Dry Spell Threatening Indiana Corn and Soybean Crops
Even though the Indiana weather has been extremely mild this summer, experts say that recent hot and dry conditions still threaten to do a number on the state’s corn and soybean production.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Indiana farmers are projected to produce nearly 980 million bushels of corn this year. That’s a significant increase in production considering last years drought made for only about 570 million bushels.
However, corn specialist Bob Nielson says the current dry spell could cause yields to be diminished by around 10 percent. "It's certainly not as bad as last year," he said. "We were optimistic this year that we'd see exceptional yields, but now we may have to settle for good yields."
Nielson says that while rain will not recover the loss farmers are expected to experience, it will help them from suffering further loss.
As far as the state’s soybean crop, specialist Shaun Casteel says that it is a critical time. "We need rain to retain pods and to finish seed fill," he said. "The hilltops of some fields are burning up, and those plants will not recover. But there isn't that much severe stress in most of the state. Even if soybeans lost pods due to this water stress, rain within the week would help yield recovery via seed size. It might prevent further deterioration. "
Last year, drought ravished the crops of Indiana farmers, leading to fire and watering bands across most of the state.