It is June 21, the Summer Solstice and the official start of summer. Most farmers are probably glad that spring is behind them after a soggy stretch that dampened many high hopes after a great early start to the planting season. Now we can only hope the rains continue now that most of Ohio’s crops have finally been planted for the first (and sometimes second) time. Here is today’s report from the “Between the Rows” farmers from around Ohio.
– Matt Reese
The crops have responded well to the high temperatures and plentiful moisture, but the rains have made field work challenging. “I think everybody has done the sidedressing they can do. Everybody was running late because of the wet weather. I know I was leaving ruts when I finished the sidedressing.”
Overall, through, the crops are in nice condition. “We’re getting a little dry, but things are still looking great. We could probably use a light rain. We had some storms come through on Wednesday, but with wind and 90 degree temperatures things dry up pretty quickly. It would not take too long without a rain before we’d run into problems with the heat we had. We still have water in a few spots, but the hills are getting dry.
“The corn crop is ahead of normal. We don’t really have any problems. We still have three weeks or so until pollination, but the corn is over head high. The soybeans are closing the canopy. We had a few drowned out spots we had to replant but nothing too extensive. We’re getting ready to spray Roundup on some beans today.”
Diseases and insects have not been a problem so far. “There is nothing really hitting us right now, other than some yellowing from those few wet spots.”
Wheat also seems to be ahead of schedule. “I’ve seen two fields run already and I expect to see more guys starting late this week.”
Now, farmers in the area are hoping for continued rains throughout the summer. “We’ve been in a wet pattern and with the rule of averages, if we get too much in the spring we won’t get it later.”
“We’ve had some planting opportunities last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that were really nice. Those few days in a row were enough for most guys to get finished up, but I still see a neighbor or two planting some. There are some guys taking prevented planting in some of the wetter fields, though that is fairly limited in this part of the county.
“The stuff that was in the ground before that is really growing with the heat and things are looking better. The crops that were planted Memorial Day are really making progress too. The corn that was planted earliest is probably 5 to 6 feet tall and looking really nice. The corn planted Memorial Day is about knee-high and fairly uniform. There are a lot of fields that are yellow and stunted too, maybe half.
“I’m pretty happy with my stuff as a whole. I had to replant 20 acres of beans because of the water and the planting conditions. The rest of the beans look pretty good. For this time of year, I am pretty happy with how my stuff looks. I think there will be some corn tasseling by the Fourth of July.
“With wheat, there is quite a bit of concern with head scab and vomitoxin. The elevators are pretty concerned about it. It could be a high percentage of the wheat affected in this area. I sprayed all of mine with fungicide that I hope will help. I left an untreated strip where you can really tell the difference. I saw the same thing last year in the wheat. The fungicide seems to slow maturity some, I think, but it really helps the yield. My wheat is probably two weeks away and there will be some in the area run this week.
“We got 2 to 3 inches of rain in the last two weeks. It is pretty soggy yet. We’re making a lot of tons of hay. It is just hard to make it dry. I still have a fourth of my first cutting yet to go. Soon we’ll be ready for second cutting.”
“A week made a world of difference. Things are looking pretty good. I think the corn has a nice dark green color except where the water laid on it. Everyone has spots like that here and there. Our corn around here was out early, though, and it grew through it. If you go north of us it looks really good and over in Wyandot County there are a lot of guys just now getting their beans finished for the first time. There are hundreds of acres that just got planted in the last couple of days.
“There are a lot of guys who do not have their sidedressing done and they’re using “hi-boys” to get their nitrogen on. There is still a fair amount of sidedressing yet to do. We started sidedressing at the end of May and we’ll finish today. We got that 4.5 inches on Memorial Day and it rained pretty much since then. We finally got back in yesterday and some of the corn was just too tall for us to get in. Rather than damage it, we’re having the local dealer come and get the last 100 acres. Pretty much everything else we had done.
“There are a lot of guys replanting soybeans. I am going to hit a couple of holes today in the last couple fields we planted. Other than that, the beans are looking pretty good and getting that dark green color and growth now that the fields are drying out a little. We’ve had some guys talking about Phytophthora damage. Hopefully now that the rains are stopped, the beans will grow out of this.
“The big thing now is that guys are trying to get caught up spraying. There is a lot of wheat out there with quite a bit of damage in it. Overall, I think the wheat crop quality is going to be down and that will translate into yield loss. In our area it is pretty widespread. I think we’ll see guys running at the end of the week in their wheat.”
“Sidedressing is done finally. We finished on Friday and we were going over really tall corn. We were getting worried about getting it done. We left some wet holes that we just could not get to.
“We’ve got our wet holes and yellow spots, especially in the corn, but I think we’re going to be OK. I am 6-foot 2-inches tall and some of this corn is already above my head. Easily by the Fourth of July were going to be seeing tasseling and maybe some early pollination. It is amazing. It looks pretty good in our sandy ground. It likes this wet weather. But we’ll be in trouble if we go a week or two without rain because some of our stuff does not have much of a root system.
“The corn crop is out of our hands at this point. It is what is. We’ll have some that is pretty good and some that is average. I don’t know that we’re going to have a huge bin buster, but we’ll have something as long as it keeps raining.
“This week we’re doing some post- spraying on some beans. We’re looking decent, not perfect by any means. The heat is really bringing the beans along. Some of the first beans have closed their canopy. The beans we planted on Memorial Day are getting close.
“Our wheat has a little head scab, but it looks OK. We’re 10 days away from doing anything with it, maybe longer. Everything is sidedressed and sprayed for the most part. I would say we’re pretty lucky.”