By DOUG GRAVES
SOUTH CHARLESTON, Ohio — With drought in some portions of Ohio and saturation on other parts, there’s no better timing for this year’s Agronomy Field Day.
The event this year is scheduled for July 17 in South Charleston at the Western Agriculture Research Station of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).
“There’s a lot of flooding in some parts of the state, while some areas are begging for rain,” said Anne Dorrance, professor of plant pathology at OARDC in Wooster. “We’re likely to see a lot of soybean diseases down the road due to all the moisture.”
She is one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Agronomy Field Day. Dorrance, along with cereal pathologist Pierce Paul, will discuss “Scouting for that Disease of the Year.”
“Ohio farmers have a lot of problems with disease, especially with rainy conditions across the state,” Dorrance explained. “Farmers in Ohio have grown soybeans longer than many farmers in other states, and add to that Ohio’s heavy soils, and you have the right conditions for pathogens.”
They plan on informing growers to expect white mold in soybean plants because of the excessive moisture. “Not every field will show signs of this white mold in these plants,” Dorrance said. “They’re likely to show up later in the year. In fact, a grower could have up to 50 percent yield loss with no indication of problems above the ground.”
Dorrance, who frequently travels across the state examining Ohio soils, foresees a problem for growers of soybeans in west-central Ohio, adding these plants can reroot and survive, but it all depends on how long the soils remain saturated.
“I could paddle a kayak across some fields in northwest Ohio right now,” she said. “But we shouldn’t complain about the rain, as my colleagues in other parts of the state are suffering drought-like conditions.”
Peter Thomison and Alex Lindsey, horticulture and crop science experts at OARDC, will discuss drought tolerance, planting date and planting depth issues. Laura Lindsey, horticulture expert, will discuss soybean canopy development across planting dates.
Mark Loux, horticulture and crop science expert, will talk about weed management issues for 2013, while Andy Michel, OARDC entomologist, will discuss insects and the havoc they play on growers.
Dorrance said, “I’ve seen areas of Ohio that have flooded that have not been flooded before. It’s been a tough growing season.”
The OARDC farm is located 3.5 miles northwest of South Charleston, just south of Interstate 70 on state Route 41 between Springfield and South Charleston in Clark County.
There is a fee to attend; call Harold Watters at 937-599-4227 or Joe Davlin at 937-462-8016 to check for availability of registration.