From Across the Field – 12/5/2019

Tis the Season

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I had the opportunity to head south for an extended weekend, where I spent the holiday with friends and family. On Thanksgiving Day we head to Wadsworth, Ohio to spend time with Ruff side of the family. Always good to visit with the extended family that we don’t see as often as we probably should. I was also good to see another big Buckeye victory over TTUN, a great start to coach Day’s tenure in The Game.

On “Black Friday” the closest thing I did to going shopping was helping my dad at a bred heifer and cow sale. Needless to say we were not in the market for any “Black Friday” specials. This past Monday I also went deer hunting for a spell. It was almost too windy to sit and wait as the deer really weren’t moving. That said I’m not the most dedicated hunter, rather more the opportunistic type.

Now that Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, bring on the Christmas music. Continue reading

2019 Ohio Corn Performance Test: Regional Overviews

By: Rich MinyoAllen GeyerDavid LohnesPeter Thomison OSU Extension. Previously published in CORN Newsletter.

In 2019, 163 corn hybrids representing 20 commercial brands were evaluated in the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT). Four tests were established in the Southwestern/West Central/Central (SW/WC/C) region and three tests were established in the Northwestern (NW) and North Central/Northeastern (NC/NE) regions (for ten test sites statewide).  Hybrid entries in the regional tests were planted in either an early or a full season maturity trial. These test sites provided a range of growing conditions and production environments. Continue reading

Soybean Price Prospects Moving into 2020

By: Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois .December 9, 2019. farmdoc daily (9):230

The two major drivers of uncertainty impacting soybean prices in 2019 appear set to carry over into 2020.  The status of trade negotiations with China continues to move soybean markets despite numerous fits and starts in the process. Another USDA estimate of the 2019 soybean crop comes out in January.  Without supportive information on either issue, the sustainability of the recent price rally into 2020 seems remote.

Nearby soybean futures prices since the middle of September ranged between $8.70 and $9.40.  The highest prices came in mid-October in association with a reduced soybean production level in the October WASDE report and thawing relations on the trade front.  The lowest prices occurred in early December after another round of trade frictions.  Soybean basis during the recent rally in central Illinois sits in a stronger position than during the October price jump.  Soybean basis strengthened almost twenty cents in the region from October levels with cash prices at soybean processors showing particularly strong bids. Continue reading

Hay Sampling

By: Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Wayne County

I have received several phone calls recently where the caller describes their hay; date baled, whether or not it got rained on before baling, general appearance, and sometimes smell. The question is how to best use this hay, is it suitable for horses or cows or sheep to eat?  Physical evaluation of hay is useful to sort hay into general categories such as high, medium or low quality.  To move beyond general categories and predict animal performance requires a forage chemical analysis. Continue reading

Barn Cameras: A Shepherd’s Saving Grace

By: Jacci Smith, OSU Extension Educator ANR/4-H, Delaware County

Just imagine: It’s the middle of February, minus 4 degrees outside, and 3:00 am. You roll out of bed, put on your coveralls and boots. Open the door to go check that ewe that wasn’t acting quite right at chore time. That bitter cold hits you in the face and boom you are wide-awake. Once you get to the barn, you look around and there is no lambing action. So you trek back to the house, take off your winter gear and try, and fail, to get back to sleep.

This is why the invention of barn cameras was so vital. Lambing season is a time of year that we all need to be on the top of our game. When you are run down without the proper sleep, this might not be the case. Barn cameras can be an amazing tool that shepherds can have if the right steps are taken. Continue reading

From Across the Field: 11-26-2019

Happy Thanksgiving

This is traditionally one of the easier weeks to write a column due to the inseparable link between agriculture and the Thanksgiving holiday. While this year was certainly a challenge for farmers in Northwest Ohio and across the US for many reasons, there are reasons aplenty to be thankful this time of year. As I use this time of the year to do some reflecting, I am thankful the opportunity to live, work in, and serve a great agricultural community, in what I consider a great career as a county Extension educator. Continue reading

2019 Ohio Water Quality Update

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Lake Erie wasn’t as bad as expected. What? We missed 1.5 million acres of crops, and from my eye mostly in northwest Ohio. But here is the deal: you did apply fertilizer last year, and probably the year before. We farm in a leaky system and I learned this week that entropy is working against us — meaning it will get more random. So, yes it’s leaky and will perhaps get a little more leaky. We did not plant as many crops and yes we applied less fertilizer in the Lake Erie basin, but the leaks still happen even without the crop because we still have rain, and rain moves that little tiny bit of phosphorus off your farm and downstream. Continue reading

How Much Hay Will A Cow Consume?

By: Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist. Published by Drovers online.

Estimating forage usage by cows is an important part of the task of calculating winter feed needs.  Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in order to make the calculations.  Forage quality will be a determining factor in the amount of forage consumed.  Higher quality forages contain larger concentrations of important nutrients so animals consuming these forages should be more likely to meet their nutrient needs from the forages.  Also cows can consume a larger quantity of higher quality forages. Continue reading

A Hunting We Will Go: Laws Landowners Need To Know

By: Peggy Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

With archery season in full swing and deer gun season opening this week, hunters will be out in full force across Ohio. That means it’s also high season for questions about hunting laws, trespassers, property harm, and landowner liability. Below, we provide answers to the top ten frequently asked questions we receive on these topics.

I gave them permission to hunt on my land, but do I have to sign something? Permission to hunt should be in writing. Ohio law requires a person to obtain written permission from a landowner or the landowner’s agent before hunting on private lands or waters and to carry the written permission while hunting. A hunter who doesn’t obtain written permission can be subject to criminal misdemeanor charges. ORC 1533.17. The ODNR provides a permission form at http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/wildlife/pdfs/publications/hunting/Pub8924_PermissiontoHunt.pdf. If a hunter uses another form, read it carefully before signing and ensure that it only addresses hunting and doesn’t grant other rights that you don’t want to allow on the land. Continue reading

Winter Dairy Calf Management

By: Jason Hartschuh, Extension Educator, Crawford County, Ohio State University Extension

Winter roared in this year way before most of us were ready with corn still in the field, barn doors not dug out and winter calf supplies still in the back corner of the barn. Even though we know winter is coming, it never seems like we are ready when the first blast of winter comes.

Calves are most comfortable when the outside temperatures are between 50 to 68 degrees F, which is a calf’s thermoneutral zone. When temperatures are below the lower critical temperature of 50 degrees F, calves need extra energy to stay warm. At times during winter, this can be a challenge since 50 degrees F at night can have highs of 70 degrees F during the day. Usually calves deep bedded with straw manage this variation by nesting with their legs covered at least to the middle of the back leg when lying down. Continue reading