USDA says corn has not been planted in Ohio yet. Farmers are ready for a fresh start — a new season. This year, they hope to plant all of their seed.
A little machinery work leaves plenty of time for thought, especially when the world slows down and the moments stretch out.
“Personally, you feel a little bit of a funk,” says Steve Loeffler, a farmer from Swanton, Ohio. “[I’m] very concerned about our personal health [with COVID-19]. You sure don’t want to catch this during planting time and be laid up for months. That wouldn’t be good.”
Luckily, Steve, his son Brad and grandson Benjamin have plenty to keep them busy at home, or more specifically, the shop. That’s where they’ve been spending all of their time.
They just want the planting season to be shorter than 2019.
“Hopefully, [planting] is not like last year,” Brad says. “Getting planted would be nice.”
When planting drug out last year, they had to go all soybeans.
“It was June 27 before we turned a wheel,” Steve says. “Since we didn’t get to plant any corn, I [have to] get corn back in my rotation. So, I’m going to plant some corn.”
Their reason to return to corn this year is due to rotation, and they also plan to plant corn on last year’s prevent plant acres to control weeds. Many Ohio farmers are in a similar situation.
“Hopefully, we can get in the field and get the first flush of weeds taken out because they’re coming in already on the prevent plant ground,” Steve Loeffler says. “If not, I may have to do a burndown again on tilled ground.”
Waiting can be trying, after so many wet seasons. In this case, the pause before planting, synchronized with the rest of the world is not time to be wasted.
“I think [COVID-19 will hopefully] make families closer,” Steve Loeffler says. “I think there could be some good things. You always hope for some good things to come out of it.”