Flooding, Rain Causes Problems for Corn Growers in Ohio

June 29, 2015 09:03 AM
 Flooding, Rain Causes Problems for Corn Growers in Ohio

Extensive flooding and heavy rains have affected corn fields across Ohio and left growers contending with the possibility of lost or damaged crops.

Flooding and ponding could kill some corn crops, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist said in a statement this week.

Agronomist Peter Thomison, with the university's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said those who don't lose crops immediately could face loss due to stalk or root rot later in the season.

A June 22 crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said widespread heavy rains the previous week halted most fieldwork in Ohio. Muddy, saturated fields have prevented producers from being able to spray and fertilize, and that has caused concerns about pest and weed problems, according to the report.

"Standing water is evident in nearly every field, drowning out crops and favoring disease," the agency said.

Continuing rainfall also has kept growers from replanting fields already washed out and has caused concern that there won't be time to replant.

"While above-normal rainfall is not unusual in Ohio during the spring, the amount of rainfall this year has been extraordinary," Thomison said.

How well corn crops will be able to survive the flooding and ponding depends on several factors, he said.

Those factors include the growth stage of the plants and air and soil temperatures at the time of flooding and how long the plants experienced ponding.

He also said that crops at the earlier growth stages are the ones mostly likely to perish or be less productive.

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