DARKE COUNTY — Despite last week’s wet weather, Ohio farmers remain on track to get their planting done, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
Cheryl Turner, Ohio state statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, said there were 3.5 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending May 20.
The report says wet conditions were ideal for plant emergence. Oat planting is near completion and corn planting is not far behind. Soybean planting is only halfway complete across the state. Some hay cutting was done this week along with other field activities, including spreading manure, applying herbicides and tilling.
Overall, the report said crops are in good conditionwith this season’s corn, oats, soybeans and winter wheat ahead of, or remaining close to, the five-year average.
Darke County farmers have exceeded this year’s state averages, according to Ohio State University’s Darke County Agriculture Extension Educator Sam Custer.
“We are 99 percent planted for corn and 90 percent planted for soybeans,” he said. “Corn is 90 percent emerged and soybeans 80 percent emerged. Winter wheat is 100 percent headed with most flowering now.”
In late April and early May of 2017, Darke County growers were hindered by lower-than-normal temperatures and exceedingly wet conditions, causing some farmers to replant their crops.
This year, however, Custer said local farmers are ahead of where they were at this time in 2017.
“Last year was not good. I would say that we are slightly above the five-year average,” he said.
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