Extreme heat early in the week gave way to cooler temperatures and much needed rain showers which brought relief to both crops and livestock, according to the Indiana Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Rainfall totals were minimal in some areas, so relief from the drought conditions will be short lived if more precipitation doesn’t come soon. Farmers continued to replant soybean fields due to low plant populations caused by hot, dry weather during emergence. Winter wheat harvest is underway in southwestern counties and will soon move northward as the crop is rapidly maturing. Most of the tobacco crop has been transplanted into the fields at this point. Most farmers have taken their first cutting of alfalfa hay and some have already begun second cuttings.
Corn condition improved slightly and is nowrated 59 percent good to excellent compared with 52percent last year at this time. Ninety-seven percent of the intended soybean acreage has been planted compared with 42 percent last year and 67 percent for the 5-year average. Eighty-nine percent of soybean acreage has emerged compared with 22 percent last year and 46 percent for the 5-year average. Eight percent of the winter wheat acreage has been harvested compared with 0 percent for both last year and the 5-year average. Condition of winter wheat, still standing, declined slightly and is now rated 60percent good to excellent compared with 58 percent last year at this time.