Crops take advantage of needed rain


Tony Nye - OSU Extension



This past week we got some much needed rain. Totals vary throughout the county but I think everyone got a nice amount to keep our crop moving forward.

I have had family from different parts of Ohio and elsewhere come to visit lately, and they all say we have tremendous-looking crops, and I would have to agree.

In fact, I have heard from some local farmers say that their crop is scary good-looking this year. We still have some fields around that are not as good but even then, I think much of crop looks as good as the best around and better than most places in Ohio and Indiana.

Continued moisture over the next few weeks will be critical for the crop to continue to progress towards a good harvest.

Mark Loux, Ohio State University Weed specialist and other OSU weed scientists, are in the process of planning cover crop research, and could use your input.

Cover crop use has been on the rise in recent years, most commonly for the preservation of soil, reduction in nutrient loss, and suppression of weeds they can provide.

Feedback from this survey will allow us to perform trials that are in line with practices common in the state of Ohio and thus generate more impactful results. The survey will take about five minutes they say and can be found at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/

Speaking of cover crops you might be interested in attending the manure management and cover crop field day.

If you want to learn more about sidedressing corn with liquid manure, latest on water quality, and how to make cover crops work attending the Manure Management and Cover Crops Field Day in Auglaize County is a good program to attend.

The field day is on Aug.8 from 9: a.m.-3 p.m. at the southwest intersection of Main Street and Doering roads with the field entrance to the west at the woods. The nearest address to the field is 09244 Doering Road.

Topics presented at the field day include Basics of Cover Crops, How to Make Cover Crops Work, No-Tillage and The Smoking Tile, Water Quality Update, Best Management Practices, Manure Research, and Manure Sidedress Demonstration.

To register for the field day contact the Ohio State University Extension Auglaize County office at 419-739-6580 or e-mail Jeff Stachler at stachler.1@osu.edu. There is no charge for the field day.

Finally this week Mark Loux, Ohio State University weed specialist says that if you don’t already have to deal with waterhemp or Palmer amaranth, you don’t want it. I have to agree as we have had a few situations in the area the past few years that have been quite ugly and hard to deal with.

According to Loux, neither one of these weeds is easy to manage and both can cause substantial increases in herbicide programs, which have to be constantly changed to account for the multiple resistance that will develop over time. Preventing new infestations of these weeds should be of high priority for Ohio growers.

When not adequately controlled, Palmer amaranth can take over a field faster than any other annual weed we deal with, and waterhemp is a close second. Taking the time to remove any Palmer and waterhemp plants from fields in late-season before they produce seed will go a long way toward maintaining the profitability of Ohio farm operations.

There is information on Palmer amaranth and waterhemp identification at – u.osu.edu/osuweeds/ (go to “weeds” and then “Palmer amaranth”).

Take some time now into late summer to scout fields, even if it’s from the road or field edge with a pair of binoculars.

This would be a good time to have a friend with a drone that provides real-time video, or your own personal satellite. Scouting from the road is applicable mostly to soybean fields, since corn will often hide weed infestations.

• Walk into the field to check out any weeds that could be Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, or are otherwise mysterious. If you need help with identification, send photos to us or pull plants and take them to someone who can identify them. Palmer and waterhemp are considerably different in appearance than giant ragweed and marestail, the most common late-season offenders.

• Scout field borders and adjacent roadsides, areas that flood or receive manure application, and also CREP/wildlife area seedings. The latter can become infested due to contaminated seed produced in states where Palmer amaranth and waterhemp are endemic and not considered noxious.

Reminder: ODA will test any seed used for these purposes for the presence of Palmer amaranth.

• Feel free to contact OSU weed science for help with identification or management of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp. Mark Loux – loux.1@osu.edu, or Bruce Ackley – Ackley.19@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 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

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Tony Nye

OSU Extension