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March 31, 2020

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2019 challenges linger for Hardin County farmers

As farmers are preparing for the 2020 cropping season, the challenges of 2019 may still linger. There are basically 3 scenarios which will influence 2020 cropping practices.

Corn or soybeans were planted: Yes, there were some acres of corn planted last year in NW Ohio. Storage of low test weight and higher moisture corn is creating mold and damaged grain.

bove normal winter temperatures and humid air have interfered with proper aeration of storage bins. Farmers need to monitor grain bins and be prepared to unload before spring temperatures rise. Also, fall tillage was not done due to wet soil conditions. This may change tillage plans this spring. No-till soybeans into corn stalks are a better alternative.

Soybeans were planted later than normal in 2019. As a result, less wheat was planted last fall due to the late soybean harvest. Will more acres of 2020 soybeans be planted into those same 2019 soybean fields? If so, then choosing the correct soybean genetics is important so as to provide the best protection against soybean disease and cyst nematodes.

Soybean seed treatment is especially important for second year planted soybeans to protect the young seedlings.

Prevent plant with cover crops: Over 1 million acres of Ohio farmland did not have corn or soybeans planted in 2019. As a result, most farmers took advantage of cost sharing government programs and planted cover crops on the idle soil.

Spring management of these fields will depend on the type of cover crops planted. If winter-killed, such as oats or radish, then the 2020 grain crop could be no-till planted into any remaining cover crop residue. If an overwintering cover crop, such as cereal rye, was used, then termination of the rye this spring will be needed. T

ermination can be done by tillage, crimper- roller, or herbicides. Herbicides are the most popular method. Timing of the herbicide application can be done as early as when spring growth begins, or delayed until planting of the grain crop to allow maximum biomass accumulation.