Hot and dry weather could pose problems for local crops if lack of rain continues

To date, this month is the sixth driest May on record in Toledo.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 5:56 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As of right now, this month has been the sixth driest May on record in Toledo and while many are enjoying the beautiful sunshine, the lack of rain could pose problems for some farmers in the next few weeks.

No one is pressing the panic button at this point, but local farmers say they’re hoping the hot and dry weather heading our way next week includes some rain.

It’s been a busy spring in farm fields around the region. The dry weather we’ve had has been good for planting.

“A lot of guys finished corn last week,” said Tom Creque, a fourth-generation farmer. “There are still some soybeans going in the ground. There were some wetter spots in April, so those fields were planted last. Some bean fields are still getting finished.

The Creque family grows corn, wheat and soybeans on about 1,200 acres in both Michigan and Ohio.

“With the mild temperatures and the ground warming up, everything should be emerging in the next week or so,” said Creque.

Creque says right now, the fields are only dry on top and there’s sub-surface moisture a few inches down.

“Every day the sun is gonna be hitting the top of this and evaporating water out and drying it further and further,” said Creque. “So we want that corn root to follow that moisture down and keep going.”

If there is no rain in the next couple weeks, it could be a different story for some local crops.

“Come June, if we still don’t have a decent rain, we will start to get in trouble,” said Creque.

Tom also grows vegetables and strawberries on about five acres.

13abc asked Creque which crops he believed could handle the dry weather best.

“I would say the grain crops. Especially with the genetics bred to have some drought resistance in them,” said Creque. “Vegetables like the tomatoes, peppers and the strawberries we might need to irrigate this weekend to boost them before the heat comes next week.”

Sometimes, it’s only a matter of a few miles that separate the fields that get rain and those that don’t.

“Some farmers try to buy land in different areas so you are diversified,” said Creque. “The weather is so sporadic now it seems like even 10 miles can make a difference.

Creque says when it comes to the forecast, it’s just something you can’t control.

“I probably pay too much attention to it,” said Creque. “I think sometimes if you can’t change it, maybe don’t look and just do your best practices.”

With no rain in the immediate future, in addition to the farmers, the gardeners out there will have to keep plants and yards well-watered at least through the holiday weekend.

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