Social Links Search




Ohio soybean farmers adapt to changing climate

Ohio soybean farmers adapt to changing climate

By Andi Anderson

Soybean farming is a significant industry in Ohio, with approximately 26,000 soybean farmers contributing $5.3 billion annually, according to the Department of Development.

However, climate change is bringing new weather patterns, requiring farmers to adapt their growing methods.

Soybeans thrive in non-sandy, well-drained soil. With climate change predicting heavier rainfall, farmers face the risk of water lingering on their crops, which can disrupt growth.

Aaron Wilson, an assistant professor at Ohio State University, explains that the combination of rainfall, changing temperatures, and pest pressure has altered the planting window for farmers.

“When we think about things like spring planting season, in overall wetter conditions or more intense rainfall events, we think about a shrinking planting window,” he said. “So right now we've got a situation in the state where Central and Southern Ohio are well ahead of the five-year average.”

Bob Suver, a longtime soybean farmer in Springfield, serves on the Ohio Soybean Council and the Ohio Soybean Association. To avoid flooding his crop, Suver uses field tile, an underground drainage system that directs excess water away from crops and into waterways.

“So the water can drain underground, away. You put in water ways so in the areas where water flows, it's running on the grass and it's not taking the soil, so you don't lose your soil," Suver said. "And those things have to be maintained, have to be kept up.”

Due to changing weather conditions, Suver now plants his soybean crop earlier in the year. “It used to be you always planted corn first, and then you planted soybeans. You might plant your corn in April, but you never planted soybean maybe until after the 1st of May," he said.

"Well, now, sometimes it's just the opposite. A lot of times we'll try to plant soybeans in early April.”

Warmer and wetter winters can also contribute to disease, mold, and pest risks in crops, according to Wilson. With record warm winters in recent years, Ohio farmers can expect more unseasonably warm weather impacting their crops.

"Last winter was Ohio's second warmest winter on record going back to 1895," he said. "We've had back-to-back very warm winters, which is really a sign of these longer-term changes in terms of winter conditions."

Ohio farmers are continuously adapting their practices to cope with the evolving climate, ensuring they can continue to grow successful soybean crops amidst new challenges.

Photo Credit: soybeans-istock-sandramatic

Shannon Washburn reappointed as ACEL chair at Ohio state Shannon Washburn reappointed as ACEL chair at Ohio state
Key traits of grazing type sorghum-sudangrass Key traits of grazing type sorghum-sudangrass

Categories: Ohio, Crops, Soybeans, Weather

Subscribe to newsletters

Crop News

Rural Lifestyle News

Livestock News

General News

Government & Policy News

National News

Back To Top