While heavy rains and wet fields hurt Ohio yields in 2015, the state's corn and soybean yields should bounce back in 2016. According to numbers released Friday, USDA projects 163 bpa for corn and 52 bpa for soybeans in the Buckeye State.
But this year has been challenging too, with a "“mixed bag" of uneven plantings and “disease all over the board," according to Prof. Harold Watters, extension field specialist at Ohio State, who says everything still should add up to an average yield for soybeans in most of the state.
“For the few who planted soybeans early (in April), they look pretty good,” explained Watters. “But most of us planted soybeans in late May after the wet and cool period of early to mid May, and some of those still look pretty good,” he added.
In the wetter areas, diseases including Frogeye leafspot and wetter white mold (Sclerotinia) have been seen, while dry areas have had their share of spider mites.
Soil borne disease was low this year because most of the soybeans were planted in late May, so germination and emergence was rapid, Watters observed. And the extended dry period after planting … all added up to reduced Pythium and Phytophthora concerns, he explained.
Yields “will be all over the board,” according to Watters, but overall “I think we will have close to an average soybean crop this year,” he said.
Corn Left Thirsty in Ohio
The Ohio corn crop is feeling the impact from a lack of rain, with many plants showing symptoms of a fairly severe drought, according to Prof. Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University corn agronomist.
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows 74% of Ohio to be abnormally dry, and 46% to be experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions.
Forecasts are for more dry weather, Thomison noted, and the state hasn’t seen a new front bringing nourishing rainfall, but just pop-up storms.
“It’s not a good picture,” observed Thomison, with corn also suffering from high nighttime temperatures. Fewer than 1% of Ohio corn is irrigated, he noted.
Whether the corn harvest is completed as usual depends on conditions in August and if there is more rainfall, according to Thomison. The harvest could be completed in late September or early October. Dry conditions could push the harvest earlier, and in that case, yields would be much lower, he explained.
AgWeb will be posting a series of previews for the states covered by the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota.
The 2016 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, hosted by Pro Farmer, runs Aug. 22 through Aug. 25. Follow the tour on Twitter with the hashtag #pftour16. Or, you can join the Crop Tour from your own backyard and win! Upload your crop photos on Instagram with the hashtag #pftour16 to enter the Midwest Crop Tour Sweepstakes. Learn more here!