Fields starting to dry, warm

(Update as of May 5)

Kyle Nietfeld

We’ve seen snow and rain here the last couple days. The snow was not accumulating, but there were some flakes flying around. In the last week, we’ve had almost two inches of rain. There were a few small, short downpours but mostly it was just wet, misty and drizzly. Currently, it’s nice out and it’s starting to dry off on the top. Ideally, we could get back in on Monday, but I think there’s an 80% chance of rain in the forecast this Saturday to Sunday. If we get missed, I would say on some of the drier ground we could be going on Monday.

I heard soil temperatures were as low as 38 or 39 degrees last weekend. I’m guessing after the nice sunny day yesterday and again this morning, I would say by this afternoon they’ll be in the 50s again. This area is maybe only 10% to 15% planted. Everybody just sitting there ready to go. As soon as the fields dry up, it’ll be full bore for everybody.

We applied manure and that can make fields a little heavy when you go to incorporate it with a field cultivator to knock the smell down. The rain kind of helped mellow that ground back out and it should be nice planting conditions when the fields with the manure do dry back out. 

We’ve got two planters, so as soon as it does dry up, they’ll be both running full force and we’ll be planting corn and beans at the same time. Most everybody around here has got more equipment than what they really need. Everybody’s oversized on the planters, so as long as we get a good start and can get in there by the first of June, the potential is still there. Nobody’s really too worked up about it yet.

Lawrence Onweller

We’ve had a nice day yesterday and today it looks like a nice day. We still don’t have anything planted yet — may get started late this afternoon or tomorrow the way it looks. It’s been cold and wet. The farmers that planted already have things sprouted but there’s nothing up. I just talked to one of my seed dealer friends and his corn was just sprouted. He planted a week ago. His beans have an inch and a half sprout, but they haven’t started pushing yet. At first it looked like it was going to be an early spring and things changed.

It’s an Ohio forecast. There is a 20% to 30% chance of rain every day, so that’s like 80% or 70% that it won’t rain and we can get something done. It just seems like in the spring on those 20% or 30% chance days, you’ll get a shower that gets you out of the field. That’s the forecast for 10 days.

So far people don’t seem to be as antsy, maybe just a little grumpy, but it doesn’t seem like there’s as much urgency as there used to be. Part of that might be because when we had our prevent plant year, the stuff that was planted late actually yielded really well. We haven’t had an early fall frost in Northwest Ohio for I don’t know how long. We used to get frosts in September and now they’re pushed back to the end of October before we get a killing frost, so that helps the later plants mature and yield decent.

We did have a killing frost last week. I had a friend telling me that they went to Toledo and all the garden plants were dead at Menards or Home Depot or somewhere. They all got frosted off. We had a really cold frost here and that’s what we’re hearing around in other states too.

Doug Miller

Finally, we are getting some heat and sunshine for at least a day or two. We started planting corn April 24 and April 25. We got the bugs worked out of the planter and I quit because the forecast was just so cold and wet. The soybeans are about three-quarters done with planting and we’re going to start back up today with them. We also hope to get back to planting corn today. 

During that cold wet period, we trucked a lot of corn and beans to town and did odds and ends around the farm that get pushed off to a rainy day. And we spent a little more time at home. Before the wet weather, we were able to get our corn herbicide on almost all the corn acres. We still have a little bit to spray yet.

The soybean seed has germinated but nothing of ours is up yet. I have seen some corn up in the neighborhood. I think it probably went in around April 15. In our area over the years the most problems I’ve seen with emergence are when we get heavy rains along with the cold. Here in our area, we had three-quarters of an inch of rain spread out over several days, so I’m not as concerned about that. We’re in the southwest portion of the county and I heard up around Jeffersonville they had 1.8 inches of rain.

Probably by this time next week we’ll know better what’s going on out there with the soybean emergence. We’re going to try to start planting by the end of the day. The next round of rain sounds like it is coming Sunday and Monday, but it is going to stay warm, so that’s a bonus. As long as the ground is good and we can’t make a mud ball, we’ll be rolling right along to get as much corn and beans planted as possible.

Jeff Magyar

Oats are up and soybeans are just approaching the surface. In two or three days I think they’ll pop. It’s going to be at least 3 to 4 days before we’re back in the field again.

We haven’t had great big rains, but we’ve got a tenth or two or three almost every day for the last six or seven days. We probably had 2.5 inches of rain since we finished up our second batch of planting. We got some wet snow too. It didn’t stick, but we had some wet snow and some very hard frosts.

The rains have been patchy and variable around here. The odd thing is, since we planted, we haven’t had a big rain where the creeks are running. It’s been one tenth, two tenth, four tenths — no gully washers. And that has been a good thing. We had been fairly dry, but now we’re back to being wet.

I’m glad the beans aren’t out of the ground. The seed treatments, I think, have been helping protect those seeds.

We’ll probably start with corn when we can go back in the field. It’s been a very frustrating stretch with the weather and the corn prices. I think some acres are going to get switched. I just hope it warms up and dries up and we can get to work. It looks like we’ll see some 70-degree temperatures coming.

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