News Briefs


Buckeye Farm News 

Production of ethanol up 41 percent in 2008

In 2008, 9.2 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in the United States – an increase of 41 percent, as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. There are now 193 refineries nationwide and increases are still expected, despite the downtrodden economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting 15 percent of the ethanol industry’s capacity will go unused this year. Farm Bureau supports the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which gives a solid foundation for grain-derived ethanol to grow upon, while encouraging investment in second-generation biofuels including cellulosic ethanol and biomass-based diesel.

Ag committee could draft greenhouse gas bill from meetings

According to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., a draft bill could follow hearings with 400 groups on ways American farmers can make money from efforts to control greenhouse gases. AFBF President Bob Stallman has said that climate change legislation may hurt, rather than help, the farm sector. Stallman said emissions legislation could drive up the cost of fuel, fertilizer and pesticides, while the payment per acre for carbon control is low.

ACRE calculators available

A number of online calculators have been set up to help farmers make decisions on whether or not to enroll in the new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program. The latest is from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri. This calculator runs a stochastic analysis (accounting for variability) for corn, soybeans, cotton, rice, wheat and grain sorghum in Ohio and other Midwestern states. For links to multiple online ACRE calculators, visit the “Featured Links” section of

Young Farmers show optimism

AFBF’s 17th annual survey of young farmers and ranchers, ages 18 to 35, has revealed that America’s young farmers and ranchers have a high level of optimism about agriculture and 89 percent of those surveyed say they are better off than they were five years ago. They said availability of land and facilities, overall profitability and economic challenges are their top concerns. “We’re facing very challenging times this year,” said Mathew Meals, AFBF YF&R Committee chair. “In good times as well as bad, optimism is the No.1 job requirement for being a successful farmer and rancher. Farming has always been a difficult and challenging business, but most of us wouldn’t trade it for any job in the world.”

More animal rights bills introduced

The passing of Proposition 2 in California last year has opened the gates for even more animal rights legislation to reach the legislature in a number of states. Bills introduced by senators in California and Illinois would outlaw the docking of dairy cows’ tails except “during an individual treatment, emergency or operation, if the treatment or operation is performed by a veterinarian for veterinary purposes” with proper anesthesia. Legislation in California also would require all eggs imported into California be from cage-free hens.


Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.

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