Heavy rains, winds, and possibly snow are all adding to the many challenges farmers are facing this harvest. Farmers in NW Indiana were able to make good harvest progress last week, but 2 inches of weekend rain brought that to a halt. Pioneer agronomist Ryan Piel says the continuing harvest will be slow and challenging.
“When you look at the forecast for the end of the week, it calls for another inch of rain. From here on out, it is going to be a challenge.”
According to the latest USDA numbers, 45% of the Indiana corn harvest is complete and 71% of the soybeans are in. Nationally, 61% of the corn has been harvested, and 69% of the soybeans have been cut.
Piel worries the corn that is in the field will not be able to stand much more severe weather.
“If you do a pinch test or just kick the base of the stalk, they just crumble. Stalk stress is a real problem this harvest.”
Piel added he has not had a lot of reports of downed corn but worries over the next few weeks that growers are going to face some serious lodging.
Moisture continues to be a challenge. Piel says it is unlikely the corn is going to get much dryer.
“A lot of guys are still seeing 30% moisture corn. I do not think we are going to see the kind of drying conditions that are needed to crop this corn much more.”
The average temperature in Indiana for last week was 52.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.2 degrees above normal for the state. The amount of rainfall varied from 0.06 – 4.09 inches over the week. The statewide average precipitation was 2.37 inches.
While corn yields are better than expected, it is going to be very expensive to dry the crop for storage.
Piel adds, “I have had a lot of customers complain about how much gas it is taking to dry the crop and how expensive that is.”