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Ohio agricultural loan delinquencies have stabilized in 2019

By David Marrison, Ohio State University Extension

Financial stress, expressed as the ability of farmers to repay loans, is important to follow during times of low farm income. A new report “Ohio Agricultural Lending Outlook: Fall 2019,” published by Kevin Kim, Robert Dinterman, and Ani Katchova with the OSU AEDE’s Farm Income Enhancement Program, points to good news for Ohio farmers. The report provides information on agricultural loan volumes and delinquencies for Ohio farmers.

Agricultural loans issued by FDIC insured banks have increased in volume both nationally and in Ohio. For Ohio, the total number of agricultural loans reached $3.8 billion in 2018. There has been a slight uptick in delinquency rates, but they remain under 2%, which is a significant benchmark as delinquency rates remained above 2% for several years following the 2008 Farm Financial Crisis. The average delinquency rate for Ohio farm production loans for the recent 12 months was 1.06%, while for real estate loans it was 1.83%, seeing declines from last year’s rates.

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Surface application of manure to newly planted wheat fields

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Several livestock producers have inquired about applying liquid dairy or swine manure to newly planted wheat fields using a drag hose. The thought process is that the fields are firm (dry), there is very little rain in the nearby forecast, and the moisture in the manure could help with wheat germination and emergence.

The manure nutrients could easily replace the commercial fertilizer normally applied in advance of planting wheat. The application of fall-applied livestock manure to newly planted or growing crop can reduce nutrient losses compared to fall-applied manure without a growing crop.

Both swine and dairy manure can be used to add moisture to newly planted wheat. It’s important that the wheat seeds were properly covered with soil when planted to keep a barrier between the salt and nitrogen in the manure and the germinating wheat seed. It’s also important that livestock producers know their soil phosphorus levels, and the phosphorus in the manure being applied, so we don’t grow soil phosphorus levels beyond what is acceptable.

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Ohio CAUV values projected to decline through 2020

By David Marrison, Ohio State University Extension

The Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program allows farmland devoted exclusively to commercial agriculture to be taxed based on their value in agriculture, rather than the full market value, resulting in a substantially lower tax bill for the farmer.

The formula for CAUV values incorporates agricultural factors (soil types, yields, prices, and non-land costs for corn, soybeans, and wheat) to calculate the capitalized net returns to farming land based on the previous 5 to 10 years. CAUV underwent large-scale changes to its calculation in 2017 that was targeted to reduce the property tax burden of farmland.

A new report, Ohio CAUV Values Projected to Decline Through 2020, shows the projection of CAUV values though 2020. According to the study authors, OSU agricultural economists Robert Dinterman and Ani Katchova forecast a decrease in the assessed value of agricultural land to an average CAUV value of approximately $600 in 2020.

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Applications open for National Pork Checkoff Board of Directors

The Pork Checkoff’s board of directors is accepting applications through Nov. 1 to fill five three-year terms. State pork producer associations, farm organizations or individuals who pay the Pork Checkoff, including pig farmers and pork importers, may submit an application.

“Serving on the National Pork Board is a great opportunity for producers to support the pork industry while helping to plan for a successful future,” said Alcester, South Dakota, producer Steve Rommereim, who is the past National Pork Board president and chair of the Nominating Committee. “Not only have I been able to serve producers, I also have learned from so many in our pork industry.”

During the National Pork Industry Forum, Pork Act Delegates must rank a minimum of 10 candidates to send to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for approval. The board consists of 15 members, each serving a maximum of two three-year terms. The Pork Act requires that no fewer than 12 states be represented.

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Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program continues efforts

The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program funded by the National Corn Growers Association continues to move forward with its long-term initiative to manage and ultimately solve aflatoxin issues for farmers with the announcement of a new round of research grants.

The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE) Research Program will again offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues for farmers. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on six priority areas, were designed by southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.

“The National Corn Growers Association, working with southern state grower associations including Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina, developed AMCOE to bring a unified approach to aflatoxin research that will yield results in a timely and more efficient manner,” said Charles Ring, NCGA Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team Chair.

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Tar spot in corn

By Pierce Paul, Felipe Dalla Lana da Silva, Ohio State University Extension

Tar spot, a new disease of corn caused by the fungus Phyllachora maydis, was reported for the first time in Ohio at the end of the 2018 growing season. At that time, it was found mostly in counties close to the Indiana border, as the disease continued to spread from the middle of country where it was first confirmed in 2015.

Over the last few weeks, there have been several new, confirmed report of tar spot in Ohio, this time not only in the northwestern corner of the state, but also from a few fields in central and south-central Ohio. As was the case last year, disease onset was late again this year, with the first reports coming in well after R4. However, some of the regions affected last year had more fields affected this year, with much higher levels of disease severity.

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Building weather resilience for a stronger 2020

Weather has always been one of the most variable factors in farming, but 2019 has been an extreme example. Heavy rains. Flooding. Storms. Tornadoes. While this year’s growing season has been anything but typical, there are valuable lessons to learn in preparation for a successful 2020.

With climate and weather trends continuously evolving, there are actionable strategies and tools to help build resilience against weather extremes next year and into the future.

Resilience-building strategies:

1. Expect extremes.

“This spring was extreme, but it certainly fits the trend,” said Aaron Wilson, climate specialist with The Ohio State University Extension. “Farmers can go into next year thinking about 2019 as an example of the types of conditions we see in all long-term trends moving toward with the understanding that more of these events are expected in the future.”

2. Use long-range weather forecasts.

“Looking at short-range weather doesn’t offer much help when making proactive management decisions,” said Noah Freeman, Digital Ag Technical Lead at AgReliant Genetics.

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What checkoff-funded research means for your bottom line

Local experts in crop and soil health work throughout the year to fine-tune soybean farming strategies to combat your toughest challenges. However, that’s not the only type of research supported by the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and the soybean checkoff. There’s also an innovative team in Ohio focused on finding new uses for soybeans and inventing new soy-based products to build demand and, at the end of the day, improve the profitability of farms.

Todd Hesterman, a soybean farmer from Henry County, is a member of OSC’s farmer-led board and is currently part of the team focused on developing new uses for soybeans. As the Research Committee Chair, Todd knows firsthand the benefit this research provides for Ohio farmers.

“Every new product development means an increase in soybean usage and demand,” Hesterman said. “Every increase in demand helps utilize more soybeans which, in turn, helps the value of soybeans down the road.”

Every new product starts out as an idea.

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Cargill to invest $225 million in Sidney facility expansion

Cargill is expanding its integrated soybean crush and refined oils facility in Sidney, Ohio, to better serve area farmers and to meet growing demand for protein and refined oils.

The company will invest approximately $225 million at the Sidney site, increasing crush capacity and modernizing operations. The investment creates greater market access for farmers’ crops in the area and allows those farmers to deliver their soybeans more efficiently, as the upgraded plant will unload trucks at a much faster rate.

“Farmers are at the core of our business. This investment will help us provide them a better experience when they choose to sell their crops to us,” said Don Camden, commercial leader for the eastern region of Cargill’s agricultural supply chain business in North America. “This also demonstrates our commitment to invest in and grow with the Sidney community.”

The crush facility originally opened in 1978, with the refinery added a decade later.

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Ohio hemp laws have been proposed

By Peggy Kirk Hall and Ellen Essman, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Ohio’s newly created hemp program is one step further toward getting off the ground. On Oct. 9, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) released its anxiously awaited proposal of the rules that will regulate hemp production in Ohio. ODA seeks public comments on the proposed regulations until Oct. 30, 2019.

There are two parts to the rules package: one rule for hemp cultivation and another for hemp processing. Here’s an overview of the components of each rule:

  1. Hemp cultivation

The first rule addresses the “cultivation” of hemp, which means “to plant, water, grow, fertilize, till or harvest a plant or crop.” Cultivating also includes “possessing or storing a plant or cop on a premises where the plant was cultivated until transported to the first point of sale.” The proposal lays out the following regulatory process for those who wish to cultivate hemp in Ohio.

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Managing phosphorus for yield and reduced edge of field losses

By Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, Ohio State University Extension

A new factsheet highlights eight steps to reducing edge of field P losses while maintain soils for increase crop production. The Phosphorus Nutrient Management for Yield and Reduced P Loss at Edge of Field-AGF-509 (https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/agf-509) highlight practices that can be used to reduce edge of field losses of P. There are eight field specific steps to considered.

  1. Control erosion
  2. Identify surface inlets to tile and use appropriate practices to reduce surface losses
  3. Consider ground and weather conditions prior to application of fertilizer and manure
  4. Take a representative soil test
  5. Use soil test as screening tool to meet crop production and water quality goals
  6. With a soil test P value of 40 PPM Mehlich III or less, you can reduce risk of crop yield losses with nutrient application for crop yield.

• A soil test P value of 20 PPM defines the critical level.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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