This morning Ag Council had a combined meeting with Farm Bureau to discuss local, state, and national ag policy. An opportunity was given to breakfast attendees to share issues that were important to them regarding Hardin County agriculture and beyond. Yesterday we finished up pesticide recertification with a makeup and specialty program for anyone who had yet to renew their Ohio Pesticide License that expires on 3/31/2016. Anyone who has the yellow fertilizer certification card that had a 3/31/2016 expiration date will automatically update with this 3 year cycle. Are you aware of the Western Lake Erie Basin restrictions for application of fertilizer and manure? I have attached an article that explains what you need to know if you farm in this watershed.
The wheat crop has really greened up and now is the time to start topdressing wheat through the jointing stage. See the attached article for research based information regarding when to get this done. Farmers with the administration of their farms consolidated at one Farm Service Agency office may want to examine their 2014 and 2015 ARC-CO payment calculations. Original 2014 ARC-CO payments were calculated on the average yields for the administrative FSA office county, regardless of where the land was physically located. Recently FSA announced that farmers could elect to have the 2014 and/or the 2015 ARC-CO payments calculated on the county in which the land is physically located. For some farms this would be financially beneficial and needs to be requested by April 15, 2016. FSA has calculated the results for the 2014 payments and for the farms where this election is beneficial, farmers simply need to sign the forms at their local FSA office. This will only affect farmers with land in more than one county. For more information, see the attached document created by Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension Educator, Ross County.
As you prepare for this coming planting season, you might be interested in knowing the county crop yields that were recently released from USDA. I have written an article about this subject that compares Hardin County with other adjoining counties. Check it out if you are wondering how our 2015 corn, soybean, and wheat crops compared to other counties and the state average. Something I would like to ask you to consider is participating in the statewide OSU Extension Soybean Survey Research project being conducted by Dr. Laura Lindsey. Although our three year on –farm Ohio Yield-Factor Research is now complete, we are now moving on with a new project which involves completing a two page survey. One page is for 2014 and the other is for 2015. I have attached a copy of this survey along with a news release and letter explaining it. I hope you will complete it for 1-4 fields and then either send it to Dr. Lindsey or get it to me and I will send it to her. The purpose of this project is to help farmers increase their soybean yields compared to what is potentially possible in their fields.
I’ve included a copy of the 2015 Annual Dairy Report attached to this newsletter, prepared by Dr. Maurice Eastridge, OSU Dairy Extension Specialist. If you have the time, it is interesting to compare the different breeds and top performing dairy farms in the state of Ohio that are on test in regards to milk production. Finally, I’ve attached a copy of a flyer promoting a Spotted Wing Drosophila workshop for anyone who raises soft fruits. This is a relatively new pest in Ohio that needs attention if you are raising blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, peaches, or other fruits targeted by this fruit fly. Upcoming local dates of interest this week include a Fairboard meeting Saturday (4/2) starting at 7:30 pm in the fair office; Dairy Service Unit Cheese Sale Orders Due Monday (4/4 – see attached order form); Farm Bureau board meeting Tuesday (4/5) starting at 7:30 pm at Ag Credit. See below for additional agronomy related articles from the CORN Newsletter.
Useful Weather Links and Outlook – Jim Noel
There has been many requests for information on where to find such things as 4 inch soil temperatures, stress degree days, growing degree days etc. The NOAA Midwest Regional Climate Center has a wealth of information at: http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/ and http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/cliwatch/watch.htm. To find other useful weather links and outlook, go to http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/use-full-weather-links-and-outlook.
Keep the sugar for your coffee and your cookies – Harold Watters, Laura Lindsey, Aaron Brooker
While we are interested in improving yield of Ohio crops, we also are reluctant to recommend practices that cost time and money and are not likely to be of assistance. From several on-farm trials conducted by OSU Extension professionals over the years, we see no value in applying sugar to our Ohio row crops. For more information on these interesting studies, go to http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/keep-sugar-your-coffee-and-your-cookies.
American Farm Bureau Conducting Big Data Survey – John Fulton, Kaylee Port
The agriculture technology sector continues to be troubled with “big data” being of interest to many in and out of agriculture. A recent report indicated that 2015 agriculture technology investment doubled from the $2.36B (billion dollars) that was observed in 2014. Big data can provide opportunities for farmers and other in agriculture but uncertainty, mostly expressed as skepticism and mistrust, remains at the grassroots level. Big data may significantly affect many aspects of the agricultural industry, but the full extent and nature of its eventual impacts remain uncertain. To help gather farmers’ understanding and concerns related to Big Data, the American Farm Bureau is conducting a survey at http://fbbigdata2016.questionpro.com. Ohio Farmers are encouraged to take time and complete this online survey. It is important to hear from you on this topic as it remains a significant interest as observed in 2014 and 2015 investments. Find more information at http://fabe.osu.edu/programs/precision-ag/big-data.
Early Termination of Cover Crops – Rory Lewandowski
Cover crops provide multiple benefits with regards to protecting soil from erosion, improving soil health, and as a component of a nutrient management plan. For those cover crops that over winter and resume growth in the spring, for example, cereal rye and annual ryegrass, an important question is when to terminate that cover crop. That decision should consider the next crop, planting date of that next crop, the spring weather pattern and purpose of the cover crop. For cover crops that have not been planted with the intention of providing a forage harvest, and that are on acres intended for corn grain production, this may be a year to consider early termination of that cover crop.
New to LibertyLink Soybean? – Here’s your Primer – Mark Loux
LibertyLink soybeans are finally starting to get the use in Ohio that they deserve. Use of the LibertyLink system accomplishes several things – resolving current herbicide-resistant weed problems and reducing the emphasis on glyphosate use that continues to drive the development of resistant weed populations. Our primary glyphosate weed problems in the state are still marestail, giant ragweed, and common ragweed. Waterhemp problems are slowly increasing and Palmer amaranth is showing up here and there. Go to http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2016-05/new-libertylink-soybean-heres-your-primer to learn more about using LibertyLink soybeans.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326