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4Rs in one pass

It has been said many times that there is no silver bullet for addressing the challenges of implementing the 4Rs. While it is not silver, Legacy Farmers Cooperative has fabricated a tool that can accomplish nutrient application at the right rate, the right time, with the right product in the right place and it will be rolling over more than 5,500 acres this fall in northwest Ohio at eight to 10 miles per hour.

Logan Haake is the precision ag manager for Legacy Farmers Cooperative who leads all precision planting, climate, grid sampling, field scouting, variable rate prescriptions, and other precision ag programs for Legacy Agronomy. A fairly new tool in his battle to help implement the 4Rs is a John Deere 2510H — an anhydrous tool bar for either pre-plant or sidedress applications.

Findlay Implement has been working with using the 2510H for subsurface applications of nutrients with very minimal soil disturbance to preserve the benefits of no-till for a couple of years now, renting it out to area farmers.

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OCA sets membership record

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) membership has reached an all-time high thanks to the dedication of past members renewing as well as the 468 farm families that joined for the first time in 2016. The new record passes the all-time membership record by 115 members to total 2,131 families represented by OCA.

“OCA is proud to represent the best interests of cattlemen across the state, no matter the size or scope of their operation,” said Joe Foster, OCA president. “I am proud that fellow cattlemen in Ohio recognize the importance of belonging to OCA as it’s an organization that works to be member focused and issue driven.”

In addition to promoting the economic, political and social needs of Ohio’s cattle producers, OCA offers numerous member benefits including discounts on products and services, and opportunities to participate in industry and educational events. The membership committee is working on securing additional member benefits and incentives for 2017 and a complete list will be available on the OCA website in November.

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Who gets water quality?

First, let me say that I get it.

I understand that the farmers in the Lake Erie Watershed were listening to the science and doing what everyone told them. It was once common knowledge that phosphorus did not move in the soil and that reducing tillage was the answer to the algal woes of Lake Erie because phosphorus attached to the soil.

Farmers did what they thought they were supposed to do. With less tillage reducing erosion, phosphorus could be applied when most convenient in the most convenient way. Lake Erie got better and the problem was solved. But it wasn’t.

Unfortunately, the science used to develop the recommendations for those practices had not taken all of reality into consideration. With this compliant shift toward conservation, broadcast phosphorus in reduced tillage situations started to concentrate on the surface and not attach to soil particles. This led to issues with surface runoff of small amounts of very potent dissolved phosphorus after big rains.

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Research yielding some clear answers to murky water quality questions

Farmers want answers on water quality. The general public wants answers. The residents on and around Ohio’s lakes and streams want answers.

But first, what exactly is the problem?

Laura Johnson works with the long-term water quality monitoring efforts at Heidelberg University in Tiffin. The research has painted a fairly clear picture of the agricultural impact on water quality in Lake Erie.

“We have a one of a kind long-term water monitoring program. The longest-term river monitoring efforts are the ones that run into Lake Erie like the Maumee, Sandusky, and Cuyahoga. We also monitor rivers running to the Ohio River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. At those stations we monitor all year round, every day and we try and get all of the storm events because that is when everything comes off the fields and out into Lake Erie,” Johnson said. “When we look at our agricultural watersheds, we see this big increase in dissolved phosphorus and it is bioavailable for algae.

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OCF accepting scholarship applications

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) is offering several college scholarships available to beef industry youth. All scholarships recognize beef industry youth for academic effort, community service, and career interests that utilize agriculture to enhance our quality of life through service, education or research. Since the OCF was established, scholarships have increased due to the growing number of worthy applicants and committed supporters.

Among the various scholarships available is the Tagged for Greatness scholarship program funded by sales of Ohio’s beef license plate. To date, nearly $50,000 has been awarded to deserving youth, through the beef tag program. To support the Tagged for Greatness fund, purchase your beef plate at your local BMV or online at www.oplates.com. Beef license plates are also available for commercial farm trucks.

Established in 1995, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation’s (OCF) mission is to advance the future of Ohio’s beef industry by investing in research and education programs.

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Fall is a great time to control next year’s poison hemlock

Late fall is a great time to control poison hemlock. There are a couple of good reasons but perhaps the best is that while those plants are presently storing energy in their root systems to survive the winter, it is also a time when herbicide is very easily transferred into that root system. The ability to more effectively use 2,4-D or similar products to kill broadleaf plants now, eliminates the possibility of killing desirable grasses such as when a glyphosate based product is used, thus maintaining desirable competition helping to prevent future broadleaf weed invasions. Another advantage is with few gardens or annual flower beds still intact, fall also provides an opportunity to use chemical broadleaf killers that have been known to volatilize when used in the spring, killing or severely damaging sensitive garden and landscape plants.

That being said, if you identified locations this past spring where poison hemlock was growing, it’s likely new plants will be emerging there soon if not already.

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Free-range eggs offer an opportunity for the next generation

Tough crop prices, limited land expansion opportunities and a promising young generation encouraged Tim and Angie Brumme to seek out new options to diversify their Big Little Farms, LLC tucked in the beautiful rolling hills near Killbuck in Holmes County.

“We farm 800 acres of row crops and hay. We have cattle and sheep and we rely on a lot of rental ground. We decided we wanted to do something on our own ground for more stability,” Tim said. “We have two daughters and are looking for the next generation. There are a lot of broilers around and some hogs and neither was a good fit for us. We were looking at options in February of 2015 when we saw an ad from Kalmbach looking for growers for cage-free, free-range eggs. The costs are not much higher per building, but they are higher per bird. We could see some opportunity with this, though, as McDonald’s

and Panera and one restaurant chain after another announced they were going cage-free.

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U.S. District Court dismisses HSUS lawsuit on regulating CAFO emissions

A U.S. District Court this week dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States and other activist groups against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging the agency would not regulate confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

The groups requested in 2009 that EPA begin rulemaking under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate air emissions from CAFOs. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out the case because the plaintiffs didn’t give EPA 180-days’ notice of their intent to sue, which is required by the CAA. In 2006, nearly 1,900 pork producers and other livestock and poultry farmers entered into a series of legally binding consent agreements with EPA, settling what the agency believed were issues with air emissions associated with livestock production.

Part of the agreements was a study of emissions from farms. Purdue University conducted the study and gave the data to EPA, which has been reviewing it and working to develop a tool producers can use to estimate air emissions.

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Milk prices and input costs

In the last issue, the July Class III future price was projected to be $13.16/cwt and then jump to $15.07/cwt in August. The Class III price for July and August actually closed much higher than expected at $15.26/cwt and to $16.91/cwt, respectively. One year ago, the Class III milk price in Ohio was over $1/cwt higher at $16.33 for July and $0.64/ cwt lower at $16.27/cwt in August of 2015.  Currently, the Class III future price is set marginally lower at $16.63/cwt for September but higher than the $15.84/cwt of September 2015, when the market really started to take a turn for the worst.

Typical of when the kids go back to school, the price of milk has temporarily spiked to cover the demand. But this spike is only partially compensatory for the low average Class III price we have had for 2016 thus far ($14.16/cwt). To have an equivalent year to that of 2015 (2015 Class III average $15.80/cwt), the Class III milk price would have to average at least $20.80/cwt for October, November, and December, which is probably unrealistic.

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There is still time to grow feed

Do you have enough feed for this winter? Is it of good quality? If not, there is still time to generate more quality feed for this winter for our cattle. What can we do?

PenStockNov

Stockpiled field in November

First and foremost, resist the temptation to graze our pastures too close to avoid feeding hay early. When our animals overgraze, bad things happen. Grass that is grazed too close will have to start growing from the roots. Grass not grazed too close can start growing from parts above the ground. If we leave vegetation above the ground, that will help keep cover over the soil and conserve moisture. When do receive rain, more moisture will soak into the soil, especially if we have heavy rains and the ground has some slope. We may be able to still get more growth early this fall that can still be grazed. To take it even a step farther, we also still have time to stockpile fields for grazing hay or pasture fields later in the fall and early winter.

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China announces it will lift ban on U.S. beef

Following a 13-year ban on U.S. beef exports to China, an announcement from the Chinese Government indicates they will begin accepting U.S. beef from animals under 30 months of age.

“This is great news for U.S. beef producers,” said Kent Bacus, director of international trade for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “While these initial reports are positive, we must continue technical negotiations and undergo the process of formally approving export certificates. China is already the world’s second largest buyer of beef, and with a growing middle class, the export opportunities for U.S. cattlemen and women are tremendous.”

The next step is for United States Department of Agriculture officials to work with China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to approve the certificates and protocols for exports.

“Our cattle producers are the best in the world at producing high quality beef,” Bacus said. “To continue to grow demand for our product, our industry relies on fair trade based on sound science.

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Antibiotic resistance travels says research at FSR

The Farm Science Review’s “Ask the Experts” booth covers a wide range of topics affecting agriculture today. A popular subject this year is antibiotic resistance, especially with the impending Veterinary Feed Directive set to take place in January of 2017.

“Antibiotics are used often in medicine — human and veterinarian — and they’re great. They do wonderful things and cure lots of diseases. And we don’t want to not use them anymore, but the problem we’re seeing is more resistance developing and this resistance is really limiting our ability to use them, and we don’t want that to happen,” said Demi Mathys, veterinarian and Graduate Research Associate at the Ohio State University during her time on the mic at Ask the Experts. “Some of the things that have been implemented and guidelines that the government has put in place to try to make sure we’re using them appropriately so we can use them longer, in both veterinary medicine and human medicine.”

The Veterinary Feed Directive will require veterinarian authorization for antibiotic use in livestock, an issue heavily influencing the swine industry in particular.

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Fall manure application tips

Silage harvest is moving along rapidly in Ohio, with corn and soybean harvest expected to be earlier this year than normal. Livestock producers and commercial manure applicators will be applying both liquid and solid manure as fields become available.

For poultry manure, handlers are reminded to stockpile poultry litter close to the fields actually receiving the manure. Stockpiles need to be 500 feet from a residence, 300 feet from a water source and 1,500 feet from a public water intake. Poultry litter cannot be stockpiled in a floodplain and cannot have offsite water running across the litter stockpile area. The site also cannot have a slope greater than 6%.

Litter stockpiles need to be monitored for insect activity and steps taken to keep insect populations in check if necessary. Farmers receiving poultry litter from a permitted facility need to have their fertilizer certification training completed. While field application rates of two to three tons per acre of poultry litter are common, farmers should still have soil tests and manure tests taken so manure nutrients being applied are fully utilized by the following crop rotations.

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West Nile Virus confirmed in an Ohio horse

The first positive case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in an Ohio horse has been confirmed in 2016.

Testing on samples taken from a seven-year-old Standardbred in Tuscarawas County confirmed the positive WNV diagnosis to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Sept. 12. The horse’s veterinarian first examined the animal Aug. 29. The animal was euthanized after exhibiting significant clinical signs, including shaking, agitation and thrashing. The horse had not been vaccinated.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV include flulike symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. Changes in mentality, drowsiness, driving or pushing forward (often without control) and asymmetrical weakness may be observed. Mortality rate from WNV can be as high as 30% to 40% in horses. Infection with WNV does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals. WNV is endemic in the United States and Ohio has reported three positive cases in horses each of the last few years.

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OCA accepting consignments for Replacement Female Sale

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is currently accepting bred female consignments for the Replacement Female Sale. The sale will be held Friday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. at Muskingum Livestock in Zanesville. The sale will provide an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to meet the need for quality replacements in the state.

Consignments may include cow-calf pairs, bred cows and bred heifers.  Females must be under the age of five as of Jan. 1, 2017 and may be of registered or commercial background.  Bred females must be bred to a bull with known EPD’s and calves at side of cows must be sired by a bull with known EPD’s.  Pregnancy status must be verified by an accredited veterinarian through traditional palpation, ultrasound or by blood testing through a professional laboratory. Analysis must be performed within 60 days of sale.  Consignments will also be fulfilling specific health requirements. In 2016, consignors are REQUIRED to tag their females with RFID “840” tags prior to arrival at the sale site.

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USDA delays implementation of enhancement to pork cutout

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is postponing to Oct. 31 from Sept. 12 implementation of an enhancement to the pork carcass cutout. The pork cutout is an estimated value for a hog carcass based on current wholesale prices paid for sub-primal pork cuts. AMS is adding muscle cuts (insides, outsides and knuckles) to the ham primal as a way to more accurately reflect today’s marketing environment and to capture more product to be included in the weighted average calculation. According to analysis from AMS, the enhanced cutout is expected to lower the overall carcass cutout value by an average of $1.41.

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Dairy groups urge trade officials to challenge new protectionist dairy policy in Canada

Dairy organizations in the United States, Australia, the European Union, Mexico and New Zealand today issued a joint letter to their respective trade and agriculture officials, expressing indignation about Canada’s recent actions to deepen its already prohibitive restrictions on dairy trade.

“For years U.S. exporters have borne the brunt of a continuing procession of new Canadian policy tools intended to curtail dairy imports,” said Tom Suber, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “TPP has included new features to move toward more open trade by expanding market access compared to the status quo; but Canada’s been doing its best to erode longstanding existing access as much as possible before this agreement is even put in place.”

The groups said Canada’s increasingly protectionist policies violate “international trade obligations, hold out the prospect of trade diversion with attendant global price-depressing impacts and are in conflict with the principles of free markets and fair and transparent trade.”

The U.S.

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Ohio Cattlemen’s Association to host Cattlemen’s Camp

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will be hosting their first annual Cattlemen’s Camp on October 15-16, 2016 at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London, Ohio. This educational, fun-filled weekend will be a hands-on opportunity for youth and their families to gain experience with their beef projects. Attendees are invited to bring their calf project along for on-site training to prepare for the upcoming OCA BEST show season.

Saturday will begin with a session titled “More Than a Banner” provided in part with event sponsor, Weaver Leather Livestock, and the morning session will also host a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and showmanship seminar. A beef lunch will be provided to participants and their families that register before kicking off an afternoon of informative sessions including daily care of your calf including nutrition and a Cattlemen’s Skillathon Quiz Bowl competition among other activities. The evening will be kicked off with dinner, followed by tail-gating and big-screen televisions to cheer on the Buckeyes with your fellow campers.

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Addressing cattle market volatility

After hearing concerns from membership nationwide, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is addressing the CME Group about volatility in the cattle markets. Increased volatility caught the attention of producers at the end of 2015 and it remains a concern.

“This volatility is absolutely killing our producers who are trying to use these tools to manage risk and we keep hearing from our members that because of the price swings, even the tool that’s used for risk management is not as effective as it once was,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA senior vice president of government affairs. “Our members have demanded that we move forward and try to find some sort of solution.”

The initial effort from NCBA was a letter to the CME Group asking for some significant changes. NCBA has asked CME to address specific areas of concern including implementing a delay between trading actions, greater enforcement against market spoofing, monitoring and reporting of market misuse, and the release of audit trail data.

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July beef and pork export volumes higher year-over-year

U.S. red meat exports posted solid results in July, with volumes for both U.S. beef and pork trending higher than a year ago, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef export value was down from last July, but pork export value increased significantly.

July beef export volume increased 8% from a year ago to 99,341 metric tons (mt) — the second-largest monthly total this year – while export value was $526.7 million, down 5%. For January through July, export volume was up 4% to 640,888 mt, while value fell 10% to $3.44 billion.

Exports accounted for 14% of total beef production in July and 11% for muscle cuts only – each up about a percentage point from a year ago. For January through July, these ratios were 13% and 10%, respectively, steady with last year. Export value per head of fed slaughter was $263.89 in July, down 5% from a year ago, and $251.82 for January through July, down 13%.

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