By Dale Minyo and Joel Penhorwood
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, alongside Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda, made a special trip to northwest Ohio Wednesday to see firsthand the struggles of Ohio crop and dairy farmers due to this year’s inclement weather.
The Perrysburg area visit was hosted by Kris Swartz and welcomed farmers from multiple other counties to give their take on this year of hardship, whether it be in the fields or in the barns.
“I wanted to come here and see this for myself,” said Gov. DeWine. “I’ve talked to a number of farmers in regard to this problem with the weather and it being too wet to put the crop in. Time is moving forward very quickly and this is probably in my lifetime, I can’t remember a situation that was bad as this.”
Gov. DeWine did send a letter to Sec. of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last week requesting a secretarial disaster declaration, in hopes of qualifying more Ohio farmers for federal aid.
Listen to the full press briefing with DeWine and Swartz here.
“We’re calling it a disaster in slow motion. Very little planted around here and I think economically on the farm and the farm communities it’s going to be a really tough year,” said Swartz. “If we miss the rain here tonight and tomorrow, I think I still can get some beans in, maybe 7-800 acres. But if we get an inch and a half of rain tonight, I think it’s just about game over.”
Hear Dale Minyo’s conversation with Kris Swartz below.
Wood County farmer Mark Drewes was on hand, highlighting the feed shortage concern dairy farmers are facing.
“Those cows have to have feed. There’s no neighbors corn to buy either and this is coming off a historically bad winter where we lost all of our forages. We no longer have alfalfa – or very little alfalfa – we have very little corn, and this is the first time in my farming career I’ve felt our backs are truly against the wall,” Drewes said. “I’ve never felt this kind of stress before. Crop insurance is a big part of our risk management program on our farm, but it does not put feed in those cows’ mouths.”