Standing water from storms halts harvest

Standing water from storms halts harvest

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Damage from weekend storms caused havoc in more ways than you might think.

Wet fields are delaying local farmers ability to harvest their crops. Farm land populates much of the land east of Toledo. Too often, extreme weather decides a farmer's fate.

This year, heavy rains are keeping farmers from being able to go out into the fields and collect their crops. That turns a fall harvest into a winter harvest. There is a good chance that the top soil won't have a chance to dry, forcing some local farmers to wait until after the ground has frozen to complete their harvest.

"The biggest downfall is the deteriorating quality of the crop right now. Soybeans are starting to fall out of the pods, on to the ground and the corn will start to get brittle and stalks will start to fall over making it very difficult to get all of the grain into the combines to be able to pull it out of the fields," said Alan Gahler.

Gahler is the Extension Educator of Agriculture and Natural Resources for The Ohio State University Extension in Sandusky County.

The issue at hand is more than fifty per cent of crops have yet to be harvested. Sandusky County, Northern Wood County, Western Ottawa County, and Eastern Lucas County are all behind the normal pace, but that's not all.

"The grain carts that are taking the grain from the combine and then moving it into the semis and wagons to haul to the elevators, all that is going to be happening on the roads and in the driveways now," said Gahler. "That's going to become a bit of  safety concern. And now with daylight saving time ending farmers are going to be working well past dark but still very much into commuter hours."

If they can even get equipment in and out of wet fields, any damage they're doing to their fields is going to have an impact on next year's yield.

Heavy equipment causes the soil to compact not allowing enough room for healthy roots to grow in for the coming seasons. That means next year, farmers are going to have to do more tilling, at the heavy expenses of time, fuel, and labor.

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