Crops recovering, but yields will remain a mystery

ANDOVER, Ohio — Some Ashtabula County farmers are feeling like they can’t catch a break this growing season.

First, it was a hail storm June 25. The storm, limited to a small geographical area, literally shredded corn and alfalfa. It left soybeans looking like they had taken a beating, and the wheat in some fields around state Routes 322 and 46 was forced out of the hulls.

Many farmers like the Krieg farm and the Coltman farms were hoping for warmer temperatures and for less rain this past week.

Now with approximately 5 inches of rain falling in the same area, they are baffled.

The corn appears to be making a comeback, and farmers are able to cut alfalfa this week. The soybeans, however, are another story.

Tim Krieg, one of the farms hardest hit by the hail storm, said his corn is recovering.

“It’s starting to put some leaves on the plants,” Krieg said.

But he was quick to point out the farm is battling some issues with the soybean crop. He said some fields have received more than 4 inches of rain since the end of June.

“That is just too much rain,” Krieg said. “They look bad.”

A neighboring farmer, Ken Coltman, is also concerned about the heavy rainfall the area has suffered.

“We were really short in May and most of June,” Coltman said. “It has made up for it.”

Krieg and Coltman are hopeful that the waiting game will pay off and the crops will turn around.

“The corn looks good. It will make it,” Coltman said.

The wheat crop isn’t as lucky. One 35-acre field is considered a total loss for wheat, but plans are made for straw.

A second field, approximately 50 acres, may produce only between 30 and 40 percent of what was expected.

“It’s not perfect, but it appears to be an awful lot better. It is definitely better than a week ago,” Coltman said.

Dave Marrison, Ashtabula County OSU ag educator, said the fields he has surveyed vary.

“It looks like they are on their way to recovery,” Marrison said. “But the soybeans are slower to recover.”

He added the farmers with alfalfa planted are starting to be able to get in the fields and will get the crop harvested this week.

Marrison added, though, many farmers are still in the “wait and see pattern”.

“This week’s weather pattern looks favorable for them, but you can’t say the same about last week. It rained just about every day,” he said.

Marrison said even though the corn plants are looking up, many farmers just won’t know how the crop fared until harvest time. He said the soybean crop is looking poor but it could turn around with the right weather conditions this week.

For now, everyone contacted about crop conditions is hoping for one thing: Patience.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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