News & Events

Six Surprises About the State of the American Farm

Published Jul. 17, 2014

you'll want to turn to the latest Census of Agriculture (COA). Chances are you've never heard of it, but this comprehensive report, released every five years by the USDA, tracks the trendlines and changes affecting our farms and farmers, issuing a 700-page data set that offers a snapshot of American agriculture in a given year.

Calif. drought brings greatest agriculture water loss

Published Jul. 17, 2014

The UC-Davis report found that direct costs to agriculture total about $1.5 billion (which include revenue losses of $1 billion and $0.5 billion in additional pumping costs). This net revenue loss is about 3% of the state's total agricultural value.

Can agriculture appeal to today's youth? It can by emphasizing jobs.

Published Jul. 17, 2014

Simply put, for the majority of the world’s youth, agriculture simply isn’t seen as being “cool” or attractive. Most think of it only as back-breaking labor, without an economic pay-off—and little room for career advancement.

As Urban Agriculture’s Popularity Rises, What Are the Food Safety Concerns?

Published Jul. 17, 2014

As more neighborhoods integrate urban gardens and food forests into their communities, the question of food safety inevitably arises. While many organizers may not consider food safety a top logistical concern when planning a food forest, what types of food safety concerns do food forests need to address?

Legal issues with Palmer amaranth cropping up in Ohio

Published Jul. 17, 2014

Because of the presence of this noxious weed, the land has yet to be entered into the CRP, and the landowner cannot receive the CRP payment. The farming operation has been working for many months trying to remove this weed from the land, by killing it, removing it, and waiting to see if there is more germination.”

Ag Sees Clean Water Act Gap

Published Jul. 17, 2014

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told farmers and agribusinesses on a trip to Missouri last week that agriculture essentially has ‘nothing to worry about’ and that ‘nothing will change’ with the proposed Clean Water Act rule. Yet many of the 204,416 public comments submitted so far to regulations.gov on the rule suggest the agency has a ways to go to convince the industry.

On-farm grain storage offers farmers higher profit potential and flexibility

Published Jul. 18, 2014

Given opportunities for higher return on investment and more flexibility at harvest, experts said on-farm grain storage can be a key component of any farmer’s grain marketing plan.

OHIO CATTLE RANCHERS REBUILDING HERDS

Published Jul. 18, 2014

High prices, unrelenting demand and decent weather have Ohio’s cattle herds once again on the rise. Buckeye ranchers added 2 percent to their stock this year over last, one of the few states to do so, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

ODA is spreading the word on sensitive crops

Published Jul. 18, 2014

COLUMBUS — Seeing an Ohio soybean crop being sprayed with herbicide in July used to be as likely as a summer snowfall on the same field. But concerns that such late-season applications of herbicides like dicamba and 2,4-D could become more common has led to the development of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry (OSCR).

Seeking to avoid the boom and bust cycle of Ohio oil and gas

Published Jul. 18, 2014

Boom, then bust. It’s a scenario often played out in local economies heavily reliant on one type of industry. And it’s an underlying concern for Ohio communities currently experiencing a boom in shale oil and gas development. But the cycle isn’t inescapable, say Ohio State University Extension experts. They have received funding to help eastern Ohio communities.

Ohio inmates gardening for a difference

Published Jul. 18, 2014

PORTSMOUTH -- Prison inmates of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility have been known to work together and complete community service projects that benefit various area organizations. Most recently, the inmates have grown flats of flowers through their agriculture group and donated them to various gardens operated through the Scioto Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

Hord Livestock pigs now virus-free

Published Jul. 21, 2014

BUCYRUS — Although a deadly virus continues to impact pigs across Ohio as fair season ramps up, one of Crawford County’s largest livestock producers recently was successful at eradicating the disease.

Drones could be used to spy on farms

Published Jul. 21, 2014

An independent journalist says he's found a way around the so-called "ag-gag" laws by flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Banking on farm-to-table trend: You kill it, hotels cook it

Published Jul. 21, 2014

Farm-to-table meals have become so popular that hotels are now getting in the game with an even closer-to-the-source experience by offering chef-prepared meals using food hooked, foraged or shot by their guests.

2 ag-gag laws facing federal court challenges

Published Jul. 21, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The years-long fight between farm organizations and animal rights activists over laws prohibiting secretly filmed documentation of animal abuse is moving from state legislatures to federal courts as laws in Utah and Idaho face constitutional challenges.

OSU Extension celebrates 100 years

Published Jul. 21, 2014

NEWARK — Persistent rain and dreary skies could not dampen the determination of visitors to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Ohio State University Cooperative Extension.

OHIO FARMERS GETTING FOOD TO 'HUNGRY PEOPLE'

Published Jul. 21, 2014

WOOSTER, Ohio -- As the world population increases, so do the challenges for the agricultural industry, according to Philip Shull, an agricultural counselor for the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service. The Wooster native, most recently posted at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, described the challenges when he spoke at a Wooster Kiwanis meeting.

Compensatory loss emphasis of new farm bill

Published Jul. 22, 2014

Two years ago, farmers in the four-county Toledo metro area collected more than $10.5 million in direct payments from the federal government, a subsidy program that had become increasingly seen as a poor use of taxpayer money. Starting this year, those payments disappear.

'Farm Factor' feeding more than food to local consumers

Published Jul. 22, 2014

A hunger for food is something that will always be a part of our ever-growing society, but what is recently being added to the appetite of many consumers is a hunger of knowledge concerning where their food is coming from. The Ross County Farm Bureau is satisfying both cravings with their yearly Farm Factor event, a four-course progressive meal served on four different farms in the county.

Sick, Abused Horses Overwhelming Rescuers

Published Jul. 22, 2014

CENTRAL OHIO - Dozens of sick and malnourished horses are overwhelming local rescuers. The numbers continue to grow, and by Monday there were 37 horses rescued by the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA).

USDA Crop Progress Report Shows Corn Condition Unchanged

Published Jul. 22, 2014

U.S. corn remained at 76% good to excellent, while soybean's improved one point to 73% in USDA's weekly crop progress and condition report on Monday.

Ohio and Michigan are in a pickle by being out of pickles

Published Jul. 23, 2014

First it was tomatoes; this summer Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan fresh-market pickle producers will lose millions of dollars because farmers can’t attract enough migrant workers to pick their crops.

Solon residents to vote on farm animals, zoning changes in November

Published Jul. 23, 2014

SOLON, Ohio -- Solon residents will have the opportunity to vote on the controversial farming regulations proposed by the city this fall.

Columbus to spread more wastewater sludge on farm fields

Published Jul. 23, 2014

The city wants to spread its wastewater sludge on farm fields rather than burn it and dump it into landfills. To do that, Columbus will spend $3.2 million to design storage tanks to hold the sludge.

Boost of chicken consumption in U.S.

Published Jul. 23, 2014

More chickens are crossing the road and on to consumers' plates, according to new research presented today at the National Chicken Council's Chicken Marketing Seminar in Greensboro, Georgia.

In Ohio cow country, he’s making cheese from a herd of goats

Published Jul. 23, 2014

WAUSEON, Ohio — The flat land and fertile fields of northwest Ohio are an ideal place to grow corn and soybeans and graze cattle. One farmer has decided it’s also ideal for goats.

Ohio State Fair butter sculptures honor state’s history

Published Jul. 23, 2014

The Ohio State Fair butter surprise this year? A multitude of sculptures depicting the symbols and signs associated with Ohio, including a cardinal, a ladybug and a carnation.

Pipeline to carry natural-gas liquids from Ohio to Texas moving forward

Published Jul. 23, 2014

Plans for a pipeline to carry natural-gas liquids from Ohio to the Gulf Coast are progressing.

Mobile market brings local fruits, veggies to your door

Published Jul. 23, 2014

On a Monday in mid-July, Adam Sturm is manning the register at his grocery store. He's got local summer squash, some deep hued organic eggplant and a bevy of colorful heirloom tomatoes. And inside, Sturm has grits, eggs and more. Sturm's truck houses Adam's Mobile Market, his 5-month old local food venture. The market carries fresh local products from six local farms.

Custom farm work rates rising in Ohio

Published Jul. 23, 2014

The rates custom farm workers are paid in Ohio are rising, according to a new statewide survey of Ohio growers, farm workers and machinery operators completed by agricultural economists from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

OFB expert: Beware of liabilities when purchasing a gas well

Published Jul. 25, 2014

COLUMBUS — Landowners who take ownership of gas wells on their property need to make sure the benefits outweigh the financial liabilities, according to Ohio Farm Bureau (OBF) Federation Director of Energy Policy Dale Arnold.

What’s happening with hops in Ohio

Published Jul. 25, 2014

WOOSTER, Ohio — In terms of both production and economic opportunity, hops growing is hot in Ohio. However, crop threats like spider mites and outbreaks of diseases like downy mildew in some areas have both growers and researchers perplexed.

USDA and CoBank create rural infrastructure fund

Published Jul. 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2014 -- USDA and CoBank announced today a partnership to create a $10 billion fund to improve rural infrastructure, an investment Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called both a “historic investment” and a “great first effort.”

AFBF's Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge highlights entrepreneurship

Published Jul. 25, 2014

WASHINGTON — American Farm Bureau Federation together with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business Global Social Enterprise Initiative and the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative’s StartupHoyas today announced the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. Individuals will be able to showcase ideas and business innovations being cultivated in rural regions of the United States.

Can You Trust That Organic Label On Imported Food?

Published Jul. 25, 2014

Maybe you've wondered, while looking at the price tag on some organic produce, whether that label is telling the truth. Peter Laufer, a writer and professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, doesn't just wonder. He's an outright skeptic, especially because the organic label seems to him like a license to raise prices.

U.S. grain farmers resort to giant storage bags to avoid cheap sales

Published Jul. 25, 2014

(Reuters) - As U.S. farmers turn in record grain crops this autumn, many will have a powerful new tool - giant sausage-shaped storage bags - to help them avoid the lowest prices in years and gain more control over trade with giants such as Cargill Inc.

Woman forced to relocate flock of chickens

Published Jul. 25, 2014

After discovering how factory-farmed chickens are handled, Jenny Durbin decided to raise her own chickens. Now, the village of Silverton is threatening to take away her source of eggs and the family of birds to which she's become so close

Wheat harvest yields increase

Published Jul. 25, 2014

Farmers in the region aren’t planting as much wheat as in years past, but those who did enjoyed “a good harvest” this month with strong yields and no plant disease, reports Ed Lentz, agriculture/natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension.

Strong week for new crop soybean, corn sales

Published Jul. 25, 2014

USDA reports combined old and new crop corn, soybean, and soybean meal export sales for the week ending July 17 were larger than expected, while soybean oil and wheat were within pre-report estimates. Shipments of soybeans and wheat were more than what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for their respective marketing years, but corn fell short of its mark.

Ag is Cool winners announced

Published Jul. 25, 2014

Governor John R. Kasich and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels announced the winners for the 2014 “Agriculture is Cool” visual arts contest.

PED virus still a threat for hogs this fair season

Published Jul. 25, 2014

The summer weather has succeeded in slowing the devastating spread of PED virus, but it has not been stopped.

Abundant Grain Ripples Through U.S. Farm Industry

Published Jul. 28, 2014

As some of the biggest U.S. agribusiness firms report earnings this week, analysts will weigh prospects for another massive U.S. corn crop and a likely record haul of soybeans, thanks to benevolent weather this summer, with plenty of rain and moderate temperatures setting up the best growing conditions in years.

Is my farm exempt? OSHA confusion continues

Published Jul. 28, 2014

The small farm exemption came under fire in 2013 when OSHA began inspecting and issuing citations to farming operations. In 2011, OSHA issued a guidance memorandum to its inspectors asserting that on-farm grain storage and handling was not part of the “farming operation” and that OSHA had the authority to inspect such facilities and enforce its rules and regulations,

Sec Vilsack on rural America

Published Jul. 28, 2014

“I think it’s important for the folks to understand that there’s great profit opportunity and business opportunity in rural America. We’re about 75 percent of the land mass in the United States. The vast majority of America is located in rural areas. It’s where most of our food comes from, a lot of our water.

Custom farm work rates rising in Ohio

Published Jul. 28, 2014

The 2014 Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey found that the rates paid to farm workers and machinery operators for custom farm work have increased thanks in part to increased supply costs and the agriculture industry boom in recent years,

Mobile slaughter on rise in U.S

Published Jul. 29, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 20 mobile units are in operation around the country. Units from Texas to Alaska butcher birds, cows, pigs and other animals as the market for locally produced food has grown from a beachhead of hippie co-ops and health food stores to Whole Foods Market Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger Co.

How Google Glass Can Be the Next Big Thing for Agriculture

Published Jul. 29, 2014

Imagine being able to look at a cotton crop, taking field notes and snapping pictures, sending videos of exactly what you're looking at to experts, or dictating notes, all hands-free.A Georgia based company has developed IntelliScout, an application that uses Google Glass to make it easier for the crop scouts to log any issues they find, without having to pull out a camera or even a smartphone.

Northwest Ohio farmers wade through farm bill at forum

Published Jul. 29, 2014

BOWLING GREEN — The Ohio Farmer’s Union held a Farm Bill Implementation Forum on Friday at Bowling Green State University to help area farmers wade through the complexities of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Pickaway County farmland will revert to the wild as Bartley Preserve

Published Jul. 29, 2014

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — Nestled among acres of rolling Pickaway County farmland, the newly christened Bartley Preserve stands out. The property, formerly owned by the List family, contains slopes and ridges created by glaciers, allowing rare and endangered plants to thrive in seasonal wetlands.

Kudzu heading north as climate changes

Published Jul. 29, 2014

As the climate warms, the vine that ate the South is starting to gnaw at parts of the North, too. Kudzu, a three-leafed weed first planted in the United States more than 100 years ago for the beauty of its purple blossoms, is creeping northward, wrapping itself around smokestacks in Ohio, overwhelming Illinois backyards and even jumping Lake Erie to establish a beachhead in Ontario, Canada.