The business of agriculture is so closely tied to the weather neither can be mentioned independently without talking about the other in the same sentence.
Weather may slow down our farmers — but there is always something to do and in the words of Sonny & Cher, “The beat goes on.”
Farmers have made many advances in protecting their assets regardless of the weather. Protecting livestock with better more efficient buildings, better bins design to hold and protect grain, controlled environments with better heating and cooling, more advanced equipment with auto-steer, better drainage, better seeds, better feeds, controlling fertilizers, controlling runoff and other improvements keep our farmers ahead in the battle against bad weather … most of the time.
A deluge of rain, will often keep the tractor in the barn, but if the rain comes after a long drought and the field is tiled right and with proper drainage, you may not have to wait long to get back into the field. A cold snap may freeze the land but that may be just enough to finish shelling the last couple acres of corn.
Weather drives farmers crazy. Too much sun, not enough heat, not enough rain, rain too early, snow too early, drought too early provides enough fodder to fill-up the local barber-shop-talk for weeks on end.
Farmers have also seen record crops — regardless of the weather during planting, growing and harvest seasons.
Corn production in 2017 average yield in the United States was estimated at a record high 176.6 bushels per acre, 2.0 bushels above the 2016 average yield of 174.6 bushels per acre.
Soybean production in 2017 totaled a record 4.39 billion bushels, up 2 percent from 2016. The average yield per acre was estimated at 49.1 bushels, 2.9 bushels below the record yield in 2016. Harvested area was up 8 percent from 2016 to a record high 89.5 million acres.
Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa — represent 45 percent of U.S. corn output and 41 percent of soybeans — showed bigger yields than last year.
So the Beat Goes On, a testament to the resilience, innovation, and continuing improvements and proves our agricultural industry is second to none in the world regardless of our weather.
Here’s seeing you In Ohio Country!
The writer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years.