The dust was flying in SE Indiana this weekend as growers finally got their fields dry enough to finish planting. Justin Gelfius, in Bartholomew County told HAT he finished up over the weekend, “Things have dried out fairly well, and the soil has been easy to work with.” He said, however, a heavy rain storm about a week ago created a hard crust on fields where crops had just been planted. This has made it difficult for crop emergence, “We are hoeing a lot of beans right now.”
In the areas where the crop is up, he has seen an increase in insect pressure, “Last Saturday we found some bean leaf beetles chewing on some young soybeans.” He said they have begun an insecticide spray program to try and control the problem. Gelfius said normally they do not have to use an insecticide until later in the season.
Just to the east in Decatur County, David Myers is busy finishing his planting, “We are still in the process of planting corn and do not have a lot of it up yet.” He told HAT that black cutworms have not been an issue because much of the corn has not yet emerged, but he has seen damage from bean leaf beetles, “They have been working on the cotyledons of some soybean plants that have come through the ground.” Myers is monitoring the situation but said, so far, damage has not been enough to warrant spraying insecticides.
Both men agree this is among the earliest they have ever had a crop in the ground in Southeast Indiana. Myers is optimistic this will be a good year, “I think the potential is really there for a good corn crop.” He said the weather in July and August will be the ultimate factor but, for now, “We are off to a great start.” According to the latest USDA crop update, 87% of the US corn crop has been planted well ahead of the average of 66% on this date. Fifty-six percent of the corn has emerged, compared to the 28% average. US soybean plantings are 46% complete, compared to a 28% average. Soybean emergence is running at 16%, compared to a 5% average.
[audio:http://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/05/SE-indianawrap.mp3|titles=SE Indiana Catching Up On Planting]