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Serving: IN

Snow By Halloween?

Snow By Halloween?
With harvest by Labor Day weekend, what will come next?

If you don't like the weather in Indiana, wait until the next day. It will be different. If you don't like the growing season, wait until next year. It may or may not be any better for growing crops, but it will certainly be different. The 2009 and 2010 seasons couldn't appear to be mirror opposites of each other anymore if someone designed the weather patterns from scratch. Mother Nature is doing a good job of it herself.

One farmer said a major grain terminal looked like mid-October during the first week of September. Another who was hauling in grain said lines were horrible, not because of some fault of the elevator, but because so many people were trying to bring in grain, both corn and soybeans.

A warm, hot, fast-paced summer has given way to an early fall harvest, whether fall itself weather-wise actually comes early or not. Corn standing in the field by Labor Day looked like it was almost time for Halloween. Stalks were a crisp, dead brown, and a few stalks here and there were having trouble standing, no doubt due to stress caused by disease, nitrogen loss, dry weather late in the year, or a host of other factors.

Early yield reports, mostly from crops planted during the 'first planting season' in mid to late April, before rains came, are encouraging, despite the outward appearance of the crop. Soybean yields have flowed in all the way from 29, off a gravelly patch, to the mid-60's. Many are solidly in the 50 bushel per acre range.

Corn yields are a bit harder to find yet, but most people seem impressed if they've started harvesting corn. What's such a contrast to last year is the moisture. In early September, many farmers are harvesting corn under 20%, compared to 20-25% in early November a year ago.

So will it snow by Halloween? There likely isn't any connection between the fast-paced summer and what will follow. If you're playing the odds and unless you live in the snow belt near lake Michigan, you would likely bet no.

But then again, it has happened. In 1989 central Indiana received 8 inches of snow on October 19 that lasted two days. I know- we moved to our current home on those days- no choice.

Happy harvesting!

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