Featured News

The Weekly Crop Progress Report – May 16th

As of Sunday May 15, corn was 7 percent planted, which was 76 percent behind last year and 63 percent behind the five-year average. Corn emerged was 1 percent, compared to 57 percent last year and 39 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans planted were 3 percent, compared to 44 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Winter wheat was 88 percent jointed, which was 3 percent behind last year and 4 percent behind the five-year average. One percent of winter wheat was headed, 15 percent behind last year and 10 percent behind the five-year average. Thirty-five percent of the oats were planted, compared to 95 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Oats emerged were 13 percent, 71 percent behind last year and 68 percent behind the five-year average. Two percent of alfalfa hay 1st cutting was complete, compared to 9 percent last year and 2 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Crop Insurance Flood Claim Reminders

Heavy rainfall and flood conditions across the Midwest have caused crop damage and slowed planting this spring. Brian Frieden, Director of the Springfield Regional Office of the Risk Management Agency, reminds producers faced with questions on prevented planting, replant or crop losses this spring, to contact their agent for more information.

Producers who are unable to plant an insured crop by the final planting date due to an insurable cause, such as excess moisture and flooding have a number of options. Producers may plant the insured crop during the 25 day late planting period with a reduction in the production guarantee of 1 percent a day for each day planting is delayed after the final planting date. Producers may leave the acreage idle and receive a full prevented planting payment or the insured may be able to plant the acreage to another crop after the late planting period and receive a reduced prevented planting payment.… Continue reading

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Planting updates from around Ohio

With drier weather at the end of last week, Ohio farmers took advantage of the sunshine and heat and worked for hours on end spraying fields and planting corn. Typically most farmers would like to be done planting or nearly done planting by now, but they’ve adapted to changing weather patterns.

The wheat crop in Ohio seems to have suffered a little damaged in waterlogged areas. Some farmers are spraying fungicide in case the weather, which is now cold and wet, becomes hot and wet as the wheat is flowering, making it susceptible to diseases such as head scab and vomitoxin. Here are some updates from around the state.

Northeast Ohio: John Wallbrown, Deerfield, Ohio (Portage County)

We’re have planted about 20% corn and 20% beans. We don’t know if that 20% will make it or not. The weekend was very wet; we’re fully saturated since it rained all weekend. The wheat looks much worse than average — we’re waiting to put a nitrogen fertilizer on it — it’s very soggy.… Continue reading

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Seed treatments important as we don’t have time to plant twice

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension

Water molds are the plague of Ohio soils and we have plenty of them! Over the past eight years we have recovered 30 different species of Pythium that can infect and cause seedling blight and or root rot on soybeans and corn. In addition to Pythium, we have also recovered a Phytophthora that can infect both corn and soybeans. Don’t forget that in soybeans we also have a great diversity of Phytophthora sojae where now we have some isolates in the state that can infect plants with all of the Rps-genes, including Rps8. As a group, many of these Pythium and Phytophthora spp. survive in the soil as oospores.

They are very capable of surviving these long winters, and in many cases they do not germinate immediately in the spring. They require a period of time where the soils remain wet for at least two weeks.… Continue reading

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Conditions may favor wheat disease

Cool, wet weather in the past few weeks and warmer weather expected in the next few days may spell trouble for wheat growers in some parts of Ohio, as conditions become favorable for head scab and vomitoxin as well as a host of foliar diseases such as powdery mildew, Ohio State agronomic crops experts reported.

Pierce Paul, wheat disease specialist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), said that despite a relatively slow start due to cool, wet conditions, the wheat crop in Ohio has developed well and is now between the jointing (in the north) and boot (in the south) growth stages.

“At this rate of development, and with warmer weather in the forecast, flowering should begin within the next 10 to 20 days,” Paul reported in this week’s issue of Ohio State’s C.O.R.N. Newsletter (http://corn.osu.edu). “More rain is also forecasted for later this week and early next week (May 13-18).… Continue reading

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Scarlet and Gray Ag Day 2011

The 2011 Scarlet & Gray Ag Day was held on Friday on the campus of The Ohio State University – specifically, The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.
The Scarlet & Gray Ag Day Committee is a student organization of The Ohio State University that plans an annual agricultural education outreach event for central Ohio 4th and 5th graders. The theme: Ag = Food x Fiber x Fuel.

Ty Higgins covered Scarlet and Gray Ag Day for The Ohio Ag Net and he talked to the namesake of the event, Micki Zartman.

Hannah Thompson is one of the ag students that put together this year’s Scarlet and Gray Ag Day.

One of the Scarlet and Ag Day Advisors is Leslie Risch.Continue reading

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Algae research is building a new industry in Ohio

Visit Yebo Li’s Ohio State University lab and you will find an array of glass tubes filled with a light-green substance, endlessly bubbling inside a growth chamber. It’s algae. The same algae that later this summer will be growing in ponds at a Wooster farm, generating thousands of gallons of oil that will be turned into renewable fuel. Down the road, this green stuff may just be the building block of a new green industry in Ohio.

Li, a biosystems engineer with the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), is working with West Virginia-based Touchstone Research Laboratory in the development of innovative technology for efficiently and profitably growing algae in open ponds for production of fuels and other high-value, bio-based products. Also partnering in this unique research and business-incubation venture is Cedar Lanes Farms, a nursery and greenhouse operation located just a few miles from OARDC’s Wooster campus. Other project participants include engineering firm GZA GeoEnvironmental of Cincinnati and SRS Energy of Dexter, Mich.… Continue reading

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Spring tree and perennial planting workshop

Learn what to plant and how to do it in Secrest Arboretum’s Spring Planting Workshop. It’s a hands-on, rain-or-shine, get-your-hands-dirty practice session. Trees, shrubs and perennials are the focus. It’s next Wednesday, May 18.

“We’ll work with woody and herbaceous plants,” said Ken Cochran, the arboretum’s program coordinator and one of the workshop’s instructors. “We’ll look at plant selection ideas for different sites, and techniques for improving the survivability and sustainability of the plants. That’s something we’ll emphasize.”

There’s a $50 fee to participate. Participation is limited to 12. Pre-registration is required. Call 330-464-2148 to register. Call the same number for more information.

Secrest Arboretum is part of Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster.

Meet at the arboretum’s Seaman Orientation Plaza on Williams Road. It’s about 1.7 miles from OARDC’s main entrance. Follow the signs to the arboretum.

Bring a shovel and hand pruners if you have them.… Continue reading

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Take steps to reduce herbicide drift

Crop farmers need to take precautions to reduce off-target drift when applying herbicides this spring, said Purdue Extension weed scientist Bill Johnson.

“Drift reduces product efficacy on the intended target and can result in damage to sensitive plants” he said. “It also can deposit illegal residues on edible crops, especially organic or processed crops that are checked for contaminants.”

There are two types of herbicide drift — vapor and particle. With vapor drift, the application reaches its target but at some point moves off-target after application. With particle drift, the portion that moves off-target never reaches is target.

Particle drift can occur with any pesticide application, regardless of product formulation, and is directly associated with droplet size, sprayer boom height and wind speed.

“Injury symptoms from drift will depend on the product used, environmental conditions and sensitivity of the plants in the path of air flow,” Johnson said. “Low concentrations of glyphosate may or may not show injury symptoms, while low concentrations of 2,4-D or dicamba may show major symptoms on sensitive plants such as tomatoes, grapes, and roses.”… Continue reading

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The soggy weather pattern is changing

By Jim Noel, the National Weather Service in Ohio

The weather pattern is beginning to change. As we had discussed since last summer, we had expected a very wet late winter into spring with La Nina and the negative North Atlantic Oscillation and we got it. Now, we expect La Nina to end by June but the effects will likely linger into at least early summer.

The rest of May will see improving conditions from what we saw in April and very early May. The outlook for the rest of May is as follows:

May 13-14 – Temperatures will average about 6 degrees above normal with rainfall near normal. Best chance for rain will be late week into the weekend. Covered will be more scattered and rainfall variability will be much higher than we have seen due to the warmer late spring weather pattern.

May 15-21-Temperatures will average near normal and rainfall above normal.… Continue reading

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Record agricultural exports for first half of fiscal year 2011

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on data released showing that U.S. farm exports reached an all-time high of $75 billion during the first half of fiscal year 2011:

“Today’s trade data demonstrate that, once again, America’s farmers and ranchers are helping lead the way to recovery from the worst economic recession in decades. The gains in U.S. agricultural exports are particularly encouraging news for those who live in rural America or earn a living in farming, ranching and agriculture-related industries, because exports are creating jobs here at home. Farm exports alone will support more than one million jobs in America this year. Strong U.S. farm exports will be a key contributor to building an economy that continues to grow, innovate and out-compete the rest of the world.

“At $75 billion, U.S. agricultural exports for FY 2011 are 27% higher than the same period in last year. This puts us on track to reach the current USDA export forecast of $135.5 billion by the end of the year.… Continue reading

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Independent firm releases assessment of civil rights at USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released an independently produced report that provides a Civil Rights Assessment of USDA’s field-based program delivery and makes recommendations intended to ensure that all Americans have fair and equal access to USDA programs.

“From the day I took office as Secretary, I made it a department-wide priority to ensure that all eligible Americans receive equal access to USDA programs, and this report provides a roadmap that will help us continue moving forward in this effort,” Vilsack said. “USDA employees and our partners throughout the country are to be commended for the commitment being made to diversity, inclusion, and accessibility and that they realize our work must continue.”

The Civil Rights Assessment report released today was promised in Secretary Vilsack’s April 2009 memorandum to employees that detailed an aggressive plan to promote equal access and opportunity at the department. The report makes department-wide recommendations that will help USDA improve service delivery to minority and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and also suggests agency-specific changes to enhance program delivery and outreach to promote diversity, inclusion and accessibility.… Continue reading

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NCGA supports FTAs

National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman released the following statement in support of the pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama.  Tolman testified before the House Agriculture Committee.

“Increased production and a consistent product make the United States a reliable supplier of corn in the world market. NCGA strongly supports passage of the three-pending Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama. Beyond increasing domestic and international demand for corn, passing these FTAs also benefits our customers in the livestock and poultry industries. Developing new markets for our country’s agricultural products will help our sector lead the nation in economic growth and international competitiveness.

“The United States is the largest corn producer and exporter in the world, and exports of corn and corn co-products are essential to producer income. During the 2009-10 marketing year, the United States exported 50.4 million metric tons of corn worldwide. Corn co-products such as distiller’s dried grains (DDGS) represent a growing export market for domestic producers.… Continue reading

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Corn supply remains tight even with record crop projections

The Agriculture Department projects a record U.S. corn crop this year, but despite the expected increase in production, American Farm Bureau Federation economists emphasize that stocks are still tight and corn farmers will need strong yields to meet demand and build stocks to more comfortable levels.

USDA released its May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, which pegs U.S. corn production at 13.5 billion bushels in 2011. If realized, this would be the largest U.S. crop ever, outdoing the record 13.1 billion bushel corn crop in 2009.

“It’s important to remember that this is a preliminary estimate from USDA. A lot can change from now until harvest,” explained Todd Davis, AFBF crops economist. “We still don’t know the impact late planting in Corn Belt states east of the Mississippi will have on this year’s corn crop. We’re going to need a warm summer with timely rains to realize this 13.5 billion bushel corn crop.”… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association announces 2011 Soybean Yield and Quality Contest

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) is announcing the launch of the state’s second annual Soybean Yield and Quality Contest for the 2011 growing season. An overall state yield winner will be awarded along with category prizes for the top-placing entrants, including winners of the quality contest based on percentages of oil and protein. The fee is $100 per entry.

The six different yield categories available include:

conventional tillage


low-linolenic soybeans – conventional tillage

low-linolenic soybeans – no-till

non-GMO soybeans – conventional tillage

non-GMO soybeans – no-till

Developed to promote the importance of oil and protein, the quality contest is optional to enter. However, a farmer must enter the soybean yield contest to enter the soybean-quality contest. This contest is based on the overall greatest percentage of oil and percentage of protein content in the state. Entrants in the quality contest must submit a two-pound sample of soybeans for testing.

All entry forms and entry fees for the 2011 Soybean Yield and Quality Contest must be postmarked by August 31, 2011. … Continue reading

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ACRE deadline approaching

Steve Maurer, the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, would like to remind Ohio producers who have not contacted their local FSA Office about DCP or ACRE enrollment to do so before the sign-up deadline ends.  “It is important producers contact their local FSA office to set up appointments well before the June 1, 2010, deadline,” stated Maurer.
All signatures of producers receiving a share in DCP/ACRE payments are required by the June 1, 2010, deadline.  USDA may accept late-filed applications through September 30.
For more information about the DCP/ACRE programs please visit your local FSA office.
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Grazing management reminders

By Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator Athens County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Plenty of moisture 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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The shorter the better

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The title of this article could apply to many things in our everyday life if you think about it. Nobody likes a long wait at our favorite restaurant, a long visit at the doctor’s office, long lines while attending an amusement park, or the long number of days waiting on a potential tax-refund from the IRS. You get the idea. Something else that should fall in the “shorter the better” category for beef producers is the breeding season. Regardless of the size and scope of your operation or your preferred time of year to calve, there is little economic justification for a lengthy calving season. This topic has been addressed through countless articles in popular press and Extension meetings. The arrival of breeding season for many herds seems like an appropriate time to revisit this issue.

Regardless of whether you use a natural service sire or artificial insemination in your breeding program, there is little justification for a lengthy breeding season.… Continue reading

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4-H: A model for youth development

By Doc Sanders

I imagine that most of you are familiar with 4-H and may know that educator A. B. Graham, who was born in Champaign County and grew up near Lena, founded the youth organization in 1902. My kids actually completed their primary education at A.B. Graham Schools, which encompass all of western Champaign County, near Lena.

The 4-H program has changed many lives, as it teaches youth responsibility and offers them the opportunity to develop skills and interests through summer projects they prepare to exhibit at the county fair. Early on, 4-H concentrated on livestock, along with homemaking projects, such as cooking and sewing. Then, as society became less agrarian, other projects were added, such as electrical, woodworking, speech contests, pets, journalism … the list goes on and on.

Benefits, and then some …

The benefits of 4-H are far more wide-ranging than most adults realize. Of course, there are the obvious ones that come from being a member of a youth club.… Continue reading

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Ohio third graders win field trip to Ohio livestock farm for entire class

The Ohio Livestock Coalition announced the winners of a statewide essay contest for third graders in response to the question, “How do Ohio farmers make sure we have good, safe food to eat?”

Mary Gray from Big Walnut Elementary in Sunbury and Alice Yang and Kerim Pintol from Granby Elementary in Columbus won the contest. They were selected from more than 20 essays submitted in the contest’s second year.

In addition, the following third graders received honorable mention awards:

* Alexa Cooper, Scioto Elementary (Pickaway County)

* Joel Krebehenne, North Union Elementary (Union County)

* Cara Sheets, East Elementary (Athens County)

The winners’ entire third-grade classes will be taking a free, all-expenses-paid field trip to an Ohio livestock farm, courtesy of the Ohio Livestock Coalition. Price Farms Organics, Ltd., a hog farm in Delaware, Ohio, will host the two third-grade classes.

The essay contest is part of the Ohio Livestock Coalition’s ongoing For Your InFARMation program.… Continue reading

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