From Across the Field – Autumn Approaches

As we work to get things back in order from the county fair, it sure feels like autumn is rapidly approaching. Earlier this week while taking the long way to work I noticed that vegetables were being harvested for production at Campbell’s, which means that harvest for agronomic crops will be here before we know it. I had the opportunity to return to southern Ohio this past weekend and down there preparations were being made for a final cutting of mixed hay and my brother was hard at splitting firewood to heat with, once the weather turns colder, all signs of the impending season change.

Before we kick summer to the curb, late August is a good time to prune blackberries and raspberries. Now that the crops are harvested, we can ready the plants for a successful season next year. Proper pruning now will improve production for next year by limiting damage from insects and diseases that over winter in the dead vegetation. After harvest, cut and remove canes that have fruited (except for Heritage and other fall-fruiting red raspberry cultivars). This reduces the incidences of blight, anthracnose, and cane and crown borer insects.

In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed an explosion of hover flies here in northwest Ohio. Often confused with sweat bees, hover flies often swarm near people attracted to the moisture and salts given off in sweat.  According to Timothy Gibb, entomologist at Purdue, these small black and yellow flies are much smaller than a yellow jacket but have a similar color pattern. Furthermore, since they are flies they do not possess a stinger. Hover flies tend to be most numerous near agricultural crops and since the do not directly harm people, chemical control is typically not necessary.

As a reminder, the Ohio Department of Agriculture will be doing a collection of unwanted pesticides on September 6, 2018 at Wood County Fairgrounds in Bowling Green (closest location) from 9 am to 3 pm. More information about what’s accepted (NOT motor oil, antifreeze, commercial pesticides, etc.) is available at

Also if you are interested in seeing what we learned about barley production in 2018 in this region of the state, there is a very informal program scheduled on August 28th at 7:00 p.m. at the Robert Fulton Ag Center in Wauseon. 2018 performance and harvest data will be shared as well as a chance to evaluate double crop soybean comparisons after both wheat and barley. There is no cost to attend this program however it is asked that you RSVP via email to If you are considering barley as a crop in 2019 or beyond, this is meeting should be on your calendar.

I’ll end this week with a quote from Oscar Wilde: “Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.” Have a great week.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *