DARKE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Director of Agriculture spent Friday morning in Darke County talking to farmers and surveying the impact of months of heavy rain.
The director stopped at Buschur Dairy Farms and farmers told Director Dorothy Pelanda that many have gone through wet years and droughts, but have never seen anything like this because these rainy wet conditions have been going on since last September.
Farmers from Darke and surrounding counties sat down with Pelanda and discussed their hampered ability to plant crops and the current livestock feed crisis.
Pelanda noted their concerns to take to Governor Mike DeWine, who has a farm himself in Cedarville, and has already requested a USDA disaster designation from Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“We want to continue to provide our federal partners, our congressmen and the like with the most up-to-date information possible so that they can make the best decisions about what’s best for Ohio,” said Pelanda.
Steve Buschur said the rain is not impacting his dairy farm as much as corn and soybean farms but they still have their issues.
“Our challenges are simply coming up with enough feed for our cows because virtually, all the hay crop in the area, actually beyond this area, just a big portion of the Midwest, has been decimated,” said Buschur.
Friday morning, many corn and soybean farmers said their crops really took a hit, in fact at least two said they have been farming for at least three decades and this is the first year they have been unable to plant corn.
Those that did find a dry window to plant are not expecting bountiful harvests.
“We have quite a few crops up in the area but we would typically envision shoulder high corn on Fourth of July,” said Darke County’s OSU extension office agriculture educator, Sam Custer. “We’ll be lucky if we have ankle-high corn across the county.”
Pelanda said DeWine is in the process of sending a second letter to Perdue that really explains the issues that farmers are facing, especially young farmers, because of insurance policies, but said there is no word yet on if or when any disaster declaration would come.