Home Indiana Agriculture News Hot Dry Conditions Stressing Crops at Critical Time

Hot Dry Conditions Stressing Crops at Critical Time


Hot temperatures, combined with little to no rainfall, has left corn and soybeans stressed for moisture, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Most of the state went without precipitation or relief from the above average temperatures over the past week. Irrigation systems were running at full force where available to keep crops at adequate moisture; however, those without irrigation are seeing increased stress. The statewide average temperature was 76.6 degrees, 3.7 degrees above normal. Statewide average precipitation was below normal at 0.35 inches, although there were several counties that received no rainfall during the week.


Hay and pasture growth slowed significantly over the past week. Many growers were able to get a third cutting of hay, but reported needing a significant amount of rain to rejuvenate the fields for an additional cutting. Livestock were reported to be stressed from heat and poor pasture conditions, as some pastures were overrun with weeds rather than grass. Some cattle herds developed pink eye over the past week. Mint, potato, tomato, watermelon, cantaloupe, and sweet corn harvest was well underway. Other activities for the week included applying fungicides, hauling grain, mowing roadsides, and attending the Indiana State Fair.



Corn dough was 44% complete in the North, 53% in Central, and 51% in the South. Corn dented was 9% complete in the North, 11% in Central, and 13% in the South. Non-irrigated corn has continued to exhibit stalk firing and more leaves have curled from the lack of moisture. In some areas, the lower leaves have dropped from the plant. Stands growing in sandy soils have been more affected by the dry weather. Corn rated in good to excellent condition was 73% in the North, 79% in Central, and 66% in the South.


Soybeans blooming were 94% complete in the North, 91% in Central, and 82% in the South. By region, soybeans setting pods were 67% complete in the North, 71% in Central, and 53% in the South. Soybeans rated in good to excellent condition were 74% in the North, 78% in Central, and 65% in the South. Some soybeans have aborted blossoms from moisture stress in drier areas. Growers expressed concerns about the crop given that this is the critical stage for proper bean development and plants have not received adequate moisture. Insect and disease pressures, however, have been relatively low due to dry and hot weather.