Drowned corn, suffering soybeans, lowest wheat-planting total in 100 years

Stacey Hartley • Jul 13, 2019 at 8:00 AM

This year’s weather has not done too many favors for farmers and their fields, as growth percentages for corn, soybean, wheat and cotton crops suffered a noticeable decline due to extended rainy days.

“Obviously this season started slowly with very cold and very wet weather,” Ty Kaulas, the Deputy Regional Director for the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) said. The service operates within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA,) and furnishes stats throughout Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

According to an acreage report compiled by NASS, the planted averages dropped in percentages for most crops besides corn, which rose by 3 percent from 2018. 

Of the collected condition ratings taken by the NASS for the end of June:

• Thirty-four percent of corn plants was rated good-to-excellent, while only 68 percent was planted, compared to the 100 percent planted in 2018 (that received an 87 percent good-to-excellent rating);

• Eighteen percent of soybean planted vs. 76 percent in 2018;

“People intended to plant way more corn,” said Chad Stang, Manager for the Huron County Soil and Water Conservation District (HCSWD). 

Following 22 days of rain in May, June saw 15 inches, supplying corn that was planted early with the brunt of it.

As of July 7, soybeans — which suffered a 10 percent drop — saw 88 percent planted vs. the usual 100 percent.

“Soybeans had to be held off; the last good rain was on June 27. … (There’s a chance) the crop’s later planting won’t suffer too bad,” Stang said.

Still, the HCSWD expects a continued decrease through July.

“There was a lot of preventative planting; a lot of people were going to plant in prevented plant ground — that weren’t able to get soybeans in (before).”

“These prevented-fields people might put out winter wheat and alfalfa this fall,” he said, adding that when it comes to regular and preventive planting, “(crop-growth) is always weather dependent.”

Due to push-back from lingering cold winter temperatures, wheat crops dropped five percent since last year. 

This represents the lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919, according to the acreage report

Lastly, cotton dropped three percent compared to 2018. 

“Most crops (were) so far behind, there are still fields that are not yet planted,” Kalaus said.

However, because of the season’s almost historic rainfall, NASS plans to publish an updated report on affected crop growth on Aug. 12.

While farmers have already been surveyed by the USDA, and not usually every year, they’ll be re-interviewed by NASS reps.

“Crop conditions this year are so atypical,” Kalaus said. “That’s why we need to go back out and find out if farmers were able to plant, and if so, which crops were used.”

More information about crop acreage, growth and yield percentages can be found on the websites for the USDA, NASS and the Agricultural Statistics Board (ASB).

An article about Ohio farmers who were impacted by the rain receiving government assistance recently was published by the Reflector.


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