I-80 Planting Tour: Northern Indiana Farmers Look For More Heat And A Dry-Down

I-80 Planting Tour: Northern Indiana Farmers Look For More Heat And A Dry-Down

Even though planting progress has jumped significantly overall this week, Indiana is still dragging behind.

Twenty-one percent of corn is planted. That’s an 18 point jump from last week, but 14 points below the five-year-average. Soybean planting is behind as well. In this week’s I-80 Planting Tour, we explore why farmers in Northern Indiana experienced the wait and if conditions will start to improve.

Jim Truyaert has the planter up and rolling. While he’s on schedule, this new growing season brought a new hesitancy of when to start.

“It made me uncomfortable putting anything in the ground. Seed costs too much a bag any more to throw it out there and hope it grows,” said New Carlisle, Indiana farmer, Jim Truyaert.

Truyaert says this season started cool and wet. Just last week, he experienced handfuls of morning lows, dipping below freezing, but a quick weekend warm-up has helped.

“We’ve had timely rains. It’s been kind of nice this year where we don’t just get them all at once,” said Truyaert.

Even though temperatures have warmed up in Northern Indiana this week, farmers say they could still use some heat.

“Ground conditions are beautiful. It just needs to warm up. That’s it,” said Truyaert.

Truyaert says he’s about 70-percent done with commercial corn and started planting beans on Sunday. That’s quite a difference from last year’s wet spring.

“Just like today, it was cool, cloudy, not enough sun and too much rain. We had too much of a good thing last year,” said Truyaert.

An hour South, George Krom III is used to battling the same elements. “It’ll dry out and it will be ok,” said Rochester, Indiana farmer, George Krom III. He says it's a little too wet and cool for ideal conditions, but heat will move him along.

"I think it will shape up good, especially when it warms up. This corn will come up quick and catch up with things planted a couple weeks,” said Krom.

Krom says he's about 40-percent done with corn with plans to start soybeans later in the week. A quick warm-up has helped, but there's more rain in this week's forecast.

"We do have to worry about the moisture and making sure it's not too wet. Keeping the planter rolling is the main thing. The conditions that were similar to last spring then carried over into that fall. It was a wet, late harvest so much of that didn't get done till this spring," said Krom. 

While this Indiana farmer is anxious for some heat to germinate the crop, he’s confident of the outcome of another growing season.

“We may not be the first and we won’t be the last. It will get done,” said Krom.

Krom says he’s sticking to his regular rotations this year. That’s about 50-50 corn and soybeans. Truyaert says he switched some acres to soybeans but it wasn’t a price, but an agronomic reason.

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