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Drought Hits Indiana Yields Including Specialty Crops

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Indiana corn yields have suffered with the drought this year and soybean yields are down in many cases, although some Hoosier fields have reported the best yields ever. In Tippecanoe County Levi Huffman’s harvest is complete. Corn and bean yields are down, but so are yields for his specialty crops, tomatoes and jalapeno, sweet cherry and hot cherry peppers.

“It ended up about two-thirds of what it normally is, tomatoes and peppers. We had some irrigation which helps some, but it’s still not as good as the rain we get from God.”

He told HAT those crops prefer that it be not too dry and not too wet, and “dryer is a little bit better than too wet. Of course when it was real dry this summer we didn’t have to do a whole lot of spraying because there wasn’t near the fungi and bacteria pressure, so that helped a little bit. Where we normally spray every 7 to 10 days we didn’t spray near that often.”

Huffman’s beans didn’t measure up to the usual 58 to 60 bushels per acre, and early planting didn’t work out so well this year.

“We had all the way from 32 bushels to the acre to 49 and we ended up averaging 42. We planted beans very early in April and we also planted corn very early in April, and it seems like the later you planted the better the yields. It was a disadvantage to plant that early this time.”

Corn yields fell off from the usual 180-185 to just 116 bushels per acre, but quality of both the corn and beans was very good overall.

One adjustment Huffman plans for next year is to add hail insurance. He doesn’t have it this year and a hail storm damaged his best corn fields and 80 acres of tomatoes.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/10/Levi-Huffman-harvest-wrap.mp3|titles=Levi Huffman harvest wrap]

Hear more in the HAT Field Update at the Agronomy page, sponsored by Advanced Ag Solutions.