H2Ohio Signup to be Extended

By: Glen Arnold, OSU Extension

The deadline to enter into a contract with the H2Ohio program for farmers in the 14-county, Maumee River watershed is being extended. The original deadline was March 31st but due to COVID-19, more farmers and Soil and Water Conservation District personnel are conducting information exchanges through phone calls and e-mails.

The H2Ohio deadline is expected to be extended to June 2nd,tentatively. Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District for more details.

Conservation Technology Conference

By: Ed Lentz and Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension

The Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC) is the largest agriculture meeting in northwestern Ohio.  Historically over 800 individuals will attend each day of this two-day conference.  This year’s event will be March 3 and 4 on the campus of Ohio Northern University in Ada.

The meeting and program have been developed by The Ohio State University Extension Specialists along with Agriculture and Natural Resources Educators in local counties with assistance from local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Continue reading

TMDL Effort For Lake Erie To Be Led By Ohio EPA

Source: Ohio Ag Net online

Last week, Governor Mike DeWine announced the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (OEPA) intention to create a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Western Lake Erie.

Under the Clean Water Act, a TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a substance (in this case phosphorus) that is allowed to enter a body of water and meet water quality standards for that pollutant. The TMDL sets a reduction goal for that pollutant for each source, such as agriculture, municipal wastewater, developed land, and septic systems.The Clean Water Act directs the state to submit a 303(d) list to U.S. EPA every two years. A TMDL must be developed for all waters identified by a state on their 303(d) list of impaired waters, according to a priority ranking on the list. Continue reading

Are Sulfur Deficiencies Becoming More Common in Ohio?

By: Laura Lindsey and Steve Culman, OSU Extension

Sulfur is an essential macronutrient for crop production, often ranked behind only nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in importance. Overall, for corn and soybean, deficiencies are fairly rare. However, deficiencies can occur and are most likely on sandy soils with low organic matter (<1.0%). Much like nitrogen, the primary form of sulfur in the soil is found in the organic fraction, and the form taken up by plants (sulfate) is highly mobile. For every 1 percent of organic matter, there is approximately 140 pounds of sulfur, most of which is unavailable. Like nitrogen, sulfur must be mineralized to become plant available. (Plants may exhibit sulfur deficiencies under cool, wet conditions when mineralization is slow.) Historically, sulfur was deposited in large quantities from rainfall primarily due to burning of fossil fuels. However, emission standards have resulted in a sharp decrease in sulfur deposition from the atmosphere. As this trend continues, coupled with higher yielding crops, sulfur fertilization may become more important in the future.

Figure 1. Sulfur deposition maps from 2000-2002 and 2015-2017 (USEPA, 2019).
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$30 Million Available For Farmers Through Dewine’s H2Ohio Plan

Source: Ohio Ag Net

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda announced Jan. 15 that $30 million in H2Ohio funding will be available for Ohio farmers in more than a dozen counties beginning next month. The funds will be awarded as part of Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio plan to reduce agricultural phosphorus runoff and prevent algal blooms in Lake Erie.

“Since announcing the details of my H2Ohio plan in November, we’ve had a great deal of interest from farmers in the Maumee River Watershed who want to do their part to improve the health of Lake Erie,” said Governor DeWine. “H2Ohio will provide farm-by-farm support to help farmers minimize phosphorus runoff while increasing profit over the long-run.”

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Winter Application of Manure: Remember Setbacks

By: Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Some Ohio livestock producers will be looking to apply manure to farm fields frozen enough to support application equipment. Permitted farms are not allowed to apply manure in the winter unless it is an extreme emergency, and then movement to other suitable storage is usually the selected alternative. Thus, this article is for non-permitted livestock operations.

In the Grand Lake St Marys watershed, the winter manure application ban from December 15 to March 1 is still in effect. Thus, no manure application would normally be allowed from now until March 1. Continue reading

Nutrient Movement off Frozen and Snow-Covered Soil

By: Emerson Nafziger, Department of Crop Sciences University of Illinois. farmdoc daily (9):238

Snow has now fallen throughout much of Illinois, and temperatures have dropped going into the last weeks in 2019. With the recent Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy biennial report highlighting P and N levels in Illinois waterways, this is a good time to review the application of nutrients on frozen and/or snow-covered soils.

Last spring, after a short and often-muddy fall fertilizer season, a considerable amount of fertilizer—mostly P in the form of DAP or MAP and K as KCl—was applied during the first week of March when the soil surface was frozen. Between March 3 and March 8, 2019, minimum air temperature averaged less than 15 degrees F, and maximum temperature averaged less than 30 degrees over most of Illinois. This was one of the few times last winter when soils were frozen and there was little or no snow; and many took the opportunity to apply P and K. Continue reading

2019 Ohio Water Quality Update

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Lake Erie wasn’t as bad as expected. What? We missed 1.5 million acres of crops, and from my eye mostly in northwest Ohio. But here is the deal: you did apply fertilizer last year, and probably the year before. We farm in a leaky system and I learned this week that entropy is working against us — meaning it will get more random. So, yes it’s leaky and will perhaps get a little more leaky. We did not plant as many crops and yes we applied less fertilizer in the Lake Erie basin, but the leaks still happen even without the crop because we still have rain, and rain moves that little tiny bit of phosphorus off your farm and downstream. Continue reading

Managing Phosphorus for Yield and Reduced Edge of Field Losses

By: Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, Ohio State University Extension

A new factsheet highlights eight steps to reducing edge of field P losses while maintain soils for increase crop production. The Phosphorus Nutrient Management for Yield and Reduced P Loss at Edge of Field-AGF-509 (https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/agf-509) highlight practices that can be used to reduce edge of field losses of P. There are eight field specific steps to considered.

  1. Control erosion
  2. Identify surface inlets to tile and use appropriate practices to reduce surface losses
  3. Consider ground and weather conditions prior to application of fertilizer and manure
  4. Take a representative soil test
  5. Use soil test as screening tool to meet crop production and water quality goals
  6. With a soil test P value of 40 PPM Mehlich III or less, you can reduce risk of crop yield losses with nutrient application for crop yield.

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Fall Fertilizer Considerations in 2019

By: Emerson Nafziger, Department of Crop Sciences University of Illinois. October 9, 2019. farmdoc daily (9):189

The high number of prevented-planting fields in some areas, the late start to harvest, and the inability to apply P and K fertilizer as planned last fall or this past spring combine to raise a number of questions about fall application of P, K, and lime over the next few months. Continue reading