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July 8, 2015

Trip Report - Indiana and Ohio

Over the weekend we traveled through Indian and western Ohio on July 3rd, below are my observations.

General observations for Central Indiana and Western Ohio
  • Let me start off by saying that farmers in Indiana are in big-big trouble and the farmers in western Ohio are not much better off.
  • I have been doing this for over thirty years and I have never seen so many poor crops in early July over such a wide area. Pathetic is not a strong enough word to describe some of the crops. For both corn and soybeans, nonexistent is a better description for a portion of the crop.
  • The corn is worse than I expected and the soybeans are much worse than I expected.
  • There is still water standing everywhere. We could see where the water had been over the road and some roads were still closed.
  • Many fields had never been planted, especially soybeans, there are drowned out spots everywhere, and many parts of the fields will not be harvested because the crops are so poor.
  • We have all heard the saying "Knee-high by the Fourth of July", well there are corn fields in Indiana where the corn is not even close to being knee-high on the Fourth of July.
  • We saw one farmer in Indiana planting soybeans in a field that had not been touched this spring and we saw a second planter in the field ready to start planting. We saw several farmers in Indiana applying nitrogen and spraying herbicide. Farmers in both states were starting to harvest their wheat and many farmers had cut their hay for the first time, which is about a month behind schedule.
Corn
  • The variability in the corn is unbelievable. If the corn was planted early, it had a chance to get established before the wet weather moved in and as a result, it is tall (way above my head), dark green, lush and it has a good yield potential.
  • If the corn was planted later, or if it received excessive amounts of rain, it looks really bad. A lot of corn is short, yellow, uneven in height, stunted (or dead) and the worst areas will have "zero" yield potential. One field might look good and the next field might look horrible.
  • The best corn will start to pollinate later this week and it has a good yield potential. The worst fields are less than a foot tall and they will probably not put on an ear, or if they do, it will be a tiny little "nubbin".
  • There are lots of drowned out spots and I did not see any of those spots that had been replanted.
  • Much of the corn had a very poor color and it was obvious that much of the nitrogen has been washed away by the heavy rains. We did see two farmers in Indiana that were applying nitrogen to the corn.
  • The statewide yield potential for the corn in Indiana and Ohio has been severely compromised. The harvested acreage in both states will be below what was indicated in the June Acreage Report.
Soybeans
  • As bad as the corn is in Indiana and western Ohio, the soybeans are worse!
  • There were many soybean fields that had not been planted and there are many downed out spots in the fields as well. We did see one farmer in Indiana planting soybeans for the first time, but we did not see any areas where the drowned out soybeans had been replanted. The area is so saturated, it would take at least 4-5 days (or longer) of hot and sunny weather before you would even think about replanting. The "drop dead" date for replanting soybeans in either state is about July 10th. A farmer might try to replant until July 15th, but that would be a real stretch.
  • The biggest thing that struck me was how small the soybeans were. There are so many fields of soybeans that are only 3-4 inches tall. They have been sitting in saturated conditions and as a result, they have not grown at all during the last month.
  • The soybeans are very short and stunted, yellowish in color and way behind in development. Of what I saw, I would categorize a small percent of the soybeans as being average or good with the majority of the soybeans being poor, very poor, or nonexistent.
  • We all know that you have to wait for soybeans, but some of soybeans are so bad that I don't think they will be tall enough to get across the cutter bar at harvest time.
  • The soybeans were definitely much worse than I expected and the harvested acreage for soybeans in both states will be lower than what was indicated in the June Acreage Report.
  • The soybean yield potential in both states has been severely compromised.