Many Hoosier farmers doing better since soggy spring
The Associated Press June 4, 2013 2:42PM
Updated: June 4, 2013 11:03PM
Indiana farmers have largely made up for a slow start to planting caused by persistent rains that lasted into early May, with some saying their fields are now in great shape.
The state’s farmers are ahead of the five-year average in getting corn and soybean crops planted — a turnaround after being way behind a month ago.
“The rains have been timely enough, and most of the crop that has emerged so far is in good shape. Things are almost perfect right now,” said Randy Weinantz, who grows corn, soybeans and a little wheat on 1,200 acres near Edinburgh.
The federal government’s weekly crop report said that as of Sunday, farmers had planted 94 percent of Indiana’s corn crop and 76 percent of its soybeans. Southern Indiana farmers were trailing a bit, with 81 percent of their corn and 40 percent of soybeans planted.
Farmers are hoping to rebound from big crop losses caused by last summer’s drought that resulted in many fields being plowed up after dry plants shriveled.
Bob Nielsen, a Purdue Extension corn specialist, said many farmers planted their crops early in 2012 due to dry weather in the spring, but rains didn’t materialize over the summer and crops were damaged.
Most planted fields are in good shape now across the state, Nielsen said.
“The corn that has emerged or that’s up and growing looks nice around the state,” he said. “What we need now is one inch of rain here and there to keep soil moisture where it should be. A lot of folks are feeling pretty good at this point and crossing their fingers hoping that it keeps up.”
Bartholomew County farmer Roger Glick said he finished planting 600 acres of corn last week.
“I’d say at this point I’m optimistic,” Glick said.
Weinantz said he started planting corn at the end of April and wrapped up last Thursday. Last year’s dry spring allowed him to start planting early, but in the end it didn’t help.
“The price was high last year, but most people didn’t have the crop to sell,” he said. “Crop insurance pulled us through.”