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AG News Archives for 2016-07

Crop Walk Slated For August 9th

What is that bug in my vegetable garden?  Why do my plants have brown spots on the leaves?  Why are my tomatoes cracking after they looked good?  Hardin County OSU Extension is sponsoring a fruit and vegetable Crop Walk program on Tuesday, August 9 from 6:00-8:00 pm.  The program will include an emphasis on fruit and vegetable production. The location of the program will be 15460 County Road 209, Kenton.

OSU Extension Horticulturist Jim Jasinski will be giving recommendations for pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, and melons.  He will also provide information on managing insect pests that infest produce.  Dr. Sally Miller, plant pathologist from the OSU Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center will be discussing plant disease problems common with fruits and vegetables.  Hardin County OSU Extension Educator Mark Badertscher will provide information on soil fertility and water quality.

The program will be held outside so bring your lawn chair and umbrella in case of rain.  There will be a diagnostic table so be sure to bring along any plant problems, plant diseases, and insect specimens for questions and answers.  The program will conclude with walk through a produce patch, pointing out produce issues and how to deal with them.

For more information about OSU Extension, Hardin County, visit the Hardin County OSU Extension website at hardin.osu.edu, the Hardin County OSU Extension Facebook page or contact Mark Badertscher, at 419-674-2297.


Ohio Hosting North American Manure Expo

The North American Manure Expo is about to land in Ohio.  The big event, covering the serious business of using farm animal manure to help grow crops, while doing it safely and greenly, is August 3-4 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, about 25 miles west of Columbus.  “Manure is an excellent source of nutrients for the crops we grow in Ohio and is probably one of the oldest forms of recycling we have,” said a co-chair of the event’s planning committee, Amanda Douridas.  She’s an agriculture and natural resources educator in the Champaign County office of Ohio State University Extension.

Expo attendees will dig into a trade show, three tours, field demonstrations and about 40 educational sessions on 13 main topics.  Some of those topics will be new technologies, new water quality protection efforts, and new handling and application methods for solid and liquid manures.  See latest technology and research as the event offers an “in-depth, hands-on opportunity to learn about the latest technology and research that are making manure application even more sustainable and environmentally friendly,” Douridas said.

OSU Extension and the Caren center, which also will be the site of September’s Farm Science Review trade show, are both part of The Ohio State University and its College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  The college is co-hosting the annual expo, which rotates among states and to Canada, together with the Ohio- and Indiana-based Midwest Professional Nutrient Applicators Association.  Last year’s event was in Pennsylvania and drew about 2,000 people. The last time the expo was held in Ohio was in 2008 at the Caren center.

The event’s educational sessions will be a “huge draw because attendees can hear from so many experts in just one place,” Douridas said.  Those experts will come from the college, other universities, agencies and industry.  A complete list of the sessions and speakers is at manureexpo.org/expo-overview.html.  


There will be 3 tours, 90 vendors, lots of new ideas.  The tours, meanwhile, will give attendees a chance to see other operations’ successful practices — and to take home ideas to use themselves.  Details on the tours are at manureexpo.org/tours.html.  The trade show will have more than 90 vendors, while the field demonstrations will offer side-by-side comparisons of equipment and practices.

The North American Manure Expo will fit the theme of ‘Sustainable farms for the future.’ “We’ve made a lot of improvements in understanding the value of manure and meeting crop nutrient needs by recycling manure back onto farm fields,” Douridas said. “It’s crucial that we protect our environment while feeding our neighbors.  “That’s how we develop sustainable farms for the future.”

Admission to the expo is free and open to the public, but preregistration is suggested. There’s a $20 fee for the tours, and preregistration is required to attend them.  Online preregistration for the expo and tours is available at go.osu.edu/2016ManureExpoReg.

Attendees will be eligible for continuing education credits under a half-dozen continuing education programs: Ohio Department of Agriculture Certified Livestock Manager; Certified Crop Advisor; Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois Level 2 Applicator Certification; Pennsylvania Act 49, Manure Hauler and Broker; Pennsylvania Act 38, Nutrient Management; and Ohio Professional Engineer.  Full details are at go.osu.edu/2016ManureExpoCECs.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture, Van Wert-based Cooper Farms, Michigan State University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin also are helping present the event.  The expo is owned by the Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin and is managed by Ag Annex, publisher of Manure Manager magazine.  For more information, go to manureexpo.org.


Kenton-OHP FFA Member Goes to Washington, D.C.

Delaney Althauser of Kenton, OH, a member of the Kenton-OHP FFA Chapter,  headed to Washington D.C., this summer. Althauser was one of many FFA members who converged on the nation's capital this summer to analyze their personal skills and interests, develop leadership skills and create a meaningful community service plan that will make a difference in their home communities. It was all part of the 2016 Washington Leadership Conference. Since 1969, the National FFA Organization has hosted this student leadership event. From July 19 to July 24, Althauser spent a week under the guidance of professionals, counselors and FFA staff members. In workshops, seminars and small groups, students focused on identifying and developing their personal strengths and goals while undergoing comprehensive leadership training that will help them guide their local FFA chapters. Students also analyzed the needs of their communities back home, developed a wide-ranging and high-impact community service initiative and will implement their plan with the help of their FFA chapter upon return home.


June Extension Rainfall Report Released

In the month of June, Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 5.81 inches of rain in Hardin County.  Last year, the average rainfall for June was 10.99 inches.  Rainfall for June was 0.61 inches more than for the ten year average rainfall in the month of June.  

Blanchard Township received 7.10 inches for the month, the most of any of the township sites.  Hale Township followed close behind with 7.05 inches for the month.  The least rain in June, 4.40 inches was collected in Pleasant Township, closely followed by McDonald Township with 4.42 inches, and Liberty Township with 4.53 inches.  For the growing season since April 15, the average precipitation in all the townships was 10.54 inches, with a wide range from 7.57 inches in McDonald Township to 13.55 inches in Hale Township.  

June started out dry until two rain events hit Hardin County late in the month.  Some fields experienced ponding and flooding in low areas, areas with compaction, and other hard to drain soils.  Crops in these areas have been destroyed or stunted due to drowning out smaller plants and root systems where water has laid for more than two days.  Most corn has had nitrogen side-dressed, and some soybean fields are getting additional herbicide applications to control weeds.

Wheat harvest is complete, with high yields, good test weights, and better grain quality compared to last year.  Much straw has been baled or is being baled.  Soil conditions now have dried out, causing some farmers to decide against double cropping soybeans into wheat stubble.  Oats are starting to mature and rye planted for seed will soon be harvested.  Second cutting of hay is done, and some producers will soon be taking a third cutting.





June 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









Cropland Values and Cash Rent Predicted To Fall

Each year The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics completes a survey to estimate current and future trends of cropland values and cash rents.  The 2015-16 survey of Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents has been completed and is now available to the public.  Based upon the survey, cropland values and cash rents are projected to decrease in 2016.  Bare cropland values are expected to decrease from 4.8% to 11.1% in western Ohio depending on the region and land class.  They also project cash rents to drop 5.6% to 7.6%.

Surveys were completed by individuals knowledgeable about cropland values and rental rates such as farm managers, rural appraisers, agricultural lenders, OSU Extension educators, farmers, landowners, and Farm Service Agency personnel.  The survey was conducted this past February through April.  One hundred twenty-six surveys were completed, analyzed, and summarized.  Individuals were asked to give responses based on three classes of land in their area; “average” land, “top” land, and “poor” land.  They were asked to estimate five year corn and soybean yields for each land class based on typical farming practices.  Individuals were asked to estimate current bare cropland values and cash rents negotiated in the current or recent year for each land class.

Ohio cropland values and cash rental rates are projected to decrease in 2016.  This is the third year in a row that cropland values and cash rents have been projected to decrease from the previous year.  Survey results are not available for an individual county, but by region.  Hardin County is part of the 19 counties included in the Northwest Ohio region.  The survey results showed that the Average Category land in northwestern Ohio has an average corn yield of 162.1 bushels per acre and soybean yield of 49.1 bushels per acre.  Top cropland had a corn yield average of 196.4 bushels per acre and 59.7 bushels for soybeans.  Land in the Poor Category had an average yield of 130.0 bushels for corn and 38.0 bushels for soybeans.  Yield values were less than the previous survey for all cropland classes.

The survey also showed that cropland that is considered in the Average Category was valued at $6,868 per acre in 2015.  It is expected to be valued at $6,224 in 2016, a projected decrease of 9.4%.  Land rental rates for “average” ground had an average of $178 per acre in 2015 in the survey.  Land rental rates for “average” ground in 2016 are projected to be $167 per acre, a decrease of 6.2% from 2015.  For land in the Top Cropland category, the survey showed an average price in 2015 was $8,649 per acre.  The same land is projected to be valued at $7,939 per acre in 2016, an 8.2% price drop from 2015.  Land rental rate average for “Top” cropland was $225 per acre in 2015.  It is expected to be $212 in 2016, a decrease of 5.6%.  The survey shows a projected drop of 11.1% in land prices in 2016 compared to 2015 for Poor Performing land.  Average value of “Poor” land in 2015 was $5,298 and is projected to be $4709 in 2016.  Land rental rate for “Poor” land was $138 per acre in 2015 and is expected to be $128 in 2016, a 7.4% decrease.

This survey is only one tool an individual may use to establish a price agreement for farmland sales and rental rates.  Markets are often localized and based on many factors that a survey cannot measure.  Other sources for average cash rental rates may be found in the Ohio State University Crop Budgets and the National Agricultural Statistics Services; however, these may be state averages.  The cash rental rate should be available upon request for public owned farm land that is leased by a county government.

The Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents survey results, summary, and more detailed information may be obtained at the Hardin County OSU Extension office, or by visiting the Agriculture and Natural Resources webpage found at hardin.osu.edu.  In addition to this survey, the local extension office has sample land lease forms and farm management budgets as resources for both farmers and landowners who are making land management decisions.


John Deere Releases Innovative New App To Simplify Harvest Logistics

As wheat harvest continues and with corn and soybean harvest not too far off, John Deere has created a new application for smartphones that will simplify your harvesting. Although the the app has many functions, the primary one is calculating the wait time at the local grain elevator. The app is able to do this based on something known as crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing uses the data that is collected from your device and pushes it to others. Much like the popular “Google Maps”. For example, a farmer drives to the local elevator and waits in line to dump their load of wheat. The app counts the time from when the farmer arrived to the time the farmer departs. That time is then sent to other app users to estimate the wait time of the line at the elevator.


The app also has a team location function. You can easily create a team with your harvest crew and connect with your truck drivers as well as your grain cart and combine operators. Anyone on that team can then see where the rest of the fleet is without having to make a call.

The app is free on both Apple iPhones and Android devices.


Toxic Weed Growing In Hardin County


A call was made to the Hardin County Extension office about a noxious weed that is growing in the county that people need to know about.  The weed, Poison Hemlock, looks similar to Wild Carrot or Wild Parsnip.  All parts of the plant are poisonous including the leaves, stems, seeds, and roots.  Simply handling the plant seldom causes a toxic reaction in humans, but ingesting it through the eyes, open wounds, or orally causes poisoning.


The definition of “noxious weed” means any plant designated a prohibited noxious weed by the Director of Agriculture.  Noxious Weeds are problematic weeds.  They possess one or more of the following attributes: aggressive competition with cultivated plants, toxicity to livestock, natural habitat degradation, resistant to herbicides, or threat to public health, safety, or navigation.  The federal Noxious Weed Law of 1974 controls the importation of weed species into the United States.  Most states, counties, and municipalities have their own noxious weed laws as well.  There are 20 weeds on Ohio’s Noxious Weed List.


According to Stan Smith, Program Assistant, OSU Extension-Fairfield County, in recent years Poison Hemlock seems to have become widespread throughout many Ohio counties.  “Perhaps we are seeing it spread most quickly in road and other right-of-ways that are difficult to mow and seldom ever sprayed with a herbicide.”  Poison Hemlock is a biennial member of the carrot family – Conium maculatum – which can cause respiratory failure and even death when ingested by livestock or humans.  Poison Hemlock’s most famous claim to fame was when it was used to execute Socrates in 329 B.C.  It’s a non-native invasive that may at times be confused with Giant Hogweed – Heracleum mantegazzianum – a plant with many similarities and also spreading in parts of Ohio.


In fertile soils Poison Hemlock may easily grow up to 10 or 12 feet, producing small white flowers that are typical of the carrot family.  The plant began flowering around Ohio a few weeks ago.  The herb has a smooth, purple-spotted stem; dark, glossy bluish-green fern-like triangular leaves.  It has a fleshy white taproot.  Both the leaves and roots have a disagreeable parsnip-like odor.


The taste of the leaves and seeds of Poison Hemlock are unpleasant to livestock, so toxic quantities are seldom consumed when ample desirable feed is available for the animals.  Cattle can usually survive poison hemlock if consumed in amounts less than 0.4% of their body weight (4 to 5 pounds for mature cows) although abortions are possible at lower rates.  The toxicity of the plant changes little if fermented with silage or dried in hay.


Being a biennial, Poison Hemlock is most easily controlled late in the fall after emergence.  Crossbow, Banvel, and 2,4-D are fairly effective on small Poison Hemlock even in the spring.  Taller plants may need to be controlled with glyphosate.  Mowing after the plants have bolted and before seed set will prevent seed production.


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