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Marestail resistance a growing problem

Ohio grain farmers are likely to find more glyphosate-resistant marestail in their fields this year because of the wet fall and warm winter, says an Ohio State University Extension weed specialist.

Marestail is the most abundant, herbicide-resistant weed Ohio growers deal with, and according to Mark Loux, a combination of herbicide applications can provide the most consistent, effective control.

Resistant populations were traditionally found in southwestern Ohio, but now essentially all of the marestail statewide is glyphosate-resistant. Twenty-five percent of marestail also is resistant to ALS inhibitors, meaning postemergence herbicide applications are often the least effective, Loux said.

“The situation takes on even more significance this spring as crop growers were hampered from fall applications due to the lack of time and good weather last fall to get herbicide applied,” he said.

Loux offers several approaches growers can take to deal with increasingly difficult weed control scenarios:

* Apply burndown plus residual herbicides in late March or early April, which is applying early enough that burndown of emerged crops is not an issue.… Continue reading

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Will ag and trade get burned with EPA’s PCB proposal?

By Don “Doc” Sanders

I believe in fair play. When our government gets it right, I speak positively. And when they get it wrong, I don’t mince words. In the latter case, I’m sometimes accused of being a right wing, commie-hating, Archie Bunker-wannabe, redneck zealot.

Before the accusations fly, please hear me out on what I think of the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest take on dioxins — chemical compounds that have polluted the environment.

Without a doubt, pollution has been a problem for health and the environment. But I believe too many Americans become overly paranoid when someone mentions the presence of chemicals in the environment. In many cases, dioxin contamination is not the product of industrial pollution. Dioxins, which result from combustion, are produced every time there is a grass fire, every time lightning strikes, every time a volcano erupts and every time someone burns leaves in his backyard.… Continue reading

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Will ag and trade get burned with EPA's PCB proposal?

By Don “Doc” Sanders

I believe in fair play. When our government gets it right, I speak positively. And when they get it wrong, I don’t mince words. In the latter case, I’m sometimes accused of being a right wing, commie-hating, Archie Bunker-wannabe, redneck zealot.

Before the accusations fly, please hear me out on what I think of the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest take on dioxins — chemical compounds that have polluted the environment.

Without a doubt, pollution has been a problem for health and the environment. But I believe too many Americans become overly paranoid when someone mentions the presence of chemicals in the environment. In many cases, dioxin contamination is not the product of industrial pollution. Dioxins, which result from combustion, are produced every time there is a grass fire, every time lightning strikes, every time a volcano erupts and every time someone burns leaves in his backyard.… Continue reading

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OCWGA members provide farm bill shot in the ARRM

By Matt Reese

Last fall, the National Corn Growers Association unveiled their Agriculture Disaster Assistance Program (ADAP), a commodity title proposal for the 2012 farm bill designed to modify and replace the existing Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE) and provide a more effective and responsive safety net for

growers.

Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association member Anthony Bush, from Morrow County, serves as the chair of NCGA’s public policy action team and oversaw the national effort. With the NCGA’s farm bill option that cut more than $20 billion in spending over 10 years and transitioned away from the increasingly hard to justify direct payments, politicians took notice.

After some near miraculous political maneuvering by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and his staff, a version of the NCGA proposal found its way into the congressional spotlight with unusual bipartisan sponsorship and support in the Senate. This Aggregate Risk and Revenue Management Program (ARRM) program is now the focus of farm policy in the U.S.… Continue reading

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Working on a farm bill in a “different” town

By Matt Reese

Things are different in Washington, D.C. these days.

“It’s a different town since the last election. The right is further right and the left is further left,” said Jon Doggett, the National Corn Growers Association vice president of public policy. “The Tea Party is pushing Republicans further right. The same thing, but maybe not to the same degree, is happening with the left. Things are really changing. This is the biggest change I’ve seen in the 25 years I’ve been in Washington.”

The budget is the bottom line and has polarized the opposing sides of the debate.

“We have deficit spending out as far as the eye can see. Forty-two cents of every dollar we spend is borrowed and that is only going up. The Republicans are going to push hard to get Bush tax cuts extended,” Doggett said. “The rhetoric is going to be tax and spend Democrats verses ‘kill grandma by cutting social security’ Republicans.… Continue reading

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Working on a farm bill in a "different" town

By Matt Reese

Things are different in Washington, D.C. these days.

“It’s a different town since the last election. The right is further right and the left is further left,” said Jon Doggett, the National Corn Growers Association vice president of public policy. “The Tea Party is pushing Republicans further right. The same thing, but maybe not to the same degree, is happening with the left. Things are really changing. This is the biggest change I’ve seen in the 25 years I’ve been in Washington.”

The budget is the bottom line and has polarized the opposing sides of the debate.

“We have deficit spending out as far as the eye can see. Forty-two cents of every dollar we spend is borrowed and that is only going up. The Republicans are going to push hard to get Bush tax cuts extended,” Doggett said. “The rhetoric is going to be tax and spend Democrats verses ‘kill grandma by cutting social security’ Republicans.… Continue reading

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Margrafs caring for the soil with no-till

By Matt Reese

The 1,110 Seneca County farm of Bret and Gene Margraf has long history of making no-till work on the diverse soil types and rolling land. The Margrafs were the Ohio No-Till Council Outstanding No-Till Farmers of the Year for their dedication to the land.

The move toward conservation started with Gene’s experimentation with a JD 7000 planter for no-till farming in the late 1970s. The soil types on the farm range from blow sand to silt loam and heavy clay, sometimes all in the same field. The first attempts with no-till started on the best-drained ground that was the most conducive to the new type of farming.

“We started with no-till beans in the sandier farms,” Gene said. “Then we got a little braver and tried it on some other soils. There might have been a yield drop at first in the corn depending on the soil type.… Continue reading

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RFS a top priority for U.S. ethanol and corn industries

By Matt Reese

The oft-maligned Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that mandates increasing levels of renewable fuel use in the U.S. is the topic of hot debate between some livestock and crop organizations.

Livestock and poultry organizations claim the RFS drives up feed costs, but Bob Dinneen, the CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, does not mince words about the value of the RFS and the ethanol industry’s contributions to the economy and the livestock industry.

“We produced almost 40 million tons of DDGs last year, that is a significant portion of the total feed demand in this country,” Dinneen said. “The RFS has been a tremendously successful program. People have invested in the RFS. The worst thing in the world would be for the government to come in and change the game. Business cannot create jobs if Congress comes in and changes things all the time. We have to make sure that RFS stays in place.… Continue reading

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Brown enjoys raising hogs, proudly produces food

By Kyle Sharp

Growing up on the family farm in the 1950s and ‘60s, Randy Brown can remember moving hogs from dirt lots on the west side of U.S. Route 23 to the main farm on the east. They walked the pigs across the highway between the two locations, which were about a mile apart.

“Dad would wave his handkerchief to stop traffic,” Brown said. “It was only two lanes then, and the hogs did pretty good. They pretty much stayed on the road and didn’t go off into the fields.”

If the family tried that these days across the fast-moving, four-lane route, not only would it cause a media frenzy, they’d likely introduce a new food product — the pork pancake. It’s a healthy indication of how things have changed within the pork industry.

“The biggest change we made was about 20 years ago when we got the sow herd and everything moved inside,” Brown said.… Continue reading

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Corn market still unsettled

The 2011-12 corn marketing year is approaching the halfway point.

“At this  time of year,” said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel  Good, “prospects for marketing-year  consumption and ending stocks are often fairly clear and the market begins to  focus more on new crop prospects. This  year, consumption, stocks, and price prospects are far from clear.”

Good continued, “There is considerable uncertainty about the pace of consumption for the rest of year in each of the major categories. If anything, the uncertainty outlined two weeks ago has intensified.”

The surprisingly small estimates of feed and residual use during the last half of the 2010-11 and first quarter of the 2011-12 marketing years had created expectations of a “correction” to be revealed in upcoming USDA Grain Stocks reports. Now, the on-going year-over-year decline in broiler production, prospects for fewer numbers of cattle on feed later in the year, and the relatively mild winter weather to date point to some slowdown in feed use, whatever the pace actually is, he said.… Continue reading

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Tips for preparing for a “normal” growing season

There may be no such thing as the “normal” growing conditions of old that many corn farmers have been longing for after enduring extreme weather in recent years, a Purdue Extension agronomist says.

Instead, Bob Nielsen suggested that corn growers should look at a variety of management techniques to give crops the best chance at success — regardless of the weather.

“Many of us have a nostalgic memory of growing seasons where the crops emerged quickly, grew vigorously and uniformly, pollinated successfully, filled out grain completely, and stood strong until harvested in the warm, sunny days of early fall,” Nielsen said. “I would suggest that maybe we have all been delusional with our nostalgia and that perhaps a more accurate definition of a ‘normal’ growing season is one that involves an unpredictable number of unpredictable extreme weather events, each occurring unpredictably with unpredictable severity.”

The first way farmers can deal with uncertainty is to identify what influences yield — both positive and negative — and manage it accordingly.… Continue reading

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Tips for preparing for a "normal" growing season

There may be no such thing as the “normal” growing conditions of old that many corn farmers have been longing for after enduring extreme weather in recent years, a Purdue Extension agronomist says.

Instead, Bob Nielsen suggested that corn growers should look at a variety of management techniques to give crops the best chance at success — regardless of the weather.

“Many of us have a nostalgic memory of growing seasons where the crops emerged quickly, grew vigorously and uniformly, pollinated successfully, filled out grain completely, and stood strong until harvested in the warm, sunny days of early fall,” Nielsen said. “I would suggest that maybe we have all been delusional with our nostalgia and that perhaps a more accurate definition of a ‘normal’ growing season is one that involves an unpredictable number of unpredictable extreme weather events, each occurring unpredictably with unpredictable severity.”

The first way farmers can deal with uncertainty is to identify what influences yield — both positive and negative — and manage it accordingly.… Continue reading

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Understanding new meat labels

By Jo Ellen Helmlinger

More than 20 years after the first nutrition labels were required on most grocery products, fresh meat will join the group. The final rule from USDA that was so long in coming goes into effect in March, and requires nutrition labeling of the major cuts of single-ingredient raw meat and poultry products either on the label or at the point of purchase using signs or brochures. In addition, ground or chopped meat and poultry products must have labels on the packages.

Understanding the labels

Labeling meat with nutrition information is challenging because the amount of fat and nutrients can vary depending on the grade of the meat, how it is trimmed, the breed of the animal and other factors. The information on the label reflects the percentage of grades from choice through select, with a 1/8-inch trim of fat, available at most supermarkets.

Also, the nutrition numbers are based on 3-ounce portions of cooked meat even though you usually buy meat raw.… Continue reading

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Ridgemont FFA holds virtual FFA meeting

By Hannah Thompson

The National Association of Colleges and Employers ranks computer skills among the top 10 desired traits for potential employees to possess, and in one Hardin County FFA chapter members are gaining these necessary skills by using technology to complete the work of their chapter and their agricultural education classwork.

“Our society is moving toward technology, and we’re going to need to know how to use it for our future jobs,” said Shawn Smith, Ridgemont FFA Chapter president.

Smith’s advisor agrees.

“Using technology allows students to look at things differently and innovatively,” said Stephanie Jolliff, agricultural education instructor and chapter advisor. “We really try to think outside of the box, and I think that is one of the things that parlays into business and industry, because when you’re trained to do it at a young age you continue to do it when you enter the field.”

Jolliff’s classroom boasts not only chapter photographs and banners, but also a row of computers and a stack of Apple iPad tablets.… Continue reading

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Heads Up Ohio Agriculture

By Ty Higgins

As if feeding the World wasn’t enough to keep you busy, Ohio Agriculture, wait until you see everything else you need to concern yourself with in 2012.

This realization came to me last week as I travelled to a couple of speaking engagements centered around crop insurance. I was very fortunate to have a minute or two to talk to the audience about The Ohio Ag Net and how we are a resource to not only keep farmers informed on the latest developments that effect their livelihoods, but to also work as a bridge to consumers to help them better understand agriculture.

Here is a laundry list of topics I highly recommend you stay on top of. To help, I have put some links within this blog to help you find more information on the various subjects.

The 2012 (maybe) Farm Bill – I have been told recently that there is a 50/50 chance that the farm bill will be written this year.… Continue reading

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Crop insurance change coming in 2012

By Matt Reese

The crop insurance industry is letting farmers know well ahead of time to expect an important change this year in the payment deadline.

“For years, the crop insurance bill was sent out on Oct. 1 and as long as it was paid in 30 days, there was no interest attached. For 2012, the billing date has been moved up to Aug. 15,” said Jason Williamson, with Williamson Insurance Agency. “With the Aug. 15 date, the bill is still due within 30 days. So, by Sept. 15 that bill will be due. We have gotten it to where, until Oct. 1, there will be interest attached. This change was a result of the 2008 Farm Bill and it is now taking effect in 2012.”

The concern is that a late harvest could create a cash flow crunch when the payment is due for crop insurance. Williamson does not want any surprises this fall when the crop insurance bill comes.… Continue reading

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Smelly cover crops are savory to soils

By Matt Reese

While the odor of rotting oilseed radishes may not exactly be pleasant to wintertime passersby, the life in the soil finds these and the other cover crops in Bret and Gene Margraf’s Seneca County fields to be quite delightful. The farm has a corn-soybean-wheat rotation that generally includes planting annual ryegrass ahead of corn and cereal rye ahead of soybeans.

“The annual ryegrass roots allow for more root growth in the corn and more water holding capacity in the soil,” Bret said. “We let the cereal rye grow as tall as possible before the soybeans to control weeds. Cereal rye is one of the most effective plants at moving lime down into the soil and pulling nutrients up. Right now we’re seeing a lot of nutrients in the top inch of the soil and we need to get them deeper into the soil profile.”

The Margrafs have also success with winter peas after soybeans.… Continue reading

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CAUV’s savings don't eliminate shocking tax increases

By Matt Reese

Yikes! Farmers around the state have been learning of the increased in land values and the resulting increases in the taxes they owe on that land. But, before muttering too loudly about the sharp rise in their taxes on re-assessed land, farmers need consider the amount of money they are saving through Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV). It is CAUV enrollment that has allowed for only a “Yikes!” in the place of a “YIKES!!!!

Nonetheless, there have been plenty of questions about the shocking rise in taxes in recent years.

“We’ve been spending quite a bit of time talking to farmers about CAUV and the increases that people have been seeing,” said Chad Endsley, director of agricultural law for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “CAUV values are determined for each of about 3,500 different soil types in Ohio by a formula that is administered by the Ohio Department of Taxation.… Continue reading

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CAUV’s savings don’t eliminate shocking tax increases

By Matt Reese

Yikes! Farmers around the state have been learning of the increased in land values and the resulting increases in the taxes they owe on that land. But, before muttering too loudly about the sharp rise in their taxes on re-assessed land, farmers need consider the amount of money they are saving through Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV). It is CAUV enrollment that has allowed for only a “Yikes!” in the place of a “YIKES!!!!

Nonetheless, there have been plenty of questions about the shocking rise in taxes in recent years.

“We’ve been spending quite a bit of time talking to farmers about CAUV and the increases that people have been seeing,” said Chad Endsley, director of agricultural law for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “CAUV values are determined for each of about 3,500 different soil types in Ohio by a formula that is administered by the Ohio Department of Taxation.… Continue reading

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