By: Steve Culman, John Fulton, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, Eric Richer, CCA, OSU Extension
Improving soil health (SH) can provide a variety of benefits including improved water infiltration, increased water holding capacity, and increased nutrient availability. However, it can be challenging to quantify these benefits in the field.
In 2020, the eFields program is kicking off an effort to help better understand how management practices influence soil health and ultimately water quality. OSU Extension has worked to identify a few soil tests that can provide helpful indicators of improved soil health. Though several health tests exist, we focused on tests that are simple, economical, and repeatable. Continue reading
Source: Ohio Farm Bureau, Previously published by Ohio Farmer on-line.
Sixty-five percent of those involved in Ohio’s food supply system have been negatively or very negatively impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to early results of a new survey by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
The statewide Farm, Food and Agribusiness COVID-19 Impact Survey, distributed by OFB and a number of other agriculture groups, collected data to pinpoint areas of concern for every aspect of agriculture, including producers, retailers and food processors. With more than 1,000 surveys returned, statistics show:
* Nearly half (45%) of respondents have had their market distribution channels disrupted.
* Twenty-nine percent of those taking part in the survey have cash flow issues.
* Almost 15% of people polled cannot access the sanitation and protective equipment items required to operate (masks, sanitizers, etc.) Continue reading
By: Erdal Ozkan, OSU Extension
This is the time to check the accuracy of your sprayer. While applying too little pesticide may result in ineffective pest control, too much pesticide wastes money, may damage the crop and increases the potential risk of contaminating ground water and environment. The primary goal with calibration is to determine the actual rate of application in gallons per acre, then to make adjustments if the difference between the actual rate and the intended rate is greater or less than 5% of the intended rate. This is a recommended guideline by US EPA and USDA.
I get this question all the time: “Why should I calibrate my sprayer? I have a rate controller on the sprayer. I just enter the application rate I want, the controller does the rest”. Continue reading
By: David Marrison, Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Peggy Hall, Dianne Shoemaker, OSU Extension
The coronavirus pandemic has certainly altered all our lives. The impact is being felt by families, businesses, governmental agencies, and civic organizations. To help families and businesses alike, various levels of government have passed legislation to help lessen the economic blow of COVID-19. This article provides a brief overview of some of the assistance which has been made available. These include tax deadline provisions, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation rebates, unemployment compensation, and Wind and Hurricane Indemnity Program, Plus (WHIP+) Continue reading
Patiently Planning to Plant
Patience is a virtue, or at least that is what my mother used to tell me. We are in that time of the growing season where perhaps some patience is required, especially after last spring. This snap of colder weather and cold soil temperatures are likely testing the patience of some as they look forward to planting. Jim Noel, from the National Weather Service, a regular contributor to our OSU Extension C.O.R.N. newsletter suggests that we will see a warm up coming in late April.
I’ve noticed that the dandelions are blooming. The green grass contrasts very nicely against the yellow dandelions and I honestly don’t mind them. Perhaps that opinion is influenced by the brand of farm machinery that I grew up on. Continue reading
By: Aaron Wilson, Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, Sam Custer, OSU Extension
We are once again providing a soil temperature overview in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter through April-May 2020. The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Agricultural Research Stations located throughout the state have two- and four-inch soil temperatures monitored on an hourly basis.
Figure 1: Average daily air temperature (red), two-inch (green) and four-inch (blue) soil temperatures for spring 2020. Soil type and placement are provided for each location. Map of locations provided in the bottom right. Soil temperatures are minimum temperatures for Versailles and Xenia and daily average for other sites. Continue reading
By: Ben Brown Assistant Professor of Professional Practice- Agricultural Risk Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics & David Marrison, Associate Professor & Extension Educator in Coshocton County
On April 17, the preliminary details about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program aimed to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFAP provides $19 billion in funds authorized through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
The $19 billion program includes two major elements. The first element is for Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers. This program will provide $16 billion in direct support to farmers based on actual losses where prices and market supply chains have been impacted by COVID-19. The program will also assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19. Continue reading
By: Stan Smith, OSU Extension, Fairfield County
While supply chain issues have caused short term disruptions in some retail meat cases, livestock inventory is more than adequate to meet demand.
To suggest that supply in local meat cases has been disrupted since schools closed and ‘stay-at-home’ orders were issued last month might be an understatement.
The good is simply this. We have more than adequate supplies of market ready livestock on the farm to accommodate the consumer’s demand for meat.
The bad is that COVID-19 caused disruption to the meat supply chain that created short term shortages in the meat case, and fluctuations of price in both the meat case and especially livestock at the farm.
The ugly is these concerns are likely to affect both the farmer and the consumer for weeks, and perhaps even months to come. The solution to the chain of events that have caused the problems in the supply chain all revolve around how quickly COVID-19 is arrested and the lives of consumers and all the members of the meat supply chain can return to normal. Continue reading
By: Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Henry County
COVID-19 has had profound impacts on our food and livestock production systems here in the U.S. With regards to the beef industry the impact has been felt locally and throughout the country. Locally here in Ohio, with the JBS plant in Souderton closed, and reduced packing capacity in other regional packing plants, the local cash market for fed cattle has been greatly diminished. For the past two weeks, auction markets in the state have asked cattle feeders to hold off on bringing fed cattle to market due to packing plant closures and overall lack of packer demand.
Like most of agriculture, timing is critical for the livestock production supply chain to flow as it is designed. What is the impact of holding market ready cattle in local feedlots? Economically, cash flow concerns for small to medium size cattle feeders may arise as packing capacity remains limited. Immediate impacts for cattle feeders include increasing days on feed, selling heavier and potentially higher yield grade cattle once the market returns. Most packing plants have discount schedules of Yield Grade 4 and 5 cattle in addition to carcass weight specifications. Continue reading
By: Jason Hartschuh and Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Extension
If you are storing more grain on farm this spring than usual, you are not alone. Over the last few weeks, we have heard from more producers who are considering holding grain longer into summer months than they normal would. We have also heard a few reports of spoiled grain as producers fill April contracts. Carrying graining into summer has been done for many years successfully but requires much more intensive management than winter grain storage.
Key advice for long term grain storage
- If bins were not cored in early winter core bins now
- Verify the moisture content of stored grain is at or below recommended levels
- Monitor grain temperature every 3 or 4 weeks throughout storage paying special attention to insect activity and mold
- Monitor the roof area for signs of condensation
- Cover fans to keep the chimney effect from warming the grain
- Provide roof ventilation at two levels above the surface of the grain, one vent should be close to the peak of the bin
- Aerate bins on cool mornings every couple weeks as grain at the top of the bin becomes warm