Since last fall, incessant wet weather plagued every sector of Ohio agriculture and made the planting season among the most difficult ever. Ohio’s staggering 1,485,919 acres of prevented planting ground sounds bad, but looked even worse when passing by on the 2019 I-75/I-71 Crop Tour sponsored by AgroLiquid. The many empty fields in the state served as a stark and sobering reminder of the challenging spring throughout Ohio, and especially in the northwest where no farm on the tour planted all of their intended corn acres. Sadly, in many cases, the fields that were planted were not much better off. Much of the corn in northern Ohio was a solid month behind developmentally, making yield estimates very difficult and not much more than educated guesses. Many planting dates north of I-70 were in June, which leaves a long road ahead for the corn crop that had not even finished pollinating. With this in mind, all we could do for many of the fields was estimate the potential for the crop with ideal conditions including regular rainfall and a late frost. If conditions are ideal moving forward, there is very clear potential for solid corn and soybean yields. That yield potential, though, will quickly erode with dry weather and an early frost would be truly devastating to yields. Now, there were some exceptions where crops were planted earlier and more concrete estimations could be calculated. There are some good crops out there, there are many fields of potentially good crops out there and there are some just plain bad situations. The Richland County stop featured a solid 223-bushel yield estimate. Defiance County, though, had no ears to count at all in a very late — and typical for the area — corn field planted for silage.
For corn, the average yield for the East was 175 bushels per acre, the average for the West was 167 bushels per acre and the overall average was 171 bushels. After some discussion, we felt like the 171-bushel number was reasonable statewide if all things are ideal from here on out for this crop. But, less daylight moving forward with so far to go for this crop could lead to quality and test weight issues. We feel a more reasonable expectation for this crop with less than ideal conditions moving forward is around 148 bushels, based on the significant potential for yield loss moving forward.
It is much the same with soybeans. There is 40- to 50-bushel potential and higher in many fields. But, on the western leg, it was pointed out that double-crop soybeans in Preble County were planted earlier than many of the first crop soybean fields to the northwest. There is a definite cap on that potential as a result, and if conditions are less than perfect, yield potential will likely drop off pretty quickly.
I-75 Team Included:
Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist
Andrew Armstrong, Clark County farmer
Allen Armstong, Clark County farmer
Erick Reese, Hancock County farmer
Dusty Sonnenberg, Henry County farmer, CCA, Ohio Field Leader
Matt Reese, Ohio’s Country Journal
I-71 Team Included:
Sam Custer, Ohio State University Extension
Bill McDonald, Seed Consultants, Inc. agronomist
Brett Barton, Holmes County farmer
Bart Johnson, Ohio’s Country Journal, Delaware County farmer
Joel Penhorwood, Ohio Ag Net