Challenging Conditions Remain into April

By: Jim Noel, National Weather Service for OSU Extension C.O.R.N Newsletter

Temperatures and Rainfall: Temperatures will start the first 7 days of April 1-3 degrees F above normal. Rainfall will start April below normal about half of normal. That is some good news  as the end of March (as forecast) was very wet. However, most indications are for the remainder of April after the first week, temperatures will be near normal and rainfall slightly above normal. This will put pressure on early spring planting in April. Evaporation and evapotransporation will be held in check by closer to normal temperatures as we go through April. The May outlook calls for warmer than normal and a little wetter than normal but not as wet as last year. Continue reading

Late Planted Corn Silage Yields Value

By: Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Henry County; Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Crawford County; Allen Gahler, OSU Extension Sandusky County (originally published in Ohio Farmer on-line)

Teff, Italian ryegrass, oats and corn were included with 5 other ‘covers’ in this study

The combination of poor quality hay made in 2018, historic alfalfa winter kill, and excessive rainfall across most of Ohio in the spring of 2019 created a large need for high quality alternative forage sources this past year. Record amounts of prevented plant acreage across the state created an opportunity to grow forages on traditionally row cropped acres. As crop and livestock producers planted a variety of forage and cover crop species to supplement feed stocks, it was recognized that there was also a need to gather forage analysis results from these fields in order for growers to properly value and feed the forage grown. The following data are from cover crop forage samples that were submitted by farmers and from OARDC research stations where annual forages were grown as part of the 2019 Ohio State eFields program available at your local extension office or digitalag.osu.edu/efields. Continue reading

Poison Hemlock Control

By: Mark Loux and Curtis Young, OSU Extension

Poison hemlock remains one of the more persistent and prevalent poisonous weeds that we deal with in Ohio.  It’s most typically a biennial plant (sometimes perennial), emerging from seed in year one and developing into a low-growing rosette by late fall.  The rosette overwinters and then resumes growth in the spring of year two.  Stem elongation initiates sooner in spring than many other biennials, and this is followed by continued growth and development into the often very tall plant with substantial overall size.  Flowering and seed production occur in summer.

      Continue reading

OSU Extension Seeking Farmer Cooperators for Fallow Syndrome eFields Trial

By:  Stephanie Karhoff, OSU Extension

Wet weather conditions last spring prevented Ohio farmers from planting over 1,485,919 acres (USDA-Farm Service Agency Crop Acreage Data). When fields are left unplanted or fallow, there may be a decline in beneficial mycorrhizal fungi, which is commonly referred to as fallow syndrome.

Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi that colonize plant roots. They aid plants in scavenging for soil nutrients, by extending the root system via thread-like structures called hyphae. In return, plants provide sugars produced during photosynthesis to the mycorrhizae. Continue reading

Winter Wheat Stand Evaluation

By: Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension

Between planting in the fall and Feekes 4 growth stage (beginning of erect growth) in the spring, winter wheat is vulnerable to environmental stress such as saturated soils and freeze-thaw cycles that cause soil heaving. All of which may lead to substantial stand reduction, and consequently, low grain yield. However, a stand that looks thin in the spring does not always correspond to lower grain yield. Rather than relying on a visual assessment, we suggest counting the number of wheat stems or using the mobile phone app (Canopeo) to estimate wheat grain yield. Continue reading

Wet Weather for the Rest of March

By: Jim Noel, National Weather Service. For OSU Extension CORN newsletter.

Current Conditions…Soil moisture conditions remain wet due to last years very wet conditions along with an overall damp winter. Current soil moisture conditions can be found at the NOAA/NWS website: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Soilmst_Monitoring/US/Soilmst/Soilmst.shtml#

What it shows is Ohio is ranked anywhere from the top 5-25% of wettest years on record for soil wetness depending on where you are in Ohio. This is slightly drier than at the same time last year but bottom line it is still wet. The last 30-days of rainfall is generally between 90-140% of normal across Ohio. The extreme northwest corner of Ohio has been running at about 80% of normal. About 75% of the state has been running wetter than normal the last 30 days with about 25% a little drier than normal. You can get all the latest information on precipitation at 4 km resolution at: https://water.weather.gov/precip/ This data is quality controlled by humans at the river forecast centers like OHRFC. Continue reading

2020 Planting Decisions in the Face of COVID-19

By: Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Jonathan Coppess, Nick Paulson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University. farmDoc Daily

Trade conflicts, prevented and late planting, and policy innovations have presented a difficult decision-making environment to farmers over the past several years. The decisions for this spring are now drastically complicated given the rapidly changing situation with the spread of COVID-19 and its attendant health threats and control measures. Currently, a paramount concern is continuing farming and livestock activities in the face of COVID-19 health threats and control measures. Continue reading

Cover Crop Termination

By: Alyssa Essman and Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension, Weed Science Specialist

The 2019 growing season came and went and left many fields in a state of disarray heading into 2020. Many growers that were unable to plant decided to use cover crops, to reduce soil erosion and provide some weed suppression during the extended fallow period. Terminating these cover crops using the right methods at the right time will be critical to ensure timely planting and prevent the cover crops from competing with cash crops. The three main methods of cover crop termination are natural (species that winter kill), chemical, and mechanical. Continue reading

Rhizobia Inoculant Following the 2019 Season

By: Laura Lindsey and Stephanie Karhoff, OSU Extension

Following wet weather conditions and fallow fields, some producers are wondering if they need to inoculate their soybean seed with Rhizobia.

Soybean plants have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in which the bacteria fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into a plant-available form of nitrogen. In soybean, nitrogen fixation is associated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum (commonly referred to as just Rhizobia). Generally, fields with a history of soybean production have an adequate population density of Bradyrhizobium japonicum. In our research trials, we have measured a yield increase of approximately 1.5 to 2.0 bu/acre when soybean seed is inoculated and the field has a history of soybean production. Continue reading

Conservation Technology Conference

By: Ed Lentz and Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension

The Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC) is the largest agriculture meeting in northwestern Ohio.  Historically over 800 individuals will attend each day of this two-day conference.  This year’s event will be March 3 and 4 on the campus of Ohio Northern University in Ada.

The meeting and program have been developed by The Ohio State University Extension Specialists along with Agriculture and Natural Resources Educators in local counties with assistance from local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Continue reading