Ohio farmers running out of time after wet spring

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MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (NBC) – Farmers in Ohio’s Miami Valley are running out of time.

The wet spring is forcing many to hold off on planting their crops. And a recent tornado outbreak didn’t help, either.

“Farmers – they want to plant. It’s what we do. and you kind of lose track of time… ‘Next week the forecast looks better,’ and then next week comes and it rains again, and the next week… Pretty soon you look at the calendar and it’s June 5th,” Matt Vantilburg, a Mercer County Farmer said.

The Celina-area farm dodged a deadly tornado just several miles away, but mother nature’s wrath is still pushing planting down the wire.

“Normally we’re done by this time of year- we’re spraying and putting nitrogen on and caring for a corn crop — not worried about getting it planted,” Vantilburg said.

So far, the farm has only been able to plant about 75 acres so far. That’s less than 2 percent of the total land available.

According to the USDA, Ohio farmers have only planted about 1/3 of their corn.

On average, they’re usually 90 percent finished by this time of the year, and only 18 percent of the state’s soybeans are planted, compared to the typical 76 percent.

“As we get later, that growing season gets shorter and shorter. You do literally run out of time,” Vantilburg said.

June 10 is often the cut-off for the region’s corn planting.

Vantilburg says soggy fields won’t only affect a farmer’s bottom line.

Consumers could see higher prices and local economies could take a hit.

“When the farm community — when it’s your biggest industry in the county — when they’re suffering, the rest of the county and the rest of the population will feel the ripple effect of that too.”

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