Featured News

Pollinating under adverse conditions

By John Brien, AgriGold Agronomist, CCA

About a third of Ohio’s corn crop is tasseled and more is tasseling every day, the temperatures and humidity continue to be high and the forecast continues to predict heat. How will all these factors affect pollination out in the corn field?

Ideal pollination conditions consist of moderate temperatures with low humidity with ample soil moisture; unfortunately some parts of the state only have ample soil moisture. So if conditions are not ideal how does a corn plant ensure the best pollination possible? To ensure a successful pollination the corn plant has many built in safety measures.

The first safety measure surrounds pollen release. A tassel will not begin releasing pollen until the entire tassel is emerged from the plant. Pollen will also not be released when conditions could be detrimental to the pollen grain. Typically pollen is released once the dew is off the corn plant in the morning and prior to the heat of the day and again in the evening as the temperatures decrease, ensuring pollen viability.… Continue reading

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OSU wheat trials

The purpose of the Ohio Wheat Performance Test is to evaluate wheat varieties, blends, brands, and breeding lines for yield, grain quality and other important performance characteristics. This information gives wheat producers comparative information for selecting the varieties best suited for their production system and market. Varieties differ in yield potential, winter hardiness, maturity, standability, disease and insect resistance, and other agronomic characteristics. Depending on variety and test site, yields varied between 53.1 and 107.4 bushels per acre, and test weight ranged from 54.7 to 63.3 pounds per bushel. Selection should be based on performance from multiple test sites and years. Results of the 2011 wheat performance evaluation are available at: www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~perf and http://agcrops.osu.edu and the Mid-August issue of Ohio’s Country Journal.… Continue reading

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Heat and corn

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist

The recent heat wave has generated many questions about the impact of high temperatures on corn yields. The “good news” is that corn originated as a tropical grass and can tolerate exposures to adverse temperatures as high as 112 degrees F for brief periods. Optimal daytime temperatures for corn typically range between 77 degrees and 91 degrees. Growth decreases when temperatures exceed 95 degrees. Fortunately, the high temperatures during the past week have been associated with some much needed rains across the state.

How high is too high for corn? Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois agronomist, notes that “afternoon temperatures in the mid-90s are not a problem for corn… if they have enough soil water available. In experiments, plant temperatures have been raised to 110 or higher without doing direct damage to photosynthetic capacity. The level required to damage leaves depends on the temperature the leaf has experienced before, but it generally takes temperatures above 100 in field-grown plants.”… Continue reading

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Sustainable Farm Tour Series continues

The 2011 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series continues on Aug. 17 with a look at organic soybeans. New research on pest control is the focus, including the effects of planting date and the benefits of no-till rotations of rye and soybeans.

It’s at the John Hirzel Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Site at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, 13737 Middleton Pike, near Bowling Green. Hours are noon-3 p.m. Admission is free, lunch is included, and no pre-registration is needed.

For more information, contact Alan Sundermeier of Ohio State University Extension, 419-354-9050, sundermeier.5@osu.edu.

Six organizations, including Ohio State’s Sustainable Agriculture Team, are presenting the Farm Tour series.

Get complete details and a list of all 36 tours at http://go.osu.edu/DR3.Continue reading

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Food product development contest winners announced by CIFT

Northwest Ohio is rich with signature products developed locally, and some even enjoy being recognized regionally and nationally. The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) sponsored the fourth annual Food Product Development Contest, which showcases many new local products ready to take that next step – actual product development.

Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada, and CIFT President and CEO David Beck, announced today at the CIFT office three winners selected in recognition of their product concepts:

• White Balsamic Dressing by Moussa Salloukh (Toledo, Ohio) – A sweet, light, yet crisp white balsamic dressing with a unique taste that covers and holds to lettuce without overbearing the salad. Created in the relaxed atmosphere of the Toledo, Ohio-based restaurant, La Scola Italian Grill, the dressing also serves as an excellent marinade on poultry and pork.

• Barista Bites by Darlene White (Grand Rapids, Ohio) – This scone and biscotti crossover has the softness of a scone on the inside with the shape and firmness of biscotti on the outside.… Continue reading

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The Ohio Crop Progress Report – August 1st


The average temperature for the State was 78.9 degrees, 6.4 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, July 31, 2011. Precipitation averaged 0.66 inches, 0.16 inches below normal. There were 192 modified growing degree days, 37 days above normal.

Reporters rated 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, July 29, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 10 percent very short, 25 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.


There was still extreme heat in Ohio last week; however, rain helped reduce the stress on crops and livestock. Field activities for the week included baling straw and hay, spraying herbicide, tilling wheat stubble and installing tile.

As of Sunday July 31st, 58 percent of corn was silked (tasseled), compared to 94 percent last year and 86 percent for the five-year average. Corn in dough was 5 percent.… Continue reading

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Beef Grazing Tour

The Ohio Forage and Grassland Council (OFGC) in cooperation with Athens County Extension is sponsoring a Beef Grazing Tour on Wednesday, August 17 in Athens County. The tour will feature three host farms; Dave and Nancy Bircher located at 3253 Sargent Road in Lodi Township, Joe and Donna Marks located at 17222 Lawson Road in Lodi Township and Scott and Joanne Pfeiffer located at 4347 Marion Johnson Road in Alexander Township.

Each farm will highlight different management practices. The tour begins at the Bircher farm at 9:30 am. This stop will feature paddock development, water systems, lane access and pasture rotation management. The next stop is the Marks farm where the discussion will center on fall calving, stockpiling forage and pasture reseeding options. At the Marks farm a noon meal of grilled hamburgers and hotdogs will be served. Following the noon meal we will drive to the final stop of the tour, the Pfeiffer farm.… Continue reading

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Orange County Choppers and orphans

Helping others is a passion for the Beck family and family of employees. In celebration of our 75th anniversary, Beck’s Hybrids commissioned Orange County Choppers to build two custom choppers. One of the choppers will be featured on the popular Discovery Channel TV show, American Chopper.

The choppers will be used to raise money for the We Care for Orphans Adoption Fund. We Care for Orphans helps unite orphaned children with loving families. For a chance to win, Ohioans can visit Beck’s at the Farm Science Review or other events, including Becknology Days on Aug. 25-27 and Commodity Classic on March 1-3.… Continue reading

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When should fungicides be applied to corn?

By Dave Nanda, 
Director of Genetics and Technology 
for Seed Consultants, Inc.


Farmers have to make many decisions for raising profitable crops. You can make most decisions based on your own knowledge and experience. But for some decisions you need help of unbiased soil and crop agronomists, plant pathologists, and entomologists. Try to contact an Extension educator or a crops consultant who you can trust when you cannot make those decisions yourself. They might cost you a little initially, but if they are knowledgeable and worth their salt, they can save or make you a ton of money!

If deciding when to spray chemicals, it would be great if you had your own sprayer and could spray fungicides and insecticides yourself when you need. However, if you have to get it done by the custom applicators, they have limited time and equipment to cover all the acres contracted in their area.… Continue reading

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Stockpile decisions

Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County and Buckeye Hills EERA

It’s time for my annual reminder that early to mid-August is a good time to set aside some pasture paddocks to stockpile growth for winter grazing. On many farms the actual implementation of stockpiling can be traced back to management decisions in June and July as pasture paddock rotations were adjusted to set up this practice.

Tall fescue is the forage of choice to stockpile for winter grazing. Compared to other cool season grass species tall fescue produces more fall growth and does the best job of maintaining forage quality throughout the winter period. Tall fescue also accumulates high levels of non-structural carbohydrates and has improved palatability when grown under cool as compared to warm or hot weather conditions. In addition, we have a high percentage of endophyte infected fescue in our area. The toxic alkaloids associated with infected fescue reduce forage palatability and depress animal performance over the summer months.… Continue reading

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USDA makes funds available to meet urgent credit needs of producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that a high demand for guaranteed farm ownership and direct farm operating funds has prompted USDA to transfer appropriated funds between programs as authorized by law, to meet the urgent credit needs of producers, including beginning and minority farmers and ranchers.

“Demand is strong for direct operating loans and guaranteed farm ownership loans, while demand for subsidized guaranteed operating loans has stabilized,” Vilsack said. “With these funds, we can help thousands of producers establish and maintain their family farming operations and obtain long-term credit assistance through a commercial lender.”

The transfer will make an additional $100 million in loan funds available for the direct operating loan program, providing 1,600 small, beginning and minority farmers with resources to establish and maintain their family farming operations. In addition, $400 million in loan funds will be made available for the guaranteed farm ownership loan program giving an additional 1,000 family farmers access to commercial lending backed by USDA.… Continue reading

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Common sense management necessary to minimize heat stress on livestock

Both man and beast suffer the effects of high heat and humidity in the dog days of summer, so cattle and sheep producers need to adopt basic strategies to keep animals calm, cool and collected through the year’s hottest days.

“Actual temperatures are well into the nineties and heat indexes are very high,” said John Grimes, Ohio State University Extension beef coordinator. “Producers need to consider their daily management practices in order to minimize the stress resulting from current weather patterns to their beef herds.”

Coordinating animal movement and handling in the morning or evening hours is essential to minimizing heat stress for both livestock and human handlers. Working animals in the middle of the day, Grimes said, is a recipe for heat-related health issues.

Cattle aren’t the only animals affected by the summer sun. Sheep in Ohio also are raised predominantly outdoors in pasture-based production systems. Roger High, OSU Extension sheep coordinator, said farmers need to mind basic animal health principles to keep sheep comfortable.… Continue reading

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Animal rights activists target university researchers, students

Activists promoting an agenda of animal rights have long protested the use of animals by major research universities and institutions.

Earle Holland, Ohio State University’s assistant vice president for Research Communications, said those activists are increasingly targeting students pursuing degrees in fields known for relying on laboratory animals to conduct research.

“It is much bigger than ever before,” Holland said. “The FBI has designated some animal rights groups and even some environmental activists as domestic terrorists. Given the rise in violence and property destruction over the past decade or so, it is much more serious than it was in the past.”

Holland acknowledged that Ohio State is relatively fortunate, dealing with only a “handful” of serious threats of violence to university researchers in recent years. The national trend, on the other hand, concerns the university and the research community at large.

Major research institutions such as Ohio State rely on laboratory research animals for two key reasons: first, because the animals provide the best possible vehicle for conducting research in many fields of study.… Continue reading

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Report confirms flaws in government Chesapeake Bay analyses

An updated report on the science surrounding Chesapeake Bay water quality confirms that serious and significant differences exist between the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Bay Model” and the model authored by the Agriculture Department. Left unchanged these differences could lead to farmers in the watershed paying a steep price for nutrients and sediments that have been mistakenly attributed to them, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The analysis, conducted by LimnoTech and commissioned by the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council, shows there are vast differences between the EPA and USDA Chesapeake Bay models in the areas of land use, total acreage of the Bay watershed and data and assumptions about farmer adoption of conservation and farming practices.

“It is clear to us that the EPA’s TMDL water regulations are based on flawed information,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Due to the fact that farmers and others in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are being directed to incur extreme costs and even take land out of production to comply with EPA’s harsh new regulations, those regulations must be based on reliable information.… Continue reading

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FMC field day showcased results

FMC Corporation recently hosted a successful week of summer plot tours, highlighting in-field results from Anthem, Anthem ATZ, Authorityand Cadet herbicides as well as Hero and Capture LFR insecticides. Over 350 retailers, distributors and FMC team members attended the FMC plot tour events, which were scheduled from July 11-15 along the corn and soybean belt. Plots were hosted in Urbana, Ill.; Noblesville, Ind.; Ames, Iowa; York, Neb.; Tipp City, Ohio; and Beresford, S.D. FMC field researchers and technical representatives led the plot tours and presented product results along with trial data to date.

“Test plots hosted in various soil types and geographical areas allow FMC to gather additional research data, examine the efficacy and further develop our crop protection products,” said Bob Hooten, technical support manager for FMC Agricultural Products. “These plot tours are invaluable as they allow retailers to see firsthand the superior performance of what FMC has to offer, share results and discuss crop protection benefits and best practices.”… Continue reading

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Kubota sells 1.5 million units in United States

As Kubota Corporation, Osaka, Japan, begins to celebrate 40 years in the United States, the global equipment manufacturer hits another milestone as its U.S. distributor Kubota Tractor Corporation, Torrance, Calif., announces it has retailed 1.5 million Kubota units in America.

“We are thrilled as an organization to reach the 1.5 million mark for sales to our valued customers in the United States,” says Yuichi “Ken” Kitao, President of Kubota Tractor Corporation. “Our network of outstanding Kubota dealers and the greater Kubota family of customers reflects the acceptance of Kubota’s engineering and innovative products over the past 40 years across America. In this time of growth for our company, Kubota has proudly created many jobs in the U.S. including positions in our manufacturing operations, corporate and field offices, as well as producing local business opportunities for Kubota dealers.”

In early July, Kitao and other Kubota management staff celebrated with Kubota customer Jeremy Nafziger, Marietta, Pa.,… Continue reading

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