As prospects for a timely start to spring planting diminish, growers need to reassess their planting strategies and consider adjustments. Since delayed planting reduces the yield potential of corn, the foremost attention should be given to management practices that will expedite crop establishment. The following are some suggestions and guidelines to consider in dealing with a late planting season.
An easy to use test can be done to predict potential soil crusting on farm fields. All you need is some chicken wire, water, a glass jar, and a dry clump of soil. When you immerse the clump of soil in the jar of water, the longer it holds together, the better the soil structure to resist crusting.
The slake test compares two chunks of topsoil in water to see how well and how long they will hold together. Here are the steps according to NRCS Newsletter article #14:
We have been tracking soil average 2 inch average bare soil temperatures since 4/1/18 from regional representative stations in the OARDC Weather System. The soil temperature information from 4/1 to 4/22 is shown in the chart below.
Air and soil temperatures remain below normal across Ohio with most soil temperatures below the critical 50 degree level. There is a risk of some frost this Thursday morning and some frost and near freeze conditions this weekend especially north of I-70. This will keep pressure on soil temperatures warming too fast.
For those of you who did not attend the 2018 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada, Ohio in March, or you want to learn from concurrent sessions you missed, here is another chance. Sixty-six recorded video presentations are available at https://fabe.osu.edu/CTCon/ctc-2018-archive. Topics from the conference included: regenerative agriculture, climate change, healthy soil, water quality, research reporting of data, cover crops, federal policy, and nutrient management. Plan now to attend in 2019 on March 5-6.