It seems as if many producers throughout The Corn Belt are dealing with a taxing crop year, from drought in the West to water in the East. For Northwest Ohio growers, this marks the third consecutive year of weather challenges. USDA says 56 percent of Ohio’s corn crop and 58 percent of the soybean crop is rated good to excellent.
Northwest Ohio farmers like Kent Eddy are in a rush, trying their best to help a crop that looks a month behind.
“It’s been almost a nightmare,” said Eddy, a farmer in Van Wert, Ohio.
Producers in the area experiencing another tough start to the growing season, where the water wouldn’t shut off and planting windows were small. It’s a sign now showing up in rows.
“The corn is all over the place,” said Eddy. “If the corn wasn’t replanted, the stands usually aren’t there. If it was replanted, you have corn of all different heights.”
The beans don’t look much better.
“They’re behind,” said Eddy. “They’re short. They’re going to need a lot of time.”
Producers like Eddy replanted, patching up some fields up to three times.
“[We planted] up to three times,” said Eddy. “That’s not uncommon. I’ve heard of others the same way.”
Rex Williamson is a crop insurance adjuster for Williamson Insurance Agency in Payne, Ohio.
“I believe we’ve had more replant claims filed this season so far than we ever have in the history of the agency,” said Williamson. “We have over 1,700 replant claims filed right now.”
Although Williamson says there aren’t as many prevent plant acres as he anticipated, he believes the area had more of those claims two years ago.
“Actually, I believe we have [roughly] 35 to 40 prevent plant claims filed at this time,” said Williamson.
While farmers throughout The Corn Belt are dealing with their own weather challenges, this marks the third consecutive tough year for Northwest Ohio farmers.
“I think it’s important to be honest and acknowledge that this area has been hit with some struggles and challenges,” said AgCredit Advisor, Aaron Stoller. “There are some continuing headwinds in the industry with interest rates continuing at looking like they are going to be an increasing trend. This area is also pretty competitive with the land market and asset base. The price of farm ground is very competitive in this area.”
“We’ve had three years in a row of sub-par yields,” said Eddy. “[The year] 2015 was really bad and we were living off crop insurance. [The year] 2016 was average. Now, 2017 looks like we could again be a situation where we have a tough time getting the yields where they need to be. Right now, we are probably at break even, if we get a good yield.”
While 2017 is similar to two years ago when the area got doused with rain, farmers hope the weather turns around so a crop that’s behind will produce.
Eddy says he replanted about 20 percent of his corn acres to soybeans. He parked the planter around June 10.