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Students can still submit entries to ‘Ag is Cool’ contest

With just 79 days until the Ohio State Fair, the Ohio Department of Agriculture is encouraging students (K-12) to submit their entries for the 2012 “Agriculture is Cool!” Creative Expressions contest. Ohio children enrolled in school or home schooled during the 2011-2012 academic year have until July 9, 2012 to capture their personal interpretation of why Ohio agriculture is cool for their chance to win two tickets to see The Band Perry at the Ohio State Fair.

Entries, which can include an original video, photograph, drawing, or painting, will be judged in the following age categories. One winner from each age group and category will be chosen:

Grades K-2: Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 3-5: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 6-8: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting
Grades 9-12: Video, Photography, Drawing or Painting

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges that may include representatives from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Office of the Governor, the Ohio Expo Center, and professionals in the areas of video production, photography, drawing, painting and other visual arts.… Continue reading

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What will be the impact of early wheat?

By Pierce Paul and Jorge David Salgado, Ohio State University Extension

On Friday April 27, wheat heads were observed in some fields in southern Ohio, about two weeks earlier than expected. Producers are asking whether such early development will likely have a negative effect on their crop. There is no easy answer to such a question; it all depends on the weather conditions over the next several weeks.

If cool weather occurs during most of the month of May, this will extend the grain fill period. Cool conditions will also reduce the development of foliar and head diseases such as Stagonospora and head scab, especially if it remains dry. Extended grain fill coupled with low disease severity will likely lead to higher grain yield and quality. However, wheat heading or flowering at the end of April or in early May is at greater risk for freezing injury. Two hours or more of exposure to 30o F could cause severe damage to wheat at the heading growth stage.… Continue reading

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Dream home turns into EPA nightmare

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth, attorney in Mercer County

It was a beautiful March Sunday afternoon, with record high temperatures, a light breeze and sunshine. I had just sat down at my farm office computer, when I happened to glance out the window and looked again, before it registered. Holstein heifers were galloping down the driveway! Not one or two, but what appeared to be a barn full, all of breeding age. Maybe it was their idea of a spring fling. They were kicking their heels and racing around.  The rodeo began.

It was a little like the Supreme Court, some ran right and some ran left. So we started with the ones in the middle and gradually herded them all back into the heifer barn.

That same month, the Supreme Court Justices all headed in the same direction. They reached a unanimous decision in “Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency” and sided with landowners who challenged an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance order.… Continue reading

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Open house to showcase careers, advances in plant pathology and ag sciences

People interested in learning how to feed the world’s growing population can attend an open house on the subject at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center on June 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Feeding the World in 2050: Career Opportunities for Future Scientists,” hosted by the department of Plant Pathology, will emphasize the wide array of degree programs and career opportunities in plant pathology and agricultural sciences, said Anne Dorrance, a plant pathologist with joint appointments with OSU Extension and OARDC.

Participants will have the chance to visit programs in bioinformatics, disease diagnostics, disease management, organic agriculture, urban farming and invasive species, as well as examine diseases of field crops, fruits, vegetables and ornamentals, she said.

A selection of laboratories, greenhouses and research plots will be open for visitors, including one of the largest disease-screening wheat nurseries in the northeastern U.S. featuring research in the genetics of breeding, biological control, host resistance to fungicides, epidemiological models and forecasting, inoculation techniques, and disease management strategies.… Continue reading

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Ethanol rocks video contest

 

As the E15 ethanol fuel blend prepares for its national debut, the National Corn Growers Association calls on students to channel their “inner Spielberg” and submit entries in the Ethanol Rocks video contest.

 

“Today, we’re distributing Ethanol Rocks video contest application and rules packets online and to FFA chapters and members of the National Science Teachers Association,” said Chad Willis, chairman of NCGA’s Ethanol Committee. “Statistics and studies confirm that ethanol keeps the cost of gasoline down and reduces harmful emissions into the environment, and we’re looking for creative ways to tell ethanol’s great story. By giving American youth a creative platform, we hope to discover a wide variety of interesting perspectives on the benefits of ethanol.”

 

The contest is looking for short videos (2 minutes or less) from active high school and college students that highlight the benefits of ethanol fuel blends to the U.S. environment and economy.… Continue reading

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Cool temperatures have slowed early corn

Cool temperatures and frost have slowed development of corn for farmers who planted earlier this year than ever before, a Purdue Extension corn specialist says.

“Probably the best way to describe the general condition of the crop to date is that it is behaving like a crop that was planted in late March and early April,” said Bob Nielsen. “Many of the surviving fields are light green to almost yellow. Almost all of the fields are developing slowly relative to calendar time but are on schedule relative to the more typical cool April temperatures and the resulting slow accumulation of growing-degree days.”

Growing-degree days are a measure of heat accumulation to predict plant development rates. It takes about 115 GDDs for corn to emerge. In a typical Indiana March, GDDs would be almost zero. But because of the unusually warm air temperatures and subsequent warm soil temperatures, the average daily accumulation of soil temperature-based GDDs was about 8-12 per day in the central part of the state, Nielsen said.… Continue reading

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Research shows N efficiency improving in corn

Today’s hybrid corn varieties more efficiently use nitrogen to create more grain, according to 72 years of public-sector research data reviewed by Purdue University researchers.

Tony Vyn, a professor of agronomy, and doctoral student Ignacio Ciampitti looked at nitrogen use studies for corn from two periods — 1940-1990 and 1991-2011. They wanted to see whether increased yields were due to better nitrogen efficiency or whether new plants were simply given additional nitrogen to produce more grain.

“Corn production often faces the criticism from society that yields are only going up because of an increased dependency on nitrogen,” said Vyn, whose findings were published in the early online version of the journal Field Crops Research. “Although modern hybrids take up more total nitrogen per acre during the growing season than they did before, the amount of grain produced per pound of nitrogen accumulated in corn plants is substantially greater than it was for corn hybrids of earlier decades.… Continue reading

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CME new hours plans delayed

Because CME Group Inc. (CME) has not yet officially notified the Commodity Futures Trading Commission  (CFTC) of its plan to expand its grain futures trading hours, the new hours announced this week will not be able to be implemented on May 14 as planned.

A “self-certification” form must be submitted to the CFTC by the CME disclosing its plans to change hours. Once submitted, the change in hours can’t take effect for 10 business days.

 

 … Continue reading

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Custom farming rates in Ohio

By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Ohio State University Extension, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics

A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work.” A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

The custom rates reported in this publication are based on a statewide survey of 122 farmers, custom operators, farm managers and landowners conducted in 2012.… Continue reading

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Even with DOL withdrawal, young farm workers need training

While the U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to withdraw proposed farm youth labor rules means farm families won’t have to take on new requirements for minors to work on their farms, previous legislation still requires young farm workers to have some training, said Ohio State University Extension’s state safety leader.

The proposed rules would have banned children younger than 16 from using most power-driven farm equipment without first taking a specific training course. But even with the legislation shelved, Dee Jepsen said all of the discussion has raised awareness of current regulations and likely will mean organizations such as OSU Extension will see more young people signing up for existing training.

“The people have spoken and they don’t want the new regulations, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any youth safety regulations,” she said. “Even though the Labor Department rescinded the stronger proposal, there is still legislation for 14- and 15-year-old students wanting to work outside their parents’ farms.… Continue reading

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CSAs on the rise

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farmers markets nationwide increased by 54% between 2008 and 2011. As the desire for local products grows, the need to help local farmers has also increased. However, farmers markets are not the only way to obtain locally grown products. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a program more than 20 years old, is an additional way to merge these two aspects.

Through a CSA program, customers purchase memberships, or shares, in the farm in exchange for fresh produce throughout the growing season. CSA’s have become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a grower, enabling benefits for both parties.

Jessica Nagel, agriculture project specialist, Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities, will educate and prepare those looking to join (or start) a CSA program during her presentation, “Community Supported Agriculture: Connecting the Producer and Consumer” at the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum, Thursday, May 17 from 7:30 – 9 a.m.… Continue reading

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Grazing management reminders

By Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator Wayne County, Crossroads EERA

 

Timely and ample precipitation and favorable temperatures is a combination for rapid grass growth. May is generally the month when graziers struggle to manage the spring flush and stay ahead of the growth and seed head development. Here are some management reminders and thoughts related to this early season period.

• Manage beginning and ending grass height. In beginning level grazing schools we say to start grazing when plants are around 8 inches in height. Follow the take half, leave half principle and remove livestock from a pasture paddock when grass height is about 4 inches.

• When grass is growing fast, rotate fast. Under the good growing conditions experienced in the spring of the year, a healthy grass plant will begin to re-grow within a couple of days of being grazed or cut off. This new growth should not be grazed again until the plant has recovered back to the target beginning grazing height.… Continue reading

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CBOT grain trading times to be extended starting May 14th

CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it will expand electronic trading hours in its CBOT grain and oilseed futures and options beginning Monday, May 14, 2012. This will expand market access to CBOT Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Oats and Rough Rice futures and options on CME Globexto 22 hours per day.

“As we’ve grown our customer base in agricultural commodities around the globe, we’ve received increased interest in expanding market access by providing longer trading hours,” said Tim Andriesen, Managing Director, Agricultural Commodities and Alternative Investments, CME Group. “In particular, customers are looking to manage their price risk in our deep, liquid markets during market-moving events like USDA crop reports. In response to customer feedback, we’re expanding trading hours for our grain and oilseed products to ensure customers have even greater access to these effective price discovery tools.”… Continue reading

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It is still a long time until crops canopy

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

We have high expectations of herbicide programs anymore, and we have a lot of good herbicides to choose from. Something that can get overlooked as herbicide programs are planned, however, is the effect of early planting on the duration of weed control that is required. We plant earlier on average than we did 25 years ago, and then we have years like this one, where we plant even earlier. Within the time frame of about mid-April through mid-May, crops planted earlier do not necessarily develop more rapidly, so the time until crop canopy may not vary much with planting date. Herbicide programs are intended primarily to control weeds until the crop canopy has developed sufficiently to shade out later-emerging weeds. So the net result of early planting can be an extension of the duration of control that needs to be provided by herbicides.… Continue reading

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J D Equipment donates $10,000 to Spielman Fund

J D Equipment is proud to announce it has already reached a $10,000 commitment to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research for 2012. J D Equipment will donate a portion of each sale of John Deere riding lawn mowers sold during 2012 to the Stefanie Spielman Fund.

J D Equipment began this commitment to the Stefanie Spielman Fund in 2011. A $26,000 check for the company’s 2011 donation was recently presented to Chris Spielman by J D Equipment’s CEO Jeff Mitchell, and Vice President John Griffith.   The Company is anticipating its 2012 contribution will exceed $30,000.

All donations made to the Stefanie Spielman Fund are used to support vital breast cancer research and patient assistance at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. The fund just reached a milestone of $10 million raised amongst the community to support breast cancer research.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – April 30th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 47.6 degrees, 5.8 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, April 29, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.78 inches, 0.05 inches above normal. There were 29 modified growing degree days, 30 days below normal.

Reporters rated 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, April 27, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 3 percent very short, 19 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY APRIL 29th 2012

Temperatures for the State were below normal, while precipitation was slightly above normal for the week. Reporters indicate that field conditions are dryer than usual for this time of year, which has negatively affected germination of planted crops. Growth of hay and wheat fields has slowed down due to lack of rain and cool nights. Other field activities for the week include field application of fertilizers and manure, tilling ground, and corn and soybean planting.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – April 30th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 47.6 degrees, 5.8 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, April 29, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.78 inches, 0.05 inches above normal. There were 29 modified growing degree days, 30 days below normal.

Reporters rated 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, April 27, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 3 percent very short, 19 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY APRIL 29th 2012

Temperatures for the State were below normal, while precipitation was slightly above normal for the week. Reporters indicate that field conditions are dryer than usual for this time of year, which has negatively affected germination of planted crops. Growth of hay and wheat fields has slowed down due to lack of rain and cool nights. Other field activities for the week include field application of fertilizers and manure, tilling ground, and corn and soybean planting.… Continue reading

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Uneven corn emergence issues

By Jeff Rectenwald, Monsanto territory agronomist

Several factors can contribute to uneven corn emergence and growth early in the season. Replanting is not often justified due to uneven stands; however, understanding why uneven emergence occurred can help minimize the risk in the future. Additionally, consideration should be given to how uneven early growth can affect the implementation of some management tools the rest of the growing season.

Potential causes of uneven growth:

• Soil Moisture Variability in Seed Zone — a corn kernel imbibes approximately one third of its weight in water during germination. When kernels within a row are exposed to different amounts of soil moisture, the rate of germination and emergence can vary from plant to plant, resulting in uneven emergence and early growth, or possibly stand loss. Small differences in soil moisture within a row can lead to considerable differences in germination and emergence. Planting deeper to reach uniform soil moisture, managing residue to minimize trash getting wedged into the seed trench, and reducing additional loss of soil moisture can help achieve more uniform emergence and early growth.… Continue reading

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Domino's Pizza says No to HSUS

From NAFB News Service

While Burger King has pledged to only purchase pork products from producers who don’t use gestation-sow stalls by 2017 – Domino’s Pizza shareholders have rejected a resolution proposed by the Humane Society of the United States to require its pork suppliers to stop housing gestating sows in stalls. In fact – 80-percent of shareholders voted against the resolution. The company’s Board of Directors reportedly said the issue should be addressed directly with producers and suppliers – not customers.

The Board’s proxy statement cites statements from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians that indicate there are advantages and disadvantages to both cage-free and caged pork production methods. A Domino’s spokesperson says the company relies on animal experts to determine the best way to raise an animal that’s used for food. But HSUS will try again – the Food Policy Director for HSUS says they will resubmit a resolution to the company next year if it fails to address the gestation crate issue by that time.… Continue reading

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Domino’s Pizza says No to HSUS

From NAFB News Service

While Burger King has pledged to only purchase pork products from producers who don’t use gestation-sow stalls by 2017 – Domino’s Pizza shareholders have rejected a resolution proposed by the Humane Society of the United States to require its pork suppliers to stop housing gestating sows in stalls. In fact – 80-percent of shareholders voted against the resolution. The company’s Board of Directors reportedly said the issue should be addressed directly with producers and suppliers – not customers.

The Board’s proxy statement cites statements from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians that indicate there are advantages and disadvantages to both cage-free and caged pork production methods. A Domino’s spokesperson says the company relies on animal experts to determine the best way to raise an animal that’s used for food. But HSUS will try again – the Food Policy Director for HSUS says they will resubmit a resolution to the company next year if it fails to address the gestation crate issue by that time.… Continue reading

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