The old saying about corn being knee high by the 4th of July might be a stretch in many cases here in Henry County. Now that the ground has mostly dried out, this will be the busiest July 4th weekend, in terms of farming operations in recent years. With this spring’s soggy delay in getting farm work done, there are plenty of farmers who still have, side dressing, weed control, tillage, and cover crop planting still on the to do list.
Last week was no different as area producers capitalized on the warm dry weather to finish planting corn and soybeans and get a head start on the before mentioned tasks. Furthermore, the last 10 days have been the best hay making weather we have had yet this year. In general hay quality will be a big concern for livestock producers going into this fall and winter.
Typically, we would have already began wheat harvest but that is a few days to a few weeks behind schedule as well. I’d expect wheat yields to be lower than a year ago and the incidence of vomitoxin to be greater given the moisture we’ve endured. Perhaps the silver ling in this year’s wheat harvest is the value of the straw as there is a shortage in livestock bedding statewide.
This recent heat wave also serves as a good reminder to stay hydrated and utilize proper sun protection when working outdoors. Consider sunscreen if exposure to sunlight is expected to be prolonged. Other safety measures to consider include wide brimmed hats and light colored, lightweight clothing to prevent burning and heat exhaustion. In the garden, now is the time to consider planting for fall crops. Under grow lights we can be starting brassicas such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. These crops will be ready to transplant into the garden in 6-8 weeks. Second planting of green beans, onions and potatoes can be direct seeded in the garden this week. Again, in a couple of weeks consider direct seeding of beets, carrots, short maturing summer squash and cucumbers.
Hopefully you are getting to read this in time to consider attend our “Managing Prevented Plant Acres” program this afternoon in Bryan from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. We will have experts present to discuss weed control, handling of treated soybean seed, and forage options on prevented plant acres.
Another program coming up is the annual Field to Lake Field Day. This year that program will be held in Putnam County at Kalida Fish and Game on July 17th. The event is free but there is an online registration link to get a head count for lunch. With farm equipment out and about, remember to share the road. I’ll end this week with a quote from Daniel J. Boorstin: “Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.” Have a great week and a safe holiday.
July 3 – Managing Prevented Plant Acres