After late planting because a wet spring and a dryer-than-normal June, area corn and soybean crops are doing surprisingly well.
"We were at the point three weeks ago that we really needed rain," said agronomist Ed Lentz, educator with Ohio State University Extension, Seneca County. "But we've been getting rain at least once a week in July.
"Most of Seneca County has enough moisture in the soil now where we could get a good crop if August is a dry month," he said. "If we continue to get a shower every 10-14 days in August, we have a chance to have a very good corn crop this year."
The July moisture came at a good time, he said.
"Corn tassling is a critical time for moisture," he said. "And humidity is good for the corn crop.
"We've been fortunate the extra heat, especially the nighttime temperatures, have pushed the corn crop along quickly," he said.
Lentz said the main concern now is an early frost.
"We still have a concern that we'll have wet corn in the fall, maybe not as dry as farmers would like to see it at harvest. Some late-planted corn might struggle to mature if we get an early frost.
"You kind of got to do the math," he said. "We've got some corn that's not going to tassle until the second week in August."
"We're probably not going to have corn being harvested the first of October," he said. "We're going to have some Thanksgiving corn."
Lentz said the soybean crop is in a similar position.
"Beans can take the dry weather better than corn, but have responded well to the rain," he said. "And they might get better pod development."
"We'll have a bean crop, but like corn, moisture will determine how much extra their might be," he said.
Of concern for soybeans are the chance for diseases such as phytophthora and sudden death syndrome.
"It really likes wet conditions. Pockets in the fields will shrivel up and die. Not the whole field, but pockets," Lentz said. "The critical thing here to know is there's nothing a farmer can do at this point for those diseases."
This season's recently harvested wheat crop showed yields ranging from 90-some bushels per acre to 50-some.
"The wheat has been kind of a conundrum for us," he said. "Some have had really good wheat and the county average is higher than I thought it would be."
Next year's wheat crop might be late getting into the ground because of a late soybean harvest, he said.
Farmers like to have wheat planted by late September or early October - and it usually follows soybeans in crop rotation.
"We may be pushing that planting date to the beans off soon enough to wheat planted," he said. "Some beans didn't get planted until around the 10th of June. We're probably going to see later-planted wheat than we have in a lot of years."
Overall, Lentz said crops look good.
"We're in a nice place right now, compared to where we thought we would be," he said.