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WILLARD, OH – Agriculture: Weather Rots Seed, Cracks Ground, and Helps Pests | Racheal’s Veggies Farm Tour | Podcast

May 31, 2010

A.B. Phillips and Sons in Berlin Heights, OH. photo: Joshua B. Pribanic

Upon the arrival of favorable weather in early May, farmers were optimistic about getting a fast start for the 2010 season. Shortly after, an onslaught of 50 to 60 mph gusts swept over Northern Ohio that was soon followed by destructive hail. Farmers were left with battered plants and water-logged fields.

Berry Bergman from Bergman’s Orchards stated, “We’ve lost 21 days of labor due to wet weather in May.” Wet conditions drowned plantings and caused seed to rot in the ground. Following the rain were days in the 80’s, which resulted in the ground quickly hardening and taking on clay-like features.

On Thayer Family Gardens strawberries are starting early and making for a quick harvest, causing longer days in order to get the fruit off the vine before it over-ripens. They have strawberries on raised beds that help to protect the plants from heavy flooding and promote stronger yields.

A.B. Phillips and Sons in Berlin Heights, OH. photo: Joshua B. Pribanic

Fruit growers are seeing peaches and cherries 10 days earlier than average and are concerned that a continuum of hot weather will increase the risk of pests. The talk is that pests will arrive early and survive longer, all the while having ideal conditions to reproduce. Brad Phillips, of A.B. Phillip’s & Sons, sees the hot weather patterns as an opportunity for pests to live out a third generation in the field, whereas in the past they’ve only been capable of two generations.

Next week read more about pests and weather concerns from one-on-one interviews with area farmers and agricultural agencies.

Rick Pitsinger discussing a new hydration system for the farm. photo: Jenna Martin

In an interview with Racheal & Rick Pitsinger of Racheal’s Veggies they discuss strategies and reactions to problems this season, and what efforts are being made to overcome any summer dry spells.

Rachel is an honor student, has a second degree black-belt, is the recipient of multiple awards in the FFA program, and is active in a number of school programs while operating a farm with her father, Rick. Her earnings in the farm are going toward a college education. Listen below to their podcast.

(Note: this recording may take a minute to load: please be patient. Also, some recordings do not play well on built-in computer speakers; and would require headphones or a strong set of speakers attached to your computer.)

Racheal’s Veggies | Podcast

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Racheal Pitsinger preparing a field for planting. photo: Jenna Martin

Wet conditions in May 2010 have made it difficult for Farmers to get into the field. This picture shows tractor marks made days after the rain had stopped. An estimated 21 days of lost work is the average damage to each farm, along with the failure of early plantings. photo: Jenna Martin

Equipment rests until the fields become optimal. photo: Jenna Martin


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