"A whole lot better than yesterday," Mark Wise noted, when asked how his crops looked last week. "That was a million-dollar rain," he added, alluding to the 2- to 3-inch rain that soaked Kosciusko and Fulton counties the night of Aug. 10 and into that Monday morning.
It was a welcome break from the dry weather that has plagued the state, causing corn to roll and soybean leaves to curl. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) for the Great Lakes region showed average temperatures of 69-78 degrees for the week ending Aug. 10. Recorded precipitation ranged from none to 1.94 inches, with a statewide average of 0.49 inch.
The dry weather left 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork, compared with six the previous week and allowed time to cut hay, spray and attend the Indiana State Fair (which ended Sunday).
Overall, 99 percent of the corn has silked, 56 percent is doughing and 17 percent is dented – all up appreciably from last year when drought created havoc. Soybeans also show improvement from last year: 96 percent are blooming and 80 percent are setting pods.
Second and third cuttings of hay are reported throughout the area.
Overall, Indiana’s crop forecast for August is excellent, according to NASS. Corn yield is forecast at 179 bushels per acre; soybeans, 51 bushels; and winter wheat, 73 bushels. Hay producers expect to harvest 240,000 acres of alfalfa hay with an average yield of 3.6 tons per acre.
By Ann Allen