From Across the Field – Revisiting an Old Foe

As we progress through the final month of 2017, field operations are winding down across the county. I estimate that there is around 1 percent of the corn crop yet standing and that soybean harvest is all but complete. Still quite a bit of tillage happening in parts of the county, otherwise the 2017 crop year wrapped up. From a very wet start to insect and weed pressure, mix in a dry spell, and finish with a wet end, this year figures to be one talked about for quite some time.

During this often slow time of year I encourage farmers to fill out the 2017 Census of Agriculture. As of this week, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service started mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to our nation’s producers. Mailing in phases, all census questionnaires should be received by mid- to late December. The deadline to respond is February 5, 2018.  Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by trade associations, researchers, policymakers, extension educators, agribusinesses, and many others. The data can play a vital role in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Every response matters. Every voice helps shape the future of U.S. agriculture.

In other news, I recently handled a question regarding whether or not Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was still a threat to the few remaining ash trees in NW Ohio. One can understand the logic behind the question since most of the ash trees in the area have long since been harvested or killed by the pest.

After a conversation with the USDA EAB specialist, the answer to the question is somewhat complicated. It is likely that there are ash whips still present in woods of the region that host the invasive pest. From time to time USDA still finds evidence of EAB in Michigan.

As far as time frame to consider EAB no longer a threat, it is unclear as plants and insects have the ability to adapt. Another consideration is the use of ash packaging materials and lumber, the likely source of the original infestation. While there are still restrictions on the transport of ash timber across the nation, it isn’t impossible that infested lumber products would enter the area. Long story short, if you have treated an ash tree to this point and would like to continue its preservation, we recommend to continue treatment of those trees.

I’ll end this week with my favorite quote from former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs who brings up a good point when discussing success, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people”. Have a great week.
Garth Ruff,

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator

OSU Henry County Extension

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