The Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net staff barely gets a chance to catch our breath this time of year as we go from the busy Ohio State Fair straight into the Ohio Crop Tour and then we start getting ready for the Farm Science Review. Now, this is all fun, mind you, but it does keep us very busy from late July through September.
In addition to that, Ty Higgins jumps right back in the passenger seat after the Ohio Crop Tour to ride along on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour and provide excellent coverage along the way that gets picked up around the country. It is always interesting to see what Ty finds in Ohio (and the Midwest) and how it compares to the Ohio Crop Tour numbers.
Our Ohio crop tour is an enjoyable (and we hope) very informative outing for us on staff and those on the trip. We hope it provides you with some insights into what to expect this fall and to keep on top of any developing challenges facing Ohio’s corn and soybean crops.
This year we were on the lookout for soybean rust. Though it has not ever been a yield-threatening problem in Ohio, Asian soybean rust has been a concern since it moved up from South America several years ago. Soybean rust was detected on kudzu in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi six weeks earlier than normal this spring, allowing additional time to develop inoculum and possibly blow up to the Midwest this summer.
Scientists have been closely watching this and there was concern that the much-needed batch of rainstorms in mid-August may have carried Asian soybean rust with them on their journey from the south. OSU Extension was on the lookout for any rust showing up in the state during the week of the Ohio crop tour. We didn’t find any. We did, however, find very significant damage from western bean cutworm in two of the six ears we pulled in a Bt corn field in Fulton County. This is a growing problem in the area.
This kind of information is only possible with help from the farmers who grant us permission to visit their fields. We keep the fields anonymous, but really appreciate everyone who allows us to visit their farms. By talking to the farmers, we get to add another valuable layer of information to what we are finding in the fields and share it with you. So thanks to the many farmers out there who work with us to make the Crop Tour possible. You know who you are, and we want you to know we appreciate it.