Indiana Crop Progress, Moisture, and Yields Pushing the Limits of “Variability”


As USDA releases the November crop report, there are still Indiana farmers who don’t have all of their crops harvested. Just as it is with variable yield reports, the level of harvest progress is quite variable, with a slower pace continuing in the east and northeast, according to agronomist Kirsten Thomas-Garriott.

“I would give you a percentage, but I think it’s all over the board,” she said. “In the twenty-one counties I cover across the central part of the state east to west, there are a few, few people that may be done at this point, but there’s a lot more that are less than 50 percent and certainly several folks that haven’t started corn yet. A little bit further behind on the east side as those folks have caught some rains, and with some heavier soils that’s been a little bit more of a challenge to get those soybeans finished up. At this time of the year we’re pretty much out of drying power, so that’s an additional challenge as far as harvest progress goes.”

Expert advice across the state continues to be pick the corn when you can regardless of moisture levels. And those levels just like yields are all over the map.

“It depends on when the corn was planted and of course your relative maturity,” she explained. “There’s a lot of folks with corn that was planted in June, I call it mid to fuller season. There’s some 110 and 112 day that made it out there in June, and that stuff, depending on how many GDU’s you received is probably still 28 percent, 27 percent. We’re going to have some stuff that’s drier than that obviously, but the points per day or week that you lose is going to be minimal. So, I would definitely agree that at this point you want to get it out before we continue to have issues with standability and those late fall wind storms.”

Soybean harvest according to Thomas-Garriott is also a slow going, difficult task for many farmers.

“But, overall, surprisingly quality has been pretty good on soybeans,” she told HAT. “We may see that change, but we were anticipating some quality issues considering what we saw last year. I think we’ve been pleasantly surprised there, so that’s a sunny spot.”

But she echoes what others have reported. Some soybean yields have been a welcome surprise.

“I thought when I was looking at the crop in August, man some of these beans are going to be terrible. I didn’t think we would have very much good to say about soybeans at all, but it turns out there have been several folks who been really pleased with their yields initially, and then probably even more pleased and surprised that stuff has hung in there as harvest has progressed. So, we are really, really happy with what we are seeing considering the season.”

For producers still in the fields or hoping to start, the hope is just to get all of the crop out of the fields. Thomas-Garriott is a technical agronomist for DEKALB and Asgrow.

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