Most areas in county need extra rain for crops – Kenton Times

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OSU Extension Educator

During the month of July, Extension Rain Reporters recorded an average of 4.25 inches of rain in Hardin County. The average precipitation for July last year was 2.54 inches. Six townships recorded less than four inches of rain, which kept the growing season precipitation below normal for that agricultural season at the end of July. Most areas continue to need more rain for crops to reach potential yields, as Hardin County is in the lower end of precipitation totals in the region.

George Ziegler in Pleasant Township received 6.50 inches of rain for the month, the most of any site in the township. The least rain in July, 2.70 inches, was collected in Hale Township by Travis Ramsey. For the April 15 to July growing season, the average rainfall in the townships was 12.56 inches, with a range of 10.15 to 15.05 inches. The 10-year average rainfall for the growing season through July is 16.18 inches.

Most of the precipitation in July fell around the middle of the month. Some townships received adequate precipitation at other times during the month as the total received for July was near normal. However, total precipitation for the growing season is still lagging behind.

Depending on the planting date and the hybrid, some corn fields could be affected by pollination and grain filling issues, which will most likely reduce yields in some fields. The increased disease pressure in corn will also help reduce yields in some areas.

Soybeans were also affected by lower amounts of precipitation, becoming shorter and producing fewer nodes for pod development. However, timely rains in August can contribute to greater vegetative growth and flowering of the soybean plant, increasing its ability to form pods throughout August.

The favorable weather created windows for making second and third hay cuts.

Some corn fields in the northern part of the county are infected with a new disease known as tar spot. Insect and weed pressure in the region’s corn fields remains low.

Most soybean fields are free from disease and insect pressure. There are many clean soybean fields in the county this year due to farmers adopting advanced herbicide tolerant seed traits.

However, other fields have developed resistant weeds such as pond tail, giant ragweed, and water hemp which are now above the canopy. Now is the time to search for water hemp and Palmer amaranth fields. The extension office can help identify these plants. If a field is found to have either of them, it is recommended to prevent them from going to seed by removing them from the field before the seed becomes viable.

As the calendar progresses into August, humidity will be the key to establishing late summer seedlings of alfalfa and other fall plantings.

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