According to the latest crop condition report, 9% of Indiana corn is mature and ready for harvest and 4% of Indiana soybean plants are shedding leaves. This year’s harvest will be early, and it will be difficult. Purdue corn specialist Bob Nielsen says stalk strength will be an issue for corn this harvest and crop dry down will be very rapid, “This crop is going to dry down a lot faster than most farmers expect.” He told HAT the corn would have matured early anyway based on when it was planted, but the drought has caused many fields to shut down early, “I suggest growers walk their fields and look the situation over so they can plan on which field to start with.” He added that many fields will be ready to harvest in late August, and farmers should not let the crop get too dry or they will run the risk of further damage.
Dry conditions will also be an issue for the soybean harvest. Purdue Extension specialist Shaun Casteel says yield could be hurt by letting the crop get too dry, “If we harvest at 10% moisture, you are losing out on 3% weight, and that is a few bushels right there.” Casteel says farmers may have to make some adjustments to the equipment before beginning the soybean harvest, “As a result of the drought, many soybean plants will have pods lower down on the plant than normal, so you will need to make adjustments to your combine and watch your speed to get every pod.”
The dry field conditions will also pose a serious fire threat. Both men are worried about the increased risk of combine fires and field fires during this harvest. In addition, many of the ditch banks are also very dry which increases the risk of field fires this fall.
[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/08/harvestrisk.mp3|titles=Drought Harvest Poses Many Problems ]