A break in the rain cycle Memorial Day weekend allowed many farmers in central Indiana to finally get in the field. Running both a corn and bean planter and no-tilling a high percentage of ground, one farmer says he knocked out more than 700 acre in three and a half days. Unfortunately, he needs at least that much more time to finish. Like many others, he's hopeful the break he needs to finish planting will come this week.
In northwest Indiana, Bill Pickart, landowner and sales rep for Select Hybrids, Camden, says many in his area are wrapping up planting corn. However, they still have plenty of soybeans to plant. That area of the state is typically one of the earliest areas to complete planting.
And even then, he notes that certain areas have received more rain than others. As much as 5 inches of rain fell one weekend near Camden.
In the southeast part of the state, things were looking up for it to finally dry out and let farmers get in the field. Then Memorial Day weekend came, and rains hit before they did elsewhere. One source in Ripley County says he received 3 inches over that time, and that farmers got rained out just as they were ready to plant his fields. Soils in that corner of the state have been soggy anyway, except for an area down near the Ohio River, where planting was completed on lighter soils on time.
Stories about people experiencing problem with wet fields and mud are circulating. Some come with pictures verifying what happened, such as a 36-row planter stuck in the mud that took an army of people and an excavator to get out.
There are also stories circulating about farmers having problems crossing the covered REX pipeline that runs from western Indiana toward the eastern border. Eventually, it will cross the entire state and go on toward the eastern U.S.
In one verified incident, a planter sank, and had to be removed by crane. The planter was heavily damaged. In other cases, supposedly field cultivators have been damaged from incidents involved in crossing the pipeline.
So remember, no one likes planting in June or fighting mud, but it can always be worse. And if last year is any indication, there is still time to rescue a good crop out of this backwards season.