Planters started rolling last week in parts of Indiana; but, for the most part, they are back in the shed this week waiting for better weather. Indiana has about 8% of the corn planted compared to Illinois with over 30% and Missouri which is nearing 50%. Bryan Smith, with Seed Consultants in NE Indiana, says activity has come to a halt in his area, “We are not seeing too much activity this week on planting of soybeans or corn. With the rain we have seen in the past 48 hours and the rain we are going to get this week, planting activity has come to a standstill.” He said some larger farmers in the area had a few fields planted last week, but they are concerned about the very cool soil conditions.
Smith expects planting will not resume for another week but, at this point, says producers are not pushing the panic button, “Three years ago the crops got planted late May and early June and they were excellent; so, if everybody can get in over the next few weeks, things will be fine.” He added that most of the folks he talked with said the soil was in good workable condition and early weed pressure was not a problem.
In southern Indiana, a good deal of planting progress has been made, but again heavy rain this week has brought activity to a standstill. Elston Sayers, with Seed Consultants in the Bedford area, says 2 and 3 inch rains have been common, “That is our biggest concern now — what will these heavy rains do to the crops we planted last week?” He told HAT it would be at least another week before many growers would be able to get back into the field. With almost half of the Indiana wheat crop jointed, Sayers says the wheat crop is looking good, “It really looks a lot better than I thought it would given the kind of winter we had.”
Hoosier Ag Today meteorologist Rob Wasson says a slow moving, low pressure system will keep the chance of rain in the forecast for most of the Midwest for the next several days, “This system will keep scattered showers and thunderstorms over Indiana through the week. All day rains are not expected, but a few thunderstorms could contain heavy downpours. Temperatures will also be cool for this time of year and average below normal all the way into the weekend.” A new weather system will move in next week, but a dry spell is not likely. “A new weather system will keep the threat of rain across the northern half of the state on Monday and Tuesday. A good chance of rain is expected late Wednesday and into Thursday,” Wasson said The extended, two week forecast calls for near average temperatures and slightly above normal rainfall statewide.