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'Good rain for the farmers' helps soybean, corn crops

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:50 PM

"It's a good rain for the farmers. It's a blessing."

That's what Carl Essex, the Huron County engineer's assistant, said about the recent rainfall.

The Norwalk Waste Water Treatment Plant reported 2.13 inches fell for 24 hours, starting at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Highway employees from the Willard area reported the southern end of the county got the most rain. Essex said he heard a media report of Milan getting 11/2 inches of rain "in a short amount of time."

"This is a million dollar rain you read about for the farmers," he added. "Everything was poised to soak up everything."

Despite the much needed precipitation, about a third of the county's crops have been injured by a lack of rain, which started 75 days ago in mid-May. The last time Huron County got more than an inch of rain was June 4.

"It's (the rain is) going to help all the crops; don't get me wrong," said Mike Gastier, the educator for agriculture and natural resources for The Ohio State University Extension.

"There's going to be ongoing damage to two-thirds of the (grain) crops," Gastier said. "I think the rest of the crops will recover if we get more rain."

Ideally, farmers want to see 1 inch each week. "Quite frankly, we need three inches in August. That will make the crop," he said.

Essex said he heard there is 11/2 inches of rain expected this weekend.

"I wouldn't be surprised if our rain pattern from here on out is fairly normal I hope. This was a welcome change," Gastier said.

The soybean and corn crops will benefit the most from the recent precipitation.

"This is a very critical time for corn," Gastier said, because it is now pollinating. Without the rain, farmers would have yielded significantly less corn, but the OSU extension educator said the rain fall will help turn things around.

"Soybeans will recover very nicely from dry weather," Gastier continued. "Corn needed rain in the next few weeks or we were done. ... This was beautiful."

The highway department hadn't received any reports of flooding this morning.

However, Essex said the Thursday morning rain forced a cancellation of the paving project on Whittlesey Avenue north of Norwalk until Shawmill Road. He noted that most employees have been working 10-hour shifts four days a week so they wouldn't have been working today anyway.

"They'll be back at their bridge jobs Monday morning," Essex said.

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