An In-Depth Look at Ivermectin

 

Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program
(Previously published in Wild and Wooly – Spring 2020)

Recently, several media outlets reported the success of an in vitro study conducted in Australia regarding the antiviral effects of ivermectin on the virus that causes COVID-19. An in vitro study is performed outside the living organism, such as in a petri dish; where- as, an in vivo study is conducted in a living organism. A treatment may work in vitro but not in vivo or it may work in both or neither.

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Beware of armyworm on early sweet corn and other crops!

 

Originally posted in the VegNet Newsletter on May 17, 2020

We have detected an extremely large population of armyworm moths in Columbus during the past week. This pest prefers to feed on grasses, including corn, wheat, rye, and grassy weeds, but if those plants are in shortage and if populations of armyworm are large, it can infest other crops including alfalfa, beans, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuces, onions, peppers, and radishes. Infestation can be worse in no-till fields than in tilled fields. Any early-planted fields of these crops should be scouted for presence of armyworm. Scouting is best done near dawn or dusk because armyworm larvae are nocturnal and hide in the soil during the day. The name armyworm is given because of the ability of older larvae to form large aggregations that move together from field to field. Infestations can appear quite suddenly in a field, and much damage can occur in a short period of time.

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Burndown and Residual Herbicide Issues

 

Source:  Mark Loux, OSU

Depending upon where you are in the state, it’s possible right now to be experiencing delays in getting anything done, progress in planting but delays in herbicide application, weather too dry to activate residual herbicides, and/or reduced burndown herbicide effectiveness on big weeds due to cold weather.  What’s become a typical Ohio spring.  Some information relative to questions that OSU Extension educators have passed on to us:

1.  Residual herbicides and rainfall.  Residual herbicides do vary in the relative amounts of rain needed for “activation”, or adequate movement into the soil to reach germinating seeds.  Most growers are applying mixtures or premixes of several products, so we’re not sure these differences are as important as the overriding principle here.  Residual herbicide treatments need to receive a half to one inch of rain within a week or so after tillage or an effective burndown treatment, to control weeds that can will start to emerge at that time.  This varies with timing of application and weather.  Summer annual weeds are the target here, and their emergence ramps up in early May, although cold weather can slow this down.  So residual herbicides applied in mid-April, prior to most of the summer annual weed emergence, may not need rain as soon after application, compared with herbicides applied in May.  Aside from this, residual herbicide activity is not really dependent upon soil reaching a certain temperature.  Under more marginal rainfall conditions, it’s possible that herbicides may control the small-seeded weeds that emerge at or just below the soil surface, but be less effective on larger-seeded weeds that can emerge from deeper.  In a tilled situation, a timely rotary hoe can be used to remove some of the weeds that are about to emerge (the “white stage”) and buy some time for rain.  The good news here is that we have effective POST herbicides to remedy many situations where the residual herbicides are not completely effective.

2.  Residual herbicides and crop injury. The concerns here seem to be more about soybean herbicides, which may partly reflect the overall greater safety of residual corn herbicides.  Several residual soybean herbicides can cause injury, depending upon when they are applied relative to planting, rainfall, soil type, seeding depth, etc.  These include products that contain metribuzin, sulfentrazone, flumioxazin, and chlorimuron.  One of the things that has reduced our risk of injury from all of these herbicides is that in no-till soybeans they have usually been applied a week or more prior to planting to accommodate restrictions on 2,4-D ester and dicamba.  Application at or after planting increases the risk of injury, as does use in tilled situations.  We have increased metribuzin use substantially over the past decade, but injury has been extremely rare due to application prior to planting and use of relatively low rates in combination with other products.  We hear more about injury or suspected injury from flumioxazin and sulfentrazone when wet weather delays planting and forces application of residual herbicides after planting.  It’s worth noting here also that the Xtend and Enlist soybean systems do away with the wait to plant soybeans for dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively, and more growers may be waiting until after planting to apply burndown/residual herbicides.

In brief, symptoms of these are as follows:  chlorimuron – slowed development, stunting, yellowing; flumioxazin and sulfentrazone – necrosis on young leaves and stem, stunting; metribuzin – usually delayed until first trifoliate, yellowing and possibly necrosis on margins of older leaves.  Cloransulam, imazethapyr, and imazaquin are generally safer on soybeans than chlorimuron, in situations where injury is a concern.  Activity of metribuzin varies considerably with soil texture and organic matter content, so using the labeled rate for soil type is important.  Injury from any of these may be more likely when herbicide application is delayed for several days after planting, followed by substantial rain as the soybeans are about to emerge.  Labels for products containing flumioxazin state that soybeans should be planted 1 ½ inches deep and herbicide should be applied no later than three days after planting, in an attempt to avoid this situation (does not always work).  The good news here is that early injury to soybeans usually does not reduce stand, but may slow early growth and rate of crop canopy development and leave soybeans open to the effect of other stresses.  In some of these situations, it can be difficult to sort out how much of the damage is due to herbicide and how much is due to other factors.  Yield loss is probably infrequent based on the soybean plant’s ability to compensate for these types of factors.

3. Cold weather and burndown herbicides.  We had a fairly warm winter and early spring, followed by the recent month of colder than normal weather.  The net result of this is large winter annual weeds, and weather that is currently not terribly conducive for burndown activity.  There is not much specific guidance on herbicide labels about cold weather, just general statements about how effectiveness can be reduced under adverse conditions that include cold weather.  We expect many experienced applicators may have their own set of rough guidelines on this, or at least gut feelings.  Under cold conditions, the rate of herbicide activity declines and also the overall effectiveness.  It’s more difficult to define the weather conditions when herbicide should not be applied.  These would certainly include periods when frost or freeze is occurring overnight and daytime weather is cool and cloudy (less than about 50).  One night of frost followed by a warm sunny day may still allow for decent herbicide activity, if weeds appear sufficiently recovered from the frost.  Aside from this we could make a general recommendation to keep applying as long as night and day temperatures are at least 40 and 60 to 70, respectively, although this is still not ideal compared with day temperatures higher than 70 with sun.  One way of dealing with this problem is to just wait for a return to warm, sunny weather before applying burndown herbicides.  Another is to increase herbicide rates and use a more comprehensive herbicide mixture.  For example, adding Sharpen to a mixture of glyphosate plus 2,4-D or dicamba.  As with the less than effective residual herbicides under dry weather, burndown herbicide problems can sometimes be resolved with an effective POST treatment of glyphosate, 2,4-D, or dicamba, depending upon the trait system.

4. Reminder about the value of fall herbicides.  Fall herbicides are an essential tool for marestail management, but given our current situation of dense, big weeds in no-till fields and potential problems with burndown herbicide effectiveness, it’s worth reminding all of us why fall herbicides started being used in the first place.  In the late 1990’s, growers were experiencing problems with dense stands of winter annual weeds such as chickweed that interfered with tillage and planting.  One contributor to this was the occasional reduced activity of spring-applied burndown herbicides in cool weather, which resulted in too slow death and dry down of weeds to prevent the problems the weeds caused.  Fall-applied herbicides became a solution to this, since they result in almost weedfree spring seedbeds up until the point when giant ragweed and other summer annuals emerge (early May for most of these).  As anyone knows who has used fall herbicides, their effectiveness reduces the overall importance of the spring-applied burndown, since it does not have to control a mess of large, overwintered weeds.  It’s all just way easier.    And issues with cold weather and spring-applied burndown herbicides are therefore less important.  For as little as $6 worth of fall-applied herbicide.  Something to think about moving forward.

Spraying with Drones

By John Fulton (Associate Professor), Chris Wiegman (graduate student), Erdal Ozkan ( Professor), and Scott Shearer (Professor), Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have become a common technology in agriculture. As of early 2019, there were around 1.3 million registered drones in the U.S. and over 116,000 registered drone operators within the commercial sector. Within agriculture, drones have been mainly used for scouting purposes. Today, uses of drones include collecting remotely sensed imagery, tissues samples, and water samples. Spraying with drones is also available through some manufacturers.

Drone spraying has been used Southeast Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea for several decades. In fact, the use of this type of spraying in Japan can be traced back to the 90’s. Currently, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of drones used in these countries, mostly in rice production that requires applications done when the field is flooded with water, making entry of motorized vehicle to the field impractical. Drone spraying has also been considered as the most effective and safe way to treat crops grown in steep hills.

Drone spraying is becoming increasingly available for specialty crops and row-crop production. Here is the U.S., drone spraying was approved in 2015, but under strict policies in the state of California. The Yamaha RMAX from Japan was the first drone sprayer tested in California prior to approval. Most recently, drone manufacturers such as DJI (https://www.dji.com/) have started offering high payload rotor drones that include sprayers. Spray applications using drones has arrived in Ohio as well.

Spraying with drones is a unique practice since it is conducted autonomously. Drone sprayers are equipped with almost all the parts of any other sprayer: a tank, a pump to push liquid through the hoses to the nozzles, filters and a pressure gauge. But there are limitations, mostly on the size of these components because of the power required to keep the drone sprayer in flight mode for a reasonable time.

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Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets – Projected Returns for 2020

Source: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, OSU Extension

COVID-19 has created an unusual situation that has negatively affected crop prices and lowered certain crop input costs. Many inputs for the 2020 production year were purchased or the prices/costs were locked in prior to the spread of this novel coronavirus. Some costs have been recently affected or may yet be affected. Lower fuel costs may allow for lower costs for some compared to what current budgets indicate.

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be largely unchanged from last year with lower fertilizer expenses offset by slight increases in some other costs. Variable costs for corn in Ohio for 2020 are projected to range from $359 to $452 per acre depending on land productivity. Variable costs for 2020 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $201 to $223 per acre. Wheat variable expenses for 2020 are projected to range from $162 to $198 per acre.

Returns will likely be low to negative for many producers depending on price movement throughout the rest of the year. Grain prices used as assumptions in the 2020 crop enterprise budgets are $3.20/bushel for corn, $8.30/bushel for soybeans and $5.10/bushel for wheat. Projected returns above variable costs (contribution margin) range from $109 to $240 per acre for corn and $179 to $337 per acre for soybeans. Projected returns above variable costs for wheat range from $152 to $262 per acre.

Return to Land is a measure calculated to assist in land rental and purchase decision making. The measure is calculated by starting with total receipts or revenue from the crop and subtracting all expenses except the land expense. Returns to Land for Ohio corn (Total receipts minus total costs except land cost) are projected to range from -$48 to $72 per acre in 2020 depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for Ohio soybeans are expected to range from $65 to $214 per acre depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for wheat (not including straw or double-crop returns) are projected to range from $70 per acre to $173 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line corn production in Ohio are estimated to be $759 per acre. This includes all variable costs as well as fixed costs (or overhead if you prefer) including machinery, labor, management and land costs. Fixed machinery costs of $75 per acre include depreciation, interest, insurance and housing. A land charge of $187 per acre is based on data from the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey Summary. Labor and management costs combined are calculated at $67 per acre. Details of budget assumptions and numbers can be found in footnotes included in each budget.

Total costs projected for trend line soybean production in Ohio are estimated to be $517 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs: $59 per acre, land charge: $187 per acre, labor and management costs combined: $46 per acre.)

Total costs projected for trend line wheat production in Ohio are estimated to be $452 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs: $34 per acre, land charge: $187 per acre, labor and management costs combined: $41 per acre.)

Current budget analyses indicates favorable returns for soybeans compared to corn but crop price change and harvest yields may change this outcome. These projections are based on OSU Extension Ohio Crop Enterprise Budgets. Newly updated Enterprise Budgets for 2020 have been completed and posted to the Farm Office website: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-budgets

Autonomous Planting Revs Up

Source: DTN/Progressive Farmer

Many of you who have attended our Central Ohio Agronomy School or Precision Ag Symposium have heard Scott Shearer talk about robotic equipment completing our field work.

It is now a reality.

A remote-controlled Kubota M5660SU tractor plants soybeans last week at Bellcock Farms near Sac City, Iowa, while another identical unit heads to the seed tender for a refill. Sabanto, an autonomous technology company, is seeding soybeans in Iowa and Illinois this spring. (Progressive Farmer photo by Matthew Wilde) 

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The Basics of Pricing Freezer Beef

Over the last decade the demand for locally raised meats have steadily increased and that demand has skyrocketed as of late, due to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on animal agriculture and the meat packing sector. With the significant increase of demand in local product we have also seen an increase in the number of producers entering the world of direct marketing. Perhaps the toughest aspect of direct marketing is determining how to set a price. In this article I am going to address that very subject and answer the question: What should I charge for a freezer beef?

There are a couple of ways that we could go about calculating a price but at the end of the day we must know two things: 1) your breakeven price; 2) how much money (profit) you want to make.

To determine a breakeven price, one must know their cost of production. Below are potential factors that should be considered as production expenses on a per head basis.

Whole, Half, and Quarter Beef

Cost of Animal – If the animal was purchased, what did it cost? If home raised, what did it cost to keep a cow for a year?
+ Feed – Value or cost of feedstuffs and mineral that were either produced and purchased.
+ Veterinary – Any vaccinations, dewormer, other medications, veterinary bills.
+ Bedding and Supplies
+ Transport – Fuel, wear and tear on truck and trailer.
+ Advertising – Cost of acquiring a customer.
+ Value of Your Time – Value of time invested on average per head.
= Breakeven cost per head

Once you have calculated a breakeven cost add you desired profit per head and divide that total by the hanging carcass weight to determine a price per pound.

(Breakeven + Profit) / Carcass weight = price per pound.

Profit margin can be flat rate per head or a percentage of the cost of production. Determine a margin that suits your enterprise and your customer.

Often, the customer will want an idea of what the final price per pound is going to be before the animal is harvested in order to make purchasing and storage decisions. Carcass weight can be estimated prior to harvest by estimating dressing percentage. Dressing percentage = (Carcass Weight/Live Weight) *100.

For grain fed, non-dairy type, steers and heifers the average dressing percentage is around 62% and closer to 59% for a dairy steer. Dressing percentage can vary depending on gut fill, muscling, fatness and cleanliness of the hide.

Individual Beef Cuts

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