Again this year, Hoosier Ag Today and DuPont Pioneer are partnering to present a series of agronomy updates throughout the growing season. In our first report, we focus on conditions in Southeast Indiana. Four inch soil temperatures are above 50 degrees in much of Southern Indiana, but very little fieldwork is being done. “In parts of Southern Indiana, we have had up to 7 inches of rain in the past few days, and that is more than anyone needs,” said Brian Bush, DuPont Pioneer field agronomist in Bartholomew County.
With more rain in the forecast for next week, it will likely be later in the month before planting really gets underway. Bush is urging farmers to be ready to go, but not to rush, “We don’t want to mud this crop in because that will reduce our yields all season long. I am telling my customers to be ready when the rain stops, but don’t go when the fields are still this wet.” He added that soil conditions across the southern part of the state are too wet and that many rivers have flooded low lying areas. He predicts that it will be at least another week in some areas and up to 3 weeks in others before planting can begin.
The spring weather is also causing problems for the wheat crop. According to Bush, the crop does not look too bad as it breaks dormancy, “But what really worries me is that many growers have not had a chance to apply any nitrogen this spring, and that is going to hurt yields.” He said growers were reluctant to apply nitrogen when the ground was frozen and, since the warm up, it has been too wet to get into the field. Wheat acreage is down in Indiana as a result of poor planting conditions last fall and much lower prices for wheat.
Hoosier Ag Today chief meteorologist Ryan Martin says there will be drying conditions over the weekend, but more rain returns next week, “Rains will arrive for Tuesday and continue into very early Wednesday morning. Rain totals look to be from .2”-.7” with state coverage at 80%. These rains are not as impressive as they were a couple of days ago, but the geographic coverage is still quite good. Thunderstorms linger through Wednesday mid-day over Central and Southern Indiana and may boost rain totals along and south of I-70 to more than 1 inch, especially in SW parts of the state.” He added another front starts to work in around the 17th, but models are disagreeing just a bit on the timing, “The European is faster, but the GFS has more moisture in its delayed arrival. Either way, we have another system there, and then the longer range models put another one in for the 22nd – 23rd. So, the overall pattern continues to favor damp weather right on into the last third of the month.”
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