2017 Between the Rows


  • Glen Newcomer

    There is no doubt that the weather we had last week had an impact on doing any field operations in northwest Ohio. With the rain we received, it will be at least 10 days before we will be in a position to do tillage or planting. We received about 2.5 inches of rain. It wasn’t just the volume of rain it was also the intensity. Now there are areas that are ponding and will take longer to dry out.

    Overall, the wheat crop looks very healthy in our area. It is handling the spring weather extremely well and it’s off to a great start. The wheat that is out there looks extremely healthy to me and there is tremendous potential there. If those farmers follow through with appropriate fungicide and insecticide applications there should be a tremendous wheat crop in front of us.

    As a result of the rain, my main concern will be application of pre-emerge herbicides for the soybean acres. There are many winter annual weeds that have emerged with the favorable weather and warmer temperatures we’ve had. You can see purple deadnettle pretty commonly in areas where no-till was performed. Where we did apply herbicide last fall there is a tremendous difference. I wish we had applied more fall herbicides. All of the winter annuals are off to a healthy start and it will require attention before planting.

    Most farmers in our area are anxious to get started. My concern is that farmers will get too anxious and put more emphasis on the calendar than on the actual soil conditions. Soil compaction is the most yield-limiting factor we can control this time of year. I want to be very cautious on our approach but when the time comes, we will be pushing very hard.

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  • Brandon Monebrake

    All we’ve gotten so far in April was eight-tenths and fourth-tenths. We’re a little on the dry side compared to last year and drier than other parts of the state. We have not been out in the fields, but the neighbors started today putting ammonia on. We are going to get started spraying soon hopefully. We are getting nervous about the weeds in the field. They are getting pretty green and purple — the purple deadnettle is getting bad. Once we spray we’ll be ready to get planting.

    The last week of April we’ll plan on starting corn and then a week or two later we’ll start beans depending on what the weather does. We’ll try to get the burndown on the beans before we plant the corn or during corn planting. After my grandpa starts planting corn I’ll start spraying the corn right behind him. Then we both do the planting. I plant the beans and he plants the corn. We are hoping to get the beans in a little sooner this year than we did in the cool, wet conditions last year. We try to get started with the corn by the end of April. We usually don’t like to plant beans before the fifth or tenth of May.

    We have been all no-till since 2000. If we work the dirt and it rains, it will wash away, especially on our hillier ground. The corn does pretty well in no-till. We have spiked wheels on the planter on one side and that works the ground enough that the corn is up in three to five days if the weather cooperates.

    It has been a lot warmer than last year so far. We have real concerns about crop prices they are not good at all.

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  • Ben Klick

    It is pretty nice here this morning. The sun is shining and there is a breeze. We actually got about three inches of snow on Friday and before that we had on and off rain. Grandpa says we always get a snow some time around Easter. That is generally pretty accurate. This was a wet, heavy snow but the ground was warm enough that it didn’t stick to the concrete and asphalt too much, but it was a solid three inches.

    The two-week forecast looks good and we’ll see what happens. If we miss the rain tomorrow, maybe by Wednesday or Thursday we can hopefully get out and get some manure hauled to get the pen pack out of the barn. It is still plenty wet up here in our area. Our ground is heavy enough that we still have water laying in a lot of areas.

    The priority is getting the barns cleaned out. It has been the worst winter we can remember for getting out on fields to clean out the barns. There was really only one weekend all winter we could get out.

    We’re hauling cattle today, then hopefully hauling manure and then our local co-op sprays for us and maybe we can get some burndown started next week. We hope to get some ground worked by the end of next week. We have a lot of spring chiseling to do. We have to finish up a fencerow cleanup from last fall so we have a bunch of odds and ends stuff to do before we can really get after it.

    We are blessed with enough barn space and concrete so our pastures are in really great shape. We have some white clover frost seeded and I am really excited about a good forage program we’ll have in our pasture this summer.

    We have plenty of moisture and we learned last year in a couple of places that we needed to be patient. The last week of April last year we had a nice stretch of weather and we pushed the envelope and got a bunch of corn and beans planted. Then it turned ugly on us and we paid for it. As a young guy I want to go, go go and dad and grandpa tell me to relax and be patient. It’ll come.

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  • Scott Metzger

    It is a beautiful day. It’s pretty windy and that is helping dry things out. All of our tile lines are running and I think we are at full capacity now with our water table. We had around two inches the end of last week and for the month of April already we’re between 3.5 and 4.5 inches around the farm. We’re pretty well saturated.

    We did get the 28% on a couple of weeks ago. If the wind dies down I’ll try to run the Harmony Extra on the wheat and then next weekend get the next shot of 28% on. Most of our wheat this year is planted on our tiled farms so ponding hasn’t been an issue. It sure has taken off. It is at the joint stage right now, which is a week or 10 days ahead. It is looking pretty good. Hopefully we don’t have any more cold nights from here on out.

    As soon as the ground gets fit we’ll start working ground and getting 28% and the chemical on. We’ll probably start no-tilling beans. Things will work differently this year because we we will have someone around to run the bean planter the same time we’re planting corn. Because of that, the bean burndown will probably go on earlier than normal. Then we’ll get the corn planter going and then start with the beans. Normally we have most of the corn done before we plant many beans.

    We’ve got everything ready to go for this spring and I am feeling better about heading into 2017 than I was in 2016. The economics of everything are still on my mind in terms of the general agricultural economy. We’d like to see better prices and hopefully the Administration can get something going with trade.

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Brandon Monebrake, April 10

All we’ve gotten so far in April was eight-tenths and fourth-tenths. We’re a little on the dry side compared to last year and drier than other parts of the state. We have not been out in the fields, but the neighbors started today putting ammonia on. We are going to get started spraying soon hopefully. [...]

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Scott Metzger, April 10

It is a beautiful day. It’s pretty windy and that is helping dry things out. All of our tile lines are running and I think we are at full capacity now with our water table. We had around two inches the end of last week and for the month of April already we’re between 3.5 [...]

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Ben Klick, April 10

It is pretty nice here this morning. The sun is shining and there is a breeze. We actually got about three inches of snow on Friday and before that we had on and off rain. Grandpa says we always get a snow some time around Easter. That is generally pretty accurate. This was a wet, [...]

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Glen Newcomer, April 10

There is no doubt that the weather we had last week had an impact on doing any field operations in northwest Ohio. With the rain we received, it will be at least 10 days before we will be in a position to do tillage or planting. We received about 2.5 inches of rain. It wasn’t [...]

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Glen Newcomer, March 27

We have a diversified farm where we grow corn and soybeans and grow seed for a major seed company. We have worked in seed sales for over 30 years with local farmers and we also have a crop insurance agency where we serve farmers in several counties here in northwest Ohio. We have diverse soil [...]

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Scott Metzger, March 27

We have about 3,000 acres with my uncle, two cousins and I. We grow corn, wheat and soybeans. We have some creek bottom ground that gets pretty gravelly and dry in the summer when it doesn’t rain. We also have some creek bottom fields that are some of our best ground. You can go across [...]

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Ben Klick, March 27

I am a fifth generation farmer with Windy Way farms near Massilon. I work full time on the farm with my dad and grandfather. We are a grain and beef operation. It is a half rural half metropolitan area. We feed beef cattle and raise corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay. When I got out of [...]

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Brandon Monebrake, March 27

We’re farming about 2,300 acres counting custom ground. We raise about 40% corn and 60% beans we have more bean ground this year than we have because of prices and it is easier to get them in. We also raise a little freezer beef. We have been all no-till since 2000. If we work the [...]

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