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

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: 7-23-2020

Cucumber Downy Mildew Confirmed in Medina County, OH

By: Sally Miller, OSU Extension

Downy mildew was confirmed today in a 3 acre cucumber field in Medina County, OH. Given the outbreaks reported in Michigan in June and an outbreak confirmed in Kent County,
Ontario this week, this was expected. Although recent weather has been hot and dry, there have been localized intermittent rainstorms that favor downy mildew spread, and nighttime temperatures are usually cool enough for infection.

Growers in northern Ohio should protect cucumbers and melons with fungicides. Recommendations can be found here.

Thanks to Frank Becker, OSU Extension Wayne County IPM Program Coordinator, for bringing us the sample.

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 7-2-2020

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 6-18-2020

From Across the Field – 5/21/2020

We’ve Been Here Before

After last week’s column showed some hope and optimism for the planting being wrapped up in a timely manner, I think this is a good week to start with a quote from Yogi Berra: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” It feels like 2019 in some regards after a week of rain that now has brought field progress to a halt. The excess rainfall looks to make for another busy June for field activities, the second of which in two years.

This coming Memorial Day weekend is a great opportunity to spend time with family, especially if it is not fit to farm or garden. I will be heading south for the weekend to do just that. Memorial Day is also our annual reminder to vaccinate and trim hooves within our family’s sheep flock. We had a good spring with every ewe lambing, and most lambs have been weaned and started on feed. Before too long, it will be time to turn the rams back in with the ewes and start the process all over. Continue reading From Across the Field – 5/21/2020

From Across the Field: 5/14/2020

It’s amazing how much different this year is compared to last. In 2019 our greatest amount of planting progress was made in mid June, and this year we are nearly complete in Henry county. My colleagues to the south of I-70 are facing wetter conditions similar to what we had here last May. The cold temperatures over the last week has slowed down crop emergence, which is good with regards to frost damage, however with low crop prices even emergence can be critical. Looks like we’re in for a few wet days and then finally some heat will arrive to help things along.

The frost has slowed down and stunted some of our forage crops in the area, alfalfa is relatively short and orchard grass may have took the worst of the freeze here in NW Ohio. Continue reading From Across the Field: 5/14/2020

From Across the Field 5/7/2020

Looking back at past columns that I have written since 2017, this past week has arguably been the best week in terms of row crop planting, we have experienced during my time in Henry County. Even with the temperature being on the cool side, tremendous progress has been made over the past week.

Saturday was a great day to work outside and I even sunburned by arms a little bit as I mowed the yard and fired up the weed eater for a bit. Later in the afternoon as I made a lap across most of the county, I saw more tractors and planters out at one time than I have during the past two springs.

At this point, I do want to give everyone an update on the status of our office operations. Ohio State University Extension will continue its teleworking plan for all employees and keep OSU Extension offices closed. While some businesses and organizations throughout the state are starting to reopen, the physical Extension office in each county will remain closed through July 6, unless a decision is made by Ohio State to return sooner. Continue reading From Across the Field 5/7/2020

From Across the Field: 4/16/2020

Patiently Planning to Plant

Patience is a virtue, or at least that is what my mother used to tell me. We are in that time of the growing season where perhaps some patience is required, especially after last spring. This snap of colder weather and cold soil temperatures are likely testing the patience of some as they look forward to planting. Jim Noel, from the National Weather Service, a regular contributor to our OSU Extension C.O.R.N. newsletter suggests that we will see a warm up coming in late April.

I’ve noticed that the dandelions are blooming. The green grass contrasts very nicely against the yellow dandelions and I honestly don’t mind them. Perhaps that opinion is influenced by the brand of farm machinery that I grew up on. Continue reading From Across the Field: 4/16/2020

From Across the Field: 4-9-2020

Marching On

With some fairly nice weather over the past week or so, farm operations have begun to ramp up. Field operations included topdressing of wheat and small grains with nitrogen, weed control, and tillage. Looking ahead at the weather, the next few days look to be a bit cool and damp. In driving around yesterday, there were planters hooked up and at the ready. Hopefully they will be able to be put to use in a timelier manner than in 2019.

With the weather being the greatest unknown variable during this time growers may be faced with tough decisions again this growing season. As summarized in this week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter we encourage farmers to list the field work tasks that you need to do this spring when the weather and soils are fit, then prioritize them. Think through the tough choices you might have to make between competing activities. Think through contingency plans if each specific activity cannot be completed in a timely manner, or if it can’t get done at all this spring because of wet weather. Continue reading From Across the Field: 4-9-2020