Women play key role in agriculture


By Rob Leeds - OSU Extension Educator



Women are an important thread in the fabric of American agriculture. Today, women make up more than 30 percent of farm operators. More young women are returning to the farm to manage human resources, financial reporting, record keeping, as well as production and technology areas on working farms.

With endless opportunities and challenges in farming today, the need to provide education on farm business practices has never been greater. Join us for brunch, networking and learning on March 25 from 10 a.m. to noon at Tolles Career and Tech Institute. OSU presents “Women Shaping Agriculture: Ensuring Your Farm’s Future.”

Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension State Specialist will teach how to protect your farm’s most valuable resource: your children focusing on Age Appropriate Farm Chores. Kristin Root Reese, a local Farm Mom will share The Perfect Fit: Putting all the pieces together.

Farms come in all shapes and sizes and Kristin will help women see where their perfect fit may be. Liz Funderburgh, Farm Marketer at Cargill AgHorizons, will teach about Grain Marketing Essentials.

Cost is $10 which will include brunch. Registration is required so please contact OSU Extension Madison County: 740-852-0975 or email griffith.483@osu.edu

Ohio Winter Ag Breakfast Series

OSU Extension Central Ohio Winter Ag breakfast series is now heading toward our third month. Our March Ag breakfast will feature John Fulton discussing What’s New In Precision Ag and will be held at the Red Brick Tavern, beginning at 8 am. The hot breakfast buffet will open at 7:45 a.m.

This meeting is free and open to the public, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, contact the Madison County Extension Office at 740-852-0975 or griffith.483@osu.edu.

Soybean Yield Limiting Factors

With the help from County Extension Educators and funding from the Ohio Soybean Council in 2013 through 2015 we measured soybean yield limiting factors on 199 farms across the state. Data collected included management practices (i.e., crop rotation, variety, row width, etc), soil fertility status, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) egg counts, and soybean yield.

These were the top yield-reducers in our research according to Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Specialist-Hort and Crop Science:

1. Planting Date: On average, soybean fields planted before May 16 were associated with yields 4 bu/acre greater compared to fields planted on or after May 16. The greatest benefit of planting during the first half of May is early canopy closure which increases light interception, improves weed control by shading out weeds, and helps retain soil moisture.

However, make sure soil temperature is at least 50° Farenheit at planting. Planting before field conditions are adequate comes with the risk of damping-off, bean leaf beetle, and late spring freeze damage.

2. Soil fertility: A grain yield reduction of 7 bu/acre was associated with soil phosphorus levels less than the state established critical level while a grain yield reduction of 4 bu/acre was associated with potassium levels less than the state established critical level.

However, there was no yield benefit to having soil phosphorus and potassium levels above the state established critical levels (i.e., If you’re field is not below the soil phosphorus and potassium critical level, you’re very unlikely to see a yield increase with additional fertilizer applications.)

3. Soybean cyst nematode: Fields with over 200 eggs/100 cc of soil were associated with yields that were 6 bu/acre lower compared to fields with less than 200 eggs/100 cc soil. With as few as 1,600 eggs/100 cc soil, yield losses of 25 percent have been reported in Ohio. In our research, 80 percent of the fields sampled had detectable levels of soybean cyst nematode.

Many of the participants were unaware of any soybean cyst nematode problems in their field. (Often times, soybean cyst nematode infection causes no visible above-ground symptoms.) If you’ve never tested your fields for soybean cyst nematode, we suggest doing so.

There are many other factors that can influence soybean yield, so our soybean yield limitation research is on-going with funding from the North Central Soybean Research Program. If you are interested in participating, see our online survey tool at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ohiosoybean.

I want to remind you about our Delaware County Pesticide Recertification which will take place on Feb. 28 at the Radnor Township Hall from 9 a.m. until noon. Cost is $30 and you need to register by calling the office, 740-833-2030.

By Rob Leeds

OSU Extension Educator

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