From Across the Field: 8-6-2020

It’s Fair Week

The 2020 version of the Henry County Fair is upon us, and even though this year’s iteration look’s significantly different, the overall mission, I believe has remained the same: promote agriculture and the youth that are the future of Henry County. While spectators will be limited during this week’s Junior Fair, I invite anyone who is interested to check the livestreaming of the livestock shows. More information the livestream and how anyone can participate in the 2020 version of the Jr. Fair Premium sale can be found on our county webpage Also, if looking to support the youth that are exhibiting, check out the Henry County Jr. Fair Buyers Club, as an option. While the fair will be significantly different this year, I anticipate a successful week and wish good luck to all of the youth involved.

On a much different note, this week I was informed that Dr. Steve Culman, soil scientist at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), in Wooster is looking for farmers who would be willing to let his lab take soil health samples in fields in which the pipeline project from 2017 would have went through. Their goal is to evaluate the impact of the pipeline and it’s long term effects on soil health. Anyone interested should give me a call here in the next couple of weeks, and I will get your information to Dr. Culman. Continue reading

From Across the Field: 8-6-2020

Time and Change

Summer’s heat or winter’s cold-The seasons pass the years will roll-Time and change will surely show-How firm thy friendship … OHIO!

Those lines from Carmen Ohio, the Ohio State alma mater, have never had more meaning than they have over the past couple of days. On Monday, it was announced that I would be starting in a new position as the Extension Beef Cattle Field Specialist. This new role will take me back to southeast Ohio to Noble County, home of the Eastern Ag Research Station.

While I am looking forward to continuing my career in an area of specialization, it is definitely bittersweet. I’ve been fortunate and thankful to have had the opportunity to begin my Extension career in Henry County and to serve a great agriculture community with some top notch co-workers. Over the next couple of weeks I will be sure to take some time to reflect on the great experience that I have had here in Henry County. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

From Across the Field: 7-23-2020

Tomato Troubles?

Mid to late July always seems to be the calm before the storm here in the Extension office, with the storm being the county fair. While I certainly enjoy the fair, it’s passing means that the end of summer is near, fall harvest is approaching, and planning for winter meeting season must begin.

That said, this year feels a bit different. We know that the fair is going to be scaled down to showcase the youth that have completed livestock projects. At this point, in-person fall Extension programming is on hiatus, and we don’t yet know what winter meeting season will look like.

While these unknowns and change of plans are at times inconvenient and frustrating, I think there is some good that has come out of this COVID situation with regards to how we provide Extension services. It has allowed us to refocus on priorities and utilize different ways of providing education and programming.

This is the time of year when we hear about the bottom of tomatoes rotting, this is actually called blossom-end rot. This is not a disease but a disorder which affects tomato, pepper, squash, and eggplant, and occurs when soil moisture is uneven. It is easily recognized by the flat, leathery, discolored area on the blossom end of the fruit. Continue reading

From Across the Field 7-16-2020

Crops Continue to Progress

It is hard to believe we are already in the middle of July and if you look closely, it shows. Buckeye tree leaves are already showing red leaves which is common this time of the year.

Most of the county was fortunate to get some rain in the last week, which was much needed, as hot and dry continues to be the weather pattern at least through this weekend. During my weekly crop tour across the county, there are tassels and silks appearing in corn fields, which means pollination is among us.

In this week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter Dr. Alex Lindsey describes the impact of heat and moisture has on corn pollination. Continue reading

From Across the Field 7-2-2020

Wheat Harvest Begins

Another week of hot weather has sped up dry down of the winter wheat crop across the state. It’s not too often that we have a July 4th holiday harvest in Northern Ohio.

This is quite a bit different that last year for sure, where I wrote “The old saying about corn being knee high by the 4th of July might be a stretch in many cases here in Henry County.” This year there are many fields of corn that are waist high and a few closer to chest high. Amazing what can change in a year’s time.

After harvesting barley in the county last week, I am curious to see how wheat yields look given the severity of the Army Worm damage to the barley crop. Across Fulton, Henry, and Wood counties, I’ve heard a range of 20-40 percent yield loss in barley due to clipped heads. This has been an interesting wheat crop, one that had high yield potential until a few nights of cold weather this spring, coupled with the Army Worm pressure. Continue reading

From Across the Field – 6/25/2020

Dealing with Landscape Pests

Had a chance to go back to southern Ohio for Father’s Day and I can report that it is just as hot and humid down there as it is here other than the have had about an inch more rain in the past month. I spent Saturday with my brother at a large farm machinery consignment sale. The used equipment market has appeared to gain some strength as things sold very well, and higher than I would have anticipated.

Here locally everyone is dealing with dry conditions. I was in a barley field where the cracks in the ground were large enough to swallow a cell phone. After a week with many calls regarding Army Worm, it appears that they are on the tail end of the caterpillar cycle. I have set Western Bean Cut Worm traps across the county and will begin monitoring the flight of adult moths this week. Continue reading

From Across the Field 6-18-2020

Bugs, Birds, Busy Days

The past week has been prime time to complete many field operations in the county and across the state. The dry weather has kept machinery in farm fields as producers side dress corn, apply pest control, and cut hay. Before long wheat harvest will be upon us as we are usually a couple weeks behind southern Ohio, where they are getting close to harvest.

We received many reports of true armyworm infestations in wheat, barley, and corn in NW Ohio. The following is from this week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter on the pest. “These are black or green caterpillars with stripes along the side and orange heads.  In the spring, true armyworm moths migrate from the south and lay eggs in grasses such as forage and weed grasses, winter wheat and barley, and rye cover crops.  When the eggs hatch, the larvae can significantly damage wheat and barley before then moving to young corn. Continue reading

From Across the Field – 6/11/2020

Beware of Poison Hemlock

Last week I finished up with a paragraph on Poison Hemlock, a noxious, invasive weed that is starting to be more prevalent across the county. Perhaps it is coincidence, but the majority of questions this past week have been about Poison Hemlock, the challenge it presents, and control. So let’s review:

Poison Hemlock is a noxious weed that is extremely toxic to livestock. It looks like wild carrot or “Queen Ann’s Lace”, however it can grow to be 6 to 10 feet tall. Poison Hemlock is toxic to both people and livestock, often leaving serious blisters on those who come in contact with the plant. Ingestion of the any part of the plant can be fatal. Continue reading

From Across the Field – 6-4-2020

Summer Is Here

Monday marked the meteorological start of the summer season and by driving around the county, it is evident that there was a need for some summer-like weather. Corn is beginning to develop and with a few nice days most of the soybeans have been able to be planted, some hay has been made, and if all goes right we will get to finish some manure trials on growing corn yet this week.

Last week I had a chance to walk some fields of barley with Eric Richer and a small grains agronomist. In those fields freeze and frost damage was low, which is a good sigh for producers who may have been worried about their small grain crop. I was also able to finish harvesting a winter forage trial at the Northwest Ag Research Station in Hoytville. With being out of the office, it feels good to back into a routine.

I noticed over the weekend that poison ivy is growing fast right now. Along with other weeds, poison ivy is also showing up in ornamental shrub and perennial borders, probably seeded through bird droppings. When growing among desirable plants, poison ivy is a challenge to control. Continue reading