The corn and soybean markets took quite a hit last week and into this week following the USDA August crop report, and many farmers in Indiana were surprised by the agency’s projected crop size, based on known issues in Indiana and throughout the Corn Belt. Indiana Farm Bureau checked in with a number of growers around the state to get their update. Molly Zentz with INFB said many corn fields are stunted and late in development.
“The corn that was planted early this spring is quite thin for a lot of individuals, and that corn that had to be replanted once, maybe twice and in some cases even three times, that is a little late to the pollination stage,” she reported. “We’ve heard from some that corn is just now beginning to be pollinated, which is roughly thirty days late.”
She added, a roadside look at the crops doesn’t always tell the full story.
“A lot of the crop farmers across the state I spoke to said from the road and the outside of the field a lot of the crops look really nice this year. But when they get inside to really inspect, or if they get some kind of aerial view, that’s when they’re able to see a lot of the damage that was done from a lot of incredible flooding early this year, and for some areas throughout mid-summer.”
Parts of Indiana do have a crop that is rivaling past years. Jordan Brewer of Brewer Farms in Clinton County told Zentz his crops look ok, “and he talked a little bit about how, in the end, whether or not individually a farmer might think that these types of numbers (USDA) are different than what they’re seeing this year, the market is always right and these types of reports is what they have to go off of,” Zentz said. “And they use those reports to plan the marketing of their commodities through the rest of the year.”
Kevin Cox of TST Farms in Parke County explained the situation many Indiana row crop farmers are seeing this summer.
“The corn that I planted early this spring is thin and the corn that I had to replant multiple times this spring is incredibly immature,” explained Cox. “In some areas, I have a nice, fully-developed ear of corn, but in many areas I have ears that are just beginning to be pollinated, which makes me about 30 days late on a lot of my corn.”
Roger Hadley, corn and soybean farmer and Allen County Farm Bureau president, had to replant roughly half of his corn this spring and explained that his replanted corn is just now pollinating. The corn that he did not replant is thin.
“When observing the crops while driving down the road, you feel good, but once you get above the crops, you can see the issues,” he explained. “This time of year, you shouldn’t be able to see the ground from above. That’s not the case in my field.”
Cox explains that when estimating your yields, you cannot simply consider the areas with zero corn due to flooding, but must consider the circle of crops around the flooded areas that is also affected.
“Those surrounding crops may not be down to the ground, but it’s not fully developed corn,” he said. “It doesn’t take a big area with zero crop to affect the overall field average.”
A southern Indiana farmer agrees that things are looking as expected this year in his part of the state compared to past years in his area.
“In southern Indiana, driving along the roads and observing the fields, it looks like it will be about as good as last year,” said Paul France, who farms in Gibson County.
Molly Zentz is Public Relations Manager for Indiana Farm Bureau.
Source: Indiana Farm Bureau