Ohio Farmers Looking for Options with ‘Unprecedented Lack of Planting’

 

Farmers throughout Ohio are struggling to plant their crops due to the excessively wet spring. Ty Higgins from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation posted notice on their Facebook page about an important meeting being held at Ohio Northern University to help Ohio farmers.

 

“The unprecedented lack of corn and soybean planting this spring has many farmers wondering just how they can utilize their ‘prevent plant’ acres,” he shared in a video, and gave information about the meeting in Ada.

“Prevent Plant,” also known as “prevented planting,” is “a failure to plant the insured crop with the proper equipment by the final planted date designated in the insurance policy’s Special Provisions or during the late planting period, if applicable. Prevented planting must be due to an insurable cause of loss (such as flooding) general to the area that also prevents others in the area from planting,” states ProAg.

“We have never been this far back in planting since we started keeping track in the 1970s,” said Higgins. “Ohio is the furthest behind in the entire country. It’s not a stretch to call this unprecedented or historic. We’ll have more prevent plant acres in Ohio than we’ve ever had, more than a million acres.”

The window for planting corn has already closed. Soybean growers have through the first week of July to get their crops in the ground.

Insurance only covers a portion of the loss. Corn coverage is 55 percent of average production history (aph) and soybean coverage is 60 percent.

“Hopefully this will help them survive, to pay the bank and hopefully afford seed for next year,” shared Higgins with The Ohio Star. “There will be farmers who cannot farm in 2020 because of what’s happening now.”

To keep their farms, many Ohio farmers will get second and third jobs over the next year just to pay the mortgage.

One glimmer of hope for additional support could come from Congress. A disaster relief measure passed in early June includes $3 billion for agricultural losses.

Ohio farmers could get some relief if there is money left after paying for the extensive damage caused by the Mississippi River flooding earlier this year. It was the longest-lasting flood in that area of the nation since 1927 – the worst in modern history. Ohioans know how those farm families feel.

Three county farm service agencies, those in Fulton, Henry and Lucas Counties, have requested disaster declarations. Gov. Mike DeWine made the request to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday, June 14.

Ohio’s Department of Agriculture Director, Dorothy Pelanda, followed up with another request to Secretary Perdue Friday.

“Farmers are telling us this is the worst year they have ever experienced. We need to help our Ohio farmers get through this devastating time and try to lessen the far-reaching impact this will have on agricultural businesses and the state’s economy,” she said.

Higgins spoke with The Ohio Star about how devastating this year has been for farmers.

“This industry has the 2nd highest suicide rate in the country,” said Higgins. “Farmers need to know they are so much more valuable than their next crop. Their family, their community needs them. If you know a farmer, be a positive message for them.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to bethlearreports@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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