Recent rains and cooler temperatures were critical for some local crops

Farmers say it was vital rain for many corn and bean crops.
The fields we visited in Ottawa Lake on Monday were in pretty good shape but, that wasn’t the case not too long ago.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The cooler weather Mother Nature has served up in recent days, along with a bit of rain, has been the perfect mix for many local farm fields. Farmers say in a lot of cases it was a life-saver for local crops.

The recent rain around our region was critical for many crops. Jason Heerdegen is a farmer and the manager of the Ottawa Lake Co-Op.

“The rain we had was a life-saver. Sometimes you hear the term a million dollar rain, that was a million dollar rain for this area. Some people have irrigation and that’s a good alternative, but there is nothing better Mother Nature and rain from the sky,” said Heerdegen.

The fields we visited in Ottawa Lake on Monday were in pretty good shape but, that wasn’t the case not too long ago.

“If you drove by cornfields you were starting to see them fire up from the bottom and that’s not good. But the rain came just in time to save the corn crop and beans always need August rains, that is always the case for beans,” said Heerdegen.

Rain totals can of course vary widely in just a matter of miles, but Heerdegen says that was not the case with our recent rains.

“There are times when some fields are soaked and others just a few miles away get nothing. It sounds like everyone in this area got some at some point, a little more to the west,” said Heerdegen.

The rain was vital for the corn and bean crops, but what about produce?

“The cabbage harvest is underway, tomatoes are getting underway. The sweet corn harvest has been going. If you go to a local produce stand it’s pretty full. The yield and the quality is good for most of those guys,” said Heerdegen.

A lot of local crops went into the ground a couple weeks behind schedule this year, but, Heerdegen says they’re getting back on track.

“In a perfect world, the 75-80 degree days and cooler nights would continue. one to two more inches of rain wouldn’t hurt, either. That would all help a lot because the crop is still a bit behind,” said Heerdegen.

Even with planting a bit behind schedule this year, Heerdegen says at this point, the corn and bean harvests should be on track in September and October.

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