Only 1/3 of Ohio’s corn is planted thanks to unrelenting rain

While much of Ohio is field corn, there might be less sweet corn available this year.

With only 1/3 of Ohio corn planted will there be sweetcorn for the summer.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s no doubt Northeast Ohio has seen a lot of precipitation, but will it interrupt the summer crop?

Paula Szalay has been in the corn business for 37 years.

Her family owns and runs Szalay’s Farm & Market in Peninsula.

The farm has been providing area grown corn on the cob to Northeast Ohio for 88 years.

“We’re going to make it work,” Szalay said. “The water, the rain, it has given us fits, but through a lot of perseverance and patchwork in the fields we look for a high spot, a dry spot.”

While the rainfall for April was only slightly above average, just .52 inches above normal in Cleveland and .31 inches in Akron, the precipitation was persistent, interfering with spring planting.

According 19 News meteorologist Samantha Roberts, Cleveland only had seven days with no reported precipitation and Akron only had nine.

“Whatever it takes, instead of planting five acres at a time, we do two acres at a time,” Szalay said.

Joe Cornely (we checked, his name really has “corn” in it) from the Ohio Farm Bureau said at this point in the spring Ohio usually has 90% of its corn in the ground, this year only a third of that is planted.

While much of Ohio is field corn, he guessed there might be less sweet corn available this year.

“When there is never a window when it can dry up, that’s the problem,” Cornely said.

Szalay expects the first of the homegrown crop to be available by July 4, in 2018 the first wagons of corn arrived on July 11.

“We’re going to make it work,” Szalay said. “We’re going to give it a lot of TLC, and hopefully it will be as good, if not better than last year.”

Will there be less sweet corn this year?

Ohio plants three million acres of field corn annually -- corn that is used for feed, compared to 15,000 acres of sweet corn annually.

Cornely said it is easier to bring in sweet corn, but, “it’s a supply and demand situation” and consumers could see a rise in price when it comes time to roast corn on the grill.

Szalay is counting on the sun coming out.

“When the sun comes out and that 80 degree weather, the corn loves it and makes it thrive,” Szalay said. “It blossoms.”

Planting at Szaly started in April and continues through July.

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.