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

Farm Bill Meetings to be held across Ohio

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Ohio State University Extension and the USDA Farm Service Agency in Ohio are partnering to provide a series of educational Farm Bill meetings this winter to help producers make informed decisions related to enrollment in commodity programs.

The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill. While the ARC and PLC programs under the new farm bill remain very similar to the previous farm bill, there are some changes that producers should be aware of.

Farm Bill meetings will review changes to the ARC/PLC programs as well as important dates and deadlines. Additionally, attendees will learn about decision tools and calculators available to help, which program best fits the needs of their farms under current market conditions and outlook.

Enrollment for 2019 is currently open with the deadline set as March 15, 2020. Enrollment for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020. Producers can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office. Producers have the opportunity to elect to either ARC or PLC for the 2019 to 2023 crop years, with the option to change their program election in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

To find out about upcoming meetings, and get information about the Farm Bill, visit

Post-Harvest Tips for Combines

By John Fulton Ohio State Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

As the harvest season comes to a close, now is a good time to clean and look over you combine before parking for the winter.  A good post-harvest combine maintenance program can provide significant savings and make sure you are prepared for 2015. Many times, proper inspection and maintenance after fall harvest will reduce time and resources required at a later date to fix the combine and headers.  The basics of winterizing a combine involves cleaning it followed by changing the oil and filters, checking the cooling system, cleaning and possibly changing the air filters, filling with fuel and adding a fuel stabilizer, and finally greasing and lubricating before putting in the shed.  Plan on at least a good half day for conducting post-harvest maintenance and repairs.

The initial starting point for combine maintenance should be reviewing the operator’s manual.  Regardless of the manufacturer, the operator’s manual will contain the necessary checklist of maintenance points and needs.  Second, develop a to-do and replacement list based on harvest notes and performing a quick look over of the combine.  The next step should include giving the combine a good cleaning before performing any maintenance.  Cleaning should start with blowing all debris and dust plus cleaning out augers, conveyors and the cab.  Washing the exterior can also be beneficial but keep water away from bearings and bushings.  Once this step is complete, inspect the combine inside and out noting needed repairs and maintenance.  The final steps involve repairing, greasing and lubricating.  A suggested checklist and order of priority is provided at the end of this article. Continue reading

Fall Herbicide Treatments and Cover Crops

By Mark Loux OSU Extension

There is still time to apply herbicides yet this fall. The frosts that are starting to occur have little effect on the weeds of concern – marestail, purple deadnettle, chickweed, etc. We have applied well into December with acceptable results. Fall treatments are a key component of marestail management programs, and it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to get the desired result.
• This pertains to marestail infestations in grass cover crops also. Cereal rye can integrate well with herbicides to improve control of marestail, but the help the rye provides is variable. In our studies, the rye has at some sites provided enough additional control that fall herbicides are unnecessary, but there have also been sites where the rye contributed almost no control.
• So in fields with grass covers and a history of marestail, our recommendation would be to either treat the fields this fall yet, or scout thoroughly for the presence of marestail before making a decision. Keep in mind also when making this decision, an early-planted cover that is well-established, uniform, and relatively tall at this time of the year is likely to provide more control of marestail and other weeds than a later-planted cover that is variable in stand and still small. Continue reading

Properly Winterizing Sprayers

By Erdal Ozkan Ohio State Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

This is a busy time of year for many farmers, but taking time to winterize your sprayer now can payoff in avoiding problems next spring.  Without proper winterizing before the temperature falls below freezing, you could end up with a pump that is cracked and/or not working at its full capacity.  Here are some important things you need to do with your sprayer this time of the year.


Make sure to rinse the whole sprayer thoroughly before storing. Rinsing the sprayer thoroughly after each use reduces likelihood of cross-contamination of products applied next spring. Insufficient rinsing may also result in clogged nozzles. Once the nozzles are clogged, it is extremely difficult to bring them back to their normal operating conditions. Leaving chemical residues in nozzles will usually lead to changes in their flow rates, as well as in their spray patterns resulting in uneven distribution of chemicals on the target.

Depending on the tank, proper rinsing of the interior of the tank can be challenging.  Rinsing is easy if the tank is relatively new and equipped with special rinsing nozzles and mechanisms inside the tank. If this is not the case, manual rinsing of the tank interior is more difficult, and poses some safety problems such as inhaling fumes of leftover chemicals during the rinsing process. To avoid these problems, either replace the tank with one that has the interior rinse nozzles, or install an interior tank rinse system in your existing tank. Continue reading

2019 Forage Quality Concerns

By Ted Wiseman and Dean Kreager OSU Extension Educators

Much of Ohio’s 2019 first cutting grass hay was beyond optimum maturity when it was harvested. Laboratory analysis indicates little if any first cutting has adequate quality to meet the nutritional needs of bred cows in late gestation or lactation.

You may be thinking enough already with the hay quality talk. Many articles have been sent out on this topic starting before some people even baled their first cutting. Last year a lot of the hay was very poor quality and many animals lost significant weight through the winter. Some animals even died with hay in front of them because the hay did not have enough nutritional value. Hay quality affects all types of livestock but I will concentrate on beef cows since they are less likely to receive supplemental feed than most other animals. Continue reading