AG News

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  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.


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.


Latest Kenton, Ohio, weather

Local News

Visitor Polls
Do you wash new clothing before you wear it?

On Facebook

On Twitter