May 21, 2018

Good afternoon,

Farmers have been busy planting the past three weeks with a few moderate rains to break things up.  This year planting was delayed by a couple weeks due to cool and wet conditions.  Because of that, the activities such as spraying fields with herbicides, applying fertilizer and tillage activities were not completely done by the usual date of the beginning of May.  Most farmers only began working in the fields by that time this year.  Planting progress for both corn and soybeans jumped ahead of the five-year average following a delayed start to the planting season.  High temperatures with moist soil conditions also helped to promote corn emergence.  Winter wheat has started to head and alfalfa will soon be cut.  For more information about Ohio Crop Weather and planting season progress, see the attached USDA report.  Most of the corn has been planted in Hardin County, however soybeans are still being planted in several area fields.  Because of this activity along with other field activity, keep an eye out for farm machinery on the roads.  I have attached an article written by Ed Lentz, OSU Extension-Hancock County that discusses farm machinery safety on the roads that you may want to read to bring yourself up to date with guidelines for transporting agricultural equipment.

Ohio Crop Weather Report

Farm Machinery Road Safety News Release

If you are a beef cattle producer, you may be interested in checking out the Beef Quality Assurance training flyer for an program being held June 9 in Lexington.  This event will cover proper ear tagging, tattooing and recordkeeping for purebred cattle.  The Southeastern Ohio Hay Day has been planned for June 21 at the Eastern Research Station in Caldwell.  See the attached flyer for registration details about this field day, which will offer demonstrations of hay harvesting equipment, tradeshow exhibits, educational presentations, dinner, and door prizes.  Lady Landowners Leaving a Legacy is an interactive workshop series that provides women landowners with the confidence, skills, and resources necessary to interact with tenants and ensure the integrity of their land is preserved for future generations.  See the attached flyer for more information about this series which begins June 14 in Urbana.  I have also attached a flyer about a Dairy Educational Tour scheduled for June 16 in Mt. Gilead if you are interested in learning more about this industry.

Beef Quality Assurance Flyer

Southeastern Ohio Hay Day Flyer

Lady Landowner Flyer

Educational Dairy Tour Flyer

Upcoming local events include a Master Gardener Volunteers meeting tonight starting at 7:00 pm at Harco Industries.  Dairy Beef Feeder tagging, vaccination, and weigh-in will be held Saturday, May 26 from 8:00-10:30 am at the Hardin County Fairgrounds.  For more specific Information, go to  If you have Beef Feeders for this year’s Hardin County Fair, you will want to read about the rules at  The rules for Hardin County Fair Rabbits can be found at  If you have further questions, call the Extension office and ask for Amanda Raines or Mark Light.  Other than that, you may want to read the agronomy articles that I have posted below as you get ready to mow hay, spray weeds, or sidedress corn.



Warm Weather Continues…High Rainfall Variability – Jim Noel

Above normal temperatures will continue for the rest of May. Unlike temperatures, rainfall will be very inconsistent with a tendency to be wetter than normal. Some areas of Ohio will receive flooding rain while other areas will struggle to receive an inch or perhaps less than a half inch of rain for the rest of the month. Uncertainty is high for where the flooding rains will occur and where the driest areas are. Runoff will also be highly uncertain the rest of May.  If you would like to read more about the weather, go to


Corn, Soybean, and Alfalfa Yield Responses to Micronutrient Fertilization in Ohio – Steve Culman, Anthony Fulford, Laura Lindsey, Douglas Alt

Ohio farmers often wonder if micronutrient fertilization will increase grain yields. A recent study exhaustively compiled the last 40 years of Ohio State University micronutrient fertilizer trials in corn, soybean and alfalfa. A total of 194 trials (randomized and replicated) were found across 17 Ohio counties. In general, micronutrient fertilization rarely resulted in a statistically significant yield response. Manganese (Mn) fertilization or a blend of Mn with other micronutrients increased soybean yield in 9 out of 144 trials. Boron fertilization had no effect on corn grain yield in 8 out of 9 trials and actually decreased yield in one trial. Micronutrients had effect on alfalfa yields in 17 total trials. Go to to read more about micronutrient fertilization efficacy in Ohio.


Be Mindful of Honeybees and Other Pollinators During Planting – Reed Johnson, Kelley Tilmon, Andy Michel

The winter of 2017-2018 is destined to go down in Ohio beekeeping history as one of the worst on record.  In October, the OSU honey bee lab had 50 living colonies, but by the beginning of April, we were down to just 5 survivors. While some of these honey bee colonies died as a result of the exceptionally long, cold winter, more than half of our losses occurred before the first snow fell in November 2017.  In talking with other beekeepers around the state it has become clear that 90% losses were typical for many beekeepers this year.  To finish reading this article, click on


2018 Small Grains Field Day – Rory Lewandowski

Plan now to attend the 2018 Small Grains Field Day on June 12.  The event will begin with registration and sign in at 9:30 am at the OARC Schaffter farm located at 3240 Oil City Road, Wooster OH.  The cost is $25 per person when registered by June 4. Beginning June 5, registration will be $35 per person. Lunch is included in the registration fee. Commercial and private pesticide applicator credits as well as Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits are available to field day participants. Go to to find out more about this year’s Small Grains Field Day in Wooster.


Chance to view Ohio’s 2018 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference video sessions – Sarah Noggle

For those of you who did not attend the 2018 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada, Ohio in March, or you want to learn from concurrent sessions you missed, here is another chance.  Sixty-six recorded video presentations are available at  Topics from the conference included: regenerative agriculture, climate change, healthy soil, water quality, research reporting of data, cover crops, federal policy, and nutrient management.  Plan now to attend in 2019 on March 5-6.




Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326

419-674-2297 Office

May 10, 2018

Good evening,


Things have been rolling the past two weeks in the fields throughout the county.  Very little corn has emerged although many acres have been planted in the past two weeks. Several farmers are completing corn planting and have switched to soybean. Warmer weather days are accumulating, which will soon be followed by crop emergence around the county.  Corn typically requires 100 to 120 growing degree days (GDDs) to emerge (but emergence requirements can vary from 90 to 150 GDDs).  For more information about growing degree days, see the attached news release about Growing Degree Days.  As of May 6, it was estimated that 23% of the corn was planted and only 8% of the soybeans were planted in Ohio as indicated on the attached USDA Ohio Crop Weather report.  However, favorable weather in Hardin County this week has greatly increased that amount.  I have heard from some area farmers that they are done planting corn or soon will be.  Several have changed over to soybeans, in between the moderate rains we have experienced.  For the time period of April 15-30, Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 1.56 inches of rain in Hardin County.  Last year, the average rainfall for the same time period was 3.16 inches.  Rainfall for the April 15-30 time period is 0.61 inches less than the ten year average rainfall during the same dates.  Check out the April 15-30 rainfall summary for more local rainfall information.

Growing Degree Days News Release

Ohio Crop Weather

April 15-30 Summary

This Saturday will be the Hardin County Plant Sale sponsored by the OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.  Head out to the fairgrounds Arts and Crafts building for the 9:00 am start to this annual plant sale to select local plants from local gardeners.  See the attached flyer for more details and be sure to get there early as the sale only lasts until 11:00 am as most plants are gone in the first hour.  The Master Gardeners have also planned Summer Friendship Garden programs each month this summer.  The first demonstration program is Saturday, May 19 at 9:00 am and will focus on planting different types of vegetable gardens.  I have attached a news release that will provide you with additional information if you are interested.  Do you raise fruit?  If so, you might be interested in taking a look at the May 2018 Ohio Fruit News that I have included with this newsletter.

 Plant Sale Flyer

Summer Friendship Garden Programs News Release

May 2018 Ohio Fruit News

Upcoming local events include a Men’s Garden Club meeting at the Extension office on Monday, May 14 starting at 6:30 pm.  There is also a Soil and Water Conservation District meeting at the SWCD office on Thursday, May 17 starting at 7:30 am.  Other than that, hopefully by the end of next week most of the crops should be in the ground if the weather continues to cooperate.  Until then, I have attached some ag crops articles for you to read.






Adjusting Corn Management Practices for a Late Start – Steve Culman, Peter Thomison

As prospects for a timely start to spring planting diminish, growers need to reassess their planting strategies and consider adjustments. Since delayed planting reduces the yield potential of corn, the foremost attention should be given to management practices that will expedite crop establishment. The following are some suggestions and guidelines to consider in dealing with a late planting season. Although the penalty for late planting is important, care should be taken to avoid tillage and planting operations when soil is wet. Yield reductions resulting from “mudding the seed in” are usually much greater than those resulting from a slight planting delay. Yields may be reduced somewhat this year due to delayed planting, but effects of soil compaction can reduce yield for several years to come. Keep in mind that we typically do not see significant yield reductions due to late planting until mid-May or even later in some years. To finish reading this article, go to




Adjusting no-till burndown programs for a prolonged wet spring – Mark Loux

This is a revision of an article we seem to publish in C.O.R.N. about every three years, when wet weather prevents early planting and in some cases also prevents early burndown applications.  Not a lot of either has occurred yet, although it’s starting to dry out and warm up.  The good news is that cool weather has slowed weed growth, but even so, the weeds obviously continue to get bigger under wet conditions, and what is a relatively tame burndown situation in early to mid-April can become pretty hairy by early to mid-May.  One issue with later burndowns certainly is that there can be a need for a more aggressive herbicide mix, but also a need to plant as soon as possible, and these can be conflicting goals.  For example, unless dicamba is an option, we would say keep 2,4-D ester in the mix if at all possible, but this means waiting 7 days to plant.  Go to to read more.




Soybean Planting Date, Seeding Rate, and Row Width – Laura Lindsey

Before heading out to the field this spring, download a free pdf of the recently revised Ohio Agronomy Guide available here: Also, check out other information related to soybean management at Planting date. Planting date strongly influences soybean yield. In 2013 and 2014, we conducted a planting date trial at the Western Agricultural Research Station near South Charleston, Ohio.  In both years, soybean yield decreased by 0.6 bu/ac per day when planting after mid-May. The greatest benefit of planting May 1 to mid-May is canopy closure which increases light interception, improves weed control by shading out weeds, and helps retain soil moisture. Click on to read more about soybean planting recommendations.




Using the Slake Test to Determine Soil Crusting – Alan Sundermeier

An easy to use test can be done to predict potential soil crusting on farm fields.  All you need is some chicken wire, water, a glass jar, and a dry clump of soil.  When you immerse the clump of soil in the jar of water, the longer it holds together, the better the soil structure to resist crusting. The slake test compares two chunks of topsoil in water to see how well and how long they will hold together. Poor structure soil that easily falls apart will form small soil aggregates, which collect at the soil surface and will dry into a hard crust.  Crusted soil will make it difficult for seed emergence and will limit future rainfall infiltration and cause runoff and erosion.  Go to to find out more about conducting the Slake Test.




Inversion and Drift Mitigation Webinars available – Cindy Folck, Amanda Bennett

The recorded webinars from the Inversion and Drift Mitigation Workshop held in April are available online at The recordings include: Understanding Inversions and Weather Conditions by Aaron Wilson, Weather Specialist & Atmospheric Scientist, OSU Extension, Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center; and Using Tools in the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry by FieldWatch by Jared Shaffer, Plant Health Inspector, Ohio Department of Agriculture. This project was funded by: The Ohio IPM Program and USDA-NIFA Project 20177000627174.



The Ohio State University

Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326

419-674-2297 Office





May 3, 2018

Good evening,

Mother Nature decided to give our local farmers a chance to get some fieldwork done with the warmer temperatures and drier conditions.  This has enabled a good start on fertilizer, manure, and herbicide burndown applications.  Tillage is going on in several fields around the county and some planting of corn has begun.  Rainfall reports are coming in for the second half of April to begin our annual township rainfall reporting, but let’s hope it doesn’t start out like last year.  In case you are interested, I attached the Hardin County Rainfall Report for 2017.  It has township rainfall amounts for each month of the growing season as well as the ten year average for each month.  Last year we ended up with 28.25 inches of rain compared with our ten year average of 23.35 inches as reported by our township rainfall reporters for the period of April 15-October 15.  If you are interested in the Ohio Crop Weather Report, I have attached it as well.  It shows only 1% of the Ohio corn and soybeans planted as of this past week with only 2.6 days of suitable weather for field work.  If you want to know how Ohio crop prices fared, March corn, at $3.79 per bushel, increased $0.15 from February and increased $0.10 from last year; March soybeans, at $10.10 per bushel, increased $0.28 from last month and increased $0.18 from last year; March wheat, at $4.90 per bushel, increased $0.44 from February and increased $0.68 from last year; March milk, at $15.80 per cwt., increased $0.10 from last month, but decreased $2.70 from last year according to the attached USDA report released April 30.

Rainfall Report 2017

Ohio Crop Weather

Ohio Crop Prices

If you were one of the people who attended fertilizer recertification this past March in Hardin County, you might remember taking a fertilizer survey.  Several applicators are taking a look at their fertilizer use, and in some cases making changes based on what OSU Extension has been teaching the past three years.  There is still much work to do in order that the nutrients we apply stay in the field and not end up in our waterways.  One thing that I have been doing related to this issue is on-farm nutrient management research in the county.  If you look at the Ohio No-Till News that is attached, you will see that Hardin County OSU Extension has been awarded a Conservation Tillage Conference mini-grant to continue this research into 2018 with a nitrogen timing trial.  This past year we did a nitrogen rate trial with the 2017 mini-grant, and in 2016 we did a nutrient placement trial with a mini-grant from the CTC.  Thanks to the cooperating farmers who helped make this happen.  Currently, research reports are going through a peer review process before being released to the public.  I have also attached a copy of the Master Gardener Volunteers Plant Sale news release and flyer for this annual event that is coming up May 12 at the fairgrounds, along with this season’s schedule for the Scioto Valley Produce Auction in Mt. Victory.

Hardin Fertilizer Survey

Ohio No-Till News

Plant Sale News Release

Plant Sale Flyer

Scioto Valley Produce Auction Schedule

Other local upcoming events include a Fairboard meeting tonight (5/2) starting at 7:00 pm in the fair office.  Feel free to join us Friday morning (5/4) for Ag Council breakfast starting at 7:00 am at Henry’s Restaurant.  In addition to our monthly roundtable discussion, I will have information to share about soil temperatures and growing degree days for corn.  Hardin County Farm Bureau will be having a Legislative Dinner with an Energy Policy question and answer session with Ohio Farm Bureau Energy Specialist Dale Arnold about wind, solar, and pipeline energy policy on May 9.  Call the Hardin County Farm Bureau office at 419-447-3091 if you are interested in attending this program which includes dinner.  It starts at 6:00 pm at the Plaza Inn Restaurant.  I have included some agronomy articles below if you are interested in reading them.


Wheat Growth Stages and Associated Management- Feekes 6.0 through 9.0 – Laura Lindsey, Pierce Paul, Ed Lentz

With below average temperatures and snow, wheat growth and development is slower this year compared to the previous two years. Last year, wheat in Pickaway County reached Feekes 6.0 growth stage the last week of March. Remember, exact growth stages cannot be determined by just looking at the height of the crop or based on calendar dates. Correct growth identification and knowledge of factors that affect grain yield can enhance management decisions, avoiding damage to the crop and unwarranted or ineffective applications.  Go to to finish reading this article.


Spring Warm-Up: How does 2018 Soil Temperature Compare? – Aaron Wilson, Elizabeth Hawkins

The calendar says it’s time for spring field activity in Ohio and farmers are eager to prep fields and plant this year’s crops. However, average temperatures across Ohio have remained cooler than usual with the previous 30-day period (March 16 – April 15, 2018) running 2 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit below normal (based on 1981-2010). Combined with precipitation up to twice the normal amount in some areas, the weather is certainly not cooperating with ideas of an early jump on planting.  Read more about this spring’s soil temperatures at


Seed is Precious – Anne Dorrance

We are off to a rough start again, as we saw the pictures on Facebook of replanting.  So I thought I should chime in here about how precious this seed is and what a seed treatment can and cannot do.  In this eastern soybean belt – we have a lot of poorly drained soil.  More importantly, we also have a lot of inoculum and a great diversity of watermolds, Pythium and Phytophthora, that can infect both corn and soybeans.  When soils are saturated – like today and tomorrow, these watermolds will form swimming spores that are attracted to the young seeds and seedlings.  Based on the past 10 years of research we only see a benefit of the seed treatments when there is soil saturation, typically 2” of rain within 2 weeks of planting.  Sometimes it only takes an inch of rain if the soils are “just fit” and it rains again immediately after planting.  Go to to finish reading about seed and seed treatments.


When to begin Alfalfa Weevil Scouting – Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon

The larvae of alfalfa weevil can cause considerable damage, especially when alfalfa is just starting its growth in the spring. When temperatures are greater than 48 degrees F, the adults become active and start to lay eggs. After hatch, the plump and green larvae (which resemble little worms) feed, with 3rd instar (mid-aged) larvae being the hungriest. The heaviest feeding can occur between 325 and 500 heat units. As of the time of writing this article, the heat units (base 48 degrees F) for the Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston are 98, and for the South Station in Piketon is 175. Scouting for larvae should begin at around 250 heat units.


OARDC Branch Station Two Inch Soil Temperatures – Greg LaBarge

The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Agricultural Research Stations located throughout the state have 2 and 4 inch bare surface soil temperatures monitored on an hourly basis. The chart provided here summarizes the average daily two inch bare soil temperature from several stations. More complete weather records for the just passed day as well as long term historical observations can be found at . Observations include temperature, precipitation, different measures of degree day accumulation and other useful weather measures.





Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326

419-674-2297 Office