Ohio State University Extension, Hardin County - With the help of fifteen volunteer rainfall reporters, the Hardin County Extension office has collected unofficial township rainfall data for the past twenty-one consecutive years. This year, the last half of April was wetter than normal, delaying planting until later in May. Late June and July brought heavy rains to Hardin County, flooding soybeans on low ground and delaying wheat
Although most of the corn crop tolerated the rain, soybeans on low ground or in poorly drained soils were severely stressed. The corn crop did well until a July windstorm, when several fields suffered damage. The corn straightened up and continued to grow well in areas of the county where the planting date and rainfall worked in its favor. The heavy rains in late June and July also brought several fungus related diseases to both the soybean and corn crops. The timely rains did a good job pollinating the corn.
August brought less rain than normal, causing some upper pods of the soybeans difficulty, producing poor fill or small beans. During the growing season, from April 15
through October 15, average rainfall was 24.43 inches. This is only 0.06 inches below the ten-year average growing season precipitation, but 1.89 more inches of rain than last year’s growing season. Harvest came later this year, with some corn still in the fields due to excess rains in October.
Soybean harvest is nearly complete now, but harvest in a few remaining fields has been slowed or stopped by wet conditions. Although most corn has been harvested, several
fields still remain to be shelled. Grain yields have been quite variable, depending greatly on the date of planting and the occurrence of scattered summer showers on each particular farm. Overall, soybeans yields are reported down, while many corn yields are better than normal.
Fall planting of winter wheat has emerged with good stands, although few acres have been planted. Acres of cover crops are on the rise with several farmers exploring the benefits of soil conservation and nutrient recycling. There has been a large amount of fall tillage in the county, possibly to help aerate the soil from the summer rains and help reduce compaction with less need for spring tillage work. The most rainfall recorded during the growing season was 28.99 inches in Jackson Township by Jim McVitty. The least amount of rain was recorded in Dudley Township by Dale Rapp, with 20.22 for the season. A range of 8.77 inches in rainfall accumulation from high to low across Hardin County is an indication of the variability in rainfall across Hardin County in 2013.