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Serving: IN

Indiana Crops Show Effects of Wet Year

Indiana Crops Show Effects of Wet Year
Keep this in mind before August crop report comes out.

From Vincennes to Shelbyville to Greenfield to Wabash and many points in between, some crop fields look good- if it was June 12, not July 12. You have to go much farther south in Indiana or perhaps into west central to northwest Indiana to find a few isolated fields of corn that looks like it's July 12 by the calendar.

That applies to both corn and soybeans. The further north and northeast you go, the smaller the soybeans seem to get. Even during the second week of July, some could be mistaken for double-crop soybeans, and doublecropping typically isn't successful in places like Wabash County or further north.

And according to farmers and farm families, the only reason crops look as good as they do, especially in places like northeast Indiana, is that when farmers got  window, even a small window coming very late, they unleashed everything they had. "It almost seemed like there were tractors and equipment buzzing everywhere," one farm wife recalls. "They probably weren't, but it was so frantic that it seemed as if there was a large garden tractor or ATV setting still, it was likely to get used to pull something."

The most acres planted per 48 hour period we've heard so far is 1,700. If you can top that, let us know. It was two planters and a crew of several workers, going around the clock, giving each other short breaks to sleep, and utilizing precision farming tools to keep planters running to take advantage of the window. That works out to more than 35 acres per hour over the entire 48-hour period.

To add insult to injury, once crops were planted, the rains didn't stop. Especially in Grant and Wabash Counties, drowned-out spots are evident. They're also evident in Benton County. In some cases, farmers have replanted spots only to have them drown again.

Even where corn was covered for a couple of days and farmers thought it should recover, in some cases it didn't. Instead, it died, leaving a hole in the field. These holes and areas affected by water will likely show up in less grain in the combine hopper and lower numbers on the yield monitor come fall.

If past experience is any indication, the area around a hole that is completely drowned with no crop that is affected by lower yield, according to the yield monitor, is typically considerably larger than one might imagine. This is especially true in poorly drained fields without adequate tile drainage. 

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