Farmers pray for rain

Reported by Shelley Brown - email

By Brian White -

NORTHWEST OHIO (WTOL) - Badly timed spring rains and a dry summer are combining to stunt this year's crops.

Wheat, corn and soybeans have seen smaller yields this season, local farmers say.

Area argonomist Tim Barney explains how lots of precipitation followed by drought hurts plant growth.

Early rainfall saturates the soil, which stops root development, he says. Then the rains stop and the soil dries out, damaging the root structure.

"The worst case scenario is to have a cool, wet spring like what we had," he said. "Then we had all those heavy rains in June and July and then have it dry out in August."

Local farmer Tim Haise with Haise farms points to one of his underdeveloped stalks of corn to demonstrate the impacts of the dought conditions.

"This is where the plant is dying because the soil is all dry," he says.

The ears of corn on the stalk are smaller than normal with tiny kernels instead of plump, juicy ones.

Haise and farmers like him are at particular risk because without an irrigation system, the corn is completely dependent on rain for moisture.

He hopes and prays the upcoming forecast will include a much needed drink for his crops.

"If we could get blessed with this rain, they're saying for Wednesday or Thursday, that would be awesome."