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Vilsack will not withdraw proposed rule on buying livestock

According to an update from the National Pork Producers Council, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said he will not withdraw a proposed rule on buying and selling livestock and poultry. The statement came following a letter the Secretary received from 147 House lawmakers asking that the proposed rule be withdrawn and that USDA propose a regulation — more consistent with the intent of Congress as outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Under the farm bill, USDA is to promulgate new regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act to address five specific areas related to livestock and poultry contracts. The bi-partisan letter highlighted concerns about the process and cited this as the reason the USDA should withdraw and re-propose.

A recent analysis of the proposed regulation conducted by Informa Economics found that it would cost the U.S. pork industry nearly 400-million dollars annually, resulting in 2,000 direct pork related job losses. NPPC — like the 147 bi-partisan House members – has strongly urged USDA to be open and transparent in its regulatory dealings with the U.S.… Continue reading

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Crop insurance question 4: Coverage for new acres

By Andrea Metz, Cargill

Question: What if I picked up additional acres this year? How does that play into my crop insurance options?

Answer: Your options for added land will be determined by the application you signed at sales closing date, where the added land is located, and how many acres you are adding.

For instance, I selected State coverage on my application and made Shelby County my designated county. I add 50 acres in a section I already farm in Shelby County. My coverage on the crops I plant on the added land would be the same as the coverage for the Shelby County crops that I elected to insure on the application at sales closing. For production purposes this added land would be added to the APH database of my existing unit and the production history of that unit by crop/practice/type will apply to this added land.

These added acres may be eligible for prevent plant if certain requirements are met. … Continue reading

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Crop Insurance Question 3: Prevented Planting and Crop Options

By Troy Ross, Williamson Insurance Agency

Troy Ross, Williamson Insurance AgencyQuestion: If corn cannot be planted and prevented planting is employed, what alternative crop options are available and when can they be planted?

Answer: Every county in the state of Ohio can have different special provisions. Each grower should refer to the policy; special provisions your agent and the adjustor to make an informed decision on the best way to proceed.

For RP and YP policies, the final plant date for corn is June 5th. The policy contains a late plant period of 25 days after the final plant date. The late plant period starts June 6th and extends through June 30th.

To receive the full prevented planting payment for corn, the prevented corn acres must lay fallow and no subsequent crop can be planted. Complying with this will have no adverse affect on your production history (APH).  If any crop is planted during the late plant period, the prevented planting claim is withdrawn/denied and no corn prevent plant payment will be made.… Continue reading

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Nine Students Become Ohio AgriGold Interns

AgriGold is proud to introduce a group of college students that will be sharing the AgriGold story, placing field signs and working closely with their local Corn Specialist as a part of the 2011 Sales Internship Program. AgriGold has hired a total of 80 interns across the Corn Belt with 9 of those being placed in Ohio. The Intern Orientation Meeting was held May 17-19th in Champaign, IL at the AgReliant Genetics Research Station.

This year’s interns and their Corn Specialists in Ohio are:

InternHometownCorn Specialist
Caitlyn DeverPataskala, OHGabe Medinger
Danny KnapkeRockford, OHNick Brackman
David ReifEast Lansing, MIMatt Kimerer
Dylan DobbsHillsboro, OHKyle Wilson
Kyle ImwalleSt. Marys, OHBen Bowsher
Nick RettigNapoleon, OHJessica George
Tom AlbanyWesterville, OHScott Bugg and Dave Kress
Tom ChristyAlvada, OHKent Miller
Bethany JohnsonBaltimore, OHHW Martin & Son – Hebron, OH

AgriGold is proud to invest in the future of agriculture and support college students pursuing careers in the food and fiber industry.… Continue reading

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Crop insurance questions Day 2: Cover crops and group plans

By Matt Reese

Most everyone knows of the water quality challenges being faced in the Grand Lake St. Marys Watershed. Last summer and fall, farmers in the area decided to step up and do what they thought was best for improving water quality and soil conservation – plant cover crops.

“There are no silver bullets in the watershed but cover crops are as close to a silver bullet as there is. There are over 7000-plus acres of cover crops in Grand Lake St. Marys,” said Chris Gibbs, with the Mercer County Farm Service Agency. “But now it looks like there could be ramifications on the subsequent crop with regard to crop insurance. I would hate to see that get a black eye here with crop insurance.”

As soggy conditions have delayed field work this spring, cover crop management has not been possible in many situations, which can put preventative planting coverage in jeopardy in some situations.… Continue reading

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Ford partnering with OARDC on dandelion project

Ford Motor Co. is joining forces with Ohio State University to find new uses for an alternative source of rubber being developed by scientists at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster.


The U.S. automaker is interested in substituting synthetic rubber used in plastic parts such as cupholders, floor mats and interior trim with natural, domestically grown rubber from Taraxacum kok-saghyz, or TKS — a plant native to the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and commonly known as Russian dandelion.



OARDC crop scientists and engineers have been working during the past few years on developing a commercially viable crop from TKS seeds and an effective way to extract rubber from the plant’s fleshy roots — which can contain 15% or more of the sticky substance. The better-performing plants are now grown in greenhouses, high tunnels (plastic-covered structures) and a 2-acre field on the Wooster campus. … Continue reading

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Preserve the quality of your tower silo

A drive around the countryside this time of the year will enable one to see farmers out working in their fields. According to the International Silo Association (ISA), this is also the time of year to focus on preventative maintenance on the tower silos that will store the harvest.

“Preventative maintenance on a tower silo helps ensure proper feed storage and is necessary for safety issues, as well as to preserve the quality of the tower silo,” said Leroy Shefchik, spokesperson for ISA. “If a common sense approach to silo maintenance is used, similar to how one cares for other equipment used on the farm, the result will be many years of trouble-free feed storage.”

Many of the tower silos that owners are anticipating to use for their crop storage have been on the farm for many years. The tower silo may appear to be sturdy, strong and in good condition but with time and usage, maintenance is essential.… Continue reading

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ODA planting season assessment meeting

By Matt Reese

After another round of showers soaked the state, the Ohio Department of Agriculture called together an expert panel to assess the impact of the extreme wet spring weather.

At the top of the agenda was assessing how wet it really has been. In the last three months, Ohio has received half of its normal annual precipitation. So far in May, rainfall totals are 177% of normal for the month. The wet May followed the wettest April since Ohio has been keeping records. Ohio got 215% of normal rainfall for April. In addition, March had 150% of the normal rainfall and February got 205% of the normal rainfall.

James Ramey, the director of the Ohio Field Office for the National Agricultural Statistics Service, said the numbers regarding the corn planting progress are a clear reflection of the wet spring.

“In the history of the Ohio progress report, corn planting has never been this far behind. … Continue reading

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Grow Forward Program Partnership Between Ohio Agriculture & Ohio State Athletics

The Ohio State Athletic Department’s Buckeye Club has initiated a new program to engage one of Ohio State’s most loyal and passionate fan bases: Ohio Farmers. The “Grow Forward” program is a partnership between Ohio Agriculture and the Buckeye Club with an ultimate goal of fully supporting Ohio State’s student-athlete scholarship fund.

“The Buckeyes are Ohio’s team and we want to make sure rural communities are represented in the Horseshoe,” Jordan Birkemeier, Director of the Buckeye Club, said. “With our tremendous fan base inside the state, we want to make sure supporters know how they can make an impact on Ohio State student-athletes and receive access to season tickets. This initiative hopefully will educate people on how they can do both by joining the Buckeye Club.”

The Buckeye Club has partnered with four key organizations in Ohio to raise awareness of the Grow Forward program: the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA), the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Corngrowers Association and the Ohio Farmers Union.… Continue reading

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Grow Forward Program Partnership Between Ohio Agriculture & Ohio State Athletics

The Ohio State Athletic Department’s Buckeye Club has initiated a new program to engage one of Ohio State’s most loyal and passionate fan bases: Ohio Farmers. The “Grow Forward” program is a partnership between Ohio Agriculture and the Buckeye Club with an ultimate goal of fully supporting Ohio State’s student-athlete scholarship fund.

“The Buckeyes are Ohio’s team and we want to make sure rural communities are represented in the Horseshoe,” Jordan Birkemeier, Director of the Buckeye Club, said. “With our tremendous fan base inside the state, we want to make sure supporters know how they can make an impact on Ohio State student-athletes and receive access to season tickets. This initiative hopefully will educate people on how they can do both by joining the Buckeye Club.”

The Buckeye Club has partnered with four key organizations in Ohio to raise awareness of the Grow Forward program: the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA), the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Corngrowers Association and the Ohio Farmers Union.… Continue reading

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Funds to restore Great Lakes available to Lake Erie Watershed farmers

Farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin have the chance to sign up for a special program to improve water quality in the Great Lakes.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will pay a portion of the cost of conservation practices that keep sediment and nutrients on the land and out of the Lake.

“Impacts on Lake Erie water quality from harmful algal blooms and excessive sedimentation are a real issue to Ohio residents,” says Terry Cosby, NRCS State Conservationist.  “Water in the Lake Erie watershed provides drinking water for 11 million people. Over $10 billion is spent on recreation and tourism in the Lake Erie region every year.”

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding will be available to Ohio farmers through existing NRCS conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). Through these programs, landowners receive technical and financial assistance to implement conservation activities on their land that conserve soil, water, air, and wildlife resources.… Continue reading

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Summer gas prices will likely stay under $4

Drivers have something worth honking their horns over: Summer gasoline prices likely will remain below $4 a gallon, a Purdue University agricultural economist says.

Market conditions that caused oil prices to shoot past $110 a barrel have improved in recent weeks, pushing oil back under $100 a barrel, said Wally Tyner, an energy policy specialist. He cautioned that pump prices could rise again if oil production is interrupted.

Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of the summer driving season.

“If crude oil stays below $100 — meaning that there are no further production disruptions in the Middle East or elsewhere and we have no further weather conditions or other factors that cause refining outages — we have seen the worst,” Tyner said. “We can hope for steady or even somewhat falling prices over the next few months.”

Motorists have experienced severe gas pains this spring, with pump prices in some places topping $4.25 a gallon.… Continue reading

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Syngenta Launches New Seed Treatment

Syngenta announced today the launch of VIBRANCE™, a proprietary seed treatment fungicide based on the new active ingredient sedaxane. VIBRANCE, which has been tailored specifically for the seed treatment market, protects major crops against a wide range of diseases carried in soil and air as well as against seed infection. Its properties also result in outstanding protection of the entire plant root system.

John Atkin, Syngenta COO, said: “Research is increasingly focusing on the ability of roots to efficiently use water and nutrients as a key to further improvements in crop productivity. VIBRANCE is a major step towards integrated root health solutions and will play an important role in enforcing Syngenta‟s global leadership position in seed treatment.”

Recent results in the field demonstrate that VIBRANCE delivers enhanced root health leading to improved crop performance under a wide range of conditions. VIBRANCE is now available in Argentina for the coming growing season.… Continue reading

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Corn market continues to focus on production prospects

Two weeks ago, corn prices were declining rapidly, and experts pondered the likelihood of a recovery similar to those of September 2010, November 2010 and March 2011. The answer came quickly, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.

“By May 23, July 2011 futures traded within 14 cents of the contract high, and December 2011 futures traded within 7 cents of the contract high on May 19,” Good noted.

From the low on May 12 to the recent highs, July futures increased by one dollar, and December futures increased by 58 cents. Although the larger increase was in old-crop prices, the recovery was driven by concerns about the new crop. The price behavior was an attempt to slow consumption of old-crop corn in the face of concern about new crop supplies, he said.

“Domestic consumption of old-crop corn is likely proceeding at or above the rate projected by the USDA.… Continue reading

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New USDA guidelines lower pork cooking temperature

New cooking guidelines from the nation’s food-safety agency confirm Pork Checkoff research that shows pork can be consumed safely when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time. The guidelines were announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).

The new recommended temperature is a significant 15 degrees less than what was previously recommended and typically will yield a finished product that is pinker in color than most home cooks are accustomed to.

“Our consumer research has consistently shown that Americans have a tendency to overcook common cuts of pork, resulting in a less-than-optimal eating experience,” said Dianne Bettin, a pork producer from Truman, Minn., and chair of the Checkoff’s Domestic Marketing Committee. “The new guidelines will help consumers enjoy pork at its most flavorful, juicy – and safe – temperature.”

The revised recommendation applies to pork whole-muscle cuts, such as loin, chops and roasts.… Continue reading

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Looking ahead for dairy farms

Midwest dairy managers continue catching up economically after a disastrous 2009 and 2010 business year, said Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois professor of animal sciences emeritus.

“Illinois milk producers need $17.00 per 100 pounds to cover feed, variable, fix, and labor costs with a modest return on assets,” Hutjens said. “Currently, milk prices have been favorable, but dairy managers need a full year of these margins to replace lost equity in 2009-2010.”

Several factors will be critical to maintain a successful 2011 dairy business model.

Hutjens said milk prices will depend on supply and demand with more than 13% of current U.S. milk solids being exported. World demand is important to keep supply and demand balanced, which may be impacted by the financial problems in some European countries and unrest in the Mideast.

“Corn price will also impact profit margin,” he said. “Late planting of corn in the Midwest, flooding along major rivers such as the Mississippi, and drought in the Southwest will impact corn and feed price.… Continue reading

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New Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Scholarship Program created

Friends of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) and the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation (Foundation) are creating an endowment to recognize the career and life accomplishments of one of its most popular leaders. The Cindy Hollingshead Scholarship Fund will begin offering awards during the

2012-13 academic year.

“Cynthia (Cindy) Anne Hollingshead pursued a career and provided volunteer support for community activities during several decades of profound change,” said past OFBF Executive Vice President and Scholarship Committee Co-chairman C. William Swank.

Many farm and agribusiness leaders remember Hollingshead for her 39 years of service as OFBF executive secretary. She helped the organization transition from one that originally involved farmers and rural residents, to one which includes suburban and urban neighbors.

Residents of Groveport, Ohio knew Hollingshead for her work on the village’s charter committee and zoning board. She helped village government create planned growth strategies that balanced small town quality of life with the opportunities the larger, neighboring Columbus metro areas offered.… Continue reading

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Weekly Crop Progress Report-May 23rd

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

The average temperature for the State was 58.6 degrees, 3.9 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, May 22, 2011.  Precipitation averaged 0.99 inches, 0.19 inches above normal.  There were 70 modified growing degree days, 27 days below normal.

Reporters rated 0.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, May 20, 2011.  Topsoil moisture was rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 14 percent adequate, and 86 percent surplus.


FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY MAY 22, 2011

Temperatures were below normal throughout the state, and most of the state received above normal rainfall for the week.  Rainfall kept farmers out of the fields.  Rainfall has been affecting everything from planting to hay harvest to fruit pollination.

As of Sunday May 22, corn was 11 percent planted, which was 76 percent behind last year and 69 percent behind the five-year average. … Continue reading

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