News & Events

Marcellus and Utica shale drilling permits: Monroe County is drilling hot spot

Published Jul. 9, 2014

SALEM, Ohio — Drillers appear to be running toward Monroe County, Ohio, to drill what they see as promising Utica shale wells. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported 25 new permits were issued for drilling in Monroe County during June.

Ohio study finds more costs than benefits in shale gas drilling

Published Jul. 9, 2014

Even before the most recent recession, Carroll County in rural eastern Ohio was struggling. Employment prospects were sparse and young people were fleeing for opportunities elsewhere. Then came 2011 and arrival of the shale industry, giving the local economy an injection of jobs and the attendant financial benefits an influx of new business creates.

Virus Plagues the Pork Industry, and Environmentalists

Published Jul. 9, 2014

A deadly virus, porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PEDv, is estimated to have killed, on average, more than 100,000 piglets and young hogs each week since it first showed up in Iowa in May 2013, wreaking havoc on the pork industry.

Wayne farm tour is lesson in agventure

Published Jul. 9, 2014

CHIPPEWA TWP., Ohio -- Community members saw examples of new farming practices that might encourage young people to farm when they toured Wayne County's Willow Spring Farm and Rittman Orchard an Farm Market on Tuesday morning. The AgVenture Tour, hosted by the Wayne Economic Development Council, and consisted of representatives from local government agencies, businesses and banks.

St. Paris native celebrates 15 years of farm animal advocacy

Published Jul. 9, 2014

ST. PARIS — After witnessing an unsettling incident with a pig in a high school class, St. Paris native Nathan Runkle decided to devote his life to animal rights, founding the Mercy For Animals organization at the age of 15.
This year, the organization itself turned 15 years old.

Why does Europe hate GM food and is it about to change its mind?

Published Jul. 9, 2014

While the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and China and many other countries have warmly embraced genetically modified crops, Europe remains the world's big holdout. Could this be about to change? New European Union rules now seek to clear up years of internal deadlock that could, in theory, lead to widespread cultivation of GM foods.

Sinclair To Partner With Ohio State On Drone Programs

Published Jul. 8, 2014

Sinclair Community College in Dayton has announced a partnership with Ohio State University on its unmanned aerial system (UAS) or drone program. Farming is expected to be the first major field for the expansion of commercial drone use.

Aquaculture offers significant potential for growth in Ohio

Published Jul. 8, 2014

Current and future fish farmers who have attended aquaculture programming taught by researchers from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences say the techniques they learned not only increased their overall knowledge of the industry but also increased their confidence to work in this industry, according to a recent survey.

Farmers the focus of start of 30 Mile Meal month

Published Jul. 8, 2014

Supporting the local farmer is one part of the annual 30 Mile Meal month celebrated each July in Athens County. The first part of the month is dedicated to the local farmer, as “Farmer Appreciation Week.”

EPA report says E. coli levels too high in Upper Scioto watershed

Published Jul. 8, 2014

State scientists found high levels of E. coli, phosphorus and other pollutants at nearly every test point in the tributaries that feed the Scioto River northwest of Columbus. More water quality stories can be found at ofb.ag/ohwater

Ohio sheep producers eligible for FSA help with Cache Valley Virus

Published Jul. 8, 2014

COLUMBUS — The USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Ohio was recently approved to accept Cache Valley Virus (CVV) as a qualifying disease for the FSA Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program.

Ohio Fruit Farmers Feeling the Impact of the Polar Vortex

Published Jul. 8, 2014

Lynd fruit farm in Pataskala is just wrapping up their berry season. Blackberries did not make it through the cold temperatures, but blueberries, red raspberries, and black raspberries did survive. Other fruit that did not survive anywhere in Ohio were the peaches.

Kiwanis hears about Ohio Pork Producers

Published Jul. 7, 2014

The guest speaker for the day was Blanche Lange from the Ohio Pork Producer’s Council. The topic of her speech was “farming and food.” Lange has been on the Ohio Pork Producer’s Council since 1984. She received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University in Food and Nutrition.

Farmers fear EPA intrusion

Published Jul. 7, 2014

But Bill Ommert, a retired farmer in Huron County, said the change is far more than a clarification and is an attempt by the federal EPA to increase its authority. “We need to quite honestly rein in the federal EPA,” he said. “They have no supervision, no control.”

Marcellus and Utica shale: Production nearly doubles in Ohio

Published Jul. 7, 2014

The wells drilled in the Utica and Marcellus shale produced 3.6 million barrels of oil and 100 billion cubic feet of gas in 2013. In 2012, the state’s 85 shale wells produced 635,876 barrels of oil and 12.8 Mcf of natural gas.

Big Agriculture Looks to Africa

Published Jul. 7, 2014

In its July edition, NatGeo’s Joel K. Bourne Jr. points a wide lens at the issues raised by the creation of giant agricultural developments in sub-Saharan Africa, including some of the potential benefits as well as the likely pitfalls.

Debate grows Missouri around right-to-farm measure as election approaches

Published Jul. 7, 2014

"Every industry gets regulated by governments -- including agriculture -- as they should be," Hurst said. "But no other industry is facing this, sort of, public attempt to do the sort of things that regulatory agencies with scientists and experts should be doing, and instead we're doing it by spending millions of dollars on political campaigns.

Methodist seminarians tend farm to grow own food, share with neighbors

Published Jul. 7, 2014

The kitchen at the Delaware County seminary is trading in its canned food for fresh produce grown at a farm just a few yards from its door. Half of the kitchen’s fruits and vegetables come from the school’s Seminary Hill Farm, which opened in December. Expectations are that the 4-acre site will supply 100 percent of the campus’s produce within three years.

Ohio natural gas production rising fast

Published Jul. 3, 2014

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) released data for 352 horizontal shale wells that reported production in 2013. The wells drilled in the Utica and Marcellus shale produced 3.6 million barrels of oil and 100 billion cubic feet of gas. On average, Ohio’s oil and gas production increased approximately 65% quarter to quarter from first quarter 2013 to first quarter 2014.

Acreage report FSA deadlines approaching

Published Jul. 3, 2014

July 15, 2014, is the deadline to file an acreage report for spring seeded crops. This includes reporting all Burley Tobacco, Cabbage (Planted 3/19/14-5/31/14), Corn, Grain Sorghum, Hybrid Corn Seed, Spring Oats, Popcorn, Potatoes, Soybeans, Sugar Beets, Tomatoes and all other crops.

The future of agriculture may be too small to see. Think microbes

Published Jul. 3, 2014

Sanders is obsessed with a type of fungi that live on the roots of about 80 percent of the plants on the planet. Their tiny filaments help plants grow by drawing water and nutrients to the plant. In return, the plants feed sugars to the fungi.

Insect farms: Investors see big profits in thinking small

Published Jul. 3, 2014

Work on the world's largest fly farm has begun in South Africa after the European firm behind the project won much-needed funding from investors, propelling the use of insects as livestock feed beyond academic theory to a commercial venture.

Protect Your Horse from Hazards on the Farm

Published Jul. 3, 2014

"There is no such thing as an accident, they are only incidents," says Rebecca Gimenez, PhD, primary instructor and president of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Inc. (TLAER), based in Georgia. "No matter how unfortunate the situation, looking back, something somewhere probably could have prevented it from happening in the first place."

EPA's Latest Foe: Congress

Published Jul. 3, 2014

More than 260 representatives and senators now oppose EPA's proposed expansion of the CWA. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., have introduced a bill to block EPA from issuing the rule, which would expand EPA's authority over wetlands, creeks, possibly stock ponds and ditches.

How does flooding affect corn?

Published Jul. 2, 2014

Like people, if plants can’t breathe, they can’t survive for long. Flooding interrupts the breathing and photosynthetic processes of plants. Obviously, plants which are completely covered by water are at higher risk than those which are partially submerged.

Flooding a problem for Ohio farmers

Published Jul. 2, 2014

Most of Ohio and western Pa. received 5 to 10 inches for June, or between 125-200 percent of normal rainfall, according to the National Weather Service.

California universities to start sustainable agriculture programs

Published Jul. 2, 2014

The program gives the university a voice in global policy discussions about how to grow food in the face of severe drought and rising temperatures, said Janet Napolitano, the former Homeland Security chief who took over as president of the 10-campus system last year.

Cost of July 4th Picnic Up Slightly, But Still Under $6

Published Jul. 2, 2014

Farm Bureau's informal survey reveals the average cost for a summer picnic for 10 is $58.72, or $5.87 per person. That's about a 5% increase compared to a year ago.

Growers plant record soybean crop

Published Jul. 1, 2014

Farmers planted 84.8 million acres of soybeans, which was 11 percent more than last year’s 76.5 million acres. Among the states that planted record amounts of the crop were Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Acres and Grain Stocks reports bring out the bear

Published Jul. 1, 2014

Two obvious things stand out with these numbers. First, with soybean stocks higher than expected it continues to give support to ideas that the 2013 soybean production number will be revised upward later this fall.

Global Agriculture Trends: Are We Actually Using Less Land? - See more at: http:

Published Jul. 1, 2014

I found that, while the global food supply per person has increased over the last 15 years, we have simultaneously decreased the total amount of land we’re using to produce it.

Are farm land values headed for a downturn?

Published Jul. 1, 2014

There was a 13.0% increase in average U.S. farm land values from mid-year 2012 to mid-year 2013, which followed a 14.5% increase in U.S. farm land values a year earlier.

USDA Announces More Crop Insurance Changes

Published Jul. 1, 2014

The provisions allow producers to have enterprise units for irrigated and non-irrigated crops, give farmers and ranchers the ability to purchase different levels of coverage for a variety of irrigation practices, provide guidance on conservation compliance, implement protections for native sod and provide adjustments to historical yields following significant disasters, USDA said.

Peterson is new Ohio State Fair choir director

Published Jun. 30, 2014

Jon Peterson, who is a music professor at Malone University. Peterson was named the new choir director in March and has spent the past few months reviewing applications and selecting about 200 members who will sing in the choir.

Young Agricultural Professionals tour Rus-Men Farms

Published Jun. 30, 2014

Married, single, some with children and some without, more than 100 Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals were in the area Saturday for an agricultural tour.

The roots of the agriculture-EPA rift

Published Jun. 30, 2014

In the past few years alone, the EPA has been criticized for a series of proposals that would have hurt the agricultural community, including one that would have regulated dust in rural areas and another last November that would reduce the amount of renewable fuels, much of it from corn, required to be blended into the country's gasoline supply.

Farmers, lawmakers divided on 'Right to Farm'

Published Jun. 30, 2014

The official ballot language reads: "Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed?"

The Agriculture Secretary Sees a Smart (Phone) Solution to GMO Labeling Fight

Published Jun. 27, 2014

The F.D.A. and U.S.D.A. could help coordinate the compilation of information. That way you wouldn’t create a misimpression about the safety of a product, which could happen depend on how something was labeled.

DuPont Cuts Outlook on Weakness in Agriculture Segment

Published Jun. 27, 2014

Sales of corn seed, among DuPont's biggest agricultural products, slowed as U.S. farmers planted more soybeans this spring, leaving the company with unsold corn seed that led to larger-than-expected write-downs, executives said Thursday

HSUS pushes cage ban in Massachusetts

Published Jun. 27, 2014

Animal welfare activists say a bill that would force farmers to use cages big enough to let farm animals to turn around is a simple act of anti-cruelty, but farmers say the bill is simply a tool further a national legislative agenda because the problem doesn't exist in Massachusetts.

Crawford Co. farm museum an 'asset to our fairgrounds and to our community'

Published Jun. 27, 2014

The Crawford Antique Farm Machinery Show is underway at the Crawford County Fairgrounds and will run through Saturday. The show kicked off Thursday with a pork chop dinner and kiddie tractor pull. The 14th annual show is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Crawford Antique Farm Machinery Association.

Evolution Ag plans $5 million headquarters in Union County

Published Jun. 26, 2014

The company, which owns five farm-equipment dealerships, broke ground yesterday on a 15-acre dealership site and corporate headquarters in eastern Union County, north of Dublin. Doug Loudenslager, one of the owners of Evolution Ag, said the new location will serve six counties and give the dealership room to grow.

USDA announces new support for beginning farmers

Published Jun. 26, 2014

“New and beginning farmers are the future of American agriculture,” Harden said. “The average age of an American farmer is 58 and rising, so we must help new farmers get started if America is going to continue feeding the world and maintain a strong agriculture economy. The new policies announced today will help give beginning farmers the financial security they need to succeed.

Wearable Technology for Agriculture – Google Glass

Published Jun. 26, 2014

The areas of highest interest for agricultural applications for Glass are in field related activities like crop scouting, agronomist/consultants use, remote equipment maintenance, animal handling and identification.

Chipotle's Australian Beef Imports Anger Texas Agricultural Industry

Published Jun. 26, 2014

The opposition came to a head June 16 when Texas Agriculture commissioner Todd Staples cried foul over the burrito chain’s new plan to buy grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef from Australia. Chipotle says it can’t find enough beef in the U.S. that meets its standards, so it has to go overseas.

Agriculture security lawsuit heard in federal court

Published Jun. 26, 2014

The law makes it illegal to film in an agriculture facility without permission from the owners, and to lie in order to get a job at an agriculture facility.

Proposed Water Rules Could 'Take' Farm And Ranch Land

Published Jun. 26, 2014

He says producers are concerned the EPA could require permits for daily farm tasks which have to done in a timely manner to be effective.

Farm-Raised Fish Must Double to Meet Growing Global Demand

Published Jun. 26, 2014

By 2030, the World Bank expects that 70 percent of the demand for fish will come from Asia. A recent report led by the World Resources Institute finds that global fish production needs to more than double by the middle of the century to meet that demand.