Planter Field Day planned

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

A Planter Field Day will be held on Tuesday, May 31, at the Molly Caren Ag Center (Farm Science Review location). From seed singulation and uniform spacing to variable rate seeding and fertilizer application, engineers are working toward every seed producing its maximum yield. One of the newest planting systems is the John Deere ExactEmerge row unit, which allows planting speeds of up to 10 mph.

These planters were used this season to plant the corn and soybeans at the site. The FSR farm manager will be available for a Q&A session on the 2016 planting season with the ExactEmerge system, and a John Deere representative will be on hand to discuss planter specifications. This field day will be held from 8a-11a at the field on the north end of the FSR site (1782 State Route 38 NW, London, Ohio). Refreshments will be provided so please contact the Madison County Extension Office at 740-852-0975 to ensure enough supplies.

It’s been lousy weather for Making Hay! Of course, I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of alfalfa that’s starting to bloom, but … Marc Sulc, our Extension Forage Specialist has a few suggestions for a spring such as this: “Be patient; make sure your hayfields are dry enough to support equipment before trying to get out on them once the sun starts to shine again.” He’s heard the stories of farmers tearing up their fields to get that first cutting done … and losing stands because of it. The alternative is to be patient; yes, you’ll lose some forage quality as the stand matures, but that’s still (probably) better than ruining a complete stand by running equipment on ground that is too soft, especially if it is a younger stand.

Marc also shared some management tips for reducing the curing time once the hay is cut: Adjust the mower to lay as wide a windrow as possible, maximizing the surface area exposed to the sun. Tedding soon after mowing (usually the same day or early the second day) can also be a good option to maximize forage surface area exposure to the sun; tedding is a good option for grasses because it doesn’t cause the leaf loss that can result with legumes. He recommends using a proprionic acid preservative as the crop is being baled rather than a chemical desiccant this time of year. Consider making balage or silage rather than dry hay on first cutting if at all possible; this significantly reduces the curing time compared with that necessary for dry hay. He also recommends using a lactic acid bacteria (LAB) inoculant to improve fermentation when making hay crop silage or balage from legumes in the spring.

While it’s not been as bad these past few days, the risk for Fusarium Head Blight – Scab – is highest when wet, humid weather conditions occur during flowering. These conditions favor the production of spores by the scab fungus, infection of the wheat heads, development of the disease, and production of vomitoxin. Unlike foliar diseases, you cannot wait until you see scab symptoms to make a fungicide application: It usually takes two to three weeks for symptoms to develop; by that time it’s too late to apply a fungicide. If it rains and you cannot apply the fungicide at the recommended flowering stage, you can still get good control with applications made about 4 to 6 days after the recommended time. You can use the scab risk tool at to monitor the risk for scab and as a guide for making fungicide applications.

Master Gardener Hotline: Mondays & Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call or stop in!

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at