From Across the Field – Continuous Learning 9/11/2019

Now that we are into the second week of September, it certainly is feeling like fall outside. That is a bit concerning as we have acquired minimal growing degree units for crop development in Northwest Ohio over the past few days.

I write to you this week from our National Association of County Ag Agents meeting in the destination of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This is my first time attending the meeting, having gave a presentation on Tuesday. It has been a great opportunity to network with colleagues and learn about what other Extension services offer, in terms of programming across their various states. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Playing Catch Up 9/4/19

Over the long weekend I had the opportunity to return to Morgan County to spend time with the family preparing for the county fair. The fair has always been a huge part of our Labor Day week, especially since my father has been on the fair board since my brother and I were done exhibiting Jr. Fair projects. I think for the first time maybe ever, we will not have any fair entries as our antique tractor is buried in the back of the hay barn.

As I drive around the county crop conditions look pretty good if I could just turn back the calendar to August. Talking to colleagues across the state they have been fooled by some earlier planted fields that are beginning to reach maturity as they forgot about the few timely planted fields, and that most are still looking dark green. Surprisingly the fields I have been have low disease prevalence, even though there are signs of plant stress in some fields. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Yield Goal 8/29/2019

Over the past couple of weeks, the various crop tours have traveled the Corn Belt and have made their yield estimates. Looking ahead those projected yields would certainly be welcomed, but they are only going to attainable if Mother Nature is willing to extend the growing season, as crop development is roughly a month behind on average. A later than average frost, which is the long-term trend would certainly help improve yields and reduce grain drying costs.

At our forage program last week, a now retired OSU county agent mentioned that he had a client that many years ago had some 40-40-40 late planted corn; 40 bushel per acre, 40% moisture, with a 40-pound test weight. I certainly don’t think that will be the case this year, however an early frost at this point would only add to the challenges that 2019 has brought. That said, I would suggest that growers take some time, if you haven’t already to investigate propane costs for this fall if you suspect grain moisture will be a factor during harvest. Continue reading

From Across the Field – On the Road Again 8/21/2019

With the fair being the focal point of the office the past couple of weeks, I think I made my annual post fair rebound as things are almost back to normal. I say almost as our office renovation is still in progress and I am writing to you this week from our conference room on the first floor of the Hahn Center.

At the fair there was plenty of discussion regarding USDA’s crop report. I think based on the findings of the various crop tours, yield locally will be highly variable with some late planted corn likely not reaching USDA’s projection of 169 bushels per acre. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Keep Moving 8/14/19

Today marks the end of the 2019 Henry County Fair. Congratulations is due to all of the exhibitors for their successes at this year’s fair. A highlight of the fair and proper ending for livestock exhibitors is today’s Jr. Fair Livestock Sale. The Jr. Fair Sale is the culmination of upwards of a year for some exhibitors and as little as six weeks of hard work and dedication. Speaking from personal experience the youth remember the support the receive over the years.

All in all, I think most everybody had a good fair week. What I enjoy most is the conversations had throughout the week. One conversation the particularly stood out this week occurred with year’s beef judge, a recently retired OSU Extension agriculture agent from southern Ohio. He shared some advice that the best we can do is to “keep moving.” While simple, I think that is advice that anyone, especially young people should take to heart. As it relates to the fair, I certainly appreciate those young folks that have “kept moving” throughout the week, working hard to best represent themselves and help others as well. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Summer’s Last Blast 8/7/19

The county fair opens today and while hard to believe, it is once again a sign that summer is on the downhill slide. Here’s to hoping for good weather throughout the fair, even though a nice rain or two would be welcome as crops to continue to grow and develop.

This week many of the 4-H and FFA youth will be exhibiting their projects ranging from livestock to art and woodworking. Growing up, I always enjoyed exhibiting both swine and beef cattle at the Morgan County Fair. I also had the opportunity to travel to numerous other county fairs with my father to bid on and load livestock for the livestock auction that he manages. At every fair I have ever been to, the highlight is always the Jr. Fair programs. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Where Has Summer Gone? 8/1/19

The calendar says it is August but it sure doesn’t feel like it to me. As you drive further north on Route 23 and up onto I-75 crop conditions would lead one to think we were just starting July in many instances. However, the reality of everything is that the county fair begins in one week and Farm Science Review will be soon to follow. Speaking of FSR, we have pre-sale tickets available here in the office for $7 up until the week before the event. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Biosecurity Basics 7/25/2019

A moderate cool down after last week’s heat was much needed across the region. Once temperature reach levels greater than 86F crop growth and development slows and water intake increases. In checking IPM insect traps this past week, it appears the Western Bean Cutworm moths are in or near peak flight. Trap counts ranged from 53 moths in Pleasant Township to 131 in Liberty. That said, from a pest management standpoint, damage risk is minimal as most of the corn in the county is yet to tassel. Corn that has tasseled should be scouted for egg masses. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Busy Times 7/10/19

Hopefully everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. I had an opportunity to catch up with some college friends that were back in the state for the holiday. A couple of the guys came in from Nebraska and South Dakota, and as expected, the story is the same out there as far as being excessively wet and crops are delayed in maturity.

Here locally, farm operations were extremely busy until we got some rain around the holiday. With the large number of unplanted acres and rapidly growing crops, weed control is a priority for many farmers. As there are a lot of large weeds in fields in unplanted, it is recommended to get those fields sprayed with a higher rate of herbicide that we would typically use. An herbicide program is still the best option for weed control. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Knee High by When 7-2-19

The old saying about corn being knee high by the 4th of July might be a stretch in many cases here in Henry County. Now that the ground has mostly dried out, this will be the busiest July 4th weekend, in terms of farming operations in recent years. With this spring’s soggy delay in getting farm work done, there are plenty of farmers who still have, side dressing, weed control, tillage, and cover crop planting still on the to do list.

Last week was no different as area producers capitalized on the warm dry weather to finish planting corn and soybeans and get a head start on the before mentioned tasks. Furthermore, the last 10 days have been the best hay making weather we have had yet this year. In general hay quality will be a big concern for livestock producers going into this fall and winter. Continue reading