The National Agricultural Statistics Service released their Crop Progress report on Monday. Indiana is now ahead of the 5-year average in both corn and soybeans with 42% of corn and 23% of soybeans planted. However, heavy rains that rolled through Indiana in late February and throughout March are still wreaking havoc for some Hoosier farmers.
Charlie Houin, President of Marshall County Farm Bureau, says they’ve had to spend the recent nice weather on their Bremen farm not in their planters.
“We’ve had an extensive amount of drainage issues that we’ve had to go and repair tiles in the fields. So, we’re a little bit lagging behind that average farmer in our area. But we’ve got a lot of work to do with drainage, and we’re looking forward to wrapping that up and get rolling with the planter here probably in a couple weeks because this next week looks a little rough on the rain. There’s only one day without rain in the forecast. Of course, one day doesn’t mean that you’re out there that day.”
Houin’s not the only Northern Indiana farmer facing this issue. When the Kankakee River came out of its banks, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources took action that not everyone agreed with.
“The DNR opened up some holes in the levees that really flooded a lot of people in the area, especially in Starke County, where they haven’t really given much support to getting those levees repaired. Just due to the sheer will power (by) the farmers in the area, they’ve done a pretty good job of getting it patched, but they need a little bit more help.”
Houin says they are waiting for dry down conditions so that they can get to work.
“Am I satisfied with what we have in the ground so far versus what we would normally do? I’m not very satisfied with that, but it is what we were given, and we’ll deal with it as we move on. We might just have to work a little bit later some nights.”
Houin Farms hosted Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch on Friday of last week to discuss the flooding issues and rural broadband connectivity. We’ll have more with the Lieutenant Governor later in the week.