DARKE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – During the Ohio Director of Agriculture’s visit to Darke County on Friday, farmers said this is the worst weather year they have ever dealt with, as many have been unable to plant any corn or other crops, and agriculture experts said the ripple effect will be felt immediately.
“Just like the state of Ohio where agriculture is the biggest industry, in Darke County, agriculture is the number one industry by far,” said OSU extension agriculture educator, Sam Custer.
But Custer, along with other farmers and director Dorothy Pelanda said consecutive rain days since last September is causing major problems for many Darke County farmers along with those across the state.
“We heard farmers say today, even if they’ve planted it, taken the risk and planted, much of their crop is going to be destroyed because it’s going to be wet and not salable,” said Pelanda.
Pelanda said the impact of this flooding will be felt by farmers for years to come, and even those who are not farmers themselves will feel it very soon.
“Farmers markets won’t have any corn to sell,” said Pelanda. “Prices will go up, we heard that co-ops and other ag-related businesses who have no product to sell or trade are going to be significantly impacted.”
And Custer echoed that sentiment.
He said for the most part, these farmers spend their money locally, so this stressful time will trickle down to the community.
“Farmers won’t have profits to spend on additional groceries, on furniture, on vehicles, on house remodelings, those kinds of things,” said Custer. “So it will be across the board, a depressed economy in Darke County.”
During Pelanda’s visit to Buschur Dairy Farms in Darke County, she mentioned recent changes meant to help these farmers out.
Normally, the USDA and crop insurance regulates the harvest of cover crops, which help prevent soil erosion or leaving the fields bare for about 18 months, and do not allow them to be harvested until November 1.
This year, farmers are allowed to harvest in September.
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