In a recent forecast sent by our friends at the The Ohio State University Extension office, October and November harvest for this year is expected to be wetter than normal. Just what we need to hear.
I travel the state on a regular basis and you would be hard-pressed to find a year like this year where the range of the quality of our corn and soybeans is so extreme.
If you scout your fields on a regular basis, the first thing you’ll notice is the the roller-coaster-ride-looking development of this year’s corn crop. In a normal year the very regimental-looking corn will have very few stragglers. But even the passerby from the road can see the mess that is out there. It’s almost impossible for our farmers at this point to even estimate what kinds of yields to expect in the fall.
Recently, I had the opportunity to walk some test plots down at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center home of the annual Farm Science Review and you may not think it but the ground right now is packed hard almost like concrete. The heavy rains have beaten up our fields so much the ground has almost over-compacted, to put it simply. And many of those fields are now starving for a trickle of moisture.
Our soybean crop looks different. Most fields around Ohio, with the exception of northwest and west-central Ohio, look much more regimental than corn when it comes to consistency in growth. But, personally speaking, where it’s bad, it is really bad. But where it looks clean and structured, it looks like a normal crop. Unfortunately, both corn and soybeans are dealing with all kinds of diseases. OSU extension told us there are several foliar diseases, especially northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot, are widespread.
So, the added forecasts/predictions by the OSU extension office and the NOAA Ohio River Forecast Center for the short-term or the long-term is not the kind of news our farmers need to hear. And like a farmer said to me the other day, “maybe an early frost would be best” and put an end to the mess that has been the 2015 season.
Here’s seeing you, in Ohio Country!
The writer is the owner of Wilson 1 Communications. He is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for over 30 years and the co-host and producer of “In Ohio Country Today,” a nationally recognized television show, and offers radio commentary and ag reports including locally for 92.1, the Frog WFGF Lima.