Featured News



Ohio House passes legislation to redefine ag to include algae and digesters

State Representatives Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) today announced the unanimous passage of House Bill 276 from the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 276, which Buchy and Gentile jointly sponsored, clarifies the definition of agriculture as it pertains to Ohio zoning laws, a change that will enable farmers to use farm byproducts for bio-energy production without cumbersome regulations that currently deter this environmentally friendly activity. The bill also adds algaculture to the definition of agriculture, clarifying the farming of algae as an agricultural process under Ohio law.

“By including algaculture under Ohio agricultural law, we are promoting Ohio as a state committed to new forms of agriculture,” said Buchy. “Potential expansion of the industry in Ohio is expected and jobs will be available as the industry expands.”

House Bill 276 defines the production of bio-energy from anaerobic digesters as agriculture in nature if at least 50 percent of the feedstock that was used to produce the fuel was derived from land under common ownership.… Continue reading

Read More »

Materials aim to help pregnant women prevent foodborne illness

Pregnant women can learn how to protect themselves and their babies from the risks of foodborne illness — such as the recent melon-related listeria outbreak — thanks to a joint effort between Ohio State University and Colorado State University.

The educational program, “Healthy Baby, Healthy Me,” is available in both English and Spanish for free download at http://foodsafety.osu.edu/curriculum/hbhm/.

“Most pregnant women don’t think of themselves as being at greater risk for foodborne illness during pregnancy. But, because they are naturally immune-suppressed, they are more at risk for foodborne illnesses than other adults,” said Lydia Medeiros, one of the project’s principal investigators and food safety specialist with Ohio State University Extension.

Medeiros and Pat Kendall, Extension specialist and associate dean for research at Colorado State, have worked on the project since 2006 with $1.5 million in funding from the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“In our research, we found that most pregnant women never made the connection between food safety and the health of the baby,” Kendall said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio's Crop Progress Report – December 12th

 

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY DECEMBER 11th 2011

The average temperature for the State was 33.9 degrees, 0.2 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, December 11, 2011. Precipitation averaged 1.64 inches, 0.94 inches above normal. There were 0 modified growing degree days, unchanged from normal.

 

Reporters rated 1.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, December 9, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 14 percent adequate, and 86 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

Very few acres of corn were harvested due to excessive wet weather. Most farmers are now waiting for the ground to freeze in order to harvest the rest of the crop. As of Sunday December 11th, corn harvested for grain was 82 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK CONDITION

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

Read More »

Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – December 12th

 

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY DECEMBER 11th 2011

The average temperature for the State was 33.9 degrees, 0.2 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, December 11, 2011. Precipitation averaged 1.64 inches, 0.94 inches above normal. There were 0 modified growing degree days, unchanged from normal.

 

Reporters rated 1.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, December 9, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 14 percent adequate, and 86 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

Very few acres of corn were harvested due to excessive wet weather. Most farmers are now waiting for the ground to freeze in order to harvest the rest of the crop. As of Sunday December 11th, corn harvested for grain was 82 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average.

CROP AND LIVESTOCK CONDITION

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

Read More »

Support Angus youth with holiday gift buying

Get the holidays cooking with Gifts that Sizzle gift boxes by The American Angus Auxiliary and Certified Angus Beef (CAB). The special people on your shopping list will be pleased with CAB, filet mignon, strip steaks, rib eye steaks or a combination steak package.

Plus, with every purchase, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) will donate a percentage of the profit toward the American Angus Auxiliary educational outreach and scholarship programs for Angus youth.

“This is a win-win for all of us, from an educational standpoint, enhancing scholarship and educational programs while promoting a high-quality product,” says Jane Ebert, who helped create the Gifts that Sizzle program from Sparta, N.C.

Throughout the past five years, the Auxiliary has partnered with several companies when hosting holiday fundraisers. This year, the group is proud to partner solely with CAB to offer customers the best product available.

“Whether it is a holiday gift or customer appreciation, this is a great example of people who know they are giving a superior gift while helping youth.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Strip-till improves nutrient uptake and yield

The practice of deep banding fertilizer is growing in popularity as more growers consider strip-till. However, this method may be costing growers more than it is worth.

A new University of Illinois study revealed that strip-till was superior to no-till and increased yield in soybeans. However, the results showed no difference in yield between fertilizer application methods.

“Strip-till is usually talked about in corn, not soybeans,” said Fabian Fernandez, U of I assistant professor of crop sciences. “But the results argue strip-till for soybeans would be a benefit, but placement of fertilizer offers no difference for yield.”

Researchers compared different combinations of phosphorus and potassium rates applied in no-till by either broadcasting or deep-banding six inches below the surface, and in strip-till by deep banding six inches below the surface.

“Strip-till allows growers to apply fertilizer in a band in the subsurface  — it has almost become the norm these days,” Fernandez said.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSU gets grants to study food safety

An Ohio State University scientist and colleagues have garnered two food safety grants totaling $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The first is a $1.8 million four-year grant on “Reducing the Transmission of AMR (antimicrobial-resistant) Organisms by Wildlife within the Food Supply — A Research, Control and Outreach Strategy.” The goal is to determine the extent to which wildlife contribute to antimicrobial-resistant bacteria colonization in livestock, and how much that can spread to humans.

The problem is significant: Overall, the economic health-care burden caused by AMR bacteria is more than $4 billion annually, according to some estimates.  

“In this study, we’re looking at food safety with a ‘one-medicine’ approach where you take into consideration not just animals, not just people, not just the environment, but everything that can have an effect on food safety,” said Jeff LeJeune, the study’s principal investigator and a microbiologist and veterinary scientist with the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster.… Continue reading

Read More »

USB elects new leaders

The national soybean checkoff just wrapped up its first 20 years, but the work doesn’t end there. As the United Soybean Board (USB) launches into the next 20 years, new U.S. soybean farmer-leaders take the reins and plan to continue the focus on creating profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers.

USB farmer-directors elected Vanessa Kummer (Koo-mer) as chairperson on Dec. 6, during the checkoff’s annual meeting. The Colfax, N.D., soybean farmer will have a busy agenda leading the soybean checkoff’s implementation of a new strategic plan. Kummer looks at addressing recommendations from a farmer-driven assessment of USB and help lead the U.S. soybean industry. She will continue to shepherd the checkoff as it looks to increase soybean farmers’ profitability in an ever-evolving industry.

“It is our vision to make U.S. soybeans the leader in the global oilseed industry,” Kummer said. “We plan to create and maintain partnerships to keep U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

POET producing corn oil for biodiesel

With its patent-pending technology expanding to a total of 6 plants, POET will produce corn oil as feedstock for 12 million gallons of biodiesel per year by the end of 2011.

Under the name, Voilà, POET has been selling corn oil separated from DDGs into biodiesel and feed markets since January, and new capacity is now coming online as the company continues to roll out the technology to more plants.

A South Dakota POET plant was the first to produce Voilà. Since then, the technology has been installed in five more POET plants, with more on the way in 2012. There are plants producing corn oil today in Iowa and a plant in Missouri is just starting. There are plans to bring the technology to Ohio in the future. The oil is separated from around 40% of the nation’s DDGs currently and will be closer to 60% by 2013.

“Voilà has been a very strong part of POET’s business this year, and I’m excited to see more plants getting this technology,” said Jeff BroinPOET founder and CEO Jeff Broin said.… Continue reading

Read More »

OEFFA conference registration open

Registration is now open for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 33rd annual conference, Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty, February 18-19, 2012 in Granville, Ohio (Licking County).

The state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, the event draws more than 1,000 attendees from across Ohio and the Midwest, and has sold out in advance the past two years. This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Woody Tasch and Andrew Kimbrell; more than 70 informative, hands-on workshops; two featured pre-conference events on February 17; a trade show; a fun and educational kids’ conference and child care area; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals, and Saturday evening entertainment.

“Our conference title says a lot about what we believe and what we’re trying to accomplish,” says OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “Farmers, businesses, chefs, and consumers are working together to reclaim our food sovereignty—rebuilding local food systems and Ohio’s rural farming communities, demanding access to healthy, organic food and information about how that food is produced, and relearning sustainable agriculture practices that nourish our bodies, our communities, and the environment.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Senator Brown’s Call for Action Heard

Following action taken by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would begin to update its methodology for setting crop insurance premium rates to ensure that corn and soybean producers throughout the Midwest pay lower, more-fair rates. The move follows a letter sent by nine senators, led by Brown, calling on the USDA to follow the recommendations of a 2011 independent study commissioned by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). The study recommended changes to the methods used to calculate crop insurance premiums for corn and soybean producers, who pay a higher premium than they should in the Midwest when compared to relative risk.

“Crop insurance is a critical risk management tool for Ohio farmers, but Midwest producers have been shouldering more than their fair share of the burden for too long,” Brown said. “Beginning to update how crop insurance premiums are calculated is a huge win for Ohio farmers, but the USDA’s Risk Management Agency can and must do more. … Continue reading

Read More »

Senator Brown's Call for Action Heard

Following action taken by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would begin to update its methodology for setting crop insurance premium rates to ensure that corn and soybean producers throughout the Midwest pay lower, more-fair rates. The move follows a letter sent by nine senators, led by Brown, calling on the USDA to follow the recommendations of a 2011 independent study commissioned by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). The study recommended changes to the methods used to calculate crop insurance premiums for corn and soybean producers, who pay a higher premium than they should in the Midwest when compared to relative risk.

“Crop insurance is a critical risk management tool for Ohio farmers, but Midwest producers have been shouldering more than their fair share of the burden for too long,” Brown said. “Beginning to update how crop insurance premiums are calculated is a huge win for Ohio farmers, but the USDA’s Risk Management Agency can and must do more. … Continue reading

Read More »

FCS scholarships

Farm Credit Services of Mid-America – a $17.5 billion agriculture lending cooperative serving farmers and rural America in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee – is allocating more than $100,000 in scholarships to students studying agriculture and other business related majors during 2012.

In addition to offering scholarships through the 4-H and FFA and several universities across the association’s four-state territory, Farm Credit will be awarding 42 scholarships to FCS members or children of members who are attending college.  The values of the FCS scholarships are between $1,000 and $1,500 and are awarded based on academic record, leadership qualities, and community involvement.

“We offer scholarships to youth as a way to demonstrate our commitment to help prepare them for tomorrow’s world.  As agriculture continues to grow and evolve, we want to make sure that the next generation of rural community leaders are at the forefront of the industry, and grow with it,” said George Stebbins, chair of the Farm Credit Services of Mid-America board.… Continue reading

Read More »

OFBF sets policy for 2012

Energy, water quality, farm policy and Ohio State University Extension services were the primary topics delegates discussed during the 93rd annual meeting of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). More than 340 delegates representing all of Ohio’s county Farm Bureaus established the policies for the state’s largest farm organization during its convention held Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in Columbus.

With Ohio facing great opportunities with shale oil and gas, wind and solar energy generation, Farm Bureau delegates said it is essential that Ohioans be assured of a transparent, inclusive public policy process through which they can obtain information and offer input.  Delegates said the infrastructure and resource needs of the community and individual farmers should be adequately addressed when energy projects are being developed. Farm Bureau delegates also strongly supported coordination and collaboration between federal, state and local governments and regulatory agencies to ensure sound policies on energy development.… Continue reading

Read More »

RMA streamlines Ohio acreage reporting dates

As announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) have established 15 common Acreage Reporting Dates for producers participating in RMA and FSA programs.  Brian D. Frieden, Director of the Springfield Regional Office, Risk Management Agency, states “For Ohio producers, this means the number of Acreage Reporting Dates will decrease from five to four.”

Spring and summer planted crops will be the first to be impacted by this change beginning with the 2012 crop year.  July 15 will be the Acreage Reporting Date for the following Ohio crops: burley tobacco, spring cabbage (planted 3/15-5/31), corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, popcorn, potatoes, soybeans, tomatoes, and any other crops not listed elsewhere.  The Acreage reporting date for summer cabbage (planted 6/01-7/20) will be August 15.

Perennial and fall-planted crops in Ohio will see Acreage Reporting Date changes beginning with the 2013 crop year. … Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State Fair’s “Ag is Cool” receives recognition

The Ohio State Fair was recently presented with a first place Agricultural Award of Excellence from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) for the fair’s new “Agriculture is Cool” interactive education program held in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups.

The 2011 “Agriculture is Cool” program inspired by the initiative of Gov. John R. Kasich included several interactive education stations throughout the Ohio State Fair where students could learn about the many ways Ohio’s largest industry – agriculture – impacts many facets of their everyday lives. The program, which also offered scholarships to top participants, was recognized as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million.

The award was presented during a special awards ceremony held on November 29 during the 121st Annual IAFE Convention.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State Fair's "Ag is Cool" receives recognition

The Ohio State Fair was recently presented with a first place Agricultural Award of Excellence from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) for the fair’s new “Agriculture is Cool” interactive education program held in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups.

The 2011 “Agriculture is Cool” program inspired by the initiative of Gov. John R. Kasich included several interactive education stations throughout the Ohio State Fair where students could learn about the many ways Ohio’s largest industry – agriculture – impacts many facets of their everyday lives. The program, which also offered scholarships to top participants, was recognized as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million.

The award was presented during a special awards ceremony held on November 29 during the 121st Annual IAFE Convention.… Continue reading

Read More »