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 – 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: 5/14/2020

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 5/7/2020

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: 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: 4-9-2020

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: 4-2-2020

Being Lawn Ready

We are in the third week of telecommuting and even though it has taken a while to get used to, we have been able to get along fairly well. Don’t hesitate to call the office, as we are still able to serve the county. If interested in keeping up on agriculture and natural resources education over the next month or so, tune into OSU Extension Ag Madness. Each day a topic area “bracket” with be covered. Brackets range from produces safety to farm management to cover crops. Join the fun at

As temperature (slowly) begin to warm up this is a great time to prepare equipment for mowing lawns. We probably won’t be mowing as long as the ground is saturated but once we get a couple of warm dry days I look for grass to really green up and grow. Continue reading

From Across the Field: 3-6-2020

March Madness

First, I cannot believe that it is March already, it seems that February went by in a blur. March is here and that means March Madness. As a sports fan I hope to take in some postseason high school and college basketball in the coming weeks in between programs. In a typically year March is bit more toned downed from a programming standpoint, that appears not to be the case this year. I ought to have a talk with guy who makes my schedule a bit more often.

One upcoming program that I am excited to offer is our 2020 Feeding Cattle for the Consumer Series. This series tailored around the same concept as Beef 509, a two part program with both live and carcass evaluation. The first of the two-part series will be held at Southern Roots Ranch in West Unity on Thursday, March 19. Southern Roots Ranch is operated by Tyler Keckley and family. At that meeting we will talk cattle feeding nutrition, fed cattle evaluation, and estimate carcass characteristics. Continue reading

From Across the Field: 2-13-2020

Not All Roses

First off, thank you to all of the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees of Northwest Ohio Crops Day last week in Deshler. For the third year in a row it was a cold snowy day, filled with excellent information with regards to the upcoming growing season. A few points that I took home were that our recent weather patterns have the potential to become trends as our climate changes. Another key point was that commodity outlooks for the coming year were rather guarded due to factors across the globe. I’m always amazed that they are able to get two corn crops in a year in Brazil, which impacts the amount of corn available on the global market. I sure hope this year is more cooperating than last. Continue reading

From Across the Field: 1/09/2020

Winter Happenings

It’s finally starting to feel like winter as the wind has gotten cold over the past couple of days. School is back in session, folks have made their resolutions, and the Buckeyes are no longer playing football; so bring on meeting season! After the first of the year things seem to ramp back up as we progress past the holidays. We continue to plan for Northwest Ohio Crops Day and the various other programs scheduled the first quarter of the year. Continue reading