It’s amazing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report can predict the corn and soybean forecast before it’s even in the ground. I’ve seen many fields around northern Indiana. Some look very good to excellent, others not so much. Many made multiple attempts to plant corn or soybeans despite the later planting window. Others planted cover crops of radishes, oats or wheat. And some simply disked it up or let it grow up in weeds.
Friday, I was interviewed by Abby Lutz, a journalist from ABC 57 News that grew up on a farm in Rockville. She did a news story on the drought concerns of farmers and the weather challenges we are facing, from the extremely wet spring to the drought conditions. I know there are other farmers worse off than us. I believe our hay crop saw the biggest hit on yield compared to row crops.
We captured an inch and half of rain this past week over the course of several days, without any severe weather. The new alfalfa seeding that I planted on Aug. 7 looks amazing, so far. I was concerned with possibility of erosion from the predictions of heavy rain, so for the first couple days I placed straw bales in the areas prone to erosion and laid snow picket fence flat across the hillside to slow water down.
The established hayfields need sprayed for leaf hopper. We will probably take our fourth cutting in mid-September. Soybeans are podded up and soaking up the steady rains. Noticed Japanese beetles are starting to chew on silks, but most of the corn is pollinated, for the most part. I’ve heard some reports of tar spot, showing up in the northern parts of Indiana.
We will start chopping corn silage this week from the end rows of the Indiana Corn Husking contest site. We will continue weed eating and spraying fencerows and grooming things up as we prepare to host the contest once again this year. Had a few rainy-day projects this past week and built a vertical hay feeder for goats and rabbit hutch for a customer.
On Aug. 24, the Indiana Cornhusking Association will have a display at Schrock Farms Open House. On Sept. 6 and 7, we will be at Old - Fashioned Rentown Days east of Bremen.