DARKE COUNTY — Mother Nature has a way of providing, says Sam Custer, OSU Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resource for Darke County, as the farming season comes to a close.
A hot, dry spell that lingered in the area in September and October became a blessing in disguise for some area farmers, killing the crop early and allowing it to mature on a near-normal timeline.
To date, 99 percent of soybeans and approximately 72 percent of corn have been harvested in the county.
“Yields have been better than I think a lot of us anticipated in some parts of the county, and worse in some parts,” continued Custer. He explained it was dependent on who was hit by the drought the quickest as yields are still expected to average 20 percent below normal.
It was in late June that area farmers had gathered to share their concerns with Dorothy Pelanda, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture at Buschur Dairy in New Weston.
Pelanda was collecting information related to the challenges farmers were facing due to the rain, coupled with the ongoing trade war.
According to Pelanda, Governor Mike DeWine was seeking federal disaster aid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
At the time, Darke County did not make the cut, but by September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had declared the area a disaster. Low-interest emergency loans are available, and with markets continuing to be a challenge, assistance for the fluctuating market is offered through the Market Facilitation Program or MFP.
Darke County is the largest corn and soybean producer in the state of Ohio. Agricultural is the number one source of funds for the county with the revenue generated by agricultural significant in comparison to all other industries. As previously reported, a difficult year like this one with endless wet weather and trade disputes can produce a trickle-down effect economically for everyone. Farmers who typically spend their money in the county for new farm equipment to cars, furniture, and other expenditures may not be able to do so this year.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.