June 22, 2020

Good afternoon,

This past Wednesday was my first day back at the OSU Extension office since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  Hardin County OSU Extension has been allowed to open with an exemption from OSU with limited staff.  The Agriculture and Natural Resources day is Wednesday, so you can call ahead at 419-767-6037 to an make an appointment if you would like to stop by with any questions, specimens, or samples.  If you are unable to stop by the office, feel free to contact me by email or phone on any weekday.  I have attached a news release that addresses our limited office opening.

Office Opening News Release





I also have an exemption to do crop scouting and staging.  This past Thursday, I met with OSU Extension Corn and Wheat Disease Specialist Pierce Paul to look at a wheat field that had eyespot (strawbreaker).  Although this disease is rare to Ohio, it causes downed wheat by the pathogen weakening the straw.  The field also had an armyworm infestation which it was treated for earlier.  Each year I do insect trapping around the county.  Currently, I have set three Western Bean Cutworm traps around the county and am looking for three additional corn fields to put a trap up on the edge.  Let me know if you are interested as currently I have traps set near Kenton, Ridgeway, and Dola.  Boden Fisher, our Extension Water Quality Associate for Hardin, Hancock, and Putnam Counties is looking for four fields to do Soil Health sampling.  He is looking for one field of each: no-till, conventional till, cover cropped, and manure applied.  He will come out and take soil samples free of charge to the farmer, collect information about the field, and provide back soil health information from the study.  Please let me know if you are willing to participate so we can set up a time to sample.  We are also interested in cover crop and other on-farm research studies for this year.

Statewide, 98% of the corn and 93% of the soybeans are planted with the majority of the crops in good condition according to the June 15 Ohio Crop Weather Report that I have attached.  The majority of the first cutting of hay has been made and wheat is turning with what looks to be a harvest with good grain quality.  Fields are dry and in need of rain.  For the period of May 1-May 31, Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 4.73 inches of rain in Hardin County.  Last year, the average rainfall for the same time was 5.12 inches.  Rainfall for May was 0.30 inches more than the ten-year average rainfall for the month.  See the attached May Extension Rainfall Report for more information about Hardin County rainfall and crop progress.

Ohio Crop Weather Report

May Extension Rainfall Report

Although the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic required the state of Ohio to reassess its budget forecasts, the Department of Agriculture will be moving forward with $50 million in incentive funds available to producers for implementation of the Best Management Practices (BMPs) included in Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio program.  H2Ohio funding for BMPs will begin in crop year 2021.  Soil & Water Conservation District staff will contact current H2Ohio applicants and work with producers to update all applications to reflect BMPs for crop years 2021, 2022, and 2023, with future year incentives contingent on the availability of funds.  See the attached H2Ohio Update from the Ohio Department of Agriculture for more details about this program.

H2Ohio Update

Do you have problems with wildlife getting into your garden or landscape?  This evening, Monday, June 22 The Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are hosting a virtual program called “An Evening Garden Affair.”  The event is from 7 to 8:30 pm and will feature Marne Titchenell of The Ohio State University with a program about dealing with wildlife in the garden.  Since the pandemic has prevented face to face programs, this Zoom virtual event will be available at no cost for gardeners to participate on their computer, smartphone, tablet, or attendees can listen in on their telephone.  Gardeners interested in participating in this webinar must pre-register at https://go.osu.edu/eveninggardenaffair ahead of time for connection instructions.  The webinar will be recorded for later viewing in case you miss it.  I have included a news release with more information attached to this email.  The Allen County Ag Hall of Fame is moving forward with their 2020 Induction Banquet on July 16 in Lima.  If you are interested in attending, see the attached flyer for details of this event to honor Sam Blythe and Lloyd Smith.  In addition, I have included some articles below that you may be interested in reading about ag crops.

An Evening Garden Affair News Release

Allen County Ag Hall of Fame Banquet











Ohio Department of Agriculture: dicamba use in Ohio ends June 30, 2020 – Peggy Hall

The dicamba roller coaster ride continues today, with a statement issued by the Ohio Department of Agriculture clarifying that the use of XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan dicamba-based products in Ohio will end as of June 30, 2020.  Even though the US EPA has issued an order allowing continued use of the products until July 31, 2020, use in Ohio must end on June 30 because the Ohio registrations for the three dicamba-based products expire on that day.  Read more about this court order and the related information at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-18/ohio-department-agriculture-dicamba-use-ohio-ends-june-30-2020.









True Armyworm Infestations – Andy Michel, Curtis Young, Kelley Tilmon

We received many reports of true armyworm infestations in wheat, barley, and corn. These are black or green caterpillars with stripes along the side and orange heads.  In the spring, true armyworm moths migrate from the south and lay eggs in grasses such as forage and weed grasses, winter wheat and barley, and rye cover crops.  When the eggs hatch, the larvae can significantly damage wheat and barley before then moving to young corn.  Read more about armyworm infestations at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-18/true-armyworm-infestations.









Changes in status of dicamba product labels for Xtend soybeans – a recap – Mark Loux

On June 3, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case concerning the use of dicamba on Xtend soybeans.  This decision voided the labels for XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan that allows use on Xtend soybeans.  Tavium was not included in this decision, because it was not approved for use when the case was initially filed. Find out what this means for over the top use of dicamba on soybean at  https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-18/changes-status-dicamba-product-labels-xtend-soybeans-%E2%80%93-recap.









Time to Start Scouting for Potato Leafhoppers in Alfalfa – Kelley Tilmon, Mark Sulc, Andy Michel

We are receiving reports of near- or at-threshold levels of potato leafhopper in alfalfa.  As second cut alfalfa grows, farmers should scout for resurging numbers in their fields.  Younger alfalfa is more susceptible to damage at lower leafhopper numbers.  If alfalfa is more than seven days from a cut and plants are under normal stress, a good rule of thumb for a treatment threshold is:  when the number of leafhoppers in a 10-sweep set is equal to or greater than the height of the alfalfa.  For example, if the alfalfa is 8 inches tall, and the average number of leafhoppers per sample is eight or higher, treatment is warranted. If the average is seven or lower, the grower should come back within a few days to see if the population is higher or lower. Vigorous alfalfa can tolerate higher numbers, and stressed alfalfa can tolerate fewer. For more information, click on https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-17/time-start-scouting-potato-leafhoppers-alfalfa.









Court Ruling on Dicamba Products for Xtend Soybeans – Mark Loux

Article Updated on June 9, 2020 at 8:15 AM due to EPA statement Monday night. As most readers are probably aware, last week, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case concerning the use of dicamba on Xtend soybeans.  This decision essentially voided the labels for XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan that allows use on soybeans.  Tavium was not included in this decision, because it was not approved for use when the case was initially filed. Read about dicamba alternatives for soybean post-emergence at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-17/court-ruling-dicamba-products-xtend-soybeans.


Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

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



June 4, 2020

Good evening,

Yesterday afternoon I was allowed the opportunity to do crop scouting and staging in Hardin County through University exemptions for food, agriculture, and water quality.  I was able to find corn in V3 growth stage, soybean in V2 growth stage, wheat flowering, and red clover in bloom.  Some fields were being replanted while others were being planted for the first time.  Several fields needed herbicide applications and a couple farmers were side dressing nitrogen in corn.  For a the statewide update on crops and weather, see the attached June 1 Ohio Crop Weather report released by USDA.

Ohio Crop Weather

Cressleaf Groundsel is in full flower currently in forage and unplanted fields across the state.  While this is not a new weed, prevalence has been increasing causing concern for many livestock producers.  This weed is toxic to livestock and should not be fed as mentioned in the attached news release.  I am sure you have seen the weed growing throughout Hardin County as pictured below.  Making hay or ensiling forage with it will not remove the potential for possibly poisoning livestock.








Cressleaf Groundsel in Hay News Release

The Hardin County Fair Board is seeking the input of exhibitors, buyers, potential guests, campers, and community members. A survey has been designed to gauge stakeholders’ opinions on holding a modified fair in varying degrees.  “The fair is for the youth and for the community,” said Corey Ledley, Hardin County Fair Board President.  “We are using this survey to get an accurate read on what the community is feeling.”  While the decision to hold or not hold a fair will not be made solely on this data, it will play a role.  All members of the Hardin County community and anyone who engages in the Hardin County Fair is encouraged to take the survey that can be found at http://go.osu.edu/hcfsurvey.

COVID-19 has hit the agricultural industry pretty hard.  Market prices for major commodities have fallen sharply since COVID-19 reached the United States back in early January. Milk and cattle prices have declined over 25 percent and corn and hog prices are down 19%.  At one time during the pandemic, these prices had dropped over 40 percent.  Early projections suggest total net farm income could be down 20% or more over in 2020.  The Farm Service Agency office staff have a lot on their plates juggling all the federal farm programs.  Complete details about the CFAP program can be found at the FSA’s website at: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.  The OSU Extension Farm Office team has also authored a bulletin discussing the CFAP program more in depth.  It can be found at: https://go.osu.edu/CFAP-2020.  See the attached article for information about how producers may benefit from this program.  I plan to have information available about CFAP at tomorrow morning’s Ag Council Virtual Coffee Hour.  Feel free to join us for our roundtable discussion about county agriculture at 8:00 am by clicking on https://osu.zoom.us/j/98391164003?pwd=bUNHbXBuOFpoa0UzVXVSTHRBR05Wdz09 or call in by dialing (312) 626 6799 and then providing the Meeting ID: 983 9116 4003 and Password: 530475 if asked.  If you are not familiar with Zoom, I have attached some additional instructions.

CFAP Ag Relief News Release

Zoom Guidance – Attendees

Since many people have been busy planting vegetable gardens and we have commercial fruit and vegetable growers in the county, I have also included a fact sheet from North Carolina State and Ohio State Extension regarding food safety of fresh produce as it relates to Coronavirus.  Other events you might be interested in participating include OSU Extension webinars on “Utility-Scale Solar Construction and Leases for Land Use”, “Negotiating Leases for Oil & Natural Gas Development”, and “Mineral Rights and the Dormant Mineral Act” that are being held in June.  There is no cost to view them, so see the attached flyer for registration details if you are interested.  I have also included the mid-June Ohio No-Till News which includes information about August Field Events.

Fresh Produce Food Safety – COVID-19

Shale and Solar Flyer

Ohio No-till News June 2020

The Ohio Department of Agriculture resumed testing for pesticide and fertilizer applicators on Tuesday, June 2nd.  Exam sessions will meet Ohio’s current standards for both meeting size and social distancing.  Exams will be held in the Bromfield Administration Building on ODA’s campus in Reynoldsburg.  Testing sessions will initially be scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9 AM and 1 PM.  Preregistration is required and no walk-in test takers will be permitted.  Masks and photo IDs are required; pencils and calculators will be provided.  For additional information, please call the Pesticide & Fertilizer Regulation Section at 614-728-6987, option 1.  I have also included an information sheet called “Recognizing and Managing Stress” put together by OSU as well as included ag crop articles below that you may be interested in reading.

Recognizing and Managing Stress











Recommendations for Soybeans Planted in June – Laura Lindsey

While progress is way ahead of last year, soybean planting is spilling into June. (According to USDA NASS, 53% of soybean acreage was planted by May 24, 2020. Last year, at the same time, only 11% of soybean acreage was planted.) As planting continues into June, farmers may want to consider adjusting their cultural practices such as row spacing, seeding rate, and relative maturity as described at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-16/recommendations-soybeans-planted-june.











Use the Field Guide to find answers for your crop problems – Harold Watters

Judging from the calls I have been getting over the past week, we have some issues out there. One good source of information – with pictures and often accompanied by a remedy is the OSU/PSU Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Forages Field Guide. We have two versions – the bound copy, which I love, and a pdf version that is digital and can be downloaded now. The hard copy will have to be mailed to you because Extension offices are still closed or offering limited services.  Find out more about this bulletin at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-16/use-field-guide-find-answers-your-crop-problems.









Good Time to Scout Wheat and Barley Fields – Laura Lindsey, Eric Richer, Eric Stockinger

It has been a little over two weeks since overnight low temperatures were <32°F throughout the state. These low temperatures can be cause for concern, but this concern may have been a bit premature. Now is a good time to scout wheat and barley fields to assess whether cold temperatures simply set back grain development, or whether they caused permanent damage. Read more at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-15/good-time-scout-wheat-and-barley-fields.









Alfalfa Continues to Mature – Angela Arnold, Mark Sulc, Jeff Stachler, Dean Kreager, Jason Hartschuh

The alfalfa crop over the past week has continued to advance in maturity. Pure alfalfa stands across Ohio are ready to be harvested for high quality forage. Producers in dryer regions were able to start harvesting alfalfa fields over the weekend. Western Ohio has had larger rainfall totals than Eastern Ohio over the last two weeks. Keep in mind that harvesting when the soil is too wet and soft will do non-reversible compaction damage to the stand and will lower the productivity the rest of this year and into future years.  Finish reading this article at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-15/alfalfa-continues-mature.









Using the Forecasting System to Assess the Risk of Head Scab – Pierce Paul

The head scab risk tool can be used to assess the risk of head scab and to help guide fungicide application decisions. Here are a few guidelines for using the system and interpret the output: Go to the website at www.wheatscab.psu.edu. Continue to use the tool to monitor the risk of head scab over the next several days as more fields in the northern half of the state approach anthesis. If the risk is moderate-high (the map is yellow or red) at the time of flowering, you should consider applying Prosaro, Caramba, or Miravis Ace, at anthesis (flowering) or within the first 4-6 days after flowering. Learn more about this forecasting system at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-15/using-forecasting-system-assess-risk-head-scab.


Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

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