A much welcomed stretch of warm, dry weather has dried out many fields in Central and Northern Indiana. As a result, field activity is fast and furious. Two weeks ago, most fields in Northern Indiana had standing water in them. Todd Hoffman of Silver Lake, IN says a few days of good drying weather has made a world of difference, “The last few days have really been good drying days, and most of the wet spots are drying up and guys are going right through them.”
Hoffman said planting progress has been slow until now, but growers are catching up rapidly with a fast pace and some long days, “I am going to say about 75% to 80% of the farmers in this area are in the field either planting or getting ready to plant.” Weed pressure has been a problem in some parts of the state, but growers in Kosciusko County are not letting them slow them down, “There are some fields with chickweed that needs to be dealt with; but, other than that, weeds have not been a big problem yet.”
Central Indiana Planting ProgressHussey planting
North of Indianapolis in Tipton County planting started over the weekend for John Hussey who told HAT there have been some challenges in the fields.
“We worked a little field Saturday morning and afternoon. We planted that field and that’s all we did until Monday. We started working ground also and most of the ground is pretty good. We got 5.9 inches of rain the 18th of April and anytime you get that much rain you get a lot of ponds and it has put a lot of pressure on the soil. It’s harder and we’re having to go slow working it and having to work a lot of it twice.”
Total rainfall in April at the Hussey farm was exactly 12 inches. Plenty of other farmers are in the fields in central Indiana and he says there is something else in those fields: weeds.
“About 90 percent of our soybeans are no till and we’re seeing in a lot of areas a lot of weed pressure. We’re spraying bean fields very rapidly to get that stuff stopped, but we’re seeing a lot of weeds where the no till beans go. We have a little bit of weed pressure in the ground going to corn but not very much.”
It is a late start for planting this year, but nowhere near the June first start for Hussey in the early 80’s. Hear his full HAT Field Update:HAT Field Update John Hussey May 8
The planting progress made this week may come to an end on Thursday. Hoosier Ag Today meteorologist Rob Wasson is forecasting a low pressure system and a cold front which will spread showers and thunderstorms over Indiana on Thursday and Friday, “A few thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight could be severe. The main threats will be large hail and damaging winds. Rain totals from this system will range from .25″ to .75″, with isolated 1″ amounts.” USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says weather conditions next week will again favor a return to the fields over much of the Corn Belt.