28 April 2020: Good morning to you all! We are waking on this fine Tuesday morning to a few scattered showers in some places across our region. Expect this to continue today, not going to rain everywhere all day, and some peeks of sunshine are likely as a warm front lifts north. This should allow temperatures to warm into the upper 60s to low 70s with breezy conditions. Scattered showers return by morning with lows tonight in the low to mid 50s. Scattered showers and possibly a storm tomorrow with highs in the low to mid 60s.
Showers continue on Thursday. Much cooler with highs in the low to mid 50s. Friday and Saturday look dry with warmer temperatures returning.
Farming operations are detailed, complex, and often only known by one person. In the event a key farm operator is unable to operate the farm, Nebraska Extension has developed a Crop Operations Plan to help guide someone new to the operation to adequately and successfully operate the farm for the next couple months. This guide is not designed to be a legal document, but it provides some guidance to an employee or neighbor who may not know all of the innerworkings of the farming operation.
The Crop Operations Plan includes key contacts for farming inputs or needs; a field plan for each crop field in production, including seed selection, fertilizer needs, and crop protection plan; and space for day-to-day activities, access to data management software, location of farm supplies, etc. It is important to initially identify two or three potential replacements who may have the knowledge or skills to operate the farm.
It is recommended farm operators complete this plan as soon as possible since no one knows if, or when, they may become ill or unable to perform farming operations. This guide is primarily for use over the next couple months, but it can be modified to include operations beyond that time frame. It can also be incorporated permanently into business plans. Nebraska Extension will also provide an extended operations plan in the near future.
A Cow-Calf Operations Plan has also been developed for operations that include cows and calves.
The Crops Operations Plan and Cow-Calf Operations Plan are available in a Word document and can be downloaded by clicking the links above.
Source: Peggy Hall, OSU Extension
Economic relief measures in the CARES Act have proven difficult for farms, first due to confusion over which and how farmers qualify and also by soaring demand and depleted funding. But the recently enacted Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (HR 266) should help. The legislation injects more funds into both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans Program (EIDL) and clarifies that farmers can qualify for EIDL loans. The bill also came with a bonus: additional guidance from the USDA and SBA for farmers seeking to access the programs. Both programs are first-come, first-served, so farm businesses who haven’t applied for the funds should decide whether to do so right away.
Here’s how the new legislation affects agricultural businesses:
- Allocates another $310 billion for the PPP to provide payroll funding for eligible employers, which includes $60 billion in funding for smaller lending institutions working with PPP loan applicants.
- Doubles the EIDL program, adding another $10 billion to the SBA disaster loan program for eligible businesses.
- Clarifies that agricultural enterprises are eligible for EIDL loans.
Using the PPP: a few quick tips
OSU Extension is pleased to be offering the third session of “Farm Office Live” session on Monday evening, April 27, 2020 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. Farmers, educators, and ag industry professionals are invited to log-on for the latest updates on the issues impact our farm economy.
The session will begin with the Farm Office Team answering questions asked over the past week. Topics to be highlighted include:
- Update on the CARES Paycheck Protection Program
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
- Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Update
- Ethanol and biofuel update
- ARC and PLC Forecasts
- Other legal and economic issues
Plenty of time has been allotted for questions and answers from attendees. Each office session is limited to 500 people and if you miss the on-line office hours, the session recording can be accessed at farmoffice.osu.edu the following day. Participants can pre-register or join in on Monday evening at https://go.osu.edu/farmofficelive
Source: Jason Hartschuh, 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
Melissa Bravo, agronomic and livestock management consultant
Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: April 21, 2020)
Here we go again. Another mild winter of heave and thaw with little snow cover to protect the shallow roots and crowns of improved forage crops.
Without that snow barrier, species such as alfalfa and timothy — the most susceptible of our non-native forages — are subject to winter injury, which thins stands. This leaves less competition for weeds to establish and flourish.
Originally posted in the VegNet Newsletter
Investments in high tunnels and high tunnel production are among the most significant growers can make, especially if the tunnels are stationary (not designed to move) and income from the tunnels is critical to the farm. Getting the most from tunnels from the start and over the long run is important. A session summarizing steps toward that goal will be held on Thursday April 23, beginning at 12 PM ET. The session is part of the OSUE Ag Madness series (https://go.osu.edu/agmadness) and will focus on major challenges and emerging opportunities in high tunnel production. Specific topics will include soil health, and new crops and high tunnel technologies — information for all high tunnel users, regardless of experience. Please see https://agnr.osu.edu/events/agriculture-and-natural-resources-madness to connect and contact Matt Kleinhenz (email@example.com; 330.263.3810) for information. We look forward to seeing you there!
Source: Jim Noel
The cold pattern that was expected last week dropped soil temperatures and put a hold on most activities. Improvement will occur but it will be slow for the rest of April. A progressive west to northwest airflow will keep weak or weak/moderate systems passing through Ohio about every 2 days over the next week with generally light or light to moderate precipitation. The flow pattern supports temperatures remaining at or below normal for the rest of April but not as cold as last week. Precipitation is expected to be close to normal. Warmer weather is expected as the calendar turns to early May with above normal temperatures expected which is some good news.
Temperatures will moderate for the rest of April with highs mostly in the 50s and 60s though northern Ohio may only see highs in the 40s Tuesday of this week. Low temperatures will be in the mid 30s to the 40s for the most part. For the rest of April temperatures will average about 5 degrees below normal. May temperatures will likely be near normal or slightly above normal but the start of May looks to be above normal temperatures by several degrees.
Excessive rain is not expected the next 2+ weeks but frequent lighter rain is. Rainfall will average 1-3 inches the next two weeks with normal being 1.75 to 2 inches. Therefore, rainfall is considered near normal overall. A few wet snowflakes can not be ruled out Tuesday or this week in the northeast corner of Ohio. May is expected to see rainfall normal to slightly above normal. The blocking pattern over Alaska and northern Canada in 2019 which drove the active storm track from Japan to the Ohio Valley does not look to occur in 2020. This will result in fewer overall moderate to strong storm systems into May and June of 2020. The pattern is still active bt just not as active as 2019.
We do see another freeze this Wednesday AM with lows in the mid 20s to lower 30s. Some additional frost and near freeze conditions can also be expected this upcoming Sunday into Monday mornings. Overall, the frost and freeze conditions going forward are considered pretty close to typical for Ohio in late April and early May. After this Wednesday the chances of hard freeze conditions begin to decrease.
Soil temperatures dropped below 50 in most areas last week and will slowly work back toward that level for the rest of April though it may not reach that level in parts of the north and northeast section of the state.
SUMMER GROWING SEASON
There is uncertainty in the summer outlook but currently above normal temperatures are favored with rainfall going from above normal to start to normal or drier than normal in the later portions of summer.
The latest NOAA climate information can be found at: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
The lastest river and soil information can be found at: https://www.weather.gov/ohrfc/