Rain soaked crops may not recover

Farmers in Springfield Township, Ohio and across the Valley are dealing with rain-soaked crops.

SPRINGFIELD TWP, Ohio (WKBN) – The first month of the summer growing season held so much promise for farmer George Houk of Springfield Township. But then May turned to June and the rains came – almost every day.

“We got off to such a great start. The conditions were nice for planting. We got everything going in a good, timely fashion,” Houk said.

June could now be working its way into the record books as the wettest ever, and the damage is evident. Houk said soy bean plants are turning yellow in their muddy fields, which is a sign the plants are not developing and growing as they should.

“It is just like drowning because they need oxygen,” Houk said.

The water is also leaching away nitrogen from the corn, causing leaves to yellow prematurely, even though the stalks may already be five or six feet tall.

But with the ground too wet to take machines into the fields, there’s no way to fertilize the crops that need it or cut others that are ready for harvesting.

“I would guess that probably 60 or 70 percent of the first cutting of hay hasn’t been cut yet, so it is almost going to turn into straw,” Houk said.

Houk said the last time the area saw conditions like this was in the 1950s, adding every day with additional rain only serves to make things worse. He said it would take seven to 10 days of dry weather to be able to tend to the fields that need it.

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