Featured News

USFRA Food Dialogues focuses on antibiotics, biotechnology and the media

Americans continue to have questions about how food is grown and raised. In response, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, which was created to lead the dialogue and answer questions consumers have about food production will host The Food Dialogues: New York in November.

Recently, USFRA announced the panelists who will assemble at The TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan Nov. 15 for panel discussions on some of today’s most pressing issues concerning food — antibiotics, biotechnology and media, marketing and food.

The panel discussions, which will stream live at www.fooddialogues.com, will focus on three separate topics. USFRA has assembled a group of panelists who are experts in their respective fields with various points of view on the panel topics, including Tracie McMillan, author of “The American Way of Eating,” representatives from Consumers Union, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and farmers and ranchers from across the country.

The “Media, Marketing and Healthy Choices” panel will examine how the media’s coverage of food and its health benefits has impacted consumer choice.… Continue reading

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Ohio State wins livestock judging competition for the first time since 2004

The Ohio State University Livestock Judging Team won the Keystone International Livestock Exposition (KILE) Collegiate and Junior Livestock Judging contest on Oct. 6, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Exposition Center in Harrisburg, Penn.

Ohio State was among 10 university teams around the country to judge five cattle classes, four swine classes, and three sheep classes. The competitors presented oral reasons on eight of the 12 classes.

In addition to being named first place team, Ohio State showed an outstanding performance placing first in the sheep division, third in reasons and the swine division and fourth in the beef division.

Team members traveling to KILE included Nate Benich, Plymouth, Ohio; Jake Boyert, Seville, Ohio; Lindsey Grimes, Hillsboro, Ohio; Bailey Harsh, Radnor, Ohio; Linsey Howell, Danville, Ohio; Trey Miller, Baltimore, Ohio; Audrey Neal, Tiffin, Ohio; Kyle Nickles, Loudonville, Ohio; and Nick Wright, Brookville, Ohio.

Neal, Miller, Howell and Benich were the leaders for the team at this contest.… Continue reading

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Fall a great time to control weeds in hay

Farmers looking to grow highly productive pastures and hay fields still have time to control weeds to prevent reduced forage quality and quantity, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.

Fall can be a good time to eliminate hard-to-control perennial weeds because many of the plants are feeding their root systems, which allows applied herbicide to reach the root system to effectively kill the weeds, said Mark Landefeld, an OSU Extension educator in Monroe County.

“Farmers should monitor their fields regularly to identify weeds and deal with them in a timely manner,” he said. “Not only can weeds decrease forage quality, but some can be invasive and reduce the tonnage of the forage that you are trying to harvest.

“Getting rid of weeds while they are small and few in number can save time, money and effort.”

The savings are significant, considering that more than 95% of weeds can be controlled through good management practices, Landefeld said.… Continue reading

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Soybean rust making a late run in the south

By Anne Dorrance, David Dugan, Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Soybean rust is making a late breaking appearance in many of the southern states, both those that border the Mississippi river as well as Georgia and South Carolina (http://sbr.ipmpipe.org/cgi-bin/sbr/public.cgi?host=All%20Legumes/Kudzu&pest=soybean_rust&language_sel=1).  Some of these developments were the result of Hurricane Isac back in early September and some were there before this storm.   have started to receive some samples of leaves — just to see if the spores could make it to Ohio on the back of a hurricane. This information is important to have for the year when a hurricane might hit in July, with the same level of rust in the south. It helps develop the models that can help us with management in the future. As of today, no soybean rust was found on these leaves collected from fields in Brown, Highland, Wood, Hardin, Hancock and Union counties. … Continue reading

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Armyworm issues

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel

A few weeks ago we mentioned reports of armyworms in forages and the need for growers to check their stands for signs of insect feeding.  Over the past week or so, this concern has grown considerable, and problems are occurring in rangelands, forages, cover crops including rye, and wheat fields. Not only is Ohio experiencing problems, but numerous Midwest states are reporting similar instances of large numbers of armyworms feeding in fields, especially in newer plantings. An excellent article on the problem is available at the Kentucky Pest News site that was written by our colleague, Doug Johnson, that discusses the problem and answers various questions (http://www.ca.uky.edu/agcollege/plantpathology/extension/kpn/current.html). Until we get a few hard freezes, expect much of this feeding to continue. Make special note of whether armyworm feeding is killing off pasture or forages, or any newly sown planting.  Those plants might still be alive and continue to grow.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – October 9th, 2012


Wet field conditions has limited planting, and subsequent emersion of winter wheat. In addition, the progress of the corn and soybean harvests has slowed due to rain.

As of Sunday October 7th, eighty-two percent of corn was mature, which was 47 percent ahead of last year and 11 percent ahead of the five-year average. Twenty-two percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by 18 percent and the five-year average by five percent. Sixty-eight percent of soybeans were mature, 43 percent ahead of last year and identical to the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 23 percent, compared to two percent last year and 30 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat planted was rated at 19 percent, compared to four percent last year and 32 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat emerged was rated at two percent, one percent ahead of last year, but four percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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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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