Commentary: October 1, 2018


October 2. Ag Network Breakfast. Friendly Hills Grange. 8:00 AM.

November 6. Ag Network Breakfast. Friendly Hills Grange. 8:00 AM.

November 13. Beef Quality Assurance @ Muskingum Livestock. 7:00 PM.

December 18. Beef Quality Assurance @ Muskingum Livestock. 7:00 PM.

Warm and Wet October Expected

“Overall, temperatures the first two weeks of October will average 5-15F above normal with the last two weeks 0-4F above normal.

Rainfall will average 1-4 inches the first half of October. The 1 inch will be in southern Ohio and the 4 inches would likely be in the north part of the state. Normal is 1-1.5 inches for two weeks.”

From C.O.R.N Newsletter, 2018-33


Rain was heavy in the area during the first half of last week. Grain harvest activities were paused, river levels came up, and there was certainly some standing water hidden under the crop canopies. I noticed very little activity for several days but hopefully this string of drier weather has been in someone’s favor.

On another note, I have squished several wooly bear caterpillars with my vehicle tires. Legend would have us believe that the width of the orange stripe on the caterpillar can predict winter. But, that has more to do with history than future. The amount of black on the caterpillar has been shown to be connected to how long the caterpillar has been feeding and the moisture levels in the area where the caterpillar developed. This legend originated in colonial American folklore and became popularized in 1948 when an entomologist went to a mountain in New York and took a journalist with him to tell the story. This small study only involved 15 caterpillars. Can 15 caterpillars predict the future?

On the Farm: Pesticide Disposal



August 16, 2018 Lake County 9 am-3 pm
Perry Feed and Coal
4204 Main Street, Perry, OH 44081

August 28, 2018 Licking County 9 am-3 pm
Licking County Garage
775 E. Main Street, Newark, OH 43055

September 6, 2018 Wood County 9 am-3 pm
Wood County Fairgrounds (Champion Barn)
13800 W. Poe Rd., Bowling Green, OH 43402


Tips for proper pesticide disposal are available at



Around the Home: Earwigs

This week I was asked to address the pesky business of earwigs (Forficula auricularia L).  Like many insects, earwigs have frightening appendages that make them look dangerous, but they are quite harmless.  You know these as the flat, narrow bodied insects with forcecep-like tails.  Occasionally, I see them around the foundation of homes and in landscape beds and they do find their way into homes and buildings from time to time.  They are active at night, rarely fly, and actually may be considered “beneficial” in that they prey on other insects, spiders and mites.  But the real question, regardless of there potential utility as a predator on other insects, is what can the homeowner do to keep these creatures out of the house?


First, try to seal up windows, doors, and cracks around a foundation.  This should always be the first priority before any insecticide treatment.  Second, attempt to maintain a dry zone around the home that is free of mulch and other plant debri.  If you have mulched landscaping beds, try to maintain a zone of loose stone against the foundation instead of mulch.  These are your best long-term practices.  Outdoor perimeter insecticide sprays may be used and many over-the-counter products are available for the homeowner.  Keep in mind that sprays are short term and must be repeated to maintain a protective barrier.  Do not rely on indoor treatments alone.  An indoor treatment should only be used with properly labeled products after an outdoor treatment has been applied in order to be of useful value.


For a complete fact sheet on earwig management, go to


Muskingum Ag Dispatch June 5

Another week in Ohio and the USDA outlook reports indicate that the vast majority of corn in the state is planted.  In our area we still have some hills to finish.  Soybeans are well underway.  Growing degree reports indicate that we are near to catching up on heat units to the past two years.  Cooler spring weather has still given way to a trend in growing degree days that is still above average.  However, a brief cool spell is with us now.  Rainfall trends are generally above average so far this season largely due to a wet winter.  In general, I hear positive reports on grain crop condition but challenges in hay making weather.


News and updates from Ohio State Extension are below:


OARDC Weather Stations June 2


Date Precip. Precip. Sum GDD Sum Avg. Air Temp Min 2in Soil Temp. Min 4in Soil Temp.


6/2/2018 0.00 19.19 940 73.2 71.8 72.3
Eastern (Caldwell) 6/2/2018 0.00 21.33 870 68.7



6/2/2018 0.00 17.07 721 66.1 70.7 70.4
Piketon 6/2/2018 0.00 22.40 967 73.0 71.1


Alfalfa Fiber Content Estimates in Ohio


Alfalfa Fiber Content Estimates in Ohio

Lead Author: Angela Arnold

Alfalfa development over the past week has continued at a a rapid pace and caused an increase in neutral detergent fiber (NDF) values. Alfalfa NDF was estimated in different counties in Ohio using the height and stage of alfalfa, as described in last week’s article about estimating alfalfa fiber content. The table below indicates average NDF and stage of alfalfa in four different counties in Ohio.  It is time to harvest high quality alfalfa in western Ohio!


Location (county)

Average NDF

















Vegetative / Early Bud

Alfalfa producers should keep a close watch on alfalfa development as warmer temperatures persist in the region. Producers should consider harvesting as soon as a weather window opens up. It is likely several alfalfa fields around the state will be harvested this week if weather permits.

Grass fields are ready for harvest. In fact, orchardgrass is already flowering in western Ohio. Grasses that have reached the early heading stage are already past the prime for high producing lactating dairy cows; however, grass in early heading is still good for feeding to many other classes of livestock with lower requirements than lactating dairy cows. Begin harvesting grasses as soon as you see a good harvest window.

There have also been some reports of alfalfa weevil damage / feeding across the state. In addition to keeping a close watch on alfalfa development for making harvest decisions, producers should be monitoring alfalfa weevil to determine if harvesting earlier is warranted.  If alfalfa weevil damage is at or over the economic threshold, growers should consider cutting earlier to eliminate the risk of losing quality due to weevil feeding. Visit HERE for a factsheet on alfalfa weevil.

Weather Summary May 28, 2018

OARDC Weather Stations


Date Precip. Precip. Sum GDD Sum Avg. Air Temp Min 2in Soil Temp.

Min 4in Soil Temp.


5/28/2018 0.00 17.88 811 80.4 72.3 72.3

Eastern (Caldwell)

5/27/2018 0.01 20.01 728 73.0 72.6 72.0
Wooster 5/28/2018 0.00 16.91 600 76.5 70.1


Piketon 5/28/2018 0.00 21.98 841 75.3 74.6



Beef Quality Assurance Opportunities

The Events/Programs link page at the OSU Extension Beef Team website has a list of local and regional Beef Quality Assurance training and certification opportunities:

The next BQA event in Muskingum County will be Tuesday, May 8, at 7:00 PM at the Muskingum Livestock Auction sale barn.