By Annie Ropeik
Indiana is partway into a record-setting cash crop harvest – but months of uneven weather conditions have put some farmers behind.
The state’s soybean crop is 42 percent harvested as of this week, about the same as average. But the corn crop lags at just 24 percent.
Purdue University agronomist Bob Nielsen says wet weather earlier this year forced some farmers to plant late or replant their crops, and cool August temperatures lengthened the growing season.
“We obviously need good weather for the next 30 or 45 days to get both crops out,” Nielsen says. “Farmers will focus on soybeans in the near-term, because it’s a little more critical to get them out before they start shattering and dropping grain on the ground.”
He says corn can wait a longer – into early November. Farmers need it to dry before harvest, which requires warm, sunny, dry weather. And Nielsen says it can cost extra to store or dry grain that’s picked early.