Take care of mom, and pray for farmers

Tony Nye - OSU Extension

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! It is their weekend, so take care of mom today or Sunday.

If you forgot to get her something, stop by the Clinton County Master Gardener Plant sale this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. here at our Extension Community Room at 111 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington.

We will have lots of flowers and hanging baskets that will brighten mom’s day!

Another person that you need to be thinking about are your friends, family and neighbors you know as farmers. They need your thoughts and prayers as we struggle with this year’s planting season.

In my 30-plus years as the Agriculture Extension Educator, I do not remember a year with this little planted.

According to the USDA/NASS, for the week ending May 5, only 2% of Ohio’s projected corn acreage was planted — compared to 20% last year and 27% for the five-year average.

Clinton County corn and soybean planting progress would be less than 1% total.

So if you could start thinking really positive thoughts maybe we can change the weather and allow our farmers to get this crop planted.

Dale Hertlein, County Executive Director USDA, Farm Service Agency, asked to include the following information: The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that soybean producers may request a referendum on the Soybean Promotion and Research Order, as authorized under the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act.

Participation in the Request for Referendum is voluntary, and producers should only participate if they wish to request a referendum on the program.

The results of the Request for Referendum will be published in a notice in the Federal Register. If at least 10 percent of eligible producers, as determined by USDA, participate in the Request for Referendum, a referendum will be held within one year from that determination.

Interested soybean producers may request a referendum during a four-week period beginning on May 6 and ending May 31. Form LS-51-1, Soybean Promotion and Research Order Request for Referendum, may be downloaded online or obtained by mail, fax, or in person from Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices during this time. Contact the Clinton County FSA office at 937-382-2315.

Completed forms and supporting documentation must be returned to the appropriate county FSA office by fax or in person no later than close of business May 31, 2019, or if returned by mail, must be postmarked by midnight May 31 and received in the county FSA office by close of business on June 6.

Finally this week, does planting depth of corn make a difference? Agronomy specialists at Ohio State University suggest planting depth of corn for Ohio should generally be 1.5 to 2 inches deep to ensure adequate moisture uptake and seed-soil contact.

Deeper planting may be recommended as the season progresses and soils become warmer and drier, however planting shallower than 1.5 inches is generally not recommended at any planting date or in any soil type.

According to some field agronomists, shallow plantings increase stress and result in less developed roots, smaller stalk diameters, smaller ears and reduced yields.

In a 2011-2012 Ohio evaluation of planting depth, grain yields were about 14% greater for the 1.5-inch and 3-inch planting depths than the 0.5-inch planting depth in 2011, and 40% greater in 2012.

The lower yields of the shallow planting were associated with reduced final stands and 6 to 7 times as many “runt” plants as the other two planting depths.

Despite potential risks, many growers continue to plant at depths less than 1.5 inches. The rationale for this is typically that the seed will emerge more rapidly due to warmer soil temperatures closer to the surface.

Improving our understanding of corn response to planting depth across different soil types and conditions may enable more effective use of planting technologies that allow variable planting depths during the planting operation.

However, research on the effects of soil temperature and moisture flux in the seed furrow at different planting depths in relation to seed emergence is limited.

In 2017 and 2018, OSU conducted studies in two research farm fields at South Charleston, each with different soil types – a Strawn-Crosby complex with a silt loam texture (2.0% organic matter), and the second a Kokomo loam (3.8% organic matter) to study the impact of varying planting depth (1, 2, or 3 inches) on emergence rates and grain yield.

At the end of the day, emergence was most uniform with 2-inch planting or deeper. Deeper planting depths slightly delayed the date of first emergence compared to the shallowest planting depth.

Increasing planting depth was correlated to yield increases. Deeper planting was associated with more yield per plant (3-5% yield increase from 1 to 3 inches).

Yield uniformity also improved with increasing depth, and was most optimum at 2 or 3 inches for the lower organic matter soil and most optimum at 2 inches for higher organic matter soil.

Key take-away points:

• Soil Growing Degree Day (GDD) accumulation drives early emergence.

• Uniform emergence was highly dependent on soil moisture content.

• Emergence of all plants within three days is critical to maintain yield.

• Yield per plant tends to increase with planting depth.

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.


Tony Nye

OSU Extension