Featured News



Ohio State Agencies launch the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative

Three state agencies jointly launched the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative, a program geared to improve water quality and reduce Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. HABs are threatening the ecological integrity and economic impact of Lake Erie, one of Ohio’s most precious natural resources.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) developed this initiative based on the findings of a report the agencies released in March.

“Agriculture is important to Ohio — it is the No. 1 industry in our state,” said ODA Director David Daniels. “The Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative focuses on reducing excess nutrients in our waterways resulting not only from agriculture, but from a variety of urban and residential sources, such as sewage overflow. Together our agencies believe we can address the challenges facing Ohio’s waterways through this program.”

The Directors’ Agricultural Nutrients and Water Quality Working Group report includes recommendations for the implementation of a 4R Nutrient Stewardship program, which promotes using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement.… Continue reading

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Manure Science Review August 9th

Reducing phosphorus runoff, a concern related to protecting water quality and preventing harmful algae blooms, will be just one of the topics when Ohio State University presents Manure Science Review 2012 on Aug. 9 in northwest Ohio.

The event is an educational program for anyone involved in the handling, management or utilization of livestock waste, including farmers, Extension educators, government personnel, certified crop advisers and professional nutrient applicators. Featured will be expert speakers from Ohio State and from state and federal agencies.

Among the topics to be discussed will be using liquid manure in ways that increase the application window; using swine or dairy manure to side dress corn; best practices and systems for composting livestock mortality; using settling tanks to separate swine manure; using tile drainage to limit nutrient runoff; using draglines to inject manure nutrients; and using cover crops to reduce erosion and increase nutrient retention.

OSU Extension Educator Greg LaBarge, who is also one of the leaders of the OSU Agronomic Crops Team, will discuss on-farm practices that can reduce phosphorus runoff from liquid manure and poultry litter, including timing and mass balance considerations.… Continue reading

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PTNR with Russia moves forward

The American Soybean Association (ASA) congratulates the Senate Finance Committee on its unanimous passage today of a draft bill that would establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia, the world’s sixth largest economy. ASA now encourages the Senate to take up the bill as quickly as possible, and calls on the House to move forward with a companion bill in order for the U.S. to capitalize on Russia’s accession package to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Importing more than $770 million in meat, poultry, egg and dairy products in 2011, Russia is an important market for the U.S. soy industry.
“Today’s unanimous passage of the draft bill establishing PNTR with Russia is a very encouraging move by the Senate Finance Committee, and we congratulate Committee Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch on their work to solidify U.S. business opportunities abroad,” said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb.
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Ohio State Fair to induct nine into Hall of Fame

The Ohio State Fair will induct nine new Hall of Fame members on July 26 in the Rhodes Center Auditorium. The 2012 inductees are as follows:

Lisa Frost, Fayette County
Bernard (Bernie) M. Heisner, Franklin County
Bryan Hetterscheidt, Morrow County
Dr. Bobby Moser, Franklin County
Kay Quinton, Miami County
Ken & Janet Stiverson, Marion County
Carl D. Williams, Morgan County
Betty Wingerter, Montgomery County

Lisa Frost has actively worked at the Ohio State Fair for 18 years in the sheep department; Lisa is a supporter of the Fair and gives many hours of her time planning and working for the Fair. Lisa has received both the Ohio State Fair Star Performer Award and the 2007 Appreciation of Support Award for her work.

Bernie M. Heisner has been a supporter of dairy cattle at the Ohio State Fair for 19 years. Over the years he has contributed financially and through man power to the Fair.… Continue reading

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Ohioan Elected to National Corn Association Board

Mount Gilead, Ohio, farmer Anthony Bush is one of five newly elected members to the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) board, charged with implementing the policies that guide the organization to best serve U.S. corn farmers.
      
“I’m beyond proud to represent not only Ohio grain farmers, but farmers throughout the nation as NCGA works to strengthen our corn industry,” said Bush.

Board members work with growers to help create and increase opportunities for corn growers regarding corn ethanol, farm policy, production and stewardship, trade policy, biotechnology, research, business development and grower services. Board members represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokesmen for the NCGA.

Grower-leaders from 28 states elected the five new members who assume positions October 1 — the start of NCGA’s 2013 fiscal year.… Continue reading

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Beef 101 educates members of Congress

Representatives from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Nebraska Cattlemen today gave an overview of the U.S. beef industry to congressional staff members as part of NCBA’s “Beef 101” educational series.

Beef 101 is an educational series for members of Congress and their staff. The program was developed to bridge the knowledge gap between elected officials and the beef industry.  The session featured a presentation by University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Tom Field, Ph.D., who gave a general overview of the U.S. beef industry. Field told roughly 40 attendees that the $220 billion beef industry is largely family-owned, with 97% of beef producers located on family farms, ranches and feedyards.

Field, who runs a family cattle operation in Colorado, explained to attendees the current beef industry is made up of 751,000 beef herds totaling approximately 30 million cows and 26 million feeder calves. He also stated that since the 1970s, the U.S.… Continue reading

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USDA tours Ohio’s damaged farms

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

On Tuesday, USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse visited three Ohio farms in Paulding County to see for himself the damage to crops and structures impacted by the adverse weather and recent storms. Among his stops were Doug Goyings’ farm and Don Stoller’s farm in Paulding along with Roy Klopfenstein’s farm in Haviland.

“I’ve seen some soybean fields that because of the drought the seed just did not germinate and there is nothing there,” said Scuse. “Corn fields actually didn’t look all that bad from a distance but once you walked into it you could see that the tassel had popped, pollen was there, but there was no ear on the stalk.”

Scuse’s agency, USDA’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, delivers commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, and emergency assistance programs that help improve the stability and strength of the agricultural economy. With the rare USDA visit to their farms, each producer had an opportunity to ask some questions about their particular situation.… Continue reading

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USDA tours Ohio's damaged farms

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

On Tuesday, USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse visited three Ohio farms in Paulding County to see for himself the damage to crops and structures impacted by the adverse weather and recent storms. Among his stops were Doug Goyings’ farm and Don Stoller’s farm in Paulding along with Roy Klopfenstein’s farm in Haviland.

“I’ve seen some soybean fields that because of the drought the seed just did not germinate and there is nothing there,” said Scuse. “Corn fields actually didn’t look all that bad from a distance but once you walked into it you could see that the tassel had popped, pollen was there, but there was no ear on the stalk.”

Scuse’s agency, USDA’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, delivers commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, and emergency assistance programs that help improve the stability and strength of the agricultural economy. With the rare USDA visit to their farms, each producer had an opportunity to ask some questions about their particular situation.… Continue reading

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AFBF concerned about FDA stance on antibiotics

Citing a lack of data to support limiting antibiotic use in livestock, the American Farm Bureau Federation has told the Federal Drug Administration that it is concerned with proposals that would restrict antibiotic use based on unproven theory.

AFBF submitted comments to FDA on two proposals made by the agency earlier this year. According to FDA, the agency is taking action to help preserve the effectiveness of medically important antimicrobials for treating disease in humans, but FDA has not demonstrated whether the actions will have any effect on antibiotic resistance, AFBF said.

“AFBF agrees that human antibiotic resistance is a serious and growing healthcare problem. Developing strategies for reducing antimicrobial resistance is critically important for protecting both public and animal health,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “However, we are extremely concerned with FDA actions, which seem to indicate the agency is basing complex animal health policies on theory, rather than sound scientific studies.”… Continue reading

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Prepare to weather the drought

While it is too early to assess the full extent of losses caused by the current drought, officials at Farm Credit Mid-America urge growers in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee to contact their lenders and crop insurance advisors now to discuss short- and long-term drought effects on their operations.

“Farmers in our four-state area are facing drought conditions with the potential to surpass those experienced in 1988,” said Phil Kimmel, senior vice president-credit, Farm Credit. “Fortunately, the farm economy has generally been favorable for the last three years, so many farmers, especially those producing grain, have built liquidity and solvency, which will help them endure current conditions. But each farmer’s situation is different. That’s why at Farm Credit we focus on working with each customer to identify strategic scenarios that will help manage through the crisis without derailing future plans.”

Crop insurance is a financial tool many farmers use to help weather adverse conditions, but claims must be handled correctly, advises Tom Sloma, vice president-crop insurance, Farm Credit.… Continue reading

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Retail prices declining in second quarter

Retail food prices at the supermarket declined slightly during the second quarter of 2012 with protein staples — meats, cheese, milk and eggs — showing the greatest drops in price, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.

The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $50.91, down $1.56 or about 3% compared to the first quarter of 2012. Of the 16 items surveyed, 12 decreased and four increased in average price compared to the prior quarter. The cost for the overall basket of foods fell about one-half of 1% compared to one year ago.

Most of the quarter-to-quarter decrease in the marketbasket of foods was due to lower retail prices for sliced meats and dairy products.

“The decline in retail meat prices for the second quarter is not unexpected,” said John Anderson, an AFBF senior economist.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress – July 16th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 75.2 degrees, 1.8 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, July 15, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.27 inches, 0.71 inches below normal. There were 155 modified growing degree days, 5 days below normal. Reporters rated 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, July 13, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 63 percent very short, 31 percent short, 6 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY JULY 15th, 2012

Conditions throughout the state are hot and dry, which has continued to put significant stress on both crops and livestock. There has been some rain this week, most has been spotty and duration short. Field activities for the week were baling hay, harvesting oats, spraying, mowing CRP, and manure application to wheat fallow acres.

As of Sunday July 15th, 67 percent of corn was silked(tasseled), which was 62 percent ahead of last year and 38 percent ahead of the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – July 16th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 75.2 degrees, 1.8 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, July 15, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.27 inches, 0.71 inches below normal. There were 155 modified growing degree days, 5 days below normal. Reporters rated 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, July 13, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 63 percent very short, 31 percent short, 6 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY JULY 15th, 2012

Conditions throughout the state are hot and dry, which has continued to put significant stress on both crops and livestock. There has been some rain this week, most has been spotty and duration short. Field activities for the week were baling hay, harvesting oats, spraying, mowing CRP, and manure application to wheat fallow acres.

As of Sunday July 15th, 67 percent of corn was silked(tasseled), which was 62 percent ahead of last year and 38 percent ahead of the five-year average.… Continue reading

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EPA withdraws CAFO reporting rule

Late Friday afternoon, July 13, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew its proposed Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 308 CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) Reporting Rule. The rule sparked controversy within the agricultural community due to what was referred to as a serious overreach of EPA’s authority. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) primary concern was the likelihood the proposed rule could put the nation’s food system at risk of increased terrorist attacks. NCBA President J.D. Alexander said this move by EPA is a victory for cattlemen and women and illustrates the importance of the beef cattle community working together to educate government officials.

“Early on, we called for EPA to pull this rule. It turns out they listened. This really showcases the importance of cattlemen and women becoming engaged in the regulatory process and making sure their concerns are heard,” Alexander said. “We encourage the agency to redirect its focus to working with states and other partners to attain already publicly available information that would allow them to work toward their goal of improved water quality.… Continue reading

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Kenn-Feld Group Ag Focus Day

The Kenn-Feld Group is pleased to announce their First Annual Kenn-Feld Group Ag Focus Day.  All 10 Kenn-Feld Group John Deere Dealership locations are coming together to put on this event.

The Ag Focus Day will be held on Saturday, July 28, 2012 with a rain date of August 18, 2012.  The event will begin at 9 AM and will run through 3:00.  This 200-acre event is located on Charloe Trail (Road 138) just east of US 127 in Paulding, OH.  This is about a half mile northeast of the Liechty Farm Equipment location in Paulding.

Equipment will be on display along with factory field representatives from over 25 Venders offered by the Kenn-Feld Group in our show area. Field demonstrations of Tillage Tools including several strip and vertical tillage tools will be taking place along with other demonstrations which include Combine Guidance Systems and a dirt track where you can get in the seat and drive the new John Deere Gator Utility Vehicles.… Continue reading

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USDA to start testing meat for chemical residue

the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced new steps to safeguard the food supply and to protect consumers nationwide. Later this summer, the Department will launch a new approach to its testing to protect the public from exposure to harmful levels of chemical residues in meat, poultry, and egg products.

“The new testing methods being announced today will help protect consumers from illegal drug residues in meat products,” said Elisabeth Hagen, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety. “By allowing us to test for more chemical compounds from each sample, these changes will enable USDA to identify and evaluate illegal drug residues more effectively and efficiently.”

Through its National Residue Program (NRP), FSIS tests for the presence of chemical compounds, including approved (legal) and unapproved (illegal) veterinary drugs, pesticides, hormones, and environmental contaminants that may appear in meat, poultry, and egg products. The new, modern, high-efficiency methods that FSIS is announcing today will conserve resources and provide useful and reliable results while enabling the Agency to analyze each sample for more chemical compounds than previously possible.… Continue reading

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Budget cuts may cause a short crop of ag professionals

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Big cracks in a ground trying to hold on to a withering crop are getting to be a common sight in fields all across Ohio. It is easy to see how important one component of a growing season can be, and the same can be said for cultivating the next set of ag professionals coming through colleges and universities all over America.

Just as crops needs rain to be productive, universities and Extension programs require funding — a resource necessity for churning out a bumper crop of great ag minds that is becoming as scare as rain in a drought. This is a growing problem in Ohio and around the country. Long time University of Illinois crop physiology professor Fred Below sees challenges for the future of Extension in general.

“We’ve taken at big hit at our Extension programs,” Below said. “It comes down to budget cuts with less and less money and trying to do more with less.”… Continue reading

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