While most of Indiana has seen excessive rain, western and southwestern counties have been especially hard hit. Ryan Piel, DuPont Pioneer agronomist, says standing water is a problem in many fields. The USDA reported only 3 days suitable for fieldwork last week, and soil moisture was rated at 36% surplus, up from 19% a week ago.
While the moisture is a welcome change from the drought of last year, Piel says too much moisture is causing nitrogen loss issues in many fields, “We have lost some nitrogen, and I am seeing corn that is showing signs of it. If the rain backs off, these plants may extend their roots down further and find some additional nitrogen. But right now, nitrogen loss could be a limiting factor on corn yields.” During the past week, Terre Haute reported 3.6 inches of rain, Vincennes 3.75, and Evansville 5.23. A farmer in West Central Indiana reported to HAT that his farm had received over 13 inches of rain during the month of June.
In addition to wetter than normal conditions, cooler than normal temps were the rule in June. Piel says, while this has slowed corn growth, it has also prevented other problems, “If we had seen a little more heat along with all this moisture, I think we would have had more disease issues.” For the most part, he says the crop is withstanding the weather extremes fairly well. Piel hopes the situation will improve before pollination, “We are still at least 3 weeks ahead of pollination.” He says most of the corn he has seen is in the V7 to V10 stage. He says a little less rain will help the corn set up for pollination, “Then if we get a little rain during pollination, we will be set for a good crop.”
Listen to the interview with Ryan Piel in the DuPont Pioneer section of this web site and in the audio section of the HAT app.