Field work progressed this past week before some heavy rains hit parts of the county. Wheat harvest started this past weekend, with a few fields being harvested. Although I haven’t heard any local wheat yields or grain quality reports yet, the USDA indicates that 34% of the wheat crop is rated fair. Fair is how 43% of the corn and 45% of the soybeans are rated in Ohio as well. For more information about crop progress, see the attached July 8 Ohio Crop Weather Report. The big news out of the state treasurer’s office this week is that low interest Ag-LINK loans are available at http://www.tos.ohio.gov/Ag-LINK-Extreme-Weather-Relief. Through this round of applications, farm operators and agribusiness owners based in Ohio can receive a 2% interest rate reduction on loans up to $150,000. The addition of a second application period can provide significant savings and much needed relief to farmers and agribusinesses impacted by recent storms and floods.
Across Ohio, farmers are facing challenges unimagined just four months ago. Widespread loss of established alfalfa stands coupled with delayed or impossible planting conditions for other crops leave many farmers, their agronomists and nutritionists wondering what crops can produce reasonable amounts of quality forage yet this year. In addition, frequent and heavy rains are preventing harvest of forages that did survive the winter and are causing further deterioration of those stands. See the attached article 2019 Challenge: Forage Production Options for Ohio written by Mark Sulc, OSU Extension Forage Agronomist and Bill Weiss, OSU Extension Dairy Nutritionist, to help address this forage dilemma. Also, there is a Forages for the Future regional program planned for July 25 in St. Henry (Mercer County) to assist livestock farmers who need information about this topic. I have attached both a flyer and news release about this program if you are interested in attending.
Other events happening in Western Ohio include the Climate Smart: Farming with Weather Extremes program on July 18 at Der Dutchman in Plain City which I have included an updated flyer. There is also a flyer for the Ohio Hop Growers Guild Statewide Hop Yard Open House July 20 with four sites you can visit. In addition, I have included the July Ohio No-Till News which has an article about our “Cover Crops for Prevented Planting Acres” event that was held June 27 in Ada. Upcoming local meetings include Farm Bureau tonight (7/9) starting at 6:00 pm at Bear Vine Winery near Ridgeway; Sheep Improvement Association tonight (7/9) starting at 7:30 pm at the Extension office; Fairboard Wednesday (7/10) starting at 7:00 pm at the Fair office; Cattle Producers Monday (7/15) starting at 7:30 pm at Fairgournds Steak Barn. Don’t forget to check out the ag crops articles below, especially the one about the 2019 Agriculture Challenges FAQ Webpage Now Live.
2019 Agriculture Challenges FAQ Webpage Now Live – Elizabeth Hawkins
The unrelenting rains this spring and summer have created many challenges that the farming community is now sorting through. In order to help with decisions, OSU Extension has created a Frequently Asked Questions webpage. This page provides the most up-to-date answers to questions about topics ranging from MFP and disaster payments to cover crops, forages, livestock concerns, management of crops that are out of sync with normal planting dates, as well as answers to more questions as information becomes available. There is also an option to submit questions that you would like answered. Webinars with more detailed information will also be shared here. The page is available at go.osu.edu/AgCrisis. Since the situation we are facing is constantly evolving, be sure to check back for the latest information available to help you.
Problems in Soybean Fields – Anne Dorrance
We have multiple planting dates in Ohio this year with soybeans in all different growth stages. Management decisions are based on the stage of crop development. For soybeans that are flowering, there was a confirmed report of frogeye leaf spot. If the soybeans in the field are in good health then managing this disease is often cost effective on susceptible varieties. Scouting between R2/R3, if frogeye is easy to find on the newly expanded leaves a fungicide application is warranted. There are many fungicides available with fair to very good efficacy. The one caveat is in Ohio, we have identified strains of the fungus that causes frogeye leaf spot that is resistant to strobilurin fungicides, so choose a product that has another mode-of-action. For soybeans that are in the early seedling stages that have continued to get these saturating rains, damping-off is occurring. So these fields will continue to decline until about V2, then the resistance in the plant will take over. So continue to monitor stands in these fields. If stem rot develops at the later stages, then that is from Phytophthora sojae. In these cases, a better variety is needed for the future that has higher levels of quantitative resistance.
Noxious Weeds in Cover Crop Seed and Seed Germination – Alexander Lindsey, Laura Lindsey, Mark Loux, Anne Dorrance, Stan Smith, John Armstrong
Seed quality is key to establishing a good crop (or cover crop). Some of the critical components of seed quality are percent germination, mechanical analysis for purity (% other crops, % inert, and % weeds), and a listing of noxious weeds identified by scientific/common name and quantity found. As producers are looking for seed sources to provide living cover on acreage this year that was previously earmarked for corn or soybeans, it is important to pay attention to the quality. These tests may also be required on seed lots for use in some relief programs as well. Commercial or certified seed used for cover crops should have a seed tag that shows variety and the seed quality measurements above. However, if the seed is sourced from out of state, the noxious weeds listed (or NOT listed) on the tag by name may differ from those had the seed been sourced from Ohio. Read more at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-21/noxious-weeds-cover-crop-seed-and-seed-germination.
What is the Nutrient Value of Wheat Straw? – Laura Lindsey, Ed Lentz
Wheat harvest is now underway. What is the nutrient value of the straw? The nutrient value of wheat straw is influenced by several factors including weather, variety, and cultural practices. Thus, the most accurate values require sending a sample of the straw to an analytical laboratory. However, “book values” can be used to estimate the nutrient values of wheat straw. In previous newsletters, we reported that typically a ton of wheat straw would provide approximately 11 pounds of N, 3 pounds of P2O5, and 20 pounds of K2O. Click on https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-21/what-nutrient-value-wheat-straw to finish reading about the nutrient value of wheat straw.
Considerations for Using Soybeans as a Cover Crop – Laura Lindsey
From the USDA RMA website (https://www.rma.usda.gov/News-Room/Frequently-Asked-Questions/Prevented-Planting-Flooding): “Q. Can I plant a cover crop of the same crop I was prevented from planting? Or in other words, can I use the seed I have on hand (corn, soybeans, wheat) to plant a cover crop as long as it’s at a lower seeded rate that qualifies for cover crop? A. Yes. An acceptable cover crop must be generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement is planted at the recommended seeding rate, etc. The cover crop may be the same crop prevented from planting and may still retain eligibility for a prevented planting payment. The cover crop planted cannot be used for harvest as seed or grain.” Soybean is an acceptable cover crop as it is agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement. Go to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-21/considerations-using-soybeans-cover-crop for more information about this topic.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326