LIMA — High moisture has slowed the corn harvest down, compounding the results of a late planting season in which many farmers were unable to plant large portions of their crop after heavy rains saturated their fields.
Less than 50% of Ohio’s corn crop was harvested as of Nov. 3 — far behind the five-year average, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Allen County farmers may be even further behind their southern Ohio counterparts. Clint Schroeder, an agriculture and natural resources educator with The Ohio State University’s extension office in Allen County, estimated anywhere between 30 to 40% of the county’s corn crop had been harvested as of Thursday afternoon.
The problem, Schroeder said, is contending with high-moisture corn that needs to be dried before it can be stored. The more high-moisture corn that is harvested, the faster grain elevators fill to capacity, potentially delaying progress even on days when the weather is ideal for harvesting.
“That could make the combines stop because they don’t have anywhere to go with their grain until the (elevators) can get caught back up,” Schroeder said.
Ohio farmers are much further along harvesting soybeans, although soybean progress has also trailed the five-year average with about 78% of soybeans harvested as of Nov. 3 and about 90% of Allen County soybeans harvested as of late last week.
Clint Young, an extension educator in Van Wert County, said 80-degree days in September helped the county’s crops mature faster, despite the shortened growing season.
“There was less opportunity for those plants to be able to capture the sunlight that’s necessary to develop the crop,” said Young, who estimated that anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 acres of soybean and corn fields were unplanted this year.
That hot weather in September may have been less than ideal in Allen County. Schroeder said parts of the county were included in a minor drought watch for several weeks that month, which may have caused some corn to die prematurely.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.