FORT WAYNE, Ind. — After a long winter and mild spring,
progress is starting to be made in fields across Indiana.
Andrew Ferrel, agronomist at Mycogen from west-central
Indiana, has seen headway made in corn planting.
“In my area, planting really took off the first and second
week of May, during that window of warm and dry weather,” he said. “This was
pretty much the story across the state. It hit, and everybody moved fast.
“With the increased size in modern farm equipment, a lot of
corn got in the ground in a short period of time. We went from 5 to 6 percent of
corn planted in the state to around 60 percent planted.”
Due to a recent rainy period, little progress has been made
since the May 12 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National
Agricultural Statistics Service, Ferrel said.
The high rainfalls combined with cool temperatures raises
concern for seed germination and emergence, as well as early season seedling
blights in corn and soybeans.
It is hard to predict what effect the weather will have,
Ferrel said, so it’s something for farmers to keep an eye on.
“Another concern moving forward is black cutworm,” he said.
“Moth counts in the past few weeks have been particularly high, according to
Purdue’s black cutworm pheromone trap report.”
This does not necessarily mean crop damage will be high. The
larvae must survive environmental conditions and successfully hatch before they
will cause problems.
Looking ahead, farmers may need to be concerned with
nitrogen loss in corn.
“If we continue to receive plentiful rainfall this spring
and temperatures warm back up, those are conditions that are conductive to
nitrogen loss,” Ferrel explained. “Growers with fall-applied nitrogen will be at
higher risk of late-season nitrogen deficiency.
“We are a long way from actually seeing nitrogen deficiency,
but it’s on my mind with recent and forecasted weather conditions.”
Roger Hadley, a corn and soybean farmer near Fort Wayne, has
finished planting corn, but hasn’t been able to start soybean planting.
“It’s kind of slow,” he said. “We were rained out and won’t
be able to get in until the soil dries out a little bit. My neighbors are in the
“I think what’s in the ground will be OK, and it’s emerging
well so far — close to ideal. I’d guess that 85 to 90 percent of corn has been
planted in the area. Around 50 percent of soybeans are probably in the
While he’s waiting for the weather to cooperate, Hadley is
staying busy fixing equipment and making sure everything is ready to go for
From a month before planting through harvest, there always
is something to do, he said.
As is true every year, the completion of this year’s
planting will come down to weather conditions.
“If we plant soybeans too soon, they may mature in the
pod-filling stage at the wrong time,” Hadley said. “If it’s hot and dry at the
time, it could be a yield loss. It all depends on the weather.”