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Indiana Corn Crop Getting Challenged This Year

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The new Purdue Crop Chat podcast is now live on the HAT website and it offers insights into Indiana’s variable corn crop. Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen says the variability is not just related to planting dates and conditions, but where rains have and haven’t hit the ground in the state.

“Just in the last couple of days, south of town across the river got upwards of an inch of rain and this side of the river we got nothing,” he said. “So, it’s going to be hit or miss but certainly there are areas that are still extremely dry, areas that when we get these sunny, hot days like we’ve had recently and that corn’s rolling. But there’s also just as many areas in the state that had, thankfully, a half inch here and an inch there, enough to sort of hold off that drought effect a little bit.”

That’s why Nielsen is much more optimistic today than he was just two weeks ago when the hot, dry outlook was beginning to take hold.

“The forecast for rain wasn’t that good at that point in time, but there was that week where quite a bit of the state got respectable rainfall, enough that it certainly gave the corn and probably both crops some breathing room to help tolerate some of this, I guess we could say unusual heat. We haven’t had this many days of 90’s for quite some time,” Nielsen said.

He added it was a low humidity heat early in the window, “and of course that’s when that crop really transpires a lot, uses a lot of water per day. That’s what was scaring me two weeks ago.”

Nielsen hasn’t seen a lot of severe nutrient deficiency in Indiana fields and foliar diseases appear minimal. He said there are exceptions, but the crop is reasonably well-rooted this year, giving it a better chance to get through the summer.

Hear the podcast at http://www.hoosieragtoday.com/purdue-crop-chat/.