Agriculture briefs – June 28


Recent storms and flooding in most parts of Ohio have taken a toll not just on field crops but also on backyard gardens and landscapes.

TIPS TO HELP YOU WEATHER THE STORM OF RAIN AFFECTING YOUR GARDEN — Recent storms and flooding in most parts of Ohio have taken a toll not just on field crops but also on backyard gardens and landscapes.

Pam Bennett, horticulture educator with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, said wet conditions can lead to three main concerns for gardens: root death, diseases and weeds.

“Hopefully by now, the water has drained. If not, you may have some trouble with your plants,” said Bennett, who is also the state Master Gardener Volunteer coordinator for Ohio State University Extension, the college’s outreach arm.

“Plant roots need oxygen; they need that air in order to grow. When they sit in water for a period of time, that leads to root rot and lack of oxygen, and eventually possibly death. So you need to watch your plants. If they start to turn yellow, you may have to remove them.”

Despite the abundance of rain in recent weeks, Bennett said gardeners shouldn’t become complacent and assume that their plants have all the water they need.

“If you have really good drainage, don’t let this time go by thinking that you don’t need to water just because we have had a lot of rain,” she said. “When we get temperatures in the 80s and 90s, plants are going to dry out fairly quickly, so you really need to pay attention to watering needs in the garden and landscape.”

July 23 WORKSHOP PLANNED ON STOPPING INVASIVE INSECTS – The Geauga Park District’s Big Creek Park will host a workshop on how to spot and manage invasive forest pests, such as the emerald ash borer, on July 23 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Included will be details on a new threat, the spotted lanternfly, which has been found in Pennsylvania. It attacks, among others, cherry, apple and pine trees.

Leading the workshop will be forestry experts from the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The event takes place in the park’s Donald W. Meyer Center, 9160 Robinson Road in Chardon.

Registration is $35 and includes lunch. Registering in advance is required and is due by July 16. Online registration and payment are available at go.osu.edu/July23ForestHealth.

EXTENDED FLOODING KILLS SOME CORN CROPS, PROLONGED PONDING COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT CROP PERFORMANCE – Excessive rain and extensive flooding and ponding have taken a toll on corn fields across Ohio, and could leave some growers facing sudden death of their plants now or diseased crops and potential long-term yield loss later, according to an agronomist in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Even if the flooding and ponding don’t kill some corn crops now, some growers could be faced with fields exhibiting stalk or root rot and stalk lodging later in the season, said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college.

“While above-normal rainfall is not unusual in Ohio during the spring, the amount of rainfall this year has been extraordinary,” Thomison said. “Crops that are at earlier growth stages are the ones most likely not to survive or to be less productive.

“Even if the ponding doesn’t kill plants outright, it may have a long-term negative impact on crop performance. Growers need to watch their fields closely for root and stalk rot, which can lead to lodging problems later in the season and could have negative impact on yields.”

Widespread heavy rains last week brought most fieldwork to a halt in Ohio, according to the June 22 U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress report.

“Heavy rains through the state have brought many concerns for producers,” the federal agency said in a statement. “Standing water is evident in nearly every field, drowning out crops and favoring disease.

“The muddy, saturated fields have prevented producers from being able to spray and fertilize causing concerns over disease, growing pest presence, and increasing weed pressure. Fields washed out from prior rain events have yet to be replanted due to continued rain, and there is speculation it will be too late to replant. Yellowing of field crops and areas of sudden death are popping up around the state.”

According to Thomison, how well corn crops are able to survive the impact from flooding and ponding is dependent on three factors: what growth stage the crops are in at the time of the flooding event; how long the plants experience ponding; and the air and soil temperatures during the event.

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