Two farm publications have been revised for 2021 and can be accessed via the internet.
One is the “Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets – Projected Returns for 2021.” These work sheets allow you to input actual/projected costs and income for 2021. The program will figure your projected receipts and expenditures based on your figures or you can also use the OSU figures to estimate your financial situation for next year’s crops.
The other is the revised “2020 Ohio Farm Custom Rates” contains possible rates for common farm jobs like harvesting, mowing, grain hauling, weed control, fertilizer application and many more. These figures are the result of input by around 400 farmers from throughout Ohio.
Both of these documents can be accessed through the website u.osu.edu/ohioagmanager/.
Look for the listing of these and other farm related documents listed on the left side of the opening page of this website.
Crop condition/ harvest
Based on the Ohio Crop Report from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio farmers have harvested approximately 49 percent of soybeans and 15 percent 0f corn as of Oct. 11. As of Oct. 18, Jim Corbet of Sunrise Cooperative estimates harvest in the Greene County area to be 50-60 percent soybeans done and 10 percent corn harvested. More than 40 percent of Ohio soils are listed as dry or worse. Some weather experts think Ohio will be among several midwestern states with little snowfall and dryer than normal soils for the winter. A few people are still making hay but by taking a hay crop off this late a producer runs the risk of weakened hay plants going into the winter.
Around your lawn
We have had some really nice weather in recent weeks, but rainfall has been lacking. According to Glenn Harner, a local farmer who lives south of Xenia and keeps weather data for the National Weather Service, we have had limited rainfall the past few months with the following rainfall totals: May, 4.04 inches; June, 3.01 inches; July, 2.45 inches; August, 2.11 inches; and September, 1.73 inches for a total of 13.34 inches. Our normal rainfall for the Xenia area for these months is 19.5 inches according to the NWS. This will be a winter to monitor soil moisture levels for newly planted trees and shrubs and water accordingly as long as the soil is not frozen.
Now is a perfect time to make a fall fertilization of your lawn. You can apply the fertilizer any time the ground is not frozen or a heavy rainfall is expected. Several companies make a “fall fertilizer” for lawns.
Sadly many box stores and other garden centers literally close down their sales of important lawn care products like weed control products and fertilizers just when you need them the most.
As long as the soil is not frozen the nutrients can move into the root zone of the grass and strengthen the plants.
If you have a problem with perennial weeds in your lawn, pasture, or fields the fall is a good time to control them with a herbicide (weed killer). The weeds are in the part of their life cycle when they are storing carbohydrates in their roots so material applied to the leaves of the plant will be translocated downward to the roots. Spraying for broadleaf weeds is best done when air temperatures are in the 40s and 50s and it is not a windy day. A fall application also works better in helping minimize spray drift problems in non-target shrubs and trees as these plants are in the process of losing leaves. Common weeds this strategy works well for includes dandelion, plantain, wild violet, Indian mock strawberry, wild carrot, Canada thistle, white clover, and ground ivy.
The window of opportunity for fall application usually persists through November and the first week of December depending on the weather. Applying weed control products this time of year also gives you the opportunity to control winter annual broadleaf weeds like common chickweed, henbit and shepard’s purse. This is an ideal time to control problem perennial weeds in pastures as well. This could include dandelion, curly dock, Canada thistle, bull thistle, poison hemlock (biennial), ironweed, poison ivy, and poke weed, among others.
Farmers with problems of marestail (Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq.) in soybeans need to strongly consider fall applications of 2-4-D with glyphosate, dicamba or other herbicides. Marestail is both a summer and winter annual making it hard to control. See OSU fact sheets on control of this weed.
Always follow label restrictions when applying pesticides.
Jerry Mahan is a retired OSU Extension educator, agriculture and natural resources for Greene County. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.