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House approves legislation to reauthorize the law requiring price reporting

The National Pork Producers Council applauded the House for approving legislation to reauthorize the law requiring meat packers to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the prices they pay producers for animals. The legislation, which previously was approved by the Senate, now goes to the president to be signed into law. It reauthorizes for five years the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, and includes new provisions requiring weekly reporting of pork exports – by price and volume – and of wholesale pork cuts. NPPC President Sam Carney said the addition of export and wholesale cuts reporting will further help producers like me make business and production decisions. “The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act is what provides transparency and certainty in the livestock markets and allows competition to thrive,” Carney said. “The new provision for wholesale pork reporting will make pricing data more fully reflect the marketplace today.… Continue reading

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Wineries developing a new generation of wine drinkers

By Matt Reese

Ohio has a long history of grape and wine production, particularly along the Ohio River and Lake Erie. As it turns out, Ohio is a great place for growing grapes.

The trouble in terms of wine is the grapes that readily grow in Ohio are sweet varieties that do not produce the fine dry wines revered around the world.

That is changing, however, as Ohio’s wineries have made great strides in recent years in vinifera grape production. The grapes are growing, the wines are improving, but changing Ohio’s reputation as a sweet wine state may take a while.

“Ohio still has a stigma for only having sweet wines,” said Bob Guilliams, owner of Raven’s Glenn Winery in Coshocton County. “People are reasonably open to the product once they try it and Ohio’s wine quality is improving every year, but the bar is set pretty high with Europe and California.… Continue reading

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Self-guided exhibit at FSR to teach on-farm electrical safety

Electricity from power lines near grain bins can arc to a conductor and farm equipment can be that target, putting the farmer, family, friends or farm hands at risk for electrocution.

Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program will have an exhibit at this year’s Farm Science Review explaining the dangers of overhead power lines and what those working on the farm should look for to stay safe.

“There is a misconception that as long as that equipment can clear the power lines then everything is OK,” said Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension state safety specialist. “But if you have, say a 2-foot clearance, that isn’t enough. Electricity can arc to the auger, wagon, combine, whatever equipment you may be operating at the time.”

Between 1990 and 2009, there have been eight fatalities related to electrocutions in Ohio, three of which where grain bin related, according to the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program Web site.… Continue reading

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Energy effeciency a focus of Ohio Rural Electric Cooperative at FSR

The Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives (OREC), long-time sponsors of the Farm Science Review, are bringing the Touchstone Energy hot air balloon back to the Review this year. The 18-story balloon will make morning and evening flights (weather permitting) over the grounds each day of the event.

This year’s exhibits located in the OREC Education Center include a strong focus on being energy efficient and include:

• A hands-on energy efficiency wall display featuring the right way and the wrong way to insulate, caulk and seal. Additional displays will feature renewable energy, heat pump water heaters, the Touchstone Energy Home program and energy efficient windows.

• The latest in lighting featuring outdoor and commercial lighting, along with natural home lighting technologies by First Day Natural Lighting.

• Both air source and geothermal heat pumps displayed by Habegger Corporation and Utility Marketing. A federal tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of an installed geothermal heat pump is available until 2016.… Continue reading

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Learn about rain gardens at FSR

Gardens do more than beautify an area, instill a love for plants, and provide food and shelter for wildlife. They also can be a source of environmental conservation.

Visitors to Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review have the opportunity to tour a newly installed rain garden on the grounds of the Lawrence G. Vance Soil and Water Conservation Park along Friday Avenue in the exhibitor area.

The 480 square-foot rain garden was installed by members of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts to educate visitors on how properly constructed rain gardens using Ohio native plants can combat flooding and drainage issues, alleviate erosion, provide wildlife habitats, and provide a value-added benefit to property.

“Having a presence at Farm Science Review really gives us the opportunity to promote the value of conservation to farmers, students, homeowners, business owners and others visiting the show,” said Mindy Bankey, CEO of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.… Continue reading

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CRP land signed up

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will accept 4.3 million acres offered by landowners under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. The selections preserve and enhance environmentally sensitive lands, including wetlands, while providing payments to property owners.

“Interest in this open enrollment period was high, and I’m pleased that producers and landowners across the nation continue to realize the environmental benefits of enrolling land in the CRP,” said Secretary Vilsack.

For this 39th general sign-up more than 50,000 offers were received on more than 4.8 million acres, nationwide. Enrollment of the 4.3 million acres will keep the program enrollment close to the 32 million acre statutory cap, which will maintain and enhance the significant environmental benefits the program has already achieved. CRP’s 39th signup will bring the total enrollment in the program to 31.2 million acres, leaving sufficient room under the 32 million acre cap to continue enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, continuous signup and other CRP initiatives through FY 2011.… Continue reading

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Time to Wrap Up the Last Cutting of Alfalfa

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

It is time to take the last cutting of alfalfa and red clover in Ohio. Cutting this week will allow plenty of time for the stand to regrow and store energy and proteins in the taproots, which are important for winter survival and early growth next spring.

It may be tempting to wait to cut the alfalfa because of low yield due to the recent dry weather, in hopes that rains will come and more growth will occur. But delaying the last cutting of alfalfa to late September into mid-October can carry serious risk to the health of the stand. Cutting later will interrupt the process of storage of energy and proteins in alfalfa taproots. When cut during the fall rest period, the plants will regrow and utilize precious taproot energy and protein reserves without sufficient time to replenish them before a killing frost.… Continue reading

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Social media from the farm

A conversation with Mike “farmerhaley” Haley, a farmer and social media (Twitter and Facebook) user

OCJ: First can you tell us a little about your farm and your background?

Mike: I am a fifth generation farmer from Wayne County, Ohio. My father and I raise corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. My wife, Pam, and I are continuing my grandfather’s love of beef cattle by raising purebred Simmental cattle on our farm.

OCJ: How did you get started with using social media?

Mike: About a year and a half ago I attended an Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professional Conference where one of the sessions was talking about how social media can help connect with the growing amount of people wanting to learn more about how their food is raised. The importance of individual farmers telling their stories rather than leaving it to associations or critics really hit home. Pam and I both decided to get involved.… Continue reading

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Learn to launch grape business at FSR

Ohio growers interested in launching a wine grape business or expanding an existing vineyard can learn more about the new Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program at Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review.

Maurus Brown, an OSU Extension small fruit specialist, and Christy Eckstein with the Ohio Grape Industries Committee, will present a session on the program at 3 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Center for Small Farms, located on Beef Street in the exhibitor area.

The show is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Brown said the program, which was launched this year, replaces the Ohio Vine Grant Program. The new program attracted 35 applicants, 19 of which were approved $2,000 each for their vineyards.

“The Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program is designed to encourage the establishment of new wine grape vineyards in Ohio, as well as expand existing vineyards, specifically for the production of vinifera and French-American hybrids,” Brown said.… Continue reading

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Learn how to grow lettuce using hydroponics at FSR

Ohio lettuce growers looking for new, innovative ways of growing produce year-round have hydroponics as a viable alternative. The technology will be demonstrated during Farm Science Review, Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London.

Robert Hansen, an Ohio State University agricultural engineer with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, will share research results from OARDC’s Hydroponics Lettuce Research Laboratory. Hansen is collaborating with CropKing, Inc. on maintaining a hydroponic lettuce research laboratory, and with Beth Fausey, OSU Extension floriculture and hydroponic vegetable specialist, on outreach education and marketing.

“Hydroponics, like greenhouse production, is an alternative crop production system to field crop production,” Hansen said. “Hydroponics provides the potential to grow produce year-round, giving consumers access to locally grown vegetables.”

Hydroponics is a method of growing crops without soil, with nutrients delivered to the plant via water. Hansen said that initial input costs of hydroponic systems are high, but the control of system inputs — everything from lighting to nutrient levels to controlling insects and diseases — affords the greatest opportunities for a successful, high quality, high-value crop.… Continue reading

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Soggy fields offer oppurtunity at FSR

Those with soggy fields on their farms see a problem. Those with soggy fields at one of the nation’s premier farm shows see an opportunity to create a win-win solution.

“One of our production fields had some drainage problems. We had problems with gully erosion and wet conditions in the field due to poor drainage,” said Matt Sullivan, assistant manager of the Farm Science Review (FSR). “We saw the opportunity to promote some new drainage practices with this.”

Going into 2007, the FSR was looking to show visitors some cutting edge drainage installation techniques with the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors of America (OLICA). While OLICA was very interested in the opportunity to get some exposure at the FSR, the association also had limited time to do the proper legwork for a successful drainage installation job leading up to the show.

To address this problem, FSR turned to students in Ohio State’s Agricultural Engineering program.… Continue reading

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Wheat shortage creates opportunity for U.S. farmers

Russia’s ban of wheat exports is giving U.S. farmers the opportunity to produce more of the crop to meet demands around the world, a Purdue University agricultural economist says.

Chris Hurt predicts there will be an increase of 50-75 percent in the amount of wheat planted in the Eastern Corn Belt this fall over 2009, a record low year. Indiana farmers last fall planted 300,000 acres of wheat, which annually is the state’s third-largest crop, behind corn (6 million acres this year) and soybeans (5.3 million acres).

Because of the expected increased interest in wheat, Hurt recommended that farmers contact seed suppliers now to secure the varieties they hope to plant. “Seed availability may be the limiting factor on how many acres of wheat get seeded this fall,” he said.

Drought and wildfires greatly reduced wheat supplies in Russia — the fourth-largest wheat exporter in the world — and in neighboring Ukraine and Kazakhstan.… Continue reading

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FSR programs focus on business for farm women

Farm women who want to become more comfortable with the business side of farming will find out how they can learn more by visiting the Farm Science Review, Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London.

Ohio State University Extension educators plan to share information about projects aimed to help women in agriculture become more familiar with production risk, cash flow, crop insurance options and other business-related issues on the farm.

“Many times, women on the farm have the responsibility of record-keeping, but they’re not really involved in the decision-making in the farm operation,” said Julia Nolan Woodruff, educator with OSU Extension. “But, obviously, they have a big stake in how the farm does economically. If they had more familiarity with the concepts of risk management, their insight could lead to better decisions on the farm and an improved financial outlook.”

According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, 40% of Ohio farms have at least one woman operator, Woodruff said.… Continue reading

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Ag safety bin rescue demonstration return to FSR

Last year’s popular grain bin rescue demonstrations highlighting the proper safety precautions of grain storage and handling are returning to Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review.

Dee Jepsen, Ohio State University Extension state safety leader, said more times have been added to the daily demonstrations to accommodate more requests for information related to the potential risks when working with grain on the farm.

OSU Extension, in partnership with Heritage Cooperative and City of Urbana Fire Division, is featuring Agricultural Grain Bin Rescue demonstrations designed to educate both emergency crews and farming communities on the appropriate techniques for using rescue equipment in agricultural emergencies. Additional partners, including Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District, City of London Fire Department, and Central Townships Joint Fire District, will be conducting the rescue demonstrations.

“In the past 10 years, Ohio has experienced 19 fatalities from grain engulfments,” Jepsen said. “The demonstrations are designed to help bridge the knowledge gap between emergency personnel and farming incidents they may encounter, in addition to providing farming families with steps they can take before the emergency personnel arrive.”… Continue reading

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What's new at FSR this year

This year’s Farm Science Review will feature a little new in addition to all of the popular staples that make the event a must visit for the world’s agriculturists.

The field demonstrations at the event are a highlight for many visitors because there are few opportunities to see side-by-side comparisons of harvest and tillage equipment anywhere. Along with this, visitors will have expanded opportunities to ride-and-drive equipment this year.

“We’re going to have Honda, JCB and Yamaha in the ride-and-drive this year. If someone is interested in driving an ATV, four-wheeler or high-speed tractor, they can get that hands-on experience,” said Matt Sullivan, FSR assistant manager. “The ride-and-drive has worked really well for precision ag and we’re trying to build on that. We’re going to be providing a shuttle out to the ride-and-drive at the north Kottman Street gate. The shuttle will be running until about 2 in the afternoon. The ride-and-drive is just north of the exhibit area by I-70.… Continue reading

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association sets membership record

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association closed its books for the 2010 membership year with a new membership record. Membership numbers for 2010 broke the previous record that was set in 2009. This new record was set thanks to the dedication of past members renewing their memberships as well as the 386 families that joined OCA for the first time in 2010.

“We are very excited that so many of Ohio’s beef producers have again recognized the importance of belonging to OCA,” said Dave Felumlee, OCA President. “Membership is the lifeblood of any organization and our members have done a great job ensuring that the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is a strong and viable organization for years to come.”

The membership committee is working on securing additional member benefits and incentives for 2011. The committee is proud to announce that the TSC coupon will be continued in 2011, which will give an OCA member 10 percent off a purchase at one of Ohio’s 68 TSC stores.… Continue reading

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Weekly Crop Progress Report, Sept. 13th

Cooler weather provided relief for livestock and crops. Farm activities included tillage, installing tile, hauling grain, hay bailing, and field application of fertilizer, lime and manure. Corn and soybeans are drying well throughout the state, the harvest has begun at some operations. Pest worms were reported in both corn and soybeans. There were also reports of corn stalk disease.

As of Sunday September 12, 90 percent of corn was dented, compared to 64 percent last year and 80 percent for the five-year average. Corn was 50 percent mature, which was 40 percent ahead of last year and 34 percent ahead of the five-year average. Three percent of the corn has been harvested throughout the state, this is the earliest recorded corn harvest in the past five-years. Corn for silage was 78 percent harvested compared to 29 percent last year and 43 percent for the five-year average. Fifty-two percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 22 percent last year and 33 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Christmas trees part of a long line of agriculture on the Bailey Century Farm

By Matt Reese

In 1829, Isaac Bailey came to Lordstown in Trumbull County with $4.50 to his name. According to historic documents from Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, “by hard work, rigid economy and frugal living” he came to acquire 100 acres of land. Bailey was a religious man and was said to have walked, with no shoes, with his first child to the nearest church for baptism, a 30-mile round trip.

A Lutheran church was eventually added on his property and he became very active in every aspect of the neighborhood that would eventually be known as Bailey’s Corners. As the Bailey clan grew in subsequent generations, Isaac (I.E.) Bailey III bought 21 acres in 1900, some of which had been previously owned by Baileys. I.E. was a noted carpenter like the Isaac Baileys before him. His hammer that was used to build the church and many of the homes in the area hangs on a plaque on the wall in the home today.… Continue reading

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Control Aquatic Vegetation in Your Pond. Get Tips at Farm Science Review

Come to Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review and learn what a fish management specialist would do to manage his own private pond.

Bill Lynch, an Ohio State University Extension associate in aquatic ecosystem management, will present, “If It Were My Pond, I Would&hellip.” at the Gwynne Conservation Area Sept. 21 from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and Sept. 22 from 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. Farm Science Review will take place Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Attendees can get to the Gwynne by catching the free shuttles at the west end of the exhibitor grounds.

“Excessive aquatic vegetation is what causes all of the headaches for pond owners,” said Lynch. “It’s the most challenging aspect of pond management because of all of the excess nutrients that end up in the water.”

Lynch said that cattails, filamentous algae and harmful algal blooms are some of the more common aquatic surface vegetation found in ponds.… Continue reading

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Biomass and Cover Crops Showcased at Farm Science

From poplar and willow trees to sweet sorghum and switchgrass, visitors to Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review can learn more about the potential for producing bioenergy crops in Ohio.

Nearly two dozen biomass crops will be part of the demonstration plots exhibited at the east end of Friday Avenue of the Farm Science Review exhibitor grounds. Farm Science Review will be held Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Visitors making their way to Gates A-E from the parking area can tour not only biomass crops, but also cover crops, antique corn, soybean trials, manure application plots, weed control demonstrations, corn hybrids, forage plots, and popcorn trials.

Ohio State University Extension educators will be on-hand to give details of the plots and answer any questions.

“Farmers are always interested in maximum production environments and the economics of creating those environments,” said Chuck Gamble, Farm Science Review manager.… Continue reading

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