Top Ag Official Tours Northwest Ohio Farms: Inspects Drought Damage

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 17, 2012 Updated Jul 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM EDT

PAULDING COUNTY, Ohio (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A top U.S. Agriculture Department official toured farms in Paulding County Ohio Tuesday afternoon, getting a first-hand look at crop damage from drought.

The visit produced a gloomy assessment of corn and soybeans that are failing more by the day.

The Goyings family owns a farm on the outskirts of the Village of Paulding.

It's been a growing season filled with misfortune.

High winds in the June 29th storms knocked over grain silos that are still being cleaned up.

Hail from that storm, combined with drought, has decimated their corn crop.

Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Undersecretary Michael Scuse visited the property in Tuesday's 100-degree heat to see the wilted rows of corn for himself.

It's not a pretty sight.

" So far, what I've seen on the ride in, it's not good. Some of the corn and the soybean fields are as bad as I've seen anywhere," said Scuse.

" We can usually grow a consistent crop, where this year, it's just been so dry that we won't have a very good crop at all, if any," said Doug Goyings, who farms 3,300 acres in Paulding County.

Already drought has prompted natural disaster declarations in more than 1000 counties in 26 states.

It's obviously bad news for farmers, but the undersecretary is completely aware that it's also not an encouraging situation for consumers.

Rising food prices are a very real concern.

Besides the disaster declarations, will the federal government be able to provide any other kinds of relief for growers and grocery shoppers?

Michael Scuse: " One of the things that we're asking Congress to do is pass a Farm Bill, pass it soon. We're still projecting the third largest corn crop in history, and so if we do have a large corn crop, I think food prices will stabilize."

Three Paulding County farms were toured.

On the Midwest swing, Scuse will also be getting brought up to speed on Indiana's troubled farming outlook.

He'll be touring farms in Allen County Wednesday, along with others in White and Johnson Counties, which is south of Indianapolis.

That's an area that since June 1st has had even less rainfall than Fort Wayne.

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