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2013 Between the Rows

Doug Longfellow, Darke County, June 24

“We got the big two-inch rain from the wind storm they were talking about and we haven’t had any since. There have been spotty storms right around us where some places got up to 1.5 inches. We didn’t get a drop. We were kind of disappointed about that.

“The corn is starting to curl a little bit and we need some more rain. That two inches disappeared in a matter of days. The grass is looking kind of dry. The crops are still looking pretty good, but we feel like we’re getting towards losing some yield potential if we don’t get some rain. Hopefully in the next couple of days we’ll catch some of these spotty showers. The humidity is helping some with these heavy dews that keep things going.

“Wheat looks good and I think in the next couple of weeks that will be in full swing with harvest. I have heard quite a few people talking about double-crops.… Continue reading

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Louie Rehm, Wayne County, June 24,

“We got two inches of rain in one field down the road and where I live we got five tenths. We’re doing fairly well with moisture so far, but those hot days really pull it out fast. We have all of our corn sidedressed. The corn and soybeans up here were looking really good but we needed some sun. Now we got the sun and things are really coming on. Some of the corn is shoulder high.

“Wheat is looking really good, but there are still two weeks before harvest. There is still some green in it. We put fungicide on three weeks ago. The further north and east you go the further you get behind the rest of the state. To the south you get more sunny days and things dry down faster. Those cloudy days make a big difference on drying down.

“We baled some second cutting hay but it doesn’t dry as well in the humidity.… Continue reading

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John Hoffman, Pickaway Conty, June 10

“I am glad I replanted that corn. Some of my corn did struggle on the tighter white clays. The replanted corn has emerged nicely and things look pretty good right now.

 

“We finally got some rain 10 days ago when we got nine tenths. We have another three or four tenths this morning. At this point I think we’re in good shape but we need to continue to get rain because we did dry out substantially.

 

“Soybeans look really good. Corn is coming on and is starting to look pretty good. We’re still waiting on the corn to grow into the nitrogen. I think once it hits that we will see some pretty good growth spurts. It is amazing how fast corn can grow. It is not uncommon for us to have corn tasseling by early July. I don’t see that happening this year, but never say never. We finished up all of our post- spraying on corn last week.… Continue reading

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Louie Rehm, Wayne County, June 10

“The replanted corn is so much nicer. Now I wish I had replanted more. Because of the frost, the rest of the corn is stunted back and doesn’t look so good.

 

“The second cutting hay is looking super. We’ll start mowing it again in a week and a half or so. The first cutting was probably average. We are running a week behind, though. We usually like to get our first cutting done the last week of May so we can get the second cutting hay out of the way before wheat. We’re also trying to topdress and spray corn. Some of the early corn is really coming on.

 

“We got an inch of rain already and it is pouring right now. We had a lot of rain last week too. We have a surplus of rain now. The tile are running strong.

 

“I went to Indiana last week and they are hurting in western Ohio and eastern Indiana.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin County, June 10

“We got two or three tenths last night and this morning. We need some rain and tenths aren’t going to do it. We need a couple of inches.

 

“We have the best stands I have probably ever had. We had a few emergence issues with corn, but nothing bad enough to go in and replant. We planted everything at 36,000 and we had some stands down around 28,000. It was not terrible, though, and I think we only had one field like that. Other than that, I couldn’t ask for anything better with our stands. We planted beans at 160,000 and all of the stand counts we have done have been in the high 150,000s.

 

“I haven’t seen pests. I am sure there is something out there but we haven’t seen it yet. We put urea down ahead of time so we don’t have to sidedress anything. We have been catching up with spraying.… Continue reading

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Doug Longfellow, June 10

“We got four or five tenths this morning and we’ll take it. We haven’t really had a good soaker since April. We only had an inch of rain in May. We’re a little short on moisture and a good soaker is really what we need.

 

“Stands are as good as we can expect. When we sidedressed corn we were able to really get a good look at things and the corn is coming up pretty well. I think if we get the summer weather, we have really good potential at this point. We have not seen anything in terms of insects and diseases that are of concern yet. Part of that is because we really have not had that much rain.

 

“We have had a few sales with this latest spike in the market. My suggestion is that, if you haven’t done anything yet, now is the time to at least get started to get a few bushels hedged ahead of time.… Continue reading

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John Hoffman, Pickaway County, May 24

“We finished planting, but we had some crusting issues and we’re doing a little replanting with corn. In the worst areas, stands were reduced 50% to 70%.

In some of the lower areas of the field that did not emerge as quickly, there was some crusting with the high winds and the heat. I am not tearing anything up, just spotting in the areas where emergence is not acceptable. It is maybe only 5% of our acres. The rest of the fields look really nice except for some of those few areas, so I decided we may as well do it. We started yesterday and we should get finished up today.

“Soybean emergence has been pretty good. They are not all out of the ground, but what is up looks pretty good. Overall I would say that I am pretty happy with the crop stands we have. We did not get any of the rain that they got north of us.… Continue reading

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Doug Longfellow, Darke County, May 24

“We finished on Wednesday last week. We’re really pleased with the planting dates and everything is coming up really nicely. We really haven’t gotten much rain in the area. They were calling for rain so we were really pushing to get things done, but we still haven’t seen much rain. We need a shower before too long. There are no real chances any time soon. There is moisture down there and things are coming up, but a shower sure would help right now.

“Everything went in really well. We had plenty of days to get done, the date was right and the conditions in the soil were pretty decent. Looking back, this has been one of our better planting seasons. Our planting date was right at normal, and as far as planting days and the conditions, everything has been normal and good. Most guys in the area are done or are close to done.… Continue reading

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Louie Rehm, Wayne County, May 24

“Yesterday I was mowing hay in the afternoon. I pulled into the field with the air conditioner on and by the time I pulled out of the field I had the heater on. It changed that fast. Ain’t farming fun!

“We got the corn all planted. With the machinery we have today we can go at a pretty rapid pace. I always say the first of May is the time to plant corn, and the beans and corn both went in the ground in beautiful conditions. We finished corn last Friday when we put in different test plots for different seed companies. The seed treatment on this corn makes a difference in how it comes up. Some of it came up in five days. Corn likes warm weather and we had the heat. We got .9-inch of rain and it put a little crust on some of the fields. The corn struggled just a little bit.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, Hardin Co., May 24

“I didn’t look at the rain gauge, but we couldn’t have gotten much more than a couple of tenths of rain and we need some moisture. It was hit or miss with the rains, but we couldn’t ask for any better crops. We finished Monday. We planted 550 acres of beans in two and a half days. I am tickled to get that done, but now it would be nice to get some rain.

“If we do get some rain, we have a good start to the season. Once we got rolling we kept right on going. We had a delay there of a week because of the rain, but once we got going we got it done. We finished planting corn a week ago on Thursday. We had 350 acres of corn planted in about four days and six days later it was up out of the ground. I couldn’t believe how fast it came out of the ground, but we had the moisture and we got the heat.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston, May 13

“We’re right at 50% on corn and we haven’t planted any beans. We got the burndown all sprayed. By Friday, we ought to be able to start planting some beans. We have right at 400 acres of corn planted. We got .8-inch of rain this weekend. I am hoping we can get back into the field tomorrow evening or first thing Wednesday if the weather cooperates. I think we got a little frost, but not much. The trees and flowers got nipped a little bit.

“I think the weed situation is in hand. Wherever I had a good, thick rye cover crop we didn’t have any weeds. The only places there were a few weeds were the thin spots in the rye. There really was not much marestail out there. Hopefully, our 2,4-D will carry us through and we won’t have to worry about marestail this year.

“We put a full rate of 2,4-D down, with a half rate of Valor and some Sencor.… Continue reading

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Doug Longfellow, May 13

“We finished planting corn last week and we got a half-inch of rain here at the shop on Friday. We’ve planted a few beans, but we’re going to hit it tonight or tomorrow and just let that half-inch dry a little bit. We’re going to spray today. We got our burndown and 2,4-D on the beans done last week. I have 400 acres of corn to spray. We should get that done and make a big dent in the beans before it rains again on Wednesday night.

“We did not get any frost. It was in the high 30s. The corn planted beautifully last week and we’re really pleased with where we are right now. The planting date is right where we want it to be. We want to get as much done this week as we can, though, before this next rainy spell. We have had gentle rains here and we are really pleased so far.… Continue reading

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John Hoffman, May 13

“If we had a few days of sun, we could dry up a bit. We can hopefully plant soybeans on a few hundred acres of some of our ground with better drainage in gravelly soils. There is a good probability we can plant tomorrow, but the majority of the ground is still pretty damp.

“We avoided the frost last night. It did get chilly but did not frost. As long as last night and this morning are the coldest temperatures we have from here on out, we’ll be OK. I left my pickup outside last night so I could look out quick and see if we had frost this morning.

“I hate to get too optimistic, but the wheat looks pretty good. We’ll probably run 65 or 70 acres that we’ll put fungicide on. I have an early variety of wheat that is almost into full head. We are contemplating putting a fungicide application on tomorrow.… Continue reading

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Louie Rehm, May 13

“We had frost this morning. Down in the bottoms it was white. I think it got down to 29 degrees — it was chilly. I have about 70% of the corn planted and haven’t planted any beans yet. We had .9-inch of rain on Friday. It looks like rain Wednesday or Thursday with some warmer weather.

“The hay is ready to cut. Hay is the priority. We’ll get the hay off and then work through the corn. It may not be fit to plant corn anyway.

“I started planting corn on May 3 on the upper ground in well-drained soil and it worked up pretty well. The bottom ground is still a little heavy yet. The corn I planted on May 3 is just spiking through. When you plant and get the rain, then the sun comes out and you get a crust on top. I hope that is not a problem with the 80-degree weather we’re supposed to have this week.… Continue reading

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Louie Rehm

“I live in Orrville and I farm about 600 acres. We have around 300 head of beef year round with wheat, hay, corn and soybeans. We probably have better than 100 acres of hay. If some of it looks bad after first cutting, we take it out and put beans in. There is a very good market for hay in this area.

“I got started farming back in 1973 and this will be my 41st year of farming. I started before I got out of school and I have enjoyed every year. Every year is a new challenge. I just take what the good Lord gives me every year and, after all of this time, I am still here. I have been well blessed over those 40 years. Last year we put a new controlled drainage system in and we put another system in last fall. We’ve already got our gates down to hold all the subsoil moisture we can as long as it stays dry on top.… Continue reading

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Paul Ralston

“I am a fifth generation farmer on one side and sixth on the other side. I started farming after my dad passed away in 2003. My mom and I farm together. It works out really well. It is just us with one employee. Mom is the combine operator and the gopher and she does whatever else she needs to do. I am 30 years old and this will be my eighth year farming.

“We’re right on the edge of the Scioto marsh at the home farm so we have some really good muck dirt. We also farm some clay knobs in the central part of the county, but over half of the operation is on the edge of the marsh. Everything we farm is pretty flat. What I consider a hill and what everybody else considers a hill are often two different things.

“Our soybeans are primarily no-till. For four years we have been flying cereal rye on top of the standing corn.… Continue reading

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John Hoffman

“We’re a corn, soybean, wheat rotation with around 45% corn 45% beans and 10% wheat. If we can double-crop by July 5, we will double-crop all of our wheat acres. Wheat harvest usually get started in our area around the 23rd or 25th of June, so it is a lot earlier than northern Ohio which lets us do more double-cropping.

“We’re five miles west of Circleville in Pickaway County. This farm started with my grandfather on this land. Ideally we like to start planting corn around April 15 and once that is in the ground we’ll immediately begin to plant soybeans.

“This year I am using the revenue package on crop insurance — 85% coverage for corn and 80% for soybeans on enterprise units. I am concerned about getting a five-year farm bill. I realize that budget cuts are going to be made in D.C. and that direct payments are probably going to be cut out.… Continue reading

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Doug Longfellow

“I am the third generation on the farm and I farm with my dad. We farm about 1,000 acres between him and I with the custom farming we do. I also sell crop insurance and work at Rogers Grain elevator in Covington. My wife and I have one daughter and one on the way in October. We’re hoping for an early harvest.

“We’re 100% no-till corn and soybeans. We had a really rough 2012 so we’re looking forward to 2013 to get a good start to the growing season. We’re in the central part of Darke County. We caught the worst of the drought last year, but we feel like we have plenty of moisture going into spring.

“We got out really early last year and, looking back, that turned out to be a negative thing. This year we’re just looking to get out when it’s fit and hopefully catching a better growing season.… Continue reading

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