Although poor conditions for dry-down slowed corn harvest progress in Ohio, farmers in the state made the greatest strides in soybean harvest progress across the top soybean growing states.
With 16% more of the soybean crop harvested from the previous week, Ohio farmers made more soybean harvest progress than any other top soybean growing state.
“It is very encouraging to see the progress being made by Ohio’s soybean farmers,” says Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Brian Baldridge. “Being a soybean farmer myself, I’ve seen the exceptional product being harvested first-hand. We continue to hear positive feedback from growers and look forward to continuing our partnership to support Ohio’s top industry—food and agriculture.”
Ohio soybean progress
For the week ending Oct. 29, USDA reported that 80% of the state’s soybeans had been harvested. This is 4% ahead of the five-year average for soybeans harvested. While ahead of the five-year average, this is 5% behind last year at this time.
Why is Ohio’s soybean harvest progress making strides?
According to Ty Higgins, senior director of communications and media relations for the Ohio Farm Bureau, harvest weather has been incredibly favorable for Ohio farmers recently. Good weather has “allowed for some major progress in soybean fields across the state,” Higgins says.
Favorable weather isn’t the only factor allowing soybean harvest to work at an accelerated pace, Higgins says. He notes that moisture levels in the state’s corn crop is unusually high, testing up to 30%.
“This has prompted farmers to continue with soybean harvest until the corn, hopefully, dries down a little bit more,” Higgins says.
Recent Ohio weather
A weather summary compiled by the National Ag Statistics Service says temperatures were 57.6° F, which is 7.4° F above normal the week ending Oct. 29.
In the same time period, precipitation averaged 0.61 inches, statewide. That’s 0.15 inches above average.
USDA reported that there were 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Oct. 29.
Maps generated by the Iowa Environmental Mesonet indicate precipitation departures as high as 4 inches above average during the month of October.
The most recent Crop Progress report rated Missouri topsoil moisture 1% very short, 26% short, 54% adequate, and 19% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 2% very short, 38% short, 53% adequate, and 7% surplus.
Latest Ohio drought conditions
A drought map published Nov. 2 shows less than 1% of the state covered by D1 moderate drought conditions, a significant drop from nearly 20% the week prior.
Nearly 39% of the state is abnormally dry.
Improving from the previous week, 60% of Ohio is free drought stress. While an improvement from the previous week, this is worse than three months ago when 82% of the state reported no drought.
Of the state’s 88 counties, none have USDA disaster designations.
A look at Ohio history
The National Integrated Drought Information System reports September 2023 was the fifth-driest September on record for the state. Records go back to 1895.
So far, 2023 is shaping up to be the 64th-wettest year in history for the Buckeye state.