Kill Poison Hemlock Now!

– Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

While hemlock may still be vegetative today, it will soon look like this.

Poison hemlock has already emerged in a vegetative state around Noble County and beyond. Soon it will be bolting and blooming on stalks 6-10 feet tall. All parts of the plant are toxic to all classes of livestock if consumed and is prevalent along roadsides, ditches, and crop field borders.

It is a biennial weed that does not flower in the first year of growth but flowers in the second year. The earlier you can address poison hemlock with mowing and/or herbicide application, the better your control methods will be.




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Forage Maturity Across Ohio

Jason Hartschuh, Dairy Management and Precision Livestock, Field Specialist

Warm weather this spring especially over the last couple of weeks has rapidly progressed forage maturity. Harvesting forages at the proper time for the livestock you are feeding is critical to farm profitability. Poor quality forages must be supplemented to maintain livestock. In the southern part of the state, many forage grasses are in head while in the northern part of the state, some varieties of Orchard grass and barnyard grass are in head but most are still in the vegetative stage but will be in head within a week.




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Battle for the Belt – Chilling Injury

Dr. Alex Lindsey, Associate Professor of Crop Ecophysiology & Agronomy, walks us through his current research project on how cold temperatures and water can affect early planted soybeans within the first 24 hours of planting.

How does cold temperature and water affect germination and emergence?

We have been studying how cold temperatures and water affect soybeans under ultra-early planting conditions using some lab experiments. We planted soybeans into field soil (starting at 20% or 60% available water content) at 1” (shallow) or 1.5” (normal) planting depths, and exposed them to different combinations of cold temperatures and water treatments during the first 24 hours after planting (Table 1). After the first 24 hours, we raised the temperature in the chamber to 70°F and measured emergence.

Table 1. Temperature and water treatments evaluated during the first 24 hrs after planting.

Preliminary results suggest that no water application (even if temperature dropped to 35°F) resulted in the greatest emergence (75%) after 11 days. Water application immediately after planting, regardless of whether it was 50°F or 35°F, cut the emergence totals in half. Application of ice after planting was less damaging to emergence but still reduced germination compared to where water wasn’t applied. This suggests that avoiding precipitation within the first 24 hours of planting is key to ensuring good emergence.

Does planting depth matter? Continue reading

Weekly Commodity Market Update

Brownfield’s Weekly Commodity update featuring former OSU Extension Ag Economist Ben Brown.  This week Will and Ben look at Brazil’s progress in the sustainable aviation fuel sector.

This Week’s Topics:

  • Market recap
  • Wheat rally
  • Weekend Russian attacks
  • U.S. weather impacts
  • Planting progress
  • Brazil’s delivery of SAFs to U.S.
  • Reports to watch

Market recap (Changes on week as of Monday’s close):

  • May 2024 corn up $.08 at $4.39
  • December 2024 corn up $.03 at $4.72
  • May 2024 soybeans up $.03 at $11.61
  • November 2024 soybeans up $.04 at $11.71
  • May soybean oil up 0.19 cents at 45.66 cents/lb
  • May soybean meal up $5.80 at $344.30/short ton
  • May 2024 wheat up $.19 at $5.70
  • July 2024 wheat up $.20 at $5.87
  • May WTI Crude Oil down $2.87 at $82.01/barrel

Weekly Highlights

  • Consumer retail sales rose 0.7% in March and outlays in February were also stronger than previously reported, indicating the economy got a boost from consumer spending in the first quarter.
  • US crude oil stocks excluding the strategic petroleum reserve were up another 115 million gallons from the week prior. Crude oil stocks have increased 628 gallons over the past month.  Conversely, US gasoline and distillate stocks were down 48 and 116 million gallons respectively. On the lower gasoline stocks- the average regular gasoline price was up 4 cents week over week.
  • Ethanol production pulled back sharply to 289 million gallons- down 21 million from the week prior as several plants took scheduled maintenance. Ethanol stocks levels decreased 5 million gallons but remain at relatively large levels.
  • Open interest of Chicago grains and oilseeds was down for wheats (-1.9%), corn (-1.7%), soybean meal (-0.4%), cotton (-19.6%) and rice (-77%) while being up slightly for soybeans (+5.8%) and soybean oil (+3.8%).
  • Managed money traders continued to expand their short positions of corn (16,016 contracts) soybeans (28,565 contracts) and Chicago wheat (14,455 contracts). Corn and soybean managed money contracts pulled back from their record short positions but are rebuilding them again.
  • USDA’s Cattle on Feed Report showed all cattle on feed as of April 1 at 11.821 head or 101.5% of last year but below the 102.1% trade estimate. March cattle placements at 87.7% of last year were well below the 93.0% trade estimate with marketings of 86.3% year over year- down from a 88.1% expectation.
  • Export sales for the most recent week were neutral to bearish with corn sales of 19.7 million bushels only slightly better than the marketing year low set the week prior of 12.8 million. Soybean sales made a counter seasonal move of 17.8 million bushels. There were net cancelations of 0.1 and 3.4 million bushels of grain sorghum and wheat respectively.
  • Export inspections were supportive to corn and grain sorghum while neutral to soybeans and wheat. Reported corn inspections of 63.9 million bushels were the largest of the marketing year and highest weekly volume in nearly 2 years.
  • National corn planting progress doubled again this week to 12% complete- ahead of 10% on average. Soybean planting rose from 3% to 8%- double the five-year average. Of states reporting plantings- most states are ahead of average.
  • The winter wheat conditions rating dropped a surprising 10 points to 336 (a perfect score is 500). However, this remains well ahead of 270 this time last year.

2024 Second Quarter Fertilizer Prices Across Ohio

Results from a quarterly survey of retail fertilizer prices in the state of Ohio revealed fertilizer prices were slightly lower than national averages reported by Progressive Farmer – DTN (Quinn, 2024). The survey was completed by 32 retailers, representing 19 counties, who do business in the state of Ohio. Respondents were asked to quote spot prices as of the first day of the quarter (April 1st) based on sale type indicated. This is part of a larger study conducted by OSU Extension to better understand local fertilizer prices, which began in December 2023.

In summary, survey participants reported the average price of all fertilizers was lower in Ohio compared to the national prices, except for DAP (18-46-0) at $785/ton in Ohio versus $780/ton nationally, (Quinn, 2024).

The chart below (Table 1.) is the summary of the survey responses. The responses (n) are the number of survey responses for each product. The minimum and maximum values reflect the minimum and maximum values reported in the survey. The average is the simple average of all survey responses for each product rounded to the nearest dollar. We recognize that many factors influence a company’s spot price for fertilizer including but not limited to availability, geography, volume, cost of freight, competition, regulation, etc.

When compared to results from the previous quarter’s survey, prices for fertilizers saw a modest increase, with only anhydrous ammonia, MAP and potash showing a slight decrease. DAP and urea saw the most increase in price from the previous quarter with DAP up $50/ton and urea up $59/ton. This increase equates to an increase in price of 9% for both DAP and urea. Only ammonium thio-sulfate remained unchanged.

Quarter 2 survey data included nine responses to questions about poultry litter, delivered and applied within a 25-mile radius of the facility. Prices ranged from $45-72/ton with an average of $55/ton reported.

Ohio Crop Weather

Source: USDA

Sustained Wet Conditions

Heavy rains last week saturated fields and prevented any large-scale planting activities, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 31 percent adequate and 69 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 14 was 56.8 degrees, 9.4 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.86 inches of precipitation, 0.98 inches above average. There were 0.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 14.
Farmers reported that with the excess rain, the only field work that could be done was applying herbicide and fertilizing wheat. Oats were 11 percent planted. Winter wheat was 51 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 70 percent good to excellent. Warmer than normal conditions continued to push fruit crop development.

Ohio Crop Weather – April 1, 2024

Source: USDA

This year’s weather has been temperamental, with temperatures fluctuating wildly between above average to below average over the past few months, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 32 percent adequate and 68 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 7 was 46.3 degrees, 0.3 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 2.67 inches of precipitation, 1.8 inches above average. There were 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 7. Precipitation last week left fields saturated and brought fieldwork to a stop. Drier weather settled in towards the end of the week, but most fields remained too wet to hold heavy equipment. Oats were 7 percent planted. Winter wheat was 16 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 67 percent good to excellent. Fruit trees began blossoming in the northern counties after last week’s light frost.

Battle for the Belt:

Season 2 Episode 2- Who Won 2023- Corn or Soybean?

Project Overview

Battle for the Belt aims to answer four questions:

  • Which crop should we plant first- corn or soybean?
  • Which crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting?
  • Can we adjust management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting?
  • How are insects, diseases, weeds, and other factors affected by planting date?


  • Planting window is shrinking
    • Between April 17 and May 15 we have an average of 15 suitable field workdays.
  • Corn yield decrease of 1.75 bushel per day after April 30th.
  • Soybean yield decrease of .5 bushel per day after April 3oth.

Purple Fields Everywhere

While driving through Knox County looking at wheat fields last week, I noticed many, many “purple fields”.  The purple plants are a combination of purple deadnettle and henbit.  This time of year these plants (weeds) can be found in fields, roadsides, gardens, flowerbeds and landscaped areas.

These winter annuals begin to develop in fall, form a small rosette of leaves that overwinter, and complete their development in spring, forming flowers and seeds. They die in late spring and early summer after setting seed.

Purple Deadnettle vs. Henbit

Purple Deadnettle

Purple deadnettle and henbit belong to the mint family and thus have a square stem.  Both have two-lipped tubular flowers, opposite leaves. The leaves of purple deadnettle at the apex of the stems are tinted purple and fade to green as they mature. The leaves have a short petiole (stem) and are heart- or triangular-shaped with rounded teeth on the leaf margin.



The leaves of henbit are more rounded and scalloped and clasp the stem directly – they do not have a leaf petiole.  Henbit flowers are pink to purple with darker purple spots than those of purple deadnettle. The flowers of henbit are longer and more slender than those of purple deadnettle.

What to watch for with Asian longhorned ticks and Theileria in Ohio in 2024

– Tim McDermott DVM, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County (originally published in Farm and Dairy)

Visit, your guide to ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting pests. Photo: Anna Pasternak, UK entomology graduate student

One of the worrisome things about ticks in Ohio has been the increasing numbers of ticks of medical importance to humans, companion animals, and livestock as we have gone from one tick of medical importance twenty years ago to five now, including two new ticks in the past few years. While ticks have always been a problem in cattle, the invasive Asian longhorned (ALHT) tick that was first discovered in Ohio in 2020 has demonstrated the ability to not only vector, or transmit disease to cattle, but to cause mortality in cattle through high numbers of ticks feeding upon the animals. I first wrote about ALHT  in All About Grazing in July of 2020 with the article “The Threat of Asian longhorned tick continues” and then followed up with a March 2nd, 2023 article “Managing Asian longhorned ticks on pasture” so I want to provide an update on where we are in the state of Ohio with ALHT right now.





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