Featured News



Tips for contending with emergence issues this spring

As spring emerges, so can emergence issues if growers don’t focus on mitigating the stresses of early planting and high residue, according to experts from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. 


Early planting can be appealing to growers with many acres to plant who want to get ahead of spring rains like those in 2011. In addition, early planting can provide potential benefits, such as more time for crop development and the potential to help reduce the effects of mid-summer droughts in some years.

“Predicting the best time to plant can be tricky, as each growing season provides unique environmental challenges,” said Imad Saab, Pioneer research scientist in crop genetics, research and development. “Emergence can be delayed or reduced if planting conditions are less than ideal, and this commonly leads to yield loss for the grower.” 


To maximize emergence, Saab recommends growers avoid planting until soil temperatures are 50 degrees or more, and preferably with a near-term warming trend.… Continue reading

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IPM workshop for specialty crops

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Ohio State University’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program are teaming up to offer a workshop on IPM conservation plan writing for specialty crop growers, March 14, in London.

“This workshop is designed for certified crop advisors, independent crop consultants and technical service providers who have an interest and preferably some experience working with vegetable, tree fruit or small fruit production,” said Jim Jasinski, an OSU Extension educator and IPM specialist. “Once trained, these individuals will be hired by and work directly with the producer to develop a site- and crop-specific IPM conservation plan for that operation.”

For the past three years, specialty crop growers have been eligible to compete for NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funds, which provide financial assistance to help them adopt specific IPM practices on their farms. NRCS is encouraging more specialty crop growers to apply for these funds and have an IPM conservation plan written to accompany their EQIP applications.… Continue reading

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OEFFA recognizes Peach Mountain Organics

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has bestowed its highest honor, the Stewardship Award, to Doug Seibert and Leslie Garcia of Greene County. The announcement was made on Saturday, February 18 as part of OEFFA’s 33rd annual conference, Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community.”

Doug and Leslie have farmed organically at Peach Mountain Organics since 1992, growing certified organic mixed vegetables, microgreens, fresh-cut flowers, mushrooms, hay, and greenhouse plants. They sell their products at the Yellow Springs Farmers’ Market, local restaurants, and grocery and health food stores.

The Greene County-based Peach Mountain Organics currently has two farm sites and one half-acre greenhouse location in Spring Valley, Ohio. Altogether, the operation is 43 acres, more than 25 of which are certified organic.

“Leslie and Doug’s energy and skill with commercial-scale, organic growing is an inspiration for many of us,” said Steve Edwards, who serves on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees and presented the award at the Saturday

evening ceremony.… Continue reading

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OABA meets with nation's lawmakers

Ohio AgriBusiness Association president and CEO Chris Henney and Board Chairman Herb Mayer joined other state and national organizations in Washington, D.C. for the 2012 State Agribusiness D.C. Fly-In.

Henney and Mayer joined other state and national organizations — including the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), CropLife America (CLA), National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) — in discussions with our nation’s elected leaders.

Henney and Mayer met personally with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, as well as senior majority and minority staff from the Senate Agriculture Committee. While in D.C., Henney and Mayer also participated in the ARA Board Meeting, during which U.S. Rep. Gibbs was awarded the Agricultural Retailers Association Legislator of the Year Award.

“We are really fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with our U.S.… Continue reading

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OABA meets with nation’s lawmakers

Ohio AgriBusiness Association president and CEO Chris Henney and Board Chairman Herb Mayer joined other state and national organizations in Washington, D.C. for the 2012 State Agribusiness D.C. Fly-In.

Henney and Mayer joined other state and national organizations — including the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), CropLife America (CLA), National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) — in discussions with our nation’s elected leaders.

Henney and Mayer met personally with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, as well as senior majority and minority staff from the Senate Agriculture Committee. While in D.C., Henney and Mayer also participated in the ARA Board Meeting, during which U.S. Rep. Gibbs was awarded the Agricultural Retailers Association Legislator of the Year Award.

“We are really fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with our U.S.… Continue reading

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Ohioans win at National Farm Machinery Show tractor pull

At the tractor pulls at the 2012 National Farm Machinery Show three Ohio drivers won their classes.

On Thursday evening in the 6,200-pound 2-WD Super Modified Truck class Jeff Whitsel of Orient won with At It Again pulling 239.56. In the 9,300-pound Super Farm Tractors with a pull of 246.20, Julia Conny of Beloit took first place honors with Mac Daddy. They were each awarded $2,000 in prize money and a trophy.

On Saturday night Danny Schmucker of Louisville won the 10,200-pound Pro Stock Tractor Class with Rampage with a full pull of 248.15. He was awarded $4,200 and a crystal cup.

Others from Ohio placed well, which you can see in the complete results.Continue reading

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EPA decision on study clears hurdle for higher ethanol blend

The U.S. ethanol industry came one step closer today to seeing low-cost, renewable E15 sold into the American fuels marketplace with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s evaluation of the health effects of E15, as part of Growth Energy’s three-year-old petition to approve sale of the mid-level ethanol blend.


“For three years Growth Energy has led the effort to clear the way for consumers to have access to affordable, renewable and cleaner-burning fuel. Now it is up to the retailers and individual fuel companies to register for approval to sell E15. With ethanol selling an average of 76 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline and $4 a gallon gasoline on the horizon, we’d encourage all Americans to ask their local filling station how soon they will see more-affordable E15,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

Growth Energy first filed its petition seeking federal approval to increase blends of ethanol in fuel from the current 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15) in March 2009.… Continue reading

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New Farmland Network site dedicated to farmland market

Farmland Network has announced the debut of its site, http://www.farmlandnetwork.com, designed to provide quality content to those interested in the farmland industry and to help them connect with others sharing a similar interest. For buyers, sellers, operators and service providers in the farmland and agriculture markets, Farmland Network is an easy and fast way to stay ahead of the most current news and farmland opportunities.

The dynamics of farmland ownership continues to evolve at a rapid pace. This shift is being driven by such factors as the current age of landowners and farmers, more landowners living away from the farm, and the continued trend of fewer and larger farming operations. All of these factors are evident in a 2010 USDA study that estimates 70 percent of all farmland will change hands in the next 20 years.

Visit http://www.farmlandnetwork.com for more information on pricing plans, which are available to fit various types of businesses.

Continue reading

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Fierce herbicide receives EPA registration in corn

Fierce Herbicide, the newest residual from Valent U.S.A. Corporation, has received EPA registration and is now available to no-till and reduced-tillage field corn growers looking for a long-lasting preemerge solution to tough weeds. Fierce is also pending EPA registration for use in soybeans and is anticipated to be registered in time for the 2013 season.

Fierce is a combination of Valor Herbicide and a new active ingredient, pyroxasulfone. Trial results from 2011 showed this combination to provide dependable, long-lasting control of the broadest spectrum of weeds and grasses.

“Growers know and believe in the excellent control Valor brings to their weed programs,” said Trey Soud, Valent product marketing manager. “By combining Valor with pyroxasulfone, growers will now have a single herbicide to tackle even the toughest weeds and grasses.”

In a series of university and private trials over 2010 and 2011, Fierce provided as much as eight weeks of residual control.… Continue reading

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USDA Announces start2farm.gov

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA’s National Agricultural Library, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announcedStart2farm.gov, a new online portal that helps to provide assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers. The portal includes links to training, financing, technical assistance and other support services specifically for beginning farmers and ranchers as well as successful case studies about new and beginning farmers and ranchers.

“America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy, producing the food, feed, fiber and fuel that continue to help us grow,” said Secretary Vilsack. “USDA is working to provide opportunities for the next generation to get into agriculture in order to continue the record success of America’s farmers and ranchers who are seeing record farm incomes and record exports. Start2Farm.gov will help us protect and sustain these successes, so that we continue to build an agriculture industry diverse and successful enough to attract the smartest, hardest-working young people in the nation.”… Continue reading

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Learn strategies & tips on ECO farming at Conservation Tillage Conference

Ohio crop growers looking to increase the organic matter content in their soil to the tune of $900 per unit increase in organic matter, may want to consider a move to ECO Farming, advises an Ohio State University Extension educator, who says that switching to the technique could result in raising soil organic matter levels by several percentage points depending on soil type.

ECO Farming, which stands for Ecological Farming and includes using eternal no-till, continuous living cover and other best management practices, is not only economically viable, it is also ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable, said Jim Hoorman, an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, who is based in Mercer County.

It uses a combination of cover crops and no-till worked into a corn/soybean/wheat rotation to more efficiently use the inputs farmers add to their soil, “reducing the amount of nutrients they may need to buy in the future,” he said.… Continue reading

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Learn strategies & tips on ECO farming at Conservation Tillage Conference

Ohio crop growers looking to increase the organic matter content in their soil to the tune of $900 per unit increase in organic matter, may want to consider a move to ECO Farming, advises an Ohio State University Extension educator, who says that switching to the technique could result in raising soil organic matter levels by several percentage points depending on soil type.

ECO Farming, which stands for Ecological Farming and includes using eternal no-till, continuous living cover and other best management practices, is not only economically viable, it is also ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable, said Jim Hoorman, an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, who is based in Mercer County.

It uses a combination of cover crops and no-till worked into a corn/soybean/wheat rotation to more efficiently use the inputs farmers add to their soil, “reducing the amount of nutrients they may need to buy in the future,” he said.… Continue reading

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Bills pass in House & Senate that define algaculture and expand Ag Link program

House Bill 276

State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate amendments on House Bill 276. The bill will now become law pending the signature of Governor Kasich.

House Bill 276, which was jointly sponsored by Buchy and Gentile, clarifies the definition of agriculture as it pertains to Ohio zoning laws for on-farm energy production facilities, such as on-farm anaerobic digesters—a change that will enable farmers to use byproducts for bio-energy production without cumbersome regulations that currently deter this environmentally friendly activity.

The bill also defines algaculture—the farming of algae—in the Ohio Revised Code, clarifying it as an agricultural process under Ohio law.

“The combination of on-farm energy production and algaculture will reduce nutrient run-off from our farms,” Buchy said. “Using the products we have available at our farms will solve problems that occur when there is a shortage of storage for farm byproducts, hence assisting farmers with manure management programs.”… Continue reading

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Bills pass in House & Senate that define algaculture and expand Ag Link program

House Bill 276

State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate amendments on House Bill 276. The bill will now become law pending the signature of Governor Kasich.

House Bill 276, which was jointly sponsored by Buchy and Gentile, clarifies the definition of agriculture as it pertains to Ohio zoning laws for on-farm energy production facilities, such as on-farm anaerobic digesters—a change that will enable farmers to use byproducts for bio-energy production without cumbersome regulations that currently deter this environmentally friendly activity.

The bill also defines algaculture—the farming of algae—in the Ohio Revised Code, clarifying it as an agricultural process under Ohio law.

“The combination of on-farm energy production and algaculture will reduce nutrient run-off from our farms,” Buchy said. “Using the products we have available at our farms will solve problems that occur when there is a shortage of storage for farm byproducts, hence assisting farmers with manure management programs.”… Continue reading

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FCC blocks LightSquared Network, farmers relieved

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Tuesday its decision to block the planned development of a nationwide wireless network by communications company LightSquared over concerns that it cannot be fixed to coexist with global positioning systems (GPS). The American Soybean Association (ASA) has been at the forefront of the discussion of this planned network’s significant and adverse effects on farmers. ASA President and Syracuse, Neb.-based soybean farmer Steve Wellman issues the following statement on the FCC’s decision:

“Tuesday’s decision by the FCC is certainly a great relief for more than 600,000 soybean farmers across the country who use GPS technology to precision-apply seed and fertilizer; to test fields for fertility and to monitor yields; to reduce chemical and fuel use; and to map field boundaries, roads, irrigation systems. In short, GPS technology has enabled farmers to produce more food for a growing world population with fewer inputs.

“Farmers invest thousands of dollars in high-precision GPS equipment and applications to run more efficient, sustainable, cost-effective and productive farms.… Continue reading

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Daniels to serve as new ODA director

Senator David Daniels will be serving as the new director for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“The governor believes that agriculture is the foundation of the state and so do I,” Daniels said. “I pledge to you I will

do my best every day to promote Ohio agriculture. I look forward to being your next Director of Agriculture.”

Gov. John Kasich appointed State Senator Daniels to replace state veterinarian Tony Forshey, the interim director who had filled in since Nov. 15 when Jim Zehringer was appointed the director of the Department of Natural Resources. Daniels is expected to be sworn in and begin his duties as ODA director on Thursday, February 16.

Following four successful terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, Daniels was elected to the Ohio Senate in 2010 to serve the families of the 17th Ohio Senate District, which includes Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Pike, Ross, Vinton and portions of Lawrence and Pickaway counties.

… Continue reading

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Cattle stolen from Allen Co. farm

Last week, more than two dozen hogs were stolen in Mercer County and those thieves caught. Now, more than a dozen steers valued upwards of $10,000 have been stolen from an Allen County Farm.

“I had noticed that the first pen on the end of our cattle barn looked a little thin. I said something to my brother about it. We didn’t do anything about it until a few days later when we cleaned the pen out and we were able do a physical count. That’s when I knew it didn’t match up with number of steers we put in there a month prior, ” said Ray Bonifas who feeds out steers with his brother Larry west of Delphos.

Neither of the brothers live at the actual farm site. They asked a neighbor if he had seen or heard anything unusual. He had indeed heard noises and commotion late in the evening the night prior to Ray’s speculation that steers were missing.… Continue reading

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Educating the educators about ag careers

By Ty Higgins

The need for more food in the world in coming years will create the need for more jobs in agriculture. For this reason, Randy Minton, business director for Pioneer’s U.S. Northeast Business Unit, will be meeting with teachers and administrators next month at the Ohio Economic-Education Summit in Columbus.

The event is bringing nearly 600 teachers, school administrators, counselors, college faculty, business, and industry leaders and state agency staff together with hopes of improving Ohio’s future economy. Minton will be talking about how DuPont and Pioneer alone will be looking to add 4,000 ag-related positions in the next five years. Minton is looking forward to the chance to tell attendees about the many educational paths that students can take to become a part of agriculture. He hopes that many of the teachers and administrators in attendance will understand the need and opportunities in the industry for their current and future students.Continue reading

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RFS challenge loses supporters

Environmental organizations have withdrawn their support of a challenge to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) brought by the National Chicken Council, National Meat Association, and National Turkey Federation.

The development was announced after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments in the lawsuit that challenges a provision in RFS regulations addressing ethanol plants built in 2008 and 2009 and the requirements that they must meet to generate trading credits under the program.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said Friends of the Earth and the National Wildlife Federation decided to drop their claims.

 … Continue reading

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NPPC responds to McDonald’s gestation stall announcement

The decision by the McDonald’s Corp. to study its suppliers’ use of individual sow housing is an opportunity for the pork industry to respond to its customers. The National Pork Producers Council stands ready to offer its assistance to McDonald’s as it assesses sow housing.

Farmers constantly are evolving and improving their operations to adapt to market conditions. A generation ago, pork demand was sagging because the product didn’t meet consumer demands. Farmers changed their practices. Today’s pork is leaner and more nutritious than ever, and today’s farmer is committed to responsible production.

Farmers and animal care experts know that various types of housing systems can provide for the well-being of pigs. After an extensive review of scientific literature, the American Veterinary Medical Association determined that both individual sow housing and group housing can provide for the well-being of sows.

Perhaps most importantly, today’s announcement reflects the best process for meeting evolving consumer demands – through the market, not through government mandates.… Continue reading

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