The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 7, 2013

Ashtabula County farmers need warm weather soon

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

— A little warm sunny weather would take the frowns from the faces of area farmers, said Ashtabula County Extension Agent David Marrison.

“Farmers are a little grumpy,” he said of the cold, wet June that has slowed growth of a variety of crops.

Twelve to 14 inches of rain in one month can provide a bit of a challenge for farmers seeking to maximize crops, Marrison said.

“The soybeans are really suffering,”  he  said  of  the  excessively

wet soil.

Hay needs warm weather to dry out, Marrison said.

“We have corn all over the board,” he said of the height of corn at this time of year.

Marrison said farmers could see one of the smallest yields in five years if the wet weather continues. He said farmers need a warm, dry July and August to salvage the year.

On the other side of the equation fruit growers are doing much better. “Fruit crops are doing good. We need some more warmth to push things along,” he said.

A key aspect of the year for the fruit farmers was the lack of a freeze that struck area plants the last two years.

Last year saw an early sweet corn season, but things are likely to return to a more normal pattern. “I think we are going to see a little later sweet corn,” he said.