Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 7, 2013

Area planting behind schedule

Wet conditions keep farmers out of fields

— By this time last year, most of Indiana’s crops were already planted. Farmers were able to get into fields earlier as a result of dry weather. What a difference a year makes.

Bob Nielson, a corn specialist with Purdue University, said Monday just 1 percent of the corn crop has been planted this year.

“We’re off to another slow start because of the wet fields,” Nielson said.

Wetter-than-normal springs are not new to Indiana farmers. Nielson said there were similar situations in 2011 and also in 2009.

“We always get it planted at some time,” laughed Nielson. “We had an extremely late year for planting in 2009 and by the end of the year, the corn yield was 9 percent higher than average. In 2011, the yield was 9 percent lower than average.”

Nielson said planting time appears to have little effect on yield at the end of the year.

“The farmers are planting late because Mother Nature is keeping them out of the field,” he said. “I’ve learned over 30 years not to get too excited about planting progress.”

Nielson said if planting is not completed in another month, that will be cause for alarm.

“Once the weather cooperates, they can plant acres quickly,” he said. “We still have time.”

Despite reports that more corn than soybeans was going to be planted in 2013, Nielson said he expects farmers to plant the same amount of corn and soybeans in Indiana as last year.

“The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) planting intentions report showed there is not that big a shift from 2012,” Nielson said. “We are picking up some acres of corn, but the soybean acreage is remaining steady.”

Coming off the drought of 2012, Nielson said, most of the soil moisture has been recovered in the state.

“The long-term forecasts are not incredibly accurate,” he said of precipitation expectations for the spring and summer. “I’ve seen some reports where it will be dry and others that indicate it will be a mild summer. No one can tell what is going to happen.”

Richard Miller, who farms on the western side of Howard County, said over the weekend farmers were taking advantage of the dry weather in “droves” to get crops planted.

“It’s a bit of a risk because the ground is still very wet,” he said. “You want to plant the crops in moisture, but not too wet.”

Top layers of soil may dry out and not the subsurface soils, Miller said.

Another risk is after additional rain the ground may harden, making it difficult for plants to break through the top layer of soil.

Miller said farmers still have a few weeks to get their crops in the ground.

“The shorter the length of the growing season, the less time the corn will have to grow to its optimal height,” he said. “The seed companies are not recommending going to a seed that needs a shorter growing season.”

Tipton farmer Kip Bergman, who was planting corn on Monday, said this is a good time to be planting.

“As long as I get it planted by the middle of May, I’ll be alright,” he said. “It’s a little scary when you get all that rain in April. We don’t need another 8-inch rain.”

Bergman said the soil is still a little wet, but he has planted in wetter conditions in the past.

“Right now we need some sunshine,” he said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Indian Heights fire 01 [Duplicate] Fire engulfs Indian Heights home

    Josh Justice left his house and went to get a haircut Tuesday afternoon. When he came back, his house was destroyed. Firefighters said it was likely a propane-tank explosion inside an RV parked beside his house that caused severe fire damage to Justi

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Apollo 11 program at library Kokomo High School graduates Greg McCauley and Dave Hudson will present a 60-minute, graphic-rich multimedia lecture called Earth to the Moon: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The lecture will be at the

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS - KT072314 - Kareen Dunn Kareen Dunn sentenced to 18 years for non-fatal shooting A Kokomo man charged in a 2012 shooting on East Mulberry Street pleaded guilty to an aggravated battery charge and was sentenced last week to 18 years. After accepting the guilty plea of Kareen Dunn, Howard Superior Court 4 Judge George Hopkins sente

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Main street group announces meeting TIPTON —- Tipton Main Street Association will meet at 8 a.m. July 24 at the Tipton County Foundation for a presentation on final qualifications needed to become a "main street association." Included are goals and cost estimates for the remainder of 2

    July 22, 2014

  • Howard County rejected for state preschool pilot Howard County is not among the five counties selected for Indiana’s new preschool voucher pilot. Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties will roll out the program in 2015. Eighteen counties, includ

    July 22, 2014

  • Police: Peru man punched officer in the face

    PERU — A 51-year-old Peru man was arrested after allegedly flipping off a police officer and punching him in the nose. According to court documents released Tuesday, Peru Officer Matthew Feller was on patrol Friday when he observed Matt Shuey lean out his car

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS - KT072214 - Ryan Ledbetter mugshot - CLG Bunker Hill councilman arrested for firing gun BUNKER HILL – A member of the Bunker Hill Town Council was arrested Saturday after police say he broke a no-contact order with his children’s mother and fired a gun inside a trailer park near Peru. Indiana State Police responded to the Woodland Hill

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowe's plans 1,000-worker Indianapolis call center INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Home-improvement retailer Lowe's says it will open a new call center in Indianapolis that could have up to 1,000 employees in the next couple years. The North Carolina-based retailer announced Tuesday that it would spend about $20

    July 22, 2014

  • Indiana governor's residence gets honey bee hive INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's Governor's Residence is getting a bee hive to call its own. First lady Karen Pence was scheduled to unveil a honey bee hive Tuesday morning at the Governor's Residence on Indianapolis' north side. The hive and its bees w

    July 22, 2014

  • iRead program 03 Indiana improves overall rank on national child well-being report

    More Indiana parents are earning at least a high school diploma and their children are performing better in school too, but the advances in education still are not enough to counteract the lingering effects of the 2007 recession and lift families out

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries