Featured News



Corn and soybean prices: mission accomplished?

In the Jan. 18 Weekly Outlook, it was suggested that corn and soybean prices had the dual objectives of (1) allocating old-crop supplies so as to maintain pipeline supplies at the end of the year and (2) directing spring planting decisions.

“Specifically, these prices needed to ensure an increase in corn acreage and maintain soybean acreage at the 2010 level,” said University of Illinois economist Darrel Good.

For soybeans, the declining pace of both the domestic crush and exports, along with the prospects for a large increase in double-cropped acreage in 2011, suggested that soybean prices had increased enough by mid-January to accomplish the dual price objectives.

“That conclusion was reinforced by the improving condition of the Brazilian soybean crop and prospects for a record harvest in 2011. The USDA confirmed prospects for a record large Brazilian soybean crop last week,” he said.

Soybean prices increased another 40 cents from Jan.… Continue reading

Read More »

How will you celebrate Ohio Ag Week?

By Matt Reese

How will you be celebrating Ohio agriculture week?

Just last week, Governor Kasich signed House Bill 89 designating this week (the second full week of March) Ohio Agriculture Week. HB 89 was passed unanimously by the General Assembly and is intended to increase public recognition of the vitally important role agriculture plays in Ohio.

I will be spending part of the week in Washington DC with the Ohio Farm Bureau on their annual lobbying trip with the county presidents from around the state. My wife and children will be going to a couple of local elementary schools to talk about agriculture on our small farm and in the state of Ohio. They may even be taking one of our sheep with them (which has always proven to be an adventure in the past). In addition, my wife is planning an agriculture activity for our daughter’s class at church. … Continue reading

Read More »

Kasich signs bill designating Ohio Ag Week

Gov. John R. Kasich signed House Bill 89 to designate the second full week of March as “Ohio Agriculture Week.” Gov. Kasich was joined by bill sponsor Rep. Timothy Derickson (R-Oxford), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Rep. David Hall (R-Killbuck), Director of the Department of Agriculture Jim Zehringer, and representatives from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Future Farmers of America (FFA).

House Bill 89 was passed unanimously by the General Assembly and is intended to increase public recognition of the vitally important role agriculture plays in Ohio. Generating $98 billion per year and employing one out of every seven Ohioans, agriculture is the state’s leading industry. The 1,100 processing facilities across the state employ more than 60,000 workers, and each family farm in Ohio indirectly creates job opportunities for neighbors in and around their communities.… Continue reading

Read More »

OCWGA shapes national policy

The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) delegates went to the Commodity Classic with a purpose of establishing a national set of guiding principles for policy development that will address changes to ethanol and farm policy. The OCWGA delegates introduced language during the Corn Congress for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) as well as during committee meetings for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). OCWGA has affiliation with both national trade organizations.

In addition to the specific policy pieces, OCWGA introduced a resolution for both national organizations to adopt as a core belief. The resolution stated, we believe the U.S. Government should balance the budget by reducing spending resulting in a reduction of the federal debt. NCGA delegates approved the language as part of the organization’s ‘What We Stand For’ section. NAWG has currently tabled the resolution in order for member states to allow for discussion at the state level across the country.… Continue reading

Read More »

Bob Evans to move company headquarters


Bob Evans Farms Inc. said Thursday that it would move its corporate headquarters to New Albany, Ohio, from its long-time location in Columbus.

The new location is about 25 miles northeast of Columbus.

The new corporate campus is expected to be done in 2013, the company said in a news release. “We’re pleased to announce our plans to remain in Central  Ohio. We have been a major part of the Ohio economy for decades, employing nearly 14,000 Ohioans, and contributing more than $1 million annually to philanthropic community-based efforts across the state,” CEO Steve Davis says in the release. “Ohio is where our company was founded … and we’re committed to growing our company here.”

The new location offered an abundance of available land, infrastructure, ease of development, and a convenient location near major transportation routes and the airport, according to the company. The company had moved to its Columbus location from Gallipolis, Ohio in 1968.… Continue reading

Read More »

What’s new from Commodity Classic

By Matt Reese

Commodity Classic provides a great opportunity for all of the major players in crop production to highlight new products on the horizon. Here are some highlights from the trade show at Commodity Classic.

BASF

BASF Crop Protection unveiled a new active ingredient called Xemium. This proprietary substance is the next generation fungicide of the chemical class of carboxamides, also known as SDH (Succinate Dehydrogenase) inhibitors, which describes their mode of action. Field trials show Xemium to be a highly effective and selective fungicide against major diseases in cereals, soybeans, corn, oilseed rape and specialty crops including grapes and potatoes.

Depending on regulatory approval, first market introductions are planned for 2012 in North and South-America as well as in Europe.

“Our years of experience with carboxamides enabled us to discover Xemium, which is a perfect extension of our current fungicide portfolio. The unique mobility in the plant and the high inhibition of fungal target enzymes deliver excellent disease control,” said Christoph Wegner, head of Research and Development at BASF’s Crop Protection division.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cold winter weather will probably not slow western bean cutworm

Corn farmers who might have hoped that a new insect threat would be slowed by this winter’s frigid temperatures could be disappointed, says a Purdue University Extension entomologist.

The western bean cutworm is likely to emerge from winter in numbers capable of exacting a toll on the corn crop this summer, said Christian Krupke.

“A question I’ve gotten a lot from farmers is, with the colder-than-average winter will we have a lot of mortality of the overwintering larvae?” Krupke said. “The answer is probably not. That’s not because of the temperature of the air; it’s more because we’ve had so much snow and relatively few days without snow.”

Snow cover insulates crop fields and “keeps the temperature in the soil higher than it would be if the soil were bare, which actually helps the larvae survive,” he said.

Fortunately, timely scouting of fields, insecticide treatments and some biotech (Bt) corn varieties have proved successful in controlling the bug.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA crop report fairly uneventful

The biggest news in a somewhat uneventful Crop Report from the Agriculture Department is the drop in projected U.S. wheat exports and the subsequent bump in stocks, according to Bob Young, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“Most traders expected little change in today’s report and that’s pretty much what happened,” Young said. “The big report to look at will be USDA’s planting intentions report that will be released March 31. USDA still sees very tight global grain stocks, and we are going to need to see big U.S. and world grain crops to make up the balance.”

USDA’s March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates or WASDE report showed no changes in corn or soybean stocks, but USDA did lower projections for U.S. wheat exports for the 2010-2011 marketing year by 25 million bushels from the February estimates. USDA forecasts increased global supplies of wheat, particularly in Australia, and a slower than expected pace of shipments into the final quarter of the wheat marketing year that ends May 31.… Continue reading

Read More »

Broadband loan program at USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA issued a Notice of Solicitations of Applications and regulations implementing the 2008 Farm Bill for the broadband loan program. Building out broadband infrastructure remains an important Obama Administration priority to help lay a new foundation for economic opportunity to help rural America win the future.

“Broadband investments are an essential part of the Obama Administration’s effort to ‘win the future’ by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our global competitors,” Vilsack said.  “Investments in rural broadband networks create jobs and economic opportunity for rural America.  Broadband is critical communications infrastructure of the 21st century, and it is vital to building vibrant rural communities.”

The interim regulation for the Broadband Program requires that certain definitions affecting eligibility be revised and published annually by the agency in the Federal Register. For the purpose of this interim regulation, the agency has amended two definitions: Broadband Service and Broadband Lending Speed and Incumbent Service Provider.… Continue reading

Read More »

EU renewable energy policy is a concern for ag trade

The American Soybean Association (ASA), joined by other U.S. oilseed producer and industry organizations, has expressed serious concerns to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk about the requirements of the European Union’s (EU) Renewable Energy Directive (RED), and with the impact the RED is having on access for U.S. agricultural products to EU markets.

In a letter delivered to Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Kirk, the group is requesting a meeting with USDA and USTR to consider options for responding to trade barriers resulting from and influenced by the RED. The letter asks USDA and USTR to place an immediate priority on seeking to initiate bilateral negotiations between governments. Further, the group asks USDA and USTR to communicate with third country governments regarding the implications of and needed response to the RED. ASA believes a highly coordinated effort is needed to identify and respond to the immediate, as well as longer-term, market threats resulting from RED implementation.… Continue reading

Read More »

10 tips for getting the most out of your sprayer

By Erdal Ozkan, Ohio State University Extension

Spraying season is just around the corner. Just take a moment to review some common sense ideas I will mention here to get the most out of those expensive pesticides you will be spraying. The following “Top Ten” list will help you improve the performance of your sprayer and keep it from failing you:

1)  Applying chemicals with a sprayer that is not calibrated and operated accurately could cause insufficient weed, insect or disease control which can lead to reduced yields. Check the gallon per acre application rate of the sprayer. This can only be determined by a thorough calibration of the sprayer. Use clean water while calibrating to reduce the risk of contact with chemicals. Read OSU Extension Publication AEX-520 for an easy calibration method (http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/0520.html).

2)  How the chemical is deposited on the target is as important as the amount applied.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSU students, urban first-graders both get a hands-on education

By Kyle Sharp

Thirty-one first-graders from the Columbus School for Girls (CSG) had a “magnificent experience” on March 9, said Linda Ostrander, a CSG teacher, when they traveled to the Ohio State University Sheep Center in Columbus for the fourth annual Food and Fiber Day.

The students spent the day at the farm learning about the food and fiber industry in the state of Ohio through a series of seven educational stations — ruminant digestion, the needs of sheep as they grow, the body parts of a sheep and how they are used to find food, byproducts, plants from seed to food, the food web, and making ice cream. Fifteen OSU agricultural education students developed the stations and organized the day as a project for their “Methods of Teaching Agriculture” course. The stations are designed to meet science standards for kindergarten through second-grade students in the state of Ohio.

“This is non-formal education, so it helps those who have an Extension emphasis or are agricultural education minors,” said Caryn Filson, an OSU doctoral student in agricultural education who does laboratory work for the course.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State's Overholt Drainage School set for late March

Ohio State University’s Overholt Drainage School, March 21-25 in Northwest Ohio, will feature the latest developments in soil and water management.

The comprehensive training program provides continuing education for farmers, land improvement contractors, soil and water conservation technicians, engineers, consultants, sanitarians and others interested in learning more about the purpose, design, layout, construction and management of soil and water conservation systems.

It will be held at the Fulton County Junior Fair Building, 8514 State Rt. 108,Wauseon — not far from the Michigan and Indiana borders.

“The emphasis for the school is proper drainage on existing cropland, with a focus on balancing food production, economic and environmental goals,” said Larry Brown, a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE). “Improved drainage is quite beneficial on Ohio’s poorly drained soils for increased and sustained crop yields. And with improved corn and soybean prices the past four years, the potential for yield increases to cover the costs of new or improved subsurface drainage is much greater than in the past.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio State’s Overholt Drainage School set for late March

Ohio State University’s Overholt Drainage School, March 21-25 in Northwest Ohio, will feature the latest developments in soil and water management.

The comprehensive training program provides continuing education for farmers, land improvement contractors, soil and water conservation technicians, engineers, consultants, sanitarians and others interested in learning more about the purpose, design, layout, construction and management of soil and water conservation systems.

It will be held at the Fulton County Junior Fair Building, 8514 State Rt. 108,Wauseon — not far from the Michigan and Indiana borders.

“The emphasis for the school is proper drainage on existing cropland, with a focus on balancing food production, economic and environmental goals,” said Larry Brown, a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE). “Improved drainage is quite beneficial on Ohio’s poorly drained soils for increased and sustained crop yields. And with improved corn and soybean prices the past four years, the potential for yield increases to cover the costs of new or improved subsurface drainage is much greater than in the past.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Sheep and goat blog

The thriving goat and sheep industry now has a new information resource in the Purdue Extension sheep and goat blog.

Producers can stay informed about industry trends and pick up management advice through the Web resource produced by Mike Neary, Purdue Extension small ruminant specialist.

“Goat and sheep producers want to know what other operations are doing,” Neary said. “The blog gives them information about education, Extension and items of interest — whether those are animal or human-related.”

The site, http://sheepngoats.wordpress.com , is updated every Wednesday with posts pertaining to goat and sheep operation management. Unlike many blogs, the sheep and goat blog offers research-based information, rather than resembling a personal journal. Readers can leave comments or questions on each post.

Recent posts have included information about breed selection, animal health, training livestock guard dogs, lambing problems and nutrition.

In Indiana, producers raise goats and sheep for meat, milk and wool, and current high market prices make it a good time to be involved in the industry, Neary said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Kasich praises agriculture in State of the State

In his 2011 State of the State Address in early March, Gov. John Kasich had positive things to say about agriculture and its role in the future of the state.

“I’ve asked Jim Zehringer to think about agriculture in a completely different way. How many agribusinesses can we get? How many 21st Century products can we develop? And how do we think about ethanol when we have increasing dependence on countries like Libya and Venezuela to provide us our fuel? So we’re thinking about agriculture in an entirely different way,” he said. “It can be great prosperity. And here’s the thing about agriculture, it’s not your old man’s tractor anymore. It’s technology. It’s GPS. It’s weather patterns. It’s you’re your own boss and you fall in love with the good earth. There’s something about it that’s soulful and spiritual. And we need to recognize our farmers for the great work they have done.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA reminds landowners and producers of CRP general sign-up

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminded landowners and producers that a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin on March 14, 2011, and continue through April 15, 2011. During the sign-up period, farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land at their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized USDA to maintain CRP enrollment up to 32 million acres. The Secretary announced the sign-up recently in Omaha, Neb., at Pheasant Fest.

“For 25 years, CRP has generated significant environmental improvements,” said Vilsack. “Sound conservation practices encouraged through CRP enrollment preserve the soil, clean our water and restore habitat for wildlife. I encourage all interested farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to learn more about this opportunity.”

CRP is a voluntary program that assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to use their environmentally-sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolling in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers in exchange for rental payments, cost-share and technical assistance.… Continue reading

Read More »

Sifting through the glyphosate (mis)information

There have been some whispers in the back corners of winter meetings, conversations amongst friends in the coffee shops and an occasional bold outright assertion that the use (and over-use) of glyphosate is resulting in unintended consequences. Animal health concerns, plant disease development, nutrient deficiencies and a myriad of other glyphosate conspiracy theories have surfaced in recent months. The fantastic team at Ohio State University has done some investigation into these concerns and compiled several articles in the most recent C.O.R.N. Newsletter. Here is one of them written by Mark Loux, Robert Mullen and Anne Dorrance.

Recent claims about the possible negative impacts of glyphosate have many growers asking whether they are overusing this herbicide and causing deleterious effects to their crops. Extension specialists across the Midwest have been asked about these claims for the past year or so, and have responded in part with newsletter articles and similar pieces recently to address the issue.… Continue reading

Read More »