This morning I had the opportunity to attend the Hardin County Chamber and Business Legislative Breakfast program with Congressman Latta, Senator Hite, and Representative Sprague. Each gave a discussion about their efforts to help their constituents and allowed time for questions afterwards. A couple of the questions dealt with CAUV values and property taxes in regards to landowners and school districts. Work has been done on woodland adjustments, and there is also discussion regarding conservation land adjustments, and capitalization rate values.
The weather hasn’t been cooperating for the start of planting season with wet conditions and cool soils. See the agronomy related articles at the end of this newsletter for further details. Since it is not yet fit to work in the fields, I have attached another Ohio Farm Business Analysis report for you to look at. This one deals with crop enterprises and compares average expenses and income for all farms in the study vs the top 20% of financially successful farms. How do your production numbers compare? If you are interested in doing a study like this on your farm, let me know and I can get the process started. What we will need to do is start keeping complete records of all expenses and income for 2016, ideally separated by crops or livestock. However, a complete analysis of the total farm can be done as well.
Often times we share articles that are written by our colleagues in Extension. I am including a couple good ones relating to farm management written by Hancock County OSU Extension Educator Ed Lentz. One is about the 2015 Ag Year in Review and the other one gives suggestions that farmers can do to help keep their farm profitable in this period of time with lower crop prices. I hope you find them informative. If you are a beef cattle producer, you might be interested in reading the attached article about beef cow size and profitability, written by Wayne County OSU Extension Educator Rory Lewandowski.
Finally, this is the time of year that I am busy planning for on-farm research, including fertilizer trials. Have you ever thought about comparing different inputs, population rates, or practices with your crops? If so, take a look at the attached article about on-farm fertilizer trials. I can work with you to set up test plots to study ‘what if’ questions that you might be interested in getting answers for on your own farm. If you be interested in participating in on-farm research, let me know as there are sometimes stipends available for your cooperation that not only benefits you, but also other farmers in the county and state through OSU Extension research and trainings.
Upcoming local events this week include SWCD Fish Sale pick-up Tuesday (4/12) from 2:00-4:00 pm at SWCD office, Sheep Improvement Association meeting Tuesday (4/12) from 7:00-8:30 pm at Extension office, SWCD Tree Sale pick-up Thursday (4/14) from 8:00-4:30 pm at SWCD office, Dairy Service Unit Cheese Sale pick-up Friday (4/15) from 12:00-7:00 pm and Saturday (4/16) from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at Wagner Dairy Farm.
Spring Weather Forecast – Jim Noel
March is here and there is no change to what we have been expecting. It is shaping up to be an earlier than normal planting season. March will be much warmer than normal thanks to El Nino. Temperatures will average 5F+ above normal for much of the month. Rainfall will be more uneven with normal or slightly above normal in western areas and normal to below normal in eastern areas. Rainfall averages 3-4 inches normally in March. Four inch soil temperatures will run above normal and will reach above 50 and stay there 1-2 weeks earlier than normal this spring. April is shaping up to be warmer and drier than normal. Historically in strong El Nino springs, we do not see late freezes but more normal last freeze dates. However, if the warmer weather causes things to start growing earlier there is a risk of a normal last hard freeze could still cause impacts. Finally evapotranspiration rates will be above normal this spring due to the warmer weather. For more information about the weather, go to http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/spring-weather-forecast.
Status of Palmer amaranth in Ohio – Mark Loux
Palmer amaranth has to date been found in about 11 Ohio counties. Infestations within a county can range from one or more fields or other areas with just a few plants or patches of plants, to the presence of one or more fields with dense populations. There isn’t any real pattern to the distribution of counties where Palmer has been found. Palmer seed has entered the state via contaminated CREP or wildlife seed that comes from farther west, and via the cotton feed products that are shipped from the south and used in animal operations. To finish reading this article, go to http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/status-palmer-amaranth-ohio.
It Is Not Too Late to Apply Nitrogen on Wheat – Ed Lentz, Laura Lindsey, Steve Culman
In many southern Ohio locations wheat has already reached Feekes Growth Stage 5. This is an ideal time to apply spring nitrogen: plants will soon begin a rapid uptake of N and the potential for N loss will be reduced because of this larger demand. The northern part of the state has begun to green-up and N can be applied as soon as fields are fit for equipment. Ohio State recommends the Tri-State guide for N rates in wheat. This system relies on yield potential of a field. As a producer, you can greatly increase or reduce your N rate by changing the value for yield potential. Go to http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/it-not-too-late-apply-nitrogen-wheat to finish reading about nitrogen rates on wheat.
Proven Production Practices for Increasing Corn Yields and Profits – Peter Thomison, Steve Culman
In the quest for high corn yields, considerable attention has been given to increasing various inputs, including seeding rates and fertilizers, narrowing row spacing, and making preventative applications of foliar fungicides, growth regulators and biological stimulants. However, the significant drop in crop net returns that’s occurred in recent years warrants developing strategies to lower input costs. An input that might have paid for itself with $5.50/bu corn may not at $3.75/bu corn. A practical and economic approach to achieving high yields is to follow proven cultural practices that enhance corn performance. Go to http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2016-05/proven-production-practices-increasing-corn-yields-and-profits to learn more about increasing corn yields and profits.
The Big Data Confusion: Answering Your Questions about Digital Agriculture – John Fulton, Kaylee Port
Digital Agriculture includes large collections of farm data being used by farmers, companies, and government agencies to aid in decision making related to crop production and farm management. It can also be used as a way to better predict nutrient availability, which in turns helps farmers make better agronomic decisions. By using farm data to drive input management and other farm decisions, producers can identify and quantify which productivity variables are limiting agronomic growth. With agriculture becoming digital, it is important to understand how that data is being collected, interpreted, and then utilized. This digital agriculture concept can be overwhelming, and this series aims to make sense of the Big Data presence within the agricultural community. To begin reading this series, go to http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/big-data-confusion-answering-your-questions-about-digital-agriculture.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326