This map from TourismOhio shows the path of the solar eclipse viewing areas.

What’s the plan for April 8 on your farm?

By Matt Reese

On April 8, there will be a rare total solar eclipse visible in the United States from southwestern Texas northeast through Maine. Among the very best viewing locations in the world is a 124-mile-wide swath across western to northern Ohio, which is expected to attract a half million visitors to the state on eclipse trips. 

Some farms are planning on hosting eclipse watchers from afar while others are doing everything possible to deter them.

How are you planning on managing the eclipse on your farm?

What precautions have you taken?

Are you hosting any unique farm specific events?

Let us know how you are spending your April 8 for the rare solar eclipse coming to your farm. Either way, farms need to be prepared for large potential crowds looking to view the eclipse in Ohio’s rural areas. In terms of the specific timeline, the 2024 total solar eclipse in Ohio will last less than five minutes, while a partial solar eclipse will be visible for much longer before and after the total eclipse. 

• In Versailles, the partial eclipse will begin at 1:53 p.m. with maximum totality at 3:10 and the partial is ending at 4:25 p.m.

• In Cleveland, the partial eclipse will begin at 1:59 p.m. with totality beginning at 3:13, maxing out at 3:15 and the partial is ending at 4:29 p.m. 

• The total solar eclipse starts in western Ohio on April 8, 2024, beginning at 3:08 p.m. with the final exit of the moon’s shadow from the far northeastern corner of the state at 3:19 p.m.

Peggy Kirk Hall, Director, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program, and Wayne Dellinger, Extension Educator and Ohio State University Ag Safety Team member recommend several strategies for farms during the eclipse: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/solar-eclipse-2024.

Many agencies are suggesting that people (not just in rural or farm scenarios) prepare as if a winter storm is coming. Cell phone use may be affected, travel is likely to be affected, and some services such as deliveries and repair technicians are likely to be delayed. The actual impact of the event is yet unknown to specific areas and farms but will be determined by weather forecasts and travel patterns of visitors,” Hall and Dellinger wrote. “This ‘eclipse storm’ will probably occur during a critical period for Spring farming activities. Overnight travel by spectators to peak viewing areas is likely to take place several days over the weekend of April 6-7.  Those staying over the weekend and those doing day trips to peak viewing areas are likely to be trying to leave peak areas right after the event is complete on April 8. If weather and field conditions are favorable, farm field work could be occurring during these time periods. Farming activities could be delayed and farmers could be forced to deal with interferences from increased populations and travel activities on rural roads.” 

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