The Hoosier state did get some corn planted last week, moving to 14 percent planted in the new USDA progress report, a gain of eight percent. One part of Indiana where planting is progressing better than most areas is the north central sector, but a Monday morning estimate we heard still wasn’t that impressive. Pioneer Field Agronomist Brian Early credits the progress to some sandy soils and areas that haven’t been hit as hard with rain.
“We’re probably in the neighborhood of 20 percent planted on corn and not that much on beans, but it’s awful sporadic and there are areas that still have not touched anything and some that are pretty far along,” he said.
Some parts of his territory haven’t necessarily been deluged all these weeks, but the cool spring is really taking a toll.
“Prior to this it’s just been so cold it’s been hard to get growing days,” Early said. “If you look at our actual rainfall, in some areas we’re actually not that far above normal, although most of the state we are the wettest spring we’ve ever had. It just takes very little now to keep everything really saturated and any amount we get really compounds our issues.”
Early acknowledges there is a lot of frustration on Indiana farms right now, but a check on history shows it’s still not too late to raise an acceptable corn and soybean crop.
“I looked through some late-planted data last week and in the eastern Corn Belt unfortunately we’ve had a lot of years like this, and you can look back to years like 2011, 2014, and 2016, and you can look at a lot of data where we planted the last week of May and even the first week of June and we’ve produced some pretty good yields. They were surprisingly good in my opinion. And then I think about some of the worst years we’ve had in the decade. Two that stick out to me are 2015 and 2017 and both of those years were after the planting had happened. In 2015 we had the very heavy rains in June where we got in some cases up to 16 inches of rain that really put a hurt on the crop. And then 2017 was that epic replant year that we had. It just reminds me that even when we get planted timely, sometimes things that happen after the fact can really set us up for a bad year. And even though we might plant late in some years we might turn out in pretty good fashion.”
Later this week Early will address switching soybean maturities and weed and insect problems from this spring’s weather.
Indiana corn was 86 percent planted last year, and the updated national progress of just 49 percent continues to trail the 5-year average which is 80 percent for this week. Just 19 percent of soybeans are planted nationally, and Indiana sits at six percent, 64 points behind a year ago.