Flooding, Dry Weather Causes Drop In Indiana Corn Crop Harvest
By Travis Thayer
(West Lafayette, Ind.) – As expected, Indiana farmers have harvested less corn this year due to mixed weather this summer in the Hoosier state.
According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast, Indiana’s overall corn crop is expected to be 5.6 percent below normal, with some areas, particularly in the north, suffering losses as high as 20 percent.
“The unusually dry August and September took its toll on yield potential in many fields, especially those in which corn root development had been compromised by earlier excessive wetness and soil compaction,” Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen said.
Heavy rainfall and flooding in June and July also affected the corn crop leaving many corn fields saturated, depriving the plants of much-needed oxygen, which caused some of the roots to deteriorate and die.
As of Monday, farmers harvested 92 percent of the state’s corn crop, compared to a five-year average of 74 percent for the same date, according to the latest USDA Crop Progress report.
The USDA projects that Hoosier farmers will harvest 848.6 million bushels of corn on an average of 156 bushels per acre, down 20 percent from last year’s record 1.08 billion bushels on 188 bushels per acre.
“Although the yield results have been uneven, farmers throughout the state took advantage of the recent dry, mostly mild weather to wrap up the harvest earlier than in recent years,” Nielsen said. “The earlier harvest allowed many growers to perform fall tillage operations in their fields, often deep tillage to break up soil compaction created in the prior 12 months by field operations on wet soils.”