Summer Weather Outlook

By: Jim Noel, for OSU Extension C.O.R.N. Newslettter

Our attention now turns to the summer growing season and what is in store. Some things are different this summer.

  • The ocean temperatures are cooling in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean while ocean temperatures are above normal in the Gulf of Mexico into parts of the Caribbean. In addition, Lake Erie water temperatures will trend from cooler to warmer than normal as we get late into the growing season.
  • With recent rains, soil moisture has increased again in Ohio and remains above normal in much of the corn and soybean belt. The soils are not as wet as 2019 but with above normal soil moisture will come plenty of evapotranspiration. In 2019 for Ohio, soil moisture generally ranked in the top 1-5% wettest while currently we are in the top 5-15% wettest. https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Soilmst_Monitoring/Figures/daily/curr.w.rank.daily.gif
  • Research shows 30-50% of summer rains come from local evapotranspiration from crops, trees etc. Given the wet soil conditions overall, expect a wetter than normal first half of summer, but not like last summer. We are likely to see the typical summer thunderstorm complexes in June and July ride along the high moisture content boundary of the corn crop from the northern Plains to Ohio.
  • Rainfall becomes more uncertain the second half of summer. Given the warm Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean it will likely favor increased storm activity down there. When that happens we often dry out some at least in late summer up here.
  • The outlook for June-August calls for slightly above normal temperatures with rainfall going from (above normal) first half to (normal or below normal) second half of summer. The above normal temperatures are favored more on overnight low temperatures versus daytime high temperatures due to soil moisture.

The latest climate outlooks are available at: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

Scab Risk Low, but Keep Your Eyes on Leaf Diseases

By: Pierce Paul, OSU Extension. Previously published in OSU Exension’s C.O.R.N. Newsletter

According to the FHB forecasting system, the risk for head scab continues to be low across the state of Ohio, for wheat flowering (or barley heading) today, May 18. In spite of the wet weather we have had, it has been very cold over the last week to 10 days. Cold temperatures between heading and flowering usually reduce the risk for scab, as the disease develops best under warm, wet, or humid conditions. However, you must continue to be vigilant as the crop in the northern half of the state approach heading and anthesis. If it continues to rain and stays wet and humid over the next few weeks, the risk for scab and vomitoxin will increase as the temperature increases. Be prepared to treat fields with Prosaro, Caramba, or Miravis Ace. Click on this link for more details on fungicide application for head scab control: https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-13/managing-head-scab-fungicides-qa

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Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets – Projected Returns for 2020

By: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

COVID-19 has created an unusual situation that has negatively affected crop prices and lowered certain crop input costs. Many inputs for the 2020 production year were purchased or the prices/costs were locked in prior to the spread of this novel coronavirus. Some costs have been recently affected or may yet be affected. Lower fuel costs may allow for lower costs for some compared to what current budgets indicate.

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be largely unchanged from last year with lower fertilizer expenses offset by slight increases in some other costs. Variable costs for corn in Ohio for 2020 are projected to range from $359 to $452 per acre depending on land productivity. Variable costs for 2020 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $201 to $223 per acre. Wheat variable expenses for 2020 are projected to range from $162 to $198 per acre. Continue reading

Cold Weather Impact on Corn and Soybean

By: Alexander Lindsey, Laura Lindsey. OSU Extension. Originally published in OSU Extension C.O.R.N. Newsletter

In Ohio, between May 9 and 10, temperatures were as low as 26°F with some areas even receiving snow. The effect on corn and soybean depends on both temperature, duration of low temperature, and growth stage of the plant. The soil can provide some temperature buffering capacity, especially if soil is wet. Water is approximately 4x more resistant to temperature changes than air or dry soil, and thus will buffer the soil from experiencing large temperature changes as air temperatures drop. Deeper planted seeds may also be more resistant to large temperature swings. Continue reading

How Cold is Too Cold for Wheat at Feekes 8 and Feekes 10.5.1 Growth Stages?

By: Laura Lindsey, Alexander Lindsey, Aaron Wilson. OSU Extension. Originally published in OSU Extension C.O.R.N. Newsletter.

Every year presents a different set of challenges for agricultural production across Ohio. Last year, northwest and west central Ohio could not escape the rain. This year, Ohio cannot seem to shake the chill. An unusual weather pattern set up across the Midwest and Northeast U.S. late last week and into the weekend that led to some snow in spots and record or near-record lows across the state (Figure 1). Overnight lows for a few locations in Ohio on Saturday May 9, 2020 include 26°F outside of Toledo, 27° in Lancaster and Youngstown, and 28°F in Dayton, Cincinnati, and New Philadelphia. Many areas spent more than eight hours below 32°F with about 4 hours spent below 30°F. Naturally, this would raise questions concerning potential wheat damage.

Map

Figure 1. Daily overnight lows based on station observations for May 9-10, 2020. Figures generated at Midwest Regional Climate Center. Continue reading

Burndown and Residual Herbicide Issues

By: Mark Loux, OSU Extension

Depending upon where you are in the state, it’s possible right now to be experiencing delays in getting anything done, progress in planting but delays in herbicide application, weather too dry to activate residual herbicides, and/or reduced burndown herbicide effectiveness on big weeds due to cold weather.  What’s become a typical Ohio spring.  Some information relative to questions that OSU Extension educators have passed on to us:

1.  Residual herbicides and rainfall.  Residual herbicides do vary in the relative amounts of rain needed for “activation”, or adequate movement into the soil to reach germinating seeds.  Most growers are applying mixtures or premixes of several products, so we’re not sure these differences are as important as the overriding principle here.  Residual herbicide treatments need to receive a half to one inch of rain within a week or so after tillage or an effective burndown treatment, to control weeds that can will start to emerge at that time.  This varies with timing of application and weather. Continue reading

Interested in Soil Health? Learn together with OSU Extension

By: Steve Culman, John Fulton, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, Eric Richer, CCA, OSU Extension

Improving soil health (SH) can provide a variety of benefits including improved water infiltration, increased water holding capacity, and increased nutrient availability. However, it can be challenging to quantify these benefits in the field.

In 2020, the eFields program is kicking off an effort to help better understand how management practices influence soil health and ultimately water quality. OSU Extension has worked to identify a few soil tests that can provide helpful indicators of improved soil health. Though several health tests exist, we focused on tests that are simple, economical, and repeatable. Continue reading

Why Should You Calibrate Your Sprayer, and How?

By: Erdal Ozkan, OSU Extension

This is the time to check the accuracy of your sprayer. While applying too little pesticide may result in ineffective pest control, too much pesticide wastes money, may damage the crop and increases the potential risk of contaminating ground water and environment. The primary goal with calibration is to determine the actual rate of application in gallons per acre, then to make adjustments if the difference between the actual rate and the intended rate is greater or less than 5% of the intended rate. This is a recommended guideline by US EPA and USDA.

I get this question all the time: “Why should I calibrate my sprayer? I have a rate controller on the sprayer. I just enter the application rate I want, the controller does the rest”. Continue reading

CFAES Ag Weather System Near-Surface Air and Soil Temperatures/Moisture

By: Aaron WilsonGreg LaBarge, CPAg/CCAElizabeth HawkinsSam Custer, OSU Extension

We are once again providing a soil temperature overview in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter through April-May 2020. The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Agricultural Research Stations located throughout the state have two- and four-inch soil temperatures monitored on an hourly basis.

Figure 1: Average daily air temperature (red), two-inch (green) and four-inch (blue) soil temperatures for spring 2020. Soil type and placement are provided for each location. Map of locations provided in the bottom right. Soil temperatures are minimum temperatures for Versailles and Xenia and daily average for other sites. Continue reading

Managing Stored Grain Into Summer

By: Jason Hartschuh and Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Extension

If you are storing more grain on farm this spring than usual, you are not alone. Over the last few weeks, we have heard from more producers who are considering holding grain longer into summer months than they normal would. We have also heard a few reports of spoiled grain as producers fill April contracts. Carrying graining into summer has been done for many years successfully but requires much more intensive management than winter grain storage.

Key advice for long term grain storage   

  1. If bins were not cored in early winter core bins now
  2. Verify the moisture content of stored grain is at or below recommended levels
  3. Monitor grain temperature every 3 or 4 weeks throughout storage paying special attention to insect activity and mold
  4. Monitor the roof area for signs of condensation
  5. Cover fans to keep the chimney effect from warming the grain
  6. Provide roof ventilation at two levels above the surface of the grain, one vent should be close to the peak of the bin
  7. Aerate bins on cool mornings every couple weeks as grain at the top of the bin becomes warm

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