(WKBN) – If you happened to be traveling today through the farmlands around Youngstown, you may have seen a big combine in a field cutting corn or soybeans. It’s harvest season, and the sunshine and 70-degree weather was perfect for combining. While most farmers will tell you this year wasn’t bad, their biggest concern is next year.
On Wednesday, George Houk was guiding his combine through a cornfield on his Springfield Township farm. So, how are the yields?
“Our’s aren’t terrible. They’re just nowhere near what they could have been had we had a couple timely rains in that July and early August time frame right when it was real critical,” Houk said.
“But we’re expecting to see decent yields,” said Haley Shoemaker, the Mahoning County Extension Service’s agriculture expert.
Shoemaker says by no means was this a bad year.
“This was a fairly positive crop year,” she said.
Back on the Houk farm, the harvest has started a bit slow.
“We’ve been having a lot of foggy mornings and then heavy dews so we’re late in the day to get started,” Houk said. “You have to make a decision and I was tired of waiting on beans to dry down so I just started into corn. I’m running a batch of corn and we’ll try to get into beans maybe next week.”
The real concern is next season’s planting, and the concern is the cost and availability of fertilizer.
“Fertilizer is definitely one of those things that we’re keeping an eye on because those prices continue to rise,” Shoemaker said.
“Well, right now, we can’t even get them. The bigger companies, they had contracts with our local suppliers. They have canceled those contracts. So right now our local suppliers can’t even get it booked or contracted,” Houk said.
Shoemaker says 54 percent of the soybean crop in Ohio has been harvested, along with 25 percent of the corn crop. She too says that’s a little behind, but there’s plenty of time to catch up.