Ohio’s corn farmers experienced extreme weather during the 2012 growing season, yet in spite of historic challenges a plentiful yield was produced, according to the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA). The results of the 2012 season are borne out in the annual crop report released recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Facing what published reports cited as the broadest and most intense drought since 1956, corn farmers in Ohio and across the Midwest faced significant obstacles. In Ohio, the USDA declared an emergency state of drought for 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
“Ohio’s corn growers are resilient and work hard from planting to harvest to produce a quality, bountiful crop each year,” said Brent Hostetler, OCWGA president. “Corn growers met obstacles along the way, but best farming practices and improved technology helped them contribute to our nation’s eighth-largest crop in recorded history despite the drought.”
Each year, improvements are made in agriculture, from more advanced seed varieties to more effective and efficient machinery, according to Hostetler.
While there is no doubt the drought has affected the crop and supplies are tighter than in years past, the United States will still have over 500 million bushels of unused corn. That is enough corn to fill the Empire State building 18 times. Even with the reduced amount of corn, farmers were still able to fill all the needs for consumers, livestock producers and the food industry, as well as continuing to bolster the country’s domestic fuel supply through ethanol.