Featured News



Alleviate compaction to reduce yield losses

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

As a result of the wet spring weather there was a great deal of variability in corn and soybean fields in 2019. Early rainy weather caused wet soil conditions early in the growing season, flooded areas of fields, and resulted in fields that had to be replanted. Although in many cases the saturated soil conditions stunted crop growth, in some cases compaction is to blame. Field work this spring when soils were too wet or “marginal” created yield-limiting shallow compaction, smearing of the seed furrow, etc.

In the 2012-01 issue of the C.O.R.N. Newsletter Randall Reader and Alan Sundermeier state that “Years of OSU Extension research on Hoytville silty clay loam showed that through compaction, 10% to 15% of the potential crop yield was being left in the field.” Horizontal root development and poor root development in general are indications of soil compaction.… Continue reading

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Pawpaw market growing in Ohio

The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit that is native to the United States, grown indigenous in some 26 states nationwide including Ohio. The majority of pawpaws are grown from the Great Lakes to the Florida Panhandle, with mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states being the primary growing region. Grown on trees, pawpaws ripen in the fall and are generally harvested from late August to mid-October.

Not to be confused with papayas, the skin color of ripe pawpaws can range from green to brown or black on the outside and is yellow on the inside, with a ripe pawpaw about the size of a large potato. The meat of the fruit, which is soft and mushy like an avocado, has been described as tasting a little like a rich, custardy tropical blend of banana, mango, and pineapple, according to Brad Bergefurd, a horticulture specialist with Ohio State University Extension.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, (CFAES).… Continue reading

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Changes in worker program has benefits for finding farm labor

Hiring migrant farm workers will become cheaper and easier as a result of several upcoming changes to the process, according to a labor economist with The Ohio State University.

The new rules on getting visas for temporary foreign workers will allow agricultural employers to pay migrant workers an hourly wage based on what other domestic workers employed in the same position in the area are paid.

“That should help keep costs down for farmers,” said Joyce Chen, an associate professor in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The current formula for calculating wages requires farms to average the hourly wages of both U.S. supervisors and their field workers to generate an hourly wage for temporary foreign workers in a county.

So, if a domestic lettuce picker in Sandusky County is paid $10 an hour and a supervisor is paid $15 an hour, the temporary migrant worker not in a management position has to be paid at least $12.50 an hour, the average of those two hourly wages.… Continue reading

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Dry conditions can lead to nitrates in corn

By Peter Thomison, Laura Lindsey, Steve Culman, Sam Custer, Ohio State University Extension

Have very dry soil conditions increased the potential for toxic levels of nitrates in corn harvested for silage? Nitrates absorbed from the soil by plant roots are normally incorporated into plant tissue as amino acids, proteins and other nitrogenous compounds. Thus, the concentration of nitrate in the plant is usually low. The primary site for converting nitrates to these products is in growing green leaves. Under unfavorable growing conditions, especially drought, this conversion process is retarded, causing nitrate to accumulate in the stalks, stems and other conductive tissue. The highest concentration of nitrates is in the lower part of the stalk or stem. For example, the bulk of the nitrate in a drought-stricken corn plant can be found in the bottom third of the stalk. If moisture conditions improve, the conversion process accelerates and within a few days nitrate levels in the plant returns to normal.… Continue reading

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“Partial” trade agreement reached with China

President Donald Trump announced on Oct. 11 the United States had reached a deal with China to put the brakes on a trade dispute between the two countries. The United States will delay additional tariffs on Chinese imports and, in exchange, China has agreed to what are thus far unspecified changes to intellectual property policies and currency guidelines. The country will also reportedly import between $40 billion to $50 billion worth of agricultural goods from the United States over an unspecified period of time.

This “Phase 1” trade deal with China is not yet written agreement, however, which will be drafted over the next several weeks.

President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He were scheduled to meet at the White House later in the day on Oct. 11 to discuss the “partial agreement.” Earlier in the week, Chinese trade representatives met with their U.S. counterparts in Washington, D.C. to lay the groundwork for a deal.… Continue reading

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Ohio Agri-Women Awards 2019 scholarships

The Ohio Agri-Women recently named the recipients of its 2019 scholarships. The recipients include McKenna Marshall, Meredith Oglesby, Abbygail Pitstick and Lauren Almasy. Ohio Agri- Women is part of American Agri-Women, a national coalition of farm, ranch and agri-business women. Here are more details about the scholarship winners:

McKenna Marshall is the $1,000 Graduate Scholarship winner. She is attending Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. She grew up working on her family dairy and crop farm, while experiencing Ohio Agri-Women with her mother. She hopes to stay involved with her family farm while working as a farm and small animal vet.

Meredith Oglesby is the $1,000 Undergraduate Scholarship winner. She is attending The Ohio State University majoring in agricultural communication with a minor in environment, economy, development, and sustainability. While maintaining a herd of cattle she hopes to work in communications for the non-profit sector focused in food security and hunger, increasing food access and healthy eating across the state of Ohio.… Continue reading

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Watch for corn stalk issues this fall

By Peter Thomison, Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

It may be an especially challenging year for corn stalk quality in Ohio. Stress conditions increase the potential for stalk rot that often leads to stalk lodging.

This year persistent rains through June caused unprecedented planting delays. Saturated soils resulted in shallow root systems. Corn plantings in wet soils often resulted in surface and in-furrow compaction further restricting root growth. Since July, limited rainfall in much of the state has stressed corn and marginal root systems have predisposed corn to greater water stress.

Corn stalk rot, and consequently, lodging, are the results of several different but interrelated factors. The actual disease, stalk rot, is caused by one or more of several fungi capable of colonizing and disintegrating of the inner tissues of the stalk. The most common members of the stalk rot complex are Gibberella zeae, Colletotrichum graminicola, Stenocarpella maydis and members of the genus Fusarium.… Continue reading

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Managing corn harvest this fall with variable corn conditions

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, James Morris, Will Hamman, Ohio State University Extension

 

Thanks to the weather we had this year, corn is variable across fields and in some areas we will be harvesting corn at higher moistures than normal. Stalk quality may also be variable by field and amount of stress the plant was under. This variability and high moisture may require us to look harder at combine settings to keep the valuable grain going into the bin. Each .75-pound ear per 1/100 of an acre equals 1 bushel of loss per acre. This is one ear per 6, 30-inch rows in 29 feet of length. A pre harvest loss assessment will help with determining if your combine is set properly. Initial settings for different combines can be found in the operator’s manual but here are a few adjustments that can be used to help set all machines.… Continue reading

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Soil health risks in fallow fields

With so many Ohio fields left unplanted this year, farmers should consider the risks to next year’s crops, soil experts from The Ohio State University warn.

If wind or rain carry away the topsoil of a bare field, it can take years to rebuild that topsoil, said Steve Culman, a soil fertility specialist with Ohio State University Extension.

Topsoil is the layer richest in microscopic organisms, which fuel plant growth. Besides losing topsoil, not having any living roots in a field can cause microscopic fungi in the soil to die off, harming the soil’s ability to support a healthy crop, Culman said.

However, it’s unlikely that fields left bare for one year will develop fallow syndrome, which refers to a drop in the yield or health of a crop grown on a previously bare field, he said.

“Soils don’t degrade overnight, typically,” Culman said. “Degradation can happen over many years or decades, just like building healthy soil can take decades.”… Continue reading

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Green stem syndrome

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

One issue that impacts soybean harvest in the eastern Corn Belt at some level each year is green stem syndrome. Green stem syndrome could be larger issue for the 2017 harvest because of latter planting dates in many areas. When green stem syndrome occurs, stems and leaves can remain green after pods have matured. As a result, while pods and seeds are mature and dry enough to be harvested, harvest operations can be slowed as combines have more difficulty dealing with stems and leaves that are still green. In addition to creating harvest delays, green stem syndrome can increase fuel consumption and result in shattering losses if growers delay harvest until stems have fully matured.

The occurrence of green stems varies from year-to-year and can be affected by several factors, such as:

• Viral infections
• Insect feeding
• Late planting
• Drought stress
• Application of fungicides

Successful management of green stem syndrome requires management practices that include timely planting, establishing adequate plant stands, irrigation, and controlling insects/pests.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension tax schools and webinar coming soon

By Barry Ward and Julie Strawser, Ohio State University Income Tax Schools

How to deal with the new tax law (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) for both individuals and businesses are among the topics to be discussed during the upcoming Tax School workshop series offered throughout Ohio in late October, November and December.

The annual series is designed to help tax preparers learn about federal tax law changes and updates for this year as well as learn more about issues they may encounter when filing individual and small business 2019 tax returns.

The tax schools are intermediate-level courses that focus on interpreting tax regulations and changes in tax laws to help tax preparers, accountants, financial planners and attorneys advise their clients. The schools offer continuing education credit for certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys, annual filing season preparers and certified financial planners.

This is another important year for tax education as the new tax law continues to create some challenges for tax practitioners to prepare tax returns.… Continue reading

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Don’t leave mycorrhizae stranded in your prevented planting acres

By Stephanie Karhoff, Ohio State University Extension

What is mycorrhizae, and why should I care?

Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi that colonize plant roots. They aid plants in scavenging for soil nutrients, by extending the root system via structures called hyphae. In return, plants provide sugars produced during photosynthesis to the mycorrhizae.

Mycorrhizae also produce a protein called glomalin, which glues soil aggregates together to increase soil stability. Overall, this may increase soil tilth, drainage, and the soil’s ability to hold onto essential nutrients.

How has the 2019 season affected mycorrhizae levels?

Flooding events this spring have caused many acres to go unplanted – stranding the mycorrhizae populations that require a growing crop for survival. High soil moisture levels have also led to anaerobic soil conditions that are not conducive for mycorrhizal colonization. When mycorrhizae populations are reduced, the crops that depend on them for nutrient uptake can suffer.

What is Fallow Syndrome, and how can I prevent it?… Continue reading

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Are fall herbicide treatments even more important this year?

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

If you have never applied herbicide in fall to burn down winter annuals, or done it only infrequently, this might be the year to make an investment in fall herbicides. Fall treatments are an integral component of marestail management programs. They also prevent problems with dense mats of winter annuals in the spring, which can prevent soil from drying out and warming up, interfere with tillage and planting, and harbor insects and soybean cyst nematode. It was a generally tough year for weed control, leading to higher end of season weed populations in some fields. A number of acres were never planted, and growers got to experience the difficulty in obtaining season-long control in the absence of a crop.

This reminds us all how important the crop canopy and shading of the soil is during the second half of the season. Bottom line: there was substantial production of weed seed in some fields, and a replenishment of the soil seedbank by both winter annual and summer annual weeds.… Continue reading

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Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium Dec. 13-14

The Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium takes place at the Shisler Conference Center in Wooster, including the youth program, on Dec. 13 and 14. A celebration of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association’s 70th Anniversary also will take place.

Friday speakers at the event will include Sandi Brock, Commercial sheep producer and face of “Sheepishly Me- Adventures in Sheep Farming” on social media and YouTube, of Shepherd Creek Farms in Ontario, Canada; Cameron Lauwers — a first generation sheep producer and fourth generation farmer from Capac, Michigan who runs 600 ewes in a mostly housed accelerated lambing system; and Dr. Luciana da Costa, DVM of the OSU Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicines, who will be sharing her expertise on mammary health and mastitis.

On Saturday additional speakers including John Foltz, Ohio State Animal Sciences chair and Lee Fitzsimmons, from Wayne Savings Community Bank. Discussion topics will include progressive accelerated housed management, getting started in a housed system, using social media in agriculture, an overview of OSU sheep research, nutrient and manure management, working with ag lenders, and more.… Continue reading

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Trump Administration announces changes to address biofuel concerns

Ohio corn farmers welcomed news that President Trump is honoring his commitment to Ohio agriculture by reallocating the waived gallons and upholding the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association wants to thank the President for standing up for ethanol and the RFS,” said Jon Miller, president of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. “Corn farmers from Ohio and across the nation have been steadfast in our communications with the White House to retain the RFS and reduce the regulatory barriers for higher blends of ethanol. It’s been a tough year for Ohio farmers, and it is good to finally hear a bit of good news.”

Under the Trump Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a number of waivers exempting refineries from the requirements of the RFS. After the EPA recently approved 31 additional RFS exemptions for oil companies, efforts from ethanol advocates intensified in reaching out to the Trump Administration.… Continue reading

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Ohio county Farm Bureau efforts win national recognition

Ohio’s county Farm Bureaus won eight of the 24 County Activities of Excellence awards presented by the American Farm Bureau.

The awards celebrate unique, local, volunteer-driven programming and serve as models of innovation for local program development. The winning counties receive a grant to fund participation in the Farm Bureau CAE Showcase at the 2020 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show in Austin, Texas in January. AFBF received more than 100 entries across all membership categories.
“For Ohio to lead the way again with CAE winners speaks to the hard work and commitment of our county Farm Bureaus,” said Paul Lyons, vice president of membership for Ohio Farm Bureau. “These award-winning local community efforts being recognized on a national level is quite an accomplishment and we couldn’t be more proud of our 12 county winners.”
Ohio winners were:
Ashland, Wayne, Medina, Holmes: Safe Farms Facility

Current agricultural safety training sites in the state are limited due to inclement weather, size restrictions and high demand.… Continue reading

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Pigweed problems expanding

They can sprout up anywhere in a field and they increasingly do: weeds, specifically a family of weeds known as pigweeds.

As they harvest, farmers should watch for patches of pigweeds, which are quickly multiplying across the state. A campaign dubbed “No Pigweed Left Behind” is aimed at encouraging farmers to stop those weeds from spreading any further.

This year could be especially challenging because the state’s record rainy spring caused many crop fields to be left unplanted, ideal conditions for weeds to move in.

Ohio is home to five types of pigweed, each of which can cost a grower a lot to eliminate. Farmers and gardeners love to hate weeds in general, but pigweeds are especially problematic because they grow fast, produce a lot of seeds, and develop a resistance to the herbicides that used to kill them.

In Ohio, the worst two weeds in the pigweed family are Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, said Mark Loux, a weed specialist with Ohio State University Extension.… Continue reading

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WTO announces tariffs for EU

The World Trade Organization announced substantial retaliatory tariffs on European Union (EU) goods the U.S. may levy in response to illegal EU subsidies to Airbus. These tariffs may continue until the EU brings its policies into compliance with WTO rules.

The National Milk Producers Federation supported the measures.

“Subsidies and barriers that handicap U.S. businesses in the global marketplace by violating international trade commitments shouldn’t be tolerated. We strongly support the World Trade Organization’s imposition of $7.5 billion in retaliatory duties on European products, including dairy foods, to prod the EU to uphold its World Trade Organization commitments and reinforce the importance of two-way trade,” NMPF said in a statement. “The U.S. is running a $1.6 billion dairy trade deficit with Europe because of unfair EU trade practices that block our access to their market while they enjoy broad access to ours.

“Trade authorities should also address one particularly egregious example of EU trade practices: the EU’s abusing the use of geographical indications to limit competition from cheese exporters in the U.S.… Continue reading

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Dairy Margin Coverage payments top $300 million as signups

The Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program signed up more than 22,000 dairy farmers  —more than participated in the last year of the Margin Protection Program (MPP) that it replaced — and paid out more than $302 million in its first year. That’s $302 million more than what farmers would have received under the MPP, which would have actually cost farmers money in 2019, according to an analysis of USDA data done by NMPF.

Monthly milk price/feed cost margins so far in 2019 have been above the $8 per hundredweight coverage cutoff that existed under MPP, but below the new $9.50 per hundredweight coverage limit under DMC, the stronger dairy safety net enacted last year in the farm bill. Under the old MPP rules, the total paid out under the entire program so far this year would have been $75,000 — about $3 per farmer and a net loss for them after premium costs.… Continue reading

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Many factors leading to lower yields for Ohio this fall

The late start to the planting season stunted growth in many corn and soybean fields across Ohio, and yields for both crops are expected to be the state’s smallest since 2008.

Last spring’s unrelenting rain caused shallow roots to develop in both soybean and corn plants because the roots did not have to reach far down into the soil for moisture, say crop experts with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Planting in wet soils also led to soil compaction in which particles of soil became pressed together, reducing space between them and limiting the flow of water.

Then summer brought little rain in much of the state, further hindering the plants’ ability to absorb water.

“The issues with corn this year, I think, are pretty widespread,” said Peter Thomison, a corn field specialist with CFAES.

Ohio’s corn yield is forecasted to be down 34% from last year’s yield; and its soybean yield, down 31%.… Continue reading

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