Our next stop on the I-80 Harvest tour is northern Indiana. The state experienced a growing season like none other. The state broke a June rainfall record and July wasn’t far behind. Now here at harvest time, soybean cutting is ahead of average, but corn is running behind.
Just under a golden sky, you can hear the hum of Jim Truyaert’s combine, throughout this October evening. Harvest is here. His mom Doris and son Jim are in the cab. Tonight, it’s a team effort to get the crop out of the ground at their farm in New Carlisle, Ind.
“Jimmy usually runs the semi, and I run the auger wagon. So, I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Doris Truyaert.
“Pretty much couldn’t ask for better weather for harvest this year,” said Jim Truyaert.
This harvest weather is a different sight than what many Indiana farmers experienced this growing season, when heavy rain pelted much of the state in June and July. August just dried up.
“This is a pocket that escaped the worst of it. We definitely had more rain, but it was very timely for us. But you didn’t have to go as far North, South, East or West,” said Truyaert.
Because of that, Truyaert says his yield is spared. “I would say above average here in our neighbor area, but there could be easily below average or average, depends if you got hit by the rain or not,” he said.
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An hour south, George Krom III is also rolling along. Perfect weather is a sigh of relief, after the 30 inches of rain he received this season.
“It’s taking more patience this year because of all the extremes. I think it’s an anxiety. We know it’s variable and we know the price of crops are down. We want to see what it’s going to do. The only way we’re going to see it is by getting it harvested,” said Krom, who farms in Rochester, Ind.
Krom says even though it was a struggle, he was able to side-dress his corn. Others weren’t so fortunate. Despite extra efforts, some test weights are low, ear lengths are smaller and the yield monitor is variable.
“The corn will end up in the 140 bu. an acre and 150 bu. an acre here. That’s below average, but still not a failure," Krom said. "Soybeans I think will be below average, because the ones we’ve harvested just yielded average. It’s going to be hard to bring up those averages when you have 10% to 20% of your acres at a zero."
Still, Krom said it’s an improvement from what he expected in June. “As it quit raining, the crops here grew out of it. That maybe camouflages some problems. But conditions improved," he said.
As the sun sets on another growing season, it just may be a farmer’s optimism that helps get them through challenges they face year after year. It’s that eternal optimism farmers possess, that get them through harvest’s challenges year after year. “We still have a crop, and we’ll be farming next year,” Krom said.
Now both farmers say despite all of the rain, pest pressure is down. They have seen some sudden death in some pockets of soybeans. There are also some leaf diseases, but both feel it won’t rob yield at this stage of the game.
See how yields are looking with AgWeb's harvest maps for corn and soybeans and share how your harvest is going on AgWeb's Crop Comments section.