Make Safety Your First Priority When Emptying Grain Bins

By Charles Schwab & Dirk Maier, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Following the wet and late harvest of 2019, several Midwest states are on the edge of a dangerous cliff when it comes to emptying their grain bins. Conditions are aligning to create the potential for tragic accidents and grain suffocation deaths to occur when grain bins start to be emptied.

It is common knowledge that quality harvested grain placed in storage, coupled with a best management practice of caring for grain, yields quality grain leaving storage for market. Inversely, either poor quality grain being placed in storage or poor management practices for caring for grain leads to spoiled grain leaving storage.grain facility system.

Getting spoiled grain out of storage always poses an increased safety risk for entrapment and suffocation to a farm operator and worker. There are years of documentation that illustrate the direct connection from spoiled grain leaving storage to a tragic grain entrapment and the resulting fatality. Continue reading

Managing Stored Grain

By:  Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension

Managing stored grain throughout the winter is an important part of your grain marketing plan for farm profitability. This winter we are already receiving reports of stored grain going out of condition, which can lower the value and be a hazard to those working around the grain facility. At a minimum, stored grain that has gone out of condition can cause health hazards, especially when grain dust contains mold and bacteria. Out of condition grain can also form a crust or stick to the bin walls and if someone enters the bin for any reason an entrapment could occur. For more information on safety when working around grain visit http://go.osu.edu/AFM and listen to episode 41 of the podcast on grain bin safety.

Too many of us know the scare of a close call with grain entrapment but lived to tell the story. Even if it was just in a wagon or a truck while unloading wet grain, the fear is real. Unfortunately, it does not always stop us from entering a bin without the proper safety equipment. To help raise awareness of the dangers of working around stored grain, Champaign County will be showing a screening of the movie SILO on February 6 at 6pm at the Gloria Theater in Urbana. SILO is “inspired by true events, SILO follows a harrowing day in an American farm town. Disaster strikes when teenager Cody Rose is entrapped in a 50-foot-tall grain bin. When the corn turns to quicksand, family, neighbors and first responders must put aside their differences to rescue Cody from drowning in the crop that has sustained their community for generations.” RSVP at https://silourbana.eventbrite.com.

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Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey 2020

By: Barry Ward OSU Extension

 A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider. Continue reading

Farm Succession Workshop to be held in Kenton, Ohio

By:Jeff Stachler OSU Extension

A two-day workshop about Farm Transition / Succession is planned for February 3 and 25, 2020.  Participants must attend both days.  The workshop will be held at Mid-Ohio Energy conference room which is located at 1210 Lima Street, Kenton, OH 43326.  Each day the program runs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm with registration at 9:30 am.

One of Extension’s most knowledgeable individuals regarding Farm Transition is David Marrison from Coshocton County.  On the first Day of the workshop David will discuss about the Key questions to answer when planning for the future of the family farm business, Providing income for multiple generations and developing the next generation of farm managers, Retirement strategies, and much more. Continue reading

Event Notice – 2020 Allen County Ag Outlook and Agronomy Day

Join Allen County OSU Extension Office on Thursday, February 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the 2020 Allen County Ag Outlook and Agronomy Day at the Allen County Fairgrounds (2750 Harding Hwy, Lima, Ohio). Speakers for this event include Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Aaron Wilson, Ian Sheldon, Jeff Stachler and Elizabeth Hawkins. Vendors will also be onsite.

The registration fee is $15 by January 31, or $20 at the door. Light breakfast, lunch, and a presentation folder are included in the registration fee. Register at 419-879-9108 or schroeder.307@osu.edu.

2019 eFields Report is Available

By Elizabeth Hawkins and John Fulton, OSU Extension

The spring planting season of 2019 was a season that many of us may want to forget, but the weather conditions we dealt with provided us an opportunity to learn how we can be more resilient in agriculture. Looking back at the lessons learned can help us be prepared for similar conditions in the future. The 2019 eFields Research Report highlights 88 on-farm, field scale trials conducted in 30 Ohio counties. Research topics include nutrient management, precision crop management, cover crops, and forages. Other information about production budgets, planting progress, and the 2018 Farm Bill is also included.

The 2019 report is now available in both a print and e-version. To receive a printed copy, contact your local OSU Extension office or email digitalag@osu.edu. The e-version can be viewed and downloaded at go.osu.edu/eFields with the online version readable on smartphone or tablet devices. Continue reading

Winter Application of Manure – Remember Setbacks

By:  Glen Arnold OSU Extension Field Specialist

Winter manureSome Ohio livestock producers will be looking to apply manure to farm fields frozen enough to support application equipment.  Permitted farms are not allowed to apply manure in the winter unless it is an extreme emergency, and then movement to other suitable storage is usually the selected alternative. Thus, this article is for non-permitted livestock operations.

In the Grand Lake St Marys watershed, the winter manure application ban from December 15th to March 1st is still in effect.  Thus, no manure application would normally be allowed from now until March 1st.

In the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) watershed, the surface application of manure to frozen and snow-covered soils require there to be a growing crop in the field.  This could be a pasture, alfalfa, clover, ryegrass or a rape crop.  There must be enough vegetation visible to provide a 90% cover of residue and growing vegetation.  Radishes and oats would not qualify as a growing crop as both are typically winter killed.  Manure can be applied to fields without growing crops if the manure is incorporated at the time of application or incorporated within 24 hours of application. Continue reading

What’s That Smell?

Using a penetrometer to test soil compaction in a field with tillage radishes.

By Clint Schroeder OSU Extension

It’s becoming a common occurrence across the state. Small towns and rural areas plagued by a mysterious smell during the winter months. Natural gas? Raw sewage? Dead Animals? Nope, just radishes.

The radishes are planted as a cover crop by farmers in an effort to eliminate soil compaction and hold nutrients on their farm fields. Unlike the radishes you might see at the supermarket, these tillage radishes are white, and in the tuber stage they can grow up to 2 feet deep and 6 inches wide. Farmers are growing these root crops to replace tillage passes in the hopes of building organic matter in the soil and reducing erosion. When everything goes to plan the radishes winter kill after a stretch of temperatures around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They then start to break down slowly. When temperatures rise to the upper 40’s and low 50’s the process is sped up and the decomposing crop can release a rather rancid odor.  The smell is often times reported to fire departments and utility companies as a gas leak. The only real way to stop the smell is a return to colder temperatures. As more farmers adopt cover cropping into their operation there will be a learning curve as to best management practices. Planting a mixture of covers such as oats and vetch along with radishes might be a way to help reduce the odor in future years.

Recap: 2019 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium

Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator, OSU Sheep Team

As promised, the 2019 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium and 70th anniversary of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) was full of enthusiasm, entertainment, education, friendship, and much more! Among the many highlights, this years event hosted 110 shepherds on Friday afternoon and well over 200 shepherds for the Saturday program. The unique program drew an audience from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, and New Mexico. We warned you earlier that you if you didn’t register for this years event, you were going to miss out and we hate to say it but we right. So, for those that weren’t able to attend, we hope that we will be able to share a few highlights that occurred on the two day event. This years event focused on ‘Improving Profitability of the Sheep Operation’ and included two special guests that are heavily involved in the North American sheep industry.

To kick off the Fridays event, Sandi Brock, Ontario sheep producer of Shepherd Creek Farms and Youtube sensation ‘Sheepishly Me’, took the stage. Sandi began by introducing herself as a mom, wife, and farmer. The daughter of a dairyman, she knew right away that her career would lie within the agricultural world. In 2012, she decided that she would get into the sheep industry. Not having any type of sheep knowledge or background, she knew right were to get her information for the start. She Googled it. Right or wrong, Sandi pointed out that this is how a lot of people in today’s world get their information. Some of the information was great, while some was misleading. After experiencing this first hand, she decided to share her story on what she had learned by doing with the rest of the world and thus Sheepishly Me was born.

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Help OSU Extension Document the Yield Impacts of the 2019 Planting Delays

By: CFAES Ag Crisis Taskforce

Normal planting dates for Ohio range from mid-April to the end of May. This season was quite different when planting for both crops was delayed until late May and stretched into June and even July across many parts of Ohio. We found ourselves grasping for any information we could find including 1) how much of an effect late planting dates would have on yield, and 2) what, if anything, we should change in management of these late planted crops. The historical planting date information we did have was somewhat helpful, but we did not have any data on what could happen when planting is delayed into the second half of June nor July. Continue reading