USDA Enhances African Swine Fever Surveillance Efforts

Source: USDA Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is furthering its overall African Swine Fever (ASF) preparedness efforts with the implementation of a surveillance plan. As part of this plan, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will work with the swine industry, the states, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for ASF.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs. It does not affect human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. ASF has never been detected in the United States. Continue reading

From Across the Field – In Bloom

Every now and then I get asked about how I come up with some of the topics that I write about each week. The answer is usually simple I either write about what I see or what I know is going be happening next as the year progresses. Whether for the farmer or the home gardener, being as current as possible allows for any potential management decisions by you the readers, to be made. Other than that, from time to time I try to mix in a bit about what is happening in my world to further connect with you the audience.

As for I have seen in the past week, about 3 things, stand out in my mind; poor alfalfa, dandelions, and blossoming flowers. Continue reading

Managing Big, Wet Cover Crops

By: Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weeds Specialist

Managing cover crops in a year like this can challenge even those with the most experience. A few suggestions regarding termination of covers:

• Increase glyphosate rates to compensate for larger size, and consider applying alone or just with Sharpen. Mixing glyphosate with other herbicides or ATS can reduce its activity on grass covers, especially when large. Herbicides that can antagonize glyphosate include 2,4-D, metribuzin, atrazine, and flumioxazin and sulfentrazone products. Sharpen has not caused a reduction in glyphosate activity on grass covers in university research. One approach would be to apply the glyphosate or glyphosate/Sharpen first, wait a few days, and then apply residual herbicides. Continue reading

Recommendations for Late Planted Soybeans

By: Laura Lindsay, OSU Extension Soybean Specialist

Persistent wet weather is likely to push soybean planting into late May-early June in many areas of the state. Late planting reduces the cultural practice options for row spacing, seeding rate, and relative maturity.

Row spacing. The row spacing for June planting should be 7.5 to 15-inches, if possible. Row width should be narrow enough for the soybean canopy to completely cover the interrow space by the time the soybeans begin to flower. The later in the growing season soybeans are planted, the greater the yield increase due to narrow rows. Continue reading

Late Planting Decisions in 2019

By: Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Ohio State University

Planting over much of the Midwest is seriously delayed. History suggests the odds have also increased for lower corn yields in 2019 than in 2018 (farmdoc dailyMay 1, 2019), and soybean yields likely will not be exceptional.  Lower yields then potentially lead to very low net incomes. The typical switching from corn to soybean decisions are complicated because of low soybean prices. Prevented planting could come into play on many farms.

Late Planting 2019

Very little planting has occurred over much of the Corn Belt. According to the May 6th Crop Progress report, 23% of the acres were planted in the 18 largest corn-producing states, compared to a 46% average for the last five years. Low percentages exist in all greater Corn Belt states: Continue reading

Guidelines For Employing Youth On Your Farm

By: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR in Tuscarawas County

Students will be wrapping up their school year soon and you may have a young person contact you about a summer job. Young people often have an interest to work on a farm and many are excellent employees. However, as an employer, there are rules and regulations you must understand before hiring minors to do work on your farm.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has established certain provisions to protect the safety of minors. In 1967, the U.S. Secretary of Labor determined certain agricultural jobs as hazardous to youth less than 16 years of age. There are two exemptions to these regulations: Continue reading

New Beech Tree Disease Could Cost Ohio Millions

By: Misti Crane, Ohio State Assistant Director of Research Communications

A confounding new disease is killing beech trees in Ohio and elsewhere, and plant scientists are sounding an alarm while looking for an explanation.

In a study published in the journal Forest Pathology, researchers and naturalists from Ohio State University and metro parks in northeastern Ohio reported on the emerging beech leaf disease epidemic, calling for speedy work to find a culprit so that work can begin to stop its spread. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Bring On the Mayflowers

At this point of the year, I think I speak for more than myself when I say that I am sick of the rain and mud. That said there is not much we can do about other than be patient and continue to wear rubber boots, as I did over the weekend.
With my brother being an auctioneer, I rode with him to a two-day consignment machinery auction over the weekend. On Saturday, they sold about 30 wagonloads of “merchandise”, some good, some not so good and small yard equipment. I thought the prices of some of the better mowers and rototillers were fairly strong. Sunday however, was a different story with the larger farm equipment. Rain and mud may have been a contributing factor, but the used and antique tractor market was soft. Nowadays with the financing available through equipment dealers on compact tractors, it seems that the market for those older tractors less than 50 horsepower has really declined in the last 10 years. Continue reading

Will Planting Delays Require Switching Corn Hybrid Maturities?

By: Peter Thomison, OSU Extension Corn Specialist

According to the USDA/NASS, for the week ending May 5, only 2% of Ohio’s projected corn acreage was planted – compared to 20% last year and 27% for the five-year average. Persistent rains and saturated soil conditions have delayed corn planting. The weather forecast this week indicates the likelihood of more rain so it is probable that many soggy fields may not be drying out soon.

Given this outlook, is there a need to switch from full season to shorter season hybrids? Probably not. In most situations, full season hybrids will perform satisfactorily (i.e. will achieve physiological maturity or “black layer” before a killing frost) even when planted as late as May 25, if not later, in some regions of the state. Continue reading

USDA Announces New Decision Tool For New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

Source: USDA

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the availability of a new web-based tool — developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin — to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17. Continue reading