Corn in Darke, Preble and Mercer County is about a month behind last year’s pace. In Ohio, only 30 percent is in good condition. Heading into the third week of September last year almost 80 percent of corn across the state was considered good or excellent.
Jeff Wuebker grew up on Wuebker Farms just north of Versailles. He is now Co-Manager.
“We’ve probably lost just about five percent of this field due to flooding early in the season,” Wuebker said.
He was a kid in 1981 but says many older farmers compare it to this year.
“I remember 1981 as being extremely wet. That was before we had the herbicides and technology that we have today to keep our weeds relatively small.” Wuebker said.
He remembers the weeds being six or eight feet tall.
“We did not have that this year,” Wuebker said. “We keep our weeds under a lot better control throughout the winter and into early spring.”
Areas in the Miami Valley saw above-normal rainfall in April and May.
“We got a really late start,” Wuebker said. “Normally we would be planting out corn sometime late April. It would be done hopefully by the middle or end of May.”
The first field at Wuebker Farms was planted the first week of June, then it flooded again the week of June 12.
“It just flooded out,” Wuebker said, “and in some cases caused people to replant, myself included.”
The latest corn he planted was on June 26.
“I never thought it would get to the point it is today. I am thankful for that.”
Wuebker said his corn is beginning to catch up to where he expects a crop to be this time of year. He credits the weather in September. Warm days and cool nights help accumulate the most growing degree days.
“These days that we’ve had, and the days forecasted with good warm temperatures will continue to make this corn crop mature very quickly,” Wuebker said.
The ground is beginning to crack in places. Wuebker said he is starting to see the plant die and some ears fall. He is hoping for a little bit of rain to help finish the crops off.
“We’re thankful for the warm weather we have had because it has matured this crop,” Wuebker said, “and I think we will have a corn crop here on our farm and in much of northern Darke County.”