I hope you are enjoying this nice December weather. It appears this weekend will hit record highs for this time of year. There’s been a lot of things going on since the last Hardin County Agriculture and Natural Resources Update, so I thought I would bring you up to date. Even with the heavy rains early in the growing season, the dry months of August and September brought our growing season rainfall to where our county average total was only 1.01 inches above the ten year average for Hardin County. See the attached two articles for more information on the September and Growing Season rainfall summaries.
One of the fall harvest concerns with the dry weather was field fires. Several area counties experienced these type of fires which did some damage to both crops and machinery. See the attached news article about field fires which was published earlier this fall. It contains tips on what you can do to prevent these types of fires when you are working with farm machinery and crops. After reading this article, check your machinery and trucks to make sure you are prepared in the event of a possible fire.
In November and early December there were four weekly Farm Financial webinars for farmers to participate in from the comfort of their own home or farm office. These webinars were also publicized in the local news media as you can read about in the attached news article. You can access recorded versions at http://go.osu.edu/farmfinance1, http://go.osu.edu/farmfinance2, http://go.osu.edu/farmfinance3, and http://go.osu.edu/farmfinance4 if you missed them and want to go back and gain insight into improving financial management.
December brought the annual Hardin County Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet. There were 146 people present to see the Clinton Archie McNutt Family, Thomas E. Sprang, Robert L. White, and Merritt & Hazel Wilson honored. I have attached a couple of articles regarding the new inductees and the banquet to this newsletter so that you can read more about this special evening. Each set of inductees contributed greatly to Hardin County agriculture and like other years, were very worthy of becoming a member of the Ag Hall of Fame.
As we enter the winter program season, I would encourage you to look at what is being offered locally and in the surrounding areas through educational meetings and workshops. The annual Conservation Tillage Club breakfast series starts January 5 at the Plaza Inn in Mt. Victory. Topics this year include Nutrient Management & Water Quality, Grain Marketing Outlook, Increasing Soybean Yields, and Ag Law (Farm Transitions & Leases). See the attached article and flyer for more information about these upcoming meetings and topics that are provided to you through the generosity of our area ag lenders and agribusinesses.
Also, January 14 OSU Extension will be offering a day long Cover Crop Soil Health Workshop at the Plaza Inn. Topics taught during the workshop will include ECO Farming, Ecological Farming Practices, Soil Ecology & Nutrient Recycling, Biology of Soil Compaction, Soil Demonstrations, Keeping Nutrients out of Surface Water, Economics of Cover Crops, Using the Cover Crop Selector Tool, Raising Homegrown Nitrogen, Managing Grasses & Brassica in Your Crop Rotation, and an Open Discussion: Using Cover Crops in a Crop Rotation. See the attached article and registration flyer for more details. Registration for this workshop is due January 11.
Upcoming local events include a Soil and Water Conservation District meeting Thursday, December 17, starting at 7:30 am at the SWCD office. Below are some agronomy related articles that you may be interested in reading.
Setting Outlet Water Level in Drainage Water Management Structures – Norman R. Fausey, Larry Brown
Drainage Water Management (DWMgt) is first and foremost an environmental protection practice intended to reduce nutrient delivery to streams, ditches, streams and lakes. However, DWMgt may have some production benefits, but it is not primarily a production practice. Non-growing season (winter) management is essential to realize the environmental benefits. A much greater level of management is needed for crop production benefits than for environmental benefits. To find out more about Drainage Water Management Structures, go to http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2015/2015-39/setting-outlet-water-level-in-drainage-water-management-structures.
2015 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials: Sortable Tables Available Online – Laura Lindsey
The purpose of the Ohio Soybean Performance Trials is to evaluate soybean varieties for yield and other agronomic characteristics. This evaluation gives soybean producers comparative information for selecting the best varieties for their unique production systems. Varieties were grouped, tested, and analyzed by maturity (early and late). Conventional, Liberty Link, and Roundup Ready varieties were tested together and sprayed with conventional herbicides to allow for head-to-head comparisons. Conventional, Liberty Link, and Roundup Ready entries are statistically comparable within a maturity range (early or late). The 2015 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials with sortable tables are now available online at: http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/soy2015/. A pdf of the 2015 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials that can be found here: http://stepupsoy.osu.edu/node/46.
Improving Yields through Fertility Agronomy Day – Amanda Douridas
Soil fertility is crucial to maximize yield potential when growing crops. Economic and environmental considerations are also a key aspect to fertility management. With the knowledge to do so, farmers can set up fields to maximize profits while minimizing environmental impact. It all starts with taking a good soil sample and understanding how to use that information in making nutrient application decisions. To better prepare farmers to make these decisions, OSU Extension is offering an Improving Yields through Fertility Agronomy Day. Go to http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2015/2015-39/improving-yields-through-fertility-agronomy-day to find out more about this January 19 agronomy day being held in Urbana.
2015 Ohio Corn Performance Test: Regional Overviews – Rich Minyo, Allen Geyer, Peter Thomison, David Lohnes
In 2015, 215 corn hybrids representing 27 commercial brands were evaluated in the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT). Four tests were established in the Southwestern/West Central/Central (SW/WC/C) region and three tests were established in the Northwestern (NW) and North Central/Northeastern (NC/NE) regions (for a total of ten test sites statewide). Hybrid entries in the regional tests were planted in either an early or a full season maturity trial. These test sites provided a range of growing conditions and production environments. To find out how the different varieties did across the state, go to http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2015/2015-38/2015-ohio-corn-performance-test-regional-overviews.
2016 West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held January 11th – Debbie Brown
The 2016 West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Monday, January 11th at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. Featured speakers this year include Dr. Fred Whitford, Purdue University pesticide education; Dr. Bob Nielsen, Purdue University agronomy; Dr. Pierce Paul, Ohio State University plant pathology; and Dr. John Fulton, Ohio State University ag engineering. The evening portion of West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Tuesday, January 19th at the Days Inn (SR 47 & I-75) in Sidney. This program will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a light supper and the marketing update; the Pesticide Training and Fertilizer Trainings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. These trainings will be conducted by OSU Extension personnel. To find out more about this year’s West Ohio Agronomy Day, go to http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2015/2015-38/2016-west-ohio-agronomy-day-will-be-held-january-11th.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326