Farmers waiting for weather to dry out ahead of growing season


SPRINGFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Rain can be a farmer’s friend, but it can also bring big trouble.

The Ohio River is running high and it’s having a huge impact on a Springfield farmer’s crops.

George Houk is in a tough position. His grain bins are full of corn and soybeans from last year’s harvest — and he’s just waiting.

“I have to try to sell this, my ’17 crop, so that I can get my ’18 inputs bought so that I can go another year at this,” Houk said.

The agriculture companies are offering their best prices right now — that’s why the money is so important.

The bins are full along the Ohio River, plus the barges can’t get up river or even load them. Houk is trying to be patient.

“You’re buying all your marbles and putting them in the ground, and sometimes it gets a little frightening, the amount of money that you bury and hope that it comes up,” he said.

It could take two weeks until this all settles out. Houk wishes Mother Nature understood better.

“If we could have this in July and August, why, we’d be dancing in the streets,” he said.

In Canfield, Wayne Greier has a muddy field among his 1,000 acres. The ground is still frozen below the surface. Those are normal conditions for the end of February.

But it also causes water runoff.

“This is our topsoil right here that has all of our nutrients in it. That’s what our crop grows in. That’s almost like potting soil,” Greier said.

Every farmer will tell you soil can’t be replaced. Losing it through these erosions and runoff has an impact, plus the washout spots will have to be repaired in the spring before planting.

The standing water in some places should naturally soak in once the weather improves.

“As long as we get that nicer weather, you know, the April showers bring May flowers, as long as we keep up with that, we’ll be fine end of April, early May,” Greier said.

Farmers waited six weeks to get in the fields last year for planting. They don’t want conditions like that again in 2018.


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