The Ag Law Harvest

By: Ellen Essman, Senior Research Associate Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
In case you didn’t notice, we are deep into the election season.  Discussion of Supreme Court vacancies, presidential debates, and local races abound.  Even with all the focus on the election, the rest of the world hasn’t stopped. The same is true for ag law.  This edition of the Harvest includes a discussion of ag-related bills moving through the Ohio General Assembly, federal lawsuits involving herbicides and checkoff programs, and some wiggle room for organic producers who have had a hard time getting certified with all the pandemic-related backups and shutdowns.

Changes to Ohio Drainage Law considered in Senate—The Ohio Senate’s Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee continues to hold hearings on HB 340, a bill that would revise drainage laws.  The bill was passed in the house on June 9, 2020.  The 157-page bill would amend the current drainage law by making changes to the process for proposing, approving, and implementing new drainage improvements, whether the petition is filed with the board of the Soil and Water Conservation District, the board of county commissioners, or with multiple counties to construct a joint county drainage improvement.  The bill would further apply the single county maintenance procedures and procedures for calculating assessments for maintenance to multi-county ditches and soil and water conservation districts.  You can find the current language of the bill, along with a helpful analysis of the bill, here.

Purple paint to warn trespassers? Elsewhere in the state Senate, SB 290 seems to be moving again after a lengthy stall, as it was recently on the agenda for a meeting of the Local Government, Public Safety & Veterans Affairs Committee.  If passed, SB 290 would allow landowners to use purple paint marks to warn intruders that they are trespassing.  The purple paint marks can be placed on trees or posts on the around the property.  Each paint mark would have to measure at least three feet and be located between three and five feet from the base of the tree or post.  Furthermore, each painted mark must be “readily visible,” and the space between two marks cannot be more than 25 yards.  You can see the text, along with other information about the bill here.

Environmental groups look to “Enlist” more judges to reevaluate decisions.  In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided it would not overturn the EPA registration for the herbicide Enlist Duo, which is meant to kill weeds in corn, soybean, and cotton fields, and is made up of 2,4-D choline salt and glyphosate.  Although the court upheld registration of the herbicide, it remanded the case so that EPA could consider how Enlist affects monarch butterflies.  The court found that EPA failed to do this even though it was required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  On September 15, 2020, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other groups involved in the lawsuit filed a petition to rehear the case “en banc,” meaning that the case would be heard by a group of nine judges instead of just three.  If accepted, the rehearing would involve claims that the EPA did not follow the Endangered Species Act when it made the decision to register Enlist Duo. Continue reading

Grain Test Weight Considerations for Corn

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054
Email address: rnielsen at purdue.edu
Twitter: @PurdueCornGuy

Among the top 10 most discussed (and cussed) topics at the Chat ‘n Chew Cafe during corn harvest season is the grain test weight being reported from cornfields in the neighborhood. Test weight is measured in the U.S. in terms of pounds of grain per volumetric “Winchester” bushel. In practice, test weight measurements are based on the weight of grain that fills a quart container (37.24 qts. to a bushel) that meets the specifications of the USDA-AMS (FGIS) for official inspection (Fig. 1). Certain electronic moisture meters, like the Dickey-John GAC, estimate test weight based on a smaller-volume cup. These test weight estimates are reasonably accurate but are not accepted for official grain trading purposes.

The official minimum allowable test weight in the U.S. for No. 1 yellow corn is 56 lbs/bu and for No. 2 yellow corn is 54 lbs/bu (USDA-AMS (FGIS), 1996). Corn grain in the U.S. is marketed on the basis of a 56-lb “bushel” regardless of test weight. Even though grain moisture is not part of the U.S. standards for corn, grain buyers pay on the basis of “dry” bushels (15 to 15.5% grain moisture content) or discount the market price to account for the drying expenses they expect to incur handling wetter corn grain.

Growers worry about low test weight because local grain buyers often discount their market bids for low test weight grain. In addition, growers are naturally disappointed when they deliver a 1000 bushel (volumetric bushels, that is) semi-load of grain that averages 52-lb test weight because they only get paid for 929 56-lb “market” bushels (52,000 lbs ÷ 56 lbs/bu) PLUS they receive a discounted price for the low test weight grain. On the other hand, high test weight grain makes growers feel good when they deliver a 1000 bushel semi-load of grain that averages 60 lb test weight because they will get paid for 1071 56-lb “market” bushels (60,000 lbs ÷ 56 lbs/bu). Continue reading

Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Webinar

By:  Barry Ward, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools
College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension

Are you getting the most from your tax return? Farmers and farmland owners who wish to increase their tax knowledge should consider attending this webinar that will address tax issues specific to this industry. Content focuses on important tax issues and will offer insight into new COVID related legislation.

Mark your calendars for December 3rd, 2020 to participate in this live webinar from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The event is a joint offering from OSU Income Tax Schools which are a part of OSU Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Purdue University Income Tax Schools.  If you are not able to attend the live webinar, all registered participants will receive a link to view the recorded webinar at a time of their convenience. This link will be available through the tax filing season. Continue reading

2020 Virtual Agricultural Lender Seminar

Join OSU Extension in 2020 Virtual Agricultural Lender Seminar

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
9:00 am—12:00 pm
Registration Is Now Open
Link: http://go.osu.edu/2020AgLenderSeminarReg
Cost $25

Topics and speakers:

  • Grain Prices and Farm Policy – Ben Brown, OSU AEDE
  • Enterprise Budgets and Returns per Acre – Barry Ward, OSU Extension
  • Niche/Small Farm Legal Issues – Peggy Hall, OSU Extension
  • Growing Customer Relationships – Rob Leads, OSU Extension
  • U.S. Ag & Financial Conditions – David Oppedahl, Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago

Feel free to contact OSU Extension Defiance County at 419-782-4771 or walters.269@osu.edu

Recap of this week’s OSU Extension Farm Office Live

The video recap of October 7, 2020, 8:00-9:30 a.m.

The October 7th session included updates on the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2), 2020 crop enterprise budgets, farm custom rates, COVID immunity legislation, and other emerging legal and economic issues.

Download October 7 slides

 

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020

By Barry Ward, John Barker and Eric Richer, CCA

Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform a task is more cost-effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020 reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 377 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2020. These rates, except where noted, include the implement and tractor if required, all variable machinery costs such as fuel, oil, lube, twine, etc., and the labor for the operation. Continue reading

Gibberella Ear Rots Showing up in Corn: How to Tell It Apart from Other Ear Rots

Author(s): Pierce PaulFelipe Dalla Lana da Silva

Over the last two weeks, we have received samples or pictures of at least two different types of corn ear rots – Gibberella and Trichoderma. Of the two, Gibberella ear rot (GER) seems to be the most prevalent. Ear rots differ from each other in terms of the damage they cause (their symptoms), the toxins they produce, and the specific conditions under which they develop. GER leads to grain contamination with mycotoxins, including deoxynivalenol (also known as vomitoxin), and is favored by warm, wet, or humid conditions between silk emergence (R1) and early grain development. However, it should be noted that even when conditions are not ideal for GER development, vomitoxin may still accumulate in infected ears.

A good first step for determining whether you have an ear rot problem is to walk fields between dough and black-layer, before plants start drying down, and observe the ears. The husks of affected ears usually appear partially or completely dead (dry and bleached), often with tinges of the color of the mycelium, spores, or spore-bearing structures of fungus causing the disease. Depending on the severity of the disease, the leaf attached to the base of the diseased ear (the ear leaf) may also die and droop, causing affected plants to stick out between healthy plants with normal, green ear leaves. Peel back the husk and examine the suspect ears for typical ear rot symptoms. You can count the number of moldy ears out of ever 50 ears examined, at multiple locations across the field to determine the severity of the problem.

Ear rot symptoms

Continue reading

OSU Extension Beef Field Specialist Garth Ruff

OSU Extension Educator, Clifton Martin had the opportunity to visit with Garth Ruff about Garth’s recent hiring as the OSU Extension Beef Specialist and current trends in the Beef Industry. During that conversation, they covered trends in Ohio, the role of the OSU Extension Beef Specialist, opportunities for outreach, the status of Beef Quality Assurance, and key opportunities for producers to stay ahead of the curve.

Enjoy that conversation here:

The transcript of this recording may be found in PDF format linked here. Continue reading

Take the OSU Extension Health Survey – Looking for Full and Part Time Farmers

  • Give us 15 minutes to tell us about your health behaviors for sun safety and 7 other areas: sleep, stress, nutrition, physical activity & a few more
  • We will not ask your name, or any other personal identifiers – your information will be aggregated with other farmer responses in Ohio
  • This information will develop future Extension programs and resources for healthy living.
  • There is a $10 gift card incentive for all completed surveys – for 100 Ohio farmers.
  • Go to our survey link directly:  www.go.osu.edu/HealthSurvey2020

For questions, contact:

Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family & Consumer Sciences, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Dee Jepsen, Ag Safety and Health, jepsen.4@osu.edu

Winter Programming Poll

Please help us plan for winter ANR programs for 2020-2021. This short poll will provide valuable input as we begin to plan and schedule local and regional educational programs, including pesticide recertification classes.  It is important that I have input from each of you.  OSU Extension offices across Ohio are patiently waiting to conduct in-person programs according to guidance from the University.

In the meantime, please click here to answer a few questions!

The Paulding County Extension Office is open for business on Tuesday or by appointment with modified office hours from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Masks are required, and disposable ones are available just inside the door when needed!

Tuesday and Thursday Coffee Talks on Pause

I am going to pause our coffee talks on Tuesday and Thursday until harvest is over or we get a rainy day that puts people out of the field.  I will also be evaluating the time of these sessions.  You can still call, email, or text me with your questions.  I am here to help you. Have a safe and great harvest.

Sarah J. Noggle
Extension Educator
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Ohio State University Extension Paulding County
503 Fairground Drive, Paulding, OH 45879
(419)399-8225 Office / (419)506-1890 Mobile
noggle.17@osu.edu / paulding.osu.edu

“Mapping your woodland” virtual A DAY in the WOODS offered on October 9

By Dave Apsley, OSU Extension

Our October 9, A DAY in the WOODS program Mapping your woodland will once again be offered virtually via Zoom and YouTube videos.    This program will focus on tools that you can use to locate boundaries and other land features, and to create digital maps from location data using free GPS (Global Positioning System) phone applications and online mapping tools.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER Continue reading

Women for the Land Learning Circle – Targeting the Maumee Watershed

Please see attached the information concerning a women’s learning circle opportunity for the Maumee Watershed.  American Farmland Trust is hosting a series of virtual women’s circles starting early October.

Flyer: Maumee Learning Circles 12

Nearly 301 million acres of U.S. land is now farmed or co-farmed by women and at least 87 million additional acres are in the hands of women landowners.

JOIN US online, Virtual Learning Circles, and connect with other women landowners and resource professionals as we discuss incorporating soil health practices on your land.

REGISTER HERE for one circle or all 6!

Brought to you by funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative!
October Soil Health Virtual Learning Circles

  • October 7, 2 pm—3:30 EST | Session 1—Soil Health Overview Learn about the importance of soil, soil health terminology, and general soil health practices.
  • October 21, 2 pm – 3:30 EST | Session 2—Soil Health – Details of healthy vs. unhealthy soil, how to identify issues in your soil, and LIVE! soil health demos.
  • Future Sessions: November 4th, 18th & December 2nd, 16th

Sign-in information will be sent after registration. If you have limited internet access and would prefer to participate in the learning circles via phone please contact Ashley Brucker, AFT Ohio Program Manager, (614) 696-6623

Precautions for Feeding Frosted and Drought-Stressed Forages

Hay bales in the field

Livestock owners feeding forage need to keep in mind the potential for some forage toxicities and other problems that can develop this fall. High nitrates and prussic acid poisoning are the main potential concerns. These are primarily an issue with annual forages and several weed species, but nitrates can be an issue even in drought-stressed perennial forages. There is also an increased risk of bloat when grazing legumes after a frost.

Nitrate Toxicity

Drought-stressed forages can accumulate toxic nitrate levels. This can occur in many different forage species, including both annuals and perennials. Several areas in Ohio have been dry of late. Corn, oat, and other small grains, sudangrass, and sorghum-sudangrass, and many weed species including johnsongrass can accumulate toxic levels of nitrates. Even alfalfa can accumulate toxic nitrate levels under severe drought stress.

Before feeding or grazing drought-stressed forage, send in a forage sample to be tested for nitrates. Most labs now offer nitrate tests, so it is likely that you can get a forage nitrate test by your favorite lab. Several labs are listed at the end of this article that does nitrate testing. This list is for your convenience and no labs are intentionally omitted. Check your chosen lab’s website or call them and follow their specific instructions about how to collect and handle the sample. The cost is well worth it against the risk of losing animals.

See the following references for more details:

Nitrates in Cattle Sheep and Goats (University of Wisconsin Extension) https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/forage/nitrate-poisoning-in-cattle-sheep-and-goats/

Nitrates and Prussic Acid in Forages (Texas Cooperative Extension) http://forages.tamu.edu/PDF/Nitrate.pdf

Nitrate accumulation in frosted forages. Freezing damage slows down metabolism in all plants, and this might result in nitrate accumulation in plants that are still growing, especially grasses like oats and other small grains, millet, and sudangrass.  This build-up usually is not hazardous to grazing animals, but green chop or hay cut right after a freeze can be more dangerous. When in doubt, test the forage for nitrates before grazing or feeding it. Continue reading

Farm Office Live Scheduled for October 7, 2020

Join the OSU Extension Farm Office team for discussions on the latest agricultural law and farm management news.  The next session will be held on October 7, 2020, from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Farm Office Live will be back for a review of the latest on round two of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), 2020 crop enterprise budgets, new custom rates, and Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents survey summary, Ohio’s COVID-19 immunity legislation, and other current issues in farm management.

Join our experts for quick presentations and Q & A. Go to https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive to register or view past webinars and PowerPoint slides.

Decent Harvest Weather Likely to Continue into October

By Aaron Wilson, OSU Extension

Weather Summary

Ohio’s weather has been dominated by the high pressure of late, bringing with it a pattern of warm, sunny days and cool nights for the last couple of weeks. During this time, little to no rain has fallen across the state. As daylight hours are growing shorter, evaporation is not as strong as it is during the summer. Therefore, drought conditions are not rapidly expanding across Ohio. However, persistent dryness is evident across areas of northwest, southwest, and far northeast Ohio, where soils remain dry. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates about 18% of Ohio is still experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions (Fig. 1). For more information on recent climate conditions and impacts, check out the latest Hydro-Climate Assessment from the State Climate Office of Ohio.

Figure 1: U.S. Drought Monitor for Ohio as reported on Thursday, September 22, 2020.

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Wheat Management for Fall 2020

Hessian Fly Free Date by county in Ohio.

Wheat helps reduce problems associated with the continuous planting of soybean and corn. With soybean harvest quickly approaching, we would like to remind farmers of a few management decisions that are important for a successful crop.

  1. Variety Selection. Select high-yielding varieties with high test weight, good straw strength, and adequate disease resistance. Do not jeopardize your investment by planting anything but the best yielding varieties that also have resistance to the important diseases in your area. Depending on your area of the state, you may need good resistance to powdery mildew, Stagonospora leaf blotch, and/or leaf rust. Avoid varieties with susceptibility to Fusarium head scab. Plant seed that has been properly cleaned to remove shriveled kernels and treated with a fungicide seed treatment to control seed-borne diseases. The 2020 Ohio Wheat Performance Test results can be found at https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/wheattrials/
  2. Planting Date. Plant after the Hessian Fly Safe Date for your county. This date varies between September 22 for northern counties and October 5 for southern-most counties (Figure 1). Planting before the Fly Safe Date increases the risk of insect and disease problems including Hessian fly and aphids carrying Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus. The best time to plant is within 10 days after the Fly Safe Date.
  3. Seeding Rate. Optimum seeding rates are between 1.2 and 1.6 million seeds per acre. For drills with 7.5-inch row spacing, this is about 18 to 24 seeds per foot of row. When wheat is planted on time, the actual seeding rate has little effect on yield, but high seeding rates (above 30 seeds per foot of row) increase lodging and the risk of severe powdery mildew development next spring.
  4. Planting Depth. Planting depth is critical for tiller development and winter survival. Plant seed 1.5 inches deep and make sure planting depth is uniform across the field. No-till wheat seeded into soybean stubble is ideal, but make sure the soybean residue is uniformly spread over the surface of the ground. Shallow planting is the main cause of low tiller numbers and poor over-winter survival due to heaving and freeze injury.
  5. Fertilizer Application. Apply 20 of nitrogen per acre before planting to promote fall tiller development. Do not apply more than 10 lb N per acre as urea in contact with the seed. A soil test should be completed to determine phosphorus and potassium needs. Wheat requires more phosphorus than corn or soybean, and soil test levels should be maintained between 30-50 ppm (Mehlich-3 P) for optimum production. If the soil test indicates less than 30 ppm, then apply 80 to 110 pounds of P2O5 at planting, depending on yield potential. Do not add any phosphorus if soil test levels are higher than 50 ppm. Soil potassium should be maintained at 120 to 170 ppm (Mehlich-3 K) for soils with a cation exchange capacity >6 meq/100 g). For sandy soils with a cation exchange capacity of <5 meq/100 g, soil potassium should be maintained at 100 to 130 ppm. If potassium levels are low, apply between 65 to 180 pounds of K2O at planting, depending on the soil cation exchange capacity and yield potential. Soil pH should be between 6.3 and 7.0. In Ohio, limed soils usually have adequate calcium and magnesium. Sulfur should be added in the spring to sandy soils and soils with low organic matter. Ohio research from the past several years has not shown a yield response to supplemental sulfur on medium to fine-textured soils that have adequate organic matter. For the recently revised Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa see: https://agcrops.osu.edu/FertilityResources/tri-state_info

Using Soil Tests Phosphorus Results to Identify Agronomic and Conservation Needs

What is a soil test? | Dreamlawns Lawn Care“What are the right decisions for phosphorus management in crop production that reduce water quality impacts?” is a common question I have from farmers looking to improve yield yet are concerned about downstream water quality impacts of phosphorus.

A representative agronomic soil test has long been an essential tool for sound agronomic nutrient management decisions. That same agronomic test result can be a useful indicator for identifying fields where additional conservation practices might improve water quality. Fields with Soil Test Phosphorus (STP) levels two to three times higher than the agronomic need result in increased phosphorus losses measured on the edge of field water quality monitoring.

As soil test results are reviewed this fall, consider keeping a list of fields in three categories based on STP levels that define the risk of yield loss for the corn/soybean rotation and risk of increased water quality impacts.

  1. Less than 20 PPM Mehlich 3 STP (or 30 PPM if wheat/alfalfa in the rotation)
  2. Between 20-40 PPM (or 30-50 PPM if wheat/alfalfa are in the rotation)
  3. Greater than 50 PPM

Continue reading