By Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University
The percentage of steer and heifer carcasses grading prime so far during 2020 has outpaced normal levels. The average percent prime for the first seven months of 2020 was 10.6 percent which is the highest January-July average on record and about two percent higher than during the first seven months of 2019.
Dressed weights have also been higher during 2020. Average steer and heifer dressed weights were 899 and 829 pounds, respectively, during the first 8 months of 2020. For steers, that was a 32-pound increase over the same period in 2019 while it was a 25.5-pound increase for heifers. Cattle dressed weights are usually seasonally lowest during late spring and then peak in late fall. In 2020, the seasonal decline in the spring did not materialize due to the processing disruptions forcing cattle to stay on feed longer. Continue reading
By: Barry Ward OSU Extension
Ohio cropland varies significantly in its production capabilities and, consequently, cropland values and cash rents vary widely throughout the state. Generally speaking, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ from much of eastern Ohio and parts of southern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. The primary factors affecting these values and rates are land productivity and potential crop return, and the variability of those crop returns. Soils and drainage capabilities are the two factors that heavily influence land productivity, crop return and variability of those crop returns.
Other factors impacting land values and cash rents may include buildings and grain storage, field size and shape, field accessibility, market access, local market prices, field perimeter characteristics and potential for wildlife damage, previous tillage system and crops, tolerant/resistant weed populations, population density, USDA Program Yields, and competition for the cropland in a region. Ultimately, supply and demand of cropland will determine the value or rental rate for each parcel. Continue reading
From the Ohio Beef Cattle Letter
Last week OSU Extension Educator Clifton Martin had the opportunity to visit with Garth Ruff about Garth’s recent hiring as the OSU Extension Beef Specialist and current trends in the Beef Industry. During that conversation they covered trends in Ohio, the role of the OSU Extension Beef Specialist, opportunities for outreach, the status of Beef Quality Assurance, and key opportunities for producers to stay ahead of the curve.
Enjoy that conversation here:
The transcript of this recording may be found in PDF format linked here.
Clifton Martin and Garth Ruff may be contacted at:
Extension Educator, CCA
Agriculture and Natural Resources
225 Underwood St, Zanesville, OH 43701
firstname.lastname@example.org / muskingum.osu.edu
Field Specialist, Beef Cattle
Ohio State University Extension
16714 State Route 215, Caldwell, Ohio 43724
From the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center
Manure-Gas-Farm-Safety-Check-2020 Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, flammable, and extremely hazardous gas. It is produced by the breakdown of animal wastes or manure. It is heavier than air and can collect in both enclosed pits, open air lagoons and low-lying areas such as, ditches, or manholes. Knowing the risks that can occur with manure gas is important for those farms raising animals and for others who may visit your farm.
Take time to protect you, your family and others by incorporating basic principles into your manure management plan and check out additional resources listed below.
The checklist below lists a few ways you can be prepared in case of a farm emergency:
- Does the storage area have protective fencing and locked gates to prevent anyone not authorized from entering the area?
- Are warning signs posted around the storage area such as “Danger”, “No Smoking” and “Risk of Drowning”?
- Is there an emergency plan in place with phone numbers and addresses posted?
- Has everyone received training about the hazards that exist with manure storage, including the effects of various gases on animals and people, and what to do in an emergency?
- Is Personal Protective Equipment (harnesses or breathing apparatuses) readily available?
- Do you ventilate the pit prior to pumping, during pumping and while working near the pit?
- Do you have a properly working gas monitoring system or device?
- Do you have at least 2 people present when working near the manure lagoon or pit?
You and/or your employee(s) can download and print a pdf checklist to complete safety checks on your farm. Keep the completed forms for follow-up, future reference and inspections.
Here is a link to the PDF version of the checklist. http://umash.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Manure-Gas-Farm-Safety-Check-2020.pdf
By Clint Schroeder OSU Extension
Landowners or producers with a Power of Attorney for their landowner have until September 30, 2020 to update their Price Loss Coverage (PLC) yield, also referred to as farm yield, information on file with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). PLC yields exist for each FSA farm number and commodity. This one-time opportunity to update yield information for covered commodities was a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill. The updated yields will be used to calculate payments under the PLC program for the 2020 through 2023 crop years if market prices trigger payments. PLC yields have also been used before in disaster relief programs. There is no guarantee that farmers will have this opportunity again under future farm bills. If a farm chooses to not update their yield info the existing yields for the farm will be used. Not all updated yields will produce a higher yield. In the case where the new calculated yield for a farm and commodity is lower than the existing yield, FSA will take the higher of the two. Producers who are currently enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) should also consider updating their yields as the option to change program election exists within the current farm bill in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Yields will be updated by submitting FSA form CCC-867 for each farm number and covered commodity. Each completed form will need to include one signature of a farm owner. If the reported yield in any year is less than 75 percent of the 2013-2017 average county yield, the yield will be substituted with 75 percent of the county average yield. For more information please contact your local FSA office.
The FSA form CCC-867 can be found here
By Mark Loux OSU Extension
Some hay producers have been unpleasantly surprised in the past when cressleaf groundsel infestations became evident in their hay fields in May prior to first cutting. Cressleaf groundsel in hay or silage is toxic to animals, and infested areas of the field should not be harvested and fed. Groundsel is a winter annual, emerging in late summer into fall, when it develops into a rosette that overwinters. Growth restarts in spring, with stem elongation and an eventual height of up to several feet tall. The weed becomes evident in hay fields when in becomes taller than the alfalfa/grass and develops bright yellow flowers in May. The problem with passively waiting until this point to discover that the hay is infested with groundsel is that: 1) it’s too late to control it with herbicides; and 2) hay from infested areas has to be discarded instead of sold or fed, and large plant skeletons are still toxic even if herbicides were effective on them. Groundsel plants finish their life cycle in late spring, once they flower and go to seed, so it should not be problem in subsequent cuttings.
The solution to this is scouting of hay fields in fall and early spring to determine the presence of cressleaf groundsel, when it is small and still susceptible to the few herbicides that can be used. We expect groundsel to be more of a problem in new August seedings, since it would be emerging with the new stand of alfalfa/grass. A well-managed established and uniform hay crop should be dense enough to largely prevent problems with winter annuals although there have been exceptions. Groundsel will be most easily controlled in the fall while in the rosette stage. Controlling plants in the spring is more difficult, because of cold conditions in early spring when plants are still small, and increased tolerance to herbicides as stems elongate. Continue reading
Join the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program for an at home screening of the film SILO during the virtual 2020 Farm Science Review.
SILO is the First Ever Feature Film about a Grain Entrapment. 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.
Register here for the Tuesday, September 22 screening at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Register here for the Wednesday, September 23 screening at 7:00 p.m. EST.
By: Greg LaBarge, OSU Extension
Image of Fertilizer Calculator Program
A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet has been developed to support nutrient management education programs provided by Ohio State University Extension and for users who want to generate their own recommendation or compare recommendations provided to them to the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa, 2020. The spreadsheet is designed to be compatible with Excel version, Excel 1997-2003 or later.
The tool generates recommendations for the following crops:
- Wheat (Grain Only)
- Wheat (Grain & Straw)
- Grass Hay
- Grass/Legume Hay
Overview of spreadsheet features:
- There are 21 data lines.
- Data can be copied from another spreadsheet or within the spreadsheet
- User controls whether recommendations are build/maintenance or maintenance only for phosphorus (P) & potassium (K) recommendations.
- User can select when a field the critical level used for corn/soybean rotations or wheat, alfalfa, or grass legume hay for P recommendations.
- Can select a shorter or longer buildup period than standard 4 year for P & K.
- P & K recommendations are displayed with buildup and maintenance requirements separately.
- Total fertility need can be determined for a 1-, 2- or 3-year application on P & K Recommendation page.
- User can determine total cost of P & K fertilizer needed to meet the nutrient recommendation.
- Lime recommendations are developed using target final soil pH and tillage depth.
- User can compare cost of two lime sources.
- User can determine total cost of Lime needed in the recommendation developed.
The spreadsheet is available at: https://go.osu.edu/ohiofertilitytool
A printed User Guide is available at: https://go.osu.edu/ohiofertilitytoolguide
A video demonstration at: https://go.osu.edu/ohiofertilitytoolvideo
By David Marrison, Jeff Workman & Chris Bruynis
For the first time in its nearly 60 year history, Ohio State’s Farm Science Review scheduled for September 22 -24 will not be held in-person. Instead, a virtual show will be held and the Review will come to you on your laptop or smartphone this year, and for free. You can watch live streamed talks and recorded videos featuring the latest farm equipment and research to pique your curiosity.
Virtual visitors can find out about the show’s offerings by going to fsr.osu.edu and clicking on an image of the show’s site. Within that image, people can click on the various icons to find the schedules for talks and demos they’re most interested in, such as field demonstrations or “Ask the Expert” talks.
Among the livestreamed talks will be Ask the Expert presentations. Viewers will enter the talks through a Zoom meeting link and be able to post their questions in chat boxes. If you miss any, you can check back after the talks to watch the recordings. Continue reading