Thursday, July 15, 2004

Some corn lost to rain

Most of Ohio is spared

By John Seewer
The Associated Press

Despite a rosy outlook for Ohio's corn crop, there are pockets around the state where rain washed away any hope for a decent season.

Farmers in the northeast and north-central parts of the state have been hurt the most. Heavy rains forced some farmers to replant their corn three or four times while the wet weather kept others from finishing planting.

"Some corn was planted just a week ago," said Bill Wallbrown, who farms in southeastern Portage County. "That was the first time it got dry.

"Most everything we planted was done in less than ideal conditions," said Wallbrown, who intended to plant 1,600 acres of corn but only got in 1,050 acres.

Most of the state, including the farmbelt in northwest Ohio, is in much better shape, said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

Warm temperatures and plenty of moisture have helped Ohio's corn crop develop two weeks ahead of normal, Thomison said. More than 60 percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition.

It's still early, though, and a long, dry spell with warm temperatures could hurt the corn crop, especially since the early wet weather did not allow maximum root development, Thomison said.

"This year, it was so wet the root systems may be too shallow," he said.

Nationwide, the U.S. Agriculture Department forecasts that farmers could produce a record corn crop of 10.6 billion bushels. Ohio farmers harvested nearly 479 million bushels of corn a year ago.

Butler, Warren, Clermont and Hamilton counties had more than 61,000 acres of corn used for grain under crop in 2002, the latest figures available from the USDA. But none of Greater Cincinnati's counties is among top corn producers in the state.

The key to this year's corn crop in Ohio seems to be timing.

"Corn planted in April looks wonderful," said Portage County extension agent Kevin O'Reilly. "Corn planted in May and June looks terrible." He described this year's crop as the "good, bad and ugly."

Many farmers in north-central Ohio were even worse off.

In Marion County, at least half of the farmers were unable to get their corn in the ground or had it washed away and were forced to replant, said Bill Hudson, the agriculture agent with county's extension office. What's left is a lot of corn that is behind in terms of growth.

Collectors grin at smiley plates
Teacher pay starts lower in Ohio, Ky.
Rulings put courts in turmoil
Mason v. judge: Ouster debated
Four-legged recruit not drug dealers' best friend

Objections from neighbors put kibosh on outdoor bar and grill
Ohio may do Brent Spence impact study
Finan quits as county's lobbyist after just 6 months
Green Twp. thwarts Lowe's
Litter pickup steals time, money from road repairs, study reports
Local news briefs
Shooting range input sought
Inattentive officer dies in cycle crash
Neighborhood briefs
Some corn lost to rain
Man executed for 1989 murder of woman, girl
Concealed-weapon law passes key test
State to conduct open-records seminars
Public safety briefs
Colerain Township upset by Rumpke's delay
Woodland Elementary administrator named
Once flush, now broke, city weighs tax increase
2 Butler County rape suspects skip court dates
Dayton focus group proves tough sell for both parties
Some did pass teaching test
Worker's death was electrocution

Bronson: Gay marriage debate stifled by more mush
Good Things Happening

Bill Bunis turned from tennis, became sociology professor
Frank Florence Jr. was Baptist minister

Budget tensions thaw as Fletcher, House leaders meet
Judge says he won't make Fletcher convene session
Staples gets first approval
Hayden criticized for China seminar
Obstacle course teaches teamwork
Covington hires ombudsman
Covington woman charged for false abduction report