Featured News



USDA Announces start2farm.gov

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA’s National Agricultural Library, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announcedStart2farm.gov, a new online portal that helps to provide assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers. The portal includes links to training, financing, technical assistance and other support services specifically for beginning farmers and ranchers as well as successful case studies about new and beginning farmers and ranchers.

“America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy, producing the food, feed, fiber and fuel that continue to help us grow,” said Secretary Vilsack. “USDA is working to provide opportunities for the next generation to get into agriculture in order to continue the record success of America’s farmers and ranchers who are seeing record farm incomes and record exports. Start2Farm.gov will help us protect and sustain these successes, so that we continue to build an agriculture industry diverse and successful enough to attract the smartest, hardest-working young people in the nation.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Learn strategies & tips on ECO farming at Conservation Tillage Conference

Ohio crop growers looking to increase the organic matter content in their soil to the tune of $900 per unit increase in organic matter, may want to consider a move to ECO Farming, advises an Ohio State University Extension educator, who says that switching to the technique could result in raising soil organic matter levels by several percentage points depending on soil type.

ECO Farming, which stands for Ecological Farming and includes using eternal no-till, continuous living cover and other best management practices, is not only economically viable, it is also ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable, said Jim Hoorman, an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, who is based in Mercer County.

It uses a combination of cover crops and no-till worked into a corn/soybean/wheat rotation to more efficiently use the inputs farmers add to their soil, “reducing the amount of nutrients they may need to buy in the future,” he said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Learn strategies & tips on ECO farming at Conservation Tillage Conference

Ohio crop growers looking to increase the organic matter content in their soil to the tune of $900 per unit increase in organic matter, may want to consider a move to ECO Farming, advises an Ohio State University Extension educator, who says that switching to the technique could result in raising soil organic matter levels by several percentage points depending on soil type.

ECO Farming, which stands for Ecological Farming and includes using eternal no-till, continuous living cover and other best management practices, is not only economically viable, it is also ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable, said Jim Hoorman, an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, who is based in Mercer County.

It uses a combination of cover crops and no-till worked into a corn/soybean/wheat rotation to more efficiently use the inputs farmers add to their soil, “reducing the amount of nutrients they may need to buy in the future,” he said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Bills pass in House & Senate that define algaculture and expand Ag Link program

House Bill 276

State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate amendments on House Bill 276. The bill will now become law pending the signature of Governor Kasich.

House Bill 276, which was jointly sponsored by Buchy and Gentile, clarifies the definition of agriculture as it pertains to Ohio zoning laws for on-farm energy production facilities, such as on-farm anaerobic digesters—a change that will enable farmers to use byproducts for bio-energy production without cumbersome regulations that currently deter this environmentally friendly activity.

The bill also defines algaculture—the farming of algae—in the Ohio Revised Code, clarifying it as an agricultural process under Ohio law.

“The combination of on-farm energy production and algaculture will reduce nutrient run-off from our farms,” Buchy said. “Using the products we have available at our farms will solve problems that occur when there is a shortage of storage for farm byproducts, hence assisting farmers with manure management programs.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Bills pass in House & Senate that define algaculture and expand Ag Link program

House Bill 276

State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate amendments on House Bill 276. The bill will now become law pending the signature of Governor Kasich.

House Bill 276, which was jointly sponsored by Buchy and Gentile, clarifies the definition of agriculture as it pertains to Ohio zoning laws for on-farm energy production facilities, such as on-farm anaerobic digesters—a change that will enable farmers to use byproducts for bio-energy production without cumbersome regulations that currently deter this environmentally friendly activity.

The bill also defines algaculture—the farming of algae—in the Ohio Revised Code, clarifying it as an agricultural process under Ohio law.

“The combination of on-farm energy production and algaculture will reduce nutrient run-off from our farms,” Buchy said. “Using the products we have available at our farms will solve problems that occur when there is a shortage of storage for farm byproducts, hence assisting farmers with manure management programs.”… Continue reading

Read More »

FCC blocks LightSquared Network, farmers relieved

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Tuesday its decision to block the planned development of a nationwide wireless network by communications company LightSquared over concerns that it cannot be fixed to coexist with global positioning systems (GPS). The American Soybean Association (ASA) has been at the forefront of the discussion of this planned network’s significant and adverse effects on farmers. ASA President and Syracuse, Neb.-based soybean farmer Steve Wellman issues the following statement on the FCC’s decision:

“Tuesday’s decision by the FCC is certainly a great relief for more than 600,000 soybean farmers across the country who use GPS technology to precision-apply seed and fertilizer; to test fields for fertility and to monitor yields; to reduce chemical and fuel use; and to map field boundaries, roads, irrigation systems. In short, GPS technology has enabled farmers to produce more food for a growing world population with fewer inputs.

“Farmers invest thousands of dollars in high-precision GPS equipment and applications to run more efficient, sustainable, cost-effective and productive farms.… Continue reading

Read More »

Daniels to serve as new ODA director

Senator David Daniels will be serving as the new director for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“The governor believes that agriculture is the foundation of the state and so do I,” Daniels said. “I pledge to you I will

do my best every day to promote Ohio agriculture. I look forward to being your next Director of Agriculture.”

Gov. John Kasich appointed State Senator Daniels to replace state veterinarian Tony Forshey, the interim director who had filled in since Nov. 15 when Jim Zehringer was appointed the director of the Department of Natural Resources. Daniels is expected to be sworn in and begin his duties as ODA director on Thursday, February 16.

Following four successful terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, Daniels was elected to the Ohio Senate in 2010 to serve the families of the 17th Ohio Senate District, which includes Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Pike, Ross, Vinton and portions of Lawrence and Pickaway counties.

… Continue reading

Read More »

Cattle stolen from Allen Co. farm

Last week, more than two dozen hogs were stolen in Mercer County and those thieves caught. Now, more than a dozen steers valued upwards of $10,000 have been stolen from an Allen County Farm.

“I had noticed that the first pen on the end of our cattle barn looked a little thin. I said something to my brother about it. We didn’t do anything about it until a few days later when we cleaned the pen out and we were able do a physical count. That’s when I knew it didn’t match up with number of steers we put in there a month prior, ” said Ray Bonifas who feeds out steers with his brother Larry west of Delphos.

Neither of the brothers live at the actual farm site. They asked a neighbor if he had seen or heard anything unusual. He had indeed heard noises and commotion late in the evening the night prior to Ray’s speculation that steers were missing.… Continue reading

Read More »

Educating the educators about ag careers

By Ty Higgins

The need for more food in the world in coming years will create the need for more jobs in agriculture. For this reason, Randy Minton, business director for Pioneer’s U.S. Northeast Business Unit, will be meeting with teachers and administrators next month at the Ohio Economic-Education Summit in Columbus.

The event is bringing nearly 600 teachers, school administrators, counselors, college faculty, business, and industry leaders and state agency staff together with hopes of improving Ohio’s future economy. Minton will be talking about how DuPont and Pioneer alone will be looking to add 4,000 ag-related positions in the next five years. Minton is looking forward to the chance to tell attendees about the many educational paths that students can take to become a part of agriculture. He hopes that many of the teachers and administrators in attendance will understand the need and opportunities in the industry for their current and future students.Continue reading

Read More »

RFS challenge loses supporters

Environmental organizations have withdrawn their support of a challenge to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) brought by the National Chicken Council, National Meat Association, and National Turkey Federation.

The development was announced after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments in the lawsuit that challenges a provision in RFS regulations addressing ethanol plants built in 2008 and 2009 and the requirements that they must meet to generate trading credits under the program.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said Friends of the Earth and the National Wildlife Federation decided to drop their claims.

 … Continue reading

Read More »

NPPC responds to McDonald’s gestation stall announcement

The decision by the McDonald’s Corp. to study its suppliers’ use of individual sow housing is an opportunity for the pork industry to respond to its customers. The National Pork Producers Council stands ready to offer its assistance to McDonald’s as it assesses sow housing.

Farmers constantly are evolving and improving their operations to adapt to market conditions. A generation ago, pork demand was sagging because the product didn’t meet consumer demands. Farmers changed their practices. Today’s pork is leaner and more nutritious than ever, and today’s farmer is committed to responsible production.

Farmers and animal care experts know that various types of housing systems can provide for the well-being of pigs. After an extensive review of scientific literature, the American Veterinary Medical Association determined that both individual sow housing and group housing can provide for the well-being of sows.

Perhaps most importantly, today’s announcement reflects the best process for meeting evolving consumer demands – through the market, not through government mandates.… Continue reading

Read More »

NPPC responds to McDonald's gestation stall announcement

The decision by the McDonald’s Corp. to study its suppliers’ use of individual sow housing is an opportunity for the pork industry to respond to its customers. The National Pork Producers Council stands ready to offer its assistance to McDonald’s as it assesses sow housing.

Farmers constantly are evolving and improving their operations to adapt to market conditions. A generation ago, pork demand was sagging because the product didn’t meet consumer demands. Farmers changed their practices. Today’s pork is leaner and more nutritious than ever, and today’s farmer is committed to responsible production.

Farmers and animal care experts know that various types of housing systems can provide for the well-being of pigs. After an extensive review of scientific literature, the American Veterinary Medical Association determined that both individual sow housing and group housing can provide for the well-being of sows.

Perhaps most importantly, today’s announcement reflects the best process for meeting evolving consumer demands – through the market, not through government mandates.… Continue reading

Read More »

Should you use starter fertilizer?

By Dave Nanda, Director of Genetics and Technology for
Seed Consultants, Inc.

Why is starter fertilizer becoming more important than in the past? When we plant early, the growing conditions for germination and early growth of the seedlings are very harsh. The soils are cold and wet and anything we can do to help the little seedlings will give them a head start. In addition, planting in no-till or reduced tillage ground is becoming more prevalent. For applying starter fertilizer, you may have to modify your planter. It is important to have the nutrients, especially, nitrogen available immediately after germination to the young seedlings where little roots are developing. What are benefits of starter fertilizer?

• I have seen better stand establishment where starter was used as compared to the check rows.

• Corn is more robust and healthier. The canopy formation is slightly faster and corn seedlings are ahead of the early weeds.… Continue reading

Read More »

McDonalds takes action towards ending gestation stall use

McDonald’s Corporation today announced that it will require its U.S. pork suppliers to outline their plans to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls, a move supported by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

“McDonald’s believes gestation stalls are not a sustainable production system for the future. There are alternatives that we think are better for the welfare of sows,” said Dan Gorsky, senior vice president of McDonald’s North America Supply Chain Management. “McDonald’s wants to see the end of sow confinement in gestation stalls in our supply chain. We are beginning an assessment with our U.S. suppliers to determine how to build on the work already underway to reach that goal. In May, after receiving our suppliers’ plans, we’ll share results from the assessment and our next steps.”

“The HSUS has been a long-time advocate for ending the use of gestation crates, and McDonald’s announcement is important and promising,” said Wayne Pacelle, The HSUS’ president and CEO.

Continue reading

Read More »

SFP launches More Than Manure

SFP introduces More Than Manure® Nutrient Manager, referred to as MTM™, the first and only product to protect both phosphorus (P) from lock-up and nitrogen (N) from leaching, denitrification and volatilization in applied manure. MTM maximizes P and N in all manures and litters – both dry and liquid. Increasing availability of these valuable nutrients can lead to yield increases and better overall crop performance.

“Improving yield potential and grower return on investment is always our ultimate goal,” says Larry Sanders, Ph.D., SFP president and CEO. “MTM overcomes nutrient management challenges for growers using any manure as fertilizer – optimizing phosphorus and nitrogen use.”

Of the 15.8 million U.S. cropland acres fertilized with manure, varied percentage of N and P is lost during handling and storage as well as after application, leaving both nutrients unavailable for crops.

MTM has proven to successfully increase P and N availability when added to confinement lagoons or pits, or in transportation and application equipment (liquid), or when sprayed over-the-top of dry-applied litter or manure.… Continue reading

Read More »

South American seed production offers challenges, benefits

By Steve Woodall, production, Production Contract Administrator, AgReliant Genetics

Producing seed corn in South America for U.S. corn growers offers some unique benefits and challenges. AgReliant produces seed in Argentina and Chile for several reasons. Genetics and traits in the seed industry are moving ahead faster now than they ever have. Having a second production cycle each year offers the opportunity to provide our customers with a better supply of the newest products and also gives the chance to increase supply of our best products. Parent seed is also produced in South America in order to bring new products up to commercial production levels faster.

A common practice for winter production is for parent seed produced in the U.S. to be harvested, conditioned, quality tested, shipped to South America and planted in a matter of a few weeks. The parent seed traveling to South America is flown down on commercial passenger flights and regular air freight lines.… Continue reading

Read More »

Four people arrested in Mercer Co. hog thefts

It appears everyone is cashing in on higher hog prices, even thieves.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said his office had received several reports in the last few weeks indicating the theft of hogs from a farm on the Ohio-Indiana state line near Fort Recovery.

An investigation determined that the two men were removing hogs from a farm in Mercer County and taking them to a site near Bryant, Indiana in Jay County. Two women were arrested at a nearby livestock company attempting to sell the stolen hogs.

The men took  more than two dozen, 130-pound animals from a barn after dark over the course of ten weeks. They apparently loaded them into the back of a Chevy S10 pickup truck equipped with a camper top and then drove them to Indiana.

On Wednesday, both Ricky Crouch and Chad Crouch were arraigned on charges of  breaking and entering and theft. Their bonds were set each at $50,000 in cash.… Continue reading

Read More »