We made it through an extremely cold week and now it looks like we are getting back to normal. Normal, that is if you don’t include the large amounts of snowfall we have received this winter. Hopefully all of the weather distractions have not caused you to forget about the upcoming Dairy Banquet. The Dairy Banquet is coming up February 15 and tickets are for sale from any Dairy Service Unit director or from the Extension office. Remember that Junior Fair Dairy Exhibitors are free this year if they call the Extension office and claim their ticket. Adults are $10 and children under 12 are $5. Tickets must be purchased by February 10. Youth eligible for the Dairy Scholarship or Dairy Princess need to get their applications turned in to the Extension office by February 7.
Did you hear about the Sheep and Goat Webinars that will happen each Monday evening in February at 7:00 pm? These live events are being presented over the internet to various Extension offices, including the Hardin County office at 1021 W. Lima Street in Kenton. This week’s (February 3) presentation is by Roger A. High, The Ohio State University, who will present “The Management Continuum and Success during the Lambing/Kid Time Period.” There is no charge to attend this program. Please call the Extension office at 419-674-2297 if planning to attend one or more of these programs so that all participants can be accommodated. See the attached press release for more information.
The Hardin County Cattle Producers are meeting this coming week on February 5 at 7:30. They will be meeting in the Allmax Building and will be discussing their budget, bylaws, and the upcoming Beef Banquet. Ag Council will meet Friday, February 7 at 7:00 am for breakfast and sharing of agricultural information. A fly on the wall told me that retired Hardin County Extension Educator Gene McCluer has agreed to lead this meeting as I will be at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg taking Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) exams. Below are some articles that you might find interesting.
2014 Champaign and Union Agronomy Day – Amanda Douridas, Champaign & Union Counties OSU Extension Educator – February 18, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Union County Services Building, 940 London Ave., Marysville, OH 43040
For the first time the Champaign and Union County Extension offices will be hosting an Agronomy Day. This is an exciting opportunity to bring many of the agronomic state specialists from OSU to the local community. The day includes the following topics and speakers. Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Soybean and Small Grains Specialist will discuss ways to properly manage wheat. She will also share the results of the first year of a statewide soybean yield study (farms from Champaign and Union included). Everything from pre-plant soil samples to grain samples and in between was analyzed during the growing season to see what factors affect yield the most. To find out more speakers and other information, go to http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2014/2014-03/2014-champaign-and-union-agronomy-day.
Hay Prices Moderate Farm Record Highs – Tim Petry, Livestock Economist, North Dakota State University Extension Service
U.S. hay prices were at record high levels last spring, and have been declining since. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports average monthly hay prices by state on a crop year (May-Apr) basis. Prices are reported for alfalfa hay, other hay, and the combined all hay categories. Hay prices in the U.S. generally increased throughout the last crop year, and other hay prices ended the year in April at a record high $157 per ton. Prices have declined this crop year to $130/T recorded in December. Keep in mind that the reported prices are averages and the range can be wide given varying quality and geographic supply and demand conditions. For example, the highest other hay price in December was $230/T in Colorado. Contrast that to the lowest average price of $68/T in North Dakota. Hay supplies declined in the U.S. for the last several years. Go to http://beef.osu.edu/beef/beefJan2914.html to continue reading this and other beef articles.
Corn Production-Corn, Soybean and Wheat Connection – Greg LaBarge, OSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist
The first Corn, Soybean and Wheat Connection program is now available for viewing online. The program features Dr. Peter Thomison, State Specialist Corn Production, Ohio State University Extension discussing Optimizing Corn Yields-Assessing the Contribution of Key Agronomic Management Factors. The second program topic was Seed Treatments in Corn: Impacts on Pests and Pollinators presented by Dr. Andy Michel, State Specialist Field Crops Entomology, Ohio State University Extension and Dr. Reed Johnson, Entomologist Apiculture, The Ohio State University. The program can be viewed at http://go.osu.edu/cswconnect1-14-14. Please note the first 30 seconds of the program were cut off.
Pigs, crates and consumers –David White, Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Commodity Relations
Pork industry giants Smithfield and Tyson recently announced plans to develop animal welfare improvements that include moving away from the practice of using gestation crates. Smithfield’s announcement put in place incentives for contract pork farmers to shift to “group housing systems” for pregnant sows before 2022. After that, the company will only renew contracts with farmers who have switched to the new system. According to the announcement, the company has already transitioned 54 percent of sows on company-owned farms to the new system. To continue reading this article, go to http://ofbf.org/news-and-events/news/3708/.
Ohio Senate Approves Agricultural Nutrient Management Bill – Sam Custer, Darke County OSU Extension Educator
The Ohio Senate has approved a bill directing the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to establish a fertilizer applicator certification program in Ohio. The sponsors of Senate Bill 150, Senator Cliff Hite and Senator Bob Peterson, designed the legislation to address agricultural nutrient runoff into Ohio waterways and the algae problems in Grand Lake St. Marys and Lake Erie. According to Senator Hite, the bill hinges on a new education and certification program that will give farmers additional information about fertilizer and nutrient use best practices. To find out additional information regarding the Senate version of the this important bill, read the attached article.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326