From Across the Field – 3/26/2020

New Opportunities

Another wet start to the week. We are fortunate not have gotten the rains here that central Ohio has received. Over the weekend I helped my family navigate the challenges presented by the current muddy situation. Where my parents farm is, a large portion of the soil is red clay that makes Hoytville clay seem like potting soil. When that stuff gets wet it is about like walking in concrete, so much that my rubber boots got stuck on Saturday and I proceeded to fall nearly face first into it. My brother eventually did help me out of the mess after a good minute of laughing.

As I write this week, from my kitchen table I want to remind everyone I thought it was important to start off this column by taking our minds off of things even if it was for just a moment. While our physical office is closed, we are committed to continuing to conduct our work as fully as possible. We are teleworking from our homes and are ready to serve you. Recently, OSU Extension has invested in the technology needed to facilitate effective teleworking for our organization; and we will utilize our resources during this challenging situation to remain engaged with you. Clients, stakeholders, and other community members should continue to connect with any OSU Extension staff member via phone or email as usual. I have a pseudo office set up in here at home and can function fairly well. As a matter of fact, if you call the Extension office, the call goes straight to our computers and one of us should answer your call.

As I eluded to last week this change in how we do business over the next few weeks will provide an opportunity for us to modify how we deliver information to you. I am toying with the possibility of recording or even live streaming short presentations that you may find useful. Stay tuned as we come up with some innovate ways to remain engaged.

With the wet weather of year ago, row crop farmers have a different kind of opportunity in the realm of on-farm research this year. With the large amount of prevented planting acres in 2019, we have been seeing quite a bit of press regarding Fallow Field Syndrome, due to a potential decline in the number of microorganisms in the soil. As part of the OSU eFields program, we now have a on farm research protocol to investigate the potential effects of Fallow Field Syndrome.

The impact of Fallow Field Syndrome on crop yields is unclear. With this trial the objective is to investigate any yield impacts and the efficacy of potential remediation options in Ohio, such as phosphorus applications or soil additives. If you have fields that were unplanted in 2019 and will be planted to corn in 2020 and are interested in researching the potential impacts of Fallow Field Syndrome give me a call at 419-592-0806. Since we would typically be in the heart of March Madness, I’ll end this week with a thought from Bobby Knight: “Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.” Have a great week and stay healthy out there.

Garth Ruff,

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator

OSU Henry County Extension

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