I continue to hear from folks who visit our area from other states and other parts of Ohio that our crops look very good and I have to say I agree. There are a lot of crops in our county that look scary good. We still have a ways to go until harvest and weather will be key to keep our crops moving along toward a good harvest.
According to the weather experts and their computer models, the outlook for the rest of August calls for slightly above normal temperatures (about 1-2℉). Rainfall will likely average 2-4 inches, with normal being near 3 inches. Isolated totals could reach 5 inches through the end of August.
Going into harvest season things have been changing. Current climate models look to continue the trends of temperatures 1-3 degrees above normal through November. However, trends are also looking wetter for fall. Rainfall goes from near normal in September to above normal by October into November.
The experts say they will continue to monitor this trend, but early harvest conditions look pretty good but later harvest conditions look more questionable.
I want to remind everyone to attend the upcoming SW Ohio Corn Growers field day next Tuesday, Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our keynote speaker, Matt Roberts with the Kernmantle Group, kicks the day off right at 9 a.m. There will also be several important sessions related to crop management in the areas of on-farm research, crop insect and disease discussions, as well as fertility management. The event is free.
The Southwest Ohio Corn Growers field day will be at a Fayette County farm, 2770 State Route 38, Washington Court House.
Don’t forget there is an opportunity for health screening, plane rides, the trade show and several plots. By attending the educational sessions, fertilizer and private applicator re-certification credits and CCA credits will be available.
For the beef producer in the area, I might recommend attending the regional Beef and Forage Field Night at the Jackson Agricultural Research Station on Aug. 23 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in Jackson. This year, in addition to researchers from The Ohio State University showcasing their research, field night attendees will have the option to receive certification for Beef Quality Assurance (BQA).
Field night participants will be able to view the research plots and attend sessions that qualify for BQA certification. The research station is located at 019 Standpipe Road, Jackson, OH 45640.
Dinner will be served at 5 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m. with BQA subject areas. Dr. Steve Boyles, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU, will introduce the BQA program in addition to discussing condition scoring for cull cows and best management practices for transporting livestock.
Dr. Justin Kieffer, Department of Animal Sciences, OSU, will cover proper handling and administration of cattle medications, pain management, and biosecurity.
Forage management will be discussed by Dr. Ray Smith, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky. He will identify summer grazing options for areas over-used by cattle during the winter months.
Pre-registration is required by Aug. 20 and there is a $10 per person fee. For more information about the field night, contact Scott Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 740-286-3803.
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.