Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen says that if weather conditions improve, there’s still time for agricultural producers to have a good grain crop this year. With careful crop management, it is possible for professionals to see an encouraging yield.
Throughout the end of April, heavy rainfalls plagued much of Indiana. It triggered flood alerts across the state, and below-average temperatures at night also concerned farmers who had planted seedlings.
Nielsen looked to recent history to draw his conclusions. For example, planting was delayed across much of Indiana last year due to unfavorable conditions. However, both corn and soybean harvests were still strong, and he says producers should remain optimistic. It’s also worth noting that the summer is expected to be warm, with near-normal precipitation levels.
“Planting date is not a good predictor of yield,” Nielsen said. “That is because yield is also influenced by a host of other growing-season factors. As far the weather goes, it’s not what has happened so far, but what happens from now on that will determine yield.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, half of Indiana’s corn crop was planted as of May 7, which is ahead of last year’s pace. Nielsen believes it is too early to tell which crops may need to be replanted due to the weather.
“When the fields are dry enough to scout, it might need to be done twice to monitor the potential for seedling blight,” he said.
Nielsen’s online resources for agricultural professionals can be found on www.kingcorn.org/cafe.