In his letter, DeWine noted that record rainfall through the spring planting season has been devastating to Ohio farmers, with flooding and saturated fields preventing them from planting crops. Only 50 percent of Ohio’s corn crop and 32 percent of Ohio’s soybean crop have been planted as of June 10.
“The harsh reality for Ohio farmers is that many acres will remain unplanted,” DeWine said. “Our dairy and livestock sectors also face serious forage and feed shortages. We recognize the tremendous challenges facing our agricultural community, and we are working to identify any and all sources of possible relief.”
The letter is a formal request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a USDA disaster declaration for Ohio so that assistance can be made available to Ohio farmers.
“I visited with several farmers this week and saw firsthand the impact of this devastating rainfall. Fields are visibly filled with water and weeds instead of crops,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda.
Excessive rainfall presented challenges as early as last fall. Because of poor field conditions, some 2018 crops are still in the field and yet to be harvested.
Currently, producers are dealing with erosion of their cropland, delayed fieldwork and planting, manure application challenges, and concerns among livestock producers that forages will be in short supply.