From Across the Field – 10/17/2019

Here We Go Again

Fall is my favorite time of the year for a few different reasons, but it is also one of the busiest and most interesting times in the agricultural year. Not only is this year’s crop being harvested but there are many operations and decisions being made that will have major impacts on the coming year as well.

As I make observations around the county, soybean harvest has been progressing well, considering how scattered planting was this spring. For a historically late planted crop, yields I have heard have been acceptable, all things considered. Wheat planting is wrapping up and the large amount of prevented planting acres did allow for a large percentage of the wheat to be planted in a timely fashion. Tillage in preparation for next spring and tiling continue. I had one person ask how many miles of tile was installed this summer in the county. My answer: A lot, most since I have been here.

On my end, we have finished sampling summer annual and cereal forages planted at the Northwest Ag Research Station on Hoytville. I will have yield results here shortly and feed quality samples have been shipped to OARDC in Wooster for analysis. Next step is to start a three-year project looking a winter forage production and management. In addition, manure and barley projects are already underway at the station as well. For farmers and Extension personnel having the station here locally is a great resource for production research, because of the similar soils and growing conditions.

Around the home we will still have a little bit of growth in our lawns and pastures because most of our grass is called a “cool season” grass, which likes cooler temperatures. This means we may need to mow our lawns another time or two and farmers will get a little more growth in their pastures.

However, one plant that is doing well right now and is one of the backbones of the fall gardens are the hybrid mums. They are providing a display of color in gardens at this time and there were beautiful ones for sale at a few different locations the past few weeks. Mums come in a variety of colors as well as flower shapes and sizes. They can be used in beds and containers, growing best in full sun and well-drained soil. Once mums finish blooming in the fall, leave them alone; however, don’t forget to continue to water them in order to help establish the root system. Remember, they are a living plant and even though the top looks dead, the roots continue to grow. Mulch the plants after the ground freezes and cut them back to the ground in the spring.  Despite all the good care that they might receive in the fall, not all cultivars are reliably hardy in our area; however, they do a great job of filling in holes in the fall garden.

Finally, it is pumpkin time and pumpkins will store for a long time if cured after harvesting.  Cure pumpkins at 80-85 degrees with humidity for 10 days. Then store them at 50-60 degrees with humidity of 50-60 %. Keep the skin dry where there is good air circulation and they can keep for two to four months. I’ll end this week with a quote from Henry Ford: “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” Have a great week.

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