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.
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.
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.
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.
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