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Late last week (week of July 16, 2012) the Directors of ODNR, OEPA and ODA announced the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative.  The initiative utilizes $1.5 million dollars for implementation of several practices targeted in Defiance, Henry, Wood and Putnam Counties and has a website located at that you may want to check periodically.

A summary of the Clean Lake Initiative is… Ohio announces ‘Clean Lakes Initiative’ to help curb pollution – Farm & Dairy News

Funding specifics are not available but they will focus on:

  • water control devices structures
  • variable rate fertilizer application
  • cover crops
  • variable rate fertilizer application, while also working the fertilizer into the soil
  • broadcast fertilizer application and working the fertilizer into the soil.

Watch for future information at:


OSU Extension to Host Drought Silage and Forages Meeting

Corn Silage and Forages: 2012 Drought
Management and Economics

Date: August 10, 2012

Where: OSU Extension Defiance County Office, 06879 Evansport Road, Defiance, OH 43512

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Guest Speakers: Dr. Bill Weiss, Ohio State University, OARDC, Department of Animal Science, Professor & Extension Specialist and Dianne Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics

Featured Topics:
Harvest Management for Drought Stress Corn Silage and Forages
Feeding Drought Stress Forages to Livestock: Health/Nutrition Concerns
Pricing Drought Stress Corn for Corn Silage
Questions and Answers

No Cost, please RSVP before August 9th by calling 419-782-4771, or email

Flier Download


Drought Forecast for Near Future


Baling Drought Corn with Little to No Ear?

Dr. Bill Weiss, OSU/OARDC, Professor and Extension Specialist suggests…

“It could be done but there is a lot of down side.  First the stalks have to be dry enough to be stable (less than 15% moisture).  If the plants are mowed and crushed, they might dry but it will take a while and this reduces nutrient quality, can be a risk for mold and maybe if we are “lucky”-rain damage.  If moisture is too high, the stuff has little economic or nutritional value.  If the stalks are dry enough to bale, leaf loss will occur which reduces the nutrient value (corn stalks are very high in fiber, lignin and low in protein and digestibility.  Losing leaves will reduce protein, digestibility and energy value of the corn plant.

To get much nutritional value out of this stuff it would have to be chopped before feeding otherwise animals will likely eat the leaves and leave most of the stalks.

My guess is the nutritional value of this will be 60% of the overall nutritional value of decent corn silage.  Forages will likely be in very tight supply so the grower might find a market and if it is dry enough, he would probably make more money on it than it costs to harvest.  It would probably be adequate feed for beef cow maintenance and could make up part of the diet of dry dairy cows and growing heifers.

Q. What about into moist wrapped balage?

A.  I do not think making corn balage would be successful.  You would not get very tight bales, lots of air is trapped in the stems and you would not release many plant sugars to feed the bacteria.



Another Hay Exchange Resource

By Bruce Clevenger
No “hay for sale” list is ever complete. So to continue to help NW Ohio livestock/dairy/horse producers get connected to available forage feed, here is another website to try:
The website is a product of Hay & Forage Grower magazine and the page provides links to several state hay lists.  Hay & Forage Grower was launched in 1986 in cooperation with the American Forage & Grassland Council (AFGC). Producers and university and forage industry specialists continue to be important contributors to the magazine’s content.

Information presented above and where trade names are used, they are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Ohio State University Extension is implied.


FSA Harvest Options from CRP Acreage

By Bruce Clevenger

As drought pressure continues to build in the Maumee Valley Area, farmers are pursuing every option for harvesting local forages.  The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has options for harvesting forages from Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage.  The options are Managed Haying and Grazing or Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP.  Each option  has requirements that must be met before approval but with pre-approval, farmers could begin harvest as early as July 16, 2012.  Given the current drought status, area farmers are eligible for the Managed Haying and Grazing of CRP.  If drought conditions worsen, FSA may approve Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP.  Details of the programs can be found at: or by contacting your local FSA office.

Farmers should evaluate the potential quality of CRP forage and determine if it has a nutritional value in livestock or dairy production.



Is the Pump Primed for Spider Mites in Soybeans?

by: Bruce Clevenger

Adult twospotted spider mites (TSSM) are very small (ca. 1/60 inch in length), eight-legged arthropods (nymphs have 6 legs) with a black spot on each side of their bodies. Color of the mites is variable ranging from white to light red. The eggs of the mites appear like small, clear or pale marbles when viewed through a good hand lens. TSSM feed on the underside of the foliage with sucking moth parts and may be very destructive when abundant. Under hot and dry field conditions favorable to mites, the TSSM thrives on plants that are under stress. The juices that the mites obtain from stressed plants are rich in nutrients and the mites multiply rapidly. Soybean foliage infested with spider mites initially exhibits a speckled appearance. As plants become heavily infested, foliage turns yellow, then bronze, and finally the leaves drop off the plants as the effect of heavy feeding leads to dehydration and death of the plant.  As of July 2, 2012, TSSM have not been seen in abundance across NW Ohio in field edges or whole fields.

Economic thresholds based on the number of mites per plant have not been established for TSSM on soybeans. However, a scheme for evaluating an infested field based on observations of the presence of mite and feeding injury has been developed.  Close monitoring of individual fields will be critical during the next few weeks.  Don’t assume one field represents a greater area or all of a growers soybean production.  Populations of TSSM may begin spotting and require follow-up scouting.

Scouting procedures can be found at:

Pesticide recommendations:


Hay Exchange Network

by Bruce Clevenger

Dairy and livestock farmers who are looking to locate and maybe buy hay due to local production shortages may want to visit the Internet Hay Exchange at:  Users of the website can browse by state, hay for sale of various species, buyers of hay, size of bale, quantity available and in some cases feed values.  The site also has buy/sell straw information. To view the sellers contact information, create a user name and password.  It’s easy.  Unfortunately, the  wider the area effected by the drought, the further farmers may need make contacts to fill feed needs for winter.

Information presented above and where trade names are used, they are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Ohio State University Extension is implied.


Indiana Drought Impacting Northwest Ohio


By Bruce Clevenger

While most of Ohio is dry, NW Ohio is in a drought.  Defiance County is taking the brunt with plenty of pain being felt by neighboring counties.  The most recent rain fell around Defiance County on June 21 with scattered amounts of 0.1 inch to 1.5 inch plus.  My corn and soybean research plots located near the Defiance County Airport planted April 25 and May 11 respectively, received 0.8″ but no substantial stress relief is observed.  High temperatures are adding to crop stress as Defiance, OH temperatures reached 107 degrees Fahrenheit on June 28 with much of the same in the forecast through mid-July.

Track the drought during 2012 at:



Insect Control Bulletin

by Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Educator

As area farmers, agronomists and consultants scout for insects and mite, OSU Extension offers an excellent bulletin for Insect Control in Field Crops. It is free on-line (click image) or for sale ($7.50) at most OSU Extension office or at the OSU Extension eStore

Description: Control of Insect Pests of Field Crops gives a detailed listing of pests that attack alfalfa, corn, small grains, and soybeans. Listed in conjunction with the insects are specific pesticides, application methods, and when to treat infestation for the listed crops.


Paulding & Van Wert County Cover Crop Program

Radishes and Cereal Rye

by: Jim Lopshire

Cover crops are an effective tool to reduce soil erosion and increase nutrient recycling on farmlands, thereby also decreasing the soil and nutrient loads entering lakes and waterways.  Cover crops can have numerous other benefits including improvement of soil quality, pest management, fertility management, water availability, landscape diversification, and wildlife habitat.

Proper choice and management of cover crops are important in maximizing the benefits and reducing potential problems.  Characteristics important for cover crop selection include life cycle, seeding date and rate, winter hardiness, nitrogen fixation or scavenging ability, feed or forage value, and establishment costs.  There is no single cover crop or system that will provide all these benefits.

The OSU Extension Offices of Van Wert andPauldingCountiesare holding an agronomy program focusing on the incorporation of cover crops into cropping systems.  With talk of needing greater nutrient management, and the potential future restrictions on the usage of fertilizers and manure on the farm for crop production, the use of cover crops may become a greater necessity to assure that nutrients applied to fields stay in the fields until cash crops utilize them.

This program will be held on March 22, 2012 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds in theJuniorFairBuildinginVan Wert,Ohio.  Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with program starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m.  Lunch will be served.  The registration fee of $10 is payable at the door.

Speakers for the day include Florian Chirra, OSU Extension educator, discussing Soil Ecology and Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus Problem;Jim Hoorman, OSU Extension educator, will cover Biology of Compaction, Cover Crop Rotations, and Cover Crop Economics; and Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist, will share his research on Applying Manure to Actively Growing Crops.

The event is open to all interested persons, and registration fees include materials and refreshments.

To pre-register for the program please call the Van Wert (419-238-1214) or Paulding (419-399-8225) Extension Office or email: young.2 to pre-register for the program.   


2011 Ohio County Level Crop Yields Available

The National Agricultural Statistics Service has release the 2011 Ohio county crop yield estimates. The data can be viewed at:

Additional data available are livestock inventories for cattle, dairy cows, milk sold, hogs and sheep.


Applying Liquid Livestock Manure to Wheat and Corn Meeting Planned

Applying swine manure to corn

by Glen Arnold, Field Specialists, Manure Nutrient Management

Livestock producers and grain farmers interested in learning about utilizing liquid swine and dairy manure on wheat and corn should plan on attending a program at the Putnam County Extension office on Thursday, March 1st at 7:00pm. The Putnam County Extension Office address is 124 Putnam Parkway, Ottawa Ohio 45875.

Top-dressing wheat in April (after the wheat has broken winter dormancy) using swine manure has worked well for producers using this application window. Liquid swine manure can contain from 30 to 55 pounds of ammonia nitrogen per 1,000 gallons. Applying manure as a spring topdress to wheat has produced yields similar or better to than purchased fertilizer when fields are firm enough to support the application equipment.

Side-dressing corn with swine and dairy manure has also proven to be an effective use of manure nutrients while saving the cost of purchased fertilizer. Applying manure to a growing crop also allows for better utilization of the manure nutrients, especially the nitrogen and phosphorus portions. Swine finishing manure applied as a side-dress to meet corn nitrogen needs also supplies enough phosphorus and most of the potash needed for the for a soybean crop the following season.

The application of manure to fields that have not traditionally received manure has resulted in improved test weights in wheat and corn harvested. While more research is needed to confirm these preliminary findings the results do look promising for grain farmers interested in having manure applied to their fields from livestock operations.

An additional topic will be discussing the modifications made to a 5,200 gallon manure tanker to adapt it for row crop manure application on corn. Modifications included replacing the 30” tires with 18” tires on offset rims, adjusting the toolbar to incorporate manure in standing corn, and calibrating the tanker for applying the correct amount of manure.

Registration cost for the program is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Checks can be made payable to OSU Extension and mailed to the Hancock County Extension office, 7868 CR 140, Suite B, Findlay Ohio 45840. For a flyer that includes a registration form click here

Certified Crop Advisor and Certified Livestock Manager credits for this meeting have been applied for.


Determine “A Deal” on Liming Material

by Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County

Soil pH is an important consideration when producing any crop, and soil pH should be the first soil consideration when attempting to grow a plant. Soil pH affects soil microbial activity and populations, many soil chemical reactions, and nutrient availability; thus it is an important soil property to consider for maximum productivity. High yielding crops, applications of certain forms of nitrogen, and other agricultural practices also contribute to soil acidity. Roots of high-yielding grain and forage crops remove basic cations from the soil and release hydrogen into soil solution to maintain an ionic charge balance within the tissue. Ammonium-based fertilizers release hydrogen when oxidized to form nitrate, contributing to soil acidity. The amount of lime required to neutralize the acidity created by various nitrogen fertilizer materials can be estimated. Even though liming materials are not the same, they all follow the same process to neutralize soil acidity. Lime supplies a surplus of the basic cations in a carbonated, hydroxide, or oxide form. Any legitimate liming material (based on Ohio Department of Agriculture standards (2005) works the same way. However, quality and cost do differ among lime sources. For more information read OSU Extension fact sheet Soil Acidity and Liming for Agronomic Production AGF-505 found at: