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Sandy rumbles inland, stalls harvest

Jeff Caldwell 10/30/2012 @ 9:51am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Throughout the northeastern quarter of the U.S., people woke up to one heck of a mess Tuesday morning.

Sandy's whipping her way inland Tuesday, taking with her the torrential rain, blasting wind and even snow in some areas. She's making her presence known hundreds of miles away from where she came ashore just a day ago.

"Now there is rain and snow reaching as far west as Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. The highest elevations of West Virginia have seen 1-2 feet of snow, with more still expected," says Kyle Tapley, senior ag meteorologist with MDA EarthSat Weather. "There are even lakeshore flood warnings around Chicago due to the strong northerly winds expected on Lake Michigan. It really is an enormous and powerful storm, a once-in-a-lifetime type of event."

For some, the massive system of moisture is a blessing and for others, it's a curse. The rainfall's definitely needed after this year's severe drought, but it's also hitting at a bad time for some who still have corn and soybeans to harvest.

"We have snow here in southwest Ohio and they're calling for 50 mph winds. There's still a lot of crop out in this area, including some soybean acres of my own," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk frequent contributor sixtysixx. "I would guess Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia have some crop damage. It's been raining here for 5 days its going to be a while before we get back in. I've also heard of a lot of wheat seed being returned."

In addition to simply keeping farmers out of the field, Sandy's also taking a toll on those acres yet to be harvested. Some farmers are reporting downed corn and field conditions that mean the delay could be a long one.

"Almost 2 inches of wet snow last night here in Central Ohio," reports Marketing Talk veteran contributor docharing on Tuesday morning. "Corn seems to be standing okay, beans are leaning toward the south. We are currently only 2 inches shy of our yearly rain average with over 6 inches of rain in October. The drought here is broken, and mud is now our concern. With very little drying at this time of year, we may have to wait until a deep freeze to get back in the fields."

The same is true in the northwestern part of Ohio, reports Marketing Talk senior contributor roaringtiger1. But, he's still been working to get at least some wet grain out of the field, only for a different reason.

"There are lots of acres of corn and beans to harvest yet. I mudded some corn out yesterday just to have some grain to put in my last completely empty bin. I wanted to get some weight in it to help hold it down in the nasty wind," he says. "Before this storm, many fields were too wet to harvest. This may take a freeze now to finish this thing out. We were in the same boat last year on harvest...just can't believe that we would be here 2 years in a row."

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