From Across the Field – 10/31/2019

Older and Wiser?

Each year at the end of October I get an annual reminder that I am another year older. As a kid, my dad’s side of the family practiced the tradition of “Birthday Bumps”, where as long as you were small enough to lift, you were picked up and had you backside bumped against the wall, one each per year of age. These were always followed by “one to grow on, one to learn on, and one to behave on.”

Now as an adult, who hasn’t had to worry about being “bumped” for some time, I think our birthdays are a good time to reflect on what we have learned over the past year. This year, given the challenges brought to us by Mother Nature, everyone involved with agriculture had the opportunity to learn quite a bit. On one hand we learned that we’d rather not have a “2019 Spring” any time soon. On the other, farmers and landowners have learned how to manage planting delays, unplanted acres, annual forages, and cover crops among other things in a way that they haven’t before. Continue reading

From Across the Field – 10/17/2019

Here We Go Again

Fall is my favorite time of the year for a few different reasons, but it is also one of the busiest and most interesting times in the agricultural year. Not only is this year’s crop being harvested but there are many operations and decisions being made that will have major impacts on the coming year as well.

As I make observations around the county, soybean harvest has been progressing well, considering how scattered planting was this spring. For a historically late planted crop, yields I have heard have been acceptable, all things considered. Wheat planting is wrapping up and the large amount of prevented planting acres did allow for a large percentage of the wheat to be planted in a timely fashion. Tillage in preparation for next spring and tiling continue. I had one person ask how many miles of tile was installed this summer in the county. My answer: A lot, most since I have been here. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Farmer Appreciation Dinner Planned 9/26/19

Another fairly warm and dry week here in Northwest Ohio to help with crop development and maturation. Having been to Columbus once this week, once you get south of about Delaware, you begin to notice symptoms of drought. Talking to colleagues in the southern portions of the state, they have been dry over the past couple of months and that a lack of moisture during grain fill maybe a yield limiting factor. Back in Morgan county, my dad and brother baled 76 acres of hay over the weekend, in which the ground was dry enough to mow one day and bale the next. Last year making dry hay was next to impossible and this year just the opposite Continue reading

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

Cucumber Downy Mildew Confirmed in Northeast Ohio

By: Sally Miller, OSU Extension

Following reports this week of downy mildew on cucurbits in Michigan, central Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Indiana, we have our first confirmed report of downy mildew on cucumbers in northern Wayne County. This is very late for this area – we usually see downy mildew on cucumbers in early July in northern OH. Many growers have been spraying preventatively due to the seriousness of downy mildew on cucumbers and other cucurbits. All of the reports this week from MI, WI and PA were from cucumber, although the report from southwestern Indiana was from watermelon.

Cucurbit growers who have not transitioned from applying only protectant fungicides such as chlorothalanil or mancozeb to downy mildew fungicides should now do so.  The environmental conditions – cooler temperatures, high humidity, overcast skies and rain showers- expected in much of Ohio during this part of the season are conducive to downy mildew. 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 – 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 – 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

From Across the Field – Should I Plant?

Hopefully, everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend and got through the severe weather alright. We were fortunate to avoid the worst of it, which was primarily south of US 30. As I enjoyed the three-day weekend with my family it was evident that there is quite a bit of variation in planting progress across the state. South and east of Columbus, I estimate that 70% of corn and 25% of the soybeans are in the ground. That is certainly not the case here in the Maumee Valley.

In most years the question “Should I plant?” is often in the back of many farmer’s minds as raising a crop is what they do best; it’s how they make a living. With the calendar changing to June this weekend with minimal progress made in west and northwest Ohio, that question is more real now than ever. Continue reading