New bulletins on personal guarantees and operating loans

Farms and financing–that’s a common combination in agriculture.  Because farm operators often use financing arrangements to fund the capital-intensive nature of farming, we created the Financing the Farm law bulletin series.  The series aims to help operators, especially new and beginning farmers, understand the legal workings of farm financing arrangements.

We’ve just added two new bulletins to the Financing the Farm series.  “Personal Guarantees and Agricultural Loans” address the legalities of a personal guarantee–a personal promise made by a third party to pay the loan if the borrower fails to do so.  We explain when lenders might require a personal guarantee for a loan, how a personal guarantee works, and issues and implications for entering into this type of agreement. Continue reading

Ohio Legislative Update: County Fair Funds, Water Quality Bonds, Animal-drawn Vehicles, Regulation, Broadband Services, Eminent Domain, Beginning Farmer Funds, Wind, Solar

Hopefully, Ohio’s planting season will soon be as busy as its legislative season.  There’s a lot of activity down at the capitol these days, with many bills on the move.  Here’s a summary of bills that could impact agriculture and rural communities. Note that the summary doesn’t include the budget bill, which we’ll address in a separate article.

Water quality bonds.  A joint resolution recently offered in the Senate supports amending Ohio’s Constitution to create permanent funds for clean water improvements.  S.J.R. 2, a bipartisan proposal from Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Hts.) would place a ballot issue before voters in November.  The issue proposes amending the Constitution to allow for the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund clean water improvements.  Up to $1 billion over 10 years would be permissible, with no more than $100 million allocated in any fiscal year.  Bond funds would create a permanent source of funding for the H2Ohio program, which is now dependent upon the state budget process.

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Federal bills target carbon reduction practices on farms and forests

President Biden announced a major goal this week–for the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half over the next decade as compared to 2005 levels.  Agriculture will play a key role in that reduction by “deploying cutting-edge tools to make the soil of our heartland the next frontier in carbon innovation,” according to President Biden.  Several bills introduced in Congress recently could help agriculture fulfill that key role.  The proposals offer incentives and assistance for farmers, ranchers, and forest owners to engage in carbon sequestration practices.

Here’s a summary of the bills that are receiving the most attention.

Growing Climate Solutions ActS. 1251.  The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee passed S. 1251 today.  The bipartisan proposal led by sponsors Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) already has the backing of over half of the Senate as co-sponsors, including Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown.  The bill has come up in prior sessions of Congress without success, but the sponsors significantly reworked the bill and reintroduced it this week.  The new version includes these provisions: Continue reading

What Questions Should Farmers Ask about Selling Carbon Credits?

Originally Published in FarmDocDaily:  Sellars, S., G. Schnitkey, C. Zulauf, K. Swanson, and N. Paulson. “What Questions Should Farmers Ask about Selling Carbon Credits?.” farmdoc daily (11):59, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 13, 2021. Permalink

By: Sarah Sellars, Gary SchnitkeyKrista Swanson, and Nick Paulson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois & Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, The Ohio State University

Agricultural carbon markets exist through privately and publicly owned companies with aim to reduce carbon emissions through trade of carbon units sequestered at the farm level. The sale of carbon credits presents an opportunity for farmers to receive financial benefits from changing to more environmentally beneficial agricultural practices, although carbon prices may not currently be high enough to cover the cost of switching practices. Information about carbon markets can be challenging to navigate because each company typically has a different structure for payments, verification, and data ownership. This article provides a brief background about carbon markets, information about the breakeven price for carbon sequestration practices, and some questions for farmers to consider about selling carbon credits. Continue reading

Agronomy and Farm Management Podcast – Winter Impact on Cover Crops

Hosted by: Amanda Douridas and Elizabeth Hawkins, Ohio State University Extension

Agronomy and Farm Management PodcastAbout the Podcast:  Stay on top of what is happening in the field and the farm office. This podcast takes a bi-monthly dive into specific issues that impact agriculture, such as weather, land value, policies, commodity outlooks, and more. New episodes released every other Wednesday, subscribe at go.osu.edu/iTunesAFM or go.osu.edu/StitcherAFM

Episode 72 – Winter Impact on Cover Crops

April 14, 2021, (20 minutes)

Listen on: iTunes Stitcher

We have been monitoring different species of cover crops throughout the winter to see how each one breaks down or survives. If you are interested in planting cover crops but concerned about what spring planting conditions may be like, this is the podcast for you. Jason Hartschuh, Crawford County, and Mary Griffith, Madison County, join us as we hit a variety of cover crops and what they look like in April after the 2021 winter. To see the cover crops, visit youtube.com/c/OSUAgronomicCrops under the Cover Crops playlist. Let us know what you think about the podcast and suggest episode topics at go.osu.edu/afmsurvey

Paulding County Agricultural Scholarship from the Agronomy Committee

The Paulding County Agronomy Committee is pleased to offer their Agricultural Scholarship again in 2021.

This yearly scholarship (approximately $200) is funded with interest from a $5000 gift in November of 1995 from the Paulding County Agronomy Committee, Inc. to the Paulding County 4-H and Youth Endowment Fund.  Please see the link for the application, deadlines and guidelines.

2021 Paulding County Agronomy Scholarship

 

Question of the Week: Pesticide Recordkeeping forms for Dicamba

Question of the Week:  Where can I find the Dicamba recordkeeping forms or the training websites.

Answer:  The general recordkeeping forms are located at https://pested.osu.edu/sites/pested/files/imce/Dicamba_requiredRecords.pdf. Other Dicamba training information is located (including training) https://pested.osu.edu/DicambaRestricitions.

Periodical Cicadas are Poised to Emerge

Authors Joe Boggs
Periodical Cicada
Periodical Cicadas (Magicicada spp.) take either 17 or 13 years to complete their development out-of-site in the soil.  Adults emerge en masse in the spring.  The name of the genus captures the almost magical appearance of these insects:  Magi– comes from the Ancient Greek magos which means “magician.”

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2021 Weed Control Guide and NEW Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations Now Available

Are you looking for up-to-date weed control or fertility information before planting season? The OSU Extension Paulding County Office now has copies of the 2021 Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois Weed Control Guide and Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa available for purchase.

The 2021 Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois Weed Control Guide explains the importance of weed control and gives suggestions on herbicide management strategies for corn, soybeans, small grains, and forages. Also included are special sections on marestail, Palmer amaranth, and waterhemp. An index to all tables regarding herbicides is listed on the back cover for easy navigation and quick referencing. The cost of the publication is $17.25 plus $1.25 in tax making the total for the booklet $18.50.

The updated Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa reflects changes in regional field crop production practices,  including general reductions in tillage and crop rotations, greater plant populations and grain yields, new pests and diseases, and the emergence of precision soil sampling and fertilizer rate and placement technologies. The updated fertilizer recommendations aim to aid farmers in managing mineral fertilizer sources in field crop systems as judiciously and profitably as possible. The cost of the publication is $9.00 plus $.65 tax making the total for the booklet $9.65.

Both publications are available for purchase by either cash or check at the OSU Extension Paulding County Office (1425 East High Street, Suite 112, Bryan) Tuesday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., no appointment necessary. To pick up an order call office associate, Katie Gorrell or email her at gorrell.42@osu.edu. Please call ANR Extension Educator Sarah Noggle at (419) 399-8225 with any questions specific to the publications.

Livestock and Grain Producers: Dealing with Vomitoxin and Zearalenone

Vomitoxin in the 2020 corn crop continues to plague both livestock and grain producers. Livestock producers are trying to decide how best to manage corn and corn by-products with high levels of vomitoxin, and those who grow corn are trying to decide how best to avoid vomitoxin contamination in 2021.

In the 15 minute video below, OSU Extension Educations John Barker, Rob Leeds, and Jacci Smith discuss where and why this year’s vomitoxin issues originated, considerations for avoiding problems in coming years, how it impacts livestock, and what’s involved in testing grain for vomitoxin.

Working Safely with Anhydrous Ammonia

By Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

Many farmers are applying anhydrous ammonia as a part of their spring planting season. Anyone working with anhydrous ammonia should be familiar with the safe use of the product, understand the potential for injury and know how to respond to an emergency. There are several hazards associated with working with anhydrous ammonia in the field. One hazard is that anhydrous ammonia is stored under high pressure. An unintended release can occur if the equipment is not well maintained, equipment becomes damaged, or workers are not trained to follow exact procedures. Additional hazards can be based on anhydrous ammonia’s chemical properties. Contact with skin can cause freezing of tissue or chemical burns. Severe irritation to the eyes can take place since anhydrous ammonia seeks out water. And because of the strong odor, inhaling anhydrous ammonia can irritate the lungs and respiratory system. Some simple suggestions when working with anhydrous ammonia in the field include:

– Always have water readily available. This should include a squirt bottle of water with you and 5 gallons of emergency water mounted on the nurse tank.

– Personal protective equipment should include long sleeve clothing, goggles, chemical gloves, and a respirator with the approved cartridge. Continue reading

Are Starlink Satellites the Solution to Rural Internets Setbacks?

By: Andrew Holden, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, The Ohio State University Extension

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to provide you with information about a new internet service technology and is not an endorsement of the company or their services. I hope that this information will assist you in making informed decisions and help you learn more about the importance of high-speed internet for rural communities.  

Slow internet can frustrate almost anyone, but if you live in a rural area, slow internet, if any, can often be your only choice. The lack of high-speed internet access has been a concern for many years in rural America. While companies slowly improve service and governmental programs try to address these issues, many rural residents are left waiting for faster internet that can’t come soon enough. One company that is attempting to close this digital divide is SpaceX, with its high-speed satellite internet system called Starlink. While Starlink is just beginning to roll out service, the initial results appear to be promising. Continue reading

How Will Your Farm Emerge from the Coronavirus Pandemic?

by: Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County, David Marrison, Extension Educator, ANR, Coshocton County and Mike Estadt, Extension Educator, ANR, Pickaway County

Click here for a PDF version of the article

It has been more than a year since Coronavirus was declared a pandemic.  Everyone has been touched by the pandemic either directly or indirectly.  As an industry, Agriculture has experienced market disruptions and slowdowns in the processing sector due to the pandemic. In response, the United States government provided billions of dollars in economic relief in 2020 to assist farmers affected by the disruptions. This assistance has continued into 2021 as just recently the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced details about the “Pandemic Assistance for Producers” Initiative.1  This article takes a look at federal farm support, forecasts for net farm income in 2021, and challenges farm managers to examine how their business will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading

Ohio Local Bank Market Conditions

by: Kevin Kim, a Ph.D. student, and Ani Katchova, Professor and Farm Income Enhancement Chair, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University

The US banking sector and local community banks faced great uncertainty in 2020 due to the pandemic. The consolidation intensity within the US banking sector continued in 2020. Ohio experienced a similar trend, with a continued decrease in the number of community banks. However, Ohio banks remained highly profitable relative to the national average, and the credit availability increased significantly as the increase in the amount of bank deposits outpaced the increase in the amount of loans. Overall Ohio banks slightly increased bankruptcy risks in 2020 but are still more resilient than the national average.

The full report is available at:

https://aede.osu.edu/sites/aede/files/publication_files/OhioLocalBankMarketConditions.pdf

Farmer Advocates wanted!

Do you know of a farmer who would be an excellent candidate with leadership, enthusiasm, and passion for soil health and water quality management as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation? You can nominate them by completing an online form. Select the button for the application.

The Nature Conservancy is looking for farmers who are currently utilizing cover crops on their farms in the Maumee River Watershed of the Western Lake Erie Basin. We are looking for a diverse group of farmers; large acreage, small acreage, corn and soy, small grains, livestock, new and experienced, willing to reach out and share their knowledge and experiences with other farmers in their area. Selected farmers will be compensated for their time. Select the button for this application.

If you are interested in being part of this exciting farmer-led outreach project and would like to apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation please complete the online application form by selecting the button above.

The application period is open for farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin that are interested in sharing their conservation farming practices with other farmers.  Farmer Advocates will be compensated for their time to attend the training and work with other farmers @ $30/hour.  The focus of the project is to promote farmers learning from each other about building soil health and managing water.

To apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation or to nominate a farmer you believe would be an excellent candidate please use the online application and nomination forms on the landing page found at https://sites.google.com/view/farmeradvocate or please contact Stephanie Singer, Stephanie.Singer@tnc.org.

Wheat Growth Stages and Associated Management- Feekes 6.0 through 9.0

By:  Laura Lindsey, Pierce Paul, and Ed Lentz, CCA

It is important to correctly identify winter wheat growth stages to enhance management decisions, avoiding damage to the crop and unwarranted or ineffective applications. Remember, the exact growth stage cannot be determined by just looking at the height of the crop or based on calendar dates. Remember to stage several plants from several areas within your field.

Here, we will focus on staging wheat Feekes 6.0 through 9.0.

Feekes 6.0: At Feekes 6.0 growth stage, nodes are all formed, but sandwiched together so that they are not readily distinguishable. The first node is swollen and appears above the soil surface. This stage is commonly referred to as “jointing”. Above the node is the head or spike, which is being pushed upwards eventually from the boot. The spike at this stage is fully differentiated, containing future spikelets and florets.

Growers should remove and carefully examine plants for the first node. It can usually be seen and felt by removing the lower leaves and leaf sheaths from the large wheat stems. A sharp knife or razor blade is useful to split stems to determine the location of the developing head. A video showing how to identify the Feekes 6.0 growth stage can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iukwznx4DPk Continue reading

Virtual ANR Programming – Week of March 29

Check out the listing below for upcoming Agriculture and Natural Resources virtual programs. Click the program title to register for individual webinars. A complete listing of 2021 ANR virtual programs may be found at https://agnr.osu.edu/events/calendar.

Monday, March 29
Southwestern Ohio Beginner Beekeeping Webinars, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 30
Fruit Production Online Series, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Organic Winter Webinars, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 31
Southern Ohio Farm Show, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group Podcast, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 1
PorkBridge, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Butler Innovative Farm Forum, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Forage Planting – How to Do It Well

By:  Mark Sulc and Jason Hartschuh, CCA

The window of opportunity for spring forage seedings has been very tight the past three years. Are you ready to roll?

Early spring provides one of the two preferred times to seed perennial cool-season forages, the other being late summer. The outlook for this spring is for probabilities of above-average precipitation in April and May. Planting opportunities will likely be few and short. An accompanying article on preparing now for planting along with the following 10 steps to follow on the day you plant will help improve chances for successful forage establishment.

  1. Check now to make sure soil pH and fertility are in the recommended ranges.  Follow the Tri-state Soil Fertility Recommendations (https://forages.osu.edu/forage-management/soil-fertility-forages).  Forages are more productive where soil pH is above 6.0, but for alfalfa, it should be 6.5 – 6.8. Soil phosphorus should be at least 20 ppm for grasses and 30 ppm for legumes, while minimum soil potassium should be 100 ppm for sandy soils less than 5 CEC or 120 ppm on all other soils. If seedings are to include alfalfa, and soil pH is not at least 6.5, it would be best to apply lime now and delay establishing alfalfa until late summer (plant an annual grass forage in the interim). Continue reading

The Dirt on Soil Health: Investing Below the Surface recordings available.

Did you miss out on the live presentations for this winter on The Dirt on Soil Health: Investing Below the Surface? Great news! Recordings are available for the entire series of topics.

In this weekly series, farmers, industry, and academic experts weighed in on practical steps to improve soil health and measure impact on crop yield and farm profitability.

Recordings and Slide Sets are available at https://agcrops.osu.edu/events/webinar-recordings/dirt-soil-health-investing-below-surface-0 or on the OSU Agronomic Crops Team YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYlh_BdeqniJPI5Ga7icO7mbFzDdpK7fr or by clicking one of the videos below.

Does It Pay to Improve Soil Health on Your Farm?

Panel discussion with farmers Nathan Brown (Highland County), Matt Falb (Wayne County), and Les Seiler (Fulton County).

Continue reading