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OSU working with Iceland to address climate change

As part of its drive to forge lasting global partnerships, Ohio State University has signed two memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the University of Iceland and that European island-nation’s Soil Conservation Service with the goal of enhancing educational experiences and advancing critical research dealing with climate change, environmental sustainability and food security.

The MOUs were signed last July 14 during a visit to Iceland by Ohio State officials, including President E. Gordon Gee; Bobby Moser, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs; and Bill Ravlin, associate director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).



The Ohio State delegation met with Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson — who has been an avid supporter of the trans-Atlantic partnership that started back in 2007, visiting Ohio twice during that period and offering lectures on global warming, land restoration and green energy.… Continue reading

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Fair competitors sought for new TV series

A Los Angeles-based production company is seeking men and women for a new television series called Blue Ribbon Rivals, featuring fair competitors and their rivals. The program is looking for any and all types of people who compete for ribbons at a county or state fair.

The interested candidates should send an email to: casting.sse@gmail.com and include name, age, profession, and contact information. Explain why you would be great on the show and how many ribbons (blue or other) you have won, and in what categories. Tell us what your life is like as you prepare your product for competition. Include photos of you and your family – perhaps at the fair, your winning products, and all your ribbons.

Also, tell us about your biggest rivals and then tell them to submit as well! Deadline for application is Monday October 31, 2011.

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Ethanol report highlights role of DDGs

Nearly 40% of the corn used for ethanol goes directly back into the feed supply as a high-protein animal feed, according to a recently released report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. Growth Energy, the nation’s leading voice for ethanol, noted that the feed from ethanol production saves money for animal producers because it averages 25% cheaper than corn used as feed and can displace a greater amount of corn because of its nutritional value.

According to the report, “Findings demonstrate that, in aggregate (including major types of livestock/poultry), a metric ton of DDGS can replace, on average, 1.22 metric tons of feed consisting of corn and soybean meal in the United States.”

“This report reiterates what we have been saying for years: ethanol produces both fuel and food, in the form of high protein animal feed known as distillers grains. The data proves that food-versus-fuel is a myth.… Continue reading

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Stover study could lead to improved cellulosic production

Not all parts of a corn stalk are equal, and they shouldn’t be treated that way when creating cellulosic ethanol, say Purdue University researchers.



When corn stover is processed to make cellulosic ethanol, everything is ground down and blended together. But a research team found that three distinct parts of the stover – the rind, pith and leaves – break down in different ways.



Michael Ladisch, a distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering and director of Purdue’s Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering; Eduardo Ximenes, a Purdue research scientist in LORRE; and doctoral graduate student Meijuan Zeng are trying to determine if there is a better method to process corn stover and optimize efficiency. 



Cellulosic ethanol is created by using enzymes to extract sugars from cellulosic feedstocks, such as corn stover, grasses and woods, and then fermenting and distilling those sugars into fuels.



“Today, researchers grind the parts together and treat it based on what’s needed to get at the hardest part,” Ximenes said.… Continue reading

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Wheat growers pushing for quick implementation of FTAs

Leaders of the U.S. wheat industry applauded President Barack Obama’s signing on of three long-pending free trade agreements, with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

The agreements were passed by both chambers of Congress last week on a bipartisan basis. National Association of Wheat Growers President Wayne Hurst, a wheat farmer from Burley, Idaho, and U.S. Wheat Associates Chairman Randy Suess, a wheat farmer from Colfax, Wash., attended a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden, held to mark the occasion.

Hurst, Suess and the Boards of both organizations are now urging the Administration to work closely with our trading partners to be sure the agreements enter into force as quickly as possible.

The delay in Congressional consideration of the agreements, which were signed in 2006 and 2007, has significantly hurt wheat exports, especially to Colombia.

As recently as 2007/2008, 70% of Colombia’s total annual wheat imports came from U.S. farmers. U.S.… Continue reading

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Take time to winterize your sprayer

By Erdol Ozkan, Ohio State University Extension

It is very likely that you will not be using your sprayer again until next spring. If you want to avoid potential problems and save yourself from frustration and major headaches, you will be wise to give your sprayer a little bit of TLC (Tender Loving Care) these days. Yes this is still a busy time of the year for some of you, but don’t delay winterizing your sprayer any more than necessary. Find ways to protect them against the harmful effects of snow, rain, sun, and strong winds. Moisture in the air, whether from snow, rain, or soil, rusts metal parts of unprotected equipment of any kind. This is especially true for a sprayer, because there are all kinds of hoses, rubber gaskets and plastic pieces all around a sprayer, Yes, the sun usually helps reduce moisture in the air, but it also causes damage.… Continue reading

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Ohio's Crop Progress Report – October 24th

As of Sunday October 23rd, corn mature was rated at 76 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 14 percent complete, compared to 75 percent last year and 41 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 88 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Ninety-five percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Eighty percent of soybeans were mature, compared to100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 42 percent, 46 percentage points behind last year and 34 points behind the five-year average. Winter wheat was 55 percent planted, 34 percentage points behind last year and 27 points behind the five-year average. Emerged winter wheat was rated at seven percent, compared to 56 percent last year and 48 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – October 24th

As of Sunday October 23rd, corn mature was rated at 76 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 96 percent for the five-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 14 percent complete, compared to 75 percent last year and 41 percent for the five-year average. Corn silage was 88 percent harvested, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Ninety-five percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, compared to 100 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Eighty percent of soybeans were mature, compared to100 percent last year and 99 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 42 percent, 46 percentage points behind last year and 34 points behind the five-year average. Winter wheat was 55 percent planted, 34 percentage points behind last year and 27 points behind the five-year average. Emerged winter wheat was rated at seven percent, compared to 56 percent last year and 48 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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NPPC questions EPA need for reporting rule

While questioning the need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposed Clean Water Act (CWA) reporting rule for large livestock operations, the National Pork Producers Council applauded the agency for at least acknowledging the concerns of livestock producers and for offering options to address them.

EPA’s proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule seeks to have CAFOs submit to the agency operational information so it “can more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality and human health.” The information includes basic facility facts, such as contact information, location of a CAFO’s production area, permit status, the number and type of animals confined and the number of acres available for land application of manure.

The agency is considering one of two reporting options: 1) require every CAFO to report information to EPA unless states with authorized CWA permitting programs choose to provide it on behalf of the CAFOs in their state; or 2) require CAFOs in “focus” watersheds that have water quality concerns associated with CAFOs to report information to EPA.… Continue reading

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AFBF offers its farm bill proposal

Stating that government agricultural support programs traditionally were intended to provide a safety-net to help farmers deal with “large systemic risk issues” rather than “smaller fluctuations in income” that can result from “average weather and market events,” the American Farm Bureau Federation sent a farm program proposal to Congress that is an alternative to earlier shallow-loss proposals.

A proposal to establish a “systemic risk reduction program” was approved by the AFBF Board of Directors as an alternative to “shallow loss” proposals that would provide government support after a region, or in some cases an individual farmer, faced some initial loss as little as 5 to 10 percent of expected revenue.  But shallow-loss programs were structured to support “only a relatively small portion of a producer’s potential loss, should a major problem occur,” according to AFBF President Bob Stallman.

“Our systemic risk reduction program would help protect America’s farmers from catastrophic type losses that truly would endanger the economic viability and the core of their farms,” Stallman said.… Continue reading

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Chinese role in markets

In September, the Chinese government began releasing corn from government reserves into the market and has reportedly released approximately 3.7 million metric tons (145.7 million bushels) to date. Releases were accomplished through normal sales channels rather than a public bid process.

According to the U.S. Grain Council, this may reflect an attempt to monitor sales volumes more tightly due to concerns regarding actual stock levels. Chinese market insiders also suggest China may restrict new crop corn procurement by the main buyers in Northeast China this year.

Industrial processing companies and possibly small feed mills and livestock farms are likely to be the first sectors affected, followed by large enterprises like COFCO and the China Grains & Logistics Corporation (CGLC). Finally, large grain enterprises could see restrictions on purchase volumes, and bank lending for some large buyers could be tightened.



Meanwhile, Zhang Xiaoqian, vice director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said China is likely to use its huge foreign exchange reserves to buy staple commodities as needed.… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA members shine at National FFA Convention

The National FFA Association has an all time record membership announced at the National Convention in Indianapolis – 540,379 FFA members. Despite the increased competition from more FFA members from around the country than ever before, Ohio is holding its own in terms of national level competitors.

“One thing that the Ohio FFA is very excited about is that we have 14 national proficiency finalists this year, which is the most we’ve had in a long time,” said Leah Amstutz, the executive secretary of the Ohio FFA Association. “We also have the Ridgemont FFA chapter that did very well and we have several Chapters like the Fayetteville Chapter and the Versailles Chapter that will be recognized for being three star chapters in the national chapter award program.”

In addition, Ohio has a National Officer finalist with Amy Jo Frost and competitors in the National Ag Issues Forum and the speaking contest.… Continue reading

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Checking In from The National FFA Convention

Indianapolis is once again hosting The National FFA Convention. The Ohio Ag Net is there as the blue jackets invade Indy and we have had the opportunity to visit with many State Officers. We asked them about some of the highlights of this week’s festivities that put the Ohio FFA in the spotlight.

Benjamin Nething, Ohio FFA State Secretary

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Aaron Miller, Ohio FFA State Treasurer

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District 7 President Sierra Jepsen

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Leah Amstutz, Ohio FFA Executive Secretary

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Research on trees for biofuel production

Someday trees could provide more than just shade, scenery and building materials. Purdue University researchers are studying how poplars might be turned into liquid fuel.

In May a team of researchers led by Rick Meilan, associate professor of forestry and natural resources, began a five-year study to determine the viability of poplar species as an ethanol feedstock and cash crop for Indiana farmers. The study includes trial plots at Pinney-Purdue Agricultural Center east of Valparaiso and Southwest-Purdue Agricultural Center just north of Vincennes.

Findings from the research could help propel the fledgling cellulosic ethanol industry, Meilan said.

“For biofuel production we’re principally using the sugars in corn that are fermented to produce alcohol that’s then blended with petroleum products,” he said. “What we’d like to do is use cellulosic feedstocks, including not just corn stover but also wood chips.”

Cellulose is considered the next frontier in ethanol production. The process involves extracting sugars from the cell walls of plant material, or what is commonly known as biomass.… Continue reading

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Cutworm numbers on the rise

The number of adult moths of the western bean cutworm trapped by Ohio State University Extension professionals increased for the fifth straight year, but fortunately, larval infestations have yet to present an economic impact on Ohio farms.

“It’s definitely increasing, there’s no doubt about that,” said Extension entomologist Ron Hammond. “We caught about 1,000 more moths than we caught last year.”

Hammond said OSU researchers and Extension educators trap adult moths across the state in an effort to track the spread and growth of the cutworm population in Ohio.

Traps caught 3,751 moths this year, compared with 2,695 recorded in 2010. The northwestern and northeastern regions of the state saw the largest increases in trapped adults.

“We spend a lot of time searching for larval infestations,” Hammond said. “As with the previous years, we found very few egg masses, and very little larvae. The bottom line is we did not have the kind of populations we are expecting to see sooner or later.”

Hammond said the low level of cutworm pressure exhibited in Ohio cornfields this year is likely due, in part, to the extreme heat during the peak flight, which this year occurred in the third week of July.… Continue reading

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Renewable Energy Workshop

Companies, farmers, and university and private researchers will converge in Wooster on Thursday, Nov. 10, to show the growth of Ohio’s renewable energy and products sector and explore new opportunities within this promising green industry. And they want you to be a part of it.

Registration is now open for the fourth annual Renewable Energy Workshop at Ohio State University’s OARDC. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. Registration (including lunch and materials) costs $25 before Nov. 3 and $35 after that date.

The cost for college students is $10. To register, fill out the form available at http://go.osu.edu/GJ3 or contact Mary Wicks, 330-202-3533, wicks.14@osu.edu.



This year, the workshop will focus on the production of biogas through anaerobic digestion and the conversion of agricultural feedstocks and waste to industrial products, said Yebo Li, a biosystems engineer with OARDC and OSU Extension.
… Continue reading

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Report shows HSUS shares very little with animal shelters

HSUS’s advertisements employ the images of downtrodden dogs and cats to tug at the heart strings and wallets of America’s pet lovers. But the Center for Consumer Freedom’s new analysis finds HSUS is a “Humane Society” in name only, sharing a meager $527,566, or 0.4 percent of its $120 million budget with sheltering organizations nationwide in 2010. In the same year, HSUS spent an astounding $47 million in fundraising-related costs (37 percent of its total budget) and parked $32 million in hedge funds.

“Not Your Local Humane Society” includes an accounting of all grants to pet shelters made by HSUS during the years 2008, 2009, and 2010. The data is drawn directly from the animal rights group’s tax returns. The full report can be viewed here: http://www.humanewatch.org/images/uploads/NotYourLocalHumaneSociety_2011.pdf.

“The Humane Society of the United States would like Americans to believe it provides significant monetary support to local hands-on shelters, but their financial records tell an inconvenient truth,” said Rick Berman, CCF’s executive director.… Continue reading

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For the fifth year Certified Angus Beef reports record sales

Certified Angus Beef LLC, for the fifth consecutive year, reported record sales for its signature brand of beef, with nine out of 12 months in fiscal 2011 hitting new heights. Efforts by the brand’s licensed partners led to sales totaling 807 million pounds, an increase of almost 4% over 2010’s previous record 777 million pounds.

The Certified Angus Beef ® brand’s sustained growth, particularly during a period of significant economic downturns and rising costs across all segments of the industry, shows its value to consumers and producers, said company president John Stika.

“The brand’s growth represents a wave of momentum that took more than 30 years to build,” said Stika. The success, he added, is a function of both demand and supply of the high-quality Angus beef.

Increased demand is not only proven by sales success, but also documented by new research from Kansas State University that shows since 2002, demand for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand has risen 56%, while demand for commodity Choice beef rose 20%.… Continue reading

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Department heads agree on 4R concept for water quality

In a meeting along the shore of Lake Erie, officials from the Ohio departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced ongoing efforts towards reducing agriculture-related phosphorus from loading into the western basin, and encouraged farmers to immediately adopt updated best management practices for fertilizer application.

Based on recommendations from a diverse working group that includes research scientists, agribusiness leaders, and environmentalists, the three agencies also agreed to encourage farmers to adopt production guidelines known as 4R Nutrient Stewardship that is effective in reducing soluble forms of phosphorus from impacting waterways across the state.

The 4R concept promotes using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement. Recent studies indicate that the timing of fertilizer application, and how well it is incorporated into the soil layer, significantly reduces dissolved phosphorus runoff.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report issued on Oct.… Continue reading

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