My, what a few sunny and warm days can do to the spirits of everyone. I have seen quite a bit of farm activity as farmers are gearing up for the upcoming planting season.
Unfortunately, April looks to be a roller coaster of weather events over the next couple of weeks. By the time you see this article we should have already had our first of a series of April storms.
According to the weather experts there will be a parade of storms beginning this week and will be followed with another storm every 3 to 5 days and account for quite a bit of rain. Winding conditions are also to be expected.
On a good note, there does not seem to be much threat left for much freezing. After a wetter April indications are for a warmer and not as wet May with the possibility of normal or even a bit below normal rainfall.
Early indications for the summer growing season are normal or slightly above normal temperatures and possibly a bit wetter than normal though June could be a bit drier.
Keep your fingers crossed our farmers can have successful planting season.
As bad as 2018 seemed at times for our farmers, it appears it was quite successful for many.
The 2018 Ohio county estimates for crop yields were recently published by the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service. This annual report provides a look back to the previous production year and give an average of planted and harvested acres as well as the county yield in bushels per acre and a total estimated production for the county.
The report additionally groups counties into nine reporting districts and provides an overall state yield estimate for corn and soybean. Ohio county estimates for the 2018 wheat crop were released back in December of 2018.
Western Ohio continues to lead the state in both corn and soybean yields and production. The counties leading the corn yield estimates were Greene, Clinton and Auglaize Counties reporting 214, 213 and 210 bushels per acre, respectively.
The state corn yield estimate for Ohio is 187 bushels per acre with a total production estimate at 6.17 million bushels. The counties leading the soybean yield estimates for 2018 were Mercer, Auglaize, and Van Wert Counties reporting 67.5, 66.3 and 65.7 bushels per acre, respectively.
The state soybean yield estimate for Ohio is 58.0 bushels per acre with a total production estimate at 2.88 million bushels. Although not one of the top soybean yielding counties, the soybean yield estimate for Clinton County is 59.9 bushels per acre.
The Ohio county estimates are valuable to farmers, crop insurance, economists, and USDA. Revisions to this data can be given at a later date by USDA. The complete data can be viewed online in the searchable Quick Stats or the County Estimates reports.
Corn data is available from 75 Ohio counties whereas soybean data is available from 72 Ohio counties. All the current data is available online at: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ohio/
Finally this week, the National Pork Producer Council announced on Wednesday to cancel the 2019 World Pork Expo that is held annually in June in Des Moines, Iowa. The decision came out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever (ASF) spreads in China and surrounding countries.
The World Pork Expo hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions.
African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.
The health of the U.S. swine herd and the livelihood of American pig farmers is a top priority for NPPC.
Currently there is no vaccine for African swine fever so taking every measure possible to keep it out of the US is first priority to protect the swine industry.
Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.