RISINGSUN, Ohio — It's been a nice summer in the buckeye state this year, but has there been too much heat and sun?
Scott Chalfin starts his John Deere, ready to take it out into the fields, doing what he calls the best job in the world.
“There’s a few days I wonder why I do it. But those days are pretty few and far in between,” said Chalfin, who co-owns Woodstone Farms with his wife.
As he steers the tractor through the farm, he explains he's only been a full-time farmer for three years despite working in agriculture his whole life—a world he says runs in the family.
“I remember when I was a boy, pretty young, always being out on the tractor with my dad,” said Chalfin. “I was always in FFA (Future Farmers of America) when I was in school, vocation agriculture, just one of the things I’ve always loved to do.”
Chalfin steps down from the tractor and heads into the corn field, where some crops are struggling compared to others due to dry weather.
“This plant is dying prematurely because it’s not black layer yet. So even though you see a real nice ear here, what’s going to happen is, this is just losing weight everyday, and then you got some of this stuff that just never did much of anything. So we got a lot of that where we’re on these dry areas."
The problem isn't exclusive to Woodstone Farms in Sandusky County.
“When it started to dry up, corn was in its major production stage, soy beans we’re getting close to it. And when it gets hot and dry, that puts a lot of pressure on those crops during a very important time that they use a lot of energy to produce the corn and soybeans that they do,” said Ty Higgins with the Ohio Farm Bureau.
Higgins adds it might be too little, too late for rain to make a difference for corn, in a year when the market was already in tough shape.
“When you have those tough COVID-19 conditions in agriculture effecting markets, and then you have the weather effecting how much your going to get out of your field, it’s definitely an insult to injury for farmers in Ohio that haven’t seen the rain in sometime.”
Back on the farm, Chalfin moves on to the soybeans, a crop which he says still has potential for growth if rain comes soon.
“If we don’t get rain in the next couple of weeks, I mean, it’s going to be a decent field of beans, but it’s not going to be a great field of beans because we’re gonna have real small beans. They’ll be buckshot, pretty small, and it’ll take a lot of them to add up in the bin.”
Chalfin admits that waiting on mother nature, can be nerve-racking.
“There’s days when I sit there and if I'm by myself and I think, 'Wow,' you know, 'I got a lot of bills to pay, I got all this to do.' You know, the banks, the payments are coming up,” said Chalfin. “We just need a little cooperation from mother nature and have the good lord look down on us and it’ll all work out.”
Farmers, praying for rain to grow crops and hope.