Last week HAT spoke with two men in the foreground of a dispute about government approval of coming technologies for fighting weeds in Midwest corn and soybean fields. But those two also have been busy this spring tending to business.
Producer Kip Tom in Kosciusko County said it has been a great year to get an early start, and they have taken advantage.
“You know when I look back a year ago we had one of the wettest seasons we’ve had on record in nearly 38 years of crop production that I’ve been involved here. Now this year is one of the driest. We got started planting on April 6th, and to this date (last Thursday) we’re about 70 percent planted on commercial corn and about 65 percent on soybeans.”
At Tom Farms they’re also involved in seed production but haven’t started yet.
“Much of our seed production is either en route from Hawaii or Latin America or being processed to deliver to us in the next week or two so we can get started growing the seed crop for next year’s crops.”
A week ago rains fell in parts of Indiana after a lengthy period with no rainfall, but Tom didn’t get much of that rain.
We got anywhere from 3 tenths to 5 tenths of an inch. When we look at the monthly totals for April we’re well below normal, but it’s allowing us to make good progress. I know when you get to the south and west of us, in the Lafayette area, many producers are done today, but I think as you move north many of us are making good progress and hope to wrap things up here on our commercial crops within the next week.”
Steve Smith at Red Gold said tomato growers in southern parts of the state like Columbus and Seymour are starting to plant now and dry conditions for tomato plants going into the ground are not a problem, “because as we plant the tomatoes, just like people do in their garden, they get a little shot of water that goes in. The total amount of water used by a small plant is not great so really good soil conditions play very well into our benefit.”
Smith added that a continuation of dry conditions also shouldn’t be a major concern since a large portion of the production area is irrigated.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/04/Spring-crop-progress.mp3|titles=Spring crop progress]