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.