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Acres Western

Mar 10, 2016

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Acres Western

  • By Matt Aultman

    2012 was a year for the recordbooks, but you need to questionyourself because the past fewyears have all been for the recordbooks. This has also let manyquestioning what a normal year isanymore. Fortunate for all of us2012 has drawn to a close andwere optimistic for a better 2013.Each year I compile what has hap-pened that has affected the agri-cultural community in our areaand outside influences that haveaffected all of us.Lets start with the years

    biggest topic: Drought! It was theword for many in the Corn Beltand the rest of the United Statesagricultural sector for that matter.For many in the Ohio valley, 1988was a devastating drought year.After the extreme weather condi-tions in the 1988 growing season,late summer and fall rains nearednormal to even above normal pre-cipitation. Since its peak in mid-summer, the 2012 drought hascertainly diminished, but a signif-

    icant deficit in precipitation stillexists in some areas. While agri-cultural need for precipitation hasnow passed, there is lingeringpotential impact on the 2013growing season. Just as a compar-ison from January 1st to October19th, 1988 rainfall amounted to23.05 which most came in thespring until about the 4th of July,and during the same time periodin 2012 rainfall amounted to26.56 which most came in lateAugust and September. If youlook to the grain market chartsyou can tell when the beneficialrains came, the fall bid Soybeanmarket topped out on September14th at a November CME Groupclosing futures price of $17.39and the fall bid Corn markettopped out on August 21st with aDecember CME group closingfutures price of $8.38. Not manyof us got that price or even some-thing close to it. Many sold foraround $5.50 for corn when wethat that 2012 was going to be oneof the largest crops planted, andbeans around $15.00 because of

    the early planting opportunitiesafforded to us this spring. No mat-ter how well we done planting thecrop it takes rain to make grain.For the next year education

    will be a big topic and The OhioState University has made achange in leadership for The OhioState University AgricultureCollege. This year was the yearthat Dean Bobby Mossier, OSUslongest tenured dean with 21years, retired from the agriculturecollege and it allowed a newleader to take over. Ohio State haschosen alumnus Bruce McPheronas the new vice president for agri-cultural administration and deanof the College of Food,Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences. McPheron was the Agdean at Penn State, and he startedhis new position with Ohio Stateon November 1st. Ohio StatePresident E. Gordon Gee said in awritten statement, Dr. McPheronis an Ohioan by birth, an OhioState alumnus, and spent threeyears working as a county exten-sion educator in the state. He

    brings a global view and world-wide experience back to Ohio tolead one of Ohio States mostimportant educational programs.McPheron told many press outletsthat he looks forward to his returnto Ohio and The Ohio StateUniversity.Also this year, the Farm

    Science Review, near LondonOhio, celebrated its 50th year.Organizers say that despite themany changes that have occurredin agriculture during that time,one thing has remained the same:Ohios premiere agricultural eventis still dedicated to ensuring thebest agricultural research,resources, information and accessfor farmers. For those not familiarwith the event, it is sponsored bythe College of Food, Agricultural,and Environmental Sciences,Ohio State University Extension,and the Ohio AgriculturalResearch and DevelopmentCenter, and attracts upwards of140,000 visitors from all over theUnited States and Canada.Visitors come for three days to

    peruse 4,000 product lines from600 commercial exhibitors, andcapitalize on educational opportu-nities from Ohio State Universityand Purdue University specialists.Continuing on with education

    in my own backyard, DarkeCounty has been graced with anew Extension of Agriculture andNatural Resources agent, SamCuster. Sam has a background ineducation and agriculture andwere all thrilled for his placementin our county. Welcome Sam andwe look forward to your service tothe Top of Ohio region of OhioState Extension.2012 has also brought Ohio

    and our neighborhood some acco-lades and I want to applaud thosefor their accomplishments gained.In the FFA news, Ohio was luckyto have four national proficiencyaward winners: Nick Rutschillingof the Versailles FFA, winner ofthe Swine Production Placementproficiency, Garrit Sproull of theHarrison FFA won the SwineProduction Entrepreneurship pro-ficiency, Elizabeth Hayes of theMarysville FFA won the EquineScience Entrepreneurship profi-ciency, and Jakob Wilson of theFairbanks FFA won theDiversified Crop ProductionPlacement proficiency.Congratulations to all these out-standing individuals on theiraccomplishments. I also want tocongratulate Greg McGlinch ofVersailles. He has been namedwinner of the Ohio Farm BureauFederations (OFBF) Excellencein Agriculture award program.The award recognizes successfulyoung people 35 or younger whoare involved in farming but whoseprimary occupation is not farmingor owning an agricultural busi-ness. The award is based on theirinvolvement in agriculture andparticipation in Farm Bureau andother community organizations.Greg will travel to Nashville inJanuary to compete at the nationalcompetition. Good luck at theAmerican Farm Bureau annualmeeting.When covering a year in

    review especially in an election

    of Western OhioVolume 2 No. 1 January Issue $1.00

    Presorted StandardUS PostagePAID

    Permit No.220Greenville, OH

    thismonth

    whatsinside 4 5 9 13

    Is agriculture relevant? Dandelions as a cash crop Treasured Times handmade furniture Farm bill pushed to one-year extension

    What is organic food?

    Organic is primarily alabeling term that is used on awide variety of foods thathave been produced throughmethods and practicesapproved by the U.S.Department of Agricultureand its National OrganicsProgram. Organic regulationsfocus on farming practicesand food production steps thatcan be monitored and con-trolled, but for the most part,organic regulations simply donot try to address the morecomplicated issues involvingthe earth and sustainability.

    What is the historyof organic foods?

    Before the federal govern-ment got involved in the regu-lation of organic foods,dozens of states had passedorganic laws of their own.Today, 45 out of the 50 stateshave their own organic laws,and even before state lawswere established, farmers setup voluntary organic certifica-tion systems. The first organi-zation in the country to certifyorganic farms was CCOF,California Certified OrganicFarmers, over 20 years ago.Organic production had

    been practiced in the UnitedStates since the late 1940s.From that time, the industryhad grown from experimentalgarden plots to large farmswith surplus products sold

    under a special organic label.Food manufacturers devel-oped organic processed prod-ucts and many retail market-ing chains specialized in thesale of organic products.This growth stimulated a

    need for verification thatproducts are indeed producedaccording to certain stan-dards. Private organizationsand state agencies currentlycertify organic food, but theirstandards for growing andlabeling organic food may dif-fer. In addition, the languagecontained in seals, labels, andlogos approved by organiccertifiers may differ.By the late 1980s, after an

    attempt to develop a consen-sus of production and certifi-cation standards, the organicindustry petitioned Congressto draft the Organic FoodsProduction Act definingorganic. This leads me tothe next point of the need forregulation.

    Why did we needregulation oforganic foods?

    Over two decades ago,when the U.S. Congresspassed its 1990 Farm Bill, acongressional mandate wasincluded in the bill (Title 21)instructing the U.S.Department of Agriculture tocreate a national legal defini-tion of organic that wouldprovide reliable, uniform, andenforceable standards for any

    food bearing the term organ-ic.The development of organ-

    ic standards was designed toprovide consumers with afood labeling process thatthey could trust to reflectthose standards in food pro-duction. These standards areregulated under federal legis-lation as stated in the next sec-tion.

    How are organicfoods regulated?

    Federal regulations are thelaws authorized by major leg-islation enacted by the U.S.Congress. As part of the 1990Farm Bill, the U.S. Congressincluded a title called TitleXXI: The Organic FoodsProduction Act. In this sectionof the Farm Bill, Congressinstructed the U.S.Department of Agriculture toestablish the National OrganicProgram. Once the 1990 FarmBill was approved and signedinto law, the USDA becameresponsible for developingorganic standards.

    What is USDAcertification?

    Certification is the processby which the consumer isassured that a product market-ed as organic is in compli-ance with production and han-dling requirements set forth inUSDA regulations. All pro-ducers of organic food, live-

    stock, and fiber crops as wellas handlers or organic prod-ucts must be certified (exceptgrowers who gross less than$5,000 and retailers).Growers and handlers sub-

    mit an Organic Farm Plan oran Organic Handling Plan to aUSDA accredited certifyingagent detailing their growingand handling methods. On-site inspections are conductedby certifying agents to verifysubmitted plans. Methods andmaterials used in productionmust meet standards set in thenew regulations. Clear docu-mentation of methods andmaterials must be kept. Theremust be a paper trail tracing aproduct back to its productionsite, enabling verification ofproduction methods and mate-rials.Certification is the process

    by which the consumer isassured that a product market-ed as organic is in compli-ance with production and han-dling requirements set forth inUS

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