The dark cloud that has hung over the heads of Ohio farmers has finally cleared.
Wednesday’s blast of torrential storm marked the end of more than two weeks of rain with a break of only one dry day. The weather is expected to take a turn for the better with cool and dry conditions beginning today.
Starting June 25, the National Weather Service reported five straight days of rain or a trace of rain. The only dry day was June 30.
But then July came and the rain came with it.
Meteorologist Frank Kieltyka said the region “was kind of struck in a trough” of weather that led to all the rain.
“We’ve been wet most of the time,” since late June, he said.
In fact, Kieltyka said the 10 straight days of rain this month is nearly a record.
In June of 2003, there were 12 straight days of rain reported at Akron-Canton Airport. In June of 2011, there were also 10 straight days of rain.
The longest consecutive stretch of precipitation, however, occurred starting in January 1957 when there were 40 straight days of precipitation.
“Maybe this will signal the change we have been looking for,” said Kieltyka of the coming dry weather.
All the rain has caused problems for Ohio farmers, said Mike Gastier, agriculture and natural resource educator for Ohio State University Extension in Huron County.
“Corn and soybeans are very resilient,” he said. “They will recover from what we’ve had to this point.”
But vegetable and fruit crops could be a problem for farmers, he said.
“They are in the field basically every day or so and when we have two weeks of wet weather, their planning schedule and harvest schedule is delayed and the product sometimes is questionable,” he said.
And there are also issues for wheat farmers, Gastier said.
“Wheat is supposed to be harvested now and that’s a real issue,” he said. “We can’t get in the field now and it’s deteriorating now. ...We lose yield on wheat. Once it matures, we need to harvest it.”
Scott Graf, one of the owners of Graf Growers Garden Center located on White Pond Drive in Copley Township — a farm where tomatoes, peppers, pickles, squash and corn are grown — said the rainy period “is not doom and gloom,” because crops are growing well.
“We just can’t get into the fields to continue to plant or control the weeds,” he said.
By Jim Carney - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2013 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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