Enrollment for the 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program to Begin July 1, 2015

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced that starting July 1, 2015, dairy farmers can enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy operations when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. Harden made the announcement while visiting Wolfe’s Neck Farm and dairy school in Freeport, Maine.

"More than half of our nation’s dairy producers enrolled in the 2015 program, which exceeded our expectations for the first year of the program," said Harden. "We are confident that dairy farmers across the country will again take advantage of this safety net program for 2016. USDA will continue outreach efforts, including partnering with cooperative extension services, to ensure dairy producers are fully informed about the protections that this safety net program can provide during periods of market downturns."

The Margin Protection Program gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment begins July 1 and ends on Sept. 30, 2015, for coverage in 2016. Participating farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a $100 administrative fee each year. Producers also have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year. Margin Protection Program payments are based on an operation’s historical production. An operation’s historical production will increase by 2.61 percent in 2016 if the operation participated in 2015, providing a stronger safety net.

USDA also has an online resource available to help dairy producers decide which level of coverage will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The enhanced Web tool, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine their unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, mobile phone, or tablet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dairy operations enrolling in the program must meet conservation compliance provisions. Producers participating in the Livestock Gross Margin insurance program may register for the Margin Protection Program, but this new margin program will only begin once their Livestock dairy insurance coverage has ended. Producers must also submit form CCC-782 for 2016, confirming their Margin Protection Program coverage level selection, to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. If electing higher coverage for 2016, dairy producers can either pay the premium in full at the time of enrollment or pay a minimum of 25 percent of the premium by Feb. 1, 2016.

The Margin Protection Program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

For more information, visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy for more information, or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the Margin Protection Program. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

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Giant Hogweed in Bloom in Ohio

Giant Hogweed is in bloom right now in Ashtabula County. We have an excellent fact sheet on the dangers written by David L. Marrison, OSU Extension Educator. It can be found at: http://ashtabula.osu.edu/…/Hog…/OSUGiantHogweedFactsheet.pdf


David L. Marrison
Associate Professor
Agricultural & Natural Resources Extension Educator
OSU Extension Ashtabula & Trumbull Counties
39 Wall Street, Jefferson, OH 44047
440-576-9008 Office / 440-576-5821 Fax
marrison.2 http://go.osu.edu/AshtabulaAg

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Baseball Field Management On-Line Course Offered

Interested in wanting to learn more about what it takes to manage a baseball field? The course contains 7 modules which includes: Introduction & Field Layout; Infield Skins; Pitcher’s Mound; Turfgrasses; Best Management Practices; Turf Problems; and Sports Turf Administration. Each module is stocked with short high quality lectures, "how-to" instructional videos, games and/or assignments. There are also tips from field managers. The course is assessed by quizzes. The student can learn from their chosen remote location and at their own pace. For more information, go to the Plant Science Online Website at http://hcs.osu.edu/plantscienceonline/certificates/baseball

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Ashtabula County Ag Scholarship Applications Due May 1, 2015

OSU Extension and the Ashtabula County Agricultural Scholarship Committee are pleased to announce the scholarship committee will be presenting a minimum of ten scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year to Ashtabula County students enrolled in either an accredited full four year college or an accredited two year technical institute.

Both graduate and undergraduate students who are studying agriculture, natural resources, home economics, and environmental sciences are strongly encouraged to apply. The scholarships are for a one year period. Prior recipients of a scholarship may apply as a student can win a scholarship in two different years.

One application is used for students to apply for these scholarships and each applicant can only win one of the ten scholarships. These scholarships are open to both high school seniors and to current college students. The following is a description of the eligibility parameters for each scholarship:

At least one $1,000 Ashtabula County Agricultural Scholarship shall be awarded to an Ashtabula County student enrolled in agriculture, natural resources, family & consumer sciences, or environmental sciences.

Two $1,000 Ashtabula County Holstein Club Scholarships shall be awarded to deserving Ashtabula County students from a commercial dairy farm family enrolled in two year technical institute or full four year college. Or this scholarship may be awarded to a student studying animal science.

The $1,000 Allan C. Jerome Memorial Scholarship shall be awarded to an Ashtabula County student enrolled in agriculture, natural resources, family & consumer sciences, or environmental sciences. It is the wish of the donors that first preference be given to graduates of the Pymatuning Valley School District.

The $1,000 Kellogg Family Memorial Scholarship shall be awarded to a student who has at least completed their freshmen year of a two year technical or four year undergraduate college program in the study of production agriculture, dairy science, or farm management. This scholarship is given in the memory of W.H., David W., and Pauline Kellogg.

The $1,000 Lester C. Marrison Memorial Scholarship shall be awarded to deserving Ashtabula County student enrolled in agriculture, natural resources, or family & consumer sciences. Secondary preference will be given to a student pursuing a degree in education.

At least one $1,000 Service-Jerome Scholarship shall be awarded to a student studying agriculture, natural resources, family & consumer sciences, or environmental sciences at The Ohio State University or the Agricultural Technical Institute. It is the wish of the donors that applicants from the Pymatuning Valley School system be given 1st choice.

The $1,000 Harold and Dick Springer Memorial Scholarship shall be awarded to a deserving Ashtabula County student enrolled in agriculture, natural resources, family & consumer sciences, or environmental sciences. Secondary preference will be given to a student pursuing a degree in education.

Two $1,000 Western Reserve Farm Cooperative Scholarships will be awarded to an Ashtabula County student enrolled in either a four year college or an accredited two year technical institute. The family must derive a portion of their income from farming or construction.

The $500 Lautanen Family 4-H Scholarship shall be awarded to a student who is or was an Ashtabula County 4-H club member for a minimum of five years. The student must demonstrate outstanding achievement in 4-H project work, outstanding leadership qualities, above average scholastic record, and a record of community service.

The $500 Jim Baird Memorial Scholarship shall be awarded to deserving Ashtabula County student from a commercial dairy farm family enrolled in two year technical institute or full four year college. Or this scholarship may be awarded to a student studying animal science.

Application forms with complete instructions for applying are now available and can be received by stopping in at the Extension Office or by calling 440-576-9008. Applications can be accessed at: http://go.osu.edu/agscholarship. The application deadline is May 1 and no late applications will be considered.

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Bioproducts & Biofuels Workshop to be held on Tuesday, April 21 in Ashtabula County

OSU Extension through a partnership with two national grant projects will be offering a Bioproducts & Biofuels Workshop on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 10:00 am to 5:30 p.m. in Jefferson, Ohio at the Ashtabula County Extension office located at 30 Wall Street, Jefferson, Ohio.

This workshop will help agricultural industry personnel and interested producers to learn more about growing crops for fuel or commercial products. The focus is to provide practical knowledge, teaching materials, and assessment tools to assist producers in shifting to feedstock production for energy and bio-based products. One focus is on using “marginal lands” which are typically not ideal for growing grain or forage crops.

Session topics for this workshop include: Sustainable Bioenergy Cropping Systems; Switchgrass, Miscanthus and Other Perennial Grasses for Ethanol; Bio-products from Miscanthus; High Value Bio-based Products (Fuels, Chemicals and more); Evaluating and Calculating Soil Organic Carbon; and Ecosystems services and analyzing Soil Quality (test kit). Featured Speakers for this training workshop are: Randall Reeder, Extension Ag. Engineer (retired), Ohio State University; Dennis Pennington, Michigan State University; Jon Griswold, Aloterra Energy; Katrina Cornish, Ohio State University; Dennis Hall, Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center, OSU; Jerry Grigar, State Agronomist, USDA-NRCS, Michigan; and Rafiq Islam, Soil Scientist, Ohio State University

This workshop is being sponsored and funded by OSU Extension, NewBio and SunGrant. The registration cost for this program is $15 per person and is requested by April 14, 2015. The registration fee was reduced dramatically due the sponsorship of the NewBio and Sungrants. More information about this workshop, can be obtained by calling the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008. A programs flyer can be found at: http://go.osu.edu/ne-events

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Good Agricultural Practices Training to be held on May 6 in Ashtabula & Geauga Counties

OSU Extension will be offering a training program on reducing microbial contamination on fruit and vegetable farms on May 6, 2015at the Ashtabula and Geauga County Extension offices. The workshop will be offered at the Geauga County Extension Office located at 14269 Claridon-Troy Road in Burton, Ohio from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and at the Ashtabula County Extension Office located at 39 Wall Street in Jefferson, Ohio from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Food safety and good agricultural practices, or GAPs, for fruit and vegetable production are the focus of this workshop. In September 2014, the Food and Drug Administration released the proposed supplemental standards for the produce safety rule within the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FSMA produce safety rule encompasses known on-farm routes of contamination, such as: workers, animals, and manure. Whether or not a farm will be exempt from these rules, all growers are responsible for providing safe produce to their consumers.

Ohio State University Extension educators present the 3-hour programs. Participants will receive a recordkeeping binder and a certificate of participation as verification to customers that the grower received training in GAPs.

Attendees won’t actually become “certified in GAPS” by taking the course. That certification comes only through having one of many possible farm audits conducted by USDA or 3rd party company. If you need to become GAPs Certified, find out what your buyer requires. Some may be satisfied with just a class on GAPs, others may require a completed farm food safety plan and audit. Many large grocery chains require their produce suppliers to have a farm food safety plan and audit. For small farms selling at stands and farmers’ markets, learning about GAPs at the OSU 3-hour course is a good way to stay competitive.

If you are interested in attending one of these GAPs training programs, please visit www.producesafety.osu.edu/events to download a registration form under the respective event. Growers must register before April 29, 2015, as there is a 10-person minimum in order to proceed with the class. Registration is $20 per person, payable by cash or check, with checks made out to “Ohio State University.” The registration cost of $20 is greatly reduced thanks to a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Program, which helps to cover some of the program costs. For more information or to download a registration form, visit www.producesafety.osu.edu or call the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008.

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USDA Extends ARC and PLC Deadlines- Farmers Have Until April 7 to Update Yields, Reallocate Base Acres, and Make Final Selections

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today provided farm owners and producers one additional week, until April 7, 2015, to choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres also will be April 7, 2015.

"This is an important decision for producers because these programs help farmers and ranchers protect their operations from unexpected changes in the marketplace," said Vilsack. "Nearly 98 percent of owners have already updated their yield and base acres, and 90 percent of producers have enrolled in ARC or PLC. These numbers are strong, and continue to rise. This additional week will give producers a little more time to have those final conversations, review their data, visit their local Farm Service Agency offices, and make their decisions," said Vilsack.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by the deadline, the farm’s current yield and base acres will be used. If a program choice of ARC or PLC is not made, there will be no 2014 crop year payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage for the 2015 through 2018 crop years. Producers who have an appointment at their local FSA offices scheduled by April 7 will be able to make an election between ARC and PLC, even if their actual appointment is after April 7.

These safety-net programs provide important financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. As part of the strong education and outreach campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in September, to date more than 5 million educational postcards, in English and Spanish, have been sent to producers nationwide, and more than 5,000 events with more than 430,000 attendees, including training sessions and speaking engagements, have been conducted to educate producers on the programs. The online tools, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, which allow producers to explore how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operation, have been presented to more than 3,400 groups.

Covered commodities under ARC and PLC include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

Producers need to contact the Farm Service Agency by April 7. To learn more, farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency county office. To find local offices, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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David L. Marrison
Associate Professor
Agricultural & Natural Resources Extension Educator
OSU Extension Ashtabula & Trumbull Counties
39 Wall Street, Jefferson, OH 44047
440-576-9008 Office / 440-576-5821 Fax
marrison.2 http://go.osu.edu/AshtabulaAg

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