Here are this week’s top stories from Farm and Dairy:
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the state’s horizontal shale wells produced 3,558,836 barrels of oil and 164,815,008 Mcf (164 billion cubic feet) of natural gas during the fourth quarter of 2014. In comparison to 2013 fourth quarter figures, 1,439,209 barrels of oil and 43,124,516 Mcf (43 billion cubic feet) of natural gas were produced.
A 15 percent increase in the number of wells was reported for the fourth quarter, bringing Ohio’s total number of wells to 828. 779 of those wells reported production. The top producing oil and gas wells in the fourth quarter are all located in Belmont, Harrison, Monroe, Guernsey and Carroll counties.
Online columnist Ivory Harlow explains how she determines which plants to grow and sell at her market garden. Through trial and error as well as paying attention to local tastes and market channels, she determines which vegetables, fruits, nuts and value-added products will be profitable, the least labor intensive and most cost effective to produce.
The top high value and low value crops can vary from region to region and from year to year, but analyzing costs at the end of each season will help to determine which crops are the best to sell.
On March 3, part of the roof of a dairy barn collapsed under the weight of snow in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, trapping several dozen cows. As of March 4, seven of the cows died, while 15 remained in an intensive care unit.
Members of the Mercer County Animal Response Team used a sled-type structure to get the injured cattle out of the barn.
Producers now have until March 31 to update yield history or reallocate base acres due to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s one-time extension of the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) provisions of the 2014 farm bill. Producers must also choose either ARC or PLC coverage by March 31.
In order to help producers make decisions, USDA is encouraging them to visit the Farm Service Agency and to review their data.
Three highly pathogenic strains of avian flu have been detected in birds in western states. The viruses have not yet been detected in the Midwest, but producers are still urged to protect their birds.
Poultry owners should consider keeping their birds in enclosed covered runs for the next few months. They should also protect domestic birds from wild ducks.
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