From Across the Field: 4-9-2020

Marching On

With some fairly nice weather over the past week or so, farm operations have begun to ramp up. Field operations included topdressing of wheat and small grains with nitrogen, weed control, and tillage. Looking ahead at the weather, the next few days look to be a bit cool and damp. In driving around yesterday, there were planters hooked up and at the ready. Hopefully they will be able to be put to use in a timelier manner than in 2019.

With the weather being the greatest unknown variable during this time growers may be faced with tough decisions again this growing season. As summarized in this week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter we encourage farmers to list the field work tasks that you need to do this spring when the weather and soils are fit, then prioritize them. Think through the tough choices you might have to make between competing activities. Think through contingency plans if each specific activity cannot be completed in a timely manner, or if it can’t get done at all this spring because of wet weather. Continue reading

Wheat Growth Stages and Associated Management- Feekes 6.0 through 9.0

By: Laura Lindsey, Ed Lentz, CCA, Pierce Paul, OSU Extension

It’s important to correctly identify winter wheat growth stages to enhance management decisions, avoiding damage to the crop and unwarranted or ineffective applications. Remember, exact growth stage cannot be determined by just looking at the height of the crop or based on calendar dates.

Feekes 6.0- Nodes are all formed but sandwiched together so that they are not readily distinguishable. At Feekes 6.0, the first node is swollen and appears above the soil surface. This stage is commonly referred to as “jointing.” Above this node is the head or spike, which is being pushed upwards eventually from the boot. The spike at this stage is fully differentiated, containing future spikelets and florets.
Growers should remove and carefully examine plants for the first node. It can usually be seen and felt by removing the lower leaves and leaf sheaths from large wheat stems. A sharp knife or razor blade is useful to split stems to determine the location of the developing head. Feekes 6.0 growth stage video: Continue reading

Meat Production Threatened With Disruption

By: Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University

The U.S. meat industry faces unprecedented threats as COVID-19 sweeps through labor forces at meat processing facilities nationwide.  Production of beef, pork and poultry are simultaneously threatened as COVID-19 infections affect labor availability and processing capacity in multiple facilities across all meat industries.

Reduced processing capacity could cause backups in live animal supplies if animals cannot be processed in a timely fashion. The severity of impacts will depend on specific situations and locations but could include costly delays in holding animals until slaughter, backlogs in production facilities, or even disposal of animals.

Such disruptions could result in reduced flows of fresh meat to consumers, compounded by the continuing bottlenecks created by the drastic reduction in the food service sector, roughly half of total food distribution. Since early March, those bottlenecks resulted in limited meat availability in retail grocery despite an ample supply of meat production. Continue reading

Survey Gauging Impact of COVID-19 on Ohio Agriculture

COVID-19 has caused many disruptions to daily life, agriculture and the entire food chain. The global pandemic has resulted in negative consequences for every sector of Ohio’s food production system in a vast amount of ways.

With the help of insightful conversations with members about what they are experiencing on their farms as well as what they are seeing in their agricultural community, Ohio Farm Bureau has left no stone unturned. Those discussions have shed light on immediate issues members are realizing, as well as their concerns about the long-term burdens their livelihoods may shoulder because of the coronavirus outbreak. Farm Bureau has put in countless hours on many fronts to find answers for those affected.

To take efforts a step further, Ohio Farm Bureau created a Farm, Food and Agribusiness COVID-19 Impact Survey. The goal of this survey is to gauge, in a broader scope, the uncertainties and concerns being felt across Ohio agriculture. Continue reading

Soybean and Corn Export Outlook

By: Todd Hubbs, farmdoc daily (10):68, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

As the focus turns to the planting season and markets adjust to the new realities associated with the pandemic, export markets continue to reveal consumption information relevant to price formation during 2020.  Exports will play a significant role in determining prices in both corn and soybean markets moving forward.

Continue reading

Don’t Buy the Cheapest Mineral Out There

By: Francis Fluharty, University of Georgia Animal Sciences, and Stan Smith, OSU Extension

The mineral content of forages is always a concern when feeding the brood cow, but it’s of even greater concern after wet weather and rapid forage growth like that which was experienced the past two springs and early summers. In this 4 minute excerpt from the 2020 Ohio Beef Cow/Calf Workshop, Dr. Francis Fluharty explains the benefits, and also his concerns for feeding the cow herd highly digestible minerals in the appropriate amounts.

From Across the Field: 4-2-2020

Being Lawn Ready

We are in the third week of telecommuting and even though it has taken a while to get used to, we have been able to get along fairly well. Don’t hesitate to call the office, as we are still able to serve the county. If interested in keeping up on agriculture and natural resources education over the next month or so, tune into OSU Extension Ag Madness. Each day a topic area “bracket” with be covered. Brackets range from produces safety to farm management to cover crops. Join the fun at

As temperature (slowly) begin to warm up this is a great time to prepare equipment for mowing lawns. We probably won’t be mowing as long as the ground is saturated but once we get a couple of warm dry days I look for grass to really green up and grow. Continue reading

OSU Extension Farm Office is Open!

Ohio State’s campuses and offices are closed. But we are all working away at home, and our virtual offices are still open for business. Starting April 6, the OSU Extension Farm Office Team will open our offices online and offer weekly live office hours from 8:00-9:30 pm EST.

We’ll provide you with short updates on emerging topics and help answer your questions about the farm economy. Each evening will start off with a quick 10- to 15-minute summary of select farm management topics from our experts and then we’ll open it up for questions and answers from attendees on other topics of interest.

Who’s on the Farm Office Team? Our team features OSU experts ready to help you run your farm office:

Peggy Kirk Hall — agricultural law
Dianne Shoemaker — farm business analysis and dairy production
Ben Brown — agricultural economics
David Marrison — farm management
Barry Ward — agricultural economics and tax
Each office session is limited to 500 people and if you miss our office hours, we’ll post recordings on the following day. Register at We look forward to seeing you there!

Get Ready to Plant

By: Mark Sulc, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Rory Lewandowski, CCA, OSU Extension

The weather outlook for our spring planting season is not encouraging, as it is expected to be wetter than normal again, although hopefully not as bad as 2019. The purpose of this article is to stimulate our planning and preparation now so we will be ready to take full advantage of what are expected to be very short and few windows of opportunity to be in the fields this spring. In this article, we focus on planting forage crops, but the process and many of the ideas will pertain to other spring field work activities.

Begin your planning by mentally walking through what you will do the day you plant. It might even help jog your thoughts to physically “walk through” those activities. Continue reading

Spring Farm Safety Reminders

By: Wayne Dellinger and Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension

Spring of 2019 brought never-before seen planting conditions for our generation.  With a similar weather pattern predicted for spring 2020, the window to get crops in the field may be short again this season.  With shorter windows brings a sense of hurriedness, stress, and fatigue.  These may all lead to an increased potential of incidents and injuries during planting.

In the ten year span from 2009 to 2018, there were 116 farm fatalities in Ohio.  Sixty-nine of these were the result of tractors, equipment, or other equipment (Farm Fatality and Injury Database of Ohio, OSU Extension Ag Safety and Health Program).

What practices can be done to reduce the risk of injury this time of year?  Below is a list of reminders to keep in mind during this busy season. Continue reading