I-80 Harvest Tour: Bare Acres, Variable Yields in Ohio

October 23, 2015 05:00 AM

Northwest Ohio was hit with an excessive amount of rainfall this growing season. For farmers, that brought variable crops, replanting, and even prevent plant acres this year. We caught up with farmers in the northern part of the state, which may have felt the brunt of the storms seen in the eastern Corn Belt.

As other farmers spend harvest in their combines, Mike Hannewald tends to acres left bare.

“Once we got into that second week of June and the rains didn’t let up, that’s when we started to realize that this is a different year,” said Hannewald, who farms in Waterville, Ohio. 

It’s a different year that brought more than 28 inches of rain to his area, with some spots seeing even more.

And, a wet June and July did not leave much of a window to plant soybeans or replant what was damaged. “We struggled getting them in the ground in the spring," Hannewald said. "About 40% of our bean crop was prevent plant."

But this harvest isn’t just time for deep tilling. Mike and his dad Keith are also busy in the fields they were able to plant. “I usually do all of the truck driving," Keith Hannaewald said. "As soon as he’s able to slip away, he’s in the combine for the most part."

Since then, the father-son duo has finished up their soybeans with a yield slightly below their APH and are halfway through their corn harvest.

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As many have feared, that corn crop is proving to be especially variable for many Ohio farmers.

“One neighbor had a field with 230 bu. per acre corn. We had one field that went 120 bu. per acre. We will probably have 100 bu. per acre with corn and we’ve already seen a 40 bu. range in beans," said Hannewald. "Overall, with the way things are shaping up, we’ve been in some cases, seen what we expected and in other cases, pleasantly surprised.” 

Just a half an hour west at Kevin Thierry’s field, combines are continuing to roll. “We had a pretty wet spring and early summer but now it’s dried off and we had a good fall so far,” said Thierry, who farms in Pettisville, Ohio farmer.

Thierry also fought the struggles that came with the rain, but was fortunate enough to get the crop in the ground and side-dress. He said that he thinks this year's yields will be highly dependent on the soil type and drainage in the field, given the heavy rainfall.

“I think corn is a little below average, but guys are happy considering the pounding the crops took this year. With beans, guys are stunned they are doing as well as they are. It’s nothing spectacular--although there’s been some good fields, don’t get me wrong. Overall, it’s in that average range for beans,” said Thierry.

As these farmers continue on in their fields, despite yield swings and unplanted acres, their resilience and eternal optimism carries them on from one year’s challenges to the next.

“Between the fact that our yields are better than we anticipated and the fact that we have the support of crop insurance, we’ll be ok,” Hannewald said.

Still, Hannewald and Theirry may have ended up luckier than most. Both told AgDay that some farmers in Ohio's Defiance County didn't get a seed in the ground this year. 

How is your harvest going? See how yields are shaping up by visiting AgWeb's corn harvest and soybean harvest maps and share your photos and observation with AgWeb's Crop Comments. 

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Spell Check

Old S.W. Mn. Farmer
Worthington, MN
10/23/2015 12:20 PM

  We were very dry now it rained just when ya don't want it,1.5+ since 8p.m. thurs. nite,every direction from me had .4-.5 inches,lot of corn out but lots left also and does not dry up so fast this time of yr.,crop yields were good,now if we all could just get a corn price above $4,corn dn. again 4.75 cents,soy dn. also!!!

Mark Tucker
Easton, IL
10/23/2015 08:55 AM

  I think you need to come and look and talk to farmers here in Mason Co. . What a drowned out mess we have had due to drowned out crops! Harvest is 95% done.


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