At the conclusion of a Wednesday night meeting with their seed company, three north-central Indiana farmers checked in with HAT to report general optimism about the eventual corn and soybean yields they’ll see this year. Bob Keller farms just west of Kokomo in Howard County.
“We lost some of the top end,” he said. “We were dry for awhile and now we’re getting rains, but our short season beans I think are done. I think the rain will help fill out some pods and put some test weight on our corn. I think our corn is pretty much done also, but the later rains have helped.”
Keller says even with the top end gone some fields on his good, black ground might possibly hit record yields. At this point he expects a later harvest start than usual, possibly a 2 week delay or more into mid-October.
Mark Harmon in Miami County just north of Keller, agrees about the impact of the rains recently, including some this week.
“This last rain we got is just putting some test weight on but I think our crops are pretty good overall. Soybean wise I think I’ve got some record yields coming but I’m not going to count the chickens until they’re hatched. Corn wise I think we’re going to have an average year.”
Harmon says the start of soybean harvest isn’t too far away.
“I’ve got some beans that are about two weeks away and that’s maybe a little earlier than I’m used to,” he told HAT. “I planted some late group 2’s and they’re going to be ready but corn is just starting to dry down so it’s going to be into October before we’re ready to do anything there.”
“Up until big rains hit there last week we were really on the short side of things, but it turned things around a lot. The top end is off the corn. It just got hurt too much but it has stabilized and we’re going to have a good crop. It just won’t be as good as it could have been.”
He said this week’s rains have been heavy including 6 ½ inches measured at three different locations. But he said the ground needed that much.
“Yeah, it was getting away, it was that dry. One place where I farm it flash flooded and the creeks were out of the banks. By the next morning it was down to where it was just a little stream. I’ve never seen it go down so fast.”
Flora said some early beans that would normally be cut the first week of September will run a week later this year.
All three attended a Seed Consultants grower kickoff meeting in Miami County, at which they were encouraged to order next year’s seed soon. Some seed is already sold out, according to SCI area seedsman Bryan Smith from Bluffton.