||Crops 2011; entered at 2011-05-27 19:42:34 |
Just call me 'Comrade'
Hope for a successful corn crop in Ohio is dwindling with every passing rainy day.
As of Sunday, Ohio farmers had 11 percent of planned corn crops in the ground. They had 87 percent at this time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Two percent have emerged, compared with 72 percent last year.
The 2006 to 2010 average amount of crops is 80 percent planted by May 22, and 58 percent emerged.
Ideally, corn crops should be planted by May 15, said Jack Fisher, president of the Ohio Farm Bureau. Farmers will plant up until June 5, but as the days go by, the yield from them gets lower.
Late-planted corn also is more sensitive to drought stress, more prone to disease and insect problems and more likely to not be mature by the first frost, according to a newsletter from The Ohio State University Extension.
Mike Gallagher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said the next 10 days will continue to be rainy, possibly with one or two dry days.
Fisher said it takes five or six dry days in a row for optimal planting. "Farmers are all prepared, if we get the dry weather they can catch up fairly quickly," he said.
With crop failure comes economic repercussions.
"The global demand for corn is at an unprecedented level, and the U.S. is the leading supplier of corn," said Anthony Bush, a Morrow County corn, soybean and wheat farmer. "If the corn crop is down, that means higher prices for feed, which translates into higher prices at the market."
If Ohio crops fail, the national markets will take a hit - but that will be mitigated by strong crop production in Iowa and Nebraska, said Jack Fisher, president of the Ohio Farm Bureau. The weather also has been unfavorable for crops in Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, Fisher said.
It would still mean higher costs for Ohio companies who use the product for corn or ethanol. They will have to ship it in, said Natalie Lehner, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, resulting in higher costs.
"When it's in less of a supply the price goes up. If you can't get it locally you have to pay to bring it in by rail," Lehner said.
Lehner said those who can't produce corn will turn to soybeans, and may also have to use their crop insurance to recoup losses.
Bush said it has been a challenging spring. He started planting two weeks ago, and had four dry days to work in the fields. He got his last seeds in Sunday.
Bush sits on the board of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, and said some other members have not been as lucky - some have no corn planted, he said.
The farmers will survive, Bush said. Most plan for bad crop seasons and have a risk management plan in place.
"Farmers are very resilient," Bush said. "They deal with the weather every day. No one is more optimistic than the farmer - it could always be worse."
Jessica Alaimo: 740-328-8576 or firstname.lastname@example.org