From Across the Field 7-30-2020

A Little Too Late

About the time I was a sophomore in high school there was a Luke Bryan song titled “Rain is a Good Thing” was released. I know the song fairly well, seeing as it was played nearly every morning on the way to school by Froggy 99.1, the country station out of Parkersburg, WV. The chorus even covers the most basic of agronomy lessons that “Rain makes corn,” which we know to be true and was the case in 2019, where a late planted crop received timely rainfall in mid-July and into August. By in large crop yields were better than expected last fall due to having plenty of soil moisture

Turn the calendar to 2020, where we could have certainly used some timely rain in June and July, and even though much needed, the rain this past Monday is likely a little too late. In evaluating crop conditions this week, I had corn, which has been hardest hit by the dry weather ranging from poor to good condition. In general, the corn that fairing the best is north of the Maumee, or in some of the lighter soils that were among the earliest planted.

Soybeans, other than being on the shorter side have appeared to handle the dryness better on average. I have most of the beans at fair to good condition. With being short in height the number of nodes are typically reduced, thus having fewer pods per plant.

While I am not much of a gardener, I really enjoy this time of the year with all of the fresh local produce and there is a growing selection at the farmers markets. If you have a garden and want more vegetables, it can be as easy as picking more often. Vegetables such as zucchini, cucumbers and snap beans will continue to produce if they are harvested at peak ripeness and not left to over mature. If the vegetables are left on, plant hormones are produced that slow down the production of new blossoms. The plant will direct its energy to producing seeds inside the mature vegetable. Plants such as zucchini, summer squash and snap beans can be harvested when young and tender and can be picked every couple days for a delicious dish!

Over the past couple of months, I have written about maximizing plant rotation and yield in the garden and there is still time to do some planting. Over the years, I really started to like Brussel sprouts and there is still time to get them planted. In addition, beans, peas, carrots, cabbage, and spinach can still be planted for a fall crop. If you are going to plant spinach, germination will be improved if you refrigerate them for one or two days before sowing. I’ll end this week with a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Have a great week.

Garth Ruff,

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator

OSU Henry County Extension

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