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Between the Rows – July 11

“We took a crop tour around part of the country, and Ohio is almost like the rest of the nation — variable. From southern Indiana to Illinois there was a lot of wet, yellow corn in standing water. There is flooding in St. Louis through Missouri. In Arkansas they hadn’t had rain in 60 days, and the previous two weeks’ temperatures had been 12 degrees above normal, but then they got rain while we were there.

“We’re extremely dry here. We got our last rain three and a half weeks ago. We finished planting on June 8. It rained four-tenths on June 10 and then two-tenths on June 16 and that was the last rain we had. Corn looks good in the mornings until about noon and then it shows the heat and dryness. It is amazing how nice the crops still look, but they are doing it with not much rain. It looks like we may get some rain today, but 10 days ago we had a rain just like this. It came right to us and then went south. We’re cautiously optimistic that we should catch this one.

“It is so dry, there doesn’t seem to be much disease in the beans. The beans look nice other than maybe a little manganese deficient in some areas. The beans are really getting started, and we should have some rapid growth, especially if we get some rains.

Most double-crop beans around here got scrapped because it was so dry. If they did get planted they are laying in dry dirt.”

The wheat crop in the area was disappointing. “Around here, yields were 15 to 20 bushels off average, and quality was better than expected. Yields are all over the board.”

“It is nice and warm, but keep it coming because everything is growing well. Friday we got anywhere from a quarter inch to an inch and a half in spots. That has gotten us through so far. It was starting to get dry, but it was a good time to be dry for getting the plants rooting down.

“The compacted end rows have some corn curling, but that is the only place. We have corn anywhere from a couple of feet over my head down to about waist high. Most of our first plants will be starting to tassel early next week so we’re hoping that we catch this rain tonight. The corn tasseling is probably only a week off of average.

“We got all of the corn sprayed. We have a couple more days of spraying beans and we’ll be done with that. I think the beans look good. They’d look really good if it was the middle of June and not the middle of July. We have not heard about any soybean aphids yet, but the way this year has gone anything can happen.

“In this area, almost everyone’s beans are looking about perfect. Everything that was planted came up nice and they are growing. The beans are a good bit behind, though. They are only a foot tall when they are usually around waist high by this time.”

“I am a little concerned. We’re getting dry, but they are calling for some rain here this afternoon and we got a couple tenths last Friday. There are some people who are getting pretty dry around Ohio. It is spotty all across the state.”

A recent crop tour around parts of Ohio and Indiana revealed a wide variation in crop condition. “You’ll see areas where the lawns are turning brown and the crops are hurting, then you’ll get to another stretch with greener grass and nicer looking crops. Ohio has some decent crops and some areas that you really feel sorry for the farmers because it is pretty dry. You’d see a beautiful field of corn every now and then, and then you see the areas that were too wet and didn’t make it, and then you see those dry areas.

“On the farm, we have uneven crops like the majority of farms around here. There is a lot of soybean spraying going on also. We’re about halfway through our bean crop. And, this is the time of year corn needs water. Some of it is getting close to tassel and we have some already starting. The pollination is not going to take place in two weeks this year; it is really going to be spread out.

“The beans here at home are starting to shape up, but we still have beans that are fairly short. The corn is uneven but some of it is stretching up pretty good. It is all going to depend on what moisture we get in the next few weeks.”

In Richland County, a nice rain kept the crops going. “It is pretty hot here and things are getting dry. We did luck out on Friday and we got a nice shower from anywhere between four and seven-tenths of rain. It was a nice steady shower and that was a big help. We got another tenth before that after I finished spreading urea.

“The early corn is starting to shoot tassels. The rest of the corn is waist to head high. There are a few uneven places where there are wet spots, but most of the corn is pretty even around here. The beans are looking pretty good. That rain helped. We had a neighbor plant some double crops, but we’re not doing any. Dad is spraying this morning the second time with Roundup. The beans we had planted in May are getting pretty tall and looking good. The others are canopied out, but definitely shorter than the early beans.

“The wheat harvest is coming along. We have about 50 acres to go. Our quality has been really good, especially compared to last year, with 60 or 61 test weight. Our yields are in the high 60s, which is pretty good for our soils.

“I’ve been round baling straw for a couple of days. We use it for our own bedding. We go through around 800 round bales of straw a year, so I try to get close to that. The straw has been really nice this year. We did some second cutting alfalfa and got 800 really nice silage bales in the last week of June. We’re chopping the rest starting on Wednesday after wheat and straw.

“The flies have been a big problem with the cows this year. A lot of people have been saying that, and we have been spraying quite a bit.”

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