VALLONIA, Ind. — With soils still drying out from the
downpours in April, farmers are hoping for dry weather as they finally begin
Tom Hackman, a farmer from Vallonia, plants 1,500 acres of
corn, soybeans and produce in southern Jackson and Washington counties. While
his fields didn’t flood as bad as others in Indiana, he still is behind normal
“It’s behind. It’s slow,” he said. “In a sense, we’re
fortunate because we didn’t get the original heavy rain in April. But we get it
in the form of the river rising.”
Hackman started planting row crops and produce during the
dry days in the last week of April. He hopes the weather cooperates so they can
continue to get the fields planted.
“We started on April 29 this year,” he said. “Last year, we
started on the 10th. It’s funny, last year it was a mistake to plant early. We
had a plot that never does well in April, so we waited. Best move I could have
possibly made because that farm ended up yielding 170 to 180 bushels per acre
versus what we planted in April that yielded in the 60s to 80s. Just waiting a
little while changed everything.”
Mycogen Seeds agronomist Andrew Ferrel explained most farms
now are in the beginning stages of planting.
“It’s just getting started for the most part in Indiana,” he
said. “It’s been pretty wet and pretty cold. Temperatures didn’t break until the
last week of April.
“Last week, people were running in areas where it was sandy.
If soils are sandy, then the water drains quicker, so they can get in the fields
quicker. In other areas, there is still a lot of standing water, and things are
pretty waterlogged in places, so it’s all over the board, depending on
Although planting is later than average and much later than
last year, Ferrel said there still is time to get crops in the ground.
The weather during the next few weeks will play a large role
in the process. The upcoming weather also will affect levels of plant disease
and rot, Ferrel said.
“Relative to what we call a normal year, it is a late
planting season, but with people going in the fields last week, it’s not too
late,” he said. “I wouldn’t recommend anyone switching maturities on hybrids or
varieties because we are not to that extreme. Hopefully, we don’t get a lot of
rain, and people can continue to roll.”
Ferrel gave another piece of advice for farmers to think
about in the future. “Weed control will be something to keep an eye on this
year,” he said. “The winter annuals got a good jumpstart on us because
conditions weren’t fit to spray and burn down until last week. It’ll be
important to stay on top of your herbicide program.”
Although planting is later than last year, Hackman isn’t
stressing about the weather on his farm.
“I’m not worried about this year,” he said. “It’s just one of those things where you roll with the
punches — you don’t really have a set agenda.
“I think if you do everything when it’s ready to be done, if
you can be there to do it and do it the right way to give it the best
opportunity to do all it can do, you’re going to get all you can out of it. If
you think it has to be done by such and such as a date, you’re going to be in