The Ohio State Fair has been moving right along and this weekend it all concludes. I have been working as a superintendent in the swine barn and I can truly say that Clinton County has been represented very well.
In regards to the whole state fair, I have heard so many successes coming from our youth that have participated at the state fair in all areas of the fair. I want to congratulate all the kids and their families for a job well done and hope for many more successes.
Recently, I think we would all agree that the weather has been very pleasing for all of us. This weather has also been very beneficial for our crops, especially corn.
According to Ohio State corn specialist, Peter Thomison, low night temperatures during the grain fill period (which typically occurs in July and August) have been associated with some of our highest corn yields in Ohio.
The cool night temperatures may have lengthened the grain fill period and reduced respiration losses during grain fill.
High night time temperatures result in faster heat unit or growing degree day (GDD) accumulation that can lead to earlier corn maturation, whereas cool night temperatures result in slower GDD accumulation that can lengthen grain filling and promote greater dry matter accumulation and grain yields.
This is thought to be the primary reason why corn yield is reduced with high night temperatures.
For example, let’s say a hybrid needed 1350 GDDs to reach maturity after flowering.
With an average daytime temperature of 86 F and average night temperature of 68 degrees F, it would take 50 calendar days to accumulate 1350 GDDs. Conversely, with a day temperature of 86 F and a night temperature of 63 F, it would take 56 calendar days to reach that same GDD accumulation.
This means with cooler nights, the corn plants in this example would get six additional days to absorb light for photosynthesis and water for transpiration, which could result in increased yield.
Research at the University of Illinois conducted back in the 1960s indicated that corn grown at night temperatures in the mid-60s (degrees F) out yielded corn grown at temperatures in the mid-80s (degrees F).
Cooler than average night temperatures can also mitigate water stress and slow the development of foliar diseases and insect problems.
Thomison goes on to say that tight temperatures can affect corn yield potential.
High night temperatures (in the 70s or 80s degrees F) can result in wasteful respiration and a lower net amount of dry matter accumulation in plants.
Past studies reveal that above-average night temperatures during grain fill can reduce corn yield by reducing kernel number and kernel weight.
The rate of respiration of plants increases rapidly as the temperature increases, approximately doubling for each 13 degree F increase. With high night temperatures, more of the sugars produced by photosynthesis during the day are lost; less is available to fill developing kernels, thereby lowering potential grain yield.
Finally this week, I get many calls and emails regarding funding for agricultural ventures.
If you are looking for funding for a new venture on the farm or you are interested in doing a research project to try something new on your farm there may be an opportunity for you.
OSU Extension has a new factsheet on Ohioline.osu.edu to help you find funding sources that match the ideas you have for your farm.
The most difficult part of preparing to apply for these programs is developing a business plan. The factsheet includes information on where to get help with a business plan and where to find enterprise budgets to help develop the plan.
The OSU South Centers has a website with templates and other information, a Small Business Toolbox to help you get your plan down on paper. The toolbox is located at: http://go.osu.edu/plans.
Grants to support current farming operations are difficult to find, but more available when it comes to trying a new idea. Most grant programs offer funding for research ideas, new ventures on the farm and ways to add value to products grown or produced on the farm.
Many Ohio farmers have found the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program to be a fruitful funding opportunity for project ideas.
Low-interest loan programs support all types of family farming operations. The factsheet explains types of loans and gives examples of where to start the search. One example is the AgriLink Deposit Program through the Ohio Treasurer’s Office that helps Ohio farmers get a lower interest rate by partnering with local banks.
The factsheet includes the names and information to use in internet searches to find the right program fits the needs of your farming operation and your ideas.
For complete details, you can read the factsheet at: http://go.osu.edu/grantsloans .
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.