April 5, 2024

Good afternoon,

We made it through the winter meeting season and there are only two more livestock banquets coming up this spring in Hardin County. This Saturday, April 6 is the Goat Banquet at 5:30 pm at the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Kenton. Next Saturday, April 13 is the Horse Banquet at 6:00 pm at the Kenton Moose Family Center. I have attached copies of the news releases so that you may read more about them.

Goat Banquet News Release

Horse Banquet News Release

The big news is the upcoming solar eclipse which will move through Hardin County on Monday, April 8 with Forest being the prime location for viewing. As a farmer or landowner, there are some things that you should know in regard to securing property, livestock, equipment, and other items in case we get the influx of people that officials are expecting. There are concerns about liability and trespassers that have been brought up as well. See the attached article “Preparing Farms for the Solar Eclipse” to find out more regarding this upcoming event so you are prepared in case a situation arises.

Farm Solar Eclipse News Release

Once again, the Hardin County OSU Extension office will make free carrot, lettuce, cucumber, and sunflower seeds available starting April 10. This is made possible in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Victory Gardens program. Our Master Gardener Volunteers will also have seed available at their annual plant sale being held May 18 at the Friendship Gardens in Kenton. See the attached article for more information about the Ohio Victory Gardens program.

Victory Gardens News Release

Soon I will begin setting insect traps around the county to monitor crop pests. If you are interested in having a trap placed near a wheat or corn field, please contact me, and let me know the location of the field. I will check traps each Friday afternoon when I am out scouting and staging crops this spring. The results of the catches will be shared with the cooperating farmers and articles will appear in the CORN Newsletter throughout the growing season. As usual, see the attached articles for information related to agronomic crop production.




Spring 2024 Weather & Soil Conditions: Update 1 – Aaron Wilson

Following yet another warm winter (now the second warmest on record 1895-2024) and temperatures 2-6°F above average for the month of March, April soil temperatures are starting off on the warm side. Two-inch and four-inch soil temperatures across northern Ohio are in the low to mid 40s, while stations across the south are reporting low to mid 50s for daily averages. Soil temperatures should remain steady early this week, with a slight drop off this weekend possible as cooler air filters into the region. See more at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2024-08/spring-2024-weather-soil-conditions-update-1.


Assessing Forage Stands and Winter Damage – Kyle Verhoff, Allen Gahler, Jason Hartschuh

Spring is here and now is a great time to walk fields and note how the forages faired. Winter damage is difficult to predict and the variability of temperatures this past winter across the state can present some difficult conditions for forages. Depending on the location and what type of forage field, winter damage may be a major concern, particularly for forages with taproots like alfalfa. Stands should be assessed carefully during spring green-up for concerns such as heaving and crown and root disease. A thorough and timely assessment will allow for planning any necessary adjustments for the 2024 season. Read more at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2024-08/assessing-forage-stands-and-winter-damage.


Battle for the Belt – Season 2, Episode 1: Kick-Off – Laura Lindsey, Taylor Dill, Osler Ortez, Joe Davlin

Year 2 of Battle for the Belt kicked-off with corn and soybean planting on March 25 at the Western Agricultural Research Station in Clark County: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0ukx_RvOrI&list=PLYlh_BdeqniJ4J-htcJ9Z5MjULk3E8Eqk&index=1. Planting conditions were good with adequate soil moisture; however, soil temperature was in the low 40s at a two-inch depth. Planting will continue at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Wood County and Wooster Campus in Wayne County when soil moisture conditions allow. Keep up with this ongoing research project now in its second year at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2024-08/battle-belt-%E2%80%93-season-2-episode-1-kick.


Spring Forage Establishment – Kyle Verhoff, Allen Gahler, Jason Hartschuh

As soil temperatures rise and the chances of a morning frost decline, the window to spring-establish forages is open. In the spring, the combination of weather and plenty to do make planting opportunities scarce. To take advantage of those short planting windows the following are items to consider to improve chances for a successful forage establishment this spring. Go to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2024-08/spring-forage-establishment for information about establishing spring forages.


Scouting Early Alfalfa Weevil Activity – Aaron Wilson, Kelley Tilmon, Andy Michel, Maggie Lewis, Kyle Verhoff

Alfalfa weevils are one of the two key alfalfa pests in Ohio and now is the time to brush up on the scouting procedure and to add reminders to scout onto your calendar. Alfalfa weevil adults (and some eggs) overwinter in Ohio and lay eggs and become active when temperatures exceed 48°F. The larval stages of alfalfa weevil cause the most damage through foliar feeding, particularly during the 3rd and 4th instars. Peak larval activity and feeding damage are at their highest when heat units for the area are between 325 and 575 (accumulation from a base of starting at 48°F January 1st). As of writing this (Jan. 1 – March 31 ), heat units range from 270 in southwest Ohio to 118 in northeast Ohio. In terms of growing degree days, southern Ohio is comparable to this time last year but northern Ohio is ahead of schedule. Finish this article at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2024-08/scouting-early-alfalfa-weevil-activity.


Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

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



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