PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine visited Perrysburg Wednesday morning to talk with farmers about the tough planting season they have been experiencing this spring.
Most area farmers say they’re not getting crops planted and their fields are flooded.
That’s exactly what the governor saw today. The field of one farmer here in Perrysburg is almost empty right now. Like many area farmers, Kris Swartz has not been able to plant his usual crops and is about a month behind normal schedule.
A near or complete crop failure in this region hasn't happened since the drought of 1988, and could cripple family farms. Wood County, in which 94% of the land is used for agriculture, would be particularly hard hit.
DeWine says it’s important to help those farmers, which is why he wanted to come out and see the flooded fields for themselves. He also spoke in a roundtable discussion with farmers from all areas of northwest Ohio about how his administration could help.
Farmers say they need help from federal agencies to keep production in business. DeWine says he understands and hears their struggles.
"One of the things they’re facing is very significant input cost, seed, fertilizer so for them to put a crop out and think it won’t be good is a high risk," DeWine said.
DeWine last week asked the U.S. Agriculture Department to issue a disaster declaration that would make aid available. He told farmers on Wednesday that he plans on sending another letter with more specific requests for help.
Farmers made it clear that this not just a problem in northwest Ohio -- it’s all of Ohio.
"We need some support. The entire farm community is pretty down! It’s been a devastating spring and especially the last spring, attitudes have just gone straight down," Swartz said.
Some farmers told DeWine it will take two or three years to recover their losses and others might not be able to stay in business.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.