Featured News



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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Ohio No-Till Conference coming up

Experts from Ohio State University Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Ohio No-Till Council will discuss the critical importance of managing phosphorous and other nutrients through conservation tillage practices at the annual Ohio No-Till Conference, Dec. 6 in Plain City.

“This conference is a meeting of the minds of many people who do no-till,” said Jim Hoorman, assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, and an Extension educator in Mercer County. “There is a great deal of information available about no-till and current agricultural issues covered at this event.”

Hoorman will lead several sessions at the conference, held at the Der Dutchman restaurant from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. His sessions will focus on his two key areas of expertise.

The focus on water quality, given ongoing discussions across Ohio about nutrient management issues around Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys, is perhaps the biggest topic at this year’s gathering.… Continue reading

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Herbicide may affect plants thought to be resistant

Purdue University researchers have discovered a fine-tuning mechanism involved in plant root growth that has them questioning whether a popular herbicide may have unintended consequences, causing some plants to need more water or nutrients.

Angus Murphy, a professor of horticulture, and Wendy Peer, an assistant professor of horticulture, study the movement of auxin, a plant hormone essential for plant development. They showed that ABCB4, a protein responsible for moving auxin into cells, also removes the hormone when too much has accumulated.

“We knew that the protein took auxin up, but found that it switched to removing auxin when a threshold is reached,” said Murphy, whose findings appeared in the early online version of The Plant Journal. “It starts transporting the hormones out.”

That fine-tuning mechanism is integral to proper development of plant root hairs, which extend from the main plant root and are where most water and minerals enter.

“The root hairs are doing all the heavy lifting for bringing the water into the plant,” Peer said.

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Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction failed to reach agreement

Rep. Frank Lucas, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement in response to the announcement that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has failed to reach an agreement.

“House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders developed a bipartisan, bicameral proposal for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that would save $23 billion. However, the Joint Select Committee’s failure to reach a deal on an overall deficit reduction package effectively ends this effort. We are pleased we were able to work in a bipartisan way with committee members and agriculture stakeholders to generate sound ideas to cut spending by tens of billions while maintaining key priorities to grow the country’s agriculture economy. We will continue the process of reauthorizing the farm bill in the coming months, and will do so with the same bipartisan spirit that has historically defined the work of our committees.”… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – November 21st

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 46.3 degrees, 4.8 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, November 20, 2011. Precipitation averaged 1.51 inches, 0.86 inches above normal. There were 18 modified growing degree days, 5 days above normal.

Reporters rated 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 18, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 48 percent adequate, and 52 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 21st 2011

Farmers were harvesting corn and soybeans and planting winter wheat, although wet and muddy fields slowed the process. They were also doing fall tillage.

As of Sunday November 21st, corn harvested for grain was 69 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 88 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 93 percent, 7 percentage points behind last year and 6 points behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – November 21st

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 46.3 degrees, 4.8 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, November 20, 2011. Precipitation averaged 1.51 inches, 0.86 inches above normal. There were 18 modified growing degree days, 5 days above normal.

Reporters rated 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, November 18, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 48 percent adequate, and 52 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY NOVEMBER 21st 2011

Farmers were harvesting corn and soybeans and planting winter wheat, although wet and muddy fields slowed the process. They were also doing fall tillage.

As of Sunday November 21st, corn harvested for grain was 69 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 88 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 93 percent, 7 percentage points behind last year and 6 points behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Know the law when trucking this winter

As harvest season winds down and farmers begin to take their grain to its final location, accidents on the road should be a high priority for producers to guard against, said Bill Field, a Purdue safety expert.

Weight is a key legal issue for drivers. Field said they should be familiar with state and local guidelines for weight restrictions.

“Most of the weigh stations say ‘Closed,’ but farmers still need to know the regulations,” Field said. “Farmers can ask at any state trooper post to find out that information. The bottom line is that if they get stopped for any reason, ignorance of the law is not an excuse; they will get a ticket.”

Farmers can also protect themselves by making sure the truck is in good working condition. Field recommended that they check lights, tires and brakes often.

“Usually, troopers don’t stop trucks because they look heavy; they will pull them over because they have lights covered with dirt or tires that look bald,” Field said.… Continue reading

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Corn plants respond to the environment

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

Corn plants react to different environmental conditions in different ways. Sunlight is the most important element needed by the plants for growth besides water, nutrients and heat. The plants know early on how much elbow room they have to spread their “wings” or leaves. At the seedling stage, the roots are too small and the leaves are not long enough to touch the leaves of other plants yet. So how do they know? When sunlight hits the green tissue or the chlorophyll of the leaves, it reflects back certain wavelengths.

The reflectance of the infrared component of the sunlight from the chlorophyll indicates how close other plants are. It does not matter whether they are other corn plants or weeds in the neighborhood. It just tells them that have competition for sunlight and they must grow faster or taller than their neighbors in order to survive and flourish.… Continue reading

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