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Between the Rows: Slow planting progress

Andrew Armstrong – Clark County

We did get all of the burndown accomplished and the sprayers are cleaned out and ready for post- applications now. Some fields didn’t look too bad but we knew there were weeds sprouting out there that were going to give us a run for our money if we didn’t get them controlled in time.

Planters are unfolded, triple-checked and ready to roll. We are keeping an eye on the forecast for how much rain we are going to get and for how long. The forecast is changing to lesser amounts. We are thinking about putting seeds in the ground today if we don’t get any rain. There are a few places around that got some rain last night and early this morning. We are fortunate where we are right now. The fields we are interested in starting in are pretty dry.

There are a couple of guys who started yesterday or last night. I have seen a few fields here and there with gravel underneath that have been planted. For the most part, though, everyone is pretty cautious starting out. We are taking is easy at first to make sure everything is performing correctly.

This year we are putting the corn planter and the bean planter down at first. We are going to be running both and going from there. The forecast says there is a chance of rain for the next few days and all of next week. The promising note is all of the chances don’t add up to an inch for the next week. It looks like small amounts and we are hoping there are no gully washers. Today we are just going to see how it goes and not rush it.

The fields we are starting in are systematically tiled ground. We have other fields that we do not see the need to push the envelope on. At first we are going to stick to the fields where the planting will be optimal.

 

Dylan Baer – Wood County

We lost a lot of alfalfa fields in the area. We seeded some last fall that was knee-high going into winter, but is not greening up this spring. We even lost some fields that have been in alfalfa for 3 or 4 years that just didn’t make it through the winter.

We have not had a chance to get out and topdress wheat. The wheat that is there is good but there are a lot of holes. We plan on keeping the fields we planted. The straw is going to be worth something this year and we are aiming to keep that.

Some of our wheat stubble fields are starting to green up. We went ahead and killed our rye cover crop ahead of corn. We sprayed it with Roundup and it took awhile with the cold temperatures, but it is finally starting to die.

In our area no one has tried planting anything. People have done some topdressing and some are spreading fertilizer. It seems like we are in March headed into April instead of April headed into May.

Our plan is to focus more on getting beans in as early as possible. We have read about and seen results with early beans and yield potential. Next week looks like it will be in the 60s and 70s but we do have a chance of rain for the next 4 days. We had some rain this morning, maybe a quarter of an inch, and there is another chance this afternoon. The fields are starting to dry out. With that quarter of an inch, you can hardly tell that it rained, so it is drying out underneath.

 

Nathan Brown – Highland County

Some of the 3 acres of beans planted on March 24 have a pretty good sprout on them, some are starting to poke through the ground, some are starting to rot — it is sort of a mixed bag. At this point in time I’m going to say they are not going to make it. There are still a lot of them that look like they are viable seeds. They have germinated and have a good sized root on them, but they still have a long way to push through to the soil surface.

There are a few guys doing some spraying, but we are still pretty heavy down here. I have a field of cereal rye that I terminated last week. I wanted to do some check strips with some early terminated and I am going to plant some of it green too. We did plant some sweet corn yesterday with the corn planter to make sure everything is working.

The fields are starting to green up now. We are starting to see some giant ragweed and marestail coming. And, of course, all of the winter annuals are coming on pretty strong right now. There are some bare spots where cover crops froze out over winter. With the wet spots and freezing and thawing we had, it was rough on weeds and cover crops. Where the cover crops are growing this spring, they are holding the winter annuals back pretty well.

I planted some cereal rye in December and had to stop. You can see to the line right where my cereal rye stops and the winter annuals start. I planted some oats, forage peas and buckwheat on March 24 and they are up and coming along. It was planted to try a spring cover crop and see if we can grow our own nutrients. We may pull up as many as 10 units of nitrogen and 20 to 30 units of phosphorus. If we can do that it will pay for itself in fertilizer savings. By May 20 I am hoping we can plant into it.

We topdressed the wheat two weeks ago. It is looking pretty good. We are waiting for flag leaf and planning on fungicide applications and we may add some urea. There are some holes here and there but at this point I am happy with the stands and the quality we’ve got.

Lamar Liming – Trumbull/ Mahoning County

It is pretty nice weather today but we got an inch of rain the past weekend so there is not much getting done up here. We had water sitting around for a couple of days.

The wheat in this area looks poor. It is very patchy. There is some decent looking wheat here and there but I don’t know if there’s any excellent wheat here in this area. I think I am going to burn my wheat off and plant corn or beans.

The forecast is for 90% rain tomorrow and some rain the next day, then a decent day and then there is a 40% or 50% chance for rain about all of the next week — not good.

We did get up to the mid-70s and the temperatures have not been bad, but last Sunday it got pretty cold and we had a little snow. It is a whole different world up here. The bad weather has been pretty evenly distributed around here.

The pastures are starting to green up a little more, about average for this time of year. I haven’t even checked the soil temperatures. There weather isn’t here to plant anyway so I haven’t checked with that.

I was afraid of damage done this winter to the alfalfa, but from what I can see it looks like it is coming out of winter fine. It seems to be coming up well.

When we can start to plant depends on how much rain we get. If the 50% chance we have each day turns into rain it could be 2 weeks until we plant, but if we miss the rains we could be planting in a week.

So far the cows are coming into spring fine. This winter was tough on them with the up and down temperatures and this and that. But right now we seem to be pretty good.

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