From Across the Field – Growing Grass

I had the opportunity to head to southern Ohio this past weekend, and help my brother build some fence. While it is a tedious job, I sure enjoyed the opportunity to get outside and swing the hammer for a couple of days, before we were rained out on Sunday afternoon.

This week I mowed the lawn for the first time and I enjoy doing that early in the season when the grass in dark green and growing. If you want to keep the lawn looking nice, there are up to four times a year you can fertilize. The first is early spring, then around Memorial Day, Labor Day, and before Thanksgiving. I think if you are only going to fertilize once or twice a year, the best times to do it is before Thanksgiving and/or around Memorial Day. Late in the season builds roots and color for the winter, and fertilizing around Memorial Day will help it through the summer. Continue reading

ODA Announces Ohio Working Lands Small Grains Program and Other Updates of WLEB Programs

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is announcing an additional assistance program for producers in the Western Lake Erie Basin funded by the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 299.

The Ohio Working Lands Small Grains Program is a voluntary program that will encourage producers in the Western Lake Erie Basin to plant small grains such as wheat, barley, oats, or cereal rye on eligible cropland. As the “working lands” name implies, participants must plant and harvest small grains, land apply manure, and plant a cover crop to receive a cost-share payment to help offset operating costs. The program benefits the planting of small grains not only for the conservation benefits, but to provide livestock producers with a longer application window to land apply manure and nutrients. Continue reading

Here We Go Again: How Many Days Does It Take to Plant the U.S. Corn Crop?

By: Scott Irwin and Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics,University of Illinois

USDA’s release of the March Prospective Planting report indicated an increase in planted acreage for corn in 2019.  At 92.8 million acres, the report shows approximately 3.7 million additional acres of corn planted to be planted compared to last year.  Given the large acreage, corn planting progress in 2019 will once again merit considerable interest.  This is compounded by cold and wet conditions over large areas of the Corn Belt that have delayed early planting.  The potential for more significant planting delays or acreage adjustments depends on the rate that corn planting can proceed once the weather improves. Continue reading

Can Cattle Be Confined By A Virtual Fence?

By: Ohio State University, previously published by the Ohio Farmer

Animal science researchers with the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will be testing a virtual fence for cows and other livestock this summer. It’s akin to an invisible fence for a dog, triggering a harmless but attention-getting shock if the animal crosses an unseen boundary.

“It’s not a sharp pain. It’s like a mild punch,” says Anthony Parker, a professor of animal sciences and one of the CFAES researchers who will test the virtual fence.

Each cow or other animal will wear a smart collar guided by GPS. Then, using a device called eShepherd, the farmer will be able to remotely monitor the animals’ location at any time. Even when a farmer is a country away from the herd, he or she will be able to move the fence, redrawing the line on a laptop screen. Continue reading

The PLFA Soil Health Test

By: Alan Sundermeier, CCA, Ohio State University Extension and Vinayak Shedekar, postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University

A diverse and active pool of micro and macro organisms is essential for a healthy soil. While the soil biology plays a key role in building healthy soils, it can also provide nutrients to crops and naturally control some soil-borne pests and diseases. However, it is difficult to assess the soil biological properties in a lab compared to traditional chemical soil testing. Continue reading

From Across the Field – April Showers

Everyone knows the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” As I wrote last week I think we can amend that old adage to say “April showers bring May planted corn.” Jim Noel from the National Weather Service suggested that change as he predicts a wetter than average April followed by a drier May in this week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter. As a reminder the Crop Observation Reporting Network newsletter comes our weekly during the growing season and can be found at corn.osu.edu. Continue reading

Calving: How and When To Intervene

By: Stan Smith, Fairfield County PA, OSU Extension

With calving season progressing across Ohio, one question that is often asked is when, if and how should one intervene to help with the birthing process?

During a portion of his presentation during the 2019 Ohio Beef School, Dr. Justin Kieffer discussed intervention in the birthing process, and how to properly pull a calf. Find that portion of Dr. Kieffer’s presentation above.

Ohio’s 2018 County Yields Now Available

By: Bruce Clevenger, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The 2018 Ohio county estimates for crop yields were recently published by the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service. This annual report provides a look back to the previous production year and give an average of planted and harvested acres as well as the county yield in bushels per acre and a total estimated production for the county. The report additionally groups counties into nine reporting districts and provides an overall state yield estimate for corn and soybean. Ohio county estimates for the 2018 wheat crop were released back in December of 2018. Continue reading

Insights From The 2017 Census Of Agriculture

Source: Ohio Ag Net

In April the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture, spanning some 6.4 million new points of information about America’s farms and ranches and those who operate them, including new data about on-farm decision making, down to the county level.

Information collected by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) directly from farmers and ranchers reveals both farm numbers and land in farms have ongoing small percentage declines since the last Census in 2012. At the same time, there continue to be more of the largest and smallest operations and fewer middle-sized farms. The average age of all farmers and ranchers continues to rise. Continue reading

Ohio Attorney General Yost Asks To Join In The Lake Erie Bill Of Rights Lawsuit

By: Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The Ohio Attorney General filed a motion in the Drewes Farm Partnership v. City of Toledo case seeking to intervene as a plaintiff alongside the Drewes Farm Partnership. The motion argues that the state of Ohio has a significant interest in the protection of Lake Erie, along with a significant interest in supporting Ohio’s agricultural, environmental, and natural resources laws. Continue reading