Farmers planted some of the first 2020 corn and soybean fields in Ohio last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Temperatures averaged 5 degrees cooler than historical normal and the entire state averaged normal amounts of precipitation last week. There were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 26 according to the most recent Ohio Crop Weather report released April 27 that I have attached to this email. According to an article written by Hancock County OSU Extension Educator Ed Lentz, farmers are anxious about this year’s corn planting after the disastrous spring they had last year, which left about 60% of the corn fields unplanted. They have to focus on the possibility of good crop this year and force out thoughts of last year according to his article about Corn Planting that I have included.
Spring Farm Safety should be at the top of everyone’s mind as we begin the 2020 planting season. Because of that, I have included a news release about this topic put together by Union County OSU Extension Educator Wayne Dellinger. The coronavirus continues to concern area farmers as to how they can keep their equipment and farms safe for their families and employees. Information has been put together by OSU Extension Ag Safety and Health’s Lisa Pfeifer and Dee Jepsen on “Navigating COVID-19 on the Farm” that is attached. Since my last e-newsletter, there have been questions asked about COVID-19 and animals. OSU Extension and OSU Veterinary Science have put together a fact sheet about this topic to help answer these questions that I have made available in both English and Spanish in case you have workers on your farm who only speak Spanish.
The federal government has started to provide assistance to agriculture through USDA and other means. I have attached a COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide to help guide you through resources that have now become available. You can also find out more information at farmoffice.osu.edu by checking out the resources available there including the weekly recorded presentations made available through Farm Office Live. There have been many new issues arise that most people involved in agriculture have never had to experience. One unfortunate consequence for many has been the loss of income. I have included a fact sheet from Michigan State University to provide ideas called “Turning Personal Skills Into Income.” I hope that things are going well for you and your family during this time of isolation and uncertainty.
If you are able to join us Friday morning, May 1 at 8:00 am, we are having our Ag Council Virtual Coffee Hour. You can join in by clicking on https://osu.zoom.us/j/93280677269 or calling in at (646) 876-9923 and entering the Meeting ID: 932 8067 7269 when asked. You can connect to the roundtable discussion either on your computer, phone, smartphone, or tablet. If you have never used Zoom before, I would encourage you to watch the 30 minute YouTube video put together by Paulding County OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Sarah Noggle. It will show you how to use Zoom from a phone, smartphone, tablet, and computer. The YouTube instructional video can be found at https://youtu.be/ndYBBEAz9x0. We would enjoy having you join us for an update about your spring planting and preparations. For those of you who enjoy reading the articles from the CORN newsletter, I have included them below.
Considerations for planting depth this year – Alexander Lindsey, K. Nemergut, Peter Thomison
Timing corn emergence is key to minimize yield reductions, and can be more important for preserving yield than even seed spacing. When setting planting depth for corn this year, be sure to consider not just first emergence seen, but also how uniform the emergence is. In work conducted from 2017-2019, we manipulated seeding depth to be approximately 1, 2, or 3” deep (current recommendations are for planting at 1.5-2 inches deep) in two conventionally tilled fields. One field had 2-3% organic matter, and the other had 4-5% organic matter. We tracked daily emergence in the plots, and measured stalk strength and yield at the end of the season. Read more at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-09/considerations-planting-depth-year.
Wheat Growth Stages and Associated Management – Feekes 6.0 through 9.0 – Laura Lindsey, Ed Lentz, Pierce Paul
It’s important to correctly identify winter wheat growth stages to enhance management decisions, avoiding damage to the crop and unwarranted or ineffective applications. Remember, exact growth stage cannot be determined by just looking at the height of the crop or based on calendar dates. Feekes 6.0- Nodes are all formed but sandwiched together so that they are not readily distinguishable. At Feekes 6.0, the first node is swollen and appears above the soil surface. This stage is commonly referred to as “jointing.” To read more, go to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-09/wheat-growth-stages-and-associated-management-feekes-60-through.
PPE Shortage for Pesticide Applicators – Mary Ann Rose
This spring pesticide applicators are likely to encounter a new challenge getting the personal protective equipment (PPE) required to make their pesticide applications. The emergency needs that our first responders and medical care providers have for PPE in the COVID-19 war have led to shortages of all types of PPE, even for types not typically worn by medical personnel. By the time that PPE become more readily available, it will likely be too late for many spring (or even summer) pesticide applications. Every pesticide product label includes a list of the required personal protective equipment. So … what should farmers and pesticide applicators do in this situation? First, If you can’t acquire and properly use the label required PPE, don’t make the application of that pesticide. Finish reading about the PPE shortage at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-09/ppe-shortage-pesticide-applicators.
Slight Frost Injury on Forages – Mark Sulc
I have observed and received reports of only very slight frost burn on the tips of leaves of alfalfa and winter annual forage crops after the two cold nights last week in Ohio. On Monday, the alfalfa at the Western Agricultural Research Station looked excellent, with just scattered stems showing slight frost burn on the upper leaves. The 2019 late summer seedings also looked excellent. Italian ryegrass and winter wheat on the station showed just a little purpling on the upper leaf tips. The situation could be a little more severe in certain pockets of the state, depending on the duration of the low night temperatures last week. However, reports from around the state indicate only slight damage to forage crops and they should grow right out of it with no significant effect on forage yields. This complete article can be found at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-10/slight-frost-injury-forages.
Time to stock up on nozzles is now! But, do you know which ones to buy? – Erdal Ozkan
This is the time of the year you must complete shopping for nozzles because the spraying season is just around the corner. Although nozzles are some of the least expensive components of a sprayer, they hold a high value in their ability to influence sprayer performance. Nozzles help determine the gallon per acre. They also influence the droplet size, which plays a significant role in achieving improved penetration into crop canopy and better coverage on the target pest, both affect the efficacy we expect from pesticides applied. When I get a question like, “what is the best nozzle I can buy?”, my answer is: it depends on the job on hand. One nozzle may be best for a given application situation, but it may be the worst nozzle to use for another situation. Sometimes, the choice of nozzle may be determined by the requirements given on the pesticide label. Finish reading this article at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-10/time-stock-nozzles-now-do-you-know-which-ones-buy.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326