Thursday, August 14, 2003

Ohio farms producing a corn-ucopia

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Despite heavy rains in the spring and summer, a bumper crop of corn and soybeans is predicted for Ohio this year, the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service said.

The agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a crop forecast Tuesday that put corn yields at 142 bushels per acre, close to the state record of 147 bushels in 2000.

Total estimated Ohio corn production of 454.4 million bushels would be an 80 percent increase from last year's drought-diminished crop.

Ohio's soybean harvest was predicted at 42 bushels per acre, up 40 percent from last year and just shy of the record 44 bushels in 1998.

Total soybean production is expected to be 184 million bushels, up 30 percent from last year.

State statistician James Ramey said although crops in some parts of the state have been devastated by rain, fields in other areas have flourished.

"I've seen some pretty bad crops, but I've seen some pretty good stuff, too," he said. "(Overall), the crops look good."

The forecast could change with bad weather between now and harvest time, but the yield potential is good, he said.

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