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Drought could negatively impact Ohio farms as early as next week

Farmers are closely watching the weekend forecast because their soybeans and corn need rain. Experts say it’s too early to tell if the drought will impact prices.

PLAIN CITY, Ohio — Some of the corn grown at John Wilson’s farm in Madison County will go on to make corn syrup and it could eventually end up in your pop. It's just one of the ways his crops make it to you, the consumer.

Another example is that his corn could be used for the ethanol in your gas tank.

With the current drought in central Ohio, some are asking if the conditions will lead to higher prices.

"I think it's way too early to say that prices will skyrocket or things will be unavailable. It's also too early to say whether or not the prices will change,” said Matthew Kleinhenz from Ohio State University's Department of Horticulture and Crop Science.

“We’re not hitting the panic button quite yet,” added Ty Higgins, spokesperson for the Ohio Farm Bureau. 

For John Wilson from JCW Farms Partnership, the forecast this weekend could make or break his season.

"If we don't get rain soon here it's going to get worse,” Wilson said.

For farmers like Wilson, the corn was planted weeks ago. Now all eyes are on the sky.

The lack of rain has been OK, for now, allowing the roots to grow deeper into the soil. But the forecast of the next few days will be the deciding factor on the fate of his crops.

Credit: WBNS-10TV

“We'll get rain [and] stay positive,” he said. “We’ll get rain we're hoping for this weekend but if not next week things could start deteriorating at that point."

 A few miles away, Jeff Pace, the owner of Fair Acres Farms, said there's one factor working in his favor.

"This week with the cooler temps, it has saved a lot of stress on the crops right now,” he said.

 But ultimately for a farmer a drought means their livelihood is on the line.

“Yeah,” said Pace. “There's going to be good years and lean years and you sort of have to plan for that."

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