Weather has been a major factor in crop harvest this fall. Above: a Putnam County farmer takes off corn on Monday.
DELPHOS — The recent adverse weather conditions have slowed Northwest Ohio farmers from taking off crops. Localized rain has extended the harvest by two weeks.
Paulding County’ Agriculture & Natural Resources Director Jim Lopshire reported soybean yields from the low teens to 60- or 70 bushels-per-acre and attributed those metrics to later maturing varieties and timely rainfall.
Many farmers in Putnam County have larger farms, a couple of hundred acres, and the off and on rain days have hampered their production. The weather has been very cyclic. Lopshire said corn yields have varied throughout the county with 60- to 140-bushel-per-acre counts.
“In most cases, soybean yields were much higher than expected,” Lopshire said enthusiastically. “Corn, on the other hand, was no surprise and fell into the range farmers anticipated.”
Jim Hoorman, director of the Putnam County Extension, said corn yields with ranges of 25-45 were from crops planted early, which suffered greatly from the drought. Those in the 150-170-bushel-per-acre range, were located in eastern fields and received late summer rains. Some crops suffered hail damage and show signs of Diplodia ear rot, or white mold, which causes lightweight kernels, reducing yields and the nutritional value of the affected grain. The disease is most severe in fields planted to continuous corn, especially when the previous corn crop residues are left on the soil surface. Soybean yields further west ranged from 20 to 70 and those in the east varied from 50 to 60 bushel per acre.
“Overall, soybean crops fared well, especially those in the eastern counties, receiving much needed late summer rain in July and August,” Hoorman explained.
Van Wert County Extension Director Curtis Young said operations on Route 30 and running corn were not affected by the on and off rains. The abundant rain did promote an exceptionally good soybean yield, with averages of 60 to 70 bushels per acre and much larger bean seeds.
“Farmers were pleasantly surprised with corn yields averaging 120 bushels per acre.” Young explained, “Improved hybrids with greater drought tolerance attributed to the higher quotas.”
Young also expressed a concern for the counties’ popcorn crop, which have weakened root systems due to the drought and the heavy rains.
“Given the intense weather on the horizon [Hurricane Sandy], we may have severe lodging,” Young emphasized Monday. “The snapping off of stalks close to the ground causes the plant to lay over impeding harvest times and yields.”