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No HSUS Ballot Initiative, Agreement Struck

Governor, Agricultural Leaders and Humane Society Announce Agreement to Remove HSUS Ballot Initiative, Enhance Animal Welfare and Care Standards

Columbus, OH – What almost sounded on its surface like a victory speech for the Humane Society of the United States at the press conference announcing an agreement with the group and Ohio agriculture is not what it appears. The concessions from Ohio agriculture are little more than some recommendations, a few maybes and a solid “I’ll-definitely-give-the-idea-some-serious-consideration.” In return, HSUS is giving up on their ballot measure this fall.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, the major organizations representing livestock producers and other agricultural interests and the Humane Society of the United States announced a joint agreement which will result in the Humane Society not pursuing a ballot initiative this fall and enhance animal welfare and animal care standards.

“This agreement represents a joint effort to find common ground.  As a result, Ohio agriculture will remain strong and animals will be treated better,” Strickland said. 

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U.S. farmers plant record-high soybean crop

U.S. farmers planted 78.9 million acres of soybeans, exceeding last year’s planted area by 1.4 million acres, or 2%, and setting a new record high, according to the Acreage report released June 30 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Aided by favorable weather conditions early in the season, farmers in the Northern and Western Corn Belt and the Northeast increased their soybean acreage. Record-high planted acreage was reported in Kansas, Nebraska, New York and Pennsylvania, while Minnesota and Oklahoma tied their all-time record highs. Iowa continues to lead all states in total soybean acres with 10.2 million acres.

Farmers also planted a near record-breaking 87.9 million acres to corn, up 1.4 million acres from last year but down 1 percent from March. This marks the second consecutive increase in planted acreage to corn and the second highest acreage on record since 1946, only behind 2007.

Illinois and Kansas reported the largest increases in corn acres with both states planting 600,000 acres above last year.

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Coming energy debate must support corn ethanol

As Congress prepares for an Independence Day Recess to be followed by vigorous discussion of a new energy bill, the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA) and National Corn Growers (NCGA) have stepped up a campaign to ensure that corn-based ethanol is part of the formula that brings our country to energy security and independence.

“A surplus of corn exists for all markets,” said Dwayne Siekman, OCGA Executive Director. “With nearly two-thirds of our oil imported, we need to focus on a broad range of domestic fuel solutions. We have a domestic supply that can be used.”

Legislation is before Congress to continue a much-needed incentive, called VEETC (a 45-cents-per-gallon tax credit) for fueling stations to blend ethanol with gasoline. In addition, there is a new energy bill on the horizon, making it an important and critical time to talk about ethanol’s many environmental and economic benefits to our country and the state of Ohio.

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Succeeding in critical conversations about agriculture

By Matt Reese

It is inevitable. Anyone who is involved in any type of agricultural production will be asked questions about farming and the food system at some point.

“Hi I am Jim,” the man says sitting next to you on the airplane. “I am an attorney in Chicago. What is it that you do?”

“Oh you’re a farmer, huh? Do you raise livestock with all of those steroids and antibiotics?”

Whether the farmer in question here raises corn and soybeans, chickens, cattle or backyard tomatoes, this critical conversation on a plane will help shape lawyer Jim’s perception of agriculture. This may be the only farmer Jim has ever met.

If the conversation goes well, Jim gains insight into modern agriculture and appreciation for the tremendous amount of work that goes into the food he enjoys every day. This positive impression will encourage Jim to be more willing to be supportive of farmers when he talks to his friends about his conversation on the plane, makes his food purchasing decisions or votes on an ag-related issue down the road.

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Leaf diseases showing up early

By Ryan McAllister, CCA Team Sales Agronomist for Beck’s Hybrids

Upon traveling a good portion of the state of Ohio and most of eastern Indiana, I am beginning to see leaf diseases earlier than what I would normally expect to see them.  The most common disease present has been common rust followed by (GLS) Gray Leaf Spot, and I am just beginning to be able to find some northern corn leaf blight lesions.  All of which are earlier than normal due to the excessive and prolonged saturated rain events and warm weather.  Be scouting your fields to see if a fungicide application is warranted.  Progression up the plant is what we are looking for. It is important to protect the leaves that are ABOVE the ear leaf. Upon traveling a good portion of the state of Ohio and most of eastern Indiana, I am beginning to see leaf diseases earlier than what I would normally expect to see them. 

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Cover crops on prevented planting acres

By Alan Sundermeier, Ohio State University Extension

Those fields that never dried out to allow crop planting and now qualify as “Prevented Planting” should determine agronomic options to make the best out of this situation.

Producers are advised to check with their crop insurance company and Farm Service Agency on harvest restrictions for cover crops.  Harvest of cover crops may not be allowed until after November 1.

If a burndown or residual pre-emergence herbicide was applied earlier this spring, then check the label for restrictions on planting subsequent crops.

A cover crop will help restore the soil tilth and protect the soil from further wind or water erosion.

Germination of summer seeded cover crops will be improved if drilled versus broadcast.  If hot, dry weather occurs after seeding, a drilled seed has a better chance of establishment.

To prevent cover crops from forming viable seed, mowing or herbicide applications may be needed. 

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Weekly Crop Progress Statistics

Released June 28, 2010, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service
(NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture.  For
information on “Crop Progress” call Julie Schmidt at (202) 720-7621, office
hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

Corn:  Percent Silking,
Selected States 1/
————————————–
:      Week Ending      :
:———————–: 2005-
State:Jun 27,:Jun 20,:Jun 27,: 2009
: 2010  : 2010  : 2009  : Avg.
————————————–
:            Percent
:
CO    :   0      NA       0       1
IL    :  15      NA       2       6
IN    :   8      NA       0       2
IA    :   0      NA       0       0
KS    :  11      NA       5      14
KY    :  17      NA       3      14
MI    :   0      NA       0       0
MN    :   0      NA       0       0
MO    :  20      NA       7      19
NE    :   0      NA       0       0
NC    :  80      NA      62      50
ND    :   0      NA       0       1
OH    :   1      NA       0       0
PA    :   0      NA       0       1
SD    :   0      NA       0       0
TN    :  68      NA      24      39
TX    :  51      NA      61      61
WI    :   0      NA       0       0
:
18 Sts:   7      NA       4       5
————————————–
1/  These 18 States planted 92% of
last year’s corn acreage.

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Ohio Lamb & Wool Queen applications due July 5

The Ohio Lamb and Wool Queen serves as a spokesperson for the industry throughout her year of reign at numerous promotional events and activities around the state. The queen is selected by judges at the Ohio State Fair on August 1, 2010. Contestants will attend an interview and answer an impromptu question from a panel of judges live at the conclusion of the Guys and Gals lead competition. The selection of the queen is based on personality, presentation, poise, knowledge of the Ohio Lamb and Wool industry and participation in the Guys and Gals Lead competition. If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the 2010-2011 Ohio Lamb and Wool Queen please download the application by visiting http://www.ohiosheep.org/OSIA/Queen.html.

We encourage all ladies between the ages of 17-21 who are involved in the industry to consider applying for this position. This is a terrific opportunity to build a wealth of knowledge of the Ohio Lamb and Wool Industry and expand communication skills and network within Ohio agriculture. 

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Ohio Lamb & Wool Queen applications due July 5

The Ohio Lamb and Wool Queen serves as a spokesperson for the industry throughout her year of reign at numerous promotional events and activities around the state. The queen is selected by judges at the Ohio State Fair on August 1, 2010. Contestants will attend an interview and answer an impromptu question from a panel of judges live at the conclusion of the Guys and Gals lead competition. The selection of the queen is based on personality, presentation, poise, knowledge of the Ohio Lamb and Wool industry and participation in the Guys and Gals Lead competition. If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the 2010-2011 Ohio Lamb and Wool Queen please download the application by visiting http://www.ohiosheep.org/OSIA/Queen.html.

We encourage all ladies between the ages of 17-21 who are involved in the industry to consider applying for this position. This is a terrific opportunity to build a wealth of knowledge of the Ohio Lamb and Wool Industry and expand communication skills and network within Ohio agriculture. 

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Crop insurance options for prevented planting and replanting

With the late planting season onset of heavy rainfall,  many farmers found that planting or replanting corn and soybeans was just not a feasible option. Farmers unable to plant or replant will want to start exploring their crop insurance options, said George Patrick, Purdue University agricultural economist.

“In some instances, farmers may not have been able to plant their original crop and in other instances farmers may have lost crops due to flooding,” Patrick said. “If producers have followed good farming practices, they may be eligible for different crop insurance benefits — depending on individual circumstances and the type of insurance they have.”

Farmer-based multiple peril crop insurance plans include Actual Production History (APH), Crop Revenue Coverage (CRC), Revenue Assurance (RA) and Income Protection (IP). If planting was prevented because of the weather, an insured producer could choose not to plant a crop and take a payment of 60% of the original yield guarantee level.

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OCGA Board Member Anthony Bush testifies before Congress

National Corn Growers Association Public Policy Action Team Chairman Anthony Bush, a grower from Mt. Gilead, Ohio testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management during a hearing to review U.S. farm safety net programs. The committee called this meeting to gain grower insight in advance of the 2012 farm bill.
Bush testified as part of a panel which also included representatives from American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Barley Growers Association and American Soybean Association on June 24.

During his introductory remarks, Representative Collin Peterson expressed that there could be reconciliation next year. If reconciliation takes longer, the farm bill will not include any additional funding and would probably cut funding to a degree.
Acknowledging the difficult fiscal conditions, Bush pushed for more effective risk management tools. Explaining how rising input costs, coupled with an industry that is already capital intensive and operates on thin-margins, have decimated farmers in some areas, he asked the panel to provide growers with the tools they need to continue producing feed, food, fuel and fiber.
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Long-Term Ohio State Research Points to Benefits of Drainage on Field Crops

For every $1 spent on drainage technology, producers get $3 to $4 back in corn and soybean profits, according to long-term Ohio State University research.

Twenty-five years of field studies (from 1984 to 2009) at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Hoyvtille showed that subsurface drainage significantly improved corn and soybean yields on poorly drained soils. Add crop rotation and some sort of conservation tillage practice and production just keeps getting better.

“Overall, a farming system that includes subsurface drainage, crop rotation, and no-till, or other conservation tillage system, provides the best long-term economic and environmental benefits for the farmer,” said Randall Reeder, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer.

Reeder, who also holds an OARDC appointment, said that the long-term research was designed to evaluate the effects of drainage, tillage systems and rotation on corn and soybean yields to provide a better understanding of how to increase yields while maintaining sound conservation practices.

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Training Set for Sheep, Goat Owners July 22

Sheep and goat owners interested in using the FAMACHA system as a selective deworming tool will want to attend a Sheep and Goat FAMACHA Training session scheduled for Thursday, July 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Noble County.

The program will train producers to use the commercially available system to reduce the development of internal parasites that are resistant to drugs, said Clif Little, Ohio State University Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources.

“FAMACHA allows sheep and goat producers to use a colored eye chart to identify if an animal is suffering form anemia — an indication that it needs to be dewormed,” Little said. “It’s not a cure-all, but it can be a key tool in an overall parasite control strategy, and it can prevent unnecessary use of de-wormers, which can cause resistance to develop.”

Class size is limited to 25 and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Energy debate must include ethanol

As Congress prepares for an Independence Day Recess to be followed by vigorous discussion of a new energy bill, the National Corn Growers Association has stepped up its campaign to ensure that corn-based ethanol is part of the formula that brings our country to energy security and independence.

“With nearly two-thirds of our oil imported, we need to focus on a broad range of domestic fuel solutions,” said Darrin Ihnen, NCGA President, a South Dakota farmer. “Legislation is before Congress to continue much needed incentives and there is a new energy bill on the horizon, making it an important and critical time to talk about ethanol’s many environmental and economic benefits to our country.”

Front and center in the NCGA campaign is a new television ad using powerful images and common sense to stress the importance of ethanol. It will air starting Monday, June 28, on local news programs in Washington and on major cable channels such as Fox, CNN and MSNBC.

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Crop Insurance and Vomitoxin In Wheat: What are Farmers Options?

By Chris Bruynis, Assistant Professor/Extension Educator, OSU Extension

Producers that carry multi-peril crop insurance policies subsidized and reinsured by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (as overseen by the Risk Management Agency (RMA)) may be eligible for quality loss adjustments if the reason for the loss in value is due to a covered event such as the excessive precipitation received this spring. Reports coming from the elevators on harvested wheat indicate that not only are wheat yields lower than expected, but vomitoxin levels are high, ranging from 5 to 10 parts per million (ppm) in Northwest Ohio.

In order for producers to protect their rights, it is imperative to report any damage in the required time frame and seek advice from the insurance company before proceeding with harvest or destruction of the damaged crop. Failure to do so may jeopardize the claim. Crop insurance policies require that farmers notify their company within 72 hours of noticing a loss.

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Legalities of Vomitoxin in wheat for buyers and sellers

By Robert Moore, Wright Law Co. LPA

Head scab is causing legal headaches for buyers and sellers of Ohio wheat.The unusually wet spring has predictably caused disease problems in Ohio’s wheat crop. In addition to head scab and other more common diseases, vomitoxin is being found in this year’s crop. Vomitoxin is a mycotoxin that causes suppressed appetite in livestock and can be harmful to people as well.

Producers with a contract

Producers who have a contract with a buyer must look to the contract to determine their rights. All provisions, including any small print on the back of the contract, must be read entirely before assessing legal rights. The language of the contract is what matters; any verbal agreements made outside the contract have very little effect in enforcing legal rights. Even if the producer and buyer agree to certain terms, if the terms do not find their way onto the contract then the parties are probably not bound by the terms.

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Dairy Farmers Say CME Hurts Milk Prices

by Dan Looker

Successful Farming magazine Business Editor

Operators of both large and small dairy farms told a government hearing on competition in Madison, Wisconsin Friday that trading in cheese at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is hurting prices received by producers.

The growing market power of big box retailers and imports of dairy proteins also came up, but a group of farmers from New York to the Midwest to California was nearly unanimous in criticizing a block cheese market that is thinly traded and vulnerable to manipulation.

“This volatility that is being created by the CME is the source of the problem,” said Joel Greeno, who milks 48 cows on his farm near Kendall, Wisconsin. USDA milk prices became more volatile after they were tied to trading of cheese, he said. “It went from fairly stable ups and downs to looking like a heart monitor, and it can’t look like a heart attack.”

Greeno, who uses rotational grazing and is vice president of Family Farm Defenders, was at the smaller end of the spectrum of dairy farms represented at the hearing in the University of Wisconsin student union.

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U.S. Hog Inventory Down 4 Percent

U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2010 was 64.4 million head.
This was down 4 percent from June 1, 2009 but up 1 percent from March 1,
2010.

Breeding inventory, at 5.79 million head, was down 3 percent from last year
but up slightly from the previous quarter.  Market hog inventory, at
58.6 million head, was down 4 percent from last year but up 1 percent from
last quarter.

The March-May 2010 pig crop, at 28.2 million head, was down 3 percent from
2009 and down 2 percent from 2008.  Sows farrowing during this period totaled
2.87 million head, down 5 percent from 2009 and down 6 percent from 2008.
The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50 percent of the breeding
herd.  The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 9.81 for the
March-May 2010 period, compared to 9.61 last year.  Pigs saved per litter by
size of operation ranged from 7.70 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to
9.90 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

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Wet fields still foiling farmers

Farmers who can’t get into their cropfields to work because of excessive June rainfall shouldn’t surrender to Mother Nature, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service specialists say.

There was no shortage of  in the month’s first 23 days, leaving thousands of acres of corn, soybeans and hay either in standing water or in drenched soils, and producers desperate to tend to their crops.

There’s still time for growers to work their fields if weather conditions improve and soils dry, said Tony Vyn, cropping systems specialist.

On the positive side, the rain, heat and humidity has accelerated corn crop development — so much so that many crops have outgrown the ability of some insects to feed on them, Vyn said. That rapid growth, however, is quickly making weed control more difficult and delaying necessary nitrogen fertilizer applications.

“I would encourage farmers not to give up on those applications and to keep trying,” Vyn said.

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OSU Research Points to Benefits of Drainage on Field Crops

 

For every $1 spent on drainage technology, producers get $3 to $4 back in corn and soybean profits, according to long-term Ohio State University research.

Twenty-five years of field studies (from 1984 to 2009) at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Hoyvtille showed that subsurface drainage significantly improved corn and soybean yields on poorly drained soils. Add crop rotation and some sort of conservation tillage practice and production just keeps getting better.

“Overall, a farming system that includes subsurface drainage, crop rotation, and no-till, or other conservation tillage system, provides the best long-term economic and environmental benefits for the farmer,” said Randall Reeder, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer.

Reeder said that the long-term research was designed to evaluate the effects of drainage, tillage systems and rotation on corn and soybean yields to provide a better understanding of how to increase yields while maintaining sound conservation practices.

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