SALEM, Ohio — The sun may be shining this week, but that doesn’t help the fact that many farmers are way behind on their harvest.
Producers are playing catch up this week after wet weather wreaked havoc on soybean harvesting for the past couple of weeks.
And don’t even ask area crop farmers about picking corn at this point.
Both the Agland Co-op and Keystone Commodities are hearing from farmers that harvesting is way behind schedule, however many are hopeful the state will receive a few days of warmer dry temperatures and the work can resume in fields. Besides, harvesting, many farmers are also falling behind on wheat planting, possibly creating a potential problem for the crop.
Ralph Wince, grain merchandiser for Agland Co-op, said the market area is definitely behind. He estimates less than 10 percent of the soybean crop is off the fields as of Oct. 16.
“The farmers just can’t get enough good consecutive days to get anything done,” Wince said, as he referred to the cloudy, on-and-off-again rain days.
Marlin Clark, grain merchandiser with Keystone Commodities, said Ashtabula County farmers are seeing the same problem: not enough dry days to get in the fields.
However, he feels the Ashtabula County area has been luckier than other parts of the state and said the area has more harvest completed than other parts of the state and even country.
Clark said there is no doubt the soybean harvest is lagging — his area had the majority of beans off by this same time last year.
Both grain merchandisers said all soybeans being combined need some drying. Clark said he has heard of 18.5 percent moisture and Wince said Agland has seen it has high as 15.6 percent, but not one bean below 14 percent.
“If we can get three days of good dry weather, our bean moisture will be where it needs to be,” said Wince.
Meanwhile, it could be awhile before corn is ready to come off the fields, due to the cool summer the area experienced.
According to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, 86 percent of the corn was mature and 23 percent was combined by this time last year. The Ohio ag stats office estimates only 67 percent of the corn crop is mature and only 6 percent has been harvested so far this year.
In Pennsylvania, the ASS is reporting 73 percent of the corn crop is mature compared to 95 percent last year. A total of 14 percent has been harvested compared to 39 percent of the crop harvested at this time last year.
Wince said farmers have told him that some of the corn being picked was registering between 30 and 35 percent moisture, stopping many farmers in their tracks for now.
“We will continue to lag behind on corn. We just didn’t have the heat units during the summer needed to get it dried down,” he added.
Clark shared a similar outlook on the corn harvest.
“It’s not ready. The sun didn’t shine all summer, why would it be?” he added.
Even many dairy farmers are reporting the corn is even too wet to make silage.
Ohio State University Extension corn agronomist Peter Thomison said if the fall remains cool and moist, Ohio could be facing a repeat of the 1992 corn harvest.
That year, due to unfavorable weather conditions and cooler temperatures, some farmers didn’t complete harvesting their corn until December and January the following year because the corn didn’t dry down fast enough.