RADNOR — For Stephanie and Zachary Taylor, the month of June may have had its challenges but was by far an improvement over the last two months on their Delaware County farm.
The corn and soybeans are planted, and they are in the process of making hay and cutting wheat.
Standing next to one of their soybean fields, the Taylors talked about this past month.
“We finished all the planting two weeks ago on Tuesday, finally got all the beans planted, finished up with corn on June 3. We were delayed because of equipment failures, but that’s all back together so we are peachy keen,” Zachary Taylor said.
“Last week we focused on sidedressing corn, getting started cutting wheat and making hay. We had our daughter’s sixth birthday party, had a big bash out here for her so it’s been a little bit crazy,” he added.
When asked about June compared to the two previous months, Taylor said: “For the most part, it was a better month than April or May. We could have gotten a little more rain here and there. We were blessed with an inch of rain last night (June 29). As far as stress, the crops are pretty stress free right now. The corn is a little uneven but it is all there. That is mostly because of moisture issues. The beans have a long way to go, but we are pretty happy so far.”
Stephanie Taylor said the family has been busy. “We have been getting for our daughter’s pig show. She is going to the Louisville Summer Spectacular National Show. She’s got a market barrow and a breading gilt. That has been pretty time-consuming,” she said.
She has also been busy with the large garden at their home. She said among the vegetables planted are 16 tomato plants.
Looking over the 45-acre soybean field, Taylor explained the weeds. “It hasn’t been sprayed yet, as you can tell. I thought about replanting but decided to let it go and see what happens.” He said he plans to spray it, but needs to wait until the wind dies down.
The Taylors farm almost 30 soybean fields in the area, and about half a dozen corn fields. In total this year, Taylor said they have planted 1,647 acres of soybeans and 389 acres of corn, which is down about 200 acres from last year. In addition, they have about “75 or so” acres of wheat.
“We are down a bit in corn It’s hard to make money on $3.50 (a bushel) corn,” he said.
Regarding the market, Zachary Taylor explained: “At $8.50, you can still make a little money on beans. At $3.50 for corn, a 20 bushel discrepancy and you are losing money. It is just simple economics. For cash corn, right now you can sell it for $3.83 if you have it in the bin. If you were to market corn for October, November, or December, it is about $3.59.”
As all grain farmers are, Taylor is concerned about the health of the young plants.
“Our beans are pretty much stress free,” he said. “Some of the beans have been coming up slow. That may affect us in the fall with a later harvest. In terms of crop progress, I don’t think we are anywhere near where we should be. This week we had three nights in the 50s, and beans and corn just don’t like that. They like warm humid nights — that’s when they do the most growing. They soak up the sun all day and water and grow at night. But for what we’ve got in the ground I pretty happy. Can’t complain too much,” Taylor said.
What is coming up in July?
“We have the pig show in Kentucky, then wheat harvest, more hay to make.” he said. “The big thing will be bean spraying. Everything we’ve sprayed once we will need to spray again.”
ODA RELEASES NEW NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Ohio Applicator Forecast and Agricultural Stewardship Verification Program will help all Ohioans work to improve water quality
REYNOLDSBURG (May 18, 2017) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has introduced two new nutrient management tools. The Ohio Applicator Forecast is a new online tool designed to help nutrient applicators identify times when the potential nutrient loss from a fertilizer or manure application is low. The Ohio Agricultural Stewardship Verification Program is a pilot certification for farmers who protect farmland and natural resources by implementing best management practices on their farms. ODA announced these developments at an event at Drewes Farms in Custar, Ohio on May 17th, 2017.
“ODA firmly believes science and technology must be at the forefront of all water quality issues and these new and innovative tools are impactful steps that will merge the ideas of precision farming and precision conservation,” said ODA Director David T. Daniels. “The agricultural community continues to take the necessary steps to maintain agricultural productivity, while protecting our natural resources and reducing nutrient runoff to improve water quality in Lake Erie and surrounding waterways.”
The Ohio Applicator Forecast takes data from the National Weather Service, predicting potential for runoff to occur in a given area. The forecast takes snow accumulation and melt, soil moisture content and forecast precipitation and temperatures into account, giving farmers substantial information when they are making nutrient application decisions.
“The National Weather Service is excited to work with Ohio in their efforts to help farmers reduce nutrient runoff across the Midwest,” said Brian Astifan, the Development and Operations Hydrologist with the National Weather Service Ohio River Forecast Center in Wilmington, Ohio. “We believe Ohio’s partnership with several federal agencies and educational institutions to develop this decision-support tool will benefit farmers and ultimately work towards improving Ohio’s water quality.”
The Ohio Agricultural Stewardship Verification Program will certify farmers in targeted watersheds in Henry and Wood counties who apply and meet criteria developed by ODA’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation. Criteria for the certification include developed nutrient management plans, accurate soil tests and documented best management practices, among others. The program will begin as a pilot with an intention to expand the program to all of Ohio.
“We are excited to be one of the first farms in Ohio to prove our commitment to improving water quality through this verification program,” said Tyler Drewes of Drewes Farms. “Farming as many acres as we do in the Western Lake Erie Basin region, we know we play a very important role in the long-term improvement of the lake’s water quality. We want to be part of the solution and this program will help farmers toward that goal.”
ODA will continue to reach out to farmers and applicators in the coming months to make them aware of these new and beneficial tools. Those interested in applying for the Agricultural Stewardship Verification Program can visit their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to find out how to become involved. For the Ohio Applicator Forecast, individuals can visit http://agri.ohio.gov/divs/plant/OhioApplicatorForecast/oaf.aspx.
Senate passes CAUV tax reform for Ohio’s farmers
First Posted: 9:26 pm – May 10th, 2017
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Senate Wednesday approved Senate Bill 36, legislation which would update the way agricultural property values are calculated in order to alleviate a heavy tax burden on Ohio’s farmers. State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) was one of the sponsors of the bill.
“This proposal is an important step in addressing tax inequities for farmers and provides more incentive for them to implement meaningful conservation practices that help protect Ohio’s water supply,” said Peterson.
The proposal modifies the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) formula, which determines the value of farmland for property taxation purposes, and aims to set a more realistic and stable expectation of taxes owed by farmers. Commodity prices dropped significantly in the last several years while the CAUV formula sent farm property assessments skyrocketing, putting many farming businesses in jeopardy. Recent farmland property taxes have increased by as much as 300 percent in some areas of the state.
Senate Bill 36 also recognizes the efforts Ohio farmers have made in protecting the state’s water supply. For farms setting aside acreage for conservation efforts, the new CAUV policy will ensure the lowest taxable level on that land.
CAUV is a property tax relief program for agricultural land in Ohio. It is the result of a voter referendum from 1973 that allows farmland to be taxed according to its agricultural value, as apposed to full market value. This program is considered a “differential assessment,” a type of tax relief used for agricultural lands in the United States.
The Ohio Farm Bureau issued a statement supporting passage of the bill.
“With passage of SB 36, the Ohio Senate has taken a much needed step to help farmers who have been subjected to extraordinary property tax increases. By reforming the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) formula, the bill will bring relief to family farmers who have seen farmland property taxes increase by more than 300 percent in recent years. These increases have come at the same time that farm income has undergone significant decline.
“The Ohio Farm Bureau appreciates the Senate’s attention to the single most troublesome issue for farmers and landowners. We will continue to work with the Senate and House as they complete their efforts to reform the CAUV formula,” according to the statement.
The bill now moves to the Ohio House for further consideration.
Rural Life Today is a sister publication of The News.