Now that spring has arrived, so have the rains. Early forecasts are that it is going to be wet and cool early this spring with it drying later and becoming warmer as we enter the planting season. The Cover Crop Strategies field day planned for April 7 in St. Marys (Auglaize County) was postponed because of the recent rains until April 22, same times, same place. See the updated flyer for more details of this event.
A good resource to check on current rainfall in the county is the CoCoRaHS website, which can be found at http://www.cocorahs.org/. Here you can check on Hardin County and other area rainfall that was reported for the previous day or any time period you are interested in looking at. There are also other reports and maps that are interesting to track precipitation throughout the growing season and compare trends. All you need to do is go to the website, click in Ohio on the top map, and then select Hardin County.
Currently we have 16 active CoCoRaHS rainfall stations in the county and I would like to work on filling the areas that are not covered. Give me a call or email if you are interested in being a CoCoRaHS rainfall reporter. This rainfall research is done in addition to our traditional Township Rainfall Reporting that you may have seen in the newspaper or heard about on the radio over the past 22 years. This rainfall information is compiled monthly during the growing season from the time period April 15 through October 15 . You can see monthly and the past ten years’ reports by going to http://hardin.osu.edu/program-areas/agriculture-and-natural-resources/growing-season-rainfall.
So what can you do on a rainy day? Check out the article by Ed Lentz that I have attached regarding ‘Planter Tune-up.’ Is your planter ready to go to the field? I have also attached a copy of the ‘County Crop Yields for 2014’ news release that I wrote this past week. There are also other articles below that you may be interested in reading. Upcoming events include Ag Hall of Fame Committee Thursday, April 9, starting at 7:00 pm in the Extension office. The Master Gardener ‘Phenology’ program registration is due April 11. See the attached flyer for more information. The Sheep Improvement Association Directors will be meeting April 14, starting at 7:30 pm in the Extension office.
The season’s first edition of the OSU Extension Vegetable and Fruit Crops Newsletter (VegNet) is available at http://vegnet.osu.edu/sites/vegnet/files/imce/newsletters/VegNet/4.6.15VegNet%20Newsletter.pdf. Check in each week to learn about what is going on with Ohio vegetable and fruit growers. The first Dairy Margin Protection Program margin was announced for the January/ February period. January’s calculated margin was $7.6553950, and February’s was $8.3356850 (got to love all those decimals) making the 2 month average $7.9955400. Therefore, if farmers “bought up” to $8 coverage they will receive the difference between $8 and $7.9955400 or $0.00446 per covered hundredweight. The cost to cut and mail checks is likely to be higher than the indemnity payments. FYI, The attachment shows the calculated margins for 2015, 2014, and the last third of 2013.
Also, remote sensing in agriculture continues to grow and serve a data layer for agronomists and growers to evaluate soil and crop variability. A majority of these images become “pretty” pictures with limited value to the grower. Please see the attached flyer and consider being part of a project to evaluate remote sensing from a variety of platforms, image resolution and acquisition times. If you have an interest contact me by Friday. The vendors are scheduling flights now.
A Wet Start to April is Expected – Jim Noel
April looks to go down as slightly warmer than normal and much wetter than normal except about normal wetness in the far northwest part of the state. The good news is warmer than normal temperatures are expected for a good deal of April. This likely means the last frost and freeze will not be far from normal unlike last year with late frost and freeze events well into May. Go to http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2015/c.o.r.n-newsletter-2015-07/a-wet-start-to-april-is-expected to continue reading this article.
Managing Risk for Bt Resistant Rootworms – Andy Michel
For the past few years, the Western corn belt has been dealing with populations of western corn rootworm that have developed resistance to two Bt genes: Cry3Bb1 and mCry3a. US-EPA has recently developed a framework for managing Bt resistance, and is requesting comments from stakeholders (see: http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/cb/csb_page/updates/2015/extends-rootworm.html). The deadline for the comment period is April 15th. We have not documented any cases of suspected resistance, and, in the rest of the eastern corn belt (which has been dubbed “The Fringe”), there have only been a few cases. Go to http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2015/c.o.r.n-newsletter-2015-07/managing-risk-for-bt-resistant-rootworms to continue reading this article.
Senate Bill 1 – Peggy Hall, Glen Arnold
Ohio’s legislature passed a bill intended to control algae production in Lake Erie and its western basin. The law will regulate manure and fertilizer applications in the watersheds of the western basin of Lake Erie. The effective date of this new law is June 21, 2015. Go to http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2015/c.o.r.n-newsletter-2015-07/senate-bill-1 to continue reading this article that explains the final bill and its provisions. This new legislation will affect approximately half of Hardin County which drains into this watershed.
Search Begins for America’s Pig Farmer of the Year – Pork Checkoff
America’s Pig Farmer of the Year award program, announced by the National Pork Board in early March, is accepting applications from now until May 17 at americaspigfarmer.com. The award honors the U.S. pork producer who best excels at raising pigs using the ‘We Care’ ethical principles and wants to share how he or she does that with the public. For more information about how to nominate a pork producer, go to http://www.pork.org/search-begins-for-americas-pig-farmer-of-the-year/.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326