From Across the Field – In Bloom

Every now and then I get asked about how I come up with some of the topics that I write about each week. The answer is usually simple I either write about what I see or what I know is going be happening next as the year progresses. Whether for the farmer or the home gardener, being as current as possible allows for any potential management decisions by you the readers, to be made. Other than that, from time to time I try to mix in a bit about what is happening in my world to further connect with you the audience.

As for I have seen in the past week, about 3 things, stand out in my mind; poor alfalfa, dandelions, and blossoming flowers. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Bring On the Mayflowers

At this point of the year, I think I speak for more than myself when I say that I am sick of the rain and mud. That said there is not much we can do about other than be patient and continue to wear rubber boots, as I did over the weekend.
With my brother being an auctioneer, I rode with him to a two-day consignment machinery auction over the weekend. On Saturday, they sold about 30 wagonloads of “merchandise”, some good, some not so good and small yard equipment. I thought the prices of some of the better mowers and rototillers were fairly strong. Sunday however, was a different story with the larger farm equipment. Rain and mud may have been a contributing factor, but the used and antique tractor market was soft. Nowadays with the financing available through equipment dealers on compact tractors, it seems that the market for those older tractors less than 50 horsepower has really declined in the last 10 years. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Life Skills and Working Lands

This past weekend I jumped on the invitation to work as a ring man and take bids at a showpig auction for a longtime family friend. While I don’t get to as many pig sales as I used to, I do enjoy watching 4-H youth go through the process of selecting and purchasing their projects. Some of my favorite memories revolve around analyzing and sorting livestock with my father, something we still do today when we get a chance.

If 4-Her’s here in Henry County ever have questions about livestock selection, they should consider participating in the 4-H livestock judging team. This year’s team started practice this past week, and will compete at the state contest on July 26th. In addition, to becoming better stockpersons, team members learn life skills such as decision-making, critical thinking, and public speaking. If interested in the possibility of joining the team contact the office in the next week or so. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Growing Grass

I had the opportunity to head to southern Ohio this past weekend, and help my brother build some fence. While it is a tedious job, I sure enjoyed the opportunity to get outside and swing the hammer for a couple of days, before we were rained out on Sunday afternoon.

This week I mowed the lawn for the first time and I enjoy doing that early in the season when the grass in dark green and growing. If you want to keep the lawn looking nice, there are up to four times a year you can fertilize. The first is early spring, then around Memorial Day, Labor Day, and before Thanksgiving. I think if you are only going to fertilize once or twice a year, the best times to do it is before Thanksgiving and/or around Memorial Day. Late in the season builds roots and color for the winter, and fertilizing around Memorial Day will help it through the summer. Continue reading

From Across the Field – April Showers

Everyone knows the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” As I wrote last week I think we can amend that old adage to say “April showers bring May planted corn.” Jim Noel from the National Weather Service suggested that change as he predicts a wetter than average April followed by a drier May in this week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter. As a reminder the Crop Observation Reporting Network newsletter comes our weekly during the growing season and can be found at corn.osu.edu. Continue reading

From Across the Field – New “Normal”

March came in like a lion, and went out just the same. Who would have thought we’d be talking snow going into April, especially after a fairly nice week? That brings to question, what does a “normal” spring looks like? Going into what will be my third planting season here in Henry County, the normal I know has been by in large wet and cool. Continue reading

From Across the Field – 3/27/19

What a nice weekend we had here in NW Ohio. On Saturday, I spent the day at the Henry County Cattlemen’s spring preview show on the fairgrounds. There was a good turnout with 99 head of steers and heifers shown on the day. While it was cool to begin the day, once the sun began to shine, the temperature began to warm up nicely.

I used part of my Sunday to work on picking up limbs and sticks in the yard. Most of what I gathered was maple limbs that came down when we had that icy morning a while back. With maple trees as the get older and larger, the tree kills of limbs in an effort to reduce it’s nutrient requirements for maintenance. Even though there were quite a few sticks to gather, I’d rather they maple than something such as ash. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Springtime Thanks

As of yesterday, spring has officially arrived! Over the past few months, we have been challenged with frigid cold, saturated soils, LEBOR, low commodity prices, all things that can put a damper on morale in the greater agricultural community.  Despite all of those recent wintry blues, I have been thinking that we have been pretty fortunate here in Ohio. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Waiting Game

Here I am writing this week’s column and I am beginning to get a bit stir crazy here in the office. Having been seemingly on the run during the winter meeting season, it is going to take me a few days to adjust back to a normal pace and begin planning for the upcoming crop season.

Before we think about getting in the fields, I have a list of growers who still need to recertify for their pesticide and fertilizer licenses before the end of the month. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Thinking Warm Thoughts

As I wrote last week about March Madness, I did have the chance to watch some high school tournament action over the weekend. While on my travels, I did notice some signs of spring beginning to appear. I did notice that some tree buds are starting to swell, wild garlic is growing, and a few folks told me that some flowers were starting to bloom. Continue reading