|Adapting to Extreme Weather Part 2|
|Written by James J. Hoorman|
|Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:41 PM|
Assistant Professor OSU-Extension Putnam County
Extreme weather events may change your future farming operation. During wet springs, farmers often use larger equipment and additional hired help to plant in a shorter time period. Cover crops through evapotranspiration may dry the soil quicker. Controlled traffic also promote firmer soils for timely planting. The Ohio State University (OSU) is experimenting with auto-steer and self- propelled robots which may allow equipment to get smaller. Smaller lighter equipment (3-4 rows) operated remotely using robotics decreases the weight and compaction factor and operate 24 hours per day. In 20-30 years (maybe sooner); planting, spraying and harvesting operations may be vastly different than it is today.
With a longer growing season expected, farmers will plant earlier and use longer season crops hybrids that they harvest later. However, OSU research shows that longer crop maturities do not necessarily produce higher yields. It depends on rainfall timing and growing conditions. Short season crop varieties have the ability to produce as much grain as longer growing crop varieties. Farmers may want to consider planting a short season variety and adding a cover crop to increase carbon in the soil. Increasing soil organic matter by 1-percent increases water infiltration and water holding capacity by as much as 1-2 inches per foot of soil (Hudson, 1994).
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