Between the Rows-August 8, 2011

There has finally been some rain. “We got a tenth and half to six-tenths last night. Things have turned around some, but our subsoil is still extremely dry. We’ve been getting the quarter-inch, three-tenth, half-inch rains that are keeping the crops alive. An inch and nine-tenths is the least we’ve gotten on any of our farms now since planting and some of them have gotten up to 2.5 inches.

“The corn is just coming into tassel and pollination, which is great because we got these showers and cooler temperatures. Things are turning around, but we have farms that, up to this weekend, did not get more than an inch and three-tenths since planting. It somehow keeps hanging on. The recent rains will certainly be a plus for pollination.

“Last week we sprayed 280 acres for spider mites in our soybeans. We also added a little Lorsban with that for the aphids that we are seeing coming in. I hope the aphids don’t explode this week with the cooler weather. If we hadn’t gotten those rains over the weekend, we would have sprayed again today for spider mites.

“I am feeling more positive about this corn now, but the May corn looks very tough and uneven and it was pollinating a week ago in the hot weather. The June corn, which is 95% of our corn, looks respectable. My son Roger is applying manure today with his 2-mile hose, and I guess we’re optimistic, because we’re putting up another grain bin.”

“We got anywhere from no rain to six-tenths last night. I think our corn made it through pollination pretty well considering the heat. It all looked like it pollinated, and this rain will definitely help fill it out. Everything around here is pretty much pollinated and in grain fill now. I think everything caught up pretty well and we’re only a couple of weeks behind the normal pace right now.

“The places we’ve been getting rain in far southern Darke County look pretty decent but farther north in the county it is pretty dry. It is drying up on the hills pretty badly. And farther north around Greenville I think they are really dry.

“The beans are still looking really good. Most of the beans on our farm are in the R3 stage and they are coming along pretty well. We have seen some spider mites in our drier areas, but we’re not messing with them yet. The cooler temperatures will be a welcome change. We’re ready for some cooler weather.

“I think the beans will be alright, but we’ll know more in August. The rains will make or break the beans. With corn I think we’ve got at least 25% to 30% reduction in yields, just by looking at kernel depth. I think everything this season has worked to hurt yields. The beans, though, I have a lot of hope for. Just walking through the beans I can find four-bean pods all over them.”

Timely, regular rains have been keeping crops going strong. “Our crops in this area are doing excellent, really, especially considering how late they got planted. The heaviest rain was 1.2 inches, and we have been getting six-tenths or so every three or four days apart for the last three weeks or so. The corn and beans are just loving it. We’re looking good now.”

While the crops look good from the road, the drowned out parts of the field from the wet spring are still a concern. “You know you are going to have these spots that have been behind all year long, but I think it is all getting pollinated because we had the rains that went along with it. I’ve been hearing that maybe we have the garden spot in Ohio with the rains we’ve been getting. But those weak spots we had in the spring are still there.”

The heat and rain have pushed the crops along to help make up for the late start.  “I know the beans were at a stand still in late June, but they really took off and they are looking good. I am pretty pleased right now. There are a few weed problems here and there in the soybeans, but there are not really any insect problems here yet. The crops should be pretty well matured out here in a few weeks. They soybeans will still need some more rain, but I think the corn may have enough moisture at this point to get through.”

“The corn is in pollination and it doesn’t look bad so far. We got a lot of height out of the corn and we got timely rains. So far the corn and the beans look really good. A week ago there were just a few tassels, but now it is in full tassel and pollination is pretty well completed.

“I think it handled the heat alright because it cooled down a little at night and we got rains. The edges of the fields don’t look bad and I think we’re OK on pollination. I’d say the crops are in good shape and maybe a little above average. A couple of weeks ago we were in northern Richland and Ashland counties, and their crops were hurting. Around here, we got some rains that other parts of the area were not as fortunate to get.

“We had a decent second cutting for hay and some of our third cutting was pretty good. It really has not been too bad. The soybeans are going strong and looking pretty decent. Our last planted beans are flowering. We talked to some growers up near Shelby that were going to spray for soybeans aphids, but we haven’t seen a problem with them yet. The oats are just about ready and they look pretty decent too.

“On most of the hot days we lost anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds of production per cow. Usually the cows will bounce back to normal once it cools off, but after a heat spell this long we might not see that. The heat definitely took a toll on the cows. You can turn on all the fans you want, but blowing 90-degree air doesn’t always make you feel better. The heat also affects reproduction, and there are a lot of other effects that will be problems on down the road to deal with from this heat.”


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