No sooner had all us media folk geared up for you not planting corn this year, when wham – blue sky and the planters are rolling 24/7. Farmers have such faith. You knew how much field work awaited, and didn’t falter. Now that conditions are right, you are in full motion in farm fields across the state. From tillers to planters to sprayers to mowers to balers, the tractors are chugging. Traveling on highways and country roads and farm lanes, you are bringing productivity to small lots, family fields and huge spreads alike, in rural and not so rural Ohio.
The statistics for this week will be amazing. I would not be surprised to see the flurry of activity bring the figure for planted acres back to the norm for this time of year. Yes, the crop will be delayed. Frost will be a concern, but the acres are getting planted. And it’s pretty amazing to watch.
On Tuesday the Ohio Crop Reporting service will tell us just how much has been done. Last week they said, you were 74% behind the five year average and last year’s status with only 19% of the corn planted. Only 9% of the crop was emerged compared to the norm of 80%. A measly 5% of the soybeans were planted compared to 55% on average. Even the winter wheat was stifled with only 60% headed compared with the usual 79% and the excellent 87% last year. The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 35% behind the average year with only 4% cut. Cucumber planting was 42% behind last year and processing tomato transplants were 32% behind average.
Every year I amazed at how much ground farmers cover when the spring weather is right. This year, that’s a month later than usual. The crop insurance folks pick June 5 as the magic day to consider prevented planting coverage. With the crop itself so valuable, I am pretty sure most farmers will find a way to plant the crop. It’s what you do and this year it’s truly amazing to drive by and watch you work.