With last Tuesday and Wednesday, being mostly suitable for field work, quite a bit of planting progress was made across the county. While the late planting date and wetter than average forecast made for some less than ideal conditions, it sure seemed like a now or never opportunity to get corn planted. In talking to farmers regarding planting progress, the range of progress made varies from around having 80 percent of their intended acres planted down to having no corn planted for the season. Going forward, I figure most of the corn to be planted will be for livestock feed, primarily silage for dairy and beef cattle.
A little bit of first cutting hay has been baled, which is good news considering the shortage and demand for forages extends across the state. Forage as a cash crop stands to be profitable, due to the poor survival rate of alfalfa hay stands over the winter. As I wrote last week, an opportunity for earlier harvest of cover crop forage on prevented plant acres, would provide some relief to livestock producers, especially dairymen. That consideration is one of many expected to be addressed by USDA this week or next.
Also, since last week Governor DeWine has asked for disaster declaration for the entire state. The Farm Service Agency has also filed for a secretarial declaration for Fulton, Henry and Lucas Counties. This would also provide disaster declaration to counties that border these three, should the declaration be made by Secretary Perdue.
Here in the office, my coworkers are gearing up for 4-H camp and (dare I say it) the 2019 county fair. Looking at the calendar the fair will be here before we know it. In the last week I have set out Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and Western Bean Cutworm traps as part of our annual statewide integrated pest management surveillance program. Again, this year I am working with a group of 4-Her’s looking to improve their livestock judging and public speaking skills. They continue to improve each week in preparation for the statewide 4-H livestock judging contest at the Ohio State Fair.
Around the yard and garden, I did notice over the weekend that the raspberries along the yard were starting to ripen. If it ever dries up enough, there is still time to seed pole lima beans and snap beans. There is even time to plant late tomatoes and peppers. I think you can still plant potatoes as well. One advantage to planting potatoes late is by the time they are growing good, maybe the Colorado Potato beetle may have matured to the point that they will not be feeding any more on the plants. Finally, it is time to prune back late spring flowering shrubs like lilacs and pine trees once new growth is finished.
It is hard to believe that summer officially starts Friday, seems like these cool days and nights have hung around forever. Once summer starts, it seems like it always go by in a flash. Hopefully we can enjoy the long days for the next month or so, enjoy the season and get things accomplished I’ll end this week with a quote from Herman Melville: “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” Have a great week.