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Row Crop Roundup - part 2


Planting is finished for Tim Hesselbrock, but his crops are making slow progress. Everything is late.

"Everything is about two weeks behind; that’s the biggest problem, especially soybeans," the farmer said. "Corn seems to be picking up once it gets fertilizer on it."

Hesselbrock raises a small amount of hay as feed for his cattle and said it has been difficult to get in because of rain.

As president of the Butler County Farm Bureau, he had traveled to Wooster recently for a Farm Bureau meeting. Presidents from counties further north than Butler told him their planting was delayed even more because of cold and wet weather. Many had to replant.

"From what I’ve seen, southwest Ohio seems to be the ‘garden spot’ this year," Hesselbrock said. "We got things planted and have had far less replanting."

The NASS report for Ohio for the week ending June 22 supported his views, stating that soybean planting was nearly finished but delayed by heavy rain. Planting was 95 percent complete, compared to 100 percent last year and 97 for the five-year average.

Beans emerged were at 88 percent, contrasted with to 95 percent last year and 90 for the five-year average. Corn was 98 percent emerged, while last year it was fully emerged and 99 percent emerged for the five-year average.

Growers were spraying earlier-planted soybeans for weeds and sidedressing corn.

A statewide average of 1.62 inches of rain fell during that week. The rain was largely a good thing for crops, but there were some areas of standing water, the report stated. The rain and humidity had delayed hay cutting for some producers but others were able to make good progress, depending on the weather.

By Celeste Baumgartner
Ohio Correspondent


Despite spotty showers that came with the hot and humid conditions around Kentucky last week, more than half of the state is considered to be in the "abnormally dry" stage, according to the latest information from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This is not welcome news as farmers try to get soybeans and tobacco planting finished and late-planted corn off to a good start. The June 22 report from the NASS Kentucky field office indicated the corn crop was rated as 17 percent fair, 57 percent good and 22 percent excellent.

Soybean planting stood at 80 percent complete, slightly ahead of last year’s progress and near the five-year average of 84 percent. For those planting soybeans behind their wheat crops, only 35 percent of the state’s wheat had been harvested as compared to the five-year average of 50 percent.

The soybean crop is in good shape so far and was listed as 18 percent fair, 62 percent good and 16 percent excellent, as of last week’s NASS report. Wheat conditions are remaining steady, with the crop rated as 22 percent fair, 53 percent good and 17 percent excellent.

Ninety percent of the Kentucky tobacco crop had been planted as of last week. The condition is listed as 17 percent fair, 66 percent good and 13 percent excellent. The average height of the plants was 14 inches, according to NASS.

The drier conditions may be playing in the favor of tobacco producers as long as soil moisture was adequate during planting. The report noted: "Topsoil moisture was rated 4 percent very short, 20 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture was rated 3 percent very short, 18 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus."

The hay harvest continues, although there are reports of reduced yields.

By Tim Thornberry
Kentucky Correspondent