Media advisory: Ohio State experts available to discuss ongoing rain and its impact on Ohio farmers

Flooded farmland in southern Ohio. Photo by Sherrie Whaley.

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Agronomic and agricultural economic experts at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) are available to discuss the impact the historic rainfall has had on Ohio farmers and to offer some options for farmers going forward.

On June 14, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture issue a disaster designation for Ohio to make assistance available to farmers as they deal with continuing heavy rainfall. Record rainfall through the spring planting season has resulted in flooded and saturated fields that have prevented some Ohio farmers from planting their crops.

As of June 17, only 68% of Ohio’s corn crop and 46% of Ohio’s soybean crop had been planted, according to USDA Crop Progress reports. Typically by now, Ohio’s corn acres have been entirely planted and nearly all of the state’s soybean acres have been planted.

“The delays in planting and effects on in-field crops of forages and wheat are historic,” said Greg LaBarge, an agronomic field specialist with Ohio State University Extension, CFAES’ outreach arm.

“The agricultural community is facing many important decisions in light of the relentless precipitation that has occurred this spring,” he said. “The decisions farmers make in the coming weeks will have a lasting impact, affecting management decisions for the next year.”

Livestock producers also have been impacted by the historic rains, which have negatively impacted hay production, leaving hay supplies at record low levels in Ohio and across the Midwest, said Stan Smith, an OSU Extension program assistant in agriculture and natural resources.

CFAES agronomists and OSU Extension educators are continuing to publish recommendations and information about weather-related issues in their C.O.R.N. Newsletter. Newsletter archives are available at

CFAES experts are also publishing recommendations and information for livestock producers in the Ohio Beef Cattle Letterat in Ohio Ag Manager at

CFAES recommendations and information for dairy producers can be found within Buckeye Dairy News at

Additionally, the following experts can speak to the ongoing weather issues and their impacts on Ohio farmers and producers:

  • Greg LaBarge, an agronomic field specialist with OSU Extension. LaBarge can be reached at 419-460-0600 or
  • Peter Thomison, an OSU Extension agronomist, can provide insight into spring planting and how the excess rain impacts corn. Thomison can be contacted at 614-292-2373 or
  • Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with OSU Extension, can provide insight into spring planting and how the excess rain impacts soybeans. Lindsey can be contacted at 614-292-9080 or
  • Ben Brown, program manager of CFAES’ Farm Management Program, can speak about the economic impact the rain has had on farmers. He can be reached at 614-688-8686 (office), 660-492-7574 (mobile), or
  • Dianne Shoemaker, OSU Extension farm management field specialist, can speak about the issues facing dairy farmers. She can be reached at 330-533-5538 (office), 330-257-3377 (mobile), or
  • Sam Custer, an OSU Extension educator in Darke County, which borders Indiana in the west-central region of Ohio, said an estimated 13,000 acres of corn, about 10% of Darke County’s corn crop acres, likely will not be planted this year. He can be reached at custer.2@osu.eduor 937-548-5215.
  • Eric Richer, an OSU Extension educator in Fulton County, said planting and finances are on everyone’s mind. “People are anxious,” he said. “We’re seeing farmers with a tremendous amount of financial, mental, and even physical stress over the delayed planting this year.” He can be reached at, or 419-337-9210.
  • Aaron Wilson, climate specialist for CFAES, can speak to the weather outlook and the ongoing impact on farmers and producers. He can be reached at wilson.1010@osu.eduor 614-292-7930.
  • Stan Smith, who can speak to hay levels and the impact on livestock, can be reached at 740-653-5419, ext. 24, or
  • Steve Boyles, OSU Extension beef specialist, who can speak to nutritional alternatives that might be available to cattlemen during this time of critical forage shortages, can be reached at 614-292-7669 or
  • Mark Sulc, OSU Extension specialist, who can discuss alternative forage options for livestock producers. He can be reached at 614-292-9084 or
  • Mark Loux, OSU Extension weed specialist, who can discuss how farmers can control weeds in their corn and soybean fields. He can be reached at 614-292-9081 or
  • Steve Culman, an OSU Extension specialist in soil fertility, who can discuss options for farmers who are dealing with rain saturated soils. He can be reached at 330-263-3787 or
Tracy Turner