Purdue Extension Offers Drought Insights and Tips

The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates ongoing dry weather is now impacting 88 percent of Indiana and Friday morning Purdue Extension hosted a conference call of Ag & Natural Resource Educators to report conditions and provide drought recommendations.

Jim Mintert, Assistant Director of Extension, Agriculture & Natural Resources at Purdue led the call where specialists said Indiana could potentially still see a good corn crop. It will require rain though, and soon.

“And so the challenge is going to be to see what happens these next roughly three weeks,” he sayd. “I think that’s going to be a very critical period for the corn crop according to Bob Nielsen, our corn specialist in agronomy. The key period of course is going to be during the pollination period. The corn crop was planted early this year so pollination is going to take place earlier than normal, and that means that critical period for moisture is going to be a little earlier than typical is the case. So as you look at the crop around the state, in many locations it’s still hanging on pretty well, but if the temperatures warm up and we don’t get additional precipitation we could see the corn crop deteriorate in Indiana and elsewhere in the Midwest as well.”

Soybeans haven’t yet reached that critical stage. As Mintert explained, “Soybeans are a little more resilient and tolerant of drought, particularly at this stage of the growing season, so the critical period for most of the soybeans in Indiana is going to be a little bit later than for corn.”

Mintert said just some of the grower recommendations came from weed specialist Bill Johnson, who had insights for those about to spray their bean fields.

“When you get into a period where moisture conditions are short, the crop is under stress, and the weeds are under some level of stress because of shortness of moisture, it makes them more difficult to kill, so he recommended using maximum label rates of whichever product you’re using, and of course in soybeans a lot of that’s going to be glyphosate at this stage.”

Also on the Friday call the Indiana state climatologist said there are concerns in the coming weeks about hotter temperatures taking hold and minimal rain opportunities. Hear the HAT interview with Mintert here:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/06/Jim-Mintert-on-emerging-drought.mp3|titles=Jim Mintert on emerging drought] and more on the weather and farmer recommendations in the entire Purdue conference call here:[audio:https://extension.purdue.edu/anr/mp3/PUextDroughtConfCall-061512.mp3|titles=Purdue Extension on emerging drought]

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