I cannot believe that it is August already. But I do love August due to the abundance of great local sweet corn which is available from local farms. I hope you stop and purchase some today and have it for your dinner. Nothing tastes better than fresh sweet corn.
As we kick off the month of August, I would like to share bits and pieces of information.
For the past three years, I have been part of a statewide research team which has been trapping for a new corn pest, the western bean cutworm.
This corn pest has not been a concern until recently in Ohio, so its biology and economic impact are something our farmers are just learning about.
Adults will lay eggs on the upper leaves of the corn plants, and once the eggs hatch, larvae begin feeding on the tassels, silks or ears of the corn. Depending on the crop's growth stage, corn yield losses can be significant.
In our monitoring for western bean cutworm adults, I have six traps out in various locations across Ashtabula and Trumbull Counties. Last year, we found 347 moths and have already trapped 470 moths this year.
However, the biggest news is that on July 18, I found the first western bean cutworm egg mass ever to be recorded in eastern Ohio, in Sheffield. I compare this with finding a needle in a haystack.
Even though the adult moths are flying into our corn fields, we have never had evidence of any laying eggs. This was a huge find.
The good news is that we have only found one mass of eggs, so the farmer does not need to worry about any damage to the corn.
Our agronomic specialists are doing a great job keeping farmers updated on the implications of our dry weather. Each week, the CORN newsletter is published to provide advice to farmers and crop consultants. Our recent rains have been helpful during our critical pollination and grain fill stages.
To access the newsletter, go to agcrops.osu.edu/
For local crop information, I maintain the Northeast Ohio Agriculture blog, and it can be accessed at northeastohioagriculture.wordpress.com/
To close, I would like to share an anonymous quote which states, "Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.'' Have a good and safe day.
Marrison is associate professor and extension educator, agriculture and natural resources, Ohio State University Extension for Ashtabula and Trumbull Counties. He can be reached at 440-576-9008 or firstname.lastname@example.org