|Upcoming classes offer training on cover crops, gardening and more|
|Thursday, September 19, 2013 12:19 AM|
BY JAMES J. HOORMAN
Soybeans leaves are turning color and/or dropping leaves fast and a few fields of soybeans and corn have been harvested. Early reports for corn harvest are 200-240 bu./acre and 50+ on soybeans. A light frost occurred on some fields over the weekend, but generally not enough to hurt crops.
Hessian fly free date planting date for wheat is Wednesday, which also reduces the incidence of several other wheat diseases. Several farmers are experimenting with 15-inch wheat which allows for fuller tillering, 20 percent less seed needed for planting, improves air circulation and reduces disease development. Also, a cover crop may be interseeded into 15-inch wheat in late winter/early spring (red clover, sweet clover) or soybeans interseeded in late May/early June for double crop soybeans.
Cover crop tips: First, do not broadcast treated wheat seed or other treated cover crop seed into soybeans or corn. Some farmers broadcast some left over treated wheat seed into a soybean field and at harvest they found treated wheat seed mixed in with the soybeans. Also, since the soil is dry, it is best to drill or plant cover crop seeds to get good seed to soil contact and germination. Cover crop plants need 60 to 90 days of growth to get established and/or to survive the winter.
Be careful of broadcasting cereal rye or winter rye on dry soil if you are planning to plant wheat after soybeans next year. Some farmers are finding that cereal rye that does not sprout this year will grow in wheat fields next year and become a weed. Getting the seed drilled or planted at least one inch deep will generally induce the seed to germinate this year rather than carrying over to another crop next year.
On Wednesday, OSU Extension and Putnam Soil & Water are planning a Cover Crop and Strip Tillage meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. at Jim Leopold’s farm, north of Glandorf at 9464 CR. 11. We planted 10 different cover crops four ways: broadcast, broadcast plus swine manure, turbo-till, turbo-till plus swine manure; so there are 40 individual plots to discuss. Albert Maag will also share results of their strip tillage tests, demonstrate some strip till equipment and look at soil pits.
It is not too late to sign up for the Master Gardening Classes. This program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested gardeners who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents. Specialists from the Ohio State University will be teaching sessions along with some local experts. Some topics include Botany, Plant Selection, Landscaping with Annuals and Perennials, Vegetable Gardening, Tree Selection and ID, Fruit Tree Care, Pesticides, Soils and Plant and Insect Identification.
Two identical one-day Soil Health Workshops are being planned for Nov. 14 (Celina) and Dec. 10 (Ottawa). I will offer intense training on soils and cover crops from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Topics will include: ECO Farming or Ecological Farming Practices, Soil Ecology & Nutrient Recycling, Using Cover Crops to Adapt to Extreme Weather, Biology of Soil Compaction and numerous soil demonstrations. After a good lunch, Jim will cover topics like: Economics of Cover Crops, Using the Cover Crop Computerized Selector Tool, Raising Homegrown Nitrogen, Using Grasses & Brassica (radish, kale, rape), followed by an Open Discussion on Using Cover Crops in a Typical Crop Rotation.
The cost is $30 per person with registration required. Fee includes lunch, Cover Crops Field Guide and numerous handouts. Registration is limited to 60 people.
Two other dates to put on your calendar: Oct. 25 is the Northwest Ohio Agricultural Lenders Seminar in Ottawa at the Ottawa Educational Services Center; and Dec. 19 is the Putnam County Tax School for tax preparers. My colleagues and I are meeting soon to set up our winter meeting schedule.
Let’s have a safe and prosperous harvest!