Editor’s Note: This is a preview of one of the seven states the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour will visit on Aug. 19-22. See the complete State-by-State Preview of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour
In Ohio, experts say variable rainfall early in the season and unpredictable weather heading into harvest will factor into yields. But overall, soybeans and corn appear to be on track for a good year.
On average, the state has received an average of 12" to 16" of rain since May 1, much of it in a short period, says Laura Lindsey, Extension specialist for soybean and small grain production at The Ohio State University. North and north central Ohio received quite a bit of rain early in the season, and planting continued through June.
Flooding created by those rains led to beans that are yellow and stunted in some fields. Elsewhere, beans avoided much of the excess rain and are chest high, though there have been reports of lodging.
"The average soybean yield in Ohio is roughly 48 bushels per acre," Lindsey says. "Last year with the drought, the state average was 45 bushels per acre. This year, I expect soybean yields to be close to the state average, although there is still a lot of growing season left."
She says the biggest unknown heading into harvest is, "Will the wet weather continue into the fall? Soybean harvest could be problematic in areas that were flooded and beans are behind."
Corn also appears to be doing well despite above-average rainfall at most sites visited by Peter Thomison, Extension specialist for corn cropping systems at Ohio State, earlier this month. He reviewed 20 fields in the western part of the state as part of Ohio’s Country Journal Crop Tour along Interstate 75.
"Despite the potential for (nitrogen) losses due to persistent rainfall, which saturated soils periodically, there was little evidence of N deficiency – ‘leaf firing,’" Thomison says. "If present, it was limited to the lowest leaves."
Yield estimates made using the Yield Component Method ranged from 160 bushels per acre to more than 300 bushels per acre, he says. In the eastern part of the state along I-71, estimated yields ranged from 135 bushels per acre to 200 bushels per acre, though both counts are preliminary and probably only accurate within about 30 bushels of actual yield, he says.
Most of the corn was at early dough stage, though some were in late blister stage and remain vulnerable to kernel abortion. Most sites experienced limited foliar disease such as gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight, as well as very little insect feeding or weed pressure.
"There was evidence of wind injury , root lodging and green snap in eight of the 20 fields," Thomison says. "Green snap damage (associated with loss of stand) appeared significant in only two fields. It also did not appear that the root lodging present would impact harvesting."
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