Saturated

In this June 2019 photo, a Williams County corn field is saturated following record rains. FILE

Heavy rains didn’t mix well with planting this year, as just over 60,000 acres of Williams County farmland weren’t planted and 19 million acres weren’t planted nationally, according to data from the national Farm Service Agency office.

Affected farmers are taking the prevented planting option, which means they will take an insurance payment and not plant their intended crop.

“Agricultural producers across the country are facing significant challenges and tough decisions on their farms and ranches,” U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said in a news release. “We know these are challenging times for farmers and we have worked to improve flexibility of our programs to assist producers prevented from planting.”

The USDA is encouraging farmers to plant cover crops on prevented planting acres because they help prevent soil erosion, protect water quality and boost soil health.

Reporting on how many acres will fall into this program isn’t finished yet, according to Donna Wilson, program technician at the Williams County FSA office.

“We’re still certifying crops here in our county and I’m estimating probably 65-70 percent is prevented,” she said. “We’re not completely done, yet, we’re still getting our crop reports done.”

She estimated around 95 percent of the reports are in and they still have this week to finish it.

And those numbers will just include the people who do report to the FSA.

“There are people out there who do not participate or come in and do any kind of crop report in our county,” Wilson said. “We’re never fully certified or reported.”

On Monday, the national FSA released a crop acreage report, containing information through Aug. 1.

According to this data, the state of Ohio had 1.48 million acres taking prevented planting option. Of those, 880,992 acres were corn while 598,981 were soybeans.

Meanwhile, 56,330 acres were listed as not planted and 71,512 acres were listed as failed.

In Williams County, the national FSA stated 60,373 acres were taking prevented planting option with 124 acres not planted and 765 failed acres. According to this report, 67,628 acres were planted in Williams County.

According to this data, Fulton County is listed as having 70,514 acres in prevented planting with 126,533 acres planted; Defiance County has 84,198 in prevented planting with 106,060 acres planted; and Henry County has 71,083 in prevented planting and 161,697 acres planted.

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