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I’ve heard so many people say how glad they are to have the kind of spring we’re experiencing in northeast Ohio — dry and mild — compared to the nonstop rain we had last spring.

Sure, it hasn’t been a “perfect” season. If you were one of the brave folks who planted back in March and saw the temperatures drop into the lower 30s in April, you might be experiencing some delays or even have to replant a few places.

And, I feel for the produce and fruit tree farmers whose trees started growing early during the first warm spell, and were later nipped by frost and ice. That’s unfortunate and there’s not much they can do.

Good start

But by and large, I think this has been a good spring for many of the farmers I’ve talked to, and most definitely an improvement over last year, where it rained nearly all of April and May.

On Wednesday, I spent part of the afternoon taking pictures of hay being harvested south of Wooster, Ohio. Josh Moorefield, of Moorefield Farms, told me his first-cutting is probably about three weeks ahead of usual. (We’ll have a full story on the farm sometime this spring).

And if you drive around much, there’s a good chance you’ll see some corn and even soybeans sticking up out of the ground. On Monday, when I read the report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statistics service, some 58 percent of Ohio corn had already emerged. By now, I’m sure it’s even much higher.

And, a whopping 84 percent of corn had been planted, with the alfalfa hay crop already 12 percent complete.

We’re ahead of the game with all major crops, with soybeans 46 percent planted and winter wheat 93 percent jointed.

By the time next week’s crop progress data comes out, we could easily be 90-plus percent done with corn — I’m guessing closer to 100 percent.

It’s a turnaround from last year, when just 6 percent of corn was planted this time. Heck, a lot of us were wondering if we’d even get the crop out last year — it was that bad.

Totally different

That’s why I’m glad this year is so different. Yes, we could use some more rain in places, and there are still a few cold nights in store. There’s a frost advisory for my home county tonight — but I don’t look for it to be strong enough — or last long enough — to do much damage.

I’ll gladly take the kind of spring we’re having. I hope it’s a precedent for a good year to come.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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