Winter over the hump?; check out ‘19 eFields


Tony Nye - OSU Extension



I realize we don’t have a lot to complain about this winter’s weather, but boy, did that last weekend’ weather system throw me into a migraine frenzy.

I heard recently that, according to trends, we are through the worst of winter by now on the calendar. That may be so, but February can be rather dicey as well.

So with that said, what do our weather experts have to say? Well, first off they note that spring is just around the corner. I already knew that and it can’t get here fast enough for me. That rascal of a groundhog better make a wise decision in a few days or we may have to have groundhog stew.

Secondly, they note the weather, climate and hydrology patterns still remain wet across the region. This makes Ohio vulnerable to wet conditions. I guess I will settle for wet if it isn’t in the form of feet of snow or lots of ice.

The experts go on to say the outlook for February calls for normal to slightly below normal temperatures with not too far from normal rainfall. There is a chance February could be drier than normal but the chances are not high.

The jet stream remains active from Japan across the North Pacific Ocean into North America, but not as active as last year. Therefore, the spring outlook is for a chilly start but a warmer than normal finish.

At the same time, above normal rainfall is forecast so we are likely to see spring planting challenges again into 2020 like many of the last 10+ years. However, it does not look as bad as 2019 at this time.

Keep in mind over the last several years we have lost up to five field work days in the month of April due to excessive weather activity.

Many of the climate models show trends toward normal or below normal rainfall and hotter weather for summer which if it comes to happen will create challenges. Like normal for Ohio, stay tuned I am sure it will change.

You can keep up-to-date on all the NOAA climate outlooks at: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/ .

eFields ‘19 available

In the meantime, might I recommend some interesting reading material related to agronomic crop research done on the farm in many areas of Ohio including Clinton County.

The 2019 eFields Research Report is now available online or in a hardcopy version. We have a good supply here at the Clinton County Extension office so stop by and get a copy. You could also get the e-version of the 2019 eFields report by going to go.osu.edu/eFields.

2019 was a challenging year for many farmers including the eFields team but despite the challenges, the team was able to grow. The 2019 report covers 88 on-farm, field scale trials conducted in 30 Ohio counties, including Clinton County and provides information on a variety of topics including new studies.

Here is a list of some of the 2019 study topics and pages you can read about their results:

• Nitrogen 4Rs: pages 48-63

• Fungicide and Insecticide: pages 38-39, 104-109

• Cover Crops: pages 156-158 and 202

• Forages: pages 154-185

• Ag Tech: pages 186-197

• Crop Production Budgets: pages 26-31

• Ohio Planting Progress: page 22

•2018 Farm Bill: page 32

The eFields team has also planned six regional meetings to discuss results from local and state-wide research trials. We also use these meetings to gather feedback about research interests for 2020.

There is no cost to attend; for more information or to register for a meeting, visit go.osu.edu/eFieldsMeeting. Make plans to attend the Southwest Region eFields meeting to be held here at the Clinton County Extension Community room 9 a.m.-noon Monday, Feb. 10. You can also reserve for this program by calling the Clinton County Extension office at 937-382-0901.

The eFields team would like to sincerely thank all of our 2019 collaborating farms and industry partners. The eFields team enjoys working with each of you and we are looking forward to continuing to learn together in 2020.

Follow our social media using @OhioStatePA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or subscribe to our quarterly newsletter, Digital Ag Download (go.osu.edu/DigitalAgDownload), to keep up with the eFields program throughout the year.

For more information on how to get involved in eFields in 2020, contact Elizabeth Hawkins at hawkins.301@osu.edu.

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.

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Tony Nye

OSU Extension