Nichole Hannahs

Crops Suffer during Lack of Rain

by Nichole Hannahs on July 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

It has been several years since farmers in our area have experienced a summer season like this one.

One expert said he likes what we are seeing now to 1998, which was a hot dry summer for farmers. The weather we’re experiencing is causing several issues including lack of development in soybeans and corn and unevenness in the crops.

"We’re seeing some corn in some fields that are normal height and tasseling and other corn in that same field that are a couple feet tall," said OSU Extension Office’s Mark Mechling.

Mechling said this is a critical point in corn development because it is pollinating time for the plant, which requires moderate temperatures and at least an inch of rain a week, which hasn’t been the case. The hay crop, Muskingum County’s largest crop, is also being monitored closely.

"We had pretty decent first cutting, said Mechling. "Since then we haven’t had much of a hay crop and certainly our pastures are suffering too."

Mechling explains that a lack of hay will cause a scarcity later when farmers feed their animals.

A lack of rain is also causing farmers to have to haul in water, due to a lack of groundwater and surface water resources.