Featured News



FSA seeking County Committee nominations

The State Executive Director for Ohio’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Steve Maurer, announced that candidate nominations begin Friday for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees. FSA is accepting nomination forms for eligible candidates to serve on the local FSA County Committees. The nomination period ends Aug, 1, 2012.

“I urge all farmers and landowners to participate in this year’s county committee elections by nominating candidates by the August 1 deadline,” Maurer said. “County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and provide a voice to landowners and farmers so that they have an opportunity for their opinions and ideas to be heard.”

FSA County Committees have an important role in the decision making process for commodity price support loans and payments, conservation and disaster programs and other important agricultural issues in their farming community.

Almost anyone participating or cooperating in a local FSA program may be a candidate.… Continue reading

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CRP sign-up results

The USDA Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that 7,963 acres were accepted during the 43rd Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up, bringing the total number of active CRP acres in Ohio to 337,713.

Nationwide, USDA accepted enrollment of 3.9 million acres bringing the total program enrollment to 29.6 million acres. For more than 25 years, CRP has protected natural resources in Ohio while providing economic and environmental benefits to rural communities throughout the state. The newly accepted CRP offers will continue the CRP legacy by improving water and air quality, increasing wildlife habitat and preventing soil erosion.

Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Accepted contracts will become effective October 1, 2012.

All CRP sign-up 43 offers were evaluated and ranked using the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that consists of the following five environmental factors plus cost: wildlife enhancement, water quality, soil erosion, enduring benefits and air quality.… Continue reading

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Rainfall data incorporated in yield estimates

Rainfall data collected by a network of radars operated by the National Weather Service will be integrated into an application that helps farmers forecast corn yields throughout the growing process.

The Optimizer 2.0 application, developed by Advanced Ag Solutions LLC, now includes a feature that accumulates Next-Generation Radar (NEXRAD) rainfall data for unique fields. NEXRAD is a system of high-resolution Doppler weather radar stations operated by the National Weather Service.

Daryl Starr, president of Advanced Ag Solutions, said integrating rainfall data into Optimizer 2.0 has been a company priority.

“Feedback indicated that users wanted rainfall data for every field, which we now can deliver,” he said. “We expected to launch the app with this feature, but we had to be certain how receptive growers would be to a site-specific yield model. The addition of more than 450 users since the spring 2012 launch indicated it was time to move forward with adding rainfall data.”… Continue reading

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NCBA concerned about animal care component in farm bill

Tom Talbot, chairman of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee, is appalled that animal care could be taken out of the hands of experts and placed in the control of the federal government. Talbot, who is a veterinarian and California cattle rancher, specifically is referring to amendment 2252 to the 2012 Farm Bill offered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The amendment, which would mandate on-farm production practices, was also introduced as legislation, Egg Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 (S. 3239 and H.R. 3298), by Sen. Feinstein and Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.).

“The U.S. beef community has changed through the years, but the one thing that remains the same is our commitment to raising healthy cattle and providing our animals the best care possible,” Talbot said. “NCBA’s Cattle Health and Wellbeing Committee relies on the latest information from government officials, veterinarians and cattle health experts to ensure our policies reflect the latest science and ensure effective cattle care practices on cattle operations throughout the country.”… Continue reading

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Sustainability starts in the field

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

In early June BASF, industry leaders, growers and media met in Chicago to discuss “Innovation as the path to sustainability.”

This year’s event included discussions with BASF global agricultural leaders and a moderated dialogue titled “A growing conversation: Innovation and sustainability within the business of modern agriculture,” covering the challenges facing growers today.

Paul Rea is BASF’s vice president of crop protection for the U.S. and he said that the company’s definition of sustainability has been set. In its simplest form, sustainability is insuring that the resources used in agriculture such as land, water, nutrients and the like are there for future generations so that food can continue to be provided for an ever-growing world population.

“Growers are a great example of sustainability,” Rea said. “When the farm passes from generation to generation it often is in better shape than it was in the first place.… Continue reading

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Rapidly cooling eggs can double shelf life and decrease risk of illness

Taking just a few seconds to cool freshly laid eggs would add weeks to their shelf life, according to a Purdue University study.

The rapid-cooling process, developed by Kevin Keener, a professor of food science, uses liquid carbon dioxide to stabilize the proteins in egg whites so much that they could be rated AA — the highest grade for eggs — for 12 weeks. Earlier research showed that the same cooling technology could significantly reduce occurrences of salmonella illnesses.

Eggs cooled under current methods lose the AA grade in about six weeks, Keener said.

“There is no statistical difference in quality between eggs as measured by Haugh units just after laying and rapidly cooled eggs at 12 weeks,” he said. “This rapid-cooling process can provide a significant extension in the shelf life of eggs compared to traditional processing.”

Haugh units measure an egg white’s protein quality. Keener’s results, published in the journal Poultry Science, also show that membranes surrounding the eggs’ yolks were maintained for 12 weeks when eggs were rapidly cooled.… Continue reading

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Public Comment Period started for Statistical Reports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting public comment now through July 9, 2012 as part of its review of release times and procedures for several major statistical reports.  Due to recent changes in market hours by major commodity exchanges, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) – The USDA entities responsible for the reports — are reviewing release times and procedures of the following statistical reports:

  • World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates,
  • Acreage,
  • Cattle,
  • Cattle on Feed,
  • Crop Production,
  • Grain Stocks,
  • Prospective Plantings,
  • Quarterly Hogs and Pigs,
  • Small Grain Summary

The current USDA release times of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET will remain in effect until further notice.

You can submit your comments directly to the National Ag Statistics Service at http://www.agcounts.usda.gov/optin/136771Continue reading

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Bt corn root injury showing up to the west

The western corn rootworm season is progressing at an unprecedented pace, reports Professor of entomology and crop sciences Extension coordinator Mike Gray.

Reports of severe injury to Bt corn that expresses the Cry3Bb1 protein targeted against corn rootworms have come in from western Cass County. In 2011, similar reports of injury to Bt hybrids expressing this protein surfaced in other North Central states, particularly in Iowa.

“Thus far, resistance to this protein in Illinois has not been confirmed,” Gray said. However large numbers of western corn rootworm adults are visible in the whorls of plants in Cass County. Seed industry representatives confirmed that beetles were observed early last week, nearly a full month earlier than when they are usually first reported, around the 4th of July.

The plants were under intense moisture stress, the leaves were rolled tightly, and beetles were feeding on the epidermis of corn leaves.

“This type of injury often occurs when beetle emergence is early and plants have not yet begun to shed pollen or produce silks,” Gray said.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – June 11th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 65.2 degrees, 1.7 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, June 10, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.06 inches, 0.80 inches below normal. There were 98 modified growing degree days, 22 days below normal.

Reporters rated 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, June 8, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 15 percent very short, 41 percent short, 42 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY June 10th, 2012

The state continues to experience warm and dry conditions. The heat is putting significant stress on livestock, corn and soybeans. Field activities included side-dressing corn with nitrogen, spraying herbicides, and baling hay. Soybean emergence has been slow due to dry weather and some producers have replanted. Insect infestation has been a problem in alfalfa fields.

As of Sunday June 10th, 95 percent of soybeans were emerged, compared to 23 percent last year and 66 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress – June 11th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 65.2 degrees, 1.7 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, June 10, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.06 inches, 0.80 inches below normal. There were 98 modified growing degree days, 22 days below normal.

Reporters rated 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, June 8, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 15 percent very short, 41 percent short, 42 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY June 10th, 2012

The state continues to experience warm and dry conditions. The heat is putting significant stress on livestock, corn and soybeans. Field activities included side-dressing corn with nitrogen, spraying herbicides, and baling hay. Soybean emergence has been slow due to dry weather and some producers have replanted. Insect infestation has been a problem in alfalfa fields.

As of Sunday June 10th, 95 percent of soybeans were emerged, compared to 23 percent last year and 66 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Program exams in August

The next Ohio Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Program exam — which is required to become a CCA — is Friday, August 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg. The International Exam will take place from 9 a.m. — noon, followed by the Tri-State Exam from 1–3 p.m.

The exam registration deadline is June 22, 2012; registrations received after June 22 will not be processed.

There are two exams, the International Exam with 180 multiple choices questions and 20 constructed response questions, and the Tri-State Exam with 100 multiple-choice questions. Both exams are timed — three hours for the International Exam and two hours for the Tri-State Exam. The exams cover four performance objective areas:

  • Nutrient Management
  • Soil & Water Management
  • Crop Management
  • Pest Management

The total cost of the exam is $200 ($150 for the International Exam, and $50 for the Tri-State Exam).… Continue reading

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Sign up for the 2012 Census of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to mail the 2012 Census of Agriculture to millions of U.S. farmers and ranchers in late December. Producers are reminded not to miss their opportunity to be counted by signing up for the Census before July 1. The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. A farm is defined as any place that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the Census year (2012).

“The Census is the leading source of facts about American agriculture,” said Renee Picanso, Census and Survey Division Director at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. “The wealth of data available from the Census includes statistics on small, family farms to large, corporate farms; information on young, beginning farmers to older, experienced farmers; and insight into traditional, rural farming versus trends in areas such as lifestyle and urban farming.”… Continue reading

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Southeastern Ohio Hay Day

 

Equipment dealers from around eastern Ohio will demonstrate the latest in forage harvesting and forage handling machinery at Southeastern Ohio Hay Day.

 

The field day will be June 21, 4-8:30 p.m. at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station, 16870 Township Road 126, Caldwell. The station is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

 

The public is invited to this free event to watch live demonstrations and talk with equipment personnel.

 

Registration and access to field equipment displays begins at 4 p.m., with demonstrations starting at 5 p.m. Company representatives will be on hand to demonstrate and discuss the various equipment lines.

 

For more information, contact Clif Little, Ohio State University Extension educator, at 740-489-5300 or 740-732-5681, or visit the Guernsey County office of OSU Extension website at http://guernsey.osu.edu and click on “Events.”


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Good Earth Guide available

Ohio summers are a time to enjoy the bounty of fresh garden vegetables, ripe off-the vine berries, and orchard harvests bursting with juicy flavor. The Good Earth Guide to Organic and Ecological Farms, Gardens and Related Businesses by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) can help bring these delicious tastes of summer to any kitchen.

The Good Earth Guide includes information on farms and businesses that sell directly to the public, including 166 certified organic farms and businesses and more than 90 community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

The directory identifies sources for locally grown vegetables; fruits; herbs; honey; maple syrup; dairy products; grass-fed beef, pork, and lamb; free-range chicken and eggs; fiber; flour and grains; cut flowers; plants; hay and straw; seed and feed and other local farm products.

“Since we started publishing the Good Earth Guide in 1990, it’s grown from a list of a dozen or so farms to more than 350 farms and related businesses, reflecting the tremendous growth in demand for locally-sourced and sustainably-produced foods, fibers, products and services,” said Renee Hunt OEFFA Program Director .… Continue reading

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Farm bill debate gets rolling in the Senate

Ben LaCross, a young fruit grower and Farm Bureau member from Michigan, urged Congress to pass the Senate Agriculture Committee-passed farm bill this year. Speaking at a press event on Capitol Hill on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation, LaCross said without the bill, crop losses could be catastrophic, especially for beginning and young farmers.

LaCross said that due to various weather conditions impacting farms this year, his state has lost an estimated 90% of its apple crop, 85% of its grapes, 95% of its peaches and 85% of its cherries.

“If the committee’s farm bill were in existence today, I would have the opportunity to cover more of my crops under crop insurance, using new programs that would provide better coverage at a lower cost,” LaCross said. “It would also provide the ability to use more realistic production numbers by increasing the ‘yield plug’ in years like this one, when my production is going to be almost zero. … Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council to elect trustees

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) Board of Trustee elections will be held in five districts this summer. Districts up for election include:

  • District 1 – Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Williams Counties
  • District 2 – Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood Counties
  • District 5 – Hancock and Putnam Counties
  • District 9 – Delaware, Marion, Morrow and Union Counties
  • District 13 – Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Fayette, Hamilton, Highland and Warren Counties

To be eligible for election to OSC, you must live in a county in the districts listed, be a soybean producer engaged in the growing of soybeans in the State of Ohio who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of such soybeans at any time during the three-year period immediately preceding November 15 of the current year.

Those eligible producers (spouses who jointly produce soybeans are considered to be a “family” and are considered to be one person) who have contributed to the soybean checkoff and have submitted a petition with the signatures of 15 eligible soybean producers who reside in the respective district shall be determined candidates for election.… Continue reading

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Ohio Pork Producers Council announces scholarship winners

The Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 OPPC and Ohio Pork Council Women Scholarships. Together, the Ohio Pork Producers Council and the Ohio Pork Council Women are awarding 12 youth a total of $8,500 in scholarship funds.

The OPPC Scholarships were awarded to Erin Wollett of Sunbury; Rick van den Hengel of Scott; Stacie Seger of Minster; Colleen Hord of Bucyrus; Jaime Walker of Houston; Amanda Haines of Montpelier; Katie Beavers of Newcomerstown; Hayden Fisher of West Liberty and Taylor Hershberger of Upper Sandusky.

The 2012 Ohio Pork Council Women Scholarship recipients are Stacie Seger of Minster; Lauren Schwab of Somerville and Brandon Haines of Montpelier

“On behalf of the Ohio Pork Producers Council and the Ohio Pork Council Women, I congratulate the 2012 scholarship recipients on electing to pursue further education and wish them continued success as they work toward their future careers,” said Dick Isler, OPPC executive vice president.… Continue reading

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Senate moves on farm bill

The National Corn Growers Association was pleased with progress in the Senate on the 2012 farm bill.

“The National Corn Growers Association appreciates the actions taken today by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to move forward with Senate consideration of the 2012 farm bill this week,” said Garry Niemeyer, NCGA president. “We support this action and look forward to working with members of the Senate to pass this important legislation and urge action before the July 4 congressional recess.”… Continue reading

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BASF addresses role of innovation for agricultural sustainability

BASF today presented its crop protection and plant biotechnology pipelines and outlined plans to globalize agricultural research activities as part of its “We create chemistry strategy”.

“BASF has a strong track record of bringing innovative solutions to farmers,” said Markus Heldt, President of BASF’s Crop Protection division. “This steady stream of innovations is driving the division’s success.”

At the press conference, BASF showcased pipeline developments across its many research disciplines. Crop protection highlights included solutions for challenging weed control, such as recently launched herbicides from the Kixor® family as well as EngeniaTM herbicide for Dicamba tolerant crop systems, which is expected to be launched in 2014. Also highlighted were new products from the Xemium® family, BASF’s next generation carboxamide fungicide, and Initium®, BASF’s latest fungicide for the fast-growing specialty crop segment. Furthermore, BASF explained its new research areas for solutions to better manage resources and plant stress.… Continue reading

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