Things have been rolling the past two weeks in the fields throughout the county. Very little corn has emerged although many acres have been planted in the past two weeks. Several farmers are completing corn planting and have switched to soybean. Warmer weather days are accumulating, which will soon be followed by crop emergence around the county. Corn typically requires 100 to 120 growing degree days (GDDs) to emerge (but emergence requirements can vary from 90 to 150 GDDs). For more information about growing degree days, see the attached news release about Growing Degree Days. As of May 6, it was estimated that 23% of the corn was planted and only 8% of the soybeans were planted in Ohio as indicated on the attached USDA Ohio Crop Weather report. However, favorable weather in Hardin County this week has greatly increased that amount. I have heard from some area farmers that they are done planting corn or soon will be. Several have changed over to soybeans, in between the moderate rains we have experienced. For the time period of April 15-30, Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 1.56 inches of rain in Hardin County. Last year, the average rainfall for the same time period was 3.16 inches. Rainfall for the April 15-30 time period is 0.61 inches less than the ten year average rainfall during the same dates. Check out the April 15-30 rainfall summary for more local rainfall information.
This Saturday will be the Hardin County Plant Sale sponsored by the OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. Head out to the fairgrounds Arts and Crafts building for the 9:00 am start to this annual plant sale to select local plants from local gardeners. See the attached flyer for more details and be sure to get there early as the sale only lasts until 11:00 am as most plants are gone in the first hour. The Master Gardeners have also planned Summer Friendship Garden programs each month this summer. The first demonstration program is Saturday, May 19 at 9:00 am and will focus on planting different types of vegetable gardens. I have attached a news release that will provide you with additional information if you are interested. Do you raise fruit? If so, you might be interested in taking a look at the May 2018 Ohio Fruit News that I have included with this newsletter.
Upcoming local events include a Men’s Garden Club meeting at the Extension office on Monday, May 14 starting at 6:30 pm. There is also a Soil and Water Conservation District meeting at the SWCD office on Thursday, May 17 starting at 7:30 am. Other than that, hopefully by the end of next week most of the crops should be in the ground if the weather continues to cooperate. Until then, I have attached some ag crops articles for you to read.
Adjusting Corn Management Practices for a Late Start – Steve Culman, Peter Thomison
As prospects for a timely start to spring planting diminish, growers need to reassess their planting strategies and consider adjustments. Since delayed planting reduces the yield potential of corn, the foremost attention should be given to management practices that will expedite crop establishment. The following are some suggestions and guidelines to consider in dealing with a late planting season. Although the penalty for late planting is important, care should be taken to avoid tillage and planting operations when soil is wet. Yield reductions resulting from “mudding the seed in” are usually much greater than those resulting from a slight planting delay. Yields may be reduced somewhat this year due to delayed planting, but effects of soil compaction can reduce yield for several years to come. Keep in mind that we typically do not see significant yield reductions due to late planting until mid-May or even later in some years. To finish reading this article, go to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2018-10/adjusting-corn-management-practices-late-start.
Adjusting no-till burndown programs for a prolonged wet spring – Mark Loux
This is a revision of an article we seem to publish in C.O.R.N. about every three years, when wet weather prevents early planting and in some cases also prevents early burndown applications. Not a lot of either has occurred yet, although it’s starting to dry out and warm up. The good news is that cool weather has slowed weed growth, but even so, the weeds obviously continue to get bigger under wet conditions, and what is a relatively tame burndown situation in early to mid-April can become pretty hairy by early to mid-May. One issue with later burndowns certainly is that there can be a need for a more aggressive herbicide mix, but also a need to plant as soon as possible, and these can be conflicting goals. For example, unless dicamba is an option, we would say keep 2,4-D ester in the mix if at all possible, but this means waiting 7 days to plant. Go to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2018-11/adjusting-no-till-burndown-programs-prolonged-wet-spring to read more.
Soybean Planting Date, Seeding Rate, and Row Width – Laura Lindsey
Before heading out to the field this spring, download a free pdf of the recently revised Ohio Agronomy Guide available here: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/soybean-production/ohio-agronomy-guide-15th-edition Also, check out other information related to soybean management at http://stepupsoy.osu.edu. Planting date. Planting date strongly influences soybean yield. In 2013 and 2014, we conducted a planting date trial at the Western Agricultural Research Station near South Charleston, Ohio. In both years, soybean yield decreased by 0.6 bu/ac per day when planting after mid-May. The greatest benefit of planting May 1 to mid-May is canopy closure which increases light interception, improves weed control by shading out weeds, and helps retain soil moisture. Click on https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2018-11/soybean-planting-date-seeding-rate-and-row-width to read more about soybean planting recommendations.
Using the Slake Test to Determine Soil Crusting – Alan Sundermeier
An easy to use test can be done to predict potential soil crusting on farm fields. All you need is some chicken wire, water, a glass jar, and a dry clump of soil. When you immerse the clump of soil in the jar of water, the longer it holds together, the better the soil structure to resist crusting. The slake test compares two chunks of topsoil in water to see how well and how long they will hold together. Poor structure soil that easily falls apart will form small soil aggregates, which collect at the soil surface and will dry into a hard crust. Crusted soil will make it difficult for seed emergence and will limit future rainfall infiltration and cause runoff and erosion. Go to https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2018-10/using-slake-test-determine-soil-crusting to find out more about conducting the Slake Test.
Inversion and Drift Mitigation Webinars available – Cindy Folck, Amanda Bennett
The recorded webinars from the Inversion and Drift Mitigation Workshop held in April are available online at https://ipm.osu.edu/information/specialty-crops. The recordings include: Understanding Inversions and Weather Conditions by Aaron Wilson, Weather Specialist & Atmospheric Scientist, OSU Extension, Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center; and Using Tools in the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry by FieldWatch by Jared Shaffer, Plant Health Inspector, Ohio Department of Agriculture. This project was funded by: The Ohio IPM Program and USDA-NIFA Project 20177000627174.
Mark A. Badertscher
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator
OSU Extension Hardin County
1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326