A Team FIN farmer reports on Ohio fields, which show damage done by hot, dry weather and tough weeds like Curly Dock and marestail.
Hopefully the hottest of the hot weather is behind us. Ohio had temperatures above 100 degrees in late July. Although we received around an inch of rain on our farm, the soil is still dry.
I ran an errand on Saturday from Lima to Dayton and then east to Springfield. The cornfields were all curled and showing drought stress. Today we drove through Findlay, then east to Fostoria and then north to Lake Erie. This area received over 4 in. of rain during the week. Water was standing in fields and along roadsides, and the rivers were swollen. Severe flooding happened during the week in the Cleveland area. Some people had to leave their homes. So Ohio is really getting a mixed bag of precipitation.
Most soybean fields are only a foot tall. At this point I think most farmers are que cera cera about the weather and our only hope is that the genetics of the new varieties of corn and soybeans that we planted will come through for us.
One of the nasty weeds this year is marestail. Everyone is worried that they will be Roundup resistant. Curly Dock, or Sour Dock as some people call it, is more prolific than ever before. Apparently the weather was just right for this weed to grow like crazy. It starts like a dandelion and then quickly shoots an upward stem and grows to 3 or 4 ft. high. It matures in June and turns a rusty red color with a seed head of hundreds of large seeds. It grew in hay fields, wheat fields and corn and soybean fields as well as along roadsides. We actually went out in our hay fields and got rid of the weeds by hand because we didn't want them in our hay that we feed our own livestock or in the hay that we sell to other people.
In my travels in the countryside, I not only look at the crops but also at the farmsteads, and there can be quite a contrast. On some farms, everything is in order and the grass is perfectly mown; on other farms, equipment is still sitting out from planting and giant ragweeds are growing 8 ft. tall in the barnyard. When I see a neatly groomed farmstead, I sometimes stop in and give the owner a nice compliment. People have already stopped at our farm and complimented us and we appreciated it a lot.