The ‘D . . . . . .’ Word Is Back . . . Again!

Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension

Despite suffering through 10 weeks of wet weather in the spring that many are describing as “the worst planting season since ’81,” the ‘D’ word (drought) has now returned to many local conversations. After the wet spring destroyed first cutting hay quality, delayed (or eliminated) corn and bean planting, and caused pastures to suffer from much trampling, current ‘drought like’ conditions over much of Ohio are continuing to stymie plant growth. A friend from near Hicksville in northwestern Ohio told me that he recently harvested less than 300 pounds per acre from a second cutting of alfalfa. Just southeast of Columbus, we’ve received 1/2 inch of rainfall over the past 4+ weeks and haven’t mowed anything but buckhorn in our lawns during that time. While the Palmer Drought Index doesn’t yet show us in a drought, the fired out corn, cracks in the ground, and the weather we’ve had in recent weeks is certainly showing the symptoms of one. Continue reading The ‘D . . . . . .’ Word Is Back . . . Again!