Reports are beginning to come in to Hoosier Ag Today that corn fields around the state are seeing harvest activity. Bryan Hirsch from Gibson County is one of the farmers who has been out harvesting his drought decimated corn crop, “Actually, the results are not as bad as I was expecting them to be.” He told HAT that, on the fields he has worked so far, yields have ranged from 30 bpa to 130 bpa on some of the better ground. He estimates a county average would be between 80 and 100 bpa. Hirsch told HAT the corn is in very fragile condition which is one of the reasons he started harvesting early, “A lot of the corn is very tangled up.” He added the stalks are so weak he is concerned about how long they will remain standing. He also noted that, in some cases, the plants are still very green but do not have much moisture, “There are plants that are green all the way to the top but only have 23% moisture.” He said the crop is drying down very quickly and moisture levels are a lot lower than anticipated.
As for soybeans, he said the August rains have helped a crop that got planted very late, “We planted our double crop soybeans in July, so they are just getting up out of the wheat straw.” He said, if he gets a few more rains this fall, the soybeans will do OK. One bright spot is that, with the corn coming off so early, winter wheat seeding will get off to a great start.
Harvest activity is also taking place in East Central Indiana. Mike Silver with Kokomo Grain reports corn is being brought into their Edinburgh elevator, “We have had some fields worked in Johnson and Bartholomew Counties this week.” Silver says harvest activity in North Central Indiana will pick up next week
While scattered rain has improved drought conditions in some parts of the state, Indiana remains in a serious drought condition. The latest data from the US Drought Monitor does show some improvements associated with recent rains. However, a good portion of the state is still classified under level one of drought severity. The driest areas are still in sections of West Central and Southwest Indiana near Terre Haute, Vincennes, Bloomfield, and Evansville. For the short term forecast, quiet weather will hold into the weekend as high pressure remains anchored across the region. HAT meteorologist Rob Wasson says there is the chance for serious precipitation to arrive in the state near the end of next week, “I’m closely watching our long range computer models showing some tropical moisture from the leftovers from Issac. It’s possible we could see some nice rains from that system Friday and into the following weekend.”
Listen to the complete interview with Brian Hirsch here.