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Precision Ag Technology A Focus of Agronomy Field Day, Aug. 25

Precision agriculture and the economics of technology will be the focus of the Ohio State University Extension East Central Ohio Agronomy Field Day on Aug. 25.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at David Miller Farm, 10750 Millersport Road, Millersport, Ohio. Registration is $10, payable by noon the day of the event.

Topics being covered throughout the day include corn and soybean disease and plant health reports, assessing fertility programs, identifying nutrient issues, yield monitor benefits, precision ag technology options, anaerobic digestion economic opportunities, and watershed management.

Certified crop advisor credits will be available.

The field day is sponsored by OSU Extension offices of Fairfield, Licking, Perry, and Pickaway counties. Additional sponsors include Farm Credit Services, Laurelville Grain, ADM Grain, Southwest Ohio Corn Growers, New Era Liquids, Agro-Chem East, Coschocton Grain, Wilmington Case IH Super Store, and Ohio Soybean Council.

For more information, log on to http://licking.osu.edu/events/east-central-ohio-agronomy-field-dayContinue reading

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Self Guided Exhibit at Farm Science Review to Teach On-Farm Electrical Safety

Electricity from power lines near grain bins can arc to a conductor and farm equipment can be that target, putting the farmer, family, friends or farm hands at risk for electrocution.

Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program will have an exhibit at this year’s Farm Science Review explaining the dangers of overhead power lines and what those working on the farm should look for to stay safe.

“There is a misconception that as long as that equipment can clear the power lines then everything is OK,” said Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension state safety specialist. “But if you have, say a two foot clearance, that isn’t enough. Electricity can arc to the auger, wagon, combine, whatever equipment you may be operating at the time.”

Between 1990 and 2009, there have been 8 fatalities related to electrocutions in Ohio, 3 of which where grain bin related, according to the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program website.… Continue reading

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Task force nearing completion on new corn, wheat organization


By Ohio Corn Growers Association and Ohio Wheat Growers Association Executive Director Dwayne Siekman
Over six years ago, the Ohio Wheat Growers Association (OWGA) entered into a formal relationship with the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA).
The relationship began with shared staff, but grew over the years, with joint membership meetings, legislative visits, public campaigns, and policy development synergies.
As joint activities increased, the leadership of the two organizations started to ask themselves, should we be doing this a little differently?  Aren’t we really just the same person?  In Ohio, if you grow corn and beans, you probably grow wheat. Although you may be a member of one organization and may identify with that, the reality is that when you think about your operation, you are a farmer who looks at all the business opportunities from a variety of crops and decides what is best for you. You expect nothing less of an association that represents you.
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A conversation with … Gary Conklin, Conklin Dairy, Plain City

Editor’s note: Due to death threats received by the Conklin family, a photo has not been included. Conklin was recently cleared by a Union County grand jury in an animal-abuse case involving his farm and a video released by Mercy For Animals.

OCJ: What is your family’s history in the dairy Industry?

Gary: The business started in 1919 marketing all types of livestock. Over time the business evolved into just Holstein heifers and cows. Up until 1990 a large part of our sales were from public auctions. Since that point it has been primarily private treaty sales.

OCJ: Will you please describe your dairy operation?

Gary: We broker close up and fresh Holstein heifers. We freshen out 1,000 to 1,200 first calf heifers per year. Many of our customers prefer to acquire fresh heifers. But, we do have some that prefer to buy springing heifers 30 to 60 days from calving.… Continue reading

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4000th Operation Main Street Speech Helps Take We Care Message to Millions

Pork producers are more committed than ever to demonstrating how much they care about producing safe and nutritious food, the well-being of their animals and protecting the environment. Through some amazing efforts, they have reached another important milestone for the National Pork Board’s Operation Main Street (OMS) program. On Aug. 4, volunteer OMS speakers achieved the Pork Checkoff-funded program’s 4,000th speech.  

“Thanks to our volunteers, OMS has grown into a significant asset for the pork industry and an important voice for the pork industry’s We Care initiative,” said Perry Aasness, vice president of industry relations for the Pork Checkoff. “OMS speakers are now showing key decision-makers and influencers such as county commissioners, dietitians, and small animal veterinarians, how pork producers are working hard every day to do the right thing.”

We Care is a pork industry initiative designed to help producers demonstrate they are committed to established ethical principals and animal well-being practices.Continue reading

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Ohio Top Farmers Ag Tour for Northwest Ohio Aug. 17, 18, 19

We have put together 3 days packed with a variety of places to visit.  Please select which stops you would like to visit, so we can accommodate you.  A few of the stops want to provide refreshments.  You must RSVP to John Dixon at jbnixon01@embarqmail.com or mail to John Nixon, 15328 Wrestle Creek Road, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 45896 or by cell at 419-236-2516 on or before August 7th. Please don’t forget to include your guests.

8-17                 9:00 a.m.         Koenig Equip Shared Resource Center, 15213 St. Rt. 274, Botkins Succession Plans in Agriculture

8-17                 10:30 a.m.       Wildman Spice Barn, 29956 US 33 (New Hampshire) been in business since 1895

8-17                 11:00 a.m.       Tim Manchester, 29249 St. Rt. 385, Lakeview – Round Barn tour and Seed conditioning
plus farming 3800 acres

8-17                 11:00 a.m.       Martha’s open house for ladies plus mother’s doll houses

8-17                 12:00 p.m.       Lunch at Tim’s – BBQ chicken, potato salad, green beans, pop & coffee

8-17                 1:30 p.m.        … Continue reading

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Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame inducts eight new members

Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame inducts eight new members

The Ohio State Fair inducted eight new Hall of Fame members on July 29 in the Rhodes Center Auditorium. Inductees are: Charles Cox, Columbus; Dennis Elliott, Columbus; Richard Falter, Osprey, Fla.; Opal Holfinger, Troy; Richard Indoe, Lodi; David Madison, Bexley; Jeff Milgrom, Columbus; and Rose Stough, Galion.

Charles Cox has been involved with the Ohio State Fair for approximately 50 years as a concessionaire. Beginning with the operation of ice cream concessions during the fair, Cox’s involvement has grown to provide year-round concessions and catering services at the Ohio Expo Center through Concessions by Cox, Inc.

Dennis Elliott has supported 4-H youth development for more than 50 years in the state of Ohio. He is a tireless supporter of fairs and 4-H. A past president and an active member of the State Fair 50 Year Club, Elliott contributes his time and financial support to Ohio State Fair 4-H and Junior Fair activities.… Continue reading

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NCGA disappointed, but hopeful on Senate energy legislation

National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Bart Schott released the following statement regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement that the Senate will not consider energy legislation before the Senate adjourns this week for its August recess:

“NCGA is disappointed that the Senate will not consider an energy package until at least September.  However, we are hopeful this will allow for future discussions on how ethanol can contribute to our nation’s energy policy and our energy security in a broader energy package.  NCGA urges Congress to include an extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit as they consider energy legislation when they return in the fall.

“The U.S. ethanol industry supports nearly 400,000 Americans across the nation. In the past year alone, ethanol added more than $50 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product and displaced the need for more than 360 million barrels of imported oil, valued at $16 billion. … Continue reading

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More Wheat Varieties Resistant to Head Scab Now Available

As wheat growers prepare to plant their crop this fall, they are encouraged to choose varieties that are resistant to head scab.

Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist, said that more varieties are available with good head scab resistance and high yield potential.

“In the past, there were very few Ohio-grown winter wheat varieties with decent scab resistance, and some of those varieties yielded poorly or did not grow well under our conditions,” said Paul, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “Today, we have far more varieties with very good scab resistance in combination with very good yield potential.”

Based on results of the 2010 Ohio Wheat Performance Trials, more than 20 percent of the varieties evaluated were considered resistant and more that 38 percent moderately resistant, for a total of 58 percent of the varieties rated at least moderately resistant.… Continue reading

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Ohio Department of Agriculture Announces Farm Pesticide Disposal Collection

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a collection for farmers to dispose of pesticides on Aug. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Hardin County Fairgrounds, 14134 Fairground Road, County Road 40, Kenton, Ohio.

The pesticide collection and disposal service is free of charge, but only farm chemicals will be accepted. Paint, antifreeze, solvents, and household and non-farm pesticides will not be accepted.

Pesticide collections are sponsored by the department in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To pre-register, or for more information, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987.… Continue reading

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Wet weather causes problems with hay harvest

Rainfall and high humidity this summer have made it hard for farmers to harvest hay, said a Purdue Extension forage specialist.

“Some farmers got their hay mowed, but then they lost yield and quality when it rained,” Keith Johnson said. “Others did not get it cut in timely fashion, so the quality of their hay went down.”

The heat and humidity have caused more problems than normal, Johnson said. Because high moisture can cause mold in the hay and other bacteria and fungi can form and cause combustion, it is important to monitor hay after harvest and to store it properly.

Part of proper storage means farmers need to monitor the crop’s moisture content. Small rectangular bales should have a moisture content of less than 20 percent, while large rectangular bales and large round bales should be closer to 18 percent moisture content when baled.

Hay can be packaged at slightly higher moisture levels if farmers have the proper equipment to apply propionic acid, a preservative, at baling.… Continue reading

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Ohio agriculture remains divided after the HSUS agreement

By Matt Reese

After the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced their plan to put an issue on the November ballot to implement restrictive measures on animal agriculture, Ohio agriculture united to thwart the efforts. The efforts from both sides of this contentious issue, however, ended in late June when HSUS announced that they would not pursue a ballot measure after an agreement was struck with Ohio agricultural leaders and Governor Ted Strickland.

This agreement is a list of recommendations that the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (put into place last fall with the passage of Issue 2) will consider as they formulate the animal care rules for the state. HSUS, in turn, agreed to acknowledge the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Boards as the authority on animal care in Ohio. Both sides say they can live with the agreement, but it still does not necessarily sit well with some in the livestock industry who were ready to fight HSUS.… Continue reading

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Strickland, State Directors Announce Action Plan for Grand Lake St. Marys

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, joined by several state agency directors, announced both short- and long-term action plans to help restore Grand Lake St. Marys, Ohio’s largest inland lake.

The governor announced the State’s latest efforts to assist the area from the Wright State University Lake Campus, and he and the directors emphasized the action plan can only be implemented thanks to the good partnerships the State has developed with the local community and the federal government.

“We know that our businesses and families have struggled with the loss of activity at the lake this summer. This crisis has been generations in the making, and it will take all of us working together to try to restore this lake to health and prosperity,” Strickland said. “This action plan provides a clear direction forward, and I want to thank this community for working with us as we all search for ways to bring this lake back to health.”… Continue reading

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Apply Lessons Learned in 2010 to Next Season's Wheat Crop

If the 2010 growing season was any indication, disease management needs to be one of the top things on growers’ lists if they are going to have a great wheat crop, says an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist.

“We had everything this year – head scab and vomitoxin, Stagonospora leaf and glume blotch, powdery mildew, leaf rust, head smut, and cereal leaf beetle, plus a very hot late spring/early summer,” said Pierce Paul, a small grains specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “The more aggressive growers were with disease management, the better the wheat. Some folks were just lucky, but in general, those who had resistant varieties planted and applied a fungicide at the right time, saw better yields and test weights, and had lower levels of vomitoxin.”

The biggest problem this year for growers was head scab and vomitoxin contamination of grain, with incidence ranging anywhere from three percent to 60 percent head scab, and vomitoxin from less than 1 parts per million to 18 parts per million.… Continue reading

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Apply Lessons Learned in 2010 to Next Season’s Wheat Crop

If the 2010 growing season was any indication, disease management needs to be one of the top things on growers’ lists if they are going to have a great wheat crop, says an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist.

“We had everything this year – head scab and vomitoxin, Stagonospora leaf and glume blotch, powdery mildew, leaf rust, head smut, and cereal leaf beetle, plus a very hot late spring/early summer,” said Pierce Paul, a small grains specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “The more aggressive growers were with disease management, the better the wheat. Some folks were just lucky, but in general, those who had resistant varieties planted and applied a fungicide at the right time, saw better yields and test weights, and had lower levels of vomitoxin.”

The biggest problem this year for growers was head scab and vomitoxin contamination of grain, with incidence ranging anywhere from three percent to 60 percent head scab, and vomitoxin from less than 1 parts per million to 18 parts per million.… Continue reading

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Wheat researchers, millers urge growers to use all of the available science, information during planting to avoid another bad wheat harvest




The 2010 wheat harvest in Ohio has been one of the worst on record in Ohio since 1996 with many elevators reporting high toxin levels of grain. Fusarium Head Blight (FHB, also called scab) is a serious disease of wheat that affects the entire wheat industry in Ohio, from growers to millers to bakers.

“While there is no silver bullet to preventing head scab, there are tools available to avoid such a disastrous wheat harvest,” said Dr. Clay Sneller of The Ohio State University’s OARDC program in Wooster. “And it’s hard to eliminate any fungal disease with just crop rotation.”

The USDA’s US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative has invested millions of dollars to develop technology to control FHB.  That technology is available right now and consists of varieties with improved resistance, effective fungicides, prediction models, and other management practices that reduce FHB (see http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/scabsmart/).

“Control of FHB primarily consists of planting the most resistant varieties and applying fungicides if heavy disease pressure is predicted.… Continue reading

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Soybean Checkoff steps up soy biodiesel promotion with new professional tractor pulling class

In an effort to continue to improve the availability and use of soy biodiesel, the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff will sponsor a professional tractor pulling division in the National Tractor Pullers Association’s (NTPA’s) 2010 season. The new Light Pro Stock Class will be made up of tractors powered by biodiesel.

USB and the soybean checkoff will use the 2010 NTPA season as a way of showcasing the diesel engine performance benefits of soy biodiesel — a homegrown, environmentally friendly and renewable biofuel — to thousands of diesel users. Soybean oil serves as the dominant feedstock used to produce biodiesel in the United States. The soybean checkoff has partnered with NTPA since 2007 to encourage biodiesel use among tractor pulling fans, many of whom work in the agricultural and trucking sectors.

Soy biodiesel is comparable to petroleum diesel in conventional diesel engines but provides higher cetane levels, better lubricity and BTU content.… Continue reading

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USDA announces extension to GIPSA comment period

In late July, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) responded to calls to extend the comment period for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) proposed rule on livestock marketing.

Concerns expressed by Congress, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and other leading agriculture organizations led to the 90-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule that suggests major changes to the way producers can market their livestock.

During a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing on livestock on July 20, 2010, both Democrats and Republicans expressed to USDA that the scope of GIPSA goes well beyond what Congress intended under the 2008 Farm Bill. Industry groups echoed the concern.

“Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle were very clear about the critical need to extend the comment period to allow stakeholders to thoroughly analyze the potential impacts of the rule,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs.… Continue reading

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Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Launches Agrisure Artesian Technology, First Water-Optimized Technology for Corn Hybrids

Syngenta Seeds, Inc., today unveiled its Agrisure Artesian technology, the new brand name for its range of water optimized hybrids and the newest addition to the Agrisure family of high-performance trait products. A limited quantity of hybrids with this technology, which has demonstrated the potential to deliver 15% yield preservation under drought stress, will be available through the company’s Garst, Golden Harvest and NK product brands.

Agrisure Artesian technology enables corn plants to use available moisture more efficiently, resulting in higher yields on drought-stressed acres including dryland and limited-irrigation farms in the western Corn Belt. Growers on rainfed acres in the central and eastern Corn Belt likewise can use Agrisure Artesian technology to help stabilize yields in years of inconsistent rainfall or in fields with variable soil types and moisture-holding capacity. In years of ideal rainfall, hybrids with Agrisure Artesian technology have demonstrated no yield penalty compared with hybrids without the technology.… Continue reading

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