Featured News



PUCO extended hours of service exemption for agriculture

Earlier this week, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted an extension of the hours of service exemption for agricultural operations until Jan. 1, 2012 to account for this year’s longer harvest.

The extension resulted from a request the Ohio Agribusiness Association (OABA) submitted on Nov. 18, 2011 and a similar request submitted by the Ohio Farm Bureau on November 23. In its request, OABA stated that extreme and unpredictable weather conditions, including a much wetter than normal spring that delayed planting and a wet fall, have compounded an already delayed 2011 crop harvest and could extend Ohio’s crop harvest into at least the first few weeks of December.

This posed a problem for Ohio farmers and agribusinesses, because under current hours of service rules, agricultural operations are only exempted from hours of service requirements during planting and harvesting seasons, which the state of Ohio defines as March 1 through Nov.… Continue reading

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RMA outlines changes for insurance and cover crops

An announcement made by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) outlines changes that will provide producers more flexibility when insuring a crop that follows a cover crop in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Heavy spring rains last year delayed planting in parts of the Midwest raising concerns about the impact a cover crop may have on the insurability of a subsequent spring crop. Restrictions limited insurance coverage on crops that followed a cover crop that was harvested or reached the budded stage in the same crop year.

For 2012, crops planted following a cover crop are insurable as long as the cover crop is killed on or before June 5th. Whether the cover crop has headed, budded or has been harvested no longer effects insurability. These changes affect corn, popcorn, sweet corn, hybrid seed corn, pumpkins, soybeans, grain sorghum and processing beans. The cover crop practice is defined as a crop planted within 12 months of planting the insurable crop and is recognized as a sound agronomic conservation practice for the area.… Continue reading

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2012 Southern Ohio New and Small Farm Colleges

Are you a small farm landowner wondering what to do with your acreage? Are you interested in exploring options for land uses but not sure where to turn or how to begin? Have you considered adding an agricultural or horticultural enterprise but you just aren’t sure what is required, from an equipment, labor, and/or management perspective? Are you looking for someplace to get basic farm information? If you or someone you know answered yes to any of these questions, then the OSU Extension Small Farm College program may be just what you are looking for.

OSU Extension is offering a program targeted at the new and small farmer. The Southern Ohio New and Small Farm College is an 8-week program that introduces new and even seasoned farmers to a wide variety of topics. The program will teach participants how to set goals, plan, budget, and where to find resources available for them if they chose to start a small farming operation.… Continue reading

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FDA approves new BRD therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pulmotil, an innovative Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) treatment for groups of cattle in the early stages of a BRD outbreak that provides 14 days of sustained in-feed therapy, a practice that reduces stress associated with cattle handling.

Pulmotil is approved for the control of BRD associated with Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni in groups of beef and non-lactating dairy cattle, where active BRD has been diagnosed in at least 10 percent of the animals in the group.

“This approval brings cattle veterinarians and producers a truly new management tool for controlling BRD,” said Jeff Simmons, president, Elanco. “With the introduction of Pulmotil, Elanco continues to bring the beef and dairy industries highly effective treatment solutions that provide more BRD management flexibility.”

BRD is the most common disease among feedlot cattle, accounting for approximately 75% of feedlot morbidity and 50 percent to 70% of feedlot deaths,costing the industry an estimated $800 to $900 million annually in economic losses due to reduced feed efficiency, treatment costs and deaths.… Continue reading

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Select Sires completes Calf Campus

Select Sires Inc. has completed the new Calf Campus facility located near Plain City, Ohio. During the summer of 2011, construction began to develop two state-of-the-art facilities that will foster bull calf health and growth at Select Sires. The bio-secure campus will be home to nearly 150 calves when it is fully occupied. 
 


The new calf facilities will promote vigor and fitness among the bull calves, enhancing the productivity of the bulls at a younger age for semen collection and enabling Select Sires’ customer-owners to have further success for many generations within their herd. Being mindful to environmental concerns, the facilities were created to self-contain all animal waste and water discharge, including a manure storage facility.
 


“This continued research, growth, development and investment from Select Sires demonstrates our commitment to creating a high-quality product for our customer-owners,” said David Thorbahn, president and chief executive officer of Select Sires. “With our latest expansion, Select Sires is anticipating earlier semen release on our most exclusive Program for Genetic Advancement bulls.… Continue reading

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Poinsettia care

Poinsettias represent 80% of all potted plant sales in the United States during the holiday season, said University of Illinois Extension educator Ron Wolford.

“There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today,” Wolford said. “And they come in a myriad of colors like red, white, pink and burgundy. Keeping your poinsettias healthy during the holiday season can be a challenge considering the dry indoor environments in many homes.”

Here are a few tips from Wolford to help you keep your poinsettia healthy.

— Purchase a poinsettia with fully colored bracts (modified leaves) and tightly closed flower buds. The plant will start to decline after the flower buds have completely opened.

— After you have purchased your poinsettia, make sure it is wrapped completely because exposure to cold temps below 50 degrees in just the short walk to your car can damage the bracts and leaves.

— Place the poinsettia near a south, west or east facing window.… Continue reading

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USDA announces dates for conservation initiatives

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the ranking dates for the On-Farm Energy, Organic, Seasonal High Tunnel and Air Quality conservation initiatives. All four initiatives offer technical and financial assistance through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

“Producers tell us they want to apply for these initiatives, but many want more time to make sure they choose the one that’s right for their operation,” Vilsack said. “Moving to multiple ranking dates for each initiative is going to make it easier for more producers to apply and help them get started with implementing the practices they need to benefit the natural resources on their operations.”

NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. There will be three ranking periods for the Organic, On-Farm Energy and Seasonal High Tunnel initiatives, all ending on February 3, March 30 and June 1, 2012. Ranking periods for the Air Quality Initiative end February 3 and March 30, 2012.… Continue reading

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SURE signup started

Steven Maurer, State Executive Director for Ohio’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), would like to remind producers that FSA is currently accepting enrollment for the 2010 crop losses under the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program that began Monday, Nov. 14, 2011.

Eligible producers who suffered losses during the 2010 crop year are encouraged to visit their local FSA office to learn more about the SURE program. FSA also has SURE information available at www.fsa.usda.gov/sure.… Continue reading

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Locks and dams crucial for the future of ag

The National Corn Growers Association joined a well-timed effort to let the nation’s politicians know that farmers and their allies are paying attention to their positions on funding for essential lock and dam improvements along the Mississippi River. To determine how to best structure a strategic educational campaign on the issue, NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, NCGA staff and key industry stakeholders met in Quincy, Ill., for a discussion covering the importance of the actual improvements and the best way in which to move forward as a unified front.

“Our inland waterway system plays a crucial role in the nation’s economy, and we must act now to help our future leaders understand that funding improvements is critical to maintaining their viability,” said Niemeyer. “Acting together, we can magnify our voices, and thus our effectiveness, exponentially. Achieving our goal is not only important for farmers and shippers, our nation as a whole will benefit from the job creation and shipping efficiencies this project would generate.”… Continue reading

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SCI winter agronomy meetings

Seed Consultants, Inc. will be conducting winter agronomy meetings this January and February at select locations across the Eastern Corn Belt. Topics that will be covered include: lessons learned from the 2011 growing season; tips for a successful 2012 corn, soybean and wheat crop; how to interpret plot data; tips on improving planting and harvesting techniques; and much, much more. Please register in advance to attend one of these very informative agronomy meetings by calling 800-708-2676 or by going online at www.seedconsultants.com.… Continue reading

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Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium

The third annual Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium (OGFS) will be December 15 at the Roberts Centre and Holiday Inn in Wilmington, Ohio. Grain farmers throughout the state will have the opportunity to hear about the latest agricultural issues impacting their operations.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the early bird marketing report will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Topics discussed during the general session include a Washington outlook, overview of water-quality issues and consumer perceptions about farming. Attendees will also have a variety of breakout sessions to choose from with topics such as shale-gas issues in Ohio, planning for the 2012 markets and preparing for water-quality regulations.

Additionally, the annual OGFS trade show will have more than 30 companies that serve the agricultural industry on-site to speak with participants about their services.

The OGFS is held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA).… Continue reading

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2011 farm sector income forecast

The USDA Farm Income Forecast paints a bright picture for agricultural profitability this year. Net farm income is forecast at $100.9 billion for 2011, up $21.8 billion (28%) from 2010 while net cash income at $109.8 billion, is forecast up $17.5 billion (18.9%) from 2010, and $34.2 billion above its 10-year average (2001-2010) of $75.6 billion.

Net cash income reflects only the cash transactions occurring within the calendar year. Net farm income is a measure of the increase in wealth from production, whereas net cash income is a measure of solvency, or the ability to pay bills and make payments on debt.

“Today’s farm income forecast shows that the American brand of agriculture continues to be a bright spot in our nation’s economy. Following on a strong 2010, all three measures of farm sector earnings again experienced strong growth in 2011. According to today’s numbers, farmers are earning 28% more for their products than they made last year.… Continue reading

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World grain production is down

World grain production fell, exacerbating a global food situation already plagued by rising prices, according to new research published by the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. Despite record rice and corn yields around the world, global wheat production dropped substantially enough to bring total grain output to just below 2008 levels.

Corn, wheat, and rice provide nearly two-thirds of the global human diet and serve as critical inputs for both animal feed and industrial products. The significance of these crops guarantees that a decline in production will produce ripple effects throughout the global economy, particularly as increased food prices continue to take a toll on the world’s neediest populations. Overall, rice and wheat production have tripled since the 1960s, and corn production has quadrupled, despite global acreage of these crops increasing by only 35%.

“Production increased worldwide, but there was greater reliance on irrigation, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides—-all of which take resources, can be costly, and may cause substantial environmental degradation,” said contributing researcher Richard Weil.… Continue reading

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National Cattlemen’s Foundation announces scholarship program

The National Catlemen’s Foundation is announcing an ongoing initiative to strengthen the future of the beef industry. Together with the NCBA and the CME Group, 10 $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to outstanding students who are pursuing careers in the beef industry. The 2012-2013 Beef Industry Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at two-year or four-year institutions for the 2012-2013 school year.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to a career in the beef industry through classes, internships or life experiences. Fields of study for potential scholarship recipients may include education, communications, production, research or other areas related to the beef industry. Interim Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Cattlemen’s Foundation John Lacey said the scholarship program is aimed at helping future industry leaders.

“The Beef Industry Scholarships will help ensure a bright future for deserving students and for the beef industry in the United States,” Lacey said.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – November 28th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

Weather data was not available for release. Weather data will return in the release next week.

Reporters rated 1.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 25, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 31 percent adequate, and 69 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 27th 2011

Farmers were able to harvest some corn. However, wet and muddy conditions hampered the harvest.

As of Sunday November 27th, corn harvested for grain was 76 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 94 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 95 percent, 5 percentage points behind both last year and the five-year average. Emerged winter wheat was rated at 90 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK CONDITION

Livestock were 86 percent in fair-to-good condition, up three percent from last week.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – November 28th

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

Weather data was not available for release. Weather data will return in the release next week.

Reporters rated 1.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 25, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 31 percent adequate, and 69 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 27th 2011

Farmers were able to harvest some corn. However, wet and muddy conditions hampered the harvest.

As of Sunday November 27th, corn harvested for grain was 76 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 94 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 95 percent, 5 percentage points behind both last year and the five-year average. Emerged winter wheat was rated at 90 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK CONDITION

Livestock were 86 percent in fair-to-good condition, up three percent from last week.… Continue reading

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Plant genebank to be more user-friendly

A free, user-friendly online database system for managing the world’s plant genebanks will be launched this year, thanks to a partnership between the USDA and the Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

The international project involves updating a germplasm management system called the Germplasm Resources Infromation Network (GRIN), originally developed by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. The updated system, called GRIN-Global will be initiated at CGIAR centers this month, and in the United States in 2012.

ARS uses GRIN to manage agricultural data on plant genetic resources at various genebank sites. Using GRIN-Global, other nations will have the ability to document their plant germplasm and deliver that information worldwide, according to Peter Cyr, information technology specialist and project leader at the ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station in Ames, Iowa. Each genebank will have its own local version of the GRIN-Global software, which is capable of supporting different languages.

Curators can customize the system to fit their specific needs and keep track of genetic material origins, traits and properties.… Continue reading

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Yes We Can supports Highland County Extension

By Matt Reese

Sarah Young, though she was only 10, knew she loved showing sheep in 4-H at the Highland County Fair. She also knew that, after the failure of levies for Extension funding in Highland County, the $50,000 in annual local funding would have to be raised or she would no longer have the opportunity to participate in 4-H with her lamb projects.

So, in 2010, she decided to donate the proceeds of the sale of her market lamb to support Highland County Extension. Though she was hoping for the entire $50,000, the lamb sold for almost $13,000, which was a great start that encouraged more contributions from others.

“When it was all said and done, she ended up raising, directly and indirectly, about $30,000 from other people stepping forward contributing money after she was on the news,” said Shelli Young, Sarah’s mother. “Other kids offered up proceeds from their animals and money just started rolling in.”… Continue reading

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Pesticide applicator alert

By Harold Watters, OSU Extension

Over the next three to four weeks you will be getting information on how to renew your Ohio Pesticide Applicator’s License. The letter from the Ohio Department of Agriculture will include information on how and where to recertify this winter. With increased postage cost, reduced county Extension funding and loss of personnel, we in Extension still want to help you through the education process for your recertification. So read the letter from our Pesticide Safety and Education office, find the date and location to participate in for renewal and reserve your spot with your friendly neighborhood Extension office.

Most of us applicators across Ohio now have categories 1, 2, 6 and CORE. Those cover Field Crops (1), Forage Crops and Livestock (2), Fumigation (6) and CORE. This reduced number of categories due to changes that were set in place last year.

  • Category 1 now includes seed treatment, stored grain and non-crop in addition to weeds, insects and disease control for corn (all corn including sweet), soybeans and wheat.
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USDA is ready to answer your turkey questions

The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline has been answering consumer questions related to Holiday meals for over 25 years. Of course, we get the usual questions about buying, thawing and roasting a turkey. But we also get some of the same not-so-typical questions each year. You may have had these questions yourself.

 

How long will it take to cook two turkeys at the same time?

The cooking time is determined by the weight of one bird—not the combined weight. Use the weight of the smaller bird to determine cooking time.  Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the smaller bird first and then check the second bird. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.  Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.  … Continue reading

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