Soil Health Tour and Event Scheduled for Northwest Ohio

Farmland, Half, Soil, Ground

By Rachel Cochran, OSU Extension Water Quality Associate

Paulding County Extension will be hosting two events in Northwest Ohio in August: a soil health tour and a follow-up event with a guest speaker. The soil health tour includes stops around Northwest Ohio showcasing different practices to help improve soil health. A map of tour stops can be found at go.osu.edu/soilhealthtour and will be updated as tour stops are confirmed. Continue reading

Call for Cooperators – 2021 On-Farm Research

By Rachel Cochran, Water Quality Extension Associate, and Sarah Noggle, Extension Educator

As we begin to approach Spring planting, it’s important to think about the intricacies of the growing season – what fertilizer to use, how much to apply, how to apply it, etc.  If you’re unsure what rate would most benefit your crop while earning you the largest profit, on-farm research may be a good way for you to determine that. If you’re unsure what effects different management practices are having on the health of your soil, on-farm research may be a helpful tool. For almost any question you may have about your operation, an on-farm research trial may be a good way to better understand what the best practices may be for your farm.

This year, we plan to continue the eFields Soil Health Study that was started in 2020. In this study, soil samples are pulled from three depths: 0-4”, 0-6”, and 0-8” within a field. A variety of different tests are then performed on that soil, including routine nutrient analysis, pH, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), total organic matter, aggregate stability, and Permanganate Oxidizable Carbon (POXC). The results of these tests will be grouped with fields of similar management and published in the 2021 eFields book and will help to give you a snapshot of the health of your soil.

OSU Extension Paulding County is here to help you find out what’s best for your operation, whether it be through sharing of information or planning of research trials on your farm. Reach out to Sarah Noggle, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator, or Rachel Cochran, Water Quality Extension Associate, if you’re interested in doing any type of on-farm research this growing season. We will be happy to set up a trial for you to get the answers you need.

Contact our office at (419) 399-8225, or email noggle.17@osu.edu or cochran.474@osu.edu for more information.

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.

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.

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

Projected Returns for 2021 – Increasing Fertilizer Prices May Force Tough Decisions

From Barry Ward and John Barker

The profit margin outlook for corn, soybeans, and wheat is relatively positive as planting season approaches. Prices of all three of our main commodity crops have moved higher since last summer and forward prices for this fall are currently at levels high enough to project positive returns for 2021 crop production. Recent increases in fertilizer prices have negatively affected projected returns. Higher crop insurance costs, as well as moderately higher energy costs relative to last year, will also add to overall costs for 2021.

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be modestly higher compared to last year with higher fertilizer, fuel, and crop insurance expenses. Variable costs for corn in Ohio for 2021 are projected to range from $386 to $470 per acre depending on land productivity. Variable costs for 2021 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $216 to $242 per acre. Wheat variable expenses for 2021 are projected to range from $166 to $198 per acre. Continue reading

Do you need the Ohio Fertilizer Certification?

The question this week in the Paulding County Extension Office: Do I need to have the Fertilizer Certification?

Producers who have let their Fertilizer Certification expire or who are new producers needing the Fertilizer Certification based upon Senate Bill 150 have two options to obtain this training.

  1. Take the Fertilizer Certification Test via the Ohio Department of Agriculture. (Link to Testing Dates and Times)
  2. Take the in-person class.

One of the only opportunities in NW Ohio to receive the certification is in Allen County (Lima) on March 3rd from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.  The class size is limited and you must call or email to register. See the flyer here: FACT Flyer2021 Pre-Registration is required by February 26th. The cost for this training session is $30/person and includes training materials and handouts. To register, please call 419-879-9108 or email Clint Schroeder at schroeder.307@osu.edu. Location: Allen County Fairgrounds – Youth Activities Building, 2750 Harding Hwy, Lima, OH 45804 Continue reading