Crops, heat and rain: August in Ohio

It is hot and, in many places, dry around Ohio. Corn is curled and firing where it is too dry and diseases are a concern where it has been too wet. Mother Nature has kept Ohio’s farmers guessing once again during the 2010 growing season. Here is the Between the Rows report for early August. – Matt Reese

The corn on Earl Wolf's NE Ohio farm still looks good despite the recent stretch of hot, dry weather. Other corn is not faring so well.

Kevin Miller

Williams County

“We need rain. We’ve had two-tenths in the last couple of weeks. South of me, one of my farms got a half-inch. We’re pretty dry. The corn is curling and starting to fire up from the bottom. The beans seem to be taking it a little better than the corn, but they are filling pods and we need rain for that.

“The crop condition really varies by ground type and water holding capacity. In the lower ground, it looks like really good corn and when you get into the drier stuff it really varies. I think the heat really affected some pollination and will impact the yields as well.”

The crop progress also varies. “I have early variety beans planted early and beans planted late. It will be interesting to see the differences there. The early beans are starting to turn already.

“As far as insects and diseases, I haven’t seen much. The pastures are not doing anything. They are sitting still. There is not going to be a lot of third cutting for grassy type hay either. The alfalfa is deeper rooted and seems to be doing better.

“Fifty miles south they have been getting nice rains. I talked to some friends from Kenton who have been getting rains beautifully. There are places where there will be bumper crops, but not around here.”

It was a good year for the family at the Ohio State Fair. “My son Seth was the Beef Outstanding Market Exhibitor.”

Jeff Roehm

Highland County

“It’s gotten really dry here. We had one storm last Wednesday, but we only got a half-inch and we had some wind that blew some corn down. There was nothing flattened, though. That half-inch was the only rain we’ve gotten in the last two weeks.

“The corn is getting fired up, but I don’t know how much it will affect yield. The leaves are curled up, but the corn is at the dent stage already. We’d like for it to stay green a little longer, but I think it will be all right. With the rain and the cool weather last week, it didn’t look too bad for a day or two, but it is curled up already this morning.

“The beans are looking OK. They’re handling it pretty well. They are setting pods, though, and we’d like to have some rain for them. There are a few chances for rain this week but nothing big.

“There are no bugs that are really hurting us. I am worried about the little bit of hail that popped some husks open. I am worried that we might have problems with moisture getting in there. We’re seeing a little sudden death syndrome in the dry spots in the beans right now, but that is about it. The dry spots in the field are already showing up.

“I would say we could be running corn by the end of September depending on how hot and dry things are. I would say the beans will be a little early too. We could be running by the middle of September.”

Note: Congratulations to Jeff and his family on the birth of their third baby daughter on July 24.

Matt Bell

Muskingum County
“Corn-wise I don’t know if the dry weather will hurt or not. It is extremely far along. The beans sure wouldn’t mind a drink though. We had about .8-inch two weeks ago yesterday. Last week we had around a half-inch. We’re dry. The yards are starting to dry up. I think the corn is set, but the beans could definitely use some more rain. It’s dry, but not extreme yet.
“We have corn that is petty close to black layer. I would say we’re probably two weeks ahead of last year, crop maturity wise. Some people are saying we’re a month ahead. I think we’re a month or five weeks away from harvest. By the middle of September, we’ll need to do some corn for the hogs because we’ll be out of feed. We planted early and planted some early maturing corn just so we could get some off early to get fresh corn to the hogs. We’ll dry it all down, put it in the bin and grind it.
“We’ve got some leaf diseases out there in the corn, maybe not so much in the beans. There is definitely some disease out there, but I don’t know what it will do. Some of the corn we may not want to let stand long in the field because of that disease out there.”
There is rain in the forecast this week along with humidity in the forecast. The county fair is coming up and the kids will be going back to school.
“I’ve seen some earworm here and there in the corn, but nothing terrible.
“The crops are pretty decent, and we’ll have good yields, especially if we get another rain to finish off the beans. The crops really look pretty good.”
Steve Reinhard
Crawford County
“Things still look pretty good in places, but they are starting to show signs of weakness in quality. I’m seeing some pale green corn in the area that may be running out of nitrogen. I think some guys that used 28% are coming up a little short because of all the rain we’ve had. I haven’t seen much of a pest or disease threat yet, but there is some earworm working on corn. I found an ear today with about seven kernels that were damaged.
“Corn is starting to dent, so it is well on its way to maturity. We’ve been getting the rains. We’ve had nice rainfall in this area and we’re in pretty good shape with that. There are the usual pests out there, Japanese beetle and other things, but nothing of a real concern.
“We did try some Headline on corn and beans and some Quilt on soybeans for a preventive measure to see if it helps. After last year, we wanted to take some precautions to make sure we have good quality.
“I think we’ll have average crops or maybe a little above average. I don’t think you have to get too far out of this area, though, before you find some pretty tough stuff. Dairy farmers I talked to plan to start chopping in the next two weeks near the end of August. Usually they don’t get started until after Labor Day.”
The county fair and the Ohio State Fair both went well and have wrapped up for the year.

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