Former Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
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Monday, June 22, 2015
1- 4" soil temperatures:
- Monmouth 72.1
- Perry 73
2- Growing Degree Days since April 1st (base 50 degrees)
- Monmouth 1144 (11 year average is 946)
- Perry 1246 (11 year average is 1019)
3- Rain 4 times of more each week is getting OLD. Excess moisture adversely affects roots as saturated soils have very little oxygen available. Just planted seeds and seedlings are more susceptible to suffocation and to seedling soil borne diseases that require high amounts of moisture to develop, including phytophthora and pythium. Phytophthora can affect plants during the entire year whereas pythium is a cool and wet soil issue. There are some varieties of plants that have phytophthora resistance or tolerance, but these are usually to specific races of the disease.
4- Nitrogen loving crops, such as sweet corn, tomatoes, vine crops, etc. could have difficulties later this year with nitrogen deficiencies. As water moves through the soil profile nitrate nitrogen is leached. In addition, saturated soil conditions lead to denitrification. Nitrogen deficiencies are not difficult to diagnose. Older leaves will become a yellow color. The classic nitrogen shortage symptom on sweet corn is a yellow midrib on the lower leaves, starting at the leaf tip.
5- Weed control issues are developing. Tillage hasn't been possible and the rains don't seem to bother the weeds. Glyphosate (roundup) can and probably will be used to help to control some of these weedy messes. Use caution as spray drift with this product can severely impact other plants. Use drift reduction nozzles and keep pressures low to reduce small droplet sizes. Lower the boom and be sure the wind direction is towards plantings that are not critical.