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Ohioans to compete at National Farm Machinery Show pulls

By: Heather Hetterick

Several Ohio drivers will be participating at the 2013 National Farm Machinery Pulls including Carlton Cope of Salem, the driver of Warpath.

“It’s certainly an honor just to get invited to go compete there because so many competitors send in an application to compete,” Cope said.

Fewer than 200 vehicles are chosen to compete from about 600 applications.

“Because it’s such a big event, we double check everything making sure its tight and set right. We spend alot of time just washing and cleaning it up due to the show,” he said.

Because of the indoor venue he’s had to make some adjustment to the tractor that will compete Friday night in the 10,200-pound Pro Stock tractor class.

“Usually on the indoor track we have to gear down, because of the shorter track. We also change the weight step a little bit and put the indoor exhaust pipe on,” Cope said.… Continue reading

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Bullseye Pheasant Preserve stays on target

By Connie Lechleitner, OCJ field reporter

What started as a family activity nearly 10 years ago has turned into the full-time operation known as Bullseye Pheasant Preserve, located in eastern Tuscarawas County in Northeast Ohio.

“We used to have a family pheasant hunt on Thanksgiving every year, and more and more people showed up,” said Matt Peters, who owns the business. “One year someone said ‘you should just do this for the public.’ So we did.”

Since starting Bullseye Pheasant Preserve nine years ago, Peters, his wife Kim and sons Tysen, Taylor, Tanner and Tucker have grown the preserve from a harvest of 900 birds to an expected 10,000 birds in the 2012-2013 season. Bullseye is one of 33 preserves registered in Ohio.

Peters went into the business knowing it would mean hard work and a big learning curve.

“We learned as we went,” he said. “When we first got started, I thought we could raise pheasants like you do chickens.… Continue reading

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Crop input prices should hold steady overall

Total variable input costs for the 2013 corn and soybean crops are likely to stay about the same as last year, a Purdue Extension farm business management specialist says.

Variable input costs are the costs of production that vary directly with the crop grown, but don’t include fixed costs, such as cash rent.

While some individual input prices are expected to increase, some will decrease and others will stay about the same. Fluctuations will serve to cancel out one another and to help keep overall variable costs fairly stable compared to last season.

Seed prices will make the biggest jump in the coming year, Alan Miller said. Corn seed is expected to increase by an average of 5% to 7%, and soybean seed prices are likely to increase more than corn.

“The drivers of higher seed prices in 2013 are higher commodity prices, tighter seed supplies due to the 2012 drought and prospects for strong crop returns in 2013,” he said.… Continue reading

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The 411 on retail hay sales

By Kim Lemmon

A few weeks ago, I walked into one of the local feed stores only to find a fairly large display promoting the sale of small square bales of hay at the store. Three bales of hay were neatly stacked in a nice display with a sign indicating each bale sold for $9.99.

I took a deep breath to absorb my shock and then took a step back and took a quick photo of the display. I called a girlfriend who works in northern Ohio to see what she thought because for her job she visits several feed stores every week. She said she has seen bales of hay selling at retail stores for between $8.99 and $12.99.

I have never purchased hay from anyone other than my local farmer friend, but I am beginning to think that before long, I may be in the minority; so I decided it was time to investigate the increasing trend of buying hay at the local feed store.… Continue reading

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Biodiesel poised for a big 2013

By Matt Reese

Biodiesel is poised for a big year in 2013 as a number of important components have fallen into place for the industry in recent months. The renewal of the $1 tax credit, the increasing volume requirements of the renewable fuel standard and more marketplace integration have set biodiesel up for a good year.

“We’ve got a lot of momentum as we go into 2013. This industry is poised to produce more gallons of biodiesel. The renewable fuels standard has increased the base demand for us to 1.28 billion gallons and we’re looking forward to a very good year for biodiesel here in the U.S.,” said Gary Haer, Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board. “We’re seeing the fuel become more available to customers and we’re seeing some markets doing very well, but it has been a long time coming and we still have a lot of work to do.”… Continue reading

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India’s Rural Olympics — One thing to never import

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

There is no doubt that American agriculture is part of a Global economy. We see this phenomenon when South American weather and troubles in the Euro-zone cause havoc with commodity prices in Chicago. But there is one thing that I hope we never see on a Global scale — India’s Rural Olympics.

Every year in February, folks come from miles (and Countries) around to Kila Raipur, India to see the spectacles that include lifting a plow with nothing but your teeth, a tug-of-war and the Super Bowl of the India Rural Olympics, getting run over by a tractor!

Close to a million people are expected at the sporting event that is seen as an integral part of the culture of Punjab. These events have been a part of the society for more than 60 years.

I guess in the U.S. we do have something fairly close to this atmosphere if you consider the Redneck Games, but these tests of valor and strength make Larry the Cable Guy look normal.… Continue reading

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FDA seeking comment on produce safety standards

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),  released proposed standards for growing, harvesting, packing and holding fresh produce on farm. Now farmers and other stakeholders are encouraged to review and comment upon the proposed rules.

FDA spokesman Samir Assar said the agency is seeking informed and thoughtful critique of the proposed FDA rules.

“We really need your specific feedback through informed comments. This is not a done deal and it doesn’t happen overnight. We are asking questions about what directions we should go with these proposed regulations,” Assar said. “We will continue to do outreach and let people know what is happening. We are committed to doing public meetings. We can’t do this on our own. We need help from this broad stakeholder set.”

In developing the rules, the FDA held 500 meetings around the U.S., including four meetings in Ohio, and met with agencies outside the U.S. The massive document outlining the rules includes justification for how the rules were determined.… Continue reading

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Ohio man’s Chisel Ripper takes tillage to new depths

By Heather Hetterick & Matt Reese

Jeff Sberna, from Bellevue, could not find a tillage tool that went deep enough for him, especially with the limited horsepower he had available.

“We only had the Oliver 1855 to pull with. That was the biggest tractor we had at the time. I couldn’t get to the depth we wanted with a regular chisel plow or the Soil Saver. I couldn’t get it in the ground and then I couldn’t pull it, even if we borrowed a neighbor’s tractor and get more horsepower on it,” he said. “Even with the Soil Saver I couldn’t get the depth I wanted. Everybody goes for the hard pan or the plow pan, but I wanted to get down deeper to get the roots down.”

He went to work to create a piece of equipment that would do the job and the Chisel Ripper was born.

The efficient machine Sberna fabricated shatters soils from 13-inches to 15-inches deep with only 20 to 25 horsepower per shank, depending on the soil conditions, at speeds in excess of eight miles per hour.… Continue reading

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God, farmers and underwear: A post Super Bowl rant

By Matt Reese

Much has been written about the wildly successful commercial, “So God made a farmer,” during the Super Bowl featuring the voice of Paul Harvey, a healthy dose of Ram trucks and Case IH equipment and his comments about the farmers of this country. Of course, I thought the ad was fantastic. The photos were beautiful, the words were powerful and the message was clear. It was so refreshing to see a positive agricultural message in the national spotlight. But, for me, the Ram ad was appealing for more reasons.

We typically go to my in-laws and watch part of the game with our children and have dinner. We mostly watch the commercials and catch the highlights of what is typically the first NFL game I watch all season.

Maybe I am just getting old, but the big game seems to have taken an increasingly worldly turn in recent years.… Continue reading

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Overall deer harvest down — A little

By Dan Armitage, the Buckeye Sportsman

Ohio’s deer hunting season ended, and I just got off the phone with the state’s lead whitetail biologist/spokesman, Dr. Mike Tonkovich, to get the final harvest figures. The preliminary tally reflected a decrease of 839 deer taken during the 2012/13 season (218,919) as compared to those killed in 2011/2012 (219,758).

“The number surprised me a little bit,” Tonkovich said. “I thought we’d be down more. I

guess it points to the fact that weather and corn had a bigger impact on last year’s harvest than we anticipated.”

Along with reducing deer numbers, the numbers – and impact — of hunters are growing on a national scale. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) released two reports recently documenting the importance of sportsmen’s activities in America. NSSF’s “Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation” and CSF’s “America’s Sporting Heritage, Fueling the American Economy” reports provide detailed information about participation and expenditures by American sportsmen and women.… Continue reading

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Winter markets turn attention to South American soybeans

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

All eyes are focused squarely on the upcoming soybean harvest in South America. In the first few minutes of the Jan. 11 report day when USDA released many reports, March CME soybeans dropped to $13.51. Sellers quickly lost control as no one joined them to press prices lower. After that, they moved up to $14.84 the last week of January.

Since mid-January, soybean prices have been moving almost exclusively upon short bursts of information from weather forecasters in the U.S. and around the world. Phrases such as, “little rain, “more rain than expected,” and “hot and dry,” can move prices twenty cents or more in just thirty minutes or less. Demand for soybeans continues to be strong around the world. Following last year’s unprecedented drought, reduced soybean crops in both the U.S. and South America, end users have been scrambling to source loadings at a price and time to their liking.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Produce Marketing Agreement moving forward

By Matt Reese

While millions of people enjoy multiple delicious, high quality meals every day across the country, it is an unfortunate fact that the very small percentage of bad meals people eat are by far the most memorable.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), between 1996 and 2010, approximately 131 produce-related outbreaks were reported, resulting in 14,132 illnesses, 1,360 hospitalizations and 27 deaths. When people get sick and die from their food, it is not soon forgotten by consumers and policy makers. With food safety concerns a hot political topic the FDA was required to develop standards for growing, harvesting, packing and holding fresh produce on farms with passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act in January of 2011.

With looming action from the FDA, and the rise of other marketing agreements around the country that did not fit Ohio’s diverse group of fruit and vegetable growers, Ohio leaders saw the writing on the wall and took proactive measures by starting the process to develop the Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement (OPMA).… Continue reading

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Farm bill extension means decisions for farmers

By Chris Bruynis, Ohio State University Assistant Professor and Extension Educator

In 2008 when farmers were first provided the choice between the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program (DCP) and the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE) questions arose about what would happen if the 2008 Farm Bill was extended. Since the original rules required farmers that elected ACRE to remain in that program until the Farm Bill expired the question surfaced again when The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill).

USDA’s Farm Services Agency recently released the following information:

The 2013 DCP and ACRE program provisions are unchanged from 2012, except that all eligible participants in 2013 may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. This means that eligible producers who were enrolled in ACRE in 2012 may elect to enroll in DCP in 2013 or may re-enroll in ACRE in 2013 (and vice versa).… Continue reading

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What happened to waste not?

By Don “Doc” Sanders

When I was in elementary school most of my classmates complained that the cafeteria food was very similar in flavor and texture to the cardboard boxes the canned fruit arrived in. The macaroni was so dry you could pick up the homogenous lump with one stab of your fork. And if you were really good, you could stuff it in your mouth like a chipmunk and swallow it before you gagged.

Miss Wiebe (that was her real name), our third grade teacher, made you try everything on your plate. There were children starving in Africa, so we couldn’t let our food go to waste, she’d tell us.

To get around Miss Wiebe, my friend Tommy, who hated peas, put them in his pockets, which he emptied over near the fence behind the swings. Sometimes the cafeteria lady scraping off the trays would grab an untouched apple or banana to take home.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s gas boom just getting started

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

There is no doubt that over the past few years, the eastern part of Ohio has seen an uptick of development of oil and gas wells that have been very beneficial to the counties, townships, villages and families that have allowed leases to be signed and wells to be drilled. But according to Steve Schumacher, an Ohio State University Extension educator in Belmont County, we haven’t seen anything yet.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources projects that by 2015, more than 2000 wells will be drilled in the Buckeye State. That is 10 times more than the current figure.

“Chesapeake Energy has been in the ballgame now for some time and they are starting to ramp things up a bit,” Schumacher said. “Now you have more companies coming into the state so the number of permits has gone up greatly in the past few months and we look for that to increase in the years to come.”… Continue reading

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Movie “At Any Price” takes on moral struggles of farming

By Heather Hetterick

I don’t mean to keep talking about movies here, but I think it’s important to know and see how the agricultural industry is being displayed to the public. Whether what Hollywood is showing is real or not, what people see of farming in a movie may be the only impression they get of our industry.

I was intrigued when I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie, “At Any Price,” which host a star-studded cast, have a plot around what appears to be pretty well in line with modern day farming. Much of the movie was shot in Dekalb, Iowa. It would certainly be interesting to know who’s farm it was filmed at.

In At Any Price we see Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) as the farmer trying to be as progressive as possible. One of his first scenes puts him at another farmer’s funeral, offering to purchase land from the man’s bereaved son.Continue reading

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Shirtless: Calf pulling the Dr. Pol way

By Kim Lemmon

“The Incredible Dr. Pol” — A television show about a veterinarian in rural Michigan that also promotes and educates viewers about livestock farmers.

I’m not really a fan of reality TV shows but I do make a couple of exceptions. One of my favorite shows is “The Incredible Dr. Pol.” This series about a 70-something veterinarian in central Michigan is not your normal reality series. From what I’ve seen, it proves to be more realistic and often educational.
Dr. Pol and his wife own a veterinary practice that services both large and small animals. They have about 19,000 clients. Their days are long and extremely busy so Dr. Pol doesn’t have time to mess around.
From what I’ve seen, he treats his clients well and cares a great deal about the animals he treats, but he doesn’t sugar coat anything. Dr. Pol sticks to the facts whether or not the outcome is promising or grave.… Continue reading

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Logan Elm FFA wins Ohio Ag Net & OCJ video contest

Congratulations to the Logan Elm FFA, of Circleville, the winner of our FFA Week video contest. They will receive custom designed t-shirts for their entire chapter, a pizza party and they will be guest on the Ohio Ag Net midday broadcast when we broadcast from their school on February 15th.

The Logan Elm FFA created a parody of TNT, originally performed by AC/DC, titled “FFA.” The lyrics to the song were written by Rhiannon Hood. The lead singer was Cole Clark with Rhiannon Hood, Ryan Dilley and Isaiah Miller singing background vocals. The video cast was the Logan Elm FFA officer team and other members.

The contest was very close. Second place honors went to Felcity Franklin with Felicty Style and third place to Oak Harbor with Ag Shop.

 … Continue reading

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Info, food and fun at plentiful winter meetings

By Matt Reese

This winter countless farmers and others involved in Ohio agriculture will grab a donut and a cup of coffee to settle in for a winter meeting or event chocked full of information. The meetings offer a chance to learn, socialize and recognize award winners.

The calendar is always full this time of year for those of us at the OCJ/OAN team. For example, in the current seven day stretch, I have attended (or will be attending) the Power Show (Friday and Saturday), the Ohio Farmers Union Annual Meeting (Friday), the Ohio Cattlemen’s Banquet (Saturday), a Preble County Farm Bureau meeting (tonight) and a meeting with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (tomorrow).

These events are all important and valuable, but the schedule can become a bit daunting. And, my schedule is light in comparison to that of many others —particularly the dedicated Extension professionals who impart their wisdom at many of these events.… Continue reading

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Tariffs target U.S. agricultural equipment

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

One of the largest importers of U.S. agricultural equipment, Ukraine, is planning to raise rates on 371 tariff lines, including ag machinery.

While the U.S. government and international trade community continue to put pressure on Ukraine, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is asking those in the industry to make their voices heard.

“U.S. agriculture machinery exporters have a strong market and trading partner in Ukraine.  Unfortunately, Ukraine recently announced intention to raise the rates on tariffs could threaten that relationship and agriculture machinery manufacturers,” said Nick Yaksich, AEM Vice President of Government and Industry Relations. “AEM will continue to monitor the situation and call on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, if necessary, to firmly negotiate with Ukraine on this issue.”

A total of 23 World Trade Organization delegations, including the U.S., urged Ukraine to withdraw its notification to renegotiate its tariffs prior to the expiration of the standard 90-day notification period.… Continue reading

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