Southern Oregon Ag Online agriculture in Southern Oregon Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:03:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 USDA: Honeybee health Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:03:09 +0000 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that more than $4 million in technical and financial assistance will be provided to help farmers and ranchers in the Midwest improve the health of honey bees, which play an important role in crop production.

“The future of America’s food supply depends on honey bees, and this effort is one way USDA is helping improve the health of honey bee populations,” Vilsack said. “Significant progress has been made in understanding the factors that are associated with Colony Collapse Disorder and the overall health of honey bees, and this funding will allow us to work with farmers and ranchers to apply that knowledge over a broader area.”

An estimated $15 billion worth of crops is pollinated by honey bees, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is focusing the effort on five Midwestern states: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. This announcement renews and expands a successful $3 million pilot investment that was announced earlier this year and continues to have high levels of interest. This effort also contributes to the June 2014 Presidential Memorandum – Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, which directs USDA to expand the acreage and forage value in its conservation programs.

Funding will be provided to producers through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications are due Friday, November 21.

From June to September, the Midwest is home to more than 65 percent of the commercially managed honey bees in the country. It is a critical time when bees require abundant and diverse forage across broad landscapes to build up hive strength for the winter.

The assistance announced today will provide guidance and support to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that will provide safe and diverse food sources for honey bees. For example, appropriate cover crops or rangeland and pasture management may provide a benefit to producers by reducing erosion, increasing the health of their soil, inhibiting invasive species, and providing quality forage and habitat for honey bees and other pollinators.

This year, several NRCS state offices are setting aside additional funds for similar efforts, including California – where more than half of all managed honey bees in the U.S. help pollinate almond groves and other agricultural lands – as well as Ohio and Florida.

The 2014 Farm Bill kept pollinators as a high priority, and these conservation efforts are one way USDA is working to help improve pollinator habitat.

USDA is actively pursuing solutions to the multiple problems affecting honey bee health. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) maintains four laboratories across the country conducting research into all aspects of bee genetics, breeding, biology and physiology, with special focus on bee nutrition, control of pathogens and parasites, the effects of pesticide exposure and the interactions between each of these factors. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports bee research efforts in Land Grant Universities. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) conducts national honey bee pest and disease surveys and provides border inspections to prevent new invasive bee pests from entering the U.S. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) and NRCS work on improved forage and habitat for bees through programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and EQIP. The Forest Service is restoring, improving, and/or rehabilitating pollinator habitat on the national forests and grasslands and conducting research on pollinators. Additionally, the Economic Research Service (ERS) is currently examining the direct economic costs of the pollinator problem and the associated indirect economic impacts, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts limited surveys of honey production, number of colonies, price, and value of production which provide some data essential for research by the other agencies.

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County Farm Bureau members held their annual meeting Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:25:32 +0000 ron bjork bw

Ron Bjork, President Jackson County Farm Bureau

Jackson at the Black Bear restaurant in Medford on October 21. President Ron Bjork briefly recapped events and memorable moments of the Farm Bureau since their last annual meeting in 2013.

Always an item of business during annual meetings is the election of officers for the coming year. Ron Bjork was again nominated and elected to serve another term as president. The balance of the slate, Glenn Archcambault as Vice President and Cheri Bjork as Secretary Treasurer and Louise Isbell as women’s chair were also nominated and the secretary cast a unanimous ballot as each ran unopposed.

Guest speaker, Katie Fast, of the Oregon Farm Bureau, gave a report consisting of many topics, including the de-listing of the wolf in the Eastern Oregon area. The wolf will remain endangered in this area until there are at least four breeding pairs documented in southern Oregon.

Pesticides are a highly controversial topic during the coming election. Josephine County is proposing an ordinance which Fast says is not only controversial, but lacking any common sense. The measure would go so far as to prevent area hospitals from using any anti-bacterials in their operations. It would also put all licensed applicators out of business because of the poor wording of the measure.

The Farm Bureau opposes measure 92, the statewide labeling initiative. That measure would force labeling of any food item that contains GMO products or uses them in the processing of foods.

katie fast at farm bureau meeting

Katie Fast, Oregon Farm Bureau

Another issue being given much attention is water. Some would like all water to stay in streams, while irrigators need water for food crops. Efforts up to this time have left thousands of acres fallow, according to Fast and Rep. Sal Esquivel, who also spoke at the meeting.

Fast also reported on the upcoming state convention, citing the effective communication skills seminar, hosted by the Young Farmers & Ranchers committee. The objective of the meetings will be to cultivate effective communication in business, with the public and with lawmakers.

According to Fast, during the recession, beginning in 2008, agriculture has grown as an industry while the rest of the economy has either stagnated or been in decline. The Oregon Farm Bureau believes this trend will continue on as food becomes a more important commodity.

About 35 members and guests attended the meeting, and President Bjork expressed the opinion that newer members are going to have to step up because the current leadership will not be with them forever.


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2014 Oregon Hay King Contest – November 14th and 15th Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:18:11 +0000 2014 Oregon Hay King Contest – November 14th and 15th, Jackson County Expo Center in Central Point

The Oregon Hay and Forage Association in cooperation with Oregon State University Extension Service and Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station is sponsoring the 2014 Hay King Contest at the Jackson County Expo Mace Building in Central Point on November 14th and 15th.  They will follow the same format as last year.  Friday there will be an educational program and trade show, and Saturday will be the contest.  Friday’s schedule is tentatively from 12pm-5pm with a board meeting after from 6pm-9pm, and Saturday’s contest will be from 9am to 4pm. Check back for a more detailed  itinerary once they havethe  logistics worked out.   Lunch will be available Friday, and breakfast and lunch Saturday.

Thursday November 3 is the deadline for samples into K. Falls.


Please save the date and mark your calendars!! For more information call:

Sara Dinsdale

(541)-441-1587 or (541)-472-8873

The Hay King contest is an annual event where hay growers can not only show off their hay, but network with other growers, exchange ideas, and just celebrate the end of another year’s harvest.  The 7 hay classes to be judged will include:

1.dairy alfalfa

2.retail alfalfa


4.grass/legume mix


6.cereal/legume (pea or vetch) mix

7. timothy

Entry forms, hay samples, and checks need be received by November 3rd, to the Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center.   On November 15th, show up at Jackson County Expo Center with a bale from the stack you core-sampled earlier and watch the judges feel, smell and paw through everyone’s hay. It is a very educational day. The bales are judged and awarded points based on quality testing (RFQ) score) and sensory evaluation.

The quality testing will be predicted by NIRS at the Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center.  Hay quality parameters quantified will include crude protein, ADF, NDF, TDN, RFV, RFQ, ash, dNDF, NDFD and many more quality indicators.  The RFQ nutrient analysis scores are combined with the sensory scores, to name a winner in each category.  So enter one or more classes and be the next Hay King for a year.

Send hay core samples, entry form, and $25 per entry to Hay King Contest c/o Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center, 6941 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603-9365.  Checks should be made out to Oregon Hay and Forage Association.  All sizes of bales are eligible for competition.

Hay King Contest Rules

1. All contestants must enter a cored sample of their hay entry by the November 3 deadline.  The cored samples should be sent directly to the contest Lab.  The entry fee for each sample is $25 for OHFA members and non-members.  Checks should be made out to the Oregon Hay and Forage Association and must be turned in with the cored hay samples and entry registration form.  Additionally, one bale, of each class of hay entered, must be in place at the contest location by 9 am, November 15th.

2. Cored hay samples must be a representative sample of the entire lot of hay.  This means that:

a. Multiple cored sub-samples (20) must be taken to make up your sample, rather than an entire flake, or a portion of a flake.

b. The inside diameter of the coring device must be no less than 3/8- inches (if you don’t have a coring device, contact your Extension office).  Note the type & size of sampling device on your entry form.

c. A minimum of 20 bales must be sampled at random from each lot of hay (a lot is hay from the same cutting, variety, field, stage of maturity, and harvested within the same day).  A lot should not exceed 200 tons of hay, or be less than 30 tons.

d. When sampling, probe the bale near the center, at least 12 to 18 inches into the butt end of the bale.  The probe should enter horizontally at a right angle to the surface of the end of the bale.   Be sure the probe doesn’t slant up, down, or sideways.

e. Combine core samples for each class entry into a single sample by combining them into a sealed freezer bag.  Samples submitted with less than a quart bag full of sample may be rejected.  (This equates to a minimum of about 200 grams or ½ lb or greater of sample material, if sampled properly)  Do not ever try to subdivide the sample!  It is impossible to subdivide the sample until it is ground.  Even if you have too much, send the whole sample.

3. If there is not a minimum of 2 entries in a class of hay, the classes may not be judged, this will be at the OHFA board’s discretion.  The submitter will be informed prior to the contest.

2014 Hay King Contest Entry Form

Entries Due November 3, 2014

Please include this entry form with your hay sample and entry fee.

Checks should be made payable to: Oregon Hay and Forage Association

Entry Fees: Member– $25 Per Entry Non-Member – $25 Per Entry

Samples entered without entry fee & entry form will not be accepted!


Phone #_______________________________



Town: ______________________ State: _________________________


Core Device Used________________________________________

Inside Diameter Core Size_____________   Core Tip Size __________

Entry #

Hay Species  / TypeVariety (if Known)Cutting

Cutting Date

Bale Size

Tons in Lot

Hay Species & Types (choose from the designations below to complete the first column above for each entry)

*Dairy Alfalfa – *Retail Alfalfa – Grass/Legume mix – Grass – Cereal –

Cereal/Legume (pea or vetch) – Timothy

Mail Entries to: 2014 Oregon Hay King Contest

C/O Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center

6941 Washburn Way

Klamath Falls, OR 97603

Contact for the Hay King Contest is Mylen Bohle at 541-447-6228

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Shasta Livestock sale October 17 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:57:36 +0000 RECEIPTS:   This Week: 1881 Last Week: 975 COMPARED TO LAST WEEK: Slaughter cows & bulls steady. Tougher week for most classes, except for heifers w/replacement value & yearlings. Most other classes under 650# $5-$15                     lower. Small lots & singles $20-$50 lower than top offerings SLAUGHTER COWS: High Dress Low Dress           Breakers: 103.00-111.00 112.00-123.00           Boneing: 94.00-102.00 Heiferettes           Cutters: 80.00-93.00 135.00-170.00                         BULLS 1 & 2: 105.00-120.00 121.00-135.00 FEEDER STEERS: 300-400 xxx to xxx Top Offerings/Pen Lots 400-450 xxx to xxx 450-500 264.00 to                     300.00 500-550 250.00 to                     280.50 550-600 235.00 to                     271.00 600-650 228.00 to                     254.00 650-700 225.00 to                     253.00 700-750 220.00 to                     247.00 750-800 217.00 to                     231.00 800-900 215.00 to                     229.00 (few)  FEEDER HEIFERS: 300-400 xxxx to xxxx Top Offerings/Pen Lots 400-450 250.00 to                     285.00 450-500 231.00 to                     269.00 500-550 225.00 to                     254.00 550-600 216.00 to                     245.00 600-650 212.00 to                     247.00 650-700 212.00 to                     241.00 700-750 222.00 to                     236.00 (few) 750-800 230.00 to                     231.00 (2 sets) 800-900 xxxx to                     206.00 (1 set)

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Farmers invited to Cultivating Effective Communication Skills Conf., 12/9 Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:54:21 +0000

Farmers invited to Cultivating Effective Communication Skills Conf., 12/9


All farmers and ranchers are invited to attend the Cultivating Effective Communication Skills conference on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at the Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach (near Lincoln City). The event is presented by the Oregon Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and is open to both Farm Bureau members and non-members.


“The conference will cover all aspects of communication relevant to farms and ranches,” said Kathy Hadley, event coordinator and chair of the OFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. “We’ll have experts sharing their strategies for effective communication on the farm or ranch, with lawmakers, and with the general public as we share our story as agriculture producers.”


In the morning, workplace communication and bargaining/negotiating strategies will be addressed.


A lunch speaker will provide tips for communicating with lenders.


The afternoon session will feature Lindsay Calvert of American Farm Bureau discussing how farmers can effectively share their stories to potential customers and the general public.


The conference will wrap up with a panel discussion focusing on advice for communicating with elected officials.


The conference cost is $20 for voting and supporting Farm Bureau members, and $40 for associate members and non-members. (Note: Associate and non-members can pay the reduced member price if they bring three cans of food for the YF&R Food Drive.) The registration deadline is Nov. 13.


What: Cultivating Effective Communication Skills Conference
Why: Learn strategies from experts for effective communication on your farm or ranch, with the general public, and with lawmakers

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (lunch included)

Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach

$20 for voting & supporting Farm Bureau members; $40 for associate and non-members (or bring three cans of food for the reduced rate)


To register: Get the registration form & agenda at The registration deadline is Nov. 13.
For more information: Contact Dennis Myhrum, dennis@oregonfb.org541.377.2362.

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Farm Bureau keeps pushing for tax reform Sat, 04 Oct 2014 12:14:10 +0000 Farm Bureau keeps pushing for tax reform


Since the beginning of the year, Farm Bureau has fought for tax reform at the national level after many temporary tax provisions important to agriculture expired at the end of 2013.

In September, the House passed H.R. 4, the Jobs for America Act, on a 253 to 163 vote. The legislation incorporates 15 bills previously passed by the House. Farm Bureau supported the overall bill.


Four provisions in the legislation that garnered Farm Bureau support earlier this session are H.R. 4457, the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act, which makes section 179 expensing permanent at the $500,000 level; H.R. 4718, which makes bonus depreciation permanent; H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, which promotes responsible timber production and a short-term extension of “Secure Rural Schools” payments to counties; and H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act, which repeals the Affordable Care Act’s 30-hour definition of full-time employment.


Passage of the Jobs for America Act sets up debate on the extension of expiring tax provisions that will take place during the lame-duck session. The Senate Finance Committee has reported a two-year extension of 50-plus tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. The full Senate failed to take up the legislation. The biggest difference between the House and Senate positions is whether expiring tax provisions should be extended for two years or made permanent.

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Kids learn about ag with My American Farm App Sat, 04 Oct 2014 12:12:49 +0000 Kids learn about ag with My American Farm App


The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new version of its popular My American Farm app for iPads, Android tablets and Kindle Fire. The app is available for download on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.


The new version of the app, My American Farm 2.0, contains six My American Farm games, including the newly added Power Up game. This game allows young learners to dive into the world of energy and agriculture and embark on problem-solving missions for the virtual community of Energyville. The new app also builds on the math-focused game, In My Barn, with a Pre-K level to draw in new users. New badges also will be incorporated into the latest version of the app for everything from completing a game to engaging in virtual tasks like meeting a farmer or planting seeds.


My American Farm is an educational game platform launched in 2011 to engage pre-K through fifth-grade learners in the discovery of relevant agricultural issues. Today, the free site offers 19 agriculturally themed games and more than 100 free educator resources such as lesson plans, activity sheets and comics.


The My American Farm educational resource is a special project of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The site and resources are made possible through the generous support of title sponsor, DuPont Pioneer.


To take advantage of the free My American Farm resources, games and activities, visit

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Bob and Tessie Fisher 4-H hall of fame Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:21:51 +0000 Bob and Tessie Fisher of Eagle Point, OR will be two of the four honorees for the 2014 Oregon 4-H Hall of Fame.

From a young age, Bob and Tessie Fisher have been active 4-H members and leaders. Together and separately, they have held leadership positions in various 4-H clubs including a horse group, a cooking and homemaking club and an Antelope Beef Club among others. Beginning in the late ’70s and continuing today, Bob and Tessie have served as leaders of the Butte Basin Beef Club. The two always open their door to 4-H members to host meetings and practices, and offer their barns and scales for 4-H functions. They also have financially supported numerous 4-H and Future Farmer’s of America Association members through purchasing their livestock projects at auctions. As prominent citizens of Jackson County, Bob and Tessie are honorary members of both the Oregon and Eagle Point FFA Association.

Each and every county has outstanding 4-H supporters that keep their 4-H programming running strong. The Oregon 4-H Hall of Fame was established to recognize individuals that have had a significant impact on the 4-H Program and/or its members and leaders. Hall of Fame honorees are individuals who have significantly helped to generate opportunities for 4-H youth by raising funds, gifting, or otherwise supporting 4-H at the county or state level. The intent is to honor lifetime volunteers, community leaders, alumni, and former faculty and staff who far exceeded the expectations of their roles.

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EPID HONORS ELLEFSONS Thu, 02 Oct 2014 17:45:13 +0000 2014 09 28_1932 2014 09 28_1934 2014 09 28_1937The list of accomplishments of Roger and Hazel Ellefson on behalf the Eagle Point irrigation District is long, to say the least. Among that list is the purchase of property for the new office, the purchase of the Hydro plant, defending irrigator’s interests and keeping track of all the business of the District.

Patrons of the District honored the Ellefsons with a potluck dinner on September 28; about 75 patrons and friends attended the function. Emcee Leon Sherman opened the afternoon with a few stories about his relationship with the Ellefsons, Board members Gary Bedell, Stan Deupree and J. B. Dimick followed with more stories as each tried to top the previous speaker.

Following the presentation, Hazel was asked to comment and her immortal words were: “Thank you.”

Patrons brought enough food to feed half the starving world and enough deserts to give the largest dinosaur a really serious sugar-high.

Following their retirement from Eagle Point Irrigation District, the Ellefsons served approximately two years as consultants, offering advice to keep the system running smoothly. They have now completely retired and no longer serve the District. A plaque will be placed at the front of the office building on Brophy Road, commemorating their contributions to the District over the past 40 years.

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Shasta Livestock Auction Sun, 28 Sep 2014 20:51:45 +0000 RECEIPTS:   This Week: 658 Last Week: 1391 COMPARED TO LAST WEEK: Slaughter cows & bulls mostly steady. Very few cattle under 475#, or over 700# today. Balacne of steers steady to $3 higher, heifers $5-$8 lower in small lots. Off lots & singles $20-$40 below top offerings. SLAUGHTER COWS: High Dress Low Dress           Breakers: 101.00-109.00 110.00-120.00           Boneing: 91.00-100.00           Cutters: 80.00-90.00                         BULLS 1 & 2: 100.00-119.00 120.00-129.00 FEEDER STEERS: 300-400 xxxx to xxxx Top Offerings/Pen Lots 400-450 xxxx to xxxx 450-500 261.00 to                     280.00 few 500-550 xxxx to xxxx 550-600 245.00 to                     280.00 600-650 232.00 to                     240.00 650-700 215.00 to                     245.50 700-750 xxxx to                     233.00 1 set 750-800 xxxx to xxxx 800-900 194.00 to                     211.00  FEEDER HEIFERS: 300-400 xxxx to xxxx Top Offerings/Pen Lots 400-450 xxxx to xxxx 450-500 220.00 to                     240.00 few 500-550 230.00 to                     240.00 550-600 205.00 to                     224.00 600-650 xxxx to xxxx 650-700 200.00 to                     220.00 700-750 xxxx to                     205.00 1 set 750-800 xxxx to xxxx 800-900 192.00 to                     193.50 2 sets                                   PAIRS: No market test                        CALVY COWS: Full Mouth $1700-$2150 Broken Mouth $1450-$1700

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