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  • Growing organically suits Banzhaf Garten just fine | OEFFA News
    EMT fireman training for helping him develop the system Dave Benchoff shows his customized system for feeding fish emulsion fertilizer through his drip irrigation system When you do EMT work you learn to look at things in a logical way and put it into a matrix as you survey the scene Benchoff said I like to keep things simple so I basically took that mindset as I developed my record system for the plants On a recent farm visit in late April outdoor planting was just beginning Cabbage and snow pea plants were in the ground in the outdoor planting beds as well as garlic Mown grass was already being used as mulch We use it to help keep weeds down and it breaks down into organic matter that goes back into the soil he said In addition to its outdoor planting beds the farm is using a high tunnel structure 2011 was the first year of production with it and we were still learning what we could grow in it Benchoff said The farm received a cost share grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service USDA to build the structure During the farm visit the high tunnel housed bok choy kohlrabi lettuce beets Swiss chard oriental turnips kale radishes and parsley What I like about the high tunnel structure is the ability to control everything from water to nutrients to temperature he said In 2011 we had such a wet spring where it rained for two months and there was no sun It really hurt our production but what we grew in the high tunnel really saved our production last year Benchoff said the farm achieved 5 000 pounds of produce in 2010 however the growing conditions in 2011 dropped production in the same beds to about 4 000 pounds The high tunnel gave us about 700 pounds of produce which essentially kept us even with the year before he said Without it we would have been hurting To get the most efficient production Benchoff employs a succession planting system I do very little direct seed planting he said It s mostly snow peas green beans garlic and potatoes Everything else gets started in the greenhouse with the heirloom tomatoes being from my own seed stock The successive planting concept goes to work when harvesting begins It s all in the timing he said For example when cucumbers go into the ground it s time to start the next set of seeds I know that it will take two to three weeks for those seeds to germinate and be ready and I will have harvested the existing plants in the mean time I ll pull them out and plant the newer plants It maximizes production A drip irrigation system runs throughout the farm It s more labor up front but it is so easy once it is in place Benchoff said He has also incorporated a system to run his fertilizer fish emulsion through the drip irrigation system as

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=775 (2016-02-17)
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  • Organic Certification | OEFFA News | Page 3
    really kind of a prestigious label By and large unless it says certified organic it is not organic and consumers can t have that assurance Goland says certified organic food is grown in healthy soil and there is increasing evidence that it is nutritionally superior Because of the emphasis on environmental protections consumers also know when they purchase certified organic they are safeguarding environmental health she adds Adam Welly runs Wayward Seed Farm Marysville He says he has been using organic practices since the beginning and felt it was an important step to become verified Naturally grown is a term that s just being used so loosely We ended up certifying organic because we felt it was our strongest step toward creating complete transparency with our customers By becoming certified organic Welly says he has learned more about weed control and pest management And he says consumers should know that a lot of work goes into organic growing Just because it s becoming more mainstream to have certified organic vegetables we shouldn t take for granted the fact that there is a lot of due diligence In fact in this climate that we have here in Ohio there are a lot of challenges Ohio has more than 500 certified organic operations and nearly 53 000 acres of certified organic pasture and cropland More Ohio Farmers Seek Organic Label September 24 2010 OEFFA in the News Organic Certification certification organic farming Lauren April 12 2010 COLUMBUS Ohio More and more organic products are appearing on grocers shelves leaving many Ohio farmers to wonder how they can go green Organic growers produce food without manufactured chemicals and use practices that emphasize renewable resources and protect the soil air and water Lexie Stoia Pierce is the organic certification program manager at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association She says that despite hard economic times there is solid consumer demand for organic products which makes organic certification a smart move for many Ohio producers The market is there and it s a great opportunity to take advantage of that while you re doing something that s beneficial to the environment and to people Stoia Pierce says there has been a steady interest in organic farming in Ohio especially from small operations To become organically certified farmers must follow strict production standards and submit a detailed application to an accredited certification organization Stoia Pierce says since the certification process is a bit daunting and can be time consuming they offer workshops organic certification guides and a staff organic educator to help answer questions You want to do research ahead of time and you want to have all these tools available but at the same time you almost just have to dive in and have an agency that will support what you are trying to do There s more information on the resources of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association available online at www oeffa org Mary Kuhlman Public News Service OH This article

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?cat=10&paged=3 (2016-02-17)
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  • Ohio Business Owner: Fracking Stifling Local Food Movement | OEFFA News
    it has put all these sustainable farms at risk and the conventional farms as well The sustainable farmers are more aware of the damage it will do to their reputation According to Hughes soil and watershed resilience are likely to worsen as drilling continues to expand A recent study found nearly 11 percent of the more than 19 000 organic farms in the U S share a watershed with oil and gas activity and 30 percent of organic farms will be in the vicinity of a fracking site or injection well in the next decade Hughes says many of her restaurant s suppliers are based in Ohio s fracking hotbed The farm that sourced her flour was directly impacted by fracking after an old injection well was re activated near the land They started bringing in truckloads of radioactive frack waste from West Virginia Pennsylvania and Ohio she says So they had to shut down their farm and ended up having to sell off their farm and move away and take jobs from their farm Hughes says many other business owners in her community are concerned about the impacts of fracking and it s not the answer to the country s economic energy and climactic challenges The horse was out of the gate long before the regulations or the science could be shown how dangerous it is says Hughes At this point a moratorium is really the only responsible thing that we could do Hughes is a member of the Ohio chapter of the American Sustainable Business Council which is among organizations calling for mandatory enforceable national standards that will apply to both new and existing gas and oil development Post navigation If it s Safe for the Table Put it on the Label OEFFA Joins Groups to Challenge Major

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1958 (2016-02-17)
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  • If it’s Safe for the Table, Put it on the Label? | OEFFA News
    non partisan issue with 89 percent of Republicans 88 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Independents in favor in GE labeling The public is skeptical she says The public has earned the right to be cautious If it s safe for the table put it on the label It s the responsible thing to do Supporters of GE technology say it increases production saves costs and reduces the use of chemicals But Lipstreu says genetic engineering has done little to improve crop yields and the evidence is insufficient on health and environmental impacts Its estimated more than 70 percent of foods sold in the U S contain GE ingredients According to Lipstreu genetic engineering is also the concern of many farmers who worry that pollen drift from GE crops can contaminate adjacent fields There s also concerns about patenting of seeds and ownership of nature she says A recent concern is about a lot of weeds that have evolved to be resistant to the herbicides that are used along with genetically engineered crops Lipstreu says consumers have a basic right to know She notes consumers have previously been mislead to believe things were safe that actually were not Things like DDT the use of asbestos she says Later on we found out many of these things are very damaging to health and to the environment Lipstreu says the poll findings support the need for GE labeling policies at the state and federal level Over 60 countries require disclosure of GE ingredients on food labels Post navigation Poll Shows Bi Partisan Support for GE Labeling in Ohio Ohio Business Owner Fracking Stifling Local Food Movement Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1952 (2016-02-17)
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  • Federal Produce Rules Still on Table | OEFFA News
    submit comments to FDA Farm definition One of the biggest concerns among organic and non organic growers was the FDA definition of different sized farms and farm businesses Previously the rule required producers who sold more than 25 000 worth of food to comply but it also counted non produce crops such as corn and soybeans The current rule counts only the sale of produce foods which gives farmers more flexibility as to which level of compliance they must meet Basing farm size on sales of covered produce rather than total sales is incredibly important for diversified farming operations Lipstreu said Also the definition of farm is revised so that a farm no longer would need to register as a food facility merely because it packs or holds raw agricultural commodities grown on another farm under a different ownership Manure application Another major revision is the time period when farmers can apply manure prior to harvesting a crop The FDA is removing the nine month proposed minimum interval between application and harvest while it reviews a more appropriate time interval Also at the relief of organic farmers FDA does not intend to take exception to farmers complying with the USDA s National Organic Program standards which call for a 120 day interval between the application of raw manure for crops in contact with the soil and 90 days for crops not in contact with the soil Boswell said time will tell what the final rule will look like and how it will work but at the same time FDA made a great step forward by listening to producers Program costs Once the rule is complete the FDA will need to determine how it will implement the rule and how implementation will be funded The legislation would increase the burden on

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1865 (2016-02-17)
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  • Where does your ground beef come from? A new ruling might erase that information from meat packages | OEFFA News
    raise tariffs on U S food sent to those countries Reaction to the proposed ruling was swift from consumer groups who want the rules to remain One group said industries use global trade rules to get around laws they don t like Today s decision flies in the face of the overwhelming numbers of U S consumers who want more information about the origin of their food Chris Waldrop a policy director at the Washington D C based Consumer Federation of America said in a press release Waldrop cited a 2013 poll by his group that found 90 percent or more of Americans favoring origin labeling for fresh meat In Ohio Renee Hunt a spokeswoman for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association an organic advocacy group said WTO is on a race to the bottom on the issue It comes at the expense of consumers and American livestock farmers she said in an email statement Consumers want to have the choice of where their meat comes from but instead Big Ag s interests are protected Jim Tucker president of the Ohio Meat Packers Association and owner of Marshallville Meats a processor and distributor of Ohio grown meats said he understands the nightmare of paperwork involved in keeping track of meat origins He doesn t carry imported meat in part because of that requirement At the same time he thinks labeling is important I think it s a benefit to everyone to know where this stuff is coming from he said by phone from his Wayne County business WTO s ruling has not yet been finalized and there are at least two views of what might happen next Elizabeth Harsh president of the Ohio Cattlemen s Association an organization of beef ranchers in the state thinks origin labeling is on its way out While COOL might have looked good on the surface it s been kind of a failed experiment she said by phone We kind of need Congress to fix it If not an economic battle with Canada and Mexico could ensue she said affecting the profitability of ranchers and possibly other food producers here Unfortunately this is the third time the WTO ruled against labeling and it just brings us one stop closer to retaliation Harsh echoed the statement made by the National Cattlemen s Beef Association president Bob McCan of Victoria Texas that origin labeling is a short sighted effort that will soon cost not only the beef industry but the entire U S economy with no corresponding benefit to consumers or producers There is no fix to the rules he added While the consumer federation says the public overwhelmingly wants to know where their meat comes from Harsh pointed to a 2012 University of Kansas study that showed labeling did not change consumer purchasing habits and that most shoppers interviewed in person for the study said they don t look for origin labels on fresh beef and pork products Chase Adams a spokesman for the cattlemen

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1863 (2016-02-17)
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  • Five things to know about the new weedkiller, Enlist Duo, approved for Ohio crops | OEFFA News
    by hand 3 Some farmers welcome the new weed killer Tests on Enlist Duo were done in several states including Ohio with many farmers hailing it as effective It does what it says it s going to do Delaware farmer John Davis said in a Dow Chemical video An Ohio Country Journal story said farmers were happy with the product but at least one who may or may not have been the same John Davis said he was unhappy that it took several years to get approved The cost of that testing and legal testimony will likely be passed to farmers he said 4 Some groups oppose it They say introducing a stronger herbicide will only create stronger superweeds Other more organic methods of farming are recommended Scientific American said in an article last week there has been broad opposition to the product s approval with more than 400 000 comments to EPA Critics say use of 2 4 D a component of Enlist has been linked to a range of health problems including reproductive problems non Hodgkin s lymphoma and Parkinson s disease the magazine reported Enlist Duo also includes glyphosate the main ingredient in the widely available weed killer RoundUp Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association the leading organic advocacy group here opposed both the GMO corn and soybean seeds resistant to Enlist Duo and the herbicide itself The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result said Amalie Lipstreu policy coordinator for OEFFA We must stop this dangerous chemical treadmill which is threatening public health our environment and the future of agriculture 5 A lot has yet to be resolved The EPA has given permission for the use of Enlist Duo but only with several first time conditions Dow

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1853 (2016-02-17)
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  • Food Safety Rules: Does One Size Fit All Ohio Farmers? | OEFFA News
    improvements in the rules they are not proportional and could subject smaller producers to regulations designed for industrial operations Everyone does have a role to play in ensuring food is safe she says But if the rules don t work for family farmers they re not going to make our food safe It s really important the rules aren t one size fits all The new rules are expected to apply to about 80 percent of the nation s food supply The cost for compliance is estimated at more than 12 000 for small farms and 30 000 thousand for large farms The proposed rules define activities occurring on a farm as being in one physical location Lipstreu says smaller farmers who have multiple parcels or are aggregating for community supported agriculture programs could be labeled as larger facilities and forced to comply with costly regulations The way the rules are written if they ve aggregated produce for distribution in a different location than where it was grown they may be subject to regulations designed for large scale food processing businesses she says The proposed changes are based on thousands of comments sent to the FDA While Lipstreu says it s encouraging to be heard she says the final regulations must protect conservation and sustainability Conservation and food safety are not mutually exclusive says Lipstreu We want to make sure the rules explicitly encourage key conservation practices like maintaining wildlife habitat or stream buffers along waterways According to the FDA changes make the original proposals more flexible practical and targeted Post navigation Risks of oil and gas pipelines weighed in local forum Five things to know about the new weedkiller Enlist Duo approved for Ohio crops Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=1851 (2016-02-17)
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