Featured News



Ohio Volunteer Farmer-Leader Appointed to the United Soybean Board

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed 9 new farmer-leaders to the United Soybean Board (USB) in February, including John Motter of Jenera, Ohio. Motter grows soybeans, wheat and corn.

“The United Soybean Board has a history of developing many new products that increase the profitability of soybeans,” said Motter. “I want to do my part in helping U.S. soybean farmers increase their profitability.”

Motter is a member of the New Uses Committee and hopes to increase the demand for soybeans through upcoming new products.

“There are a number of projects in the new use pipeline,” said Motter. “Unfortunately, due to our relationship with industry partners, we have to maintain confidentiality in these projects. But trust that there is a long history of success in new uses. An example would be the partnership with Ford Motor Company and the Lear Corporation in developing soy-based foam for seats in Ford vehicles.”

Motter and the 12 other appointees from across the United States will serve three-year terms and will represent the interest of all U.S.… Continue reading

Read More »

Logan County cattleman joins Ohio beef industry’s elite

By Kyle Sharp

In 1966, at the age of 14, Frank Phelps moved with his family from their farm in Van Wert County to the current farm they operate in Logan County. The previous year, they had become joint owners of a herd of registered Limousin cattle with the O’Connor family, which owns the Logan County property.

“It was quite a change back then from the flatland of Van Wert to some hills down here,” Phelps said.

While the O’Connor family owns the land, co-owns the cattle and assists with broad management decisions, Frank and his dad, Don, oversee the daily operation.

“It’s been a good partnership,” Phelps said. “Every Saturday morning we have a meeting with them. It makes it nice that they’re interested and willing to spend some money to maintain and improve the farm.”

The O’Connor-Phelps farm milked cows for a while, had a farrow-to-finish hog operation, and most recently also had feeder pigs.… Continue reading

Read More »

Western Bean Cutworm Egg Masses and Larvae Found in Ohio

 

For the first time since the trapping of Western bean cutworm moths in corn began in 2006, Ohio State University Extension entomologists have identified egg masses and larvae. The find reveals that populations continue to increase and that growers will really need to monitor the pest in the future.

“The infestation of egg masses and larvae was light, but this just verifies that we won’t see this pest decreasing in the coming years and growers will really have to start scouting for it each season,” said Andy Michel, an OSU Extension entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Western bean cutworm is a common pest of Western corn-producing states that is rapidly expanding eastward and finding a niche throughout the Midwest. The number of adult moths trapped in Ohio each year has been steadily increasing.

In 2006, entomologists caught three moths in the traps. In 2007, six were caught.Continue reading

Read More »

Do warm nights lead to lower yields?

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist

High night temperatures (in the 70s or 80s) can result in wasteful respiration and a lower net amount of dry matter accumulation in plants. The rate of respiration of plants increases rapidly as the temperature increases, approximately doubling for each 13 degree increase. With high night temperatures, more of the sugars produced by photosynthesis during the day are lost; less is available to fill developing kernels, thereby lowering potential grain yield. High night time temperatures result in faster heat unit (GDD) accumulation that can lead to earlier corn maturation, whereas cool night temperatures result in slower GDD accumulation that can lengthen grain filling and promote greater dry matter accumulation and grain yields.

Past research at the University of Illinois indicates that corn grown at night temperatures in the mid-60s outyields corn grown at temperatures in the mid-80s. Corn yields are often higher with irrigation in western states, which have low humidity and limited rainfall.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn earworm could be a concern in 2010

Moth trap reports indicate an early start to the corn earworm (CEW) infestation window across the Corn Belt this growing season. In early July, CEW had already been identified in the south, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The trend could lead to significant corn earworm activity in the Midwest later in the growing season. Moth traps have identified Ohio as an area that may be at a higher risk of yield loss due to possible insect infestation, so growers are urged to scout fields to determine if treatments are needed to avoid yield-crippling damage.

Damage from corn earworm is caused by the larvae as they feed on leaves, silks and developing kernels.

“CEW is a serious pest that is present in Ohio every year. The pest overwinters in some parts of Ohio and is present throughout the state on many crops including field corn, sweet corn, popcorn and many vegetable crops.… Continue reading

Read More »

White mold could be a problem again in 2010

By Matt Reese

Chances are looking all too good for another bout with white mold this year in Ohio soybeans.

Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist, said once the white mold producing material (Sclerotinia) is in a field, it will be there.

“Sclerotinia white mold, also known as Sclerotinia stem rot has a very interesting disease cycle. The inoculum comes from very small fruiting bodies called apothecia that form from the sclerotia,” Dorrance said. “This was a bit of a surprise as the 2 weeks prior to this were dry, but rains did fall 3 to 4 days prior, the night time temperatures hit below 70 a couple of nights and more importantly — there was still heavy dew on the plants at noon.”

Because of the potential for problems this year it will be important to carefully scout fields with a history of white mold. Fields that have formed a dense canopy prior to flowering and experience consistent moisture and a few cool nights are at the highest risk for this disease, Dorrance said.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn Futures Climb on Wheat, Technical Buying

Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. corn futures climbed on Wednesday on support from a surging wheat market and technical short covering, traders and analysts said.

September corn ended up 5 3/4 cents to $3.79 3/4 a bushel, and December corn closed up 6 cents to $3.93 1/2. Despite the gains, the September contract is down 3.8% on the week.

The market climbed despite a lack of fresh bullish news, traders said. Traders and analysts mostly said the crop outlook remains good, although bulls point to reports of variability, with some areas too wet and others too dry for optimal yields.

The market lacks a clear weather threat in the forecast, however. Mike Tannura, meteorologist with T-storm Weather, said that while much of the corn belt will see a day or two of hot temperatures through the end of the week, beyond that temperatures will be more moderate.

He added that as of now, it appears that rains are likely to miss some of the wettest areas of the western corn belt, hitting north of areas of Missouri, Iowa and west-Central Illinois that have been saturated.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ag Panel Concerned With What They Heard

 

Members of a House Agriculture subcommittee expressed deep concern with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed rule on livestock and poultry contracts and marketing arrangements, a regulation that would limit pork producers’ options in selling pigs to processors, according to the National Pork Producers Council.
 
The chairman and ranking member, of the Agriculture Committee’s Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee, in a hearing said they are troubled that the  proposed rule amending the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) goes beyond the congressional intent of the 2008 Farm Bill. The legislation authorized USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) to issue rules clarifying certain provisions of the PSA and implementing new ones related to capital investments, arbitration and poultry contracts.
 
Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who attended the hearing, and other subcommittee members also voiced concerns with the broad scope of the rule and its likely adverse effects on the livestock and poultry industries. 
Continue reading

Read More »

Allendale Inc. Releases Estimates for Cattle Inventory Report

The Cattle On Feed Report will be released this Friday and Allendale expects that June Placements will be 9.1% smaller than last year. This would represent the fourth month in a row of lower placements. Feedlots continue to react to corn prices as well as the smaller supply of available feeders at this time. Cattle placed in June will be marketed from October through February.

Allendale expects a Marketing total that is 2.4% below June of last year. Market ready cattle numbers may begin to tighten as we transition to the lower supply period in the coming months.

Cattle on Feed total as of July 1 will be the smallest July 1 total in four years. Our placement model suggests slaughters from feedlot cattle may remain below last year levels from now through the remainder of the year. See all our estimates below.

Also scheduled for release at 2 p.m. on Friday will be the July 1st Cattle Inventory Report.… Continue reading

Read More »

Soybean Management Decisions Depend on Growth Stage

Heavy spring and summer rainfall made for a sporadic soybean planting season. The crop ranges in development from just planted to flowering and podding, and it is important for farmers to be able to identify those growth stages before making management decisions.

“Soybean management is based on growth stage of the plant, time of year and pests, including weeds, insects and diseases,” said Shaun Casteel, Purdue Extension agronomist. “Producers need to be able to accurately identify the growth stages so they can scout fields and make the best possible decisions.”

Casteel said farmers should take this time to scout fields, and he suggested the following tips to properly identify the first four stages of reproductive maturity:

Growth stage R1, or beginning bloom, is when any open flowers are present on the main stem nodes. R1 begins approximately 6-8 weeks after emergence and responds to both light and temperature. During this stage vertical root growth rate rapidly increases, and it plants are about 65 days from the beginning of physiological maturity.… Continue reading

Read More »

New Morning Schedule for Aug. 5 Ohio Composting Tour

A central Ohio composting facility that takes in 150,000 cubic yards of yard trimmings and food waste every year, equal to the loads of nearly 40,000 pickup trucks, and makes sellable mulches and soil blends.

A new renewable energy system set to generate 1 million watts of electricity an hour from, among other things, sewage from the city of Columbus.

How to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for composting facilities, pass an inspection, and protect both your workers and business.

Learn about all that more at Composting in Ohio 2010: A Tour of the Industry, Thursday, Aug. 5, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., in and around Columbus.

Organizers say the program is for composting facility operators, researchers, educators, public-agency personnel, government officials and anyone else with an interest in large-scale composting and compost use.

Registration costs $40 per person, includes lunch and is due by July 30.

Call 330-202-3533 or e-mail wicks.14@osu.eduContinue reading

Read More »

Corn Production Techniques Showcased at SW Ohio Corn Growers Day

Corn production and management techniques will be the focus of the Southwest Ohio Corn Growers and Fayette County Agronomy Field Day on Aug. 18.

The free event, sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Fayette County Demonstration Farm, 2770 SR-38, Washington Court House, Ohio.

University and industry speakers will cover such topics as economic corn seeding rates, corn weed control options, diagnosing ear abnormalities, matching spray tips to products, N-cycle and inhibitors, disease and the environment, and changing the discussion on high fructose corn syrup.

There will also be an ATV safety program, corn hybrid plots, a trade show, and health screenings. Certified crop adviser credits will be offered.

For more information, contact John Yost at (740) 335-1150 or log on to http://fayette.osu.edu/news/swocga-fayette-agronomy-field-day.… Continue reading

Read More »

Crop report from Between the Rows

According the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Ohio soybean condition moved up 1% to 59% in the good to excellent categories while corn condition was unchanged. The pasture quality improved 2% to 72%, and the hay condition improved 5% to 63%. The corn silking is ahead at 75%, with the average only at 38%. The soybeans blooming are at 64% with the average at 59%. The oat harvest is 19% complete and 7% ahead of average. Topsoil moisture is 22% short to very short while last week had 30% in those categories and 40% on the average; 73% of the topsoil moisture is rated as adequate. The “Between the Rows” farmers are facing a wide array of conditions in fields from very good to not so great. Here is there report from July 19. Kevin Miller Williams County Things have gotten too hot and dry. The crops need rain. “We had .4-inch last Tuesday night, but now we’re in need of some rain.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA: Corn, Soybean Conditions Hover Around Average

by Jeff Caldwell

Corn conditions dipped slightly, though the crop’s progress remained well ahead of the normal schedule in the last week, according to Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report.

In general, 72% of the crop is in good to excellent condition, down just 1% from the previous week. Development’s still rolling right along; the crop made an almost 30% jump in silking progress (from 38% to 65%) in the last week. That’s 18% ahead of the previous 5-year average.

Soybean conditions improved over the last week. As of Sunday, 77% of the crop was in good to excellent shape, while 60% of the nation’s beans are blooming and 18% are setting pods, both a few percentage points ahead of the normal pace.

Weather extremes continue to taunt farmers in the Corn Belt, where though general crop conditions are okay, there are pockets where either too much or not enough moisture is wreaking havoc on fields.… Continue reading

Read More »

Agricultural Easement Purchase Program Helps Expand Farming Business and Conservation

State farmland preservation funds are doing more than preserving land, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation. Results revealed that Agricultural Easement Purchase Program funds are being used to help implement on-farm conservation measures and expand the farm business.

“These funds are going far beyond the physical aspects of preserving agricultural land,” said Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs. “They are also helping producers engage in more sustainable practices, which is good for the community, environment and economy.”

The Ohio State University Center for Farmland Policy Innovation performed the independent survey, of which 79 of the program’s 101 participants responded. A majority of respondents, 91.7 percent, reported that they are satisfied with the program.

More than half of the respondents indicated they are establishing new conservation practices on their farms since receiving funds from the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program. In addition, 23 respondents are diversifying their farming business, and 17 are establishing new or additional farm businesses.… Continue reading

Read More »

OCGA board members receive legislative support for ethanol tax credit

With the future of corn ethanol hanging in the balance in Congress, the Ohio Corn Growers Association’s (OCGA) recent grassroots lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., garnered crucial support for an ethanol-blender’s tax credit, known as VEETC (Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Extension). The legislation continues the current tax credit for entities that blend ethanol with gasoline.



This week, U.S. Representative Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), of Ohio’s 15th congressional district, signed as a co-sponsor for the Renewable Fuels Reinvestment Act (HR 4940) that would extend key ethanol tax incentives until the year 2015, including the $0.45 per gallon blenders credit for ethanol use.


“Current ethanol tax policies are working to build out the industry, expand infrastructure and provide the foundation for new technologies to thrive,” said OCGA President John Davis, a Delaware County farmer.


Davis was among a group of farmer board members in Washington, D.C., the week of July 14.… Continue reading

Read More »

Can you ID the donkey in the HSUS deal?

The donkey in our barn needed its hooves trimmed, but I had no experience in the realm of jackass foot care. I was completely unsure how to proceed until my friend Chad came over and said that he would be trimming the hooves of his (and his in-laws) donkeys the following day. He said if I helped him trim his donkey hooves, he would be glad to help me. How fortunate.

The next morning I found myself chest deep in a pasture of nettles and poison ivy trying to round up donkeys that were not too interested in being rounded up. In our system, Chad (who is a much more experienced donkey farrier than I) did the trimming and I was charged with wrestling and holding the surly beasts of burden that were quite dismayed about the entire situation. In the process, I was kicked, bitten and stepped on.

I complained enough about my various injuries from the experience that my wife was not sure who the real donkey was in the barn when we finally got to the hooves of our donkey (see my blog at www.ocj.comContinue reading

Read More »

State Fair Ticket Giveaway

The Ohio State Fair is quickly approaching. We want you to come share in the fun. We’re giving away (2) family four packs of admission tickets along with coupons for a free sandwich at the Ohio Pork Producers Pork Stand, one of the most popular food stands on the fairgrounds!

Tell Us: What makes the Ohio State Fair Fairtastic!

To Enter: Submit your thoughts in the comment section below (only one comment per person)

Contest Ends: July 20th at 8:00 pm

Winner: Will be randomly chosen and contacted via email.

Update:

Winners were chosen randomly through Comment Contest. Congrats to our winners Jill Tyson and James Harding.

Jill said the Ohio State Fair is Fairtastic because, “The Ohio State Fair is such a great opportunity to celebrate outstanding performance. From livestock to cake decorating, youth, teens and adults are able to showcase their projects. So many great companies are represented and the staff and fair board work hard to make sure everyone has a good experience.Continue reading

Read More »

Horticulture Field Night Features New Trials and Compost Sock Demo

 

A new trial for currants and gooseberries at Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon will be featured at the upcoming OSU South Centers Horticulture Field Night Aug. 12, along with a demonstration of compost socks that are producing encouraging results for growing crops without soil.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. with a wagon-tour program following at 6 p.m. Derma scan viewings for sun damage will be available until 6:30 p.m.  Dinner will be served at 8:30 p.m. when specialists will be available for questions. Registration is $10 per person. OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio.

The highlight of the wagon tour will be the newly established Ribes trial where currant, gooseberry and jostaberry plants are being studied as a possible new commercial crop for Ohio’s small fruit growers. Ribes were grown in the state in the early 1900s, but were banned due to the serious threat to the white pine industry from white Pine blister rust. … Continue reading

Read More »

Commodity prices are cyclical, but unpredictable

What goes around comes around, even with commodity prices.

Prices climb unusually high and then drop quickly about every 30 years, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist. The price spikes often are brought on by wars and currency devaluation – unexpected events that are difficult to predict, he said.

Hurt will discuss price spike cycles during a session of Top Farmer Crop Workshop. The 43rd annual workshop, hosted by Purdue Extension and Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, will take place July 18-21 in the Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus and at Purdue’s Agronomy Center for Research and Education, located west of campus.

Annual U.S. corn prices rose from $2.08 in 2005 to $4.29 a bushel in 2007, before falling this year to $3.60, in prices adjusted to reflect 2010 dollars, Hurt said. The 2007 high price filled many in the agricultural industry with optimism that demand for crops will continue to exceed supply and farmland values can only keep rising.… Continue reading

Read More »