Some say their crops now need it although planting was delayed by wet weather
ANDERSON — After the deluge of rain in May and June followed by a week of sweltering heat, farmers are now hoping for some rain showers to benefit the crops already planted.
Planting in most areas of Madison County and across Indiana was delayed until late May and June because of the heavy rains.
The latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed 95% of the Indiana corn crop and 84% of the soybeans were planted as of last week.
“There was a lot of progress in the last few weeks,” Bob Nielson of Purdue University said. “The numbers of acres that are planted are hard to determine. There are still a lot of fields that have not been touched.”
He said some farmers with crop insurance will decide not to plant anything this year because of the wet conditions in the spring.
“It will make for a late harvest,” Nielson said. “Most of the plants won’t mature until late September, which will push harvesting into October. How late will depend on the amount of rain.”
With the recent run of high temperatures and humidity, Nielson said it would likely have a negative effect on the crops already emerging.
He said the cooler temperatures in the last week of June proved to be beneficial.
Farmers did get some relief from the hot weather when a rain shower passed through parts of Madison County on Friday.
“We could use a shower,” local farmer Brian Bays said Friday. “It’s been amazing how the weather has changed.”
Bays said they were able to plant approximately 75% of the corn crop and 95% of the soybeans, adding that about 18% of the acres were not planted this spring.
“All the crops need a drink of water,” he said. “The soil has dried up. The soils were saturated and now are as hard as concrete.”
Bays said they had to make some decisions on whether or not to plant because of the wet fields and the weather projections leading up to July.
He said some of the corn that was planted early ended up being drowned out by the heavy rains in early June.
Tony Bailey, who farms 2,400 acres north of Frankton, said he was able to plant all the acres and finished up in the past week.
“It’s really dry,” he said. “The corn planted later will not emerge until we get some rain."
Bailey said the crops planted later in the spring have not emerged or put down roots into the soil.
“The farmers with crop insurance are taking the payment,” he said. “We don’t have insurance so we had to get it all done.”
Bailey said because of the rains in late May and early June they had to replant some of the fields, which are the crops that are needing the rain.