Ohio Soybean, Corn Fields Drowning from Recent Downpours

July 6, 2015 09:44 AM
Ohio Soybean, Corn Fields Drowning from Recent Downpours

Rain in Ohio is drowning crops and preventing others from being planted altogether, according to agriculture specialists.

Two to three million acres of corn won't be planted in Ohio alone and analysts predict between four million and five million acres of soybeans across the country will go unplanted, Matthew Roberts, an agricultural economist at Ohio State University, told The (Toledo) Blade.

This year, 12 percent of corn is in poor condition — twice as much as there was a year ago — due to rainfall, and weekly Ohio reports indicate more than 60 percent of farm topsoil had a water surplus.

"There's a lot of ponding in fields," Roberts said. "We don't necessarily have widespread flooding, but what we do have is steady hard rains that keep fields from being able to drain and dry."

Between June 15 and June 29, areas in central Ohio received anywhere from four inches of rain to more than 9 inches. And northwest Ohio has been hit particularly hard with rain.

Bret Davis, who farms 3,600 acres of soybeans and corn in central Ohio, said everything had been "perfect" until "it all went to crap."

Weeds creep in as the soil stays wet, said Peter Thomison, a corn-production specialist with Ohio State University Extension. Rot, disease and other issues dent yields and take nitrogen away from fields or too far underground for crops to reach, he told The Columbus Dispatch.

"The corn would be very well off if it would stop raining for a while," Thomison said. "We started off June a little dry. We needed the rain, but it's been too much rain."

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