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Farmers provide crop update

Farmers provide crop update

Tim Gauck and Kevin Cox farm in the same state but have had different planting experiences in 2024

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

As of the June 11 USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, 87 percent of Indiana’s corn crop is planted and 71 percent of it has emerged. And 81 percent of the state’s soybean crop is planted, and 64 percent of those acres have emerged.

With that at top of mind, connected with two Indiana producers to provide an update on their crops.

And though they farm roughly two hours apart from each other, they’ve had different experiences this season.

Kevin Cox, who farms near Brazil, Ind., could describe the season so far in one word.

“If I had to sum it up in one word, I’d use the word nightmare,” he told

Indiana had a dry fall and winter, and just when planting season was about to begin, the rain hit.

“Around the first of April we got about 12 inches of rain over a 10-day period,” Cox said. “We got some corn and beans in, and then the rain came again. So, we were able to run about one day a week.”

The NOAA’s drought monitor says this year’s stretch between January and April in Indiana is the 18th wettest on record since 1895. This year, the state received 15.65 inches of total precipitation, which is 3.36 inches above normal.

With the rain keeping farmers like Cox out of the field for days at a time, this has resulted in uneven fields and overall delays.

“We’ve got crops in different growth stages, and we’ve got really thin crops,” he said. “We had to replant some beans, and I know there’s some guys who are planting for the first time.”

The moisture also brings the potential for disease.

This includes gray leaf spot, which has been reported in some corn, Cox said.

“We haven’t seen it yet, but we’ve heard it’s moving in pretty heavily,” he said. “We’ll definitely be using fungicides on everything. We’ve got a scouting firm we subscribe to and they’re out in the field letting us know about some of the challenges out there.”

Seasons like this remind farmers that regardless of the innovations that come down the pipeline, there’s one entity that ultimately decides the success of a crop.

“We can have the best equipment and do everything perfectly, but we have no control over the weather and that’s what caught us this year,” Cox said.

About two hours away from Cox’s farm is Greensburg, Ind., where Tim Gauck raises cash crops.

He’s had a vastly different experience this planting season.

“We finished planting on May 30, and everything looks really good,” he told

Gauck’s farm did receive rain, but not to the extent of some of his other producers.

“It didn’t rain a lot, but it rained often,” he said. “We probably planted some fields a little heavy but for the most part I couldn’t be more pleased with how the stand looks. The crop looks excellent.”

The challenge on Gauck’s farm now is to continue to give the crop the best chance to succeed.

Spraying is done but some side dressing is likely to occur soon, he said.

“We’re working on the nitrogen applicator because we side dress with 28 percent,” he said. “We’ll probably get to that around next week.”

In addition to managing his corn and soybeans, Gauck will also soon be harvesting his wheat crop.

He’ll be harvesting it earlier than normal, but he’s confident the crop is a good one.

“It’ll be about a week earlier than we usually harvest it,” he said. “But last year we had a record wheat crop and I don’t see why this year would be any different. It looks great.”

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