Featured News

4-H is preparing a workforce

Ohio 4-H isn’t billed as a workforce preparation program. But in many important ways, the youth development program helps Ohio’s children and teens build the skills they’ll need once they enter the working world.

“The 4-H program is designed to develop life skills that people really do need in today’s workforce,” said Tom Archer, Ohio State University Extension’s assistant director in charge of 4-H Youth Development. “As a result, 4-H members become more independent workers, and they tend to care about others they work with.”

In 2010, 317,286 young people in Ohio ages 5 through 19 were involved in 4-H activities in urban, suburban and rural communities statewide. Whether they participate in clubs, camps, or in-school or after-school programs, 4-H members take part in hands-on, experiential learning that emphasizes “learning by doing.” Along the way, they learn leadership, citizenship and life skills that stay with them for a lifetime.

Such characteristics are becoming more recognized as essential qualities in today’s workforce.… Continue reading

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It’s “sink or swim” week for Ohio’s corn growers

Drier weather in the past few days has Ohio’s farmers itching to get in their fields to get corn planted.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, only 19% of Ohio’s corn crop was planted as of Sunday, May 29. Normally, 93% of the crop is planted at this point. Indiana was in a better situation with 59% of corn planted as of Sunday, compared with an 87% average over the past five years.

“Luckily, the weather does seem to be turning,” said Greg LaBarge, agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension. “The rain we were worried about Tuesday night missed Ohio, but a lot of folks still will need another few days to dry out to start planting. As soon as they can get in, they’ll be running nearly 24 hours a day to try to get the corn in.”

For every day that planting is delayed in late May and early June, corn growers can anticipate a loss in yield of up to two bushels per acre.… Continue reading

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It's "sink or swim" week for Ohio's corn growers

Drier weather in the past few days has Ohio’s farmers itching to get in their fields to get corn planted.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, only 19% of Ohio’s corn crop was planted as of Sunday, May 29. Normally, 93% of the crop is planted at this point. Indiana was in a better situation with 59% of corn planted as of Sunday, compared with an 87% average over the past five years.

“Luckily, the weather does seem to be turning,” said Greg LaBarge, agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension. “The rain we were worried about Tuesday night missed Ohio, but a lot of folks still will need another few days to dry out to start planting. As soon as they can get in, they’ll be running nearly 24 hours a day to try to get the corn in.”

For every day that planting is delayed in late May and early June, corn growers can anticipate a loss in yield of up to two bushels per acre.… Continue reading

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USDA releases new plate icon to replace food pyramid

First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.

“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we’re already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it’s tough to be a nutritionist, too.… Continue reading

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Wet spring leaves fields full of untreated weeds

The abnormally wet spring in the Eastern Corn Belt has not only hampered planting, but it also has prevented timely weed burndown applications, said a Purdue Extension weed scientist.



A common problem has been yellow fields caused by cressleaf groundsel, commonly known as ragwort, senicio or butterweed. Rain kept farmers from controlling this weed with herbicides earlier this spring.



“Farmers have a lot of questions about controlling cressleaf groundsel because the excessively wet weather did not allow burndown applications to be made in late April,” said Bill Johnson. “Now we have fields with groundsel, plus chickweed, henbit, deadnettle and winter annual grass at the seed set stage. Not to mention the summer annuals, such as giant foxtail, giant ragweed, common lambsquarters, black nightshade, pigweeds and waterhemp that have started to emerge.”



Bolting horseweed, or marestail, emerged last fall, and seedling horseweed that emerged this spring also continues to be an issue.… Continue reading

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Yield expectations for June corn planting

By Peter Thomison and Allen Geyer, Ohio State University Extension

In previous articles we’ve noted that by the end of May, planting delays may result in yield losses as high as 2 bushels per acre per day but that the impact of late planting on yield can be highly variable. Information on the performance of corn planted in June is limited. When planting is delayed beyond June 1, many grain producers switch to soybean because it has generally been regarded as more profitable than late-planted corn.

What can we expect from corn planted for grain in June? Since 2005 we have conducted field studies to compare the agronomic performance of corn planted on “normal” Ohio planting dates in late April and early May with that of corn planted on dates in early-to-mid June. These planting date studies also included hybrid maturity, nitrogen, seeding rate and foliar fungicide treatments but for the purpose of this discussion we will focus on planting date effects.… Continue reading

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Fly control in confined livestock and poultry production operations

By Ralph E. Williams, entomologist, Purdue University

Fly Control in Confined Livestock Operations

Of flies occurring in livestock confinement operations, including feedlots, dairies, swine, and sheep, of most concern are stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans, and house flies, Musca domestica.  Control of these two flies follows similar techniques.

Surveillance/Diagnosis:  Both stable flies and house flies can cause annoyance to livestock.  Stable flies feeding on livestock, especially on the legs, causes foot stomping, tail swishing, animal bunching, and nervousness.  Excessive house fly populations can also alter animal behavior.  Animals become reluctant to feed with high numbers of house flies present around feeders, and animals often bunch together to avoid fly activity.  Observing animal behavior can be an indication for the need for fly control.

Monitoring fly activity can be accomplished in several ways.  The use of light traps, baited fly traps, sticky ribbons, and spot (fly speck) cards are useful in monitoring fly activity, especially house flies inside buildings. … Continue reading

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Soggy May was tough on hay

By Matt Reese

Everyone knows that farmers love their tractors and equipment, but hay guys really love their equipment. Dependable, functional equipment is vital when making 180 acres of high dollar hay and 130 acres of straw a year, said Neall Weber as he speaks highly of his hay equipment sitting safely out of the persistent spring rains. He is quick to point out the Circle C Roller he uses makes the hay soft and palatable for horses and allows it to dry more quickly in the field.

“That roller buys us a day of drying for every cutting,” he said.

The Hesston baler has a long track record of dependability, which really counts when making hay.

“I don’t even know how to work on the balers because we’ve never had to,” he said with a proud gleam in his eyes. “We never have trouble with them. With hay, even 15 minutes or a half hour can make a big difference.… Continue reading

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50 Groups Urge Congress to Reject $1 Billion in Cuts to USDA Conservation Programs

A coalition of more than 50 agriculture and conservation groups representing millions of Americans today are urging lawmakers to reject nearly $1 billion in proposed cuts to farm bill conservation programs.  The organizations are asking the House Appropriations Committee to “ensure that reasonable funding levels are continued”; $500 million already has been slashed from farm bill conservation programs in the FY2011 spending bill.

“These conservation programs are crucial to the health and viability of agriculture and rural America,” said a letter sent to committee members from the agriculture and conservation groups, including National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund and National Young Farmers’ Coalition. “The demand for enrollment in these programs routinely exceeds the funds available, even without any cuts.  Failure to support our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and natural resource base today will jeopardize our agricultural industry, drive up long term costs for environmental mitigation, and threaten our nation’s food security.”… Continue reading

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More corn produced with fewer nutrients

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) announced that between 1980 and 2010, U.S. farmers nearly doubled corn production using slightly fewer fertilizer nutrients than were used in 1980.  The announcement is based on fertilizer application rate data released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).  Specifically, in 1980, farmers grew 6.64 billion bushels of corn using 3.9 pounds of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) for each bushel and in 2010 they grew 12.45 billion bushels using 1.6 pounds of nutrients per bushel produced.  In total, this represents an 87.5% increase in production with 4% fewer nutrients during that same timeframe. Corn production accounts for half of U.S. fertilizer use and experts estimate that 40 to 60% of world food production is attributable to fertilizers.

“Through improvements in modern technology and old fashioned ingenuity, our farmers are using fertilizer with the greatest efficiency in history and have again shown why U.S.… Continue reading

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Managing dairy costs

While rising feed prices and other production costs, are putting pressure on the dairy industry, a Purdue Extension dairy specialist says there may be ways for dairy farmers to reduce their on-farm input expenses.

“The three biggest input costs for dairies are feed, labor, and replacement heifers,” said Mike Schutz. “Two out of the three are influenced dramatically by corn prices.”

With rising energy and grain prices, Schutz said the economic model for dairies is shifting back to diversification. Producing feeds such as hay and grains allows farmers to better control their input costs.

“The dairy economic crisis of 2009 showed record low milk prices and high feed costs, and farms that were diverse were positioned to weather that crisis,” Schutz said. “During that year, the average dairy lost between $350 and $1,000 per cow, but losses were absorbed better by those raising their own feed.”

Since 2009, the milk price has increased; however, the margin between milk price and feed cost remains small.… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Progress Report- May 31st

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 68.5 degrees, 5.4 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, May 29, 2011. Precipitation averaged 2.37 inches, 1.32 inches above normal. There were 131 modified growing degree days, 32 days above normal.

Reporters rated 1.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, May 27, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 10 percent adequate, and 90 percent surplus.

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY MAY 29, 2011

The weekly temperatures were slightly above normal throughout the state, and the majority of reporting districts received above normal rainfall for the week. Rainfall kept farmers out of the fields. Rainfall has been affecting everything from planting to hay harvest to fruit pollination.

As of Sunday May 29, corn was 19 percent planted, which was 74 percent behind both last year and the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Crop Insurance Question 5: Cover Crops

Question: How do cover crops that could not be properly managed in the wet weather figure in to crop insurance?

Answer: It is a long-standing RMA rule that if a crop reaches the headed/seeded stage or is harvested, then any crop following that crop in the same year is uninsurable.  Cover crops that were planted last fall are typically killed prior to heading, but with all the rain this year it wasn’t possible, and many fields have gone to seed.  RMA announced in January that you can do a “Written Agreement”, or special request, to RMA to insure a field following a cover crop that is headed or harvested, as long as the cover crop is killed by May 15th.  Due to the extreme wetness, RMA announced on May 26th that they have extended the May 15th deadline to June 1 for corn and June 10 for soybeans. … Continue reading

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Livestock producers concerned with wet spring

Ohio has experienced its wettest April in more than 100 years of record keeping with a rainfall of 7.7 inches. The previous record was 6.37 inches set in April 1893. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Soil & Water Resources also noted that it was Ohio’s wettest February to April period on record.

“The rains have caused a tremendous hardship on farmers who are unable to get into the fields to plant or safely apply fertilizer and manure,” said Ted Lozier, chief of the Division of Soil & Water Resources.

Lozier said that as a result of the heavy rains some manure storage facilities are near capacity. Recognizing that an overflow could have an environmental impact on waterways, the division is offering limited financial assistance to qualifying operators.

A cost share of up to $500 is potentially available to assist qualifying livestock facility operators to haul and dispose of liquid manure in a manner approved by the program.… Continue reading

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Vilsack will not withdraw proposed rule on buying livestock

According to an update from the National Pork Producers Council, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said he will not withdraw a proposed rule on buying and selling livestock and poultry. The statement came following a letter the Secretary received from 147 House lawmakers asking that the proposed rule be withdrawn and that USDA propose a regulation — more consistent with the intent of Congress as outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Under the farm bill, USDA is to promulgate new regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act to address five specific areas related to livestock and poultry contracts. The bi-partisan letter highlighted concerns about the process and cited this as the reason the USDA should withdraw and re-propose.

A recent analysis of the proposed regulation conducted by Informa Economics found that it would cost the U.S. pork industry nearly 400-million dollars annually, resulting in 2,000 direct pork related job losses. NPPC — like the 147 bi-partisan House members – has strongly urged USDA to be open and transparent in its regulatory dealings with the U.S.… Continue reading

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Crop insurance question 4: Coverage for new acres

By Andrea Metz, Cargill

Question: What if I picked up additional acres this year? How does that play into my crop insurance options?

Answer: Your options for added land will be determined by the application you signed at sales closing date, where the added land is located, and how many acres you are adding.

For instance, I selected State coverage on my application and made Shelby County my designated county. I add 50 acres in a section I already farm in Shelby County. My coverage on the crops I plant on the added land would be the same as the coverage for the Shelby County crops that I elected to insure on the application at sales closing. For production purposes this added land would be added to the APH database of my existing unit and the production history of that unit by crop/practice/type will apply to this added land.

These added acres may be eligible for prevent plant if certain requirements are met. … Continue reading

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Crop Insurance Question 3: Prevented Planting and Crop Options

By Troy Ross, Williamson Insurance Agency

Troy Ross, Williamson Insurance AgencyQuestion: If corn cannot be planted and prevented planting is employed, what alternative crop options are available and when can they be planted?

Answer: Every county in the state of Ohio can have different special provisions. Each grower should refer to the policy; special provisions your agent and the adjustor to make an informed decision on the best way to proceed.

For RP and YP policies, the final plant date for corn is June 5th. The policy contains a late plant period of 25 days after the final plant date. The late plant period starts June 6th and extends through June 30th.

To receive the full prevented planting payment for corn, the prevented corn acres must lay fallow and no subsequent crop can be planted. Complying with this will have no adverse affect on your production history (APH).  If any crop is planted during the late plant period, the prevented planting claim is withdrawn/denied and no corn prevent plant payment will be made.… Continue reading

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Nine Students Become Ohio AgriGold Interns

AgriGold is proud to introduce a group of college students that will be sharing the AgriGold story, placing field signs and working closely with their local Corn Specialist as a part of the 2011 Sales Internship Program. AgriGold has hired a total of 80 interns across the Corn Belt with 9 of those being placed in Ohio. The Intern Orientation Meeting was held May 17-19th in Champaign, IL at the AgReliant Genetics Research Station.

This year’s interns and their Corn Specialists in Ohio are:

InternHometownCorn Specialist
Caitlyn DeverPataskala, OHGabe Medinger
Danny KnapkeRockford, OHNick Brackman
David ReifEast Lansing, MIMatt Kimerer
Dylan DobbsHillsboro, OHKyle Wilson
Kyle ImwalleSt. Marys, OHBen Bowsher
Nick RettigNapoleon, OHJessica George
Tom AlbanyWesterville, OHScott Bugg and Dave Kress
Tom ChristyAlvada, OHKent Miller
Bethany JohnsonBaltimore, OHHW Martin & Son – Hebron, OH

AgriGold is proud to invest in the future of agriculture and support college students pursuing careers in the food and fiber industry.… Continue reading

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