Ohio hit with snowfall & cold weather, stopping Harvest right in its tracks – Cowsmo

Ohio hit with snowfall & cold weather, stopping Harvest right in its tracks

North central Ohio’s deepest November snowfall in six years, accompanied by prolonged temperatures that were chilly even by mid-January standards, froze the local grain harvest in its tracks during the past week.

Most agricultural producers have not been affected, however, as a large majority of corn and soybeans have been taken in. Some local farmers even got out to till their harvested fields as the snow continued to swirl.

Statewide, 81 percent of this season’s corn crop was harvested as of last Sunday, right before the snow hit, along with 93 percent of the soybeans, both very close to the five-year average as farmers finally managed to catch up late in the season, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The early cold was a potential threat to the new winter wheat crop, 86 percent of which has emerged, but the USDA said 54 percent of the crop was in good condition, with 27 percent considered fair.

Although a dry August impacted yields in parts of north central Ohio, particularly northern Crawford County, Cheryl Turner, state statistician for the USDA’s Ohio Field Office, said the state is expected to post record corn and soybean yields this year.

Corn yield is estimated to be 177 bushels per acre, tying the record from last year, whereas production should be down to 616 million bushels, down 7 percent compared with 2014. Soybean yield, at a projected 50 bushels an acre, would be a record, as would an estimated production of 244.5 million bushels.

Turner also noted that Ohio dairy herds produced 457 million pounds of milk last month, up 2.9 percent from a year ago, or 55.2 pounds per cow, which was 2 pounds higher than October 2013.

Manure legislation

As an amendment to Ohio House Bill 490 on nutrient management, state lawmakers have banned the spreading of manure or commercial fertilizer in the western Lake Erie basin when the ground is frozen or snow-covered in an effort to reduce harmful algal buildup in the lake.

The amendment is more complicated than that, however. It also prohibits manure spreading when the top 2 inches of soil are saturated or there is a 50 percent chance of precipitation, though it will be allowed if it’s injected into the ground, incorporated into the soil within 24 hours or applied to growing crop.

The amendment passed the Ohio House on Wednesday, with the state Senate expected to take it up shortly.

Meeting season

Speaking of water quality and soil preservation, the Ohio No-Till Council Conference will be from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Der Dutchman restaurant in Plain City.

Farmers, crop consultants and educators from the Ohio State University Extension will present ideas on how to keep fertilizers on the field, along with cover crops and other matters.

For information on the event, call Randall Reeder at 614-292-6648 or visit fabe.osu.edu/notill.

Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is offering free workshops on how to develop nutrient management plans that meet the criteria for the new Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program, also designed to keep elevated amounts of phosphorus out of Lake Erie.

Locally, a workshop is scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Marion County OSU Extension Office at 222 W. Center St. in Marion. Although the workshop is free, registration is required.

For more information, call Greg LaBarge at 740-223-4040 or visit agcrops.osu.edu/calendar.

Farmland preservation

A dozen entities across the state are receiving funding from the Clean Ohio Fund to preserve farmland through the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program.

The voluntary program allows landowners to sell easements on their farms to the state so the acreage can remain in agricultural production. Farms must be active, 40 or more acres, and participants in the CAUV program.

Locally, funds have been awarded to the Killbuck Watershed Land Trust ($381,272), which includes Ashland County; the Owl Creek Conservancy ($211,055), which includes Knox County; and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy ($409,994), which includes Richland and Ashland counties.

Interested landowners should contact the sponsor in their area for application details.

For more information, visit the website.

Source: Telegraph-Forum


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