Last month at the Indiana State Fair, Purdue Extension specialists were still talking about the potential for record yields for corn and soybeans.
A month of drought conditions can change that.
Purdue corn specialist Bob Nielsen says a month ago he was very optimistic about the size of this corn crop, but now not so much. He says the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that Indiana farmers would produce 979.4 million bushels of corn, compared with last year‘s 596.9 million bushels.
Now, Nielsen says yields could fall by as much as 10 percent because of the month-long dry spell. The dry weather could also hurt yield for soybeans, Indiana‘s second-largest crop behind corn. “We need rain to retain pods and to finish seed fill,” said Purdue soybean specialist Shaun Casteel said.
“The hilltops of some fields are burning up, and those plants will not recover. But there isn‘t that much severe stress in most of the state.” The state climate office at Purdue says the state finished August about an inch-and-a-half below normal for rainfall.
The U.S. Drought Monitor says much of the northern half of the state is now abnormally dry, with west-central Indiana in moderate drought conditions. Much of the state got some rain over the weekend, and cooler weather is expected later this week.