August 22, 2014

Elyria
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Weather gives farmers a chance to get back in the fields

HENRIETTA TWP. — After weeks and weeks of rain, the ground was dry enough on Monday to plant soybeans on some of the thousands of acres of land farmed by Howard A. Born and his family.

Ed Alexander, a family member who works for Howard A. Born Farms, is working to get a field in Henrietta Township ready to plant with soy beans. Alexander said the family farms thousands of acres in the Lorain County area. The barn and silos in the background are not part of their holdings. (CT photo by Chuck Humel.)

Ed Alexander, a family member who works for Howard A. Born Farms, is working to get a field in Henrietta Township ready to plant with soy beans. Alexander said the family farms thousands of acres in the Lorain County area. The barn and silos in the background are not part of their holdings. (CT photo by Chuck Humel.)

Born’s grandson, Ed Alexander, used a 40-foot planter to make short work of the job in a field off state Route 113.

They are hoping that the seeds will germinate and the young plants will get a good start before July and August turn on the heat, Born said.

“The last two years have been good years, and this is payback,” Born said.

The last time he recalled rain delaying planting for so long was 1989.

“That was a very wet year — we didn’t get anything planted until June, and it cut into the yield,” Born said. “We lost money. We didn’t even break even.”

Sunday was the last day that corn can be planted in Ohio as an insured crop with the U.S. Department of Agriculture without taking a 1 percent reduction per day in the production guarantee through the department’s Risk Management Agency.

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Born said he doesn’t insure much acreage and he still plans to plant plenty of corn this year.

“We don’t give up on the 5th,” Born said. “I don’t count on insurance. I count on making a crop.”

Ohio and parts of Indiana and Michigan are having a lot of difficulty getting seed into the ground, said Brian Frieden, director of the Springfield Regional Office of the Risk Management Agency.

“The director for NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) said this is the latest since they’ve kept records,” Frieden said.

Fortunately, a lot of Ohio farmers got their fields planted last week, said Wayne Matthews, deputy director of the NASS office in Columbus.

“They were planting in a frenzy,” Matthews said. “Weather’s key now … we want gentle showers instead of driving rain and not too hot; once it gets over 80 degrees it stunts growth.”

Figures released Monday show that 58 percent of the corn had been planted in Ohio versus 99 percent by this date in an average year.

A week earlier, just 19 percent of the corn was planted versus 93 percent in an average year, Matthews said.

Soybeans can be planted a little later and by last week, just 7 percent of the soybeans were planted versus 75 percent in an average year, he said.

This week, 26 percent of the soybeans in Ohio were planted compared to 88 percent in an average year.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.