Fall Harvest - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Fall Harvest

FULTON COUNTY, OH -- It was a hot summer with high fuel prices, but farmers across Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan expect harvests with above average yields.

Spotty droughts hit other farmers with lower yields. "It was hot, but we got timely rains to help us through. We haven't been able to harvest any corn yet, but from what I've heard it's pretty decent," said Fulton County farmer Scott Gillen.

Gillen and his crew worked to harvest soy beans from his fields near Assumption, Ohio. Down the road, farmer Tommy Herr also credits just enough rain in between the sweltering days for a bountiful harvest. "We were a bit dry during the summer. Got rain here and there kind of spotty. The way the harvest is going, we caught the rains at the right time," said Herr.

What the rains brought, fuel prices took away from local farmers. "It the most important time of year for us. We go through a lot of off road diesel fuel. The price has more than doubled," said Gillen.  "Any time fuel prices or fertilizer prices rise, we have to absorb it one way or another. There's not much we can do. We need fuel, we need fertilizer," said Herr.

But increased operating costs for farmers are absorbed by farmers. "We have no one to pass the fuel surcharge to. We have to swallow that price. Hopefully our excess yields will pay for the cost difference," said Gillen.

But other elements of the food chain to pass on cost increases to consumers. The trucking companies tack on fuel surcharges and their trucking rates. "The factories that produce the foods, their cost is going up. I wouldn't doubt you will see a general rise in food costs at the stores," said Herr.

Ottawa County farmer Paul Blausey says farmers east of Toledo will also enjoy a bountiful harvest. The exceptions are some farmers south of State Route 6. Blausey calls the road a "dividing line like night and day." Many farmers south of Route 6 will experience lower yields due to a lack of rain.

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