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Ohio Corn Farmers Slow to Harvest

Its early November and nearly half of Ohio's corn crop is still standing in the field. Harvest has been a bit slow compared to last year as some farmers respond to unfavorable markets.

Ohio State University Agronomist Peter Thomison keeps close track of Ohio's corn crop and this year he noticed something unusual as he drove recently from Columbus to Toledo. "I passed a lot of fields and alot of corn fields have not been harvested yet." Says Thomison.

Figures released this week by the federal agricultural department confirm that more than a million acres of Ohio corn remain in the field.

Thomison cites a combination of reasons for the slower harvest. Corn prices have dropped below two dollars per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. In part, because there's more supply. More corn was planted this spring as farmers shifted field away from soybeans to avoid a potential threat from fungus.

Hurricane Katrina disrupted transport of some grain, And, Thomison adds some farmers are trying to reduce energy costs by letting the corn dry in the field. "Its basically cheaper to leave it standing in the field and let it keep drying because the dryer it gets the cheaper it is for that farmer, there's less penalty involved in selling that grain." Thomison says current prices for corn are about the lowest they've been in five years.