Featured News

New Orleans set to sample Toledo-based sauce

It all started from just one unique, tasty bottle of barbeque sauce. That was two

years ago, and now has expanded to an impressive seven varieties located in dozens of stores across Ohio and Michigan. Taking a step even further as they prepare to move their product nationally, the northwest Ohio creators of Black Swamp Gourmet Barbeque Sauce are headed to a place where they know a thing or two about sauces: New Orleans, Louisiana.

They will join other vendors from across the country at the New Orleans Hot Sauce and Gourmet Food Show, July 16-17, 2011, which happens to be one of only a few such hot sauce conventions held in the U.S.

Originally from Lima, Ohio, Bob and Karen Basel have been Toledo, Ohio residents for nearly 20 years – and their love for northwest Ohio is far reaching. Not only does their Black Swamp Gourmet Barbeque Sauce contain a name with ties to the area’s history, but the frog caricature on the bottle’s label is a nod to their affection for Toledo.… Continue reading

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HSUS teams up with industry to push for federal legislation of egg production

The United Egg Producers has joined with The Humane Society of the United States to announce an unprecedented agreement to work together toward the enactment of comprehensive new federal legislation for all 280 million hens involved in U.S. egg production. The proposed standards advocated by UEP and HSUS, if enacted, would be the first federal law addressing the treatment of animals on farms.

The proposed legislation would:

• Require conventional cages (currently used by more than 90% of the egg industry) to be replaced, through an ample phase-in period, with new, enriched housing systems that provide each hen nearly double the amount of space they’re currently allotted. Egg producers will invest an additional $4 billion over the next 15 years to implement the change;

• Require that all egg-laying hens be provided, through the new enriched housing system, with environments that will allow hens to express natural behaviors, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas;

• Mandate labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs, such as “eggs from caged hens,” “eggs from hens in enriched cages,” “eggs from cage-free hens,” and “eggs from free-range hens”;

• Prohibit feed- or water-withholding molting to extend the laying cycle, a practice already prohibited by the United Egg Producers Certified program adhered to by a majority of egg farmers;

• Require standards approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association for euthanasia for egg laying hens;

• Prohibit excessive ammonia levels in henhouses;

• Prohibit the sale of eggs and egg products nationwide that don’t meet these requirements.… Continue reading

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Gleaner Road Show

During the 2011 Gleaner Road Show, producers will be able to see how the new Gleaner S7 Super Series combine works on the inside as the combine smoothly glides through a field during harvest. Using an AgCam mounted inside the machine, the Gleaner Road Show team will capture video of the combine’s natural-flow two-stage feeding system and transverse rotor as it processes and cleans the crop. The video will be displayed on field-side monitors. The 2011 Gleaner Road Show is occurring from July through November, moving northward with the small-grains harvest and then through the Corn Belt.

“We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of our natural-flow two-stage transverse rotor system, and now we’re literally showing it in action,” says Kevin Bien, product marketing manager for Gleaner. “By mounting one of the cameras beneath the accelerator rolls, we’ll be able to show producers how the grain is pre-cleaned before it reaches the cleaning shoe.… Continue reading

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Are higher commodity prices here to stay?

Higher commodity prices might be the rule rather than the exception in the coming years, a Purdue University agricultural economist says.

While prices regularly rise and fall, they have trended upward in a way that suggests they’ve reached a plateau, said Mike Boehlje. He attributed much of the price movement to bullish export markets, weather-shortened supplies and the effect monetary policies have had on interest rates and investors.

“This higher level may be the new normal,” Boehlje said. “But volatility has increased significantly for agricultural prices, as well as for agricultural inputs. In terms of corn, for example, it’s not unusual in the futures markets to see prices moving 30 cents or more on a daily basis. And although prices may be higher, so are costs to producers. So margins are not likely to stay unusually high.”

Corn and wheat in recent weeks have been trading in the range of $6-$7 per bushel and soybeans above $13 a bushel, about double the prices five years ago.… Continue reading

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Anderson’s Greenville Ethanol Plant Taking Wheat

The Andersons Marathon Ethanol plant near Greenville has been surprising wheat growers by using the crop for the production of ethanol.

“We are open for wheat during harvest here. It is the starch in the corn kernel that we convert into sugar and ferment into ethanol. There is also starch content in wheat,” said Mike Irmen, director of ethanol services for The Andersons, Inc. “There is not as much starch in wheat as there is in a corn kernel, so we know we won’t get quite the ethanol yield per bushel that we get out of corn. But our test results show us that if we can buy wheat at approximately $1 less than what we have to pay for corn, which is the current market difference, then we think we can still come out ahead. We’re willing to give it a try to see what we can learn.”

The 110 million gallon ethanol plant currently has separate hours for taking wheat and is testing for vomitoxin.… Continue reading

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Anderson's Greenville Ethanol Plant Taking Wheat

The Andersons Marathon Ethanol plant near Greenville has been surprising wheat growers by using the crop for the production of ethanol.

“We are open for wheat during harvest here. It is the starch in the corn kernel that we convert into sugar and ferment into ethanol. There is also starch content in wheat,” said Mike Irmen, director of ethanol services for The Andersons, Inc. “There is not as much starch in wheat as there is in a corn kernel, so we know we won’t get quite the ethanol yield per bushel that we get out of corn. But our test results show us that if we can buy wheat at approximately $1 less than what we have to pay for corn, which is the current market difference, then we think we can still come out ahead. We’re willing to give it a try to see what we can learn.”

The 110 million gallon ethanol plant currently has separate hours for taking wheat and is testing for vomitoxin.… Continue reading

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Vilsack on the U.S.-Mexico Agreement to resolve the cross-border trucking dispute

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on the agreement signed by Mexico and the United States to resolve the cross-border long-haul trucking dispute:

“The agreement signed today between the governments of Mexico and the United States to resolve the cross-border long-haul trucking dispute is a major win for U.S. agriculture, American jobs and our nation’s economic prosperity. President Obama and President Calderon announced a path forward in March to resolve the dispute, and today the U.S. Department of Transportation — after months of hard work with Mexican counterparts — closed a deal that will provide tariff relief for numerous U.S. agricultural products and manufactured goods.

“This dispute has cost U.S. businesses more than $2 billion. For U.S. farm exports to Mexico, exports of affected commodities were reduced by 27%. But today, thanks to the persistent work of the Obama Administration, we have an agreement that not only will ultimately eliminate punitive tariffs, but it also provides opportunities to increase U.S.… Continue reading

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Cover crops and prevented planting

Farmers who were unable to plant their corn and soybeans because of bad weather might consider planting cover crops this summer to build soil quality and prevent erosion, a Purdue University Extension specialist says.

Cover crops usually are planted in the fall to protect soil over the winter and replaced with corn and soybeans in the spring. But an exceptionally cool and wet spring kept many farmers from planting, leaving fields fallow.

Because many fields were left bare by prevented planting, Purdue Extension soil scientist Eileen Kladivko recommended planting a cover crop to avoid soil erosion and build soil quality. Cover crops can increase a farm’s long-term productivity by loosening soil structure, reducing nitrate leaching and adding organic matter, Kladivko said. 

“There is no reason not to do something in the summer,” she said. “Soil quality increases by growing things in it.”

Ohio State University cover crop specialist Jim Hoorman said cover crop roots might create pore space, increasing the soil’s water storage capacity.… Continue reading

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New Holland announces Boomer 555 contest to win a 5-year tractor lease

What would you do with a New Holland compact Boomer 30 tractor and loader? Dig a pond? Plant a food plot to attract the biggest buck? Till a prize-winning garden to feed the hungry? Make your neighbors jealous?

To find out, New Holland has announced the Boomer 555 Contest. For the next five months, legal residents of the U.S. and Canada (except Quebec) can enter to win a five-year lease of a New Holland Boomer 30 compact tractor and loader with the industry-leading Boomer Guard5 limited five-year warranty.

To enter, just visit the contest’s website at www.boomer555.com and describe how you would use a New Holland compact tractor. Unique ideas and inspiring stories count! Qualified entrants, 18 years or older, can enter by submitting their most dynamic, creative entry in words, photos or video.  Entries can also be submitted via e-mail to boomer555@newholland.com or mailed to Boomer 555 Contest – MS#208, c/o New Holland Agriculture, P.O.… Continue reading

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Wheat yield and quality update

By Matt Reese

Dan Wagner farms in Hardin and Hancock Counties and started harvesting his wheat crop last week. He feared that both quality and yields would be poor this year. Though he is still disappointed with his wheat crop, it was not as bad as he initially feared.

“The wheat was off last year and this year the disease levels seem to be better, but the yields are worse,” Wagner said. “Wheat looked great coming into May, but then we started seeing the tile lines and I knew it was too wet. The water killed it in the low areas and in other places there was a head, but there was nothing in it. The yield monitor spiked up to 72 bushels in areas where it should’ve been 100.”

This year, fungicide again proved itself, but application at the proper time was also very challenging.

“We sprayed Prosaro, but I think we missed the ideal timing by about three days,” Wagner said.… Continue reading

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The Ohio Crop Progress Report – July 5th, 2011

Temperatures across the state were slightly above average for this time of year, and precipitation was below normal. Most field activities included winter wheat harvest, cutting hay, spraying herbicide and side-dressing corn. As expected, late planted corn is showing better stand counts than that of early planted acres. Reporters in the South Central district report that some stands of winter wheat are showing signs of head scab, the infection rate is low to moderate. Vegetable producers in the South East district have begun harvesting of tomatoes, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers and sweet corn.

As of Sunday July 3rd, 95 percent of soybeans were emerged, two percent behind last year and four percent behind the five-year average. One percent of the soybeans were blooming, compared to 16 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Fifty-six percent of the winter wheat was ripe, 34 percent behind last year and 4 percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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No death tax is not a reason to avoid farm transition planning

Many in Ohio agriculture fought hard for the elimination of the estate tax, commonly referred to as the “Death Tax” by critics. While they can celebrate success, it is important to remember that even with no estate tax, there is still a need for careful farm transition planning.

Ohio’s version of this tax provision is set to expire due to a provision in the state’s biennial budget — a prospect that concerns financial planning professionals.

“The primary concern is that the repeal, along with changes in the federal estate tax will serve as a disincentive to doing farm transition, business and estate planning,” said Peggy Hall, director of the Agricultural and Resource Law Program of The Ohio State University Extension. “That’s the concern I’m hearing from many attorneys.”

The estate tax is a potentially confusing and burdensome issue; critics claim the tax forces farmers and small business owners to liquidate assets simply to pay the tax.… Continue reading

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Ice cream is big business in Ohio

During one of the hottest months of the year, it would be hard to find a cold treat more popular than ice cream. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a world-leading 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream are made every year in the U.S. – which is enough to fill more than 2,200 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Home to several large scale ice cream makers, Ohio is one of the states largely responsible for fueling the nation’s appetite for frozen desserts. In celebration of National Ice Cream Month, the monthly Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum will host John Gauthier of Lesniewicz Associates (marketers of Toft’s Ice Cream), to present “Ice Cream’s Impact in Ohio,” Thurs., July 21 from 7:30 – 9 a.m. The program begins at 8 a.m. with informal networking prior, hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, north of Bowling Green, OH.… Continue reading

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NightCrawler Gardens growing from love of growing

By Matt Reese

The love of growing plants is at the root of a growing business in Fairfield County.

“Whether it is corn, soybeans, or tomatoes, I love to grow things,” said Jason England, who owns and operates NightCrawler Gardens in Fairfield County with his wife, Sheri. “I just like sowing seeds and watching them come up.”

England grew up in Fairfield County growing strawberries on his family’s small farm and his love of plants led him to study plant biology at Ohio University in Athens. There he met his future wife Sheri, an artist, who found she had a knack for arranging the flowers that England loved to grow.

NightCrawler Gardens started with the young couple renting four acres for the production of field grown fresh-cut flowers near his parents’ home back in Fairfield County in the mid-1990s. They would make the trip up from Athens after classes on Friday to pick the flowers in the glow of their headlights to sell at the Worthington Farmers Market the next morning.… Continue reading

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Down-under digestive microbes could help lower methane gas from livestock

The discovery that a bacterial species in the Australian Tammar wallaby gut is responsible for keeping the animal’s methane emissions relatively low suggests a potential new strategy may exist to try to reduce methane emissions from livestock, according to a new study.

Globally, livestock are the largest source of methane from human-related activities, and are the third-largest source of this greenhouse gas in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Wallabies and other marsupials — mammals like the kangaroo that develop their offspring in a pouch — are dependent on microbes to support their digestive system, similar to livestock such as cows, sheep and goats, but Tammar wallabies are known to release about 80 percent less methane gas per unit of digestible energy intake than do livestock animals.

Scientists have used DNA sequence data to devise a way to isolate and grow cultures of a dominant bacterial species from the Tammar wallaby gut and test its characteristics.… Continue reading

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Ertls received Young Jersey Breeder Awards from the American Jersey Cattle Association

David and Beth Ertl, Edison, Ohio, received one of six Young Jersey Breeder Awards given by the American Jersey Cattle Association in ceremonies on June 22, 2011, during the association’s Annual Meetings in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
The Young Jersey Breeder Award is presented to individuals or couples who are at least 28 years old and under the age of 40 on January 1 of the year nominated, who merit recognition for their expertise in dairy farming, breeding Jersey cattle, participation in programs of the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All-Jersey Inc., and leadership in Jersey and other dairy and agriculture organizations.
David and Beth met at the Ohio State Fair in 2000 and bonded through their love for the Jersey breed. A month after taking their marriage vows in 2004, David accepted a position as manager for a 200-head commercial dairy operation in northern Ohio and after a year, incorporated their Jersey herd into the farm.
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Kinnamon joins Ohio State as Industry Liaison Director for Ag Biosciences

Bryan Kinnamon, an executive with more than three decades of experience in marketing and manufacturing technology at global businesses, has joined Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) as Industrial Liaison Office Director.

In this capacity, Kinnamon will lead efforts to identify and foster connections with industry for one of Ohio State’s largest and most comprehensive colleges – which includes the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and OSU Extension. He is based on OARDC’s Wooster campus.

Kinnamon’s position is an expansion of the university’s Industry Liaison Office (ILO), aimed at establishing and growing a dedicated presence at OARDC and CFAES. A similar Industrial Liaison Office (led by Dan Kramer) was established last year in the College of Engineering.

“We are excited to have Bryan join us as he brings a wealth of talent and business knowledge to our College and to Ohio State University,” OARDC Director Steve Slack said.… Continue reading

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Increase in corn acres a surprise to everyone

This year’s planting estimate numbers released by the USDA on June 30 show the dynamic capabilities of Ohio farmers. It also demonstrates the need for modern farming technology to get crops in the ground in record time.

Most Ohio farmers were delayed in planting due to one of the wettest springs in history.

Yet the USDA estimates farmers planted more corn this year than last year, with figures showing that Ohio’s farmers put 3.5 million acres of corn in the ground in 2011, up from last year’s 3.45 million planted corn acres.

“Thirty years ago this would not have been an option,” said Mark Wachtman, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers (OCWGA) president and Henry County farmer. “Technology such as using GPS to guide in planting, allows us to plant quickly and do it right the first time. Also, biotech seeds make it possible to have a shorter growing season under adverse weather conditions.”… Continue reading

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Nominate your favorite CCA for the CCA of the Year Award

By Tina Lust, Channel Seed Company, Marion, Ohio and Traci Bultemeier, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Ft. Wayne, IN

What is the CCA of the Year Award?

The Certified Crop Advisor of the Year Award is designed to recognize an outstanding individual in Ohio who is currently a practicing CCA in the field of agriculture.  The award will be presented on March 6, 2012 at the Ada Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC).  Nominations for the award are now being accepted from growers like you!

What is required of a CCA?

A certified crop advisor is required to pass an exam at the state and national level, acquire experience based on years of education they have received,  have a satisfactory referral from a client and employer, and agree to follow the code of ethics.  After becoming certified, CCA’s are required to complete continuing education credits by attending meetings, completing self-reported activities or on-line training courses to obtain 40 credits in a two-year cycle.… Continue reading

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