From Across the Field – Where Has Summer Gone? 8/1/19

The calendar says it is August but it sure doesn’t feel like it to me. As you drive further north on Route 23 and up onto I-75 crop conditions would lead one to think we were just starting July in many instances. However, the reality of everything is that the county fair begins in one week and Farm Science Review will be soon to follow. Speaking of FSR, we have pre-sale tickets available here in the office for $7 up until the week before the event.

There have been some noteworthy announcements in the press regarding agriculture here in the last week. The biggest of which, was the rollout of the 2019 Market Facilitation Plan (MFP), commonly referred to as “Trade Aid” by Trump Administration and the Farm Service Agency. This round of MFP payments is based on acreage with each county having a set per acre rate based on acres grown of qualifying crops. In Henry County producer have the potential to receive $66 per acre of MFP dollars in 2019. That total figure will be split into three potential payments (tranches in USDA language) divided in the ways of 50% -25% -25%.

In this initial round of funding, half of the county value, $33 will be released for the first guaranteed payment. The other half of the funds, if approved by the government, will be released in two payments of $16.50 per acre in the case of Henry County.

Also as we head into August, this is a friendly reminder to  do some late season scouting for waterhemp and Palmer amaranth in both crop and prevented plant acres. As state weeds specialist Mark Loux puts it “Neither one of these weeds is easy to manage, and both can cause substantial increases in the cost of herbicide programs, which have to be constantly changed to account for the multiple resistance that will develop over time (not “can”, “will”).”

If you need help with identification, send photos to us or pull plants and take them to someone who can identify them.  Palmer and waterhemp are considerably different in appearance than giant ragweed and marestail, the other two most common late-season offenders. We can also assist in providing management solutions in an effort to control infestations.

Looking forward to the county fair. The Henry county Master Gardeners will be conducting their annual fair program on Wednesday August 14 at 3:00 pm in the Ag Hall. This year’s program happens to fall on Kids Day, so the focus of the program will be hands on youth activities.

After the fair we will be hosting a Working Lands Forage Field Day at Sonnenberg Farms in Holgate on August 20th at 4:00. The field will be at the corner of County Road 12 and State Route 18. The Ohio Department of Agriculture Working Lands Buffer Program allows for forage to be grown and harvested from field edge buffers in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Join OSU Extension, Ohio Forage and Grassland Council, and your local Soil and Water Conservations District to learn about the Working Lands Program and forage production.

Lastly, I supervised six 4-H youth a week ago tomorrow, at the Ohio State Fair for the state 4-H Livestock Judging Contest. Congratulation to Adrianna Meyer for a top 10 finish in Junior reasons. Other participants included Alison Culler, Hannah Culler, Honesty Davis, Madeline Embree, and Kenze Jaqua. I’ll end this week with a quote from Erma Bombeck: “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.” Have a great week.

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