LIMA — Area crops have benefitted from a nearly ideal growing season so far.
Many wheat farmers have been out in the fields harvesting, and many corn fields are experiencing tassling. Soybeans, for the most part, are doing well.
The Lima News checked with area extension agents about how crops are doing in their counties.
Much of what is planted is doing pretty well, and that should help farmers at harvest with more bushels produced per acre.
“The corn crop is good to excellent throughout Auglaize County,” said Jeff Stachler, Auglaize County OSU Extension Educator for Ag and Natural Resources. “We’re very fortunate to have the probably 80 to 85 percent of the corn crop in that category.”
Recent rains could be a detriment, though.
“With the rains last week, we went backward a little bit with the corn, but not very much. So we’re in really good shape with corn right now,” Stachler said. “Soybeans, on the other hand, they’ve struggled a little bit all along. I only rated two weeks soybeans to be only 70 to 75 good to excellent, so we’re a little less than corn and now with the rain last week, there’s soybeans, especially in the northern tier of Auglaize County, that has gone backward really bad. My guess is we probably lost 10 to 20 percent that was good to excellent, jumping down into the fair to poor categories.”
“Actually, in our county, everything is doing really well. We’ve had a really good year. We’ve gotten rain just when we have needed it. We used to always say ‘knee high by the fourth of July’ for corn, and it’s twice that tall now,” said Beth Scheckelhoff, with the Putnam County OSU Extension.
Rain has not been as much of a factor in Putnam County as it has in other counties.
“Some fields, especially with the low-lying areas where the water has ponded, that kind of stresses the plants out, so we do have some issues there, but it’s very spotty for the most part,” she added.
Hardin County crops appear to be doing as well as Auglaize County’s, at this point.
“We’ve had a really good growing season this year. Haven’t heard any complaints,” said said Mark Badertscher with the Hardin County OSU Extension office. “We got a late start, probably two weeks later than farmers would have liked to be in the fields, but once they did get started, the weather cooperated this year. Everybody seemed to get things planted on time, and we’ve had several different rains, which have helped along the way to keep the crops in good condition,”
“The big problem with the late season rains is going to be that if it rains and then it dries and it gets hit again by rain when we’re close to (wheat) harvest, then you worry about sprouting the wheat seed and you also worry about the wheat grain itself. When it gets wet and it dries, it starts to shrink, and so that means our test weight per bushel would go down, which would affect our overall yield as well as your grain quality,” he said.
Van Wert County
“Up until about a week ago, things were looking very nice in terms of crop development and growth patterns,” said said Curtis Young, of the Van Wert County Extension office. “The corn is especially looking good in terms of how high it has gotten and looking nice and green.
“However, you can still drive around the county and see a few fields where they had some apparent drainage issues earlier in the season, and there are some that are a bit behind and some unevenness in growth patterns in some fields, especially towards the west of Van Wert County.
“The soybeans, they were coming along very well until we got all of this rain. There are at least patches in some fields where the amount of water that stood over top of the beans, and the continuous wetness of the soil is going to result in the development of disease and death of plants. In a few cases, it’s the entire field that is not looking good at all, but in most of our soybean fields, there are definitely going to be holes and patches where drainage was either backed up or they were just poorly drained areas of the field to begin with.”