Harvest has begun!

Knox County harvest has officially begun!  Our first soybean population study was harvested Wednesday (9/19).  Thanks again to Jim And Susan Braddock for making time to help with this plot.

2018 Knox County Plant Population Trial #2 – Planted May 8.

125,000 Seeds/Acre

145,000 Seeds/Acre

165,000 Seeds/Acre

185,000 Seeds/Acre

Each rate replicated 3 times.

Continue to check back for the results, they will be published soon.  These results will also be in the OSU 2018 eFields report.  Click here to view the 2017 eFields report.

Sprouting Soybeans

Source:  Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension

Soybean sprouting. Photo credit: Amanda Douridas


We’ve received a few pictures from around the state of green soybean pods splitting and also seed sprouting out of pods. While it is not uncommon to see pre-harvest pod shatter just prior to harvest due to re-wetting of dry pods, the pictures we’ve received have been of soybeans at the R6 growth stage.

Splitting of green pods may be related to the recent warm, wet (high intensity rainfall), and humid weather. (The Western Agricultural Research Station in Clark County had a high temperature of ≥93°F over a three day period in September followed by 3.5 inches of rain in a four day period.) Wet conditions at the R6 growth stage results in a large seed size that may split pods. Once the soybean pod is open, the seed is susceptible to pre-harvest sprout (germination of seed in the pod prior to harvest). Researchers have found differences in pre-harvest sprout among soybean cultivars.

Another (potential) cause of pre-harvest sprout is insect feeding. Feeding may open the pod where moisture can enter and sprout the seed.





Warmer and Wetter Pattern to Impact Much of the Harvest Season

Source: Jim Noel, edited

The warmer pattern will continue at least into the start of October across Ohio.

The remnants of Florence went mainly east of Ohio with only light rainfall amounts. Temperatures will heat back up into the 80’s for much of the rest of this week. Normal highs are in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s. We expect highs this week mostly in the 80’s and lows in the 60 to near 70.

The next rainfall system will move across the region later Friday or this weekend. Another system will move through by the middle or the end of next week.

Overall, we expect rain systems every 3-7 days until further notice. There will be dry periods mixed in as well so this will not be a continuous wet period by any means.

The wetter pattern may cause some delays in the fields over the next 30-60 days so it will be important to take advantage of those dry stretches.

The first freeze is nowhere to be seen. We expect a normal first freeze in the October 10-20 range for most places.

Over the next two weeks, rainfall will average 1-3 inches with isolated 4+.

Precipitation forecast.

Precipitation Forecast

Preparation of Grain Bins for Storage of Corn and Soybeans

Source: Curtis Young, OSU Extension Van Wert County

Empty Bin Treatments for Grain Bins for Storage of Corn, Popcorn and Soybeans

First – before using any product to treat grain bins, always read the most current label for the product to assure that the product is used correctly.  This is for the protection of the grain to be stored in the bin as well as for the protection of the applicator of the product.  Labels for products are subject to change from one year to the next, product registrations can be changed and/or canceled and rates may be changed.  Errors made because of not reading the most current label could result in injury to the applicator or contamination of the grain with a non-labeled product making it unsalable.

Continue reading

Neighborly Fence Care

Originally posted in the BEEF Newsletter, September 19, 2018, By  Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Noble County

Fence care can make tempers flare between neighbors. Typically, when neighbors have similar goals, an agreeable strategy for fence maintenance can be worked out easily. When land use pursuits differ, there is a higher likelihood for conflict.

One of Ohio’s oldest rural laws is built around the care of partition fence. Ohio R.C. Chapter 971 defines a partition fence or “line fence” as a fence placed on the division line between two adjacent properties. In 2008, the law was updated to state “Partition fence includes a fence that has been considered a division line between two such properties even though a subsequent land survey indicates that the fence is not located directly on the division line.”

The easiest way to decide on a plan for line fence care is communicating with your neighbor.

Continue reading

Growing Spinach Over Winter Using Low Tunnels and Row Covers

Originally posted on the VegNet Newsletter, September 4, 2018, By Tim McDermott, OSU Extension Franklin County

Ohio is a FOUR season growing environment.  Winter is often under utilized by the backyard grower, community gardener and urban farmer  as viable production time.  Using inexpensive equipment with a little planning allows for production of spinach over the winter under row cover with surprising success.

Site selection and preparation is very important for over wintered crops.  These crops will be challenged by weather and sunlight issues.  Areas with shade from deciduous trees in the summer can often be used as an over wintered production location when the leaves fall.  Soil enriched with organic matter will hold on to water and nutrients better as both of those inputs are not easily added over the winter season.

Spinach is an excellent choice for over winter production as it is extremely cold hardy.  As the temperature decreases the plant increases the sugar content in its vasculature.  This essentially acts as an “anti-freeze” to protect the plant.  Growth is greatly slowed by temperature and lack of sunlight.  Growth will pick back up with the arrival of spring.  Seed can be difficult to source in fall if none is left from spring planting.  Make sure to plan to have extra seed for next fall’s crop.

Planting  needs to be completed prior to Mid-October in most years to allow for decent germination and root growth.  Follow the weather prediction models carefully as this can affect timing of planting by several weeks in either direction.

Prior to planting:

  • Remove any prior season plant material
  • Amend the bed with compost and fertilizer based on prior season crop use
  • Observe crop rotation
  • Create a seed bed to ensure adequate germination



Row cover was applied immediately after planting.  This may or may not need to be done depending on location and security.  This row cover was applied as the location will be checked infrequently and deer pressure is a constant concern.  Row cover is fairly effective at preventing this predator.


Germination of spinach seed typically takes about 7-10 days.  Water as needed to maintain enough moisture for good germination.



If the weather allows, the row cover can be carefully lifted off,  making sure not to drop soil or debris onto the leaves, to inspect the planting.



Carefully monitor the weather predictions so that you know when to add or remove additional layers of row cover.  The ten day weather prediction showed that the weather would drop from a high in the 50’s to lows in the teens.


A second layer of frost blanket was added to ensure that the micro-climate under the row cover would be adequate to protect the spinach plants.  Spinach is extremely cold hardy and will make it through intense cold with proper protection in most cases.  Deep cold may terminate less cold hardy crops like lettuce if the temperatures drop very low for any period of time.



Extreme cold, wind, ice and snow were experienced over the end of December 2017 and through the beginning of 2018.  Snow is actually helpful to over wintered plantings, providing an extra layer of insulation.


Picture taken on January 16th. Note that the video shown next was taken approximately one week later showing the extremes that are common in Ohio weather. Removing the row cover inappropriately, even for a short time, can interfere with the micro-climate under the row cover and cause damage to the spinach plants.


As the weather allows, once temperatures have risen to at least the 40’s or higher, the row cover can be lifted to inspect the plantings and take a small to moderate harvest.  Make sure to replace the row cover with enough time to allow the temperature under the cover to rise prior to any over night cold periods.



Growth will be rapid once spring warmth and sunlight return.  The grower will be able to take many harvests during warm days at any point after February in most cases.



As long as harvest is taken before flowering and temperatures have not risen too high, harvest can continue.  A large volume of spinach can be harvested from a small area using this method.

Buying Hay the Smart Way

Kassidy Buse, Hay and Forage Grower summer editorial intern
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: September 18, 2018)

Purchasing hay, as simple as it seems, can be rather tricky. Knowing what and how much you need as well as trying to compare multiple feedstuffs on a level playing field can sometimes make hay buying a challenge.

“When hay supply is abundant, prices are lower and ranchers may not see the benefit in taking the time to price hay based on quality,” explains Adele Harty, extension cow/calf field specialist with South Dakota State University (SDSU), in an iGrow livestock newsletter. “Taking time to do this in a year with ample supply will help one be comfortable with the process when supplies are short.”

She provides the following four steps to help make the process of purchasing hay less taxing.

1. Determine feed quantity needs.

The first step is to calculate how many pounds of feed are needed to meet the nutritional demands of your [livestock] throughout the feeding period. Include hay waste in the pounds fed per head per day since storage and environmental losses can easily accumulate.

The following calculation can be used to determine this amount:

Days on feed x number of head x pounds fed per head per day

Be sure in include a minimum of 10% waste in your calculations.

2. Complete a Feed Inventory.

Create a list of resources that includes not only the quantity, but also the quality. “This will allow for determining quantity and quality of feed that needs to be purchased,” Harty notes.

If your resources meet the needs of your [livestock], then the process can end here. But, depending on the cost of feedstuffs, the potential to buy higher quality feedstuffs to enlarge your inventory could be present.

3. Determine shortfalls.

Once you know the quality of your feedstuffs, you will be able to determine the limiting nutrients. But, knowing what nutrients are needed can be challenging, so cost and convenience need to be considered.

“Working with a nutrition consultant can be helpful through this process,” Harty advises.

4. Find options and compare prices on a per unit of nutrient basis.

Before you make any hay purchase, make sure that a nutrient analysis has been completed. There are several options available for testing that can provide total digestible nutrients (TDN), crude protein, and mineral concentrations for your sample.

If the seller hasn’t done a test, Harty encourages buyers to request one or do one themselves. “By ‘guessing’ at quality, one could be making a serious mistake and end up compromising [livestock] performance or costing much more than it should,” she explains.

When comparing to other feedstuffs, the comparison needs to be done on a dry matter (DM) basis. To find the price per ton of DM, take the as-is price and divide by the percent of dry matter (as a decimal). Next, take the DM price and divide that number by the percent of the nutrient on a DM basis (as a decimal) to get the price per unit of nutrient.

All of this can be summed up in the following equation:

(As-is Price ÷ Percent Dry Matter) ÷ Percent Nutrient on a DM basis

Harty offers an example of a price comparison of two hays priced at $95 per ton delivered.

In this situation, whether additional protein or energy is needed, Hay A is the best option on a cost per unit of nutrient basis.

SDSU extension provides a calculator to help determine the cost of nutrient and compare multiple feedstuffs on the iGrow website.

Autumn Grazing Tips for Extending the Growing Season

Originally Posted in the Sheep Newsletter- Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

The older I get, the more I tend to philosophize about things. I’ve been asked a few times why I am such an advocate for sound grazing practices. Best management grazing practices, just like conservation practices for reducing or preventing soil erosion on cropland, help preserve and or regenerate resources not only for present generation, but also for future generations.                         

Continue reading

Ohio September 1 Crop Forecast

Record corn and soybean yields are forecast in Ohio, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. This report is based on conditions as of September 1, 2018. Some highlights of the Crop Production Report follow:

  • Ohio’s corn yield is forecast at 188 bushels per acre, up 11 bushels from 2017 and up 8 bushels from the August forecast. If realized this would be a new record yield. Total production is forecast at 622.3 million bushels, up 12 percent from a year ago.
  • Soybean yield in Ohio is forecast at 58 bushels per acre, up 8.5 bushels from last year and up 2 bushels from last month. If realized this would be a record yield. Total production is forecast at 286.5 million bushels.
  • Nationally, corn production is forecast at 14.8 billion bushels, up 2 percent from August and up 2 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of September 1, yields are expected to average 181.3 bushels per acre, up 2.9 bushels from the August forecast and up 4.7 bushels from 2017. If realized, this will be the highest yield on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 81.8 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast, but down 1 percent from 2017.
  • U.S. soybean production is forecast at a record 4.69 billion bushels, up 2 percent from August and up 7 percent from last year. Based on September 1 conditions, yields are expected to average a record high 52.8 bushels per acre, up 1.2 bushels from last month and up 3.7 bushels from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 88.9 million acres, unchanged from August but down 1 percent from 2017.