Remnants of tropical storm Gordon dumped 4 to 6 inches of rain on parts of Central and Southern Indiana over the weekend. Farmers in the Southern part of the state had just started harvesting when the torrential rains hit. Bill Meacham, with DuPont Pioneer, told HAT, “Some areas received up to 8 inches of rain. Most of it stayed north of the Ohio River; some fields are saturated and some rivers are near flood stage.” He said stalk quality is a real concern for many corn fields, “We are urging growers to harvest their crops as soon as they can get back into the fields. The lack of growing degree days we had in August, in combination with diseases, has weakened many stalks.”
Last week’s hot weather helped some fields dry down to about 20% moisture, and early harvest results looked good. Meacham said there were many reports of corn yields topping 200 bpa, “Most farmers I have talked with say, while yields are not as good as last year, they are still very good. They estimate yields are running about 10% below where they were last year.” He said some growers have harvested some group 2 soybeans and have seen good yield numbers.
Resumption of harvest may be several days away as growers wait for soils to dry. While farmers are anxious to get back in the field, Meacham says many are worried that soils are still too wet, “They don’t want to create ruts in the field and soil compaction that will lead to problems down the road.”
A change in the weather forecast now calls for dry conditions for the rest of this week thanks to Hurricane Florence. “This hurricane will do the same to our weather pattern across the eastern US…it will back things up and slow progression down. For us here in Indiana, that will yield a much drier outlook,” said HAT meteorologist Ryan Martin. “We see dry weather the rest of this week, through the weekend and through at least Wednesday morning next week. There are no significant rain threats at this time. High pressure works in by midweek; and, then as the pattern slows and stalls, we will find ourselves on the backside of the high, getting good south winds and dry air working in. Our next front with good potential for precipitation shows up later next Wednesday afternoon (19th) into Thursday (20th) and may bring up to half an inch of rain to the region. Behind that, for the rest of the 11-16 day period, we have only one more system, around the 23rd into the 24th with scattered showers and perhaps a quarter of an inch of rain.”
Listen for more coverage on the 2018 harvest from DuPont Pioneer on Hoosier Ag Today.