Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Medina 65°
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State News

Some Ohio farmers won't plant crops at all because of rain

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TOLEDO — The constant rains this spring are forcing some Ohio farmers to give up hopes of planting any corn this spring and wonder if they'll have any crops at all this year.

Just one-third of Ohio's corn crop had been planted as of a week ago. In a typical year, farmers in the state would have nearly all of their corn fields planted.

Soybean planting is also behind because of the wet weather.

Only Indiana is further off pace than Ohio when it comes to delays in planting, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation said this is the worst planting season since it started tracking planting progress in the 1970s.

It's been especially bad in northwest Ohio, which is home to some of the most productive agriculture counties in the state.

"There are going to be a bunch of fields filled with weeds," Ty Higgins, a farm bureau spokesman, told The Blade. "It's going to change the entire landscape of the countryside of northwest Ohio."

Cooler temperatures have made it harder for fields to dry out.

"There have been years we've had wet spells, but this has lingered on," said 63-year-old Mark Bushman, who has a farm near Pemberville. "This is the worst I've experienced."

Kris Swartz, another northwest Ohio farmer, said many farmers won't be able afford another year like this one.

"I've been farming 36 years and this is the first year I may not have an acre of corn," Swartz said.

Joe Logan, who leads the Ohio Farmers Union, said many farmers have decided not to plant corn and will now have to see if they can even get soybeans into the fields. "They're exchanging seed as we speak," Logan said.

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