(WKBN) – Farmers had a nice, dry weekend but there’s still work to do. The Ohio Farm Bureau said this has been the worst planting season since it started tracking planting progress in the late 1970s.
Wayne Greier has been busy trying to get crops in the ground. He had time to work before, but the weather hasn’t cooperated.
“Every time the field just gets ready so that we can go, we get another inch of rain,” he said.
After a dry weekend, he figured the crops aren’t even 50% planted yet.
Just a third of Ohio’s corn crop had been planted as of a week ago. In normal years, farmers in the state would have nearly all of their corn fields planted.
“We can put in a lot in a little bit of time, it’s just getting Mother Nature to cooperate,” Greier said.
The crop insurance deadline to plant has passed. That means every day now, farmers lose a certain percentage of coverage. So they either need a bumper crop or they’re going to lose money.
“We don’t need to go to Vegas. We gamble every day, every year that we do this,” Greier said. “We put it on the line, put the money out there and, hopefully, we get enough to pay back the money and maybe make a little in between.”
Also working in the field Monday was Carl Angiuli. He’s working to get his vegetables 40% planted and said he should be almost 80% by now.
“It’s not in our hands. We’ve got to go with the weather. You get frustrated because you can’t get things accomplished.”
Angiuli plants vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini in a raised bed covered with plastic. He can plant when it’s wet, but he can’t lay that plastic covering over the raised bed after getting one, two or three inches of rain.
It takes a week to dry the soil in the field.
“We need to get the rest of our beds made and plastic laid and, hopefully, we’ll beat the rain like everyone else in the neighborhood,” Anguili said.
Farmers saw a line of showers coming through earlier Monday and were hoping it would pass. They figured a half-inch of rain was the most they could take before knocking them out of the fields again.
The late plantings mean crops will be delayed unless the weather starts cooperating.