Farm fields too soggy to sow PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor   
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 08:35
A tractor is parked in a farm field in Millbury during a downpour Tuesday May 13, 2014. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
"The next few weeks are critical," for area farmers according to Jonathan "Jody" Haines of the Bowling Green office of the Farm Service Agency.
While some growers have had little or no problems, others have and are continuing to face a variety of challenges in both planting their crops as well as dealing with damage to their winter wheat fields.
"It depends on where your fields are," Haines said noting the storms have been sporadic with some fields getting an inch or more of rain; while just two miles down the road a neighboring farm may have received little or no rainfall.
He noted how one grower had been "knocked out" of one field due to the moisture in the soil and migrated south of Ohio 281 and was able to plant with no issues.
Despite the rough spots around the county, Haines estimates approximately 40 to 50 percent of the corn has been planted.
He says he expects to hear from some growers who will say he is way off as they have 90 percent planted; while he also expects to hear he is way off on that estimate as they have little or no acres planted.
"So I guess I am about right on target overall," he said. "For the most part, the planting progress is moving along as expected other than some regions."
Overall, Haines says, "It's been a nice spring to plant."
While most planting right now focuses on corn, there are many growers who have also begun to plant their soybeans.
Haines warns there are some additional potential problems on the horizon based on the storms forecasted for today and the rest of the week.
"This could be misery for some farms as this could create a crusting problem," Haines said.
If the planted soil gets too wet then dries out in the sun, it could crust over and make it difficult for the crops to break through. If the soil remains moist without crusting, then the crops can grow more easily.
For those who have not completed their planting, Haines noted that the conventional wisdom says after May 10, you lose a bushel a day in yield. However, he also noted that there is not any major concern if the corn can be planted by May 19.
"We're approaching the time, but we're not late on corn, yet," Haines said noting for crop insurance purposes the final planting date is June 5.
"Most growers want it in sooner than that, but we still have a week or two to work with before nerves start hitting," Haines said.
The similar cutoff date for soybeans in June 20 for the beans to be planted and still covered by insurance.
As for the winter wheat crop, Haines said that is also varied depending on the fields and the area.
"A lot of the wheat didn't come through the winter because of a lot of ponding and snow cover," Haines said. "There are drowned out spots everywhere."
He also noted how the cold spell in mid-April burned out a lot of the wheat leaves.
"It made it look tough for a while and quite a few acres have been torn up," he said, adding, "Wheat is coming on now. It is looking better."
Though he conceded for the wheat growers, "It's not going to be a bumper year, because the crop is just not there. Every wheat field has some holes."
Some farmers have had to tear up their fields of wheat, while others have had to interseed other crops into the wheat fields.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 10:53

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