Another fairly warm and dry week here in Northwest Ohio to help with crop development and maturation. Having been to Columbus once this week, once you get south of about Delaware, you begin to notice symptoms of drought. Talking to colleagues in the southern portions of the state, they have been dry over the past couple of months and that a lack of moisture during grain fill maybe a yield limiting factor. Back in Morgan county, my dad and brother baled 76 acres of hay over the weekend, in which the ground was dry enough to mow one day and bale the next. Last year making dry hay was next to impossible and this year just the opposite
As eluded to last time, one event for farmers and land owners to put on their calendars for next week is a Famer Appreciation Dinner at 5:30pm on October 1 at the Hamler Summerfest Pavilion. This is an event that has been put together to address some of the challenges that 2019 has brought to agriculture in our area. Representatives from the Farm Service Agency, Crop Insurance, and OSU Extension will give quick program updates. In addition, many local, state, and federal elected officials have been invited so that they can improve their understanding of how weather and policy affect farm management decisions.
As we go into harvest I would like to keep up with progress and yield reports across the county. As in past years, I encourage farmers to feel free to call the Extension office if they get a spare minute to help us document crop conditions.
In the garden, if you still have tomato and pepper plants, they may be loaded with green fruit, but not ripening at all. First and foremost, tomatoes and bell peppers are very sensitive to air temperatures. Tomato and bell pepper color, flavor, plant growth and fruit production are optimal when daily temperatures are 70-75F, with nighttime temperatures 60-65F. High temperatures, specifically anything above 85F during bloom and ripening periods, will result not only in reduced fruit set (bud abort), but fruit flavor, texture and color will also be directly affected.
As seasons change, tomatoes do not like cooler temperatures either. In fact, temperatures lower than 50F will cause a type of chilling injury. It may take 2-3 days for tomatoes to return to their previous levels of photosynthetic activity, even after just a brief chill period. For this reason, the best way to preserve the color and flavor of vine ripened tomatoes is to keep them in a cool place out on the counter instead of inside the refrigerator. As the gardening conditions experienced by tomatoes and bell peppers this growing season were reviewed, everyone suddenly realized that the fact they just had green tomatoes was a good thing. I’ll end this week with a quote from Edward Teller: “The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” Have a great week.
Farmer Appreciation Dinner – Oct.1