Battle for the Belt – Chilling Injury

Dr. Alex Lindsey, Associate Professor of Crop Ecophysiology & Agronomy, walks us through his current research project on how cold temperatures and water can affect early planted soybeans within the first 24 hours of planting.

How does cold temperature and water affect germination and emergence?

We have been studying how cold temperatures and water affect soybeans under ultra-early planting conditions using some lab experiments. We planted soybeans into field soil (starting at 20% or 60% available water content) at 1” (shallow) or 1.5” (normal) planting depths, and exposed them to different combinations of cold temperatures and water treatments during the first 24 hours after planting (Table 1). After the first 24 hours, we raised the temperature in the chamber to 70°F and measured emergence.

Table 1. Temperature and water treatments evaluated during the first 24 hrs after planting.

Preliminary results suggest that no water application (even if temperature dropped to 35°F) resulted in the greatest emergence (75%) after 11 days. Water application immediately after planting, regardless of whether it was 50°F or 35°F, cut the emergence totals in half. Application of ice after planting was less damaging to emergence but still reduced germination compared to where water wasn’t applied. This suggests that avoiding precipitation within the first 24 hours of planting is key to ensuring good emergence.

Does planting depth matter? Continue reading

Will (is) climate change affect (ing) our farming operations?

Many conversations that I have been apart of over the past few years have centered around our warmer/milder winters and the perceived fewer days that are suitable for field work each year.  Well, data indicates that our weather patterns are changing.  Will these changes affect the way we manage our farming operations?

Dr Aaron Wilson, State Climatologist of Ohio, Assistant Professor, Ag Weather and Climate Field Specialist, OSU Extension, shared the following information at the 2024 Central Ohio Agronomy School this winter.

Our winter weather climate is changing and is predicted to become more like the weather patterns currently in found southern West Virginia and eastern Virginia by 2030.  This pattern is predicted to continue to move in a southeasterly direction resulting in Ohio winters resembling the current weather patterns found in the Carolinas by 2095.

Summer weather patterns are predicted to become similar to the climate found in southern Illinois by 2030.  These changes will continue in a southwesterly direction, with our summer of 2095 weather being similar to the weather we currently see in Arkansas.

Days suitable for fieldwork

Since 1995 an average of 13 fieldwork days were observed in Ohio between weeks ending April 25 to May 15. A low of 3.3 was observed in 2011 and a high of 22.5 in 1999. Over this time frame, fieldwork days decreased on average by 0.09 days each year.

Source Kansas State University

Big Swings Ahead for Planting, Growing and Harvest Season

Source: Jim Noel

As El Niño continues to weaken in the eastern Pacific Ocean the “rapid change” often leads to a wetting up as we discussed last time for a part of spring. This wetting up has occurred across Ohio in the last month with some areas wetter than others and could continue into May but to a lesser extent. The years where strong El Niño events came to an end in spring include 2016, 1998, 1982, 1973 and 1958. However, as we go into summer and autumn, there is a growing chance of a  La Niña returning which is opposite of El Niño. This swing in the ocean pattern will likely put some stress on Ohio crops this year.

Above normal temperatures are expected from May to autumn harvest with the warmth favoring nighttime minimum temperatures more than daytime maximum temperatures. There will likely be some 95+ degree days this summer but there is more of a chance of 75+ overnight temperatures. You can see the official summer temperature outlook by NOAA attached.

Rainfall will see significant swings the rest of this year. We are in a normally wet time of the year currently averaging 0.8-1.0 inch per week. We expect this wetness to last into May. However, as growing season arrives it appears there will be growing variability in the rainfall patterns. In addition,  we expect some dryness to expand as summer progresses and La Niña develops with confidence higher for dryness in June and August/September timeframes at this point. The extent of any summer/early autumn drought development needs to be monitored in the coming weeks.

Even though it is typical to still see some light freezes/frosts in April, most data suggests this is not likely as we go into May meaning a near normal last freeze for most of the state.

You can get all the official climate outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center at https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov .

Ohio Crop Weather

Source: USDA

Sustained Wet Conditions

Heavy rains last week saturated fields and prevented any large-scale planting activities, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 31 percent adequate and 69 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 14 was 56.8 degrees, 9.4 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.86 inches of precipitation, 0.98 inches above average. There were 0.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 14.
Farmers reported that with the excess rain, the only field work that could be done was applying herbicide and fertilizing wheat. Oats were 11 percent planted. Winter wheat was 51 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 70 percent good to excellent. Warmer than normal conditions continued to push fruit crop development.

Ohio Crop Weather – April 1, 2024

Source: USDA

This year’s weather has been temperamental, with temperatures fluctuating wildly between above average to below average over the past few months, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 32 percent adequate and 68 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on April 7 was 46.3 degrees, 0.3 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 2.67 inches of precipitation, 1.8 inches above average. There were 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 7. Precipitation last week left fields saturated and brought fieldwork to a stop. Drier weather settled in towards the end of the week, but most fields remained too wet to hold heavy equipment. Oats were 7 percent planted. Winter wheat was 16 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 67 percent good to excellent. Fruit trees began blossoming in the northern counties after last week’s light frost.

Ohio Crop Weather – April 1, 2024

Cloudy and Cool at Season’s Start

Cloudy and cool conditions prevailed across the State as farmers began early-season field activities, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 69 percent adequate, and 24 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on March 31 was 46.6 degrees, 1.6 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.81 inches of precipitation, 0.05 inches above average. There were 2.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending March 31. Farmers began the season with fertilizer and manure applications and tillage. Recent precipitation left some fields saturated, with ponding reported. Oats were 1 percent planted. Winter wheat was 4 percent jointed and winter wheat condition was 67 percent good to excellent. In southern counties, stone fruit and pear trees were in bloom and fruiting plants began to emerge from dormancy. Hay fields were greening, supported by moderate temperatures and adequate precipitation. This is the first weekly crop and weather report of the 2024 season. A series of weekly crop progress and condition reports will be published each Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET throughout the crop season. The reports will cover planting and harvesting activities, crop development, weather data, and timely crop management information provided by farmers, USDA, and Ohio State University experts. For the earliest possible access, look for these reports on the internet shortly after the 4:00 PM release time.