Warmer temperatures and drier weather gave farmers the opportunity to harvest hay and oats across the state. Although heavy rains in some areas have made baling hay a challenge early in the season, many farmers have their first cutting in the barn and are wrapping up second cutting hay crops, even starting third cutting in some areas.
Crops are progressing normally for this time of year, with soybeans blooming and starting to set pods and much of the state’s corn crop in the dough stage. Most of the corn and soybeans are in good to excellent condition, while most pasture across the state is in fair to good condition.
After almost extreme moisture levels for most of the spring and early summer, some crops are starting to show signs of stress from lack of moisture, but not as quickly as they would in other years due to lower-than-normal temperatures. Average rainfall for the week came in at 0.26 inch. Average temperatures across the state were slightly below normal.
While the soil moisture in most parts of Ohio range from adequate to surplus for both topsoil and subsoil conditions, a few parts are starting to show signs of being short on moisture.
Rain and cooler temperatures are also creating challenges for produce growers, according to Ron Becker of Wooster. Becker is a retired IPM program coordinator. He said some wet-weather diseases such as fusarium and phytopthora are causing problems in vine crops.
"Tomatoes are having problems with bacterial diseases," said Becker. "Powdery mildew is also showing up in vine crops. Insect problems have not been all that bad, though sweet corn growers have been spraying recently to keep worms out of the ears."
As far as yields go, the main problem is slow ripening, putting harvests up to two weeks behind what they normally are. "With the cooler temperatures we’ve had, I’ve been surprised that cucurbit downy mildew and late blight in tomatoes and potatoes have not hit yet, especially since we had late blight in the area last year," he said. "Growers still need to keep their eyes open."
By Susan Mykrantz