the flu to the farm or workplace by getting vaccinated,” said Jennifer Koeman, director of producer and public health for the Pork Checkoff. “It also shows the industry’s ‘We Care’ ethical principle is in action to help protect employees, animals and public health.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all people over the age of 6 months of age should be immunized for influenza each year.

“People may remain contagious for up to five to seven days after getting sick,” Koeman said. “That’s why it’s so crucial that employers have a sick-leave policy that encourages those experiencing symptoms of influenza-like illness to stay home.”… Continue reading

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Ohio companies make list of top 100 largest ag cooperatives

Four Ohio cooperatives found themselves in the USDA’s annual top 100 largest agricultural cooperatives list released today to help kick off National Cooperative Month. United Producers, Inc. of Columbus, placed 19th, Trupointe Cooperative of Piqua placed 45th, Heritage of West Mansfield placed 53rd and Sunrise of Freemont was 54th on the list of top farm cooperatives in 2011.

Farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives posted record sales and income in 2011, surpassing the previous record sales year of 2008 by $10 billion while besting the old income record by $500 million. Dallas Tonsager, USDA under secretary for Rural Development, said co-op employment levels remained strong, with cooperatives employing 184,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal workers, up slightly from 2010.

“These new cooperative sales and income records for 2011 underscore the strength and productivity of the nation’s farmer- and rancher-owned cooperatives, and the vital role they play in the nation’s economy,” Tonsager said.… Continue reading

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USDA grants support specialty crop producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $101 million in grants to support America’s specialty crops producers, who provide the fruits, vegetables, nuts and other nutritious foods for millions of healthy American meals each day. Approximately $55 million of the total will be invested in 56 specialty crop block grants to states that fund 748 initiatives across the country to strengthen markets and expand economic opportunities for local and regional producers. An additional $46 million will go to support new and continuing research and extension activities to address challenges and opportunities for growers and businesses that rely on a sustainable, profitable specialty crops industry. Vilsack made the announcement before touring the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison, Wis., which prepares food, including fresh fruit and vegetables, for delivery to local public schools.

Under Vilsack’s leadership, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has supported efforts to strengthen local and regional food systems for farmers of all types and sizes, helping them take advantage of new opportunities and succeed in today’s marketplace.… Continue reading

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Weekly crop progress report- October 1

As of Sunday September 30th, seventy-three percent of corn was mature, which was 49 percent ahead of last year and 16 percent ahead of the five-year average. Fourteen percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by 12 percent and the five-year average by three percent. Corn for silage was 92 percent harvested, compared to 52 percent last year and 81 percent for the five-year average. Eighty-six percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 50 percent last year and 80 percent for the five-year average. Forty-seven percent of the soybeans were mature, 37 percent ahead of last year and identical to the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 14 percent, compared to 17 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat planted was rated at seven percent, compared to one percent last year and 12 percent for the five-year average. Ninety-two percent of the third cutting of other hay was complete, compared to 76 percent last year and 85 percent for the five-year average.

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OABA opposes Issue 2

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) Board of Directors has voted to oppose State Issue 2.

Issue 2 is a Constitutional amendment that, if passed, would change the way that Ohio draws legislative and congressional districts, and ultimately would remove the right of Ohio voters to have a voice in this process.

“OABA opposes Issue 2 because it creates, through the Ohio Constitution, a new, unelected, bureaucratic commission that is not accountable to Ohioans, not subject to fiscal oversight and not a true bipartisan approach to redistricting,” said OABA President and CEO Chris Henney. “There are better solutions.”

Issue 2 would establish a 12-member commission to draw legislative and congressional districts. The commission can demand funding to operate, and if they wish, to pay staff, lawyers, consultants, etc. Under the proposal, new districts would be created for the 2014 election and then under each census.

Other Ohio organizations opposing Issue 2 include the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Right to Life and leading members of the Ohio Court of Appeals Judges Association.… Continue reading

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