Dealing with the Weather and Unharvested Crops

Source: Penn State Extension (Edited)

WHAT A FALL!!!  According to the November 26 Crop Weather Report, approximately 14% of corn and 10% of beans still in the field.  The average moisture content of corn harvested last week was 17 percent and the average for soybeans was 16 percent, how big of a concern is this?

The weather continues to be unpredictable and give challenges to operators with grain and crops still in the field. Snow and ice over the last couple weeks have just been the latest in a long list of hurdles that growers have had to overcome this season. With some careful thought and planning you can still have a successfully harvest.

Having corn in the field now can be a double-edged sword. The longer it stays out, the dryer the corn will be when harvested, thus decreasing your drying costs. However, there is a higher risk of yield loss the longer the corn stays unharvested. Research on winter corn drydown showed that over a five-year span, corn grain would lose roughly 40% of its moisture between the months of October and December, when left in the field. The tradeoff is that we cannot anticipate the weather. The same study found that a single year yield decreased by 45% and another year decreased by only 5%.

Another concern of unharvested corn could be disease and mold. When discussing disease and mold, snow and ice pose no more danger to your crop than rain does. A positive of this situation is that the lower temperatures could have a limiting effect on pathogens’ ability to incubate or develop. A drawback of having laying snow is an increased opportunity for lodging. This year we have already seen a lot of lodging due to stem rots and adding snow to the mix may increase this risk. The risk of lodging is even further increased when coupled with winter winds and snow and ice to come. The takeaway is that disease and mold issues should not be your largest concern right now.

If you have a large amount of stock rot and lodging, harvesting as soon as possible will be best for a successful harvest. If your corn crop has lodged, one thing to remember is that this is not a usual harvest. Special consideration and care must be taken to get acceptable yields, which means slowing down and using caution. A few other options you have for getting a better harvestable yield are combining in the opposite direction, or “against the grain.” This will allow the head to get under the crop and lift it up. Another option is to use a corn reel. A corn reel is a specialized piece of equipment that mounts on the top of your corn head and uses rotating hooks to lift the corn and allow the head to get under the lodged crop.

The last concern is compaction and rutting of fields … Who Doesn’t Have Compaction Issues This Year??  Compaction will linger for years and will require attention to avoid problems with next year’s crop.

 

Inversion and Drift Mitigation – Workshop on December 14

Inversion and Drift Mitigation Workshop
Dec. 14, 2018 • 10 a.m. – noon

10 – 11 a.m. Weather Conditions and Potential Inversions
Speaker: Aaron Wilson, Weather Specialist & Atmospheric Scientist, OSU Extension, Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center

11 – noon Using FieldWatch to Communicate
Speaker: Jared Shaffer, Plant Health Inspector, Ohio Department of Agriculture

Two choices for attending the workshop:

Attend in person (pre-registration required, limited to the first 75 people registered)
Ohio Dept. of Agriculture • Bromfield Administration Building
8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Click here to register

Attend virtually:
Link coming soon – no pre-registration required

No cost to attend. Core commercial and private pesticide recertification credits available only athe Reynoldsburg in-person location. Limited to the first 75 registered. No recertification credits given for virtual/internet attendees.

For more information about the workshop, contact:
Cindy Folck, folck.2@osu.edu
614-247-7898

Event sponsored by OSU Extension IPM program and the USDA NIFA Crop Protection and Pest Management Competitive Grants Program (Grant number 2017-70006-27174).

 

Ohio Crop Weather

The wet fall continues!  Yes, this sounds like a broken record.  In my 28 years in Knox County I cannot remember a fall that has been this wet – our soils have been saturated all fall.  I saw a weather report this weekend stating that we are more than 15 inches of rain above our yearly average.

On the bright side if we can get our crops out of the field, many of you that I have talked with think that we may have a record year for BOTH corn and soybean yields.

Below is the most recent Ohio Crop Weather Report.

Drying and storing wet soybeans

Source: Michael Staton, Michigan State University Extension

Due to the cool and wet conditions, soybeans harvested at this time of the year will need to be dried on the farm or at the elevator. Some elevators will accept soybeans up to 18 percent moisture while others will reject loads that are above 15 percent moisture. Contact your elevator prior to delivery and understand their discount schedule. Information on understanding soybean discount schedules is available in “Understanding soybean discount schedules” from Michigan State University Extension.

Commodity soybeans used for domestic crush or export can be dried using supplemental heat. However, food grade and seed beans should not be dried with supplemental heat. Proper management is essential to minimizing damage when using supplemental heat. Keep the drying temperature below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Click here to read more.

 

FARM: Field Application Resource Monitor

One of the missions of the State Climate Office of Ohio (SCOO; https://climate.osu.edu) is to serve as data stewards to connect Ohioans with the weather and climate information necessary to improve lives. In an effort to provide farmers across the state with sufficient weather guidance, specifically to aid in decisions regarding the application of fertilizer and manure, SCOO has developed FARM, the Field Application Resource Monitor (https://farm.bpcrc.osu.edu/).

FARM is a web-based, mobile friendly tool that provides:

  • Real-time high resolution precipitation forecasts to field(s) of interest (up to five locations),
  • Historical precipitation forecasts (back to July 2017),
  • Daily email notifications if desired (text alerts coming soon).

Originally designed in response to Senate Bill 1 regulations for the Western Lake Erie Basin, FARM can help any farmer throughout Ohio follow best management practices with regard to their precipitation forecast needs.

Precipitation forecasts in FARM are provided via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC). We utilize the probabilistic forecasts which are based on a combination of WPC’s 6-hour quantitative precipitation forecasts and an ensemble of model forecasts. This data is available on a 1.5 mile x 1.5 mile grid, meaning FARM provides precipitation guidance on a local scale.

Again, FARM can be found by visiting /farm.bpcrc.osu.edu/. For more information on creating user profiles, returning, and other features of FARM, please check out http://u.osu.edu/farmprecip for a full tutorial. We have also provided a feedback button on the initial screen and request feedback, suggestions, and improvements as we continue to improve our product.

This program provides weather data only and does not take into account current field conditions.  Below is a snapshot of the weather information for our office at 160 Columbus Rd.

Click Here To Read More

 

(More) Wet Weather Ahead

Source: Jim Noel (edited)

The weather pattern will support wet weather into the middle of November with a series of storms now every several days. With clay type soils and reduced evaporation this could lead to standing water in fields in the next few weeks. We expect a wet weather system for the middle of this week followed by another next week.

November will be marked with above normal rainfall and temperatures trending from near normal to above or much above normal for the second half of the month.

Rainfall for the next two weeks will average 2-4 inches across the state with isolated higher totals in the south and east sections. A few spots in the northwest sections may be below 2 inches. This is above normal in all areas of the state though and much above normal in eastern and southern sections. See attached graphic for the two week rainfall outlook from NOAA/NWS/OHRFC.

The pattern remains in place with overall wetter conditions into December (though the second half of November may dry out some). It still appears January into February and possibly March will experience normal or slightly below normal rainfall before more wet weather returns sometime in April of 2019.

Much of the state has seen freeze conditions already with only pockets of the state not seeing a freeze yet (like near Lake Erie in northeast Ohio). However, much of the state has not seen a hard freeze yet (though parts of Northwest Ohio have). There is a chance we will go well into November before we see a hard freeze widespread across the state of Ohio.

Harvest Progress

OK, While many of us feel that this picture represents how harvest has gone so far, we are not really that far behind.  The most recent Ohio Crop Weather report issued on October 9 shows corn harvest at 21%.  At this time last year we had harvested 12% of our corn while the most recent 5-year average is 17%.

Soybeans are lagging behind just a bit.  This report shows Ohio bean harvest at 30%.  This compares to 42% last year and a 5-year average of 36%.

So why do we feel we are so far behind?  Probably because we started sooner this year and have received just enough rain to prevent us from running beans many days this year.  Early reports that I am hearing have soybean yields much better than last year and good corn yields as well.

See the full report below.

Warm and Wet October Expected

Source: Jim Noel

After a very wet September across all but northwest Ohio in the Maumee River basin, we can expect more of the same in October. September saw some locations in the top 5 wettest on record for Ohio like Columbus and Dayton.

We expect the first two weeks of October to average 5-15F above normal with a few days almost 20F above normal. There will be a few days this week with lows of 65-70 degrees which is almost unheard of in October with normal lows in the 40s. The latest low of 70 at Cincinnati is Oct.9 in 1982, since 1947. It is possible to be near that level a few days this week across especially southern Ohio.

Overall, temperatures the first two weeks of October will average 5-15F above normal with the last two weeks 0-4F above normal.

Rainfall will average 1-4 inches the first half of October. The 1 inch will be in southern Ohio and the 4 inches would likely be in the north part of the state. Normal is 1-1.5 inches for two weeks.

See rainfall map above.

Rainfall may relax to more normal with a chance of below normal the second half of the month. The worst of the rain will be in the central and western corn and soybean areas where rainfall of 3-7 inches is possible so harvest delays are possible.

It continues to looks like frost will be no earlier than Oct. 10-20 range which is normal for Ohio but chances are growing it may be more in the Oct. 20-30 range.

Seed Quality Issues in Soybeans

Let’s face it – we’ve had historic rains in parts of Ohio during 2018 and we are now observing many late season issues that come with this.  Seed quality is one of them and the symptoms or warning signs that there could be issues are on the stems.  The stems in some fields are heavily colonized with a mix of disease pathogens that cause Anthracnose, Cercospora, and pod and stem blight (Figure 1).  The bottom line is that all of these diseases can be better managed with higher levels of resistance but ultimately during 2018 – we had a perfect storm, lower levels of resistance combined with higher than normal rainfall conditions and add in the presence of a new insect pest, stink bugs.  Below I’ve outlined the general conditions of the crop and for each disease, the distinguishing characteristics.

Figure 1

Continue reading