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Farm Progress Attendees Anxious About An Early Frost

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Farm Progress Attendees Anxious About An Early Frost

As the 2019 Farm Progress comes to an end, farmers and seed companies are nervous about whether this year’s crop will make it to maturity before the first hard freeze comes. “We are really hoping the crop can make it, but it is going to be close,” said Ryan Myers with Pioneer. “We need more GDUs to get this crop to maturity.” This is going to require more warm and sunny days.

Both corn and soybean crops are running several weeks behind schedule in terms of development. According to USDA figures, only 17% of Indiana corn is in the dent stage, and 27% has dented nationally. This compares to the average of nearly 50% at the end of August.

Every seed company booth visited by HAT at the show was reluctant to discuss yields. “We just don’t really know what is out there,” was a common refrain.  Laura DeOrnellas, with Stine Seeds, was optimistic their soybeans would do well, but did not put a figure on yield. Pioneer Soybean lead John Schartman noted that some of their new A series soybeans are doing well but admitted there is a great deal of variability across the Midwest.

“We have some pockets where they are really challenged, but we have some other areas where the crops really look good.”

Each year, the Farm Progress Show signals the beginning of harvest for many producers, but that will not be the case this year. ISDA director Bruce Kettler told HAT the harvest is likely to be a long and drawn out affair.  He urged growers to take their time and to get help if frustration is becoming a problem.