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AG News Archives for 2016-06

Kenton FFA Officer Team Attends Retreat

On June 16-17 the Kenton FFA Officer team took their annual retreat. During this trip officers and advisor Mrs. logan set goals for the 2016-17 school year. This year's treat was set from the destination of Port Clinton on Lake Erie. Members stopped on the the way to view the lake and Marblehead lighthouse. Mrs. Logan and officers then travel to the hotel for their first meeting session where the team brainstormed and debated new and old activities for the upcoming year. After this Officers went to dinner and the returned to the hotel for the night. At the start of the second day members ate breakfast and started their second session where the calendar for the next schools years was set. Officers then went to East Harbor state park where swimming and fishing were available. Officers then meet for their final meeting before returning home to tie up all loose end for the 2016-17 school year.


Whats Holding Soybean Yields Back?

The past three years (2013-15), five farms in Hardin County cooperated with the OSU Extension Soybean Yield-Limiting Factor Research designed by Dr. Laura Lindsey, Soybean and Small Grains Specialist from The Ohio State University.  The goal of this research was to determine the limiting factors that are keeping Ohio soybean crops from yielding to their maximum potential.  In Ohio, this research was conducted statewide and was sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council.  The project was done in cooperation with the National Soybean Sustainable Initiative in the Midwest.

Global positioning satellite (GPS) information was recorded for each sampling area.  Soil sampling for nutrients and soybean cyst nematodes, leaf sampling for nutrients, scouting for weeds, diseases, and insect pests, as well as grain sampling for yield were done each year in three selected areas of the five fields in Hardin County.  These three areas represented a typical low yield area and two normal yield areas of the fields.  Statewide, there were 149 fields, each with three sampling areas for a total of 447 data points of collection.

Most farmers are aware that the number one yield limiting factor in Ohio soybean production has  traditionally been the weather.  This factor is out of the control of the soybean producer.  However, soil fertility ended up being the second most limiting factor for high yields.  Statewide, 24% of the sampling areas turned out to be below the critical level for phosphorus.  In the district that includes Hardin County, 26% of the sampling areas were below the critical level for phosphorus, which is established by the Tri-state Fertilizer Recommendations of 15 parts per million (ppm) using the Bray P test.  Another primary nutrient, potassium was below the critical level in 13% of the areas sampled statewide.  In the district that includes Hardin County, 8% of the sampling areas were below the critical level for potassium.

The third most limiting factor for soybean production in Ohio turned out to be planting date.  Fields planted before May 16 yielded an average of 58 bushels per acre.  Fields that were planted after this date yielded an average of 53 bushel per acre during the three years of this study.  The fourth most limiting factor for Ohio soybean production was the soybean cyst nematode (SCN).   Soybean cyst nematodes are small plant-parasitic roundworms that attack the roots of soybeans.  Although many farmers may not know that this pest is in their fields, more than 80% of fields in Ohio have detectable levels of SCN.

So how yield limiting are these top factors?  In this Ohio study, there was a 7 bushel per acre yield decrease when soil phosphorus is less than the critical level.  There was also a 7 bushel per acre yield decrease when soil potassium is less than the critical level for the field.  On the other hand, there was a 5 bushel per acre increase when planting before May 16, compared to planting May 16 or later.  There was a 3 bushel per acre yield decrease when SCN egg counts are greater than 200 eggs/100 cc of soil.

As a result of this study, OSU Extension recommends that when possible, follow best management practices for cultural practices such as planting date.  Soybean producers should soil test every 2-3 years for soil fertility using either grid sampling or other sampling areas.  Every third soybean crop should also be sampled for SCN population, in other words, every 6 years in a corn-soybean rotation.  Current seed technologies are advancing for conventional/non-GMO seeds, as well as seeds that express traits for Roundup Ready 1 (Glyphosate tolerant), Roundup Ready 2 (Yield), and Liberty Link systems.

New seed technologies that are around the corner include 2,4-D resistant (Enlist), and Dicamba-resistant (Roundup Ready 2 Xtend).  Other factors that soybean producers need to keep their eye on include how to increase yield from a variety of sources, disease considerations, SCN considerations, herbicide programs that make adjustments for resistant weeds, premium niche markets, and relative maturity for seed.  Farmers will need to make sure they are relying on research based information to help make the best decisions for improving their soybean crop.


Ohio Invasive Plants â€" Common Reed Grass


Invasive Common Reed Grass (Phragmites australis spp. australis) is native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.  It arrived in North America in the late 1800s and was most likely introduced by accident from ballast material on ships.  It established itself along the Atlantic coast and after many years, spread across the continent.  It grows best in slow, stagnant waters on shores of ponds and lakes, marshes, riverbanks, roadsides, and ditches.  The plant can also tolerate drying, flooding, or salt water.  The native subspecies Common Reed Grass (Phragmites australis spp. americanus) was once used by the Native Americans to make arrow shafts, musical instruments, cigarettes, and mats.  This type of Common Reed Grass is not invasive and does not cause problems.

The plant stalk of invasive Common Reed Grass can grow over 10 feet tall and forms a dense network of fleshy roots.  Above ground lateral shoots root to form new plants, as there can be 8-20 new stems per square foot.  Stiff, hollow stalks can support leaves 1-2 inches wide and 20 inches long.  In July and August, purple or golden flowers with long, silky hairs occur in loose branching clusters 6-20 inches long.  Seeds are set in late September and will germinate in mudflat conditions.

Control: Systemic herbicides should be applied in late summer or early fall after tassels have formed.  It might take two yearly applications to control the plants.  Use a non-ionic surfactant with the herbicide.  Cutting, mowing, and fire are not effective because there is vigorous re-sprouting, but these control methods can be used in conjunction with herbicides.  Re-treatment may be necessary over several years due to the extensive root system.


Daylilies Topic of Evening Garden Affair

Daylily experts Cynthia and Charles Lucius in front of their acres of flowers, will be guest speakers at ‘An Evening Garden Affair’ June 27 in Kenton.

The Hardin County Men’s Garden Club with the assistance of the Hardin County Master Gardeners, is sponsoring  “An Evening Garden Affair” on Monday evening June 27 at the Friendship Gardens of Hardin County, located at 960 Kohler Street in Kenton.  The program is from 6 to 9 pm and will feature Charles and Cynthia Lucius of Amity Abloom with a program entitled “Landscaping with Daylilies: Creating Stunning, Carefree Summer Gardens.”

Cynthia and Charles Lucius moved to their Amity Road home in 2003 changing the seven acres of lush, rolling grassland into an official A.H.S. Display Garden.  In 2006, Charles and Cynthia opened their commercial daylily business.  They started the business primarily because they wanted to share their passion for daylilies with other people.  Amity Abloom is the result of a love of daylilies by two passionate gardeners.  Located in Hilliard just miles away from downtown Columbus, Amity Abloom is a place people can go to just relax and enjoy nature during a warm summer day.


This event is free and open to the public, rain or shine with the program inside the Harco workshop with seating and air conditioning.  Master Gardener Volunteers will be stationed throughout the Friendship Gardens for the evening to answer your gardening questions.  Door prizes and refreshments will be part of the evening festivities.  If you have not visited the Friendship Gardens, this will provide you with an ideal time for your first visit and to come away with good gardening information and advice.

The evening begins at 6 pm with causal browsing in the garden and refreshments.  Cynthia and Charles Lucius will speak at 7 pm and the evening will continue after their presentation with a further chance to explore the Friendship Gardens.  All who have an interest in gardening will not want to miss this event.  Parking is at the garden off Kohler Street or in front of Harco Industries.  For further information contact the OSU Extension office at 419-674-2297.


Ohio Invasive Plants â€" Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an Asian plant that was introduced to North America in the late 1800s.  It was used as an ornamental, a landscape screen and for controlling erosion.  You can find it along roadways, woodland edges and openings, old home sites, rivers and streams, and low lying areas.

This knotweed is an upright perennial (comes back yearly) that can grow 6-10 feet tall.  The reddish brown stems have thin round rings at the stem nodes (joint in a stem).  The stems are thick and hollow and its nodes give the plant a bamboo-like appearance.  The leaves are large, 3-6 inches long and 2-4 inches wide.  They grow alternate on the stem, are egg-shaped and come to a point at the tip.  In summer, small greenish white plume-like flowers grow in the leaf axils (where leaf attaches to the stem).

Flowers appear in summer and are followed by small black fruits.  There are male and female plants.  The aggressive and extensive fleshy roots form dense thickets and can reach 30 feet.  Plants do not have to come in close contact with each other to reproduce with seed.  Vegetative reproduction is the most common means of spreading.  Small pieces of roots break away from the main plant and float downstream or are transported to new sites by other means.

Control: Small patches can be dug up, placed in plastic bags and removed from an area.  If any portion of root is left behind, a new colony can grow back.  Digging up large colonies is not recommended because it is unlikely all below ground roots will be found.  Repetitive mowing or cutting in a single season can deplete the underground roots over several years.  Systemic herbicide applications generally work well on foliage and newly cut stumps.  Plastic or tarps can be used to control vegetation, however make sure they are thick as the plant can punch through.


Boots and Buckles 4-H Plants Flowers at Fairgrounds


The Boots and Buckles 4-H group adopted the front flower bed at the fairgrounds. They trimmed bushes, mulched the flowerbed, planted perennials and annuals, and now maintain that flowerbed. From the front left to right are Cain Sullivan, Luke Anderson, Jed Fulton, Marina Fox, Samantha Sullivan, and Emma Arver. The second row left to right is Brenna Shirk, Josh Phillips, Allison Underwood, Kody Buchenroth, and Kelli Haudenschield. Last row left to right is Chloe Anderson, Kolt Buchenroth, and Lane Shirk.

The Boots and Buckles 4-H group met on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hardin County Fairgrounds. The meeting was called to order. Pledge of Allegiance was led by Cain Sullivan and the 4-H pledge was led by Brenna Shirk. Attendance was taken, then calendar was discussed. County Quality Assurance will be on June 15th and the Boots and Buckles 4-H group’s Quality Assurance will be on June 20th. There will also be a horse skillathon at the Hardin County Fairgrounds on June 28th at 5:30 p.m. After that, the meeting was dismissed. Lukas Anderson gave a demonstration on Newton’s three laws of motion. Recreation was planting flowers in the front flower bed at the Hardin County fairgrounds that the Boots and Buckles 4-H group adopted. Next meeting will be on Monday, June 20that 6:30pm at advisor Jolene Buchenroth’s house.  


Extension Rainfall Report for May

For the time period of May 1-May 31, Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 3.27 inches of rain in Hardin County.  Last year, the average rainfall for the same time period was 3.70 inches.  Rainfall for May 1-May 31, 2016 is 0.62 inches less than the ten year average rainfall during the same dates.

Marion Township received 4.26 inches and Hale Township received 4.25 inches of rain for May 1-May 31, the most of the township sites.  For the growing season since April 15, the average precipitation in the townships was 4.73 inches, with a wide range from 3.15 inches in McDonald Township reported by Jerry Stout, to 6.50 inches in Hale Township reported by Tim Ramsey.  

Rainfall amounts started to lessen after May 15 after going through a cool, wet period of about 3 weeks.  Along with less rainfall later in May, the county experienced warmer temperatures.  This allowed the soil to dry and provide better conditions for planting corn and soybeans.  Earlier planted crops that didn’t emerge because of cooler temperatures, emerged after this warmer weather.  This change in the weather also allowed for farmers to resume planting under more favorable conditions.  

Herbicide programs are being adapted to meet the advanced stage of weed development as a result of the earlier extended time period of wet conditions that favored weed growth.  Currently, the county is in need of more rain as planting is reaching completion.  Most forage growers have completed or are in the process of making the first cutting of hay.  Wheat has been less susceptible to disease at this time as a result of the drier conditions at flowering.

Hardin County Extension Rainfall Report for May 1-May 31, 2016 (recorded in inches)



May 2016

Growing Season (from Apr. 15-2016)

Blanchard Township

Crop Production Services



Buck Township

Heritage Cooperative/Kenton



Cessna Township

Steve Lowery



Dudley Township

Dale Rapp



Goshen Township

Brein Bros. Farm



Hale Township

Tim Ramsey



Jackson Township

Jim McVitty



Liberty Township

Phil Epley



Lynn Township

Jan Layman



Marion Township

Mark Lowery



McDonald Township

Jerry Stout     



Pleasant Township

Robert McBride



Roundhead Township

Mike Lautenschlager



Taylor Creek Township

Silver Creek Supply



Washington Township

Randy Preston









Ohio Invasive Plants â€" Johnsongrass

Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) is a plant native to the Mediterranean area and was brought to America in 1830 for use as a forage crop.  Now it has become a troublesome weed found along roadsides, ditches, crop and fallow fields, pastures, construction sites, and irrigated canals.  The roots release chemicals that stunt growth of other plants and can reduce yields in corn, soybean, and legumes.

The plant produces unbranched, erect stems that can grow 7-9 feet tall.  The extensive root system grows in the top 8 inches of soil and the roots can extend to 300 feet in a year.  The leaves are 8-24 inches long and 1-3 inches wide.  They are wide at the base, v-shaped, and taper to the tip.  Light to medium green leaves have a prominent white midvein and the leaf surfaces are smooth.  In late July, flowers form along the branches.  They are loosely arranged, hairy, purple, and form a pyramid 6-20 inches long.  100-400 seeds can be produced from one plant and are still viable after 3 years.  10% of the seeds are intact even when they pass through an animal’s digestive tract.

Control: Johnsongrass can quickly adapt to chemical control and their rotation prevents resistance.  Also, single applications rarely provide adequate control.  Control works best when the plant is becoming established and before it has spread.  Fall application of an herbicide for established infestations will kill emerged tissue and developing roots.  Plowing immediately after harvest breaks up roots and weakens grass stands as well as exposes roots to low temperatures.  Spot spraying on fencerows and ditches can help with small infestations.  For infested areas that cannot be sprayed or tilled, intensive grazing and mowing is the best control.


National FFA Scholarship Awarded to Local Student

The National FFA Organization awarded a $1000 Archer Daniels Midland company (ADM) scholarship to Ashton Stevenson of the Hardin Northern FFA. The scholarship is sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Stevenson plans to use the funds to pursue a degree at West Virginia University (WV).


This scholarship is one of 1,820 awarded through the National FFA Organization's scholarship program this year. Currently 116 sponsors contribute more than $2.6 million to support scholarships for students. 


For 32 years, scholarships have been made available through funding secured by the National FFA Foundation. This generous funding comes from individuals, businesses and corporate sponsors to encourage excellence and enable students to pursue their educational goals. 


The 2016 scholarship recipients were selected from 8,383 applicants from across the country. Selections were based on the applicant's leadership, academic record, FFA and other school and community activities, supervised agricultural or work experience in agricultural education and future goals.


The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


What Are Those Yellow Flowers in the Field?


The delayed planting this spring has allowed many weeds to survive longer and get larger compared to other growing seasons.  Some fields have or did have weeds with striking yellow flowers.  In some of these fields the infestation was so bad with these yellowed-flowered weeds that it resembled a new crop in the area.  Agronomists call this yellowed-flowered plant cressleaf groundsel because the leaves resemble those of garden cress and watercress.  Butterweed is another common name as well as yellowtop, golden ragwort, and yellow ragwort.


Groundsel belongs to the Aster/Composite family, which includes dandelions and sunflowers.  Some people may mistake groundsel as wild mustard, such as yellow rocket, but mustards plants are in the old taxonomy family of Cruciferae because their flowers are four petals in a cross shape.  Flowers in the aster family are daisy-like and seed heads look like miniature dandelion puff-balls.  Daisy and groundsel actually have two types of flowers.  The center area of the flower head is actually a composite of hundreds of little flowers called disk flowers and the perimeter of the head has a ring of big petals surrounding the disk flowers called ray flowers.  Seeds form from the disk flowers.


Cressleaf groundsel is a winter annual; it emerges in the fall and overwinters as a rosette of leaves.  Often these leaves will be deep purple on the underneath side.  In the spring, the main stem will elongate and produce flowers at the end of branches and the top of the main stem.  The main stem is a thick stalk that has reddish streaks giving a purplish tint.  Leaves on the main stem will be hairy, irregular in shape, and lobe-like with deep cuts to the midrib.  Groundsel reproduces only from seeds.  However, it is a heavy seed producer and each plant may produce hundreds of seeds that are blown by the wind, like dandelions.  The seeds can remain viable in soils for many years.


Cressleaf groundsel is a native to the U.S. ranging from Texas east to Florida, up the Atlantic Coast to Virginia and west to Nebraska.  In recent years, it has moved northward from southern Ohio.  It is generally found in wastelands, pastures, fence rows, and alongside roadsides but has been become more common in no-till and reduced-tillage fields.


Groundsel contains compounds that form toxins in the liver of livestock.  These compounds are not destroyed by the hay-making and curing process and ensiling may only reduce the concentration.

Cattle and horses are more susceptible to the toxins than sheep.  However, under typical grazing conditions, it is unlikely that livestock will consume significant quantities because of the availability of other higher quality, more desirable forages.


Livestock affected by the toxins will have signs of liver degeneration and failure.  Symptoms initially include depression and loss of appetite and if severe, will progress to neurological signs with head pressing, aimless walking, and staggering.  Because of the plant’s toxicity it is included as one of the 21 weeds on Ohio’s Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed List.  Property owners need to be responsible and control this weed in livestock production areas.

Herbicides used by farmers in cultivated fields will control cressleaf groundsel in most situations.  For pastures, control is more difficult and may require a combination of herbicides and mowing.  Typical broadleaf herbicides are effective in lawn situations and would eliminate groundsel.  In other landscape settings, plants may actually have to be removed by hand.  The weed with bright yellow flowers will soon disappear as farmers apply herbicides and finish planting crops over the next week or so.


Ohio Invasive Plants - Teasel


Both Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) and Cut-leaf Teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus) are natives of Eurasia and Northern Africa and were used in the wool industry to raise the nap.  When imported to America in the 1700s, they were made into toys, dried arrangements, and for other ornamental purposes.  These plants can be found in grasslands, old fields, prairies, roadsides, and forest openings.  Common teasel is more abundant than cut-leaf teasel.

Both species are biennials.  The first year they grow into rosettes and develop large taproots that can reach 2 feet long.  The second year they can attain a height of 5-7 feet, where flowers set seeds and die.  The plant can produce 3000 seeds a year and they may remain viable for years.  These flowers are packed into a dense oval shaped head.  The upper stem leaves of the cut-leaf teasel are irregularly lobed while the common teasel has smooth leaf margins.  Cut-leaf teasel flowers are white and bloom from July to September while common teasel flowers are purple and bloom from June to October.

Control: First year rosettes can be removed with a digging tool, being careful to get the taproot.  Stalks can be cut before flowering.  Flowering stalks should be removed from the area as flowers will mature on the stem even after cutting.  Systemic herbicides should be applied to the rosette stage in the late fall as the risk for harming non-target species is low.


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