I have heard reports of individuals saying their wells are drying up, which goes along with the reports we have heard on the news urging families to try to conserve water within the state.
Add that to the fact that we are already under a burn ban throughout most of Indiana and you end up with a disappointing way to start August.
For farmers, there are a couple of things they need to think about. Regardless of what they want to do with this year's crop, they should talk to their crop insurance agent/adjuster to make sure they follow all regulations and are able to receive payment this year.
If they are able to harvest a crop, then they need to be on the lookout for Aspergillus ear rot.
It is important to know whether or not you have it because it produces a mycotoxin (called aflatoxin), which is toxic to livestock.
If you are raising soybeans, it is important to control two spotted spider mites properly. Proper control of two spotted spider mites does not involve pyrethroids.
Depending upon the amount of two spotted spider mites in the field, it may require two treatments of insecticide (but you should look on the label for application information).
As the year progresses, you might see some signs that look like charcoal rot. Charcoal rot has similar signs as drought stress.
You would have to open up a stem to see if it is charcoal rot or not. Charcoal rot is not controlled by fungicide.
For more information about coping with the drought, marketing your crop and potential ways to feed livestock using drought impacted crops, you might attend the Drought Resource Meeting, which will take place Aug. 9, at the Vigo County Fairgrounds.
The event will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Chris Hurt (Purdue University), David Redman (Purdue Extension), NRCS representatives and FSA representatives will be on hand, along with your local Purdue Extension Educators.
Free pizza and refreshments will be available.
Turning drought stressed crops into silage could be an option to help offset the rising cost of feed and hay this year for livestock producers.
Drought stressed corn, sorghum or millet can contain high levels of nitrates, which can have serious effects on livestock health, including death.
There are two types of testing that can be done to assess the nitrates in feed.
The first is a quick test.
The second is a quantitative evaluation.
The quick test can be used to determine the presence of nitrates in the stalks of corn prior to harvest. The quantitative evaluation has to be done by a certified lab and can be done on silage.
Purdue Extension in Clay, Putnam and Owen counties will offer the Nitrate Quick Test for free at the Putnam County Fairgrounds Aug. 15, from 6-8 p.m. If you choose to send a sample for a quantitative evaluation, there will be a chipper shedder on site to reduce the particle size and facilitate quicker processing by the certified lab. You will have to pay the certified lab shipping and testing fees.
To participate in a Nitrate Quick Test, bring 25 (only bring one or two if you do not plan on sending it in for quantitative evaluation if high nitrates are found) stalks to be tested to the Putnam County Fairgrounds.
If high nitrates are found, then we can prepare the sample to be sent for quantitative evaluation.
If your fields have a lot of variation, bring 25 stalks from each of the poor, average and best areas of the field.
Purdue has negotiated a discounted price for nitrate testing with A&L Great Lakes Laboratories. The price for the Nitrate Analysis Test from A&L Great Lakes Laboratories is $15 and a Basic Nutrient Analysis Test is $18.
The prices are good only on Purdue Extension prepared, submitted samples and will not apply to any other laboratories or tests.
As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at email@example.com.
Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
* Aug. 3-19 -- Indiana State Fair,
* Aug. 9 -- Drought Resource Meeting, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Vigo County Fairgrounds. Call 448-9041 for more information,
* Aug. 15 -- Nitrate Testing on Corn, 6-8 p.m., Putnam County Fairgrounds Goat Barn. Free testing,
* Aug. 21 -- Start of the Indiana Master Naturalist Course, 6-9 p.m. Call 812-829-5020 if you want to sign up. Cost is $55, and
* Oct. 4-6 -- State Master Gardener Conference, Hamilton County Fairgrounds. For more information, log on to http://22.214.171.124/2012-master-gardene....