Featured News



USDA makes funds available to meet urgent credit needs of producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that a high demand for guaranteed farm ownership and direct farm operating funds has prompted USDA to transfer appropriated funds between programs as authorized by law, to meet the urgent credit needs of producers, including beginning and minority farmers and ranchers.

“Demand is strong for direct operating loans and guaranteed farm ownership loans, while demand for subsidized guaranteed operating loans has stabilized,” Vilsack said. “With these funds, we can help thousands of producers establish and maintain their family farming operations and obtain long-term credit assistance through a commercial lender.”

The transfer will make an additional $100 million in loan funds available for the direct operating loan program, providing 1,600 small, beginning and minority farmers with resources to establish and maintain their family farming operations. In addition, $400 million in loan funds will be made available for the guaranteed farm ownership loan program giving an additional 1,000 family farmers access to commercial lending backed by USDA.… Continue reading

Read More »

Common sense management necessary to minimize heat stress on livestock

Both man and beast suffer the effects of high heat and humidity in the dog days of summer, so cattle and sheep producers need to adopt basic strategies to keep animals calm, cool and collected through the year’s hottest days.

“Actual temperatures are well into the nineties and heat indexes are very high,” said John Grimes, Ohio State University Extension beef coordinator. “Producers need to consider their daily management practices in order to minimize the stress resulting from current weather patterns to their beef herds.”

Coordinating animal movement and handling in the morning or evening hours is essential to minimizing heat stress for both livestock and human handlers. Working animals in the middle of the day, Grimes said, is a recipe for heat-related health issues.

Cattle aren’t the only animals affected by the summer sun. Sheep in Ohio also are raised predominantly outdoors in pasture-based production systems. Roger High, OSU Extension sheep coordinator, said farmers need to mind basic animal health principles to keep sheep comfortable.… Continue reading

Read More »

Animal rights activists target university researchers, students

Activists promoting an agenda of animal rights have long protested the use of animals by major research universities and institutions.

Earle Holland, Ohio State University’s assistant vice president for Research Communications, said those activists are increasingly targeting students pursuing degrees in fields known for relying on laboratory animals to conduct research.

“It is much bigger than ever before,” Holland said. “The FBI has designated some animal rights groups and even some environmental activists as domestic terrorists. Given the rise in violence and property destruction over the past decade or so, it is much more serious than it was in the past.”

Holland acknowledged that Ohio State is relatively fortunate, dealing with only a “handful” of serious threats of violence to university researchers in recent years. The national trend, on the other hand, concerns the university and the research community at large.

Major research institutions such as Ohio State rely on laboratory research animals for two key reasons: first, because the animals provide the best possible vehicle for conducting research in many fields of study.… Continue reading

Read More »

Report confirms flaws in government Chesapeake Bay analyses

An updated report on the science surrounding Chesapeake Bay water quality confirms that serious and significant differences exist between the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Bay Model” and the model authored by the Agriculture Department. Left unchanged these differences could lead to farmers in the watershed paying a steep price for nutrients and sediments that have been mistakenly attributed to them, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The analysis, conducted by LimnoTech and commissioned by the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council, shows there are vast differences between the EPA and USDA Chesapeake Bay models in the areas of land use, total acreage of the Bay watershed and data and assumptions about farmer adoption of conservation and farming practices.

“It is clear to us that the EPA’s TMDL water regulations are based on flawed information,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Due to the fact that farmers and others in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are being directed to incur extreme costs and even take land out of production to comply with EPA’s harsh new regulations, those regulations must be based on reliable information.… Continue reading

Read More »

FMC field day showcased results

FMC Corporation recently hosted a successful week of summer plot tours, highlighting in-field results from Anthem, Anthem ATZ, Authorityand Cadet herbicides as well as Hero and Capture LFR insecticides. Over 350 retailers, distributors and FMC team members attended the FMC plot tour events, which were scheduled from July 11-15 along the corn and soybean belt. Plots were hosted in Urbana, Ill.; Noblesville, Ind.; Ames, Iowa; York, Neb.; Tipp City, Ohio; and Beresford, S.D. FMC field researchers and technical representatives led the plot tours and presented product results along with trial data to date.

“Test plots hosted in various soil types and geographical areas allow FMC to gather additional research data, examine the efficacy and further develop our crop protection products,” said Bob Hooten, technical support manager for FMC Agricultural Products. “These plot tours are invaluable as they allow retailers to see firsthand the superior performance of what FMC has to offer, share results and discuss crop protection benefits and best practices.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Kubota sells 1.5 million units in United States

As Kubota Corporation, Osaka, Japan, begins to celebrate 40 years in the United States, the global equipment manufacturer hits another milestone as its U.S. distributor Kubota Tractor Corporation, Torrance, Calif., announces it has retailed 1.5 million Kubota units in America.

“We are thrilled as an organization to reach the 1.5 million mark for sales to our valued customers in the United States,” says Yuichi “Ken” Kitao, President of Kubota Tractor Corporation. “Our network of outstanding Kubota dealers and the greater Kubota family of customers reflects the acceptance of Kubota’s engineering and innovative products over the past 40 years across America. In this time of growth for our company, Kubota has proudly created many jobs in the U.S. including positions in our manufacturing operations, corporate and field offices, as well as producing local business opportunities for Kubota dealers.”

In early July, Kitao and other Kubota management staff celebrated with Kubota customer Jeremy Nafziger, Marietta, Pa.,… Continue reading

Read More »

Ag is Cool Winners Announced.

 

Governor John R. Kasich and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director James Zehringer today announced the winners for the 2011 “Agriculture is Cool” visual arts contest. Ohio school children enrolled in school or home schooled during the 2010-2011 academic year shared their personal interpretation of why Ohio agriculture is “cool” for their chance to win Brad Paisley tickets at the Ohio State Fair.

Entries, which included an original video, photograph, drawing, or painting, were judged in the four different age categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Seven entries were selected as winners in their respective categories.

K-2 Drawing, Painting: Brandon Barr, Xenia, Greene County, age 8
K-2 Photograph: Kaitlyn Zeedyk, Hicksville, Defiance County, age 7
3-5 Drawing, Painting: Annie Cvelbar, Euclid, Cuyahoga County, age 11
3-5 Photograph: Thomas Gress, Shreve, Wayne County, age 9
6-8 Drawing, Painting: Samantha Murphy, Fayetteville, Brown County, age 13
6-8 Photograph: Sydney Black, Ashville, Pickaway County, age 14
9-12 All: Diane Gress, Shreve, Wayne County, age 16

A video produced by 16-year old Diane Gress of Shreve was chosen as the 2011 “Best in Show” entry.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio egg farmers help fight hunger at Ohio State Fair

For the second year, Ohio’s egg farmers are using the Ohio State Fair, which runs July 27-August 7, as an opportunity to help combat hunger in the Buckeye state.

During each day of the fair, the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) will donate one dozen eggs to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank for each kid’s meal that is purchased at the poultry booth in the Taste of Ohio Café. In addition, OPA will hand out a free incredible backpack for each purchased kid’s meal.

“Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers are committed to giving back and helping those who are in need,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “We encourage fairgoers to stop by the Taste of Ohio Café and enjoy a nutritious, affordable meal while helping Ohioans who are less fortunate.”

Ohioans can give back to those in need by purchasing a kid’s meal at the poultry booth at the Ohio Taste of Ohio Café, which is open from 10:30 a.m.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSU ACT top in the nation

By Lyndsey Murphy, ACT president

Last night in New Orleans there was reason for celebration, even though it isn’t Mardi Gras season. The Ohio State chapter of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow was once again deemed top chapter in the nation. Ohio State ACT has won this prestigious award 3 of the past four years and also had the opportunity to host the national conference this past February.
ACT continues to be a strong force on the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Science campus at Ohio State as well, putting on several charity events, hosting an Adobe training session for professionals and staying involved in college wide efforts throughout this past year.… Continue reading

Read More »

Beef shortage means hold on to the cows

The quantity of beef available to consumers in the United States has declined a startling amount in recent years, and that trend is going to continue. Unfortunately, even higher retail beef prices can be expected for consumers, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University Extension economist.

“The declining supplies are related to continuing liquidation of the cow herd in the past few years due to high feed prices, a weak U.S. dollar that is spurring beef exports, and, of course, drought in the Southwest and Southeast. Declining supplies will support prices across the cattle complex at new record highs in 2011 and again in 2012,” he said.

The USDA estimate of the inventory of beef cows on July 1 showed a further decline of 1 percent in the past year. Since 2007, when feed prices were still moderate, beef cow numbers have dropped 5 percent. More alarming is the decline in beef available to U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Is your corn braced for winds?

By Ryan McAllister, CCA, Team Sales Agronomist for Beck’s Hybrids

This picture was taken on Friday, July 22nd. Believe it or not, by Monday, July 25, 2011 this corn field is all standing upright…goosenecked, but standing up. If someone saw this field today, like I did, they would never believe that it looked like this on Friday.

What is causing this corn to go down?

1.       We never really achieved “ideal” planting conditions. Therefore, in-furrow compaction was a concern. For May planted corn, its early life was full of water, which did not encourage downward root development. For June planted corn, the scenario was a bit different. Many June planted fields received below normal or normal amounts of rain shortly after planting and then turned off bone dry until recently.

2.       June planted fields were more at risk for downed corn than the May planted fields.

3.       June planted fields had decent, but not great, root systems below ground.… Continue reading

Read More »

National FFA receives nearly $1.9 million from Microsoft for Agricultural Career Network

Microsoft has donated nearly $1.9 million of software, training and support to the National FFA Organization for the creation of a new online network to help students track educational successes, pursue awards and scholarships and ultimately obtain careers in the agriculture industry.

The Agricultural Career Network will be an online portal that students can use starting in middle school, through college and beyond to track their educational accomplishments, activities and awards. It will also allow students to build resumes and online portfolios, apply for awards and scholarships, prepare for college, pursue internships, connect with potential employers and pursue employment opportunities.

Agriculture teachers will also be able to manage FFA member information in the network, which will provide key data for Perkins plans and reports, produce local impact reports for advocacy efforts, compile information about available grant and scholarship applications and create tools that teachers can use to gauge the relevance and successes of their individual agricultural education curricula.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Crop Progress Report – July 25th, 2011

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

 

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY JULY 24th 2011

 

The average temperature for the State was 82.3 degrees, 8.3 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, July 24, 2011. Precipitation averaged 2.00 inches, 0.99 inches above normal. There were 1,891 modified growing degree days, 191 days above normal. Reporters rated 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, July 22, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 15 percent very short, 29 percent short, 54 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.

 

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

 

A prolonged heat wave engulfed the state and broke records in some places. The heat caused extreme stress on livestock, including a number of reported deaths. Field activities for the week included baling straw and hay, spraying herbicide, tilling wheat stubble and installing tile.

 

As of Sunday July 24th, 30 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 90 percent last year and 69 percent for the five year average.… Continue reading

Read More »

Unverferth unveils new grain cart

Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc. announces the introduction of the Brent Avalanche model 2096 to its grain cart lineup. In addition to industry-leading unloading speed, convenience and durability, the model 2096 tops the load-carrying chart at 2,000 bushels.

Today’s high-acreage crop farmers need grain carts with high-volume capacities and rapid unloading speeds for efficiently moving grain from the combine to the semi, unloading the grain and getting the cart back to the combine. The model 2096 Avalanche grain cart does all that and more with unloading speed up to 1,000-bushels per minute and standard pistol-grip remote-control auger operation for filling each compartment of the semi with one-stop convenience, saving wear and tear on the operator and the tractor’s drivetrain.

Key Avalanche model 2096 features include:

 

• Exclusive drivetrain design combines a belt-driven 20-inch diameter floor auger with a heavy-duty, direct-drive 90-degree gearbox for the 24-inch diameter vertical auger for increased unloading speed

• Hydraulically cushioned tongue smoothes the ride over rough terrain and reduces drawbar stress

• For precise unloading, the auger pivots up and down and features a standard multi-directional downspout with remote control for one-stop convenience for filling each semi compartment

• Undercarriage choices of tracks for greatest flotation or steerable in-line tandem wheels with Paralink suspension for maximum maneuverability

 

The model 2096 also features a standard Weatherguard tarp for protecting load contents from inclement weather.… Continue reading

Read More »

EPA approves new Syngenta corn trait stack featuring dual modes of action

Syngenta in North America announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted registration approval for the Agrisure3122 trait stack. The Agrisure3122 stack offers growers dual modes of action against both corn borer and corn rootworm with a structured refuge of only five percent in the Corn Belt region of the United States.

“With this approval, Syngenta now offers growers a reduced-refuge trait stack featuring dual modes of action for both corn rootworm and corn borer,” said David Morgan, Syngenta region director of North America and president of Syngenta Seeds, Inc. “Not only do growers enjoy greater productivity through reduced refuge, they can also help safeguard trait technology and efficacy into the future.”

The Agrisure 3122 trait stack includes the trusted Agrisure CB/LL trait, which has been helping to protect corn from European corn borer for more than 10 years; the Agrisure RW trait, which protects against corn rootworm; the HerculexI trait for corn borer;  the HerculexRW trait for corn rootworm; and the Agrisure GT trait for glyphosate tolerance.… Continue reading

Read More »

Importance of Scouting Corn in 2011

By Bill Mullen, Director of Agronomic Services, Seed Consultants Inc.

I never imagined corn planting throughout Ohio and Indiana would start around the end of May and finish up by mid June. Saturated soils kept many from ideal planting situations. In past years, farmers were able to work with four to five inches of good dry soil to plant into. In 2011 we were fortunate to have two to three inches, at best. Below this planting depth, there was nothing but mud. With the warmer temperatures, corn seed pushed through the ground fast and the growth process started. Fields look good from the road, as they always do, however there are issues out there that still need to be addressed. Walking corn fields will show the true condition and identify possible issues that could delay crop harvest.

The first issue affecting our corn crop today is the early development of the root system especially in those areas of the field where the plant roots were impacted by shallow compaction.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Composting Tour Set for Aug. 11 in NE Ohio

Registration is open for Composting in Ohio 2011: A Tour of the Industry, set for Aug. 11 in northeast Ohio. The program is for anyone interested in large-scale composting, recycling and overall sustainable practices.

Featured will be:

• The Medina County Municipal Solid Waste Processing Complex, the only Class I composting site in Ohio, which means it can take in a wide range of solid waste – mixed, from food, from yards, from industry.

Baldwin-Wallace College’s industrial-scale Earth Tub food-waste composter in Berea, part of the school’s move toward greater sustainability; and

Rosby Resource Recycling in Brooklyn Heights, which not only composts food and yard waste (a Class II facility) but processes and recycles construction and demolition debris.

Hours are 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. starting at the Medina County facility at 8700 Lake Rd. in Seville. Also available is a van pool leaving at 7:30 a.m. from the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave.,… Continue reading

Read More »

Food price factors

Growing demand for corn to use in biofuels and for soybeans to help feed a booming Chinese economy are among key forces driving commodity prices higher this year, according to a report by three Purdue agricultural economists.

A weak U.S. dollar, high oil prices, declining grain supplies and poor harvests in 2010 also contributed, they wrote in the report, which predicts that high prices will continue beyond the 2011 crop year.

The economists – Phil Abbott, Chris Hurt and Wally Tyner – detailed their findings in “What’s Driving Food Prices in 2011,” commissioned by Farm Foundation, NFP, and released Tuesday (July 19). Costs of commodities influence retail food prices as do general inflationary pressures such as transportation, packaging and food processing.

The report follows their analyses for Farm Foundation, NFP, in 2008 and 2009, when retail food prices also peaked.

For commodities prices in 2011, it comes down to world food and fuel demands exceeding supply in recent years.… Continue reading

Read More »

Weather update? It's hot

In case you haven’t noticed, it is hot. Really hot. Here is a weather update from Jim Noel, with the National Weather Service.

No changes from last week. A hot week with some scattered storms and severe weather can be expected.

July 18-25 – Temperatures will average 5-10 degrees above normal with rainfall averaging 0.5 to 1.0 inches. Normal rainfall is near 1 inch per week. Due to the nature of thunderstorms, this means some places will receive 2+” while others get 0.25 inches. Due to the very hot weather ahead this week, thunderstorms will be capable of producing severe weather with damaging winds a real threat. Expect this week to feature highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s.

July 25-August 1 – Temperatures will relax some next week to average 0-2 degrees above normal with rainfall again at or below normal in the 0.5 to 1 inch range with a high degree of variability.… Continue reading

Read More »

Weather update? It’s hot

In case you haven’t noticed, it is hot. Really hot. Here is a weather update from Jim Noel, with the National Weather Service.

No changes from last week. A hot week with some scattered storms and severe weather can be expected.

July 18-25 – Temperatures will average 5-10 degrees above normal with rainfall averaging 0.5 to 1.0 inches. Normal rainfall is near 1 inch per week. Due to the nature of thunderstorms, this means some places will receive 2+” while others get 0.25 inches. Due to the very hot weather ahead this week, thunderstorms will be capable of producing severe weather with damaging winds a real threat. Expect this week to feature highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s.

July 25-August 1 – Temperatures will relax some next week to average 0-2 degrees above normal with rainfall again at or below normal in the 0.5 to 1 inch range with a high degree of variability.… Continue reading

Read More »