ANR Newsletter - August 2022

ANR Newsletter - August 2022

ANR Newsletter - August 2022

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Russell County Agriculture and Natural Resources August Newsletter 
-    Free Soil testing until funds are depleted. Limit 5 free test per Russell County land owner and/or household per year.
-    Remember to Like us on Facebook: Russell County Extension Office- ANR to stay up to date on events. 
Forage Timely Tips for August 2022

Posted on August 2, 2021 From UK Forage Extension

  • Do NOT graze cool-season pastures closer than 3 to 4 inches. This will help conserve soil moisture and prevent overheating of plant crowns.
  • If drought conditions limit pasture growth, close off pastures and feed hay in a sacrifice area.
  • Graze warm season annuals or perennials to allow cool season grasses to recover and to avoid endophyte-infected fescue.
  • After the first good rain in August, seed winter annuals (such as small grains, ryegrass, crimson clover, and brassicas) for late fall and early spring grazing.
  • Plant alfalfa after first good rain in August to allow sufficient size going into winter and reduce potential for sclerotinia damage.
  • Consider renovation of cool-season grass pastures that have thinned.

Assessing Potential Corn Yield Losses from the Drought, From July 2022 
Corn and Soybean News 
By: Chad Lee, Ph.D., Grain Crops Extension Specialist; Director, Grain and Forage Center of Excellence 

Even with the rains near the end of last week, corn in some fields has been severely damaged by a lack of water. Some farmers are calling insurance adjusters trying to decide if they can cut the corn for silage to get some-thing from their crop. In most cases, the farmer would have to leave a strip or strips of corn in the field for yield estimates later. The concern with this is that the corn could end up doing better than expected. A farmer's worst-case scenario is cutting the corn for silage, leaving those strips of standing corn, and having rains that turn the crop around and yield 71 % of the 5-year average, and the field was insured at 70% of the 5-year average. 
If possible, let the corn get through pollination. Corn ears with less than 400 kernels per ear likely have yield loss. Corn with 300 kernels or less will likely have yield losses that trigger crop insurance.

Good weather during seed fill will usually get most cornfields close to 80 thousand kernels per bushel. Very stressful conditions will result in smaller kernel sizes and get corn-fields closer to 100,000 kernels per bushel. 
A corn crop cannot makeup yield for very low kernel numbers. For example, if a corn field only has 200 kernels per ear, but has a good seed filling weather, it may have larger kernels. However, yields may only get to 75 bushels per acre. Conversely, if a corn field has 400 kernels per ear, but poor seed fill conditions, the field might yield 120 bushels per acre. 
Estimating yield is not an exact science. The farmer probably needs to grab 20 or more ears in a field to estimate kernel numbers per ear. The estimate is only as good as sampling area. If the farmer choses the worst spot of the field or the best spot of the field, that will skew the estimate yield one way or the other. 

Managing Mosquitoes in Kentucky 
By Zachary De Vries, Entomology Extension Specialist 
Mosquito season is in full swing throughout the Commonwealth. Mosquitoes are a perennial nuisance for which there is no easy answer. As summer continues, there will be lots of information (both good and bad) about what works and what doesn't. The following measures can afford some relief. 
Eliminate Breeding Sites 
Mosquitoes need quiet, non-flowing water for their development and periodic summer storms provide just such conditions. Eliminating large sources of standing water may require community-­wide effort. Nonetheless, homeowners can take steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding on their property: 

1.    Dispose of old tires, buckets, aluminum cans, plastic sheeting, or other refuse that can hold water. Empty accumulated water from trashcans, boats, wheelbarrows, pet dishes, and flowerpot bottoms, and if possible turn them over when not in use.
2.    Clean debris from rain gutters and unclog obstructed down spouts. Clogged or damaged rain gutters are one of the most overlooked mosquito breeding sites around homes (not to mention, associated water damage can lead to other pest problems such as termites or carpenter ants)
3.    Change water in birdbaths and wading pools at least weekly, and keep swimming pools clean, chlorinated, or covered when not in use. Ornamental pools can be aerated or stocked with mosquito-eating fish. Aeration and water movement helps because mosquitoes prefer quiet, non-flowing water for egg laying and development.
4.    Fill or drain ditches, swampy areas, and other soil depressions and remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar to prevent water accumulation. Eliminate standing water and seepage around animal watering troughs, cisterns, and septic tanks. Be sure cistern screens are intact and access covers fit tightly.

Larval Control 
Use of a mosquito larvicide can be beneficial when it is impractical to eliminate a breeding site. Larvicides are insecticides used to control immature mosquitoes before they have a chance to develop into biting adults. Most larvicides sold to homeowners contain either the ingredient methoprene or the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). Neither active ingredient is harmful to fish, waterfowl, pets, or humans when used according to label directions. 
Homeowners can purchase the methoprene-based larvicide, PreStrike™. Several products containing the mosquito- specific bacterium, Bti, are also sold to homeowners, such as Mosquito Dunks® and Quick Kill® Mosquito Granules. These products can typically be found at local hardware stores or online. When using any insecticidal product, always read and follow directions on the label. 
Adult Control 
Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest in moist, shady areas, such as dense vegetation, during the daytime. Consequently, homeowners should remove tall weeds and overgrown vegetation from their yards. To further reduce intolerable levels of biting adult mosquitoes, residual insecticides can be applied to shrubs, hedges, and other shaded areas, such as under decks and along foundations. Residual mosquito sprays are often best applied by professional pest control firms, with the training and experience to safely and effectively apply these pesticides. When applied incorrectly, these products can be dangerous to the applicator and ineffective at controlling mosquitoes. 
Mosquitoes can be kept out of homes by securely screening windows, doors, and porches. The occasional mosquito found indoors can be eliminated with a fly swatter. Aerosol-type insecticides labeled for mosquitoes, gnats, and other flying insects seldom provide much relief. 

Topically-Applied Repellents 
Repellents will help prevent bites when spending time outdoors. Traditionally, the most effective mosquito repellents contained the active ingredient diethyltoluamide (DEET) ranging from 5% to 40%. Higher percentages of DEET in the ingredients provide longer protection. Low -percentage formulations (10% or less) are suitable for shorter periods outdoors (e.g., a few hours), and are recommended for use with young children. 
Two additional mosquito repellent ingredients are also available, specifically Picaridin and lemon eucalyptus oil (30% Repel Lemon Eucalyptus). Unlike DEET-based repellents, Picaridin is essentially odorless and lemon eucalyptus oil has a lemon scent. For many people, these DEET ­alternative have a more pleasing feel on the skin. Always read a1nd follow directions on the container. 

Other Control Possibilities 
Many consumer products claim to attract, repel, capture. or kill mosquitoes. Most of these devices do not appreciably reduce mosquito abundance or incidence of bites, or else their claims are unproven. 

1.    Electrocuting devices or "bug zappers" using ultraviolet light as an attractant are generally ineffective in reducing outdoor populations of mosquitoes and their biting activity. Studies indicate that mosquitoes make up only a tiny percentage of the insects captured in such traps. The majority are moths, beetles and other harmless night flying insects.
2.    Mosquito traps utilize carbon dioxide, warmth, light, and various chemicals (e.g. octenol) as attractants and claim to capture tremendous numbers of adult mosquitoes. Such devices can be quite expensive. Performance claims to the contrary, such traps seldom have been shown to reduce populations of biting mosquitoes on one's property, or the frequency of bites. In some situations, they could even attract more mosquitoes into the area they were meant to protect.
3.    Portable electronic devices using high frequency, ultrasonic sound routinely appear in advertisements, claiming to keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay. Some supposedly repel mosquitoes by mimicking the wing beat frequency of a hungry dragonfly. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown these devices to be of negligible benefit in deterring mosquitoes and reducing bites. Save your money, as these devices seldom, if ever, provide any appreciable measure of protection.
4.    Citronella oil does have mosquito-repelling properties and the scented candles can provide some protection. For maximum effect, use multiple candles placed close (within a few feet) of where people are sitting. A single candle located at the center or edge of a picnic blanket probably will not provide much benefit other than atmosphere. Mosquito-repellent plants, garlic, and other oft-advertised botanical products generally are ineffective.
5.    Bats and certain types of birds (e.g. purple martins) are often cited as effective natural agents for managing outdoor mosquitoes. Conservation groups and nature magazines often suggest building bat and birdhouses on one's property to promote nesting and to protect against mosquitoes. Although insectivorous bats and birds do eat mosquitoes, they make up only a very small portion of their natural diet. Much like the mechanical "bug zappers," bats and birds capture all manner of other flying insects also. Efforts to colonize and conserve these animals should not be done with the primary intent of diminishing biting mosquitoes.

When it comes to managing mosquitoes, a good rule of thumb is: if the approach or device sounds too good to be true - it probably is. 

Hope you enjoy this edition of our August newsletter and find info that helps you, in your operation. Inputs into all area of agriculture continue to a big concern for everyone. Remember that our office is here to help you find research based info/ideas for issues that are important to you, on your farm. 

Tip of the Month

Corn Silage Harvest Practices Impact Milk Production, Grain Bill, and Overall Profitability 
From Kentucky Dairy Notes, July 2022 

  • Moisture of the corn plant determines the time to harvest. Harvest at 62 to 65% moisture. (35 to 38% DM) (Choppers without kernel processors should be harvested a little wetter-32 to 35% DM to allow breakage of corn kernels.) 
  • Healthy corn plants dry down 0.5 to 1.0%/day. 
  • Corn is generally harvested 40 to 45 days post-tasseling.
  • Adjust rollers on kernel processors so that no more than 2 or 3 half or whole kernels of corn (cob in 8 pieces) are found in a chopped sample contained in a 32 oz. cup. Spacing between rollers should be such that a dime will not fit between the rollers. Kernel processors do increase power requirements and thus diesel usage. However, for each additional gallon of diesel at $6/gal. used, only 0.05 lbs of milk ($22/cwt) are needed to recoup additional fuel cost with 20 ton/acre corn silage. Extra diesel costs can very quickly be recouped from additional milk volume and thus income. 
  • For bunkers and piles, pack the chopped silage with a tractor weighing 800 times the number of wet tons delivered per hour at a speed of 1.5 to 2.5 mph. 
  • Cover top of uprights, piles, and bunkers with plastic. For bunkers, line bunker sides with plastic with extra plastic overlapping the walls. Once filled, use the extra plastic to cover part of the top closest to the walls to prevent water seeping under the top cover of plastic and causing spoilage. 

Don't Become a Statistic - Lightning Safety

Jane Marie Wix - NWS Jackson, KY

Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year, and kills about 20 people each year, while hundreds more are severely injured. Many lightning victims either didn't act promptly enough to get to a safe place, or they went back outside too soon after the storm passed. During the summer months when thunderstorms are frequent across the Commonwealth, it's important to remember to take lightning safety seriously. Lightning safety is simple -When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! -or- See A Flash, Dash Inside! Once the storm has passed, a good rule of thumb is to wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before heading back outside. That allows the storm to move a safe distance away. 

Since 1959, a total of 99 lightning related deaths have occurred in the state of Kentucky 
(sources: NOAA and Vaisala, Inc). Unfortunately, one of those deaths occurred just this year. A good percentage of those killed were farmers or outdoor laborers. Here are some unfortunate instances: 

•    May 2, 2007 - A 55 year old man was struck by lightning and killed instantly as he was mowing his lawn in Nicholasville.
•    June 10, 2010 - A 44 year old man in Shelbyville was standing outside waiting to be picked up from work when his coworkers heard a very loud boom and looked out to find him lying on the ground beneath the tree. Coworkers and emergency workers performed CPR on the man but he died five days later due to multiple organ failure.

  • August 5, 2010 - A 16 year old Amish girl in Logan County was struck in the head and killed by lightning while working in a field . She was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • July 26, 2012 - A 67 year old female was struck by lightning in a field adjacent to her farm near Crenshaw Lane in Jessa mine County. She died at the University of Kentucky Medical Center .
  • June 23, 2019 - Eyewitnesses observed lightning striking next to a woman on the campus of Murray State University. The SO-year-old woman immediately collapsed. CPR was administered, and she died shortly thereafter at a Tennessee hospital.
  • July 2, 2022 - A 38 year old man in Madisonville was struck by lightning and killed while in a field flying a remote control plane.

For more lightning safety tips and information for working outdoors, visit this OSHA Factsheet - FS-3863 Lightning Safety 05-2016.pdf. 


U.S. Ag Exports/Trade Policy Update as of June 2022 
Author(s): Will Snell 
Published: June 30th, 2022

USDA recently updated their trade forecast for FY 2022 projecting a record-high U.S. ag export level totaling $191 billion, 11 % higher than last year's record high and 35% above the 2016-2020 average. Gains in U.S. ag trade are occurring despite a slowing global economy and a higher-valued U.S. dollar. However, the historic high export values for FY 2022 are in response to higher commodity prices as export volumes are projected to be lower for most agricultural commodities/products. Tight global ag supplies caused by various weather events supply chain challenges, and trade interruptions caused by the war in Ukraine are major factors contributing to significantly higher commodity prices and export values. 

Source: Economic Research Service/USDA 
The U.S. exported $10 billion worth of soybeans in the first four months of the 2022 calendar year, up 20% in value and setting a new record for January-April shipments. U.S. corn exports, so far in 2022, are up 5% in value, with wheat up 17%, but both are down by more than 10% in volume. 
On the livestock side, U.S. beef exports have been exceptionally strong in 2022 (up 38% in volume and 5% in quantity) while pork exports have slumped (down 18% in value and 20% in quantity). U.S. dairy and poultry exports are up by more than 20% in value during the first four months of 2022 but have posted negligible gains in quantity reflecting the effects of much higher export prices. Also important for Kentucky, the 2022 trade data to date indicates significant export gains for forest products (+14%) and distilled spirits (+22%) with the latter likely benefitting from the elimination of EU tariffs late last year. 
China is expected to remain the largest foreign buyer of U.S. agriculture with exports forecast to total a record $36 billion (18.8% of the total) in FY 2022. Mexico and Canada, our next two largest foreign buyers, are projected to boost purchases of U.S. ag exports by more than 20% in the current fiscal year. 
U.S. agricultural imports are projected at $180.5 billion for FY 2022, up 10% from the previous year. Overall, the U.S. ag trade balance is expected to grow in FY2022 to $10.5 billion, after U.S. agriculture experienced modest trade deficits in FY 2019 and FY 2020 - the first time since the 1950s. 
Trade Policy 
The Biden administration's trade policy agenda is certainly different from previous administrations which focused primarily on tariff reductions and more traditional trade policy tools to improve market access for U.S. products. While acknowledging the importance of these trade-enhancing instruments, the Biden administration is more focused on addressing issues impacting workers and the environment among trade partners, bolstering supply chains, and addressing other non-tariff trade barriers such as sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to create a more sustainable trade environment. U.S. farm/commodity organizations typically agree that addressing these trade barriers is important but they have been disappointed that the Biden administration has not actively pursued free trade agreements that reduce tariffs and directly improve market access for U.S. agricultural exports. Recognizing the potential adoption and benefits of free trade agreements, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai earlier this year described free trade agreements as a 20th century tool, implying that today's trade policy needs to be flexible to address changing political, economic, and social issues. Furthermore, the Biden administration so far has not elected to pursue Trade Promotion Authority which yields Congressional guidance to the executive branch in pursuing free trade agreements and shaping the nation's trade policy. 
A lot of attention within the U.S. agriculture community in recent years has focused on markets within the lndo-Pacific Region, given its expanding population and income base. Former President Barack Obama brokered the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 Pacific Rim countries that was backed by U.S. agriculture, but former President Donald Trump followed his campaign promise by pulling the U.S. out of this agreement in 2017. The remaining nations eventually agreed upon a revised agreement called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Many within U.S. agriculture would support the Biden administration to actively pursue joining the CPTPP but instead last month, the Biden administration announced lndo­Pacific Economic Framework or IPEF which includes (among other items) non-tariff-related efforts to enhance trade competition among partners by improving supply chains, supporting trade technologies (including digital commerce), addressing environmental and labor standards, and curbing tax evasion and corruption. The IPEF consists of the United States and 12 other countries 
(Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), comprising 40% of the global economy. Collectively these nations typically account for one-quarter of U.S. ag exports with optimism among U.S. ag trade organizations of additional export gains for U.S. livestock. dairy, and grains if various non-tariff barriers are removed. 
Taiwan, the United States' sixth-largest ag export market, despite relatively high ag import tariffs, was not a part of the IPEF, but earlier this month, the Biden administration announced trade negotiations are occurring between these two nations which, similar to the !DEF, focuses only on non-tariff barriers. 
In addition, the Biden administration recently updated beef quality safeguards on U.S. beef entering Japan - the United States' second-largest beef export market- as a part of the U.S. Japanese Trade Agreement signed in 2019. The administration claims this change will "allow U.S. exporters to meet Japan's growing demand for high-quality beef and reduce the probability that Japan will impose higher tariffs in the future." 
As far as China, the Biden administration has not indicated efforts to secure a "Phase II" trade agreement with China, but Instead has adopted a "New Approach to the U.S. - China Trade Relationship. While this 'approach" does call for continued enforcement of the Phase I 
agreement, it focusses on various non-market trade practices by the Chinese government that the Biden administration claims distort competition, limits market access, and encompasses predatory practices in trade and technology. 
In reality, the direction of future trade policy is very uncertain as markets and governments adjust to a changing world that has been rocked by a global pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and a serious military conflict in Ukraine that has impacted economies worldwide. Given the emerging efforts of nations and multinational companies to reduce the carbon footprint of global trading, goals to increase local/domestic food production, and the potential adoption of additional protectionistic trade policies by some nations, will global ag trade opportunities within agriculture be diminished, or will this new global environment continue to create new and expanding markets for U.S. farmers ag/food companies? 

Snell, W. "U.S. Ag Exports/Trade Policy Update as of June 2022." Economic and Policy Update (22):2, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky, June 30th, 2022. 
Author(s) Contact Information: 
Will Snell I Extension Professor