Harvest has drawn to a close and the Christmas holiday is rapidly approaching. Did you choose a live Christmas tree this year? If so, you might be interested in reading about how to care for them in the attached article written by Hancock County OSU Extension Educator Ed Lentz. Once the new year arrives, there will be a host of opportunities to attend OSU Extension meetings and programs. The month of December not only brings the onset of the holiday season, but also this year it brings the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted once every five years, the ag census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data is used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. If you have received the census in the mail, make sure you take the time to complete it and send it back as the law requires. If you are interested in completing it online instead, you can click on the picture below my signature to access the website. For more information on the 2017 Census of Agriculture, read the attached news article.
One of the programs coming up after the new year will be a Farm Management School in Darke County. This series will begin January 4 and continue on January 18 and February 1. The all-day schools will teach Record Keeping, Developing Your Balance Sheet, What Is the Mission of Your Farming Operation, Developing Your Business Plan, Basics of Finance, Budgeting and Cost of Production, Enterprise and Business Analysis, Crop Insurance, Taking Your Business a New Direction, Farm Transition Planning, and Ag Law. See the attached flyer for more information about registering for this school by December 27.
Another program coming up in our region is the West Ohio Agronomy Day on January 8 in Shelby County. Purdue’s Dr. Fred Whitford will be there, this time to talk about “Simple Application Techniques and Tactics that Work to Protect Crops and the Environment.” Also presenting will be Dr. Mark Loux (“What you Need to Know about Problem Weeds: Marestail, Waterhemp, Palmer Amaranth, etc.” and “An Update on Dicamba Products”); Peggy Hall, JD (“When Pesticides Drift: Who’s Liable?” and “Five Property Laws Farmers Need to Know”); and Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins and Sam Custer (OSUE Darke County) will be handling the Fertilizer Applicator Recertification training. Personnel from Precision AgriServices and Farm Credit – Mid America will address other topics There is also an evening portion for those who cannot make it during the day which will be held on January 16. For more information about these two events, see the attached news release.
Did you register yet for the Precision University program at Beck’s Hybrids in London? This program will be held on January 11 and will feature information on Nutrient Technology. Experts will share info on the latest equipment and technologies to ensure efficient utilization of your nutrient applications. Registration is due January 5 for this day-long program and details are available on the attached flyer if you are interested. Finally, I have attached a copy of a flyer for an Ag Outlook meeting being held in Auglaize County on January 12. This 3 ½ hour program will discuss the Ag Economy and Budgets, Grain Prices, and the Basics of Marketing Grain in addition to lunch. I have also attached the flyer for this upcoming program but you will need to register by January 5 if you would like to participate.
Locally, the Conservation Tillage Club Breakfast Series will start up January 9 at the Plaza Inn in Mt. Victory with the first program topic CAUV Changes. More information will be coming later about this series. Other local events coming up soon include a Soil and Water Conservation District meeting Thursday, December 21 starting at 7:30 am in the SWCD office. Hardin County Jr. Fair Market Steer, Dairy Steer, and Market Heifer weigh-in and tagging will be Saturday, December 30 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the fairgrounds. These animals must be registered by December 27. Go to https://hardin.osu.edu/news/jr-fair-steer-registration-and-weigh-0 or contact the Extension office if you have questions. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the festivities as well as the agronomy articles below.
Selecting Corn Hybrids for 2018: Some Considerations – Peter Thomison
Hybrid selection is one of the most important management decisions a corn grower makes each year. It’s a decision that warrants a careful comparison of performance data. It should not be made in haste or based on limited data. Planting a marginal hybrid, or one not suitable for a particular production environment, imposes a ceiling on the yield potential of a field before it has been planted. In the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT) (http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/corntrials/) it is not unusual for hybrid entries of similar maturity to differ in yield by 50 bu/A or more, depending on test site. Another consideration in hybrid selection which has received more attention recently as commodity prices have dropped are seed costs which increased an average of 11% per year from 2006 and 2014, much higher than the rates for fertilizers and pesticides (http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2017/07/seed-costs-for-corn-in-2017-and-2018.html). Since 2014, per acre seed costs have decreased slightly (USDA Economic Research Service), from $102 per acre in 2015 to $99 per acre in 2016, a decrease of $3 per acre. To read more, go to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2017-40/selecting-corn-hybrids-2018-some-considerations.
Update on required dicamba training for 2018 – Mark Loux
Following a summer of many instances of off-target movement of dicamba across the country from use in Xtend soybeans, the labels for Engenia, XtendiMax, and FeXapan were modified in an attempt to reduce future problems. These products became restricted use pesticides, and an additional requirement is that anyone applying these products must attend annual dicamba or group 4 herbicide-specific training, and have proof that they did so. Details are still being worked out on this training for Ohio, but it will not be conducted by OSU Extension, or accomplished through OSU winter agronomy or pesticide recertification meetings. At this point, as far as we know it appears that it will be conducted by Monsanto, BASF, and DuPont at meetings held specifically by them for this purpose, and also possibly through an online training module. Final details and meeting schedules are not likely to be in place until after the first of the year. We will pass on information as we get it from ODA and companies, and applicators will undoubtedly receive this information from multiple other sources as well. Go to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2017-40/update-required-dicamba-training-2018 to finish reading this article.
Results of the 2017 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials are now available online as sortable tables: http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/soy2017/. New for 2017- A link was added to the top of each table to download the data to a spreadsheet.
Soil Health Workshop – Beth Scheckelhoff
The two-day Soil Health Workshop provides farmers and landowners with an in-depth look at factors that contribute to long-term soil health. Topics discussed in the workshop include an overview of soil biology and ecology, how to select and manage cover crops for your farm, nutrient recycling and water quality, and more. The workshop combines experience and information from USDA-NRCS, the Putnam Soil and Water Conservation District, and OSU Extension. All materials, including the Cover Crops Field Guide, and lunch are included in the registration fee of $10. Please contact Beth Scheckelhoff at email@example.com or by phone at 419-523-6294 for additional information. Registration form can be obtained at http://putnam.osu.edu.
Workshop dates: January 4 and 5 at Putnam County Extension Office – 1206 East Second St., Ottawa, OH with $10 registration fee.
Soybean Inputs – Focus on Payback – Alan Sundermeier
The public is invited to attend an educational meeting on tips for better soybean profits in 2018. The same program will be conducted on two dates. January 9, from 8:30 -10:30 am at the Wood County Extension, 639 Dunbridge Road, Bowling Green. And January 11, 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Hancock County Extension, 7868 County Road 140, Findlay. No cost, but registration is needed for handout materials by contacting either: Alan Sundermeier (419) 354-9050, Sundermeier.firstname.lastname@example.org or Ed Lentz (419) 422-3851,email@example.com. Program includes University research results and recommendations on soybean seeding rate, seed treatment, fungicide, variety selection, fertility and weed management.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326