Crops consistently inconsistent

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

Variability is a consistent statewide issue for corn and soybeans due to a wide planting (and re-planting) window, along with plenty of weather ups and downs. 

“I have been in corn fields in the dough stage almost to dent, so R4. I was in one field not quite blistered yet. Silks were out but not in the brown silk stage. It makes it hard to estimate yield when pollination is not done. One benefit, though, is we just had some really nice rains and cooler, less humid weather so it may be a benefit for pollination on this later corn,” said Clint Schroeder, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources in Allen County. “We have a lot of soybeans that weren’t planted until June. Probably half the soybeans I was looking at were at the R3 stage and there are not really pods set yet. In the more advanced fields, there are some 60+ bushel fields. We’re in August now and the weather has been favorable with rains that could push those yields higher. I’d say half of the crop is behind normal in Allen County. Hopefully we have continued good weather to finish this crop out.

“Planting dates got stretched out depending on the different areas of the county. The southeast portion of the county got in the fields last compared to maybe the northwest corner of the county that got in earlier. I’m not surprised at the variability. Then we had replants into mid-June. Hopefully we have a late first frost and warmer temperatures through the fall would be welcome based on the conditions we are seeing.”

All things considered, with the challenges of 2022, yields are fairly good, but unlikely to reach 2021 levels.

“In the corn I was in I don’t think we’ll see record yields like we saw last year. I was in corn fields and the best I saw was 196 and some of the other fields are far behind. We had a very challenging early season,” Schroeder said. “Soybeans are always a challenge. Sometimes they don’t look great but they have a ton of nodes and pods. In areas there will be a wide harvest window which will hopefully be better for our support structure and elevators with not everything coming in at once.”

To the north in Wood County, the same variability is present.

“The crop conditions are fair to good. We have some pockets of excellent corn and soybeans. We got some rain the first week of August and it has definitely helped out the conditions of our soybean crop and helped with grain fill in the corn,” said Nick Eckel, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources in Wood County. “Corn is very inconsistent, especially in the northern part of the county. We have planting dates from the beginning of May through the beginning of June. We have inconsistencies on pollination in the same field and inconsistency of growth stages in the same field. I am really concerned about some parts of our county with that. If the corn is consistent, we have seen anywhere from 180- to 210-bushel corn estimates coming in on most of those fields. We found some corn that is just finishing up pollinating that was planted into June. The potential is kind of there but the stands just are not as good. Some of that had to be replanted too. That corn will probably be in the 150- to 170-range with high moisture this fall.”

The planting window for soybeans may have been even wider this spring.

I was in a really nice field of soybeans but we were still in the R4 stage and there are still 50% of the pods left to put on these beans. I saw yield estimates in the 30s. We also have some soybeans that got planted into the middle of June. It is hard to know what those will be. There are a lot of 30- and 40-bushel yields out there now,” Eckel said. “If we keep catching rains, I think we could see a lot of 50- to 60-bushel beans, but if we don’t, it’ll be more in the low 50s or 40s.”

Wood Co. corn

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