From Across the Field – #Plant18 is Underway

Tillage, spraying, top dressing, tiling, and planting were all underway in the last week here in Henry County. Last Thursday I had the chance to watch a custom manure applicator top dress wheat with swine manure. With the ability to pump nutrients a couple of miles from the barn there are many opportunities to utilize those nutrients across a large area.

The week’s crop report had the corn crop across the country at 17 percent planted and just three percent of the crop emerged. In Ohio, only one percent of the crop was planted at the beginning of the week. It is always interesting to see how fast that number increases once we have a week or two of acceptable conditions.

Even as temperatures are forecasted to be cool the next week or so, we are at a point where the number of calendar days should be considered in addition to soil temperature. With cooler than ideal soil temperatures, remember to be patient as the crop will be slower to emerge. Corn needs about 100 growing degree days (GDD) to emerge. Thus far, the only one of our OARDC research stations that have come close to that GDD mark is at OSU South Centers in Piketon.

With the recent warm up, Tuesday evening I noticed that the fruit trees had begun to shoot blossoms and buds. It also appears that the last 10 days have been good for growing rhubarb. In addition, I have yet to see a sprig of asparagus make an appearance, while I have heard of some being harvested already. When it comes to the garden we can now transplant cold tolerant crops to outdoor beds. For the most frost or cold sensitive species, we have about two more weeks before the chance of frost decreases to a percentage low enough to plant high confidence that they will persist through the cooler weather. When transplanting, we don’t want to set out plants that have already set fruit. Setting fruit utilizes energy which is needed to strengthen the root system of the plant.

Lastly, with the warmer temperatures, this is an opportune time to look for morel mushrooms. From what I remember looking for them as a kid, a good place to look was along decaying elm trees or around may apples. I’ve never been too proficient at finding the morels. Mushroom hunting seems to be one of those things you are really good at or just the opposite.

I’ll end this week with a quote from American author, Jack London, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Have a great week.
June 18 – Henry Co. Beef Quality Assurance

Garth Ruff,
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator
OSU Henry County Extension

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