Farm vs. Weather: How recent patterns have affected local crops and plants

Published: Apr. 23, 2019 at 6:07 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The year in weather has been hard on all of us so far, but perhaps none more so than farmers.

Sylvania farmer Jeff Creque says the temperature swing has been bad enough. While water is certainly crucial for growing plants and crops, our recent rains have also provided just a bit too much of a good thing.

"It seems like we haven't had a good spring in a long time," says Creque. "When we started out in the first part of April, it looked like it was going to be pretty good, but it changed in a hurry... that's the way it always works. Normally this time of year, we're looking to get started on planting corn and soybeans. It's a little bit early yet, but it's going to have to dry off because it's really wet now after this weekend."

Besides standing water, another environmental factor for farmers includes soil "heaving" or rising up with the expansion and contraction of the frost in the ground, especially with the freeze/thaw cycle that we had late this winter.

"I think some of the [other farmers] are going to have to tear them up," Creque added. "I don't know if it's because they didn't plant deep enough or what, but when they freeze and thaw so many times, it just kinda lifts it out of the ground and [the plants] don't make it."

Aside from the weather, there's now a new factor for farmers to consider for their crops this season: the tariff war between the U.S. and China. The U.S. has levied over $250 billion on Chinese goods so far, with $110 billion the other way from China -- and local agriculture has been caught in the financial crossfire.

Creque also says the current markets are "horrible, so even if we do get the stuff planted, it's not worth much."

Still, there is confidence that they and other farmers throughout northwest Ohio will plow through this season -- and many more to come.