From Across the Field – Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

This spring has really been a moving target with many pieces of the farming puzzle not wanting to fit together in a timely manner. The last couple of days have been as good as any to get into the fields, at least those that are fairly well drained. There have been many discussions among the agricultural community about some of these moving parts; prevented plant, disaster relief, trade aid/Market Facilitation Payment, and switching acres to soybeans. As of today here’s some of what we do know: Continue reading

Prevent Plant Decisions in Early to Middle of June

By: Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Jonathan Coppess, and Ryan Batts, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University

Many unplanted acres remain across the Corn Belt and in Illinois. As of the week ending on June 9, only 73% of the intended corn acres and 49% of the soybean acres have been planted in Illinois (Planting Progress, June 10, 2019). In this article, prevent planting decisions on intended corn acres are examined first. For farmers that have not incurred costs, prices must rise before planting corn in mid-June will return more than taking prevent planting payments, for those with that insurance option. In most circumstances, a corn prevent planting payment will have higher returns than planting soybeans. Continue reading

Ponding and Saturated Soils: Results of Recent Ohio Corn Research

By: Alexander Lindsey and Peter Thomison, Ohio state University Extension

Persistent rains during May and early June have resulted in ponding and saturated soils in many Ohio corn fields and led to questions concerning what impact these conditions will have on corn performance.

The extent to which ponding injures corn is determined by several factors including (1) plant stage of development when ponding occurs, (2) duration of ponding and (3) air/soil temperatures. Continue reading

3 Ways to Avoid Real Estate Probate

By: Robert Moore, Wright and Moore. Previously published by the Ohio Farmer online

There are several different ways to avoid probate when transferring real estate at death. It is generally better to avoid probate to save time and expenses for the heirs. Each method to avoid probate needs to be understood to be sure the right plan is implemented.

Life estate

A life estate is one common method to avoid probate on real estate. In this method, the owner of the real estate executes a deed that creates a current right and a future right. Owners retain a life estate, which means they keep control and use of the real estate until they die. The deed identifies the future owner who will inherit the real estate when the current owner dies. This is called the remainder interest. Upon the death of the current owner, the remainder interest is inherited by the heir without going through probate. Continue reading

What Are States Doing About Agricultural Nutrient Impacts on Water Quality?

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law. Originally published in the Ohio Ag Law Blog

Sparse dry weather conditions haven’t dampened concerns about the extent of agricultural water quality problems we may see when summer weather finally arrives.   Despite the weather, harmful algal bloom (HAB) predictions for the summer are already out and are one important  measure of water quality impacts that are attributed to agriculture.   As HABs arise, so too do the questions about what is being done  to reduce HABs and other water quality impacts resulting from agricultural production activities.  We set out to answer these questions by examining key players in the water quality arena:  the states.

In our new national report, State Legal Approaches to Reducing Water Quality Impacts from the Use of Agricultural Nutrients on Farmland, we share the results of research that examines how states are legally responding to the impact of agricultural nutrients on water quality.  After examining state laws, regulations and policies across the country, we can make several observations about state responses to the agricultural water quality issue. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Can’t Escape It

As I write this column after finishing up a weekly agronomy conference call, I feel like we are stuck in déjà vu during those weekly calls. For about all of 2019 it has been: “Good morning from (insert western Ohio county) it is wet with minimal field work,” in addition to any variation of weather-related issues, including prevented planting. The heavy rains this past Saturday evening may very well be the final nail in the coffin for many corn acres in NW Ohio.

Driving back from a teaching event on Friday, I even had to turn off the radio in my truck as I came across a couple of county songs that were rain related. Looking at long term weather projections it looks like 2019 will go down as the year of the duck, as they may be the only ones enjoying this weather. Even the earthworms have come up to the surface to prevent drowning.

The large amount of rainfall this spring has also been noted in the most recent Western Lake Erie Algal Bloom Projection from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration (NOAA). They project that the bloom will have a severity greater than 6.5 (much greater than 2018). There is still uncertainty to how sever the size of the bloom could be due to wetter than average forecasts for part of the month of June. As they have in the past, NOAA severity forecasts do not indicate potential for toxicity.

This will be an interesting year in terms of monitoring run-off and water quality considering there could be a significant of fallow or cover crop acres in the watershed as a result of farmers electing to utilize prevented planting.

We are entering the time of year we where we traditionally get a few questions regarding bees. In late spring carpenter bees are out and about, looking for nests to make in the wood of buildings, but also foraging on spring flowers. Close observations will reveal new holes being chewed into boards on houses, out-buildings, railings, and other wooden structures. These large bees cause a lot of excitement around their nesting sites, but rarely sting.

The other bees causing concern are ground dwelling bees (Andrenids and Anthophorids). New “colonies” of these bees are being established in preferred soils, especially well drained sandy soils. Sometimes these colonies are located in high human traffic areas (playgrounds, backyards, etc.). Some people have been stung as a result, but most of the time, these bees are relatively docile and will simply fly around people who wander into their nesting area. If the bees are in an area that are causing problems to humans, insecticides are extremely effective, otherwise if we leave them alone, they should leave us alone. Most of our native bees also do a good job pollinating plants.

Once again, it looks like this next week is going to be a challenge to do outdoor activities with the rain and storms predicted, so if there is a chance to do work outside like mowing grass and pulling weeds, make the opportunities count. I’ll end this week with a quote from Warren Buffett: “Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.” Have a great week.

Garth Ruff,
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator
OSU Henry County Extension

Average Fall Freeze Dates for Corn Considerations

By: Aaron Wilson, OSU Extension Climate Specialist and Sam Custer, OSU Extension Darke County

In last week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter, Peter Thomison provided useful information on tools available for switching corn hybrids (https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-15/more-switching-corn-hybrid-maturities). As Dr. Thomison points out, Dr. Bob Nielsen at Purdue University wrote an article describing the U2U Corn GDD Tool, available from the Midwest Regional Climate Center (https://mrcc.illinois.edu/U2U/gdd/), with caveats to keep in mind as one is making their decisions. Specifically, users are encouraged to modify their black layer GDDs within the tool in order to reflect a more accurate assessment of days to maturity.

Continue reading

Prevented Planting, 2019 Market Facilitation Program Payments, Disaster Assistance, and Price Dynamics

By: Gary SchnitkeyKrista SwansonRyan Batts and Jonathan Coppess with the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, with the Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics

We stand at a point of extreme price and policy uncertainty. In the Midwest, corn planting is historically late and many acres are or soon will be eligible for prevented planting payments on corn crop insurance policies. On many farms, corn prices have not increased enough to cause net returns from planting corn to exceed net returns from prevented planting. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and has currently indicated that payments will be tied to 2019 planted acres. The 2019 MFP could provide incentives to plant crops and not take prevented plantingpayments. Moreover, this program could bring a little used option into play this year: take 35% of the corn prevented planting payment and plant soybeans after the late planting period for corn. Adding confusion to this situation is a disaster assistance program that, has passed Congress and recently signed by President Donald Trump. Continue reading

Be Alert to Bagworms

By: Joe Boggs, Assistant Professor, OSU Extension

Overwintered common bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) eggs are hatching in southwest Ohio.  The 1st instar caterpillars are very small with their bags measuring around 1/8″ in length.

The overwintering eggs have a low-temperature survival threshold and there was speculation that the late-January Polar Vortex would put the kibosh on bagworm populations.  However, based on what I’ve observed thus far, this did not appear to have happened; at least in southwest Ohio. Continue reading

Understanding Wet Hay

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

Frequent spring rains around the country have allowed cool season forages to grow in abundance. Even when the fields and meadows dry enough to cut standing forages, harvesting and baling cool season crops such as fescue and wheat hay can be a challenge during a wet spring. The timing of the rains can make it difficult for producers that are trying hard to put quality hay in the bale for next winter’s feed supply. All producers that harvest hay occasionally will put up hay that “gets wet” from time to time. Therefore, ranchers and hay farmers need to understand the impact of “wet hay” in the tightly wound bales. Continue reading