Farmers across the state are wrapping up another difficult harvest season after a historically wet spring pushed their schedules deeper into the calendar than many were likely comfortable with.
“I wouldn’t want corn in the field today,” Mark Kunkle, a retired Miami County farmer whose son still farms, said last week as high winds buffeted much of the state.
“He’s been done probably 10 days ago,” Kunkle said. “He said he thought things were pretty well in. But they weren’t a week ago or better.”
That’s pretty much the picture across Indiana according to the latest Indiana Crop Weather report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That report, published Nov. 24, said that the previous week had a “mostly dry start” that “allowed for significant harvest progress before late-week rains slowed field activity.”
“Harvests for both corn and soybeans neared completion thanks to a relatively dry week, though drying the higher moisture corn crop caused some delay,” the report said.
The soybean crop ended the final week of November at 94 percent completion, up from 91 percent the previous week. Corn jumped from 80 to 89 percent. After a lag caused by the delayed planting, as well as winds and precipitation around the end of October, those percentages are finally closing in on year-to-date numbers and five-year averages.
Last year, 95 percent of the state’s corn and soybeans were in by this time, the report showed. The five-year average for corn is 95 percent and 97 percent for soybeans.
Last year wasn’t easy either, according to Kunkle.
“Too wet,” he said. “It was cutting up the fields.”
Because of the delays with this season, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is planning to continue publishing harvest statistics in a national report, the latest state-level report said.
“These data will be summarized and published in the National release on December 2,” it said. “NASS will evaluate harvest progress each week to determine how long the weekly reports will continue.”