Extension educators from around the state gathered in Indianapolis late last week to learn about the damage recent rains are causing to area fields.
It’s estimated that Indiana’s crops have lost $300-million in value due to the amount of rainfall in certain portions of the state. Northern sections of Indiana have been impacted more heavily than other areas.
Purdue Extension Agricultural Educator Phil Woolery says that to be eligible for federal disaster assistance, a 30-percent reduction in yields for a single crop would have to be reported.
“So it’d be 30% of corn, not corn and soybeans, but for a single crop, so the local people are evaluating the situation and investigating right now,” says Woolery.
Those local people include officials with the Farm Service Agency – who are currently investigating the situation prior to making the application for disaster assistance. A press release from Purdue Extension indicates that the full impact of the flooding isn’t yet clear.
In Starke and Pulaski counties, part of the problem is saturated soil – which has caused low root growth and reduced nitrogen levels.
Woolery says farmers will have to make their own assessments.
“If they think these crops can recover and if they would benefit from supplemental nitrogen application because corn responds very well to nitrogen and if we get some good weather,” says Woolery. “So there’s different options for applying nitrogen, even to taller corn.”
State climatologists are predicting rains through July, but whether they’ll reach June’s precipitation levels is unknown.
The window for replanting corn has already closed. July 3rd is considered late to replant soybean crops.