By LOU WILIN
Grain farm operations are not the only ones set back by the wetter, colder spring. Local raisers of produce also are playing catch-up.
Wolfe’s Produce, 11343 Ohio 37, opened this week, offering produce from southern Ohio. Normally it would be selling sweet corn, squash and other produce from its own farm.
“We were probably two weeks late (planting this spring),” owner John Wolfe said. “And then the wet, cool weather held it up another week or so. We’re a good three weeks behind.”
Shafer’s Produce, 16524 Ohio 568, usually open by now, will not open until at least July 20, said Daphnae Bishop, manager.
“This is one of the later years that we can all remember,” she said.
Heavy rains this spring delayed sweet corn planting. Some cabbage and zucchini were lost to the rains after planting.
Shafer’s replanted zucchini. Normally zucchini grows like weeds and the operation has trouble keeping up with its progress, Bishop said. Not this year.
“We can’t even get it to grow,” she said. “We should have some, but not like we normally do.”
It amounts to less revenue for produce retailers.
“There’s still only so much season. You can push it back, but it only lasts so long,” Wolfe said.
Once school starts, people’s routines and tastes will change.
“They’re not so into the corn, anymore,” he said. “This is it. Now. This is when they want it.”
Even though his own produce is not ready yet, Wolfe opened this week, selling produce supplied from elsewhere just to get people back into the routine of buying it.
Even with the unfavorable spring weather behind them, raisers of produce are not out of the woods.
Northwest Ohio is getting more frequent harsh weather events, like heavy rainfall or hail, in recent years, Wolfe said. Much crop damage can occur in a short amount of time.
He cited a rainfall of 5 inches one day recently in the Arlington area.
Though the deluge missed Wolfe’s fields, it gave him a scare.
“You never know. Even if it looks good, the crop. It only takes one event,” Wolfe said. “In an hour, you know, you could be all done pretty fast.”
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