Featured News

Digester That Turns Manure into Methane Demonstrated at Farm Science Review

Farmers interested in alternative energy technologies for the farm can learn more about the small-scale biodigester developed by Ohio State University ecological engineers. The technology will be demonstrated at Farm Science Review, Sept. 21-23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Jay Martin, a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, has developed a modified fixed-dome digester that can make methane from manure, which can either be burned as an alternative to natural gas or propane, or converted to electricity using a generator. The 300-gallon biodigester, installed at Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus, is designed specifically to cater to average-sized and smaller livestock farms – around 150 dairy cows on average.

“There are less than 200 digesters working on livestock farms in the United States, and those digesters are designed for large-scale industrial dairy operations in the range of 10,000 or 15,000 head.

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Crop insurance options

Farmers who want to insure this fall’s and next spring’s crops will have some decisions to make regarding crop insurance choices according to Amy Jackson, vice president of insurance for Farm Credit Services of Mid-America. “The new guidelines combine previous yield and revenue plans into one standardized plan and will be known as the COMBO plan,” she said.

For example, the new program combines Crop Revenue Coverage and Revenue Assurance policies into a new Revenue Protection policy. Actual Production History coverage is now called Yield Production. Additionally, price-setting methods and recordkeeping requirements also have changed.

Farmers will still be able to purchase individual policies for their farms. The new plan merely simplifies the process. The important thing to keep in mind, notes Jackson, is a policy automatically converts to the like-kind policy for 2011 if no action is taken. “However, farmers have the opportunity to make changes to their policy type and coverage levels through September 30, 2010 for fall wheat and March 15, 2011 for spring crops,” she said.… Continue reading

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Diagnosing stalk rots

By John Brien, CCA, AgriGold agronomist

There have been numerous cases of anthracnose stalk rot moving into corn fields throughout the area. Unfortunately, stalk rots are often misunderstood. Many times when stalk rots move into a field, an assumption is typically made that the particular hybrid had bad health and poor standability, but in reality that assumption is not always correct. To understand stalk rots and why they affect certain hybrids, fields or even certain plants, an investigation into the entire stalk rot cycle must occur.
One of the most important facts about stalk rots is that they are opportunistic pathogens. Being opportunistic means stalk rots very seldom affect healthy, non-stressed corn, but instead attack corn plants that have a weakened defense system or are under some other stress. There are many different issues that can cause a corn plant to be susceptible to stalk rots, but this article will focus on the stresses causing the stalk rots this year.… Continue reading

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USDA and FFA team up to create lesson plans just in time for school

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the National FFA Organization have partnered to develop new educational tools to help promote agricultural and statistical literacy among kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

“By including these materials in the classroom curriculum, teachers can help students better understand statistics and their importance to the farming community, rural America and society as a whole,” said Dr. Cynthia Clark, NASS administrator. “These lesson plans contain relevant information to give students a realistic view of statistical processes used to track trends and changes in U.S. agricultural production, economics and demographics.”

The classroom-ready resources, which include lesson plans and supporting materials, are aligned with national curriculum standards for science, math and social studies.

The materials use current Census of Agriculture data to teach a variety of concepts including discovering new trends in population subsets and evaluating diversity among farmers.

The materials are available online via the NASS website (http://www.nass.usda.gov/Education_and_Outreach/index.asp)… Continue reading

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Harvesting, storing and pricing corn silage

It is that time of year again (though a little early this year). Here are a couple of silage related articles from Ohio State University Extension experts on the CORN Newsletter.

By Bill Weiss, Ohio State University Extension

Several important decisions regarding corn silage harvest must be made in the next few weeks and these decisions will affect the dairy herd for the next 12 months. Corn silage that is made and stored correctly is an excellent feed and one of the cheapest sources of nutrients in the Midwest. On the other hand, silage that is not made correctly can adversely reduce milk production when fed to cows and will have lower nutritional value resulting in higher supplementation costs.

The decisions that must be made (in order of importance) are:

1. When to chop the corn.
2. Everything else.

The “Everything else” category includes cutting height, chop length, kernel processing, use of inoculant, and how long the silage should be left before feeding.… Continue reading

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Corn and soybean harvest expectations

By Brian Essinger, Monsanto Territory Manager, Northern Ohio

Harvest is rapidly approaching and overall in 2010 we will all have a lot in which to look forward. But before I get to that, let’s start off with the most important harvest message: Be safe. Each spring and fall I e-mail my growers this same message because it holds the most importance. Please take that little extra time to do whatever your doing the safe way. Walk around not over, turn it off even when you are just taking a look, slow down or stop when your tired, and think about who you get to come home to so it stays first and foremost in your mind. We have all had to visit those who lost loved ones or who were injured during the fall. So be safe, I always enjoy sitting down and visiting with you, and I would like to keep it that way this fall!… Continue reading

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Estimating corn yields

By John Brien, CCA, regional agronomist for AgriGold

The Yield Component Method is one of the most versatile and utilized methods to estimate yields. It allows growers to estimate their corn yields as early as 25 days after it takes into consideration the key components that determine grain yield. Yield components include the number of harvestable ears per acre, number of kernel rows per ear, number of kernels per row and kernel weight. The first three components are easily measured in the field while the value for kernel weight for ease of computing is a predetermined factor.
When estimating yields with the Yield Component Method there are several key points to keep in mind. When rainfall during grain fill is below average, the yields will be overestimated, while good grain fill conditions will underestimate yield.
Below is an example of the Yield Component Method to estimate grain yield.
Step 1. Measure a length equal to 1/1000th of an acre.… Continue reading

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Pioneer Field Day on Corn and Soybean Progress

Dale Minyo visits with Pioneer Agronomist Jonah Johnson at the Pioneer Field Day in Wilmington, OH.  Pioneer Jonah Johnson

Dale Minyo visits with Pioneer Agronomist Jerron Schmoll about Pioneer’s Triplestack varieties and the new Optimum AcreMax 1 Insect Protection product. Jerron Schmall -Pioneer

Dale Minyo visits with Pioneer Non-GMO Manager Dan Jones about the need for non-GMO products inside and outside the U.S. Dan Jones- Pioneer

Dale Minyo visits with Jim Trybaum, Pioneer Soybean Agronomic Research Scientist about innovations in soybean varieties.  Jim Trybaum- Pioneer Agronomy ResearchContinue reading

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U.S. Agriculture Paying Price for Inaction on Mexican Trucks

Mexico’s trade retaliation against the United States is expanding in size and scope due to the U.S. government not meeting obligations to allow Mexican trucks to operate in the United States. Due to this inaction, America’s farmers and ranchers are paying a steep price and the American Farm Bureau Federation is calling for immediate action to correct the matter.

The updated retaliation list published by Mexico includes tariffs that take effect today against U.S. pork, certain types of U.S. cheese, pistachios, a wide range of U.S. fruits and vegetables and other farm and non-farm goods.

“Mexico is one of our best trading partners and allowing this retaliation to continue for a provision we are obligated to meet is simply unacceptable,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “The economic impact from this growing list will be significant to many farmers and ranchers.”

Mexico has taken this action because under NAFTA, Mexican motor carriers are allowed to transport international cargo within the U.S.… Continue reading

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Farm Bureau, Bob Evans® Announce Money-Savings Promotion

Members of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) can now save 10 percent on every meal at Bob Evans Restaurants. The new, money-saving program applies to both dine-in and carry-out meals.

“This is exciting news for current Farm Bureau members and a great reason for lots of folks to join our organization,” said Janet Cassidy, OFBF senior director, marketing communications. “Our members tell us time and again they enjoy Bob Evans’ food and hospitality, so we’re very pleased to announce this great promotion.”

Ohio Farm Bureau members can access unlimited discount coupons at www.BobEvans.com/OFBF. A coupon and current Farm Bureau membership card must be presented to obtain the 10 percent savings. People who are not yet Farm Bureau members can learn about joining the organization and securing additional member benefits by visiting ofbf.org.

“Our two organizations share a commitment to providing Ohioans with high quality food. So this partnership between Bob Evans and Ohio Farm Bureau just makes a lot of sense,” said Cassidy.Continue reading

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Ohio Projects Receive an Additional $118 Million in Broadband Recovery Act Awards

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today welcomed the announcement by Vice President Biden that three Ohio broadband projects received more than $118 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to extend broadband access throughout Ohio and create more than 430 jobs, and likely many more through indirect job creation.

“These awards support our plan to create a seamless broadband infrastructure throughout Ohio,” Strickland said. “Comprehensive Internet access is one part of our strategy to lay the groundwork for Ohio’s long-term economic growth and improve Ohio’s business environment. Because access to high-speed Internet is increasingly essential for businesses and is a gateway to connecting our students with the world. I want to thank the Obama administration and our Ohio Congressional leaders for their continued support of our goal to make sure that every part of Ohio has access to high-speed Internet services.”

The Ohio awards are below:

Horizon Telecom, $66.5 million: The project, with nearly $28.5 million in matching contributions, will allow Horizon Telecom, a Chillicothe company, to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in 34 southern and eastern Ohio counties.… Continue reading

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Seed Consultants Celebrates 20 Years

When Chris Jeffries and Dan Fox started Seed Consultants Inc. (SCI) in the corner of a farmer’s implement building, they never dreamed the company would become one of the largest independent seed companies in the U.S.
Fox’s and Jeffries’ backgrounds were both in production agriculture and the seed industry. In the ‘90s they were working for major seed companies but felt the western-based companies lacked adequate Eastern Corn Belt testing and strong regional products. “I was disenchanted with the way companies were treating our customers,” Jeffries recalls. “The companies we worked for were not going to add regionalized products, and we were told to basically sell whatever we were given.”
Fox and Jeffries wanted to give customers the best genetics for the region, so in 1990 Jeffries, a Purdue Universitygraduate with majors in Animal Science and Agricultural Education, and Fox, a Wilmington College graduate in Ag Business, started testing, selecting and selling genetics for the Eastern Corn Belt.… Continue reading

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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 if the white mold producing material (Sclerotinia) is in a field, conditions may be right for it to be there again this year.
“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. They puff their spores up onto the stems and infect the old blossoms and they can kill the plants in the bottom third of the stem,” Dorrance said. “We have historic fields that have had white mold since the early 90s and late 80s. Every once in a while we get a blow up. Last year conditions were perfect and this year conditions are good again.”
The moisture this year has been favorable for the development of the disease.… Continue reading

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Corn closing in on maturity

By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension
Ohio’s corn crop continues to develop rapidly as a result of this season’s early planting and above average temperatures. According to the NASS (www.nass.usda.gov), as of Aug. 15, 82% of corn was in dough, compared to 43% last year and 59% for the five-year average. Thirty-four percent of corn was dented, compared to 4% last year and 10% for the five-year average. In many fields, corn in full dent has achieved the half-milk line stage (also referred to as the “starch line”). Thermal time from half-milkline to physiological maturity (“black layer”) is approximately 280 GDDs (http://www.kingcorn.org/news/timeless/GrainFill.html), which corresponds to about 10 days if we accumulate at least 28 GDD daily. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, the NASS has forecast Ohio’s corn average yield at 176 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels from last year’s record yield of 174 bushels per acre. If these estimates for maturity and yield come to pass, we may be looking at a very large, early maturing crop.… Continue reading

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Weather Update

by Jim Noel
The last two weeks saw temperatures much above normal with rainfall near normal. However, as was discussed two weeks ago, rainfall was highly variable, from less than 0.50 inches to over 5 inches. Normal for the 2 week period is around 1.75 inches.

The outlook for the remainder of August calls for much above normal temperatures to continue. Temperatures this week will start cooler the first half but temperatures 4-10 degrees above the normal (normals are lows 80s and low 60s on average across the state plus or minus 3-4 degrees from north to south) will return thereafter. Rainfall now looks below average the rest of this month. There will still be pockets of heavier rain, but the heaviest rains look north and south of the state. The northeast and far south stand the best chances for rainfall. Average for the rest of the month is near 1.75 inches.… Continue reading

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