With fall fast approaching, it may be time to assess potential problems that could arise when livestock are grazing, such as trees and grasses. A good practice of walking or driving through your pastures will help you know what is growing in or around them.
Amber Friedrichsen, Associate Editor, Hay and Forage Grower
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: August 29, 2023)
The critical fall period for alfalfa has been said to start about six weeks before the first killing frost, which is roughly around the first week of September for most of the Midwest. This hard stop in harvest schedules is supposed to ensure plants store enough energy in their roots to survive the winter, but with improved alfalfa varieties, variable stand conditions, and warmer weather patterns, how critical can this period really be?
Despite heat indices recently reaching the triple digits in some parts of the Central U.S., temperatures will likely calm down as we flip the calendar from August to September. The sun is also setting noticeably earlier each day, and the combination of milder temperatures and shorter day lengths sends a signal to alfalfa to prepare for fall dormancy.
2nd cutting is well underway. Potato leafhoppers are very active. If you haven’t cut yet, continue to monitor, where damage is increasing, cut as soon as weather permits.
Our corn growth varies greatly throughout the county. Some fields are beginning to tassel and some field are at V8.
V12 to V13 – Six weeks after the plant emerges, V12 begins. Moisture or nutrient deficiencies may reduce the potential number of seeds, as well as the ear size, seriously. These two components of yield have key development during the period from V10 to V17. The length of time for the plant to develop through these stages affects harvestable yield.
Early maturity hybrids normally progress through these stages in less time and have smaller ears than later hybrids. Higher plant populations are needed for earlier hybrids to produce grain yield similar to normal-maturity hybrids in the adapted region. Cultivation of plants at this time will destroy some of the plant roots. Brace roots are developing from the fifth node and the first above-ground node.
V14 to V15 – Seven weeks after the plant emerges, V14 begins. The corn plant at V15 is only 12 to 15 days (around one to five V stages) away from R1 (silking). This vegetative stage is the most critical period of seed yield determination. The number of ovules that develop silks, and thus the number of kernels, is being determined. Any nutrient or moisture deficiency or injury (such as hail or insects) may seriously reduce the number of kernels that develop.
The tassel is near full size but not visible from the top of the leaf sheaths. Silks are just beginning to grow from the upper ears. Upper-ear shoot development has surpassed that of lower ear shoots. A new leaf stage can occur every one to two days.
Brace roots from the sixth leaf node are developing, and the permanent roots have continued to elongate and proliferate, eventually reaching a depth of about 5 to 8 feet and spreading several feet in all directions. In some hybrids, brace roots also will develop from the eighth and ninth leaf nodes or even higher. Some corn plants in North Dakota may only develop 16 leaves.
Soybeans are starting to look a little bit better, however, there are still a lot of “yellow” beans throughout the county. Two possible reasons are Yellow Flash and Soybean Cyst Nematode. Other possibilities are seedling diseases and water-logged roots, more information on these topics next week.
After planting, the second biggest challenge we face is timely weed control. If you haven’t already made a postemergence application, it might be time to check your fields. Most beans (and weeds) are at stage that might warrant an application. The links below will contain OSU Herbicide rating for postemergence applications.
Soybean Growth & Development – R1: Beginning Bloom
- Open flower at any node on the main stem
- Flowering begins at 3rd to 6th node (V6 to V10 stage)
- Flowering period is 3 to 4 weeks
–Begins ~6 to 8 weeks after emergence
– Peaks R2 to R3; ends ~R5
- Vertical root growth rates increase rapidly
– As much as 1.3 to 3.2 in/day
Wheat harvest has come to an end and most of the straw is in the barn. From what I hear, wheat yields were pretty good with little to no disease issues.
If you removed the straw, remember to account for the additional fertilizer removal when planning for fertilizer needs next year. Read more here.
Double crop beans have been, or are being planted now. Click here for the Double Crop Soybean Production Guidelines from Dr. Laura Lindsey.
Misc. – Something you don’t see everyday.
I can honestly say that I have never seen one of these before! Click on the picture to see the video. If you know what it is, put your answer in the comment section. Be sure to check back next week for the answer!
… AND THE ANSWER IS – Horsehair Worm
County Rainfall Update
– Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension
Hay season is officially underway!
In the years since I began working in Noble County there have been two years where conditions were right for making dry hay in May- 2020 and 2021. The smell of mowed hay drying in the warm sun and the sight of fresh round bales peppering fields this past week gave me a boost of much needed optimism. For people concerned with the quality of hay, this is exciting stuff.
By: Chris Penrose, OSU Extension
Originally posted in the CORN Newsletter.
I hope you do not have the hay season I am having. While the quality of my hay is good, my yields are incredibly disappointing. With over half of my fields made, I am around 50% of the usual crop. The two late freezes killed back growing grass last month, and honestly, I am mowing hay earlier than most years. I am also doing it much faster with my youngest son not working this summer at the Wilmington College farm due to the virus and helping on the farm. Another thing I have noticed over the past few years is that some hay fields have less fescue and orchard grass and more poor quality forage like cheatgrass reducing quality and yields.