Not much singing in the rain

Tony Nye

WILMINGTON — Rainfall in July is expected to be above normal in the region, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The longer-term forecast does not include precise precipitation amounts, but it does mean area residents can anticipate receiving more than the region’s July average of 4.11 inches, said James Gibson, NWS meteorologist at the Wilmington offices.

Gibson’s source is the NWS’ Climate Prediction Center in Maryland, which provides 30-day precipitation and temperature outlooks.

The center’s three-month precipitation outlook for the region is uncertain, he said.

Local farm fields are showing signs of water stress, OSU Extension Educator for Clinton County Tony Nye said Monday.

“We’re seeing signs of way too much water, more so on beans [than corn]. Beans are supposed to be darker green, but some have a yellow cast,” said Nye.

And once the fields do dry out, the plant roots can continue to regress, he added.

As an upshot of too much water, there are diseases attacking the soybean plants, said Nye.

But the extent of damage to soybean crops won’t be known until later, he said.

A silver lining to all those stubborn rain clouds is that there are “a lot of areas worse than us,” he continued.

There is still half the growing season remaining for soybeans.

Corn, meanwhile, has a more massive root system than do beans, helping it endure the excess water, said Nye.

But corn fields are getting hurt, too, and the question is how much they will be hurt, he said.

How do area farmers appear to be handling the persistent rain?

“Yeah, you talk to farmers and putting aside their joking as they will do, you know it’s bothering them. There are some hidden pressures in what Mother Nature has done. But really all you can do is hope for the best, and hopefully have good [insurance] coverage,” said the OSU Extension educator.

“This is a year when adequate coverage in crop insurance will pay for itself,” he said.

Most farmers have some level of crop insurance, said Nye.

Moreover, he said farmers are “resilient.”

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.